In the first update to the Canada Food Guide since 2007, Health Canada has ditched its rainbow of four food groups for a picture of the “balanced” plate: half fruits and vegetables, one quarter for protein, one quarter whole grains. The guide champions plant-based proteins over animal-based and has stripped dairy of its food group, leaving it represented by just a small saucer of yogurt in the plate diagram.
The food guide was originally produced during the Second World War to help with nutrition during food rationing. Through many iterations, the guide has sought to relay a scientific understanding of nutrition into practical nutritional advice.
All well and good, but why does the advice keep changing? And why are there so many opinions if this is supposed to be evidenced–based?
Dairy was important. Now it’s not. Fat was bad, now only some fats are bad. Are red wine and chocolate actually good for you? Are salt and sugar still the villains? What is mindful eating? Are there superfoods? What’s with high carb versus high protein diets?
So we have a new guide, but if you are still confused, come join the discussion as registered dietitian Jenn Abele leads a discussion on the current understanding of food and nutrition.
Jenn Abele holds a bachelor of science in food, nutrition and health, with a focus on social determinants of health, and abachelor of science in dietetics. Before starting a private practice last year, she worked in clinical and food services management roles with Island Health. Her current practice focuses on working with private clients, the Baby’s Best Chance program, and seniors in residential care and the community.
Once a month a speaker will introduce a theme to the Café, and then all who attend can join in respectful, non-partisan conversation, or just sit back and listen. You are welcome to propose topics and introduce them at future Cafés. Themes should be of broad interest and national significance, and have an element of controversy to them.
As with each Café, Jenn Abele will have just 10 minutes to introduce the topic, and then the floor is open for 50 minutes of moderated discussion.
The next Comox Valley Philosophers’ Café happens Wednesday, March 6, 7-8 p.m. at the Berwick Comox Valley, community room (1700 Comox Ave., Comox). Admission is free.