Canada’s Food Guide

Canada’s Guidelines for Healthy Eating

* Enjoy a variety of foods . Explore the rainbow of foods that make up the four food groups . Enjoy foods with different tastes, textures and colours
* Emphasize cereals, breads, other grain products, fruits and vegetables .
* Choose lower fat dairy products, leaner meats and foods prepared with little or no fat .
* Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight by enjoying regular physical activity and healthy eating .
* Limit salt, alcohol and caffeine .Servings From Each Food Group

Grain Products 5 to 12 servings per day Choose whole grain and enriched products more often
Fruits & Vegetables 5 to 10 servings per day Choose dark green and orange vegetables and orange fruit more often
Milk Products 2 to 4 servings per day Choose lower fat milk products more often
Meat & Alternatives 2 to 3 servings per day Choose leaner meats, poultry and fish, as well as dried peas, beans and lentils more often
Other foods Taste and enjoyment can also come from other foods and beverages that are not part of the four food groups . These include beverages such as water, tea, coffee, alcohol and soft drinks, herbs, spices and condiments such as pickles, mustard and ketchup . Some of these “other” foods are higher in fat or calories, so use these foods in moderation . These include foods such as high-fat and/or high-salt snack foods like chips (potato, corn) and foods that are mostly sugar like jam, honey, syrup and candies

Whole grain products such as whole wheat, oats, barley or rye are suggested because they are high in starch and fibre .Enriched foods are recommended because they have some vitamins and minerals added to them . Treat yourself to multigrain breads, whole wheat bagels, enriched pasta, brown rice, ready-to-eat bran cereals or oatmeal .
Choose dark green and orange vegetables and orange fruit more often . These foods are higher than other fruits and vegetables in certain key nutrients like vitamin A and folacin . Go for salads, broccoli, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupes or orange juice .

Lower fat milk products have less fat and calories, yet still provide the high quality protein and calcium essential to healthy eating .
Whether it’s milk, yogurt, cheese or milk powder, choose the lower fat option . Look at lower % M .F . (milk fat) or % B .F . (butter fat) . Then you can have the refreshing taste of milk products with less fat .
Many leaner meats, poultry, fish and seafood choices are available to help you reduce your fat intake without losing important nutrients . Be sure to trim visible fat . Try baking, broiling, roasting or microwaving instead of frying, and drain off extra fat after cooking . To lower your fat while increasing your intake of starch and fibre, choose foods like baked beans, split pea soup or lentil casserole .

Different People Need Different Amounts of Food

The amount of food you need every day from the four food groups and other foods depends on your age, body size, activity level, whether you are male or female and if you are pregnant or breast-feeding . That’s why the Food Guide gives a lower and higher number of servings for each food group .For example, young children can choose the lower number of servings, while male teenagers can go to the higher number . Most other people can choose servings somewhere in between.

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