The Federal Ministry of Health is considering revisions to the Canada Food Guide. As you can imagine there are plenty of lobbyists for various agricultural industries.
What do we know so far that could help?
We have found that vegetables and fruits should form the basis of the diet. Fresh as possible or flash frozen, organic where possible. No argument there.
There should be fats. Every cell is a fat sandwich. Some people also use fat for their energy needs.
There are saturated and unsaturated fats. There are omega 3, 6 an 9 essential fatty acids. Does anyone really know what fats or how much of any? What we do suspect is that transfats are definitely not on the menu. At least the latter could be discouraged or banned.
There should be protein. Proteins help us build and repair tissue and produce energy.
Phew! Every food has some kind of protein. However there is so much variation quality of the protein and in what people can digest, tolerate, accept, or access:
– meats (like beef, lamb, pork, venison),
– fish (100 food varieties at least),
– poultry (such as chicken and turkey),
– eggs (chicken, duck, quail, etc.),
– dairy (from cows, goats, buffalo, etc.),
– legumes (like soy, chickpeas and lentils),
– seeds (like quinoa and teff), nuts, and
– grains (like wheat, oats, rice, etc.)
We have so many who cannot digest dairy or eggs, so many who cannot digest wheat/gluten. Ditto beef, chicken, legumes.
That is why we ended up with individualization of diet. This is not a dodge – just reality. Although, Udi Erasmus said that ‘any philosophy of eating is bound to fail”, I think he would be happy with a philosophy of individualization within the bounds of vegetables, appropriate fats, and appropriate proteins– in sufficient quantities and variety to support good health.