Feb 25, 2019
TORONTO, ON -- Eat well. Live well. That’s the mantra of Canada’s new Food Guide unveiled earlier this year and it’s good news for rice growers.
Gone are the four food groups – vegetables and fruit, grain products, dairy, and meat – that were the foundation of the last guide. The new guide introduced by Health Canada, the country’s government agency responsible for public health, promotes three main food groups colorfully depicted on a plate as a user-friendly reference – brown rice is featured!
Also gone are suggested serving sizes. Instead, to help Canadians make the right nutrition choices, the new guide advises maintaining a proportionally balanced food plate. Canadians are encouraged to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables; a quarter with protein, and a quarter with whole grain foods like brown rice.
“These recommendations align perfectly with USA Rice activities that have been underway in Canada,” said Asiha Grigsby, USA Rice manager of international promotion. “In recent years, the role of rice in plant-based diets has been highlighted, and alliances with vegan and vegetarian influencers have been an integral part of the Canadian communications strategy.”
The new guide suggests a different approach to eating, emphasizing home cooking as a means to maintaining a healthy diet and encouraging families to cook and eat together. Health Canada developed the new guide using evidence-based research and consultations with various stakeholders that included health professionals; the agency did not meet with representatives from the food and beverage industry.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases a similar publication every five years called the ‘Dietary Guidelines for Americans,’” said Cameron Jacobs, USA Rice manager for domestic promotion. “Last week USDA announced the 20 health and nutrition experts serving on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee who will be reviewing the next edition scheduled for 2020. During this process, USA Rice is contributing official comments, and more importantly, recent research we have on how the nutrient intake of infants and toddlers (0-23 months old) who consume rice includes a greater intake of key nutrients such as calcium and iron as well as lower intake of added sugar, cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fats."