It’s been almost two months since Health Canada released their revised food guide, which favours plant-based proteins over animal proteins. But a new study out of Dalhousie and Guelph Universities, finds that Canadians are having trouble adapting to the new guide.
“75% knew there was a new food guide, but less than 30 percent actually use the food guide” says Simon Somogyi from the University of Guelph.
Somogyi co-authored the new study which finds many Canadians feel that following the new guide’s recommendations, is out of their reach. Due to taste preferences, dietary restrictions and affordability. But is it really more costly? They think its less affordable, but we did some research and analysis into the costing of the guide, and actually the new guide is actually about a $1.30 per day cheaper for the average Canadian household of 4 people.” he explains.
He says that likely has to do with plant-based proteins being generally cheaper than meat and dairy but says, that could change.
He continued to say, “Maybe in two to three years, the price of fruit and vegetables are going to increase higher and that could mean that the new guide and the plants in it, are a little more expensive than the old guide.”
Registered Dietitian Michelle Jaelin shared some tips on how to keep costs down. Number one, flyer shop and shop in season. “A lot of people, they tend to think, well I don’t know what’s in season, well, the flyer will always say what’s in season on the front cover.”
A common misconception is that frozen means less nutrients but Jaelin says that’s a myth. She explains, “It’s actually quite good. And the great thing is that you don’t have to worry about it going bad. You just seal it back up and throw it back in the freezer; you don’t have to wash or do any prep work.
Saving families time and money.
She also recommends a practice called ‘blend and extend’. What you do is you add 50 percent mushrooms to your ground beef when you’re cooking it, which boosts your veggie intake, and makes more costly meat last longer.
Aside from affordability, the study also looked where Canadians are getting their nutrition advice and no surprise, social media ranks high.
“The food guide ranks number six. Things such as recommendations from family and friends, general research, cookbooks, and the influence of celebrities and social media were all found more important to Canadians than the new food guide.” says Somogyi
He continues, “It’s a good guide, but it needs to be revised in the future to take into account people’s cultural backgrounds, dietrary preferences and just the fact that people are busy and don’t have time.