Recommandations alimentaires

Food-based dietary guidelines - Canada

Official name

Canada's food guide / Le guide alimentaire canadien

Publication year

Canada's first food guide, the Official Food Rules, was published in July 1942. Since 1942, the food guide has been revised many times, most recently in 2019. 

Products, resources and target audiences

Products

Target audience

Canada's food guide snapshot

General public

Canada's dietary guidelines report

Health professionals and policy makers

Canada's food guide (website)

General public

Healthy eating recommendations

General public

Development process

Health Canada undertook a revision process ensuring the new Canada’s food guide was built on a solid foundation of evidence.

The food and health evidence that forms the foundation of the Food Guide is described in the Evidence Review for Dietary Guidance 2015 and the Food, Nutrients and Health: Interim Evidence Update 2018.

In addition, input from public consultations, experts and the public was considered in ensuring the new food guide’s relevance and usefulness to Canadians.

More details about the revision process can be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canada-food-guide/about/revision-process.html

Implementation

Canada’s food guide is used as an education and policy tool to promote healthy eating. For decades, the food guide has been widely integrated, providing a consistent, science-based foundation for healthy eating policies and programs across Canada. There is no single official body responsible for the implementation of the FBDGs. Canada’s food guide is implemented through policies and programs by variety of organizations and all levels of government such as the provincial and territorial governments, health professional associations and non-governmental organizations.

There is no official implementation plan.

Evaluation

Health Canada is currently working on an evaluation plan for the new food guide. This includes considerations of how to measure adherence to its dietary guidance.

Sustainability

Sustainability was not formally defined or addressed in Canada’s dietary guidelines.

While health is the primary focus of Canada’s dietary guidelines, there are potential environmental benefits to improving current patterns of eating as outlined by the guidelines. For example, there is evidence supporting a lesser environmental impact of patterns of eating higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods. The potential benefits include helping to conserve soil, water and air.

Canada’s dietary guidelines state that “Assessing and measuring the environmental impact of food choices can be complex and challenging. This is because all food production requires land, water, and energy. Further, the environmental impact of any food can vary greatly based on factors such as where the food comes from, the packaging, and how it is produced, processed, and transported.”

Food guide

Canada’s food guide provides dietary guidance for members of the Canadian population two years of age and older. It was developed using a digital-first approach and is delivered through a mobile-friendly web application www.canada.ca/foodguide

Recommendations

Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. It is also about where, when, why and how you eat

  • Be mindful of your eating habits
    • Take time to eat
    • Notice when you are hungry and when you are full
  • Cook more often
    • Plan what you eat
    • Involve others in planning and preparing meals
  • Enjoy your food
    • Culture and food traditions can be a part of healthy eating
  • Eat meals with others

Make it a habit to eat a variety of healthy foods each day

  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods. Choose protein foods that come from plants more often.
    • Choose foods with healthy fats instead of saturated fat
  • Limit highly processed foods. If you choose these foods, eat them less often and in small amounts.
    • Prepare meals and snacks using ingredients that have little to no added sodium, sugars or saturated fat
    • Choose healthier menu options when eating out
  • Make water your drink of choice
    • Replace sugary drinks with water
  • Use food labels
  • Be aware that food marketing can influence your choices