Health Canada is consulting with the public as part of the revision process of the Canada Food Guide. They’re encouraging Canadians to fill out an online questionnaire about what should be changed about the Food Guide and the way it is presented.
Currently, the Canada Food Guide doesn’t even mention vegetarian or vegan diets. If you think that the Food Guide should do more to accommodate and emphasize the benefits of a plant-based diet, why not tell them that in their online public consultation survey? This stage of the consultation will remain open until December 8, 2016.
Here are some quotations that you may wish to give in your responses to the open-answer questions:
- Dietitians of Canada: “A healthy vegan diet has many health benefits including lower rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.”
- American Dietetic Association: “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
- World Health Organization: “Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids.”
- A study conducted by students at the University of Oxford found that if the world went vegan, millions of human lives would be saved due to dramatic reductions in the incidence of chronic disease: “A global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion (U.S.). … They found that adopting diets in line with global dietary guidelines could avoid 5.1 million deaths per year by 2050. Even greater benefits could come from vegetarian diets (avoiding 7.3 million deaths) and vegan diets (avoiding 8.1 million deaths).”
You may also wish to suggest that Health Canada look at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s “The New Four Food Groups”.