The American Food Guide states that dairy is only suggested, as per this article written in 2011. I only just recently read up on this new information, which to me, is actually news. I've been in Colombia for just over a year and missed out on this interesting fact. Although you may all be familiar with this information already, I will guide you through the details that surprise me and that make me smile.
First, this is done with Michelle Obama's collaboration. I was already aware of the program she had started to get kids of the couch - especially those that watch too much TV and/or play for hours on end on their gameboxes - in order to decrease, or at least stop the increase, in weight gain amongst Americans. I recall her stating in an interview with Ellen that this was because most people understand the role of exercise for our health, but she was still a little hesitant to speak of how much our eating habits affect us. Well, the new plate format of the American Food Guide shows that she has chosen to take that step. And I command her for it.
For both the American and the Canadian Food Guides, the trend is now to put fruits and vegetables first, as the most important food group to consume. For the longest time, grains were first and although they are fairly important, they are not as important as veggies. Fruits are needed, but the Canadian Food Guide still doesn't make a strong enough emphasis on the fact that raw vegetables contain less sugar and more of the needed vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy.
The plate design makes the understanding of this principle incredibly simple. Not everyone learns the same way, and although this may overly-simplify the complexity of how to eat healthy, it makes it easier to see what it is our plates should be containing, which far too many people failed to understand - or just wouldn't take the time to learn - through the previous format.
Furthermore, this guide also says that dairy is only suggested. Would this be indirectly admitting that perhaps humans shouldn't be consuming dairy? Although they don't come right out and say it, vegetarianism is also accepted - by saying that meat alternatives are fine, but this has been in the guide for quite some time already. The lack of emphasis on dairy is new, though, and I, for one, appreciate it.
I am hoping that Canada will follow this lead as I believe that it will help avoid reaching the same rate of obesity as the Americans.
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