Dr. Hasan Hutchinson, the director general at Health Canada's Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, told reporters on Monday that while high-sugar beverages like chocolate milk were rightly excluded from Canada's updated guide, unsweetened milk can still be part of a healthy Canadian diet. It touts water - not milk - as the "drink of choice" and eliminates the previous milk and alternatives food group. It instead creates a foundation for healthy eating and food skills, with updated guidance on saturated fat, sodium and sugar.
Joyce Parslow, executive director of marketing and consumer relations for Canada Beef, echoed these concerns, adding that she's happy the new guide didn't discourage Canadians from eating red meat.
"We're not telling Canadians not to eat dairy products or not to eat meat products. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with Minister Petitpas Taylor and Health Canada to improve the health of Canadians". "CPMA has always been advocating for increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by Canadians and our Half Your Plate campaign has been resonating with consumers from coast to coast to coast".
"We are privileged to be able to choose among a wide variety of affordable protein sources, but some protein sources, like pork, are more efficient at delivering health benefits", said Canadian Pork Council's nutrition manager Mary Ann Binnie.
"In some ways, Canada's Food Guide has really caught up to a shift that has already started with consumers in Canada around the world".
The most recent revised version of Canada's Food Guide was released on January 22, 2019.
In its first update to the guide since 2007, Health Canada abandoned its rainbow of four food groups in favour of a picture of the ideal plate: half fruits and vegetables, one quarter for protein, one quarter whole grains. "How they adapt will be of interest", said Simon Somogyi, a University of Guelph professor studying the business of food.
Alfred Aziz, Director General of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion at Health Canada, said jurisdictional issues make it hard to launch a national program.
"I think people do understand what proteins are, and considering beef is a very predominant, nutrient-dense protein, I think people will relate to it", Harvie said.
In contrast, according to Health Canada, scientists have argued that humans have no nutritional requirement for animal milk.
"We were very clear that when we were looking at the evidence base that we were not going to be using reports that have been funded by industry as well", said Hutchinson, who acknowledged the "fair amount of criticism" over industry influence in the making of the 2007 guide. "If we had one, in the future, it would be easier to address all alcohol-related issues at the same time, including the necessity for Canadians to be well-informed", she says from Sherbrooke, Que.
The old food guide recommended two to three servings of meat or alternatives a day, and two to three servings of milk or alternatives daily.
"For too many years, Canada's Food Guide has compromised our health, environment and animals by emphasizing meat, dairy and eggs as being foundational in our diets".
This fuss-free food guide focused on a plant-based diet, filling nearly half the plate with fruits and vegetables.
"I have a concern with that because not all protein foods have the same nutritional profiles".