When Canada was at war in 1942, the government implemented the first version of Canada’s Food Guide known as Canada’s Official Food Rules. The government felt it should give people guidance on how to eat to stay healthy in spite of food shortages. The original purpose of nutrition advice was to prevent nutrient deficiencies.
Today many Canadians are overweight and at risk for diseases. Therefore today the food guide is designed to help people reduce their risk of chronic disease and obesity. It has also been designed strategically to make sure people consume the right amount of micronutrients, while properly balancing macronutrients. You can easily obtain your own copy of Canada’s Food Guide from Health Canada’s website. You can even develop your own personal food guide tailored specifically to the types of foods you eat more often.
Even though the newest food guide has been designed in an era where there is much more nutritional knowledge, I think the original ‘Food Rules’ can still teach us all a valuable lesson. The rules were developed to help people know which foods to eat in order to survive, and avoid nutrient deficiency diseases. They ate for survival! Simple as that. I think much of today’s obesity epidemic could be solved if we all learned how to eat for necessity. This includes a varied, moderated, balanced diet that is adequate for health.
Special thanks to Eric for the idea of “simply eating for survival.”