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The Canadian Food Guide: Tips for a Long & Healthy Life

Goodbye rainbow of food groups, hello mindful eating. The Canadian Food Guide that many recognize as a rainbow of food groups was published in 2007 and finally received a highly anticipated makeover in January of 2019. The changes have been called “historic” and “extremely positive” by many scientists.

So, What’s Changed?

The Canadian Food Guide now features three food groups, which include vegetables and fruits, whole grains (quinoa, brown rice and whole grain pasta) and protein foods (chickpeas, lentils, fortified soy beverages, nuts, seeds, tofu, lean meats and low fat dairy foods).  The Guide no longer suggests a set number of servings per food group, but encourages Canadians to focus on proportions and filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

The Focus of the Canadian Food Guide

The Guide comes with simple recommendations:

  • Be mindful of your eating habits
  • Cook more often
  • Enjoy your food
  • Eat meals with others
  • Use food labels
  • Limit foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat
  • Be aware of food marketing

With these recommendations in mind, here are 3 tips for a healthy 2019

  1. Hydrate

The new Guide puts significant emphasis on making water your “beverage of choice” instead of sugary drinks such as pop, fruit juices and energy drinks. It is not surprising that it also describes the health risks that come with consuming excess amounts of alcohol as it can lead to various forms of cancer and liver disease. Simply put, make sure to drink enough water and limit your consumption of alcohol and sugary drinks.

  1. Choose the Right Fats

Food high in saturated fat (butter, high fat cheese, cream, etc.) should be reduced as they can raise your “bad” cholesterol and risk of heart disease. That being said, food containing unsaturated fat can be healthy. These fats include salmon, nuts, seeds, avocado and olive oil, to name a few.  Eating foods that contain healthy (unsaturated) fats is crucial because they help the body absorb vitamins; they support cell growth and produce important hormones.

  1. Explore More Plant-Based Foods

Perhaps the Guide’s most surprising change is its push for a high proportion of plant-based proteins and some lean meats. Specifically, it encourages Canadians to get the majority of their protein from nuts, seeds and “pulses” which include lentils, beans and chickpeas. Pulses are high in fiber and have a lower glycemic index, keeping you full for longer as your body absorbs them at a slower pace. If you’re interested in plant-based cooking, here are some great recipes:

Can Healthy Eating Affect My Life Insurance?

The short answer is yes. This is because underwriters assess risk of mortality based on your age, lifestyle and health. Not surprisingly, food plays a large role in determining your health, which is why paying attention to the new Food Guide is important. Proper nutrition is crucial as poor diets are linked to health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

How Can My Life Insurance Policy Protect Me?

First, it is important to start your health and financial planning journeys early. For example, if you were to get permanent life insurance at 30 years old, when you are young and healthy, your insurance will protect you. This is because permanent insurance provides you with lifetime coverage and premiums that do not vary based on your health, age or lifestyle. In other words, if bought when healthy, this type of coverage could ultimately protect you from being declined coverage by an insurance company due to diseases or health risks that you develop later in life.

What’s Next?

To ensure that you have the best possible life insurance coverage, contact us to find out what kind of policy best suits your needs.

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