An updated and honest Food Guide would…

…would begin with these two simple words:”Eat less.”

We tend to overlook the most obvious facts in the quest to make things as complex and detailed as possible. The Food Guide is one example. While it can certainly (and rightfully) be argued that the recommendations are in need of a definite face lift, the slap-in-the-face reality is that we simply EAT TOO MUCH.

“But I eat HEALTHY foods!”

Meaning what? Overeating is a harsh truth that we’d rather not admit to, of course. It insinuates that we might be gluttonous or addicted, that we can’t restrain ourselves, or worse still, that we don’t KNOW how to eat in a way that maintains balanced energy intake to output.

“But WHO eats 1/2 cup of pasta?”

NO one. If we took a close look at the Food Guide’s serving sizes of grains, we would see that 1/2 a cup of pasta is a serving – we could then argue how ridiculously small that is. Who EATS that small an amount? Good question. Nobody I know, except a toddler, perhaps. And ironically, even THAT amount, provides close to 30 grams of glucose. Which, for an average, not-so-active person, you’re wise to look for a better bang for your buck.

“But I DO follow the food guide.”
If you’ve been obeying with accuracy the portion sizes – down to the tablespoon and ounce – then likely you’re still finding that your body is hoarding food in your fat cells. Will patiently sit back and wait for a new Guide to fix that?

Best not to wait. It might be a while. Here are some immediate revisions you can make in the meantime, lest perfect recommendations never appear.

Most of us should simply eat a LOT less. Cut back on the amount of calories we are consuming in a day. But from where? That’s simple.

Cut back on anything you eat whose sole purpose is to provide “energy”. Why? Because that is exactly what is sitting in your fat cells, on artery walls, in and around organs. DON’T cut out healthy fats (nuts, avocado, fish, olive oil) or protein (fish, meat, eggs, whey, cottage cheese). Both of these are needed by your body and brain on a daily basis for far more than useable energy.

Cut back on all those “immediate energy” foods that don’t provide much else. The reason you cut back on grains, fruit, and dairy (namely milk and sweetened yogurt) is matter-of-fact. If you have energy in SAVINGS that you want to (should) burn through, than you better stop adding MORE of it to the pot.

While an updated (and lower carbohydrate) food guide is certainly needed, it will never be the solution to our Canadian health woes. Dependency in place of clarity won’t make us smarter eaters. Just obedient.

What is the answer? How about beginning with a new-found curiosity and a willingness to change beliefs?

So what do you think?