Canada Food Guide

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  • Nutritional sufficiency can be assessed by estimating three essentials
    1. the adequacy of diet (quantity and quality)
    2. intestinal function
    3. the presence of metabolic disease
  • Groups in nutritional stress:
    • low income
    • children and infants
    • pregnant women
    • elderly
    • alcoholics
    • surgical patients
    • intestinal disease
  • People who receive inadequate nutrition, especially famine-style, may exhibit Marasmus or Kwashiorkor

Definitions

Nutrients

Major nutrients

  • The first three nutrients are sometimes called the major nutrients

Minor nutrients

Essential Nutrients

Macronutrients

  • required at >100mg/day

Micronutrients

  • required at <100mg/day
  • The "trace" metabolism of micronutrients is related to their biochemical function as metabolic factors and cofactors (e.g. copper and thiamin)
  • Only very small amounts are needed
  • A spectrum of effects often exists for micronutrients with a central "window of efficacy"
  • Deficient symptoms occur at low intakes and often toxic effects when high levels are consumed
  • To quantify the energy content of fat, carbohydrate and protein per gram
  • fat = 9 kcal / g
  • protein = 4 kcal / g
  • carbohydrates = 4 kcal / g
  • To identify RDAs, RNIs and DRIs as being recommended daily intakes of various nutrients to prevent deficiency disease
  • Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA; USA)
    • Currently being replaced with DRIs


Food Groups

  1. Fruits and vegetables
  2. Grain products
  3. Milk products
  4. Meat and alternatives


Caloric intakes

  • The serving concept is adaptable to a variety of individuals and situations, depending on age, sex, pregnancy, breast-feeding and physical activity
  • Young children can choose the lower number of servings, while male teenagers or someone with a very active lifestyle can go to the higher number
  • By choosing the appropriate number of servings, daily caloric intakes from 1,600 to 3,200 can be achieved using the Food Guide
  • 2 000 kcal is about the right amount for moderately active women, teenage girls and sedentary men
  • 2 500 kcal is a target for many men, teenage boys and active women
  • Many older adults, children and sedentary women need fewer than 1 800 calories
  • It is important to differentiate between "serving" and "portion" of various foods
  • Recommended servings address the issue of the quantity of food to be eaten to get recommended nutrient intakes
  • A serving is defined in terms of an ideal or average portion of a particular food
  • Most Canadians:
    1. confuse serving with usual portion and therefore eat too much!
      • e.g., a chicken breast (usual portion) may contain 2-4 servings
    2. eat too many servings from the dairy and meat & alternatives groups and not enough from the other two food groups


Nutrients

Dietary Component Examples of Typical Foods
Carbohydrate starchy vegetables, grains (bread), pasta, rice, fruit
Protein meat, legumes, eggs, grain products
Fat meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, margarine, butter, cooking oil
Cholesterol animal products only
Fiber fruits and vegetables, whole grain products
Iron meat, cruciform vegetables (need vitamin C), "enriched" (fortified) foods
Calcium dairy products, vegetables, canned fish, seeds, fortified foods
B Vitamins meat, vegetables, whole grains, fortified foods
Folate leafy vegetables, fortified foods
Vitamin B12 animal foods only
Vitamin C fruits, vegetables and their juices
Vitamin A highly colored vegetables, liver oil
Vitamin K green leafy vegetables, animal foods
Vitamin D fortified foods, fatty fish and fish oils
Vitamin E nuts, seeds and oils from these


Summary

  • The guidelines emphasize two points:
    1. eat all the food groups every day (variety of nutrients)
    2. eat an appropriate number of servings (quantity of food)
  • Broadly, Canadians are encouraged to:
    1. Eat a variety of foods every day
    2. Emphasize cereals, breads, other grain products, vegetables, and fruits
    3. Choose lower-fat dairy products, leaner meats, and foods prepared with little or no fat (limit the fat content of the diet to 30% of total calories with no more than 10% coming from saturated fat and 10% from polyunsaturated fat)
    4. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight by increasing physical activity and eating fewer calories
    5. Limit salt, alcohol and caffeine

Objectives

  • To summarize nutritional sufficiency as depending on appropriate intake, absorption and metabolism/excretion
  • To summarize marasmus and kwarshiorkor and to identify nutritionally-stressed populations in our society
  • To define nutrients, essential nutrients, major nutrients, macronutrients and micronutrients
  • To define the biochemical involvement of micronutrients as essential factors and cofactors in metabolism
  • To quantitate the energy content of fat, carbohydrate and protein per gram
  • To identify RDAs RNIs and DRIs as being recommended daily intakes of various nutrients to prevent deficiency disease
  • To differentiate and summarize the four major Food Groups
  • To differentiate between "serving" and "portion" of various foods
  • To summarize how Canada s Food Guide can provide for healthy caloric intakes from 1,800 to 3,200 kcal/day
  • To describe the daily consumption of 2,000kcal and 2,500kcal diets as being average for many moderately-active young women and men, respectively
  • To summarize Canada's Guide for Healthy Eating
  • To broadly identify which nutrients come from which foods.

Resources