Howard and Hancock: Canada's new food guide will be healthier for people – and the planet

By Dr. Courtney Howard and Dr. Trevor Hancock, Ottawa Citizen, January 21, 2019

What if there were something that could reduce your likelihood of having a heart attack, and also protect your children from climate change? And what if it could bring you joy in the process?

That thing is food, and specifically a healthy diet. We know now what that diet looks like better than ever, thanks to a landmark study published this month by The Lancet, one of the world’s top medical journals. The study is the result of three years of work by the EAT-Lancet Commission, a group of 37 leading scientists from 16 countries who examined two questions: What is a healthy diet? And how can we sustainably provide that food for the world’s growing population?

Fortunately for us here in Canada, the commission’s recommendations closely match those in drafts of the new Canada Food Guide, to be unveiled Tuesday. Both found that lives can be saved by embracing a diet richer in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, while cutting back on red meat, saturated fat, processed foods and sugar.

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