by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News

Health Canada is in the process of revising its food guidelines for 2019. Some inside sources say there is not that much difference with this year’s Canada Health food guidelines than previous years, except that overall it leans more toward a plant-based diet. Its final draft hasn’t been published yet.

Much like USDA nutritional guidelines, “healthy eating” is defined by avoiding saturated fats and emphasizing grains and carbohydrates.

A group of physicians and nutritionists known as the Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition have opposed the Canadian government dietary advice and published their own opinions on the matter in the Calgary Herald citing the nutritional validity of healthy fats which can include meats and dairy, as they take a “whole foods” approach to eating rather than processed foods, promoting more of a high-fat and low-carb dietary approach. 

They represent a growing group of doctors and nutritionists who are more concerned about their patients’ health than they are about being politically correct about diet and nutrition:

We have read the opinion article titled “Health Canada’s new Food Guide is on the right track” with interest.

We represent a growing number of Canadian physicians and health professionals, called the Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition, who use whole-food nutritional strategies, which often include meat, eggs and dairy, to prevent and often put into remission the burden of chronic non-communicable disease in our patients.

This usually involves lower levels of carbohydrates and higher levels of natural fats than is currently recommended, a therapeutic nutritional strategy well supported in the literature. (Source)

A Courageous OP-ED Piece Published with Eight Medical Professionals’ Signatures

Courageous is appropriate because it’s not unusual for government agents involved with nutritional guidelines to publicly attack dissenters, especially those who praise the virtues of saturated fat and discourage refined carbohydrates. They even attack dissenters among the medical profession. See:

The Diet Police: Harassing Doctors Who Promote Low-Carb High-Fat Dieting

As a response to an earlier opinion piece that had embraced the prospective 2019 Health Canada Food Guide in the Calgary Herald, the Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition opinion piece signed by eight medical professionals appeared in the December 8, 2018 Calgary Herald.

While agreeing to guidelines for reduction of high added sugar foods and beverages, they were quick to advise Health Canada on taking another approach by examining and promoting the common ground of proven healthy diets such as the Mediterranean Diet, the Paleo Diet, DASH Diet, low carbohydrate/healthy fat (ketogenic diet): 

If Health Canada concentrated their message to Canadians to highlight the commonalities of these diets, which is the elimination of processed foods, Canadians would experience health benefits related to improved food quality with less sugar, refined flours and nutritionally deplete industrial foods, regardless of whether they choose to include animal products or not. [Emphasis added] (Source)

It’s obvious this group is not advocating everyone should go on a Paleo Diet. Nor is it advocating the abolition of whole grains. It’s advocating paying attention to the actual scientific literature available, ditching processed foods completely, and emphasizing consumption of whole foods that are not compromised by toxic farming or livestock feeding methods. 

The Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition article also suggested covering a broader spectrum of proven healthy diets, which, according to them, does not include the plant-based diet, and they suggested gleaning the best from each with enough information to allow individuals to determine what’s best for them and their metabolism according to their intuition, nutritional research, and/or holistic medical advice.

The Canadian Clinicians realize there is no one diet that fits all. In their OP-ED piece, they openly criticized how a small group of government bureaucrats should decide what all Canadians should or should not eat without a full scientific investigation of all the diets in medical and nutritional literature.

Health Canada should help them [Canadians] choose and implement one of these equivalent dietary options, and should not overstate the evidence for one diet because it agrees with the personal views of a small number of Canadians, even if those Canadians predominate the guideline planning and discussion groups. 

It seems by forming a group of professionals to express an opinion contrary to official nutritional guidelines, a perfect strength in numbers method of avoiding individual attacks from politically-ensconced bureaucrats is created, a little army armed with scientific data.  

But these Canadian Clinicians went further than stating nutritional advice that varies from the official guidelines; they criticized the whole office of Health Canada. That might invite a long term entanglement with Health Canada for the Canadian Clinicians for Nutritional Therapy.

Canadian Health Food Guide and Others Still Way Behind Current Dietary Evidence Curve 

A common feature of all institutional guidelines is they do not emphasize the importance of GMO and pesticide-free foods and the importance of pasture-grazing livestock for eggs, meats, and milk. With all the time they have to revise guidelines, they tend to ignore the scientific evidence they claim to use for their guidelines.

That in itself would create some blowback from commercial, GMO, and factory meat and dairy farming industries. Government restrictions on these toxic agricultural approaches that have taken over our food supply would promote greater public health with less medical expenses.

Hasan Hutchinson, director general of Health Canada’s office of nutrition policy and promotion, claims the new guidelines reflect the Mediterranean Diet profile, boasting:

“In reality, in my mind this [the Mediterranean Diet] is not very different than what our existing guidance is.” 

“We have for a long time been talking about very quite small amounts of animal food in the diet to start with.”

However, Hutchinson said little of the Mediterranean Diet’s focus on olive oil and how it applied to the current Health Canada’s food guide dietary fat recommendations, which are:

  • Include a small amount – 30 to 45 mL (2 to 3 Tbsp) – of unsaturated fat each day. This includes oil used for cooking, salad dressings, margarine, and mayonnaise.
  • Use vegetable oils such as canola, olive, and soybean.
  • Choose soft kinds of margarine that are low in saturated and trans fats.
  • Limit butter, hard margarine, lard, and shortening.

Other than the brief mention of olive oil, these recommendations are promoting the worst types of fats for health imaginable. This includes Canada’s precious canola oil. 

They have nothing to do with the latest nutritional research that disproves the saturated fat-heart disease hypothesis which had become disinformation dogma decades ago and still officially remains to ruin public health today. See:

Ancel Keys Was Wrong about Heart Disease and Cholesterol

Mediterranean-style diets emphasize vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and fish with decreased red meat, refined grains and sugar-sweetened foods. Actually, consuming refined grains and sugar-sweetened beverages should be completely discouraged.

The latest Health Canada food guide available minimally discourages refined grains. It only recommends ensuring half your grains are unrefined. Refined grains and processed foods tend to be more toxic than nutritional. Why bother compromising a healthy diet with them at all?

Newer research also demonstrates the merits of high-fat foods from animal and plant sources, such as highly healthy coconut oil, which was not included in the Health Canada’s food guide solely because it’s saturated fat. 

Saturated Fat is not the Culprit in Heart Disease

Other archaic nutritional dogmas were promoted by the idea of decreasing sodium or salt intake and anything labeled as saturated fat.  (Source)

The Great Salt-Sodium Hoax: Eating More Salt Might Actually Save Your Life

The Health Canada’s food guide also encourages greater milk or milk product consumption, from only low or no fat milk. Again, saturated fats remain target. The only truly nutritious cow’s milk is raw milk from pasture-raised cows. 

Many have to settle for pasteurized versions of milk from pasture-raised cows because raw milk is illegal in many areas. But at least cheeses from raw milk are available in most health food stores.

Raw Milk Consumer Guide: How to Choose Your Raw Dairy Farmer 

Ignore the Institutional Guidelines and Seek Real Nutritional Data Online

For many of us who visit Health Impact News frequently, the absurdity of clinging to these disproved traditional dietary advisories is obvious. The problem is various food servicing groups, e.g. public schools, are dependent on government funding and must comply with the official guidelines of whatever government they’re under.  

Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in the faculty of management at the University of Dalhousie suggests the effect of the Canada Food Guide on consumers can’t be underestimated. 

It’s been so institutionalized that it affects us all, whether we admit or not. It will influence how we eat food, and how we see food.

Evidently, the most current body of unbiased nutritional studies showing the virtues of diets high in saturated fats seems to continually allude these institutional bureaucratic groups that would dictate what and how much we should eat. 

The following video presentation gives insights into the varying bureaucratic nutritional flawed mindsets everywhere. Such institutions exist and advise you to empower yourself and be free of them through education from other sources and trial and error dieting. 

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