Ottawa Canada’s new Food Guide may have Canadians wondering about what to put on their plates.
In documents released today by Health Canada, lean red meat, such as pork is included in the “Protein Foods” category of healthy foods that should be eaten each day. “It is important to note that plant and animal proteins are not equivalent. Each has a unique nutrient package,” says Mary Ann Binnie, nutrition manager at the Canadian Pork Council. “Pork contains all the amino acids you need along with many B vitamins, iron, zinc and other essential nutrients needed to grow and repair our bodies.”
“Although meat is featured in Canada’s Food Guide, we are concerned that Canadians might interpret this new version as a recommendation to reduce meat consumption in favour of plant-based proteins” explains Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council’s Chair.
Reductions in the consumption of red meat could have very serious repercussions on certain groups. Some Canadians – especially women and older adults – do not consume enough important nutrients such as iron, zinc and vitamin B12, the latter only being found in meat. Further reductions in red meat consumption by these individuals may lead to deficiencies affecting mental health, energy levels, and infant birth weight.
Canadians can feel good about eating meat. “We are privileged to be able to choose among a wide variety of affordable protein sources, but some protein sources, like pork, are more efficient at delivering health benefits,” adds Mary Ann Binnie. “My advice is to enjoy pork with lots of vegetables and whole grains and benefit from a mix of foods that delivers greater nutritional value.”
The Canadian Pork Council is the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations representing 7,000 farms, the organization plays a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.Source : Canadian Pork Council