Until recent times, milk was always considered an important part of the diet. However, now the diet landscape is changing. People who are not lactose intolerant are also starting to cut down their dairy intake because of ethical reasons, and vegan diets are taking over.
A new step in this direction for a different set of reasons has been taken by Canada’s latest food guide. The document, which is released every 10 years, came out two years late this time. It was released this year in January after its last availability in 2007.
As per this new food guide, excluding dairy entirely from one’s daily diet is recommended. This comes as a shock considering we’ve heard of milk’s importance for bones and overall health our whole life. So why has this massive change occurred?
Canada’s New Food Guide
2019’s Canada food guide disregards how essential milk is for health. It also ignores serving sizes and ditches the food pyramid by instead opting for a plate explaining that a person’s plate should comprise half of fruits and vegetables while the other half should have portions of grain and unprocessed protein.
The plate technique is the same that was adopted by US in 2011. Albeit America’s version had a glass of milk sitting beside the plate. Apart from dairy, Canada’s new food guide also says that the intake of processed meat should be reduced because it doesn’t provide as many proteins as required by one’s health. While focusing more on the consumption of fruits and vegetables, the guide says that 100% fruit juices cannot replace whole fruits because their sugar content makes them harmful.
Why Has Milk Been Excluded?
The latest food guide excludes milk because of many reasons. It suggests that milk these days is highly-processed and packed with chemicals. Hence, it can do little good for health. Over and above that, it doubts that the standards of health and hygiene of dairy-producing animals are followed by farmers. This further reduces milk’s quality.
The food guide also says that children typically drink flavored milk. And these varying flavors mean that the packaged milk contains a higher quantity of sugar which can contribute to obesity. This is why it has taken milk out of daily requirements. In fact, dairy has been disregarded in the food guide to such an extent that some think that the guide is biased toward some foods.
What Response Has This Guide Received?
Pro-plant dieticians are happy with this new guide however, the milk lobby has been angered. Since 1942, milk has never been thrown out of the equation until now. The Dairy Farmers of Canada has issued a statement that reads that the exclusion of milk from every day diet by the new food guide is hurting Canadian farmers.
It also says that decreasing the importance of milk in one’s diet cannot be scientifically justified and highlights the many health benefits that milk offers. The guide favors plant-based diets which is making some think that it is only keeping up with the current trends. Pro-plant diets are in nowadays, so has Canada’s food guide given future recommendations or is it just keeping up with the future? Only time will tell if eliminating dairy from the diet is the right move or not.
To sum up, this is the first time in decades that Canada’s food guide has excluded dairy, particularly milk, from the daily diet. This change has been applauded by pro-plant eaters while dairy-lovers are not so pleased. Is this the beginning of the end for milk, officially?