Canada's Food Guide Nutrition and the Older Adult

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This article was edited and updated on September 8, 2016.

Choosing Foods we Want to Eat vs. Choosing Foods we are Told to Eat

What foods would you refuse to eat? Which would you choose to eat?

Ask anyone about their diet and their response will usually be: "Well, I believe that _____ is very good for you because _____" They'll go on to explain their own personal experience or a friend's experience. They will be convinced of their beliefs — so strongly that it almost feels like a religion.

To some extent, we follow the lead of whatever we were told to eat when we were children — in other words, what our parents fed to us remains often our "favourite" foods. On the other side of the coin, we may have had a bad personal experience with a food that leads us to believe that we shouldn't eat it — and that may be a sign of good instincts, an allergy, or simply a strong opinion. Our religion may forbid some foods, and we may base some of our decisions on what's recommended because of a health condition we have. In the end, we tend to eat what tastes good and what we think will be good for us.

But the reality is that what we eat should not be based on "belief" or one person's experience. Nutrition is actually "a science that interprets the interaction of nutrients and other substances in food (e.g. phytonutrients, anthocyanins, tannins, etc.) in relation to maintenance, growth, reproduction, health and disease of an organism." 2

As a fitness instructor, I am sometimes asked my opinion about nutrition, dieting, and particularly about weight loss. However, I am not a nutritionist, nor even a dietitian, so I depend on Canada's Food Guide to discuss this topic. There are no simple answers and I do not ascribe to any specific diet.

So, this is NOT an article about what you SHOULD eat. Instead, this is an article about what foods we know are good for you. It is taken entirely from the government of Canada's Canada's Food Guide.

Let's Begin with how much we should Eat each Day

For men and women over 51, the Canada Food Guide recommends the following servings per day:

Foods rich in calcium.

If you follow these guidelines, Canada's Food Guide says it will help to:

What the Canada Food Guide Recommends

Let's get more specific. While still adhering to the above number of servings, the Canada Food Guide recommends that you get each of these foods daily:

Healthy choices are available.

Diet and nutrition are only part of your goal to good health

Canada's Food Guide tells us that the benefits of eating well and being active include:

The other suggestions from Canada's Food Guide for better health include:

These are just the highlights of Canada's Food Guide. For a detailed look, check out this PDF.

See also:

I am a BCRPA-certified fitness instructor in Vancouver, BC. I teach four classes at the West End Community Centre in Vancouver, BC, mostly designed for the older adult. The Inevitable Disclaimer: Everything published here expresses only my opinion, based on my training and research. What you do with the information is entirely your own responsibility. I am not liable for any injury you suffer that seems to be related to anything you read here. Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. For other articles, return to the table of contents.

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  1. These three dots behave exactly like a footnote. Click on them and you will get more information about the topic. 

  2. A straightforward definition of nutrition from Wikipedia.