The revised Canada Food Guide set to be released later this month has Dairy Farmers of Canada worried about the future health of Canadians.
The national farm organization says Health Canada plans to prioritize plant-based proteins over dairy within the new Food Guide, but unlike milk products, these plant-based proteins don't meet federal standards to be marketed as a "source of protein" on their packaging.
Director of Nutrition and Research with Dairy Farmers of Canada and registered dietitian, Isabelle Neiderer, says preliminary reports show the milk and alternatives and meat and alternatives groups will be lumped into one protein group.
"Milk products are good sources of high quality protein, in fact, one of the best sources of protein there is. They're also sources of several other nutrients that are not necessarily found in sufficient quantities in other protein foods. Putting all of those foods together in one food group sends the wrong message that these foods are interchangeable."
Neiderer says there is no scientific evidence to minimize the role of milk products in a healthy diet which most Canadians already fall short of.
She says, in 2015 Health Canada made a report to help revise the Food Guide which ironically contradicts the preliminary report.
"It did show that milk products have an important role to in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, heart disease, stroke, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, so the evidence is there to recommend milk products as an important part of a healthy diet."
The Dairy Farmers of Canada are now asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau direct the the Minister of Health to consider all available scientific evidence prior to the release of the new Food Guide, as the health of the diary sector and Canadians is at stake.
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