How Eggs Fit Into Canada’s Food GuidePresident's Blog
Canada’s Food Guide offers tips and advice to help Canadians eat well. One component of the guide is the Food Guide Snapshot, a plate model that helps with meal planning. Have you seen it? It wisely proportions a plate into four quadrants, so it’s an easy visual for creating a balanced meal. You simply fill two quadrants with vegetables and fruit, one quadrant with whole grains, and the final quadrant with a source of protein such as eggs, beef, pork, poultry, dairy, tofu, or beans.
The neat thing about the plate is that the same proportions can be used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it’s easy to plan out balanced meals any time of the day. Here are some examples:
Vegetables & Fruit Whole grains Protein
Berries & banana Oatmeal Greek yogurt
Salad & an apple Brown bread Egg salad
Broccoli & cauliflower Brown rice Chicken
Of course, you can mix and match any of these foods at any meals! Eggs are also great at breakfast or dinner. Oats can be used in a savory lunch pilaf, and brown rice can be used for breakfast congee – anything goes!
Eggs in Canada’s Food Guide
Since a serving of two eggs contains 13 grams of protein, eggs fall into the ‘protein’ category of the food guide plate. In Canada’s Dietary Guidelines, eggs are listed as one of the nutritious foods that forms the foundation for healthy eating. But there’s more! Eggs are also recognized for their other essential nutrients beyond protein.
Vitamin D : It’s important to eat foods that are rich in vitamin D every day. Vitamin D is required for bone health, and also plays a role in reducing inflammation and ensuring normal immune function.
The first food recommended by Canada’s Dietary Guidelines for vitamin D content is eggs, and be sure to eat the yolks – that’s where vitamin D is found. We need a minimum of 600 IU of vitamin D per day, and a serving of two eggs contains 88 IU. Other foods that contain vitamin D include fortified milk and fatty fish such as salmon, arctic char, and rainbow trout.
Iron : Eggs are also a source of the mineral iron , which is an essential component of red blood cells. Iron is also an important nutrient in growth and development, brain health, and hormone synthesis. Since iron plays a role in growth and development, it’s especially important for children. Canada’s Dietary Guidelines reminds parents to offer a variety of iron-rich foods to children daily, and it lists eggs as a source of iron. Again, be sure to use the yolks – that’s where iron is most concentrated. A serving of two eggs contains 1.75 mg of iron, or 10 percent of the daily value for adults.
Here’s the recommended amount of iron per day by age group.
Finally, Canada’s Food Guide emphasizes cooking more often, and sharing meals with others as a way to add pleasure to life. Come together with friends, family or neighbors with one of these delicious recipes that features eggs:
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I’ve been an advocate for healthy, balanced diets for many years, and love learning about how our eating habits affect our health. My plate is always filled with a bounty of vegetables, some delicious whole grains, and a good source of protein. And, I’ve eaten this way long before it became the model of healthy eating on Canada’s Food Guide plate. The science behind Canada’s Food Guide includes studies that show how a healthy diet can help prevent chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. A balanced eating plan needs to include enough vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre to protect your health.