A nutritious diet includes popsicles and potato chips?

There are no bad foods, just bad diets. A nutritionist advises moderation as the new dietary guidelines are released in 1992.

1992 Canada Food Guide advised moderation on 'fun' foods

Canada Food Guide gets a reboot in 1992 0:39

Take it from a nutritionist.

"There are no bad foods. There are bad diets," said Kay Hamilton when a new Canada Food Guide was released in November of 1992.

The crafters of the guide must have agreed, which would explain how things like pretzels, pickles and potato chips made it into Health Canada's new pamphlet.

It was the first update to the guide in 10 years.

Bread and grains make up the backbone of the guide -- but there's room for potato chips too. 0:43

Bread, brown rice and enriched pasta were most important in the Canadian diet, according to the guide. Next came fruits and vegetables, especially dark green ones like broccoli and spinach.

Low-fat dairy — part-skim milk and yogurt — followed, and the guide's four groups were rounded out by lean meats like chicken and fish.

"The guide says choose from all these groups every day," said reporter Paul Hunter.

When coffee became fun

But there was a fun part to the guide.

"This year, there's a new food group called Other Foods with popsicles, potato chips, pickles, and coffee," added Hunter.

The guide said no food was bad in moderation, and it was OK to drink up to two cups of coffee each day.

For Canadians who depend on food banks for nutrition, it can be hard to follow the Canada Food Guide. 0:37

Not easy for everyone

But Gerard Kennedy of the Daily Bread food bank in Toronto said it could be challenging for his clients to fulfil the directives of the food guide.

"It is actually difficult for many families who strive very hard for themselves, do the best they can and still can't deliver that nutrition for themselves and their families," he pointed out.

But, added Hunter, Health Minister Benoit Bouchard said almost everyone could afford some good food — "fruit, for example, isn't that expensive." 

"And he says if Canadians eat right, it could help the government too," Hunter summed up. "Better food means better health, and ultimately fewer demands on an already expensive health care system."


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