British Columbia

B.C. embracing plant-based diets more than any other province

A new survey shows British Columbians are eating less meat and embracing plant-based diets more than any other province.

Survey shows 25% of B.C. residents have tried a vegetarian diet compared to 18% in rest of country

Twenty-five per cent of British Columbians have tried a vegetarian diet, compared to 18 per cent in other provinces. (Shutterstock)

A new survey shows British Columbians are eating less meat and embracing plant-based diets more than any other province.

The Insights West study on food and diet trends in Canada found 25 per cent of B.C. residents have tried a vegetarian diet, compared to the national average of 18 per cent.

"There's not one fad trend diet that we do less than any other province," said Steve Mossop, president of Insights West.

"And we do [fad diets] nearly double the level of everybody else."

There were a number of reasons why people were reducing animal protein in their diet, according to the study, including cost, environmental concerns and animal cruelty.

Detox diets popular

When it comes to detox diets — which typically involve a period of fasting — the analysis showed B.C. residents were 17 per cent more likely than other provinces (seven per cent)  to have tried that kind of diet.

Insights West says the recent trend across Canada of reducing animal proteins in one's diet continues to gather momentum. (Insights West)

Pescatarians in the province

Nine per cent of British Columbians tried a pescatarian diet, a practice of eating fish and seafood instead of meat as a source of protein, compared to five per cent across Canada.

Results also showed 11 per cent of B.C. residents have tried a vegan diet, versus six per cent in other provinces.

Health Canada unveiled a new food guide in January which emphasized fruits, veggies and whole grain foods, and turned the traditional focus of meat and dairy toward a broader category of proteins like legumes, fish and lean meats.

"Whether they're following the new guide or doing their own research on foods, a sizable percentage of Canadians appear to be taking the recommendations to heart," according to the study.

Ditch the dairy?

A significant  proportion of Canadians have or are considering removing dairy from their diet — 11 per cent already do, and 26 per cent are considering cutting dairy.

But as it turns out, the study found the majority of Canadians, 67 per cent, weren't following any kind of diet at all.

The results are based on an online survey from July 18 to  23, 2019, with 1,011 participants above 18-years old.

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