The new dietary recommendations of France, Canada and the international EAT-Lancet project are unanimous: eating more plant-based food benefits our health and that of our planet.
Will 2019 be a good year for plant-based food? It got off to a good start at any rate! In January alone, three new dietary recommendations were published:
- The n ew French recommendations by Santé Publique France, the French High Council for Public Health, in the framework of the 4th National Plan for Health and Nutrition (Plan National Nutrition et Santé, PNNS-4).
- The new Canadian food guide: this replaces the last version, which dates from 2007.
- A report by the EAT-Lancet Commission: these recommendations, the culmination of a three-year project bringing together 36 experts, are designed to feed the world’s population in 2050.
Plants make up the lion’s share
These three recommendations, which were developed separately from each other, nonetheless arrive at the same conclusion. We need to eat more plant-based food. This is not just a human health issue, but also a concern in terms of natural resources, if we want to feed the world’s population, which will have reached 10 billion people by 2050.
According to the Canadian guidelines, more than three quarters of Canadians’ plates should be filled with plant-based food. Half of the plate should consist of vegetables and fruits and one quarter of whole grain foods. The last quarter should contain protein foods, which, in addition to animal-based protein sources, include nuts, grains and legumes. It’s all about proportions, rather than portions.
The EAT recommendations , meanwhile, advise eating 300 g of vegetables a day, while the French recommendations refer to 3 portions of vegetables a day.
All three guidelines, however, highlight the importance of legumes or dried vegetables (lentils, beans, chickpeas…), which can help reduce meat consumption. In France, the recommendation is that you should eat food from this food group at least twice a week. According to EAT, legumes should be a key staple of our diet, and we should consume at least 75 g a day (uncooked weight).
Get cooking to eat fewer ultra-processed foods
The new recommendations do not just advise which food we should eat, but also discuss its preparation and the environment in which we eat our meals. The Canadian guide encourages everyone to reduce the share of ultra-processed foods, which are often a big source of fats, sugar, salt and additives, and cook more often. It also gives a number of tips to make this easier to achieve. Whether ready-to-eat or cook, at Bonduelle, we have been offering more and more natural plant-based food (258 recipes have been reworked since 2009 in keeping with our Visa Santé nutritional chart)
In France, the emphasis is on “home-cooked” food. On the other hand, the Nutri-Score system, which is based on 5 letters and 5 colours, was also included in the recommendations. This score is becoming more common on pre-packed foods in France and Belgium (including on all Bonduelle products), making it easier for consumers to understand nutritional values. Consumers are advised to reduce their intake of foods with the worst scores (i.e., D and E).
Finally, the guidelines also refer to the aspect of pleasure! “Enjoy your food” is one of the main recommendations for France, which also include focussing on a varied food intake, taking the time to eat and savour food. Thanks to Bonduelle and the many products it sells, the different ways in which they are packaged (including canned, fresh, frozen, and deli salads, the many snack, raw, cooked or sophisticated recipes), consumers have an endless array of choices to balance the equation of good plant-based living, of which the elements are health, environment, nutritional values and enjoying the taste of food.
The Canadian guide, meanwhile, discusses various food-related aspects such as the benefits of enjoying food and socialising at mealtime (family, friends, neighbours, colleagues…). Because this is certainly more fun than eating the meal you ordered online in front of your computer! And finally, the food guide recommends creating a positive eating environment, including turning on some of your favourite music in the background.
In a nutshell, at a time when food has become a source of stress for many people, these new recommendations seem much more relaxed. In addition to their beneficial nutritional value, their colours, textures and tastes, plant-based foods also make meals more pleasant. Because eating healthy food can also be fun!
In conclusion, these recommendations tie in perfectly with the vision of the Bonduelle Group, which undertakes to innovate, from the field to the plate, to create a better future, with plant-based food, because we are convinced that Nature is our Future.
Find out more about our commitments on the website of the Louis Bonduelle Foundation