I recently had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Adam Amodeo, ND about the recently released Canada’s Food Guide. Like many of my patients, Dr. Amodeo has helped me to lose weight and feel healthier by making a few subtle changes to daily routine. Many have already heard that less emphasis is being placed on dairy and more emphasis is being placed on fruits and vegetables. I was curious to hear what Dr. Amodeo thought as these statements have been in line with what he has been explaining to his patients for years.
D: I haven’t had a chance to fully read the new Canadian Food Guidelines yet. Are they in line with what you’ve been emphasizing to your patients?
A: It’s definitely more in line.
Milk is going the way of the dodo. Emphasis is on taking time to sit down for meals with family, and the best part is the portioning of micronutrients similar to The Diabetes Canada Guidelines which is what most people need.
Water is the drink of choice, no more juice, with the emphasis being on reducing sugar. It’s more usable than the guide has been in the past. I think they did a good job.
D: Do you think that Canadians now have a thorough guide to follow.
A: We can do better than the food guide, there’s still more to know. Smoke point of cooking oils for one. It reminds me of Dr. Tents line “if you trust the government with your healthcare you’ll be as healthy as the government” but that’s kinda incendiary ?
D: What is smoke point and how is it relevant for the average person’s health?
A: The reason fried foods are bad for you is because the oils get damaged by the heat and create free radicals that damage your body. They are implicated in cancer and heart disease.
Antioxidants are needed to combat free radicals. It’s important to increase antioxidants as much as possible (green tea, blueberries, etc.) and decrease free radical damage (cigarettes, car exhaust, and oils with a low smoke point). Ideally you cook with water, but if you must fry, use avocado oil because it can handle the heat without getting damaged as much.
Similarly if you take fish oil, take a high quality fish oil because if it’s old it will cause more harm via free radicals than it will do good.
All the blue zones in the world, those are areas with a high proportion of the population living over 100, have high antioxidant intake in their diet. One place in particular is in Italy where the red wine has 3x the antioxidants of average red wine. Matcha green tea has more antioxidant capacity than average green tea.
D: So I should be baking my potato into fries instead of deep frying them?
A: Definitely healthier, but not as tasty.