In 2015, many people’s worldview was shaken when the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement declaring processed meat — including deli sandwiches and bacon — to be a “possible carcinogen.” However, the finding affirmed what many health educators knew, and that is that a diet low in animal products is optimal for health and longevity.
In the time that has passed, many nations have revised and improved their food guidelines, such as Canada. Now, Belgium has released a new food pyramid, and it it is different than most other countries’. As TreeHugger reports, the new Belgium food guide groups tofu, legumes, oils, vegetables and grains toward the top of the inverted triangle. These are the foods that should be prioritized in one’s diet. Bacon, cake, cookies, French fries, alcohol, soda, and salami are grouped toward the bottom. They are the foods that should be consumed “as little as possible.” Midway, chicken, eggs, dairy, and fish are recommended as “occasional” foods to consume. Red meat and butter are very close to the “naughty” foods.
Quartz reports that the new guideline was published at the end of September by the Flemish Institute of Health Life. This pyramid is controversial, as it reflects the WHO’s announcement which blew up the media two years ago. The WHO declared, “that processed meat causes cancer, particularly colon cancer. The organization now places bacon, sausage, and hotdogs in a category of known carcinogens, a list that also includes cigarettes, diesel fumes and asbestos.”
Meat producers in the United States, specifically, were outraged by the statement. Their lobbying resulted in the new U.S. dietary guidelines removing the “eat less meat” advisory, which is unfortunate. Nonetheless, Belgium stayed true to the WHO’s finding. Loes Neven, a representative for the Institute, told a local newspaper: “We want to make it clear that we don’t need these products. We don’t forbid them, but they should be rather an exception than [the] rule.”
Now that Belgium and Canada have adopted guidelines that recommend a plant-based way of eating, other countries will surely follow suit in the future. Whether or not Belgium residents swap salami for soybeans remains to be seen. At least now, citizens are encouraged to do so and, as a result, may follow the recommendations for improved health.
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I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here