Media Centre
2007/11/01

Maple Leaf Foods Statement Human Health and Diet

Maple Leaf Foods Statement
Human Health and Diet

November 1, 2007

As Canada's leading provider of fresh and prepared meats and consumer goods, Maple Leaf Foods supports the important role meat plays in the Canadian diet.

There is a great deal of conflicting science and research on the potential relationship between diet and cancer. We believe the definitive instruction for balanced nutrition is set out in Health Canada's Food Guide, which was just updated last year based on extensive consultation with medical and nutrition experts. Part of Health Canada's mandate in developing the new Food Guide was the avoidance of chronic disease, such as cancer.

The Food Guide recommends one to three servings of meat and alternatives a day. Meat is nutrient dense and provides 14 essential nutrients, including iron. Some nutrients found in beef, such as selenium and Vitamin D, may prevent cancer. The average Canadian consumption of red meat is consistent within the average amount recommended per day by the Food Guide and consistent with a recent report by the World Cancer Research Fund. Age and gender specifics are provided by the Food Guide. .

Canadian red meat is lean and several cuts of beef and pork qualify for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada's Health Check™ food information program, which helps Canadians eat a healthy diet through wise food choices.

At Maple Leaf, we strictly adhere to the highest quality standards. This includes using high quality, federally inspected ingredients in all our prepared meat products. Part of our commitment to food safety involves the use of government-approved levels of preservatives which prevent food spoilage. The most common preservative used in processed meats is sodium nitrite. However, more than 90 per cent of the nitrites we consume actually come from leafy vegetables and tubers, and even our own saliva.

It is important to remember that diseases such as cancer are extremely complex and involve several risk factors including obesity, genetics, environmental causes, smoking and alcohol. We all can do our part to maintain good health though eating a balanced diet, regular exercise and maintaining a health body weight.

For more information of the Canada Food Guide, go to http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index_e.html


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