Brazilian New Food Guidelines Take a Radical Approach


Kudos to the Brazilian government for providing citizens a valuable “food based” new dietary guidelines!  Rather than focusing on individual nutrients, like in the US, Brazil has taken it to a much deeper level.

“Food-based means recommendations to eat more or less of foods — more fruits and vegetables, less of soft drinks — as opposed to eat less saturated fat, sugar, and sodium, which are nutrients used euphemistically for their food sources,” Marion Nestle PhD, MPH told MedPage Today.

Focusing on specific nutrients obfuscates any kind of message about healthy eating, Nestle said. She criticized the most recent U.S. guidelines for introducing the “obscure” concept of SoFAS — solid fats and added sugars — which avoids getting specific about foods that should be left off the plate.

“You are supposed to eat less of those,” she said. “All of this, of course, is about food politics. Food companies get very upset if a federal agency suggests eating less of their products.”

Several nutrition experts contacted by MedPage Today agreed with Nestle’s assessment and said they’d like to see the U.S. consider similar changes for its next version of the dietary guidelines, which are due in 2015.  See below for the link if you don’t want interrupted reading .

Clearly, the US could use some desperate help with their dietary standards.  Maybe they need to take a look at the example the Brazil has drafted out as a positive step in the right direction!

Remember when the processed food giants started taking out fat from our favorite foods and replacing them with more carbs and sugars?  When did sodas, coffee drinks and smoothies at that rate start increasing to 32 or 48 oz?  Why are schools carrying non-fat, strawberry and chocolate milk, along with tater-tots and pizza, counting for vegetables, as their mainstays?  (Okay, the fat free milk bit is a subject of another blog..)  My point here is, we have to take care of ourselves.  Our current food guidelines are not going to get America healthy.  It is just as much “how” we are eating as what…  Most importantly, eliminating or at least curtailing our consumption of ultra-processed foods and eating fresh, home-cooked meals whenever possible is probably the most important step we can take to be a healthier nation.

Let’s examine the new Brazilian guidleines which I LOVE because of it’s interplay between physical AND mental/social health!

Brazilian health officials designed the guidelines to help protect against undernutrition, which is already declining sharply in Brazil, but also to prevent the health consequences of overweight and obesity, which are sharply increasing in that country.

The guidelines are remarkable in that they are based on foods that Brazilians of all social classes eat every day, and consider the social, cultural, economic and environmental implications of food choices.

The guide’s three “golden rules:”

1.  Make foods and freshly prepared dishes and meals the basis of your diet.
2.  Be sure oils, fats, sugar and salt are used in moderation in culinary preparations.
3.  Limit the intake of ready-to-consume products and avoid those that are ultra-processed.

The ten Brazilian guidelines:

1.  Prepare meals from staple and fresh foods.

2.  Use oils, fats, sugar and salt in moderation.

3.  Limit consumption of ready-to-consume food and drink products

4.  Eat regular meals, paying attention, and in appropriate environments.

5.  Eat in company whenever possible.

6.  Buy food at places that offer varieties of fresh foods. Avoid those that mainly sell products ready for consumption.

7.  Develop, practice, share and enjoy your skills in food preparation and cooking.

8.  Plan your time to give meals and eating proper time and space.

9.  When you eat out, choose restaurants that serve freshly made dishes and meals. Avoid fast food chains.

10. Be critical of the commercial advertisement of food products.

Like to have a more sensible and simplified food guide like you just read?  You can file your comments on the link below!

A copy of the incredibly outdated, US Dietary Food Guide is right here.

Cat Dillon

This blog is my journal, where I share everything wellness. From tips on healthy lifestyle to creating as much deliciousness in your life as possible.

Cat Dillon is the Cat in Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness is a unique combo of nutrition, fitness and cooking coaching all in one pretty package. Read more about Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

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