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Brazil’s New Sensible Food Guidelines

I’m just going to brazenly quote Marion Nestle from her blog “Food Politics” about the newest nutrition guidelines posted by the Brazilian government for the health of the country. Everything you are about to read comes directly from her blog post.

In case you don’t know who Marion Nestle is, educate yourself as she is one of the most important voices of our time when it comes to government oversight of the food choices in this country.

I love these guidelines because they really reflect how people live and eat in Brazil. We could take a lesson or two from them.

Here I am in the Amazon rain forest in 1992 with my friend Jennifer.
Here I am in the Amazon rain forest in 1992 with my friend Jennifer during my first trip to Brazil.

You can read the whole document from the Brasilian health officials here, if you speak Portuguese. Lucky me, I kinda do. 🙂 If you ever have the opportunity to spend some time in Brazil, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s Marion’s summary of the new Brazilian dietary recommendations:

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:”

  • Make foods and freshly prepared dishes and meals the basis of your diet.
  • Be sure oils, fats, sugar and salt are used in moderation in culinary preparations.
  • 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.

Posted in: Recipes

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