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Brazil’s Innovative Approach to Dietary Guidelines

by Sandy Todd Webster on May 27, 2014

Food for Thought

Faced with many of the same challenges the U.S. has in terms of mounting rates of overweight, obesity and related chronic disease among its citizens, the Brazilian Ministry of Health recently released an unconventional new set of dietary guidelines. Unlike the nutrient-based American guidelines, Brazil’s focus more on sensible, mindful preparation and consumption of food.

Three overarching principles set the stage for the 10 guidelines:

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

The 10 Brazilian guidelines:

  1. Prepare meals from staple and fresh foods.
  2. Use oils, fats, sugar and salt in moderation.
  3. Limit intake of ready-to-consume food and drink products.
  4. Eat regular meals, paying attention, and eating 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.

Do these Brazilian nutrition tenets make sense to you? Do you think your clients would respond better to a similar set of guidelines than to the current U.S. standards? Now is your chance to be heard. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Committee is accepting public comment as committee members shape the landscape for the 2015 recommendations. Let them know your thoughts at www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015DGACRequestForPublicComments.asp.

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.