The New Brazilian Plan – A Refreshing Approach to Healthy Eating Guidelines

Finally, healthy eating guidelines that are easy to understand and that recognize food provides more than just calories and nutrients to our bodies. Hooray for Brazil’s new proposed dietary guidelines as shared by Dr. Marion Nestle (Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University).

Brazil Food Guide


I like these recommendations. They provide sensible healthy guidelines that are easy to understand and adopt while also providing a much-needed slap in the face to fast food chains, over-processed food and unscrupulous advertisers.

No rainbows, no pyramids, no percentages, just ten general 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.”

If you’re looking for percentages, weights and measures with a list of specific foods that you should or should not eat – you’re likely disappointed in the Brazilian approach.  I’m not. I don’t think calculating nutrient content of everything we eat is a realistic approach to encouraging healthy eating.  It needs to be simpler than that and at the same time it needs to be more than that.  Food and healthy eating is not just about nutrient intake and I like that these guidelines are a reflection of the social, emotional, environmental, political, economical aspects of healthy eating as well.

Can’t remember all ten guidelines?  Then just focus on their 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.

Think about your current eating habits.  Would your health and overall well-being improve if you applied these guidelines to your eating habits?  Do you really need to know more?

What do you think?  Are these guidelines helpful?  Do you miss the numbers and nutrient focus?

Worried you don’t have the time or skills to make fresh homemade food?  That’s where I’d like to help by providing time saving tips, recipes for freshly prepared dishes and kitchen skills to make cooking easy and enjoyable.  My blog, presentations, workshops and one-on-one sessions are designed to give you the confidence and skills you need.  



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