Sometimes common sense can go a long way. Brazil has proposed new dietary guidelines that many U.S. nutritionists are praising for taking on a “food-based” approach to eating, as opposed to the individual nutrients the Untied States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests in the States.

According to the draft proposal, Brazil citizens should, among other basic rules,  “prepare meals from staple and fresh foods,” and “be critical of the commercial advertisement of food products”

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Marion Nestle of Food Politics notes how the guidelines consider what different “social classes eat every day, and consider the social, cultural, economic and environmental implications of food choices.”

The three most important of the guidelines includes:

  • 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.

Nestle told MedPage Today the food-based approach works well because “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.”

Brazil’s draft is currently up for public comment, and we will wait to see if it is formally adopted. Regardless, the USDA could take note of this innovative and simply approach to dietary guidance!

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Image source: Carrot and Courgette Noodle Stir-Fry

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