Food is our friend!

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Astrid

Brazil’s’ new food guidelines focus on the happy (and social) side of food, empowering people to make positive choices. We love it!

 Recently Brasilian health officials introduced new guidelines for a healthy lifestyle. The guidlines help protect agains both undernutricion and obesity.

The guidelines are remarkable: ‘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 rules are foodbased rather than based on the intake of nutrients. Marion Nestle applauds this approach: ‘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.’

Nestle claims that communicating about nutrients makes the message about healthy eating complicated: the advise you should’t eat solid fat is far more difficult to implement that the advice to go easy on cookies (that contain this solid fat).

The 10 rules:

  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.

What I especially like about these guidelines is that they focus on the positive and happy side of food. When discussing calories and number of spoons of pasta you can eat, to me food becomes an enimy. Something difficult that is hard to deal with, that I need tools for. It alienates people from their natural talent  to feel what food they need and how much of it.

Goal should be to help people tap into this natural talent. To me the Brazilian guidelines do exactly that. A source of inspiration for everyone, and especially families.