Brazil Gets New Perfect Dietary Guidelines!

brazil-650x388

Brazil is now getting new official dietary guidelines. And they are (almost) perfect!

Most countries have government agencies that needlessly chase percentages of natural saturated fat and recommend instead the use of low-fat products full of additives. Brazil now goes in a completely different direction: Just eat real food.

FoodPolitics.com: Brazil’s new dietary guidelines: food-based!

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28 comments

Top comments

  1. Daniel Ferreira
    Rosa, I dont want to call you callow, but what you have advised is extreamly exorbitant. I feel ebulient to tell you that starch, flour, or whatever you said on the response are not only dangerous to some, but also plain equivocal and ludacris. Stating that because someone wears a white coat gives them the neccessary credentials to be above science is just a posh thing to say as well as imprudent. Please check yourself before you reck yourself.
    Read more →
  2. João Gabriel Marques
    Hello, Andreas.

    I'm from Brazil and work here with nutrition. Although they might sound like good news, the new dietary guidelines are not so different from the ones we already have. At least not so far.

    Of course the new guidelines are yet being discussed and still in "progress", but I wouldn't get my hopes too high. Even though the "three golden rules" and the "simplified guidelines" (listed from 1 to 10 in the link from this post) may help encourage the population to eat real food, the actual document, which is currently 87 pages long, still commits several mistakes like condemning saturated fat and not explicitly telling people to avoid refined flours, for example. Nonetheless, the fact they are focusing on real foods is still great.

    The main issue may not even be the content nor the information published in the document, but actually the way our government promotes these dietary guidelines, which hasn't worked since the last guidelines. And since the new dietary guidelines are not so different from the ones we already have, it's not easy to hope for better results, even though I always do...

    As long as processed and refined foods continue to be so cheap and easily accessible in our population, the dietary guidelines - as great as they may be - are still probably going to be highly ineffective. Sadly.

    Reply: #5
    Read more →

All comments

  1. Wade Henderson
    "Brazil Gets New Perfect Dietary Guidelines!"

    The ten Brazilian guidelines: (including the main three here)

    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

    Also,

    The guide’s three “golden rules:”

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

    Nice guidelines but I don't think they will sell many books. It needs a hook to stand out from the clamor.

    Photo of three people enjoying their food. Interesting meal.

  2. DonnaE
    The guidelines (the long version) also advise people to eat a "wide variety of foods mostly of vegetable origin." I think it's a mistake to scare people off of animal products, but maybe that part will not be heavily promoted, as it's not in the main 10 points.
  3. DonnaE
    I would add that they don't do enough to help the more than 50% of Brazilians who are already overweight or obese (according to Brazil's own statistics). They are better prevention than cure, and unfortunately a huge number of Brazilians need some cure.
  4. João Gabriel Marques
    Hello, Andreas.

    I'm from Brazil and work here with nutrition. Although they might sound like good news, the new dietary guidelines are not so different from the ones we already have. At least not so far.

    Of course the new guidelines are yet being discussed and still in "progress", but I wouldn't get my hopes too high. Even though the "three golden rules" and the "simplified guidelines" (listed from 1 to 10 in the link from this post) may help encourage the population to eat real food, the actual document, which is currently 87 pages long, still commits several mistakes like condemning saturated fat and not explicitly telling people to avoid refined flours, for example. Nonetheless, the fact they are focusing on real foods is still great.

    The main issue may not even be the content nor the information published in the document, but actually the way our government promotes these dietary guidelines, which hasn't worked since the last guidelines. And since the new dietary guidelines are not so different from the ones we already have, it's not easy to hope for better results, even though I always do...

    As long as processed and refined foods continue to be so cheap and easily accessible in our population, the dietary guidelines - as great as they may be - are still probably going to be highly ineffective. Sadly.

    Reply: #5
  5. Christian
    I,m Brasilian too and I don´t think the guidelines are good. Maybe a little better than other countries guidelines.
    I agree with João Gabriel.
    Sugar, fat and oil assumed the same role in the guidelines, where Brasilian government suggests people to use just a little bit of this ingredients in the dayly diet. And we know that salt and oil (except pollinsaturated) are not bad. Sugar is.
    Those who are searching for a healthy diet shoudl eat LCHF/Paleo Diet. And this is not what the Brasilian guidelines are suggesting.
  6. Leon
    #1 - Eat staples*
    *Staples... i.e. rice/corn/wheat/potatoes/etc... i.e. starch... i.e. carbohydrates!!
    Surely some mistake??!!
    Confused of Brighton
  7. Rosa
    What's wrong with rice corn and potatoes many people have had those foods as staples for centuries and where lean! Check out Dr. Mcdougals "the starch solution" or "prevent and reverse heart disease" by Caldwell Essylton. These people have far better credentials than any of these fat low carb people!
    Replies: #9, #10, #12, #13
  8. bill
    Argumentum ad autoritatum.
  9. Daniel Ferreira
    Rosa, I dont want to call you callow, but what you have advised is extreamly exorbitant. I feel ebulient to tell you that starch, flour, or whatever you said on the response are not only dangerous to some, but also plain equivocal and ludacris. Stating that because someone wears a white coat gives them the neccessary credentials to be above science is just a posh thing to say as well as imprudent. Please check yourself before you reck yourself.
  10. Paul the rat
    One of your gods Rosa (I presume it is Caldwell ESSELSTYN, not Essylton as you spelled it) might have conflict of interest in pushing corn, potatoes and grains into people's throats. For your own good please check on whose payroll Caldwell Esselstyn is for the last 30 years, and please let us know, won't you.

    "...member of the Whole Foods Market Healthy Eating Advisory Board. We are thrilled to have Dr. Esselstyn for a visit in Seattle!…"

  11. Paul the rat
    @Rosa, I'll make it easy for you

    "Industry Relationships
    Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical education about recent trends. The collaborations are reviewed as part of the Cleveland Clinic's procedures. The Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses payments to its physicians and scientists for speaking and consulting of $5,000 or more per year, and any equity, royalties, and fiduciary relationships in companies with which they collaborate. The Cleveland Clinic requires its doctors to approve the public disclosures of their scientific collaborations with industry.

    As of 2/23/2014 the review process regarding Dr. Esselstyn, Jr.'s disclosure had not been completed.

    Patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by the Cleveland Clinic."

  12. Galina L.
    @Rosa, are you the person (Rozzy) who asked how real was the poor tolerance of carbohydrates?
    Dr.Mcdougals ignores the fact that many people have sub-optimal blood sugar control on a high-starch diets, even without developing diabetes.
  13. Francois
    Galina made a very interesting and appropriate comment.
    Sure, Rosa, you are right in that these high starchy foods have been the staple of humanity for thousands of years. At the expense of their health. I recommend you take a look at the Horus study, that did CT scans on mummies and found they had advanced atherosclerosis. The diet of Ancient Egyptians? Very little red meat, mainly fish, grain and honey with lots of high carb dates for dessert. And they did not smoke. The same goes for the Puebleans, the Andeans and other people who ate a high starch diet.
    When agriculture was introduced, people's height dropped six inches on average and they developed all sorts of complications, including diabetes.
    You see, people do not become diabetes BECAUSE they are overweight or obese, they become overweight or obese BECAUSE they have diabetes (mind you, not all overweight or obese people are diabetics, there is a significant portion who are metabolically normal but this is not the point). The vast majority of obese people do have significant metabolic impairment.
    I work now in Hawaii where diabetes is a way of life. Many are thin and look and feel healthy. Some are quite young. Many do not smoke. One was even an athlete and had a six pack. Their HbA1C is either at the diabetic or pre diabetic level. The athlete was a type 2 diabetic and did not know it.
    The point being that a high carb diet is NOT healthy. It is linked to heart disease and other degenerative conditions. The study reported here on added sugar found that the more the added sugar, the greater the risk of heart disease. And there is no reason to believe that a no added sugar diet is not linked with the lowest risk of cardiac disease.
    And speaking of McDougall, he is probably well intentioned. The diet he is promoting is better than the SAD diet. But his ultra-low fat diet can potentially cause a metabolic catastrophe. If you read McDougall, be aware he is one of the champion cherry pickers and hates fat beyond reason. If being healthy is to look cachectic like him and be so abrasive and aggressive, I'll pass. I'd rather rely on scientific facts and data and make up my own mind rather than believe so called experts in conflicts of interest up to their necks. (Please see Paul's comments above).
  14. Rosa
    Fat certainly is important but one can consume plenty of essential fats in plant based foods from nuts seeds and avocado or plant based oils like coconut and olive oil! Dr. Esselstyn only says to go extremely low fat for people who have established heart disease. If you think these plant based doctors like Mcdougal, Esselstyn, Colin Campbell, Neal Barnard, Pam Popper, Joel Fuhrman, Michael Greger, Dean Ornish etc. are all quacks/frauds then try telling that to the thousands of people who where ill and are now in better health thanks to their diet programs. Do you honestly expect me to believe that people like Dr. Mercola, Mark Sisson, Gary Taubes or Robert Lustig are legit!!?? Most of them are either snake oil salesman or have other motives behind what they are preaching!
    Reply: #19
  15. Galina L.
    I tried both approaches, particularly Dr.Weills's anty-inflammatory diet, who also is a member of the group The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), of which Dr.Neal Bernard is a founding president. I guess, such diet would be an improvement for a junk-eating person, but I cook my food all my life and eat traditional Russian diet - bone broths and soups, organ meats,fermented vegetables, variety of vegetable and mushroom dishes, fermented grains for the members of my family who do not require a LC diet), now a LC version of it for me. The limitation of red meat and animals fats produced the worst health of my life-time, after which I switched on a LC diet. My mom is similar to me metabolically, and a LC diet produced the same improvement for her as well.
    So , my experience led me to the conclusion that Drs. like Neal Bernard, Dean Ornish and the rest are agenda-driven individuals who recommend a sub-optimal diet (out of their love for animals may be). When I tried what Gary Taubes advocated, it worked, unlike the recommendations of the the Ornish crowd. Zero quackery or twisted logic is involved - It is very easy to sort out the people who don't tolerate carbohydrates well from others using the glycosemeter after meals with different carb content. The working theory is legit in my eyes, nothing else.
  16. Galina L.
    Rosa, plant fats are not a good substitute for animal plants from appropriately raised animals. Nothing comes close to a grass-fed butter.
  17. Galina L.
    Sorry, I wanted to say "animal fats", not "animal plants"
    Reply: #18
  18. Joey
    Bone broths and soups mmmm :)
  19. Paul the rat
    "...Do you honestly expect me to believe that people like Dr. Mercola, Mark Sisson, Gary Taubes or Robert Lustig are legit!!?? …"

    No, but I believe (observe) in how my own body (and bodies of many people I know personally) reacts to what I (they) eat.

  20. Galina L.
    I really recommend to the people who for some strange reasons BELIEVE that Dr. Neil Bernard is legitimate, to read a little bit more about him. A Wiki article is a good place to start. A psychiatrist fighting for animal rights and writing books about low-fat plant-based vegan (aka starvation) diets for diabetics.
    I personally have some reservations about Dr. Lustig, he is too concentrated on fructose, but , according to wiki he " is an American pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics.[1] He practices in the field of neuroendocrinology, with an emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system.[2] He also has a special interest in childhood obesity.[2]" At least he is writing about issues he has qualifications to write about. Most medical professionals are not educated in nutrition and dealing with obesity.

    I wouldn't put in the same category Gary Taubes (a journalist who professionally writes about bad science in different fields) and Mark Sisson (basically just a flogger).

    Replies: #21, #24
  21. Paul the rat
    My friends and I use Neil Barnard's YouTube cock-sure 'explanation' what causes insulin resistance as a comic relief after hard day's work
    Reply: #23
  22. Paul the rat
    but the song (and dance) remains the same

    (I wonder if this registered dietitian knows that long chain saturated fatty acids and ketone bodies are preferred energy source by the heart muscle)

    https://giving.massgeneral.org/heart-healthy-eating-tips-mass-general...

  23. Galina L.
    The doctors who promote plant-based diets provide a lot of material what could be categorized as a bad science. Lifestyle Heart Trial which made Dr.Ornish famous, is a good example of bad statistics obvious even for students but somehow not for medical professionals - test subjects stopped smoking, started to do exercises, were trained to manage their stress, stopped eating all processed foods and sugar, AND avoided animal products. The trail is currently used as the proof that plants-based diet is the best for treating atherosclerosis, despite multiple confounding variables being the part of the picture.
  24. murray
    Gary Taubes is solid and very smart. He has a superlative education in both science and scientific method, with a degree in physics from Harvard and a Masters degrees in aerospace engineering at Standford, and then he studied journalism at Columbia. In his earlier work he exposed the bad science behind the cold fusion claim. He got into nutrition science because it was such low-hanging fruit in terms of bad scientific method. So he is opportunistic in that sense, but he is a journalist--that is what good journalists do. Like most people here, he wants to get the right answer, mostly for himself and his family, but out of a sense of social responsibility as much as anything. His Good Calories, Bad Calories was a book meant for medical professionals, not a wide audience, so it was certainly not a get-rich scheme. I couldn't think of a better person to do what he does. He is legit.

    Importantly, he has extensive contacts with leading researchers (being a journalist) and he doesn't put forward positions that are not tested for credibility with at least some subset of the experts. Obviously the experts disagree, so he needs to be selective, but the case he makes has support and he is careful not to say that some position is definitively the case; rather, he tends to show how various suspect claims originated and have been overstated in some important respect. Much of the value with Gary is that he speaks to many experts who can give honest views off the record that are not yet in publication, either because the work is developing or it would be politically unwise for them (in terms of funding) to openly publish results against the dominant dogma. So he has a good pulse on where things are heading.

  25. Galina L.
    It looks like poor naive Rozzy came here to pathetically defend countless anty- red meat worriers, but had nothing substantial to say besides references to "success stories" which are always present in every diet book.
  26. Sandra
    I do like that they advocate eating real food, but I am otherwise not seeing a huge difference. They are still promoting eating fats and red meat in moderation and food prepared with large amounts of flour is OK in their guidelines. What they are putting out might be a step in the right direction but it needs to go farther.
  27. Mauricio Trambaioli
    Dear all,
    The biggest issue does not relies on the Brazilian typical eating pattern at each region in the country - if we consider the main meals.
    The hugest concern is the beyond-meals: snacking, sugared desserts, sugared beverages, and so on.
    Mauricio (www.farmacia.ufrj.br/mauricio)
  28. Christoph Dollis

    "The guidelines (the long version) also advise people to eat a "wide variety of foods mostly of vegetable origin." I think it's a mistake to scare people off of animal products, but maybe that part will not be heavily promoted, as it's not in the main 10 points."

    Nah. Plant-based diets with some meats is the optimal diet for most people and is almost certainly how the majority of our ancestors ate.

    We are originally a sub-Saharan African species from the Savannah, which is a tropical grassland, and from tropical rainforest before that for an even longer period of time.

    The idea that we, descended from vegetation-eating primates, should live in fear of plants is madness.

    Yes, there is human biological diversity and individual metabolic condition to consider. However, Brazil's nutritional guidelines are spot-on. Plants are also, for the most part, more economical, which is good, and reducing the amount of animal misery is good too.

    Further, most humans were not mainly meat eaters and even those that were got dietary carbohydrate, even during winter, with few if any exceptions.

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