Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Thoughts on the new Brazilian dietary guidelines

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I was going to write a Follow Friday post on the new dietary guidelines coming from Brazil last week but 1. I couldn’t actually find the complete document in English anywhere, 2. I’m not 100% gung-ho with what I’ve seen.

It seems that every┬ástory on the Brazilian guidelines linked to Marion Nestle’s article on her Food Politics site. She lists the ten guidelines from the guide on her site. While I agree with all of them in spirit, and I can completely get behind statements such as: “Prepare meals from staple and fresh foods.”, there are others that I think are a little too vague. For example, “Use oils, fats, sugar and salt in moderation.” For sometime now we’ve been hearing backlash against the dietitian’s refrain “everything in moderation”. Why? Because moderation means different things to different people and does not provide adequate guidance. The term makes it too easy for all of us to excuse frequent treats as being “in moderation”.

Nestle includes a link to the complete document on her site. Being unable to fully understand Portuguese I can’t comment too much on the document. It does seem that they do include discussion of balanced meals (and hopefully something along the lines of food groups) which is something I felt was missing from the ten guidelines. However, the document is quite long. I can’t imagine many people, other than health professionals, taking the time to read the entire thing. I hope that the plan will be to have an accompanying condensed version for the public.