When it comes to the human body [our own bodies included, of course!], the quality of what we eat impacts tissue repair and all other metabolic activities – whether it is assimilation of nutrients, elimination of metabolic wastes from cells, functioning of neurons or production of sleep or other hormones. As a massage therapist, I find diet to be an important indicator of a person’s quality of life. Now, but especially in the long-term. Lets add years to our lives, and life to our years, by eating the right foods and incorporating other important lifestyle factors (such as moderate exercise, adequate sleep, practicing stress reduction).
Sometimes, it takes work to develop a taste for food, especially our most helpful foods: the vegetables. This is where ‘acquired taste’ seems to come in. For me, I find that garlic usually helps with learning to appreciate a new vegetable. (Of course, that won’t work if you are one of those people who dislike garlic)!
The point is, I recently read a lovely blog post about Brazil’s new dietary guidelines, and I am re-printing them here as they are absolutely fascinating and if more people here followed these guidelines, we’d see our health improve as a society. In particular, if parents discussed these guidelines with their children, they would help their children make good decisions for the rest of their lives. Problem is – your kids might call you out on it, when you try to go to a fast food restaurant twice in one week! Here they are, thanks to Glenn Cardwell’s blog (author of Gold Medal Nutrition).
Brazil’s proposed dietary 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.
For those who speak Portuguese, you can find the original, full-length document here: http://www.foodpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/Brazils-Dietary-Guidelines_2014.pdf NOTE: it’s an 87 page document with a lot of detail, but the summary of the 10 step recommendations are on pages 86 and 87 and addressed in more detail throughout the document.
Enjoy your food, and bon appetit!