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Brazil Dietary Guidelines: New Rules Make Healthy Eating Seem Simpler

02/19/2014 04:03 EST | Updated 02/19/2014 04:59 EST
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Besides their beautiful beaches, attractive people and weather that makes us wonder why we put up with winter, Brazil's latest change to their dietary guidelines is another thing for which Canadians can be jealous of this South American country.

If you've ever attempted to follow Canada's food guide to determine whether or not you're getting your daily servings of fruits, vegetables and grains, you know how confusing government instructions for eating can be. But Brazil's Ministry of Heath might have figured it out, with their release of new guidelines based on the country's foods and eating habits, according to Food Politics.

Rather than laying out a designated number of foods you should eat (and avoid) every day, the guidelines focus on 10 clear-cut rules, including eating in the company of others and preparing foods with fresh ingredients. It also includes three golden rules to follow: avoid ultra-processed foods, use sugar and salt in moderation, and make homemade meals the majority of your diet.

When it comes to looking at our country's guidelines, critics argue Canada's guide could use a major facelift. In 2012, researchers concluded that even though Canada's guide has been around for 70 years, Canadians still don't understand how to read it.

Author and holistic nutritionist Evita Ochel argues that food guides in general also put a huge emphasis on meat and dairy products, which she says is not needed to live healthy lifestyles. To give credit where it's due, in Canada's latest food guide update, there are more non-meat options like tofu, as well as alternatives grains like quinoa. The focus, however, seems to be on what we should be eating, and not really how we should be eating.

Should Canada take a new approach with food guidelines similar to Brazil's? Let us know what you think in the comments below:

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