Health and Wellness

The Roots of Health

Meredith Rhodes Carson

The Roots of Health – Dietary Guidelines: This country wrote the definitive one

Dietary food guidelines are a distinctly modern phenomenon. Why do they even exist? Probably because all of the sudden, consumers have so many choices, that they can no longer instinctually feed themselves… and remain healthy.

While the US has been making dietary recommendations to its citizens for over a century, and have updated them every 5 years or so since the 1980’s, have you ever wondered what other governments recommend to their people?

This week I make some observations about what recommendations that we get in the United States vs. one other country in particular, a country that has really embraced a holistic, ancestral view of eating.

Of particular note this week, I make mention of the US dietary recommendations and how they have leaned heavily toward some of our most subsidized commodities (corn, wheat, cotton, & soy subsidies top the list), about how the US focuses on calories, isolated ‘nutrients of concern’, and recommends ~3 ‘eating patterns’ (ignoring hundreds of not thousands of traditional diets that sustains humans worldwide – see 2010 US Dietary Guidelines here). And I review some interesting new recommendations that may be part of the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines.

In comparison – The Ministry of Health for the country of Brazil recognizes some very important principles – not reductionist, highlighting ‘nutrients of concern’ – but holistic, highlighting food preparation, community, tradition, equality, and justice. Their efforts culminate in the Ten Steps to Healthy Diets.

You can, and should, read the entire document here.

Tell me what you think about this.