U.S. Citizens Should Switch to Brazil’s Dietary Guidelines

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Brazil’s nutritional guidelines focuses on cooking healthy whole food meals at home. It also encourages their citizens to eat more natural and minimally processed foods. I love Brazil! They also urge their citizens to be critical of the misleading marketing practices of Big Food industries. On the other hand, the United States allow Big Food industries to dictate what the American citizen should be eating.  It’s also shocking to learn precisely how food companies lobby officials, co-opt experts, and expand sales by marketing to children, members of minority groups, and people in developing countries.  All the misleading scientific research on genetically modified foods, commercials, food pyramids, and those “Got Milk” ads by famous celebrities are all a BIG joke; which ultimately sends the wrong message.

I say we all should switch to the Brazilian food guideline and get healthy. Could you imagine the U. S. promoting eating home cooked whole foods at home? Unfortunately, I can’t!  Nonetheless, It has been proven that eating meals as a family is linked with increased child and adolescent intake of fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods.  Teaching children at a young impressionable age the importance of eating whole foods is vital for their future and generations to follow.

It starts at home.  Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.  As parents we are responsible for teaching our children about healthy whole foods.  A major part of the fast food education has always been in written form on advertisements, banners, brochures, and articles.  Cutting back on television watching also will have a huge effect on their exposure. These misleading outlets have a major influence on children’s diet.  Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal is a book that examines the local and global influence of the United States fast food industry.  I highly recommend reading it and the official nutritional guideline by the Brazilian government.  I say, AWESOME JOB Brazil!

Suggested Readings/Credits

Brazil has the best nutritional guidelines in the world

Brazil Nutritional Guidelines

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Photo by: Yasuyoshi Chiba

Dietary B12 for Optimal Brain Health

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People who consume foods rich in vitamin B12 could be at lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. You may not realize it but, we are clearly in the middle of an Alzheimer’s epidemic. According to the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report for 2012, an estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease. This figure includes 5.2 million people age 65 and older, and 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

According to a small Finnish study published in the journal Neurology, people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years.

Whole Food Nutrients Vs. Synthetic, Fortified Foods

Many people rely on fortified foods to supplement their vitamin B12 intake. Well, real Whole Foods should be the best source. It’s obvious by now vegans and vegetarians cannot just rely on their food source. Supplements are needed to help maintain the body’s vitamin B levels.

Just like processed foods, most commercial vitamins are synthetic vitamins that have been robbed of all of the extra accessory micronutrients that they naturally come with.

In turn, like refined foods, these vitamins can create numerous of problems and imbalances in your body if taken at high levels for long periods of time.

Additionally, most fish today are so contaminated. One exception would be small fish like sardines, which are high in B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Small fish are typically less contaminated, compared to larger fish.

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Instead, your ideal dietary sources of B12 vitamins would include:

  • Liver from organic calf
  • Wild caught salmon
  • Organic, grass-fed beef
  • Lamb (which are typically grass-fed even if not specified as organic)
  • Organic, free-range eggs

Vitamin B12 is present in natural form only in animal sources of food, which is one of the reasons Dr. Mercola advise against a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs. An analog is a substance that blocks the uptake of true B12, so your body’s need for the nutrient actually increases. There are many well-documented cases of blindness and brain abnormalities in strict vegetarians, resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If you don’t have adequate vitamin B12 levels in your bloodstream, you might notice some of the following warning signs:
1. Mental fogginess
2. Problems with your memory
3. Mood swings
4. Lack of motivation
5. Feelings of apathy
6. Fatigue and a lack energy
7. Muscle weakness
8. Tingling in your extremities

Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse micronutrient for a whole host of reasons. Your body needs B12 for:
1. Proper digestion, food absorption, iron use, carbohydrate and fat metabolism
2. Healthy nervous system function
3. Promotion of normal nerve growth and development
4. Help with regulation of the formation of red blood cells
5. Cell formation and longevity
6. Proper circulation
7. Adrenal hormone production
8. Healthy immune system function
9. Support of female reproductive health and pregnancy
10. Feelings of well-being and mood regulation
11. Mental clarity, concentration, memory function
12. Physical, emotional and mental energy

As you can see from this list, your B12 level impacts a number of very important systems in your body — everything from your DNA to how happy you feel. If you think you might be deficient in this vitamin, you need to consult with your doctor to take the necessary steps to get your B12 levels into the healthy range.

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/bvitamins.html
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-QuickFacts/
http://www.iowasource.com/health/2009_04_b12.html
http://www.medicinenet.com/pernicious_anemia/article.htm
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/05/28/vitamin-b-12.aspx