Everything You Need to Know about Brazilian Food Habits and Fat Burning Recipes

Reviewed by: | Author: Manoja Kalakanti

Many famous beauty queens hail from Brazil. You are left wondering about the fact that how in the wide world do they manage to stay so ultra slim? There must be some secret to their fab figures, some eating plan they must have which keeps the flab away to the furthest corner of the world. Most of the current nutritionists will swear by the motto, eat local, eat fresh! It is no wonder that the Brazilian way of eating endorses that to the tee. It is indeed a perfect answer to the question of how to lose weight.


So get into the Brazilian way of healthy eating, or Brazilian dietary guidelines and stay fit and healthy. There are no confusing eating patterns and foods within baffling guidelines like the infamous food pyramid. There’s no measuring of calories and macronutrients instead, you focus on tradition and natural foods. Now there can’t be anything simpler right? Eat what you have always eaten. After all, there was never this epidemic of obesity during the time of your grandmothers, was there? It was largely because of the fact that there was not a wide availability of processed foods. So incorporate the following points in your dietary regimen and watch the pounds melt away.

The Brazilian Eating Habits

When it comes to menu planning, it is best to consider the eating plans that you always thought weren’t worth considering. You were so much into living your life the modern way that you forgot all about the traditional way of eating and the perks of going traditional. Which brings us to the question, what is the Brazilian diet all about? Read more to find out.


  • Grandma knows best- Honestly, they do. The simple lunch of rice, beans, and vegetables is best. Before you make a big hue and cry over the fact that rice is fattening, consider that you don’t bat an eyelid when you have a burger. Rice, however, seems to face flak for reasons best known to us, and our conditioned brains. Dinners consist of mainly rice, chicken, and the beans. Sounds too simple to be effective doesn’t it? All we can say is that give traditionalism a chance it truly deserves.
  • Don’t use too much of oil and condiments- Most food guides consist of strict parameters which you have to adhere to. In the Brazilian diet plan, the usage of, oils, fats, salt, and sugar can be incorporated but are recommended in smaller amounts. In other words, don’t overdo it, don’t overcook your veggies and meat. Let the natural flavors come out, rather than be subdued in oil and spices.
  • Eliminate the processed and overly sugary stuff in your diet- The Brazilian food guide recommends against eating processed food like packaged snacks, instant noodles, and soda because they are low in nutrients, and full of artificial additives. Because of their taste and packaging, most people tend to get drawn towards the sumptuous looking food.
  • Less snacking, concentrate on having three meals per day- The Brazilian weight loss guide recommends that you have three meals and not snack mindlessly in between. The reason being that snacks are often cookies straight from a packet or other goodies that cannot be termed as nutritionally balanced. Instead, the Brazilian plan asks you to curtail your snacking and eat a wholesome breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • less-snackingEat fresh and local- The eating guide also urges us to go back to the time when our forefathers shopped daily to buy fresh vegetables which were also locally produced. The guide recommends that you buy fresh produce directly from the agro-ecological producers, which also means you buy fruits and vegetables which are in season.
  • Eat with concentration- Eating with concentration actually means taking time to chew and savor each bite, it definitely helps in digesting the food better, and stops you from over-eating. Distracted eating is one way of piling on the extra kilos. So time to switch off the television and other gadgets when you eat, time to relish your meals. If you are thinking about how to lose belly fat, the one way of doing it is by eating with time and patience.


  • You still cannot ignore exercises- While good nutrition is definitely very important, what is also essential is a good exercise plan. Since this is a plan endorsed by the Brazilian government, they stress upon the fact that exercising is indeed a way of life. The Brazilian government hasn’t given specific recommendations, but 150 mins of moderate exercising activity is a must in a week. If you are wondering how to lose weight, this is one of the better ways of losing weight.
  • Spread the word on good health and nutrition- The Brazilian guide doesn’t rely on advertisements that might make that food look and appear healthy, because looks as they say, can be deceptive. The guide recommends you ignore marketing gimmicks, as marketing more often than not hide the truths surrounding food behind a gaudy façade. Teach and cultivate information about the wholesome goodness of real and unprocessed foods. It is up to you to teach the next generation about healthy and nutritious foods.
  • Eat in groups- Are you one of those people who munch away to glory watching your favorite sitcom or football match? If you are surrounded by people you are incline to eat less, believe it or not! You eat less when surrounded by people, claims the guide. Eating together can help foster the feeling of togetherness and companionship; it is indeed a part of humanity and culture. So eat with your family and friends, you tend to enjoy your food more, and also concentrate on enjoying food with others. This can be counted as one of the ways of losing weight and as a part of Brazilian dietary guidelines.
  • Eating out but eating healthy- Are you traveling and need to eat to stop your grumbling stomach? Well, you have to choose wise and not stop at the first fast food joint you see. They can be full of empty calories which might satiate you for the time being, but make you feel uneasy and bloated later, and also hungry again sooner than you would like to think.

Don’t forget to Follow these Points

The Brazilians eat certain foods and exercise to slim down considerably and flaunt those perfect beach bodies on their resplendent beaches.

  • Consume acai berries- Acai berries are located in different places of Brazil and locals enjoy their benefits. This berry is very effective for weight loss and should be part of any weight loss diet. It is full of antioxidants and fiber which help melt away the stubborn fat. Try and include these berries in your diet to derive maximum benefits.


  • Limit grains and milk items- While you do not omit dairy products and carbohydrates completely, the Brazilians restrict the amount of dairy, wheat and grains they consume. They are mindful of the amount of grain they put on their plate. Consuming grains or rice is not mandatory for them. Also, even if they do consume dairy they have it in minimal amounts, and dessert for them means frozen yogurt, with a few berries or fruits.
  • Exercise- Pilates is a great kind of physical exercise to do with this kind of dietary plan; it can restart your metabolism, fat-burning process and slim you down. Similar to Pilates is the Brazilian style of fighting style dancing, Capoeira, which also a great way of losing weight. If you want to know how to burn fat, this is an ideal way to do so.


Recipes, in Brazilian Style

Now that you are hooked to the Brazilian lifestyle, let’s find out how you can rustle up some awesome Brazilian food recipes which are fresh, light and satiating.

1. Shrimp with Bahia Sauce

If you are in love with shrimps and their wonderful taste, this recipe is ideal for you. Add to it the creamy texture of coconut milk and you have a wonderful delectable recipe.



  • 8 ounces fresh or frozen yucca (cassava), thawed
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons annatto (achiote) seeds
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise (2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise (1 cup)
  • 3 cups diced seeded peeled tomato
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped seeded Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges


  1. Peel the yucca, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes to measure 1 1/4 cups. Place yucca in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Let it boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 25 minutes or until tender. Drain yucca in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return yucca and reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid to pan; mash with a potato masher until smooth. Discard any tough fibers.
  2. Place garlic on a cutting board; mash to a paste by dragging and pressing broad side of the knife over garlic several times. Combine garlic, shrimp, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Stir in annatto seeds, and cook 5 minutes or until oil turns deep orange in color, shaking pan frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Discard annatto seeds, keeping the oil in a pan.
  4. Heat pan over medium heat until annatto oil is hot. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 6 minutes or until tender. Add tomato; cook 10 minutes or until tomato breaks down, stirring occasionally. Mash mixture with a wooden spoon. Add shrimp with marinade, coconut milk, and Scotch bonnet. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mashed yucca kept aside, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon cilantro; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Spoon shrimp mixture into shallow bowls; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.

2. Vatapa

It is turning out to be a quite a fishy story what with a plethora of fish recipes, but there is something oddly satisfying of a plate of fish and rice. The spices add just the right amount of zesty flavor to make it irresistible.




  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound fish bones


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Serrano Chile seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cups chopped seeded peeled tomato
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 pound grouper or other firm white fish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 cups hot cooked basmati rice
  • 6 lime wedges


  1. To prepare the stock, combine the first 6 ingredients in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Drain stock through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
  2. To prepare soup, wipe pan dry with a paper towel. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion, sugar, and salt; sauté 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon ginger, 3 garlic cloves, and chile; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in stock, tomato, and beer; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 6 cups (about 15 minutes). Stir in coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fish; cook 5 minutes over medium-high heat or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Stir in cilantro and juice. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

3. Brazilian Coffee Cake

No matter what part of the world you belong to, dessert is a perennial favorite, and it tastes best when you make it right at home.



  • For the Batter 2 Cups All-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¾ Cup White sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking powder
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon shortening, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup Heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 medium tart baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • For the Topping
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (about 177° C). Grease bottom and side of an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. First, make the streusel topping. Combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; cut in butter with a fork until obtaining fine crumbs. Add heavy cream and vanilla, mixing well with a fork until crumbs form (the cream will add moisture to the streusel). Set aside at room temperature so that the vanilla will infuse the streusel with flavor.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine together the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour in and then mix both the melted shortening and butter with a fork until obtaining fine crumbs.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, cream, and vanilla. Add to crumb mixture, tossing gently with a fork or by hand until mixture forms a ball. Press dough in an even layer into the prepared baking pan. Arrange apple slices on top of crust and then sprinkle the reserved streusel evenly over apple slices.
  5. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack and slice into squares. Serve apple crumb cake plain (the traditional manner) or warm and drizzled with either caramel sauce or dulce de leche sauce and accompanied by a scoop of ice cream.

4. Black Bean Salad

Toss up a salad complete with a list of the healthiest ingredients and eat your way to a healthy yet hearty meal.



  • 3 Uncooked smoked bacon, chopped
  • 5 ¼ Ounces smoked sausage, sliced
  • ½ small yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups collard greens, chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 can 26.5 oz. black beans drained
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 8 grape tomatoes halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Slivered parmesan cheese


  1. In a large, non-stick frying pan, fully cook both the bacon and sausage together over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
  2. In the same pan, sweat the chopped onion in the rendered bacon fat over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally (Note: the goal is to cook the onion without browning).
  3. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring often. Add the chopped collard greens (if using frozen greens, please let thaw first and remove any excess water) and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Add back to the pan both the cooked bacon and sausage. Immediately add the wine and let evaporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir.
  4. In a medium to large bowl, stir in together with the cooked ingredients with the canned, drained black beans, adjusting the salt and pepper if necessary. Then, stir in the lime juice to bring out all the flavors.
  5. In a separate small bowl, add the orange juice and slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking well until thickened. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Toss the black bean mixture with the orange vinaigrette. Add the halved tomatoes and serve the feijoada salad either warm or chilled with slivers of Parmesan cheese on top. Include this as it can be regarded as one of the best fat burning foods.

There is something very vibrant and colorful about the country Brazil, be it their culture or their eating habits. There are a multitude of benefits in following a diet as diverse and as local as theirs, so imbibe their culture and their eating plan, to remain fit and healthy. Who knows, you can even flaunt a body as fit and lean as Gisele Bundchen! In fact, that will be the most wonderful side-effect of following a diet plan!

Brazilian Fat Burning Recipes to Slim down and Tone Up – PDF

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