There is no shortage of headlines toting the latest development in nutrition science and I will fully admit that it makes my head spin. We all know how important science is, but sometimes it appears that the science is constantly contradicting itself. To avoid this conundrum, I only seek out information written by qualified (i.e. science) experts, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore what consumers are readings.
Recently I read an article simplifying some of the more confusing messages about nutrition science. And despite all the hype we hear, it still comes down to the simple message of eating more plant-based foods, less processed meats & lower sugar intake. The first part of this blog I will sum up the basic messages (which many of us have already heard) and part 2 will address more of the catchy headlines we have seen lately (gluten free among others).
Part 1: Nutrition Priorities
10 dietary factors that show strong evidence as causes of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure & diabetes.
- Excess sodium (i.e. salt) intake
- Low intake of nuts and seeds
- High intake of processed meats (such as bacon and sausage),
- Low seafood omega-3 fats consumption
- Low vegetable & fruit consumption
- High sugar-sweetened beverage intake
- Low whole grains consumption\\
- Low polyunsaturated fats, (vegetable oils)
- High intake of saturated (unprocessed) red meats (beef, lamb, pork).
Optimal dietary intake
What does “optimal” dietary intake look like? Optimal daily intakes include:
- Vegetables-400 grams daily (~ 2 ½ cups) this includes dried beans & peas
- Fruit-300 grams daily (about 2 medium pieces of fruit or 2 cups)-not including juice
o Whole grains-at least 125 grams daily (total 5 or more)-1 slice whole grain bread, ½ cup whole grain ready to eat cereals, cooked whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa or other
o Nuts & seeds-equivalent of at least five 1-ounce servings per week
o Seafood-supplied omega 3 fats-at least 250 mg per day-available from 8 oz of a variety of fish per week or 4 oz /week of high omega 3 fat
Source: Healthy Eating Roundup: Behind the headlines