They say that no news is good news, but this week begs to differ. All the stories are moves in the right direction with regards to nutrition. This week we saw the results of a large scale nutrition/ chronic disease get published, a call for nutrition to be taught at school, the benefits of meat, fish and eggs and the idea that eating like a caveman can prevent depression.
Results from a new study show that it’s not just an apple a day that keeps the doctor away… Read more here.
It might seem obvious that your diet and your health are very closely related, but large scale studies proving this have actually been very limited because it is actually very difficult to measure. Recently a study including 1000 participants over 5 years has shown for the first time that nutrition itself is directly associated with the development of multiple chronic diseases over time. Previously poor nutrition had only been known to be a risk factor (along with smoking and poor physical activity) for developing chronic disease, and this study is claimed to conclusively show a cause and effect link. Aside from showing what many thing is common sense, the authors of the study noticed an interesting difference between the role of fruit and vegetables in the role in preventing chronic diseases – “It seems that a higher intake of fruit helps to prevent against the onset of the first chronic disease, while a higher intake of vegetables helps to protect against developing more than one chronic disease”. Whilst there was no explanation for this, it is an interesting observation.
Overall conclusions of the study are clear though – increasing fruit and vegetable consumption a day reduces the risk of chronic disease. The more you eat, the lower your risk. Using no portions of fruit/ vegetables a day as a risk baseline, here is how your risk of developing chronic diseases decreases with how much fruit/ vegetables you eat:
- 14% reduction by eating one to three portions
- 29% reduction by eating three to five portions
- 36% reduction by eating five to seven portions
- 42% reduction by eating seven or more
Healthcare leaders have called for investment in school health and nutrition education programmes… Read more here.
The British Medical Association (BMA) want nutrition to be taught at schools, and think it is time for the way in which health is taught at schools needs to be reformed. Looking back at my time at high school there was actually no health education at all. We had cooking classes, which was the only time we food was really mentioned at school, but then, the only thing we cooked were desserts! I completely agree with the BMA, the education system needs to try and address the growing problem of childhood obesity. Perhaps it is time for more focus on actually healthy foods rather than sugar laden desserts. Fingers crossed something positive will come of this, and hopefully the information will be up-to-date. I can see that in an attempt to promote health the dated eat-well-plate which I see all over the NHS will be taught. Although this will be an improvement on the teaching children to cook cakes, it would still feel like a step backwards.
A DIET rich in protein is the best way to lose weight, leading nutritional scientists will say today… Read more here.
It made the news, but is this really new news? It would still seem that to some the myths revolving around saturated fats have almost been hard-wired into the population making news like this still shocking I guess. It is nice to see headlines like this though, and it looks like the right information is coming out of the wood work, especially when we see statements like “A simple rule for healthy eating is to avoid processed foods – the closer to real foods, the better. No human population has until recently encountered ‘ultra-processed foods’, made from industrially extracted sugars, starches and salt” being made.
EATING like a caveman could prevent depression and illness, according to Paleo Meat-Up Hay, a group based in the border town that meet monthly to discuss their prehistoric predilections… Read more here.
Eating food your body is designed to eat and metabolise, makes your body function the way your body should – this makes sense, but I don’t think it should just be limited to what you eat. Eating right is is only half the story. Our genetic blueprint is also built on the environment we thrived in, which was devoid of technology (the irony of typing this hasn’t eluded me) and involved a lot of execise. We needed to forage, hunt, build, climb, swim, pull and carry almost every day. In order to be truly healthy, you need to do more than eat like a caveman, you also need to move like one too!
Images courtesy of ianhampton, mg315, james and alfer