Back to the future with dietary guidelines
The dietary guidelines for Americans should focus on whole foods and eating patterns rather than individual nutrients, argue Dr Dariush Mozaffarian and Dr David Ludwig in the Journal of the American Medical Association pointing out that this is not a radical approach at all, but a return to more traditional, time-tested ways of eating.
Dr David Ludwig
‘The greater the focus on nutrients, the less healthful foods have become,’ they write. ‘The prevailing nutrient-focused approach … contributes to confusion, distracts from more effective strategies, and promotes marketing and consumption of processed products that nominally meet selected nutrient cut points but undermine overall dietary quality.’ Little of the information found on food label “nutrition facts” panels provides useful guidance for selecting healthier foods to prevent chronic disease they say.
‘In contrast … specific foods and dietary patterns substantially affect chronic disease risk, as shown by controlled trials of risk factors and prospective cohorts of disease end points. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are consistently associated with lower risk of disease. Fish consumption reduces risk of cardiac mortality, belying categorization with other protein sources. Conversely, processed meats, packaged and fast foods, and sugar sweetened beverages increase chronic disease risk …
Healthy eating patterns share many characteristics, emphasizing whole or minimally processed foods and vegetable oils, with few highly processed foods or sugary beverages. Such diets are also naturally lower in salt, trans fat, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and added sugars; are higher in unsaturated fats, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and phytochemicals; and are more satiating. Thus, a focus on foods increases the likelihood of consuming more healthy nutrients and fewer calories and decreasing chronic disease risk, whereas the opposite has arguably occurred through decades of nutrient-focused guidelines.’
Make your healthy eating pattern low GI and ‘cruise instead of spike and crash’ says Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe
The new GI Symbol is now appearing in its very first TV commercial thanks very much to Ian Thorpe who generously donated his time and efforts to help the GI Foundation get the word out about a healthy low GI diet. The commercial provides a brief explanation of the GI, along with a showcase of high and low GI foods. View it HERE.
For our readers who live in the US or UK where the GI Symbol has yet to appear on foods, check out our tips on choosing foods that will lower the GI of your diet HERE.
Walk to Cure Diabetes on 17th October
Walk to Cure Diabetes is JDRF’s biggest and most popular event. It unites tens of thousands of people in raising money for research and gives family and friends the chance to get involved. Please join in and make a difference on October 17th all around Australia.
It’s a good year to step out because 2010 marks the 40th year of JDRF’s existence (it was founded in the US in 1970), the first few as a small but passionate collection of parents under the banner of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, who remarkably pushed the scientific community to focus on a disease that had been ignored for more than half a century. Today, JDRF is a global leader in diabetes research, the go-to organization for the diabetes research community, and the best source of hope for better treatments and a cure for people with type 1 diabetes and its complications.
JDRF’s mission has been constant since it was founded: to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications by supporting research. Until a cure is found, JDRF is also committed to working tirelessly to develop new and better treatments to improve the lives of people who have type 1 diabetes and keep them as healthy as possible. Internationally, JDRF has been involved in funding every major type 1 diabetes breakthrough of the last four decades including:
- Islet transplantation
- Beta cell regeneration
- Preventative vaccine development
- Reduction of complications.