Wednesday June 19, 2019

Researchers Identify Climate-friendly Diets Are Also Healthier

"We can have both. We can have healthier diets and reduce our food-related emissions. And it doesn't require the extreme of eliminating foods entirely," Rose said.

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The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, also found that organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets. Wikimedia Commons
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, also found that organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets. Wikimedia Commons

After examining the carbon footprint of what more than 16,000 Americans eat in a day, researchers have identified that more climate-friendly diets are also healthier, according to a study.

“People whose diets had a lower carbon footprint were eating less red meat and dairy — which contribute to a larger share of greenhouse gas emissions and are high in saturated fat — and consuming more healthy foods like poultry, whole grains and plant-based proteins,” said lead author Diego Rose from the Tulane University in New Orleans.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers built an extensive database of the greenhouse gas emissions related to the production of foods and linked it to a large federal survey that asked people what they ate over a 24-hour period.

They ranked diets by the amount of greenhouse gas emissions per 1,000 calories consumed and divided them into five equal groups.

Then they rated the nutritional value of foods consumed in each diet using the US Healthy Eating Index, a federal measure of diet quality, and compared the lowest to the highest-impact groups on this and other measures.

Americans in the lowest carbon footprint group ate a healthier diet, as measured by this index. However, these diets also contained more of some low-emission items that aren’t healthy, namely added sugars and refined grains.

diet, bipolar
Climate-friendly diets are also healthier: Study. Flickr

They also had lower amounts of important nutrients — such as iron, calcium, and vitamin D — likely because of the lower intakes of meat and dairy.

According to the researcher, overall, diets in the lowest impact group were healthier, but not on all measures. This is because diets are complex with many ingredients that each influence nutritional quality and environmental impacts.

Diets in the highest impact group accounted for five times the emissions of those in the lowest impact group. The highest impact diets had greater quantities of meat (beef, veal, pork and game), dairy and solid fats per 1000 calories than the low-impact diets.

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“We can have both. We can have healthier diets and reduce our food-related emissions. And it doesn’t require the extreme of eliminating foods entirely,” Rose said.

“For example, if we reduce the amount of red meat in our diets, and replace it with other protein foods such as chicken, eggs, or beans, we could reduce our carbon footprint and improve our health at the same time.” (IANS)

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Chatting on Food Habits Makes Kids Healthier: Study

For the study, the research team picked 87 children and ran an experiment where they offered healthy foods to a group of 3-to-5-year-old children for six weeks

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Avoid fad diet
Good food habits help you to strike balance between your daily life and health

Parents, please take note. Talking about food benefits is likely to get your kid to eat healthier, which might help them to grow bigger and run faster, says a study.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, shows that the researchers found affirming statements were more effective at getting kids to make healthy food choices than presenting the food repeatedly without conversation.

The researchers found that kids ate twice as much healthy food when they were told how it would benefit them in terms they could understand as opposed to when they were given the food with no contextual information.

“Every child wants to be bigger, faster, able to jump higher,” said study lead author Jane Lanigan, Associate Professor at Washington State University in the US.

junk food, depression
Junk food is not only harmful for metabolism but also increases the risk of psychological problems. Pixabay

“Using these types of examples made the food more attractive to eat,” Lanigan said.

The researchers wanted to see if child-centred nutrition phrases (CCNPs), affirmative statements that simply convey the benefits of healthy food, influenced young children to make healthier food choices.

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For the study, the research team picked 87 children and ran an experiment where they offered healthy foods to a group of 3-to-5-year-old children for six weeks.

“We found that a month later, the kids ate twice as much of their CCNP food with the repeated exposure compared to the food without the positive words. For example, when we presented lentils we would say, ‘This will help you grow bigger and run faster’,” said Lanigan. (IANS)