Tuesday November 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
One of the biggest reasons why people like to avoid shopping in supermarkets is that they simply want to cut down on checkout wait time. 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)

Next Story

Begin Intermittent Fasting For A Healthy Life

Scientists says that intermittent fasting leads to a longer and healthier life

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People who practice intermittent fasting live longer. Pixabay

Intermittent fasting may sound like another diet fad but researcher have conclusively found that the practice of routinely not eating and drinking for short periods of time resulted in longer life in heart patients.

In the study by Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, researchers found that heart patients who practiced regular intermittent fasting lived longer than patients who don’t.

In addition, they found that patients who practice intermittent fasting are less likely to be diagnosed with heart failure.

“It’s another example of how we’re finding that regularly fasting can lead to better health outcomes and longer lives,” said Benjamin Horne, principal investigator of the study.

While the study does not show that fasting is the causal effect for better survival, these real-world outcomes in a large population do suggest that fasting may be having an effect and urge continued study of the behaviour.

In the study, researchers asked 2,001 Intermountain patients undergoing cardiac catheterization from 2013 to 2015 a series of lifestyle questions, including whether or not they practiced routine intermittent fasting.

Researchers then followed up with those patients 4.5 years later and found that routine fasters had greater survival rate than those who did not.

Fasting affects a person’s levels of hemoglobin, red blood cell count, human growth hormone, and lowers sodium and bicarbonate levels, while also activating ketosis and autophagy – all factors that lead to better heart health and specifically reduce risk of heart failure and coronary heart disease.

Intermittent fasting by heart patients
Heart patients should definitely practice intermittent fasting. Pixabay

“This study suggests that routine fasting at a low frequency over two thirds of the lifespan is activating the same biological mechanisms that fasting diets are proposed to rapidly activate,” said Dr Horne.

Researchers speculate that fasting routinely over a period of years and even decades conditions the body to activate the beneficial mechanisms of fasting after a shorter length of time than usual.

Typically, it takes about 12 hours of fasting for the effects to be activated, but long-term routine fasting may cause that time to be shortened so that each routine faster’s daily evening/overnight fasting period between dinner and breakfast produces a small amount of daily benefit, they noted.

Also Read- Keto Diet May Help Combat the Flu Virus: Research

Fasting is not for everyone. Researchers cautioned that pregnant and lactating women should not fast, as well as young children and frail older adults.

People diagnosed with chronic diseases – especially those who take medications for diabetes, blood pressure, or heart disease – should not fast unless under the close care and supervision of a physician. (IANS)