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Britain’s “Eatwell Guide” Is Skewed Toward A Debunked, Industry-Driven Diet Scheme

The U.K.’s “Eatwell Guide” was introduced by the Department of Health in 1994 as a graphic showing a segmented plate indicating the daily proportions of food groups needed for a healthy diet. A revision of the Guide – with mainly “cosmetic” changes – has now been lambasted by a British scientist for being out of step with scientific evidence that has discredited the Guide’s commercially-driven high-carb, low-fat diet scheme. That scheme was formulated with the input of too many people with food industry ties and too few independent nutrition experts. As a sign of the Guide’s failure, rates of obesity and diabetes in Great Britain have soared since the 1970s.

"Designed by the food industry for wealth, not health: the ‘Eatwell Guide’. ", British Journal of Sports Medicine, June 20, 2016

Vegetarian Diet Proven To Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

U.S. researchers who tracked more than 200,000 individuals for 20 years found that a plant-based diet is more likely to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The individuals in the study had all filled out health and diet questionnaires beginning as early as 1984. They found that found that eating a diet rich in plant foods and low in animal foods was linked with a 20 percent reduction in diabetes risk. The researchers defined healthy plant foods as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, and tea or coffee. Less healthy plant foods included fruit juices, sweetened beverages, refined grains, potatoes, and sweets/desserts. Animal foods included animal fats, dairy, eggs, fish/seafood, and poultry/red meat.

"Plant-Based Dietary Patterns and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women: Results from Three Prospective Cohort Studies. ", PLOS Medicine, June 20, 2016

Study Finds That Most Infants Fed Peanut Products Escape Peanut Allergies

Introducing peanuts into the diet of infants at risk for peanut allergy not only significantly reduces the risk of developing the allergy later, it also does not compromise breastfeeding or affect growth or nutrition intake, according to a U.S.-funded study conducted in the U.K. Researchers found that feeding peanut products to high-risk British infants (aged four to eleven months) led to an 81 percent drop in development of the allergy through age five. They also noted that peanut consumption did not shorten the duration of breastfeeding or adversely affect height, weight or body mass index.

"Impact of peanut consumption in the LEAP study: feasibility, growth and nutrition. ", Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, June 20, 2016

Sugar Replacements Help Control Glycemic Response In Baked Goods

New Zealand scientists have determined that the plant-based sweeteners stevianna and inulin can help cut sugar content – and lower glycemic response – when used in baking. The researchers replaced half of the sugar in a recipe for muffins with low-calorie stevianna without damaging the texture or flavor of the muffins. Individuals who ate the muffins experienced a lower glycemic response. The discovery of the benefits of sugar replacers could lead to better ways of controlling glucose metabolism, weight gain, and diabetes.

"Effect of sugar replacement with stevianna and inulin on the texture and predictive glycaemic response of muffins. ", International Journal of Food Science & Technology, June 19, 2016

Lack Of Dietary Zinc Disrupts Digestion, Metabolism

A German study finds that the trace element zinc is essential for metabolic health and digestion. There is a direct correlation between the level of digestive enzymes in the pancreas and zinc levels, and even short-term zinc deficiency in the diet should be avoided. Zinc deficiency can lead to the accumulation of undigested food inside the gastrointestinal tract and results in feeling less hungry. This in turn reduces the intake of essential nutrients, leading to any number of harmful conditions.

"Subclinical zinc deficiency impairs pancreatic digestive enzyme activity and digestive capacity of weaned piglets. ", British Journal of Nutrition, June 19, 2016

New Food Nutrition Facts Labels Finalized

The FDA finalized changes to food nutrition facts  labels on May 20, but gave food companies until July 2018 – smaller companies until 2019 – to begin using them. The agency kept the basic look (old and new labels shown at left), but increased the type size for “calories” (bold), “servings per container,” and the “serving size” declaration (bold). The actual amount, in addition to percent daily value, of vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium is required. The label will include “added sugars” in grams, vitamin D (but not vitamin A or C), potassium, calcium, iron, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat (but not calories from fat), and daily values for sodium and dietary fiber. Serving sizes must be based on amounts of foods and... More

"Makeover coming for food nutrition labels", Associated Press, May 20, 2016

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