Posts Tagged ‘Harvard School of Public Health’

Risky Business

March 14, 2012

New research suggests that a diet rich in red meat not only raises cholesterol and blood pressure levels, but could also impact your life span.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study, which reviewed the eating habits of 121,342 people over a 20-year period.

During this time, 23,926 deaths were recorded from heart disease and cancer.

Scientists claim that the link between red meat consumption and premature death is substantial and could result in a 21% increase in morbidity.
Just a small 3 oz. portion of meat eaten daily (about the size of a deck of cards) increased the risk by 13%, while the risk was much greater in those who consumed processed meats such as hot dogs and bacon.

On the positive side, more healthful proteins can increase life expectancy.

Nuts are said to reduce the mortality rate by 20%, whole grains 14% and low fat dairy by 10%.

While the study does not go into the details of the cuts of meat eaten, it is recommended that small amounts of lean meat be eaten only once or twice a week, and processed meats limited to once every 6 weeks.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Food Fight

September 16, 2011

We recently reported on the government’s Food Plate initiative, a long anticipated replacement of the Food Pyramid. We, like many others found the food plate to be vague, and to put it bluntly, virtually useless to the average American.
Today, the great minds at the Harvard School of Public Health have released their iteration which they are calling the Healthy Eating Plate, providing a more specific approach to eating.

Like the USDA’s version, the Harvard Plate devotes half it’s real estate to fruits and vegetables, but skews more strongly towards vegetables. It also does not count potatoes as a vegetable in this case.

Whole grains take up another quarter of the plate, with brown rice and whole wheat being recommended over refined white flour products.

The last quarter is reserved for healthy protiens, such as fish, poultry, beans and nuts. They recommend limiting red meat, cold cuts, bacon and processed meats.

Off to the side are healthy oils, such as olive and canola. Butter is limited and trans fats are to be avoided completely.

The glass on the side holds plain old water, although tea and coffee, sans sugar is also acceptable. Milk is limited to 1-2 glasses per day, and a juice is limited to 1 small glass per day. Sugary drinks are to be avoided.

While it seems to be a no-brainer, this finally addresses healthy eating in a way that the average person can understand and act upon.  It may not be a solution to the obesity epidemic, but it certainly begins to provide people with the information they need to make wiser choices. Now if they can just address the size of the plate……

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