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Nutrition in the News (January 2019 Roundup)

19/02/2019

EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health

This month saw over 30 world-leading scientists from across the globe come together to define a healthy and sustainable diet.

Their scientific report is the first ever to recommend specific dietary targets for a healthy and environmentally-friendly diet.

It’s main recommendation is to minimise consumption of animal products and replace these with whole grains, nuts and legumes.

Being healthy and eating a sustainable diet which is good for the environment is indeed important, however the report has received mixed responses in the scientific world.

The British Dietetic Association support the findings of the EAT-Lancet report, however they state that “we would stop short of endorsing the specific diet they recommend because we do not believe that one set of dietary recommendations is suitable for everyone.”

High Fibre Diet cuts Heart Disease Risk

A new study looking at carbohydrate quality and health was published in a large medical journal, the Lancet, earlier this month.

The review confirmed that those who eat high amounts of dietary fibre (approximately 25-30g per day) had a 15 – 30 percent reduction in deaths from all causes, as well as those related to the heart compared with people who don’t eat much fibre.

In the UK, the majority of people do not eat enough fibre, and several years ago a government report recommended that the dietary target for fibre should be increased from 18g to 30g/day.

You can increase the fibre content of your diet gradually by opting for whole grains, pulses and legumes and eating lots of fruits and vegetables.

New National Diet and Nutrition Survey Data Revealed

Recently published findings from the UK’s largest national diet and nutrition survey (NDNS) has found that UK adults and children are still not eating their 5-a-day.

The survey analysed data from 2008-2017 and they found that mean fruit and vegetable intake fell well below the recommended levels across all age groups, however fruit juice consumption has declined.

Intake of red and processed meat has slightly reduced, particularly in the 11-18 year age group, which may be reflective of more people choosing a plant-based diet. There was also a small 1 percent increase in oily fish consumption amongst this younger age group.

Unsurprisingly, vitamin D levels remain low, with 29 percent of adults and 37 percent of 11-18 year olds having sub-optimal vitamin D blood levels. This is despite recent recommendations that we should take a daily 10 microgram vitamin D supplement during winter months due to lack of sunlight exposure in the UK.

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