Chimp Eats Med Diet - © paleostyle.com

Study Validates Variety Of ‘Healthy Eating Habits’

Researchers at Harvard’s T.S. Chan School of Public Health have validated claims that a variety of ‘healthy eating’ habits can reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or respiratory disease…

The Mediterranean Diet - © oregonsportsnews.comThe mighty Mediterranean Diet is one of 4 eating regimes the
study found beneficial in reducing the chance of
dying from any cause over the long run…

Are some ‘healthy eating’ habits more effective than others? Researchers performed intensive data-mining on the results of a mammoth 30-year survey of health care professionals.

Abstract of the new study report sets scene…

‘[Researchers] used health data collected over 36 years from 75,230 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study and 44,085 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. All participants were free of cardiovascular disease or cancer at the beginning of the study and completed dietary questionnaires every four years.’

‘Their information was scored based on each of the four dietary pattern indexes (Healthy Eating Index 2015, Alternate Mediterranean Diet, Healthful Plant-based Diet Index, and Alternate Healthy Eating Index). All share key components including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, although other components differ across different eating patterns.’

What they found

The study findings confirm, “A variety of healthy eating patterns are linked to reduced risk of premature death, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers. They found that participants who scored high on adherence to at least one of four healthy eating patterns were less likely to die during the study period from any cause. and less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or respiratory disease, compared with people with lower scores. The findings are consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for America, which recommend multiple healthy eating patterns.”

The takeaway

The current Dietary Guidelines for Americnas (DGAs) (2015-2020) recommend multiple healthy eating patterns that can be adapted to individual food traditions and preferences. An updated version of the Guidelines is released every five years by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA),” the study’s corresponding author Dr. Frank Hu says. An updated version of the Guidelines is released every five years.

“It is important to evaluate adherence to DGAs-recommended eating patterns and health outcomes, including mortality, so that timely updates can be made,” said Hu. “Our findings will be valuable for the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which is being formed [now] to evaluate current evidence surrounding different eating patterns and health outcomes.”

My take

I’d have appreciated more-detailed info on just how much less likely those study participants with, “high adherence to at least one of the four healthy eating patterns were to die during the study period from any cause.”

It’s become pretty intuitive to most of us that any diet that involves large amounts of fresh fruits and veggies is a good one. (Even the guy in the photo, top of page, has that figured out!)

Nevertheless… The study is just as important to all of us in that it validates the current DGA endorsement of the four healthy eating regimes examined.

Up-to-date information on Plant-based and Alternate diets will be particularly useful to those starting now to get their habits and metabolisms in line for the coming switch away from conventional proteins.

~ Maggie J.

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