October 27, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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What you eat can save (or lose) healthy minutes of life

What you eat can save (or lose) healthy minutes of life

The Essential

  • Researchers have developed a nutritional health index that allows you to gain or lose a healthy living minutes of food.
  • Some foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes save minutes of healthy life, while some meat and processed foods lose them.
  • They also developed the Food Environmental Impact Index, which highlights the detrimental effect of meat consumption on the planet.

By liking “healthy” foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and some seafood you can not only reduce the carbon footprint in your diet by a third, but also achieve a 48 minute life through good health every day. In contrast, consuming too much red meat and processed foods can eat away at your healthy living capital.

Researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health came to this conclusion after analyzing more than 5,800 foods. These foods are classified according to the disease burden they represent to humans and their impact on the environment so that people can live longer with good health. The study has just appeared in the journal Natural food.

Healthy foods with low environmental impact

In general, dietary recommendations do not contain specific, specific guidance on how to change individuals’ behavior, and dietary recommendations rarely take into account environmental impacts.”, Thus predicted by Katerina Stiliano, lead author of the study.

To better predict the impact of food choices on health, researchers have developed a nutritional health index (HENI) that combines 15 food risk factors. It relates to the net health burden, beneficial or harmful, within a healthy number of minutes, to a portion of the food consumed. Foods with a positive score add to a healthy minutes of life, while foods with a negative score are associated with health outcomes that are detrimental to human health.

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They also assessed the environmental impact of the food consumed by taking into account various parameters in the life cycle of the food (production, processing, preparation, preparation / cooking, consumption, waste), and added improved evaluations of consumption and water and damage. To human health through the formation of fine particles.

Finally, the researchers classified food into three color zones: green, yellow, and red based on their nutritional and environmental performance.

Harrow on red meat, processed foods and greenhouse-grown vegetables

As a result, green foods are beneficial to both health and the planet because their environmental impact is minimal. These are mainly nuts, fruits, farm vegetables, legumes, whole grains and some seafood.

In contrast, foods in the red zone have significant nutritional or environmental effects and should therefore be reduced or avoided in the diet. These are mainly meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc.) and processed meats.

These results suggest cutting down on food with the most negative effects on health and the environment, including processed meat, beef, shrimp, pork, lamb and greenhouse-grown vegetables.

Changing the diet is essential to improve human health and the environment. Olivier Joliet is a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Montreal and the author of the article. Our results show that small, targeted alternatives provide a viable and powerful strategy to achieve significant health and environmental benefits without the need for dramatic changes in diet.