What Should We Eat? [PDF] [Print] [E-mail]
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009 16:52
So, what should we eat?
Does this sound familiar?
“Households should select predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses or legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods.”
Sounds like the advice from some natural health, alternative health guru or organization, doesn’t it? Maybe even sounds like some extremely radical and controversial recommendation from a vegetarian, vegan or alternative health group?
Would it surprise you to find out that this recommendation comes from the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations?
Well, surprise, surprise….
… it did!
Human Vitamin and Mineral Requirements
Report of a joint FAO/WHO expert consultation
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Specifically, from the section..
“Populations should consume nutritionally adequate and varied diets, based primarily on foods of plant origin with small amounts of added flesh foods. Households should select predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses or legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods. The evidence that such diets will prevent or delay a significant proportion of non-communicable chronic diseases is consistent. A predominantly plant-based diet has a low energy density, which may protect against obesity.”
And another excellent quote from the same document.
“Although two-thirds of the world’s population depends on cereal or tuber-based diets, the other one-third consumes significant amounts of animal food products. The latter group places an undue demand on land, water, and other resources required for intensive food production, which makes the typical Western diet not only undesirable from the standpoint of health but also environmentally unsustainable. If we balance energy intake with the expenditure required for basal metabolism, physical activity, growth, and repair, we will find that the dietary quality required for health is essentially the same across population groups.”
Well, there you have it. Sound recommendations from the consensus opinion of several renowned organizations.
As you can see, what I (and the NHA) is recommending is not so controversial, radical or unhealthy, but is the consensus opinion of many of the top scientific organizations and the conclusion of the majority of the scientific data out there.