What's the Most Healthful Diet?

Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health show that the most healthful diet is based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and other seeds.

Doctors were asked to participate in a study that followed their life style habits for many years. Those who ate primarily the plant diet were far more healthy than those who ate the Western diet of red meat, high-fat dairy products, bakery products and pastas. Those avoiding red meat and refined whole grains had lower blood levels of insulin as measured by a blood test called C peptide, the bad LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and the harmful homocysteine, and higher levels of the vitamin, folic acid. The authors suggest that these blood tests can be used as a measure whether a person has a healthful lifestyle and whether he is headed for a heart attack, diabetes, and a early death. See report #8614.

Association between dietary patterns and plasma biomarkers of obesity and cardiovascular disease risk. TT Fung, EB Rimm, D Spiegelman, N Rifai, GH Tofler, WC Willett, FB Hu. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2001, Vol 73, Iss 1, pp 61-67. Address: Fung TT, Simmons Coll, Dept Nutr, 300 Fenway, Boston,MA 02115 USA

Checked 5/3/07

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