Mainstream dietary experts love to tell you what NOT to eat. In fact, for decades they wrongly recommended: “Don’t eat foods with fat and cholesterol, like dairy, meat, and seafood.”
Of course, we now know that advice was all wrong, all along. And it contributed to the epidemics of cancer, heart disease, and Type II diabetes we now face in this country…and indeed worldwide.
In fact, I’ve always argued that not eating enough of these good, whole foods in a balanced diet can be far worse for your overall health than eating a few bad foods here and there.
And now, a new global study backs up my conclusions…
Global study underscores the seriousness of nutritional deficiency
In a recent global study published in The Lancet, researchers examined the daily eating patterns of adults around the world. They concluded that 11 million worldwide deaths in 2017 were caused by a poor diet. Plus, more deaths were associated with inadequate intake of healthy foods rather than excess consumption of unhealthy foods.
Specifically, diets low in fruits, legumes, milk, nuts, seeds, seafood, vegetables, and whole grains posed significant risks.
In terms of specific nutrients, diets low in calcium, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fats were also risk factors. (Note: You should never obtain your calcium through supplementation. Instead, always obtain calcium by eating foods like seafood, meat, and full-fat dairy.)
The researchers also estimated the number of diet-related deaths associated with specific diseases. For example, heart disease was the biggest cause of diet-related death, with about 10 million cases, followed by cancer with 913,000 deaths, and Type II diabetes with nearly 340,000 deaths.
Among different populations, Israel experienced the lowest rate of diet-related deaths at 89 per 100,000 people. Uzbekistan had the highest rate (ten times higher) at 892 diet-related deaths per 100,000 people. And the U.S. ranked right in the middle with 171 deaths per 100,000 people.
Eating well is a real problem in poorer countries
Getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables was a particular problem in poorer countries around the world. In fact, in low-income countries, two daily servings of fruits and three daily servings of vegetables per person accounted for half a household’s annual income. And in low-to-middle-income countries, eating this much produce daily accounted for 18 percent of a household’s annual income.
The study also found that diets high in processed foods (foods containing added sugars, sodium, and trans fatty acids)—as well as soft drinks—posed a significant risk. But the risk still wasn’t as strong as not eating enough healthy foods.
And remember, your body is not defenseless:
- The gastrointestinal (GI) system efficiently eliminates toxins that come into your body;
- The liver, which is the largest organ in the body, works to metabolize and detoxify whatever comes into your body;
- Your two kidneys filter and remove more toxins out of your body;
- Your two lungs contain powerful mechanisms for filtering and detoxifying air, including smoke. (But we don’t hear about this research, as I explained last week.)
Overall, there are limitations to this kind of food survey study. So, I’m hesitant to dive too deeply into their more detailed findings, which may exceed the methodological power of the study. But the basic pattern is clear.
Plus, it was good to see researchers emphasize the importance of eating plenty of healthy, whole foods…rather than focus on the benefits of isolated, individual nutrients. Remember, people eat foods, not nutrients.
Stay the course with a Mediterranean-type diet
At the end of the study, researchers couldn’t help but praise the new politically correct PR campaign called the “EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health.”
This flawed, politically motivated report is published by a Stockholm-based nonprofit in conjunction with the once-scientific British medical journal The Lancet. They breathlessly argue that people should give up meat and dairy for their health and for the health of the planet. Meaning they want people to follow a plant-based diet.
The EAT Commission has gotten a lot of press, but simply put, it’s another dietary disaster in the making.
For one, it involves giving up some of the healthiest, most-nutritious foods on the planet—including meat and dairy. And didn’t we already see that approach was a disaster for health?
Secondly, the “plants” they suggest we eat are really just highly processed plant products made with genetically modified (GM) soy and other junk —such as dairy “alternatives,” cereals, “energy” and “sports” bars, protein powders, and meat “substitutes.” Big food knows their number is up when it comes to the profitable, highly processed plant product called sugar, so they are on to the next nutritional scam.
Their new, processed plant stuff would be better composted than consumed
You can learn more about this travesty in the March 2019 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“NEWS ALERT: Popular plant-based diets are not as healthy as they claim”). Not yet a subscriber? Now is the perfect time to get started.
Continue to follow a balanced, Mediterranean-type diet, which includes plenty of:
- Full-fat dairy (including grass-fed whole milk, cheese, and butter)
- Organic meats
And work on keeping ultra-processed foods, including the refined, processed “plant products” recommended by “EAT,” out of your kitchen.
“Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.” The Lancet, 2019; 393(10184): P1958-1972. doi.org/10.101/S0140-6736(19)30041-8