These findings come from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, which recruited 63,257 adults aged 45-74 years between 1993 and 1998, and then followed them up for an average of about 11 years. The study found a positive association between intakes of red meat and poultry, and risk of developing diabetes. Specifically, compared to those in the lowest quartile intake, those in the highest quartile intake of red meat and poultry had a 23 per cent and 15 per cent increase in risk of diabetes, respectively, while the intake of fish/shellfish was not associated with risk of diabetes. The increase in risk associated with red meat/poultry was reduced by substituting them with fish/shellfish.
The practically important findings were that the healthiest people in the world had diets that are full of fruits, beans, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in refined carbohydrates and sugar.
As researcher Victoria Miller of McMaster University put it, “Our results indicate that recommendations should emphasize raw vegetable intake over cooked.” There is a novel idea. Dietary guidelines usually don’t encourage people to prioritize raw vegetables over cooked. Maybe they should. That could be a headline. “Cooking Your Vegetables? Welcome to Early Death.”
When measuring diet, for example, lifelong randomized, controlled trials are impossible. Even if people would volunteer to change their diets for a decade or so—a period long enough that rates of death and cancer and heart attacks could be meaningful—it would be impossible to keep the research subjects blinded. Our perceptions of how well we’re eating change how we behave in a lot of other ways.
Great article. Guess I’ll start eating more salads and walking faster.
I thought this idea was bold and new. I was wrong.
I also thought that this idea was a good idea. Maybe not.
A worsening diet over the course of 12 years was associated with an increased mortality of 6% to 12%, the researchers found. Those who stayed consistently on a healthy diet starting at baseline had a 9% to 14% lower risk for death than those who stayed consistently on a poor diet.
Senckenberg scientists have studied the diet of anatomically modern humans. With their recent study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, they were able to refute the theory that the diet of early representatives of Homo sapiens was more flexible than that of Neanderthals. Just like the Neanderthals, our ancestors had mainly mammoth and plants on their plates — the researchers were unable to document fish as part of their diet. Therefore, the international team assumes that the displacement of the Neanderthals was the result of direct competition.
And yet another result came as a surprise for the scientists: The proportion of plants in the diet of the anatomically modern humans was significantly higher than in comparable Neanderthal finds — mammoths, on the other hand, appear to have been one of the primary sources of meat in both species.
Take home lesson:
Eat more plants and less mammoth.