Whats the most healthful diet
Report #7269 
 
The Journal of Clinical Nutrition had articles written by the world's most 
influential researchers on nutrition. Their consensus is that the most 
healthful diet is loaded with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, 
contains fish or shell fish twice a week, is very low on meat and chicken 
and limits refined grains to keep the diet from contributing too many 
calories. 

Fruits, vegetables whole grains and beans are loaded with vitamins, 
minerals, fiber and phytochemicals that help to prevent diseases. They're 
also loaded with polyunsaturated fats that help to prevent heart attacks. 
However, when oils are removed from vegetables, the oils turn rancid 
quickly so they are hydrogenated to prolong shelf life. Hydrogenated fats 
increase your chances of suffering heart attacks and cancer. So don't eat 
a lot of bakery products and prepared foods that contain hydrogenated 
vegetable oils. 

Fish contain omega-3 oils that prevent clotting and swelling that can 
lead to heart attacks, strokes and possibly some types of cancers. But 
they offer maximum protection against heart attacks when taken twice a 
week. Taking fish oils more often than that does not offer additional 
protection. Meat, eggs and chicken are loaded with saturated fats that 
form acetone units that your liver uses to make cholesterol. However 
eating saturated fats increases your chances of getting a heart attack 
only when you take in more calories than you need. If you reduce your 
intake of calories by a third and eat mostly meat and chicken, your 
cholesterol will go down.

If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or are overweight, 
restrict calories. The best way to do this is to restrict bakery 
products because they are a rich source of calories that lack enough 
fiber to make you feel full, causing you to eat too much. Whole grains 
suppress your appetite so you eat less.

By Gabe Mirkin, M.D., for CBS Radio News 

1) MB Katan. High-oil compared with low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets 
in the prevention of ischemic heart disease. American Journal of 
Clinical Nutrition 66: Suppl. 4(OCT 1997):S974-S979. 

2) MF Oliver. It is more important to increase the intake of unsaturated 
fats than to decrease the intake of saturated fats: evidence from clinical 
trials relating to ischemic heart disease. American Journal of Clinical 
Nutrition 66: Suppl. 4(OCT 1997):S980-S986. 

3) DP Rose. Dietary fatty acids and cancer. American Journal of Clinical 
Nutrition 66: Suppl. 4(OCT 1997):S998-S1003. 

4) A Ascherio, WC Willett. Health effects of trans fatty acids. American 
Journal of Clinical Nutrition 66: Suppl. 4(OCT 1997):S1006-S1010. 

5) S Shapiro. Do trans fatty acids increase the risk of coronary artery 
disease? A critique of the epidemiologic evidence. American Journal of 
Clinical Nutrition 66: Suppl. 4(OCT 1997):S1011-S1017. 

6) SL Connor, WE Connor. Are fish oils beneficial in the prevention and 
treatment of coronary artery disease? American Journal of Clinical 
Nutrition 66: Suppl. 4(OCT 1997):S1020-S1031. 

7) B Haber. The Mediterranean diet: a view from history. American 
Journal of Clinical Nutrition 66: Suppl. 4(OCT 1997):S1053-S1057.

Checked 8/9/05; see report #8614.