High Quality Foods

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High Quality Foods

Postby energy_dad » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:06 am

Hi Jeff,

I've seen you mention "high quality foods" and I was wondering if you can give us your top ten list of grains, fruits and veggies?

I know all whole foods are good and we shouldn't get to crazy about this but I'm very curious.

If I have a choice at lunch to have (as my starch) quinoa or rice - quinoa is the more nutritious grain, right? They both taste good to me so I want to pick the more nutritious food.

From what I've read the same applies to potatoes. Sweet potatoes are better than regular potatoes.

Can you help us out?
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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby JeffN » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:23 am

You would have to post the link and/or quote as I do not recommend people take the approach you are inquiring about.

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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby energy_dad » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:31 am

Also, I don't know what list of approved foods of mine you are talking about, but yes, Almonds would be on it, but they would not be one of the overall highest quality foods or one I would be pushing and if included, my recommendation would be to limit all nuts/seeds/avocados, to nor more than 1-2 servings a day. I would not have the same limit on sweet potatoes.


viewtopic.php?f=22&t=6732&p=46828
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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby JeffN » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:43 am

energy_dad wrote:
Also, I don't know what list of approved foods of mine you are talking about, but yes, Almonds would be on it, but they would not be one of the overall highest quality foods or one I would be pushing and if included, my recommendation would be to limit all nuts/seeds/avocados, to nor more than 1-2 servings a day. I would not have the same limit on sweet potatoes.


viewtopic.php?f=22&t=6732&p=46828


Thanks

What I am referring to is in comparison to the typical diet of refined and highly processed foods full of added salts, sugars, unhealthy fats, animal products, etc.

energy_dad wrote:I know all whole foods are good and we shouldn't get to crazy about this but I'm very curious.


You answered your own question.

What matters most is overall dietary and lifestyle patterns and not debating brown rice vs quinoa.

:)

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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby energy_dad » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:59 pm

What matters most is overall dietary and lifestyle patterns and not debating brown rice vs quinoa.


I understand. Do you ever make these calculations when you eat?

Do you opt for sweet potatoes over regular potatoes from a nutritional point of view? If they both taste the same to me doesn't it make sense to go w/ sweet potatoes? or at the end of the day is this approach futile because it results in zero difference from a nutrition standpoint?
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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby JeffN » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:05 pm

energy_dad wrote:
What matters most is overall dietary and lifestyle patterns and not debating brown rice vs quinoa.


I understand. Do you ever make these calculations when you eat?

Do you opt for sweet potatoes over regular potatoes from a nutritional point of view? If they both taste the same to me doesn't it make sense to go w/ sweet potatoes? or at the end of the day is this approach futile because it results in zero difference from a nutrition standpoint?


You have to look at the overall picture from the total perspective and do so in view of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

So, if I am consuming a healthy diet of all fruits, veggies, starchy veggies, intact whole grains, beans and a few nuts a seeds and I swap out one serving of quinoa for one serving of brown rice, do you think it will really matter?

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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby energy_dad » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:36 pm

JeffN wrote:
energy_dad wrote:
What matters most is overall dietary and lifestyle patterns and not debating brown rice vs quinoa.


I understand. Do you ever make these calculations when you eat?

Do you opt for sweet potatoes over regular potatoes from a nutritional point of view? If they both taste the same to me doesn't it make sense to go w/ sweet potatoes? or at the end of the day is this approach futile because it results in zero difference from a nutrition standpoint?


You have to look at the overall picture from the total perspective and do so in view of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

So, if I am consuming a healthy diet of all fruits, veggies, starchy veggies, intact whole grains, beans and a few nuts a seeds and I swap out one serving of quinoa for one serving of brown rice, do you think it will really matter?

In Health
Jeff


Great question. I'm no scientiest but from what I read the types of foods we eat seem to matter even on a healthy plant based diet like you describe.

In population studies, a 20% increase in plant food intake generally corresponds to a 20% decrease in cancer rates, but a 20% increase in cruciferous vegetable intake corresponds to a 40% decrease in cancer rates.

~ Michaud DS, Spiegelman D, Clinton SK, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of bladder cancer in male prospective cohort. J Natl Cancer Inst 1999; 91(7): 605-13

What are your thoughts on this? and similar studies (if there are any)?
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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby JeffN » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:53 pm

That is on a typical diet and it didnt take much to get the effect.

So again put it in the proper context as i did above

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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby energy_dad » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:49 pm

JeffN wrote:That is on a typical diet and it didnt take much to get the effect.

So again put it in the proper context as i did above

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I'm not clear on your answer.

The study is saying that cruciferous veggies outperformed other veggies. It was the same 20% increase in veggies - just different types of veggies. Don't we see from this that the type of vegetable matters?
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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby JeffN » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:44 pm

Well, let me ask you a few questions... :)

Is anyone here not recommending you to include cruciferous veggies as part of your diet?

Do you think that means you should only eat cruciferous veggies?

Do you look to see what a serving was and how many servings it took to have that benefit?

Do you see what the actual absolute benefit was and not the relative benefit?

Do you see what the population was that they did the study on, and what was the diet they were eating?

How do the answers from all these questions impact someone on a healthy diet and who is already eating cruciferous veggies in their daily diet.

The study was done in 1999. Have any other studies confirmed and supported these results, or contradicted them or refuted them?

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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby energy_dad » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:02 pm

Great questions. We don't know the answers.

It goes both ways thought, doesn't it?

It could be that there will be studies that show that X amount of cruciferous veggies per day is advantageous to people on a healthy plant based diet. That amount may be double what the current recommendations are. Studies may come out that show McDougallers that eat more nutrient dense foods get sick less often.

I guess what I'm curious about is... maybe we should err on the side of caution?
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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby JeffN » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:02 pm

energy_dad wrote:Great questions. We don't know the answers.


Actually, we have a really good idea of the answer.

I was actually trying to get you to go and actually read the study because most all the questions I asked are answered in the study (which is available online for free).

So, let me do it for you.

1) Is anyone here not recommending you to include cruciferous veggies as part of your diet?

No. If anyone is following the basic guidelines and principles of the program, they are eating vegetables, including cruciferous veggies every day, if not at most meals. I am at the 10-day program right now and not only are there 2 large chafing dishes of veggies at lunch and dinner, veggies are mixed into most entrees and most soups and there is a also a salad bar at both meals too. Raw veggies, including cruciferous ones are available throughout the day, as snacks too.

2) Do you think that means you should only eat cruciferous veggies?

Of course not. We know that a variety of veggies are good.

3) Do you know what the population was that they did the study on, and what was the diet they were eating?

This was done on the Mens Health Professionals data set, which, we know from several other studies, were not eating a very healthy diet at all.

4) Did you look to see what a serving was and how many servings it took to have that benefit?

A serving is about 1/2 cup cooked and for broccoli, those who were eating the least amount were eating less than 1 serving per week. Those who were eating the high amount of were eating about 2 (or more) servings per week

For cabbage, those who were eating the least amount were eating less than 1 serving per month. Those who were eating the high amount were eating about 1 (or more) servings per week

So, this huge effect was seen by just eating about 1-2 servings per week but only when compared to those who were eating less than 1 serving per week or per month.

5) How do the answers from all these questions about this study impact someone on a healthy diet and who is already eating cruciferous veggies in their daily diet.

Doesn't really.

And this is important, because right now, in this "plant based" world, certain foods, like kale, have become super foods and people are being led to believe that in order to be healthy, the must consume bushels of them a day. So, we have people who are already eating a very healthy, very nutrient rich diet trying to somehow reach some utopian ideal of nutrient rich nirvana.

All it showed was that in an unhealthy population, by eating just one to three servings of broccoli and/or cabbage per week, they were able to get the benefit. In addition, typically, in these kinds of studies, the impact of the effects go way down as the diet of the subjects gets healthier (as we see in the nut studies). So, we see the biggest benefits in those who have the most room for improvement.

So, how does comparing two groups who are both consuming an unhealthy diet, who go from almost no servings of cruciferous veggies to consuming 1-2 serving per week translate to people already eating a health diet and consuming cruciferous veggies on a regular basis?

It doesn't.

6) The study was done in 1999. Have any other studies confirmed and supported these results, or contradicted them or refuted them?

Yes and no. Some have shown similar benefits and some have shown less benefit and some have shown no benefit in relation to cancer

A study in 2010 showed a similar benefit from raw broccoli intake and the difference was seen in those eating eating 1 or more servings per month vs those eating less than 1 serving per month;

Also, the latest report on Cancer and Nutrition, which reviewed over 7000 studies said that the overall data in relation to bladder cancer was either of too low quality, too inconsistent, or the number of studies too few to allow conclusions to be reached. And that while their earlier report showed that vegetables and fruits probably protect against bladder cancer, the evidence for these foods is now considered to be weaker, and in this case, very much so for this specific cancer.

energy_dad wrote:I guess what I'm curious about is... maybe we should err on the side of caution?


We are in many ways.

First, we are already eating an diet that is way more nutrient dense then the healthiest diet any of the subjects in any of these studies is consuming.

Second, in this latter study, they got the benefit from eating just 1 serving a month. In the former study, they got the benefit from eating just 1-2 servings a week.

Well, those of us who are following the recommended guidelines & principles are eating 1-3 servings (or more), 1-2x a day (or more).

That is a 30-90x increase over the amount in the latter study and a 7-14x increase over the amount in the former study.

And, in addition, we are eating all of this as part of a diet that is already much healthier than the diet the subjects in the study were eating. It is also much lower in calorie density (a benefit to cancer risk reduction) and it is also much higher in overall nutrient density (another potential benefit to cancer risk reduction.)

Third, as I explained in this post..

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=11112

And in this post (which is making the same point but in regard to carotenoids)...

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=6067&p=250825

"'Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids', Food and Nutrition Board. Institute of Medicine. National Academy Press, Washington D.C. Pp. 343-344 (2000)"

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9810&page=353

"These data, although in varying populations, suggest that 3 to 6 mg/day of β-carotene from food sources is prudent to maintain plasma β-carotene concentrations in the range associated with a lower risk of various chronic disease outcomes (see Table 3)."

Table 3:

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9810&page=341

As just detailed, plasma and tissue concentrations of carotenoids have been associated with a variety of health outcomes; that is, higher concentrations are associated with a lower risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, and all-cause mortality. This could be used as a possible indicator for establishing requirements for carotenoids. However, the limitation of this approach is that it is not clear whether observed health benefits are due to carotenoids per se or to other substances found in carotenoid-rich foods.

Thus, these data are suggestive of prudent intake levels, not required levels of intake. Recommendations have been made by a number of federal agencies and other organizations with regard to fruit and vegetable intake. Nutrient analysis of menus adhering to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and the National Cancer Institute's Five-a-Day for Better Health Program, for example, indicates that persons following these diets would be consuming approximately 5.2 to 6.0 mg/day provitamin A carotenes on average if a variety of fruits and vegetables were consumed (Lachance, 1997). Similar levels would be obtained by following Canada's Food Guide for Healthy Eating which specifies a minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruit (Health Canada, 1997). Other food-based dietary patterns recommended for the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases would provide approximately 9 to 18 mg/day of carotenoids (WCRF/AICR, 1997).

NOTE: this is 3-6x the amount recognized as being enough to lower disease risk.

It is also based on the WCRF/AICR report from 1997. In many other discussions here, I have quoted the newest WCRF/AICR report from 2007 saying that they now more than ever, recommend dietary "patterns" over recommending specific "individual foods."

In other words, if Americans would just get in the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies, it would not only provide carotenoids, but more than enough of all of them to produce the beneficial health outcomes, including reduced risks of cancer. And anyone following a Whole Food Plant Based diet, as recommended here, would already be consuming way more than enough.

So, yes, by following the basic principles and guidelines of the program, we are all doing way better than anyone in any of the studies (and the executive reports are recommending) and are already erring way on the side of caution.

For what you are saying to be true, you would need to show me some evidence that compared people who were already eating a very healthy diet that already including the amount of cruciferous veggies per day I mentioned, to someone eating the exact same healthy diet with a few more servings of cruciferous veggies per day.

Not only is there absolutely no shred of evidence supporting this, we do have some evidence that shows it really doesn't make a difference.

And, as David Katz, MD said, anyone telling you anything different is either "misguided, selling something or both."

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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby energy_dad » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:22 pm

Awesome post Jeff. Thanks for clarifying this!
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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby JeffN » Wed May 29, 2013 1:49 pm

Earlier this week, the NY Times featured an article saying that the produce available in the supermarkets today was inferior and to get all the benefits, we had to eat "wild" plants

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/opini ... =all&_r=1&

"The message to eat more of our current vegetables and fruits is not enough – we must also select the “right” varieties, including blue corn, arugula (pictured) and wild foods like dandelion greens, for best health."

Today, the American Institute of Cancer Research (mentioned earlier in this thread), which has authored the largest and most comprehensive report on cancer and diet ever, responded.

http://blog.aicr.org/2013/05/29/nutriti ... eating-it/

Quoting...

"I love seeing the heirloom purple carrots, blue potatoes and dark red apples in farmer’s markets and even in some grocery stores. And it’s a dietitian’s dream to see people eating a wide variety of deep and colorful fruits and vegetables.

But right now, most Americans are not eating even the minimum recommended amounts of any kinds of veggies and fruits – a total of about 3-4 cups per day. A 2009 report from the CDC shows that barely one-third of U.S. adults consumed fruit two or more times per day and only about one in four reported eating at least three servings of vegetables per day.

And the evidence is clear: eating plenty of those basic supermarket varieties of vegetables and fruits and other plant foods like grains and legumes link to reduced risk for many cancers, according to AICR’s expert report and its updates. These plant foods also help people get to and stay a healthy weight, and excess body fat is a cause of seven different cancers."


This response is inline with my earlier comments in this thread about how much it takes to meet and easily surpass the recommended amounts shown to be beneficial if someone is following the guidelines and principles recommended here. It is also directly inline with my article on "Super Foods."

http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Articles/E ... Foods.html

In Health
Jeff

PS: Of course, be careful, because the next food trend we will see, is all these wild varieties turned into junk food and grocery stores and health food stores will be featuring fried wild blue corn chips. :)
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Re: High Quality Foods

Postby JeffN » Fri May 31, 2013 9:41 am

In response to this thread, I received the following email.

"I just recently say you on a panel with Dr Esselsytn in Chicago and he said that a study was done on healthy Okinawan women and that adding extra green veggies to their diet made a difference. This seems to contradict what you are saying, so can you comment on this?"

Sure. He mentions this study all the time and I think it is an important one. However, as you will see, it only reinforces the main points I am making in this thread of which he agrees.

Here is the study

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19013573

Dietary intervention with Okinawan vegetables increased circulating endothelial progenitor cells in healthy young women.
Atherosclerosis. 2009 Jun;204(2):544-8. doi: 10.1016/.

First, lets look closer at who the subjects were.

"This randomized controlled study employed 45 healthy free- living female volunteers living in Okinawa aged between 18 and 38 years. None of them were being treated for any disease at the time of the study."

So, they were young adult women, apparently free of disease.

How many vegetables were they eating on average?

"According to the national health and nutrition survey in Japan, the average vegetable intake of Japanese women aged 20–29 years was 235.4 g/day."

That is slightly over 1/2 lb. To put this in perspective, here is what 235 grams of "Cooked Boiled, Drained" veggies equals based on the USDA SR 25

235 Gram Equivalents
1.8 Cups Kale - 66 Calories
1.5 cups Broccoli - 82 calories
1.4 cups Collards - 84 calories
1.5 cups Brussels Sprouts - 85 calories
1.3 cups Spinach - 54 calories

So, for convenience sake, lets say on average, the average vegetable intake in Japan is about 1.5 cups per day which is about 75 calories.

For the record, the national recommendation from the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for vegetable intake is 350 g/day. The USDA recommends 2.5 cups per day for women aged 19-50 (which is 5 servings). So, the average intake is actually less than the minimum recommendations.

These numbers are based on their national averages.

Now let's take a closer look and see how many vegetables the subjects in the study were actually eating before the intervention.

The intervention group was consuming 187 grams per day and the control group was consuming 161 grams per day.

As you can see, not only is this far short of their own national recommendation of 350 grams per day, these women were consuming even less than the national average of 235 grams per day.

Now, for the intervention…

"about 371g/day of Okinawan vegetables were delivered to the intervention group, but the subjects consumed only 169 g/day of the Okinawan vegetables for a total of 356g/day in the dietary intervention group"

"In contrast, subjects in the control group, who were not supplied Okinawan vegetables, consumed only 40 g/day of Okinawan vegetables during the intervention period... for a total of 200g/day in the control group."


So, lets organize this so it is easier to see.

Intervention group
Baseline/ Intervention/ Total
187/ 169/ 356

Control Group
Baseline/ Intervention/ Total
161/ 40/ 201

The difference in the intervention was 129 grams (169-40), which is 4.5 ounces and the difference in the total was 155 grams (356-201), which is 5.5 ounces. These amounts are the equivalent of about 2 servings.

Now, lets put this all in perspective...

A group that was consuming about half of the recommended amount of vegetables, increased the amount of vegetables they were consuming by about double (~2 servings) to the recommended amount and saw a statistically significant improvement.

That is exactly what i said above. If we take people who are not eating the recommended amounts and just get them to eat the recommended amounts, we would see a great benefit.

In addition, notice, that while the amount they consumed now met the recommended intake of the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare it still fell short of the recommendations of the USDA MyPlate. Yet, they still saw a significant benefit.

So, let's clarify. If you take subjects who are eating about 1/2 the recommended minimum of vegetables and get them to eat the recommended minimum, we see huge benefits. However, this does that mean that someone who is already eating this way and who is already far surpassing the minimum recommended amounts, is going to see any such benefit by including another serving of kale.

As I said above...

In other words, if Americans would just get in the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies, it would not only provide carotenoids, but more than enough of all of them to produce the beneficial health outcomes, including reduced risks of cancer. And anyone following a Whole Food Plant Based diet, as recommended here, would already be consuming way more than enough.

So, yes, by following the basic principles and guidelines of the program, we are all doing way better than anyone in any of the studies (and the executive reports are recommending) and are already erring way on the side of caution.


In Health
Jeff

PS for the record, the vegetables they were given to eat were mostly bitter melon/squash, green papaya, spinach, mustard greens with some dandelion, mugwort and beets.
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