Focus on nutritional value, not calorific content
It’s time we stopped counting calories in food and started to pay more attention to its nutritional value if we are to cut illness from cardiovascular disease and curb obesity. This comes from an editorial published in the online journal Open Heart
Using published evidence, Drs Aseem Malhotra & James Di Nicolantonio, along with Professor Simon Capewell discuss that, much like stopping smoking, simple dietary changes can have a profound effect on health outcomes. They highlight the effects of increasing the amount of omega 3 fatty acid, olive oil and nuts in the reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease.
They consider there is far too much focus on the calorific content of foods, whilst less attention is paid to the actual nutritional value of food. The overall cost of obesity related illness is in the region of £27 billion, a small mind-set change could therefore have a great effect on the economy. They also suggest that population-wide policies might achieve a more rapid reduction in disease, whilst also highlighting the need for change in focus, citing a potential government subsidy in fruit and vegetables as a possibility. In conclusion, they recommend that a Mediterranean type diet would be the best place to start as this will not only have health benefits, but will also highlight nutritional benefits of food to the general population. This would include emphasising the consumption of plant-based food such as fruit, vegetables and nuts, whilst also replacing butter with healthier fats such as olive oil, limitingred meat and eating more fish and poultry