It’s been a busy year for nutrition news!
Here’s the Feel Good Collective roundup of what we’ve learned over the past year.
First, the World Health Organization added processed red meats to its list of known carcinogens. That’s a huge boost to healthy eating campaigners like us, who have known for years that the saturated fats, nitrates, and other elements of foods like pepperoni were extremely harmful. The most shocking part of their report was that they ranked red meat consumption right up there with cigarettes, as having a very high probability to cause heart problems, cancer, and other fatal health problems. It just goes to show that we’ve been on the right track for years. We need to cut out those processed red meats, and focus on either cutting out animal products entirely, or trimming our diet down to the most nutrient-rich, low-impact options, like fish, poultry, or goat’s milk.
The US government has also released new recommendations for the amount of fruits and vegetables we’re supposed to be consuming on a daily basis. You probably remember being in school when we were told that 3-5 servings (cups) of fruits and vegetables were the optimal goal. Not anymore! After a few years at 5-7 cups, we’re now told that your ideal diet should include something like 7-9 cups of fruits and vegetables every day. Here’s another sticking point: they have to be fresh fruits and vegetables, and cooked properly to maintain nutrients. So, tomato soup doesn’t count. Try juicing to meet these goals!
And in probably the biggest “healthy eating” story this year, nutritionists found that in their research multivitamins were an unnecessary step for most adults to take in their diet. For years, we’ve been told that we should supplement our diets with a complete multivitamin. They’re everywhere these days.
According to their findings, an adult eating a balanced diet doesn’t need any major supplementation. In fact, researchers found that some multivitamins can actually do more harm than good, since they have wildly disproportional amounts of nutrients (up to 2000% your daily value!).
Of course, a lot of us don’t actually eat a properly balanced diet, no matter how much we try. That’s why we’re so attached to our juicers to keep us properly topped up. Vitamin D supplements are still good for most Americans, and if you’re a vegan, you probably need to think about adding some iron and some of the other nutrients that are found in animal products.
The best thing to take away from all these findings is to eat even more fruits and vegetables, with a wider range of colors and nutrient profiles, in order to hit the whole spectrum of vitamins and minerals. And, of course, stay away from red meat.