Daily tomato intake may reduce CVD risk.
Increasing intake of tomatoes—the primary dietary source of lycopene—to two servings a day, as recommended by the USDA’s MyPlate, is linked with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to researchers. Study participants added two half-cup servings of canned tomatoes, sauce or paste to their diets for six weeks, which increased their levels of lycopene. Higher lycopene levels were linked to a lower risk of CVD, when compared to people with the lowest levels of lycopene.
(The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, April 2014)
Nutritious foods are better for the environment
Foods that make the largest environmental impact tend to be less nutritious and more expensive than foods that leave a smaller mark, according to a study in France. The most commonly consumed foods and beverages of more than 1,900 people between ages 18 and 79 were determined using a French dietary survey. The environmental impact (i.e., greenhouse gas emissions) and the ratio of good nutrients (i.e., fiber and protein) to poor nutrients (i.e., sodium and added sugar) of each item were configured. Researchers conclude that animal foods take a larger toll on the environment than plant-based foods, which confirms findings from previous studies.
(Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, online April 7, 2014)
Being underweight linked to premature death
The risk of death from any cause is higher for adults with a body mass index (BMI) in the underweight range than it is for people with a BMI in the obese range, according to Canadian researchers. The meta-analysis, which used data from 51 studies on the relationship between BMI and death, showed that adults classified as underweight had a 1.8 times higher risk of dying from any cause than those with a normal BMI. Obese individuals were at a risk 1.2 times higher than normal, and the severely obese had a 1.3 times higher risk.
(Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, March 28, 2014)