New research is making claims contradictory to existing diet advice, suggesting that a diet including whole-fat dairy is healthy and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death.
The study, which took place in 80 countries across the globe, states that a healthy diet does not need to involve unprocessed red meat and whole grains.
According to the study, “a diet comprised of higher amounts of fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, and whole-fat dairy is associated with lower CVD and mortality” throughout the world. Eating unprocessed red meat and whole grains had little effect on the results.
Study author, Dr Andrew Mente of the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, in Hamilton, Canada, explained: “Low-fat foods have taken centre stage with the public, food industry and policymakers, with nutrition labels focused on reducing fat and saturated fat.
“Our findings suggest that the priority should be increasing protective foods such as nuts (often avoided as too energy dense), fish and dairy, rather than restricting dairy (especially whole-fat) to very low amounts.”
He continued: “Our results show that up to two servings a day of dairy, mainly whole-fat, can be included in a healthy diet. This is in keeping with modern nutrition science showing that dairy, particularly whole-fat, may protect against high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.”
Researchers examined the association between a new diet score and the health of people throughout the globe. They generated a diet score based on six foods included in the PURE diet: two to three servings of fruit per day, two to three servings of vegetables per day, two to four servings of legumes per week, seven servings of nuts per week, two to three servings of fish per week and 14 servings of mainly whole fat dairy products (excluding butter or whipped cream) per week.
For each category, if an individual consumed above the median in the group, they received the healthy score of 1 and if an individual consumed the median in the group or below, they received the unhealthy score of 0.
“Participants in the top 50% of the population – an achievable level – on each of the six food components attained the maximum diet score of six,” added Dr Mente.
The PURE study involved 147,642 people from 21 countries and examined the link between the score and mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke and total CVD. Researchers accounted for factors which could sway the results such as age, sex, education level, urban or rural location, smoking status, diabetes and physical activity.
The average score was 2.95. During a median follow up of 9.3 years, 15,707 people had died and there had been 40,764 cardiovascular events.
The results revealed that those who had the healthiest diets, with a score of at least 5, had a 30% lower risk of death, 18% lower risk of CVD, 14% lower risk of myocardial infarction and 19% lower risk of stroke when compared to individuals with the unhealthiest scores of 1 or less.
Five independent studies which involved a total of 96,955 patients with CVD across 70 countries observed the link between diet scores and health outcomes.
“This was by far the most diverse study of nutrition and health outcomes in the world and the only one with sufficient representation from high-, middle- and low-income countries,” said Dr Mente. “The connection between the PURE diet and health outcomes was found in generally healthy people, patients with CVD, patients with diabetes, and across economies.”
Professor Salim Yusuf, senior author and principal investigator of PURE, said: “The associations were strongest in areas with the poorest quality diet, including South Asia, China and Africa, where calorie intake was low and dominated by refined carbohydrates.
“This suggests that a large proportion of deaths and CVD in adults around the world may be due to undernutrition, that is, low intakes of energy and protective foods, rather than overnutrition. This challenges current beliefs.”
Dr Dariush Mozaffarian of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, in Boston, stated: “The new results in PURE, in combination with prior reports, call for a re-evaluation of unrelenting guidelines to avoid whole-fat dairy products.
“Investigations such as the one by Mente and colleagues remind us of the continuing and devastating rise in diet-related chronic diseases globally, and of the power of protective foods to help address these burdens.”
Dr Mozaffarin concluded: “It is time for national nutrition guidelines, private sector innovations, government tax policy and agricultural incentives, food procurement policies, labelling and other regulatory priorities, and food-based healthcare interventions to catch up to the science. Millions of lives depend on it.”
The study was published in the in European Society of Cardiology (ESC) journal, European Heart Journal.
The Key Role of Trustworthy Babysitters in Balancing Work and Family Life
Are you a busy parent in constant pursuit of the elusive work-life balance? We know firsthand how overwhelming and challenging it can be to juggle professional commitments while still having quality time with your children.
That’s why we’re here to discuss an essential ingredient that unlocks the secret to harmony: trustworthy babysitters.
What Characteristics Parents Should Look for When Choosing a Babysitter?
Parents should look for a few key characteristics when choosing a babysitter. A good babysitter should be patient, responsible, and reliable. They should also be comfortable with children and have prior experience caring for them.
Besides, the babysitter must be able to communicate effectively and follow directions well. The babysitter should be someone the parents can trust to care for their children in their absence.
Strategies for Parents to Establish Reasonable Anticipations
As a parent, finding babysitters you can trust to care for your children is vital. However, it is also important to establish reasonable expectations for your babysitters.
Some tips for establishing reasonable expectations for babysitters include:
- Set clear expectations: Sit down with your babysitter to discuss bedtime routines, dietary preferences, and any necessary medications.
- Allow flexibility: While clarity is vital, also provide room for your babysitter to use their judgment and feel comfortable in their role.
- Trust their expertise: Once expectations are set, trust your babysitter’s judgment as a professional caregiver to avoid undermining their authority and creating discomfort in their role.
Determining a Fair Payment Plan
Determine your babysitting budget, factoring in your income and family size, while researching local rates. Account for the babysitter’s experience and qualifications, giving preference to those recommended by trusted sources.
Engage in open negotiations with your chosen babysitter. This aims to find a mutually agreeable arrangement that accommodates both your budget and their needs.
Tips on Finding Trustworthy and Compassionate Caregivers
When seeking a caregiver for your child, to ensure you find the right fit:
- Seek recommendations from trusted sources such as friends, family, and neighbours who may have suggestions for caregivers in your area.
- Conduct online research to review feedback and check references to gauge candidates’ qualifications and experience.
- Request references and contact details from the caregivers’ previous employers or families they have worked with.
- Trust your instincts and ensure you feel at ease with the caregiver, ensuring they are someone you can entrust with your child’s well-being.
Being able to trust your babysitter means you can have peace of mind knowing your child is safe and cared for.
Spending some time researching online reviews or asking friends and family for recommendations will help you find the perfect fit so you can feel more at ease while juggling work commitments in today’s hectic world.
Facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home
THUNDER BAY — St. Joseph’s Care Group and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit have declared a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home, part of the St. Joseph’s Heritage complex on Carrie Street near Red River Road.
The respiratory outbreak at the 112-bed facility was declared effective Sept. 15 but only announced publicly on Monday.
No details were provided with regard to the number of people affected to date.
Restrictions are now in place for admissions, transfers, discharges, social activities and visitation until further notice.
Alberta COVID hospitalizations up 73% since July: health minister
Three weeks after the start of the school year, Alberta’s health minister provided an update on the spread of airborne viruses in the province.
Adriana LaGrange also said more information about flu and next-generation COVID-19 vaccines will soon be released.
“Now that we will be spending more time indoors, we need to make doubly sure we are following proper hygiene protocols like handwashing and staying home when sick,” LaGrange said. “It also means respecting those who choose to wear a mask.”
Global News previously reported that influenza vaccines will be available on Oct. 16 with the new Moderna vaccine formulated to target the XBB.1.5 variant likely to be available at around the same time. On Sept. 12, Health Canada approved the use of the Moderna vaccine.
“More information on immunizations against respiratory viruses including influenza and COVID-19 will be available shortly,” the health minister said.
LaGrange said there have been 28 cases of influenza and five lab-confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) since Aug. 28.
“This is consistent activity for this time of the year,” the health minister said in a statement.
The end of August or the beginning of September has typically marked the beginning of flu season for provincial health authorities.
LaGrange also provided an update on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the province.
From Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, there were a total 92 new hospitalizations and three ICU admissions, bringing the total to 417 in hospital and seven in ICU, a 73 per cent increase of COVID hospitalizations from the last reported info.
On July 24 – the last update to the province’s COVID data dashboard – there were only 242 in hospital.
“Sadly, five Albertans died during that period due to COVID-19,” LaGrange said.
LaGrange said the reporting dashboard is being refreshed to include RSV, influenza and COVID-19 data, work that was originally expected to be completed on Aug. 30. The latest data on the province’s influenza statistics dashboard is dated July 22.
“This work is currently underway and will be available in the coming weeks,” LaGrange said.
She said data for the dates between July 24 and Aug. 27 will be available when the new dashboard goes online.
Amid more hospitals continent-wide reinstating masking requirements in the face of increased hospitalizations, the health minister made no mention of any such moves for Alberta hospitals. Acute care COVID-19 outbreaks in Alberta jumped from Sept. 5 to 12, with 146 per cent more healthcare workers and 55 per cent more patients testing positive for COVID.
LaGrange stressed the “collective responsibility” to prevent the spread of airborne viruses like COVID and influenza.
“As a mother and grandmother, I understand the anxiety that comes with sending your children back to school. I want to reassure you that Alberta’s government has the health and well-being of all young Albertans top of mind,” the health minister said.
–with files from Meghan Cobb, Global News
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