We've noted before that there are only three things everybody agrees about when it comes to nutrition. Thanks to a meeting of nutrition researchers, we can add a few more things to that list.
Photo by Zelda Richardson.
The first point on the consensus statement, which came out of a meeting held in November, states simply: More Plants, Nuts, Legumes, Seafood. The researchers endorsed the findings of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which recommended these foods while suggesting that people avoid sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, and refined grains.
Unfortunately there wasn't much more consensus than that. STAT reports that the researchers tried to name specific foods or diets as acceptable, but couldn't get total agreement:
"Ninety minutes into the meeting, we were still trying to agree what the hell a vegetable was," said Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center. "That was a dark moment." … "We disagree about details, but we affirm that experts with very diverse perspective do have common ground," said Katz, who co-chaired the Oldways Finding Common Ground Conference.
The researchers also agreed that many different diets could be healthy; it's not necessary to restrict carbs, for example, although that could be one of many different paths to health.
They also expressed concern that there is too much confusion over the science of nutrition, and that new findings are sensationalised in the news even when the underlying science hasn't changed. They point out that people need solid evidence, practical tools, and a sense of "food literacy" to understand nutrition as well as its links to sustainability. Read more at the link below, and check out the article at STAT for more on how this consensus came about.