Friday, January 13, 2012

‘Non-Healthy’ Eating Plate

Even by Harvard standards, nutrition professor Walter Willett is out there. So it wasn’t surprising that the liberal academic came up with his own version of the government’s new nutrition icon, MyPlate. Willet’s remake, called the Healthy Eating Plate, minimizes consumption of red meat and, especially, bacon.

But a couple of studies remind us that red meat is an important source of nutrients—and can be beneficial in the diet.  A recent paper in Meat Science, for example, noted that consumers of lean, low-fat beef take in more niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, protein and other nutrients than those who don’t eat beef. Separately, an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition argued that a diet containing lean red meat can improve health by decreasing LDL cholesterol.

HOTH prefers MyPlate, which urges consumers to make all protein foods a little less than a quarter of their diet.

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