PURE study describes a healthy diet – Diabetes Diet

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  PURE Study and Full-Fat Dairy

The world’s largest observational study, the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) Study, released its most recent paper with one of the key findings being that whole-fat dairy should be included as one of six foods that comprising a healthy diet.

Multiple papers have been published from the PURE data. This one is focused on developing a globally applicable healthy diet score, called the PURE Score.

The researchers analyzed data not only from PURE but also from five independent studies encompassing a total of more than 244,000 individuals from 80 countries.

The PURE scoring system defined a healthy diet as one relatively high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, and whole-fat dairy. A higher score was attributed to diets composed of more of these nutrient-dense foods.  

  A higher intake of these foods correlated with improved health and a reduced risk of illness, the study found.

This research has the same limitations of all epidemiological studies in that it shows correlation, not a cause-and-effect relationship. However, PURE’s contrary finding on full-fat dairy is meaningful in that it contradicts the conventional wisdom.

Dariush Mozaffarian, the influential former Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University, cited this paper and acknowledged that full-fat dairy can indeed be part of a healthy diet. U.S. health recommendations have favored low-fat dairy for decades, but the PURE finding imply that high-fat dairy is the better option for health.  

My comment: The debate about what a healthy diet is continues. I’m still on an Atkin’s style diet and still on about 35 -85g of carb a day. I’m more willing than I used to be to enjoy my favourites such as mushroom risotto, seafood risotto and paella. I easily meet the legumes, nuts, fish and dairy intakes but don’t tend to eat the fruit and vegetable amounts suggested unless I’m on holiday where they have big self serve buffets. I know that eating more vegetables in particular is good for fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants, and are generally low in calories, but I just don’t find them as appetising as meat, fish, eggs, cheese and nuts. I probably eat one of each a day on average.


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