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Climate-friendly diets may come at higher cost for New Zealand families



Switching to a greener diet can help cut emissions – but it could also lead to much higher food bills for families who can least afford it, a first Kiwi study finds. Photo / 123RF

Switching to a more environmentally friendly diet can help reduce emissions – but it can also mean higher food bills for families who can least afford it, a first Kiwi study finds.

The University of Auckland researchers behind the analysis say their results show that kiwifruit must be affordable if they are expected to switch to a more sustainable diet.

In the study published in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health, the researchers calculated the costs and climate impacts of four nutritional scenarios: current, healthy, flexitarian and vegan.

While the “current” diet reflected what kiwis normally ate, the “healthy diet” followed official New Zealand eating and activity guidelines based on national nutrition surveys.

They recommended lots of fruits and vegetables, grain foods, some milk, legumes, nuts, eggs and poultry and fish, and less than 500 grams of cooked red meat per week.

The other two nutritional scenarios were based on the “Planetary Diet” of the Eat Lancet Commission, whereby “flexitarian” was mainly based on plant-based foods and vegan based entirely on it.

Study lead author Bruce Kidd said New Zealand needed to switch to a planetary diet as the country’s food system contributed about half of our emissions and poor diet was a large part of our health problems.

“We know, however, that inadequate income and the cost of food have a huge impact on food choices.”

In evaluating each of the four nutritional scenarios, the researchers modeled multiple possible meals for a family of four over a fortnight.

“Each scenario had restrictions on the number of servings allowed of each food and had to meet health criteria, such as a maximum limit on salt content.”

The team also collected food prices from online supermarkets and also calculated emissions from a recently published database on the life cycle assessment of various foods and beverages in New Zealand.

Household food waste data has also been included to account for the emissions associated with food waste.

The results showed that switching from the current diet to a more sustainable and healthier diet was accompanied by higher average prices.

While a typical kiwi diet was the lowest of the four costs – about $ 584 for a family – it had the highest average climate impact, or 597 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (kg CO2e).

A healthy diet cost a little more – $ 637 – in 14 days, but it also had a slightly smaller carbon footprint of 452 kg CO2e.

However, the prices of the other two were much higher – $ 728 for flexitarians and $ 798 for vegans – even though their climate impacts were only 263 kg CO2e and 203 kg CO2e, respectively.

“This was noticeable, but mostly because of the rising cost of dairy alternatives, larger servings of fruits and vegetables, and some plant-based protein alternatives such as falafel and burger patties.”

Kidd added that alcohol and takeaway food, which accounted for about 27 percent of household food spending, weren’t included in any of the diets.

If this were the case, the “current” diet would have been more expensive than calculated in the study.

Elsewhere in their analysis, the researchers found that within any diet, households are generally able to cut food costs by increasing the amount of plant-based foods.

“That includes foods like beans and lentils that are inexpensive, significantly lower ones [emissions] than animal products and are a healthy addition to any meal. “

The study also pointed to some notable tradeoffs.

“One of them involved the trade-off between health, cost and low-carbon foods, such as replacing soy milk with milk milk, which was more expensive and complemented the nutritional benefits of milk milk but had fewer emissions.”

But ultimately, the results pointed to issues of equity – especially for families who wanted to eat greener food.

If kiwifruit are expected to switch to a more sustainable diet, it has to be affordable, researchers say.  Photo / 123RFIf kiwifruit are expected to switch to a more sustainable diet, it has to be affordable, researchers say. Photo / 123RF

“For example, a household moving from a current to a flexitarian diet would spend $ 144 more every 14 days with the climate benefit of 334 kg of CO2e fewer emissions,” he said, adding that this is far higher than the current price of carbon.

“There are foods that are cheap, healthy and good for the environment, such as replacing beans or lentils with meat and increasing seasonal vegetables and whole grains.

“But we need to lobby the government for action to help everyone in Aotearoa, especially the most deprived, make the transition to sustainable healthy eating.

“According to the articles by Te Tiriti o Waitangi, this requires reshaping our food system to ensure it protects and improves the health of our people and our planet, and empowers communities.”

The study follows a study by Otago University that found that eating fewer red meats could be key to not only reducing New Zealand emissions significantly, but also saving billions of dollars in healthcare in the decades to come.

Specifically, they showed that a population-level switch to a diet rich in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes could reduce diet-related emissions by 4 to 42 percent annually, depending on the extent of the changes made.

Even more remarkable: if all kiwis were to eat exclusively plant-based tomorrow and not avoid unnecessary food waste, we would achieve a 60 percent reduction in emissions from cars.

As a bonus, Kiwis together could enjoy up to 1.5 million more “years of life” – that is one year of optimal health – and save our healthcare system between 14 and 20 billion dollars over the lifetime of our current population.

There are already many signs that a green shift is taking place.

By 2016, the proportion of kiwifruit who said all – or almost all – of their diet was vegetarian had increased by almost a third from four years earlier.

The biggest increases were among 14- to 34-year-olds, the North Islands and, perhaps surprisingly, among men.

Recent surveys by Colmar Brunton found that roughly one in ten of us now largely avoid meat amid an increasing shift towards a sustainable lifestyle.

Whole Grain Benefits

How to live longer: Whole grains can boost longevity Introduction



In recent years, supermarkets have struggled to meet demand for healthier foods after the evidence of healthy eating increased. Fruits and vegetables are often revered for their endless benefits, but in recent years other foods have also proven to be buffers against a number of ailments. There is a growing line of research highlighting the health benefits of consuming whole grains and their potential longevity effects.

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Doctor Qi Sun, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, stated that a whole-grain diet is also “linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and certain types of cancer.”

The study was based on nutritional information from more than 100,000 men and women followed for more than 20 years.

Participants who replaced one serving of refined grains per day with whole grain products reduced their risk of death by eight percent over the study period.

Research suggests that the longevity effects are due to the compounds, particularly fiber, magnesium, vitamins, and phytochemicals.


Dietary guidelines recommend eating at least three servings of whole grains a day, with a survivor reducing the overall risk of death by 5 percent.

A serving of whole grains is equivalent to 28 grams or 1 ounce, that’s three cups of popcorn, one cup of whole grain muesli or a slice of whole grain bread.

In addition, the results showed that the risk of death was reduced by 20 percent during the study period if a daily serving of red meat was replaced with whole grain products.

Sun said, “If you really look at whole grain consumption with other diseases, stroke, heart disease, and colon cancer, whole grains are consistently associated with lower risk for these diseases.

“Half of the grains that a person consumes every day should come from whole grain products.”

David Jacobs, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota School who was not involved in the study, commented: “[The study] showed, as some other studies have shown in several other contexts, that consumption of whole grains is associated with reduced all-cause mortality and mortality from cardiovascular disease, but not particularly strongly associated with mortality from cancer.

“It is a very difficult thing in nutritional epidemiology to separate such things and make certain statements.”

The researchers also explained that whole grains have a lower glycemic index, meaning they result in less increases and decreases in blood sugar, and explain how the food might protect against type 2 diabetes.

The Mayo Clinic notes that unrefined whole grains are a superior source of fiber when compared to other nutrients.

The health authority recommends adding them to your diet by “enjoying breakfasts that contain whole grains, such as whole bran flakes, whole wheat meal, or oatmeal”.

“Replace plan bagels with wholegrain toast or wholegrain bagels,” it continues. “Bring sandwiches with whole grain bread or rolls.”

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Whole Grain Benefits

Tom Brady reveals he doesn’t ‘eat much bread’ and experts say it can keep you young



Tom Brady isn’t a fan of bread, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a Subway spokesperson.

The six-time NFL Super Bowl champion confirmed his new partnership with the global sandwich chain in an Instagram post he shared with his 10.1 million followers on Sunday.

“As this new commercial will tell you, I don’t eat a lot of bread, but at the end of the day I know size when I see it,” he wrote.


Brady, 44, shared his strict anti-inflammatory diet that excludes white flour, sugar, and gluten – key ingredients found in most commercially made breads. While the NFL quarterback allegedly avoids bread to keep his digestive system in tip-top shape, it turns out that scraping bread off can help you look and feel young.

Registered nutritionist Maryann Walsh of Walsh Nutrition Consulting told Fox News that some carbohydrate-free guests report having more energy throughout the day. report that they have more energy throughout the day.

“Consuming large amounts of bread or refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes, followed by a blood sugar drop that makes you feel sluggish,” said Walsh. “By eliminating or significantly reducing bread, it can help some experience more sustained blood sugar levels, resulting in more sustained energy levels.”

She added, “Blood sugar spikes from overeating can accelerate aging, as Advanced Glycation End Products (aptly named AGEs) accelerate aging. AGEs are associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation, leading to undesirable accelerated skin aging and joint inflammation, and an increased susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. “


Tom Brady, 44, shared his strict anti-inflammatory diet that excludes white flour, sugar, and gluten - key ingredients found in most commercially made breads.  (iStock)

Tom Brady, 44, shared his strict anti-inflammatory diet that excludes white flour, sugar, and gluten – key ingredients found in most commercially made breads. (iStock)

Aside from potential energy and longevity, Walsh said avoiding bread could contribute to an overall leaner figure.

“Since bread is an important source of carbohydrates, it can cause water retention in the body, which can make many feel bloated,” she said. “Carbohydrates turn into glycogen in the body, and glycogen normally holds two to three times its weight in water. Because of this, when people start a low-carb diet, they lose weight quickly when they start out because, in addition to losing fat, often they don’t hold on as much water . “


It’s not clear if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback watched a fountain of youth from cutting bread, but Brady’s personal chef – Allen Campbell – told that the NFL star is following an organic, gluten-free diet to keep his guts healthy maintain health.

“Gluten is the protein in bread that can ‘react’ with our immune system,” said registered nutritionist Caroline Thomason in an interview with Fox News. “In people who are sensitive to gluten and who experience negative reactions when they eat bread, gluten increases the inflammation in their bodies.”

Gluten is a protein found in various types of grain, including wheat, barley, and rye.

Gluten is a protein found in various types of grain, including wheat, barley, and rye.

She continued, “The symptoms of gluten intolerance can be insidious. These include rashes, indigestion, gas, headaches, and fatigue.”


Other symptoms of gluten sensitivity include joint pain, fatigue, and gastrointestinal issues, which she said can happen to people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease or not, according to Walsh.

“Gluten-free bread and pasta are available, but it’s important to note that just because a product is gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s low in carbohydrates,” said Walsh. “Anyone who hopes to feel better by doing without or reducing bread will want to enjoy gluten-free bread sparingly.”


Jinan Banna, a nutrition professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, told Fox News that people who are not sensitive to gluten have little reason to avoid bread.

While there are benefits to not overeating, most people don't need to cut out carbohydrates or gluten to stay healthy.

While there are benefits to not overeating, most people don’t need to cut out carbohydrates or gluten to stay healthy.

“Bread is a source of carbohydrates that our bodies can use for energy, and it’s also rich in vitamins and minerals,” said Banna. “Whole grain bread also provides several grams of fiber per slice, which is important for digestive health, weight management, and maintaining heart health.”


In addition to Brady’s bread- and gluten-free diet, the quarterback is also said to exclude selected vegetables from his diet for similar gut health reasons.

“Tom Brady is likely to exclude nightshades – tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, etc. – from his diet because they have also been shown to work with our immune systems,” said Thomason. “This is especially true for people with autoimmune diseases who are more prone to lower immune systems.”


Brady’s representatives did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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Whole Grain Benefits

What Is Cellulose and Is It Safe to Eat?



Cellulose is a fiber found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods as part of a plant’s cell walls. It occurs in tree bark and in the leaves of a plant.

When you eat plant foods, you are consuming cellulose. But you may not know that cellulose fiber is also being removed from plants to be used as an additive in many other foods and sold as dietary supplements (1).

This article provides an overview of cellulose, where it is commonly found and whether it is safe to consume.

Cellulose consists of a number of sugar molecules that are linked together in a long chain. Since it is a fiber that forms plant cell walls, it is found in all plant foods.

When you ingest foods that contain it, the cellulose stays intact as it travels through your small intestine. Humans do not have the enzymes needed to break down cellulose (1).

Cellulose is also an insoluble fiber and does not dissolve in water. When consumed, insoluble fiber can help push food through the digestive system and aid in regular bowel movements (2).

In addition to their role in digestive health, fiber like cellulose can also be beneficial in other ways. Studies suggest that high fiber intake may reduce the risk of various diseases, including stomach cancer and heart disease (3).


Cellulose is an indigestible, insoluble fiber found in fruits, vegetables, and other plants.

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based foods contain varying amounts of cellulose. The skin of plant foods usually contains more cellulose than the pulp.

Celery in particular has a very high cellulose content. If you’ve ever got stringy pieces of celery between your teeth, you’ve felt cellulose in action (4).

Cellulose is also a common food additive. In this use, it is obtained either from wood or waste from the production of plant-based foods such as oat shells or peanut and almond shells (1).

Other names for cellulose added to food include:

  • Cellulose rubber
  • microcrystalline cellulose
  • Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose
  • microcrystalline cellulose

Cellulose can be added to grated cheese or dried spice mixes to prevent lumps. It’s also found in some ice creams and frozen yogurts, especially low-fat varieties, to thicken or blend the product and add thickness without fat (1).

Bread products can be fortified with cellulose to increase their fiber content. Additionally, cellulose can add bulk to nutritional or low-calorie foods like meal replacement shakes so that they become filling without adding to total calories (1).

It’s worth noting that fiber is generally added to many foods, even things like yogurt and ground beef. If you are interested to see if the products you have bought contain cellulose or other added fiber, check the ingredients list.

Finally, cellulose is available in the form of dietary supplements. Cellulose supplements often contain a modified version of cellulose that forms a gel in the digestive tract.

Manufacturers of these supplements claim that they will help you fill your stomach, lower your caloric intake, and promote weight loss (2, 5).

However, it is unclear whether cellulose preparations meet their requirements.

A manufacturer-sponsored study of the weight loss effects of the cellulose supplement Plenity found that people who took the supplement lost more weight than those who took a placebo after 24 weeks. However, further long-term studies are required (5).


Cellulose is found in all plant-based foods and in the form of dietary supplements. It is a common food additive and is found in ice cream, grated cheese, and dietary foods, among others.

Eating cellulose – especially from whole fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, and other plant-based foods – is generally considered safe.

All of the possible disadvantages of cellulose are related to the side effects of consuming too much fiber. In general, if you eat too much cellulose, fiber, or take cellulosic supplements, you may experience:

  • Flatulence
  • Upset stomach
  • gas
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

Current dietary guidelines recommend that adults consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day from food, but may require more or less depending on age, gender, and personal needs (6).

If you are following a high-fiber diet or increasing your fiber intake, you should drink plenty of water to avoid unpleasant side effects. Exercise can also help.

Those on a low-fiber diet should limit their intake of cellulose. People with a health condition that affects the digestive system, such as: B. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) also need to watch out for cellulose in food.

Cellulose as a food additive is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The amounts of cellulose currently used in food are not considered to be hazardous to humans (7).

Keep in mind, however, that getting fiber from whole plant foods is usually better than getting it from additives or supplements. In addition to fiber, these foods provide many other beneficial nutrients and compounds.

Before adding any cellulosic supplements to your diet, it is best to speak with a doctor.


Consuming cellulose from foods, supplements, or additives is likely to be safe for most people. However, too much of it can lead to side effects that come with excessive consumption of fiber such as gas, gas, and abdominal pain.

Cellulose is a type of fiber that forms the cell walls of plants. When you eat plant foods, you are eating cellulose.

Many other foods, from grated cheese to low-calorie or diet foods, have cellulose added to support various properties. Cellulose also exists in the form of dietary supplements.

It is generally safe to consume cellulose. However, if you eat too much cellulose or fiber, you may experience nasty side effects such as gas and gas.

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