Help from Harvard

Some really interesting, helpful information has come out of a new study from Harvard University, which has just been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Not surprisingly, because I am telling you about it, it contains a resounding vote of confidence for the benefits of Meatless Monday. 

There has been a lot of media coverage about the study, including a great story in the Washington Post. In several large samples of people, researchers tracked how the addition of certain regularly-consumed foods would make people lose or gain weight over a four year period. For instance, the addition of one serving of a sweetened beverage per day would result in a gain of one pound over four years. Again, not surprisingly, things like pop, red meat, processed meat, refined grains (white bread, etc.) and desserts tended to make people gain weight. This should not be news to anyone, really.

The big winners in the study, additional servings of which tended to make people lose weight over a four year period? Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and yogurt. The very things which tend to be staples of the meatless recipes we've been working with all these weeks. Great news for us. The biggest loser out of the study, sadly, is also a kind of vegetable: the potato (sorry, Ireland). French Fries, potato chips and all potatoes, whether boiled, baked, fried or mashed, were found to cause weight gain over time - many, many pounds of weight gain. So sad that they are also delicious. There is a chart showing the impacts of different kinds of foods in the WP story linked above.

So, basically, meat and potatoes bad, fruits, nuts and vegetables good. And yogurt! Who knew? Any other precious misconceptions I can deflate? You're welcome. Today's recipe is rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, again not surprisingly. Do I ever disappoint? Well, yes, but that was months ago and I've gotten better since then! If you're having a larger crowd, it can be safely doubled. Keep eating this way and we'll talk in four years. Until then, happy Canada and Independence Days! Go Kate and William!