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Must food consumption become more plant-based worldwide?

June 15th, 2021
Food and Beverages

Must food consumption become more plant-based worldwide?

June 15th, 2021
Food and Beverages

As meat consumption continues to rise around the world, food scientists are focusing on producing healthier, better and more sustainable products based on plant products that mimic meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs. .

Food scientist David Julian McClement, a distinguished professor at the University of Massachusetts and lead author of a new paper in the journal Nature of Science, does not find it easy.

“With more than just meat and impossible food and other products entering the market, there is a great deal of interest in plant-based foods for reasons of sustainability, health and ethics,” said McClement, a leading food design and nanotechnology expert and author of Future. ” Foods: How modern science changes the way we eat.

What food have we been eating?

In 2019, the plant food market in the United States alone is estimated at about $ 5 billion, accounting for 40.5 percent of sales in the dairy group and 18.9 percent in plant-based meat products, the paper said. This is related to the market value growth of 29% compared to 2017.

“Many academics are starting to work in this field, and with the complexities of animal products and the physicochemical principles required to combine plant materials in these products, each has physical, functional, nutritional, and sensory characteristics,” says McClement. “They are not familiar with themselves.” .

Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Good Food Institute, McClement leads a multidisciplinary team at UMass Amherst to research better plant protein production. Co-author Lutz Grossman, who recently joined the UMass Amherst food science team as an assistant professor, specializes in alternative protein sources for food.

For example, diabetes is a disease that causes people to have high blood sugar, and this is a great health pressure. In 2019, approximately 463 million adults worldwide were living with diabetes, and it is estimated that by 2045 this number is estimated at 700 million. 374 million people are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. To be. Having a healthy diet and lifestyle can play an important role in reducing a person’s risk of developing diabetes.

A new study found that people who ate two servings of fruit a day were 36 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who ate less than half a meal. The study is published in the journal Endocrine Society of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

How Food and health correlate in medicine

“We found that people who ate about two servings of fruit a day were 36 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over the next five years than people who ate less than half as much,” said study author Nicola Bondono-Pei. “They eat fruit a day.” D., from the Institute for Nutritional Research at Edith Cavan University in Perth, Australia. “We did not see the same pattern in fruit juices. These results suggest that a healthy, lifestyle diet including whole fruits is a great strategy for reducing the risk of diabetes.”

The researchers looked at data from 7,675 participants in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, which provided information on fruit and fruit consumption through a food frequency questionnaire. They found that participants who ate more whole fruits as food were 36 percent less likely to develop diabetes after five years. The researchers found a link between fruit consumption and markers of insulin sensitivity, meaning that people who ate more fruit needed less insulin to lower their blood sugar levels.

“This is important because high levels of circulating insulin (hyperinsulinemia) can damage blood vessels and are linked not only to diabetes but also to high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease,” Bonduno said.

What the research has shown so far?

“Our research is focused on this,” says McClement. “There is a lot of innovation and investment in this area, and I am often approached by various startups that try to make fish or eggs or vegetable cheese, but often have no food science background.”

Expanding the plant-based diet to meet consumer demand, McClement wrote in the article that “a plant-based diet is not necessarily nutritionally better than an omnivorous diet.”

Plant products need to be fortified with micronutrients found naturally in meat, milk and eggs, including vitamin D, calcium and zinc. They must also be digestible and provide a complete supplement of essential amino acids.

Bad consumption of foods and what it may lead to

“Inflammatory bowel disease has historically been a problem in Western countries like the United States, but it is becoming more prevalent around the world with the adoption of a Western lifestyle,” said Ta-Chiang Liu, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology. And Immunology from the University of Washington. “Our research has shown that long-term ingestion of a high-fat, high-sugar diet in the Western style of food impairs the function of intestinal immune cells, which can exacerbate inflammatory bowel disease or increase the risk of intestinal infection.” “

Pant cell damage is a major feature of inflammatory bowel disease. For example, people with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, anemia, and fatigue, often have Paneth cells that no longer work.

McClement says many current highly processed meat products are unhealthy because they are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar. But he adds that highly processed foods do not have to be unhealthy.

“We try to make processed foods healthier,” says McClement. “Our goal is to design them to contain all the vitamins and minerals you need, as well as health ingredients such as fiber and chemicals, to make them taste good, comfortable, cheap and easy. “You can combine them. This is the goal for the future in your life, but we have not yet reached the goal for most products.”

That’s why the UMass Amherst scientific team is taking a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to solving this complex problem, says McClement.

Article by:

Armin Vali

Adapted from: Science daily.



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