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New Consensus for the Best Diet

Sharon Palmer

What’s the best diet for the health of people and the planet? That’s the top question raised at the Oldways Finding Common Ground summit held in Boston. More than 75 leading nutrition experts from around the world came together to create a consensus on nutrition recommendations for the optimal health for humans. This is what they came up with:

1. More plants, nuts, legumes, and seafood. Most experts agree on this diet advice.
2. Food sustainability is essential. Inattention to this concern disregards the quality and quantity of food available for the next generation.
3. A transparent process, beyond politics. Evidence-based reports by scientists are translated directly to the public without political manipulation.
4. Good X 3. Food should be good for human health, good for the planet, and simply good (delicious).
5. Common ground over confusion. The high level of nutrition confusion prevails, which is at odds with expert advice.
6. Solid evidence, of all kinds. Understand that every time a new study makes headlines, the basic understanding of the scientific field does not.
7. Avoid sensationalism. New diet studies should be understood in the context of the whole body of science.
8. Compared to what? Make specific diet changes, such as “drink water instead of soda” rather than “drink less soda.”
9. From rules to practical tools. Education, policy, and legislation supporting nutrition goals should be implemented widely.
10. Food literacy. People benefit from knowing where their food comes from and how it was produced.
11. Food systems, which include issues like food production, manufacture, and waste, should align with priorities for human and planetary health.

Read more about the full report here.

Image: Pasadena Farmers Market, Sharon Palmer, RDN

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