Diet and health: what should we eat?

  title={Diet and health: what should we eat?},
  author={Walter C. Willett},
  volume={264 5158},
Many recent studies have implicated dietary factors in the cause and prevention of important diseases, including cancer, coronary heart disease, birth defects, and cataracts. There is strong evidence that vegetables and fruits protect against these diseases; however, the active constituents are incompletely identified. Whether fat per se is a major cause of disease is a question still under debate, although saturated and partially hydrogenated fats probably increase the risk of coronary heart… 

Mediterranean diet and longevity.

  • A. TrichopoulouE. Critselis
  • Medicine
    European journal of cancer prevention : the official journal of the European Cancer Prevention Organisation
  • 2004
There appears to exist sufficient evidence that diet does indeed influence longevity and an optimal diet for the prevention of both coronary heart disease and cancer is likely to extensively overlap with the traditional Mediterranean diet.

Mediterranean diet and longevity

There appears to exist sufficient evidence that diet does indeed influence longevity and an optimal diet for the prevention of both coronary heart disease and cancer is likely to extensively overlap with the traditional Mediterranean diet.

Diet and the metabolic syndrome.

This diet's high fiber content, n-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, as well as phytochemicals from olive oil, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, might be responsible for its beneficial effect on the health of metabolic syndrome patients.

Nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease: A review of epidemiologic evidence

Given the strong scientific evidence for the beneficial effects of nuts, it seems justifiable to move nuts to a more prominent place in the United States Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid.

Health Benefits of Phytochemicals in Whole Foods

Change in dietary behavior, such as increasing consumption of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, is a practical strategy to significantly reducing the incidence of chronic diseases.

Why do Health Professionals Need to Know More About Nutrition

Despite the increasing scientific evidence, present day health professionals are typically untrained in the impact of diet in health and disease and simple dietary deficiencies still occur within developed societies.

The power of food to improve multiple cardiovascular risk factors

It is demonstrated that whereas manipulations of single nutrients may influence some people with selected conditions, it is improving the total dietary profile that will consistently and beneficially effect multiple cardiovascular risk factors including high blood pressure, plasma lipids, hemoglobin A1c, homocysteine, and weight.

Physical activity, nutrition, and chronic disease.

Many of the known effects of physical activity and nutrition on the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, obesity, and osteoporosis are reviewed as well as how exercise and diet may work together.



Vitamin A and lung cancer.

Data from case-control and cohort studies strongly support the hypothesis that dietary carotenoids reduce the risk of lung cancer, but the data are also compatible with the possibility that some other factor in these foods is responsible for the lower risk.

Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men.

Evidence is provided of an association between a high intake of vitamin E and a lower risk of coronary heart disease in men, and public policy recommendations with regard to the use ofitamin E supplements should await the results of additional studies.

Can dietary beta-carotene materially reduce human cancer rates?

If dietary β-carotene is truly protective—which could be tested by controlled trials—there are a number of theoretical mechanisms whereby it might act, some of which do not directly involve its ‘provitamin A’ activity.

Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary disease in women.

It is suggested that among middle-aged women the use of vitamin E supplements is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

Low blood pressure in vegetarians: effects of specific foods and nutrients.

  • F. SacksE. Kass
  • Biology, Medicine
    The American journal of clinical nutrition
  • 1988
Animal products, carbohydrate, and different types of fats do not appear to explain the low BP in vegetarians, and modest intake of animal products may be a marker for a large intake of other potentially beneficial nutrients from vegetable products.

A Prospective Study of Nutritional Factors and Hypertension Among US Men

Hypotheses that an increased intake of fiber and magnesium may contribute to the prevention of hypertension are supported.


The hypothesis that high dietary fiber intake is protective for ischemic heart disease mortality is supported by the findings of this study.

Nutrition, body size, and breast cancer

Recognition of the relationships among nutrition, body size, and breast cancer raises a new context for consideration of the adaptiveness of body size in human populations.