Coffee In, Dairy Out, Per Harvard

September 17, 2011

Nutrition guides, they are a changing, and for the new school year, a Canadian news-site has published a comparison of leading guidelines. The guide from Harvard School of Public Health, released Wednesday, started it all, and it was quickly vetted alongside the guides of the US and Canadian governments. Coffee is a new addition. Indeed it is a surprise recommendation that Harvard added to the standard nutritional advice. Besides water, coffee and tea are suggested beverages, although they did say to hold the sugar. They also advised holding the dairy and potatoes. Basically, the rest of the advice was similar to what has become the norm: lots of plant-based items, including veggies and fruits, along with whole grains, leaving a quarter of the meal for a “healthy source of protein” to include fish, poultry, beans or nuts. Zosia Bielski, the writer, explained that dairy products are problematic because of fat content and links to cancer, and potatoes are too easily digested into sugar, like sweets. Vegetarians will cheer this diet, as both animal-based meat and dairy were all but eliminated. Red meat was not mentioned at all. Instead of dairy, Harvard recommends eating bok choy, collards, fortified soy milk, baked beans, and calcium and vitamin D supplements. Soy lattes definitely made the cut, but why not also add fortified almond, hemp, rice and coconut milks to the mix? Some nutrition experts much prefer the almond base to the soy-based liquid, and almond milk can be made at home in a food processor. Chia seed is also another plant-based source of calcium. Maybe these will make next year’s recommendations. It’s a fairly safe prediction that coffee-lovers will quickly adapt the Harvard recommendations to their daily food intake, as coffee can be included in meals guilt-free. Health benefits of coffee have been reported in this space frequently, so it’s no surprise that coffee should now be a featured beverage, a nutritional rising star. The Harvard report included a jab at the government-sourced food guides. Governmental agencies, it was implied, are not objective and very much influenced by the beef and dairy lobbies. Harvard states that they, however, are not. You be the judge on that one. Needless to say, brew on, in good health. Below, in honor of Harvard, are three representative coffees from Harvard area roasters.



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