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Healthful Eating

Diet & Health

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Heart Disease: According to the American Heart Association, “Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.” Read this article from the American Heart Association for further information on saturated fats.

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Cancer: Colorectal cancer affects the lower parts of our digestive system: the colon and/or rectum. The World Health Organization’s category of Group 1 carcinogens is reserved for substances which have the strongest evidence for being carcinogenic to humans. We know that tobacco is a Group 1 carcinogen because of its link to lung cancer - and processed meats are now in that same category. Read the WHO’s Q&A regarding processed and red meats and their link to colorectal cancer.

Type 2 Diabetes: When we think of the cause of type 2 diabetes, we think about sugar. While sugar absolutely plays a role, there’s another element in our food that also plays a significant role - FAT. Read this article from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine about why limiting fats in the diet are important to help decrease our risk of type 2 diabetes.

A diet incorporating more plant foods can reduce one’s risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Read this article from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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1. Referencing the articles linked above, record the answers for the following:

a. What are some foods incorporated in the Standard American/Western Diet? 

b. Where do we find most saturated fat in our diets?

c. Which foods increase our risk for colorectal cancer?

d. What foods should someone with type 2 diabetes consume?

e. How can more whole plant foods help to prevent cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, and type 2 diabetes?

Please follow your teacher's instructions on how to submit your answers!


Choose one of three projects:

1. Write a one-page report citing 10 facts learned from the articles (or documentaries listed in the additional resources).

2. Develop a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation to share 10 facts you learned about food’s impact on health.

3. Plan a week’s worth of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) based on the information you have learned.

Please follow your teacher's instructions on how to submit your work!

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Additional resources for further research:

Documentary on Netflix: The Game Changers

Documentary on Netflix: Forks Over Knives

World Cancer Research Fund: Meat, Fish and Dairy Products

TEDx Talk, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn: Making Heart Attacks History

Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine: Plant Based Diets