The meal you eat is more than just nutrients

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In Denmark, researchers report that the health effects of a food cannot be determined solely on the basis of its individual nutrients and the human health implications of a particular food are better understood when the food is evaluated as a whole, together with other foods eaten in the same meal.

Head of Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, professor Arne Astrup, explains, “In contrast to current recommendations that essentially ban full-fat cheese, current research clearly demonstrate important health benefits of cheese for prevention of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers. All the positive effects are due to a complex interaction between beneficial bacteria, minerals and bio-active cheese ingredients.”

This report indicates that the composition of a food can alter the properties of the nutrients contained within it, in ways that cannot be predicted on the basis of an analysis of the individual nutrients.