Location: Food Components and Health Laboratory2021 Annual Report
Objective 1: Determine how changes in dietary food components macro and micronutrients composition affect taste, palatability, food choice and health. Objective 2: Investigate the effect of food processing methods on nutrient intake and disease risk reduction. Objective 3: Determine how foods and food components alter food and energy intake (measured over 2 months).
United States (U.S.) agriculture produces a bountiful array of healthful foods to support the nutritional needs of the American population, providing us vast options to use diet to support health and reduce risk of chronic disease. However, healthful foods are useless if they are not selected for consumption. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) What We Eat in America dietary survey has demonstrated that Americans are not following the Dietary Guidelines, but rather are eating too much salt, sugar, and protein, and falling short on fruits and vegetables. A complex array of factors influences food selection and consumption, including taste/palatability, satiety, convenience, healthfulness, and emotional/psychological factors. This project plan aims to improve understanding of these drivers of food intake and health consequences of consuming certain foods of concern. We will conduct two human feeding interventions to target different factors influencing food selection and consumption. In one study, we will investigate different methods for altering food preference, through either gradual or rapid alterations in the diet. In another study, we will provide a satiating food item twice per day, then measure all other food selected and consumed. We will also evaluate emotional and psychological factors throughout the food selection study. Finally, recognizing that consumers struggle with the balance between convenience and healthfulness, we will evaluate health effects of raw vs. processed meat, to see whether selection of this processed convenience food has negative health consequences. This research will offer paradigms for approaches to improve dietary choices by Americans, and provide a scientific basis for dietary recommendations and nutrition policy.
This report is for project # 8040-51530-011-00D entitled "Strategies to Alter Dietary Food Components and Their Effects on Food Choice and Health-Related Outcomes" which contributes to National Program 107, focusing on Component 1 Linking Agricultural Practices and Beneficial Health Outcomes, Component 3 (Scientific Basis for Dietary Guidance), and Component 4 (Prevention of Obesity and Obesity-Related Diseases) through human studies investigating food choice, food intake regulation, taste, and factors related to risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. For Objective 1, planning was initiated and completed, and human research approval was obtained to conduct a study to determine the most effective approach to reduce the amount of dietary added sugar in order to best modulate the perception of sweetness. Recipes and menus were developed, and foods were developed and tested for use in this study. Volunteers were recruited to participate in the intervention. The intervention was suspended due to health concerns related to COVID-19. For Objective 2, a research protocol was completed to evaluate the health consequences of consuming minimally processed or further processed meat. Additionally, this study will investigate the effect of dietary patterns on the addition of minimally processed or further processed meat to the diet. Recipes and menus were developed, and foods were developed and tested for use in this study. Recruitment activities were suspended due to health concerns related to COVID-19. For Objective 3, a study was planned and approved, and data were collected investigating how dietary components can influence voluntary food intake. For this initial study, volunteers were provided mixed nuts during one treatment period and provided no additional food during a second treatment period (as part of a randomized crossover study design). In addition to the mixed nuts that had to be consumed, research volunteers are free to choose all of the other foods they wanted to consume each day for 3 weeks (per treatment). Research volunteers could choose the specific foods and any amount. The amount consumed of each food selected was measured. Data analyses are ongoing and focus on how nuts might affect the total amount of food selected and shifts in dietary patterns.
1. High-oleic soybean oils reduce risk for heart disease. High-oleic soybean oil was developed as an alternative for the now-banned, partially hydrogenated oils. However, it had not been demonstrated how these new soybean oils might affect the risk for heart disease. ARS researchers at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland, conducted a dietary intervention study in humans to compare the health effects of high-oleic soybean oil and palm oils. Both fats have functional properties in food systems and can function as replacements for partially hydrogenated oils. Compared to consuming palm oil, consuming high-oleic soybean oil lowers bad cholesterol and decreases risk for heart disease. These results have been used by the U.S. military and the foodservice industry to select heart-healthier fats.
2. Lean beef in a Mediterranean diet pattern reduces heart disease risk. Eating red meat has a reputation for being bad for the heart. However, when consumed in a healthy dietary pattern, lean beef may reduce heart disease risk factors such as bad cholesterol. ARS researchers at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland, and colleagues at Penn State University, conducted a dietary intervention study in humans to determine how much lean beef, as part of a Mediterranean diet pattern, can be consumed to promote heart health. Daily, volunteers consumed 0.5, 2.5, or 5.5 oz of lean beef as part of a healthy Mediterranean diet pattern and 2.5 oz as part of a typical American diet. At all intake levels, lean beef as part of the Mediterranean diet pattern reduced bad cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease. While the traditional Mediterranean diet is low in lean beef, this study demonstrates how people can incorporate lean beef into a healthy diet and benefit further from beef's other key nutrients.
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