Tuesday, 27 March 2018

we made our lipid research to a cover story



Foods, Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2018) 


Cover Story (view full-size image) Dairy fats have been associated with saturated fatty acids (SFA) and increased cholesterol levels upon consumption. With cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) being today the number one cause of death and morbidity globally, a question of topical importance is: “Dairy Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: Do We Really Need to Be Concerned?” We discuss the relationship between dairy consumption, cardiometabolic risk factors and the incidence of CVDs. Evidence suggests that milk has a neutral effect on cardiovascular outcomes, but fermented dairy products—such as yoghurt, kefir and cheese—may have a positive or neutral effect. View the paper here.


Friday, 23 March 2018

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Red alert for meat lovers

photo from https://es.123rf.com/photo_2114209_close-up-shot-de-un-filete-de-carne-cruda-en-la-forma-de-un-signo-de-interrogaci%C3%B3n-servido-en-un-plato-.html

High red and processed meat consumption is related to several diseases. In addition, cooking meat at high temperatures for a long duration forms heterocyclic amines, which have harmful health effects. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a significant public health burden and its formation is strongly related to insulin resistance. In this study, both were found to be more frequent in people who consume relatively high quantities of red and processed meat. In addition, a high intake of heterocyclic amines was associated with insulin resistance.

Research highlights
  • High consumption of red and/or processed meat is related to NAFLD and insulin resistance.
  • Consumption of meat cooked in unhealthy methods is related to insulin resistance.
  • Consumption of HCAs is related with insulin resistance.
  • These associations are independent of saturated fat and cholesterol intake.
  • If confirmed prospectively, limiting the consumption of unhealthy meats may be advised.

[the full study is here]

 = = =

our comment :

we need to keep an eye on red and processed meat consumption.
This is the reason that red meat should be grouped independently to fish and white meat, as explained here.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Greek functional Feta cheese: Enhancing quality and safety using a Lactobacillus plantarum strain with probiotic potential


My big fat Greek functional food – probiotic feta could become a big cheese

By Tim Cutcliffe
Certain probiotic strains could be a perfect fit for Greek feta cheese, say researchers who suggest 'functional feta' could meet growing demand for healthy foods.


= = =

 the paper's Highlights

• Feta cheese was produced with the potential probiotic Lb. plantarum T571 as co-culture.
• A high quality new product of enhanced shelf-life and safety was produced.
• The strain T571was able to survive throughout storage at 4 and 12 °C.
• The survival and distribution of different Listeria strains depended on the case.
• FTIR was applied for the rapid estimation of the microbial counts and shelf-life of Feta.

[you can read the full paper here]

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Human Resources Advertisement: Lecturer below the bar in Human Nutrition and Dietetics

The University of Limerick (UL) with over 15,000 students and 1,300 staff is an energetic and enterprising institution with a proud record of innovation and excellence in education, research and scholarship. The dynamic, entrepreneurial and pioneering values which drive UL’s mission and strategy ensures that we capitalise on local, national and international engagement and connectivity.  We are renowned for providing an outstanding student experience and conducting leading edge research.  Our commitment is to make a difference by shaping the future through educating and empowering our students. UL is situated on a superb riverside campus of over 130 hectares with the River Shannon as a unifying focal point. Outstanding recreational, cultural and sporting facilities further enhance this exceptional learning and research environment.

Applications are invited for the following position:

Faculty of Education & Health Sciences

School of Allied Health

Lecturer below the bar in Human Nutrition and Dietetics - Contract Type: Tenure Track (five year fixed term).  During the term of the contract the successful applicant will have the opportunity to apply for tenure in accordance with the University's Policy and Procedures for Granting Multi-annual Status to Tenure Track Academic Staff

Salary Scale: €38,731 - €53,249 p.a.

Further information for applicants and application material is available online from:

The closing date for receipt of applications is Wednesday, 11th April 2018.
Applications must be completed online before 12 noon, Irish Standard Time on the closing date.

This position is subject to Garda Vetting and Foreign Police Clearance.  If you have resided in countries outside of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland for a period of 6 months or more since the age of eighteen, it will be mandatory for you to furnish Foreign Police Clearance Certificates from those countries, stating that you have no convictions recorded against you while residing there.  You will need to provide a separate Police Clearance Certificate for each country you have resided in.  Please note; any costs incurred in this process will be borne by the candidate.

Please email erecruitment@ul.ie if you experience any difficulties

Applications are welcome from suitably qualified candidates.
The University is an equal opportunities employer and committed to selection on merit.


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Beer Ethics

Monks in the bottling room of the brewery in Westvleteren in the early 1900s. Photograph: Hulton Deutsch/Corbis via Getty Images

this is a fascinating story!

A spokesman for the abbey said: “A price of nearly €10 per bottle goes against the ethical standards and values that the monks face. Every beer lover knows that the Trappists of Westvleteren do not pursue profit maximisation, they only produce as much beer as is necessary to provide for their livelihood. All the profits made go to the abbey charity.”

Monday, 12 March 2018

UL Food Science and Health 4th year students: here is how we can improve the Irish Food Pyramid (upd)

During this term, the FT4248 "Advanced Food Chemistry"students 
in LM068 in UL  have been working on ameliorating the Pyramid standards. 

Here are some valid suggestions of my students 🎯

(Their proud Teacher) Ioannis


Evaluation of the current Irish Food Pyramid
Olivia Murphy  - Phove Gavin - Amy Redfern

The current food pyramid has not considered current research regarding foods influence on disease development and prevention. This research emphasises the need for change in the food pyramid which is currently advising the Irish population.

Food pyramid, health, disease
According to WHO, the causes of death globally in the past fifteen years have not altered significantly. Cardiovascular disease(CVD) and cancer are the leading causes of death[1]. The current food pyramid(CFP) suggests that two portions of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts should be consumed a day. This review proposed a revised food pyramid(RFP) which is a healthier alternative in disease prevention in comparison to the CFP.
Red and processed meats contain potentially carcinogenic substances such as N-nitroso-compounds(NOCs), heterocyclic amines(HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs)[2]. HCAs and PAHs are mutagenic chemicals formed when cooking at high temperatures. HCAs are comprised of a reaction of amino acids, sugars and creatine at high temperature. PAHs are formed when fats and juices of the meats react with the fire causing flames[3]. Numerous studies have demonstrated the exposure of HCAs and PAHs resulting in the development of cancer[4-8]. Curing and smoking of meats involves the addition of nitrates and nitrites resulting in formation of carcinogenic NOCs. The heme-iron content in meat aids production of NOCs[2;9]. The RFP suggests that one should consume less than one portion of red meat weekly and consume processed meats sparingly.
Poultry is an exceptional source of protein and unsaturated fatty acids. It is a source of the following B vitamins; thiamine, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid and minerals such as; iron, zinc and copper. The inclusion of poultry meat in diet reduces risk of developing CVD, type 2 diabetes mellitus(T2D), cancer and obesity[10].The RFP suggests that portions of poultry should be consumed a week.
Research assessed the properties of polar lipid fractions of sardines and cod liver oil against atherogenesis. The anti-PAF properties of the fish polar lipids play a protection role against the development of CVD[11;12]. The RFP suggests that two portions of fish should be consumed a week, one of which should be oily.
Beans and nuts are nutritious and have a plethora of good qualities including high levels of carbohydrates, protein, fibre, magnesium, potassium, folate and antioxidants. Beans and nuts are associated with reducing risk of developing CVD, T2D, obesity and cancer [13;14].This elucidates the impression that beans and nuts should be consumed in greater amounts. Figure 2 demonstrates the RFP that suggests that beans and nuts are included in the wholemeal section.
Hen yolk exhibits antiatherogenic properties. The inhibitory activity against platelet activation factor has been demonstrated hence playing a protective role against the mechanism of atherogenesis[15]. Unlike what was previously thought, there is little associated between high egg intake and CVD. Eggs are good in moderation, however, it is not advisable to consume greater than seven eggs a week as there is an increased risk in developing T2D[16-18]. The revised food pyramid suggests that one egg should be eaten a day.

The suggested RFP based on scientific literature proves to be a better alternative to the CIP which is currently in place with regards disease prevention control. 

1. World Health Organisation (2017) Top 10 causes of death worldwide, available:http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/ [accessed: 4 Feb 2018].
2. Bouvard. V., Loomis. D., Guyton. K. Z., Groose. Y., Ghissassi. F. E., Benbrahim-Tallaa. L., Guha. N., Mattock. H. & Straif. K. on behalf of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group (2015) ‘Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat’, The Lancet, 16 (16), 1599-1600, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00444-1 [accessed 8 Feb 2018].
3. National Cancer Institute (2015) Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk’ available: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cooked-meats-fact-sheet#r7 [accessed 7 Feb 2018].
4. Bernstein A.M., Sun Q., Hu F.B., Stampfer M.J., Manson J.E., Willett W.C., (2010) ‘Major dietary protein sources and risk of coronary heart disease in women’, 122(9), 876-83, available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20713902 [accessed: 29 January 2018]
5. Zhu H.C, Yang X, Xu L.P, Zhao L.J, Tao G.Z, Zhang C, Qin Q, Cai J, Ma J.X, Mao W.D, Zhang X.Z, Cheng H.Y, Sun X.C, (2014), ‘Meat consumption is associated with esophageal cancer risk in a meat- and cancer-histological-type dependent manner’, 59930, 664-73, available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24395380 [accessed: 29 January 2018]
6. Cross. A.J and Sinha. R. (2004) ‘Meat-related mutagens/carcinogens in the etiology of colorectal cancer’, Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 4(1), 44-55, available: 10.1002/em.20030 [accessed 7 Feb 2018].
7. Steck. S. E., Gaudet. M. M., Eng. S. M., Britton. J. A., Teitelbaum. S. L., Neugut. A. I., Santella. R. M. and Gammi. M. D. (2007) ‘Cooked Meat and Risk of Breast Cancer - Lifetime Versus Recent Dietary Intake’, 18(3), 373-382, available:10.1097/01.ede.0000259968.11151.06 [accessed 7 Feb 2018].
8. Santarelli. R. L., Pierre. F. and Corpet. D. E. (2008) ‘Processed Meat and Colorectal Cancer: A Review of Epidemiologic and Experimental Evidence’ Journal Nutrition and Cancer,  60(2), 131-144, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01635580701684872 [accessed 7 Feb 2018].
9 Swann P.F. (1977) ‘Carcinogenic risk from nitrite, nitrate and N-nitrosamines in food', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 70(2), 113-115 available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1542949/ [accessed 7 Feb 2018].
10. Marangoni. F., Corsello. G., Cricelli. C., Ferrara. N., Ghiselli. A., Lucchin. L. and Poli. A. (2015) ‘Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: and Italian consensus document’, Food and Nutrition Research, 59, 27606, available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462824/ [accessed 1 Feb 2018].
11. Morphis. G., Kyriapoulou. A., Naspoulou. C., Sioriki. Elemi., Demopoulos. C. A., Zabetakis. I. (2016) ‘Assessment of the in Vitro Antithrombotic Properies of Sardines (Sardina pilchardus) Fillet Lipids and Cod Liver Oil, Fishes, 1(1), 1-15, available: 10.3390/fishes1010001 [accessed 4 Feb 2018].
12. Kris-Etherton. P. M., Harris. W. S. and Appeal. L. J. (2003) ‘Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease’, American Heart Association, 106, 2747-2757, available:  10.1161/01.CIR.0000038493.65177.94 [accessed 4 Feb 2018].
13. Aune, D., Chan, D.S.M., Lau, R., Vieira, R., Greenwood, D.C., Kampman, E. and Norat, T. (2011) 'Dietary fibre, whole grains, and risk of colorectal cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies', BMJ, 343, available:  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6617 accessed 4 Feb 2018].
14. Bingham, S.A., Day, N.E., Luben, R., Ferrari, P., Slimani, N., Norat, T., Clavel-Chapelon, F., Kesse, E., Nieters, A. and Boeing, H. (2003) 'Dietary fibre in food and protection against colorectal cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC): an observational study', The lancet, 361(9368), 1496-1501, available: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13174-1 [accessed 4 Feb 2018]..
15. Nasopoulou. C., Gogaki. V., Panagopoulou. E., Demopoulos. C. and Zabetakis. I. (2013) ‘Hen egg yolk lipid fractions with antiatherogenic properties, Animal Science Journal, 84(3), 264-71, available: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2012.01067 [accessed 4 Feb 2018].
16. Fuller. N. R., Markovic. T. P., Sainsbury. A. and Caterson. I. D. (2017) ‘Eggs and type 2 diabetes:Current evidence suggests no cause for concern in the short-term’, Nutrition Bulletin, 42(1), 6-9, available: 10.1111/nbu.12246 [accessed 3 Feb 2018].
17. Geiker. N. R. W., Larsen. M. L., Dyerberg. J., Stender. S. and Astrup. A. (2017) ‘Egg consumption, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes’, Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72, 55-56, available:10.1038/ejcn.2017.153 [accessed 3 Feb 2018].
18. Díez-Espino. J., Basterra-Gortari. F. J., Salas-Salvadó. J.. Buil-Cosiales. P., Corella. D. Schroder. H., Estruch. R., Ros. E., Gómez-Gracia. E., Arós. F., Fiol. M., Lapetra. J., Serra-Majem. L., Pintó. X., Babio. N., Quiles. L., Filo. M., Marti. A. and Toledo. E. (2017) ‘Egg consumption and cardiovascular disease according to diabetic status: The PREDIMED study’, Clinical Nutrition Journal, 36(4), 1015-1021, available: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2016.06.009 [accessed 4 Feb 2018].
19. Ireland, Department of Health (2016) Food Pyramid Leaflet, available: http://www.healthyireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/M9481-Food-Pyramid-Leaflet.pdf [accessed 4 Feb 2018].


The Food Pyramid
Orlagh Kennelly -Alice O’Grady -Fiona O’Sullivan

Abstract: A major problem with the updated Irish food pyramid is the way in which fats, oils and spreads are grouped together. The unclear layout of the current food pyramid prompted a revision of its categorization of food. This review pays particular attention to fats spreads and oils.
Keywords: food pyramid, lipids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, fats, oils.
Currently the food pyramid has given no consideration to the composition of each type of ‘Fats, Oils and Spreads’ in terms of their saturated, unsaturated and trans-fat content. Trans fats have been highlighted in recent years due to their association with the increased risk of cardiovascular events [1]. Studies conducted in Greece, in the 1960’s, found olive oil (OO) contributed up to 40% of total dietary energy intake. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) was shown to be 90% lower in Greek men than in men in the USA [2].
It is misleading to group OO with foods such as palm oil (PO), full-fat butter and spreads (including low-fat varieties) as their compositions vary drastically. OO is a source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and is low in saturated fatty acids (SFAs). It provides us with oleic acid which has been shown to have antithrombotic properties. MUFAs are less inclined to contribute to oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDLs). This contrasts with PO, which has an SFA content of 87.55g/100g, which has been shown to contribute to an individual’s risk in developing CHD [3].
The purpose of the food pyramid should be to educate the public on the different types of fats, both good and bad, however, there is no information on the type of fat that should be consumed in each category. In the current food pyramid, fat can be found in two categories, the ‘Fats, spreads and oils’ and the ‘Foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt’ which fails to distinguish between fats. On the Safefood website there is only one suggestion on the servings/ portion
sizes of fats and oils and that is to “use as little as possible” [5]. In agreement to this statement,
consumption of foods high in SFAs should be used sparingly. However, foods high in PUFAs
and MUFAs should be differentiated due to their health benefits (Figure 1).

Table 1:  Table of fatty acid composition of fats, oils and spreads commonly found in the Irish diet.  
Saturated Fat (g/100g)
Unsaturated Fat (g/100g)
Of which are poly-unsaturated (g/100g)
Of which are mono-unsaturated
Trans Fat
Olive oil
Canola oil
Coconut oil
Sunflower oil
Palm Oil

Figure 1: Suggested changes to the existing food pyramid.

1.      Mozaffarian , D., Katan , M.B., Ascherio , A., Stampfer , M.J. and Willett , W.C. (2006) 'Trans Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease', New England Journal of Medicine, 354(15), 1601-1613, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMra054035.

2.      Willett, W.C. (2012) 'Dietary fats and coronary heart disease', Journal of Internal Medicine, 272(1), 13-24, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2012.02553.x.

3.       Nettleton, J.A., Brouwer, I.A., Geleijnse, J.M. and Hornstra, G. (2017) 'Saturated Fat Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Ischemic Stroke: A Science Update', Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 70(1), 26-33, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000455681.

4.      Safefood (n.d.). Safefood | What is a balanced diet?. [online] Safefood.eu. Available at: http://www.safefood.eu/Healthy-Eating/The-Food-Pyramid-and-The-Eatwell-Guide.aspx [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].

5.      USDA (n.d.). Food Composition Databases Show Foods List. [online] Ndb.nal.usda.gov. Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].

6.      . McCance, R.A., Widdowson, E.M., Agency, G.B.F.S. and Research, A.I.o.F. (2002) McCance and Widdowson's The Composition of Foods, Royal Society of Chemistry.


Title: Identifying scientific mistakes in the current Irish food pyramid and proposing beneficial changes regarding fats, oils and spreads. 

Kate O’Connell  -   Evan Lynch-   Clodagh Doyle

This essay addresses mistakes in the food pyramid and re-categorizes fats, spreads and oils based on differing lipid compositions. The main scientific mistake in the current food pyramid is all fats are regarded as equal. However, this isn’t the case, as fats belong on various tier of the food pyramid.

Keywords: food-pyramid, Ireland, mistakes, lipid-composition, nutrition.

1. Introduction
Ireland’s current food pyramid is based on dogmatic evidence. While the food pyramid has updated in recent years, it’s still evidently flawed. Outdated evidence has created lipophobic recommendations, in which fats are demonized. In Ireland(53.5%,), Spain(44.2%) and France(42.4%) , of male CVD deaths occur due to Dietary risk factors in 2011. Despite >38% of total energy is available from fats in Spain and France[1],

Table 1: Lipid composition for various foods. [2] [3] [4] [5]

2.0  Discussion

2.1  Olive oil.
Olive oil is the main fat source in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil, being high in polar lipids and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) contains anti-inflammatory properties. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and MUFA in the diet have shown to improve cardiometabolic risk factors. A 30% reduction in stroke risk was seen after consuming a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for 4.8 years [6].
Randomized controlled trials showed consuming Mediterranean diets supplemented with EVOO had a 52% reduction in diabetes [7].
Olive polar lipids were shown to be potent in an in-vivo rabbit study. Supplementation showed a decrease in plaque thickness and PAF inhibition, leading to anti-inflammatory effects over a few weeks [8][9].

2.2  Butter vs Margarine.
Butter is high in saturated fats, containing potent polar lipids. Saturated fats are no longer linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD) [10]. Margarine seems more appealing due to less saturated fatty acids (SFA) but contains 6.1% trans fatty acids (TFA). Partial hydrogenation decreases SFA but produces TFA instead, leading to higher blood triglycerides [11]. Grass fed butter is better in comparison to margarine, due to polar lipid content [12] and the omega 6:3 ratio [13].
One meta-analysis outlined butter reduced coronary heart disease risk by 22.4% when substituting 45% TFA from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils [14].

2.3  Olives & Avocados
Olives contain polar lipids [15] and are shown to be cardioprotective [8]. Avocado has high unsaturation with no trans-fats, a better alternative to low fat spreads. Avocados are high in Oleic acid [2] and show cardioprotective effects [8]. Replacing low fat spreads/margarines with avocado/olives would be beneficial to Irish diets. Olive pomace is shown to contain biologically active lipid fractions that inhibit inflammation, thus preventing incidence of CVD and type 2 diabetes (DT2).[8][9].

3. Suggestions
  1. Separate trans-fats (margarine) and move to top shelf.
  2. Saturated fats (grass-fed butter) remain on shelf two.
  3. Separate unsaturated fats (EVOO) and relocate to bottom shelf.
  4. Addition of fats that are ideal as spreads or meal elements such as avocados and olives.


Figure 1: Suggested changes for current food Pyramid


Figure 2: Textual representation of fat placement on shelves

4. Conclusion
Considering literature reviewed, it’s evident that the fat, spreads and oil group should be dispersed throughout the food pyramid, creating an awareness to the public that not all fats are bad.

5. Bibliography
1.       European Health Network (2017) “ CVD statistics report 2017”, 95-115, available: http://www.ehnheart.org/images/CVD-statistics-report-August-2017.pdf
2.       Laugerette, F., Furet, J.P., Debard, C., Daira, P., Loizon, E., Géloën, A., Soulage, C.O., Simonet, C., Lefils-Lacourtablaise, J., Bernoud-Hubac, N., Bodennec, J., Peretti, N., Vidal, H. and Michalski, M.C. (2012) 'Oil composition of high-fat diet affects metabolic inflammation differently in connection with endotoxin receptors in mice', American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, 302(3), 374-386, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00314.2011.
3.       Teng, S.W., Hsiung, T.C., Shyr, J.J. and Wakana, A. (2016) 'Lipid content and fatty acid composition in Taiwan avocados (Persea americana Mill)', Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, 61(1), 65-70.
4.       Han, S.N., Leka, L.S., Lichtenstein, A.H., Ausman, L.M., Schaefer, E.J. and Meydani, S.N. (2002) 'Effect of hydrogenated and saturated, relative to polyunsaturated, fat on immune and inflammatory responses of adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia', Journal of Lipid Research, 43(3), 445-452.
5.       Lordan, R., Tsoupras, A. and Zabetakis, I. (2017) 'Phospholipids of animal and marine origin: Structure, function, and anti-inflammatory properties', Molecules, 22(11), available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules22111964.
6.       Estruch, R., Ros, E., Salas-Salvadó, J., Covas, M.-I., Corella, D., Arós, F., Gómez-Gracia, E., Ruiz-Gutiérrez, V., Fiol, M., Lapetra, J., Lamuela-Raventos, R.M., Serra-Majem, L., Pintó, X., Basora, J., Muñoz, M.A., Sorlí, J.V., Martínez, J.A. and Martínez-González, M.A. (2013) 'Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet', http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303, available: http://dx.doi.org/NJ201304043681406.
7.       E. Toledo, F. B. Hu, R. Estruch, P. Buil-Cosiales, D. Corella, J. Salas-Salvadó, M. I. Covas, F. Arós, E. Gómez-Gracia, M. Fiol, J. Lapetra, L. Serra-Majem, X. Pinto, R. M. Lamuela-Raventós, G. Saez, M. Bulló, V. Ruiz-Gutiérrez, E. Ros, J. V. Sorli and M. A. Martinez-Gonzalez. (2013) BMC Medicine. Effect of the Mediterranean diet on blood pressure in the PREDIMED trial: results from a randomized controlled trial. available: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-11-207.
8.       Nasopoulou, C., Karantonis, H.C., Detopoulou, M., Demopoulos, C.A. and Zabetakis, I. (2014) 'Exploiting the anti-inflammatory properties of olive (Olea europaea) in the sustainable production of functional food and neutraceuticals', Phytochemistry Reviews, 13(2), 445-458, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11101-014-9350-8.
9.       Silva Caldas, A.P., Chaves, L.O., Linhares Da Silva, L., De Castro Morais, D. and Gonçalves Alfenas, R.D.C. (2017) 'Mechanisms involved in the cardioprotective effect of avocado consumption: A systematic review', International Journal of Food Properties, 20, 1675-1685, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10942912.2017.1352601.
10.   Harcombe, Z., Baker, J.S. and Davies, B. (2017) 'Evidence from prospective cohort studies does not support current dietary fat guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis', British journal of sports medicine, 51(24), 1743-1749, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-096550
11.   FSAI (2018) Trans Fatty Acids And Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils | FAQ' s | The Food Safety Authority of Ireland, available: https://www.fsai.ie/faq/trans_fatty_acids.html.
12.   Lordan, R. and Zabetakis, I. (2017) 'Invited review: The anti-inflammatory properties of dairy lipids', Journal of Dairy Science, 100(6), 4197-4212, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12224.
13.   Simopoulos, A.P. (2002) 'The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids', Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, 56(8), 365-379, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0753-3322(02)00253-6.
14.   Mozaffarian, D. and Clarke, R. (2009) 'Quantitative effects on cardiovascular risk factors and coronary heart disease risk of replacing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils with other fats and oils', European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63, S22-S33, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602976.
15.   Nasopoulou, C., Karantonis, H.C., Perrea, D.N., Theocharis, S.E., Iliopoulos, D.G., Demopoulos, C.A. and Zabetakis, I. (2010) 'In vivo anti-atherogenic properties of cultured gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) polar lipid extracts in hypercholesterolaemic rabbits', Food Chemistry, 120(3), 831-836, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.11.023



‘A Review of the Food Pyramid and the Proposed Redistribution of Meats and Fish’

Michael McElligott, Rory Noone, Dian Loposso

Keywords: Food Pyramid, Health, Meat, Fish, Lipids, Cardioprotective, Cancer

1. Abstract:
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and cancer are two of the leading causes of death in Ireland today. Dietary choices, particularly towards meats and fish, have been linked, in varying degrees, to the development of these conditions and surprisingly the Irish food pyramid does not reflect on these differences. This paper takes influence from the success of the Mediterranean diet in these areas and attempts to rearrange the Irish food pyramid into a healthier version.

2. Introduction:
Suspicion of the food pyramid’s inaccuracy was first popularized by Dr. Walter Willett, a Harvard nutritionist, who in 1992 showed that the pyramid lacks the ability to keep up with modern research and is overly simplistic to correctly model the complexity of the human diet (Willett 1994). The Irish food pyramid has issues; most significantly, a lack of differentiation in the protein rich food groups has resulted in red meat, white meat, fish and other staples such as nuts and eggs often being sectioned together. Such diverse food systems all have their own varying positive and negative health implications and can be considered as almost completely separate food groups. The Mediterranean diet is an exceptionally successful health promoting diet and involves a far greater diversity of protein rich food sections. Perhaps, food pyramids around the world could emulate these ideas. In any case, clearly a review of the Irish food pyramid is overdue.

3. Discussion:
Taking cancer first; higher incidences of colorectal cancer have been correlated to the consumption of red and processed meats when compared to many white meats and fish (Vulcan et al. 2017). The Mediterranean diet has robust evidence showing decreased prevalence, progression and mortality of cancer when adhered to by the public (Schwingshackl and Hoffmann 2016). With regards to CVDs; dietary choices are strongly linked to specific biomarkers which have been shown to significantly influence the prevalence of  CVDs (Mann et al. 2014). The Mediterranean diet involves food choices which may ameliorate the blood lipid profile of the public leading to strikingly low incidences of CVDs (Martinez-Gonzalez et al. 2011). Eggs have been shown to be staples of our diet and must be included (Ruxton et al. 2010) as too must a variety of seeds and nuts (Del Gobbo et al. 2015). The most obvious difference of the Mediterranean pyramid is the separation of red meat, poultry and fish within the food pyramid. The introduction of this alteration into the Irish food pyramid may be beneficial in guiding the public towards a less atherogenic and cancer-causing diet, two of the leading causes of death globally (WHO 2017).

4. Recommendation:
Figure 1 contains the reviewed food pyramid consisting of alterations in the aim of improving the Irish public health overall.

Figure 1. The Proposed Updated Irish Food Pyramid

Clearly, the most significant change is the separation of the meat and fish section into three separate groups based on their currently known health effects. Nuts, eggs, seeds and oils have been included with seafood due to their health benefits being continuously shown. Another important alteration is the introduction of both weekly and daily sections. This may yield a more understandable and easier to adhere to guide for the general public. The base of the pyramid includes a general healthy lifestyle section as food is not the only health implicating factor in life.

5. Conclusion:
The alterations suggested may result in decreased incidence of CVDs, some forms of cancer and improved health of the Irish public if adhered to. This suggestion is based on the findings of others and requires its own testing. In finality, let us quote Hippocrates ‘Let thy food be thy medicine’.

6. Bibliography:
Del Gobbo, L.C., Falk, M.C., Feldman, R., Lewis, K. and Mozaffarian, D. (2015) 'Effects of tree nuts on blood lipids, apolipoproteins, and blood pressure: systematic review, meta-analysis, and dose-response of 61 controlled intervention trials', Am J Clin Nutr, 102(6), 1347-56, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.110965.

Mann, D., Zipes, D., Libby, P. and Bonow, R. (2014) Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 10th ed., Philadelphia: Elsevier.

Martinez-Gonzalez, M.A., Garcia-Lopez, M., Bes-Rastrollo, M., Toledo, E., Martinez-Lapiscina, E.H., Delgado-Rodriguez, M., Vazquez, Z., Benito, S. and Beunza, J.J. (2011) 'Mediterranean diet and the incidence of cardiovascular disease: a Spanish cohort', Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis, 21(4), 237-44, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2009.10.005.

Ruxton, C.H.S., Derbyshire, E. and Gibson, S. (2010) 'The nutritional properties and health benefits of eggs', Nutrition & Food Science, 40(3), 263-279, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00346651011043961.

Schwingshackl, L. and Hoffmann, G. (2016) 'Does a Mediterranean-Type Diet Reduce Cancer Risk?', Current Nutrition Reports, 5, 9-17, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13668-015-0141-7.

Vulcan, A., Manjer, J., Ericson, U. and Ohlsson, B. (2017) 'Intake of different types of red meat, poultry, and fish and incident colorectal cancer in women and men: results from the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study', Food & Nutrition Research, 61(1), 1341810, available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16546628.2017.1341810.

WHO (2017) Top 10 causes of death worldwide, available: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/ [accessed 13 February 2018].

Willett, W.C. (1994) 'Diet and health: What should we eat?', Science, 264(5158), 532-537.