Guidance for Preventing Heart Disease, Stroke Released

According to the guideline released by ACC/AHA, any effort to prevent a first instance of cardiovascular disease (called primary prevention) should ideally start with a thorough assessment of one’s risk—that is, estimating how likely someone is to develop blockages in their arteries and have a heart attack or stroke or die as a result. All patients should openly talk with their care team about their current health habits and personal risk for cardiovascular disease and, together, determine the best way to prevent it based on current evidence and personal preferences.

“We have good evidence now for how to identify these very high risk individuals with a physical exam and a good history, and for those at borderline risk there are additional factors that can help us determine who is at greater risk and should, for example, be on a medication like a statin earlier to prevent a cardiovascular event,” Blumenthal said. “In the past, a lot of people may have had a fatalistic attitude that they were going to develop heart problems sooner or later but, in reality, most cardiovascular events can be prevented.”

The document synthesizes the best data and proven interventions for improving diet and exercise, tobacco cessation and optimally controlling other factors that affect one’s likelihood of heart problems and stroke (e.g., obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure). The document also discusses the challenges that may interfere with individuals being able to integrate better lifestyle habits.

Lifestyle Change Recommendations

The guideline underscores healthy lifestyle changes as the cornerstone of preventing heart disease and goes a step further by providing practical advice based on the latest research.

“We can all do better with our dietary and exercise habits, and that’s so important when we think about wanting to live longer and healthier lives, whether it’s to see our grandchildren grow up or to stay as active as possible in older age,” Blumenthal said.

Some of the key lifestyle recommendations include:

  • Eating heart healthier – choosing more vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and fish, and limiting salt, saturated fats, fried foods, processed meats, and sweetened beverages; specific eating plans like the Mediterranean, DASH and vegetarian diets are reviewed.
  • Engaging in regular exercise – experts advise aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises such as brisk walking, swimming, dancing or cycling each week. For people who are inactive, some activity is better than none and small 10-minute bursts of activity throughout the day can add up for those with hectic schedules. Currently, only half of American adults are getting enough exercise and prolonged periods of sitting can counteract the benefits of exercise.
  • Aiming for and keeping a healthy weight – for people who are overweight or obese, losing just 5 to 10 percent of their body weight (that would be 10-20 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds) can markedly cut their risk of heart disease, stroke and other health issues.
  • Avoiding tobacco by not smoking, vaping or breathing in smoke – 1 in 3 deaths from heart disease is attributable to smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, so every effort to try to quit through counseling and/or approved cessation medications should be supported and tailored to each individual.

Aspirin Use

For people who’ve had a heart attack, stroke, open heart surgery or stents placed to open clogged arteries, aspirin can be lifesaving. But regular use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke in healthy people isn’t as clear-cut.

In this guideline, ACC/ AHA experts offer science-based guidance that aspirin should only rarely be used to help prevent heart attacks and stroke in people without known cardiovascular disease. Recent research suggests that the chance of bleeding, given the blood-thinning effect of aspirin, may be too high and the evidence of benefit—the number of heart attacks or strokes that are actually prevented—is not sufficient enough to make a daily aspirin worth taking for most adults in this setting.

“Clinicians should be very selective in prescribing aspirin for people without known cardiovascular disease,” Blumenthal said. “It’s much more important to optimize lifestyle habits and control blood pressure and cholesterol as opposed to recommending aspirin. Aspirin should be limited to people at the highest risk of cardiovascular disease and a very low risk of bleeding.”

Based on a simplified synopsis of the latest ACC/AHA cholesterol guideline, for primary prevention, statins should be commonly recommended with lifestyle changes to prevent cardiovascular disease among people with elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels (≥ 190 mg/dl), Type 2 diabetes, and anyone who is deemed to have a high likelihood of having a stroke or heart attack upon reviewing their medical history and risk factors and having a detailed discussion with their clinician.

Diabetes

For people with Type 2 diabetes, which is one of the strongest risk factors for cardiovascular disease, there are new data that two classes of diabetes medications, which work to lower blood sugar levels, can also cut the risk of heart attack, stroke and related deaths.

Source: American Heart Association

Advertisements

Is Going Meatless Good for Your Health?

Gigi Choy wrote . . . . . . . . .

Anil Battinapati, 35, has been Hindu vegetarian for 32 years. The Hyderabad, India, resident might eat dosas with palli chutney for breakfast and rice with vegetable curry for lunch, and does so both because of his religion and because it is healthy. Since Battinapati does not eat meat, the R&D engineer said he ate dishes with many alternative sources of protein such as beans, nuts and eggs to ensure he had the right mix of nutrients.

In Malaysia, Eileen Lew is Buddhist and has tried to avoid eating meat since she was seven years old. She followed in the footsteps of her parents and became vegetarian not just for religious but also ethical and environmental reasons.

“I had been sent to a school which only provided vegetarian meals, so this is where I formed the habit. Our teacher educated us on the ways vegetarianism can help save the earth and also taught us the heart of compassion,” she said.

Lew, 20, who studies mass communication at UCSI University in Kuala Lumpur, occasionally eats meat when she dines out with friends because not all restaurants in Malaysia have vegetarian options.

“If I have a choice, I will eat vegetarian,” she said.

Hinduism and Buddhism have influenced vegetarianism in Asia for many years, and that influence has spread – there are now 1.1 billion Hindus and nearly 500 million Buddhists globally. More than 90 per cent of Hindus live in India, and half of the world’s Buddhist population lives in China, according to the Pew Research Centre.

While eating plant-based foods used to be a subculture in the rest of the world, it has now become more mainstream. Famous personalities have extolled the virtues of eating only plants, fueling a collective of social media photos and posts on how to be vegan, easy vegan recipes to cook and best vegan places to eat.

This means there is big hope for plant-based food as a new industry, but not all scientists and health specialists are inclined to support this trend.

“No meat in our diets? Impossible,” said Wong Ching, a registered Chinese medicine practitioner in Hong Kong. “Plant-based meat substitutes cannot replace real meat.”

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on balance, the idea of yin and yang.

Foods are classified with different energies – cold, cool, neutral, warm and hot – and can cause the body to either grow stronger or weaker, depending on whether balance and harmony are affected.

Wong said the body relied on the piwei – the spleen and stomach – to deliver nutrients to other organs, and likened a healthy piwei to a pot of boiling water.

In this analogy, the water represents yin energy while the fire is yang energy. The steam rising from the boiling water can be seen as the nutrients being delivered to other organs so they can function properly.

“If you eat too much food with cold or cooling yin energy, such as seafood and vegetables, your piwei will become too cold and won’t function normally. In other words, the fire heating your pot of water is too small,” Wong said.

Physical and psychological balance is also at the core of Ayurveda, a holistic system of traditional Indian medicine that dates back more than 5,000 years.

Ayurveda postulates that all matter, living and non-living, is composed of five elements. These elements are grouped together and represented in the form of three doshas, or biological energies – vata (ether and air), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth).

The doshas are further characterised by 10 pairs of opposite qualities, which Ayurvedic practitioners use to prescribe dietary regimens, lifestyle activities and therapeutic procedures that help restore imbalances.

“Every individual has a digestive fire called agni that needs to be strong and healthy to fully utilise the food one eats for growth, health and immunity along with regular and efficient elimination of wastes,” said Dr Sudha Raj of Syracuse University.

“A weak agni can result in toxic accumulation of ama, or wastes believed to be the primary cause of disease.”

Ancient Ayurvedic texts refer to the utility of animal products in helping to restore the body to a natural state of equilibrium, and treat diseases. However, eating too much meat can disturb the body’s balance and cause illness. Heavier foods, such as meat and eggs, can also impact mental alertness.

In contrast, Dr Leong Lai Peng of National University of Singapore said: “There is no evidence that a vegetarian or vegan would get sick more easily as long as he or she consumes a balanced and adequate diet.”

Dietitians and nutritionists stress the importance of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet by consuming a wide variety of foods in the right proportions.

She recommends vegetarians and vegans consume a variety of different sources of plant protein and suggests those who plan on adopting a plant-based diet adjust gradually.

“Meat is dense and it is easy to consume too much but in the case of vegetables, it is more difficult to eat too much because you will feel satiated before you had too much. Eating plant-based protein can help moderate the consumption of meat protein,” Leong said.

For those who cannot decide, one easy way out has been to be flexitarian.

Joyce C, 23, cut out red meat from her diet because of ethical, health and environmental reasons but said it was a struggle to become a full-time vegetarian in Hong Kong.

“Challenges include affordability and adhering to social circumstances. Most cultural foods are animal protein-based. A lot of my friends feel obliged to eat the food provided on the table, otherwise they may be deemed rude or ungrateful,” the law student said.

She said the label “vegetarian” placed unnecessary stress on those who felt they were breaking the rules when they ate vegetable dishes that included meat products, such as Sichuan dry fried string beans with pork. “We should all just do our best to eat a balanced diet and limit meat-eating.”

Source: SCMP


Read also:

Vegan pork in Hong Kong, impossible burgers in Singapore: how investors grew fat on Asia’s fad for mock meat . . . . .

Vegan Brioche

Ingredients

Sponge Mixture

60 ml tepid soy milk
2 tbsp plain white flour
1 tbsp instant dried yeast

Dough

160 g plain flour
32 g soy flour or gram flour
2-4 tbsp soy milk
32 g golden caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp vegan margarine

Method

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the sponge mixture and leave for a few minutes until the mixture starts to bubble slightly, now to add the dough ingredients.
  2. Sift in the plain flour and soy flour and add the soy milk, caster sugar and salt. Stir together until well combined then stir in the vegan margarine, 2 tablespoons at a time, until well incorporated and you have a nice wet dough.
  3. Knead only for about 2 minutes in the bowl to ensure everything is combined well. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge to rise very slowly for about 8-20 hours (I left mine overnight).
  4. After the dough has been sitting in the fridge for about 8 hours or more, remove from the fridge, punch down and roll into a ball and separate the dough into 8 even pieces.
  5. Roll each piece into a ball and place evenly apart on the base of an 8″ round cake pan. Cover the cake pan with a tea towel leave to prove for 1-1/2 hours in a warm place before baking.
  6. Brush with soy milk and bake in the oven at 180ºC/350ºF for 20-25 minutes until the bread turns a glossy dark golden brown on top.

Makes 8 buns.

Source: Vegan Food and Living magazine

Bakery Offers Vegan, Allergy-Free Desserts for Everyone

Alishs McDarris wrote . . . . . . . . .

Leah Lopez makes parents cry, but she doesn’t troll anyone on Facebook or pick fights at the playground. She’s a baker. Moms and dads call her, weeping on the phone or wiping away tears after meeting her, after their severely allergic kids taste a cupcake for the first time.

Lopez doesn’t just make cupcakes (plus cake balls, brownies, cookie dough bites, and more), at Better Bites Bakery, she makes desserts that just about anyone can eat. Even those who live with any of the top eight allergies – gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, corn, and shellfish. They’re also vegan, GMO-free, and contain no artificial dyes or preservatives. These tried-and-true recipes started as home-baked goods that Lopez whipped up for her son, Gabriel.

When Gabriel, nearly 3 years old, was diagnosed with severe dairy, egg, and gluten allergies, Lopez didn’t want him to miss out on all the sweet treats and sugary joys of childhood. So she set out to create something that was not only free of allergens, but better for him, too. Along the way, she discovered she wasn’t alone.

“We found out there were a lot of other people in the community with kids who suffered from food allergies,” Lopez said. “[Better Bites Bakery] was something I felt was really needed in the community.”

She started experimenting and created recipes people loved, including cream-filled cupcakes reminiscent of those other chocolate treats in the snack aisle (you know, the ones with white curlicues). Parents and kids loved them. A teenage girl with Crohn’s disease tasted cupcakes for the first time in her life, brides got to indulge in their own wedding cake, dads snacked alongside their kids with severe allergies without worrying about cross-contamination.

“This is so much bigger than I would have imagined,” Lopez said. And while Lopez doesn’t take special orders anymore (the business grew too quickly), her products are in stores across Austin – HEB, Central Market, Wheatsville, and many other local markets – and Whole Foods Markets started carrying them nationwide last fall. Keep an eye out for a new product, one Lopez believes will be the new best-seller, in May.

Source: The Austin Chronicle

All Schools in New York City Will Serve Vegetarian Menus on Mondays Starting from Next School Year

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced all New York City public schools will have “Meatless Mondays” beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The program, which was first piloted in 15 schools in Brooklyn in Spring 2018, will provide students with healthy, all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday.

“Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers’ health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.”

“Meatless Mondays are good for our students, communities, and the environment,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Our 1.1 million students are taking the next step towards healthier, more sustainable lives. Our students and educators are truly leaders in this movement, and I salute them!”

“I stood beside Mayor de Blasio and then-Chancellor Fariña in 2017 to announce that fifteen schools in Brooklyn were undertaking Meatless Mondays. In less than eighteen months, we can announce that Meatless Mondays has spread to more than one million children at every school across the city, putting us on the path to make our kids, communities, and planet healthier,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza, as well as our incredible parent and student advocates who have made this a reality. I could not be more energized by our progress and more ready to take on the work ahead.”

“Reducing our appetite for meat is one of the single biggest ways individuals can reduce their environmental impact on our planet,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “Meatless Mondays will introduce hundreds of thousands of young New Yorkers to the idea that small changes in their diet can create larger changes for their health and the health of our planet.”

“Meatless Mondays gives our patients – and now every Department of Education student – the option of a healthier meal choice,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “I thank Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Carranza and Brooklyn Borough President Adams for championing this healthy choice and allowing our youth the opportunity to add plant-based meals to their diet.”

“Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Carranza, and Brooklyn Borough President Adams for the citywide implementation of Meatless Mondays in our public schools, which contributes to better food and health equity for our students,” said Director of Food Policy Barbara Turk. “Meatless Mondays is one of many positive steps the Department of Education is taking in their broader progress to provide healthy school food, which also includes their leadership in the administration-wide participation of the Good Food Purchasing Program.”

Meatless Mondays is a national movement focused on healthy, environmentally friendly meal options, and it was piloted in 15 Brooklyn schools last year in collaboration with Borough President Eric Adams, who has championed plant-based diets. This fall, the pilot was brought to schools across the City in in order to evaluate student feedback on a broader scale. Through evaluation of participation metrics—which has remained stable—and student feedback, the DOE has decided to officially bring Meatless Mondays citywide for 2019-20. The expansion will be cost-neutral, and the DOE’s Office of Food and Nutrition Services will meet with students to get qualitative feedback before the menu for next fall is finalized.

Meatless Mondays builds on the City’s efforts to provide free, healthy meals to all students. This initiative will be part of New York City’s Free School Lunch for All, which launched in the 2017-18 school year and provides free, nutritious, healthy breakfast and lunch to all participating New York City schools. In the 2017-18 school year, more than 150 million breakfasts and lunches were served free of charge. Each summer, the DOE provides free breakfast and lunch to any New Yorker under 18 through the Summer Meals program. Since 2015, New York Thursdays have provided schools with locally sourced or produced food.

“For those who scoff at this notion, I have some simple advice: look at the science. Look at the data. Look at the childhood obesity. Look at pre-diabetes diagnoses. Look at the fact that 65% of American kids age 12-14 shows signs of early cholesterol disease. Then, perhaps you will embrace the fact that we can’t keep doing things the same way, including welcoming the idea of Meatless Mondays,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo.

“Learning to eat healthy food is one of the most important lessons our children can gain as part of their education; and access to healthy food is an essential part of our preventative care,” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi. “As a vegetarian, I always appreciated having viable choices like this, for nutrition.”

“Plant-based diets are healthy and also good for the environment,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair and longtime pescatarian Richard N. Gottfried. “From child development to chronic disease management, diet and nutrition play a central role in health care. I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza for their leadership on this issue.”

“I’m excited that Meatless Mondays will officially launch at NYC public schools for the 2019-2020 school year. They’ll help improve the health and wellness of our students and serve as an important way the city can address environmental sustainability,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “PS 130 has already received terrific feedback from its Meatless Mondays pilot program, and I look forward to similar results across the city. Thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for advocating for Meatless Mondays for all our kids.

“We are not taking climate change seriously unless we are talking about the astounding role animal agriculture and meat production plays in greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigating the effects of climate change means thinking outside the box and that means looking at the foods we purchase especially when it comes to what we feed our children in public schools. We’ve all gotta do our part to protect our planet,” said Council Member Justin Brannan. “Expanding Meatless Mondays will not only help raise awareness of reducing meat consumption but it will absolutely make a difference when it comes to the amount of carbon dioxide our city contributes to the atmosphere.”

New York City has also made strides in making cafeterias eco-friendly and sustainable, including compostable plates rather than polystyrene trays, and placing clearly labeled Recycling Stations in every cafeteria. Since the 2011-2012 school year, 761 schools now take part in the City’s Organic Collection program. The DOE’s Office of Sustainability supports these schools through training for students and staff on proper sorting of organic waste. Of the 761 schools, 108 are Zero Waste Schools, a partnership with the Department of Sanitation which seeks to divert all recyclable and compostable waste in five years, beginning in 2016. Since launch, 144 tons of organic compostable and recyclable waste have been diverted from landfills.

“The Coalition for Healthy School Food has worked with the Office of Food and Nutrition Services getting plant-based main dish options on school menus since 2008, and together we introduced a vegetarian menu which is available to schools and has been adopted by four schools so far,” says Amie Hamlin, Executive Director of the Coalition for Health School Food. “We congratulate our partner – the Office of Food and Nutrition Services, the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, the Chancellor’s Office, and the Mayor’s Office for their forward thinking to offer meals that are healthier and also work to reduce climate change.”

“With obesity rates climbing to 1 in 5 kindergarten children in NYC, and oceans heating up 40 percent faster on average than a UN panel estimated five years ago, we are faced with a near catastrophic health and environmental crisis for future generations,” says Andrea Strong, Founder of the NYC Healthy School Food Alliance. “But the solution is simple—if we move towards a plant-forward diet, we can fight the health crisis and reduce damage to our environment. It’s noteworthy to point out that if New York City public schools swapped out a beef burger for a plant-based protein once a month, the city would emit 375,000 pounds less of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year. I applaud the Mayor’s Office, Chancellor Carranza, and BP Adams for pushing for Meatless Mondays in our schools. This promises to be just the beginning of a very significant shift in the way we feed our children.”

“Meatless Mondays are a healthy step forward for our next generation,” says Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “Plant-based meals protect students’ health and teach compassion for the environment and those we share it with.”

“The Humane Society of the United States applauds Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Education for introducing delicious plant-based meals to all public school students,” said Brian Shapiro, New York State Director for the HSUS. “Meatless Monday is popular across the country and has now become a significant part of the city’s commitment to promoting healthy, sustainable foods for all students.”

“We are thrilled to see Meatless Monday expanded to every NYC school. All New York City students deserve healthy, equitable, sustainable, and culturally responsive food access and education. Making sure that all students have the same opportunities to enjoy delicious, healthy meals is a great step in that direction,” said Pamela Koch, EdD, RD, Executive Director of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University.

“A diet high in fruits and vegetables reduces your risk of obesity and a variety of diet-related diseases,” said Craig Willingham, Deputy Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute. “Moreover, it can play a powerful role in the reduction of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Meatless Mondays is a great strategy for inspiring eaters to make healthier choices while reducing their environmental footprint.”

“NYC students are ready to take action to fight climate change. Meatless Monday is giant step forward towards the ‘Green New Meal,'” said Debby Lee Cohen, Executive Director and Founder of Cafeteria Culture. “Moving away from industrial meat production to more plant based and locally grown food is a great way to reduce climate pollution and improve our health through what we eat. Healthy food equals healthy communities and healthy kids.”

“Offering more plant-based options in NYC public schools is an investment in our children’s health today and supports a future with a safer climate,” said NRDC Senior Attorney Margaret Brown. “Meat and other livestock products we eat are responsible for nearly 15 percent of global climate change emissions. The good news is, even small changes in our diets can have a big impact.”

“Meatless Mondays is a fundamentally sound, progressive and foundation building block designed to nourish and nurture our most precious resource on the planet – the children. HIPHOP IS GREEN stands proudly with Mayor De Blasio, Chancellor Carranza and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in full support of this life affirming and paradigm shifting initiative,” said Fred (Doc) Beasley, Founder & Chapter Leader of NYC HIPHOP IS GREEN. “Introducing New York City’s youth to the numerous benefits of plant based living creates a smorgasbord of positive side effects that directly impacts the health and wellness of all sentient beings as well as that of Mother Earth.”

“I applaud the Mayor and Chancellor for expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools. This program will not only help children, animals, and the environment. It will also raise awareness about one of the most important and neglected issues of our time: the need to create a more healthful, ethical, and sustainable food system,” said Jeff Sebo, Director of the NYU Animal Studies MA Program and co-author of Food, Animals, and the Environment.

“By adopting Meatless Monday across the entire school system, New York City is showcasing how compassionate food choices can benefit people, animals, and the planet,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA president and CEO. “We’re thrilled to see New York join other cities across the country committed to building a healthier and more humane food system.”

“Wellness in the Schools has partnered with the NYC DOE Office of Food and Nutrition Services for 15 years to bring the alternative menu and more healthy and delicious meals to the school lunch line. We have seen many initiatives that put NYC at the forefront of school food reform, and the Meatless Monday initiative is yet another step that will not only improve the health of our NYC youth but will also set a healthy tone for our nation,” said Nancy Easton, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Wellness in the Schools.

“The announcement that Mayor de Blasio is expanding Meatless Monday to all New York City public schools marks a major milestone. Through this united effort, New York City’s schools take a leadership role in getting our children on a healthier track, as well as making a positive impact on our environment,” said Sid Lerner, Founder, Meatless Monday Movement.

“Meatless Mondays is a phenomenally healthful way to start the week,” said Dr. Robert Ostfeld, director of Preventive Cardiology at Montefiore Health System and associate professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “Montefiore’s cafeterias were pleased to start Meatless Mondays in 2016, and we applaud New York City for joining this pioneering initiative that will improve the health of over one million students!”

“Through Meatless Mondays, the students in New York are providing a leading example of how global action can be taken by individuals to switch to healthier and plant-based diets that can have beneficial impacts across countries and communities and for achieving climate goals. As we move towards a planet that needs to meet nutrition needs of 10 billion people by 2050, shifting to more conscious decisions about food choices that avoid meat is probably the single biggest way to reduce negative impacts on nature,” said Satya Tripathi, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UN Environment Programme New York Office.

“Good eating habits start at an early age and are a part of better, lifelong health – in fact, this is the next front in preventive care,” said Dr. Ramon Tallaj, Chairman of the Board of SOMOS Community Care. “The Meatless Monday initiative is an opportunity to explore healthy alternatives for our school meals. Emphasizing whole foods including legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and reducing animal products, fried foods, refined grains, and added sugars has been proven to help improve and reverse chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension. SOMOS is committed to working with Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza to build healthier communities and schools, especially at a time that we are grappling with a citywide childhood obesity crisis.”

“As a provider of nutrition and food science education through Beetbox, I am delighted to see the Meatless Monday’s initiative in action. It’s imperative that children understand, at an early stage, the importance of good nutrition and the connection of food to their overall health and even performance in school. It is my hope that this initiative will inspire more schools and act as a conduit for community engagement and life-long health and wellness for children,” said Shazia Choudri, CEO, Beetbox.

Source: City of New York