“Healthiest meal ever?” — More “confusion over clarity.”


Just when we thought it couldn’t get any more confusing…

A bunch of food researchers from an independent British firm started out with over 4,000 health claims that were used by food producers and supermarkets to hawk their products. Then they whittled those down to 222 claims that they judged to be based on “scientific fact.” And, from that they created what they called the “healthiest meal ever.” (See link to source article below)

Caldwell Esselstyn, MD. Director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal at the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr, of the Cleveland Clinic would vehemently disagree. He would say that it’s just another variation of the typical western diet—the one that promotes heart disease. And since he has successfully reversed heart disease in over 95% of his patients, I tend to believe him more than I would the British research team.

So guess what their “healthiest meal ever” included? Would you believe salmon, olive oil chicken, and yogurt. In addition to a few items that were actually healthy, their meal included these heart-clogging delicacies:

  • Fresh and smoked salmon terrine, which contains Omega 3 and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is good for the arteries, heart and brain.
  • An accompanying mixed leaf salad with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil is good for maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels.  
  • Chicken casserole with lentils and mixed vegetables is a particularly nutritious main meal, with the study showing it could safely make 80 official health claims. 
  • For dessert, a live yogurt-based blancmange topped with walnuts and a sugar-free caramel-flavoured sauce scores well as being good for digestion, the teeth and blood glucose control.

Note that the items in red are definite no-no’s on Esselstyn’s diet.

Dr. Campbell would also strongly disagree with the “healthiest meal ever” described in the source article. And he would challenge their use of “scientific fact.”

And just in case anyone was wondering about the accuracy of their claims, the article ended with this statement. “The meal was created by scientists at Leatherhead Food Research, an independent British organisation, using the 222 surviving health claims which have now been cleared by EU food watchdogs.”

It seems that the “protein myth” and the “olive oil is good for you myth” are both alive and well in the European Union. With information like this touted as being based on “scientific fact,” how can the poor consumer know what to believe?

That is exactly why I have been talking about the need to spend a lot of time and money dispelling that myth. Despite a mountain of scientific and clinical evidence to the contrary, an estimated 95% of the smartest and best-educated people in the western world truly believe that we “need” to eat animal protein to be healthy.

Not only is that animal protein killing us, it is also totally unsustainable for very much longer for a multitude of reasons. Click here for more about how we might go about dispelling the protein myth. There was one bit of truth in the article that I will share with you here, from the CEO of the British research firm:

We have also shown that healthy foods do not have to be dull,’ he said. ‘We carry out thousands of consumer taste tests a year and one thing is clear. No matter how healthy, if foods do not taste good they will not sell.

Source Article: Healthiest meal ever

The Bottom Line. I agree with him, “No mater how healthy, if foods do not taste good they will not sell.” But the fact is, that great chefs can prepare super-healthy 4Leaf meals that will delight any palate. It might take some time, but everyone has it within their power to take charge of their own health—by simply making truly healthy food choices.

Our 4-piece kit below might help get you started. If you’re committed, you’ll be able to delight your palate with a diet-style that you can easily maintain for the rest of your life.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

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To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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3 Responses to “Healthiest meal ever?” — More “confusion over clarity.”

  1. I’d say that anyone who has over 150 blog posts is quite committed to change! I do enjoy your recipe list: https://hpjmh.com/4-leaf/lisas-4-leaf-recipes/ … basically – people can cook what they usually cook, but just leave out the oil (use water), meat (use more vegetables), carbs (use more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes), dairy (try almond milk), sugar (real fruit doesn’t need sugar) and salt (use a spice with antioxidants – like curry or cumin) …! Keep up the good work – that article you are exposing is a sad commentary re nutrition on so many levels. Augh!

  2. Jeane says:

    You state ” It is a fact that great chefs can prepare……” .that is like preaching to the choir. If you are truly interested in changing the world, you need to address this taste good to the majority of us who are not “great chefs” . .

    • J. Morris Hicks says:

      Hi Jeane, I guess I’m saying that the great chefs of the world need to show us the way, then all of us need to learn how to do it. And, as you probably know, that’s really not that difficult to do. Best, Jim

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