Chapter 16. Plant Foods: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

  1. Dr Gail Goldberg

Published Online: 11 FEB 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470774465.ch16

Plants: Diet and Health: The Report of a British Nutrition Foundation Task Force

Plants: Diet and Health: The Report of a British Nutrition Foundation Task Force

How to Cite

Goldberg, G. (ed) (2003) Plant Foods: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions, in Plants: Diet and Health: The Report of a British Nutrition Foundation Task Force, Blackwell Science Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470774465.ch16

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 FEB 2008
  2. Published Print: 30 JUL 2003

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632059621

Online ISBN: 9780470774465

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Keywords:

  • herbs;
  • seeds;
  • chocolate;
  • stems;
  • terpenoids

Summary

This chapter contains section titled:

  • What is behind the recent interest in substances present in edible plants?

  • Which nutrients are provided by plant foods?

  • What are plant bioactive compounds and why are they present in plants?

  • How many of these bioactive compounds exist in plants?

  • Why might bioactive substances be good for health?

  • Which fruits and vegetables are best and how many should we eat?

  • Apart from fruit and vegetables, which other foods contain bioactive substances?

  • What action do these bioactive substances have in the body and how might they protect against disease?

  • How many of these bioactive substances do we need to eat to prevent disease?

  • How bioavailable are these substances?

  • Why are the bacteria in our gut important for health?

  • How does the evidence for the protective effects of these substances compare to the negative effects of excessive intakes of other components of the diet, such as saturates and salt?

  • What is the average intake of bioactive substances in the UK?

  • How does this compare to intakes in other countries?

  • How do transport, storage conditions, preparation and cooking methods affect the content of these substances in foods?

  • Does the content of these substances vary between varieties of the same food?

  • Are plants being bred to contain higher levels of these substances?

  • Which drinks contain high levels of bioactive substances?

  • Should people who avoid alcoholic drinks be encouraged to consume small amounts?

  • Is there any difference to health between drinking tea or coffee?

  • Why is the Mediterranean diet considered a healthy diet?

  • Are vegetarians healthier than people who consume meat?

  • What are the effects on health of eating soya?

  • Which fats and oils should be included in the diet?

  • What is the difference between ordinary olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?

  • What is CLA and what does it do?

  • How do plant sterol and stanol esters work?

  • Chocolate contains bioactive substances, but what about its fat content?

  • Can eating too many of these bioactive substances be harmful to health?

  • Can taking nutritional supplements or herbal remedies be as beneficial as eating fruit and vegetables?

  • What action is being taken to increase fruit and vegetable intake?

  • In a nutshell, what is the take-home message from this report?

  • What are the research priorities for these bioactive substances and the foods that contain them?