Triple Treasure

November 15, 2016

I’ve been honored and thrilled to be a guest at a nutrition research report event at Harvard for several years. The event convenes people with a commitment to improving health through nutrition and lifestyle. The semi-annual event is thrilling for many reasons. First and foremost, cutting edge research in global nutrition is done by doctoral candidates and professors at Harvard. October’s Nutrition Round Table included not just the nutritional impact of various foods on our diet but also how climate change is effecting the food supply.  By all indications we can thank Dr. Walter Willett, the Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, for purging the ubiquity of trans fats in pre-packaged foods in America. What was pervasive ten years ago is almost entirely absent in American products today because of Dr. Willet’s research and advocacy.

We owe considerable additional thanks to Dr. Willet more recently for shining the light on the deep deep impacts that added sugar in foods is having on our health including incidence of adult onset diabetes, heart disease and feeding cancers. Dr. Willett was recently the expert witness for the City of San Francisco in a legal proceeding recommending that a warning label be applied advertising for sugar sweetened beverages. There’s a national movement to use various methods to warn of the hazards of sugar laden beverages using warning labels and taxing oversized soda bottles.

Triple Treasure…It’s not that sugar needs to be avoided entirely. Dr. Willett’s solution to healthier eating includes dessert! Excessive amounts of sugar undermine a healthy diet but Dr. Willett reminds us that there’s sugar in berries and fat in nuts but they and dark chocolate combine to make perfectly healthy and delicious dessert ingredients. Why not put them all together in one REALLY delicious dessert? In fact Dr. Willett goes to restaurants and frequently asks the chef to take the three ingredients and make something spontaneous and delicious, a challenge chef’s often welcome.

Dr. Willett calls it the Triple Treasure.

Dark chocolate, berries and nuts!

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