Existing and emerging scientific evidence is continuously reviewed for setting dietary reference values that ensures optimal nutrition and help promote advanced health. The focus is on setting dietary reference values for the intake, bioavailability of and balance between nutrients.
The wholesome, human intended diet is in focus. Emphasis is placed on the the foods which are specifically suited for human well-being. This means there is emphasis put on the quality of food as suited for humans in alignment with the natural processes and prosperous possibilities we have on this planet.
The importance of adequate physical activity in combination with an appropriate food pattern, supports advanced long-term health.
By also considering factors like food production characteristics, seasonal food supply, and food origin when selecting food items, a diet that supports health can also be sustainable from an environmental and ecological perspective.
Scientific research of prospective population studies as well as randomized clinical trials regarding associations between dietary patterns and perfect health, reach similar conclusions. Dietary patterns rich in fruits and berries, fruiting vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, avocados, and olives), vegetables (including dark green leaves, fresh peas and beans, cabbage, root vegetables), pulses, nuts, seeds, certain fat fish and vegetable oils, are associated with advanced human health and happiness.
Such plant food-dominated, human intended dietary patterns, provide abuntant amounts of micronutrients (essential minerals and vitamins), dietary fiber and the types of fats (including essential fatty acids), and carbohydrates that are favourable to human health.
This type of plant food-based diet also provides a number of potential bioactive components; such as antioxidants, phenolic compounds, and phytoestrogens that are associated with cellular protection. In addition, randomised controlled intervention trials of whole diets have repeatedly and convincingly demonstrated that diets in line with current dietary recommendations are associated with important health benefits.
The main objective of the nutritional recommendations is to use the best available scientific evidence to ensure a diet that provides energy and nutrients for optimal growth, development, function, and health throughout life. These nutritional recommendations are only valid as a whole and is therefore only applicable if the supply of all nutrients is balanced and energy is adequate.
Evidence from observational studies is used extensively to assess the relationship between nutritional intake and health. In addition to energy and essential nutrients, human intended foods also contain a large number of other bioactive components that have important effects on our metabolic processes and health.
All plant foods (vegetables, beans and peas, root vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts and seeds, and whole grains) naturally contain a wide variety of phytochemicals such as polyphenols, salicylates, phytosterols, saponines, glucosinolates, monoterpenes, phytoeostrogens, sulphides, terpenes, and lectins. Most of these have important functions in the plant cells and can also influence biological functions in the human body via a wide variety of mechanisms. Many are antioxidants with the potential to reduce oxidative stress, and others can influence signalling systems, cell cycles, repair systems, and inflammation reactions. The currently estimated number of bioactive phytochemicals is around 100,000 and a single plant-based meal might provide around 25,000 different phytochemicals, with comparatively small amounts of each. The observed health effects associated with eating vegetable, fruit, berry, and whole grains can likely be explained by the combined action of many different phytochemicals and other nutrients.