Monday, November 22, 2010

Variety Still the Spice of Life!

You might have noticed that some of my favorite words as a nutritionist are the words "variety" and "moderation".  That is, the healthiest diet is one that includes a variety of foods in moderation since this gives us the best chance to get all of the nutrients that we need.  A large recent study offers more proof that variety is indeed a vital part of a healthy diet.  The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, used data from about half a million people living in Europe.  The participants in the study were divided into groups depending on how many of 14 different fruits and 26 different vegetables they ate over a two-week period.  When the study was completed 9 years later, the smokers who ate the greatest variety of vegetables had a 27 percent reduced risk of lung cancer compared to those who consumed the least variety. 

So, variety in our diet not only keeps us from getting bored, it is likely the most nutritious way to eat too.  Do you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every week, or do you find yourself buying and eating the same ones over and over again?  If you answered yes, why not vow to try something new the next time you are at the grocery store.  A great way to do this is to buy fruits and vegetables in season.  They are usually less expensive that way, and they are at the peak of their taste too.  Follow the seasons to ensure that you get a variety of produce all year 'round!

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