New Research Reveals Some Surprising Facts about Healthy Eating

By Lisa Franchi on July 04, 2012

Ask Google of what the best and healthiest foods are and you’ll get millions of different results. Much has been written and said about healthy eating that many people become a bit confused on which advice to follow. But a new report has looked into the scientific research about healthy eating and found some surprising answers.

Consumers are advised by the government and health organisations to get their 5 portions of fruits a day to reduce the risk of stroke, cancer, heart problems, and obesity. Is this really true? To find out, researchers from the BMJ Group reviewed several studies and compared how certain diets affect people’s health.

Here are their observations:

Fruits and Vegetables and Heart Disease

The researchers found that eating more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of heart disease, but only by a small amount. In one study for example, it was revealed that those who ate five portions of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis reduced their chance of developing heart problems by about 6 in 1,000, as compared to those who ate three portions or fewer.

Low-fat Diet and Cholesterol

They also found that low-fat diet works to lower down one’s level of cholesterol but then again, by only a small amount. The researchers didn’t have a concrete knowledge on whether low-fat diet has the same effect for healthy people.

Healthy Lifestyle and Cancer

The best way to avoid cancer is to take lots of exercises, stay away from too much alcohol and from eating red meat. According to the BMJ group, there’s no magic or super food that can actually prevent cancer. In a large study in UK, it was shown that 1 in 3 cancers can be prevented if people follow a healthy diet, maintain regular health, and exercise regularly.

Mediterranean Diet is among the Healthiest

An expert once defined the Mediterranean diet as a lifestyle where good taste meets good health. It covers a wide range of healthy food choices such as fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, a bit of poultry and fish, whole grains, and more. After analysing several studies, the BMJ group observed that people who follow this diet are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and cancer.

The analysis was based on a number of studies but majority of said research where observational in nature. So even if they all establish a link between healthy eating and good health, there’s no cause-and-effect relationship that was proved.

Meanwhile, the BMJ group suggests that when there are conflicting advices and ideas about healthy eating, it’s better to safely ignore the diet fads and stick to the natural, healthy food choices. 

 

Source of this article:

Healthy eating – what does the evidence say? by BMJ Group

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