The StudyIn a Swedish Cohort study, 71,706 men and women aged 45-83 were followed for 13 years to examine the effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on mortality. When compared to subjects consuming 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, subjects who never ate fruits and vegetables lived 3 years shorter and had a 53% increased risk of mortality. The authors believed the difference in mortality was due to the fruit and vegetable consumer’s lower rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013; 98:454-9.
Take Home MessageFruits and vegetables are the healthiest things you can eat, aim for a minimum of 5 servings per day, more is better.
The StudyAlthough nuts are an extremely healthy food, many avoid them because they fear their high fat content will cause weight gain. A recently published meta-analysis examined this question. Thirty-three randomized controlled trials were included in this meta-analysis. The results were very interesting. When comparing diets that included nuts to diets that did not, researchers found no increases in body weight, BMI, or waist circumference. In fact, all three were lower in the nut groups, although these differences did not reach statistical significance. The authors believed that the protein and fiber in nuts increase satiety, and that is why they were not associated with weight gain. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013; 97:1346-55.
Take Home MessageNuts are an awesome food. They are high in healthy fats, protein, fiber, minerals, and phytochemicals. Feel free to include nuts in your diet without fear of them tipping the scale in the wrong direction. Just be reasonable with your portions.