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Fruits and Vegetables Benefit Your Waist!

Eat more fruits and non-starchy vegetables to help maintain ideal weight.

A meta-analysis of data from three large population studies involving 133, 468 men and women followed for up to 24 years found that eating more fruits and non-starchy vegetables is linked to modest weight loss. These benefits were strongest for berries, apples and pears, citrus fruits, tofu and soy, cauliflower and other calciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and leafy vegetables. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and peas did not convey these same benefits.

PositiveTip: Focus on eating more fruits and non-starchy vegetables every day.

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Benefits of Five Daily Servings of Fruits and Vegetables

Grandmother was right: eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day!

Researchers examined data from 16 prospective studies and found the more fruits and vegetables people ate each day, the lower their risk for all-cause mortality. Each serving was 2.8 ounces (80 grams) of fruit or vegetable. It appeared that 5 servings per day optimized the benefits. Each fruit or vegetable serving lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 4%.

PositiveTip: Seems the oft-heralded 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables does reduce disease risk.

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Family Meals Help with Fruits and Vegetables

Children who eat meals with their family eat more fruits and vegetables

Children in families who regularly eat fruits and vegetables and eat together are more likely to meet the WHO's regular daily intake of five 2.8 oz. servings per day. A study of almost 3000 children in London with an average age of 8.3 years also found that kids ate more when fruits and vegetables where cut into small pieces. The combination of eating together as a family, positive parental examples, and cutting up fruits and vegetables significantly increased consumption.

PositiveTip: Families, eat your meals and fruits and vegetables together!

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Healthy Habits Reduce Risk Of Cardiovascular, Cancer, And All-Causes Mortality

Healthy Habits Reduce Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease Deaths in Chinese Women By 59%.

The Shanghai Women’s Health Study followed approximately 71,000 Chinese women aged 40-70 for 9 years. Among participants, common lifestyle risk factors of early death included physical inactivity, abdominal obesity, being overweight or obese, exposure to spousal tobacco smoke, and eating few fruits and vegetables. When participants reversed these risk factors, they exhibited a striking life-extending effect, especially in participants with a severe history of chronic disease. Overall, results showed that participants with healthy lifestyle habits reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 59%, all causes of mortality by 33%, and cancer by 19%.

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Diet, Exercise, and Weight Are Major Contributors to Health

Lifestyle may reduce risk of early death by 42%.

The Cancer Prevention Study ll Nutrition Cohort shows that  people who maintain a BMI within normal range, exercise 30 or more minutes daily, and eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains exhibit reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality. For those who met the criteria above, this study shows reductions of 48%, 30%, and 42% for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality in men. For women, the numbers are 58%, 24%, and 42%, respectively.

PositiveTip:  Diet, exercise, and maintaining a normal weight significantly reduce the risk of disease and premature death.


Prevent Your Own Cancer

Nearly 50% of all cancer deaths can be prevented. It is reliably estimated that lifestyle and environmental factors are responsible for 42% of the cancers in the United Kingdom. What is true in the UK is likely to be true in much of the industrialized world. 

The research looked at the contribution to cancer made by tobacco, unhealthful foods in the diet, obesity, alcohol, lack of exercise, industrial exposures, radiation and several other factors that make a small contribution to cancer. 

Of the 314,000 cases of cancer in the UK in 2010, 134,000 were preventable. Tobacco caused 60,000 premature cancer deaths.There were 29,000 cancers caused by eating red meat or a lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Obesity was responsible for another 17,000 premature cancer deaths. Alcohol drinking caused 12,000 premature deaths.

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Good Health Habits Reduce Risk of Death By 47%

Poor health habits can accelerate death by the equivalent of 12 years compared with good habits.

A study of 63,791 Chinese women in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, age 40-70, who never smoked or used alcohol, reports the combined effects of 5 health habits reduce mortality from all causes by 47%. These health habits included normal weight, lower waist-hip ratio, daily exercise, never exposed to spouse's smoking, and higher daily fruit and vegetable intake. Women with 0-1 of these were found to have death rates equivalent to those 12 years older than their age.

PositiveTip: How are your health habits? Invest now in choosing a healthier lifestyle.

The Importance of Family Meals: Nutritional Quality

This is the third blog in a series exploring the benefits of eating meals together as a family.

A report from the University of Florida says that one of the real benefits of family meals is the opportunity for conversation that it brings (see the last post in this series). The report goes on to reveal that eating together as a family is also associated with better nutritional quality of food eaten. Here is what they say:

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Families Who Eat Together Get More of the Good Stuff!

Eating family meals together increases intakes of fruit and vegetables.

Eating the evening meal as a family has been shown to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, which provide a variety of nutrients and dietary fiber. Families who eat dinner together tend to have a higher consumption of eating the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables. Studies have also shown that families who eat dinner together tend to eat fewer fried foods and drink less soda. 

PositiveTip: Eat meals together as a family. It is healthier for everyone!

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Mediterranean-style Diet with Lots of Vegetables Helps Newly Diagnosed Diabetics

A pharmaceutical order need not be the first resort for newly diagnosed diabetics.

Investigators in Naples, Italy compared a Mediterranean-sytle diet with a low-fat American Heart Association (AHA) diet in a four year study of patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Participants were overweight (BMI=>25), had glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels above 11%, and were not on diabetic medications. Both diets contained the same number of calories and were rich in whole grains.