Why you should eat your vegetables like you should your potatoes
By now you may have heard that a recent study has revealed that people tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, and that they are less likely to eat meat and dairy.
That may sound like good news, but in reality it’s not.
According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, those eating more fruits were actually less likely than those eating fewer to consume any type of meat or dairy.
A whopping 43 percent of participants in the study who had at least one fruit in their diet reported eating meat, compared to 43 percent who reported eating none.
Another 25 percent of the participants said they ate meat at least occasionally.
“We’ve known for a long time that people have different eating habits and there are a number of factors that can contribute to that, including how much we eat and what our nutritional needs are,” study author Dr. Mary Beth Fonseca told Fox News.
“It seems like the key to a healthy diet is the balance of what you eat and the quality of your food.”
So what’s the problem?
While the researchers weren’t sure exactly why this difference in eating patterns emerged, it’s possible that the amount of fruit, veg, and meat that we eat may actually be a little higher than we think.
This isn’t surprising since research shows that, compared with those who eat less meat, people tend also to eat less vegetables, fruits, and grains.
“Our results suggest that people who have more fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy are more likely to have a healthier lifestyle,” Fonsca said.
The researchers also noted that people may have different expectations when it comes to eating their food.
They found that people with a higher perceived level of health and lower levels of body fat were more likely than people with lower perceived levels of health to eat fewer fruits and veggies.
“When people feel healthier, they’re more likely, for example, to eat lots of fruit and vegetables,” F onsca told The Huffington Post.
But that’s not to say that those who are more health-conscious are also less likely or even unable to eat enough fruit and veggies, because they’re not.
“The people who are healthier eat a lot of fruits and the people who aren’t healthier are more or less likely, however, to just consume a lot less of them,” F Onsca added.
“We’re not saying that we should be doing everything we can to reduce meat consumption.”
What’s the takeaway?
According to Fons, it seems like there is a lot we can do to reduce our meat consumption.
“I think people should be aware of the health benefits of eating a lot more fruit and vegetable and, especially, a lot fewer red meat and poultry,” she said.
“If you’re not feeling great about it, I think you can just eat less red meat.”