Five servings of fruit and vegetables a day can help us live longer, but not all are important
Two of these five servings must be fruits-the other three should focus on vegetables, the study found.
Dr. Don Wang, an epidemiologist and nutritionist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said, “This amount is most beneficial for the prevention of major chronic diseases and is relatively for the general public. It is likely to be an achievable intake. ” Boston, in a statement.
However, the benefits differed depending on the fruit or vegetable in question.
“Also, current dietary recommendations treat all kinds of fruits and vegetables, including starchy vegetables, fruit juices, and potatoes, in the same way, but all fruits and vegetables bring similar benefits. I also found that this was not the case, “says Wang.
For example, peas, corn, potatoes, and other starchy vegetables were not associated with reduced risk of death or certain chronic illnesses.
Green leafy vegetables rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, such as spinach, lush green lettuce, and kale, worked well with carrots.
“The whole piece of evidence in this study needs to encourage medical professionals to eat more fruits and vegetables as an important dietary strategy and convince healthcare professionals to accept it,” said Dr. Naveed Sattar. Dr. Nita Forouhi wrote in the accompanying editorial. It will be published in April.
Sattar is a professor at the Institute of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Glasgow. Forouhi leads the Nutrition Epidemiology Program at the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. Neither was involved in the new study.
“The greatest benefit may come from encouraging people who rarely eat fruits and vegetables. A diet that consumes as much fruit and vegetables as possible is beneficial, “they write.
No association, cause and effect
Published in the AHA journal Circulation on Monday, the study was broadly divided into two parts. The first was the analysis of data from nurse health surveys and follow-up surveys of healthcare professionals. The study followed more than 100,000 American men and women for up to 30 years. All participants completed a dietary habit questionnaire at the beginning of the study. These surveys were updated every 2-4 years. The information was then compared to health and mortality records collected during the long-term survey.
The second part of the study was a meta-analysis of pooled data from 26 studies involving approximately 2 million participants from 29 countries and territories in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and the Americas. .. The studies also compared self-reported fruit and vegetable intake to mortality.
People who ate 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a 13% lower risk of death from any cause than those who ate only 2 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Eating five meals was also associated with a 12% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke.
Studies have also shown that the risk of death from cancer is 10% lower and the risk of death from respiratory illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is 35% lower than those who ate only two servings.
Only for 5 people?
Curiously, this study found no benefit in extending lifespan by eating more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, contrary to previous studies in both animals and humans. did.
Dr. Simin Meydani, a senior scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University and a leader in the nutritional immunology team, said: aging.
Meydani pointed out the fact that new studies rely on self-reported food intake. This depends on the ability of participants to remember what they ate and record the truth. Therefore, a new study could only show an association between 5 servings and better health-not the cause and effect.
“This is primarily based on observational studies and dietary intake records, and I don’t think it is sensitive to distinguishing and identifying the exact doses needed,” said May Doni, who was not involved in the study.
“In order to recommend that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables be the best dose, they are not done in a systematic way, a randomized controlled trial examining either disease outcomes or health biomarkers. You have to do, “Meydani said.
Few people eat fruits and vegetables
According to dietary guidelines, adult women should eat at least 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables daily. Men need more-2 cups of fruit and 3.5 cups of vegetables daily.
“The American Heart Association recommends that you put more than half of your dishes with fruits and vegetables with each meal,” Dr. Thorndyke, chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee, said in a statement. It was.
“This study provides strong evidence of the lifelong benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and suggests a target amount to consume daily for ideal health,” said Harvard Medical School Associate Professor. Thorndike added.
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