Food Quality Trumps Variety, Experts Say

People whose diets contained the greatest variety of foods tended to eat many nutritious foods, although also many junk foods.

CreditAndrew Mangum for The completely new York Times

For decades nutrition experts have encouraged Americans to eat a variety of foods to ensure which they consume a nutritionally adequate diet. although which week a panel of experts said which longstanding recommendation might be outdated.

The advice to consume a variety of foods has long been included within the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. which is actually largely based on old studies of low-income populations which found which consuming a broad range of foods helped prevent nutritional deficiencies.

although in today’s environment, where food is actually plentiful in addition to malnourishment less prevalent, which advice could backfire, said Marcia Otto, an assistant professor within the department of epidemiology, human genetics in addition to environmental sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston.

Dr. Otto was part of a panel of experts with the American Heart Association which examined the latest evidence behind the recommendation. The panel released a scientific report on Thursday within the journal Circulation which found which in some studies, people whose diets contained the greatest variety of foods tended to eat many nutritious foods, like fish, fruits in addition to vegetables, although also many junk foods, such as sugary snacks in addition to beverages, refined grains in addition to some other processed foods.

Greater dietary variety was also linked to a higher overall calorie intake in addition to weight gain. tiny clinical trials indicate which a wider variety of food options in any given meal could delay fullness in addition to raise the amount of food people eat. The most recent dietary guidelines, published in 2016, recommend which people eat “a variety” of foods, in addition to in particular “a variety of vegetables coming from all of the subgroups.”

although Dr. Otto said people should worry less about variety in addition to more about diet quality, even if which means filling half your plate with one or two vegetables you like in addition to avoiding others. Ultimately which’s the amount of fruits, vegetables, nuts in addition to some other nutritious foods you eat which matters, not the variety, she said.

“We want the general public to know which which’s O.K. if your diet is actually not very diverse if you’re focusing on healthy foods in addition to trying to minimize consumption of unhealthy foods,” she said.

Anahad O’Connor is actually a staff reporter covering health, science, nutrition in addition to some other topics for Science Times in addition to the Well blog. He is actually also a bestselling author of consumer health books such as “Never Shower in a Thunderstorm” in addition to “The 10 Things You Need to Eat.”