You already know they’re good for you in all kinds of ways, but the latest research on fruits and vegetables has revealed some very surprising results. Apparently, eating more produce can actually increase your level of happiness over time. The newly released study, conducted at the University of Warwick, followed 12,000 people who kept food diaries and had their psychological well-being measured. What it found is that people got incrementally happier with every daily serving of fruit and vegetables they ate (up to eight portions a day). Why the connection between increased produce consumption and increased happiness? Researchers don’t know for sure, but one possible theory is that the abundance of antioxidants the fruits and vegetables provides leads to higher levels of carotenoids in the blood — and having higher levels of carotenoids has been linked to optimism. Read more
Tag: health studies
Is your house making your fat? It’s possible that the urge to reach for a cookie instead of an apple or to dig into second and third helpings really isn’t our fault. According to food psychologist Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, our environment is the biggest predictor of whether or not we have healthy eating habits. He’s identified what he calls the “five zones” where most of our eating and food choices occur — home, favorite restaurants, workplace, grocery stores and our kids’ schools. In his new book, Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life (William Morrow), he explains how each affects us and how we can take more control.
The NPD Group, an Illinois-based market research firm, recently released a study showing that fresh fruit is America’s top choice for snacking – more so than any other sweet or savory option. According to the report, fresh fruit is eaten 55 times per capita each year as a snack, with chocolate following in second place at 45 times, and potato chips in third place at 30 times. Nuts and cookies are eaten, respectively, 27 and 22 times per year by the average US consumer, while crackers, yogurt, ice cream, and others tie at 17 times.
The report found that individuals with healthier overall diets snack between meals, and that their snack choices tend to be healthier ones. The study also showed that snacking now makes up 20% of all eating occasions in this country, with mid-morning snacking showing the most explosive growth.
Apples, oranges, and bananas by themselves are great snacks and very portable; they can also easily be made more substantial with the addition of a few heart-healthy nuts or a spoonful of peanut or almond butter. Try choosing a piece of fruit next time you’re craving a sweet treat between meals in order to increase your fruit intake and improve your health.
TELL US: How often do you choose fruit as a snack?
Reports on health studies appear on the news regularly. You might read one study that touts the benefits of a food – like chocolate, for example—while a different study doesn’t find the same benefits. These differing reports can get confusing . . . who you should believe?
Scientific studies are done in order to test a hypothesis—an assumption that needs to be investigated further. There are different types of studies—some look at past data collected while others compare data from subjects over months or even years. Other studies divide the group of subjects into 2 groups, giving only 1 of the groups the “treatment” (or food) while the other group is given a “control” oftentimes called a placebo.
The results are then compiled, statistical analysis is performed and conclusions are drawn.