It has been another interesting week in health. Fruit has been in the news twice, firstly because it can lead to weight gain, and secondly because eating fruit can reduce risk of breast cancer.
Don’t Add Healthy Food To Your Diet
Firstly, a study found that the way we consume fruit can affect our appetite and cause weight gain. The study found that some people who drank fruit juice before a meal experienced an increase appetite and ate more as a result. Those who consumed dried fruit did not, and ate less.
Health researchers from Purdue University selected 34 people with varying weights – some a healthy weight and some obese – who were then given fruit juice daily as a part of their diet. Across the study group they gained between 3 1/2 and 5 pounds over an 8 week period. The reason was simply down to the amount of food they ate. After being given the fruit juice the volunteers consumed on average 891 calories when offered an all-you-can-eat plate of macaroni and cheese. However, those who ate dried fruit only consumed 678 Calories.
So if you are looking to lose weight avoid fruit juice before your meals. Drink water instead of fruit juice. The main purpose of the study was to emphasise that we should not simply add healthy food to a diet to be healthy. Many people complain that they gain weight when they start eating healthy food – the reason is that they do not reduce the unhealthy food enough to compensate.
Reference: “Effects of fruit and vegetable, consumed in solid vs beverage forms, on acute and chronic appetitive responses in lean and obese adults.” by Houchins JA, Tan SY, Campbell WW, Mattes RD. International Journal of Obesity. 2012 Nov 20. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.183.
Healthy Fruits May Help Prevent Breast Cancer
A study recently found that women who have higher levels of micronutrients, particularly carotenoids, have a lower rate of developing breast cancer.
The research was carried out by scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in Boston. The studied combined data from 8 previous pieces of research into carotenoids and breast cancer. Scientists concluded that there was a very strong connection between increased carotenoid consumption and a reduction in breast cancer.
“A diet high in carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables offers many health benefits, including a possible reduced risk of breast cancer”.
So, for better health eat plenty of carrots and other fruits and vegetables. Melons are another good source. Make sure your grocery basket is full of vibrant colors as the more different types of fruits and vegetables you eat, the greater the variety of nutrients your body receives. This is not really ground-breaking but it is always good to hear how a healthy and balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruits, and vegetables, can help ward off cancer.
Reference: “Circulating Carotenoids and Risk of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis of Eight Prospective Studies” by Heather Eliassen et al.