A healthy diet is good for you and one with lots of fresh fruit is best of all, researchers have found. People who eat fruit every day suffered far fewer heart attacks and strokes than other healthy eaters, such as vegetarians, who do not make fruit
Researchers studied a group of nearly 11,000 health conscious people, including vegetarians, those who ate daily, or less frequently, wholemeal bread, bran cereals, nuts or dried fruits, fresh fruit and raw salad, and compared their mortality levels to the rest of the population.
After tracking them for nearly 17 years, scientists from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund found that all the groups were half as likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke as the rest of the population. But among the healthy eaters, those who ate fresh fruit every day had a 24 per cent reduction in fatal heart disease, a 32 per cent reduction in death from stroke, and an overall 21 per cent lower mortality rate.
Of the other groups, vegetarians had a 15 per cent lower rate of fatal heart disease, while those who ate wholemeal bread every day had a a 12 per cent lower death rate than the national average, and those who had a raw salad every day had a 26 per cent lower rate for fatal heart disease (BMJ, 1996; 313: 775-79).
Fresh fish is good for you, too. It raises the levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood, lowers both blood pressure and plasma lipid concentrations, researchers have discovered after studying the eating habits of villagers in Tanzania.
See WDDTY's Better Diet Guide.
The Lancet, 1996; 348: 784-8.