Raw or cooked vegetables – New research
Researchers say that diets should consist of raw vegetables over cooked
According to a recent study, if you’re going to adjust your diet to be healthier, you should aim to eat three or four portions of fruit and veg each day.
In a recent global study (which can be found in “The Lancet”), experts explained, “We found that by consuming more fruit, veg, and nuts, you can significantly lower your risk of a cardiovascular disease”. This should come as no surprise to you – after all, eating healthier will greatly benefit your health.
On top of this, experts also found that in order to reap all of the benefits that come with eating healthier, you should consume three or four portions of fruit and vegetables each day (which comes to about 400-500g).
The end of “5-A-Day”?
In this study, a team of students were led by several PHRI researchers and conducted the majority of their research based on a past study.
The research focused on data that was gathered from the PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) study; a study which observed over 130,000 people over 18 countries, and focused on their diets for as long as seven years.
The team focused on the consumption of fruit, vegetables, and nuts, and studied their relation to cardiovascular disease, strokes, and death. However, the question remains: does the result of this study mean that it’s the end of “5-a-day” or that it should, in fact, be altered to “10-a-day”? Absolutely not.
According to the lead author of this study, Victoria Miller, “During our study, we discovered that those with the least risk of cardiovascular disease were the ones who ate between 400 and 500g of fruit, vegetables, and nuts each day. This is the equivalent of three or four portions. We also found that there is little benefit to eating more than this each day.”.
She went on to say, “Furthermore, we also found that fruit brought greater health benefits than vegetables did.”
The results of this research are somewhat consistent with the current fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines as in Europe, a portion of fruit or veg is about 80g. At the end of the study, it was found that after five portions of fruit or veg, the benefits actually began to gradually decrease.
Prepare for raw vegetables
Although consistent with the current guidelines, that doesn’t mean that those guidelines should remain. In fact, Victoria Miller and her team discovered that raw vegetables had a strong association with decreasing the risk of death in comparison to cooked vegetables. That being said, the method in which vegetables were cooked was not considered during this study.
Victoria explained, “Currently, dietary guidelines and recommendations don’t elaborate on the differences between eating cooked vegetables and raw vegetables.”
In particular, Africa and certain regions of Asia are places where raw vegetables are eaten very rarely – thus, this research is important.
On the other side of the globe, Europe’s focus should be on legumes and nuts – two things which aren’t commonly eaten there. According to Victoria, “Eating a single portion of legumes each day will significantly decrease the risk of people suffering from a cardiovascular disease and will prolong death.”
Victoria also noted that in the US and in Europe, people were consuming more than your typical 5-a-day.
Although the participants of this research were only asked about their fruit and vegetable consumption, the findings of this research are still valuable. To add to the credibility of this study, these participants were made up of a very diverse group of individuals (from low-income countries to high-income countries). Thus, the theory of fruit and vegetables reducing cardiovascular disease is strong.
Of course, there has been a lot of studies in the past which have backed up the idea that consuming fruit, vegetables and legumes positively contributes to reducing the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, but these studies focused on the US and Europe (which little consideration to other countries). With this study, we see a focus on these low-income countries in which consuming less than 5-a-day isn’t uncommon.
You can read more about the survey here http://www.thelancet.com