“International research involving the University of Adelaide has shown for the first time that poor nutrition – including a lack of fruit, vegetables and whole grains – is associated with the development of multiple chronic diseases over time.”
I found this large, 5-year study conducted with Chinese people very gratifying. It showed that poor nutrition is definitely associated with the development of multiple chronic diseases, also referred to as multimorbidity, over time.
We all know habits like smoking, being overweight, not exercising increase your risk. But even though I have been talking about the importance of nutrition for a long time, this is the first long-term study of its kind to show the link to nutrition. That’s very exciting to me because it is one more factor we can control.
““Based on our results, it seems that a higher intake of fruit helps to prevent against the onset of the first chronic disease, while a higher intake of vegetables helps to protect against developing more than one chronic disease.”
The study focused on fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well as highlighting the role of micronutrients in protecting against disease. Personally, I do still recommend people limit the amount of grains of any kind that they eat. And when they talk about healthy whole grains they are referring to grains that have not been processed – so that eliminates anything made with flour, even if it’s a “healthy” flour. Processed is still processed. I happen to be a big fan of “grains” like quinoa, millet, brown, black, green and red rice, buckwheat, barley and steel cut oats but I still recommend limiting your intake. I prefer to make my primary carbohydrate intake come from vegetables most days of the week – particularly leafy greens.
I think it is wonderful news that this study has brought this important fact to light because so many people seem to have multiple health problems. They go on meds and then find there is a second chronic problem. So they go on more meds and may have a third problem develop as a side effect of one of the medications. And on and on it goes and they don’t think their food is a powerful ally in combating chronic illness. But it is and I’m happy this study bore that out.
Do you consider nutrition to be powerful preventive medicine?
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