A growing body of evidence suggests that eating more fruits and vegetables may be good for your health.
It may also help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and prevent heart disease and stroke.
The science is starting to support this, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) now recommending that people reduce their sugar intake to 15% of their daily calories.
But why limit yourself to only eating fruit and veggies?
The answer may be simple: eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies can help you lose weight and improve your mood.
And that’s just the start.
If you’re a regular foodie, you may already know that a balanced diet can help prevent and treat conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
Here’s what you need to know about the science and what you can do to make the most of it.
Why eating fruit, vegetables and whole grains is good For the majority of people, fruits and whole-grain foods are the perfect combination of nutrients.
The key is how they’re consumed.
The fruit and vegetable variety includes fruit and seeds, as well as cooked grains such as oats and barley.
This means you get a range of nutrients from the fruit and all the other ingredients in the food.
And when you eat whole grains, the carbohydrates that make up the bulk of your diet come from grains rather than seeds, such as bread and cereals.
Eating fruit and whole grain foods minimises the chance of damaging the skin, and also minimises your chance of absorbing nutrients.
It’s not only the whole grains that can help.
You also get the fibre from legumes, nuts and seeds.
In fact, the researchers say the whole grain component is more important than the fruit in providing fibre to your body.
“The whole grain content is important because it makes up about 70-80% of the whole fibre content in a whole grain, so a small increase in the whole-grain content is associated with a significant increase in fibre,” says researcher James Trewhella.
“So if you are looking for fibre and a good fibre content, whole grains are a great way to go.”
A good source of fibre and healthy fats A healthy diet should also include a good source to choose from.
This is because the more nutrients you get from whole grains and whole food sources, the more energy you’ll have and the more you’ll burn off.
“There’s a lot of research showing that a diet with a lot more fibre can help reduce the risk of diabetes,” says Dr Trewhela.
And, as Dr Trewella points out, this is particularly true if you eat a diet high in whole-fibre cereals and whole foods.
The research is more mixed on whether eating whole grains increases your energy intake, but it’s clear that a whole-foods diet that includes whole grains does.
So if you want to make sure your diet is good and healthy, Dr Tremwella suggests eating a variety of whole foods in addition to fruit and other vegetables.
“If you’re looking for a balanced food diet, whole-wheat bread, oats, barley, rye, millet, oats with a little bit of barley or millet with a bit of flax seed or flax seeds are a good choice,” he says.
“And you can have some nuts too.”
And if you’re not a big fan of whole-grains, you can also make a salad out of grains.
“When you’re on a whole foods diet, the fibre content will be less of a concern, so there’s no need to be concerned about fibre,” Dr Tretwella says.
And if your body already has some fibre in your diet, then eating a balanced, whole food diet can offer more fibre.
“It’s important that you don’t go off the whole foods diet,” he adds.
If it’s not possible to eat whole foods, you’ll also want to choose a balanced source of fats.
For instance, a diet low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated fats, such the ones found in butter, can provide more fibre and vitamins than a low-fat diet.
If the sources of fat in your food don’t provide the nutrients your body needs, then a healthy diet can make up for it by having a high fibre diet.
So don’t worry if you don, and try to choose healthy fats that are rich in fibre.
You’ll get the nutrients you need, including vitamins and minerals.
And even if you can’t eat whole-meal food, you’re still better off eating a combination of whole and processed foods.
And don’t be afraid to experiment.
If a lot goes wrong with a food you’re trying to change, you might find it’s worth trying to experiment with different kinds of foods to see what works best for you.
This may include experimenting with different types of grains, as it might be easier to experiment on your own. Or