http://cdiabetes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ThinkstockPhotos-86492286-350x282.jpg

Can An Apple A Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?

apple day

A healthy meal plan can help you control your weight, which can go a long way towards preventing some chronic diseases. Some of the healthiest foods to eat are fruits and vegetables. They contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other important nutrients needed for good health.

For a long time, health experts have been telling people to eat more fruits and vegetables in order to improve their health. And, according to the results of a new study, they’ve been right all along. The study found that eating more fruits and vegetables can actually lower your risk of death!

The research
The study included more than 65,000 patients aged 35 and older. People in the study answered questions about what foods they ate, how often they ate them, and how much they ate each day. This included fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as canned and frozen produce.

People in the study were followed for about 8 years. During this time, researchers kept track of:

  • How many people died from any cause
  • How many people died from cancer
  • How many people died from heart disease

The researchers wanted to know if there was a link between the amount of fruit and vegetables people ate, and their risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, or any other cause.

To answer this question, they compared the rates of death between people who ate more than 7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day to people who ate 1 serving or less.

The results

The results of the study showed that, compared to people who ate less than 1 serving a day, people who ate 7 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day had:

  • A risk of dying from any cause that was about 40 percent lower
  • A risk of dying from cancer that was 25 percent lower
  • A risk of dying from heart disease that was 33 percent lower

In addition, the results suggested that eating vegetables had a slightly bigger effect on lowering the risk of death than eating fruits. However, the results also suggested that people who ate the most canned fruits might actually have slightly increased risk of dying.

What do these results mean for you?

Can An Apple A Day Really Keep the Doctor AwayOverall, the results of this study are pretty clear—eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is really good for you. In fact, doing so could help you live longer, and lower your risk of dying from cancer and heart disease.

The one result that researchers found a little strange was the fact that eating canned fruit seemed to increase the risk of death. The reason for this may be that canned fruits are often packed in syrups that have a lot of added sugar, or that the cans themselves might be coated with a chemical called “BPA” that is linked with certain health problems. To avoid it, you can look for cans marked “BPA-free” or stick with fresh and frozen produce.

The take home points

  • Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can help prevent or treat conditions like obesity and diabetes.
  • Eating more than 7 servings a day might also help you live longer!
  • Vegetables might give a little more benefit than fruits when it comes to lowering risk of death—but overall, the more you eat of either, the better.
  • Try to avoid canned fruits that are packed in syrup, as all that extra sugar and BPA could be badfor you.
  • The sooner fruits and vegetables start pilingup on your plate, the sooner you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier, and longer life!

 

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24687909

Robert Ehrman, MD (45 Articles)

Dr. Robert Ehrman, MD is a Board Certified Emergency Physician. He completed his training in Emergency Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT and Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL. He always reminds his patients that the more they take care for their health each day, the less likely they are to visit him again in the ER!

  • Remind Me About This Event

    We will send you scheduled reminders about this event via email until the day of the event.

    Simply enter your email address below and click on the "Remind Me" button.