Is Your 'Diverse' Diet Really Healthy?

iStock

A scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests eating a wide variety of foods to meet nutritional requirements can actually lead to overeating, and possibly to obesity, and may not be the healthiest way to eat. This statement, published in Circulation, was based on a comprehensive review of scientific literature published between January 2000 and December 2017.

According to the AHA, there’s no evidence that diversity in your diet promotes healthy weight or optimal eating, but there is evidence that:

  • A wide variety of food options available during a meal can delay feelings of fullness (satiety) and increase the amount of food you eat.
  • Greater dietary diversity is associated with a higher intake of calories, poor eating habits, and weight gain in adults.

The authors of the statement, from the University of Texas School of Public Health, Texas Medical Center in Houston, recommend emphasizing fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, non-tropical vegetable oils, nuts, poultry, and fish, rather than a “wide variety” of foods, and, as important, limiting your consumption of red meat, sweets and sugary drinks, and processed foods.

Sourced from: American Heart Association