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Fruits and Vegetables Do Not Cut Cancer Risk

Posted Apr 07 2010 10:36pm

Five a day, Eat your fruits and veggies…we’ve all heard it.  We’ve all felt guilty for not doing it perfectly.  I can hardly look at a fruit or vegetable without experiencing post traumatic stress disorder from making myself eat so many in my past life of disordered eating .  Now I read this:

A large study of over 400,000 people living in ten western European countries found only a modest link between high intake of fruit and vegetables and reduction in overall cancer risk: thus failing to confirm the widely held belief enshrined in the World Health Organization’s recommendation that people should eat five servings of fruit and vegetables a day to prevent cancer and other diseases.

Listen, I am all for eating fruits and vegetables, if you like them.  But if you don’t, I am opposed to the notion that you have to eat certain foods deemed ‘good’ in order to live long and prosper.  As long as you get adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fats and protein, what foods you choose from those categories is up to personal preference.  Certainly feeling the stress of guilt for not ‘ eating right ‘ is not good for you.

I am also very tired of fruits and vegetables acting like they are so virtuous and constantly being condescending towards saturated fat .  This disrespected genre of fat has been vindicated of late, so the whole notion of healthy eating is being turned on its head.  This is a good thing for people to see.  The American Dietetic Association has long said foods should not be categorized into good and bad columns.  All foods can fit within a balanced diet .

As an advocate of intuitive, or non-diet eating , I find a balanced diet can be had by listening to your body.  You will crave what your body needs, if you have developed a healthy relationship with food .  This can be a bit of a process, though, if you’ve been living with the diet-mentality for a while.  In the meantime, pretend everything you think you know about food is wrong.  Chances are it’s true.

“Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Overall Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).”
Paolo Boffetta, Elisabeth Couto, Janine Wichmann, Pietro Ferrari, Dimitrios Trichopoulos, H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Fränzel J. B. van Duijnhoven, Frederike L. Büchner, Tim Key, Heiner Boeing, et al
, Advance Access published on April 6, 2010
DOI:10.1093/jnci/djq072

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