People with varied diets tend to be healthier

Humans are hardwired to eat a variety of foods to meet our essential nutritional requirements, so a varied diet of healthy food is much better for us than a constant diet of the same foods.

It seems the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ has a lot of merit. And the more variety you have in your diet, the healthier you will be and the less you’ll need supplements and other healthcare products.

There is no single food that has all the nutrients we need in the optimum amounts, so eating a variety of foods means you are more likely to get the right balance of nutrition you need for optimum health. A study by the Journal of Nutrition revealed that participants who consumed the widest range of foods were 21 percent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or increased body fat that ups your risk for heart disease and diabetes — compared with those who stuck to their regular dietary habits.

Varied eaters were also more likely to have a healthy waist circumference. There are studies suggesting you will lose weight if you stick to just a few food groups and eat them repeatedly, but this is not necessarily the best long-term habit.

It’s not easy striving to include seven different fruits and vegetables or three different whole grains in your diet every day. Nutritionists suggest that you try to eat all of the major food groups — fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and good fats — on most days. Then throughout the week, try to get two different foods from each group, like bananas and blueberries, or brown rice and quinoa, to improve your variety.

Eating a variety of foods also promotes greater bacterial diversity in your gut and this can be instrumental in keeping your weight in check, while keeping several health conditions at bay. It is also cheaper in the long run, as you’re not buying expensive vitamins or other supplements because you’re getting the nutrition you need from your diet.

If entertaining clients is part of your job or you love going out with friends, here’s how to eat healthily on a meal out.