A report in Sciencedaily.com has brought my attention to a recent study  published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by a European research group - the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). We all knew intuitively that eating fruit and veg was good for us!... but now some compelling scientific evidence!

This particular paper finds that 3 out of 100 deaths could be prevented if everyone ate an extra 200grams of vegetables. This is mainly because of a reduction in cardiovascular disease by 15%;

The EPIC group have investigated several aspects of fruit and vegetable intake. They have found that the consumption of green leafy vegetables decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes (relative risk 0.84 CI .74 to .94 - that means that you are 16% less likely to get diabetes if you eat more greens! ). A separate review article in the BMJ back in 2010 found very similar findings!... so I would be happy to conclude that increasing your consumption of green leafy vegies... is going to decrease your risk of developing diabetes by approximately 15%.

The EPIC group are mainly concerned about cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. They reported in April of this year findings from the first 8 years of their study. Higher intakes of whole-grain bread, raw vegetables, coffee and cakes and cookies were found to be significantly associated with a lower risk of these diseases. Conversely, higher intakes of low-fat dairy, butter, red meat and sauce were associated with higher risks of chronic diseases.

I can't say how the coffee, cake and cookies can be good for you... but that's what they found!
Note that low fat milk does not seem to be a good idea!

This part of the study arm specifically compared vegetarians and non-vegetarians in Britain. After 11 and a half years of follow up they found that vegetarians in their study had lower BMIs, lower bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and most importantly.... a 32% lower risk of Ischaemic Heart Disease! (Even when they adjusted for BMI the vegetarians were still 28% less likely to have ischaemic heart disease).

so what can we conclude from these studies - EAT MORE VEGETABLES!

30% is a huge difference!!!... If there was a tablet that could do that... we would all be taking it!!!