Get ready for the latest superfood: Grapes. New research published in the Journal of Food Science found grapes and other products made from them are not only healthy, but people who eat lots of them tend to have healthier dietary patterns than those who don't.
Researchers based their conclusions on an analysis of the diets of more than 21,800 children and adults using data from the 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The results showed consumers of fresh grapes, raisins, and 100 percent grape juice had higher levels of fruit consumption overall than people who don't.
They also had increased intakes of healthy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds along with lower intakes of added sugars, total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, versus non-consumers. In addition, their diets included more foods with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium versus non-consumers.
The researchers noted dietary fiber, calcium, and potassium are especially important, since most Americans don’t get enough of these essential nutrients in their daily diets.
"It is interesting to note that not only did grape consumers have increased intakes of healthy foods, and critical vitamins and minerals," said lead author Carla McGill, "but grape consumers also ate less of unhealthy foods, specifically solid fat and added sugars."
Jean-Mari Peltier, director of the industry trade group the National Grape and Wine Initiative said the study backs past research showing grape product are important components of a healthy diet.
"It reinforces the association between grapes and a healthier diet, which is good news for consumers," said Peltier. "Grapes, raisins, and 100 percent grape juice are all foods that people enjoy eating, and this information adds another dimension to the grape and health story."
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