Consuming more fruits and vegetables is easier said than done for many people trying to eat healthy. It starts with purchasing the fruits and vegetables from the market.
Brian Wansink co-author of Mindless Eating: The 200 Daily Decisions We Unknowingly Make,” and ” Slim By Design,” along with fellow researchers found that partitioning grocery carts into sections for different foods increased the likelihood of shoppers buying healthy foods like fruits and veggies.
The premise of the experiment was “we tend to follow directions and signs as a social norm”, so signs and visual clues can help people keep rules of healthy eating in mind.
They conducted experiments if US and Canadian food markets where they divided shopping carts into sections where one of those sections was for fruits and vegetables. The place signs in the carts to guide shoppers.
Here is what they found:
• People who used the sectioned food carts purchased more fruits and vegetables.
• The larger the partitioned sections reserve for fruits and vegetables, the more fruits and vegetables purchased.
• When the shoppers went shopping hungry the system broke down – they bought more unhealthy foods.
People have a choice when they shop and visual clues and mindfulness do help. Some times they follow these visual clues and mindfulness are mindful, other times they do not.
Listen to the whole story that aired today on NPR.org – http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=409671975&m=409671976
There is considerable research that shows a plant based diet offers more benefits than a non plant based traditional diet and additional research supports the benefit of organically produced produce, especially for developing infants and children, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
For some individuals purchasing totally organic produce in the quantities necessary to get the recommended 9-10 servings per day 3 cups vegetables (6 servings) and 1.5 to 2 cups fruits (3 – 4 servings) (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vegetables-full-story/) is simply too costly or not practical.
So how do you know which fruits and vegetables to buy organic if you want a variety but cannot afford the cost?
Here are 5 strategies:
1. Look for organic sales – they are becoming more frequent.
2. Ask you grocer what their policy is putting organic produce on sale – some will place it on sale on Wednesdays in preparation of fresh weekend supplies
3. Purchase fruit with thick skins that are peeled away like pineapple and bananas rather than thin skins like apples, peaches and grapes.
4. Purchase organically for the produce that has the highest concentration of pesticides like apples, strawberries, grapes or celery.
5. Purchase organically for the produce that you eat most frequently even if it has a minimum level of pesticides like sweet potatoes or avocado.
How do you know which fruits and vegetables have the highest contamination of pesticides?
Refer to the “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean 15” …
The Environmental Working Group (an organization of scientists, researchers and policymakers) has assembled two lists of produce based on the degree of chemical content.
Here is the link with all produce ranked in order of pesticide content. – http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php
Sources: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vegetables-full-story/, http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=409671975&m=409671976,
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