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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2002;11 Suppl 3:S637-41.

Can food variety add years to your life?

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FAO Centre of Excellence, C/-Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash Medical School, Afred Hospital, Prahran,Vic, Australia.


The traditional food habits of Greeks and Japanese differ widely, yet both populations have the longest life expectancies in the world. Food variety is one feature common to both food cultures. By eating a wide variety of foods, numerous chemicals that give rise to the diverse range of colours, tastes, textures and smells of different foods are consumed. Many of these naturally occurring chemicals are likely to play a role in health. Within the broad scope of foods available, foods for thought include fish, legumes and nuts. These foods are also likely to protect older adults against some of the diseases more prevalent with ageing such as coronary heart disease and cancer.

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