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The New York Times reports that the American Heart Association is out with a new study suggesting that longtime dietary recommendations that it is critical to “eat a variety of foods” for a “nutritionally adequate diet” may actually be both outdated and wrong.

That advice, the study says, “is largely based on old studies of low-income populations that found that consuming a broad range of foods helped prevent nutritional deficiencies.
But in today’s environment, where food is plentiful and malnourishment less prevalent, that advice could backfire.”

A panel put together by the Association, the Times writes, “released a scientific report on Thursday in the journal Circulation that found that in some studies, people whose diets contained the greatest variety of foods tended to eat many nutritious foods, like fish, fruits and vegetables, but also many junk foods, such as sugary snacks and beverages, refined grains and other processed foods … Greater dietary variety was also linked to a higher overall calorie intake and weight gain.”

The panel says that dietary recommendations need to be adjusted, and that “people should worry less about variety and more about diet quality, even if it means filling half your plate with one or two vegetables you like and avoiding others. Ultimately it’s the amount of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other nutritious foods you eat that matters, not the variety.”
KC's View:
One has to be careful about putting too much credence in studies that simply reinforce one’s own life decisions. But I think this one makes a lot of sense - better to eat good food than lousy food, and excessive variety be damned. Life’s too short to eat crap.