Grapes and grape products associated with better health
In a new study published in the Journal of Food Science, researchers observed the association of grape consumption from the most common non-alcoholic forms consumed – fresh grapes, raisins and 100% grape juice – with the diet quality of a recent sample of U.S. children and adults. And what they found is that eating and drinking more grape products is associated with healthier dietary patterns and improved nutrition in both children and adults.
The researchers assessed the diets of over 21,800 children and adults using data from the 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). As a result, they discovered that the intake of total fruit among consumers of grapes and grape products was increased, as was vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium versus non-consumers. Most Americans are not consuming enough dietary fiber, calcium and potassium, so adding more grape products to their diet could be beneficial.
Additionally, the adult grape product consumers also had higher intakes of vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, as well as lower intakes of sugar, total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol compared to their non-consumer counterparts.
"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, PhD, "but grape consumers also ate less of unhealthy foods, specifically solid fat and added sugars."
Previous studies have confirmed this latest study, which supports an ever-growing body of research that shows how grapes, raisins and 100% grape juice can contribute greatly to one’s health.
"It reinforces the association between grapes and a healthier diet, which is good news for consumers," said Jean-Mari Peltier, Executive Director of the National Grape and Wine Initiative (NGWI). "Grapes, raisins and 100% grape juice are all foods that people enjoy eating, and this information adds another dimension to the grape and health story."
1. Journal of Food Science, "Improved Diet Quality and Increased Nutrient Intakes Associated with Grape Product Consumption by U.S. Children and Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2008," Carla R. McGill, Debra R. Keast, James E. Painter, Courtney S. Romano, JoLynne D. Wightman, Article first published online: 21 JUN 2013, DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.12066.