Numerous studies attempt to establish the value of specific nutrients in foods. In a study in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), reported in 2000, the health effects of overall eating patterns have been brought to light, showing that women who eat a wide variety of healthy foods may significantly lower their risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
More than 42,000 women were asked about the foods they eat, while researchers focused on 23 preferred foods. Those who ate the highest amount of preferred foods – vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and other low-fat foods – were 30 percent less likely to die of these diseases than those who ate the fewest.
Ashima K. Kant A, Schatzkin B, et al. A prospective study of diet quality and mortality in women. JAMA. 2000;283:2109-15.