We hear it so often - the mantra “Eat a well-balanced diet!”. To most people, that means eating a little from every food group, every day. But is that really enough to ensure a healthy diet? What does diet variety really mean? And why is diet variety important? Read on to find out!

Is Diet Variety Important - Bowls of different fresh ingredients

Image credit: lady.tsn.ua

Imagine a plate with brown rice, chicken, broccoli, and a slice of honeydew on it. Balanced? Undoubtedly, yes. Now imagine eating that same meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day of the week. Suddenly, the balance doesn’t seem so certain.

True diet variety includes a mix of foods even within each food group. Think rice one day, noodles the next, and bread or sweet potatoes after that. Spinach one day, okra the next, and cauliflower after.

“That seems like a lot of work”, I hear you say. “Does it really matter? Is that much diet variety important?” YES, and here’s why.

Different foods have different nutrients

Is Diet Variety Important - Fruits and vegetables arranged by colour, from red to orange to yellow to green to purple.

Image credit: vivaliti.com

Even within the same food group, different foods can have different nutrients. For example, dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, kangkung) have higher amounts of iron than other vegetables, while cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, bok choy) have special compounds that have been shown to be preventive against cancer. Oats contain more soluble fiber, which is good for heart health, while whole wheat contains more insoluble fiber, which is good for digestive health. Eat only one without the other, and you may be missing out on some important nutrients!

Too much of a good thing…

Is Diet Variety Important - A large bowl of broccoli on a wooden table

Image credit: HyperActivz

...can be bad! As with even the best things in life, too much of something, even if it is generally “healthy”, can be detrimental to health. Eating the same things on repeat can cause nutritional deficiencies that build up over time. And, while rare on an all-natural diet (no extra supplements), eating the same things on repeat can also cause a build up of some nutrients in the body to unhealthy levels!

Kill those cravings

Is Diet Variety Important - Hand reaching out for cupcake topped with candy

Image credit: ligadealimentacion

Cravings happen when your body doesn’t get its full range of nutrients (among other reasons). Not enough complex carbohydrates? You may have an energy crash leading to sugar cravings. Not enough healthy fat? You may get hungry quick, and start craving a big plate of greasy fried food. Eating a varied diet can help you keep cravings at bay by nourishing your body the way it needs to be nourished!

So along with the old mantra of “Eat a well-balanced diet”, let’s add another, popular one: “Variety is the spice of life”! Keep your tastebuds tantalized, your body well-fed, and your cravings at bay by changing up your diet every day.

Need a little help getting variety into your diet? Be sure to check out our all-new Variety Boxes so you can try ALL all our flavours in a single box!