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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Lowest Hanging Fruit?


As I continue to talk to friends, family, students and clients about my trip, I have found myself noting something in particular over and over – in Greece I really saw a lot of locals buying and eating fruit. This photo is from a small produce store in Nafplion (Greece). If you look carefully, you’ll see how much is missing (it was mid afternoon and several selections were nearly sold out). The million dollar question is, is fruit more readily available because Greeks eat more, or do Greeks eat more because more is readily available?

Today, someone said to me, “If an apple and a candy bar are both right in front of me, I’m going to grab the candy bar.” I think that’s true for most people, but as I thought about snapping this photo, I remembered that just around the corner there were several pastry shops. Is it that Greeks don’t see fruit as competition to sweets? This may be my lingering jetlag talking here, but I think this is pretty fascinating!

Researchers have studied the availability of fruits and vegetables in Greece, Ireland, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, and Hungary, and found considerable differences in fruit (and veggie) availability. Of the bunch, only in Spain and Greece did the majority of the population exceed the World Health Organization recommendation of at least five servings (about 5 cups or 5 baseballs worth) of produce daily.

So, my question to you is, do you think Greeks eat more fruit simply because it’s more readily available? Do you mindlessly pick up an apple or orange when you walk by a fruit bowl? If a fresh fruit stand was placed next to every vending machine, would you choose fruit over chips or crackers? And finally, do you see fruit as “good” and pastries as “bad,” making fruit an “either/or” versus an “and” option? Please share your thoughts!
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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