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    Survey: Americans Eating More Whole Grains, Vegetables, Fruits

    Oct. 26, 2008 -- Whole grains are hot, trans fat is not, and more Americans say they're doing all they can to eat right, according to a new survey from the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

    In the survey, 783 U.S. adults dish on their diet and exercise habits. Among the findings:

    • Consumption of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is up.
    • Trans fat, beef, pork, and dairy consumption is down.
    • More Americans have a good attitude toward diet and exercise and say they're doing their best to eat healthfully.

    Here's a closer look at those findings.

    Food Trends

    Here are the top five foods or nutrients that survey participants say they've increased during the past five years:

    • Whole grains: 56% say they're eating more
    • Vegetables: Half of participants say they're eating more vegetables
    • Fruits: 48% say they're eating more fruit
    • Low-fat foods: 48% say they're eating more low-fat foods
    • Omega-3 fatty acids: 38% say they've boosted their consumption

    The upward trend in consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is good news, notes ADA spokeswoman Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, PhD, RD, who presented the survey results today in Chicago at the ADA's annual meeting.

    "It was encouraging to see those findings," Gazzaniga-Moloo tells WebMD.

    Here are the top five foods or nutrients that participants report reducing during the past five years.

    • Trans fat: 56% say they've cut back on foods containing trans fat
    • Beef: 41% say they're eating less beef
    • Pork: 33% report eating less pork
    • Dairy: 23% say they've cut back
    • Low-sugar foods: 20% say they've cut back

    Gazzaniga-Moloo says people may be cutting back on beef, pork, and dairy because of cost and the hunt for lower-fat foods. But she points out that "there are lower-fat alternatives within those three foods -- beef, pork, and dairy -- [and that] they do provide an excellent source of certain nutrients," such as calcium, protein, and vitamin D in dairy products, and protein, iron, and B vitamins in pork and dairy.

    More People Eating Better

    More people are improving their attitude toward diet and exercise and taking action for a healthier diet, according to the survey.

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