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Scientists Concerned with Plummeting Nutrient Levels

Nutrient levels in fruits, vegetables and some other food crops have declined dramatically over the past 50 years. New research indicates that the old maxim “you can get all the vitamins you need from food” is less and less true. Recent studies of vegetables, fruits and wheat have revealed a 5-35 percent decline in some concentrations of vitamins and minerals and even protein. “High-yield crops grow bigger or faster, but are not necessarily able to make or uptake sufficient nutrients to maintain their nutritional value”, said Donald Davis, a biochemist at the University of Texas.

Some experts are wondering whether this may result in a backlash among consumers clamoring for healthier food and food products. One class of food that may benefit is organic fruits and vegetables. Recent studies have tested the effects of organic growing on antioxidant levels in food. “On average, antioxidant levels increased by about 30 percent in carefully designed comparative trials”, Davis said. “Organically grown produce offers significantly enhanced health-promoting qualities”.

The declining level of nutrients in our food supply is definitely cause for alarm. And fruits and vegetables are not the only casualties. Even meat has been affected. In one study of nutritional tables published in the UK, it was found that iron content in 15 different varieties of meat had decreased by an average of 47% over a sixty year period. Virtually every day a new study shows the benefit of vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, plant sterols or omega-3 fatty acids. Proper intake of these vitally important nutritional compounds is a cornerstone principle of the Atkins Advantage.

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