Thursday, March 28, 2013

Did your British Ancestors eat better than you do today?

How did your ancestors in England eat in decades and centuries past?

Surprising results of a study of the diet of mid-Victorian residents of England show that they had an excellent diet and as a result, good health. In the early to mid-1800's, people ate very well in terms of eating food that contributed to good health. That, then and now, seems to be nutrient-dense food.

For various reasons, the mid-Victorians consumed many calories in comparison to the number consumed by present-day Americans, but their calories came from sources that were very rich in nutrients, including many fruits and vegetables. They didn't consume "empty" calories the way they are consumed today. The Victorian diet is said to resemble the Mediterranean diet, which has recently received recognition for its value in maintaining health.

Some of the hallmarks of the Victorian diet which would be easy to emulate are beans, vegetables, fruits, meat and fish, and few sweets.

An excellent overview of the study results can be found at NCBI

Take a look at how it appears your British ancestors fared. Where did they live? How long did they live?  And take a very close look at those who lived in the early to mid-1800s. They may have had a diet that will be a model to follow in the 21st century.

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