Grape consumption is linked to healthier diet habits and higher intake of nutrients, according to a study presented at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition in Philadelphia, PA.

Results from the new study were derived after the researchers looked at the link between quality of diet among a nationally representative sample of kids and adults in the United States and their grape-product intake.

Diets of over 21,800 children and adults were examined by the researchers using the 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES).

They discovered that individuals who consume products made with grapes also have higher intake of the following:

Authors note that calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber are extremely essential because many Americans are not receiving enough of these vital nutrients in their day-to-day diets.

Grape consumption among adults was found to be associated with higher vegetable, whole grain, seed, and nut intakes, as well as a decreased intake of cholesterol, saturated fat, and total fat, compared with adults who did not consume grape products.

A study published in August of this year said that grapes can assist in lowering blood pressure, strengthen the flow of blood, and lower inflammation among men suffering from metabolic syndrome. Also, a 2010 report stated that grapes can also lower risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.

Carla McGill, PhD, presenter of the study, commented:

“It is interesting to note that not only did grape consumers have increased intakes of healthy foods, critical vitamins and minerals, but grape consumers also ate less of the unhealthy foods, specifically solid fat and added sugars.”

The new findings of this trial correlate with ongoing research into how grapes play a part in healthier habits.

Jean-Mari Peltier, Executive Director of the National Grape and Wine Initiative (NGWI), said:

“It reinforces the association between grapes and a healthier diet, which is good news for consumers. Grapes, raisins and 100% grape juice are all foods that people enjoy eating, and this information adds another dimension to the grape and health story.”

Written by Christine Kearney