Asked by Amber, Leavenworth, Kansas
Is it OK to eat the same thing over and over, day after day? As an example - eating grilled chicken, green beans, and rice, whites of eggs, and berries. Are there any significant health risks to such monatany?
Diet and Fitness Expert
Dr. Melina Jampolis
Physician Nutrition Specialist
Hi Amber -- This is an interesting question. While none of the foods that you eat on a regular basis is unhealthy, a monotonous diet with such limited variety and lacking in important food groups including healthy fats (nuts and seeds, avocado, olive and canola oil), whole grains (whole grain bread, brown rice, barley, cereal, oatmeal), and low-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), will not promote optimal health and may put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies, which may increase your risk of disease over time.
In addition to healthy fats, whole grains and low-fat dairy, it is important to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals that you need on a daily basis. In addition, eating a larger variety of fruits and vegetables means that you are getting plenty of disease-fighting phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) and antioxidants. In particular, it is important to regularly consume dark green leafy vegetables including spinach, romaine lettuce, or kale which are good sources of vitamin K, E, and C, as well as beta-carotene rich, orange-colored vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash. In addition, you may want to consider adding fatty fish such as salmon at least once a week to ensure that you are getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for both heart and brain health.
Once you add in these important food groups on a regular basis to establish a balanced diet, monotony is fine. In fact, research shows that having less variety in your diet, especially when it comes to high fat and sugary foods, can help with weight loss and weight maintenance.
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