Which cities have the best diets?Which cities have the best diets, and which have the worst? To find out, we considered two dietary factors in our RealAge 2012 Youngest & Oldest Cities in America Report: fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Eating these nutritious foods can help your body feel up to 6 years younger by helping prevent weight gain, diabetes, and hypertension.
Did your town make the best-cities list, or is it among the worst?
5 Best Cities for Nutrition
1. San Francisco. Did you know that San Francisco allows community gardens in its public parks? That could be why Bay Area residents rank number one for eating plenty of fruits and veggies. They're also second in the nation for eating whole grains. That helps keep their cholesterol and blood pressure down to fend off heart disease and diabetes.2. Minneapolis. This city was once the world's flour-milling capital, and its residents still love their grains. They take the nation's top spot for whole-grain consumption. This, combined with adding lots of fruits and vegetables to their diet, helps make Minneapolis our second-best city for nutrition.
3. Boston. Bostonians also gobble lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. We're not surprised -- residents have been shopping for fresh produce at the open-air Haymarket Square farmers' market since 1830. That healthy diet helps them enjoy healthy cholesterol and blood pressure, along with low rates diabetes.
4. Sacramento, Calif. Known for being a fresh produce farming hub, Sacramento's city government also encourages residents to grow their own produce in their front yards. Maybe that's another reason why locals call it Sacra-tomato. Plus, as a mecca for growing brown rice, residents are eating plenty of whole grains, too. All of this healthy eating helps fend off hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
5. Washington, D.C. From famous kitchen garden at the White House to nearly year-round farmers' markets to restaurants serving fresh ingredients from local, organic farms, D.C. residents fill up with fruit and vegetables. They also do a good job of eating plenty of whole grains. As a result, Washington also boasts low cholesterol and healthy blood pressure.
5 Worst Cities for Nutrition
1. Greenville, S.C. Greenville has the nation's worst diet, thanks to coming in dead last for eating whole grains, and number 46 for eating fruits and vegetables. Residents' poor diet contributes to their high rates of hypertension. On a positive note, Greenville is adding more healthy foods to its schools' lunch menus and creating more farmers' markets.
2. Knoxville, Tenn. For the second year in a row, Knoxville ranked as the worst city overall for staying young. Not only do residents have a poor diet, but high rates of stress and poor sleep also encourage them to reach for junk food.
3. Louisville, Ky. The city may be home of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat, but it's not scoring a home run when it comes to nutrition. Residents are reluctant to eat inflammation-fighting fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.This may be why they're suffering from high blood pressure.4. Oklahoma City, Okla. The first shopping cart may have been invented in Oklahoma City, but residents aren't filling their carts with fruits and vegetables or whole grains. It's no surprise Oklahoma City is third worst in the country for high cholesterol and hypertension.
5. Memphis, Tenn. Memphis is the pork barbecue capital of the world, and all that 'cue is crowding few fruits, vegetables, and whole grains off locals' plates. A poor diet contributes to residents' high rates of diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
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