Immigrant neighborhoods eat healthier, and you don’t need to be an immigrant to reap the benefits.

There is one good thing that everyone can agree about when it comes to immigrant neighborhoods: they’ve all got great food. Immigrants want to bring their food with them, and that means authentic restaurants, groceries, and eateries. And it turns out, those authentic eats are better for you than the typical American diet.

That might not be too surprising to some, what with the American diet being far too fast-food focused, but immigrants typically eat better than native-born Americans do. And now there’s proof.


A new study from the Los Angeles County Healthy Survey found that people who live in immigrant neighborhoods have healthier diets.

That can be tracked down to a number of reasons, not the least of which is a less frequent trip to the local fast-food restaurant. Immigrants tend to eat more fruits and veggies and also had lower rates of high blood pressure and obesity.

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Not only that, but researchers also found that the benefits aren't just limited to immigrants. Locals in the neighborhood that were born in America also feature the same healthy habits of eating more fruits and veggies which in turn leads to healthier bodies. Researchers controlled for socioeconomic status, race, and education, and the results were still the same.

The study’s findings were published in the journal Preventive Medicine. Study author Lu Shi of Clemson University said that the team of researchers looked at a number of different neighborhoods in Los Angeles and it didn’t matter whether that neighborhood was Latino, Asian, or other. No matter where they’re from, immigrants just eat better than typical Americans.

Much of this can be blamed on where those people get their food. Immigrant neighborhoods tend to have fresh produce stalls that have cheaper prices than grocery stores found in suburbia. They also have a wider variety of produce to appeal to their residents.

(via The Takeout)

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