New research finds that adventurous eaters weigh less and may be healthier than their less-adventurous counterparts.

Researchers from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab performed a national survey of 502 women and discovered that those who had eaten the widest variety of uncommon foods rated themselves as healthier eaters, more physically active, and more concerned with the healthfulness of their food when compared with non-adventurous eaters.

The adventurist eaters reported consummation of a host of exotic items including seitan, beef tongue, kimchi, rabbit, and polenta.

“They also reported being much more likely to have friends over for dinner,” said lead author Lara Latimer, Ph.D., formerly at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and now at the University of Texas at Austin.

“These findings are important to dieters because they show that promoting adventurous eating may provide a way for people, especially women, to lose or maintain weight without feeling restricted by a strict diet,” said coauthor Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Cornell lab.

He advised, “Instead of sticking with the same boring salad, start by adding something new. It could kick start a more novel, fun and healthy life of food adventure.”

The article appears in the journal Obesity.

Source: Cornell Food and Brand Lab/EurekAlert