Some startling new research shows that the food we eat today is higher in calories and lower in nutrients, compared to the food people ate just 20 years ago! Here are the new food facts, according to Rodale Publishing. * Produce isn't as nutritious as it used to be. Experts say the fruits and vegetables we eat today are grown faster, and picked earlier - which leaves them with less time to absorb valuable nutrients like calcium, iron, phosphorus, and Vitamin C. In fact, a recent study found at least 43 common garden crops that have lost as much as six nutrients since 1950. * It's not just plants that are less nutritious: Animals are different too. A London Metropolitan University study found that the average piece of chicken today has 165% more fat than it did in 1970. Why? Because very few chickens today roam freely on a farm, eating natural grains like grass. Instead, most chickens are cooped up in a cage, where they're fed processed corn and soy that's designed to help them grow faster - but not healthier. * We're eating more additives and preservatives. Right now, the list of chemical additives considered "safe" by the FDA is about 3,000 ingredients long! Some of these additives have harmless sounding names - like Blue #1, BHA or Aspartame. However, many have been found to cause cancer in lab rats! As a general rule of thumb, you should eat more foods that grow in nature - not in a science lab. * We're eating more calories than ever before. Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that the average person drinks about 450 more calories a day from beverages alone. Those extra calories can easily pack an extra 29 pounds to your waistline each year. So what's the takeaway from all this new research? First, continue to eat fruits and vegetables every day, because they're still more nutritious than any other food you can eat! Then, always check the ingredients list on any food you put in your grocery cart. Shorter lists generally have fewer chemical additives. As a rule: The fewer chemicals you eat, the better your health will be.