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Go to any website about health or weight loss and you’ll probably find a disclaimer about how the content is intended for informational purposes only and may not be up-to-date. Why do all these sites feel the need to clarify this? Well, a big reason is because there’s a constant stream of new studies and information related to health, weight loss and food science. So, here are some fun and interesting updates from the last month!
Eat More Nuts to Avoid Weight Gain
Nuts have a mixed reputation in the weight loss community: some people love them for their healthy fats and compact, healthy punch of nutrients. Others religiously avoid nuts and nut butters because they’re so calorically dense.
Good news for camp one: a new study shows that eating a few nuts each day may help prevent unintentional weight gain, and even decrease risk of obesity. The researchers found that people who swapped-out a less nutritionally-dense snack (like chips or cookies) for a 0.5 ounce serving of nuts gained less weight over time. In fact, people that consistently ate at least 0.5 oz of nuts a day were 23% less likely to gain 5+ kilos (11+ lbs) or become obese over the 4-year study period.
Nuts are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein – all of which likely contribute to nut-eaters ability to keep the weight off. Plus, choosing nuts instead of animal-based protein can also help reduce your carbon footprint! So, grab a handful of almonds instead of a cookie next time you’re hunting for a snack.
Cheers to Better Blood Work
For years, clinicians have cautioned patients with diabetes against consuming alcohol. However, a recent meta-analysis presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes suggests that light drinking may benefits people with type 2 diabetes.
The researchers looked at 10 randomized clinical trials and found that people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 20g of alcohol (about 1.5 beers or a large glass of wine) per day exhibited lower triglyceride and insulin levels than abstainers. However, there was no significant difference in fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c or cholesterol.
⚠️ Regardless of these findings, prominent diabetes organizations maintain that people with diabetes (whether type 1 or type 2) must exercise caution with alcohol consumption. This restraint is necessary to minimize risk of hypoglycemic episodes, weight gain and other health issues.
Eating Less Meat is Helpful Too
For decades, experts have warned that eating too much red meat, or any processed meat, increases your risk of certain cancers and heart disease. So, reducing intake of red and processed meats, or even meat in general, is a common goal among health-conscious people. But do we need to completely cut-out these foods to improve our health?
A new report out of the University of Nottingham says no. The researchers found that adults who reduced –but didn’t eliminate – intake of red & processed meats experienced up to a 10% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in just 12 weeks. Red meats include pork, beef, lamb and veal, while processed meats are any meats that have been cured, smoked or preserved by any means other than freezing.
These results may be the sign you’ve been waiting for to finally adopt Meatless Mondays, or think of your own strategies to eat less red & processed meat – even if you’re not ready to go full-on vegan just yet.
Food is #1 Source of Americans’ Adulting Complaints
“Adulting”, or behaving in a grown-up and responsible way, can be hard sometimes. You might be surprised, however, to learn that it’s not taxes or home ownership or mundane errands that social media users vent about most… it’s food-related chores: cooking, meal planning, grocery shopping and eating healthy.
A recent analysis of over 44,000 tweets revealed that Americans’ most pressing “adulting” concern is food in thirteen states – the most states won by any category of adulting. So, if you meal prepped, made yourself a healthy snack or wrote-down a grocery list this week, give yourself a pat on the back! You’re doing great at this whole adulting thing.
Curious to see what the main “adulting” complaint is in your state? Click here to see the full analysis.
Choline May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Eating a diet high in choline may help preserve spatial memory, and thereby ward off Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms. A new animal-based study found that female mice that were fed a high-choline diet fared better as they aged than did their counterparts receiving a normal-choline diet. While this study does not mean that you should drastically change your diet right now, it’s something interesting to consider if you’re concerned with staying mentally sharp as you age.
Most Americans get their choline from a variety of animal products, including: meat, poultry, fish, dairy and egg yolks. It’s also present in high levels in soybeans, mushrooms, potatoes, wheat germ, kidney beans and quinoa. If you have two eggs at breakfast, plus a 3oz serving of beef (or ½ cup edamame) at lunch or dinner you’ll easily get your choline in for the day!
? Did you hear about any other cool food or weight loss news this month? Share it with us in the comments section below!