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Evidence-based health and nutrition recommendations

When it comes to health and diet, it’s easy to become perplexed. Even competent specialists frequently appear to hold contradictory viewpoints, making it difficult to determine what you should be doing to improve your health.

Despite the differences, science backs up a number of wellness recommendations.

Here are some scientifically validated health and nutrition recommendations.

1. Limit your intake of sugar drinks.

Sodas, fruit juices, and sweetened teas are the most common sources of added sugar in the American diet.

Several studies have found that sugar-sweetened drinks raise the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, even in those who are not overweight.

Sugar-sweetened drinks are particularly dangerous for children, since they can lead not only to childhood obesity but also to adult-onset diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Healthier alternatives include:

  • water
  • unsweetened teas
  • sparkling water
  • coffee

2. Eat nuts and seeds.

Nuts are rich in fat, therefore some people avoid them. Nuts and seeds, on the other hand, are extremely healthy. Protein, fibre, and a range of vitamins and minerals are all found in them.

Nuts may aid with weight loss and the prevention of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Furthermore, a low consumption of nuts and seeds was associated to an increased risk of mortality from heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes in one large observational research.

3. Limit your intake of ultra-processed meals.

Ultra-processed foods include components that have been extensively altered from their natural state.
Added sugar, highly refined oil, salt, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colours, and flavours are all common ingredients.

Examples include:

  • snack cakes
  • fast food
  • frozen meals
  • canned foods
  • chips

Ultra-processed foods are very appealing, making them easy to overeat, and they stimulate reward-related brain areas, leading to excessive calorie consumption and weight gain. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases have been linked to ultra-processed food diets, according to studies.

They’re generally poor in fibre, protein, and micronutrients, in addition to low-quality components like inflammatory fats, added sugar, and processed carbohydrates. As a result, they primarily supply empty calories.

4. Don’t be afraid of coffee

Despite some debate, coffee has a plethora of health advantages.

Coffee is high in antioxidants, and some studies have connected it to longer life and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and a variety of other ailments.

3–4 cups per day appears to be the most healthy consumption quantity, however pregnant women should restrict or avoid it entirely because it has been related to low birth weight.

However, coffee and other caffeine-containing products should be consumed in moderation. Caffeine overuse can cause health problems including sleeplessness and heart palpitations. Keep your coffee consumption to fewer than 4 cups per day and avoid high-calorie, high-sugar additions like sweetened creamer to be safe and healthy.

5. Eat fatty fish

Fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. This is especially true for fatty fish like salmon, which are high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and other minerals.

People who consume fish on a daily basis had a decreased risk of heart disease, dementia, and inflammatory bowel disease, according to studies.

6. Get plenty of rest

It is impossible to overestimate the significance of obtaining adequate good sleep.

Sleep deprivation can increase insulin resistance, alter hunger hormones, and lower physical and mental function.

In addition, sleep deprivation is one of the most powerful individual risk factors for weight growth and obesity. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to eat foods heavy in fat, sugar, and calories, which can contribute to undesired weight gain.

7. Feed your gut bacteria.

The bacteria in your gut, known as the gut microbiota, play a critical role in your general health.

A bacterial imbalance in the gut has been related to a number of chronic illnesses, including obesity and a variety of digestive issues.

Eating probiotic foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut, taking probiotic supplements as needed, and getting enough of fibre are all good methods to promote gut health. Fiber, in particular, is a prebiotic, or a food source for the microorganisms in your gut.

8. Drink plenty of water.

The importance of hydration as a health indicator is often ignored. Staying hydrated ensures that your body is operating at its best and that your blood volume is enough.

Water is the greatest method to remain hydrated because it has no calories, sugar, or chemicals.

Although there is no specific quantity that everyone need each day, strive to drink enough to satisfy your thirst.

9. Avoid eating burnt foods.

Meat may be a healthy and nutritious element of your diet. It has a high protein content and is a good source of nutrients.

When meat is charred or burned, however, issues arise. This charring can cause the production of hazardous chemicals, which can raise your risk of cancer.

When cooking meat, avoid charring or burning it. Limit your intake of red and processed meats, such as lunch meats and bacon, since they have been related to an increased risk of general cancer and colon cancer.

10. Before going to bed, avoid bright lights.

The synthesis of the sleep hormone melatonin may be disrupted if you are exposed to strong lights containing blue light wavelengths in the evening.

Wearing blue light blocking glasses — especially if you use a computer or other digital screen for lengthy periods of time — and avoiding digital displays for 30 minutes to an hour before going to bed are two strategies to help minimise your blue light exposure.

As the evening passes, this can help your body generate more melatonin naturally, allowing you to sleep better.


Mary Parker