5 Evidence-Based Health and Nutrition Tips
It’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and nutrition. Even qualified professionals often have conflicting opinions, making it difficult to know what you should do to improve your health.
However, despite all the controversy, many health tips are well supported by research.
Here are 5 health and nutrition tips based on scientific evidence.
1. Limit Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks, such as soda, fruit juice, and sweetened tea, are the main sources of added sugar in the American diet (1).
Unfortunately, the results of several studies suggest that sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, even in people who do not have excess body fat (2).
Sugar-sweetened beverages are also uniquely harmful to children because they can contribute not only to childhood obesity, but also to conditions that do not usually develop into adulthood, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure. . and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
- Healthy options include:
- unsweetened tea
- cold drink
2. Eat Nuts and Seeds
Some people avoid nuts because of their high fat content. However, nuts and seeds are incredibly nutritious. They’re full of protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
Nuts may help you lose weight and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease (8Trusted Source).
In addition, a large observational study found that a low intake of nuts and seeds may be associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes (9).
3. Avoid Highly Processed Foods
Ultra-processed foods are foods that contain ingredients that have been significantly changed from their original form. They often contain additives such as added sugar, highly refined oils, salt, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors (10).
- examples include:
- snack cake
- fast food
- Frozen food
- canned food
Highly processed foods are highly palatable, meaning they are easily overeating and activate reward-related regions of the brain, which can lead to calorie consumption and weight gain. Studies suggest that a diet high in highly processed foods may contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases (11, 12, 13, 14, 14, 15):
In addition to low-quality ingredients such as inflammatory fats, added sugars and refined grains, it is low in fiber, protein and micronutrients. That’s why they mostly provide empty calories.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Coffee
Despite some of the controversy surrounding it, coffee is loaded with health benefits.
It is rich in antioxidants, and some studies have linked coffee consumption to longevity, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and several other diseases (16, 17, 18, 19).
The most beneficial intake appears to be 3 to 4 cups per day, although pregnant women should limit or avoid it altogether as it has been linked to low birth weight (18).
However, it is best to drink coffee and anything caffeinated in moderation. Excessive caffeine consumption can lead to health problems like insomnia and heart palpitations. To enjoy coffee safely and healthily, keep it to less than 4 cups a day and avoid high-calorie and sugary additives such as sweetened cream.
5. Eat Oily Fish
Fish is an excellent source of high quality protein and healthy fats. This is especially true for oily fish like salmon, which contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and many other nutrients (20, 21).
Research shows that people who regularly eat fish are less likely to develop several diseases, including heart disease, dementia and inflammatory bowel disease.