15 Health and Nutrition Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based: There is a lot of confusion when it comes to health and nutrition. People, even qualified experts, often seem to have the exact opposite opinions. However, despite all the disagreements, there are a few things that are well supported by research. Here are 15 health and nutrition tips that are actually based on good science.
1. Eat Nuts
Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly nutritious and healthy.
They are loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber and various other nutrients .
Studies show that nuts can help you lose weight, and may help fight type 2 diabetes and heart disease .
Additionally, about 10-15% of the calories in nuts aren’t even absorbed into the body, and some evidence suggests that they can boost metabolism .
In one study, almonds were shown to increase weight loss by 62% compared to complex carbohydrates .
2. Don’t Fear Coffee
Coffee has been unfairly demonized. The truth is that it’s actually very healthy.
Coffee is high in antioxidants, and studies show that coffee drinkers live longer, and have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and numerous other diseases .
3. Get Enough Sleep
The importance of getting enough quality sleep can not be overstated.
It may be just as important as diet and exercise, if not more.
Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, throw your appetite hormones out of whack and reduce your physical and mental performance .
What’s more, it is one of the strongest individual risk factors for future weight gain and obesity. One study showed that short sleep was linked to 89% increased risk of obesity in children, and 55% in adults .
4. Drink Some Water, Especially Before Meals
Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits.
One important factor, is that it can help boost the amount of calories you burn.
According to 2 studies, it can boost metabolism by 24-30% over a period of 1-1.5 hours. This can amount to 96 additional calories burned if you drink 2 liters (67 oz) of water per day.
The best time to drink water is half an hour before meals. One study showed that half a liter of water, 30 minutes before each meal, increased weight loss by 44%.
5. Avoid Bright Lights Before Sleep
When we’re exposed to bright lights in the evening, this disrupts production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
An interesting “hack” is to use a pair of amber-tinted glasses that block blue light from entering your eyes in the evening.
This allows melatonin to be produced as if it were completely dark, helping you sleep better.
6. Eat Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits are the “default” health foods, and for good reason.
They are loaded with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals and all sorts of antioxidants, some of which have potent biological effects.
Studies show that people who eat the most vegetables and fruits live longer, and have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and all sorts of diseases.
7. Do Some Cardio, or Just Walk More
Doing aerobic exercise (or cardio) is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health.
It is particularly effective at reducing belly fat, the harmful type of fat that builds up around your organs. Reduced belly fat should lead to major improvements in metabolic health.
8. Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on the planet.
It is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and powerful antioxidants that can fight inflammation.
Extra virgin olive oil leads to many beneficial effects on heart health, and people who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes.
9. Don’t Eat a Lot of Refined Carbohydrates
Not all carbs are created equal.
Refined carbs have been highly processed, and have had all the fiber removed from them. They are low in nutrients (empty calories), and can be extremely harmful.
Studies show that refined carbohydrates are linked to overeating and numerous metabolic diseases.
10. Lift Heavy Things
Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your body and improve your body composition.
It also leads to massive improvements in metabolic health, including improved insulin sensitivity.
The best approach is to go to a gym and lift weights, but doing body weight exercises can be just as effective.
11. Use Plenty of Herbs and Spices
There are many incredibly healthy herbs and spices out there.
For example, ginger and turmeric both have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, leading to various health benefits.
You should make an effort to include as many different herbs and spices as you can. Many of them can have powerful beneficial effects on your health.
12. Track Your Food Intake Every Now and Then
The only way to know exactly what you are eating, is to weigh your foods and use a nutrition tracker like MyFitnesspal or Cron-o-meter.
This is important to know how many calories you are eating. It is also essential to make sure that you’re getting in enough protein, fiber and micronutrients.
Studies show that people who track their food intake in one way or another tend to be more successful at losing weight and sticking to a healthy diet.
Basically, anything that increases your awareness of what you are eating is likely to help you succeed.
I personally track everything I eat for a few days in a row, every few months. Then I know exactly where to make adjustments in order to get closer to my goals.
13. Don’t go on a “Diet”
Diets are notoriously ineffective, and rarely work well in the long term.
In fact, “dieting” is one of the strongest predictors for future weight gain.
Instead of going on a diet, try adopting a healthier lifestyle. Focus on nourishing your body, instead of depriving it.
Weight loss should follow as a natural side effect of better food choices and improved metabolic health.
14. Eat Eggs, and Don’t Throw Away The Yolk
Whole eggs are so nutritious that they’re often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.”
It is a myth that eggs are bad for you because of the cholesterol. Studies show that they have no effect on blood cholesterol in the majority of people .
Additionally, a massive review study that included 263,938 individuals found that egg consumption had no association with the risk of heart disease .
What we’re left with is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and the yolk is where almost all of the nutrients are found.
Telling people to throw away the yolk is among the worst pieces of advice in the history of nutrition.
15. If You Have Excess Belly Fat, Get Rid of it
Not all body fat is equal.
It is mostly the fat in your abdominal cavity, the belly fat, that causes problems. This fat builds up around the organs, and is strongly linked to metabolic disease.
For this reason, your waist size may be a much stronger marker for your health than the number on the scale.
Cutting carbs, eating more protein, and eating plenty of fiber are all excellent ways to get rid of belly fat.
This article lists 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.