You hear the term glycemic index thrown around, but what does it really mean? Whether a food ranks high or low on the scale depends on how it affects your blood sugar. High GI foods (muffins, crackers, cookies) spike your blood sugar and can bring on cravings and hunger. Low GI foods (non-starchy veggies, meats) keep blood sugar stable. In a new study, scientists discovered that eating higher GI foods was associated with weight gain over a 16-year span. That doesn't mean carbs are out, though—just choose lower-GI ones like beans, lentils, and brown rice more often than not.
It's like Michael Pollan famously said: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. A plant-based diet encourages produce, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, and whole soy like tofu, while still allowing a bit of high-quality meat, fish, and dairy. In a new study titled "Can We Say What Diet is Best for Health?" researchers set out to do just that. The winner? "A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants" they wrote. Not bad for the best diet ever.
The classic weight-loss shake got an additional injection of protein, doubling the old amount while slashing sugar content. The newest version of the long-lived shake comes in creamy vanilla and milk chocolate, so you’ll have to go with lower protein if you want something more creative like cappuccino. The key to the best tasting shake possible: always chill it thoroughly.
That notion is at once relatable and tragic, in that diet is inextricable from the amount of healthy time we spend on Earth. Improvements in diet are clearly associated with significant lengthening of lifespan and dramatic decreases in risk of most chronic diseases. Combining disease and longevity into the concept of healthspan, the number of healthy years of life—fundamentally more important but less readily quantifiable than lifespan—the data in favor of optimizing our diets are even more compelling. No one is arguing that diet is less than extremely important to health and well-being, but seemingly everyone is arguing as to what constitutes the best diet.
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The ultimate point of this diet review, which is framed like a tournament, is that there is no winner. More than that, antagonistic talk in pursuit of marketing a certain diet, emphasizing mutual exclusivity—similar to arguments against bipartisan political rhetoric—is damaging to the entire system and conversation. Exaggerated emphasis on a single nutrient or food is inadvisable. The result, Katz and Meller write, is a mire of perpetual confusion and doubt. Public health could benefit on a grand scale from a unified front in health media: Endorsement of the basic theme of what we do know to be healthful eating and candid acknowledgement of the many details we do not know.
U.S. News enlisted the help of a panel of food and health experts to rank 40 diets on a variety of measures, like how easy it is to follow, the diet’s ability to help a person lose weight in the short and long term, safety and more. The company then converted the expert’s rankings into scores that allowed them to determine the top diets. Beyond best overall diet, the experts also ranked the best diets for weight loss, healthy eating and more.
“A calorie is a calorie” is an oft-repeated dietary slogan, and not overeating is indeed an important health measure. Rather than focusing on calories alone, however, emerging research shows that quality is also key in determining what we should eat and what we should avoid in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Rather than choosing foods based only on caloric value, think instead about choosing high-quality, healthy foods, and minimizing low-quality foods.
While 1,200 may be the right number for some, it can be super restrictive for others, says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Try basing your meals and snacks off this plan and double up on veggies at any opportunity — more fruit at snack time works too! You can also add an extra ounce or two of protein at all meals if you find yourself feeling hungry. The combo of fiber from produce and lean protein makes this an adaptable strategy that’ll help you lose weight safely — one meal (and snack) at a time!
Trim Portions. If you did nothing else but reduce your portions by 10%-20%, you would lose weight. Most of the portions served both in restaurants and at home are bigger than you need. Pull out the measuring cups to get a handle on your usual portion sizes, and work on paring them down. Get instant portion control by using small bowls, plates, and cups, says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating. You won't feel deprived because the food will look plentiful on dainty dishware.
For a fast track towards a clean system, nothing can compare with the unrivaled power of apple cider vinegar. This potent ally allows blood sugar levels to reach a balanced state, and it reduces the appearance of acid to promote body alkalinity. Each teaspoon carries a meager 3 calories, so there is no reason to hesitate when mixing it in. Adding sparkling mineral water can transform this drink into a decadent soda substitute. It can be a great way to switch off from unhealthy carbonated beverages. To match the sweetness of todays sodas, simply add stevia to reach a desired balance.