New Year, New Goals!
Set yourself attainable goals for the new year! You can make resolutions around the following ideas that were proven in medical studies published during 2019.
Sleep: Sufficient sleep is required to maintain a normal weight. Adults that sleep less than 6 hours per night run a 50% risk of becoming obese. Just 2 nights of sleep deprivation can increase hunger by 24% and cause cravings for high calorie carb foods.
Cook at home: Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are manufactured chemicals found in packaged foods, household products, kitchen appliances, and contaminated water, and are associated with multiple health risks including reproductive and developmental problems, liver and kidney disease, and compromised immunity. PFAS do not break down and, therefore, build up in the body over time. Researchers found lower levels of PFAS in the blood of individuals who ate home cooked meals made with grocery store ingredients. By contrast, those who ate more frequently at restaurants and consumed fast foods had more PFAS in their blood.
Eat more fruits and vegetables: The USDA recommends eating 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2–3 cups of vegetables daily. New research suggests that low fruit consumption results in more than 1 million deaths from stroke and more than 500,000 deaths from heart disease worldwide every year, while low vegetable intake results in about 200,000 deaths from stroke and more than 800,000 deaths from heart disease per year.
Try new foods: Food neophobia, refusing to taste and eat unfamiliar foods, may lead to poorer dietary quality and increase the risk of developing lifestyle diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Take a table by the window: New research shows that being able to see green spaces from your home is associated with both lower frequencies and strengths of cravings for alcohol, cigarettes, and harmful foods. Results showed that having access to a garden was associated with both lower craving strength and frequency, while residential views incorporating more than 25% greenspace evoked similar responses.
Keep your weight down by putting down your devices: Media multitasking has been linked to obesity. New research indicates that mindless switching between digital devices is associated with increased susceptibility to food temptations and lack of self-control, which may result in a greater percentage of body fat. Findings show use of smartphones for 5 or more hours daily increased the risk of obesity by 43% as it promoted sedentary behaviors and reduced time spent physically active which increases the risk of premature death, diabetes, heart disease, different types of cancer, osteoarticular discomfort and musculoskeletal symptoms.
Do activities proven to combat obesity: A study has identified the types of exercise that are especially effective for individuals genetically predisposed to obesity. They found that regular jogging was the best type of exercise for managing obesity while mountain climbing, walking, power walking, certain types of dancing, and long yoga practices also reduce BMI in individuals predisposed to obesity.
Steer clear of ultra-processed foods: The American Heart Association warns ultra-processed foods are linked to increased risk of heart disease. Ultra-processed foods are made entirely or mostly from substances extracted from foods, such as fats, starches, hydrogenated fats, added sugar, modified starch and other compounds and include cosmetic additives such as artificial flavors, colors or emulsifiers. Examples include foods high in salt, added sugars, and saturated fat like soft drinks, packaged salty snacks, cookies, cakes, & processed meats. Eating ultra-processed foods often means skipping healthier options that are rich in nutrients.
Maintain a normal weight: Researchers found that a stable weight and not gaining weight prevent premature death. Being obese throughout adulthood was consistently associated with an increased risk of death from all causes. Compared to those at normal weight, People who went from a normal weight to obesity in middle adulthood had a 49% higher risk of death from heart disease.