Good health is essential for a long and happy life. To maintain good health, it is important to limit unhealthy foods, eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, stay physically active, and avoid alcohol. Here are 27 health and nutrition tips that are based on scientific evidence to help you maintain good health.
Limit unhealthy foods and eat healthy meals. Unfortunately, the results of several studies indicate that sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, even in people who don't have excess body fat.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are especially harmful to children, as they can contribute not only to obesity in children, but also to conditions that usually don't develop until adulthood, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Some people avoid nuts because they are high in fat. However, nuts and seeds are incredibly nutritious. They're packed with protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Nuts can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In addition, a large observational study found that a low intake of nuts and seeds may be related to a higher risk of death from heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes. Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are highly palatable, meaning they are easily overeaten and activate brain regions related to reward, which can lead to excessive calorie consumption and weight gain. Studies show that diets rich in ultra-processed foods can contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
Eat fish. Fish is a great source of high-quality protein and healthy fats.
This is particularly true for fatty fish, such as salmon, which is packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and several other nutrients. Studies show that people who eat fish regularly have a lower risk of several conditions, including heart disease, dementia, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to insulin resistance, alter appetite hormones, and reduce physical and mental performance. Altered gut bacteria are linked to some chronic diseases, such as obesity and a myriad of digestive problems.
Avoid charred or burned meat.
When cooking meat, try not to charred or burn it. This charring can cause harmful compounds to form, which can increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
Limit red and processed meats. Most people don't get enough vitamin D. While these widespread vitamin D deficiencies are not imminently harmful, maintaining adequate vitamin D levels can help optimize health by improving bone strength, reducing symptoms of depression, strengthening the immune system, and reducing the risk of cancer.
Eat more vegetables and fruits.
Studies show that people who eat more vegetables and fruits tend to live longer and have a lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and other diseases.
Eat enough protein. Eating enough protein is vital for optimal health as it provides the raw materials your body needs to create new cells and tissues.
Reduce or quit smoking. If you take any of these steps consider reducing or quitting smoking to help reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
Limit added sugar. Added sugar is extremely common in modern foods and beverages.
High intake is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Dietary guidelines for Americans recommend keeping added sugar intake below 10% of daily calorie intake while the World Health Organization recommends reducing added sugars to 5% or less of daily calories for optimal health.
Reduce refined carbohydrates. Studies show that a diet rich in refined carbohydrates may be linked to overeating weight gain and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend resistance training twice a week.
Avoid artificial trans fats.
Artificial trans fats are harmful man-made fats that are strongly linked to inflammation and heart disease. Avoiding them should be much easier now that they are completely banned in the United States and many other countries. Keep in mind that you may still find some foods that contain small amounts of natural trans fats but they aren't associated with the same negative effects as artificial trans fats.
Use herbs and spices. Today there are a variety of herbs and spices at our disposal more than ever.
Not only do they provide flavor but they can also offer several health benefits. For example both ginger and turmeric have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which can help improve overall health.
Have close friends or family. Studies show that people who have close friends or family are healthier and live much longer than those without them.
Monitor your food intake. Some people may find it beneficial to calculate how many calories they consume by weighing their food and using a nutrition tracker.
Monitoring can also provide information about your protein fiber and micronutrient intake. However while monitoring can help some people control their weight there is also evidence that it can lead to eating disorders.
Reduce belly fat. Excess belly fat or visceral fat is an especially harmful type of fat distribution that is linked to an increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Reducing refined carbohydrates eating more protein and fiber reducing stress (which can reduce cortisol a stress hormone that triggers belly fat deposition) are strategies that can help you shed belly fat.
Avoid overly restrictive diets.
This is because diets that are too restrictive actually lower your metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn making it difficult to lose weight. At the same time they also alter hunger hormones causing more hunger which can lead to strong cravings for foods high in fat calories and sugar.