“Diet is one of those things that’s constantly in the news. The latest study on the subject will be featured on a website. You’ll follow up your morning oatmeal with a post-workout shake. After years of trial and error, science has finally come up with reliable, credible, scientific recommendations for what you should eat to make sure your health is in order.”
There is no denying it: our lives are ruled by our diet. Over recent years, many studies have been done in order to find out what foods we should consume and which ones we should avoid when possible (or even completely exterminate). We’ve compiled the results of five of those studies and blog about nutrition and made lists for you to follow in order to boost your health and improve your diet.
1. Replace white bread with whole grain bread
White bread has been processed, which means it is missing many nutrients and fiber that are present in whole wheat products. Whole grains are connected to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, cancer and all sorts of other fatal diseases. Your gut bacteria (a group of microorganisms living in your intestines) are also positively affected by whole grains. Researchers at City University London found that subjects given whole grain bread had a 61% lower risk of diabetes than those given processed white bread.
2. Eat yogurt instead of cheese
Yogurt is made from milk and contains lactic acid, which is highly beneficial for the condition of your stomach. Lactic acid helps with digestion by lowering gastric acidity and increasing the number and movement of intestinal flora (bacteria). Also, yogurt contains probiotics that have been proven to decrease the density of colorectal adenomas (polyps in the colon). An increase in intestinal flora has also been correlated with a decrease in colon cancer mortality.
Cheese, on the other hand, contains a lot of animal fats and is highly processed. What’s more, cheese contains lactose (the sugar present in milk), which some people have trouble digesting.
3. Cheese isn’t the only dairy product that has benefits for your gut flora
On that note, you should also eat more yogurt and kefir (a beverage similar to yogurt, made from fermented milk). In addition to lactic acid and probiotics, these products contain enzymes that help break down lactose in the stomach. Kefir has been shown to improve bowel function and reduce constipation in elderly subjects as well.
4. Eat less meat
It’s true! The benefits of red meat are not only limited to the health of your heart. A low-quality diet (containing processed foods, sugars or other unhealthy additives) can lead to higher risks of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. According to the World Health Organization, a high intake of red meat is indicated for increased risk of cancer as well as certain types of autoimmune diseases (such as multiple sclerosis). The American Heart Association also recommends that you plant-based diet in order to prevent heart disease, although it should be noted that these recommendations are not always clear cut.
5. Drink your coffee black and avoid pastries
Coffee has been connected with a reduction in the risk of diabetes, a disease that is highly correlated with obesity. Popular opinion may have it that caffeine increases the risks of cancer, but the scientific support for this claim is still dubious (and the evidence comes from studies performed on animals, not humans). You should also try to avoid sugary drinks such as sports drinks or juices (they can lead to obesity). It’s best if you drink your coffee black or with skimmed milk, rather than sugar and cream. With regards to pastries, it’s best if you make these yourself at home, otherwise they will contain too much fat and sugar.