From the Mediterranean to Pictures: How Nutrition Science is Making Humans Healthier
Over the past two decades, nutrition science has revolutionized the way humans think about how nutrients and diet correlate with health problems. With advances in other sciences –such as molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and immunology– the nutritional sciences have combined knowledge derived from those disciplines to create new dietary guidelines that promote a healthier lifestyle. Today, nutritionists suggest that drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy, well-rounded diet full of antioxidants and vitamins and low on hydrogenated fats and artificial sugars, is the most effective way to lead a vigorous life.
"Healthy and Fat" Is a Myth
Nearly every day, there are advances and new approaches made in the dietary sciences by people working on the cutting edge of food, like a dietitian and nutritionist. One of the most intriguing studies to recently emerge is an analysis indicating that being both healthy and fat is not possible.
More specifically, the study concluded that obese persons –even those who exhibit no metabolic abnormalities– are at a higher risk of contracting heart disease, along with a litany of other health problems, while normal-weight individuals are at a much lower risk of developing chronic health ailments and diseases. The study, conducted in Toronto, Canada, polled over 60,000 individuals before developing the aforementioned conclusion.
The Mediterranean Diet for Diabetics
For diabetics, a new approach to eating might revolutionize how they combat their condition. Led by nutritionists at a university in Sweden, a dietary study suggests that a Mediterranean diet does not raise blood glucose levels as much as a low-fat diet. The analysis showed that skipping breakfast and eating a large Mediterranean-style lunch (with wine) helped diabetics maintain lower blood sugar levels than the doctor-recommended lower calorie foods.
Does Imagery Help Dieters?
Nutritional scientists explore every possible avenue and angle in attempting to help people eat healthier. Dietitians have even been examining how pro-diet imagery influences the mood and choices of those on diets. A group of British dietary experts argue that most long-term diets fail because people are swayed by unhealthy cravings and comfort foods.
The team suggests that exposing these dieters to pro-diet pictures helps keep dieters on the right track. That is, people who were in an environment filled with diet-congruent media and imagery consumed less food than those who were in a regular home. This finding correlates with a new approach to the nutrition sciences that argues that increasing the prevalence of weight-loss reminders in an eating environment helps dieters lose pounds.
Sugary Drinks Are Linked to Higher Risk of Cancer
In more conventional nutritional science news, a study conducted amongst post-menopausal women who consumed sugary drinks links those sugar-sweetened beverages to an increased risk of endometrial cancer, compared to women who consumed no sweetened liquids.
This study corroborates what so many nutritional scientists currently argue: that a diet high in fats, oils, and artificial sugars generally leads to a substantially higher risk of health issues. These issues run the gamut of cancer, heart disease, obesity, and metabolic inefficiencies.