With the new year well underway and all the weight loss stuff behind us (kinda) I want to shift this week’s conversation towards using food to nourish. In this week’s HealthBite I share some of the food news headlines and one, in particular, will broaden our definition of nutrition to include the company that we keep sharing beautiful data and an argument for platonic relationships.
The first study of the year looked at several versions of a ‘healthy” diet to see which would lead to a reduction in death caused by cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases. First of all, let’s pause and acknowledge that nutrition can prolong life.
That finding is huge!
The study looked at 4 types of dietary interventions:
• A basic “US Style” Dietary Pattern consisting of foods that we Americans typically eat (caveat below)
• The Vegetarian version of above
• The Mediterranean version of above
• And finally the DASH (dietary approach to stop hypertension) version of above
ALL 4 DIETS HAD THESE BASIC PRINCIPLES:
• High intake of fruits and vegetables,
• Limited to no red meats
• Whole grains (yes these were not low-carb) legumes and beans,
• More plant-based fats, less saturated fat
• Limited to no alcohol
• Limited to no refined sugars and starches
And what they found was that these diets all reduced cardiovascular, cancer, and respiratory-related deaths compared to “normal” diet. So if you are wondering should I be a vegetarian, do I need to go low carb, can I eat soy, should I follow a Mediterranean diet? What you really need to ask is how I can incorporate the basic principles into my routine (go back and read the bullets above!)
The second headline I want to share is about friendship. Yes, friendship is food too, food for the soul. Studies show that deep, meaningful, and connected relationships can improve not only our emotional health but our physical health as well. In fact, people with solid friendships were shown to have a stronger immune system and a reduced incidence of heart attack.
But if you are feeling a bit disconnected these days, do not despair! This week’s podcast not only shares tips on reconnecting with old friends but also offers some ideas to cultivate new ones.
Full episode here:
Wishing you a healthy week, mind and body.