In the journey towards a healthier and more vibrant you, understanding the fundamentals of nutrition can be your guiding light. At Next Health, we are passionate about helping you make informed choices that will transform your life. In this series of tips, we explore essential aspects of nutrition, dispel myths, and provide valuable insights to empower you on your path to well-being.
Your first meal of the day sets the tone for your eating habits. Starting with a high-protein breakfast can have a profound impact on your overall dietary choices. Here's why:
You can incorporate high-protein foods into your morning meal to kickstart your day. Some excellent options include eggs, organic meats, whey protein, lentils, and Greek yogurt.
Recent research has revealed that a high-protein diet outperforms both calorie restriction and a popular intermittent fasting (IF) regimen when it comes to shedding unwanted pounds. In a study, obese participants were divided into three groups: high-protein diet, calorie restriction, and 5:2 IF (5 days of regular eating followed by two days of fasting). All participants were encouraged to exercise at least three times a week for a minimum of 150 minutes.
The high-protein diet consisted of 30% of calories from protein, 30% from fat, and 40% from carbohydrates. In contrast, the calorie restriction and IF groups had 15-20% of calories from protein, 30% from fat, and 50% from carbs. The IF group followed a fasting schedule that included two 500-calorie days per week with limited protein intake.
After 60 days, the high-protein group exhibited significant reductions in weight, body fat percentage, BMI, and waist circumference. Additionally, their fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol improved markedly, while HDL cholesterol increased, albeit predominantly in the high-protein group.
This research highlights the effectiveness of protein in promoting satiety, helping you naturally achieve a negative energy balance without resorting to extreme dietary restrictions. So, starting your day with a protein-rich breakfast not only aids in managing blood sugar levels but also supports your weight loss goals in a sustainable way.
The topic of dietary fat has long been a subject of confusion and misinformation. This started back in 1976 when senators called a hearing to raise attention to the link between diet and disease.
This was an era when it was not uncommon for men to drop dead of heart attacks. According to NPR, eight U.S. Senators succumbed to heart disease while in office throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Given that the harm of smoking was already on the radar, the new concern became the connection between diet and heart disease. Scientists at the time had some evidence that foods rich in saturated fats, like eggs and meat, might elevate LDL cholesterol levels. However, they lacked data on the complexities of this issue.
Since then, some fats have gained a notorious reputation for their impact on health.
Trans fats have earned their place as one of the most harmful dietary fats. They were once prevalent in fast food, ultra-processed foods, margarine, and packaged baked goods, but fortunately, they have now been banned due to their severe health risks. These chemically created fats were known for causing inflammation and heart disease. To safeguard your health, continue to steer clear of any foods or cooking methods that may generate trans fats.
Saturated fat has faced undue scrutiny in the past, but it's time to set the record straight. Found mainly in animal products like meat, butter, and dairy, as well as in certain plant oils like coconut and palm oil, saturated fat is generally safe and not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. However, it's crucial to keep an eye on your APOB (bad cholesterol) levels when increasing your saturated fat consumption.
Unsaturated fats, which include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are considered beneficial when they replace saturated fats in the diet. These fats can help reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels and provide essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Sources of unsaturated fats include fish, eggs, oils, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Incorporating these into your diet can yield numerous health benefits.
Omega-3 fats are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and a wide range of health benefits. You can boost your omega-3 intake by adding more salmon, seafood, nuts, and flaxseed to your diet. Conversely, omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory, and it's advisable to minimize your dietary consumption. These fats are commonly found in oils like corn, soybean, and sunflower oils.
While dietary cholesterol is not technically a fat, it's essential to understand that its consumption is not linked to increased blood cholesterol levels. As a result, you need not worry about the cholesterol content of your diet having a significant impact on your cholesterol levels.
For most individuals, incorporating an omega-3 supplement into their diet is recommended to support overall health and well-being.
When it comes to optimizing your diet, there's a crucial aspect you might not be considering: food sensitivities. Often, people associate dietary issues with allergies, but the truth is that you don't need to be allergic to a food to experience adverse reactions. Food sensitivities can wreak havoc on your body in more subtle ways, primarily through low-level inflammation.
Inflammation is the body's way of responding to threats, but when it becomes chronic, it can disrupt various bodily functions. The consequences are far-reaching and can affect your overall well-being. Here's why addressing food sensitivities is essential:
Comprehensive Sensitivity Testing
At Next Health, we offer comprehensive food sensitivity testing that can provide valuable insights into your diet and its impact on your health. Our CLIA-certified testing covers 96 of the most commonly reactive foods with a high level of accuracy. This means you can identify which foods might be contributing to inflammation and dietary challenges.
By uncovering your food sensitivities, you can make informed choices about your diet, avoid trigger foods, and work towards reducing inflammation. Ultimately, this can lead to improved weight management, enhanced energy levels, and a lower risk of chronic diseases.
Don't let food sensitivities hold you back from achieving your health and wellness goals. Take advantage of our sensitivity testing to gain a deeper understanding of your body's unique dietary needs and make positive changes that will benefit you in the long run.