27 Health and Nutrition Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based

1. Limit sugary drinks.
Sweetened beverages such as soda, fruit juices, and sweet tea are the main source of added sugar in the American diet (1Trusted Source).

Unfortunately, the results of several studies point to sugar-sweetened beverages increasing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, even in people who are not carrying excess body fat (2Trusted Source). .

Sugar-sweetened beverages are also uniquely harmful to children, as they can lead not only to childhood obesity, but also to conditions that don’t usually develop until adulthood, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Pressure, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease ( 3 Trusted Source , 4 Trusted Source , 5 Trusted Source ).

Healthy alternatives include:

Unsweetened tea
Flashing water
2. Eat nuts and seeds
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 ( 6 Trusted Source , 7 Trusted Source ).

Nuts can help you lose weight and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease (8Trusted Source).

Additionally, one large observational study noted that low consumption of nuts and seeds was possibly associated with an increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes (9Trusted Source).

3. Avoid ultra-processed foods.
Ultra-processed foods are foods that contain ingredients that have been significantly altered from their original form. They often contain additives such as added sugar, highly refined oils, salt, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors ( 10Trusted Source ).

Examples include:

Snack cake
Fast food
Frozen food
Canned foods
Ultra-processed foods are highly palatable, meaning they are easily overeaten, and activate reward-related areas in the brain, which can lead to higher calorie consumption and weight gain. Studies show that diets high in ultra-processed foods contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions ( 11 Trusted Source , 12 Trusted Source , 13 Trusted Source , 14 Trusted Source , 15 Trusted Source ). can

In addition to low-quality ingredients like inflammatory fats, added sugars, and refined grains, they’re typically low in fiber, protein, and micronutrients. Thus, they provide mostly empty calories.

4. Don’t be afraid of coffee
Despite some controversy over it, coffee is packed with health benefits.

It is rich in antioxidants, and some studies have linked coffee consumption to longevity and the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and several other diseases (16, 17, 18, 19).

The most beneficial amount appears to be 3–4 cups per day, although pregnant women should limit or avoid it altogether because it has been linked to low birth weight ( 18Trusted Source ).

However, it is best to consume coffee and any caffeine-based products in moderation. Excessive caffeine consumption can lead to health problems such as insomnia and heart palpitations. To enjoy coffee in a safe and healthy way, keep your intake to less than 4 cups per day and avoid high-calorie, high-sugar items like sweetened creamer.

5. Eat fatty fish.
Fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein and healthy fats. This is especially true of fatty fish, such as salmon, which are packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and various other nutrients ( 20 , 21Trusted Source ).

Studies show that people who eat fish regularly have a reduced risk of many conditions, including heart disease, dementia, and inflammatory bowel disease ( 22 , 23 , 24 ).

6. Get enough sleep.
The importance of getting enough quality sleep cannot be overstated.

Lack of sleep can cause insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance ( 25 Trusted Source , 26 Trusted Source , 27 Trusted Source ).

Moreover, poor sleep is one of the strongest individual risk factors for weight gain and obesity. People who don’t get enough sleep choose foods that are high in fat, sugar, and calories, potentially leading to unwanted weight gain ( 28 , 29Trusted Source ).

7. Feed your gut bacteria.
The bacteria in your gut, collectively known as the gut microbiota, are incredibly important to overall health.

Disruption of gut bacteria has been linked to some chronic diseases, including obesity and a number of digestive problems ( 30Trusted Source , 31Trusted Source ).

Good ways to improve gut health include eating probiotic foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, taking probiotic supplements — when indicated — and eating plenty of fiber. In particular, fiber acts as a prebiotic, or food source, for your gut bacteria ( 32 Trusted Source , 33 Trusted Source ).

8. Stay hydrated
Hydration is an important and often overlooked aspect of health. Staying hydrated helps ensure that your body is working optimally and that your blood volume is adequate ( 34 Trusted Source ).

Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated, as it is free of calories, sugar and additives.

While there’s no set amount that everyone needs daily, aim to drink enough to keep your thirst adequately quenched ( 35 Trusted Source ).

9. Do not eat too much burnt meat.
Meat can be a nutritious and healthy part of your diet. It’s high in protein and a rich source of nutrients ( 36Trusted Source ).

However, problems arise when the meat is charred or charred. This charring can lead to the formation of harmful compounds that can increase your risk of certain cancers ( 37Trusted Source ).

When you cook meat, try to avoid burning or scorching it. Additionally, limit your consumption of red and processed meats, such as lunch meats and bacon, as these are linked to an increased overall cancer risk and risk of colon cancer ( 38Trusted Source , 39Trusted Source , 40Trusted Source , 41Trusted Source ).

10. Avoid bright lights before bed.
When you’re exposed to bright lights — with blue light wavelengths — in the evening, it can disrupt your production of the sleep hormone melatonin ( 42Trusted Source ).

Some ways to help reduce your exposure to blue light are to wear blue light-blocking glasses — especially if you use a computer or other digital screen for long periods of time — and 30 minutes before bed. Avoid digital screens for minutes to an hour (43Trusted Source).

This can help your body naturally produce melatonin as evening falls, helping you sleep better.

11. Take vitamin D if you are deficient.
Most people don’t get enough vitamin D. Although this widespread vitamin D deficiency is not immediately harmful, maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D can improve bone strength, reduce symptoms of depression, strengthen your immune system, and can help improve your health by reducing your risk of For Cancer (44 Trusted Source, 45 Trusted Source, 46 Trusted Source, 47 Trusted Source).

If you don’t spend a lot of time in the sun, your vitamin D levels may be low.

If you have access, it’s a good idea to get your levels checked, so you can correct your levels with vitamin D supplementation if necessary.

12. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables and fruits are packed with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, many of which have profound health effects.

Studies show that people who eat more vegetables and fruits live longer and have a lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and other diseases ( 48 , 49Trusted Source ).

13. Eat adequate protein.
Eating enough protein is essential for optimal health, as it provides your body with the raw materials it needs to build new cells and tissues ( 50Trusted Source ).

Moreover, this nutrient is especially important for maintaining a moderate body weight.

High protein intake can increase your metabolic rate – or calorie burn – while making you feel fuller. It can also reduce your cravings and cravings for late-night snacking ( 51Trusted Source , 52Trusted Source ).

14. Proceedings
Aerobic exercise, or cardio, is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health.

It is especially effective in reducing belly fat, the harmful type of fat that accumulates around your organs. Losing belly fat can lead to major improvements in your metabolic health ( 53 Trusted Source ).

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, we should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week (54Trusted Source).

15. Do not smoke or use drugs, and drink only in moderation.
Smoking, harmful drug use, and alcohol abuse can adversely affect your health.

If you do any of these practices, consider cutting back or quitting to help reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

There are resources available online to help with this – and possibly in your local community. Talk to your doctor to learn more about accessing resources.

16. Use extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest vegetable oils you can use. It’s full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties ( 55 Trusted Source , 56 Trusted Source ).

Extra virgin olive oil may benefit heart health, with some evidence showing a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke death in people who consume it ( 57 Trusted Source ).

17. Minimize your sugar intake.
Added sugar is very common in modern foods. Eating too much is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease ( 1Trusted Source , 2Trusted Source , 58 ).

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend keeping added sugars to less than 10% of your daily calories, while the World Health Organization recommends keeping added sugars to 5% or less of your daily calories for optimal health. recommends reducing ( 59 , 60 Trusted Source ).

18. Limit refined carbohydrates.
Not all carbohydrates are created equal.

Refined carbs have been heavily processed to remove their fiber. They are relatively low in nutrients and eating too much can harm your health. Most ultra-processed foods are made from refined carbohydrates, such as processed corn, white flour, and added sugars.

Studies show that a diet high in refined carbohydrates may be linked to overeating, weight gain, and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease ( 61 , 62 , 63 , 64 ).

19. Lifting heavy weights
Strength and resistance training are some of the best forms of exercise you can do to strengthen your muscles and improve your body composition.

It can also lead to significant improvements in metabolic health, including improved insulin sensitivity – meaning it’s easier to regulate your blood sugar levels – and an increase in your metabolic rate, or how many calories you burn at rest. (65, 66 Trusted Source).

If you don’t have weights, you can use your body weight or resistance bands to create resistance and get a comparable workout with many of the same benefits.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend resistance training twice a week (67Trusted Source).

20. Avoid artificial trans fats.
Synthetic trans fats are harmful, man-made fats that are strongly linked to inflammation and heart disease ( 68Trusted Source ).

Avoiding them should be much easier now that they are completely banned in the US and many other countries. Note that you can still find some foods that contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans fats, but these are not associated with the same negative effects as synthetic trans fats ( 69 Trusted Source ).

21. Use plenty of herbs and spices.
A variety of herbs and spices are at our disposal these days, more than ever before. Not only do they provide flavor, but they can also offer a number of health benefits (70Trusted Source).

For example, both ginger and turmeric have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which can help improve your overall health ( 71 , 72Trusted Source ).

Because of their powerful potential health benefits, you should aim to include a variety of herbs and spices in your diet.

22. Nurture your social relationships.
Social relationships—with friends, family, and loved ones you care about—are important not only for your mental well-being, but also for your physical health.

Studies show that people who have close friends and family are healthier and live longer than those who don’t ( 73 , 74Trusted Source ).

23. Track your food intake occasionally.
The only way to know how many calories you eat is to weigh your food and use a nutrition tracker, as estimating your portion sizes and calorie intake is unreliable ( 75 , 76Trusted Source ).

Tracking can also provide insight into your protein, fiber and micronutrient intake.

Although some studies have found a link between calorie tracking and disordered eating tendencies, there is some evidence to suggest that people who track their food intake are more likely to lose weight and maintain their weight. are more successful in maintaining reduction ( 74 , 77 , 78 Trusted Source , 79 Trusted Source ).

24. Get rid of excess belly fat.
Excess abdominal fat, or visceral fat, is a uniquely harmful type of fat distribution that has been linked to an increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease ( 80Trusted Source ).

For this reason, your waist size and waist-to-hip ratio may be stronger markers of health than your weight.

Cutting out refined carbohydrates, eating more protein and fiber, and reducing stress (which can lower cortisol, a stress hormone that triggers belly fat storage) are all strategies you can use to lose belly fat. (81Trusted Source, 82Trusted Source, 83Trusted Source, 84Trusted Source).

25. Avoid restrictive diets.
Diets are usually ineffective and rarely work long term. In fact, past dieting is one of the strongest predictors of future weight gain ( 85Trusted Source ).

This is because overly restrictive diets actually lower your metabolic rate, or the amount of calories you burn, making it more difficult to lose weight. At the same time, they also cause changes in your hunger and satiety hormones, which make you hungrier and can lead to cravings for foods high in fat, calories, and sugar ( 86 , 87Trusted Source ). ).

All of this is a recipe for weight gain, or “yoyo” dieting.

Instead of dieting, try to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Focus on nourishing your body instead of depriving it.

Weight loss should follow when you switch to whole, nutrient-dense foods—which are naturally more filling while containing fewer calories than processed foods ( 14Trusted Source ).

26. Eat whole eggs.
Despite the constant back and forth about eggs and health, it’s a myth that eggs are bad for you because of their cholesterol content. Studies show that they have minimal impact on blood cholesterol in most people, and they are a great source of protein and nutrients ( 87 , 88Trusted Source ).

Additionally, one review of 263,938 people found that egg intake was not associated with heart disease risk (88Trusted Source).

27. Meditation
Stress negatively affects your health. It can affect your blood sugar levels, food choices, susceptibility to disease, weight, fat distribution, and more. For this reason, it’s important to find healthy ways to manage your stress.

Meditation is one such method, and there is some scientific evidence to support its use for managing stress and improving health ( 89 , 90Trusted Source ).

In one study of 48 people with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or both, researchers found that meditation helped lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and inflammation compared to a control group. Additionally, participants in the meditation group reported improved mental and physical well-being (91Trusted Source).

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