Discover the Top Fitness & Nutrition Updates from April
The Factor Wellness Report is your one-stop shop to learn about everything that happened in the world of health and fitness over the past month. Explore the topics below to learn about the most newsworthy wellness stories from the month of April! Also, be sure to read “our take” after each story for an expert breakdown of each topic provided by the Factor dietitian team.
One in Five Deaths Worldwide Linked to Unhealthy Diet
A global study published in the Lancet medical journal found that 11 million deaths around the world in 2017 were linked to poor diet. The leading dietary risk factors were diets lacking nuts, seeds, milk and whole grains. They also found that many diets were high in sugary drinks and processed foods, which contributed to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Most importantly, the researchers found that the strongest correlation was associated with not eating enough healthy foods rather than eating too many unhealthy foods.
Wondering what this means? It shows what many of us expected all along – nutrition matters! While the study can show correlation and not necessarily causation, the information it found is definitely worth taking into account. One of the biggest takeaways from this article is the importance of maintaining a balanced diet. Focus on including fiber and limiting processed foods.
Even a Low Intake of Red and Processed Meat May Raise the Risk of Death
A new study suggests that even a small amount of red meat consumption could pose health risks. This study looked into the effects of even small intakes of red meat on health compared to diets with no red or processed meats. The researchers used data from the Adventist Health Study. Many Adventists are vegetarian or eat very minimal amounts of meat (2 ounces or less of red meat per day). They concluded that even a small amount of red or processed meat had adverse effects on cardiovascular health.
This observational study is again purely correlation, not causation as many other factors could play into the results. The study noted that those who consumed the highest amount of red meat were less educated, less physically active, had a higher prevalence of smoking and alcohol use and had a slightly higher BMI. They also had lower intakes of cruciferous vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains and legumes. Again, while relevant, this study is only a small part of the bigger picture when it comes to your personal health and fitness.
Eggs for Breakfast Benefit Those with Diabetes
A recent study demonstrated that a high-fat, low-carb breakfast could be helpful for people with type 2 diabetes when it comes to controlling blood sugars throughout the day. When participants ate an omelet for breakfast, compared to oatmeal and fruit, they found it completely prevented the blood sugar spikes after breakfast and improved blood sugar stability throughout the day. Participants also noted that their hunger before meals and sweet cravings were lower than with the high carb breakfast. Overall, the study concluded that eating a low-carb and high-fat meal in the morning improved glycemic control throughout the day and could also reduce other diabetes complications.
Eating a breakfast comprised primarily of protein and fat is a great way to start the day for people with or without diabetes. Carbohydrates lack the satiety power of protein and fat, which makes them a less than ideal early morning meal. Even though this was a short study, it’s worth digging deeper into the findings. Especially if eating a low-carb breakfast could help with other complications. It’s well-established that high-carb foods without protein or fat cause a spike in blood sugar levels. So mitigating your carbohydrate intake in the morning may be a wise precaution.
Exercise is More Critical Than Diet to Maintain Weight Loss
When it comes to maintaining the weight you lost, a study found that exercise was more important than diet. The researchers looked into why so many people struggle to keep the weight off after losing it. Rather than chronically restricting calories, successful weight-loss maintainers incorporated high levels of physical activity into their day to remain in an energy balance. They found that this group was able to consume the same amount of calories as overweight or obese individuals without regaining the weight.
When it comes to losing weight, diet is critical. However, after successfully losing weight, adding exercise to a healthy diet creates a more efficient means of maintaining weight loss. Whether you choose to weight lift or take long walks, exercise will help you build lean body mass to keep the weight off long-term.
Factor Monthly Wellness Tip:
When it comes to nutrition, it can be difficult to keep up with all the latest discoveries and trends. At the end of the day, eating real, whole foods is your safest bet for maintaining overall health and wellness. Take note from the article published in the Lancet and focus on consuming healthy, nutrient-dense foods rather than only being concerned with eliminating unhealthy options. Consistently eating healthier foods will naturally lead to the elimination of less nutritious foods from your day-to-day eating habits.
Want to make meal prepping easier? Learn how Factor’s team of dietitians and gourmet chefs can help take the work out of meal prep!