style[amp-boilerplate] CAMPUS NAIJA HEALTH: 27 Health and Nutrition Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based

CAMPUS NAIJA HEALTH: 27 Health and Nutrition Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based

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There is a lot of

confusion when it comes

to health and nutrition.

People, even qualified

experts, often seem to

have the exact opposite


However, despite all the

disagreements, there

are a few things that are

well supported by


Here are "27 health and nutrition tips that are

actually based on good science."

1. Don't Drink Sugar Calories

Sugary drinks are the most fattening things

you can put into your body.

This is because liquid sugar calories don't get

registered by the brain in the same way as

calories from solid foods.

For this reason, when you drink soda, you end

up eating more total calories.

Sugary drinks are strongly associated with

obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and all

sorts of health problems.

Keep in mind that fruit juices are almost as

bad as soda in this regard. They contain just as

much sugar, and the small amounts of

antioxidants do NOT negate the harmful

effects of the sugar.

2. Eat Nuts

Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly

nutritious and healthy.

They are loaded with magnesium, vitamin E,

fiber and various other nutrients.

Studies show that nuts can help you lose

weight, and may help fight type 2 diabetes and

heart disease.

Additionally, about 10-15% of the calories in

nuts aren't even absorbed into the body, and

some evidence suggests that they can boost


In one study, almonds were shown to increase

weight loss by 62% compared to complex


3. Avoid Processed Junk Food

(Eat Real Food Instead)

All the processed junk foods in the diet are

the biggest reason the world is fatter and

sicker than ever before.

These foods have been engineered to be

"hyper-rewarding," so they trick our brains into

eating more than we need, even leading to

addiction in some people.

They are also low in fiber, protein and

micronutrients (empty calories), but high in

unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and

refined grains.

4. Don't Fear Coffee

Coffee has been unfairly demonized. The truth

is that it's actually very healthy.

Coffee is high in antioxidants, and studies show

that coffee drinkers live longer, and have a

reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's

disease, Alzheimer's and numerous other

diseases .

5. Eat Fatty Fish

Pretty much everyone agrees that fish is


This is particularly true of fatty fish, like

salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty

acids and various other nutrients .

Studies show that people who eat the most

fish have a lower risk of all sorts of diseases,

including heart disease, dementia and

depression .

6. Get Enough Sleep

The importance of getting enough quality

sleep can not be overstated.

It may be just as important as diet and

exercise, if not more.

Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, throw

your appetite hormones out of whack and

reduce your physical and mental performance.

What's more, it is one of the strongest

individual risk factors for future weight gain

and obesity. One study showed that short

sleep was linked to 89% increased risk of

obesity in children, and 55% in adults.

7. Take Care of Your Gut

Health With Probiotics and


The bacteria in your gut, collectively called the

gut microbiota, are sometimes referred to as

the "forgotten organ."

These gut bugs are incredibly important for all

sorts of health-related aspects. A disruption in

the gut bacteria is linked to some of the

world's most serious chronic diseases,

including obesity.

A good way to improve gut health, is to eat

probiotic foods (like live yogurt and

sauerkraut), take probiotic supplements, and

eat plenty of fiber. Fiber functions as fuel for

the gut bacteria.

8. Drink Some Water,

Especially Before Meals

Drinking enough water can have numerous


One important factor, is that it can help boost

the amount of calories you burn.

According to 2 studies, it can boost

metabolism by 24-30% over a period of 1-1.5

hours. This can amount to 96 additional

calories burned if you drink 2 liters (67 oz) of

water per day.

The best time to drink water is half an hour

before meals. One study showed that half a

liter of water, 30 minutes before each meal,

increased weight loss by 44%.

9. Don't Overcook or Burn

Your Meat

Meat can be a nutritious and healthy part of

the diet. It is very high in protein, and contains

various important nutrients.

The problems occur when meat is overcooked

and burnt. This can lead to the formation of

harmful compounds that raise the risk of


So, eat your meat, just don't overcook or burn


10. Avoid Bright Lights Before


When we're exposed to bright lights in the

evening, this disrupts production of the sleep

hormone melatonin.

An interesting "hack" is to use a pair of amber-

tinted glasses that block blue light from

entering your eyes in the evening.

This allows melatonin to be produced as if it

were completely dark, helping you sleep


11. Take Vitamin D3 if You

Don't Get Much Sun

Back in the day, most people got their vitamin

D from the sun.

The problem is that most people don't get

much sun these days. They either live where

there is no sun, or they stay inside most of the

day or use sunscreen when they go out.

According to data from 2005-2006, about

41.6% of the US population is deficient in this

critical vitamin.

If adequate sun exposure is not an option for

you, then supplementing with vitamin D has

been shown to have numerous benefits for


This includes improved bone health, increased

strength, reduced symptoms of depression

and a lower risk of cancer, to name a few.

Vitamin D may also help you live longer.

12. Eat Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are the "default" health

foods, and for good reason.

They are loaded with prebiotic fiber, vitamins,

minerals and all sorts of antioxidants, some of

which have potent biological effects.

Studies show that people who eat the most

vegetables and fruits live longer, and have a

lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes,

obesity and all sorts of diseases.

13. Make Sure to Eat Enough


Eating enough protein is incredibly important,

and many experts believe that the

recommended daily intake is too low.

Protein is particularly important for weight

loss, and works via several different


A high protein intake can boost metabolism

significantly, while making you feel so full that

you automatically eat fewer calories. It can

also cut cravings and reduce the desire for

late-night snacking.

Eating plenty of protein has also been shown

to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

14. Do Some Cardio, or Just

Walk More

Doing aerobic exercise (or cardio) is one of the

best things you can do for your mental and

physical health.

It is particularly effective at reducing belly fat,

the harmful type of fat that builds up around

your organs. Reduced belly fat should lead to

major improvements in metabolic health.

15. Don't Smoke or do Drugs,

and Only Drink in Moderation

If you're a tobacco smoker, or abuse drugs,

then diet and exercise are the least of your

worries. Tackle those problems first.

If you choose to include alcohol in your life,

then do so in moderation only, and consider

avoiding it completely if you have alcoholic


16. Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on the


It is loaded with heart-healthy

monounsaturated fats and powerful

antioxidants that can fight inflammation.

Extra virgin olive oil leads to many beneficial

effects on heart health, and people who

consume olive oil have a much lower risk of

dying from heart attacks and strokes.

17. Minimize Your Intake of

Added Sugars

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in

the modern diet.

Small amounts are fine, but when people eat

large amounts, it can wreak havoc on

metabolic health.

A high intake of added sugar is linked to

numerous diseases, including obesity, type 2

diabetes, heart disease and many forms of


18. Don't Eat a Lot of Refined


Not all carbs are created equal.

Refined carbs have been highly processed, and

have had all the fiber removed from them.

They are low in nutrients (empty calories), and

can be extremely harmful.

Studies show that refined carbohydrates are

linked to overeating and numerous metabolic


19. Don't Fear Saturated Fat

The "war" on saturated fat was a mistake.

It is true that saturated fat raises cholesterol,

but it also raises HDL (the "good") cholesterol

and changes the LDL from small to large,

which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

New studies that included hundreds of

thousands of people have shown that there is

no link between saturated fat consumption

and heart disease.

20. Lift Heavy Things

Lifting weights is one of the best things you

can do to strengthen your body and improve

your body composition.

It also leads to massive improvements in

metabolic health, including improved insulin


The best approach is to go to a gym and lift

weights, but doing body weight exercises can

be just as effective.

21. Avoid Artificial Trans Fats

Artificial trans fats are harmful, man-made

fats that are strongly linked to inflammation

and heart disease.

It is best to avoid them like the plague.

22. Use Plenty of Herbs and


There are many incredibly healthy herbs and

spices out there.

For example, ginger and turmeric both have

potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant

effects, leading to various health benefits.

You should make an effort to include as many

different herbs and spices as you can. Many of

them can have powerful beneficial effects on

your health.

23. Take Care of Your


Social relationships are incredibly important.

Not only for your mental wellbeing, but your

physical health as well.

Studies show that people who are close with

friends and family are healthier and live much

longer than those who are not.

24. Track Your Food Intake

Every Now and Then

The only way to know exactly what you are

eating, is to weigh your foods and use a

nutrition tracker like MyFitnesspal or Cron-o-


This is important to know how many calories

you are eating. It is also essential to make sure

that you're getting in enough protein, fiber and


Studies show that people who track their food

intake in one way or another tend to be more

successful at losing weight and sticking to a

healthy diet.

Basically, anything that increases your

awareness of what you are eating is likely to

help you succeed.

I personally track everything I eat for a few

days in a row, every few months. Then I know

exactly where to make adjustments in order to

get closer to my goals.

25. If You Have Excess Belly

Fat, Get Rid of it

Not all body fat is equal.

It is mostly the fat in your abdominal cavity,

the belly fat, that causes problems. This fat

builds up around the organs, and is strongly

linked to metabolic disease.

For this reason, your waist size may be a much

stronger marker for your health than the

number on the scale.

Cutting carbs, eating more protein, and eating

plenty of fiber are all excellent ways to get rid

of belly fat.

This article lists 6 evidence-based ways to lose

belly fat.

26. Don't go on a "Diet"

Diets are notoriously ineffective, and rarely

work well in the long term.

In fact, "dieting" is one of the strongest

predictors for future weight gain.

Instead of going on a diet, try adopting a

healthier lifestyle. Focus on nourishing your

body, instead of depriving it.

Weight loss should follow as a natural side

effect of better food choices and improved

metabolic health.

27. Eat Eggs, and Don't Throw

Away The Yolk

Whole eggs are so nutritious that they're often

referred to as "nature's multivitamin."

It is a myth that eggs are bad for you because

of the cholesterol. Studies show that they have

no effect on blood cholesterol in the majority

of people.

Additionally, a massive review study that

included 263,938 individuals found that egg

consumption had no association with the risk

of heart disease.

What we're left with is one of the most

nutritious foods on the planet, and the yolk is

where almost all of the nutrients are found.

Telling people to throw away the yolk is among

the worst pieces of advice in the history of


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