Four Simple Food Resolutions for 2015

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With all those turkey, “roast beast” (thanks Dr. Seuss), gravy, pies, cakes and cookie consumables now in our rearview mirror, it’s time to turn over a new leaf...er, plate. Start with these and you’ll have a remarkably healthier 2015.

Watch that Sodium

Marion Nestle highlights Food Navigator’s (a generally progressive reporting outlet and business newsletter for the food and beverage industry) recent “special edition” on sodium reduction—a collection of articles about trends in sodium reduction and ways in which the food industry is working to reduce sodium in the foods that they make and serve.

Eschew Fast Food

Continue the trend! Don’t sink your money and your health into a sinking business. A recent NPR report by Yuki Noguchi explores the continued slumping sales of McDonald’s (down 4.6% in November). She explains that negative news, attempts at “complex menus” (new products that are trying to appeal to a more health conscious consumer), and lack of control of franchisees have been some catalysts for the downward spiral. Quoting fast-food industry consultant John Gordon:

It's not one thing, you know, by any means," Gordon says. But continuing sales declines at its U.S. locations, those open at least 13 months? That raises concerns that the company's business problems may be more fundamental."

Cook At Home

This is a great one. Business Insider writer Kevin Loria gives an enticing “silver-bullet” solution title to his article “The Best Diet Hack Will Save Your Wallet and Your Waistline” only to follow it up with the sage advice explaining the benefits of cooking at home. Loria cites a few research studies showing how cooking real food, avoiding processed food, and building your family/community culture can drastically improve our overall health.

  • People who cook at home save money. Despite claims by some that junk food is cheaper, evidence doesn't bear that out. Multiple tests show that eating at home is cheaper than buying pre-made food.

  • People who cook at home enjoy their food more. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found some evidence that working for a meal can make it more satisfying and even tastier.

Consider a Mediterranean Diet

Diets high in healthy monounsaturated fats, veggies, fish, legumes and nuts may help increase our cells ability to withstand aging according to a new longitudinal study using the fabled Nurses Health Study cohort.

Laura Geggel of the Washington Post reports on the study which looked at the telomere (the protective ends of DNA that keep it from degenerating) length of women who had extensively recorded their diet. In short, the better your diet, the longer your telomeres, the longer your cells can function. Geggel quoting a researcher:  

Our findings showed that healthy eating, overall, was associated with longer telomeres,” said study co-author Marta Crous-Bou, a postdoctoral fellow in the Brigham and Women’s Channing Division of Network Medicine. “However, the strongest association was observed among women who adhered to the Mediterranean diet.”

There were plenty of holiday cookies, chocolates and sugar, sugar, sugar around last week and this, and it’s certainly okay to have a little indulgence here and there, but in 2015 let’s all consider taking it easy on ourselves by having a better relationship with our food.  

PHOTO: via flickr

Sources:

Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson

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