Take a moment to ask yourself: What motivates me to eat well?
If your key motivators behind eating a healthy diet are weight control and/or weight loss, you are not alone. As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), I notice the driving force behind many people’s desire to develop a healthier diet is typically weight-focused.
But there are often forgotten physical and mental health benefits of eating a balanced, varied and nutrient-dense diet– that have nothing to do with your body size:
From our social media feeds to morning news shows, there’s nutrition advice thrown at us everyday.
The truth is, nutrition science is constantly evolving, which is why it is important to seek information backed by rigorous science.
Recently, diets like Whole30 caution about foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids, like peanuts, peanut butter, seeds and liquid vegetable oils (i.e. corn, sunflower and safflower oils). And greater emphasis is typically placed on benefits of eating omega-3 fatty acids.
Since 2003, peanuts have a qualified health claim that says: Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, including peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
That’s powerful stuff, since heart disease remains the number one killer in Americans. And research linking what we eat to our heart health continues to grow! But in the world of nutrition research, there is only one constant – change. As soon as a conclusion is drawn from one study, there will be another study with a different result. BUT studies continue to prove the link between peanut consumption and reduced risk of heart disease.
Search the hashtag “cleaneating” on Instagram and you will find images of super-lean women taking mirror selfies at the gym. There are also photos of low-calorie, “ice-cream” and “milkshakes,” plates of only vegetables, and a bunch of guys’ washboard abs. All of these photos are sending the same message: Eat clean, and you’ll be a much more attractive person with a better life than the one you already have – the one you have while you’re eating … dirty.
Strokes cause one out of every 20 deaths in America. And in an analysis of 20 studies, grabbing a daily handful of peanuts was associated with a decreased stroke risk.
Did you know that eating more plants can help your health and the environment simultaneously?
It’s true. Eating more plants and plant-based foods like peanuts is linked to better health for both you and the world around you. Going plant-forward is simply eating more plant-based foods without eliminating animal products.
We all know, pretty much, what healthy means, right? Per the dictionary, something is healthy if it is “indicative of, conducive to, or promoting good health”. The great thing about a term like this is its simplicity. If we all have the same basic definition for healthy, we can easily decide what foods we should eat more often and what foods we should only eat on occasion. The word healthy is helpful when making food choices.
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