Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook, and stabilizing your mood. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. But by using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
How does healthy eating affect mental and emotional health?
We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing. Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia, or in the increased risk of suicide in young people. Read more
Health experts believe the way to get people to eat better is to tell them which foods are healthy and which ones aren’t. Nutrition facts panels—the little info-boxes on the back of food packages that outline calorie, fat, sugar and vitamin counts—are supposed to do that, but research has found that many people don’t look at them, and even when they do, they don’t help.
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a revision to the existing facts panel, which has been standard on most food products since 1994. The changes include a redesign to make calorie information more prominent, as well as a change as to what is considered a single serving size to reflect the growth in the portion sizes people eat in the last two decades. The hope is that the changes will reflect the latest nutrition science and help people make smarter choices as the U.S. faces an obesity problem.
Some researchers say the proposed labels are an improvement but still don’t make clear to consumers what the net value of a food could be. So they are devising alternative approaches. Here are some other ideas for a better label. Read more
Organic meat and milk differ markedly from their conventionally produced counterparts in measures of certain nutrients, a review of scientific studies reported on Tuesday.
In particular, levels of omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for lowering the risk of heart disease, were 50 percent higher in the organic versions.
“The fatty acid composition is definitely better,” said Carlo Leifert, a professor of ecological agriculture at Newcastle University in England and the leader of an international team of scientists who performed the review. Read more