I have been eating walnuts daily for many years for dietary reasons. But only today, I learnt that they have a positive effect on our fat-burning metabolism.
That's not an excuse to eat more of them, as all nuts are high-calorie snacks. But here's an exciting finding:
"Studies show regular nut eaters don't appear to gain weight and that nuts may help with weight loss if they're eaten in an energy-controlled diet."
You might put it on though
How often have you read something like this "another way to lose more weight is to eat more protein"? An alternative version is this "boost your metabolism by increasing your protein intake".
And yet another version is "take a protein shake before bed and see your fat burn away as you sleep".
Sorry to break the bad news, but eating more protein isn't going to help—no more than a walk around the block.
A walk around the block will do you more good.
Sugar is not your enemy - added sugar is
In setting your long-term health and fitness objectives, it is a good idea to avoid extremes.
Extremes are not only almost impossible to keep up in the long-term, but they may also harm rather than help you.
Dietary extremes include keto diets (of course) packed with second rate fats and protein, no water diets, and "eat whatever carbs you want as long as you burn it off" diets.
Fitness extremes include cross-fit, which is not going to be your answer to living longer better, and gym machines, which dumb your brain and body down to just looking good in a t-shirt.
One way I think about exercise and food plans is to think ahead - 10 or 15 years ahead. I ask myself, will I be able to apply these same food and exercise principles then, and will they benefit me then?
Is the 3500-calories rule even true?
If you follow conventional weight-loss wisdom, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
The "3500 calories per pound of fat" rule is applied to mean that if you maintain a deficient of 500 calories each day that you will lose one pound of fat each week.
This doesn't work for long-term weight loss.
Modifying your expectations will keep you motivated to keep going. The reality isn't as exciting, but it sets you up for success.
The demonising of sugar has led to so much #nutribabble that it is hard to know what to do.
The answer is straightforward. Just stop all added sugar in your diet and food choices - especially if you are over 50. If you don't stop, you are adding additional risk to everything that is going to happen to your health as you age.
Added sugar is going to make you fatter, and lead to a higher risk of diabetes and in turn, a higher risk of limb amputations, blindness, kidney failure and dementia.
Diet choices are becoming more and more politicised and more ideological than ever. This makes it harder than ever to know what we should be eating to preserve our health.
But it not just the contents of a diet or new food plan that determines if it will be best for you. What's the secret?
Newsletter: The best single exercise you can do for your brain, balance, muscles and joints - at home
Plus, how to not carry your Xmas weight gain forward
As we head towards Xmas, here are this week's 4 Most Valuable pieces of content that I found to help you live longer better. These four articles stood out to me this week are:
These superfoods are easy to include in your diet
You've heard a lot about superfoods. Often it is an exotic list of foods that you might try once, but are unlikely to add to your regular diet e.g. ginseng, pomegranate, quinoa.
Here is a list of "everyday" common foods that contain some superfood qualities that are great for your body. These are among the healthiest foods that you'll see on your everyday supermarket shelves. There is no doubt that these foods all either contain important and hard-to-find nutrients OR have high levels of what’s called nutrient density. Nutrient density refers to how much nutrition you get in a given number of calories. Foods that have a lot of nutrition in a really small number of calories are considered ‘nutrient-dense’.
Add as many as you can to your weekly diet, and you'll be taking advantage of their unsung benefits for your health.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter