The popularity of diet news is evident: there are myriads of websites offering tips on how to balance your meals in such a way so that your body could get all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Yet you may be confused by the diversity of advice: while some claim there is nothing worse than saturated fats, others suggest that everyone should avoid carbohydrate intake. Is there an evidence-based solution that would really reflect the impact of nutrients on our health and take into account all approved recommendations? That’s a tough question.
Image Credit: thinkstockphotos.com
The controversy of research results is one of the factors that contribute to diet ambiguity. Besides the everlasting battle of those who stick to the breakfast-matters principle and those who claim it’s of no use (fuelled by scientific reports), there is little agreement on whether saturated fats are good or bad and what ratio is the best in terms of nutrition.
One of the recent studies of health and the impact eating habits have on it is PURE. The abbreviation stands for Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE). A major research project, it was aimed to revolutionize the way we eat, but despite promising headlines, the study published in The Lancet revealed almost nothing new. The statement that daily meals should comprise of fruits, vegetables and nuts has become a general truth a long time ago, and it’s not surprising that these findings prove the theory. With more than 135 thousand people involved, this study was an attempt to challenge the recommendations issued by USDA, but all it managed to do was contributing to a large set of diet-related data.
Yet it would be wrong to say that the research, which proved the perfect diet implies consuming veggies and whole grains, was carried out in vain: what it really revealed was that raw vegetables are far more useful than cooked ones.
Now, back to saturated fats. Although recent projects revealed that they are not to be avoided completely, there is evidence that it is capable of being harmful. Just like most substances, it is the quantity that matters. Many people believe that saturated fats are pure evil in their essence and should be avoided, but it appears that moderate intake is not only safe – it is beneficial.
Refined carbohydrates can be as harmful as saturated fats, so it depends on what ratio you stick to and what kinds of food you use to cook meals (or eat them raw).
There is still disagreement as to what the perfect diet should be like, but if we combine the most reliable data, we will be able to compile the following list of tips:
- Whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts are your best friends when food is concerned;
- It’s more beneficial if you eat vegetables raw;
- Fear of saturated fats does not promote a healthy lifestyle. Instead of avoiding these substances completely, make your intake moderate. The same applies to all kinds of nutrients.
- Refined carbohydrates are not as good as they may seem, so limit your consumption of sugar, snack foods, white bread, pasta and similar food.
- Don’t forget to mind your salt intake, as excessive salt consumption may cause hypertension and heart issues.