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How do we reshape our food environment so that it no longer works against us?



In many ways, it’s hardly a big mystery, writes Bobo “Why Smart People Make Bad Choices: The Invisible Influences That Guide Our Thinking.” We live an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and food is available everywhere around the clock, which means we must maintain superhuman levels of discipline in order to stay slim.

And while we often tell ourselves that dietary recommendations are constantly changing (“even the experts can’t agree”), we all know that we quit smoking, exercise more, drink less, eat more fruits and vegetables, and eat less soda should. Cookies and pizza, he says.

The challenge is to follow this advice when everything in our environment – the “food landscape” – is working against us.

Basically, defining weight management as just a matter of willpower and self-discipline is just unfair and proven ineffective, says Bobo, an attorney with an educational background in biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, and psychology who spent 13 years in the State Department as a global advisor to Food policy before moving to biotech company Intrexon and starting a food foresight company future.

When three-quarters of the adult population are unable to maintain a healthy weight in a culture where obesity – despite its ubiquity – still carries real social stigma and health risks, one has to wonder if the odds are stand against us.

Education is not the problem: “In 1960 nobody knew anything about health and nutrition and yet nobody was obese.”.

“It’s pretty clear that what matters is the environment and behavior, not education,” says Bobo, who spoke with FoodNavigator-USA about our upcoming special issue on weight management.

“In 1960 nobody knew anything about health and nutrition and yet nobody was obese.”

Earlier generations ran out of willpower, he says, they just weren’t exposed to the same temptations, and burned more calories as they went about their daily activities (gyms and keto diets weren’t a thing in 1921, but most people stayed slim) without going into their diaries Having to plan “movement”.

“Let’s take the willpower out of the equation and redesign our environment …” .

So if educating people doesn’t really move the needle and big policy changes are challenging in a political environment where even minor political interference is portrayed as an unacceptable assault on our freedoms, how can grocery stores, corporate cafeterias, town planners, schools, restaurants and consumers are using behavioral research to transform the nutritional environment?

There’s no silver bullet, Bobo says, but every little “push” and intervention that changes the nutritional environment just makes it that little bit easier to make healthier choices without putting willpower into the equation.

There are innumerable ideas and examples in his book, many of which are based on the fact that “the rational mind is lazy and often allows our intuitives to take the lead, which often means treading the path of least resistance”. So if we make the standard option healthier but still offer less healthy options, we will be invisibly guided to a better result without feeling manipulated or deprived of choice.

Don’t ban fries and soda, just make healthier options the default: E.g. Make water, milk, or 100% juice the standard drink for kids’ meals (soda is still on sale, just ask for it). Make salad or fruit the default (fries are still on sale but you’ll have to ask for them).

(At Disney theme parks that have tested this, the vast majority of parents stick to the healthy default setting for drinks, and about half stick with the healthier alternative to fries.) claims the CSPI.)

12 ounce cups … and free refills: Don’t prohibit big sips, only sell 12-ounce soda cups and offer free refills. (If you really want more soda, you can have it, says Bobo, but the gradual increase in the size of dinner plates, wine glasses, soda cups, and serving sizes has steadily led us to eat more). “When the standard size is small, diners drink less.”

Sell ​​the foot-length submarine, but wrap each half individually: If you are really hungry, you will still eat the whole thing, says Bobo. If not, “consumers would give serious thought to whether to open the other half or just take it home with them.”

Bring out the take-home box to eat:That way, restaurants can still sell large portions of what consumers expected, but boxing half of them as soon as it arrives can help curb overeating at the table.

Rethink menu labeling: Position healthy choices as culinary delights that appeal to all diners rather than reduced fat / sugar options for dieters: “You may not be tempted by ‘Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup’, but a bowl of ‘Cuban Black Bean Soup’ sounds pretty exciting.”

Do not create a Healthy Choices section on the menu: Position healthier options as main menu items, not as items that are relegated to a “healthy” section at the end of the menu or as something for those on special or restricted diets. “Redesign menus so that healthier choices are more likely to be made.” .

Place the snacks further away from the coffee machine:: Experiments by Michiel Bakker at Google’s corporate cafeterias show that even simple strategies like removing the snacks from the coffee maker make you less likely to grab them while waiting for your coffee, Bobo says.

Put appetizing vegetables at the beginning of the buffet: By simply positioning appetizing vegetable dishes at the beginning of a buffet line in an experiment in a Google cafeteria, employees ate more vegetables and less meat, says Bobo. While a handful of Googlers purposely kept their plates empty to make room for the meat (at the end of the buffet line), most filled their plates with the vegetable dishes before they even got to the lamb.

“Kickoff is not about excluding options or stigmatizing meat-eaters, it is about encouraging better behavior while leaving room for choice and our inner cute demons.”

Make healthier drinks more visible: “A study in a hospital cafeteria found that putting water at eye level in fridges and baskets near food stations increased water use by 26%.”

Don’t sell junk food at the checkout: It is clear that there is a buy-in through trade associations for such things in order to create a level playing field, says Bobo: “But these are things that will eventually become the industry norm. I would say either you can do it today and you will get recognition and good publicity, or you can do it tomorrow and you will be vilified for dragging your feet. “

Jack Bobo: “Obesity reduction in America is not about diet or information. It’s not about reading labels or counting calories. Instead, it is about changing our eating culture, which is the sum of all our habits in combination with our environment. The food culture in America has changed drastically since the 1970s when I was growing up. And it’s not a thing, it’s everything “Photo credit: Jack Bobo

“Do you really want to improve consumer health, or do you just want to convey to consumers that you are improving their health?”.

When it comes to the packaged food industry, Bobo says CPG companies have made significant efforts to cut calories, sodium, saturated fat, and sugar, and add a positive diet (fiber, vitamin D, chia seeds), but they also sell a lot of organic , plant-based, GMO-free and natural junk food.

As Dr. Robert Lustig also in a current interviewWith us, cola is 100% vegetable and non-genetically modified biscuits with biodynamic cane sugar and organic chocolate chips are still biscuits.

“I’ve had conversations with some of these big companies and they asked me questions about how to communicate healthy choices in food?” Says Bobo. “My first question to you is: Do you really want to improve your health? from consumers, or do you just want to convey to consumers that you are improving their health? “

Is Vegetable Healthier? Depends on how you define herbal.

The term “plant-based” – which many consumers now consider a substitute for “healthy” or “better for you” – is already used to refer to products that may be made from plants (think chips and soda), but probably not. “What most dietitians have in mind when encouraging us all to eat more plants,” he says.

While most RDs would characterize a plant-based or plant-based diet as a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, virtually all investment funds for plant-based innovations are invested in meat and dairy analogues using a very narrow range of ingredients (oils, starches, Rubber, protein powder from a handful of raw material cultures).

There’s nothing wrong with plant-based ice cream or bacon, and here too, environmental and animal welfare issues clearly play a role, says Bobo. But what if the same amount of money and brainpower were devoted to finding appetizing, affordable, and convenient ways to do it? to eat a greater variety of plants in all the colors of the rainbow?

“I think a lot about how we can de-stigmatize frozen food,” says Bobo. “How do we make it cool and exciting so that people don’t feel like they’re giving their kids something that isn’t optimal?

“If we were to eat our five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, we would crowd out the other things because they are simply more filling.” .

Find out more about Bobo’s new book HERE. .

Keto Diet-GettyImages-ThitareeSarmkasatGettyImages-ThitareeSarmkasat

“The truth is that diets don’t work for most people. Sure, many diets work for some people for a short period of time, but there is little evidence that any particular diet will work or for most people over a period of months Years.

“Diets are based on the premise that if we just stick to the plan, we can lose ten, twenty, or thirty pounds in months, but that’s not how we gained weight. We’ve put on a pound, two, or three a year for thirty years. To return to a place where knowing what and how much to eat is an afterthought rather than an act of soldierly will, we need to change our eating habits and to do that we need to change our eating environment. .

“If we do that, we’ll find that we’ll lose a pound, two, or three a year for the next thirty years, and we’ll return to healthier, happier ways of being.” .Jack Bobo.

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Whole Grains Health

Protein Variety and Heart Health Are Linked, Study Finds



We’ve all found ourselves in the habit of eating the same three things over and over (…and over) again. When life gets busy, falling back on simple dishes that satisfy your tastebuds is the natural thing to do. But if you’re cooking up the same couple proteins on the regular, a new study published in the the journal Hypertension suggests that it may be time to introduce a few new varieties into your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

The study pulled existing data from over 12,000 participants who took part in a minimum of two rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Researchers sought to explore the relationship between hypertension—or high blood pressure—and the variety and quantity of proteins from eight major dietary sources consumed by participants. (Study participants were an average age of 41 years old.)

Researchers measured protein intake by looking at three consecutive days of eating, scoring each round based on the number of protein varieties consumed (including legumes, fish, eggs, whole grains, refined grains, processed and unprocessed red meat, and poultry).

The results? “Among ‘just the right amount’ consumers of protein, those eating the greatest variety of protein had a the lowest blood pressure,” explains John Higgins, MD, a sports cardiologist with McGovern Medical School at the UT Health Science Center at Houston. Notably, those who ate the least and the most amount of protein were at the greatest risk for developing high blood pressure, while those who ate the greatest variety of protein were 66 percent less likely to end up developing hypertension between the rounds of the survey .

“The heart health message is that consuming a balanced diet with proteins from various different sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure.” — Xianhui Qin, MD, study author

Although the survey results sound complicated—and, hey, they were—the takeaway is simple: “The heart health message is that consuming a balanced diet with proteins from various different sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure,” Xianhui Qin, MD, the study author, said in a press release. In other words: Mix it up! Spin the protein wheel of fortune and try something new.

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If you’re not quite sure where to start with upping your protein game, Dr. Higgins recommends looking at your consumption on a daily basis. “The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than about 5.5 ounces of protein daily, about one to two servings, from healthy sources such as plants, seafood, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and some lean meats and poultry,” he says. “The best proteins are lean proteins including beans, soy or tofu, fish, skinless chicken, very lean meat, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid proteins that say ‘hydrogenated’ on label or contain high levels of trans fats or saturated fats. “

Of course, there’s always room in your eating plan for less nutritional proteins, too—just try to incorporate these lean sources when you can, and ask your doctor if you have questions about what dietary habits are right for your particular health status and family history .

A delicious way to eat more varied proteins? This delicious quiche recipe:

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Whole Grains Health

The 10 Best Diet Books in 2022



Staff, Courtesy of Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky

The word “diet” has earned itself an undeniably negative reputation, often leading people to think of unsustainable restriction and unhealthy fads. However, if you’re looking to adjust your way of eating, whether you want to feel better, lose weight, or hit a new personal record, there are tons of great diet books out there that can help educate you on ways to improve your nutrition and get you feeling better than ever.

While the diets of the past have focused on restriction, newer ways of eating encouragement consuming more good-for-you foods to crowd out less healthy choices, leaving you feeling satisfied, not deprived. These diet books are also super educational, teaching you why you should eat certain foods, what they can do for your health, and the best ways to make them delicious. To help you on your nutrition journey, we’ve gathered the best diet books and healthy cookbooks available today.

Best Diet Books

    How to Choose a Diet Book

    If you’re looking to switch up your diet, the first thing you should ask yourself is why. What exactly do you want out of a diet?

    Second, consider your lifestyle. Do you need meals that are quick and easy? Do you like to take an hour or two to cook for yourself every night? How often can you grocery shop for fresh ingredients?

    Finally, consider whether you’re looking specifically for a cookbook or one that will provide you education on a particular way of eating without necessarily giving you recipes. While many cookbooks will have some content that discusses the origins of food and their nutritional benefits, these books are unlikely to go as in-depth regarding nutrition as less recipe-focused ones.

    How We Selected

    To find the best diet books among the many options on the market, we researched the most popular books available and considered their content, credibility, design, digestibility, and organization. We then looked at both expert reviews and more than 105,000 customer ratings, written by people who’ve bought these books on Amazon, to settle on the diet books you’ll find below.

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    Best vegetarian

    How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    This is a great all-around cookbook, but it’s an especially great buy if you’re trying to lay off meat. This book contains everything from specific meal recipes to instructions for steaming veggies, truly teaching you how to cook from start to finish. There are recipes for every meal, as well as snacks and desserts, and it includes instructions for so many different dishes you could easily cook from only this book for an entire year and not get bored.


    Best for Longevity

    The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100

    This cookbook highlights recipes from specific areas across the globe—called blue zones—where people live the longest. While some of their longevity surely comes from other lifestyle factors, there’s no discounting the role diet plays in their long-lasting health and wellbeing. These recipes not only focus on ingredients, but the ways in which foods are prepared and how that relates to their overall nutritional value.

    The goal of the book is to increase longevity and quality of life while creating delicious recipes that you’ll want to eat time and time again.


    Best Mediterranean

    The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

    The Mediterranean diet is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest diets in the world. It’s full of lean proteins, healthy fats, and tons of vegetables, providing a well-rounded, nutritious way of eating.

    This cookbook not only has 500 great Mediterranean recipes, but it also helps you learn which ingredients you should make staples in your grocery list. It also uses only ingredients that you can easily find at standard grocery stores, which makes the Mediterranean diet more accessible.


    Best for Runners

    run fast eat slow

    You’ve probably heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”—and to some degree, the same holds true for personal records. While nutritious food won’t necessarily knock 30 seconds off your mile time, it can help you fuel your workouts so you get the most out of your training.

    This book was designed by Olympian Shalane Flanagan and is packed with recipes designed to help runners fuel their toughest workouts and recover after. As a bonus, the recipes included in this book just so happen to be delicious, too.


    Best Vegan

    The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook

    When first going vegan, it can be difficult to figure out how to make food that is both delicious and nutritious. This book has 500 recipes ranging from meals to snacks to desserts that use entirely plant-based ingredients. These recipes also offer alternate ingredient options, like eggs and dairy, which is great if you want to add more plant-based recipes into your diet, but aren’t ready to dive headfirst into veganism.


    Best for a full reset

    The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    If you’ve been diet-hopping in hopes of finding a meal plan that can help you commit to a healthier lifestyle and enjoy some weight loss, Whole 30 is a great choice. It has you cut out sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and some other specific foods for 30 days. The idea behind the diet is that it helps jumpstart weight loss while simultaneously getting you to reassess how you think about what you are eating to reach a place of freedom with your food.


    Best for weight loss

    The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss

    If weight loss is your goal, and you have struggled to find lasting success, this book could be a game-changer. It dives into the science of weight loss, helping you understand hormones, insulin resistance, and other reasons for weight gain. The book recommends intermittent fasting and a low-carb diet, and guides you on how to do them correctly, efficiently, and in the long term.


    Best for Learning about Food

    How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

    A lot of eating plans focus on what you should eliminate from your diet, but this book places more importance on what you should be adding to your diet and why.

    It discusses foods that are scientifically proven to help you live a longer, healthier life, and the many ways in which food can help prevent disease. It focuses on whole body health—including both mental and physical health—and teaches you to focus on more than just weight and physical appearance when it comes to your food.


    Best for Anti-Dieters

    Not a Diet Book: Take Control. Gain Confidence. ChangeYourLife.

    The rise of anti-diet culture gave inspiration to this book, which helps you improve your relationship with food, tackle weight loss, and debunk fad diets to find a simple and easy way to lose weight and create habits that will keep the pounds from coming back. This book will help you build skills that enable you to live a happier, healthier life without focusing too closely on calories or numbers on a scale.


    Best for fasting

    Complete Guide to Fasting

    Fasting has gained popularity over the last decade and can be a great way to boost your metabolism, clear your mind, and promote weight loss. There are, however, rules you should follow while fasting so that you improve your health rather than endangering it. This book will guide you through intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting to ensure you choose the style that will work best for you and do it correctly.

    Before joining Runner’s World as an Editor in 2019, Gabrielle Hondorp spent 6 years in running retail (she has tested top gear from shoes, to watches, to rain jackets which has expanded her expertise—and her closets); she specializes in health and wellness, and is an expert on running gear from head-to-toe.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

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Whole Grains Health

Eating different kinds of protein protects against hypertension: New study



Despite all this talk that more Australians are toying with vegetarianism, and despite the endless drum-beating about red meat giving you cancer and a dodgy heart, we continue to have one of the world’s highest levels of meat consumption.

Analysis published in December found Australians eat about 95 kilograms of meat per capita every year. The global average is 35 kilograms.

The article, ‘The Evolution of Urban Australian Meat-Eating Practices’, argues our meat-eating habits are driven by a blocky culture, an association with social status, a perception that plant-based diets are inadequate and lame, and ignorance about cooking legumes and tofu.

On the other hand, the authors point to a survey that found almost 20 per cent of those sampled “identified as meat-reducers”.

Furthermore, the authors say, 87 percent “of the meat reducer segment reported consuming a meat-free dish as their main meal at least once a week”.

They point to another survey that found almost 20 per cent described themselves as “flexitarian”, which is cool.

But it may not translate to more lentils, nuts, whole grains, fish and dairy hitting the dinner table as new favorite sources of protein.

A new study found why we need variety

Chinese researchers found that “eating protein from a greater variety of sources is associated with a lower risk of developing high blood pressure”.

Good to know because blood pressure is literally out of control in Australia.

One in three adults – more than six million Australians – has high blood pressure.

Of those afflicted, only 32 per cent have their hypertension under control. That leaves about four million Australians as ticking time bombs.

In December, in the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor Alta Schutte, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at UNSW Sydney, called for a national taskforce to tackle the issue.

By improving the control of hypertension, the risks of coronary heart disease, dementia and cerebrovascular disease will be substantially reduced.

The Chinese study suggests changing your diet will go some way to solving the problem.

the study

“Nutrition may be an easily accessible and effective measure to fight against hypertension. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is one of the three basic macronutrients,” said study author Dr Xianhui Qin, of the National Clinical Research Center for Kidney Disease at Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China.

The study authors analyzed health information for nearly 12,200 adults (average age 41), who had taken part in multiple rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey from 1997 to 2015.

Over three days in the same week, participants shared what they had eaten.

They were given a protein “variety score” based on the different sources of protein they’d eaten: whole grains, refined grains, processed red meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, fish, egg and legumes.

One point was given for each source of protein, with a maximum variety score of 8. The researchers then evaluated the association for new onset hypertension in relation to the protein variety score.

New-onset hypertension was defined as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg/90 mm Hg, the use of blood pressure-lowering medicine, or self-reporting that a physician had diagnosed high blood pressure.

The average follow-up time was six years.

The results

More than 35 per cent of the participants developed new-onset high hypertension during the follow-up.

Compared to participants with the lowest variety score for protein intake (1), those with the highest variety score (4 or higher) had a 66 per cent lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

The amount of protein eaten was also a factor. Consumption was divided into five categories, from least to most intake.

The researchers found that “people who ate the least amount of total protein and those who ate most protein had the highest risk for new onset of hypertension”.

The researchers didn’t ask why a variety of proteins was more healthy. But nutritionists, doctors and health writers have banged on about it for years.

Lean red meat is high in quality protein but provides no fiber or healthy fats. Processed meats are high in saturated fats and salt and are the worst.

Fish is high in long-chain fatty acids, which are good for the brain. Lentils and whole grains are high in fibre.

Hand on heart, a bit of each during the week might stop you from carking it in the street. Which is just undignified and unmanly.

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