Avoid fad diets this New Year

As people look to make health-related resolutions in the New Year, an NHS medical director has urged people not to be taken in by fad diets and quick fix weight loss products.

According to YouGov, the top three resolutions made by Britons are all health-related, with the second most popular resolution being to lose weight and the third about improving diet. With so many people looking to change their dietary habits in 2020, health professionals are encouraging people to make gradual, safe changes to diet and exercise.

Despite it being hailed “a good idea” to attempt to shift a few excess pounds after an indulgent Christmas, according to this article by the BBC, The British Dietetic Association (BDA) is advising people to stay away from unrealistic, fad diets, stating “The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to make healthier choices, eat a nutritionally balanced and varied diet with appropriately sized portions, and be physically active.”

A nutritionally balanced and varied diet is hard for a lot of people to define but by keeping abreast of the latest nutritional studies and advice you can keep well informed of what is a healthy diet for you personally.

What diet is best for supporting your mood?

While we all know that a good diet is important for keeping our bodies healthy, it also plays a huge role in keeping our minds healthy. This Medical News Today article looks at how different diets can affect your mood, with researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at the King’s College, London, investigating how nutrition might affect mental health, with the research focusing on the effects of diet on the hippocampus.

The article states that there’s no one diet specifically that is best for mental health but there are patterns that show that some diets are better than others. The Mediterranean diet has the strongest evidence to support its positive effect on mood with positive levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, methylfolate and s-adenosylmethionine all thought to be contributing factors.

The article also referenced another study that suggested that the diet that is most likely to negatively impact mood is one high in processed and fried foods.

So, while there is no diet that is necessarily best for elevated mood, the research suggests that the same diets that are hailed to be the most healthful are also the ones that are believed to more positively impact our mental wellbeing.

apples for cholesterol

Are two apples a day better than one for health?

Further to a recent Nutrition News article on the benefits of eating apples, new research has suggested that the polyphenols and fibre in apples could potentially have a mild cholesterol-lowering effect, with research suggesting two apples a day could have a more positive impact than one.

The researchers said of the findings, as reported in this article in NutraIngredients-USA, that they “show clear cause and effect between two Renetta Canada apples into normal diets and improved CVD risk factors”.

Despite the promising results, fellow academics have been quick to point out that the results are not definitive and, whilst the trial was well designed, it was relatively small so more research would be needed before having conclusive evidence of the cholesterol-lowering benefits of apples.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.