It’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and nutrition.
Even qualified experts often seem to hold opposing opinions.
Yet, despite all the disagreements, a number of nutrition and health tips are well supported by research.
Here are 11 nutrition and health tips that are actually based on good science.
1. Don’t drink sugar calories
Sugary drinks are among the most fattening items you can put into your body and are strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic health problems. (1, 2, 3, 4)
The brain doesn’t measure calories from liquid sugar the same way it does from solid food. Therefore, when you drink soda, you inadvertently end up consuming more total calories throughout the day. (5, 6, 7)
Keep in mind that most fruit juices fall into the same category, as they can contain just as much or even more sugar than soda. (8)
2. Eat nuts
Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly nutritious and healthy.
They’re loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, and various other healthy nutrients. (9)
Additionally, because of their thermogenic effect, your body doesn’t absorb 10 to 15 percent of the calories in nuts. Some evidence also suggests that this food can boost your metabolism. (13)
In one study, almonds were shown to increase weight loss by 62 percent, compared with complex carbs. (14)
3. Avoid processed junk food
Processed junk food is incredibly unhealthy.
These foods have been engineered to trigger your pleasure centers, so they trick your brain into overeating — even promoting food addiction in some people. (15)
They’re usually low in fiber, protein, and micronutrients but high in unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined grains. Thus, they provide mostly empty calories.
4. Eat fatty fish
Fish is a great source of high-quality protein and healthy fat.
This is particularly true of fatty fish, such as salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and various other nutrients. (16)
5. Take care of your gut
The bacteria in your gut, collectively called the gut microbiota, are incredibly important for overall health.
6. Drink plenty of water
Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits, including the number of calories you burn.
The optimal time to drink it is before meals. One study showed that downing 2 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal increased weight loss by as much as 44 percent. (26)
7. Make sure to eat enough protein
Eating enough protein is vital for optimal health.
What’s more, this nutrient is particularly important for weight loss (27).
High protein intake can boost metabolism significantly while making you feel full enough to automatically eat fewer calories. It can also reduce cravings and your desire to snack late at night. (27, 28, 29)
8. Don’t fear saturated fat
Saturated fat has been controversial for decades.
While it’s true that saturated fat can raise your cholesterol level, it actually raises your HDL (good) cholesterol and shrinks your LDL (bad) particles, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease. (32, 33, 34, 35)
9. Do some resistance training
Resistance training is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your muscles and improve your body composition.
The best approach is to lift weights, but doing bodyweight exercises can be just as effective.
10. Avoid artificial trans fats
While trans fats have been largely banned in the United States and elsewhere, the U.S. ban hasn’t gone fully into effect — and many foods still contain them.
11. Resist going on a diet
Diets are notoriously ineffective and rarely work, especially long term.
In fact, dieting is one of the strongest predictors for future weight gain. (44)
Instead of going on a diet, try adopting a healthier lifestyle. Focus on nourishing your body instead of depriving it.
Weight loss should follow as you transition to whole, nutritious foods.
A few simple steps can go a long way toward improving your diet and wellness.
If you’re trying to live a healthier life focus on the tips outlined above. It will be a great way to start feeling and looking your best.