11 Nutrition & Health Tips Backed by Science

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. (1234)

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, 67)

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)

Studies demonstrate that nuts can help you lose weight and may help fight type 2 diabetes and heart disease. (101112)

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)

Studies show that people who eat the most fish have a lower risk of several conditions, including heart disease, dementia, and depression. (171819)

5. Take care of your gut

The bacteria in your gut, collectively called the gut microbiota, are incredibly important for overall health.

A disruption in gut bacteria is linked to some of the world’s most serious chronic diseases, including obesity. (2021)

Good ways to improve gut health include eating fermented foods, taking probiotic supplements and eating plenty of fiber. Notably, fiber functions as fuel for your gut bacteria. (2223)

6. Drink plenty of water

Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits, including the number of calories you burn.

Two studies note that it can increase metabolism by as much as 30 percent for up to 1.5 hours. This can amount to 96 additional calories burned if you drink 8.4 cups of water per day. (2425)

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. (272829)

Additionally, sufficient protein intake has also been shown to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels. (3031)

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. (32333435)

New studies in hundreds of thousands of people now have many experts questioning the validity associated between saturated fat intake and heart disease. (3637)

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.

It also leads to massive improvements in metabolic health, including improved insulin sensitivity.  (3839).

The best approach is to lift weights, but doing bodyweight exercises can be just as effective.

10. Avoid artificial trans fats

Artificial trans fats are harmful, man-made fats that are strongly linked to inflammation and heart disease. (40414243)

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.

Bottom line

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.