Nutrition is getting quite the overhaul these days. Just this past week, there have been some standout developments we want to call attention to:
- Childhood obesity has lowered: The CDC reported an astonishing 43% drop in the obesity rate in young children, ages 2-5, over the past decade. Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan, a professor of medicine and public health at Emory University in Atlanta, recognized that 2- to 5-year-olds are “perhaps the most significant age group, as it is in those years that obesity – and all the disease risk that comes with it – becomes established, and it is later very difficult to shake.”
- No more junk food ads in schools: The White House and USDA proposed new guidelines for school wellness standards. Part of the initiative would ensure that foods and beverages marketed to children in schools are consistent with the recently-released Smart Snacks in School standards, meaning companies would no longer be allowed to use logos of high calorie products on cups, vending machines or posters.
- The FDA announced their proposal to revamp the Nutrition Facts label: The informational backing of food is something that hasn’t been touched since the 1990’s. (This also hasn’t been touched since the 90’s, either) The new label would emphasize calories and serving sizes and – here’s something that goes beyond enlarged font size – addresses America’s high sugar intake. The nutrition information presented would point out what sugar has been added by manufacturers (i.e. high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice), rather than just showing what it is currently showing, as simply “Sugars.”
We’re particularly excited about the proposed label change because it’s helping educate consumers. With more information, you can make an informed decision and then take action. We’re a true believer in putting the health data in your pocket.
The timing of these developments is right on cue, because March is National Nutrition Month ®. This annual initiative is dedicated to focusing attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. We’ve already started celebrating – check out this week’s “Easier Nutrition With the Help of Your Smart Phone: 4 Apps for Better Health” post.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has declared this year’s theme as “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” For WellnessFX, we believe eating right brings a host of benefits. No matter what your health goal is, there is a food to nourish, replenish, repair, and improve your body:
- Reduce the risk of disease: Omega fatty acids have been shown to play a large role in many chronic inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia. Two types of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are natural anti-inflammatory agents. Certain seafood, such as Halibut, Herring, and Mackerel, is high in DHA and EPA.
- Take control of your reproductive health: When it comes to reproductive hormone and nutrient levels in women, folate (aka Vitamin B9) matters. This is an essential vitamin in the production of many cells, including red and white blood cells. Healthy folate levels support nerve function, bone and brain health, while folate deficiency can cause serious birth defects of the spinal cord and brain. Beans, lentils, spinach and asparagus are high in folate. Mmmmm, folate.
- Get more energy, sleep better, and manage your weight: Your Thyroid health is a key player in achieving these goals. Foods high in iodine help manage thyroid function, such as sea vegetables (e.g. kelp, wakame), cranberries, organic yogurt, navy beans, strawberries, iodized salt, and shellfish. Read “Munch to Manage Thyroid Health” to get the full scoop on the other vitamins and minerals involved.
- Perform better: For men, testosterone contributes to muscle growth, well-being, energy, drive, ambition and sense of purpose, along with important metabolic effects. Zinc is just one of the minerals that has the ability to increase testosterone production. Zinc can be found in seafood, beef and lamb, spinach, and pumpkin and squash seeds.
We’ll be blogging some of our favorite ways to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” all month long. To learn more about National Nutrition Month ®, visit their website. To understand and improve your health, and chart how eating right could change your life, get your biomarkers checked with a blood test + consultation. Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.