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Research Snippets

Research Snippets
Since it’s our first edition of the year, it feels appropriate to collect together some research snippets around the topic of body weight, healthy eating and how to make the most of your nutrients. So, if you need some motivation, look no further!
Body weight and nutrient deficiencies

Could your body weight be scuppering your best efforts to keep healthy?

Consider this: you’ve been eating better, moving more, but you still can’t shift the feeling that some nutrient deficiencies are lurking beneath the surface – bearing in mind that tiredness, muscle aches and trouble sleeping are some common deficiency symptoms…

Well, some new research suggests that your body weight may have something to do with it. The research confirms that falling into the overweight or obese categories could impact on how you absorb and utilise the nutrients you get from food.1

Being overweight could mean that you struggle to absorb the nutrients from your food; you excrete more of the nutrients you’d ideally like to hang on to; your adipose (fatty tissue) may actually seize some of the vital nutrients you really need (this is particularly true for vitamin D); or the inflammatory processes that develop as a result of being overweight may use up extra nutrients. Being bigger in stature in the first place means that we instantly have a larger nutrient requirement, which can be tough to meet. Therefore, it may be the case that losing some weight is an important first step, in order to make the most of your nutrients and feel your best.

Scientists reveal the best diet to date

Especially at the start of the New Year, with the pressure of the New Year resolutions, we all wonder what really is the healthiest diet? Well, as backed by research, scientists have now revealed what the best diet is; and, despite the fancy name, it isn’t something that we haven’t already been recommending for years – phew! The ‘Pesco-Mediterranean diet with intermittent fasting’ isn’t as scary as it sounds. It basically involves a plant-rich diet, including some fish and/or seafood.2 Centre your diet mainly around vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains; cook with healthy fats such as extra-virgin olive oil; and don’t necessarily shy away from including some fish and good quality dairy products. Then, trying to limit snacking after your evening meal, instead holding off until the next morning to increase the length of time the body can rest. See, no crazy, fad diets in sight – perfect!

The opinions on dietary fats could finally be shifting

If you’ve previously looked into dieting, then you might have been confused around the topic of fats; but luckily the science is finally re-iterating what we already understand – that not all fats are bad.

New research has summarised this nicely, stating that, ‘several foods are relatively rich in saturated fatty acids, such as whole-fat dairy, dark chocolate, and unprocessed meat, but aren’t necessarily associated with an increased risk of disease.’3 As the authors explain, this is likely to be because these whole-food options contain a complex matrix of beneficial components including proteins, micronutrients, phospholipids and probiotics. So, in terms of fats, it’s all the processed options that contain unhealthy compounds due to refining that are worth watching out for.

1 McKay et al. BMC Nutrition 2020
2 OKeefe et al. JACC 2020
3 Astrup et al. JACC 2020

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Research Snippets