August will be here before we know it. So, it’s a good idea to consider making necessary diet tweaks to ensure you’ll stay healthy for the rest of the summer. The amazing part? You can start implementing these small changes right away to have a lasting impact. Here are five nutrition news updates for August 2022 that demonstrate ways to adjust your mealtime habits.
When it’s safe to save money.
Deciding when to buy organic produce just got easier: The Environmental Working Group released its new “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists, which outline the levels of pesticides in produce to help you avoid chemicals that may raise the risk of health concerns. Mangoes and watermelon are new additions to the Clean Fifteen list. The Dirty Dozen stayed the same, with strawberries and leafy greens at the top (90 percent of samples tested positive for pesticides), so opting for organic varieties of these is best. Find the full list at EWG.org.
An easy way to stay slim.
Here’s a good reason to reach for glass food-storage containers: Plastic packaging may cause weight gain. That’s the word from researchers reporting in Environmental Science & Technology, who found that chemicals in plastic containers can leach into the food and drink inside them, and many of those chemicals disrupt metabolism and contribute to the development of fat cells. To avoid chemicals, purchase sauces and dressings packaged in glass instead of plastic, opt for glass or steel water bottles and store your leftovers in glass containers.
The pasta that curbs blood-sugar spikes.
Keeping your blood sugar steady is as easy as picking the right shape of pasta, according to a study in The Journal of Nutrition. Researchers gave participants spaghetti, penne, or couscous and found that those who ate spaghetti had the lowest blood-glucose levels after eating. Why? Subjects chewed spaghetti the least, so they swallowed larger bites that weren’t broken down as much by digestive enzymes in the GI tract, resulting in less sugar going into the bloodstream.
The ‘memory’ vitamin for women over 60.
Your multivitamin may protect your memory. A study in Evidence Based Mental Health looked at data from more than 27,000 subjects and found that those with adequate levels of the B vitamin folate were 47 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who were deficient. Folate aids brain cell repair, and the investigators say a deficiency can lead to brain aging. The recommended daily dose: 400 micrograms, the amount in most multis.
Avoiding these foods can add 8 healthy years.
It’s never too late to help yourself live longer! Researchers reporting in PLOS Medicine uncovered that women over 60 who ate foods like legumes, whole grains, and nuts, and avoided the red meat and refined grains found in a Western diet, lived an extra eight healthy years. The reason? These foods often contain saturated fat and refined sugars, which are known to increase the risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.