Health Advice

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Health

Step by Step

Charlyn Fargo on

Most of us wish there was a simple solution to weight loss and eating healthier. If there was just a pill we could take, or a three-point plan we could follow, that would magically result in good health, we would do that. It just doesn't work that way. Like most things in life, it's a journey. It's the daily choices that put us on the path to better health.

Consider this recent study on walnuts. A new long-term observational study from the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that after analyzing more than 20 years of data, the consumption of nuts, including walnuts, was associated with less weight gain and less risk of obesity in adults. Specifically, increasing walnuts and other tree nuts by just half a serving per day was associated with a 15% and an 11% lower risk of developing obesity, respectively. These findings held true even after considering diet and exercise changes.

The key is to take that first step: Include a handful of walnuts in a trail mix or sprinkled on your morning oatmeal. And it's not just walnuts; that's not the point. Healthy eating takes discipline -- like that exercise plan -- of being intentional about what you're eating. Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables, water, whole grains, healthy fats (think salmon and walnuts), lean protein and low-fat dairy? It's important that you don't skip carbohydrates, fats or proteins; include moderate amounts of each.

I still believe in that timeless advice -- moderation, balance and variety -- and that goes for walnuts as well.

Q and A

Q: What is chlorella, and can it do any of the things it's advertised to do?

 

A: Chlorella is a type of algae that is harvested and processed into nutritional supplements. If the cell walls are broken down before ingestion, chlorella provides protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll, but the actual amount of these compounds in a given supplement is small and varies widely, according to Tufts University. When you purchase a chlorella supplement, it's difficult to know exactly what you're getting. That's true for nearly all supplements because they aren't regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Chlorella is advertised to do just about everything -- increase energy, control blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce joint pain, help with digestion and regularity, improve memory and mood, balance blood sugar and even improve bad breath. Honestly, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Tufts states there is insufficient evidence to say definitively that chlorella does any of these things.

RECIPE

I'm all about getting organized to eat healthy. Here's a make-ahead breakfast to give your mornings a healthy start. It's from Hy-Vee. You can do these ahead, freeze them and then just pop them in the microwave.

BREAKFAST EGG CUPS

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