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Obstacles to Healthy Eating

Helping people get over or around obstacles, barriers, challenges they see to healthy eating

Healthy Eating Roundup: Behind the headlines

How do you set priorities to assure that your “healthy choices” are doing the most good for health and vitality? Nutrition headlines in perspective

A look at several studies making headlines in the last few weeks shows that the answer may not be as clear-cut as it seems.

Let’s pull them together for a look at the big picture.

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Table for One? Shared-meal studies & the single adult

Multiple studies now suggest benefits of regular family meals for children and teens. But what does research show about influence of shared meals on adults? And what does this mean for the roughly half of U.S. adults who are single?Shared Meals & Single Adults

Over my years in nutrition counseling, I’ve worked with many single people for whom healthy eating choices seemed extra-challenging due to lack of interest in preparing meals “just” for themselves. It can be easy to skip meals and graze on low-nutrient, high-calorie foods when there’s no concern about imposing those choices on other people.

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How to Get a Handle on Healthy Habits: Tips from Research

“Ultimately, people do not decide their future. They decide their habits, and their habits decide their future.” So says John C. Maxwell in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential, a book I’m on my third time through as an audio book to accompany me on walks.

Ah, you say, but where do those habits come from? Do health-promoting habits seem hard to establish and easy to lose, while it’s amazingly easy to fall back into unhealthy habits?

Here, in Part 1 of a series, Rebecca Krukowski, PhD, provides perspective on how “self-monitoring” can play a role in creating healthy habits. Dr. Krukowski is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, where she conducts research on behavior-change interventions for weight loss.

 

Following the video, read on for practical take-home tips on different options for using self-monitoring to help you create habits to lose weight or achieve other health goals – or to avoid the all-too-easy path back to unhealthy habits in the months ahead.

 

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Mediterranean Diet, Olive Oil & Breast Cancer Risk

Can a Mediterranean-style diet reduce your risk of breast cancer? Olive oil is key to plant-focused Mediterranean diet

Exciting headlines from the PREDIMED study proclaim potential for major reductions in breast cancer risk, with olive oil seemingly a key factor. Yet other studies portray less clear-cut protection. Therefore, it’s important to step back and look at what differing results among these studies might mean as women seek to find doable choices that could play a role in reducing breast cancer risk.

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Cutting Sodium: Doable Eating Habit Tweaks

Reducing the hefty sodium load that’s part of many people’s eating today can seem a confusing and daunting challenge. Average U.S. sodium intake at 3592 milligrams (mg) per day – not counting any salt added at the table — is well beyond the recommended cap of 2300-2400 mg. Reaching the target the American Heart Association identifies as “ideal” (no more than 1500 mg daily) would require major changes in all aspects of eating choices and preparation.

Salty 6 - good targets for cutting sodium

42% of U.S. sodium intake comes from the AHA “Salty 6” (NHANES 2009-2010)

However, reducing sodium is not an all-or-nothing proposition.

Instead of focusing on a target that may feel out of reach, try finding a few doable tweaks in your usual choices. Just a few swaps can add up to reduce your current daily totals by 1000 mg a day. That’s a goal that research supports to make a difference in your health. Given the high sodium levels in many foods today, the tweaks may not be as hard to accumulate as you think.

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