admin - August 22, 2013
For years, health experts have stressed the importance of a balanced diet for healthy living – not just in terms of the types of foods consumed, but also when they are consumed. While it is important to eat regularly throughout the day to provide needed energy for work or exercise, recent evidence suggests that eating a lighter lunch does not negatively affect a person’s long-term health goals.
Cornell researcher David Levitsky and graduate student Carly Pacanowski spent five weeks monitoring the diets and controlling the lunch choices of 17 volunteers. According to a Cornell Chronicle news release, for the first week, study candidates were allowed to eat whatever they wanted from a buffet for lunch. During the next two weeks, half the volunteers were given a choice between six commercially-available foods that were controlled for portion. Then, the other half of the candidates chose from the portion-control selections for the remaining two weeks.
During the course of the study, the volunteers were allowed to eat whatever they wanted at other meals, though their choices were recorded.
At the conclusion of the study, researchers determined that during periods of portion control, the volunteers consumed 250 fewer calories per day on average, and lost 1.1 pounds. A significant observation emerging from the study, published in the journal Appetite, is that the study candidates did not overcompensate for the portion-controlled lunch by eating more calories later in the day.
This study relates the importance of looking at health holistically. Fad diets may not be as useful in the long run because, unlike just shaving off a few calories at lunch, fad diets are not meant to be maintained for life.
“To stop the increase in obesity, we are going to have to learn to consume fewer calories and here is one simple, low-cost way to do it,” said Levitsky in the Cornell news release.
Another fundamental part of a person’s overall healthy living, especially as they age, is screening. Life Line Screening offers a variety of tests intended to determine if a person has a certain condition, such as high cholesterol, or if they are at risk for developing a disease.