By Alexandra Sifferlin,
Updated August 19, 2016
Cut calories, not volume: Foods that are airy or full of water (popcorn, celery) pack fewer calories into a larger portion. Feel satisfied, not deprived, with swaps like these: Scoop hummus with a sliced whole red bell pepper rather than eight crackers, or have a cup of puffed brown-rice cereal in place of ¼ cup of granola. Don't snack after sundown: When you eat may be just as important as what you eat. In a new study in Obesity, researchers found that diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT)—the number of calories burned after a meal—can be as much as 50 percent lower in the evening than in the morning. DIT relates to your circadian cycle; if you eat when your body thinks it’s time for sleep, you’ll burn fewer calories.Zero in on vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin may increase muscle strength and reduce the loss of muscle mass as late as 12 years after menopause, per info from the North American Menopause Society—and more muscle mass helps you burn more calories at rest. Vitamin D can be hard to get from food alone, so ask your doctor about taking a daily supplement of 1,000 IU.
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People who consume omega 3s may prevent a complication from diabetes that harms a person’s eyes and vision, according to a new study released Thursday.

In the report, published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, researchers looked at over 3,500 people in Spain with type 2 diabetes who were participating in a trial looking at the effects of keeping a Mediterranean diet. The people were followed for about six years.

The researchers found that the individuals who reported consuming at least 500 mg a day of a type of omega-3 fatty acids, which was the equivalent of eating two servings of oily fish a week, had a significant lower risk of diabetic retinopathy, which is a complication that can cause vision problems and even blindness.

The researchers didn’t look at why the omega 3s may have prevented the diabetes complication, but argue the anti-inflammatory effects of the unsaturated fats may be at play. Other research has suggested that the inflammation damping effects of omega 3s could aid heart health. Some researchers suggest the effects of omega 3s for some conditions may be overhyped. You can read more about the benefits and the debate here.

The new study is limited in the fact that the people in the study lived in Spain, where the Mediterranean diet is followed by many people and the diet has lots of documented health benefits due to being high in vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. Still, as Dr. Michael Larsen of the University of Copenhagen wrote in a corresponding editorial to the study, “[The study] provides food for thought for those who wish to fight the complications of diabetes by clever eating.”

He concludes, “It seems a safe bet now to spread one’s food intake to include the gifts of our oceans and forests, while we consider how they can be protected for future generations and wait for large and ambitious studies of the effects of diet on diabetic retinopathy.”

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