Eat Less to Have Better Health and More Happiness

In his book, 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, Dr. David Niven, tells us fruit eaters feel good about what they eat, are less interested in eating junk food, and ultimately feel better overall.  He makes the case for eating fruits by saying that fruit-eating is linked with an 11% higher likelihood of feeling capable and satisfied. Dr. Niven is bang on with his observation. If you are wondering about the connection between eating less and having better health and more happiness, this is it: when you eat more plant-based foods, you eat a greater volume of food for far fewer calories. This is a win on your part as you feel fuller longer without taking in a lot of fat calories (plants are naturally low in fat).

Further support for eating less to have better health and more happiness, comes from The OmniHeart Trial. Researchers tested three variations of a vegetable-and-fruit-based diet  in people with the beginnings of high blood pressure as well as those diagnosed with high blood pressure.

The first diet had 58% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 27% fat; another diet, higher in protein -25%, with 48% carbohydrate and 27% fat and the third diet had a higher unsaturated fat content-37% fat, 48% carbohydrates and 15% protein.

No surprise, all three groups had lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and overall lowered their risk for coronary heart disease. The diet that was higher in carbohydrates produced results that were slightly less than the lower carbohydrate diets. Overall, these diets were high in plant-based protein foods such as tofu, beans, lentils and nuts and not from animal-based sources of protein; Unsaturated fats such as olive oil and canola oil were used as well, the types of carbohydrates used were primarily from vegetables and fruits with smaller portions of grain products. There were no room in these diets for processed, refined foods.

Strategies to eat less to have better health and more happiness;

1.  Eat real food- choose fresh, unprocessed foods as often as possible.

2. Choose vegetables/fruits as often as possible as your source of carbohydrates.

3. Do choose smaller amounts of grains-make sure your plate is only ¼ whole grains.

4. To lose weight cut the amount of calories you take in by using more plant-based foods.

5. For more tips and strategies to eat less to have better health and more happiness visit my website:

In Health and Happiness, Your Weekly Coach,

Phyllis Reid-Jarvis, RD, CDE

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