Diet & Wellness

From food fundamentals to nutrition and wellness, a healthy diet is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

HEALTHY LIVING

Good Nutrition to Support Immune Health

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Good nutrition is critical to support a healthy immune system. There is a strong relationship between poor nutritional status and compromised immunity.1  Below, are seven essential nutrients that are known to support immune health.2-8

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How To Build A Plate That Supports Immune Health

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Remember, when you were told, “you are what you eat?” Even though you may think that is a silly saying, it rings true. Every bite, every choice, builds every ounce of our being. 

By choosing nutrient dense and functional foods to fill your plate, you can build your best self and support immune health.  Now is the time to choose for the better and give your body the tools it needs. Hint: The color of your plate plays a considerable role. 

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The Top 5 Nutrients for the Brain

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Your brain is hungry for nutrition. Even though this organ makes up only 2% of your body's weight, it gobbles up 20% of its calories. If you'd like to stay sharper, faster and more focused, these five nutrients for the brain can help. 

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7 Tips for Healthy Halloween Treats

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"Healthy" and "Halloween" aren't words you usually find in the same sentence. But Halloween doesn't have to be all about candy and chocolate. The real seasonal trick is balance. By swapping in nourishing Halloween treats for some of the typical goodies, you can join in on the fun and nourish your body at the same time.

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How to Start a Keto Diet: 5 Tips for Success

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Have you been thinking of "going keto"? The ketogenic diet has become incredibly popular in recent years, but if you're new to it, you may be wondering how to start a keto diet. It's not necessarily difficult — but it does take a bit of consideration.

If you've been eating a typical American diet, you'll probably need a little help to change the way you eat. First, be sure to talk with your doctor and get their go-ahead to go keto. Once you have a green light from your healthcare provider, you can use these five keto diet tips to get started. 

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Eating Soup on a Ketogenic Diet

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You’ve educated yourself, talked to your healthcare provider and made the leap to the ketogenic diet – a very high fat, moderate protein, very low carb approach to fueling your body.   And by now you are a meal prep superstar and probably looking to add some variety to your menu. Soups can be a great place to start.  The right soup can help you stay hydrated, nourished, and on target with fat intake to fuel and support ketone levels.  

Here are some expert-approved ingredients and ideas to help you maintain that weight loss, improve body composition, and avoid the ups and downs of a high sugar diet. 

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The Benefits of a Plant-Based Keto Friendly Diet

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Today, the ketogenic-friendly diets have become popular among individuals looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake and maintain their overall health and well-being.

While the keto diet is still used for medical purposes, it, and keto-friendly diets like it, have also been adopted by many other people who primarily want to manage their weight. And, over the years, it's morphed from the traditional meat-heavy plan into a newer plant-based keto diet.

Are you considering following this type of meal plan? Here are the benefits of the updated version of the keto diet and some tips on getting started. 

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5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Carbohydrate

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When it comes to good nutrition, balance is key. Your body needs a variety of nutritious foods to get all the necessary nutrients– including carbohydrates. Carbs are energy-providing macronutrients that can play an important role in an overall healthy diet. And choosing carbs doesn’t have to be hard. Here are five tips to help you choose the best carbohydrate source. 

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5 Myths About Carbs in Nutrition Drinks

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Carbohydrates are an important nutrient for overall health, yet in recent decades there’s been an increase in carb confusion – especially regarding their role in nutritious diets and in prepared foods like nutrition drinks. Here are five carbohydrate myths debunked.  

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What to Consider Before Trying an Intermittent Fasting Plan

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Refraining from eating for long periods, more commonly known as fasting, is a time-honored practice. Religious fasts such as Ramadan and Yom Kippur have been observed for centuries. More recently, some people have been turning to an intermittent fasting plan to manage their weight, blood sugar and other aspects of their health. But what is intermittent fasting? And is it safe for everyone?

We spoke with Abbott expert Jennifer Williams, a research scientist specializing in hydration and pediatric nutrition, about the benefits of this current, trendy diet and what you should consider before trying it 

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Nutritional Quality of Plant Proteins

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Plant protein-based diets are becoming increasingly popular around the world, and there are lots of good reasons why. Research links diets that are largely plant-based to several health benefits, including a lower risk of type 2 diabetescardiovascular disease and premature death. While more research is needed, a 2019 review in Translational Psychiatry suggests that plant-based diets may also improve cognitive health.

While plant proteins play an important role in health and physical function, how do they compare to the nutrient density of animal proteins? 

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Low carb and keto diets which one is right for you

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The ketogenic diet, better known as the keto diet, is a popular style of eating that restricts carbohydrates — but it's by no means your average low-carb diet. While low-carb and keto diets overlap in a few key ways, from their potential health benefits to the foods they discourage, they vary significantly.

We spoke with Pamela Nisevich Bede, a registered dietitian for ZonePerfect and medical manager for Abbott's scientific and medical affairs team, about low-carb and keto diets. Here are the insights she shared, as well as some tips to consider if you're looking to try either of these diets. 

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Carbohydrates The Role They Play and Why You Need Them

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Good nutrition helps nourish your body, and just like many things in life, it’s all about balance. Early on, we’re told to eat a wide variety of foods from all food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein – and this advice comes with good reason. To function and thrive, you need various foods to get all the essential nutrients the body needs, like carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

In recent decades—and with the rise of diets like ketogenic, paleo, and Atkins—there’s been growing confusion about one nutrient’s role and importance in particular: carbohydrates. Yet, this macronutrient remains an important part of an overall balanced diet and is necessary for good health. Understanding the role of carbohydrates – and the foods they’re found in – can help you follow a nutritious, balanced diet. 

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7 Nutrients to Support Immunity

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Staying healthy in the face of a global pandemic is top of mind for most of us. But how do we do it? The key: Focus on the immune system. It's the body's defense against illness. When it's working well, the immune system can help protect against infections. Including essential nutrients as part of a well-balanced diet can improve your overall nutrient intake to support and maintain immune health.  

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The Nutritional Quality of Plant Proteins

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Plant-based proteins have steadily been growing in popularity, and this trend is expected to increase in the next decade, with many people choosing plant proteins for health, environmental and ethical reasons. You've likely started noticing more plant-based products in your grocery store or heard discussions about them in the news.

As plant proteins start showing up in more places, it's important to keep in mind that there are many different kinds — and they can vary in nutritional quality. If you decide to add plant-based proteins to your diet in place of animal proteins, you need to understand these differences. By keeping a few key points in mind, you can maintain (and enjoy) a nutritious and well-balanced diet.

Here are insights and answers related to some of the most common questions surrounding plant-based proteins. 

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12 Nutrients to Keep You Going Strong in 2021

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If you'd like to start the new year off strong, make a resolution to get enough of  these powerful nutrients. They're proven to support your immune system, brain health, eyesight and more. 

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Warming Winter Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love

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Whether you're wondering how to add more vegetables to your diet or are simply craving healthy, hearty winter recipes, it's a good idea to think soup! You've probably heard that soup might even  ease the symptoms of a cold — but it does much more than that.

Soup is an excellent source of fluids and electrolytes to help you stay hydrated. It's also a great way to work in key nutrients to help you feel your best all winter long. It's so good for you that people who eat soup were found to consume more vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber than those who don't, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition.

While canned options abound, homemade options are easier to create than you might imagine.  Designed right, homemade options are often much lower in sodium. 

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How to Support Your Immune System Through Nutrition

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These days, immune health is at the forefront of everyone's minds. While there are many components to immune health nutrition plays a key role. In fact, a recent review in the European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety found that a variety of vitamins and minerals play an important role in supporting immune health.

Furthermore, the study also suggested that deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to a weakened immune system and greater susceptibility to infection. Thankfully, these nutrients are abundant in everyday foods.

You can effectively support your immune system by eating a balanced diet that includes protein, iron  and antioxidants and other key vitamins and minerals.

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How Nutrients in Pumpkin Can Support Your Health Year-Round

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The holidays are synonymous with pumpkin-packed goodies: Pies, breads and the now ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte. But this vibrant gourd is available all year long and can be used in way more dishes than sweet treats. 

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The Benefits of Immune-Supporting Nutrition

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Your immune system works around the clock to keep you healthy and to support recovery when illnesses strike, but it can't succeed on its own. The immune system requires key nutrients to build protective antibodies, proteins and enzymes to keep your immune system functioning. 

According to nutritional immunologists, the best way to get these key nutrients is from immune-supporting foods as part of a balanced diet. But what nutrients does your immune system need most? And how do they help you stay healthy? First things first, let's dive into the science of nutrition and its role in the immune system.  

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The Science of Sugar: How Much Should You Consume?

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We're all born with a natural liking for the sweetness that comes from sugars. As we get older, we learn that there is such a thing as having too many of them in our diet. But even with that knowledge, understanding sugars isn't always simple. Natural sugars or added sugars appear in a wide range of the foods you eat. It all starts with understanding the science behind sugars. 

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Plant-Based Diet Benefits, Challenges: What to Know Before Trying One

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Scientists are increasingly digging up new plant-based diet health benefits and, in tandem, eating fewer animal products is becoming a popular way of life. Even fast-food restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon, offering veggie versions of their popular menu staples. It's now easier and more convenient to work plant-based nutrition into your busy life, but should you?

Along with the science-backed health benefits of eating a plant-based diet, there are some challenges to consider, chiefly regarding getting the right balance of nutrients. Here, Steve Hertzler, PhD, RD, a senior nutrition scientist at Abbott weighs in on what you need to know before trying this eating trend. 

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Debunking Protein Myths for Better Nutrition

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Protein does a lot of great things for our bodies. It builds new cells, repairs old ones, keeps our muscles and bones strong, and even helps us feel full between meals.  Dietary proteins are made of building block units called amino acids and these amino acids are needed to make required proteins in the body.  We need to make sure we eat enough high-quality protein in our diets, especially as we age so that our bodies have the necessary amino acids for our bodies to function correctly.

A U.S. study of more than 11,000 adults over age 50, based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found that more than 1 in 3 adults are not getting the daily recommended amount of protein they need. which is 0.8 g/kg body weight/day. Further, new research suggests that older adults may need more daily protein than the RDA, with recommendations of 1.1 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or higher per day. If you’re like most people, a couple of food myths might keep you from getting the most out of what you eat.

Here are a few ways to make the protein in your diet work harder for you.

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The Role of Protein in the Body, Other Nutrients at Different Ages

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Just as your body changes with each stage of life, your nutrition needs change too. Consider the role of protein in the body. In infancy, it's a critical part of growth and development; while in adulthood, protein may help you maintain a healthy BMI or body mass index. And as you age, it can help you support the lean muscle you need to stay active.

The same holds true for other nutrients like vitamins, minerals and certain fats. Researchers at Abbott have been studying the role nutrition plays from early infancy to late adulthood to help people better nourish every stage of life. If you're wondering which nutrients you need now — and in the future — these experts share the latest insights from nutrition science.

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Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays | Abbott Nutrition

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You might work hard on staying trim and sticking with your health goals all year long, but when the holidays roll around, it's not uncommon to pick up a few bad habits. The temptations are around every corner; holiday dinners, your mom's special homemade cookies and those indulgent, festive holiday cocktails. After a while, it can all add up, with the result appearing as an escalating number on the bathroom scale.

While it's best to choose your treats wisely, you shouldn't have to deprive yourself. Here are some tips for getting through the holidays with your sanity and health intact!

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6 Common Hydration Mistakes | Abbott Nutrition

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When you get down to it, the importance of hydration should come as no surprise. "If you look at our physiology, it becomes really clear. Children's bodies are about 70 to 75 percent water, while adults' are about 60 percent," explains Abbott research scientist Jennifer Williams, MPH. "And water is an essential part of keeping every cell in your body working at its best," she adds.

However, when it comes to the best ways to keep hydrated, there seems to be an overflow of misconceptions — some of which can have the opposite effect. Here are some of the most common missteps to avoid. 

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Uncovering the Effects of Dehydration on the Body

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Hydration is important every day because it keeps you feeling and performing at your best. But it's even more critical to pay attention to fluid intake in hot temperatures, during extended air travel, vigorous exercise and after the occasional cocktail.

Water makes up about 60 percent of the human body and it's needed for important jobs such as regulating body temperature, maintaining healthy skin and joints, digesting food, and helping the brain function at its best. That's why losing just one to two percent of body fluids can impact physical performance and, more seriously, it can affect cognition. The good news is that with a little know-how, you can defend against dehydration. 

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The Importance of Hydration Explained

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Water makes up close to 60 percent of the human body, yet we often underestimate the importance of hydration. Even though water keeps your brain firing at top speed, your muscles moving and your heart healthy, a lot of people still don't get enough water to stay properly hydrated.

Research in ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal shows that losses of just 1 to 2 percent of body fluids can be accompanied by serious side effects like impaired cognition. For a 150-pound person, that's the equivalent of close to two pounds in water weight.

Do you need a hydration refresherJennifer Williams, MPH, research scientist and hydration expert at Abbott, shares the six most common causes of dehydration — and how to take control of each.

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Health and Nutrition Tips From Dietitians

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If the term "dietitian" makes you think of healthy eating tips, weight loss goals, and meal plans, then you're probably not alone. But there's a lot more to it than that.

Dietitians are stewards of good nutrition - helping kids grow and thrive, athletes perform and recover strong, and adults age healthfully and manage illnesses. In addition, they also research and develop important nutrition products.

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Nutrition and Healthy Aging | Abbott Nutrition

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"My grandmother lived until 98, and she swears it was from never eating a hot dog," said Dr. Donna-Marie Manasseh, chief of Breast Surgery at the Maimonides Cancer Center.

Thought leaders from the health care, academic and media worlds came together for a roundtable hosted by The Atlantic, and supported by Abbott, to discuss nutrition in the United States. Manasseh's quip was met with laughter, but it also spoke to the obstacles many Americans face regarding nutrition and aging. How are people expected to keep up with so much conflicting nutrition guidance?

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What Does BMI Tell Me

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In this series, our experts answer nutrition questions to help you nourish your best life at every age.*

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Defend against these dehydration causes

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If you or a family member are feeling tired, headache-y or cranky, it's easy to assume that a cold or virus is coming on. However, the real culprit could be dehydration. "The stomach flu, fever, morning sickness, sweltering temperatures, exercising heavily on a hot day, and even travel are all common dehydration causes," says Jennifer Williams, M.P.H., a research scientist at Abbott.

Dehydration is basically a loss of body water. This includes both water and vital electrolytes such as sodium, chloride and potassium. Water is so critical it makes up about 60 percent of body weight in adults, and up to 75 percent of body weight in infants. We need it for important jobs such as regulating body temperature, maintaining healthy skin and joints, digesting food, removing waste and helping our brains function at their best. 

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NUTRITION IS THE FOUNDATION FOR LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE. THAT’S WHY WE WORK HARD TO ADVANCE AND SHARE THE LATEST SCIENCE AND CREATE BETTER WAYS TO NOURISH YOUR BODY AT EVERY STAGE OF LIFE.

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