From food fundamentals to nutrition and wellness, a healthy diet is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Make Healthy Holiday Eating a New Tradition
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.
Thirsty? Common Hydration Mistakes You May Be Making
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.
How to Defend Against Dehydration in Kids and Older Adults
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.
6 Surprising Reasons You May Be Dehydrated
You've heard the saying, "you are what you eat," but what you drink matters a whole lot, too. 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.
How Staying Hydrated Helps Your Body
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. How Much Fluid Should You Drink in a Day? Like food, there is a ton of information available about hydration, but knowing what's well-grounded can be more difficult to discern. "We've all heard the 'eight glasses per day' rule, but that amount is only a general guideline and may not be enough fluid intake during more dehydrating environments or situations," explains Abbott research scientist Jennifer Williams, MPH. The National Academy of Medicine recommends drinking more water daily to keep properly hydrated — 2.7 liters of fluid or 11.4 cups of water for women and 3.7 liters or 15.6 cups for men. Williams notes that fluid needs will vary depending on age and activity level, and adds that a variety of fluids can help with hydration, like water, tea, coffee or even milk. When you drink your fluids matters too, and Williams recommends hydrating before bed, upon waking and before, during and after vigorous exercise.
Science-backed Nutrition for Every Stage of Life
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. Pregnant Women