Tip: 15 Quick Tips for Short Attention Spans

Short on time or patience? Here are some practical, highly-effective nutrition tips in just one or two sentences.

I've written articles about all kinds of stuff to make you healthier, but I imagine a lot of people have the attention span of 16-year-old meth freaks and never get to the punchline.

Hence the following list. And for those of you who have normal attention spans, please, no yelling "Squirrel!" to distract your shorter attention-span friends while they're reading these. That would be mean. Hit the links if you want all the details.

  1. Contrary to what everybody's been told their entire lives, extra virgin olive oil, along with being among the healthiest oils, is one of the most heat-resistant oils, which makes it your best choice for frying.
  2. Popcorn contains far more health-promoting polyphenols than most vegetables, which makes it a true health food. It also gives you better erections, so there.
  3. After the Bloody Mary, with all its tomatoey nutrients, the healthiest alcoholic drink is the Manhattan. It's made of whiskey, vermouth, and angostura bitters, all three of which are rich in exotic plant polyphenols.
  4. Taking just one baby aspirin a day can help burn body fat, ward off heart disease, and fight both skin cancer and colon cancer.
  5. Stubborn bowels? Drink 16-20 ounces of water upon waking. This triggers what's known as the "gastrocolic reflex," which signals the intestines to man the lifeboats and evacuate.
  6. Reduce the calories in a portion of rice by up to 50% by adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to the water you boil it in and then popping the cooked rice in the fridge for 12 hours. Reheat and serve.
  7. Coffee
  8. Add 2-3 grams of cacao to your coffee to bolster its cognition-enhancing effects while tamping down on the coffee's anxiety-producing effects.
  9. Eating an average-sized carrot a day can reduce your chances of developing prostate cancer by half.
  10. Don't bother removing the skin from your chicken. On average, the skin on an average-size breast only adds about 50 calories and about 55% of that fat is monosaturated. You know, like olive oil.
  11. Eat your eggs with impunity. A multi-country study involving 177,000 people found no correlation between dietary cholesterol, blood lipids, or cardiovascular disease in general. (Their research was based on eating one egg a day, but that's still a far cry from previous reports that said to eat only one a week.)
  12. The best eating habit you can learn is to put your fork or spoon down after each bite. This kind of slow eating allows hunger-regulating hormones to kick in so you feel full faster. It also allows for insulin sensitivity to be maintained and nutrients get delivered to muscle instead of being stored as fat.
  13. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often better than "fresh." They show a minimal loss of most nutrients, even if they've been frozen for 90 days. And, in some cases, freezing makes certain polyphenols (e.g., anthocyanins) more accessible.
  14. Tired of steamed or microwaved vegetables? Go ahead and fry them up without any guilt because frying increasing the availability of their polyphenols. Contrast that with boiling, which reduces polyphenolic content. Just make sure to fry them up in olive oil, though, because it too contains polyphenols.
  15. Don't want to use statins? Consider taking niacin. It lowers LDL cholesterol, increases HDL cholesterol, and is one the few things that lowers lipoprotein (a), high levels of which are thought to triple the risk of early-age heart attack.
  16. Forget yogurt and drink kefir instead. The slightly sour, slightly fermented beverage contains between 10 and 34 strains of bacteria, compared to yogurt's 2 to 7 strains. Additionally, some research shows that kefir bacteria are more likely than yogurt bacteria to take up permanent residence in your gut and build small condos and party stores.

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