celebrations continue … at least until the clock strikes
midnight on December 31. That’s when grocery shopping
quickly turns from eggnog and butter to salads and water.
the number one resolutions on January 1 are aimed at getting
back into shape. There is a difference, however, between a
resolve and a goal, say experts. A resolution is a wish, such
as “I am going to lose 20 pounds” or “I want to get more
exercise.” A goal outlines the concrete day-to-day steps we
plan to take to make those wishes come true.
experts tell us to make SMART goals that are Specific,
Measurable, Achievable (Attainable), Relevant and Time-bound.
If my resolution is to lose weight, for example, a smart goal
might be “I will write down everything I eat and drink for
one week.” By the way, this is one of the most effective
weight loss strategies ever invented.
also urges us to make sleep a priority in this new year. The
brain’s ability to make good decisions about food is
interrupted after just one night of disturbed sleep, say
experts. One goal might be to be in bed with at least 8 hours
before you have to wake up.
We may also
need to rethink or change our goals as the new year emerges.
For example, after years of cutting out full fat versions of
cheese, milk and yogurt due to their saturated fat content,
some studies suggest we might not need to be so vigilant.
Well-respected publications such as the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition and the American Heart Association’s
Circulation have found that particular types of fats in dairy
foods were not associated with heart disease or other causes
of death. One type of saturated fat in dairy called (don’t
try to pronounce this on your own, boys and girls)
“heptadecanoic acid” is associated with a lower the risk
of stroke, for instance. Other investigations report a lower
incidence of diabetes and heart disease in people who consume
full-fat dairy foods.
How can this
be? Perhaps the unique combination of fats in dairy foods
afford some possible health benefit, say some experts.
Conjugated linoleic acid or CLA, for example, is a naturally
occurring fat in dairy foods that has been found to slow the
progression of heart disease.
suggests that the combination of nutrients in dairy, including
calcium, vitamin D and potassium may also contribute to these
new-found health benefits.
portions, however, say nutrition experts. One cup of full fat
yogurt can contain more than double the number of calories
compared to lower fat versions. One reasonable goal then,
would be to aim for no more than 3 servings of dairy foods a
day. One serving equals 1 cup or 8 ounces of milk or yogurt,
or 1 1/2 ounces of cheese.
May your goals
lead you to a healthful and happy New Year.