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Nutrition News

Why Your Phone May Be Affecting Your Nutrition

Sideline your phone during meals and better your nutrition habits.

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Research published in Physiology and Behavior found that using a smartphone while eating meant a 15 percent increase in the total number of calories ingested.

People who spent more than two hours a day on their smartphones were less likely to eat fruits and vegetables, and those who spent more than five hours a day on their device tended to consume more fast foods, sugary beverages, chips and convenience foods, according to findings presented at a virtual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.

Researchers theorize that the blue light emitted from screens disrupts sleeping patterns, which in turn causes the release of appetite-stimulating hormones and ultimately leads to poor food choices. Make your phone work for you rather than against you: Set limits on your screen time, leave your device in another room during sleep hours and make grocery lists of the healthy items you need to buy to stay on track.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING 

New findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that eating fresh produce throughout the day helps optimize your health: Study subjects who consistently ate one serving of fruit in the morning, another helping of fruit at lunchtime and a vegetable-based dinner had a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other causes of premature death.

Researchers believe that spreading out your intake of the key nutrients found in produce like fiber and vitamins improves blood flow, promotes satiety and aids digestion. 

FITNESS GETS FISHY

Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids could be as bad for your health as smoking, according to an analysis of data published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. EPA and DHA (two potent omega-3s) help prevent platelets in your blood from clumping together, impeding the buildup of plaque in your arteries.

Pump up your omega-3s by consuming at least 4 ounces of fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies) two or more times a week. You also can take a fish- or algae-oil omega-3 supplement that contains at least 500 milligrams each of EPA and DHA daily.