A recent study concluded that half of the U.S. population will be clinically obese within the next 10 years. This isn’t just a weight issue, it’s a financial one. Obesity is a major factor for developing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, joint disorders and even certain types of cancer.1 So if you think health care expenses are high now, imagine how they could escalate over the next decade.
While we can’t always control what ailments we will experience, to some extent we can work on reducing body weight. And given the impact that being overweight can have on your finances and lifestyle, it may be worth putting as much effort into staying healthy as you do planning for retirement. We may not be able to help you with your nutrition and exercise regimen, but we’re here for you when it comes to building a financial future you can have confidence in. We’d be happy to discuss your insurance options based on your unique situation.
Shape up with small changes
As for improving your health, most experts agree on a handful of evidence-based recommendations. For example, sugary drinks like soda and even fruit juices contribute a lot of calories that can be avoided by switching to water. The same can be said for processed junk food. Nutritionists recommend replacing such foods with different types of vegetables, fruits and nuts as staples in your diet. High-quality proteins and fiber-rich foods can help you lose weight.2
If those traditional suggestions sound too boring, there are new ideas associated with better health. For instance, one study in Italy discovered that people who ate chili peppers at least four times a week had a 40% lower risk of dying from a heart attack and 50% lower risk of dying from a stroke.3
Researchers are still working to determine what accounts for the apparently protective effect, and a registered dietitian not connected to the study reminded that this observational study doesn’t show a causal link. “It is plausible people who use chilies, as the data suggests, also used more herbs and spices and as such were likely to be eating more fresh foods including vegetables,” said Duane Mellor, a registered dietitian and senior teaching fellow at Aston Medical School in the U.K., told CNN.4
Try these trendy foods
If the last decade is any indication, food patterns are trending healthier. From 2010 to present, we witnessed the growing popularity of things like avocado toast, Greek yogurt, nut-based milks, Kombucha tea, poke (raw fish salad) and bone broth.5
Looking ahead to 2020, the Food Network predicts that the biggest food trends will include:6
- Pellet grills – compressed sawdust pellets heated by an electric rod that generates the easiest, cleanest and tastiest way to grill and smoke foods at the same time
- Hudson Valley, New York – the area, comprising communities of growers, cookers and gourmet artisans, will become a popular vacation destination for “foodies”
- Taiwanese food – will become increasingly popular, with dishes like beef noodle soup, pork belly buns and oyster omelets
- Tajin (pronounced “ta-HEEN”) – this chile-lime salt seasoning will become all the rage
- Grab-and-go charcuterie – will increasingly become the “go-to” choice among meals and snacks prepared by grocery store deli departments
1 Alice Park. Time. Dec. 18, 2019. “Half of the U.S. Population Will Be Obese by 2030.” https://time.com/5751551/us-obesity-by-state/. Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.
2 Kris Gunnars. Healthline. June 7, 2019. “27 Health and Nutrition Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based.” https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/27-health-and-nutrition-tips. Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.
3 Jack Guy. CNN. Dec. 16, 2019. “Eating chilies cuts risk of death from heart attack and stroke, study says.” https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/16/health/eating-chili-pepper-study-scli-intl-scn-wellness/index.html. Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.
5 Lucas Kwan Peterson. Los Angeles Times. Dec. 30, 2019. “Cronuts, cold brew and avocado toast: 15 food trends that defined the decade.” https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2019-12-30/food-trends-best-of-decade. Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.
6 Leah Brickley. Food Network. Dec. 12, 2019. “These Are the Food Trends We’ll Be Talking About in 2020, According to Food Network.” https://www.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/news/2019/12/food-network-food-trends-2020. Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.
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