By Megan O. Steintrager
A Bad Night’s Sleep Can Ruin Your Diet: Anyone who stayed up last week watching election results come in probably won’t be surprised to learn that a poor night’s sleep can result in unhealthy eating the next day. But you’ll be surprised to learn what that lack of sleep translates to in calories—a whopping 385 calories, according to a new review published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Not getting enough sleep can also cause cravings for unhealthy food (as you probably know from personal experience), so it’s best to get a good night’s sleep as often as you can. A few ideas that might help: Cut down on caffeine, especially in the afternoon or evening, and establish a relaxing bedtime routine that includes turning off the TV, computer, and other electronic devices at least an hour before bed. And if you’re looking for a culinary sleep aid, consider giving tart cherries a try.
New Soda Taxes: Speaking of the election, several cities around the country had ballot measures to place taxes on sugary drinks. Despite efforts by the soft drink industry to get voters to reject the ballot initiatives (which we reported on in a recent Sound Bites) the measures passed in each of those elections, Vox reports.
5 Fruits to Eat More Of: You already know that eating plenty of produce is a good idea, but if you’re looking for specific fruits to add to your diet, check out the Cleveland Clinic’s list of fruits with the most “nutritional bang for your buck.”
All the fruits spotlighted — blueberries, pomegranate seeds, raspberries, oranges, and apples — are easy to find, fairly inexpensive, and loaded with healthful fiber and antioxidants. For more on the benefits of eating fruit, see Sound Bites. And for more healthy foods to add to your menu (or to just put straight into your mouth), see our rundown of Fall’s Healthiest Ingredients.
Can You Beat a High Schooler in this Nutrition Quiz? If you’re a sucker for an online quiz, try this nutrition knowledge test from the Center for Accountability in Science highlighted in the Huffington Post. See if you can do better than an average high school student…or a certain food writer who may or may not have only gotten six out of ten answers right.
Hooray for Whole Grains! If you haven’t already replaced refined grains in your diet with whole grains, you might after reading a special report in the November issue of the Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter. It summarizes the findings of a host of studies that show that eating whole grains boosts longevity and fights disease: “Recent studies have associated whole grain consumption with a lower risk of mortality and of chronic diseases such as heart attack, other cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.” A lower risk of dying is about as good as the health benefits get. Making the switch can be a simple as swapping white bread and pasta for whole grain versions, but to make things more interesting, give less familiar grains like barley a try.