Special Report

40 Health Resolutions Doctors Want You to Keep in 2019

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21. Get a flu shot

“It’s remarkable how in 2018 we argue that the flu vaccine isn’t a smart thing to do,” Casale said. The 2017-2018 flu season was the deadliest since tracking began in 1976, killing 80,000 people in the United States alone. “The fear that the shot causes the flu is ridiculous — the vaccine is made of dead flu particles,” he added. The flu can make heart disease a lot worse, Casale noted. “The heart and lungs work together as a team, and if one is hurt, the other will be, too.”

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22. Stop eating every two hours

Three satiating meals a day with no snacks in between is more than enough to keep the body healthy, according to Gioffre. Eating every two hours, even if it’s small snacks, is not a good idea. Every time you eat, your body releases insulin, which is a fat-storing hormone, Gioffre explained. The more you eat, the higher your insulin levels, and the more fat is stored, he noted.

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23. Cut out processed food

Processed food, and that includes all food that comes in a box, contains excessive amounts of sugar, salt and fat, Pidich noted. “Hydrogenated oil is added to make the food smooth, flavorful and to last longer,” she added. The problem is that it also contains trans fats, which is the worst type of fat because they raise your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower your HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

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24. Don’t eat less

The biggest problem Gioffre sees in patients is the misconception that starving leads to weight loss. “You can eat more and lose weight but you have to know what foods to put in your body,” he said. A calorie-starved body holds onto fat because it goes into damage control mode, thinking it’ll need the fat for energy. As a result, the body is famished and people end up eating meals that are mostly carbs, which leads to inflammation, which in turn can lead to a cascade of issues including bloating, leaky gut and weight gain.

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25. Make lunch at home

This is the only way you’re going to know what actually is in your food and how it was made, Pidich noted. This will in turn decrease the amount of processed/pre-made foods people are eating, Conte-Russian noted. “It only takes a bit longer to cook foods by hand rather than relying on pre-made meals.” Saving money is a welcome bonus. Research has shown that people who cook at home have healthier diets at a lower cost.