Today’s Headlines: The Benefits of Eating the Same Foods, Having Calorie Counts on Menus, and Playing Memory Games

If you’re dieting, you may want to stick to eating the same foods. A new study suggests that the phrase “everything in moderation” may not be true in terms of healthy eating and dieting. “…researchers say that based on a survey of the number of foods that 6,814 white, black, Hispanic, and Chinese Americans eat in a week, people who ate the greatest variety of food actually had the worst metabolic health and diets.” The researchers found that those who ate less variety in food were more prone to make healthy eating choices overall, whereas variety eaters had a tendency to eat more unhealthy and processed foods. (Fox)

Calorie counts on menus could mean restaurants will start to provide healthier choices. Researchers found that restaurants and fast food companies that display calorie counts have generally healthier items on their menus. “Researchers at Johns Hopkins University used a database that collects calorie content from 66 large U.S. chains to compare menus from restaurants that voluntarily list calorie counts in all their locations around the country – McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A, Panera Bread, Starbucks and Jamba Juice – with the rest. Menus of the voluntarily posting chains averaged nearly 140 fewer calories per item, researchers reported.” The researchers were not sure whether the menu items were always that healthy or were altered in order to be healthier for calorie count menus, but either way calorie counts may slowly start to improve the quality of food as well as the well-being of the customer. (NBC)

People over 50 can help exercise their minds and improve their memories by playing online training games. While you may not have a problem with memory and cognition at 50, your brain slowly begins to decline in old age, and online brain games may help combat your aging mind. “Some of the volunteers were encouraged to play online brain training games for 10 minutes at a time, as often as they wished. The others – the control group – were asked to do simple internet searches. The researchers found after six months, those who played “brain training” games for reasoning and problem-solving kept their broader cognitive skills better than those who did not.” While research is still being done on the topic, the benefits of these memory games appeared to be successful when they were played almost every day of the week. (BBC)