Column: Eating healthier and feeling better are intricately linked


A WW COVID-19 wellness survey of 1,004 American adults found that 36% of you have added an average of 12.5 pounds since the shutdown began. Another, by Nutrisystem, found 76% of folks have gained up to 16 pounds. Not iron-clad science, but it seems logical that some folks find staying home and being stressed and bored leads to eating more.

That’s because stress is related to eating habits — both overeating and skipping meals. The persistent flow of stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine can flip the food switch either way. For folks to whom it telegraphs “EAT, EAT NOW,” the prolonged high cortisol levels associated with chronic stress contribute to elevated blood glucose and elevated lousy LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and blood pressure — and added weight. That’s why stress is said to increase your risk for obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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