It’s March and time to Dechox!
The pandemic has encouraged a surge in comfort eating and snacking1. Research shows that high consumption of snack foods such as chocolates, biscuits and other confectionary products is associated with greater risk of being overweight, obesity, and poor health outcomes2.
But why are we talking about this now? Well, it’s March which means that it is time for Dechox!
By giving up chocolate for a month, you can help raise money towards research in cardiovascular disease and heart health. Are you up for the challenge? If you’re wondering how you can get involved, it’s simple:
How to get involved
Sign up for the Dechox 2022 on https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/fundraise/dechox-2022 and select your challenge. You can be a:
- ‘Chocoholic for change’ and give up chocolate,
- Go the extra mile and give up chocolates and biscuits as the ‘Sweet-tooth supporter’ or
- Become a ‘Leader of the Snack Pack’ by giving up cakes, biscuits and chocolate AKA the ultimate test!
And voila, you’re ready to set up a JustGiving fundraiser page and start raising funds to support cardiovascular research.
The main goal of this challenge is to raise funds for research on heart diseases. However, there are other reasons to get involved. Maybe you’re looking to develop healthier eating habits and reduce your consumption of processed and refined foods and this could be your chance to do just that. By swapping out chocolates, cakes and crisps for fruits, nuts and seeds which are rich is fibre and polyphenols, you can keep your gut microbes happy and healthy. In fact, studies show that eating more plant foods and fewer ‘junk’ foods is linked to greater gut diversity – an indicator of healthy microbiota3.
Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts is also associated with lower risk of heart disease4.The World Health Organisation states that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality worldwide5, so let’s do our part in protecting our heart health by taking small steps to improve our dietary habits… and supporting ground-breaking research in the process.
Love Your Gut
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- Mondelez International, The Harris Poll and Next Atlas. (2021). State of Snacking Report. [Online] Automatic Merchandiser. [Accessed 23 February 2022]. Available from: https://www.mondelezinternational.com/stateofsnacking
- O’Connor et al. (2015) The cross-sectional association between snacking behaviour and measures of adiposity: the Fenland Study, UK. Br J Nutr. 114(8):1286-93.
- McDonald et al. (2018) American gut: an open platform for citizen science microbiome research. Msystems, 3(3): e00031-18.
- Bechthold et al. (2019) Food groups and risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 59(7): pp.1071-1090.
- WHO (2021) Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). [Online]. [Accessed 23 February 2022]. Available from: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds)