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August 2014

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Articles

Daily Serving of Beans, Lentils or Dried Peas Linked to Lower LDL Cholesterol —Subscribers Only

If you think only of your heartbeat when you hear the term “pulse,” you may need to broaden your vocabulary—although this less-familiar dietary meaning of “pulse” also relates to a healthy heart. “Pulses” (from the Latin puls meaning thick soup) are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. They include beans, lentils, chickpeas and dried peas.

Pick Peaches for Healthy Nutrients

Fresh peach season provides a fuzzy-skinned, sweet and juicy invitation to enjoy the nutritional goodness of these favorite fruits. Peaches are low in calories and glycemic index, a good source of vitamins, phytonutrients and fiber, and may even help fight cancer.

Milk May Slow Arthritis Progression —Subscribers Only

Milk, long touted for helping children and young adults build strong bones, may also help keep the joints connecting those bones working right as you get older. A new study of more than 2,000 patients with knee osteoarthritis reports that greater milk consumption, primarily fat-free or low-fat milk, was associated with reduced progression of the condition. The apparent benefit was seen only in women, however.

Aerobic Activity Helps Build Bigger Brains

Another study has shown that aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, boosts your brain—actually increasing the size of the hippocampus, a key part of the inner brain involved in forming, storing and processing memory. When compared to an earlier study of cognitively healthy older adults, moreover, the findings suggest that aerobic exercise offers greatest benefits to those who need it most: people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.

Ask Tufts Experts

Q. I try to avoid foods with “hydrogenated” in the ingredients, knowing this refers to trans fats. But what about “autolyzed” (as in “autolyzed yeast extract”) or “hydrolyzed” (as in hydrolyzed vegetable protein”)? Should these also be avoided?.

Q. I try to avoid foods with “hydrogenated” in the ingredients, knowing this refers to trans fats. But what about “autolyzed” (as in “autolyzed yeast extract”) or “hydrolyzed” (as in hydrolyzed vegetable protein”)? Should these also be avoided?

Q. After many years of digestive problems, I decided to go “gluten-free” and have felt much better. Does this mean I need to go gluten-free for the rest of my life? Is there any diagnostic test other than “if you feel better, stay gluten-free”?

Q. After many years of digestive problems, I decided to go “gluten-free” and have felt much better. Does this mean I need to go gluten-free for the rest of my life? Is there any diagnostic test other than “if you feel better, stay gluten-free”?

Q.Does drinking almond “milk” provide the same health benefits as consuming the actual nut?

Q.Does drinking almond “milk” provide the same health benefits as consuming the actual nut?

NewsBites

Eating “Mini-Meals” Alone Growing in Popularity —Subscribers Only

Sitting down to a home-cooked meal with the whole family is increasingly a thing of the past, according to a report from the trend-watching Hartman Group.

Proposed Nutrition Labels Pay Off in Quick Viewing —Subscribers Only

The proposed new Nutrition Facts labels are more helpful, more accurately reflect serving sizes and better alert consumers to less-healthy foods—at least in the 10-second span the average grocery shopper spends looking at labels.

It’s No Longer a Small World —Subscribers Only

More than 2 billion people around the world are now overweight or obese, according to a new University of Washington study in The Lancet. Since 1980, the global proportion of women who are overweight or obese has gone from 30% to 38%; men have gone from 29% to 40%, overtaking women in percentage overweight or obese.

Takeout Customers Try for Healthy Foods

Health-conscious takeout customers are going crazy for chia seeds, quinoa, almond milk and kale, according to the online ordering site GrubHub.

FDA Approves New Artificial Sweetener

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new artificial sweetener, advantame. A derivative of another artificial sweetener, aspartame, advantame is “a free-flowing, water soluble, white crystalline powder that is stable even at higher temperatures, and can be used as a tabletop sweetener as well as in cooking applications,” according to the FDA.

Special Reports

Rethinking BMI for Older Adults —Subscribers Only

If you’re over 65 or approaching that age and still watching your weight, new findings suggest you may be worrying about the wrong thing. It’s true that the obesity epidemic has exacted a serious toll on America’s health. But for older adults, maintaining muscle mass to ward off frailty—a condition called sarcopenia—is more important both to the length and quality of life than counting pounds. The popular Body Mass Index (BMI—see box), a calculation that combines weight and height, turns out not to be a very good predictor of health for older adults—for whom the “rules” about overweight may simply be different than for younger people.