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May 2017

Full Issue (PDF)

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Articles

Unsaturated Fat Best for Heart

Hoping past news headlines hinting it's OK to load up on butter were right? No such luck. Longstanding advice to eat unsaturated fat in place of saturated fat - also found in high amounts in foods such as fatty meats and mixed dishes like pizza - was recently reinforced by the findings of a large observational study published in The BMJ (British Medical Journal).

Enjoy Hunger-Busting Beans and Peas —Subscribers Only

If you feel a meal isn't complete without meat, try substituting legumes (beans and peas). New research from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found legumes satisfied hunger just as well as a meat-based meal.

Coming to Labels: Added Sugars —Subscribers Only

Last May, the FDA unveiled an updated Nutrition Facts label, which is required on packaged foods by July 2018 (small companies get an extra year). A big change to the label is listing the amount of "Added Sugars." Those are sugars added by manufacturers. Although you should consider several aspects of a food's nutritional value, checking added sugars can inform choices when comparing products within categories.

6 Strategies for Better Blood Sugar After Meals —Subscribers Only

Controlling type 2 diabetes requires spot-checking blood sugar, including after you eat. "The highest blood sugars of the day tend to be after meals," says Richard Siegel, MD, an endocrinologist and co-director of the Diabetes and Lipid Center at Tufts Medical Center. Blood sugar spikes - temporary high readings - after meals can be hard on heart health.

Ask Tufts Experts

Q. What are lectins, and should we avoid beans, seeds and grains since they contain lectins?

Q. What are lectins, and should we avoid beans, seeds and grains since they contain lectins?

Q. I know omega-3 fats from oily fish like sardines and mackerel are superior to omega-3 supplements. Will the canned versions of these fish provide the same benefits as fresh-caught?

Q. I know omega-3 fats from oily fish like sardines and mackerel are superior to omega-3 supplements. Will the canned versions of these fish provide the same benefits as fresh-caught?

Q. I've been buying bags of carrots that have multiple colors - yellow and purple, as well as orange. Is the nutritional value, particularly beta- carotene, of non-orange carrots less?

Q. I've been buying bags of carrots that have multiple colors - yellow and purple, as well as orange. Is the nutritional value, particularly beta- carotene, of non-orange carrots less?

NewsBites

To Eat Better and Save Cash, Cook at Home More Often

Eating healthy and saving money may be easier if you don your apron. In a cross-sectional survey of 437 Seattle households, cooking at home more often was associated with a higher-quality dietary pattern, based on criteria in the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Boost Potassium for Healthy Blood Pressure

To decrease risk of hypertension, we're commonly advised to limit sodium (salt). Increasing dietary intake of potassium is just as important.

Fortified Snack Foods Can Be Tricky

You may be unduly swayed to buy packaged snacks when they carry claims about added vitamins, suggests a new study. A total of 5,076 randomly-selected US adults assessed snack food packages online. When a snack had a claim that it was a good source of a vitamin, the people were significantly less likely to check the Nutrition Facts label and were more likely to choose the snack than when the same product lacked the claim.

Improving Fitness Could Prolong Life

Getting more physically fit may help reduce risk of dying prematurely. Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, followed 10,854 men and women (average age, 54) who had completed two doctor-ordered exercise stress tests at least 12 months apart.

Don't Stop at "5 A Day"

Eating five servings a day of fruits and vegetables is good, but 10 may be even better for your heart, according to a recent analysis of 95 observational studies.

Special Reports

Nourishing Your Microbiota —Subscribers Only

Microbes - bacteria and other tiny critters not visible to the naked eye but numbering in the trillions - are busy in your body. Many of these microbes benefit you. Others have the potential to cause harm. This community of microbes is called the microbiota. Their genes are called the microbiome.