Ask the Experts

Q. Does Tufts have any resources for me to learn more about nutrition and...

A. “As a matter of fact, we have quite a few options,” says Diane L. McKay, PhD, assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director of Tufts University’s Friedman Online Graduate Certificate Programs. “If you like your information in bite-sized pieces, we have an expanding collection of free micro-courses: 30-to-60-minute […]
Even “oven roasted,” “no nitrate” deli turkey is processed meat, and intake should be limited.

Q. Why do you say “deli turkey” is a processed meat and should be...

A. Fang Fang Zhang, PhD, an associate professor at the Friedman School who specializes in cancer epidemiology, answers: “Processed meat is any meat that has been salted, cured, fermented, smoked, or undergone other processes for preservation or to enhance flavor. The evidence that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer is strong enough that the World […]

Diabetes Prevention: Tufts Experts Weigh In

               
Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats from foods like fish, plant oils, nuts, and avocados is good for cardiovascular health.

Q. I understand that “bad fats” can clog my arteries, but what do “good...

A. Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and executive editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, answers: “A diet rich in saturated fats can increase blood cholesterol levels, especially the more harmful LDL cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol levels can lead to the buildup […]
Look for the word “whole” at or near the top of the ingredient lists on packaged breads.

Q. The bread aisle is a very confusing place. What kind of bread should...

A. Judith C. Thalheimer, RD, LDN, managing editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, answers: “Eating bread is fine, as long as you make good choices and don’t overdo it. In fact, your choice of bread can be an opportunity to improve your dietary pattern. Healthy dietary patterns include whole grains in place of refined […]
Live active cultures may make yogurt easier for those with lactose intolerance to digest.

Q. Will I benefit from the live bacteria in yogurt?

A. Judith C. Thalheimer, RD, LDN, managing editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, answers: “Probiotics are live microorganism (typically bacteria and yeasts) that some evidence indicates can confer health benefits when consumed in adequate numbers. Specific strains are used to make yogurts and other fermented foods, like kefir (a yogurt drink), the fermented tea […]
All caloric sweeteners contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

Q. What is the best kind of sugar to use? Should I switch to...

A. Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of the Friedman School and editor-in-chief of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, answers. “When consumed in higher amounts, all added sugars are similarly associated with negative health effects. This includes regular (cane) sugar, beet sugar, brown sugar, sugar ‘in-the-raw,’ high fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and fruit juice […]

Q. Do people who do not have a gluten sensitivity benefit from reducing or...

A. Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, a nutrition professor at the Friedman School and executive editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, answers: “The short...
Calorie counting

Q. I find it difficult and off-putting to calculate the calories in all the...

A. Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and editor-in-chief of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter answers:...
Corn

Q. Some dietary advice treats corn as a starch, but some says it’s a...

A. Helen Rasmussen, PhD, RD, FADA, LDN, a research dietitian at the HNRCA, answers: “There is a lot of confusion about where corn should...