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Q: I have been told that the sugar substitute Splenda is unhealthy due to...

Answer :Its true that Splenda is made using chlorine, which sounds scary; the sugar industry warns that youre actually eating chlorine when consuming sucralose, the chemical sold as Splenda. Plain sugar is transformed into sucralose by substituting three chlorine atoms for hydrogen, creating a substance that is not digested by the body-so its effectively caloriefree- and thats 600 times sweeter than sugar. (Packaged Splenda also contains dextrose and maltodextrin as bulking agents.) But theres no…

Q: I know it can be harmful to eat charred, blackened meat. Is the...

Answer : A We posed this question to Rashmi Sinha, PhD, senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute...

Q: Everyone is singing the praises of fish oil nowadays, but I read that...

Answer:Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, explains that fish is beneficial because its an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. (For more on the benefits of omega-3s-and why other dietary sources such as walnuts and flaxseeds arent an efficient way to get EPA/DHA-see the July Special Report.) Fish and fish oil raise LDL cholesterol only in some…

Q: How does tapioca rate nutritionally? Does it fall under the refined food category?...

Answer :People have been eating tapioca at least since the heyday of the Mayans, who first figured out how to process the root of the cassava plant (also called manioc or yuca) to eliminate its naturally occurring cyanide. Technically, yes, tapioca is a refined food in the sense that the packaged tapioca you buy is made from reconstituted, processed root; being a root starch, rather than a grain, however, theres no such thing as whole…

Q: I know that 100% whole-wheat bread is better for you than white bread....

Answer : Both rye bread and pumpernickel bread are typically made with a mix of rye flour and wheat flour.

Q: I keep reading that adding milk to tea interferes with its antioxidant activity....

Answer:Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, director of Tufts HNRCA Antioxidants Research Laboratory, replies, I am unaware of any studies that have examined the effect of soy milk on the antioxidant activity of tea. However, the basic premise of this interaction is that the protein (mostly casein) in milk binds to the tea flavonoids, particularly the catechins, and thus inhibits their antioxidant capacity as well as bioavailability. As soy milk also contains substantial protein (albeit not casein), a…

Q: I read a report recently indicating that all nuts contain monosaturated fat. I...

Answer :All popular nuts contain both types of fat- and the good news is that both mono- and polyunsaturated fat are heart-healthy compared to saturated and trans fats. According to the American Heart Asso ciation, Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats appear to not raise LDL cholesterol; some studies suggest they might even help lower LDL cholesterol slightly when eaten as part of a low-saturated and trans-fat diet. Each type of nut does differ in its…

Q: I enjoy eating buffalo meat when I am able to buy it from...

Answer : Buffalo (bison) meat is indeed much naturally lower in fat than beef from cattle. Its proportion of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat...

Q: I enjoy Indian food very much and it appears very healthy, with many...

Answer :Ghee-clarified butter, with the milk solids removed-is made by heating unsalted butter to separate the milk solids from the pure butterfat. Although practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine in India claim that ghee has special health properties, some experts argue that the prevalence of ghee in Indian cuisine is actually a contributor to the high rates of heart disease in that country. In any case, Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at…

Q: When nutritionists talk about walnuts, do they mean black or English walnuts?

Answer :According to the California Walnut Board, a trade association, the walnuts you buy in stores-and those most commonly touted for nutritional benefits-