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Meat, pork, slices pork

Q. When you write about cutting back on “red meat,” does this include pork?

A. Helen Rasmussen, PhD, RD, senior research dietitian in the Metabolic Research Unit at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, answers: “In 1987 the National Pork Board advertised pork as ‘the other white meat,’ in an attempt to promote pork sales. In reality, pork is considered red meat, along with beef, veal, and lamb. […]

Q. Should we cut down on nightshade vegetables like peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes?

A. Judith C. Thalheimer, RD, LDN, managing editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, answers: “Common members of the nightshade family of vegetables include the peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes you mentioned, as well as eggplants and okra. There is no direct evidence that nightshades are bad for you. There is evidence, as for other vegetables, […]
image of bowls with chickpeas , chickpea's liquid water brine and whipped aquafaba , egg replacer in cooking

Q. I have a friend who has been using “aquafaba” in baking? What is...

A. Nicola McKeown, PhD, associate professor at the Freidman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, answers: “Aquafaba is the name given to the viscous water in which legumes such as chickpeas have been soaked or cooked. For reasons that are still not fully understood, the brine from canned chickpeas can be whipped into merengue-like foams […]

Food for Healthy Skin

We all want smooth, healthy skin. There is a huge market for skincare products, but the best way to care for our largest organ is the same way we care for all of our organs—by following a healthy diet. The fact is, what we put on our plate—as well as what we don’t—can have a […]

Coffee is Good for You…But it Might Not be the Caffeine

Good news for coffee drinkers: a review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that drinking coffee does not increase risk for cardiovascular diseases and cancers, as once thought. In fact, consumption of three to five standard cups of coffee daily has been consistently associated with a reduced risk of several chronic […]

Avoiding Animal Products Does Not Ensure a Healthy “Plant-Based” Diet

In observational study recently published in the BMJ found that a healthy plant-based diet was associated with lower blood pressure, but an unhealthy plant-based diet was not. The study compared dietary recall and blood pressure data from over 4,600 men and women ages 40 to 59 living in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and […]

Italian Clean-the-Fridge Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients: 1 (15-oz) can black beans 1 (15-oz) can kidney beans 2 Tbsp olive oil 5 to 6 cups chopped vegetables, whatever is in your fridge or freezer ¼ to ½ cup vermouth, cooking sherry or white wine 1 (15-oz) can tomatoes, roughly chopped, including juice ¾ cup low-sodium vegetable broth (more as needed) 2 […]
Row of jars with spices

Q. I’m trying to cut back on sodium intake. Is garlic salt a good...

A. Helen Rasmussen, PhD, RD, FADA, LDN, a research dietician and dietary services supervisor at the HNRCA, answers: “Excess sodium intake may increase risk for high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, heart failure, stomach cancer, kidney stones/kidney disease, and headaches. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends adults aim for no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of […]

Q. I understand fiber can help keep me regular. Is oatmeal a good...

A. Nicola McKeown, PhD, an associate professor at the Friedman School and a scientist at the HNRCA renowned for her research on whole grains and health, answers: “Constipation is a common problem that affects 16 percent of the U.S. population (and about a third of adults age 60 and older). Health professionals recommend patients suffering […]

How Your Medications Interact with Food Intake

Many concerns about interactions between medications and foods are unfounded. Understanding how foods interact with absorption and metabolism of common medications—and how to work around side effects that may influence dietary intake—can help reduce the stress around making healthy dietary choices. MYTH #1: All medications should be taken with (or without) food. “The effect of […]