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November 2017

Full Issue (PDF)

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Articles

National Soda, Fruit & Veggie Pricing Policies Could Help Slash Heart Disease Deaths

Policymakers are looking at ways to help nudge Americans to make healthier food choices. Two possible approaches: 1) raise the prices of unhealthy foods to discourage their consumption and 2) subsidize the prices of healthy foods to encourage their consumption. The payoff from either one? Lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, says a new study.

Debunking 6 Probiotic Myths —Subscribers Only

Some people use supplements and fermented foods containing probiotics—beneficial bacteria and yeasts—in an effort to improve health. But, is there good science behind them? Probiotic experts help clear up six common myths.

The Lowdown on Leaky Gut —Subscribers Only

As the popular depiction of “leaky gut” goes, damage to the lining of the small intestine “can release undigested food particles, bacteria and toxins into your bloodstream.” And, that can potentially spur a myriad of health problems ranging from digestive issues to joint pain. Without a doubt, this description is oversimplified and misleading. But, it’s worth looking at whether leaky gut—or more precisely, increased intestinal permeability—is a legitimate concern.

Could a Bit of Chocolate Help Keep Your Heart on Beat? —Subscribers Only

About one in four adults will develop atrial fibrillation (the most common type of irregular heartbeat) in their lifetime. That’s a big deal because atrial fibrillation increases risk of stroke by five-fold. Atrial fibrillation also increases risk of heart failure and impaired cognition (brain function). A recent study in the journal Heart showed moderate chocolate intake was associated with a 10 to 20% decreased risk of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. But, is nibbling on chocolate for prevention too good to be true?

Ask Tufts Experts

Q: Companies can find me the best diet based on genes. Is this worthwhile?

Q: Companies can find me the best diet based on genes. Is this worthwhile?

Q: If there is a crack in the shell of an egg, is it still OK to use?

Q: If there is a crack in the shell of an egg, is it still OK to use?

Q: If we drink, we’re advised to do so in moderation (limiting it to one drink daily for women, two for men). What is the basis for this advice?

Q: If we drink, we’re advised to do so in moderation (limiting it to one drink daily for women, two for men). What is the basis for this advice?

NewsBites

Another Step Closer to Calories on Menus

Recently FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, announced the FDA will be providing additional, practical guidance on menu (calorie) labeling requirements by the end of this year.

Offset Obesity Genes with Physical Activity

Increased genetic risk for obesity doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll become obese, and maintaining a more physically-active lifestyle may decrease the obesity risk contributed byyour genetics, says Lu Qi, MD, PhD, senior author of a recent study on the topic published in Diabetes and director of the Tulane University Obesity Research Center in New Orleans.

Eating Increases Feel-Good Hormones

Eating leads to widespread opioid release in the brain, which signals feelings of satiety (fullness) and pleasure, according to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Protein at Each Meal for Muscle Strength?

Spreading protein intake more equally among breakfast, lunch and dinner was associated with greater muscle mass and strength (but not mobility) in healthy older adults compared to eating the majority of protein later in the day, says new research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Step Away from the Smorgasbord

With the holidays approaching, a new study in PLOS One reinforces the importance of staying a good distance away from festive food tables to help avoid overeating.

Special Reports

Cooking for Food Allergies, Intolerances and Gluten Sensitivity —Subscribers Only

Q: Who must avoid gluten? A: People who must avoid gluten (a protein in wheat, barley, rye and related grains such as farro and spelt) include people with celiac disease and people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Managing Special Diets at Holiday Meals —Subscribers Only

Whether you’re hosting or attending a holiday meal, chances are that one or more guests are restricting something from their diets. Watching salt intake is one of the more common dietary restrictions, according to an online poll of American households. But, a good portion of people limit or avoid items like lactose (natural milk sugar), meat, refined carbohydrate/sugar, gluten (a protein in certain grains) or commonly-allergenic items like milk (dairy), peanuts and tree nuts. So, how can you all come together to enjoy a meal?

The Buzz on Intermittent Fasting —Subscribers Only

Intermittent fasting is a hot topic among dieters and researchers alike. This weight loss approach is all about forgoing food and caloric beverages for periods longer than a typical overnight fast.