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March 2017

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Foods to Soothe Digestive Woes

Approximately 35 million Americans are afflicted with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), marked by chronic abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation, and often nausea, bloating and excess gas, too. IBS is the most common gut condition diagnosed by gastroenterologists (specialists in digestive tract diseases). There isn't a test for IBS per se, but tests can help rule out other causes.

Beyond Olive: Oils for Heart Health

Should you buy the big 2-quart bottle of vegetable oil for $2.50 or spend $12 on a 1-quart bottle of extra-virgin olive oil? "Olive oil has been regarded by many as a unique oil for cardiovascular health, but the data don’t really support it as being superior to common vegetable oils," says Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of Tufts' HNRCA Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory.

Fighting Unwanted Weight Loss

Seeing you're down several pounds or finding your clothes are fitting looser may sound like a good thing - but not when you aren't trying to lose weight. Unwanted weight loss is of special concern in aging since it could point to an undiagnosed illness, leave you prone to infections or decrease your independence.

Smart Pre-Exercise Snacks

If you start exercise low on fuel, you could end up feeling weak and run out of steam. Or, you may simply feel hungry, making it hard to focus on your exercise. However, unnecessary snacking before a workout may make exercise uncomfortable and add calories you don’t need, counteracting the calorie burn of your physical activity.

Ask Tufts Experts

Why Do We Overeat the Foods We Like?

Our reward center in the midbrain gets activated for the prospect of food and available food of a kind we like, so until our sensory-specific satiety mechanism tells us the portion size is sufficient, addictive chemicals are released, such as dopamine, to keep us eating.

The Benefits of Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice is currently a 'hot' nutritional supplement for its touted effects both on reducing cardiovascular disease risk and its potential to improve endurance exercise performance. Beetroot is naturally high in nitrate, which is converted to a signaling molecule called nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide has beneficial effects on vasodilation (relaxation and widening of blood vessels, increasing blood flow).

Is Dairy Protein As Good As Meat Protein?

Fortunately for those who avoid meat and meat products, there are numerous other suitable protein sources to choose from. Protein is comprised of ‘building blocks' called amino acids that our bodies need to function. Though meat is a notable protein source because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids (which we must get from food), it is not the only one - eggs, dairy and soy products (like soy milk and tofu) also provide all of the essential amino acids in the desired proportions.


Celebrity Chefs Set Bad Example for Food Safety

About 1 in 6 Americans suffer a foodborne illness each year, often in their own homes, so safe food handling practices can’t be overemphasized. Recently, scientists watched 100 episodes of cooking shows from 24 celebrity chefs preparing meat dishes and tracked the chefs’ food safety behaviors.

Beyond Carbs in Type 1 Diabetes

In its 2017 update to the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association included a new recommendation to assess the amount of fat and protein in meals, in addition to carbohydrate counting, to determine insulin dosing for people with type 1 diabetes on flexible insulin schedules.

Could Low Iron Affect Your Hearing?

Hearing loss increases with age, affecting 40 to 66% of adults over age 65 and 80% of adults over age 85. Scientists are exploring whether iron deficiency contributes to the problem. Using clinical data from electronic medical records of 305,339 young to elderly adults, scientists examined the relationship between hearing loss and iron deficiency anemia.

Are Sugar Politics Clouding Sound Advice?

Setting specific limits on sugar intake can alarm groups that profit from sugar use. A recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed the evidence for limits on sugar intake advised by nine public health groups. The conclusion was that sugar intake guidelines are based on low-quality evidence.

Price of Food May Unduly Influence How Healthy We Think It Is

If you expect healthy foods to cost more, you're not alone (although this isn't always true).

Special Reports

Substituting Ingredients for Good Health

Not only can substitution save the day when you lack an ingredient called for in a recipe, but it also enables you to make a recipe better for you. That's helpful whether you are trying to improve your overall eating pattern or are cooking for a specific health condition.

Health Claims On Your Food

Have you read your groceries lately? Many of them tout reasons why health-minded shoppers should buy them, such as to lower cholesterol, reduce risk of osteoporosis or prevent cancer. Some sport bright red hearts claiming the products are heart healthy. But can you trust such health claims?