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August 2017

Full Issue (PDF)

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Articles

Moderate Alcohol Intake May Help Preserve "Good" Cholesterol

For years we've heard that drinking wine and other alcoholic beverages in moderation may be good for our heart. The majority of alcohol's cardiovascular benefits have been attributed to its association with higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which helps protect artery health. But how does alcohol affect your HDL over the long term, and does it matter what kind of alcoholic beverage it is?

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin E from Your Diet? —Subscribers Only

The vast majority of us fall short of meeting vitamin†E recommendations. But, that doesn't mean we have a vitamin†E deficiency. Outright vitamin†E deficiency is uncommon. And despite shortfalls, the 2015Ė2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans did not identify vitamin†E as a nutrient of public health concern.

Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk By Reducing Inflammation

Of any cancer, inflammation has one of the clearest links with colorectal cancer. That includes cancers of the colon (large intestine) and rectum (tail end of the colon). So, it's worth considering whether reducing inflammation through healthful eating could decrease colorectal cancer risk.

Ask Tufts Experts

What is High-Oleic Sunflower Oil?

High-oleic sunflower oil is a type of plant oil made from sunflower seeds that have been conventionally bred to be high in oleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid) and low in linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated fatty acid). There is a minimum of 80% oleic acid in high-oleic sunflower oil. In comparison, traditional sunflower oil has less oleic acid (around 20%) and more linoleic acid. Both high-oleic and traditional sunflower oils are low in saturated fatty acids. Either type of sunflower oil is a good choice from a cardiovascular standpoint, but the traditional oil is less commonly sold in stores or used by the food industry.

Eating at Night: Does It Contribute to Weight Gain?

During the day, the hormones and overall metabolic processes in our bodies are better prepared to handle the food we consume than if we eat later in the evening when our so-called 'body clock' is preparing for rest. Although this body clock may vary slightly from person to person, the suggestion of avoiding eating after 8 p.m. is, broadly speaking, a good way to ensure that eating happens before our metabolism begins to wind down for the night.

Do Fitness Trackers Help People Get Active?

Most people know they should exercise more, but many find it hard to start and maintain this behavior. Trackers can be beneficial in that regard, but certainly not all people like them. So, you may want to start with a low-cost wearable tracker or a free activity-reminder app for your mobile device or computer.

NewsBites

Watch Portions of Packaged Foods Marketed as Healthy

Portion-controlled packs of indulgent fare like cookies and chips may help people avoid overdoing such foods. A new study in the Journal of Business Research suggests such package cues may help us avoid overeating healthier foods, too.

No Juice Before Age 1 Says New Advice from Pediatricians

Grandkids or kids at home? Note new advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The group revised its stance from no juice before 6 months old to no juice before one year old.

Dieting? Exercise to Protect Muscle, Bone

For older adults struggling with obesity, itís a bit of a catch-22 that weight loss may speed up age-related loss of muscle and bone mass (lean tissue). That could worsen physical ability and contribute to frailty. The solution? "Exercise is important to help preserve muscle and bone mass during weight loss and to further improve physical function," says Dennis T. Villareal, MD, at Baylor College of Medicine and lead author of a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Vitamin D Fails to Improve Insulin Function

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased diabetes risk. But, the few published small trials of vitamin D supplementation havenít shown a benefit on insulin function, which is important in blood sugar control. Included in this list is a new trial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Linking Leisure Screen Time & Mortality Risk

Swapping 30 minutes of daily TV or home computer use (leisure screen time) with activities like leisurely walking, gardening, home improvement projects or formal exercise was associated with a 3 to 13% decreased risk of premature death.

Special Reports

7 Ways to Help Fight Food Waste —Subscribers Only

What foods have you thrown out recently? Maybe some slimy salad greens, moldy bread or a bit of leftover spaghetti? If you can't think of any food you've tossed lately, you're doing better than most of us. Each year, the average family of four throws out over 1,000 pounds of food at a cost of $1,500.