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February 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

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Articles

Selecting Healthy Breads

Breads and rolls fill the better part of an aisle in some supermarkets, in part reflecting the appetite of Americans for bread. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of your breads and other grain-based foods, including cereals and energy bars, should be whole grain. But how do you figure out which grains are best for you?

How Changing Food Prices Could Save Lives —Subscribers Only

Subsidies and taxes to adjust the prices of seven foods—both healthy and unhealthy—is predicted to prevent tens of thousands of deaths each year from cardiometabolic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, according to a study led by researchers from Tufts University.

Muscle Health Pays Off in Better Quality of Life —Subscribers Only

Tufts scientists were the first to coin a term for the gradual loss of muscle mass, strength and function that can occur with aging: sarcopenia. The decline in skeletal muscle from sarcopenia affects 15% of people older than age 65, and 50% of people older than age 80.

Ask Tufts Experts

Q. Some creams, dietary supplements and even teas say they can protect or rejuvenate the skin. Is there anything to this at all?

Q. Some creams, dietary supplements and even teas say they can protect or rejuvenate the skin. Is there anything to this at all?

Q. I’ve read online that vitamin K2 can help preserve bone strength and might lower risk for heart disease. What is vitamin K2 and should I get more of it?

Q. I’ve read online that vitamin K2 can help preserve bone strength and might lower risk for heart disease. What is vitamin K2 and should I get more of it?

Q. I would like to eat less meat. What other sources of protein do you recommend?

Q. I would like to eat less meat. What other sources of protein do you recommend?

NewsBites

Long-Term Couples’ Sense of Smell and Taste Become More Similar Over Time

The longer couples stay together, the more similar their smell and taste preferences become, researchers report in Appetite. Although a number of studies have found that romantic partners become more similar in various ways over time, this is the first study to see if this compatibility effect extends to smell and taste, which help to shape food preferences.

A Big New Look at Coffee and Health

A large “umbrella” review of 218 studies on coffee and health found that people who drink 3 to 4 cups a day are at lower risk of a range of diseases and conditions, says a study in The BMJ. The umbrella review combined the results of 218 meta-analyses, each of which combined findings from multiple studies. These “studies of studies” included 17 with randomized clinical trials, which—compared to observational studies—produce stronger evidence that coffee may directly reduce the risk of certain diseases.

Weight-Loss Reverses Diabetes

Remission of type 2 diabetes is possible through intensive weight management alone, according to findings from the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) reported in The Lancet.

Sugary Drinks: Declining, But Not Fast Enough?

Consumption of sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages continues to decline, though adolescents and young adults still obtain too many calories from such drinks, according to a study in Obesity.

Special Reports

Diet Central In New Blood Pressure Guidelines —Subscribers Only

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have released an update to guidelines that redefines high blood pressure (hypertension) and makes recommendations on how doctors should treat it. The guidelines lower the threshold at which a person would be diagnosed with hypertension. Under the new standard, it’s estimated that 46% of American adults can now be diagnosed, or about 100 million people. The guidelines set a lower bar for what will be considered hypertension. Though voluntary, the guidelines are likely to influence how some doctors advise and treat their patients.