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April 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

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Articles

Soothe Heartburn With Diet and Lifestyle Changes —Subscribers Only

Heartburn is an occasional unwelcome guest for most of us. Its most common telltale sign is a burning pain behind the breastbone. The usual cause is the backing up (reflux) of stomach acid into the lower esophagus, inflaming its sensitive lining. If heartburn progresses from occasional to chronic—symptoms that occur more than once a week for months—it could mean a more serious condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The condition affects up to 1 in 5 people worldwide.

Enrich Your Healthy Plate With Tropical Fruits —Subscribers Only

In addition to the bananas, apples, grapes, oranges and peaches that often fill the collective American fruit bowl, there is a rich variety of tropical fruits available—some year round, and at affordable prices.

Caffeine Without Sleeplessness

Timing and moderation allow you to enjoy coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages without disturbing your slumber.

Ask Tufts Experts

Q. I take fish oil for heart health, but some of what I read in the health press says fish oil doesn’t do much. Should I stop taking it?

Q. I take fish oil for heart health, but some of what I read in the health press says fish oil doesn’t do much. Should I stop taking it?

Q. Does ground flaxseed have more health benefits than whole flaxseed?

Q. Does ground flaxseed have more health benefits than whole flaxseed?

Q. I’ve often heard that sweet potatoes are healthier than white potatoes. Is that true?

Q. I’ve often heard that sweet potatoes are healthier than white potatoes. Is that true?

NewsBites

No Weight Loss From Religious Fasting

According to a small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, changes in metabolism and physical activity during fasting in the month of Ramadan did not lead to weight loss. During Ramadan, observant Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, providing researchers a natural experiment to observe the effects of intermittent fasting on body weight. Previous studies have observed mixed results, from no weight loss to modest but temporary weight loss.

Weight Loss Programs Effectively Prevent Disease and Premature Death

The influential US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded there is “adequate evidence” that intensive weight loss or weight-loss maintenance programs based on behavior change help people with obesity to lose enough weight to prevent chronic diseases.

Ultraprocessed Foods Linked To Cancer

Consumption of ultraprocessed foods is associated with greater risk of cancer, according to new research study in the BMJ. This is the first study that specifically links highly processed foods to cancer.

Slower Eating May Help To Keep Pounds Off

A study of Japanese adults with diabetes found a possible link between eating slowly and maintaining a healthy body weight, according to a research in BMJ Open.

Special Reports

New Evidence: Mediterranean Diet Supports Healthy Aging —Subscribers Only

Like other healthy eating patterns, the Mediterranean diet is rich in sources of unsaturated fats, such as olive oil and nuts, and emphasizes whole grains, legumes, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and limits red and processed meat, refined grains and added sugar. Nutrition science has produced convincing evidence that this eating pattern is good for you.

Mediterranean Diet and the Brain —Subscribers Only

It’s often said that what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain, and research suggests this may be true for the Mediterranean diet pattern. A variety of studies have found that older adults who eat a Mediterranean-style diet are at lower risk of general age-related decline in memory and other cognitive skills—including Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia in older adults. “There is growing evidence that a healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables, berries, whole grains and healthy fats from sources such as olive oil and fish can lower a person’s risk for not only heart disease, but cognitive decline related to Alzheimer’s and stroke as well,” says Tammy Scott, PhD, a scientist in Tufts’ HNRCA Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory.

How to Eat Mediterranean- Type Diet: The Basics —Subscribers Only

The Mediterranean-type diet is just one dietary pattern among several mentioned in the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that can help prevent disease and promote health. To be precise, there is not just one Mediterranean diet—not in the sense that there’s only one South Beach or Zone diet. Because the Mediterranean region covers multiple unique food cultures, the diet can be thought of as an overall pattern of eating with certain consistent features.