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August 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

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Articles

The Pros and Cons of Nutrient Density

Research shows that overall dietary patterns have a big impact on health. But people don’t buy dietary patterns, they buy foods. That’s why the idea of quantifying the healthfulness of individual foods is so appealing. For packaged foods, Nutrition Facts labels are designed to help, but, more recently, the concept of nutrient density (the number of nutrients per calorie) has been gaining ground as a potential way to help consumers identify the most health-promoting foods. But trying to quantify the healthfulness of foods is a tricky matter.

Can Junk Food Taxes Improve Health? —Subscribers Only

There is currently a lot of interest in whether adjusting food prices could encourage more healthful food choices, and ultimately improve health. Would taxes change buying behavior in meaningful and impactful ways? Would they lead to improved public health? And is it viable (and fair) to implement such policies on a national level? Tufts experts have examined these important issues in several recently published studies.

Avoiding Dehydration —Subscribers Only

The hot summer months are upon us, but sweating in the sun is not the only factor that raises risk for dehydration. This potentially dangerous drop in body fluid affects everything from blood pressure to the brain, so knowing the causes, signs, and symptoms of dehydration—as well as how to avoid it—is critical.

Ask Tufts Experts

Q. In the July issue you talked about A2 milk. Could you clarify if this product will help with my lactose intolerance?

Q. In the July issue you talked about A2 milk. Could you clarify if this product will help with my lactose intolerance?

Q. I see carrageenan on the ingredient list of my organic almond milk. What is this, why do they add it, and is it safe?

Q. I see carrageenan on the ingredient list of my organic almond milk. What is this, why do they add it, and is it safe?

Q. I heard flaxseeds can cause side effects. Should I stop eating them?

Q. I heard flaxseeds can cause side effects. Should I stop eating them?

NewsBites

Obesity Increases Cancer Risk

A new report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) links obesity to 12 types of cancer. The report, Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective, analyzed a decade of research to develop cancer prevention recommendations. The analysis found strong evidence that being overweight or obese throughout adulthood increases risk of cancer of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, colon, breast (post menopause), ovaries, endometrium, prostate (advanced), and kidney.

High body fat may raise diabetes risk, even with normal BMI

New research shows that people who have a high body fat percentage may be more prone to diabetes, even if their body mass index (BMI) classifies them as “normal weight.” People classified as “normal weight” according to BMI may have a high percent body fat if they do not have much muscle.

High Protein Diet May Increase Heart Failure Risk

A new study published in Circulation: Heart Failure concluded middle-aged men who ate higher amounts of protein had a slightly higher risk of heart failure than those who ate less protein. This association was found by following over 2,400 men ages 42 to 60 for an average of 22 years. Protein from fish and eggs was not associated with heart failure in this study.

Studies Suggest Fish Oil Supplements Do Not Benefit Heart or Eyes

A growing number of Americans are turning to fish oil supplements to improve or prolong their health, but recent studies indicate these golden capsules may not be all that beneficial.

Special Reports

Foodborne Illness: How to Reduce Risk

Each year, one in six Americans gets sick from eating contaminated food. In the spring of 2018, people across the United States and Canada began falling ill with common food poisoning symptoms: diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting. In the following months, nearly 200 people became ill, and five people died. CDC investigators traced the infection to Romaine lettuce grown in one particular region of the US. Any type of food, even healthy greens, can harbor pathogens. Fortunately, following some simple food safety tips, and paying attention to warnings and recalls, can prevent the majority of foodborne illnesses.