Healthy Eating

Lifestyle change: “I know what to do, I just need to do it…but how?”

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

Despite willpower, many people find that making significant lifestyle changes is very difficult. Factors both internal and external influence our ability to make changes, but being aware of them is the first step to overcoming them.

Sticking to a low-salt diet when eating out

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

People concerned about sodium intake should be careful when dining out, as many restaurant meals are loaded with salt, and it’s not just the fast-food places that are guilty of this.

Could artificial sweeteners be bad for your brain?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

While diet soda and other types of artificially sweetened drinks may not have calories, research is suggesting that those who drink them regularly may be at higher risk for stroke or dementia.

Safe summer grilling tips

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Grilling meat creates potentially harmful chemicals; make outdoor grilling both more enjoyable and safer by following these tips for preparation and cooking of food.

Of all the flavors in the world, we choose salty — and that’s not good

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

The average American consumes three times the recommended daily intake of sodium, largely because of salt added to processed and prepared foods. It’s possible to reduce daily sodium intake, but it does require effort and vigilance.

New recommendation: No fruit juice for children under a year

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Giving fruit juice to babies under a year old can contribute to obesity and cavities. Eating the fruit rather than just drinking the juice is better for overall health. The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its recommendation for giving juice to babies, and now says parents should wait until a child reaches a year.

Diet not working? Maybe it’s not your type

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Blood type diets, which maintain that food choices and fitness routines should be based on a person’s blood type, were first popularized over two decades ago, but in that time no firm scientific evidence to support the claims has emerged.

6 ways to help keep your baby at a healthy weight

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

While chubby babies are certainly cute, parents should try to follow healthy eating and behavior habits to help their babies maintain a healthy weight throughout childhood and into adulthood. Start early to develop a healthy relationship with food and an active lifestyle.

Eating better: 3 keys to healthy grocery shopping

Dominic Wu, MD
Dominic Wu, MD, Contributing Editor

Dr. Wu offers some advice on simple ways to navigate the grocery store to maximize shopping for a healthier diet. For example, fresher foods – produce and meats – tend to be found on the outer periphery of grocery stores. So start there and stock up on healthier items before moving toward the center of the building where more processed foods are kept.

5 habits that foster weight loss

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

The hardest part of weight loss is making healthy choices part of your daily routine without constantly feeling as if you’ve deprived yourself of something. We offer five proven strategies to help you shed pounds based on the experiences of people who have lost weight and kept it off.