Nutrition

Nutrition Articles

Learn how to reduce salt with these 5 tips

If you're like most people, chances are you eat far more than the recommended amount of sodium, one of the main components of salt. Current federal guidelines advise getting no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily, but the average American consumes about 3,500 mg a day. Strong evidence from more than 100 clinical trials shows that a lower sodium diet can decrease blood pressure. High blood pressure, which affects one in three American adults, is a key culprit in heart disease. More »

Ask the doctor: Reversing atherosclerosis?

Some people may be able to reverse the buildup of plaque inside their heart’s arteries by taking high-dose cholesterol-lowering drugs or by following a strict, plant-based diet combined with exercise and stress reduction.  (Locked) More »

Should you try a subscription meal kit?

Subscription meal kits provide fresh, pre-measured ingredients ready to be cooked at home. They are convenient and can challenge someone to try new foods. The pre-portioned ingredients arrive once a week in insulated packaging, with step-by-step instructions and photos. Some companies offer vegetarian and gluten-free options. But some meals are high in calories or sodium. Before selecting meals, it’s best to read the nutrition information. One should avoid meals with more than 500 milligrams of sodium per serving. (Locked) More »

The A list of B12 foods

It’s common for older people to have some level of vitamin B12 deficiency. This might stem not only from a poor diet, but also from age-related reduction in stomach acid, which the body needs in order to absorb B12 from food. The average adult should get 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 a day, according to the National Institutes of Health, which often can be reached by ensuring people add certain everyday foods to their diet, like fortified cereal, certain fish, yogurt, and low-fat milk.   (Locked) More »

Do omega-3s protect your thinking skills?

For people who are healthy and who don’t have a decline in memory and thinking skills, it appears that dietary omega-3 fats may help preserve thinking skills. It is unclear if omega-3 fats from fish oil pills offer the same protection. Eating omega-3s in fish may also be linked to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, because omega-3s may help to ease inflammation, maintain a steady heartbeat, and prevent blood clots. Both the federal government and the American Heart Association recommend eating two servings each week of fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel. (Locked) More »

Higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids may lower death rates in older men

A new study found that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids in the subcutaneous adipose tissue—the layer of fat just beneath the skin—correlated with lower death rates among older men. Omega-6s mostly come in the form of linoleic acid, found in plant oils (such as corn, soybean, and sunflower oils) as well as nuts and seeds. Linoleic acid is known to shrink levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the blood, which can contribute to lower incidence of heart disease. More »

How to avoid the health risks of too much salt

Too much dietary sodium may increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Dietitians recommend limiting sodium intake to 500 or 600 milligrams per meal, and making sure it comes from healthy sources, like whole-grain breads and cereals. Sodium content is listed on Nutrition Facts labels on packaged food. Another recommendation is to flavor food with spices, such as basil and ginger, instead of salt. It’s best to choose fresh foods, and to avoid processed foods, which are often very high in sodium. (Locked) More »

Magnesium: A mineral you might be missing

Most people in the United States don’t get the recommended amount of magnesium in their diets. Nuts, leafy greens, and whole grains are rich in this essential mineral, which seems to help lower blood pressure. Certain people with high blood pressure may benefit from taking magnesium supplements, but there is insufficient evidence to recommend this practice. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which recommends eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, provides plenty of magnesium and is also low in sodium, which can raise blood pressure.  (Locked) More »