Archive for May, 2011

Gaining awareness about arthritis and its prevention

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Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Many Americans are remarkably unaware and uninformed about arthritis, a disease that affects about one of every five U.S. adults. Arthritis runs under the public’s radar because it isn’t a killer like heart disease and cancer. Yet it can take a huge toll on the quality of life through the pain and problems it causes. Arthritis is often viewed as an inevitable part of growing old. But it isn’t—there are many things you can do to keep your joints healthy. If you do have joint pain, a new Special Health Report from Harvard Health Publishing called Arthritis: Keeping Your Joints Healthy, can help you manage your condition.

Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Reality strikes on the Jersey Turnpike

Helen and Tonya, two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating,” share their experiences from week three, which focuses on healthier lunches. Helen writes about trouble finding healthy lunch options at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike, and the importance of planning for lunch the day before. Tonya relied on salads, with one small break–a bit of fried calamari she purloined from a lunch buddy.

Surprising findings on omega-3 fats, trans fats, and prostate cancer risk

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Former Editor, Harvard Health

A new study challenges the conventional wisdom that heart-healthy omega-3 fats from fish, walnuts, and other sources are good for the prostate and that artery-damaging trans fats are bad for it. Suzanne Rose, editor of Harvard Health’s Annual Report on Prostate Diseases, explains.

Surprising findings on omega-3s, trans fats, and prostate cancer risk don’t warrant a change in diet

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Study finds that men with the highest blood levels of omega-3s were more likely to develop high-grade prostate cancer than those with the lowest levels, and that men with the highest blood levels of trans fat were less likely to develop the disease than those with the lowest.

Testing the Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating: Week 2 — Longing for bacon but eating mindfully

Two volunteers testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating” share their experiences from week two. Helen Hoart writes about her efforts to eat more mindfully and to have a healthy breakfast every day. Tonya Phillips regretted starting week two on Easter Sunday. She talks about her efforts to swap a breakfast bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for multi-grain toast and some fruit or toast and oatmeal with fruit, as well as getting more exercise by walking up and down the stairs at work.

Does eating less salt lead to heart disease? New JAMA study is more wishful thinking than a diet changer

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Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

A new study from Europe published in the May 4 Journal of the American Medical Association shows that taking in less salt may increase the risk of heart disease and has little effect on the development of high blood pressure. The findings contradict results of many other studies showing that less salt prevents heart disease. Flaws in the new study, from the young age of the participants to the small number of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems that occurred over the course of the study, suggest that it is not a game changer. If you are leery about the low-salt message for whatever reason, there are other ways to keep your blood pressure in check, like more exercise, weight loss, and following a diet like the DASH diet.