Diet and Weight Loss

Sweeteners: Time to rethink your choices?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Non-sugar sweeteners are popular, but there have been questions about their safety, so are they worth it? Researchers examined dozens of studies to assess the risks and benefits of various sweeteners available.

Should I be eating more fiber?

Most Americans eat less than half the recommended amount of fiber, even though there’s plenty of evidence showing the many benefits of a fiber-rich diet.

Why keep a food diary?

For those looking to improve their diet or lose weight, keeping a food diary is a useful tool. Recording information for at least a week will help people identify habits and patterns that will help them set realistic goals.

Benefits of a healthy diet — with or without weight loss

Can you improve your health by changing your diet, even if you are unable to lose weight? Three studies examined different variations on the DASH diet, and all found improvements in blood pressure, plus lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in one instance — even without weight loss.

Heart failure and salt: The great debate

While doctors typically recommend restricting sodium for heart failure patients, a recent review of studies found limited and inconclusive evidence that a low-salt diet makes a difference. But good judgment tells us that avoiding excess salt is good advice for everyone, not just those with heart failure.

Can a low-carbohydrate diet help keep weight off?

Researchers found that a low-carbohydrate diet helped people who had lost weight to avoid regaining it, but the length of time the participants were studied may not have been sufficient to affirm the results. Still, reducing carbohydrate intake may be a good idea if you are trying to keep off lost weight.

What’s good for the heart is good for the mind

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

The epidemic of people with dementia is expected to get much worse in the coming decades, but understanding the connection between vascular health and cognitive health allows people the opportunity to adopt heart-healthy habits that can reduce their risk of dementia.

Healthy eating through the holidays

At this time of year, with parties and food gifts it’s extremely easy to give in to temptation and overindulge. If you have been trying to make healthier eating choices (or want to start), here are some suggestions for how to eat healthy through the holiday season and still enjoy yourself.

Behavioral weight loss programs are effective — but where to find them?

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Behavioral programs (intensive diet and lifestyle change) work well for weight loss, but they are not common, and many are not covered by insurance. There are other options, such as creating your own program, joining a group, or using a smartphone app.

10 behaviors for healthy weight loss

Trying to lose weight and keep it off can be frustrating, but adopting certain healthy behaviors in your food buying and eating habits can make the challenge of losing weight more manageable.