Diet and Weight Loss

Diabetes: Adding lifestyle changes to medication can deliver a knockout punch

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

Plenty of research supports the common-sense notion that a healthy lifestyle can prevent or treat many diseases. A diet high in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plant protein and low in processed carbs, added sugars, saturated fats; regular physical activity; and emotional well-being are the potent treatments that can prevent the need for or even […]

Food trends through the years: A mixed bag for heart health?

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

The urge to follow food trends is strong, but eating a low-carb or gluten-free diet may not be the best choice for cardiovascular health. And while trans fat is on its way to being eliminated from packaged foods, we still eat too much sugar and salt.

Intensive lifestyle change: It works, and it’s more than diet and exercise

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

It’s not easy to make significant lifestyle changes, but it can be done, and research shows that it works. It’s an intensive commitment with a psychological component as important as the diet and fitness components.

To the point: Here’s what parents should know and do about Netflix’s To the Bone

Center on Media and Child Health

A Netflix original movie about a young woman’s struggle with anorexia nervosa is raising questions among parents about whether the movie might glamorize the disorder, and how best to talk to children about this topic.

Easy hacks to understand new terms on food labels

Heidi Godman
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

As the variety of foods available in supermarkets has grown, new terminology has also proliferated. Definitions of food terms vary depending on the farm, manufacturer, and federal or state rules, but this guide offers quick explanations of common food terms, along with some context for why certain types of food may or may not be worth buying.

Does drinking diet soda raise the risk of a stroke?

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

While a study suggests that people who drink a diet soda or more per day may be at higher risk for stroke, there are other factors that could account for these results. Regardless, it’s wise to limit any food with artificial sweetener.

Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you?

Marcelo Campos, MD
Marcelo Campos, MD, Contributor

While there may be valid reasons to follow a ketogenic diet in the short term (weight loss, blood sugar control), it’s difficult to maintain and could cause other health issues.

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.

Eat only every other day and lose weight?

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

Following an alternate-day fasting diet seems like it might be a good way to lose weight, but it’s difficult to stick to such an eating pattern because the cravings on fasting days can be uncomfortable, and research found that higher LDL cholesterol is a concern.

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.