Diet and Weight Loss

Are certain types of sugars healthier than others?

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that added sugar be limited to 10% of daily calories, but the source of the sugar matters more than what kind of sugar it is.

Activity: It all counts

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

When it comes to physical activity and fitness, most of us could do more than we are doing, but the good news is that as long as you’re doing something, any amount of activity is beneficial, and more exercise is definitely associated with a lower risk of death.

Eating breakfast won’t help you lose weight, but skipping it might not either

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Eat breakfast? Skip breakfast? Newer research fails to link eating breakfast with eating less or weight loss. So, will skipping breakfast shave off weight?

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.