Nutrition Articles

8 ways to eat more fruits and vegetables

Only about one in 10 adults in the United States eats the 1.5 to two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables recommended per day by the federal dietary guidelines. Common barriers include a lack of time, habit, and cost concerns. (Locked) More »

Protein sources that are best for your heart

The average American gets about 16% of his or her daily calories from protein. Exactly how much is optimal for health isn’t known and probably varies by age. For heart disease prevention, the source of the protein may be more important than the amount. Plant-based protein sources such as beans and nuts contain healthy unsaturated fats and fiber. Most animal-based protein sources such as meat and eggs contain saturated fat, which is less healthy than unsaturated fat. Processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, and deli meats, are the least healthy forms of protein. (Locked) More »

Stop the carb confusion

Unprocessed carbohydrates, such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are an important part of a healthy diet. One should avoid processed carbs, which are unhealthy, such as refined grains and sugar-sweetened treats and drinks. Eating too many carbs of any kind can lead to weight gain and its associated problems. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that healthy adults limit their consumption of carbs to between 45% and 65% of their daily calories. (Locked) More »

Add more nutrient-dense foods to your diet

For people who are not already eating a healthy diet, or are not eating enough healthy foods, nutrient-dense foods can help fill in the gaps. Nutrient-dense foods contain an abundance of nutrients and other healthful substances—vitamins and minerals, fiber, lean protein, and unsaturated fats—but are not excessive in calories. This is compared to foods of low nutrient density that are high in calories. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include leafy greens, whole grains, fruits, oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and vegetables. (Locked) More »

Can you eat your way to brain health?

The evidence is limited that specific foods help to enhance or protect brain function with aging or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The evidence is better that leading an overall heart-healthy lifestyle can help. That includes controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, eating a plant-based diet, and getting regular exercise. Two eating plans have been proved to enhance cardiovascular health and could possibly help the brain: the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. A new diet based on these is the Mediterranean–DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet. A study found people who ate a MIND diet were less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but the findings may be only coincidental and need to be confirmed to justify significant changes in a person’s diet. (Locked) More »

How to sneak in more dietary fiber

Most men should get 30 to 35 grams of fiber per day from food. Fiber improves nutrition, is linked to lower risk of heart disease and colon cancer, and prevents constipation. To increase dietary fiber, add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds to your usual diet. Add fiber gradually to prevent gas or bloating. (Locked) More »

Mediterranean diet: Good for your mind and your heart

A Mediterranean diet—enhanced with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts—may help improve memory and thinking skills in addition to preventing cardiovascular problems. The plant-based diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. The healthy fats and polyphenols provided by the diet help prevent oxidation and inflammation, which are harmful to blood vessels and the brain. (Locked) More »