Nutrition Articles

How often should you get your blood sugar checked?

People who have diabetes risk factors should get their blood sugar checked. If it’s normal, they should get it checked again in three years. If it’s not normal, they should get it checked yearly. Risk factors include being older than 45, being overweight (with a body mass index of 25 or higher), a sedentary lifestyle, a family history of type 2 diabetes, a history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or a heritage that is African American, Hispanic, American Indian, or Asian American. (Locked) More »

How to spot — and avoid — added sugar

Added sugar is a risk for weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and even dementia. Women should limit added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons per day, and men should limit added sugars to 9 teaspoons per day. Added sugar is in sweets as well as in salad dressings, crackers, yogurt, bread, spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup, and cereals. One can find added sugar in foods by looking at the ingredients in a product. One should look for syrups, juices, and words ending in “ose,” such as fructose, dextrose and maltose.  More »

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity

Celiac disease is an allergic reaction to gluten protein in food that causes symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and bloating. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity causes similar symptoms to celiac but is not an allergic reaction and does not cause permanent intestinal damage. When adopting a gluten-free diet, it’s important to maintain adequate nutritional quality. There are no proven health benefits of eating a gluten-free diet unless a person is allergic or sensitive to gluten. (Locked) More »

New food labels in the works

The FDA has proposed revising the Nutrition Facts label so it includes information about added sweeteners, potassium, and vitamin D; removes information about calories from fat; and updates recommended daily values for sodium and dietary fiber. (Locked) More »

Protein check: How much do you really need?

It’s unclear how much protein is essential as people get older. It’s best to follow the current Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein intake, which is 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams for men. As for the type of protein, mounting evidence shows that reducing animal-based proteins and increasing plant-based proteins is a healthier way to eat. A diet with any type of meat raises the risk of heart disease and cancer, when compared with a vegetarian diet.   (Locked) More »

Can drinking wine really promote longevity?

Research on resveratrol may someday lead to improved health and extended life. However, it appears that there is no link between dietary resveratrol levels and the rates of heart disease, cancer, and death in humans. Taking resveratrol supplements comes with some risks. The safe, effective dose for humans is unknown. It is also unknown how long-term use will affect people for better or for worse. People taking a resveratrol supplement, or those who plan to, should let their doctor know.  (Locked) More »

Must-haves from the produce aisle

The summertime brings a bounty of fruits and vegetables that can boost health. Blackberries have only 60 calories per cup, and they are high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Zucchini are high in vitamin C and are a good source of B vitamins and potassium. Sweet red peppers are loaded with vitamins C and A, as well as plenty of fiber, vitamin B6, and folate. Swiss chard is rich in sulforaphane, isocyanate and indoles, which counteract the effects of carcinogens—cancer-causing chemicals.  (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: The coconut craze

The evidence is still preliminary for health benefits of coconut oil. Coconut water is rich in potassium but drinking plain water and eating healthy foods could provide the same benefit. (Locked) More »