Nutrition Articles

Microwave cooking and nutrition

Are microwaves bad for your health? Almost every American home has a microwave oven. The convenience they offer is undeniable. But despite the widespread use of microwave ovens and their excellent safety record, some people have lingering doubts that cooking food with microwaves somehow makes food less healthy by zapping the nutrients out of food. Does cooking with microwaves do that? Is microwave food healthy? Understanding how microwave ovens work can help clarify the answer to these common questions. Microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are similar to radio waves but shorter. These waves are remarkably selective, primarily affecting water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical — one end positively charged and the other negatively charged. Microwaves cause these molecules to vibrate and quickly build up thermal (heat) energy. More »

Boost the health of your holiday buffet

Before going to a holiday party, it’s helpful to develop strategies to avoid drinking too much alcohol and overeating. Tips include eating before leaving the house, policing portion sizes, eating slowly, and leaving the table when the meal is over instead of lingering. Limiting alcohol intake to one drink, either before or after a meal, will also protect one’s resolve and limit calories. Enlisting the help of a buddy can also help someone resist temptation.  More »

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 »