Nutrition Archive


Scoring highly on Alternative Healthy Eating Index lowers risk for many illnesses

Most of us know a healthy diet reduces the risk of heart disease but may not know it's possible to choose a combination of foods that help lower risks for many illnesses. An index created by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health grades food choices and it's easy to incorporate components of this into daily eating habits.

Fighting inflammation with food

A healthy diet is believed to play a role in warding off chronic inflammation that can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive decline. Six types of foods that may help fight chronic inflammation are berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and tomatoes. These foods are all found in a Mediterranean-style diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and small amounts of dairy foods and olive oil.

A healthier butter for your heart?

Naturally occurring plant compounds called stanols can help reduce cholesterol. But they may not be found in large enough amounts in butter substitutes to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. The best way to lower is cholesterol is still by eating a plant-based diet with more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods, reducing consumption of saturated fat, and working to maintain a healthy weight.

An anti-inflammatory diet may be good for your joints

Research shows that a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits and vegetables, healthy oils, and whole grains, may help prevent some joint problems, such as gout or even osteoarthritis. The benefit is less pronounced if a person has joint problems already. Diet cannot reverse joint problems completely, but it may help with disease management in combination with other treatments.

Why is eating healthy so hard?

Many people still struggle with healthy eating, even though they know the basic guidelines to follow. This often is due to misperceptions that following a healthy diet is too difficult and too expensive. Making small changes in one’s diet can help many people change their attitude about healthier eating and make it easier to embrace.

Are certain fruits healthier than others?

Most people have heard the nutritional recommendation to eat five servings of fruit per day. But are some fruits better for you than others? Is it okay to eat dried or frozen fruit, or to drink fruit juice? Does it have to be organic?

Soup up your meals

With the right ingredients, a warm bowl of soup can also be an easy way to boost intake of vegetables and important nutrients. A good option is a broth-based soup with vegetables, whole grains, and a healthy protein such as beans or chicken. Mixing and matching ingredients can not only accommodate taste preferences but nutritional needs.

FDA urges the food industry to cut back on salt

The FDA called for the food industry to voluntarily cut the amount of sodium in processed, packed, and prepared foods. Those products provide about 70% of the sodium in the typical American diet.

Meal of the month: Healthy meals for 2022

Easy-to-prepare meals that promote heart health often include plant-based ingredients but can also feature fish or small amounts of chicken or beef.

The dos and don’ts of managing diverticular disease

People who have diverticular disease have tiny pouches (diverticula) in the lining of the colon that can bleed or perforate and develop infection (called diverticulitis). People with diverticular disease should eat a healthy diet rich in fiber, drink lots of water, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke, avoid straining in the bathroom, and report bleeding or pain to a doctor. However, it’s not necessary to avoid eating nuts, seeds, or popcorn, which were once believed to lodge in diverticula and cause problems. That old advice turned out to be wrong.

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