The healthiest diet?

The Nutrition Action Newsletter that if you want to protect your heart, eat more fruits and veggies, and cut unhealthy carbs, one of the healthiest diets—it’s endorsed by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and other health authorities—is DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

That’s because a DASH-style diet is low in saturated fat, sugar, and salt, and rich in fruits and vegetables. It’s also rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber.

In 1997, a landmark study found that a DASH diet could lower blood pressure as well as some prescription drugs. That news was a bombshell because high blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

The OmniHeart study diets

Then, in 2005, came another news flash. The OmniHeart study reported that two variations of the DASH diet were even better for your heart than the original:

The higher-protein variation replaced some of DASH’s carbs with protein—half from plant sources (like beans, peas, and nuts) and a half from animal foods (like fish, lean poultry, and low-fat dairy). Read more

Key To Good Weight Management

Aileen Waldschmidt, LDN, RD, a licensed, registered dietitian and Bariatric Program Coordinator with Edward-Elmhurst Health shared in their blog that most of us know that what we eat matters if we want to keep our hearts healthy. As a result, we try to make healthy choices, like passing up the salt shaker or ordering a fruit salad instead of those greasy fries.For many, the most difficult part of keeping a heart-healthy relationship with food is getting to a healthy weight and staying there. People may try one of the latest fad diets or one of the impossible-sounding crash diets that celebrities often promote.

The challenge is separating facts from the hype about what’s effective and safe for weight management and heart health. That’s when consulting a weight management professional can help.

The key to any good weight management program is tailoring the approach to the individual. Some people who consult a dietitian may just need to tweak their food choices and exercise habits, while others may need a lifestyle overhaul which includes smoking cessation and stress management.

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The latest on reducing belly fat

 

Overweight and obesity

acking on pounds around your midsection is easy. Losing them takes a lot more work. Here’s the latest evidence on what (and what not) to do.

Sitting & belly fat

The time you spend in a chair, on the sofa, or in a car may affect the size of your belly.

Scientists did MRI scans of 124 people at risk for type 2 diabetes.1

Eachwore an accelerometer for a week.

Among those who were inactive (they averaged 13 minutes a day of at least moderate-intensity exercise), each hour of sedentary time per day was linked to an extra 1.9 quarts of abdominal fat. But sedentary time wasn’t linked to belly fat in people who were active (they averaged 40 minutes a day).

This type of study, on its own, can’t prove that sitting on the couch boosts belly fat, but it’s one more reason to get out of your seat.

How to trim bad belly fat

Israeli researchers randomly assigned 278 sedentary adults (mostly men) with oversized waists or high triglycerides and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol to one of two diets with equal calories—low-carb Mediter­ranean or low-fat—for 1½ years.2

For the last year, half were also assigned to an exercise program (45 minutes of aerobic plus 15 minutes of strength training) three days a week.

The low-carb Mediterranean group was told to eat more vegetables, beans, poultry, and fish instead of beef and lamb. And they were given an ounce of walnuts to eat each day. Their carb limit was 40 grams a day for two months, and up to 70 grams a day thereafter. Read more

How Much Protein Do You Need After 50?

Kim Hayes wrote in the AARP Healthy Living Blog that Beans and legumes, including all types of dried beans, split peas, and lentils, are considered good sources of protein.

Protein helps to keep our muscles strong, which is important for maintaining the balance and mobility needed to continue to live independently as we age. Yet, unlike with fruits and veggies, we may not focus on getting enough of this important nutrient. And recommendations on exactly how much protein older adults need vary.
The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight a day for adults over 18 or about 2.3 ounces for a 180-pound adult. But research is showing that higher levels may be needed for adults age 65-plus.

In our older years, we are at risk of sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass, strength, and function. The essential amino acids in protein are key nutrients for muscle health, but older adults are less responsive to low doses of amino acid intake compared to younger people. A 2016 study from researchers at the departments of Food Science and Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas found that this lack of responsiveness can be overcome with higher levels of protein consumption. The study says that protein levels in the range of 30 to 35 percent of total caloric intake may prove beneficial, although the researchers acknowledge that level could be difficult to reach for many people. Read more

Child and Adult Care Food Program to provide families access to healthy meals

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for the fiscal year 2019. CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by ISBE as part of a suite of programs to provide children and families access to healthy meals.

CACFP assists child care centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, emergency shelters, and day care home providers with funding to provide nutritious meals to children in their care. All participating child care centers and day care homes must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge.

“The Child and Adult Care Food Program ensures children in daycare and after-school programs who may not otherwise have regular access to healthy food are getting the proper nutrition they need to fuel their developing bodies and brains,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “More than one in 10 people in Illinois, a third of them children, are food insecure. Physical health and nutrition affect our ability to learn, focus, and grow. ISBE is proud to administer nutrition programs that help ensure all children have what they need to thrive.”

In 2016, more than 1.4 million people in Illinois were food insecure, including nearly half a million children, according to Feeding America.

Individuals in households who participate in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (SNAP) are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. The USDA Household Income eligibility guidelines determine eligibility to receive free meal benefits for families that do not receive TANF or SNAP benefits. If a household’s income falls within or below the listed guidelines, they should contact their child care center or day care home provider to learn about benefits of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. They may be required to complete an application and provide income, TANF, or SNAP information. Read more

FDA Requires Fast Food Joints to Post Calories

Good Health Update shared that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to assist you in making better choices and understanding the consequences of the choices you make.

They have finally approved and adopted a mandate that will require restaurant chains to post calorie counts on menus for everyone to see. While some chains and even non-chains already feature this, it will be mandatory for any chain with more than 20 locations.

From Fox News:

“The Food and Drug Administration will now require that all restaurant chains, grocers and other prepared food stores with 20 or more locations in the U.S. post calorie counts on their menus, NPR reports.

The mandate, originally proposed in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, was supposed to be enacted by 2015 but faced a delay after receiving heavy backlash. While many large chains, like Starbucks, McDonalds and Panera, complied several years ago, smaller vendors argued it was too tedious and expensive to calculate calories in their rotating menu of items, according to Grub Street.” Read more

8 Superfoods You Should Be Eating Now

 

plate with fresh fishes on a market

Hallie Levine wrote for AARP thatHigh-fat dairy products (such as yogurt and cheese) have been linked to lower type 2 diabetes risk.

If you’re old enough to remember when oat bran and spinach earned all the nutrition gold stars, experts say it could be especially important that you check out today’s short list of tastier superfoods. “Food is really medicine, especially as you get older and are concerned about staying at a healthy weight while reducing your risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease,” says Tonia Reinhard, a professor of nutrition at Wayne State University in Detroit and author of Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet. Here are the eight items experts say to put on your grocery-shopping list today.

Turmeric

The active ingredient in this earthy-sweet spice is called curcumin, and it appears to offer a trove of health benefits, including one you might want to write down: improving memory and mood in adults over 50 who have mild memory loss, according to a University of California, Los Angeles, study published in March. Curcumin is also a potent anti-inflammatory, says Cynthia Sass, author of Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Pulses —The New Superfood. And other research reveals turmeric’s ability to shut down genes involved in the growth and invasion of cancer cells, improve liver function, lower cholesterol, protect against Alzheimer’s disease and fend off viral infections, adds Sass. Is there anything this miracle spice can’t cure?

How to get it: Add it to an omelet, toss it into roasted veggies or rice, even sprinkle a little on your soup or salad, advises Reinhard. Sprinkling in a pinch or two should suffice; more than that can turn your teeth yellow. Read more

14 Nutritionist-Approved Fast Food Meals

Barbara Brody write for Tivity Health’s Silver Sneaker that few health experts would suggest that you hit the drive-thru on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean everything on the menu is terrible for you.

“Fast food is generally high in fat, calories, and sodium, but there are some good choices too,” says Sonya Angelone, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Whether you’re on a road trip with limited options—or you’re dining out with the grandkids and would like to order something other than coffee—we can help. Here’s what to order at popular fast-food restaurants that won’t completely wreck your diet, health, or waistline.

What to Order at McDonald’s

1. Fruit and Maple Oatmeal

A good breakfast option with a fiber bonus, this oatmeal has 310 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 5 grams of fiber, Angelone says.

2. Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait

For a lighter breakfast, snack, or even dessert, this sweet parfait is a great option at only 150 calories. Plus, it provides some nutrition with fruit, calcium, and protein, Angelone says.

3. Small Hamburger

This classic is a much better option than any of the souped-up burgers on the menu. “At 250 calories with 13 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat,” Angelone says, “it’s one of the better fast-food burger choices.” If you’re still hungry, pair it with a side salad—just go easy on the dressing.

4. Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Going grilled makes all the difference. This sandwich has 380 calories, 37 grams of protein, and only 7 grams of fat. “This is great,” Angelone says, “especially when compared with some of the fried chicken sandwiches that can have as much as 720 calories and 33 grams of fat.”

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Healthy Eating Isn’t As Easy As It Sounds

Locke Hughesa freelance writer, certified health coach, amateur yogi, and expert avocado-toast maker, who worked for publications such as Shape, Greatist, and WebMD, shared in mbgfood that these days, you don’t need to be a doctor or a dietitian to know what you should be eating. Thanks to books, healthy living websites (like this one!), and heck, even Instagram, most Americans are pretty well-informed about how and what we should be eating.Given that you’re reading this, for example, I bet you made a green smoothie for breakfast—or maybe brown-bagged a grain bowl for lunch. I bet you know that leafy greens are crazy nutritious and fatty fish are a powerhouse of brain and body benefits. You’ve probably even read an article that describes exactly what top nutritionists, doctors, and other wellness experts eat in a typical day! It can’t get more cut-and-dried than that.

So with all of this information at our fingertips, every last one of us should be walking around, glowing like Gisele, happy with our body weight, and at peace with our dietary choices. Right?

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Even Modest Lifestyle Changes in Middle Age May Significantly Extend Your Life

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