Category Archives: NUTRITION

Diet: Consuming Olive Oil Daily Lowers Heart Risks

Consuming just a half-tablespoon or more of olive oil a day is linked to a lower risk of dying from heart disease and other chronic health conditions, new research suggests.

photo of a hand holding a bottle of olive oil and drizzling it on a dish of quinoa

The study included more than 92,000 women and men from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, who filled out diet questionnaires every four years for 28 years. Olive oil intake was calculated from how much they reported using in salad dressings, on bread and other food, and in baking or frying.

Compared with participants who rarely or never consumed olive oil, those who consumed the most (about a half-tablespoon or more daily) had a 19% lower risk of dying from heart disease during the study. Researchers also noted lower death rates over all among people who substituted olive oil for a similar amount of margarine, butter, mayonnaise, or dairy fat. The findings, published Jan.18, 2022, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, lend further support for choosing olive oil — a key component of the heart-friendly Mediterranean diet.

Read more at Harvard Health

NEWSLETTERS: TUFTS HEALTH & NUTRITION – SEPT 2022

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Is That Popular Diet Plan a Healthy Choice?

Some attention and planning may be necessary to ensure popular diet plans provide enough of all the nutrients you need.

SPECIAL REPORT: Small Amounts of Physical Activity Can Have Big Benefits

Grab-n-Go Lunch

FEATURED RECIPE: Hummus and Veggie Wraps

ASK TUFTS EXPERTS: Activated charcoal; oatmeal vs. oat bran

Potassium-Rich Diets Prevent Kidney Stones

Anyone who has ever had a kidney stone never wants a repeat of the blinding pain that comes when it passes. Now, a new study maps out a diet that can help guard against that.

The cornerstones of that diet include eating plenty of foods that contain potassium, as well as a few servings of low-fat dairy daily, to get enough calcium. High-potassium fruits and veggies that could help include bananas, oranges, grapefruits, apricots, mushrooms, peas, cucumbers, zucchini, and melons such as cantaloupe and honeydew.

To arrive at those recommendations, researchers from the Mayo Clinic used data from questionnaires completed by kidney stone patients between 2009 and 2018. The team compared the diets of 411 people who had already had their first kidney stone and a control group of 384 individuals.

“We had this information and then we, number one, could look at things that … differed between controls and kidney stone formers, but then we’ve also been following these people forward in time,” said study author Dr. John Lieske, director of the O’Brien Urology Research Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

During a median of just over four years of follow-up, 73 patients in the study had recurrent kidney stones.

Lower levels of calcium and potassium predicted that recurrence. After adjustments for non-dietary factors, lower calcium continued to be a predictor. So did lower potassium, but only among those who weren’t already taking certain types of diuretics and calcium supplements.

Read more at Health Day

NEWSLETTERS: TUFTS HEALTH & NUTRITION – AUGUST 2022

Easy, Flavorful, Exciting Veggies

Knowing how to build flavor in vegetable dishes can help you enjoy more of these healthful foods.

The research is clear: eating more whole or minimally processed plants is better for our health. Knowing how to easily make foods like vegetables taste great can help you consume more of these health-promoting options in place of less healthful choices. Building Flavor. Most U.S. adults don’t meet the recommended intake of vegetables. When

Cardiometabolic Health: 93% Of U.S. Adults Fail Test

ess than 7% of the U.S. adult population has good cardiometabolic health, a devastating health crisis requiring urgent action, according to research led by a team from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in a pioneering perspective on cardiometabolic health trends and disparities published in the July 12 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Their team also included researchers from Tufts Medical Center.

Researchers evaluated Americans across five components of health: levels of blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, adiposity (overweight and obesity), and presence or absence of cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, etc.). They found that only 6.8 percent of U.S. adults had optimal levels of all five components as of 2017-2018.

NEWSLETTERS: TUFTS HEALTH & NUTRITION – JULY 2022

  • NEWSBITES: Physical activity in older adults; low- and no-calorie drinks
  • Hydrating for Health
  • SPECIAL REPORT: Cholesterol, Explained
  • Red, White, and …Berries!
  • FEATURED RECIPE: Chickpea Salad with Strawberries
  • ASK TUFTS EXPERTS: Why we say “people with obesity;” Cholesterol and genes

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Dementia Study: A High-Fiber Diet May Lower Risk

Fiber is known for keeping your digestive system healthy and lowering cholesterol levels. Now, study findings suggest it also may protect the brain from dementia.

The study involved approximately 3,700 healthy adults, ages 40 to 64, who completed routine dietary surveys for 16 years. Researchers then monitored the participants for two decades to see which ones developed dementia. The study revealed that people who consumed the most daily fiber had the lowest rates of dementia. The reverse also was true — those who ate the least fiber had the highest rates. Specifically, the low-risk group consumed an average of 20 grams daily, while those with the highest risk averaged only 8 grams. (The USDA recommends that men over age 50 eat 30 grams of fiber daily.)

Diets: Southern Foods Up Risks Of Chronic Disease

Warmer weather brings more opportunities for picnics, barbecues and gatherings around food. But before you reach for a second helping, consider if what you’re eating may be increasing your risk for chronic disease. Dr. Ivan Porter II, a nephrologist at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Porter explains dietary changes can have a significant impact on their blood pressure and overall health.