It will soon be easier for consumers to make better food and beverage decisions when eating out or on the go. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has moved forward with a food labeling law that requires restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts for standard menu items. Proponents say calorie disclosures on everything from muffins to lattes to Happy Meals will offer more transparency and will likely encourage diners to downsize their consumption.
Count this as more proof that we shouldn’t rely on pills and powders to make up for dietary shortfalls.
Eating a diet based on whole foods deserves a thumbs-up. What’s hard to swallow, however, is that doing so might contribute to the heaps of food wasted in the United States.
The ketogenic diet, a fat-forward meal plan that limits followers to about 20 grams of daily carbs, may help some people shed a little weight (in the short term), but it might not be good news for their athletic pursuits.
Our bodies host a huge population of microorganisms, dubbed the human microbiome. In recent years, the makeup of critters in our guts has been linked to a plethora of conditions, including depression, heart disease and obesity. And now bug-friendly scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have presented initial findings from the American Gut Project, a crowdsourced initiative that analyzes people’s survey responses and fecal samples to better understand how things like diet, lifestyle and disease affect the human microbiome.
Here’s another good reason for people to reduce their Buddha-bellies: improving their vitamin D status. According to data presented at the 2018 European Society of Endocrinology’s annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain, researchers from the Netherlands found that more body fat around adults’ waistline is associated with lower vitamin D levels. Beyond raising the risk of weak bones, poor vitamin D status could set the stage for other health issues, including heart disease and compromised immunity.
Question: I have a sensitivity or allergy to tomatoes. My mouth and esophagus get itchy and sore when I eat them. Is there any way to make tomatoes less irritating? Is there a good substitute for tomatoes in recipes?
Answer: You may suffer from oral allergy syndrome (OAS), a relatively common reaction to plant foods, including tomatoes. People who have pollen allergies are more likely to have OAS (Asero 2013) because they react to similar proteins in vegetables, fruits and/or nuts.
The prospect of getting extra bang for their food buck has more people perusing
warehouse-style club stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. But the urge to stockpile large amounts of food in the house may lead to calorie overload.
No wonder social media feeds are packed with pictures of overflowing smoothie bowls: It appears people feel the types of foods they consume play a bigger role in their health goals than the volume they eat. As a result, a study from Vanderbilt University published in Management Science suggests that those who are trying to maintain a healthy body weight or wishing to shed a few pounds might be prone to overeating “healthy” items like nuts, granola and avocados. The upshot: The public should be educated about practicing portion control—for foods of all kinds.
Many people can’t resist the temptation of homemade chocolate chip cookies in the break room or leftover Halloween candy circulating among the cubicles. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of 5,222 employees across the U.S., using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey, documented this challenge.
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