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Beyond High vs. Low: Is Glycemic Index Key to Healthy Carbs?

With recommendations to limit consumption of sugar and refined grains, and focus on “quality carbohydrate”, how can you choose foods that support your goal of healthy eating? Healthy Eating; Glycemix index or high vs low carbohydrate?

Is glycemic index (GI) or glycemic load (GL) the key? What about amount and types of fiber, prebiotics, or whole grains?

Without going overboard based on “health halos”, how can you identify and include quality carbs in your day-to-day eating habits? Here, in Part One

on choosing healthy sources of carbohydrates, we’ll look beyond the headlines at glycemic index….

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Healthy Eating Roundup: Behind the headlines

How do you set priorities to assure that your “healthy choices” are doing the most good for health and vitality? Nutrition headlines in perspective

A look at several studies making headlines in the last few weeks shows that the answer may not be as clear-cut as it seems.

Let’s pull them together for a look at the big picture.

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An Anti-Inflammatory Diet: What makes sense?

How many times have you seen “Top 10 Foods to Fight Inflammation”? Why is it that two months later a similar list has different foods? Did the foods first identified as “absolutely best” suddenly lose their benefits? Did research suddenly come to a whole new understanding of how to beat the chronic inflammation that’s considered a key element in development of many chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease?So many questions on healthy eating to fight inflammation

Research has been progressing in identifying how eating habits and lifestyle choices can either promote or reduce chronic inflammation. This Smart Bytes® gives an update on our understanding of inflammation, and solid tips on how to set priorities among choices you can make to quench it.

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How to Get a Handle on Healthy Habits: Tips from Research

“Ultimately, people do not decide their future. They decide their habits, and their habits decide their future.” So says John C. Maxwell in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential, a book I’m on my third time through as an audio book to accompany me on walks.

Ah, you say, but where do those habits come from? Do health-promoting habits seem hard to establish and easy to lose, while it’s amazingly easy to fall back into unhealthy habits?

Here, in Part 1 of a series, Rebecca Krukowski, PhD, provides perspective on how “self-monitoring” can play a role in creating healthy habits. Dr. Krukowski is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, where she conducts research on behavior-change interventions for weight loss.

 

Following the video, read on for practical take-home tips on different options for using self-monitoring to help you create habits to lose weight or achieve other health goals – or to avoid the all-too-easy path back to unhealthy habits in the months ahead.

 

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Cutting Sodium: Doable Eating Habit Tweaks

Reducing the hefty sodium load that’s part of many people’s eating today can seem a confusing and daunting challenge. Average U.S. sodium intake at 3592 milligrams (mg) per day – not counting any salt added at the table — is well beyond the recommended cap of 2300-2400 mg. Reaching the target the American Heart Association identifies as “ideal” (no more than 1500 mg daily) would require major changes in all aspects of eating choices and preparation.

Salty 6 - good targets for cutting sodium

42% of U.S. sodium intake comes from the AHA “Salty 6” (NHANES 2009-2010)

However, reducing sodium is not an all-or-nothing proposition.

Instead of focusing on a target that may feel out of reach, try finding a few doable tweaks in your usual choices. Just a few swaps can add up to reduce your current daily totals by 1000 mg a day. That’s a goal that research supports to make a difference in your health. Given the high sodium levels in many foods today, the tweaks may not be as hard to accumulate as you think.

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