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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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How to Fill Your Magnesium Gap: Simple Tweaks

The latest national study shows that diets of about one in two Americans may be short on magnesium, a mineral research now links with better blood pressure control, bone health, and insulin sensitivity. Since insulin resistance and its resulting elevated insulin levels seem to raise risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, it’s worth a look.Eating Habits Low in Magnesium may Increase Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

The good news is that extreme measures are not needed. Find some smart tweaks to fill a magnesium gap in your diet, and you can actually fill multiple nutrient gaps at once.

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Can You Multitask a Healthy Lifestyle?

Though many are probably unaware of it, one in three American adults has Metabolic Syndrome, a clustering of risk factors that together doubles the risk of heart disease and increases risk of type 2 diabetes five-fold. Some research also links it with 20% to more than 60% increased risk of several cancers, such as colon, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancers.

Choose healthy habits to reduce risks of metabolic syndrome

Multitasking while driving: Not a good idea.
Multitasking Healthy Habits:
Smart way to use Small Steps that pay off Big!

Medications may successfully treat most components of metabolic syndrome, but they do so one at a time. You might take one (or more) to control rising blood sugar and one (or more) for blood pressure, for example, but neither helps elevated blood triglycerides or an expanding waistline.  (Waist size is relevant because it can help indicate whether you have too much of a type of body fat that is particularly harmful.) A medication to treat one component of metabolic syndrome can sometimes make another component worse.

The question – as research increasingly shows the inter-connectedness of all these risk factors – is whether your lifestyle choices can multitask. Can you focus on healthy habits that pay-off with multiple health benefits? The exciting answer is yes. Continue reading

Nuts: Over-Hyped or Under-Eaten for a Healthy Diet?

Could eating nuts be a strategy to fight off the Big Three health problems: heart disease, cancer and diabetes?nuts are good sources of vitamin E

Headline-making studies in recent months suggest that including nuts in an overall healthy diet could protect against not only heart disease, but perhaps cancer and diabetes, too. Yet some top-selling diet books that claim to hold the key to disease-prevention call for limiting or avoiding nuts.

So what does the big picture of current research say about nuts and health? It may be that nuts’ influence on health varies with how you use them.

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3 Reasons to Think Beyond Antioxidants for Healthy Eating

If maximizing the number of foods with high antioxidant scores isn’t the goal for a healthy diet, what is? And do all those phytochemical compounds in vegetables, fruits and whole grains really matter if they don’t work as antioxidants in our bodies?

In Part 1 of my video interview with Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, MS, a researcher studying how these phytochemicals can work to promote health, explained why we no longer focus on them as antioxidants per se. Here, in part 2 of our conversation, she shares what we’ve learned about how these compounds in plant foods seem to work. Dr. Burton-Freeman is Director of the Center for Nutrition Research at the Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology; and Associate Researcher in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis.

Compounds formerly of interest as antioxidants are of more interest than ever for potential roles in promoting health and reducing risk of chronic disease. After you view the video, read on for further explanation.

Email subscribers, click here so you can view the video interview on my Smart Bytes® blog.

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