A study that followed nearly 400,000 middle-aged individuals in the U.K. for a median of over 10 years found that, compared to individuals who reported drinking less than one cup of coffee a day, drinking four or more eight-ounce cups a day was associated with lower risk of 30 medical conditions.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed new draft guidelines for food manufacturers who want to label their products as “healthy.” This term was last defined in the 1990s. According to the FDA, “our current definition permits manufacturers to use the claim ‘healthy’ on some foods that, based on the most up-to-date nutrition.
October 2022 – The American Heart Association (AHA) recently revised its checklist for achieving optimal heart health, introducing its new Life’s Essential 8. The list replaces the AHA’s decade-old Life’s Simple 7.
Sleep health is the new addition to the cardiovascular health scoring tool, which now advises that adults get seven to nine hours per night. The organization updated four of the categories:
Diet: More emphasis was given to following heart-healthy diets like the DASH and Mediterranean.
Nicotine exposure: Secondhand smoke and vaping were added as risk factors.
Blood lipids: People now can get a non-fasting blood sample that measures total, HDL, and non-HDL cholesterol. Non-HDL cholesterol can provide similar risk information as LDL cholesterol.
Blood sugar: Measurements now include hemoglobin A1c, a key component to assessing type 2 diabetes risk.
Three categories were unchanged:
Physical activity: The optimal weekly level is at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.
Body mass index (BMI): A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is ideal for heart health.
Blood pressure: Levels less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) remain optimal. Stage 1 hypertension is 130 to 139 mm Hg for systolic pressure (the first number) or 80 to 89 mm Hg for diastolic pressure (the second number).
You can calculate your heart health score at mlc.heart.org. The guidelines were published online June 29, 2022, by Circulation.
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.
Less 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.
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.)