Whole grains or no grains? Food labels can be misleading

Food labels contain a wealth of information: calories, serving size, and the amounts of fat, sugar, vitamins, and fiber contained in a food, among other things. But do consumers know how to effectively use this information? A recent study showed that some consumers are struggling, especially when it comes to understanding whole grains. Recent study […]

Lifestyle medicine for all: Healthy food comes first

“Lifestyle medicine is only for rich people, right?” a colleague asked me several years ago, questioning my involvement in this relatively new field of medicine that guides people toward healthy habits. This has been a common misperception, for sure. But across the US, a revitalized brand of health activism is intent on bringing lifestyle medicine […]

Does diet really matter when it comes to adult acne?

When I was a teenager, the advice I got about acne was clear and consistent: Avoid oily foods and chocolate because they trigger breakouts and make existing acne worse Wash your face often Try a topical, over-the-counter remedy such as those containing benzoyl peroxide (Clearasil) or salicylic acid (Stridex). By the time I got to […]

Lifestyle changes are important for managing atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (afib) is a common heart rhythm disorder in which the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) beat fast and irregularly. Afib commonly causes recurrent symptoms, usually palpitations and shortness of breath, and can negatively affect quality of life. Afib also substantially increases the risk of stroke, and is also associated with heart […]

The lowdown on the low-FODMAP diet

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal disorder that produces distressing symptoms like abdominal pain, significant bloating, and altered bowel movements that can shuttle between diarrhea and constipation. While changing what you eat won’t cure you, an evidence-based approach called the low-FODMAP diet is the most frequently prescribed food plan to help relieve IBS […]

Envisioning food security: Steps we take now can help

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity (lack of reliable access to nutritious food) was a considerable problem, affecting 11% of the country, with higher rates among low-income and racial and ethnic minorities. The shutdown of businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19 has led to historically high levels of unemployment, most recently […]

Olive oil or coconut oil: Which is worthy of kitchen-staple status?

Coconut oil has developed a cultlike following in recent years, with proponents touting benefits ranging from body fat reduction to heart disease prevention. Sadly for devotees, the evidence to support these assertions remains rather sparse. But there is plenty of research to suggest that other plant-based oils have advantages over their animal-derived counterparts, particularly when […]

How to stock a plant-based pantry (and fridge) on a budget

Given the current pandemic and related economic stressors, many of us are trying to maintain healthy habits while watching our expenses. One of the areas where we can support our immune system is through our food choices. We all have to eat, and eat several times a day, and selecting foods that support our health […]

Study gives insight — and advice — on picky eating in children

As a pediatrician, I hear it again and again from parents: “My child is a picky eater.” All children are picky eaters at some point or in some way during childhood; it’s part of how they assert their independence. But some children are pickier than others, stubbornly refusing to eat everything except a few chosen […]

I have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). What should I eat?

One of the most frequent questions that patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) ask is: what should I eat? It is clear that in addition to genetic factors, certain environmental factors, including diet, may trigger the excessive immune activity that leads to intestinal inflammation in IBD, which includes both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). […]