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Find answers to frequently asked questions about nutrition, like why healthy eating is important and how to improve your diet.

  • Does coffee have other health benefits?

  • Another long-running study of women’s health, known as the Nurses’ Health Study, concluded that regular coffee drinkers were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Coffee has also been linked to a lower risk of liver disease, gallstones, colon cancer, and Parkinson’s Disease. And, as any sleep-deprived student will tell you, a cup of coffee can sharpen memory and improve the ability to perform complex tasks.
  • How accurate is nutritional information in fast-food and sit-down restaurants?

  • A recent study found that nutritional information is more accurate in fast-food restaurants than sit-down restaurants. Experts suggest that fast-food nutritional information may be more accurate because the food is in exact portion sizes, often in containers. In sit-down restaurants, food is served on a plate with less-regulated portions. They also found that foods with lower-stated caloric content had higher actual caloric content, while foods with higher-stated caloric content had lower actual calorie content. Interestingly, side dishes in sit-down restaurants tended to have more calories than stated, rather than the entrees they accompanied.
  • Is drinking coffee safe for my heart
  • Many studies have shown that drinking coffee on a daily basis is safe for the heart and may actually reduce risk for heart disease. For most healthy adults, moderate coffee consumption can be part of a healthy diet, and for individuals that experience side effects from coffee, decaffeinated coffee can be a useful alternative.

  • In which types of foods are n-3 PUFAs found?

  • N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can be found in most oily fish and fish oils. These can be found in their natural forms (fish), as well as in daily supplements.
  • Should pregnant women give up coffee?

  • Many women avoid coffee during pregnancy because they are concerned that caffeine can increase the risk miscarriage or preterm birth. However, a 2010 position statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that moderate caffeine consumption--about 200 milligrams or the equivalent of a 12-ounce cup of coffee--does not appear to be harmful.  When calculating your daily caffeine intake, be sure to account for caffeine from sources such as tea, cola, and chocolate, as well.
  • Is television watching associated with weight gain?

  • Yes, increased television watching has been  associated with an increase in weight gain. For example, in a recent study, watching one hour of television per day contributed to an average weight gain of .31 pounds, while three hours of television watching each day contributed to an average weight gain of .93 pounds.
  • How does chocolate help with weight control?

  • Flavonoids are a type of nutrient found in most plants, including the cocoa bean, which may boast a number of health benefits, including improved weight control. Chocolate that is minimally processed with the greatest amount of cocoa are a good source of flavonoids.
  • How does high sodium intake increase risk for heart disease?
  • High sodium levels increase blood pressure by stiffening the walls of the arteries, making the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. If a diet is consistently high in sodium, these effects can lead to hypertension, a significant risk factor for heart disease. The DASH diet provides guidance for reducing your sodium intake.
  • What dietary changes should I make to reduce my risk of developing atherosclerosis?
  • Are there certain foods I should avoid because of my cardiomyopathy?
  • Should I follow a special diet because of dilated cardiomyopathy? Any dietary restrictions?

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