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Just So You Know - Issue 2 - 2017

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Heard that saturated fat no longer matters?

New U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines suggest that people should “consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats.” The Dietary Guidelines are for 2015-2020.

The guidelines recommend “that saturated fat be replaced with unsaturated and especially polyunsaturated fat,” says Frank Hu. “It basically says that we should eat a low-saturated fat diet rather than simply a low-fat diet.”

Hu, a diet researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, served on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that provided the groundwork for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Guidelines.

“The recommendation is a target based on evidence that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease,” he explains.

Which foods to watch out for?

While we usually connect saturated fat with animal foods like beef and butter, almost half of the saturated fat in the American diet comes from non-animal foods.

Nutrition Action


Making time for family meals benefits everyone: Mayo Clinicimage family meals

As back-to-school routines fill calendars with homework and after-class activities, it may be tempting to skip family dinners. However, Mayo Clinic dietitian Kate Zeratsky says that time around the table can offer some of the most important lessons of the day. She suggests turning off phones and tablet screens and turning on the stove to make family meals.

“Anytime you can enjoy a meal with someone, I would encourage you to do so,” says Zeratsky. “It has benefits not only for kids but adults as well.”

Zeratsky says cooking in your own kitchen gives you more control over ingredients and portion sizes.

“And, so, if you have more control over the food and the portion, you’re likely going to consume less calories and more nutritious foods,” adds Zeratsky.

Studies show family meal time can offer social benefits, too, including reducing the chance children will engage in risky behaviors.

The Mayo Clinic


Good posture can have benefits for better healthimage good posture

Sit up straight! This common request may have been how you first heard about posture, the way you hold your body. Posture isn’t just about how you look. How you position yourself can help or hurt your health over your lifetime.

“Posture is not only about how well you sit, but how well you move and go about your daily life,” says Dr. George Salem, a National Institutes of Health-funded researcher at the University of Southern California who studies how movement affects health and quality of life.

You may think that sitting with slumped shoulders or bending at your back instead of your knees sometimes won’t hurt you. But small changes in how you hold yourself and move can add up over a lifetime.

Years of slouching wears away at your spine to make it more fragile and prone to injury. Holding your body and moving in unhealthy ways often leads to neck, shoulder, and back pain. In any three-month period, about one in four adults in the U.S. has at least one day of back pain.

National Institutes of Health



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