All Posts By Amy Reiter

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire and Wine Spectator, among other print publications, as well as for websites including The Daily Beast, MSN, Babble, AOL/Huffington Post and Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer.

FDA Says: Menu Calorie Counts are Headed Your Way

by in Food News, December 15, 2014

Restaurant Menu
You could try closing your eyes, but soon it will prove significantly more challenging to ignore the calories in the foods we order in chain restaurants — sit-down and fast-food eateries, as well as other retail food outlets — across the country.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, December 12, 2014

Vitamin D
In this week’s news: Study links living thinner with living longer; farmed salmon may be losing its Omega-3 bragging rights; and vitamin D is vital for body and mind.

Shed Pounds, Gain Years?

Put down the sugar cookie. Stop gnawing on the gingerbread house. Go easy on the holiday ham. Obesity can take as much as eight years off your life expectancy, a new study led by researchers at McGill University in Canada has found. What’s more, excess weight also increases the risk for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease at a younger age, potentially reducing healthy years of life by almost two decades. “The pattern is clear — the more an individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health,” lead author Dr. Steven Grover, a clinical epidemiologist and professor of medicine at McGill, concluded. “In terms of life expectancy, we feel being overweight is as bad as cigarette smoking.”

Farmed Salmon’s Omega-3 Slide

We all know salmon is a wonderful source of Omega-3 fatty acids and lower in mercury than many other fish in the sea. But while farmed salmon has been hailed for being especially high in Omega-3s, those levels are declining. Due to eco-efforts to reduce the amount of forage fish such as anchovy, sardines and menhaden (all high in Omega-3s) in salmons’ feed, Civil Eats reports, “A piece of farmed salmon today may contain as little as half the amount of Omega-3s than it did a decade ago.” However, the site notes, “Even if today’s farmed salmon carries far less Omega-3 fatty acids than it once did, it’s now on par with wild salmon, and still packs more than species like tilapia, lobster and catfish.” So, you know, there’s that.

A Very Important Vitamin

Here are two more reasons to make sure you get enough vitamin D. A British study suggests vitamin D supplements may reduce chronic obstructive pulmonary disease lung disease (e.g., bronchitis, emphysema) flare-ups by more than 40 percent in patients deficient in vitamin D. The supplement was also found to reduce the severity and duration of flare-ups in all COPD patients, even those who did not already have a vitamin D deficiency. Another study, conducted by researchers at University of Georgia, University of Pittsburgh and Queensland University of Technology in Australia, has linked vitamin D deficiency with seasonal affective disorder, perhaps due to its involvement in the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. “Vitamin D could have a regulative role in the development of SAD,” co-author Alan Stewart said. Fellow author Michael Kimlin noted that “there are strong indications that maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D are … important for good mental health.”

Amy Reiter also contributes to FN Dish.

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, December 5, 2014


In this week’s news: You now have another reason to scarf down your yogurt; breakfast’s importance is called into question; and heavy drinking may be especially risky for women.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, November 26, 2014


In this week’s news: Study casts shadow on claims that blueberries improve night vision; researchers provide an unforgettable reason to avoid trans fats; and a whole heap of new whole grains to try.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, November 21, 2014

Flax Seeds
In this week’s news: Scientists get the skinny on coffee and obesity; nutritionists root for plant-based omega-3; and why kids shouldn’t heart energy drinks (or even drink them).

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Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits May Last Longer Than You Think

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, November 18, 2014

Mediterranean DietIt seems like every time we turn around, we hear about a new way the Mediterranean diet is good for us. Filling up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, eating a moderate amount of fish and dairy and just a small amount of meat, sweets and unhealthy fats, and incorporating olive oil and the occasional glass of red wine is a recipe for reducing the risk of heart disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and death due to heart disease or cancer. In the past few months alone, studies have concluded that the Mediterranean diet may lower the risk for chronic kidney disease, diabetes and peripheral artery disease and can help reverse metabolic syndrome. And that’s just a small sampling of the research fast piling up in the diet’s favor.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, November 14, 2014

School Lunch
In this week’s news: Parents get schooled about the healthfulness of home versus school lunches; weight-loss study tips the scales in favor of vegan diet; and researchers suggest attempts to reset metabolism are likely futile.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, November 7, 2014

Red Wine
In this week’s news: There may be one fewer reason to drink red wine; meat companies ditch the drugs; and two studies take a glass-half-empty attitude toward milk drinking.

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Wake Up to Good News About Coffee

by in Food News, November 6, 2014

Coffee
Those of us who are addicted to coffee (put down that third cup of joe and raise your hand) would probably love to think all that java consumption is good for us in ways beyond just waking us up. Well, guess what? A new study has found that drinking coffee – both caffeinated and decaf – may be beneficial for your liver, helping to protect it.

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How Healthy is Your Shopping Cart? New Database Rates Grocery Foods

by in Food News, November 5, 2014

Grocery Aisle
How healthy is your favorite cereal, bread, frozen pizza or go-to snack? And how does it compare with other brands crowding the supermarket shelves? Trying to figure that out can be daunting, but it just got a little less so. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy organization that has helped consumers parse everything from farm subsidies to cosmetics and cleaning-product toxicity, has just released a database of ratings, Food Scores: Rate Your Plate, for more than 80,000 commonly sold grocery items, aimed at helping shoppers make “healthier, greener and cleaner food choices.”

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