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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Unborn kids can be nutritionally ‘set for life'

We've all heard the saying, “You are what you eat!” But in the last several decades, scientists also have observed that, “You are what your mother ate!” (more ...)

Are dietary trans fats really bad for you?

By now, most of you have heard of trans fatty acids, or trans fats, in foods, and that they may not be good for your cardiovascular system. In fact, the health authorities in New York City recently decided that trans fats are so unhealthy that their levels will be rigorously regulated in NYC restaurants and processed foods sold in the entire state. (more ...)

Build healthy bones with physical activity

Bone is an important part of your body. It provides structural support for vital organs such as heart and lungs, protects the brain and allows your limbs to move, with help of attached muscle.
Bone also can serve as a source of minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, when needed for a variety of biological activities. Bone even can trap harmful minerals such as lead. (more ...)

What you eat can affect your health

Comparing the roles of food and medicine in achieving and maintaining health is easy. Food provides nutrients that help maintain health and prevent disease. In contrast, medicine acts to relieve the symptoms of illness and to help sick people regain health. (more ...)

Don't overlook copper in heart-healthy diet

Most everyone knows that a diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry and lean meats is important for having a healthy heart. The importance of regular physical activity, about 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week, also is recognized as part of a healthy heart lifestyle. (more ...)

Do you have trouble sleeping? More magnesium might help 
Can't sleep? You are not alone. Not being able to sleep, or insomnia, is a common complaint, especially among people older than 50. More than half of all people aged 65 years and older have sleep problems. (more ...)

Yogurt-based drinks: A source of good bacteria?

A year ago, I wrote about probiotics and prebiotics in this column. So what's new in the world of good bacteria? Probiotics, the bacteria “for life,” normally are found in the human intestine and provide health benefits to us. (more ...)

Making Half Your Grains Whole

One of the current recommendations for consuming a healthful diet (see is to "make half your grains whole". While easy to remember, this advice represents a substantial change for roughly 4 out of 5 of us. (more ...)

Consider the types when cutting fat intake

In the 1980s, many dieters found success following a low-fat diet. Then, just as people started losing weight, almost any product you could think of (including cookies, cakes and chips) became available in a low-fat version. (more ...)

Food Rich in Antioxidants Offer Important Protection

Not many people think of oxygen as being toxic, but it's true. Of course, we need oxygen to stay alive--that's why we breathe. And we need more of it when we are doing physical work or strenuous exercise. That's why we breathe harder and faster--to get more oxygen to enable our cells to produce more energy. But it turns out that some of the oxygen that we inhale is--through our own metabolism--turned into highly reactive forms that can interfere with essential functions within cells. (more ...) 

Food: A Powerhouse of Protection

The right food choices can provide a rich source of various essential healthful chemicals. It is through food that we get our micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and essential fat. (more ...) 

A New Year's Resolution to Wellness

Happy New Year!!  What a great time of year!  Now is the time of year when I make resolutions to improve things.  And now is also the time when I promptly fail to follow through on those resolutions.  My resolutions seem to fail because I pick goals that are nearly impossible to attain, such as "Lose Weight."  There are two logical ways to lose weight:  exercise more and eat less.  However, for me, "exercising more" conjures up all kinds of negative images of things I don't want to do, including those of jogging on my treadmill, mile after mile.  The bottom line is that I do not exercise enough despite full knowledge that physical exercise has many proven health benefits. (more ...)


Last Modified: 9/21/2010