|If a food label says there are no trans fats, it means the fats contained in the food are healthy.|
False. Trans fats have gotten a lot of bad press for good reason - they contribute to heart disease by raising LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and lowering HDL ("good" cholesterol). Although a food may be free of trans fats, it can still be high in saturated fat. And though it may be the lesser of two evils, saturated fat also negatively affects cholesterol levels and heart health, says Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.
Consumers will now have to learn to read palms - as in palm oil, a substitute for trans fats in many cereals, crackers, cookies, margarine spreads, and energy bars. (The label may list it as "palm fruit oil" to sound healthier.) Although palm oil is a rich source of vitamin E and helps preserve food's taste, texture, and shelf life, it is also high in saturated fat, Lichtenstein says. The best advice: Eat fewer processed foods and more whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Researchers have found that vitamin E may delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
True. But "may" means just that. Studies have yielded mixed results, although vitamin E does get an "A" for its antioxidant properties. But other nutrients may be needed to seal the deal, says Susan Moores, M.S., R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. One could be vitamin C. A Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health study (Archives of Neurology, January 2004) showed reduced Alzheimer's disease among those who took vitamin E and C supplements, but not in people who used either vitamin alone or together in multivitamins, which typically offer dosages far below those found in individual supplements.
"The results are extremely exciting," says Peter P. Zandi, Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor in the school's Department of Mental Health. Still, more study is needed to reach firmer conclusions.
|People who run or walk 20 miles a week should buy new running shoes once a year.|
False. You may need new shoes as often as every three to four months or 300 miles. Depending on your weight, running style, and surface, you may go up to 550 miles before noticing a lack of support. Running shoes are made to maximize stability and shock absorption, and the powers fade with use, says Larry Weindruch of the National Sporting Goods Association.
Examine your shoes. Stability and cushioning are provided by the midsole (inside cushion), which is often first to show signs of wear. On the outside of the shoe, look for wrinkles and creasing under the heel or ball of your foot. Other bad signs include an outsole that is worn through or uneven wear on the heel. Also, a worn midsole allows you to twist a shoe easily, compared with a new one.
Finally, check in with your body. If you're experiencing aches or pains in bones and joints, your shoes may be trying to tell you something.