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Dr. Ayala
Pediatrician, artist, mom and serious home cook, blogs about nutrition and health
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This has been the year of the germ. At no point in our lifetime have we been as obsessed with microscopic and microbial life as we’ve been in the last too-many months, many of us playing germ detective as we watch other people’s hands and breath. Does the microbiome play a role in the Covid-19 severity disparity enigma? Continue reading
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A favorite way to say I love you is through food, now why’s that, and are specific foods effective for eliciting love and desire? Continue reading
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Changes to our diet in the last decades, such as the widespread use of highly processed foods and food additives, may be the reason for the rising incidence of food allergies Continue reading
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Scientific advice to further limit added sugar and alcohol wasn't incorporated into the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. While alcohol and junk food can give some comfort, and a little indulgence shouldn't be denied, especially when we’re deprived of many other things we used to enjoy, but the truth is still the truth. Continue reading
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How do you make the same raw ingredients rich and exciting?Julia Child taught us an easy trick: “With enough butter, anything is good.” Likewise, some more salt, and added sweetness make food taste better. There’s a better way, though: the spice way. Continue reading
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Dental diet advice goes well beyond just sugar control. Periodontitis is a major public health issue, and is influenced by many factors beyond dental hygiene, including genetics, smoking, and alcohol consumption. An association between a balanced diet and periodontal health has been observed for centuries. Continue reading
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In this roller coaster year we no longer assume the things we used to take for granted; as we sit at the Thanksgiving meal, even if we’re fewer, or over Zoom, let’s give some thought to the wonders of what made our meal possible. Continue reading
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Would a switch from sugary drinks to diet soda improve heart health? A new study suggests diet drinks may not be the healthy alternative they are claimed to be. Continue reading
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To maintain healthy blood pressure what you do eat (plant foods) is as important as what you limit in your diet (alcohol, salt, highly processed food). Food, however, is only one modifiable variable that affects your blood pressure. Exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are also important, as is controlling stress. Continue reading
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Excess sugar can lead to weight gain. Obesity and type 2 diabetes – which is a common consequence of obesity – increase the risk of cancer. But is excess sugar by itself – in the absence of weight gain – risky? Continue reading
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Obesity and a poor diet are both established risk factors for a long list of chronic diseases and for early death. Obviously, it’s recommended to maintain a normal body weight and to eat a healthy diet, but if you had to choose one over the other, which is more important? Continue reading
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A new study finds that when an expert reminds kids of the benefits of fruit they'll pick fruit over candy. Kids are in front of screens like never before, due to Covid-19, so inserting reasoned nutrition public messages can help. Continue reading
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Sourdough’s flavor and mouthfeel are its main selling points – devotees swear it’s the best bread with no parallels – and it’s a more natural and traditional loaf. But is it nutritionally superior to other breads? Continue reading
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The number of sugary drinks people drink a week declines as income rises. The inverse relationship between socioeconomic status and sugary drink intake may help illustrate some of the health disparities we see, now more than ever, with Covid-19. Continue reading
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Whether it's stress, boredom, the proximity of the fridge, the ready-for-Zoom loose clothes, food shortages, or comfort seeking, the coronavirus crisis got many of us worried about overeating. Continue reading
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Now, more than ever, healthy eating habits should be a top priority, as they can reduce our susceptibility to severe Covid-19 and its complications. Continue reading
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Belly fat is serious risk factor, and although fat distribution has a genetic component, food choices and lifestyle changes affect abdominal obesity -- even without weight loss. Continue reading
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School food isn't ideal, but the pandemic, and with it, shuttered schools, makes things worse, hurting those most at risk of poor diets, weight gain and obesity. Continue reading
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You can help your body mediate inflammation through your food choices, but what if you still want that occasional burger with French fries? Can you make it less inflammatory by adding anti-inflammatory foods to the pro-inflammatory ones? Continue reading
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Weeks are turning into months, yet many of us are still under shelter-in-place and lock down orders. Physical distancing, unthinkable last year, is shaping into a new norm. These are strange and difficult times, but many of the people I talk to are surprised by how they’ve adapted; they sheepishly admit that amid the storm and collective suffering they’re feeling calm, healthy, even happy. What’s the secret? Continue reading
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Why aren’t people eating wholesome grains? Why is it that despite repeated recommendations to eat at least half of total grains (and at least 3 ounces) as whole grains fewer than 10 percent of Americans do so? Continue reading
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Stay-at-home orders make food preparation a necessity, but it seems like what we’re longing for is more than a satiating meal, we want to bake bread. Why do we derive such pleasure from kneading dough, seeing it rise and tearing its crackly crust? Continue reading
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A few reports interpret the booming sales of processed and packaged foods as the reversal of the healthy trends. This is highly unlikely. We’re more likely to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with a renewed respect for healthy habits, for good food, and for the very many people who feed us. Continue reading
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Infectious diseases have always been around, but it takes a new scary one to once again become aware of microbial threats -- the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is our wakeup call. Learning wellness lessons from this outbreak can be the silver lining of living through these turbulent times. Continue reading
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In both distracted and mindless eating people are eating while doing something else, and the food is secondary, and although used interchangeably, they're not the same. Continue reading