Food and Your Health

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The holidays are here, and with them comes good cheer. And lots of food. But it's important to remember that what we eat and drink has an enormous impact on our health and well-being. So understanding how food affects our health is important. That doesn’t mean occasional comfort food or a hearty meal are entirely taboo. But food does have great influence our health, and in two ways.

“Food contributes to our body weight,” says Edward Saltzman, M.D., Academic Dean for Education and Associate Professor of Nutrition at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, “and obesity, or excess body fat, raises the risk for a host of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, and arthritis.”

The kind and content of the food are also significant.

“The composition of our diet,” adds Dr. Saltzman, “has a tremendous impact on our risk for a number of diseases. Most people, for example, are familiar with the effects of diet on cardiovascular disease, due to the intake of saturated fat and trans fat.”

Dr. Saltzman, who is also Chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at Tufts Medical Center, was joined by Amy Taetzsch, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., a registered dietician and weight loss counselor in the Energy Metabolism Lab at the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, for a two-part December edition of Physician Focus, Food and Your Health, hosted by primary care physician Bruce Karlin, M.D.

Among the topics of discussion are the elements of a healthy diet, how food can contribute to chronic disease, how consumers can make more informed choices about the foods they buy and eat, and the experts’ opinions on more than a dozen individual topics, including gluten, vitamins, probiotics, “super foods,” genetically modified organisms, organic food – and, appropriate to the season – holiday weight gain.

This month’s program discusses so many topics, in fact, that we have produced two shows - a total of nearly 60 minutes of the latest information on a variety of topics about food and eating.

So please join us this month, either online or on access television, to learn more about the connection between food and your health. It may change how and what you eat - for the better.

Photo: From left, Bruce Karlin, M.D., Edward Saltzman, M.D., Amy Taetzsch, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.