Q&A: How much protein do I need?

Q: My husband is a big protein advocate and says I don’t get enough. There are a lot of things like protein shakes and pre-workout supplements floating around the market. I’d love to know: How much is “enough”?
N.S., Newington

A: Adequate protein intake is associated with improvements in lean body mass, strength, balance and functional health, especially as we age. The amount of protein you need is based on several factors including: body weight, muscle mass, physical activity and age. 

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Q&A: Do certain foods increase fat-burning

Q: I’ve heard that there are some foods you should not mix in order to avoid fat storage. For instance: Don’t consume a fat with a carb or a carb with a protein. I may have the combinations wrong but is there any truth to this and if so, what are the best combinations to maximize fat burning?

LM, Rocky Hill

A: There isn’t enough evidence to support the claim that eating certain foods together maximizes fat burning but there are several lifestyle patterns that can support your metabolism.

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Q&A: What is healthier, butter or margarine

Q: I am wondering which is healthier to use: Butter  or light spreadable margarine, like light I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter? The latter contains palm kernel and palm oil, which I thought aren’t too healthy, but I thought that butter has more saturated fat and calories.

Joyce

A: Yes, light I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter! does have less saturated fat and calories than butter but it also contains palm oil, monoglycerides and diglycerides that aren’t so healthy.

Monoglycerides and diglycerides are emulsifiers, structurally similar to fat that are often used to combine water with soybean oil (or other fat) to make lower calorie buttery spreads. When mono- and diglycerides are manufactured in a lab, or when exposed to heat for processing and prepared foods, trans fatty acids — the least healthy of all the fats — can be formed.

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Q&A: Is 50 Egg whites a week okay?

Q: I eat 10 cooked egg whites five days a week.  Is that too much protein and can that cause digestive or other medical issues?
T.V., Wethersfield

A: Cooked egg whites are a nutritious, economical source of high quality protein. One egg white provides more than 3 grams of protein and less than 20 calories. Ten egg whites provides: 170 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, and 36 grams of protein. Eating egg whites in this quantity does not provide too much protein, and will not cause digestive or other medical issues as long as they are cooked.

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Eat Your Way to Wellness with Berries

Dietary surveys reveal that berry-rich diets are associated with: healthy body weight, a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and improvements in mood and cognitive function. 

The health benefits of berries are well known so it is surprising that berry consumption remains low. On average, a person living in the United States consumes a mere one tablespoon of berries per week.

The bottom line is that berries are rich in nutrients that support overall health and wellbeing. We need to eat more of them.

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