How to Cut Calorie Density (Plus Three Recipes)

Eating foods with fewer calories per bite can help people eat less and stay trim. But what’s the best way to cut calorie density?

One day a week for four weeks, scientists provided all the food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening snack) eaten by 59 adults aged 20 to 45. On those days, the researchers lowered the calorie density of the entrées by 20 percent in one of three ways: adding less fat (butter or oil), increasing fruits and vegetables, or adding water. (For example, the researchers added water to a Tex-Mex pasta casserole and a chicken rice casserole by turning them into soups.)

The Benefits of Polyunsaturated Fats in Your Diet

The benefits of polyunsaturated fats in your diet may include lower levels of inflammation and less buildup of plaque in arteries. This is important, because “Inflammation plays two key roles in coronary heart disease,” explains Penny Kris-Etherton of Pennsylvania State University.

First, it helps build the plaque that narrows arteries. The process starts when the immune system mobilizes to heal an “injury” in the artery wall, often caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol. Smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar can also damage the arteries and lead to plaque buildup.“

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And every single step of the way, inflammatory signals produced in the plaque fuel the process,” says Kris-Etherton. After decades, the plaque—now filled with cholesterol, calcium, and cell debris—gets covered with a fibrous cap of smooth muscle cells. Then, once again, inflammation wreaks havoc.

Is Paleo Healthy? Should We Be Eating Like Cave Men and Women?

“If it wasn’t on a caveman’s menu, it shouldn’t be on yours.” That’s the basic premise of a Paleo diet. The question remains, as it should for any diet—is Paleo healthy?

Maybe you’ve heard of the Nordic diet, the Mediterranean diet, and more recently, the gluten-free diet, but these are all very different from the primal diet known as Paleo.

But is the Paleo diet healthy?

A Healthy Mediterranean Diet

“Mediterranean diet fights heart disease,” announced ABC News. “Mediterranean diet cuts risk of stroke,” said USA Today. “Mediterranean diet over low fat? Well, at least it’s more fun,” quipped the Los Angeles Times. A study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine set off a media frenzy in February. Its findings were striking, but the press reports may have misled many. Here’s what the study actually found…and how it should (or shouldn’t) alter what you eat.