The 4 Safest Sugar Substitutes and a Few to Avoid Completely

The best and safest artificial sweeteners are erythritol, xylitol, stevia leaf extracts, neotame, and mon fruit extract—with some caveats:

• Erythritol: Large amounts (more than about 40 or 50 grams or 10 or 12 teaspoons) of this sugar alcohol sometimes cause nausea, but smaller amounts are fine. (Sensitivities vary among individuals.) Erythritol, small amounts of which occur naturally in some fruits, is about 60 to 70 percent as sweet as table sugar and has at most one-twentieth as many calories. Unlike the high-potency sweeteners, erythritol provides the bulk and “mouth feel” of sugar.

• Xylitol: This sugar alcohol, which occurs naturally in birch and some other plants, is about as sweet as table sugar and has about three quarters of the calories. Too much xylitol (about 30–40 grams or 7–10 teaspoons, although sensitivities vary) could produce a laxative effect and/or gastrointestinal distress.

Healthy Foods to Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet

Stomach pain, diarrhea, weight loss. Those are some of the symptoms of celiac disease, which is an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

At least one out of 100 Americans have celiac. Most of them don’t know it. And studies suggest that some people who don’t have the disease still can’t tolerate gluten. So what are some healthy foods to eat on a gluten-free diet?

First, let’s answer a few questions with Dr. Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Do Intermittent Fasting Benefits Include Living Longer?

“We’ve known for a long time that if you reduce the calorie intake of rats or mice, they live much longer,” says Mark Mattson, chief of the laboratory of neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Baltimore. Do these intermittent fasting benefits carry over to humans?

What happens in species closer to humans is more complicated. Rhesus monkeys fed 30 percent fewer calories lived longer in a study at the University of Wisconsin, but not in a study at the NIA.

Should You Drink Chocolate Milk After a Workout?

“Beverage of champions: Chocolate milk gets an Olympic-style makeover,” reported the Washington Post in January after ads featuring U.S. Olympic athletes began popping up during the Sochi winter games. Olympic athletes have access to the best in exercise regimens and health and nutrition advice. If they drink chocolate milk post workout, should you?

When it comes to recovering from intense exercise, this classic childhood beverage has taken the spotlight.

In some studies, drinking chocolate milk immediately after a strenuous workout is one of the best ways to recover quickly—better than sugary sports drinks like Gatorade. The milk’s naturally occurring sugar (lactose) is half glucose, its protein speeds up glycogen synthesis in the body, and its electrolytes (like potassium and, to a lesser extent, sodium) help you rehydrate.

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.