Is a Low Salt Diet Plan Healthy?

High blood pressure is the leading cause of preventable deaths around the world. But did the Institute of Medicine (IOM) really say that lowering salt consumption is not the answer?

“Lowering daily sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams may do more harm than good,” reported CBS News in May 2013. “No benefit in sharply restricting salt, panel finds,” said The New York Times. “Is eating too little salt risky?” asked National Public Radio. “New report raises questions.”

Is Canola Oil Healthy?

“Poisonous.” “Toxic.” “Avoid like the plague.”

Is canola oil healthy? For some reason, people love to hate it. Really hate it.

That’s partly because the canola plant is derived from rapeseed, which contains a toxic compound called erucic acid and bitter-tasting compounds called glucosinolates.

Beware of Caffeine in Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt

More than 80 percent of American adults consume caffeine regularly. That’s no surprise, what with a coffee shop seemingly on every corner and in every supermarket, and tiny $3 bottles of 5-hour Energy popping up like mushrooms wherever there’s a checkout counter. It turns out, though, that there is also caffeine in ice cream and frozen yogurt.

How does caffeine work in the body?

Caffeine works mainly by temporarily binding to adenosine receptors in the brain. That prevents adenosine, which is a natural sedative produced by the brain, from occupying those receptors and making us feel drowsy. Adenosine levels build up during waking hours and then drop as we sleep.

People who don’t use caffeine regularly and who haven’t developed a dependence on it “usually become significantly more alert and better able to perform cognitive and motor tasks – such as paying attention during boring tasks or typing – if they’re given the right dose of caffeine,” says Laura Juliano, a professor of psychology at American University in Washington, D.C.

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.