Brierley Wright's Blog

February 2, 2012 - 12:31pm

To celebrate American Heart Month and our Healthy Hearts Challenge, every day this week we’re posting a quick tip to help you eat for a healthier heart. Here’s today’s tip:

Tip 1: Eat These 6 Purple Foods to Help Your Blood Pressure.

Research shows that people who eat blue and purple fruits and vegetables—blueberries, plums, purple cabbage, black currants, eggplant and purple grapes—have a reduced risk for high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol (that’s the good kind). Scientists believe that anthocyanins, the compounds that give purple foods their color, are responsible for these boons. Blue and purple foods make up only about 3 percent of the average American’s fruit and veggie intake, so aim to eat more.

For more Healthy Hearts Challenge tips, meal plans and recipes, visit...

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February 1, 2012 - 12:25pm

The debate over whether high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is really worse for you than sugar is always popular and heated. Full disclosure: based on the available research, I usually land on the side that says there really is no difference. A sugar is a sugar is a sugar. Metabolic studies have shown that our bodies break down and use HFCS and sugar (sucrose) the same way.

Related: What’s So Bad About High-Fructose Corn Syrup?
6 Surprising Sources of Sugar

But then I saw this new study—published online recently in the journal Metabolism—that suggests for the first time that there is a (slight...

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February 1, 2012 - 11:55am

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans: on average, one person dies every 39 seconds, according to recently published data from the American Heart Association.

I've talked in the past about cutting back on saturated fat (found mostly in animal-based products like red meat and full-fat dairy), added sugars and sodium for better heart health. Keep working at those!

Don't Miss: 3 Ways to Eat Less Sugar
6 Easy Ways to Reduce the Sodium in Your Diet
Fast Swaps That Cut Saturated Fat

But one thing that I haven't talked about much happens...

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January 23, 2012 - 1:55pm

Every year I look forward to the Girl Scouts’ annual cookie sale (um, who doesn’t?!). This year’s sale is more controversial than most, with some people banning the treats in opposition to the organization’s acceptance of a transgendered member, while others are buying more boxes to show their support. I like supporting Girl Scouts and their activities, but, honestly, I think my excitement really stems from the fact that this is the only time of year I can buy these cookies.

The dietitian and nutrition editor in me kicks in about the time I sit down to fill out the order sheet: does my teeny-tiny family of two really need that many boxes of cookies? Um, no! And which cookies are the healthiest in terms of calories, fat, sugar and ingredients? (Some varieties still contain trans fats.)


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January 17, 2012 - 12:09pm

Some people have trouble falling asleep. Others can’t stay asleep. And then there are the people (um, me!) who have trouble turning life “off” and tucking into bed at a reasonable hour. (Get 3 simple tips to help you beat insomnia here.)

Whatever the reason, we’re not alone—more than 50 million Americans don’t get enough shut-eye. Yet the health benefits of a good night’s rest are countless: sleep helps keep you happy, your brain sharp, your immune system strong, your waistline trim, your skin looking youthful—and lowers your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

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