Nutrition News: FODMAPs, Cholesterol and Healthy Restaurant Tips

Top stories from the latest nutrition news.

In this week’s news: FODMAPs get impugned; cholesterol gets exonerated; and these clever strategies could get diners through a restaurant meal in good shape.

Don't blame the gluten (it may be the FODMAPs)

Has gluten unfairly gotten a bad rap? People without celiac disease who believe they are gluten-sensitive may instead be sensitive to fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, or FODMAPs, the Washington Post reports. FODMAPs? They are, t he paper notes, "a group of carbohydrates that don't get broken down and absorbed in the small intestine" but rather ferment in the large intestine, potentially causing digestive distress like diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating and pain. As much as 10 percent of the population may suffer from FODMAPs sensitivity, one researcher suggests, but if you aren’t among them, you shouldn't attempt a low-FODMAP diet, since a lot of the foods that are high in FODMAPs (wheat, rye, onions, garlic, apples, stone fruit, milk and a host of other foods) are quite good for the other 90 percent of us.

And speaking of mistaken malefactors …

The U.S. government may be backing away from its stance against dietary fat and cholesterol. An advisory panel has indicated that cholesterol is no longer "considered a nutrient of concern for over-consumption," CBCNews reports, noting that that conclusion will likely be reflected in a new set of dietary guidelines to be released this year. The previous guidelines, issued in 2010, suggested a daily cholesterol consumption limit of 300 milligrams; two large eggs, at about 186 milligrams apiece, would exceed the limit. The new guidelines are expected to not include recommendations for maximum cholesterol or fat intake. However, experts continue to warn that high levels of "bad" cholesterol in the blood have been linked to heart disease and those with health problems like diabetes should continue to curb their cholesterol intake. What's more, trans fats and saturated fats are still to be avoided.

How to eat out without eating too much
Eating out can be lovely – but sometimes, for health-aware eaters, it can feel fraught with danger. Portion and calorie control can be especially daunting. Time has offered seven healthy-eating strategies to employ while dining in a restaurant. Among them: Bring along another health-conscious eater; choose a restaurant with romantic lighting and music; sit near a window, away from the bar and at a high-top table; and ask for a tall glass instead of a short one. All these tips (and the others here) translate into lower calorie consumption and the ordering of healthier menu options. Who knew?
Amy Reiter also contributes to FN Dish..
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