This Week's Nutrition News Feed

In this week's nutrition news: Students and politicians embrace Greek yogurt; avocado enthusiasts have more reasons to rejoice; and caffeine generates buzz in a study on memory.

Greek Yogurt to Hit Cafeteria Trays?

A 3-month federal program conducted in four states attempted to gauge students' interest in Greek yogurt as a protein source in school lunches. During the pilot program, students scarfed down approximately 200,000 pounds of the thick yogurt, prompting politicians to push for an expansion of the test. (The program's proponents include Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York -- home of Greek yogurt giant Chobani.)

Dietitians Chew the Fat (and Recommend the Good Kind)

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics just released updated guidelines for dietary fat intake. The position paper recommends that healthy adults eat 20 to 35 percent of their daily calories from good-for-you fats from foods like nuts, seeds and plant-based oils. The paper also suggests boosting intake of omega-3 fats, while limiting saturated and trans fats.

Does Guacamole Count?

Speaking of healthy fats, avocado admirers have a reason to celebrate. A small study published in the Nutrition Journal found that when overweight subjects ate half of an avocado with lunch, it curbed hunger and led to less snacking later in the day. (The study was funded by the Hass Avocado Board.) Researchers speculate that the avocado may help with weight loss and lead to better blood sugar control since the healthy fats take longer to digest.

Thanks for the Memories, Caffeine

Many studies have evaluated the effects of caffeine on alertness, sleep and athletic performance. But a recent paper from Nature Neuroscience was the first study to look at the effects of caffeine on long-term memory. Directly following a learning session, 160 participants were given 200 milligrams of caffeine (equivalent to 2 to 3 cups of strong coffee) or a placebo. Those in the caffeine group displayed evidence of better long-term memory. That said, more wasn’t better: Higher doses (300 milligrams) showed no improved effect.

Maybe Eat In Tonight ... 

Researchers from Drexel University crunched the numbers on menu items from 21 different chain restaurants. The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior,  revealed that the average adult meal (half an appetizer, an entrée and a side dish) totaled 1,495 calories, 28 grams of saturated fat and 3,512 milligrams of sodium. With the addition of a beverage and half a dessert, the calories jumped to 2,020. The nutritional numbers border on or exceed recommended limits for the day -- all in a single meal.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Next Up

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

In this week's news: Michelle Obama hits a spork in the road to school lunch reform; researchers give a quick lesson on food costs and weight gain; and a former restaurant critic says it's time to give up on the miracle diet pills already.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

In this week's food news, breakfast takes a hit and yogurt has even more benefits.

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

In this week’s news: Say hello to GMO-free Cheerios, a new tech toy to help shed pounds, and the DASH Diet tops list for 2014.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

Eating Chocolate, Midnight Snacks, and Nutrition Labels all in the news this week. More nutrition tips like these at Food Network.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

Health Headlines about Red Wine, Antibiotics, and Milk. More healthy tips like these at Food Network.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

In this week's news: Nouveau fast-food franchises flaunt their healthy sides; coconut water claims get a reality check; rumors of kale's demise turn out to be greatly exaggerated -- and more.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

In this week's news: The produce aisle takes a page from the junk food playbook; breakfast proponents get a wake-up call; and new thinking on salt shakes things up.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

Organic milk, that thermometer in your kitchen drawer and exercise does a brain good, in this week's Nutrition News Feed.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

In this week's news: Doctors embrace the food-as-medicine concept; chocolate is awesome for a whole new reason; and saturated fat (slowly) comes back into the fold.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

In this week's news: The World Health Organization doesn't sugarcoat its advice; fruits and vegetables feel the love -- even in school cafeterias; and food labels get ready for their makeover.