What to Do if Your Doctor’s Notes Hurt Your Feelings

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A new study, one of the largest and most rigorous trials of the subject to date, suggests that eating a diet low in carbohydrates and higher in fats may be beneficial for your cardiovascular health if you are overweight, reports my colleague Anahad O’Connor.

The new study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that overweight and obese people who increased their fat intake and lowered the amount of refined carbohydrates in their diet — while still eating fiber-rich foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and lentils — had greater improvements in their cardiovascular disease risk factors than those who followed a similar diet that was lower in fat and higher in carbs. Even people who replaced “healthy” whole grain carbs like brown rice and whole wheat bread with foods higher in fat showed striking improvements in a variety of metabolic disease risk factors.

The study suggests that eating fewer processed carbs while eating more fat can be good for your heart health, said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who was not involved with the research. “I think this is an important study,” he said. “Most Americans still believe that low-fat foods are healthier for them, and this trial shows that at least for these outcomes, the high-fat, low-carb group did better.”

Read the full story:
Can a Low-Carb Diet Help Your Heart Health?

Last week’s newsletter advised everyone to “stay tuned” about potential changes in the recommendations for booster shots. Just hours after I shared that advice, the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed again.

Eligibility for boosters now has been expanded to front line workers, including health care workers, first responders, grocery and food workers, postal and transit employees and many other occupations considered to be at higher risk for coming into contact with the coronavirus. The booster shots are authorized for those who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago. Advice on boosters for people who got Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shots is expected in the coming weeks.

But it’s important to note that the C.D.C. doesn’t actually recommend that everyone who is eligible go out and get a booster shot. The agency has advised people 65 and older, those in long-term care facilities and people 50 and older with at-risk conditions to get boosters. People who are eligible because of their occupation or because they have an underlying medical condition should weigh their individual risks and benefits — or talk to their doctor — to help them decide whether to get an additional shot. You can find more information from the C.D.C. here about eligibility for booster shots.

The lack of guidance for many of the people who are now eligible for boosters is frustrating, but for now, we’re all on our own when it comes to making decisions about a third shot. Personally, I’m not rushing to get a booster shot because I’m confident my vaccine is protecting me from severe illness with Covid-19. I’m planning to travel by plane in November, and I’m still deciding whether I should get a booster shot before my trip.

Read more about booster shots:
What to Know About Booster Shots

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