The SaltThe Salt

What's On Your Plate

A daily habit of sugary-sweetened drinks can boost your risk of developing the disease — even if you're not overweight. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ryan Kellman/NPR

Scientists have documented that beneficial microorganisms play a critical role in how our bodies function. And it's becoming clear that the influence goes beyond the gut — researchers are turning their attention to our emotional health. iStockphoto hide caption

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What to Eat When You're Pregnant by Dr. Nicole Avena guides women through the stages of pregnancy with suggestions for nutritious foods that support the baby's development. Courtesy of Ten Speed Press hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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University of Chicago medical student Manny Quaidoo adds a pinch of salt to the spinach feta frittata he's learning to cook as part of a culinary medicine class. Monica Eng/WBEZ hide caption

itoggle caption Monica Eng/WBEZ

Bite into that bread before your main meal, and you'll spike your blood sugar and amp up your appetite. Waiting until the end of your dinner to nosh on bread can blunt those effects. iStockphoto hide caption

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On the left, olive oil, which is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat, which may lower bad cholesterol levels. On the right, coconut oil, which is 90 percent saturated fat and may raise bad cholesterol levels. iStockphoto hide caption

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Eating eggs with your salad helps boost absorption of carotenoids — the pigments in tomatoes and carrots. Photo illustration by Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Photo illustration by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Soda delivery in Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City. Between 1989 and 2006, the consumption of sugary drinks increased by 60 percent per capita in Mexico. Omar Bárcena/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Omar Bárcena/Flickr

There's a growing body of evidence suggesting that compounds found in cocoa beans, called polyphenols, may help protect against heart disease. Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Microwave popcorn containing trans fats from November 2013. The Grocery Manufacturers Association says the industry has lowered the amount of trans fat added to food products by more than 86 percent. But trans fats can still be found in some processed food items. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Landov

Texas' agricultural commissioner wants to do away with a decade-old ban on deep fryers and soda machines in schools. Josh Banks/iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption Josh Banks/iStockphoto

Chef Eric David Corradetti presents dinner to residents at the Bethlehem Woods senior living facility in La Grange Park, Ill. His kitchen emphasizes fresh produce and meats and meals made from scratch. Courtesy of Unidine hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Unidine

Why did a deliberately bad study showing the weight-loss benefits of chocolate get picked up by many news outlets? Science journalist John Bohannon — the man behind the study — says reporting on junk nutrition studies happens all the time. iStockphoto hide caption

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Various food items that contained trans fats in November 2013. That month, the Food and Drug Administration first announced plans to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products. A final rule is expected any day now. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

Steaks on the grill at the Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo. So far there are no figures that show if the table salt ban, which was enacted a few years ago, is actually making a difference in Uruguayans' health. Travel Aficionado/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Travel Aficionado/Flickr