20May

14 Types of Food That Can Make You Sick

Food poisoning is a horrible experience. But it’s hard to tell if food is safe to eat, partly because problems are relatively rare.

Food poisoning is a horrible, even potentially life-threatening experience. But it’s hard to determine if food is safe to eat, partly because problems are relatively rare.

But knowing which foods are potentially risky can help. What helps even more is that the FDA-regulated foods most often linked to outbreaks tend to be the same year after year. (That list includes produce, seafood, egg, and dairy products, but not meat.)

Be aware of the risk, but don’t avoid these types of food. “They are everywhere and are part of a healthy diet,” says Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) senior staff attorney, Sarah Klein.

Next: Leafy greens

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18May

14 Ways to Cut Portions Without Feeling Hungry

The best portion control tips for easy and fast weight loss.

portion-control-1

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by Diana Kelly

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume, which inevitably means one thing: portion control. But you’re not necessarily doomed to a growling stomach until you reach your goal. “Portion control doesn’t mean you have to eat tiny portions of everything,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RD, author of The Portion Teller Plan: The No-Diet Reality Guide to Eating, Cheating, and Losing Weight Permanently. “You don’t want to feel like you’re on a diet, but you have to eat fewer calories.”

Here are 14 easy ways to cut portions, trim calories, and lose fat without counting the minutes until your next meal.

Next: Start with a glass of H2O

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16May

The Top 5 Cholesterol Myths

cholesterol-myth

American men rank 83rd in the world in average total cholesterol.

(ISTOCKPHOTO)

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about cholesterol, there may be a few more surprises in store. Check out these common myths about high cholesterol; find out whos most likely to have it, what types of food can cause it, and why—sometimes—cholesterol isnt a bad word.

Myth 1: Americans have the highest cholesterol in the world

One of the world’s enduring stereotypes is the fat American with cholesterol-clogged arteries who is a Big Mac or two away from a heart attack. As a nation, we could certainly use some slimming down, but when it comes to cholesterol levels we are solidly middle-of-the-road.

The Cholesterol-Inflammation Connection

Inflammation is cholesterol’s partner in crime  Read moreAccording to 2005 World Health Organization statistics, American men rank 83rd in the world in average total cholesterol, and American women rank 81st; in both cases, the average number is 197 mg/dL, just below the Borderline-High Risk category. That is very respectable compared to the top-ranked countries: In Colombia the average cholesterol among men is a dangerous 244, while the women in Israel, Libya, Norway, and Uruguay are locked in a four-way tie at 232.Myth 2: Eggs are evil

It’s true that eggs have a lot of dietary cholesterol—upwards of 200 mg, which is more than two-thirds of the American Heart Association’s recommended limit of 300 mg a day. But dietary cholesterol isn’t nearly as dangerous as was once thought. Only some of the cholesterol in food ends up as cholesterol in your bloodstream, and if your dietary cholesterol intake rises, your body compensates by producing less cholesterol of its own.

While you don’t want to overdo it, eating an egg or two a few times a week isn’t dangerous. In fact, eggs are an excellent source of protein and contain unsaturated fat, a so-called good fat.

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13May

Menopause Causes Cholesterol Jump, Study Shows

menopause-cholesterol

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FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2009 (Health.com) — Doctors have known for years that a woman’s risk of developing heart disease rises after menopause, but they weren’t exactly sure why. It wasn’t clear whether the increased risk is due to the hormonal changes associated with menopause, to aging itself, or to some combination of the two.

Now, we have at least part of the answer: A new study shows beyond a doubt that menopause, not the natural aging process, is responsible for a sharp increase in cholesterol levels.

This seems to be true of all women, regardless of ethnicity, according to the study, which will be published next week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“As they approach menopause, many, many women show a very striking increase in cholesterol levels, which in turn increases risk for later heart disease,” says the lead author of the study, Karen A. Matthews, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.

Over a 10-year period, Matthews and her colleagues followed 1,054 U.S. women as they went through menopause. Each year the researchers tested study participants for cholesterol, blood pressure, and other heart disease risk factors such as blood glucose and insulin.

In nearly every woman, the study found, cholesterol levels jumped around the time of menopause. (Menopause usually occurs around age 50 but can happen naturally as early as 40 and as late as 60.)

In the two-year window surrounding their final menstrual period, the women’s average LDL, or bad cholesterol, rose by about 10.5 points, or about 9%. The average total cholesterol level also increased substantially, by about 6.5%.

Other risk factors, such as insulin and systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading), also rose during the study, but they did so at a steady rate, suggesting that the increases—unlike those for cholesterol—were related to aging, not menopause. Of all the risk factors measured in the study, the changes in cholesterol were the most dramatic.

The jumps in cholesterol reported in the study could definitely have an impact on a womans health, says Vera Bittner, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who wrote an editorial accompanying Matthewss study.

“The changes don’t look large, but given that the typical woman lives several decades after menopause, any adverse change becomes cumulative over time,” says Dr. Bittner. “If somebody had cholesterol levels at the lower ranges of normal, the small change may not make a difference. But if somebody’s risk factors were already borderline in several categories, this increase may tip them over the edge and put them in a risk category where treatment may be beneficial.”

In a first, the study did not find any measurable differences in the impact of menopause on cholesterol across ethnic groups.

Experts have been unsure how ethnicity may affect the link between menopause and cardiovascular risk, because most research to date has been conducted in Caucasian women. Matthews and her colleagues were able to explore the role of ethnicity because their research is part of the larger Study of Womens Health Across the Nation (SWAN), which includes substantial numbers of African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American women.

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11May

10 Foods You’re Probably Eating Wrong

Just when you thought you were hitting it out of the park with your attempts to eat right, it turns out a handful of seemingly innocent habits could be sabotaging your efforts.

wrong food opener

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by Sarah Bruning

Even if you eat plenty of fruits and veggies and already know about the latest and greatest superfoods on the market, that’s only half the battle. The other half: understanding how to reap the biggest benefits from all that hard work. We asked a pair of registered dietitians to pinpoint the big mistakes that are preventing you from extracting the most vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat.

Next: Flaxseeds

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09May

Punch Off the Pounds

Get rid of the weight quickly with this go-to exercise.

From Health magazine

For arms and chest

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Bring fists to cheekbone level, with elbows in toward chest. Punch right arm forward, thumb facing up; as right arm comes back, punch with left arm. That’s 1 rep. Do as many reps as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat 3-5 times.

Trainer tip: To really get your heart pumping, punch for 1 minute, then rest for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

Next: Front kick

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06May

12 Superfoods for Stress Relief

Get smart about stress-eating. Skip the chips and fill up on these potentially anxiety-reducing foods.

superfoods-stress-relief

Credit: Getty Images

by Lindsay Funston

When work deadlines begin piling up and your social calendar is booked, the last thing you want to hear is to steer clear of the vending machine. Who has time for healthy eating? But when it comes to combating stress levels, what you eat may actually help relieve your tension. Indeed, some foods may help stabilize blood sugar or, better yet, your emotional response. Here, 12 foods to reach for when you’ve just about had enough.

Next: Green leafy vegetables

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04May

13 Foods That Are High in Magnesium

Chances are, you’re not getting as much magnesium as your body needs. Here’s how to get more of this important mineral in your diet.

magnesium-foods1

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by Christine Mattheis

Magnesium helps your heart, muscles, and immune system function properly–and studies suggest that nearly half of Americans aren’t consuming enough of the mineral. But before you start popping supplements, you should know there’s a difference between inadequate intake and a true deficiency. Signs of deficiency include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite, and are quite rare. However, people with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or digestive ailments like Crohn’s and celiac disease, as well as those taking medications for heartburn or osteoporosis are at higher risk of magnesium deficiency. Read on to find out more about how much magnesium you need and where to get it.

Next: How much magnesium do you need?

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02May

12 Mental Tricks to Beat Cravings and Lose Weight

Can you think yourself thin? Yes! Shed pounds with these simple tips and tricks.

1-mental-tricks

Credit: Getty Images

by Linda Melone

Using pure willpower to overcome cravings doesn’t always work. (If it did, dieting would be easy and we’d all be at our own healthy, feel-great weights.) Guess what? You don’t have to tough out an unrelenting yen to house a box of Cheez-Its, you just need to fool yourself into thinking you didn’t actually want to eat the junk food in the first place. It’s easier than you think; here are tips from experts and recent studies to help you stay on track.

Next: Visualize an internal pause button

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29Apr

The 6-Minute Ab Workout

Fast Workouts

For those who point to time as their biggest hurdle, remember this: A quick sweat session can fit into any schedule. So sidestep those excuses and dive right into this six-minute ab workout, developed by Hoebel exclusively for Life by DailyBurn.

#abscore

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