A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Don’t Get Tricked Into Over-Indulging in Holiday Treats

(Science Daily)  'Tis the season for ghouls and ghosts, witches and skeletons, and the bane that arrives around fall to haunt our scales and waist lines: the holiday creep…
"In the last few years, we've seen the popularity of Halloween really skyrocket, and how you manage this holiday really sets the tone for how you will handle the rest of the season," said Adrienne Youdim, MD, medical director of the Cedars-Sinai Weight Loss Center… [T]hose fun-sized chocolates can spell a diet disaster that marks the beginning of months of uncontrolled eating, said Youdim said…
Dr. Youdim and her team offer the following strategies:
          Skip passing out candy. Glow-in-the-dark necklaces or other inexpensive trinkets can replace the traditional sugary treats.
          Buy candy you don't like…
          Question your motives every time you're tempted to reach for the candy bowl…
          Track your calories, especially on the holiday itself and the days before and after…
          Maintain your routines throughout the holiday season…
          Don't make food the focus. Starting with Halloween, emphasize the fun of perfecting that costume and spending time with friends and loved ones. These aspects of celebrations -- not the food -- should be the main events.
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Movies That Make You Cry May Make You Fat

(RealAge.com) Here's what you need to know before placing your next Netflix order or hitting the multiplex: Watch out for sad movies. They could be your diet undoing, especially if a movie's not a movie to you without, say, buttered popcorn.
If you're watching a sad flick, you're likely to eat about one-third more buttered popcorn than when you watch a happy film, such as a comedy… And it's not just movies. The effect is even more dramatic when you're reading something sad. A sad story can make you eat more than twice as much popcorn as a happy story can.
And it's not just popcorn? Combine a sad plotline with M&M's (or, we suspect, any munchy-crunchy snack food) and you're likely to gobble up three times as many as you would during a laughfest. Why? Experts suspect you hope comfort food will ease the flood of tears.
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"Biggest Loser" study finds modest diet and exercise can sustain weight loss

(NIH News) Exercise and healthy eating reduce body fat and preserve muscle in adults better than diet alone, according to a study…
[S]enior investigator Kevin Hall, Ph.D., analyzed the individual effects of daily strenuous exercise and a restricted diet by examining data from 11 participants from the reality television program "The Biggest Loser." The program shows obese adults losing large amounts of weight over several months. Participants were initially isolated on a ranch followed by an extended period at home…
At the competition’s end, diet alone was calculated to be responsible for more weight loss than exercise, with 65 percent of the weight loss consisting of body fat and 35 percent consisting of lean mass like muscle. In contrast, the model calculated that exercise alone resulted in participants losing only fat, and no muscle. The simulation of exercise alone also estimated a small increase in lean mass despite overall weight loss.
The simulations also suggest that the participants could sustain their weight loss and avoid weight regain by adopting more moderate lifestyle changes — like 20 minutes of daily vigorous exercise and a 20 percent calorie restriction — than those demonstrated on the television program.
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Why Lose Weight

(HHS HealthBeat) A study indicates many breast cancer patients have a higher risk of the cancer coming back, and of dying, if they are overweight or obese. At Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, Dr. Joseph Sparano saw that in data on women in a multicenter study of breast cancer: Listen to the full podcast
(Reuters Health) Regardless of lifestyle and other health-related factors, heavier people were more likely than lean ones to be hospitalized for a variety of conditions in a new study from Australia. That was the case not just for obese people, but for the merely overweight as well.
(Jonny Bowden, PhD, C.N.S.) Prejudice against the obese is the last "acceptable" prejudice in America. The overweight are treated differently. They're looked at differently. They're stared at, sneered at, and discriminated against.
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Weight Loss Tips

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) A new study from Denmark suggests that running, biking or rowing for 30 minutes daily when you’re trying to lose weight helps pare off pounds better than an hour-long workout… To explain the difference, the researchers suggested that the men who exercised longer probably ate more.
(WebMD Health News) In [a] new study, exercise physiology graduate student Kyle Sevits of Colorado State University and his team demonstrated that a mere 2.5 minutes of giving it your all on an exercise bike can burn up to 220 calories. That doesn’t mean that you can do an entire workout during a commercial break. Instead, those 2.5 minutes should be divided into five 30-second sprint intervals, each followed by a four-minute period of light, resistance-free pedaling. All told, that is less than 25 minutes, during which you will burn more calories than if you did 30 minutes of moderate cycling.
(Chatelaine) What’s the best diet for not only losing weight, but keeping it off, too? It’s not a carb-free diet, or the Atkins diet, and it doesn’t involved absorbing trendier notions about eating according to one’s blood type. The most effective eating plan is simple: it’s one you can follow over the long-term, says one expert. 
(Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, Appetite for Health) I’m always hearing about foods that people think they should avoid when they diet. But dieting means deprivation.  And deprivation, in most cases, does not lead to weight loss success. At AppforHealth.com we encourage balance and variety — and sanity!  Many foods get put on the ‘diet don’t’ list for no good reason. Here are some foods that you can put back on your plate — in moderation of course — even if you are aiming to slim down this fall.
(Reader’s Digest) It's easy to get more fat-burning calcium into your diet—and, unlike your mother told you, it doesn't involve drinking more milk! Here are 11 unexpected foods that are great sources of calcium.
(Appetite for Health) Studies show that adding a pinch here or dash there of herbs and spices can help you slash calories, feel fuller and may give you metabolic rate a boost to help you peel off some pounds. One study recently found that a teaspoon of ginger to hot water increased feelings of fullness and helped the body burn an additional 43 calories. Other studies show that fiery spices can also provide a metabolic advantage by provide a boost to your metabolism. But the best way herbs and spices may help you lose weight is because they’re calorie-free and add flavor to your meals without adding any calories, sugar, fat, and most are sodium-free.
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Recent Research on Weight, Weight Loss, and Eating Disorders

(Science Daily) A comprehensive review by the International Menopause Society has found that going through the menopause does not cause a woman to gain weight. However, the hormonal changes at the menopause are ... 
(Reuters Health) Women who have their ovaries and uterus removed - to treat fibroids, for example - tend to gain more weight in the years afterward than those who only have their uterus taken out or don't have surgery at all, a new study hints.
(Bloomberg) Weight-loss surgical procedures such as stomach stapling and gastric banding reduce the warning signs of heart disease more dramatically than drug treatments and can be life-saving, according to a survey of 73 previous studies.
(Reuters Health) People who had weight loss surgery reported greater alcohol use two years after their procedures than in the weeks beforehand, in a new study.
(Reuters Health) A drug approved to prevent seizures may also help obese people lose a few pounds when it's added to therapy and nutritional guidance, a new small trial suggests. But people who took zonisamide also reported more side effects, from nausea and vomiting to anxiety and depression. And two researchers not involved in the study questioned how much the drug would actually help people in the real world.
(MyHealthNewsDaily) A medication used to ease the cravings of people addicted to drugs or alcohol also may help curb binge eating, a new study in animals suggests… [A]fter the drug naltrexone was injected into the part of the rats' brains called the prefrontal cortex, binge eaters ate much less — close to the amount that rats on a regular diet consume, said study researcher Angelo Blasio.
More . . .

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Peppered Pork and Pears
Ground mixed peppercorns give a slightly sweet, barely hot flavor to the pork and pears. If you don't have pear brandy, substitute regular brandy or additional chicken broth. Serve with egg noodles.
EatingWell:
Paprika-Spiced Stuffed Peppers
Plenty of paprika lends a lightly pungent flavor and vibrant red color to the creamy sauce and the pork, beef and rice filling in this Hungarian-inspired stuffed peppers recipe.
The Supermarket Guru:
Autumn Pot Roast with Coffee Gravy
Every mother has her favorite pot roast recipe - it's a dish that's hard to mess up. This one is very easy and the richness of the coffee makes the gravy particularly wonderful. Goes wonderfully with mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, or other favorite grains.
Los Angeles Times:
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A Spotlight on Quinoa

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Quinoa comes from the seeds of a leafy, spinach-like plant. It was called the mother grain by the Incas because of its high protein content. Indeed, it has the most protein of all grains and is also a great source of vitamins (particularly riboflavin and vitamin E) as well as the minerals iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Another plus, it’s gluten free.
Preparing quinoa is a great idea if you’re pressed for time: It’s as easy to make and serve as brown rice, but cooks in less than half the time. You’ll need to rinse quinoa before cooking to remove any residue of saponin, a bitter coating that protects the seeds from birds and insects…
If you can't find quinoa in your supermarket, look for it in specialty-food stores. It can be pricier than rice or other grains, but keep in mind that besides its many nutritional benefits, it increases in volume by about three times after cooking, which allows you to enjoy the leftovers throughout the week.
Community: The cheapest place buy quinoa in my neighborhood is in the bulk section at Whole Foods.
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Should I take Crestor or Lipitor, with niacin, to lower my cholesterol?

(Consumer Reports) A: No. The combination can be risky. Some doctors will prescribe high doses of niacin to help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, or decrease elevated triglycerides, when a statin alone has not been enough. But the combination of the two might increase the risk of muscle pain that can be debilitating, and a rare, life-threatening form of muscle breakdown called rhabdomyolysis that can lead to permanent kidney damage and coma.
There's also no clear evidence that statin drugs and niacin together work any better than a statin alone, according to an analysis by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
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By forgoing vaccines, adults leave themselves vulnerable to diseases and viral infections

(Baltimore Sun) As we get older, regular checkups often fall by the wayside. But they shouldn't. For adults, checkups, preventative screenings and vaccinations are vital to living healthy, happy lives.
According to Dr. Carolyn Bridges, associate director for adult immunization at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, numerous screening procedures and vaccines are available to adults, but they are often underused. "National vaccination rates are low," she says, "even for vaccines that have been recommended for many years."…
Bridges points out that by forgoing vaccines and routine screenings, adults leave themselves vulnerable to diseases that can be prevented or managed if caught early.
Community: Need an example? Here’s one: “Teen's death shows how flu can kill in a flash.”
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MRSA Strategy in ICU Cuts All Infections

(MedPage Today) Bathing all patients in the ICU with antibacterial agents rather than simply screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) reduced all bloodstream infections by more than 40%, researchers said here.
In a study conducted at 43 hospitals, universal treatment – without screening – cut MRSA colonization by 37% and resulted in a 44% reduction in all bloodstream infections, said Susan Huang, MD, MPH.
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UV Light Zaps ’Bugs’ in Hospital Rooms

(MedPage Today) Flooding hospital rooms with ultraviolet light from a robotic device kills more than 90% of pathogens such as Clostridium difficile, researchers said…
The device, which emits UV light for fixed periods of time (up to 45 minutes for C. difficile), is designed to complement general cleaning of hospital rooms to prevent in-hospital transmission of pathogens such as C. difficile, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and Acinetobacter, said Deverick Anderson, MD.
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Hospital Food Contaminated With C. diff

(WebMD Health News) A new report suggests that hospital food is frequently contaminated with the dangerous diarrhea bug Clostridium difficile
Houston researchers found that about one-fourth of nearly 100 hospital food samples they tested were positive for C. diff. Among the worst culprits: turkey, chicken, and egg products, vegetables and fruits, and desserts. Almost all were cooked.
It's only one hospital. And no cases of human infection were linked to the food.
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More Proof That Fecal Transplant Banishes C. Diff

(MedPage Today) Evidence continues to pile up for fecal transplantation in C. difficile infection, with another single-center study reporting high "cure" rates in infected patients.
A total of 46 out of 49 patients treated with intestinal microbiota transplant, or IMT, were quickly rid of their symptoms and had no adverse effects, Mayur Ramesh, MD, … and colleagues reported.
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Meningitis toll rises; pharmacy owners sued

(Reuters) Executives at the Boston-area pharmacy whose steroid shots have been linked to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak have been sued in a bid to freeze their personal assets, while the death toll in the scandal rose to 21, with 268 cases of infection reported.
Peter McGrath, a lawyer who is a former federal prosecutor, said he was spearheading a civil case that blames Massachusetts-based NECC and company officers Barry and Lisa Cadden and Greg Conigliaro for the tainted drugs. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an unnamed plaintiff in Middlesex County Superior Court in suburban Boston, court records show.
"We want to pierce the corporate veil and go after the individuals," McGrath said Friday in a telephone interview.
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Singles need more money when ill, elderly

(UPI) Singles, especially those without children, will need to budget more money for healthcare in old age than those who are married, U.S. researchers say…
From a planning perspective it is harder to control costs when injured, sick or elderly if patients cannot convalesce at home because there are no family members to help them, the report said…
[M]any elderly would prefer to be cared for at home rather than spend their retirement savings on a stay at a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, the report said.
But 45 percent of U.S. householders age 65 or older live alone, making home healthcare delivery to them considerably more expensive and something they need to accommodate.
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How Healthcare Is Changing—for the Better

(Christopher J. Gearon, U.S. News & World Report) One big problem that health reform has taken on is the fee-for-service payment system, which tends to encourage a piling-on of tests and treatments when less care (and preventive care and better-coordinated care) would often produce better results at lower cost. Now, health insurers and Medicare are beginning to turn that system on its head, paying doctors and hospitals based on how successfully they treat patients and keep them out of the hospital…
What will this movement mean for you? "It means getting to see a doctor the same day you have a problem," says Elliott Fisher, director of the Center for Population Health at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. It means more timely responses from your healthcare team by E-mail, text, or telemedicine. It may mean you have a personal health coach, and that you notice your doctor nudging you more energetically about that flu shot and less-than-ideal blood pressure and working harder to keep you exercising and eating well
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Democrats Use Health Law to Assail Republicans

(New York Times) A little-noticed provision of the new health care law is causing big headaches for some members of Congress in this year’s elections. And it is likely to cause even bigger headaches for lawmakers next year.
The provision, written into the law at the behest of a Republican senator, says members of Congress must get their health benefits through new insurance exchanges being established in every state.
Republicans have voted repeatedly to repeal the whole law. Now, in a barrage of television ads, Democrats are roasting those Republicans, saying they voted to give themselves “taxpayer-funded health care for life.”
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Sitting Too Much May Lead to Diabetes, Heart Disease

(WebMD Health News) Your workout routine may not be enough to keep you healthy if you sit for many hours a day. A new analysis links prolonged sitting to greater odds of diabetes, heart disease, and death -- even in people who exercise regularly.
“Many people think that if they work out every day that’s all they need to do,” says researcher Emma Wilmot, MD, of England's University of Leicester. “But those with jobs that require sitting all day may still be at risk."…
Thomas Yates, MD, who led that study, says the evidence linking prolonged sitting to poorer overall health is mounting… “Right now we are told to get regular exercise, but that may not be enough,” Yates says. “Another important message may be to reduce overall sitting time.” This may be especially important for people with type 2 diabetes or those at risk for the disease…
Yates recommends standing up for two minutes every 20 minutes you spend sitting down, and standing up during commercials when watching TV.
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Exercise Helps Ease Cardiovascular Aging Caused by Type 2 Diabetes

(Science Daily) According to recent research…, the cardiovascular system of people with type 2 diabetes shows signs of aging significantly earlier than those without the disease. However, exercise can help to slow down this premature aging, bringing the aging of type 2 diabetes patients' cardiovascular systems closer to that of people without the disease, says researcher Amy Huebschmann…
Diabetes appears to place a 20 percent tax on your fitness levels at each stage of life. Not only do these patients have more trouble with exercise, the researchers say, but also with activities of daily living, such as a simple stroll to the corner store. This loss of fitness increases the mortality of people with type 2 diabetes, says Huebschmann, as well as the risk of early disability.
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Poor Sleep May Lead To Too Much Stored Fat And Disease

(Shots, NPR) Is that 6 a.m. workout getting in the way of good sleep? Don't think your fat cells won't notice.
A new study … finds that inadequate shut-eye has a harmful response on fat cells, reducing their ability to respond to insulin by about 30 percent. Over the long-term, this decreased response could set the stage for type-2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and weight gain.
The study adds to a growing body of evidence that there's "an intimate relationship between the amount of sleep we get and our ability to maintain a good, healthy body weight," says sleep expert Helene Emsellem.
Community: There are many practical steps we can take to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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Even Temporary Weight Loss Cuts Diabetes Risk

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you’re overweight, losing 10 percent of your weight (20 pounds if you weigh in at 200) may cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even if you regain the pounds you shed within a decade…
Study leader Rena Wing, Ph.D., … reported that in addition to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, weight loss can lead to reductions in sleep apnea and normalizing blood pressure, as well as improving participants’ quality of life and slowing the decline of mobility with age…
My take? … Your weight and tendency to gain weight are partly determined by your genes, but no matter what you weigh, it's in your best interest to remain physically fit and active. Committing to living a healthful lifestyle will minimize the chance that being heavy will shorten your life, and can help reduce your risks of chronic disease.
Community: There are many practical steps we can take to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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3 New Rules to Reverse Diabetes

(Reader’s Digest) Recent guidelines from the American Diabetes Association advise that some new patients try healthy eating and exercise before they begin medication. Now, the latest science reveals that fine-tuning many long-held health habits may lead to even better results…
Eat many kinds of fruits and veggies. In a new study, people who ate at least 12 types each week had a lower diabetes risk than those who ate a less diverse mix—regardless of overall quantity. Mix arugula with your romaine, snack on fruit salad, pile new veggies onto your sandwich…
Lose weight—even just a little—for better blood sugar control… Don’t worry if it’s taking a while to slim down. In a 2012 review paper, Sheri Colberg-Ochs, PhD, noted that exercise alone improved the ability of previously sedentary, middle-aged adults to metabolize sugars, regardless of whether they lost any weight. Their total cholesterol dropped too…
[Get] a good night’s sleep—sleep quality may matter as much to your health as the number of hours of slumber you log. Research shows that poor sleep affects your body’s ability to properly metabolize sugar and disrupts the hormones that regulate your appetite, which can lead to weight gain and increase your diabetes risk. 
Community: There are many practical steps we can take to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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How to Prevent Diabetes -- Even if You Can't Lose Weight or Have Pre-Diabetes

(RealAge.com) Besides maintaining a healthy weight, four factors keep diabetes at bay. Research has found that … [t]he combo is more protective than the individual parts… It gets better: If you combine all four, you'll start losing weight…
          Walk 30 minutes a day. Start slowly if you need to, but start. Buy a pedometer, and add a few more steps every day. Check out 6 ways to get more from your walking program!
          Drink alcohol lightly. Consume no more than two drinks a day for men, one for women.
          Eat smart. Enjoy lots of fruits and veggies, plenty of 100% whole grains, very lean protein (a protein-rich breakfast can help curb appetite later), a little low-fat or no-fat dairy, some nuts, and a bit of dark chocolate.
          Don’t smoke. If you do, use our YOU Can Quit plan to quit smoking. It's free, and proven to work.
Community: There are many practical steps we can take to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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More Recent Research on Diabetes

(Reuters Health) A new review of more than two dozen studies adds support to the link between the chronic skin disease psoriasis and diabetes.
(UPI) More than one-third of U.S. adults are not aware of the link between diabetes and oral health, a survey indicates.
(MedPage Today) Aspirin resistance -- a concern among patients with type 2 diabetes who may be at high risk of heart disease -- may be attenuated by aggressive glucose-lowering therapy, researchers said.
(Reuters) An experimental once-a-week drug for type 2 diabetes being developed by Merck & Co proved effective in lowering blood sugar levels in a mid-stage clinical trial, according to data presented on Wednesday. The pill, known as MK-3102, is from the same class of medicines as Merck's successful daily diabetes drug Januvia, known as DPP-4 inhibitors.
(MedPage Today) One of the newly approved weight-loss agents may also help type 2 diabetics keep their disease in check, researchers said here. In a post-hoc analysis of data from the CONQUER trial, diabetes patients taking either a low or high dose of phentermine/topiramate (Qsymia) saw their HbA1c fall by a mean of -0.4 percentage points compared with a reduction of only -0.1 with placebo.
More . . .

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Creamy Fettuccine with Shrimp and Bacon
A dish of shrimp sautéed in bacon drippings and tossed with fettuccine sounds like a no-no for the calorie conscious. But at under 400 calories a serving, indulge! Cook the fettuccine al dente so the strands remain intact and maintain their slightly firm texture.
EatingWell:
Cod with Tomato Cream Sauce
This silky tomato sauce with a touch of cream makes mild-flavored cod sing. Serve with: Farro or rice and a salad of mixed greens.
The Supermarket Guru:
Pacific Black Cod Nabe from KOKO Restaurant + Bar, Opus Hotel, Montreal
This delicious recipe, 'stolen with permission' from Felix Turianskyj, Executive-Chef of Opus Montréal and Koko Restaurant + Bar, calls for a Japanese cooking method called Nabe. Nabe cooking was traditionally used in Japan as a symbol of friendship - cooking the dish in a large bowl which then becomes a communal serving dish.
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Why You Should Eat an Apple (or Two) a Day

(Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, U.S. News & World Report) Eating apples may not cause your doctor to go out of business, but regular consumption of this fruit might prevent you from needing to visit as often. Apples could help boost your immune system, since they contain vitamin C and other antioxidants like quercetin, which may also protect brain cells against Alzheimer's disease.
Apples are heart-healthy, too, as they contain soluble fibers and phenols, which help reduce cholesterol levels. Nicknamed "nature's toothbrush," this fruit shields teeth from decay-causing bacteria when chewed. And if you're experiencing diarrhea, the pectin in apples, especially in the form of applesauce, can curtail that uncomfortable gastrointestinal disturbance. Aside from their health benefits, apples are crunchy and delicious, thereby providing a satisfying snack that can halt hunger…
Fall is the perfect season to create a family adventure by going apple picking and then enjoying the fruits of your labor by creating palate-pleasing recipes together.
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After counseling, people ate more fruit -- not more vegetables

(Los Angeles Times) African American adults who were counseled to eat more produce and get more exercise as ways to reduce their chances of getting cancer and heart disease ate more fruit over the course of a month, researchers said.
But they didn’t exercise or up their consumption of vegetables, according to the work [, which] was looking at the notion that a greater effect could be achieved if people understood that one risky behavior – a poor diet, for instance – is associated with the chance of developing multiple diseases, said Melanie Jefferson of the Medical University of South Carolina, the lead researcher. That idea showed promise, she said…
The fact that the participants were mostly poor, with incomes under $20,000, might mean they could not afford to join a gym or pay for exercise classes and might not feel safe walking or biking in their neighborhoods. She also said the researchers might ask about the fact that many fruits can be eaten as is while many vegetables are normally cooked – making it easier to eat fruit. And, Jefferson said, it’s hard to make more than one change at a time.
Community: The researchers plan a follow-up, to see if more behaviors change over a longer time period. As I’ve been saying, we need to realize that it takes time and repetition to change behaviors. Advertisers know that, why don’t the rest of us?
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New Ways of Eating Fruit

(Science Daily) The main drawback affecting the stability and useful life of fruit is its high water content. So [a group of] scientists studied the best way to obtain more durable products that conserve most of its properties. For this they applied the techniques of lyophilisation, also called freeze-drying, and spray drying.
Grapefruit, kiwi and strawberries are the first fruits the researchers have turned into powder ready to sprinkle on other foods or as a functional ingredient in juices, purees, milk or tea. Another product they have presented is dried fruit slices that are perfect for a healthy snack. This is a new way to enjoy fruit with all its natural taste without losing its nutritional benefits.
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Calcium May Help Prevent Hormone Disorder

(WebMD Health News) Women who supplemented their diets with modest amounts of calcium had a lower risk for the hormone disorder known as primary hyperparathyroidism.
The study, which is published in BMJ, also found that women with diets low in calcium may be more likely to get the disorder, which erodes bones and potentially sets the stage for depression, fatigue, and kidney stones. The research may be a reason to revisit the idea of taking a daily calcium supplement.
Many women shelved their calcium pills last year after an expert panel concluded they don’t prevent osteoporosis-related fractures, at least in postmenopausal women. Recent studies have also tied calcium supplements to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.
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No Heart Risk for Women From Calcium

(MedPage Today) The calcium supplements widely prescribed for bone health in women did not appear to be associated with increased cardiovascular risk, a researcher said…
In an analysis looking at outcomes for women who took more than 1,000 mg of calcium each day -- the dose that has been used in many of the trials included in the meta-analyses -- no significant risks were identified.
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Use and Abuse of the Glycemic Index

(David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, U.S. News & World Report) The glycemic index might convince you, as it has convinced many diet authors, that you should avoid carrots, or all fruits. But let's be blunt here: You find me the person who can blame obesity or diabetes on an excess of carrots or apples, and I will give up my day job and become a hula dancer!
The glycemic index, or preferably glycemic load, can help guide you to better choices within a category where nutrition varies widely, such as breads, cereals, sauces, and dressings. Better still, focus on the overall nutritional quality of foods, and choose wholesome foods, mostly plants, direct from nature as much as possible—and the glycemic load will tend to take care of itself. Health-promoting diets, from Mediterranean to vegan, generally feature a low-glycemic load among their virtues…
Like any tool, it's as good as your use of it.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Stroke Patients Benefit from Carmaker’s Efficiency

(Science Daily) A process developed to increase efficiency and productivity in Japanese car factories has helped improve stroke treatment at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, report researchers…
By applying the principles of Toyota's lean manufacturing process, doctors sharply reduced the average time between patient arrival and treatment, known as door-to-needle time, from 58 to 37 minutes…
Beginning stroke treatment earlier can help prevent the brain damage that causes paralysis and loss of speech after a stroke. The researchers say the drop in treatment time results from applying a key component of lean manufacturing to patient care: getting input from all members of the team to identify inefficient steps involved in the process.
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Fracking Pollution Sickens Families, Environmental Study Says

(Huffington Post) The McIntyres of Butler County, Pa., no longer drink the water piped into their home. They no longer brush their teeth with it, shower or do laundry with it.
"We use water for nothing other than flushing the commode," said Janet McIntyre, after describing her family's wide-ranging health problems -- from projectile vomiting to skin rashes -- that she attributed to the water.
McIntyre and her husband, Fred, were among more than 100 people recently surveyed by the Oil and Gas Accountability Project at Earthworks, an environmental and public health advocacy group based in Washington, for a report … which suggests that widespread contamination of air and water by natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania has triggered an array of health problems, including sinus, respiratory and mood problems.
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Survey: Seniors Satisfied With Medicare, Anxious About Future

(Kaiser Health News) Although most seniors appear to be at least somewhat satisfied with their Medicare coverage, many are deeply worried about what the future may hold for the program, according to a national survey released this week.
More than 60 percent of seniors surveyed said they are concerned about changes the program may undergo…
“Fifty million Americans are relying on the program and they’re very satisfied with it,” said Rebecca Ray, a representative from [Illinois-based Social Security disability claims representation company] Allsup. “They like the current version. They like the version they’re receiving now.”
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How Diet Affects Brain Functions

(Science Daily) Studies released [Wednesday] explore the neurological component of dietary disorders, uncovering evidence that the brain's biological mechanisms may contribute to significant public health challenges -- obesity, diabetes, binge eating, and the allure of the high-calorie meal…
[The] new findings show that:
·         Being obese appears to affect cognitive function, requiring more effort to complete a complex decision-making task…
·         Brain images suggest that when people skip breakfast, the pleasure-seeking part of the brain is activated by pictures of high-calorie food. Skipping breakfast also appears to increase food consumption at lunch, possibly casting doubt on the use of fasting as an approach to diet contro…
·         A study in rats suggests they may be able to curb binge-eating behavior with medication used to keep substance abusers clean and sober...
Other recent findings … show that:…
·         [A] high-sugar diet may affect insulin receptors in the brain and dull spatial learning and memory skills. But omega-3 supplements may at least partially offset this effect…
·         Evidence from a rat study suggests that a new compound under development to treat compulsive eating disorders and obesity may be effective at blocking a specific receptor in the brain that triggers food cravings and eating when activated by "food related cues," such as pictures or smells, irrespective of the body's energy needs…
[Said Paul Kenny, PhD, an expert on addiction and obesity,] "Many of these findings have the potential to lead to new interventions that can help reduce the ranks of the obese, helping those who struggle daily with dietary decisions reassert control over what they eat."
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Overeating Impairs Brain Insulin Function

(Science Daily) New research … sheds light on how overeating can cause a malfunction in brain insulin signaling, and lead to obesity and diabetes. Christoph Buettner, MD, PhD, … and his research team found that overeating impairs the ability of brain insulin to suppress the breakdown of fat in adipose tissue…
"It's a vicious cycle and while we knew that this can begin with overeating, this study shows that it is really the brain that is harmed first which then starts the downward spiral."
Community: Perhaps mindful eating is a way to stop that downward spiral.
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