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

The "Fat Talk"-Free Pledge

(Melinda Johnson, MS, RD,U.S. News & World Report) We're reaching the end of Fat Talk Free® Week 2012, an annual campaign that urges women to ditch the destructive talk both in their minds and their conversations…
[T[he solution is accessible to everyone, and it's free—simply take the pledge to stop fat-talking… Cutting down or eliminating these thoughts and words can make a huge difference in your life. Consider this sampling of ways that fat talk makes us miserable:
It keeps us from having fun…
It makes self-esteem plummet…
It's ruining our mood…
It might make us fat. Research indicates that feeling fat may be a precursor to becoming fat. Focusing on weight, rather than health, seems to lead to a perfect storm of extreme dieting, feelings of guilt, and overeating.
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Using Food for Comfort and Coping Leads to Unwanted Holiday Pounds

(Science Daily) For many Americans, the holiday season means dealing with family members and social situations that are uncomfortable and stressful. If turning to food is your solution to feeling better, you might be setting yourself up for a heavy 2013.
"If you use food as a crutch, this time of year could be troublesome," said Stefanie Barthmare, a psychotherapist with the Methodist Weight Management Center in Houston. "Getting to the root of your problems and finding better ways to deal with them without food will help you avoid putting on extra unwanted pounds this holiday season."
Barthmare said many of us make bad decisions about food under stress because we want a distraction from what is challenging us.
"We are using food for coping and comfort -- and of course, we know eating is not the answer," Barthmare said. "All the food does is cause the number on the scale to creep up, causing a whole host of problems with health and self-esteem."
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Seven Ways to Stay on Track This Holiday Season

(Science Daily) The following is the holiday feast survival guide -- a road map of sorts to keep you and your diet from straying too far this year.
• Re-think your appetizers. Incorporate healthier pre-meal snack options. Swap the bread bowl for whole-wheat pita with a low-fat bean dip!
• Add some color to your holiday dinner spread with a bowl of fruit or a vegetable salad.
• Choose smaller portions. You can still taste all the foods in your holiday spread without overeating. Remember, an occasional indulgence will not destroy your weight-loss attempts, and if you don't love something don't eat it.
• The only thing that should be stuffed during the holidays is the turkey! Just because there is more food sitting around, does not mean you need to eat more. A forkful of pie will do less damage than a whole piece.
• No need for second helpings; have a calorie-free chat instead. The holidays are a great time to engage in conversation with your loved ones -- and this will not add inches to your waistline. Just be sure to move the conversation away from the food!
• Don't skip meals prior to a holiday party or dinner. You are less likely to overeat if you have eaten well throughout the day.
• Don't allow holiday activity to slow down your exercise program. Bundle up and take a walk after your holiday meal -- this not only can prevent you from overeating and picking at leftovers, but is also a great way to burn off some of the extra calories you may have consumed.
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Recent Research on Weight and Weight Loss

(Science Daily) Evidence linking partial sleep deprivation to energy imbalance is relevant to weight gain prevention and weight loss promotion. A new study … bases this finding on an extensive review of literature published over a fifteen-year period… While weight-loss strategies incorporate lifestyle changes focusing on diet and exercise, modifications in an individual's daily routine, including sleep behaviors, can help manage weight.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) For many women, gaining weight after menopause seems inevitable, and losing it nearly impossible. However, a new study from the University of Pittsburgh suggests that a few simple changes can make a big difference… [T]he winning strategy was replacing meats and cheeses in the diet with fruits and vegetables. Eating fewer desserts and drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages also proved important. The effect of substituting fruit and vegetables wasn’t noticeable at the study’s six-month mark but had the greatest impact on sustained weight loss and prevention of weight gain over the long-term, the researchers reported.
(Science Daily) A novel animal model showed that the longer mice remained overweight, the more "irreversible" obesity became, according to [a] new study… Over time, the static, obese state of the mice reset the "normal," body weight set point to become permanently elevated, despite dieting that initially worked to shed pounds, authors say.
Community: Well, surely, if it’s possible to change the set point to a higher weight, it should be possible to change it to a lower one. I wish these scientists would look for ways to make that happen.

Via email from the study leader: "I agree with you that it might be possible to reset the set point to a lower one and we are indeed trying to figure out how to do that."
(Huffington Post) Researchers at the MRC Clinical Science Centre at Imperial College in London found that there is more brain activation in response to high-calorie items when a person has skipped breakfast, compared with when a person has had their morning meal. "Through both the participants' MRI results and observations of how much they ate at lunch, we found ample evidence that fasting made people hungrier, and increased the appeal of high-calorie foods and the amount people ate," study researcher Dr. Tony Goldstone, M.D., Ph.D., said in a statement.
(Science Daily) A large international study has identified three new gene variants associated with body mass index (BMI) levels in adults… In discovering intriguing links to lipid-related diseases, type 2 diabetes and other disorders, the … study may provide fundamental insights into the biology of adult obesity. 
(University of California, San Francisco) Researchers … have identified the lynchpin that activates brown fat cells, which burn fat molecules instead of storing them… The new discovery suggests it may be possible to come up with a molecule that could keep the mechanism in the "on" position, to increase fat burning in the body, said [Yuriy Kirichok, PhD]… Whether such a strategy would be practical for weight control, however, is unclear.
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Weight Loss Tips

(Helene Lerner, Creative Expansions Inc.) With the holiday season coming, many people give themselves permission to stuff not only a turkey, but also themselves. When an attitude of overindulgence prevails, how do you summon the strength to say "no" to the extras?... I have been maintaining a 50-pound weight loss for several decades, and the word "no" has become second nature to me. The result? I like the way I look and feel, and I don't waste energy regretting my latest debauchery. Here are a few strategies I've used to refrain from eating too much. I hope they will work for you as well.
(Reader’s Digest) We asked nutritionists to fess up the eating and weight-loss mistakes they see other health pros make. Nobody's perfect! Their errors will surprise, reassure, and encourage you to get it right.
(Monica Reinagel, M.S., L.D./N.) What’s the point of eating foods that you don’t particularly want and aren’t even conscious of consuming? Paying attention to--and cutting back on--unplanned eating is really an extension of the principles of mindful eating: paying attention to our level of hunger, our surroundings, our enjoyment of food (or lack thereof), and how we feel after we eat. Sometimes, when we start paying attention, we realize how often we’re eating not out of hunger or pleasure but out of boredom, loneliness, frustration, or simply habit. That realization can empower us to deal more constructively or appropriately with those emotions.
(SouthBeachDiet.com) Do you find yourself nibbling on a bag of pretzels as you stare at a computer screen for hours? When you're sitting on your couch watching TV, do you get to the bottom of that popcorn bowl before the movie is halfway through? If you're bored, anxious, stressed, or even happy, you may be using food as a distraction without realizing it. And if you're not careful, mindless eating can derail your diet and lead to weight gain.
(The Morning Call) Jennifer Scaia … teaches others to pay attention to what food is telling us every time we sit down for a meal… A lot would change, she says, if people just slowed down and paid attention to the way food feels in the body as it is being digested. "It would be a radical shift," Scaia explains, "because it doesn't just affect the food. I think it would be a shift toward more mindfulness, more peacefulness within ourselves, which then we would be able to extend to other people. It would affect obesity, heart disease, diabetes, all of those other things that are linked to obesity because we are really internally deciding how we feed ourselves."
(Appetite for Health) You can easily build your own salad from a salad bar that tops 1,000 calories and many restaurant salads are drowning in dressing, sending calorie counts sky high… Toppings that make salads rich in calories and unhealthy saturated fat include full-fat dressing, cheese, croutons, and mayo-rich options like tuna or egg salad. The best choices are obvious: salad greens, any raw or cooked veggies; beans; lean proteins like chicken or turkey and a light (not fat free) dressing.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) One of the most effective moves you can make to improve your health is cutting back sharply on sugar consumption; in particular, avoid sugared beverages entirely. If this seems daunting, taper off slowly – add slightly less sugar to your coffee or tea, have one fewer soft drink per week, etc. You will quickly discover that the craving for sugar dissipates. Foods that once seemed pleasantly sweet will now taste cloying. As for sugar alternatives, steer clear of artificial sweeteners.
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Turkey and Cheese Panini
This turkey panini is one of the best panini recipes we have ever tried. Basil pesto and sourdough bread are key to this sandwich's unique flavor.
Smoky Chicken Panini with Basil Mayo
Chicken Florentine Roll-Ups
Perfect for entertaining, these chicken cutlets are stuffed with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and just enough cream cheese to hold the filling together. Make a double batch and freeze half the roll-ups (individually wrapped in plastic), then just defrost and bake as you like. Serve topped with fresh diced tomatoes or marinara sauce and a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil.
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Men May Need Chocolate, Too

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) A new report from Sweden suggests that consuming chocolate can help lower the risk of stroke in men.
Researchers at the famed Karolinska Institute asked 37,103 men aged 49 to 75 about their eating habits, including how much chocolate they enjoy… [T]hose who had reported eating the most chocolate - a little more than two ounces per week - were at the lowest risk of stroke. In addition, after reviewing the results of five other studies, the researchers reported that the overall risk of stroke was 19 percent lower among men who ate the most chocolate compared to those who never ate chocolate.
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Bean Used in Chinese Food Could Protect Against Sepsis

(Science Daily) Researchers at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have discovered that a bean commonly used in Chinese cuisine protects against the life-threatening condition sepsis…
[A] protein, HMGB1, mediates inflammation. Inflammation is necessary for maintaining good health -- without inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal. However, persistent and constant inflammation can damage tissue and organs, and lead to diseases such as sepsis…
Haichao Wang, PhD, and his colleagues … found that extract from mung bean (Vigna radiata), a bean native to India and commonly used in Chinese food and traditional medicine, reduced the release of HMGB1, thereby increasing survival rates in mice from 29.4 percent to 70 percent…
"Many traditional medicinal herbs have been successfully developed into effective therapies for various inflammatory ailments, and now we have validated the therapeutic potential of another medicinal product, mung bean extract," said Dr. Wang.
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Trans fats raise cholesterol, but not blood sugar

(Reuters Health) Although trans fats raise your levels of "bad" cholesterol, they don't appear to have lasting impacts on your blood sugar, according to a new review of the medical evidence.
Researchers found that both blood sugar and insulin, the hormone that keeps blood sugar levels in check, were similar regardless of how much trans fat people ate…
Trans fats, technically known as trans fatty acids, are found in animal products and chemically processed vegetable oils.
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Plant compounds tied to less stomach cancer in women

(Reuters Health) Getting a moderate amount of plant substances called flavonoids through the diet may be linked to a lower stomach cancer risk in women, but not men, according to a new study.
European researchers found that women with the highest intake of flavonoids were half as likely to develop the disease as were women who had the smallest intake.
"A flavonoid-rich diet is based on plant-based foods (such as) fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, nuts, legumes, and their derived products (tea, chocolate, wine)," the study's lead author Raul Zamora-Ros told Reuters Health by email. "This kind of diet combined with less consumption of red and processed meat can be a good way to reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer," added Zamora-Ros.
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Resveratrol Falls Short in Health Benefits, Study Shows

(Science Daily) Resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine thought to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce risk of heart disease and increase longevity, does not appear to offer these benefits in healthy women, new research … indicates…
"Resveratrol supplements have become popular because studies in cell systems and rodents show that resveratrol can improve metabolic function and prevent or reverse certain health problems like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer," says senior investigator Samuel Klein, MD… "But our data demonstrate that resveratrol supplementation does not have metabolic benefits in relatively healthy, middle-aged women."
The results were somewhat surprising because earlier studies suggested that drinking red wine lowers the risk of health problems.
Community: Yes, well, I’m not going to stop taking my resveratrol supplement based on one study.
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Drug Used to Treat Glaucoma Actually Grows Human Hair

(Science Daily) If you're balding and want your hair to grow back, then here is some good news. A new research report … shows how the FDA-approved glaucoma drug, bimatoprost, causes human hair to regrow. It's been commercially available as a way to lengthen eyelashes, but these data are the first to show that it can actually grow human hair from the scalp.
"We hope this study will lead to the development of a new therapy for balding which should improve the quality of life for many people with hair loss," said Valerie Randall, a researcher involved in the work.
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Budget cuts of imaging scans may backfire

(UPI) Researchers said the length of the average U.S. hospital stay increased at the same time as use of medical imaging scans declined…
More research is needed to assess the potential effects of government and private insurance imaging reductions on overall medical costs and patient safety because imaging scans have been shown to reduce the number of invasive surgeries, unnecessary hospital admissions and length of hospital stays, [Dr. Richard] Duszak said.
"Lawmakers, regulators and medical professionals are making medical imaging policy decisions without fully understanding or examining their downstream effects, which may include an increase in hospital stays, associated costs and other adverse events," Duszak said in a statement.
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Publication Bias in Biomedical Findings

(MedPage Today) A paper … looked at news coverage of studies on ADHD and concluded:
“Because newspapers preferentially echo initial ADHD findings appearing in prominent journals, they report on uncertain findings that are often refuted or attenuated by subsequent studies If this media reporting bias generalizes to health sciences, it represents a major cause of distortion in health science communication.”
The authors further suggest:
“If further investigations of other health issues confirm our observations and reinforce our interpretations, it might be timely for scientists, journal editors and university media writers to define and respect ethical rules regarding health science communication. For example, press releases reporting on an initial study should include a warning statement pointing out that these findings must be confirmed by subsequent independent investigations. Indeed, the quality of press releases positively influences the quality of associated newspaper stories. The time would be also right to warn journalists about this major publication bias inherent to the scientific process.”
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Medtronic Helped Write, Edit Positive 'Infuse' Spine Studies

(MedPage Today) Highly positive studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals depicted Medtronic's spine fusion product as a major breakthrough in back surgery, but those studies were drafted and edited with direct input from company employees, while the doctors listed as authors were paid millions, according to a U.S. Senate investigation.
The company's heavy, undisclosed manipulation of information about its bone morphogenetic protein-2 product called Infuse included removing and downplaying concerns about serious complications linked to the product and overstating its benefits.
Over the course of 15 years, Medtronic paid $210 million to a group of 13 doctors who co-authored the series of now-repudiated papers about the product. The payments also included two corporate entities associated with some of the doctors.
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The $34-Million Spine Surgeon

(MedPage Today) Financial ties between University of Wisconsin orthopedic surgeon Thomas Zdeblick, MD, and Medtronic date to 1996 and include more than $34 million in consulting and royalty payments, according to documents from a U.S. Senate investigation.
The payments to Zdeblick were the most for any individual among the $210 million paid over 14 years by Medtronic to a group of surgeons who wrote favorable medical journal articles about the company's spine surgery product, Infuse, records … released Thursday show.
Community: See why we need to remove the profit motive from health care?
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Pharmacy in Meningitis Deaths Found Mold in January

(Bloomberg) New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc., the company linked to a U.S. meningitis outbreak, discovered elevated levels of mold and bacteria at its drug- making facility in January and didn’t act, regulators said.
When the contamination was found to have exceeded limits the pharmacy itself set for mold and bacteria, “no documented corrective actions were taken,” the Food and Drug Administration said in a preliminary report that cites company documents. The FDA’s investigators uncovered tainted steroids and unsanitary conditions during inspections that began Oct. 1 at the facility in Framingham, Massachusetts, the agency said.
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Other Candidates for President Talk Healthcare

(MedPage Today) Although it was not the main focus of any question, healthcare kept coming into the conversation during a debate held Tuesday night among four third-party presidential candidates.
The debate, held in Chicago and broadcast on C-SPAN and on Internet site Ora.Tv, was moderated by talk show host Larry King and featured Green Party candidate Jill Stein, MD, an internist and environmental health advocate from Massachusetts; Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City; Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico; and Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, a former Virginia congressman.
In her opening statement, Stein said that the American people are in crisis. "We're losing jobs, decent wages, affordable healthcare, and higher education," she said. "We're calling for a 'Green New Deal' ... [with] healthcare as a human right ... Medicare for all."
Community: I’ll be voting for Jill Stein. If I lived in a swing state, I’d vote for Obama, but he’ll safely win Illinois, so I’m free to vote for a candidate and a party that I really believe in.
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Omega-3 Intake Heightens Working Memory

(Science Daily) In the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have determined that healthy young adults ages 18-25 can improve their working memory even further by increasing their Omega-3 fatty acid intake…
"Before seeing this data, I would have said it was impossible to move young healthy individuals above their cognitive best," said Bita Moghaddam, project investigator and professor of neuroscience. "We found that members of this population can enhance their working memory performance even further, despite their already being at the top of their cognitive game."
Community: If it helps younger people with healthy brains, how much more will it help those of us with aging brains?
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of cognitive decline.
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Language Learning Makes the Brain Grow

(Science Daily) At the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, young recruits learn a new language at a very fast pace. By measuring their brains before and after the language training, a group of researchers has had an almost unique opportunity to observe what happens to the brain when we learn a new language in a short period of time…
Students with greater growth in the hippocampus and areas of the cerebral cortex related to language learning (superior temporal gyrus) had better language skills than the other students. In students who had to put more effort into their learning, greater growth was seen in an area of the motor region of the cerebral cortex (middle frontal gyrus). The areas of the brain in which the changes take place are thus linked to how easy one finds it to learn a language and development varies according to performance.
Previous research from other groups has indicated that Alzheimer's disease has a later onset in bilingual or multilingual groups.
"Even if we cannot compare three months of intensive language study with a lifetime of being bilingual, there is a lot to suggest that learning languages is a good way to keep the brain in shape," says Johan MÃ¥rtensson.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of cognitive decline.
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Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp and Prevent Alzheimer's

(RealAge.com) Here are five tips to keep your brain young:
Control your blood pressure… Keep blood pressure at 110/70…[Here’s how.]
Manage stress… [Here’s how.]
Be smart. Exercising vigorously for 20 minutes three times a week increases the memory center in your brain by more than 20% in three months. Also, taking 900 milligrams of DHA omega-3 fatty acids daily can help elderly people with early brain dysfunction make their brains up to 7 years younger.
Brush, floss, and go to the dentist. Blocking the immune system's reaction to gum disease helps your brain…
Get plenty of vitamin D3, coffee, and curcumin [found in the spice turmeric].
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of cognitive decline.
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More Research on Cognitive Decline and Neurodegenerative Disease

(MedPage Today) As the population ages, more patients are concerned about memory impairment, but only about 1% will have a progressive cognitive problem, a researcher said… The challenge for primary care doctors is how to handle this large segment of the population who are experiencing natural cognitive aging rather than dementia or Alzheimer's disease, according to Tom Rosenthal, MD… "One of the most important things to know is that the brain has plasticity. The healthy, undiseased brain with adequate blood flow will change in form, but also in its ability to function, with exercises aimed at increasing brain power," Rosenthal said
(Reuters) The latest data from a long-running study of hormone therapy suggests women who started taking hormone replacements within five years of menopause were 30 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than women who started years later.
Community: I don’t know about you, but I’m getting whiplash from all the conflicting recommendations on hormone therapy.
(Medical Xpress) A research team from Stanford University has found that injecting the blood of young mice into older mice can cause new neural development and improved memory… [B]rain scans found that the number of neural stem cells in the brains of the older mice increased by 20 percent after just a few days, indicating that new neural connections were being made – a necessary occurrence for increased memory retention.
(Science Daily) Curtailing the imminent rise in Alzheimer's disease (AD) will require early, accurate diagnostic tests and treatments, and researchers are closer to achieving these two goals.
(Shots, NPR) Treatment for Alzheimer's probably needs to begin years or even decades before symptoms of the disease start to appear, scientists reported… "By the time an Alzheimer's patient is diagnosed even with mild or moderate Alzheimer's there is very, very extensive neuron death," said John Morrison… Once those neurons die, he says, critical brain circuits involved in thinking and memory are gone forever, Morrison said. "We need to move way back in time and intervene before there's extensive neuron death." Morrison and others said it's possible that several recent trials of drugs for Alzheimer's have failed because the drugs were given after symptoms had already started to appear.
More . . .


Chicken with Lemon-Caper Sauce
This simple take on chicken scaloppini is just the recipe when you're craving Italian for a weeknight meal. The lemon-caper sauce goes well with a white and wild rice blend on the side.
Sesame-Orange Shrimp
These shrimp are super-easy to make—just coat them in a simple batter, cook them in a little oil and toss with a tangy sesame-orange sauce. The staff at EatingWell simply could not get enough of these delicious shrimp while we were developing this recipe. Serve with: Brown basmati rice and steamed snow peas tossed with a little toasted sesame oil.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Roasted Vegetable Soup
This delicious, vegetable-filled broth can be served by itself or used as a base for other soups. This recipe oven-roasts the vegetables before adding to the soup liquid, enhancing their flavor. The aroma of the roasted vegetables will evoke memories of old-fashioned, home-style meals. It's comfort food at its finest.
Food as Medicine
Carrots are one of the richest sources of carotenoids, potent antioxidants found mainly in red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. A review of six studies looking at the connection between carotenoid-rich diets and prevention of heart disease found a positive correlation; in one of these studies, those who consumed at least one daily serving of carrots or squash had a 60 percent decrease in heart attack risk compared to those eating fewer than one serving.
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Andrew Weil's new cookbook aims for 'True Food' that's easy, tasty

(Los Angeles Times) Too many people see health food as medicine, and that is one thing that keeps them from eating healthfully, says Dr. Andrew Weil.
In his new cookbook, written with Sam Fox and Michael Stebner, he tries to dispel the notion that delicious food and healthful food are exclusive. The book is called "True Food" (Little, Brown and Co., $29.99), which Weil said Thursday in a telephone interview, means "real food first of all. I think a lot of what people eat is not real food."
"I am a good home cook, and I like dishes that are simple, that have bold flavors, that are relatively easy to prepare," he said. Too often, he said, that food is not available without making it yourself.
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How Bobby Flay gets flavor with less fat

(Scripps Howard News Service) “Food Network” chef Bobby Flay offers these tips for top flavor and much less fat:…
It’s no secret that Flay loves spicy food, and his favorite pepper is the smoky chipotle. Use the peppers and the adobo sauce they’re typically canned in to add loads of flavor to marinades, meats and side dishes.
Flay always keeps chickpeas in the house to make hummus for between-meal snacks.
Herbs and citrus
Fresh herbs and citrus (he uses lemons, oranges, clementines and tangerines) add super-low-calorie flavor to salads, main dishes and even desserts.
Pomegranate juice
Nutrient-packed pomegranates have a tart flavor that’s perfect for glazing meats.
Plain yogurt is a great all-purpose healthy ingredient. Dress it up with honey as a healthful snack, or use in place of mayo or sour cream in sauces.
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Healthy Food Choices that Backfire

(Boston Globe) Bakery products and desserts that claim to have "0 grams of trans fats" often times give consumers the false sense that these sweets and treats have become a healthier food choice.   Unfortunately, when you remove the trans fat from a donut sold in bakery, you end up with, well, a donut.   The donut didn’t miraculously get converted into an apple or another naturally healthy produce item once the trans fat has been removed.  It will still contain about 300 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 12 grams of sugar or the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of sugar.
Reformulated donuts are not the only "healthier" food that can backfire.   Please click here to view this video for foods such as Greek yogurt and granola, which can also backfire. 
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Are You Trying Too Hard to Eat Healthfully?

(Yoni Freedhoff, MD, U.S. News & World Report) Diet and health gurus—they've all got their formulas for you. This guy says you can't eat wheat and that dairy's deadly, while that gal says that meat is poison and raw is righteous… Ultimately I think we're trying too hard, and more importantly, I don't think we have to…
I think we should be aiming for some solid B-pluses, which in my book, would mean:
·         Including vegetables or fruits with pretty much every meal.
·         Cooking the vast majority of meals from fresh, whole ingredients.
·         Limiting restaurant meals, only eating out to celebrate or socialize—never for convenience.
·         Avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages (including juice).
If you want an A, just make sure to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, most days of the week. While it's not an eating behavior, the impact of exercise on health is profound, and gives you a few easily obtainable bonus grades.
Life's too short to be trying to get perfect grades, so keep up with your basic studies, don't spend too much time in the library, and enjoy the ride.
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Study suggests ways to improve local food economy

(Toledo Free Press) A study released this October showed that $3.6 billion has crept out of the Northwest Ohio economy because the local food system isn’t being fully utilized.
“The region has much to gain by doing so: our analysis of the region’s farm and food economy shows that $3.6 billion leaks out of Northwest Ohio each year as residents farm and eat, since farmers farm at narrow margins to produce commodities for export, while consumers eat food imported from far away,” according to “Finding Food in Northwest Ohio,” a study conducted by Ken Meter. Meter is president of the Crossroads Resource Center, a nonprofit in Minneapolis.
“It isn’t surprising. This is happening all over the United States.
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Walmart Announces New Commitments to Drive Sustainability Deeper into the Company’s Global Supply Chain

(Walmart.com) Walmart [on Thursday] further strengthened its commitment to a sustainable global supply chain by announcing a series of initiatives to make the company’s supply chain in the United States, China, and around the world more sustainable.
At an event in Beijing with government officials, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), academics, suppliers and company associates, Walmart said the company will use the Sustainability Index to design more sustainable products, make its global supply chain more socially and environmentally accountable and responsible, and incentivize merchants to make sustainability a bigger part of their day-to-day jobs.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Aspirin Ups Survival in Some Colon Cancers

(MedPage Today) Patients with colorectal cancer who harbor a mutation in the PIK3CA gene may derive a survival benefit from regular use of aspirin, researchers suggested.
For patients with the mutation who began taking aspirin after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer, there was an 82% reduction in cancer-specific mortality…, according to Andrew T. Chan, MD, of Harvard Medical School, and colleagues.
In contrast, no survival benefit was seen for aspirin use in patients without the mutated gene.
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Cardiovascular Risk Factors Add Up to Peripheral Artery Disease

(MedPage Today) The cardiovascular risk factors of smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes each contribute to men's chance of developing significant peripheral artery disease, and together account for most of the risk, a large prospective study showed…
For men who had reported all four of the risk factors, the absolute incidence of peripheral artery disease was 3.5 per 1,000 person-years; the age-adjusted incidence was 1.9 per 1,000…
The risks associated with smoking were particularly striking, the researchers found.
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Leg amputations for artery disease on the decline

(Reuters Health) Leg amputations in older people whose arteries are clogged by cholesterol buildups have gone down over the past decade, according to a new U.S. study. But thousands of people with diseased blood vessels in their legs still lose a leg or part of one every year - a number researchers say is higher than it should be…
In so-called peripheral artery disease, or PAD, blood vessels in the limbs grow increasingly narrow due to cholesterol buildups. This reduces blood flow and may cause leg pain while walking, hard-to-heal ulcers and eventually gangrene.
[Dr. W. Schuyler] Jones said treatments that allow patients to avoid amputation have improved significantly over the past ten years, particularly procedures in which the buildups are broken up or removed.
Community: Following a healthy lifestyle can prevent the buildups in the first place.
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Restricting High-Risk Individuals from Owning Guns Saves Lives, Report Finds

(Science Daily) On July 20, a gunman in Aurora, Colorado, used an assault rifle to murder 12 people and wound 58 others. Although this was one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, all mass shootings account for a small percentage of gun violence that occurs in the U.S. every day. In the past 100 days since the Aurora shooting, an estimated 3,035 Americans have died as a result of gun violence.
A new report by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examines policies and initiatives for reducing gun violence in the U.S. by reforming current gun policies. The report, a synthesis of prior research and analysis conducted by researchers with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, includes the following key findings:
·        Easy access to firearms with large-capacity magazines facilitates higher casualties in mass shootings.
·        "Right-to-carry" gun laws do not reduce violent crime.
·        Prohibiting high-risk groups from having guns-criminals, perpetrators of domestic violence, youths under age 21, substance abusers, and those with severe mental illnesses -- and closing loopholes that enable them to have guns -- are integral and politically feasible steps to reduce gun violence.
Community: Must be a buncha goldang librul terrists at that thar Johns Hopkins place.
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Study: GOP Plan Cuts Medicaid Rolls in Half

(MedPage Today) The plan offered by the Republican presidential ticket to turn Medicaid into a block grant program run by the states would cut enrollment in half, a study found.
Between repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its Medicaid expansion and moving to a block grant program, the plan proposed by GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would cut enrollment between 31.3 million and 37.5 million, an analysis by the left-leaning Urban Institute found.
The report compared Medicaid enrollment and spending under both the ACA and the plan offered by Ryan the last two years as chair of the House Budget Committee.
"The proposed changes and reductions in federal financing for Medicaid under the House Budget Plan would almost certainly worsen the problem of the uninsured and strain the nation's safety net," read the report, which was commissioned by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
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As Fiscal Cliff Looms, Medicare And Medicaid Face Uncertain Budget Futures

(Shots, NPR) No matter who wins the election on Nov. 6, official Washington will have to deal with something called the "fiscal cliff" before the end of the year.
What's coming is a perfect storm of expiring tax cuts, scheduled budget cuts, and various other spending changes scheduled to take place Jan. 1 unless Congress and President Obama (who no matter what will still be president until next Jan. 20) agree on a way to avert them.
As two of the largest spending items in the federal budget, the Medicare and Medicaid health programs are expected to play a role in how the deal gets done. Under the provisions of the law that created the budget deal Congress will attempt to undo, Medicare is subject to a two percent cut in provider payments, while Medicaid is exempt.
Community: Are you as tired as I am of these unending manufactured fiscal crises?
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