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

Stress linked to higher blood fat levels

(UPI) Work-related stress is linked to increased blood fat levels, which in turn increases cardiovascular risk, researchers in Spain say…
The study … found workers with job stress were more likely to suffer from abnormally high levels of LDL cholesterol, excessively low levels of HDL cholesterol and positive atherogenic indices -- potential artery blockage.
"One of the mechanisms that could explain the relationship between stress and cardiovascular risk could be the changes in our lipid profile, which means higher rates of atheromatous plaque accumulation -- lipids deposit -- in our arteries," [clinical psychologist Carlos] Catalina said.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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Distressing Thoughts and Inflammatory Hormones

(Donna Jackson Nakazawa, Psychology Today) Researchers at U.C. Davis Center for the Study of Mind & Brain have conducted the first study which shows the direct relationship between using our mental resources to manage ruminating thoughts and stay with our immediate experience -- and lowering our levels of the inflammatory stress hormone cortisol.
High levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland, are, as we know, associated with physical or emotional stress. Prolonged release of the hormone contributes to wide-ranging, adverse effects -- and are linked to every physical and mental disease imaginable…
U.C. Davis post-doctoral researcher Tonya Jacobs PhD, who co-authored the above study, says that researchers taught study participants attentional skills such as mindful breathing, observing mental events, and practicing cultivating benevolent mental states, including loving kindness, compassion, empathic joy and equanimity.
Individuals whose mindfulness scores increased showed a decrease in inflammatory disease-promoting levels of cortisol.
"The more a person reported directing their cognitive resources to immediate sensory experience and the task at hand, the lower their resting cortisol," Jacobs says. She adds that training the mind to focus on immediate experience may reduce the propensity to ruminate about the past or worry about the future, the thought processes that have been linked to cortisol release.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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The Top 5 Ways to Reduce Stress

(Dr. John Pierce) We all know that stress can have a negative impact on our minds and our bodies. It can increase our risk for heart attack and stroke, and it can also detract from our quality of life and from our mental well-being. Constant stress can chip away at our relationships and even prevent us from succeeding in our careers. Most importantly, stress prevents us from being present, joyful, and connected to the world around us…
Luckily, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce stress and improve your quality of life. Consider the following:
1. Exercise. Getting active is probably one of the best things you can do to decrease stress… It can also protect against anxiety and depression.
2. Consider adding supplements to your diet… For example, you might consider phosphatidylserine, lemon balm, or kava kava root. Vitamin D … vitamin E … vitamin C… Just be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning taking any vitamins or supplements.
3. Reconsider your diet. If you want to enjoy heart-healthy food without sacrificing taste, you might try the Mediterranean diet….
4. Get plenty of sleep. A lack of sleep can take a toll on our mental well-being…
5. Try visualizing with a breathing exercise. When you feel overwhelmed by stress, picture a place that makes you happy and restful, whether it's a snowy mountaintop, a peaceful ocean, or even just your childhood home. Take a deep breath in through your mouth and as you do so, repeat a positive mantra.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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When Stressed, Make a U-Turn

(Mark Hyman, MD) [W]hen things get out of control, which they do, I simply make a gentle U-turn. It's like a GPS for my soul. Your GPS doesn't yell at you and call you stupid or judge you for taking a wrong turn. In the sweetest voice imaginable, the GPS reminds you to take the next possible U-turn…
Here's how I make my U-turns (and I try to pick one or more each day):
1.    Move. The best way to burn off the stress hormones without having to change your thinking is to move and sweat…
2.    Breathe… Deep, slow, full breaths have a profound affect on resetting the stress response…
3.    Bathe….
4.    Sleep….
5.    Think Differently. Practice the art of noticing stress, noticing how your thinking makes you stressed. Practice taking deep breaths and letting go of worry. Try Byron Katie's four questions to break the cycle of "stinkin' thinkin'" that keeps you stressed.
You can also try my UltraCalm CD featuring guided mediations and relaxation techniques.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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More Stress Busting Tips

(Deborah Khoshaba, Psy.D., Psychology Today) Research shows yoga’s positive benefits for mental health. Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system. Yoga’s positive benefits for mental health have made it an important practice tool of psychotherapy.
(Christina Devereaux, Ph.D, BC-DMT, Psychology Today) Why would dance be a vehicle to cope with daily stressors or even horrific tragedies such as the Boston Marathon explosions, or the Newtown school shootings? Studies have shown that dance, in particular, can decrease anxiety and boost mood more than other physical outlets. Because dance in itself is innately an expressive art, it is a particularly useful tool in therapy.
(Linda Wasmer Andrews, Psychology Today) In a study published in Science in 2008, participants were given an envelope containing either $5 or $20 in the morning and asked to spend the money by 5 p.m. Those randomly assigned to a “personal spending” group were told to use the money on a personal expense or gift for themselves, while those assigned to a “prosocial spending” group were told to use the money on a charitable donation or gift for someone else. At day’s end, the participants were asked to rate their happiness. Those who had spent as little as $5 on another person or cause reported being happier than those who had spent it on themselves.
(Cleveland Clinic) The use of Internet-based stress management programs effectively reduce stress for a sustainable period, according to a Cleveland Clinic study… Three-hundred study participants completed an eight-week ISM program where they received online relaxation practice materials, strategies to help cope with life's stressors, stress assessments at the beginning and end of the program, and daily topics to inspire participants to continue the meditation and relaxation techniques.
Program participants, who were compared with a control group, showed a significant decrease in perceived stress from high levels to average, as well as greatly improved emotional wellbeing, compared with the pre-program results and to participants of the control group. Results confirmed a positive correlation between the number of meditations completed per week and perceived stress reduction.
(Marilyn Mitchell, M.D., Psychology Today) The Relaxation Response is a helpful way to turn off fight or flight response and bring the body back to pre-stress levels… There are many methods to elicit the Relaxation Response including visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, energy healing, acupuncture, massage, breathing techniques, prayer, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, and yoga. True relaxation can also be achieved by removing yourself from everyday thought and by choosing a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or by focusing on your breathing.
(Brad Waters, Psychology Today) Those who master resilience tend to be skilled in preparing for emotional emergencies and adept at accepting what comes at them with flexibility rather than rigidity--times are tough but I know they will get better. The old metaphor applies: resilient people are like bamboo in a hurricane--they bend rather than break. Or, even if they feel like they’re broken for a time, there’s still a part of them deep inside that knows they won’t be broken forever. Here's how they do it...
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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More Recent Research on Stress

(MedPage Today) Living a healthy rather than sedentary lifestyle reduced the risk of coronary artery disease by 53% in people who worked in an emotionally toxic environment, a study found. A meta-analysis of seven cohort studies found that workers who "reported job strain but had a healthy lifestyle had about half the rate of disease," wrote Mika Kivimaki, PhD, … and colleagues.
(Science Daily) Being forced to exercise may still help reduce anxiety and depression just as exercising voluntarily does, according to a new study… "Regardless of whether the rats chose to run or were forced to run they were protected against stress and anxiety," said [Benjamin] Greenwood, lead author of the study… "The implications are that humans who perceive exercise as being forced -- perhaps including those who feel like they have to exercise for health reasons -- are maybe still going to get the benefits in terms of reducing anxiety and depression," he said.
Community: I’m not sure how you’d go about forcing a human being to exercise, and even the thought of it isn’t pleasant.
(Huffington Post) Previous studies have shown that the relaxation response can alleviate anxiety and lower the heart rate, among other health benefits. And in [a] new study…, researchers are able to actually measure bodily changes induced by the relaxation response by examining alterations in gene expression.
"Many studies have shown that mind/body interventions like the relaxation response can reduce stress and enhance wellness in healthy individuals and counteract the adverse clinical effects of stress in conditions like hypertension, anxiety, diabetes and aging," study researcher Dr. Herbert Benson, M.D., director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute, said in a statement. "Now for the first time we've identified the key physiological hubs through which these benefits might be induced."
(MedPage Today) Six weeks of treatment with the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro) resulted in a lower rate of mental stress-induced chest pain in patients with stable coronary heart disease, a small randomized study found. By the study's end, more patients taking escitalopram had no mental stress-induced myocardial ischemia during three mental stress activities compared with patients taking placebo (34.2% versus 17.5%), according to Wei Jiang, MD, … and colleagues.
(King's College London) Research… reveals the detailed mechanism behind how stress hormones reduce the number of new brain cells - a process considered to be linked to depression. The researchers identified a key protein responsible for the long-term detrimental effect of stress on cells, and importantly, successfully used a drug compound to block this effect, offering a potential new avenue for drug discovery.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Chicken Piccata with Orzo
Low in calories and fat, this quick weeknight dinner uses chicken breast cutlets for speedy cooking. The entire meal takes less than 20 minutes to make and is sure to become a family favorite. Serve the chicken and sauce over orzo or wild rice with a side salad.
EatingWell:
Indonesian Chicken Satés
Classic Indonesian fare, satés (or satays) are skewers of broiled or grilled marinated meat or fish. This flexible recipe works with tofu or chicken.
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Marinated Grilled Halibut | 10th Street Café, Santa Monica, CA
This simple and delicious recipe is from the 10th Street Café in Santa Monica, California. Owned by Michael Cigliano, proprietor of Santa Monica Seafood, which has become an institution for seafood lovers throughout the city, the café adjoins the seafood market.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Broccoli Salad With Avocado
The contrasting textures of crunchy broccoli and creamy, soft avocado make this quick salad interesting and delicious. It is rich in monounsaturated fat and full of protective phytochemicals and fiber. Don't forget to use the broccoli stems, which, if properly trimmed, are as good to eat as the florets…
Food as Medicine
Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats [and] full of rare 7-carbon sugars that may have a special ability to regulate blood sugar metabolism. Broccoli has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect.
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Fast-food menu labeling results in fewer calories purchased

(UPI) U.S. adults and teens who used calorie information posted on menus purchased up to 143 fewer calories than those who did not see the calories, researchers say…
The researchers surveyed more than 7,300 patrons ages 14 and older at 10 restaurant chains, including Subway, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Starbucks, and other local chain restaurants before the law took effect, and again six and 18 months after implementation.
"Menu labeling is critical because Americans spend nearly half of their food dollars on foods prepared outside the home, which tend to be higher in calories and less healthy than what we eat at home," Krieger said in a statement. "Over time, people seem to respond to the availability of information and use it to inform their purchases."
Community: Didn’t I say it would take time?
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Some statins 'raise diabetes risk'

(BBC News) Some drugs taken to protect the heart may increase the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, according to researchers in Canada.
Their study of 1.5 million people, in the British Medical Journal, suggested powerful statins could increase the risk by 22% compared with weaker drugs.
Atorvastatin was linked to one extra case of diabetes for every 160 patients treated.
Experts said the benefits of statins still outweighed any risks.
Statins are a group of commonly prescribed drugs that lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. This reduces the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
Community: According to the CDC, American adults have a lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes of 32.8% for males and 38.5% for females. Taking this statin may increase those risks by 22%. But there are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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Cholesterol-Lowering Drug May Reduce Exercise Benefits for Obese Adults

(Science Daily) Statins, the most widely prescribed drugs worldwide, are often suggested to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease in individuals with obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of medical disorders including excess body fat and/or high levels of blood pressure, blood sugar and/or cholesterol. However, University of Missouri researchers found that simvastatin, a generic type of statin previously sold under the brand name "Zocor," hindered the positive effects of exercise for obese and overweight adults.
"Fitness has proven to be the most significant predictor of longevity and health because it protects people from a variety of chronic diseases," said John Thyfault, an associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU. "Daily physical activity is needed to maintain or improve fitness, and thus improve health outcomes. However, if patients start exercising and taking statins at the same time, it seems that statins block the ability of exercise to improve their fitness levels."
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Technique to Detect Breast Cancer in Urine Developed

(Science Daily)  A Missouri University of Science and Technology researcher has developed a new screening method that uses urinalysis to diagnose breast cancer -- and determine its severity -- before it could be detected with a mammogram…
Dr. Yinfa Ma … uses a device called a P-scan, to detect the concentration of certain metabolites called pteredines in urine samples. These biomarkers are present in the urine of all human beings, but abnormally high concentrations can signal the presence of cancer. Ma believes the levels continue to rise as the cancer advances.
Ma has had good results in limited testing and is now expanding testing in a larger study to prove that the technique works.
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CT Lung Screens Catch Most Cancers

(MedPage Today) The National Lung Screening Trial found that CT scans were highly sensitive in detecting lung cancer in smokers but weren’t very specific in ruling out the malignancy.
Sensitivity was 94% and specificity 73% for lung cancer detection with CT compared with 74% and 91% with chest x-rays in the first round of screening for high-risk smokers and former smokers included in the trial, Timothy R. Church, PhD, … and colleagues found.
That combination led to substantially more positive screens in the CT group, at 27% versus 9%, nearly all of which prompted follow-up diagnostic procedures.
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'Designated driver' campaign model for distracted driving

(UPI) The Harvard School of Public Health associate dean who was behind the "designated driver" campaign says he plans a similar move against distracted driving.
Jay Winsten, Frank Stanton director of the Harvard School of Public Health's Center for Health Communication in Boston, spearheaded the successful designated driver campaign in the late 1980s and early 1990s to reduce drunken driving. Now he says messages against distracted driving -- on television shows, movies, websites or social media -- would change social norms about the acceptability of emailing or texting behind the wheel.
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In Case Of Tornado, EHRs Can Be Just The Prescription

(Kaiser Health News) Everyone expects a hospital to be ready to jump into action when disaster strikes. But what about when the disaster devastates the hospital itself?
Turns out, it helps a lot to have an electronic medical record system in place.
At least that was the case at Moore Medical Center in Oklahoma, a small hospital right in the path of the tornado that ripped through the suburbs of Oklahoma City on Monday…
Amazingly, everyone survived. Within an hour, 30 patients had been transferred to the two other hospitals that are part of the Norman Regional Health System. And every one of them arrived with their medical histories fully intact…
[P]hysicians at the two transfer hospitals were able to pick up care for the Moore patients where their home physicians left off. Even if the patients had been taken to hospitals outside of the Norman system, their records would still have gone along with them.
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Exclusive: 'Workplace wellness' fails bottom line, waistlines

(Reuters) A long-awaited report on workplace wellness programs, which has still not been publicly released, delivers a blow to the increasingly popular efforts, Reuters has learned, casting doubt on a pillar of the Affordable Care Act and a favorite of the business community.
According to a report by researchers at the RAND Corp, programs that try to get employees to become healthier and reduce medical costs have only a modest effect. Those findings run contrary to claims by the mostly small firms that sell workplace wellness to companies ranging from corporate titans to mom-and-pop operations…
The report found, for instance, that people who participate in such programs lose an average of only one pound a year for three years.
In addition, participation "was not associated with significant reductions in total cholesterol level." And while there is some evidence that smoking-cessation programs work, they do so only "in the short term."
Community: Again, I think we should be patient. And at the same time, we can work to improve these programs. We can’t just give up.
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Mass. Advocates Want To Snuff Out Higher Premiums For Smokers

(Kaiser Health News) You’ve heard all the campaigns and statistics: Smoking Kills. It’s the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. And it’s expensive.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smoking costs the country $193 billion a year in lost productivity and health care spending. Add another $10 billion for secondhand smoking expenses. That’s why the federal Affordable Care Act permits insurers to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for coverage than non-smokers.
So, says Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, why not ask smokers to pay more for health insurance?
“If we’re ever going to control costs, we’ve got to make sure that we don’t over-socialize the system,” Hurst says. ”In other words, we don’t make people pay too much for somebody else’s health care costs.”
Fifty percent more for smokers might be too much, continues Hurst, “but let’s not dismiss outright, the ability for employers to try to incent people to get healthier.”
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GOP Governor Shuts Down Lawmaking Until Her Party Agrees To Expand Medicaid

(ThinkProgress) Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) has a message for her party: expand Medicaid — or else.
The combative GOP governor is sticking by a threat she made to veto all legislation until lawmakers resolve the 2014 state budget and pass Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. On Thursday, Brewer proved that wasn’t just talk, vetoing five bills sent to her desk in quick succession.
“I warned that I would not sign additional measures into law until we see resolution of the two most pressing issues facing us: adoption of a fiscal 2014 state budget and plan for Medicaid,” wrote Brewer in her veto message. “It is disappointing I must demonstrate the moratorium was not an idle threat.”
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Why Undocumented Immigrants Should Have Access To Taxpayer-Funded Health Care

(ThinkProgress) The common argument against providing health care to undocumented immigrants is that, since they’ve broken the law, they should be punished. A part of that punishment involves denying them health care services through public entitlement programs or federal subsidies that are dependent on Americans’ tax dollars…
But the taxpayer already foots the bill for undocumented immigrants’ care — just in an incredibly inefficient and half-baked way. Under the auspices of the Reagan-era Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), hospital emergency rooms can’t turn away patients based on their citizenship or insurance status. That doesn’t mean that their care magically becomes free — undocumented men and women who use the emergency room are still slapped with a hefty hospital bill.
However, if they are unable to pay that bill — which is fairly likely considering that they probably don’t have any insurance — then a combination of the federal government, state governments, hospitals, and other American consumers of U.S. health care are forced to absorb the cost. In turn, that raises prices for medical services, since hospitals want to recoup some of their losses. Some studies have estimated the price of subsidizing undocumented immigrants’ health care at about $10.7 billion per year.
Community: God forbid that we should do what makes sense, rather than what right wingers consider righteous punishment.
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Food Industry: Please Don't Start Eating Healthfully

(Patrick Mustain, MPH, Scientific American) Dear Consumers: A disturbing trend has come to our attention. You, the people, are thinking more about health, and you’re starting to do something about it. This cannot continue…
In a public comment posted on the FTC website, our friends at General Mills pointed out that under the [Inter-agency Working Group (IWG)] guidelines, the most commonly consumed foods in the US would be considered unhealthy…
[R]evamping the food environment will … cost you money. The General Mills letter stated “a shift by the average American to the IWG diet would conservatively increase the individual’s annual food spending by $1,632.” Sure, we’ve heard talk about costs to the individual that arise from being obese. One 2010 paper from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services estimated that the annual costs to an individual for being obese can be upwards of $8,000. We like to think of this as a small price to pay for consumer freedom.
Of course, we don’t necessarily want you to be unhealthy. It’s just that it’s so much more profitable to provide foods that happen to be unhealthy. We’ve been able to industrialize the food system so that we can produce massive amounts of the cheapest ingredients available, in the cheapest, most efficient way possible…
So you see, dear consumer, everything is fine. We’ve got a good thing going here. There’s no need for you to start worrying about the industrial food system. If you do start thinking about your weight, check out our line of Healthy Choice frozen meals. If that doesn’t work, our friends over in the pharmaceutical industry, the health and fitness industry and the healthcare industry will be happy to help you to continue to fulfill your role as an American Consumer.
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Unhealthy Foods Addiction Tied to Obesity Epidemic

(Science Daily) Research presented [Wednesday] shows that high-fructose corn syrup can cause behavioural reactions in rats similar to those produced by drugs of abuse such as cocaine. These results, presented by addiction expert Francesco Leri…, suggest food addiction could explain, at least partly, the current global obesity epidemic…
Dr. Leri studies the response of rats to foods containing unnaturally high concentrations of sugar, fats and taste enhancers, such as high-fructose corn syrup and foods like Oreo cookies.
Increased availability of such highly-palatable foods could partly explain the high incidence of obesity around the world, but simple availability does not explain why some people are obese and others are not, given the same amount of available food. Dr. Leri, and others, suggest one important factor could be individual differences in vulnerability to addiction…
Dr. Leri's findings could lead to novel pharmacological interventions for obese individuals that could help them selectively reduce intake of unhealthy foods…
Obesity poses major health risks: diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and stroke and certain forms of cancer are all more prevalent in obese individuals.
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Expert: Dietary Advice on Added Sugar Is Damaging Our Health

(Science Daily) In 2003 the World Health Organization stated that "added sugars" should contribute no more than 10% of total energy intake. This was in line with the UK government's Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA) recommendations.
This nutritional advice has formed the basis of UK food labelling since 2003 and subsequently influenced European legislation, but Dr [Aseem] Malhotra argues that it "is in desperate need of emergency surgery."…
He points to corporate partnerships with organisations like Diabetes UK and the British Dietetic Association -- and to industry's involvement with sport "allowing the major food corporations to peddle pathology with impunity." The recent London Olympics was dominated by advertising for junk food and sugary drinks.
Just as in the UK and Europe, US food labels contain information on total sugars per serving, but do not differentiate between sugars intrinsically present and added sugar, he explains. "It is therefore almost impossible for consumers to determine the amount of added sugars in foods and beverages."…
Other experts are also backing these views.
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Cancer and diet: Why is nutrition overlooked?

(Sheila Dillon, BBC News) Thousands of scientific papers have been published on the link between diet and the treatment and prevention of cancer. But in practice food is still considered a marginal aspect of cancer care…
One of the best-researched foods (in the US and Ireland) is the spice turmeric.
Curcumin is a chemical compound found in the root of turmeric, which has a general anti-inflammatory effect and quite specific effects on several forms of cancer, including mine.
Research has also been conducted on berries containing ellagic acid, which seems to curb cancer cells' ability to grow their own blood supply, mushrooms (the polysaccharides), green tea, as well as the cabbage and onion families…
As my consultant Professor Jamie Cavenagh said: "I think we should take more of a 'Why not?' attitude.
"Why not advise patients to eat better, add turmeric to their diet, drink more green tea, take exercise?" It won't do you any harm, and it might well do you a lot of good.
Community: And there’s this from the Huffington Post: “How What You Eat NOW Could Affect Your Cancer Risk Later.”
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Healthy Eating Tips and Research

Can't sleep? Got the PMS blues? Before you open your medicine cabinet, step into your kitchen. "Real, whole, fresh food is the most powerful drug on the planet," says Mark Hyman, MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution. "It regulates every biological function of your body." In fact, recent research suggests not only what to eat but when to eat it for maximum benefit. Check out the latest smart food fixes.
(Mark Hyman, MD) If you are constantly putting in information that is making your body toxic, sick, and fat—hyper-processed industrial junk food, sugar, flour, chemicals, additives, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, inflammatory foods, or what I call anti-nutrients—it acts like poison in the body. It inflames your gut and your cells leading to whole-body inflammation that you experience as pain, allergies, headaches, fatigue, and depression and that leads to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
This one diet, The UltraSimple Diet—getting the junk out, getting inflammatory foods out, adding healing, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory foods—has the power to heal in a way that medication can’t and never will be able to. I have used it for decades with tens of thousands of patients with remarkable results. We are beginning studies at Harvard that will look at how to tackle the toughest diseases with a simple change in diet.
(Zanthe Taylor, M.F.A., Psychology Today) For the first time in memory, many major players in the food world are uniting behind a specific concept: that the poor state of American eating is a direct result of the ways our country produces and markets our food. Acceptance seems to be growing that the endless cycle of demonizing specific nutrients and components of food—fat, salt, sugar, carbs—is not helping us overcome the sorry state of our national eating habits or the related health and weight issues. Rather, we need to change our eating behavior and our food culture if we stand any chance of improving the way we eat. 
(MedPage Today) With the growing focus on the ill effects of trans-fatty acids, the majority of food companies have lowered levels of the ingredient in their products -- but only about half completely eliminated use of the processed fat, researchers found. In an analysis of 270 food products, 66% had reduced their trans fat content between 2007 and 2011, Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, … and colleagues reported… The majority (82%) listed 0 grams of trans fat on their nutrition labels (anything below 0.5 grams qualifies as trans-fat-free per FDA standards), but only half had completely eliminated the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, the main trans fat used in industrially produced foods.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) …And the sausages, the salami and all other processed meat: the more of it you eat, the greater your risks of death from heart disease, stroke and cancer. That’s the conclusion of a newly published European analysis that collected data from almost a half-million people in 10 countries. The researchers found that consuming more than 20 grams of processed meat per day (equivalent to a single thin strip of bacon) was enough to raise the risks.
More . . .

Recipes

EatingWell:
U.S. News & World Report:
Red Wine Vinegar, 3 Ways
Try these simple dishes for your Memorial Day celebration
MyRecipes.com:
Your Top Grilling Questions Answered
Grilling experts share their tips and secrets for great grilling and answer your burning questions.
The Way to Grill Everything
From grilling the perfect steak to brining pork chops to barbecuing chicken, grillmaster Jamie Purviance will teach you how to have a successful grilling experience.
The Supermarket Guru:
Safe Grilling for Memorial Day
Memorial Day is around the corner and SupermarketGuru wants you to be fully prepared; here are our top tips for the grill.
Healthy Condiments for Grilling
Memorial Day is just days away, find out what the top five condiments are for grilling and their health benefits.
Cooking Light:
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Why include dairy products in your diet?

(NIH Senior Health, via email) Dairy products are an important source of calcium and vitamin D, nutrients that helps keep bones strong. See the best types of dairy products to eat -- and to limit -- as you get older.
The information on Eating Well as You Get Older was provided by NIHSeniorHealth and developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH.
Community: And there’s this from the Reader’s Digest: “No Whey! 12 Surprising, Persuasive Reasons to Eat Dairy Today.”
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Why Coffee is Good for You

(Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, Appetite for Health) Enjoying a cup of coffee while reading this story? Well, you should! It turns out that your morning brew may do a lot more than just taste good…
[I]t seems that a daily cup (or two) of joe may have some real health benefits.  A recent New England Journal of Medicine study of 400,000 older Americans, reported that coffee drinkers were less likely to die over the next 14 years than were those who abstained from the beverage or rarely drank it.
This data adds to earlier research showing potential health benefits of coffee drinking for other diseases/conditions including:
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases…
Heart Disease and Stroke…
In addition, coffee has been linked to lower risks for heart rhythm disturbances (another heart attack and stroke risk factor) in men and women, and lower risk for strokes in women.
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4 Reasons to Eat Beans

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) They often get a bad rap for causing indigestion and flatulence, but the health benefits of beans (and other legumes, such as lentils) make them a stellar choice in a healthful diet. Beans are:
1.    An excellent source of vegetarian protein, providing six to seven grams per half-cup serving.
2.    High in folic acid, which may help to protect against cancers of the lung, colon and cervix, and prevent birth defects.
3.    A great source of fiber, dishing up 25-30% of the Daily Value of dietary fiber, 75% of which is insoluble - the type that reduces the risk of colon cancer.
4.    A low-glycemic-index food, making them a good option for diabetics.
In addition, most varieties are inexpensive and versatile.
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Is miso good for you?

(Consumer Reports) Miso, the main ingredient in that cloudy broth you may have had in Japanese restaurants, is relatively high in sodium, with about 630 milligrams per tablespoon. So if you are prone to high blood pressure, you might want to use the ingredient in moderation. But miso has a number of benefits that can make it part of a healthy diet, even if you are watching your blood pressure.
[However,] using miso can let you cut back on the salt and fat you add to your cooking while enhancing flavor…
[T]he fermentation process … also turns the ingredient into a probiotic, meaning that it's full of potentially good bacteria. Growing research shows that probiotics can help maintain good digestive health…
In addition, since miso is made from soybeans, like other soy foods it is high in isoflavones, food compounds that some research has linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer, menopausal symptoms, and heart disease.
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Ionized, alkalinized water: Don't swallow the hype

(Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, Slate) Companies such as Chanson, Kangen and many others aim to sell you a gizmo for $1,000 (or $2,000 or $3,000) to run your tap water through. The devices contain electrodes that purport to realign your water, split off some hydrogen atoms along the way and rid it of various pesky problems so that it will taste better and be healthier and your arthritis will go away. In a week. Maybe two…
The ionizer splits water into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen. The idea is that cleaving emancipates enslaved atoms from water's neutral charge (hydrogen is positive, and oxygen is negative), and that this liberation is salutary. You're suddenly full of electricity, and everything feels better!
This view that more ions are welcome stands in direct opposition to the proven free radical theory of disease, where negative charges look for unsuspecting molecules to glom onto and destroy, making you age and get arthritis and gray hair and all the problems that ionization sets out to cure.
Water ionization and alkalinization is another fad without science to support it. Save your money.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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