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Health News Results - 703

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Popcorn, with its ample dietary fiber and typically low calorie count, makes it easy to understand why many people think a giant bucket at the movie theater qualifies as a healthy snack.

But be careful before you start scooping handfuls into your mouth as the opening credits roll; not all popcorn is created equal.

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Sweet summer fruits make a luscious ending to a meal, but there's no reason to limit them to dessert. Here are three fruity no-cook dishes that will please every palate.

For a sauce with a special flavor punch, add chopped fresh cherries to your favorite salsa recipe. Cherries are loaded with anthocyanins, an antioxidant with a deep red color...

MONDAY, June 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- With all the attention that the very high-fat Keto diet is getting, you might be wondering how much fat is healthy and how much your body really needs every day to thrive.

First, know that some fat is essential for most people. Your body uses fat for many health functions, including processing fat-soluble vitamins like A and E. Including some ...

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite its vibrant green and red stalks, rhubarb might be one of the most overlooked plants in the garden.

An acquired taste, it looks like celery and has a tart tang, yet is used in many dessert recipes, from compote to pie. As with cranberries, rhubarb needs quite a bit of sweetness to appeal to the palate. It's often paired with strawbe...

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Is that second serving of steak or extra strip of bacon worth shaving time off your life?

That's a question researchers want you to ponder, because their new study finds the more red and processed meat you eat, the greater the odds of cutting your life short.

People who increased their red meat intake by just half a serving a day ...

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Everybody eats while standing at parties, picnics and food trucks, but science suggests we'd all enjoy our food much more if we sat down.

Your posture -- that is, whether you're sitting or standing -- affects your sense of taste. And researchers at the University of South Florida say sitting makes your food taste better.

They inv...

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The more we learn about fiber, the more important the recommendation to get enough of it becomes.

Key Health Benefits of Fiber

  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Easing elimination
  • Improving heart health
  • Possibly reducing colon cancer risk
  • Helping with weight co...

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Spinach-loving seniors, rejoice. A new study suggests that -- despite doctor warnings to the contrary -- you can eat leafy greens rich in vitamin K if you are taking the blood thinner warfarin.

In fact, "I think all warfarin-treated patients would benefit from increasing their daily vitamin K intake," said lead author Guylaine Ferland. She's...

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Creamy and rich, yogurt is a versatile dairy food that can be turned into delicious meals.

It's high in protein, probiotics to help with digestion, and other essential nutrients like calcium. Research has shown that the fat in yogurt doesn't damage your heart, so full-fat is fine unless you're on a low-fat diet for health or to lose weight. ...

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- One simple change in your diet -- replacing beef with poultry -- could go a long way toward curbing climate change, research shows.

Beef is the largest dietary contributor to greenhouse gases for average people, and replacing it can halve a diner's food-based carbon footprint and improve health, according to findings presented Monday at the Amer...

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From positive effects on cholesterol levels to reducing the risk of heart disease and even some cancers, nuts are good for you.

Ounce for ounce, they are nutrient powerhouses with beneficial fats and plant protein. Many studies recommend eating 1-1/2 ounces of nuts a day, but which are best? High levels of nutrients put these at the top of the...

SATURDAY, June 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The kind of foods you eat, and even the order in which you eat them can affect your odds of developing type 2 diabetes, three new studies suggest.

The studies -- being presented to the American Society for Nutrition -- found:

  • Switching to a mostly plant-based diet (but one that could still include m...

SUNDAY, June 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Eight of every 10 American households buys sodas and other sugary drinks each week, adding up to 2,000 calories per household per week, new research shows.

To put that in perspective, 2,000 calories is equal to the recommended average caloric intake for an adult for an entire day.

With the obesity epidemic ...

FRIDAY, June 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cold, sweet ice cream cones are a favorite summertime treat -- but don't overdo it.

They're high in calories and less nutritious than you probably think. That goes for frozen yogurt and flavored snow cones too, according to Suzy Weems, a professor of family and consumer sciences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Many people think i...

FRIDAY, June 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Juicing nutrient-rich green vegetables like kale, broccoli and spinach gives you a brew of many vitamins and minerals, all in just one cup.

But green juices can have an overpowering flavor, so many people want to cut their "bite" with the natural sweetness of fruit and/or a bit of sweetener, such as plant-based stevia or a teaspoon of maple sy...

THURSDAY, June 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Americans are making shifts in the supplements they take -- fewer multivitamins and vitamins C and E, more fish oil and vitamin D. Many think of supplements as magic bullets, but studies don't always support their supposed benefits.

Some research is positive. Vitamin D is important for good health and very hard to get naturally from foods or,...

WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- New research shatters the image of U.S. soldiers as the epitome of fitness and primed for battle: Instead, they are less likely to have ideal blood pressure than their civilian counterparts.

In fact, less than one-third of active Army personnel have ideal blood pressure (120/80 mm Hg), compared with over half of the general population, the ...

WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Whether you grow it yourself or buy it at your farmers' market or grocery store, zucchini is a great way to add variety to traditional dishes and even increase portion sizes of favorite recipes without extra calories.

Love cool cucumber salad? For a tasty variation, use thin strips of peeled zucchini, cut on a mandoline. (Note: Mandoline bla...

TUESDAY, June 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Flying in the face of popular belief, new research suggests both red meat and white meat can drive up your cholesterol levels.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), part of the University of California, San Francisco. The analysis is reportedly the first to comprehensivel...

TUESDAY, June 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Are you in the mood to mix up something sinful, but don't want to wreck your healthy eating plans? Use a stand mixer to do the heavy blending and whipping for three better-for-you treats.

Do-ahead pizza dough: To get more whole grains into your diet, use whole-wheat pastry flour instead of white flour. It's a lighter version of whole wh...

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From cappuccinos to cold brew, coffee is a morning must for many Americans, but is it healthy and how much is too much?

A University of South Australia study suggests a couple of cups to start your day probably won't hurt -- and may even be good for you. But drinking six or more cups of coffee a day can increase your risk of heart disease by up...

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new research review published in the BMJ has added to the debate over the merits of breakfast. It has long been regarded as "the most important meal of the day" -- and probably still is for growing children -- but what about adults who are trying to lose weight?

The theory has been that eating breakfast headed off rebound eating later...

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who get many of their meals from packages may have heightened risks of heart disease, stroke and premature death, two large studies suggest.

The findings, published online May 29 in the journal BMJ, are the latest to point the finger at "ultra-processed" foods.

They include not only "junk food" -- like chips, sweets an...

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Want to be part of the movement to limit food waste of all kinds? One tasty way is to get the most from all your citrus fruits by using the zest, the brightly colored top layer of peel.

Tangy citrus zest is a natural antioxidant. It's also a "free" food, because it has practically zero calories, yet is full of flavor thanks to the natural oi...

WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Here's more evidence that energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster are not risk-free. Researchers find they may boost blood pressure and the odds of electrical problems in the heart.

And they say caffeine isn't the culprit.

"Energy drinks are readily accessible and commonly consumed by a large number of teens and young adults, inclu...

TUESDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You know how important it is to eat seafood twice a week, but buying fresh fish and shellfish can seem daunting. You'll find that it's a lot easier if you remember a few simple rules.

When buying whole fish, look for bright, clear eyes. The eyes are the window to a truly fresh fish, because they quickly turn to a dull gray with age. The rest o...

MONDAY, May 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer vacation -- a season of potato salad, ice cream and, if you're not careful, unwanted weight gain.

But it is possible to avoid packing on the pounds. Just hop on the scale every day, researchers suggest.

The new study included 111 U.S. adults, who weighed themselves every day from mid...

MONDAY, May 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Red or green, sweet or hot, peppers are a great source of vitamins A, C, E and many of the B vitamins, plus minerals like calcium, iron and potassium.

These and other nutrients are jammed into a low-calorie "package" that's perfect for stuffing with other healthful foods. Chili peppers, such as jalapenos and serranos, also add zesty spice to d...

FRIDAY, May 24, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- For years, studies have shown a relationship between drinking a moderate amount of red wine and good heart health, but experts say it's important to understand what that means before you prescribe yourself a glass or two a day.

No research has established a cause-and-effect link between drinking alcohol and better heart health...

THURSDAY, May 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you love quick breads but crave a healthier treat, this lighter take on Grandma's traditional recipe serves up a lemony lift. And because it calls for whole grains, dried fruit and nuts, it's packed with goodness.

Quick breads are great because they're fast to put together, no kneading necessary. The lemon in this recipe not only flavors t...

THURSDAY, May 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- What and when you eat certain foods can boost how you feel at different times during the day. When it comes to meal planning, timing is everything.

Important for anyone trying to lose weight, research shows that having a high-protein breakfast -- that means 35 grams' worth -- can keep your appetite in check for the entire day. It may even hel...

THURSDAY, May 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Your unhealthy eating habits could increase your risk of cancer as much as drinking alcohol can, new research reports.

The Tufts University study found that poor diets cause about the same number of cancer cases as alcohol consumption does in the United States.

The researchers said their modeling study estimated that dietary factor...

TUESDAY, May 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The DASH diet's mission is to fight high blood pressure. But a new study suggests that the eating plan may also significantly lower the risk of heart failure in people younger than 75.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The diet is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products. I...

TUESDAY, May 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're looking for a tasty way to hydrate in warm weather, a juicy melon is the ticket. Melons are low-calorie, high-water content foods that also provide high doses of certain vitamins, minerals and important phyto-nutrients.

Nutrients in Powerhouse Melons

  • Cantaloupe: vitamins A and C, carotenoids, folate and potassi...

MONDAY, May 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The guidelines to eat more vegetables are clear, and eating a rainbow of colors gets you the widest variety of nutrients and phyto-nutrients, those hard-to-duplicate compounds that go beyond vitamins and minerals.

But whether you're at the farmers' market or choosing a side dish at a restaurant, are some vegetables better than others?

FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most folks know that sugary drinks aren't healthy, but a new study finds fruit juices are not much better.

In fact, consuming them regularly may help shorten your life, researchers say.

"Older adults who drink more sugary beverages, which include fruit juice as well as sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages, may be at risk of dying...

FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Whether you have a dedicated space in an outdoor garden or just a few buckets on a small patio, there's nothing quite like having your own herb garden for giving your cooking fresh flavor boosts.

But what if you live in an apartment or in a cold climate that can't sustain outdoor herbs in the winter?

The answer is to create an indoo...

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have long believed the obesity epidemic is at least partly related to the proliferation of highly processed foods. Now, new research suggests the connection is real.

In a tightly controlled lab study, scientists found that people ate many more calories -- and gained a couple of pounds -- when they spent two weeks on a highly proce...

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Ounce for ounce and calorie for calorie, leafy greens and other types of vegetables are the hands-down favorites for delivering on nutrients. But many fruits should also have a place at the table.

Researchers looked at the most nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to see which provided meaningful amounts of B vitamins including thiamin, ribof...

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Want chips that deliver great taste without the typical additives in most packaged varieties? Then a food dehydrator is the kitchen appliance for you.

At its core, a food dehydrator is a great way to preserve foods. Because it removes a food's water content, mold and bacteria can't grow. Dried fruits and vegetables make great on-the-go snack...

TUESDAY, May 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to sugars in food, you're far better off having a bowl of blueberries than a granola bar, a nutritionist says.

Added sugars just aren't the same as natural sugars, noted Kara Shifler Bowers, a registered dietitian at Penn State PRO Wellness, a health center in Hershey, Pa.

"Natural sugars in fruit are different because ...

TUESDAY, May 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's nothing quite like the smell and taste of warm blueberry muffins. But when you buy them from a local bakery or your favorite coffee shop, they can clock in at 500 calories or more.

Making your own is well worth the time, because you can shave off 300 calories a pop.

This recipe uses whole-wheat pastry flour, available at mos...

MONDAY, May 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's almost time for long summer weekends and backyard barbecues. And you may be wondering if a day or two of burgers and beers does any long-term damage to your body.

A new Australian study suggests that if you normally have a healthy lifestyle, you can relax and enjoy the feasts. The study found that the body adapts and quickly bounces back f...

MONDAY, May 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Lentils are super nutritious legumes that sometimes take a backseat to beans because they're not always as readily available and aren't sold precooked in cans like many beans are.

But, unlike most dried beans, lentils don't need to be soaked overnight before using and they cook up quickly. In fact, when making lentils, the key is to not...

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Low-carb, vegetarian, Mediterranean -- whatever your diet, it's important to get enough protein.

Although research hasn't yet pinpointed one perfect formula, experts say that the typical "recommended" daily minimums aren't optimal, and that it helps to factor in your weight and activity level to determine how much protein you personally...

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An immersion blender is one of the handiest tools you can have in the kitchen. Not only does it let you whip up a soup or sauce in seconds, it stores easily in a drawer.

Put your immersion blender to work making homemade mayonnaise, which you can enjoy plain or flavor any way you like. To master the basic recipe, use light olive oil (not extra-...

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- If you have high blood pressure, chances are you've been told to cut back on salt. You might even be taking medication. These are good strategies, as nearly half of all adults in the United States work to keep hypertension at bay.

What if there were an easier way to make sure nearly everyone took at least one small step toward...

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pesto is a delicious and fast pasta sauce. Because it can be made in advance and served cold, it's also a perfect do-ahead dish.

The nuts used in traditional pesto are healthful, but whether almonds, walnuts or pine nuts, you may not always want the extra calories they pack in. There are some great variations that are just as flavorful.

...

FRIDAY, May 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Up all night, stressing out, feeling pressured. Cramming for college finals can bring all that, plus have students reaching for fatty, sugary foods, a new study suggests.

"Stress has long been implicated in poor diet. People tend to report overeating and comfort eating foods high in fat, sugar and calories in times of stress," said study leader ...

THURSDAY, May 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An overhaul of the U.S. food system is needed so Americans can easily choose healthy foods, claims an advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA).

"Innovation in the food system is needed at multiple levels -- the food industry, agricultural industry, public health and medicine, policy, and among communities, worksites, schools, and fa...

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Wellness Library Results - 60

Now that you're pregnant and eating for two, you probably wonder a bit about your diet and whether you're getting the nutrients you need. And if you suffer occasional bouts of nausea or morning sickness, your diet is even more of a concern. Here are some of the most common questions about nutritional needs during pregnancy. How much weight should I gain during pregnancy? Every woman is different...

The deep fragrance of soy and garlic wafted out to the nurses' station from Mrs. Lee's room, signaling that her daughter, Mrs. Wong, had arrived with lunch. Time for me to make rounds. Mrs. Wong was her mother's interpreter and advocate, as well as her cook. When I walked in, Mrs. Wong was untying the handles of white plastic bags bearing red Chinese lettering. Inside were rectangular plastic cont...

You may feel unsettled when your mother botches her favorite recipe. Then again, who hasn't confused tablespoons with teaspoons a few times? But as the months go on, she starts forgetting to turn off burners. She puts salt in her coffee rather than sugar. And one day, she no longer remembers to eat. When Alzheimer's disease begins taking over the brain, even the most basic instincts aren't safe. ...

Remember those high school chemistry experiments in which you mixed two harmless chemicals and got a bizarre reaction? You may be performing a similar experiment on yourself every time you take two medications at the same time. Certain drugs react strongly when taken with others, often causing serious side effects. In rare cases, drug interactions can even be deadly. Drugs can affect each other i...

Should I be worried about eating fish while I'm pregnant? Since fish is low in saturated fat and high in heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, eating it during pregnancy is very important. But seafood is the only significant source of mercury in our food, and some fish have levels of mercury so high that it may be harmful to a developing baby. No more than two helpings a week of low-mercury fish ar...

Many people with diabetes have to rethink their approach to eating. Often, that means a new approach in the kitchen, too. You can bring out great flavors in foods without adding a lot of fat, calories or salt. If your kitchen is a place where healthy menus go to die, it's time to try some new cooking tips. For starters, a diabetes-friendly kitchen doesn't come equipped with a deep-fat fryer. Dee...

Menopause is a time when a woman's body goes through major changes. Some may be due to the natural transformations that come with aging. Others are produced when a woman stops generating the hormones that regulate her menstrual periods. In many women, these changes can trigger hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia, night sweats, depression, and loss of interest in sex. Weight gain is common among...

Think about some of your favorite recipes. Do they include heavy cream by the cupful? Butter by the stick? Those meals may be tasty, but they aren't doing your heart any favors. Fortunately, you don't have to throw out your recipe books -- or sacrifice flavor -- to make your meals more heart healthy. All it takes is a little translating. When the casserole recipe calls for heavy cream, you read "...

Soda addiction has long been a problem in our nation's schools. Every day for years, many kids have lined up at vending machines to buy their 20-ounce bottles of sugar and carbonated water before they go off to study important subjects like history, math, and, yes, nutrition. Kids love soda, but they aren't the only ones who are hooked. With few exceptions, it's the schools that haven't been able ...

Most of the time Rosalia Scalia is a happy vegan. She turned her back on meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products and embraces grains, beans, and greens instead. She devours volumes on nutrition and health, and enjoys whipping up exotic dishes from vegetable-based cuisine. After six years of dining low on the food chain, she's never felt healthier. There's just one problem: She can't get enough of the...

Can omega-3 fatty acids stabilize mood and combat depression? We all have fat on the brain. Amazingly enough, more than half of the brain's dry weight comes from fat. Some of these fats are the key building blocks of cell membranes and play essential roles in the brain's function. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, help form cell membranes, keep those membranes flexible, and regulate the flow of ...

Is organic produce healthier for my kids? There's good reason to suspect so. The virtue of organic produce is that it's grown with far fewer toxic chemicals than is conventional produce. And there's no doubt that direct exposure to some of the pesticides and herbicides used in conventional farming can pose a danger to children. Certain chemicals can harm the immune system or central nervous syste...

Why does my child refuse to eat anything that's green? Probably for the same reason she insists on dressing herself and resists going to bed on time -- because she can. Some kids go through lots of fussy eating stages, but the first and most common occurs when they're toddlers, about the time they learn to say no. The next time your child scrunches up her face, clenches her jaw, and pushes her pe...

Finding time to make your child breakfast -- not to mention getting him to eat it -- can be a struggle. Usually he's halfway to school before you can say, "OJ." The good news is that you don't have to provide a complete meal every morning. What's important is getting your child out the door with a dose of energy and at least a few essential nutrients. Here are some ways to give him what he needs...

The key to preparing nutritious family dinners in a limited amount of time is planning ahead. "When 4 o'clock in the afternoon rolls around, most people have no idea what they'll have for dinner," says physician and professional chef John LaPuma, who co-founded ChefMD, a health and media company dedicated to helping people choose and cook healthful meals. "Unfortunately, most of us tend to grab th...

Once your child starts school, you can't really monitor what she has for lunch. Sure, you pack good things in that paper bag. But does she actually eat those strawberries or trade them for some buttery crackers? Though you can't guarantee that the nourishing foods will get inside of her, you can improve the odds by following a few simple tips:

Many people with high blood pressure see salt as a villain. According to conventional wisdom, just a few shakes can send blood pressure soaring. But is salt really so dangerous? After decades of studies, scientists finally have an answer to that question: Yes -- and no. For many people, extra salt really does raise blood pressure. In a few cases, however, it seems to lower pressure. And for some ...

Should I worry if my child loves to snack? Not for a second. Kids need so much energy while they're growing up that they often can't get enough from three square meals. Instead of fretting, encourage your child to choose the most nutritious snacks. What are the best choices? Obviously a piece of fruit or handful of carrot sticks is the most healthful snack going. But there are plenty of other n...

Should I be worried if my child is skinny? As long as she's a healthy eater, there shouldn't be any cause for concern. A lot of children are naturally thin. Chances are, your child will fill out as she gets older. Most kids follow a fairly steady growth curve that's dictated, in part, by genetics; if you were a beanpole in your youth, it's more than likely that your child will be, too. You shou...

What do Inuits in Greenland have in common with residents of downtown Tokyo? More than you might think: Both groups rarely suffer heart attacks, and both groups eat a lot of fish. Nutritionists now believe it may not be a coincidence that such dramatically different populations have a similar low incidence of heart disease. Whether you live in an igloo or a skyscraper, fish is good for your heart....

The biggest shortfall in most Americans' diets isn't vitamins or minerals. It's fiber. Experts say adult women should get 25 grams a day while men should get 38 grams. Yet we average a paltry 15 grams. Our kids aren't doing any better. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that children ages 1 to 3 get at least 19 grams of fiber a day, and children ages 4 to 8 get 25 grams. The AHA say...

What kind of diet will help me keep my blood pressure under control? If you have hypertension, your doctor will most likely recommend that you cut back on salt, particularly if you're 40 or older. To find out whether your blood pressure will respond to a low-salt diet, try to get no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day (just about the amount in one teaspoon of table salt) -- and much less t...

Ding Dongs and Doritos have never solved anyone's problems, but that doesn't keep us from seeking solace in food. When work gets hectic, when plans fall apart, when relationships founder, we often try to calm our minds by filling our stomachs. "Everybody has their own comfort food," says Marci Gluck, PhD, a research clinical psychologist with the National Institutes of Health. A bag of chips, a b...

On the Internet and around the water cooler, you're likely to hear stories claiming that eating a certain food or eliminating one kind of food from your diet can change your quality of life. Except in rare cases of food allergy or intolerance, there's no concrete evidence that a simple change in diet can, say, banish chronic pain for good. Researchers have found, however, that eating particular fo...

Is a vegetarian diet healthy for children? Experts are still debating that question. Some say a vegetarian diet is fine for kids (in fact, the American Dietetic Association endorses vegetarian diets for all ages). Others worry that limiting their choice of foods may prevent kids, who tend to be picky eaters to begin with, from getting the nutrients and calories they need in order to grow. But if...

What's wrong with skipping breakfast (or any other meal) if I'm not hungry? When you wake up in the morning you've probably gone about 11 hours without eating, and since your body uses calories as fuel, you'll need to refill your tank right away. While it's tough for your body to get going when you're running on empty, skipping breakfast is even harder on your brain. Most of the cells in your bod...

On a typically hectic morning, most of us couldn't possibly find the time to make that "complete breakfast" we remember seeing on the side of cereal boxes when we were kids. (And if you're not a morning person, the very idea of eggs, toast, juice, cereal, and milk may be more than you can stomach.) The good news is you don't have to entertain all the food groups at breakfast. What's important is g...

The key to preparing a nutritious dinner in a limited amount of time is planning ahead. "When 4 o'clock in the afternoon rolls around, most people have no idea what they'll have for dinner," says physician and professional chef John LaPuma, who runs a program at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, called CHEF -- for cooking, health, eating, and fitness. "Unfortunately, ...

When you're rushing out the door on a weekday morning, you just can't think ahead to lunchtime. It's hard enough to get showered and presentable, feed the cat, get your kids to school, and do whatever else needs doing. So when your stomach rumbles around noon, you dash to the nearest store for a ham sandwich gloppy with mayonnaise or you accept your co-worker's offering of the leftover fries at th...

Do I need sports drinks? When you're sweating your way to a serious thirst, water isn't always enough. That's why old-time American ranchers used to drink batches of switchel -- a mixture of water, molasses, and vinegar -- during haying season. Workouts have changed since then, and, thankfully, so have the energy drinks. The water is still there, but the molasses and vinegar have been replaced wi...

What is caffeine? If it weren't for caffeine, lots of people around the world would find it hard to get their day started. Caffeine is mild stimulant that occurs naturally in over 60 kinds of plants, most notably coffee, cocoa beans, and tea leaves. It's unlikely to cause any long-term health problems, but coffee fanatics can attest that an overload can make a person jittery and anxious for a few ...

What's the difference between herbs and supplements and the drugs that you buy over the counter? Shopping for dietary supplements can be like stepping into a wild frontier with few rules and fewer enforcers. Since the federal government doesn't regulate herbs and supplements -- as it does prescription and over-the-counter drugs -- herbal remedies don't have to go through rigorous testing or displ...

What are nutraceuticals? Remember the kids' book Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory ? One of Willie Wonka's most amazing inventions was a machine that packed an entire feast into a single piece of gum. When young Violet Beauregard stole one of the pieces and shoved it into her mouth, she could taste succulent roast beef followed by a steaming bowl of tomato soup, a baked potato, and a blueber...

What are protein supplements supposed to do? Step into any health-food store and you're likely to see stacks of protein-packed powders and bars, often accompanied by pictures of people with action-figure bodies. The message is clear: If you want to trade in your relatively normal body for the Mr. (or Ms.) Olympiad model, you can't live without products like Ultra Body-Building Protein Powder and ...

Is my diet triggering my headaches? It could be. Cold drinks, alcohol, caffeine withdrawal, hunger, and certain food additives -- all these things can cause the blood vessels in your brain to swell and press on the surrounding nerves. (This is the same way migraines cause head pain.) You sip a frozen drink too fast, and your temples throb unbearably for the next ten seconds. You have a few more c...

How can my diet affect my premenstrual symptoms? What you eat and drink can have a big influence on both the physical and emotional symptoms you may have each month during the week or two leading up to your period. Most experts recommend that women with premenstrual syndrome start by avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which can exacerbate headaches, anxiety, and depression. It's also a good idea to d...

Could the right diet help prevent heart disease? It certainly could. Ask a doctor or a dietitian about the value of good nutrition, and you're bound to get a lesson on the heart. Indeed, nutrition experts seem to be fixated on the organ. "This is good for the heart," they'll say, usually followed with, "And this is bad for the heart." There's a reason for all of this heart-talk: Cardiovascular di...

There's nothing in your refrigerator or cupboard that can cure osteoporosis. And no matter what vitamins or supplements you take, there are also no guarantees against broken bones. But if your bones have lost some of their strength, you'll need to pay extra attention to nutrition. Along with prescription medications and regular exercise, proper nutrition is a vital part of the three-pronged approa...

Can the food we eat ward off disease? There's no doubt about it -- especially if you combine that with some daily exercise. As many as one-third of all cancer cases are related to a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. In fact, four out of the six leading causes of death in the United States -- cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes -- ...

What is lactose intolerance? You're lactose intolerant when your intestines lack a certain enzyme, called lactase, needed to digest lactose, the sugar in milk and other dairy products. Within 30 minutes to two hours of eating these foods, you may suffer cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, you can't reverse lactose intolerance. But by making a few changes in your eating habits or b...

What is a vegetarian diet? Once a fringy, unpopular notion dismissed by some as downright unhealthy, eating your vegetables is now a mainstream idea. If you're skipping meat entirely, you're in good company: More than 7 million Americans say they never eat red meat, poultry, or fish. Instead, they fill their plates with plant-based foods, from vegetables, legumes, and fruits to nuts and grains. ...

Why do I need calcium? For all of the attention and acclaim calcium gets as a bone builder, that's just one of its jobs throughout the body. Among other things, the mineral plays a crucial role for the nerves and the heart. Recent studies have shown that calcium can help lower blood pressure, and there's some evidence that calcium can help prevent cancer of the colon and rectum. Calcium is so impo...

Why do I need iron? Iron is one of the most abundant metals on the planet, which is a good thing because our bodies can't function without it. Iron makes it possible for your red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of your body. If you don't have enough iron, your body won't get the oxygen that it needs to stay fully stoked. You'll feel tired and weak -- the classic signs of iron-deficiency an...

What is chromium? It's a metal that's much more valuable in your body than on your car. Chromium, found in tiny amounts in most foods, works like a key to unlock insulin. Without this nutrient, insulin is much less effective at controlling blood sugar, building proteins, or performing any of its other jobs. If you don't get enough chromium in your diet, you may be more likely to develop high bloo...

Why do I need selenium? You probably don't spend much time thinking about selenium, a rare metal that shows up in tiny amounts in all sorts of foods. There isn't very much selenium in your body, either, but its doing an important job. The mineral is a key ingredient to powerful antioxidant enzymes that protect your cells from damaging free radicals. It can definitely help keep your heart, liver, a...

Why do I need vitamin A? You've probably heard that the vitamins in carrots can help you see in the dark. That old tale is actually true -- the beta carotene in carrots and many other vegetables is converted in the intestines to vitamin A (also known as retinol), and vitamin A is undoubtedly good for the eyes. But night vision is only the beginning; vitamin A is also vital for healthy skin, strong...

Why do I need B vitamins? B vitamins are an important class of vitamins that help support your red blood cells and your nervous system. Some of the benefits are already well known. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant need plenty of folic acid -- also known as vitamin B-9, or folate -- to prevent a serious type of birth defect known as neural tube defects (these include spinal bif...

Why do I need zinc? Zinc may come last in any alphabetical listing of nutrients, but it's one mineral that your body absolutely can't do without. It plays a key role in your immune system and wound healing. It's also important for fertility and growth. Severe cases of zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, impotence, and skin lesions, among other things. Fortunately, most people get plenty of zinc i...

What is macrobiotics? Macrobiotics is a belief system developed by the Japanese philosopher George Ohsawa in the 1930s. It's based primarily on the ancient Chinese principle that you can maintain health and well-being by balancing the opposing forces of yin and yang, which are inherent in everything in the universe. This balance is achieved in large part by following certain rules for choosing an...

Can the foods I eat really affect my mood? You bet. If you've ever recovered from a stressful day with a bowl of Haagen-Dazs, you know they can -- and science backs you up. A number of studies over the past 25 years have found that healthy, well-balanced diets can offer strong protection against depression. Of course, different foods change mood in different ways. Starchy foods can help you rel...

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