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Health News Results - 612

FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Tax it, and fewer folks will buy it.

So it goes with sugar-sweetened drinks, new research suggests.

The California city of Berkeley introduced the nation's first soda tax in 2014, and within months people were buying 21 percent fewer sugary drinks. Three years later, 52 percent fewer of these drinks were being sold while consumpti...

FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nuts are a delicious food to enjoy year-round, adding a richer taste to many of your favorite dishes. High in protein, fiber and essential minerals, nuts also contain healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats that help fight inflammation.

Nuts are natural hunger-busters, but pay attention to your portion size. A snack of 10 to 12 peanuts, walnuts...

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Fast-food restaurants get a bad rap for menus chockful of high-fat, high-salt foods with little nutrition. But are fast casual and sit-down chains better? The answer may surprise you.

A University of South Carolina study looked at the calories in lunch and dinner entrees and found that fast-casual dishes had, on average, 200 more calories t...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Has a high-fat meal ever left you feeling bloated and sluggish? It turns out that a heavier fat diet may keep the many bacteria that live in your digestive system from doing their best, too.

New research found that when people boosted their fat intake to 40 percent of their daily diet for six months, the number of "good" gut bacteria decre...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 -- (HealthDay News) -- Dense root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and parsnips benefit from roasting. They sweeten as they cook, making for healthy comfort food during cold winter months.

Follow these general steps for any hard vegetables: Start by cutting them into uniform pieces, so they'll roast and brown evenly. (Otherwise, you can end up with either b...

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you have type 2 diabetes and you want to do your heart a favor, a new study suggests you should let your diet get a little nutty.

Folks with type 2 diabetes who ate five or more servings of certain kinds of nuts weekly dropped their odds of heart disease by about 20 percent, compared to people who ate less than a serving a month. A serving...

MONDAY, Feb. 18, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Convenience stores may be handy, but they may not be healthy for your arteries.

A new study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researched how neighborhood food environments are associated with atherosclerosis, the buildup of artery-clogging plaque that can lead to heart attacks and stro...

MONDAY, Feb. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Is the dinner table a battleground at your house? Getting your kids to eat better doesn't have to cause a fight if you follow these fast and easy strategies to enhance dishes that they already know and love.

In some households, veggies and kids just don't mix. But carrot fries have serious visual appeal plus nutrients, like high levels of vit...

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A typical workout doesn't give you license to eat whatever you want.

Even a full hour of vigorous skiing burns just 600 calories -- less than the amount in a super-sized fast food sandwich. That's why it's important to think of exercise as just one part of a shape-up plan.

Exercise works the cardiovascular system and builds muscle, b...

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Oils are one of the most widely used ingredients in cooking and are healthy alternatives to butter and margarine.

All cooking oils, including olive, canola and peanut oil, contain 14 grams of total fat per tablespoon, and roughly 120 calories. So measure amounts carefully because even though some fat is essential for good health and these are...

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Older women, beware: New research warns that drinking a lot of diet sodas or artificially sweetened fruit juices may increase your risk for stroke.

In a study that tracked nearly 82,000 postmenopausal women, those who drank two or more diet drinks per day saw their overall stroke risk rise by 23 percent, compared with those who consumed diet...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You don't have to give up tropical drinks and chocolatey desserts for Valentine's Day and other celebrations. Just streamline them and boost their health profile.

Sweet and fiber-rich pears can be whipped into great cocktails. Most pears at the grocery store or even at the farmer's market are picked early, since they can get easily damaged ...

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Every year, Americans spend $22 billion on chocolate, and it's a safe bet that Valentine's Day accounts for a decent percentage of that total. While a heart-shaped box of chocolates may seem like the opposite of healthy, experts say it's less about the occasional small indulgence and more about making good everyday food choices.

...

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to cooking veggies, fresh from the farmer's market always tastes best. But when you're cooking produce out of season, head to the freezer section of your favorite store.

Veggies are typically frozen at the height of freshness, making them a great winter staple.

Dense vegetables in particular are ideal for freezer stor...

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The benefits of eating fewer calories may go far beyond losing weight.

Three decades of animal studies have found that eating fewer calories can extend lifespan and reduce the risk of chronic diseases and even some cancers. And some, though not all, of these benefits are starting to be seen in men and women taking part in clinical trials.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When cold weather hits, a hot bowl of chili is a great way to fuel up. High-protein turkey chili contains a lot less fat than traditional recipes, yet can deliver all the flavor.

Turkey is lower in calories than beef -- as long as you buy lean ground turkey breast. This recipe also uses low-calorie vegetables for additional flavor (...

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Every five years, the U.S. government updates its dietary guidelines based in part on new research, but always with the goal of disease prevention.

The 2015-2020 guidelines stress the need to shift to healthier foods and beverages. Although research links vegetables and fruits to a lower risk of many chronic illnesses and suggests they may pro...

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one in four American teens misperceives their weight, and that can trigger a bad chain of events, researchers say.

"American adolescents who misperceive their weight are significantly more likely to engage in unhealthy dietary and food habits, and are more likely to have sedentary lifestyles," said corresponding study author Jagdish Khub...

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For nutrient-dense foods that are low in calories, it's hard to beat berries. But it's also hard to pay what they cost out of season.

Frozen berries are a healthy freezer staple that taste as good as fresh, and are a lot more budget-friendly.

Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries (they're not just for ...

FRIDAY, Feb. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Thousands more deaths from heart disease and stroke could occur in England if Brexit goes ahead, researchers warn.

Fruits and vegetables play an important role in heart health, and the United Kingdom is highly dependent on imported produce, the authors of a new study explained.

Brexit -- the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union ...

FRIDAY, Feb. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Chips, dips, wings and other fatty and salty things -- Super Bowl parties can be a challenge for people with diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, an expert warns.

"For people with diabetes, the goal is to keep the carbohydrates down -- and encourage more of the protein-rich foods -- to enhance satiety," said Jo Ann Carson, dietici...

THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (American Heart Association) -- With more than 100 million people watching the Super Bowl each year, advertisers launch a high-stakes blitz to win the battle of the brands. From a wellness perspective, viewers face their own Super Bowl challenge: Which advertised products are healthy, and which aren't?

Keep these health facts in mind as you watch the onslaugh...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For years, you've probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day if you're trying to maintain a healthy weight. But new research suggests that's not true.

Eating a hearty breakfast doesn't help people eat less later in the day, and those who have breakfast end up eating more calories each day, the review found.

...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you'd like to lighten up on carbs without compromising the taste of dishes you love, make cauliflower "rice" your go-to substitute ingredient.

Cauliflower is among the healthiest of all vegetables, high in vitamin C, fiber and folate. "Ricing" it simply means pulsing it in a food processor until chunks become the size of rice grains. Th...

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Socializing with friends is great for physical and emotional well-being, but if all of your get-togethers are at restaurants or bars, it can be hard to stick to a healthy eating plan.

Try these ideas for having fun without placing the emphasis on food. Both you and your friends will benefit.

Turn your brunch group into an art...

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When counting calories, don't forget those in beverages. You might not realize how many you're drinking.

For instance, if you have a fancy coffee to start your day, a large soda with lunch and sweet tea with your afternoon snack, you could tally up hundreds of calories before you factor in your first bite of solid food.

Here...

FRIDAY, Jan. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A low-carbon diet -- one high in vegetables and grains -- is good for both your health and the planet, researchers say.

Food production is a major contributor to climate change, so researchers decided to examine the carbon footprint of more than 16,000 Americans' diets.

"People whose diets had a lower carbon footprint were eating les...

THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- While some people fight the "battle of the bulge" for a lifetime, others seem to effortlessly stay slim. And now scientists say it all boils down to genetics.

Certain DNA helps decide whether weight gain is a torment or not for people, British researchers report.

"It's easy to rush to judgment and criticize people for their weight,...

THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 (American Heart Association) -- The start of a new year is a ripe time to branch out -- and try those fruits and vegetables you may have noticed but keeping passing by at the supermarket.

Perhaps the finger-like appendages of a Buddha's hand have called out. Or you've been curious about that one vegetable you don't know how to pronounce, much less prepare for ...

THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Weight loss wisdom suggests chewing every bite 15 or more times to give your brain time to process what you're eating and send the signal that you're full. Now a group of studies has found that counting the bites themselves could be an effective way to lose weight.

Knowing that dieters often underreport how many calories they eat, researcher...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Fried chicken, french fries and chicken-fried steak might be delicious, but treating yourself to such fare regularly could be deadly, a new study warns.

Women who eat more than one serving a week of fried chicken or fried fish have an increased risk of heart disease and death, researchers report.

"Overall, we found that total frie...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Candy dishes, cupcakes and cookies abound in the typical office, so if you're striving to eat healthy, the workplace can be a culinary minefield.

Researchers surveyed more than 5,000 people and found that about one in four working adults said they got food or beverages from work at least once a week. Many of those foods were high in calorie...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For many, a microwave is indispensable, but questions remain about the safety of containers used to cook and reheat food in it.

Most of the controversy surrounds the chemicals used to make plastic containers soft or clear, like BPA and phthalates. These chemicals are called endocrine disrupters, because they can mimic hormones such as estr...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Making soup is an easy way to get your veggies while having a warming, low-calorie meal. Soups can also double as easy lunches that just need re-heating. Here are two to try:

Creamy Asparagus Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds asparagus, chop...

TUESDAY, Jan. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Avoiding food before bedtime probably won't help your blood sugar levels and health, a new study suggests.

Some experts say not eating for two hours before going to bed helps prevent high blood sugar (glucose) levels and related health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. But there is no clear evidence to support this theory.

...

MONDAY, Jan. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's no doubt that an unhealthy diet and couch potato lifestyle put your health at risk, but when considering improvements, should you change one at a time or both at once?

Northwestern University researchers found that it's not only doable, but also more effective, to change unhealthy behaviors simultaneously. Different groups of study pa...

THURSDAY, Jan. 17, 2019 (American Heart Association) -- There may be no dietary staple more in need of a public relations makeover than bread. Concerns over carbs, sodium and gluten sometime overshadow what can be a simple, tasty way to add important vitamins and minerals as well as fiber to daily meals.

But some breads are better for you than others.

Whole-grain breads a...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The average person's daily diet will need to change drastically during the next three decades to make sure everyone is fed without depleting the planet, a panel of experts has concluded.

Global consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar will have to decrease by about half to make sure the Earth will be able to feed a growing population...

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all TV food ads aimed at Hispanic and black children in the United States are for unhealthy products, a new report claims.

In 2017, black teens saw more than twice as many ads for unhealthy food products as white teens, researchers found.

"Food companies have introduced healthier products and established corporate responsibil...

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Getting kids to try new foods can become a daily showdown. One promising approach: expose babies early on to varied tastes and textures.

Researchers in Brisbane, Australia, found that food experiences when just 14 months old can influence the eating habits that children will exhibit at age 3. And introducing a variety of fruits and vegetables ...

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If one of your resolutions for 2019 is to improve your health, reducing your risk of cancer should be part of that goal, a cancer expert says.

While cancer risk factors such as family history and aging can't be controlled, lifestyle changes such as eating right, staying active and not smoking can lower your risk, said Dr. Elias Obeid. He is di...

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cereal TV ads aimed at young children put them at increased risk for obesity and cancer, researchers warn.

A poor diet, including too much sugar, can lead to obesity, a known risk factor for 13 cancers.

"One factor believed to contribute to children's poor quality diets is the marketing of nutritionally poor foods directly to childr...

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Tainted food, trash-filled parklands and even hungry kids: Public health could be increasingly at risk as the U.S. government shutdown drags into its 21st day, experts say.

Crucial inspections intended to protect Americans have either been curtailed or are not being performed because the responsible federal workers have been furloughed, said ...

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past few decades, the amount of food Americans eat away from home has increased from 18 percent to 33 percent.

At the same time, restaurant meals with oversized portions have become a major contributor to the nation's obesity epidemic. While much of the blame has been aimed at fast-food places, these aren't the only restaurants to sup...

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You know how important fiber is for overall health, making meals more filling and staying "regular."

But did you know that children need their fair share of fiber, too? And for the same reasons.

How much is enough? In general, the U.S. Institute of Medicine states that monitoring fiber intake should start early in life, and by thei...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Is your budget at odds with your desire to eat healthy? Seafood, lean cuts of meat and fresh produce can be pricey, but there are many foods that let you stretch your shopping dollars.

At about 15 cents each, protein-rich eggs are a great buy. Scrambled for breakfast, baked into a frittata for dinner and hard boiled as a snack on the run, eg...

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A "low-energy-dense food diet" sounds like just another weight loss fad, but it's an approach with decades of research behind it.

The concept is simple: Eat more foods with a higher water content to get more volume for fewer calories.

Energy density is simply the amount of energy -- or calories -- in a gram of a food. Foods can be ve...

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Thinking of eating healthier in 2019? Kickstarting with the Whole30 diet may be a good choice, a dietitian suggests.

But you have to be careful when you start a diet that restricts foods. These diets can be risky, according to Ohio State's Lori Chong, a certified diabetes educator.

The Whole30 program is only supposed to be used for ...

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- With concerns about overfishing, it's shocking to learn that 40 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost or wasted every year -- and half of that is by consumers.

That's not only money down the drain, but also a loss of valuable nutrients like protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

To cut waste, calculate the amount of fish you rea...

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More than 10 percent of U.S. adults have a food allergy -- and nearly double that believe they do, a new study estimates.

Researchers found that 19 percent of those surveyed thought they had a food allergy. But when the investigators dug into people's symptoms, they found that only 10.8 percent reported "convincing" signs of a true allergy.

...

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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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