I found this article showing the benefits of drinking tea. Please enjoy.
Tea benefits: weight loss, improved bone health and mood
Friday 8 November 2013 – 8am PST
Fri 8 Nov 2013 – 8am PST
That moment in the morning when tea drinkers take their first warm sip can be amazing. And now, 12 new articles from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that tea may indeed be a magical elixir, as it was shown to promote weight loss, prevent chronic illnesses and improve mood.
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, according to the Tea Association, beaten only by water. Though there have been a multitude of studies about antioxidants in tea and the resulting human health effects, these recent studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) shed light on just how helpful tea is for our health.
Experts from the US Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, UCLA and the University of Glasgow – among others – contributed to the AJCN body of evidence.
Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, compendium editor for the issue, says:
“The scientists who contributed their original research and insights are among the best in the world, and together, this body of research has significantly advanced the science of tea and human health.”
Tea and weight loss
Along with promoting weight loss, studies found that drinking tea reduces cancer and cardiovascular risks and it also provides psychological benefits.
Researchers who looked at polyphenols – natural compounds in tea – found that they, along with the caffeine content, increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation, which resulted in weight loss and helped maintain a healthy body weight.
One study shows that subjects who consumed green tea and caffeine lost an average of 2.9 pounds over 12 weeks, all while maintaining their normal diet.
Other studies show that regular tea drinkers have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) and waist-to-hip ratios, along with less body fat, compared with non-tea drinkers.
Additionally, another review showed that the increase in calories burned as a result of drinking tea equates to around 100 calories during a 24-hour period.
Reduced cancer and cardiovascular risks
Another set of researchers found that the polyphenols in green tea may help to stop the progression of certain cancers.
In one study, scientists observed that after a year, 30% of men in a placebo group progressed to prostate cancer, compared with only 9% of men who were in a tea-supplemented group.
Other cancers for which tea provides protective health benefits are cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, lung, breast and skin, researchers say.
A study conducted by Dr. Claudio Ferri in Italy showed that black tea reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension and also neutralized negative effects of high-fat meals on arterial blood flow and blood pressure.
Dr. Ferri comments on his findings:
“Our studies build on previous work to clearly show that drinking as little as one cup of tea per day supports healthy arterial function and blood pressure. These results suggest that on a population scale, drinking tea could help reduce significantly the incidence of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.”
Improved bone strength, alertness and problem solving
Another benefit of the polyphenols in green tea includes improving bone quality and strength, particularly in the wake of osteoporosis.
Tea drinking in one study was associated with a 30% reduced risk of hip fractures in men and women aged 50 years or older.
And if that fails to put individuals in a good mood, drinking tea will. In one study in particular, drinking tea was found to improve attention and facilitate better focus on tasks.
Subjects in the study drank 2-3 cups of tea within 90 minutes, and this resulted in more accurate results during an attention task and feelings of being more alert, compared with subjects drinking a placebo.
Researchers note that the amino acid theanine and caffeine in tea are thought to confer psychological benefits to drinkers, strengthening attention, mood and performance.
“Humans have been drinking tea for some 5,000 years, dating back to the Paleolithic period,” says Prof. Blumberg. “Modern research is providing the proof that there are real health benefits to gain from enjoying this ancient beverage.”
Written by Marie Ellis
We all try to have a clean and healthy home. This article gives you some tips to keep your home clean.
Get dangerous germs out of your home
By Erinn Bucklan, upwave.com
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Tue October 29, 2013
- E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter can make you pretty sick or kill you
- Food-borne illnesses are microbes that invade your body through the gastrointestinal tract
- Each year, one in six Americans contracts food poisoning on U.S. soil
Editor’s note: upwave is Turner Broadcasting’s new lifestyle brand designed to entertain the health into you! Visit upwave.com for more information and follow upwave on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram @upwaveofficial.
(upwave.com) — Even if you’re one of the many people who believe that exposing yourself to day-to-day germs is healthy for your immune system, it’s still wise to take steps to protect yourself from the most infectious germs in your home.
“Bugs like Escherichia coli (E.coli), salmonella and campylobacter can make you pretty sick or even kill you,” says Douglas Powell, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and author of Barfblog.com.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that seven pathogens cause about 90% of these illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. Scientists dub them “food-borne illnesses” because they’re microbes that invade your body through the gastrointestinal tract. (Considering that we put our hands to our faces anywhere from 18 to 40 times per hour, is it any surprise that our mouths are the primary point of entry?)
You’ll recognize the poisoning by the fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that results.
Luckily, it isn’t too hard to eliminate the dangerous microbes you may unknowingly drag into your home.
“Chlorine bleach is your friend,” says Powell, referring to one of the most effective toxin-destroying products around.
Rooting out the microbes’ whereabouts, on the other hand, can be trickier. Read on, and you’ll learn how to eliminate from your home the microbes and toxins that could affect your family’s health.
Good: Rearrange your fridge to reduce your risk
You don’t have to travel to Latin America to experience a case of Montezuma’s Revenge. Each year, one in six Americans contracts food poisoning right here on U.S. soil, according to the CDC. In fact, a mere trip to your refrigerator could put you at risk.
“The raw meat you bring home from the grocery store has bacteria that can result in diarrheal disease,” says Dr. Rose Devasia, assistant professor at University of Louisville School of Public Health And Information Sciences in Louisville, Kentucky.
A recent report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest listed ground beef, chicken, turkey and steak as the most susceptible to disease.
Devasia recommends double-bagging the meats or placing them on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator on a plate, away from the likes of the apples, strawberries or celery you’ll eat cold.
“You’ll go on to cook your meat to kill these microbes,” she says, “but you don’t want that slimy liquid from the package to spill onto the fruits and vegetables you eat raw.”
Better: Place toothbrushes far away from the john
You wouldn’t lick your toilet on purpose. Yet leaving a damp, exposed toothbrush within three feet of the loo isn’t much better.
“Studies have shown that bacteria in the toilet can disperse in the air after flushing it,” says Devasia. “Toilet water — along with whatever you’ve deposited in it — gets aerosolized and lands onto what’s nearby, like a toothbrush or hand towel.”
A recent University of Manchester study found that the average toothbrush contained about 10 million germs, including E. coli and staphylococci.
An easy fix: Put the lid down on the toilet before you yank the lever to dispose of the contents.
Adds Devasia: “We all know the bathroom is not the cleanest place, so wash your hands to avoid getting yourself sick.” Soaping up at the sink can reduce your chance of getting ill by 30%.
Best: Leave your shoes at the front door
Sleeping with the enemy may only be a closet door away. If you walk through your house with your shoes on, you may be dragging in all kinds of nasty germs and chemicals from the great outdoors.
The bottoms of your shoes spread many unhealthy agents, from pollen and pesticides on the lawn to salmonella in bird poop. In fact, as many as nine different kinds of pathogens can thrive on shoes, according to a University of Arizona study.
Microbes can survive and even multiply because of nutrient-rich soil and other deposits left on the soles.
“In my house, we take our shoes off when we enter,” says Devasia. “Why drag in a bunch of dirt and dust? Even if you clean floors and carpets regularly, there is some level of dirt that remains.”
And if the idea of shoe removal cramps your family’s style? Tell them it is a lot better than the alternative types of cramps — the ones brought on by intestinal distress.
Taking care of your teeth is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body. This article give us steps to nave Pearly White Teeth. Please enjoy.
How to Treat Your Teeth: 4 Steps to Pearly Whites
Brush up on your dental health with these foolproof fixes
October 23, 2013
Funny how National Dental Hygiene Month falls at the same time as Halloween. The annual candy blitz, as you well know, is not the greatest news for growing, or grown-up, teeth. But never fear! You can still have a few treats – as long as you know the right tricks.
“Only a ghoul’s gonna keep candy from kids,” says Richard Price, a spokesman for the American Dental Association and retired Newton, Mass.-based dentist. Plus, the occasional indulgence is less of an issue than frequent consumption, he says. But you can minimize the damage by encouraging kids to avoid the gummy foods that stick to the teeth and give plaque fertile ground. Following the same principle, let your kids eat their treats after they’ve brushed their teeth, which removes food particles that can mix with sugar to produce plaque. (And it’s doesn’t hurt to brush a second time after the treat is consumed.)
The key, whether it’s Halloween or anytime of the year, is to keep your teeth and mouth clean. “All dental disease is preventable,” Price says. To brush up on your dental health, follow these four principles:
1. Brush and floss your teeth. Aim for a “nice, gentle 90-degree angle to the gum,” says Kevin Sands, a Beverly Hills, Calif. dentist whose clients include the Kardashians, Miley Cyrus and Robert Downey Jr. (They’re pictured on his website.) Brushing too hard can wear down the enamel and cause gum irritation, says Sands, who recommends the Sonicare brand of electric brushes. “If you’re flossing your teeth and brushing, you’re removing that debris that things can stick to,” which leads to staining as well as plaque, Sands says.
Find a toothbrush that suits you, says Price, who likens the process to selecting dinnerware. “If it’s comfortable in your hand, you’ll use it very nicely.” So if your mouth is small, you might want to consider a child-size toothbrush, he says. And whether it’s a toothbrush or toothpaste, look for the ADA endorsement on the package, which will indicate the bristles are strong enough to remove plaque and that the toothpaste does what it claims to do.
2. Beware of bleeding. Your gums are skin, only wet skin, as Price explains. Just as you should care for a scraped knee to prevent bacteria from causing an infection, you should exercise caution with bleeding gums. “If there’s bleeding, there’s a hole in the skin; if there’s a hole in the skin, bugs are going to get in,” he says. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation, which has been linked to a host of maladies. Gum disease, Price notes, has been associated with heart disease, low-weight premature babies and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. “The shin bone’s connected to the knee bone, etc. … The mouth and gums are part of the body – it’s not an isolated little thing sitting in outer space.” Diabetics are even more vulnerable to the effects of gum disease and should take extra precautions to exercise oral health care.
3. Show some respect. Ice cubes require special blades for grinding in a blender, so don’t chew them with your teeth, Price says. The cold temperature alone causes enamel to contract. And don’t use your teeth to tear off plastic tags, either. “Teeth are not portable pliers,” he says. “Treat your teeth with a little respect.” Nix the nail biting, too. It erodes enamel and puts pressure on your front teeth, which can aggravate the jaw muscles and cause a gap in teeth as well, Sands says.
4. Lead a healthy lifestyle. Sugary foods like soda aren’t just tough on your waistline – they can erode your enamel. In addition to proper hygiene, dental health relies on exercise and a healthy diet that’s low in salt and fat and high in fiber, Price says. “Nothing sexy, but it works.”
Halloween is next Thursday and we want to be safe and healthy on Halloween. This article gives us some safety tips to make it a fun and healthy Holiday. Please enjoy.
Good Morning America – 7 Halloween Health Hazards (ABC News)
Fake blood and ghoulish gowns make Halloween a howl, but a few hidden hazards can turn the spooky night downright dangerous.
Stay safe with these tips.
1. Crazy Contact Lenses
Cat-like contacts may look cool, but the over-the-counter lenses aren’t worth the risk, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The one-size-fits-all lenses can cause serious eye disorders and infections that can lead to blindness, according to agency optometrist Bernard Lepri.
“The problem isn’t with the decorative contacts themselves,” Lepri said in a statement. “It’s the way people use them improperly—without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional, or without appropriate follow-up care.”
2. Irritating Makeup
Makeup can transform smooth skin into open wounds and scary scars, but it can also leave a rash that lingers long after Halloween night. The FDA suggests testing the makeup on a small patch of skin a couple of days before using it on the face. And check out the agency’s list of approved makeup additives. If the makeup contains unapproved ingredients, toss it.
3. Dark, Dangly Costumes
When choosing a costume, pick something bright or use reflective tape to stay visible after dark. And make sure it fits — oversize costumes can turn trick-or-treating into trip-and-falling. They’re also liable to catch fire near an unmanned Jack-O’-Lantern. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends costumes made from flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester and nylon, just in case.
4. Vision-Obscuring Masks
Whether it’s a curb or a car, it’s important to see what’s coming. Masks can limit peripheral vision, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Consider using makeup instead, and topping things off with a hat or a wig that fits snuggly and won’t slide down.
5. Pumpkin Carving
Nothing says Halloween like a Jack-O’-Lantern, but pumpkin carving is no craft for young kids, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Instead, let the little ones use markers to draw designs that adults can cut out. Then go with a glow stick to light it up. If you opt for a candle, be sure to place the pumpkin on a steady table and never leave it unattended.
6. Hidden Allergens
Halloween loot can be deadly for someone with a peanut allergy. The FDA recommends having the candy inspected by an adult who can remove risky treats and anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Not sure if it contains an allergen? Get rid of it.
7. Candy Overload
After collecting a bagful of treats, the trick is to make it last. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends eating a healthy meal before trick-or-treating to avoid snacking on the go. And then consider rationing sweets for the November days that follow
Every time we turn on the TV we are exposed to multiple drug ads. A new study shows that many ads are misleading and some are actually false. Please enjoy.
A majority of TV drug ads make misleading or false claims, study finds
Susan Perry | 10/03/13
6 out of 10 claims made in TV drug commercials are misleading and one in 10 is downright false.
Make sure your skepticism antenna is fully extended when you’re watching TV commercials for both prescription and non-prescription drugs.
“The frequency of potentially misleading claims in drug advertising is in conflict with proponents who argue the social value of drug advertising is found in informing consumers about drugs,” conclude the study’s authors. “These results, combined with the results from previous studies, indicate a wider pattern of persuasion and deception in drug advertising to consumers.”
Randomly chosen commercials
For the study, Adrienne Faerber, a research fellow at Dartmouth College’s Center for Medicine and the Media, and David Kreling, a professor of social and administrative sciences at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, compared claims in 168 consumer-targeted TV drug commercials aired from 2008 through 2010 during nightly news broadcasts on ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN. The commercials were randomly selected and included products in 21 different categories.
Exactly half (84) of the commercials were for prescription drugs — ones used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, including allergies, dementia, high cholesterol, heartburn and erectile dysfunction. The other 84 advertisements were for over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications, including some of the best-known pain relievers, heartburn preparations, and cough and cold formulations.
Faerber and Kreling selected the most-identified claim in each commercial. They then had three specially trained pharmacy students examine the evidence behind each claim and code it as either objectively true, potentially misleading or false.
The “potentially misleading” category involved claims that used selected facts, minimal facts or nonfacts to present “omissions, exaggerations, opinions and meaningless associations,” explain the researchers. Here are some examples from the study:
A selected fact: “Pevacid 24 [hour] is the same medicine, but with a new location on the store shelf.”
This claim, Faerber and Kreling point out, “omits that Prevacid 30 mg [an over-the-counter product used for heartburn] was still available prescription-strength, so patients prescribed the higher dose would not get the same medicine.”
A minimal fact: “Bayer Quick Release Crystals are ready to work faster than caplets or tablets.”
“The formulation may dissolve quicker,” the two researchers note, “but it is not taken up the body any faster, nor will it relieve pain faster than other formulations.” [This over-the-counter pain medication appears to have been removed from the market.]
A nonfact: “Levitra works for me. Maybe it can work for you.”
This statement, write Faerber and Kreling, “provides the opinion of the actor in the advertisement about the functioning of Levitra [used for erectile dysfunction].”
Then there were the false claims — ones that the researchers define as “objectively false by directly contradicting evidence, or lacking any evidence to support it.” Here’s an example:
“The difference between Advil PM and Tylenol PM is a better night’s sleep.”
“The specificity of this claim,” explain Faerber and Kreling, “implied that specific head-to-head comparative evidence was available. No studies had been published comparing Advil PM (ibuprofen with diphenhydramine) versus Tylenol PM (acetaminophen with diphenhydramine), only studies comparing ibuprofen with acetaminophen.”
A surprising result
After analyzing the coded data, Faerber and Kreling found that only 33 percent of the major claims in both the prescription and nonprescription drug commercials were truthful. That meant 66 percent of the claims were either false or potentially misleading.
The percentage of false claims was relatively low — only about 10 percent. But, as the researchers also point out, “Since false claims are illegal, this study should have found no false claims.”
The study did find that the TV ads for prescription drugs contained more objectively true claims and fewer false claims than those for over-the-counter ones, but the potentially misleading claims were equally prevalent in both groups of ads.
And it was the frequency of those misleading claims (57 percent of all the major claims made in the analyzed ads) that Faerber and Kreling found to be “the most surprising result” of their study.
But then, as they point out, neither the Food and Drug Administration, which overseas prescription-drug advertising, nor the Federal Trade Commission, which does the same for nonprescription drugs, “explicitly support or forbid the use of these potentially misleading claims.”
As I said, consumers would be wise to remain highly skeptical while watching — or reading — any form of drug advertising.
You’ll find an abstract of this study at the Journal of General Internal Medicine website, but, unfortunately, the full study is behind a paywall
Research is ongoing regarding diet and weight loss. This article talks of new research on a new way to diet. Please enjoy.
The Case For Skipping Meals
Researchers are finding evidence that periodic fasting is beneficial
By Susan Brink
“I’ve tried everything,” says Maggie Bass, 52, who at 5 feet 1 inch tall topped out early this year at 197 pounds. “I can’t stick to a diet. After a few weeks I start to – I guess the word is cheat.” Over the years, Bass says, she has lost the same 14 pounds over and over and “put it right back on again.” This time, by picking an approach that has long been a no-no – skipping meals – she has hurdled that 14-pound barrier and is still headed down.
Bass, of Peterborough, England, swears by a technique known as intermittent fasting that has become a craze in the U.K. thanks to a couple of new books there: “The FastDiet” by doctor and science journalist Michael Mosley and co-author Mimi Spencer, which hit American bookstores in February and was featured in a companion documentary on PBS, and “The 2-Day Diet” by British dietician Michelle Harvie and professor of medical oncology Tony Howell, which arrived here in June. Two days a week, Bass skips breakfast and lunch and has salmon with roasted vegetables for dinner. The other five days, she’s free to eat without weighing the merits of every bite of food. “I’m eating less, and I’m eating healthier,” she says. “I’m not constantly thinking about food.”
To be sure, the global obesity epidemic is stark proof that knowing the basics of good nutrition and obsessively accounting for every calorie don’t do the job for 21st-century humans. Now, a few researchers are beginning to suggest that a dose of prehistoric feast and famine might be the better ticket to both weight loss and improved resistance to disease. Intermittent fasting requires spending two, perhaps three, days a week eating about a quarter of the calories of a normal diet: 500 for women, instead of the usual 2,000, and 600 for men instead of 2,500. The other days, you might be able to forget calorie counting, within reason.
Mosley, 56, is a year into intermittent fasting himself, and has dropped from 187 pounds to his goal weight of 166 pounds as his cholesterol and blood glucose levels have gone from troublesome to normal. And his tastes have changed. “I eat more vegetables and have less of an urge for chocolate-y things,” he says. Now he fasts one day a week to maintain his weight.
Small studies by Harvie and Howell and others have suggested that regular intermittent fasting is effective at promoting weight loss and at lowering the body’s resistance to insulin, important to avoiding diabetes. But there’s still a lot of research to be done on people. Some recent research has linked skipping breakfast, at least, to elevated heart risks and insulin resistance (though proponents argue that the beneficial effects can take weeks to kick in). “We’ll need huge, long-term studies before we can say that this is the way to go,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietician and wellness manager for the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. In the meantime, experts are finding a case for the practice in evolutionary science, observations of modern periods of food scarcity and animal studies. Early man, the theory goes, had to eat when he could and, in frequent times of scarcity, went without while engaging his brain on finding a food supply. That ancient genome has remained pretty much unchanged. The stock market crash of 1929 hinted at the silver lining of having fewer calories available. In 2009, researchers from the University of Michigan who looked at health outcomes during times of plenty and lean years found that life expectancy rose to 63 in 1933 from 57 in 1929. Those who fast for religious reasons – Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Seventh-Day Adventists, for example – also provide evidence that going without periodically improves cardiovascular health markers and the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
When shopping for food the food labels can be confusing. What does heart healthy really mean? This article talks about the true meaning of food labels. Please enjoy.
ShopSmart Decodes Tricky Food Labels
What those health claims on food and beverage really mean; plus, those consumers can trust
YONKERS, N.Y., Aug. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The package says “heart healthy,” “reduces cholesterol,” or “maintains digestive health.” But what do these food labels really mean? The full report on tricky food labels is available in the September 2013 issue of ShopSmart.
“Promises of better health, weight-loss and more can be enticing, but claims can be misleading and you may not be doing yourself any favors buying foods that make these types of promises,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart.
Recent research shows that most people say they never or only sometimes trust nutritional claims on food labels. By not purchasing packaged foods that promise better health, the consumer might be doing themselves a favor, since some claims can be misleading. ShopSmart reveals the truth behind 7 popular food claims:
1. HEART HEALTHY: No one food will cut one’s risk of heart disease, but foods can claim a reduced heart-disease risk legally if they are low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. To display the American Heart Association’s (AHA) heart-check mark on packaging, a product must be low in fats, have no more than 480 milligrams of sodium and 20mg of cholesterol, and have 10 percent or more of the recommended daily value of one of six specified nutrients.
2. SUPPORTS IMMUNITY AND DIGESTIVE HEALTH: Eating probiotics because they are healthy is fine, but it doesn’t mean they fix or prevent specific health problems. The Food & Drug Administration has not approved food packaging claims that probiotics can do anything to improve digestion, immunity, or general health.
3. BLOCKS OR LOWERS CHOLESTEROL: Research shows that plant sterols ― natural substances found in nuts and legumes, for example – may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and the FDA says they may help reduce the risk of heart disease. But plant sterols seem to be more effective when eaten at least twice a day. And while trying to consume enough sterols, you might also be loading up on calories or sugars. Eating soluble fiber is a good way to keep cholesterol levels in check.
4. ANTIOXIDANTS: Most people associate antioxidants with building a stronger immune system, which is what manufacturers are banking on. The FDA allows foods to make antioxidant nutrient claims if they contain proven antioxidants for which there is a Reference Daily Intake (RDI) such as vitamins C and E. Whether it boosts a person’s immune response or not, depends on what he or she is already consuming. There’s not enough in a single food product to make much of a difference.
5. HELPS YOU CONTROL WEIGHT: Foods promoted as “diet” choices tend to be higher in protein and fiber, which when consumed, might reduce feelings of hunger. But feeling full doesn’t guarantee weight-loss.
Claims Consumers Can Count On
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates these common label claims; here’s what they mean:
- CALORIE FREE: Fewer than 5 calories per serving.
- FAT FREE/SUGAR FREE: Less than 0.5 grams of fat or sugars per serving.
- LOW CALORIE: 40 calories or fewer per serving.
- LOW CHOLESTEROL: 20 milligrams or less and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
- LOW SODIUM: 140 milligrams of sodium or less per serving.
- REDUCED: At least 25 percent less than the usual product.
For the complete list of popular food health claims, check out the September 2013 issue of ShopSmart, on newsstands now. And for more trustworthy food label information, check out www.greenerchoices.org and click on Eco-Labels.
About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, Publix and Target. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.
ShopSmart is available 10 times a year. Subscribe at www.ShopSmartmag.org.
Breakfast is an important meal that you should not miss. This article gives you some new ideas for breakfast food. Please enjoy.
7 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas
Protein tends to be misunderstood. At times, it’s flying high on a fad-diet craze, when it seems that half of our population is shunning carbs in favor of a high-protein diet. At other times, protein is forgotten completely, as people order salads with low-fat dressing in an effort to fit into their skinny jeans. While a high-protein, low-carb diet is overkill, there is good evidence that a moderate-protein diet may be the way to go.
One reason is that we need enough protein, in combination with exercise, to build muscle or even hold onto what muscle we have. We tend to lose muscle mass as we age, and this makes our metabolism go down. In fact, one of the biggest culprits of middle-aged weight creep is due to loss of muscle mass. Muscles also become critical for quality of life as we age – once an elderly person loses enough muscle mass, things like balance or the ability to get up out of a chair are compromised. In fact, studies have shown that many elderly people do not consume enough protein, and when this is combined with being bedridden or sedentary, their ability to be independent can decline very rapidly due to losing muscle mass.
Protein also plays a role in ensuring that we don’t feel hungry too soon after a meal, making it a helpful partner in a weight-loss plan. A higher-protein breakfast, in particular, has been shown to help people feel less hungry during the day and eat fewer overall calories. However, research indicates that most Americans eat the bulk of their protein later in the day, at dinner and lunch, with less protein at breakfast and in snacks. This may also be problematic for the elderly or those trying to build muscle – recent studies suggest that spacing protein throughout the day, rather than bulking up on protein at later meals, is more helpful for maintaining or building muscle in people who exercise.
A rule of thumb for most people is to get 20 to 30 grams of protein at a meal. This can be particularly difficult during breakfast. To get started, here are seven examples of higher protein breakfasts:
Toast with nut butter: Two slices of whole-wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on each, topped with sliced banana. One cup of skim milk to drink. Total: 22 grams of protein.
Strawberry smoothie: Blend together 1/2 cup of strawberries, 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of uncooked oatmeal, a drizzle of honey (as needed) and 1/2 cup of skim milk or soy milk. Total: 21 grams of protein.
Mediterranean sandwich: Whole-wheat pita with 4 tablespoons of hummus, tomato slices, 1 ounce of goat cheese and 1/4 cup of sliced almonds. Have a café latte to drink, made with 1/2 cup of steamed skim milk. Total: 22 grams of protein.
Melon bowl: Half of a cantaloupe (using the center as a bowl), filled with 1 cup of cottage cheese. Total: 25 grams of protein.
Breakfast burrito: Corn tortilla filled with two scrambled eggs, sautéed onions, 1/4 cup of black beans and pico de gallo. Total: 25 grams of protein.
Apple walnut oatmeal: Cook 3/4 cups of dry oatmeal with 1 and 1/4 cup of skim milk, and add 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, plus 1 chopped apple. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Total: 24 grams of protein.
Salad for breakfast: Toss together 1/2 cup of shelled soybeans, 1/2 cup of chopped tomato and 1 ounce of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve a whole-wheat breadstick on the side. Total: 25 grams of protein.
Many teens will experiment with drugs. This article talks of new trends in drug use with teens and elementary school children. Please enjoy.
New Dangerous Drug Habits in Teens
Allison Becker, MyHealthNewsDaily Contributor | February 17, 2012 03:23pm ET
It’s well-known that teens experiment with illegal substances such as alcohol and marijuana. But recently, children and teens have turned their attention to substances found at home or local convenience stores. They’re abusing parents’ prescription painkillers, energy drinks and computer cleaners.
Here are three new drug trends among kids:
Energy drinks in elementary school
In recent years, drinks that combine alcohol with caffeine, such as Four Loko, have been blamed for the deaths of teens and college students. But a new epidemic involves younger children: elementary school students are drinking highly caffeinated energy drinks to catch a buzz. Even without alcohol, these drinks are dangerous to kids’ health.
“Energy drinks are gateway for elementary school kids,” said Mike Gimbel, a national substance abuse educator. “They drink it like it’s water. Nurses have kids coming in with heart palpitations.”
Gimbel said he has also observed a growing fascination among elementary school students with caffeinated gel strips that you place on the tongue, such as ones made by the brand Sheets.
“One strip is equal to a cup of coffee, but kids are putting five or six in their mouth at once,” he said. “You can overdose on caffeine by taking three or four.”
Overconsumption of caffeine, especially in young children who have smaller bodies, can cause seizures, strokes or even sudden death, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Huffing, or inhaling household products, is not a new phenomenon. But experts have started to see an increase in teens huffing the computer cleaner called Dust-Off, a trend that started a few years ago.
Dust-Off, sold at office supply stores, can be inhaled to produce a high lasting a few seconds to a few minutes.
“One of the attractions is that it can be felt almost immediately,” said Harvey Weiss, executive director of the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition. “You don’t have to wait for something to happen.”
Inhalants can cause nausea, nosebleeds, impaired coordination and, in some cases, death.
According to a study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2010, about 2 million kids ages 12 to 17 had tried inhalants, the most popular being glue, shoe polish or toluene, a solvent.
Weiss said that parents should look to see if their children have a “sudden drop in grades, a rash around mouth or nose, a change in friends, weight loss or an odor of products on their breath.”
Thirty-seven states currently regulate the sale of inhalants to minors, but many of these products are easily accessible within the home, he said.
“I hear from parents, especially those who have lost children, that they were aware of inhalants, but never imagined their kids would do them, so it wasn’t discussed,” Weiss said.
At age 14, Brittany Gaydosh, walked into a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house, drank a couple of shots of Bacardi 151 rum, and made her way to a Ziploc bag filled with pills.
“There were Ecstasy, Xanax, Percocets, Valium and other pills in the bag that night,” Gaydosh said. “I took four Ecstasy pills and a Xanax.”
Throughout her teenage years, Gaydosh attended at least 20 parties like this, the now 23-year-old said. She would take handfuls of pills, wash some down with alcohol, and save the rest for later. And she’s not alone. According to experts, such parties, known as “Skittles parties” (because of the brightly colored pills) or “pharm parties,” have rapidly gained popularity among teens.
“At a lot of the parties, they just throw the pills on the table,” Gaydosh said. “It’s like candy that you can take home with you.”
Teens are taking painkillers, mainly highly addictive opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin, from medicine cabinets in their own homes, said Dr. Petros Levounis, director of the Addiction Institute of New York in Manhattan.
“They’re getting these prescription pills from parents or grandparents,” Levounis said. “Say I go to the dentist for a tooth extraction and I get 30 painkillers and maybe take one. My granddaughter could go into my medicine cabinet without me knowing and bring the rest of the pills to a party.”
A recent report from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that each year, more people die from prescription painkiller overdoses than from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined.
“Addiction to prescription opioids has become the most important problem we face,” Levounis said.
We all know the importance of drinking water daily. This article speaks of how important water is to our daily life. Please enjoy.
6 Reasons Drinking Water Solves Any Problem
by Elizabeth Goodman Artis for SHAPE.com
The benefits of water go way beyond hydrationScientifically speaking, water is the basis of life, but beyond being essential to your very existence, water serves all sorts of purposes that help you feel your absolute best. No, it can’t cure cancer (though it may help prevent it), pay your rent (though it does save you money), or take out the trash, but here are six reasons H2O can help solve many annoying day-to-day health issues-and possibly prevent a few big ones-from headaches to those last few pounds.
1. It boosts metabolism: Trying to lose weight? Drinking water can boost your body’s ability to burn fat. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water (about 17oz) increases metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and women. The boost occurred within 10 minutes but reached a maximum 30-40 minutes after drinking.
Studies also suggest that drinking one or two glasses of water before a meal can fill you up so you naturally eat less, says Andrea N. Giancoli, MPH, RD spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Plus, even mild dehydration will slow down metabolism by as much as 3 percent.
2. It safeguards your heart: Speaking of essential for life…drinking a good amount of water could lower your risk of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who drank more than five glasses of water a day were 41 percent less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses. Bonus: Drinking all that water may reduce cancer risk as well. Research shows that staying hydrated can reduce risk of colon cancer by 45 percent, bladder cancer by 50 percent, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk too.
3. It prevents headaches: The most debilitating kind as well: Migraines. In one study published in the journal Neurology, scientists recruited migraine sufferers and divided them into two groups: one took a placebo, the others were told to drink 1.5 liters of water (about six cups) in addition to their usual daily intake. At the end of two weeks, the water group had experienced 21 fewer hours of pain than those in the placebo group, as well as a decrease in pain intensity.
4. It boosts brainpower: Your brain needs a lot of oxygen to function at optimum levels, so drinking plenty of water ensures that it’s getting all it needs. In fact, drinking eight to 10 cups of water per day can improve your levels of cognitive performance by as much as 30 percent.
The door swings both ways: Research shows that a dehydration level of just 1 percent of your body weight reduces thinking functions, so staying well-hydrated is super important for your mental performance.
5. It makes you rich: Making water your go-to drink saves a lot of money in the long run. Even though 60 percent of the U.S. population buys bottled water, it’s still cheaper, on average, than juices, sodas, and Starbucks- especially when you buy it by the case. What’s even cheaper: buying a filter and drinking water out of the tap. To put it in perspective, replacing your daily can of soda at lunch with a free-from-the-tap glass of water (or water cooler if you have access to one) can save you about $180 a year.
6. It keeps you alert at work: Dehydration is the single most common cause of daytime fatigue, so if your afternoon slump is more like a desperate need for an afternoon nap, guzzle a glass of water. It can also make you better at your job, or at least prevent you from being bad at a it-just a two percent dehydration level can trigger short-term memory problems and difficulty focusing on a computer screen or printed page