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How Food Poisoning from Vegetables and Fruit Occurs

Food poisoning from vegetables is just as serious as food poisoning from meats and dairy. Here are some things to look out for.

Salmonella from cantaloupe. Hepatitis A from strawberries. Cryptosporidium from scallions. Shigella from parsley. The list of disease-causing microbes in fruits and vegetables is almost as varied as our supply of fresh produce. Here are a few key examples of food poisoning from vegetables.

Lettuce

Rita Bernstein of Wilton, Connecticut, served mixed, pre-washed lettuce to her daughter Haylee, then three years old. That salad almost blinded the child.

The lettuce—which sickened 60 others in New York, Illinois, and Connecticut—was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. After visiting the California farm where it was grown, investigators weren’t surprised.   Read More

What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

What's the best diet for weight loss? The answer is simpler than you might imagine.

What’s the best diet for weight loss? So far, no one has found a magic bullet.

“We had three decades of low-fat, and we had a decade of ‘Oh, wait, no, maybe low- carb,’ and then at the end of that we said ‘Oh, never mind, neither of them works,’” says Christopher Gardner, director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

But several glimpses of new evidence are giving researchers renewed hope. They’re looking not just at how many calories people eat and burn, but at their genes, the microbes in their gut, how much they sleep, and more.
  Read More

How Much is Too Much Sugar?

Do you ever wonder "how much is too much sugar?" The research is clear.

Soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, doughnuts, granola bars, chocolate, ice cream, sweetened yogurt, cereal, candy. The list of sweet temptations is endless.

The average American now consumes 22 to 28 teaspoons of added sugars a day—mostly high-fructose corn syrup and ordinary table sugar (sucrose). That’s 350 to 440 empty calories that few of us can afford.

How much is too much sugar? Cutting back to 100 calories (61⁄2 teaspoons) a day for women and 150 calories (91⁄2 teaspoons) a day for men might mean slimmer waistlines and a lower risk of disease.   Read More

Five Meatless BBQ Ideas that are Healthy and Tasty

When it comes to meatless BBQ ideas, be careful what you pick up for the grill.

Say what you want about meat—you have to admit that it’s convenient. Slap a hot dog in a bun. Form a ground beef patty and throw it on the grill. Take a steak out of the package and slip it under the broiler.

Not too long ago, people with a vegetarian bent would have to either forgo the pleasure of digging into a juicy burger or put up with canned “meat analogs.” Those soggy, sponge- like blobs were enough to kill anyone’s desire to enjoy any meatless BBQ ideas.

But over the past couple of decades, as more people have stopped eating meat, food technologists have gotten better at spinning soy and other ingredients into meatlike burgers, balls, and “crumbles.” And food-industry chefs have gone far beyond meat, creating veggie and other patties that redefine the word “burger.”
  Read More

Pad Thai or Pad Pak: Which of These Easy Asian Dishes Is Healthier?

Which of these easy Asian dishes should you choose?

Pad Thai is wildly popular. Most people have never heard of Pad Pak. Which of these easy Asian dishes is better?

Pad Pak—stir-fried vegetables with chicken, shrimp, or tofu and a small side of rice—wins, hands down. That’s because Pad Thai— rice noodles, shrimp, bean sprouts, egg, tofu, and crushed peanuts—is such bad news.

At Pick Up Stix, for example, the Chicken Pad Thai has 670 calories and 2,110 milligrams of sodium. At Pei Wei, the calories for this most well known of Asian dish (even for the Vegetable & Tofu Pad Thai) hover around 1,500, and the sodium rounds to a hard-to-believe 5,000 mg—enough for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.   Read More

5 Healthy Recipes to Use Up Lemons

Got a lot of lemons? Here are some recipes to use up lemons that will sparkle with fresh lemon flavor.

Fresh lemon juice makes the vegetables in these recipes sparkle. Any of them could be a main course, but also makes a great side dish. Just serve with a tossed salad and some quickly sautéed fish or grilled chicken. And we could all use some recipes to use up lemons before they go bad.

Do you need another reason to bookmark these? Fruits and vegetables are rich in citrates, which help prevent calcium oxalate stones (the most common type of kidney stones).

In general, drinking more fluids helps. Coffee and citrus juices (like low-sugar lemonade) are especially good, with one exception: people who drink grapefruit juice have a higher risk of kidney stones. So think of these as not just recipes to use up lemons hanging out in your kitchen, but a little splash of health.   Read More

Should I Take a Multivitamin?

This question comes up a lot: Should I take a multivitamin for my health, at least for dietary insurance?

“I was gardening for hours, cleaning out closets, energy, energy, energy!”

The 49-year-old woman from the Midwest gushed on amazon.com about the multivitamin she had been taking for all of one week. “I thought about it and realized it was the vitamins. I feel so much better overall than I’ve felt in several years. I will always take these.”

You may be asking, “Should I take a multivitamin, too?” You’re certainly not alone. One in three Americans say they take multivitamins and minerals regularly, downing 1 to 14 pills a day at a cost that can hit $75 a month.
  Read More

10 Big Fat Exercise Myths Causing You to Stall

It's time to put the brakes on these exercise myths and get started on a better, healthier you.

Getting Americans off the couch and onto their feet could save an estimated 200,000 lives a year. Yet most of us are either sedentary or only minimally active.

Exercise myths may keep many couch potatoes from getting into shape.

People still ask questions like: How often should I exercise? (The more, the better, but at least 30 minutes nearly every day.) Does it have to be 30 minutes straight? (No, shorter bouts are fine.)   Read More

Results of Our Extreme Eating Awards Are In

Unlike most sports, extreme eating will not make you healthier.

Imagine chowing down on an eight-piece bucket of KFC Original Recipe fried chicken, four sides of mashed potatoes with gravy, four pieces of corn on the cob, and eight packets of buttery spread—all by yourself. We’d call that extreme eating, and it’s not good.

It takes a lot to shock the nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest who compile the annual Xtreme Eating Awards. But this year they found a single restaurant meal that’s the nutritional equivalent of that KFC binge.

Red Lobster’s “Create Your Own Combination” delivers 2,710 calories, and four days’ worth of sodium (6,530 milligrams), if you choose the Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, Walt’s Favorite Shrimp, and Shrimp Linguine Alfredo to go with the Caesar salad, French fries, and one Cheddar Bay Biscuit. But wait, there’s more!   Read More

5 Reasons to Start Reducing Salt Intake Today

Reducing salt intake is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of future hypertension.

In 2005, high blood pressure was responsible for one in six deaths in the United States. That’s because hypertension boosts your risk of dying of a heart attack or stroke more than smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, or any other risk factor does. And excess salt is a major cause of high blood pressure.

What’s more, salt may damage the heart, kidneys, and other organs above and beyond its effect on blood pressure. “Salt is costing us too many lives and too many dollars,” says physician Stephen Havas.

Here are five reasons why reducing salt intake is important for you—and, more importantly, the food industry.   Read More

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