McDonald's. The overly oily and buttery foods served at your favorite restaurant. Portion sizes. Refined sugars. Your own fundamental lack of discipline. Anyone who has tried to lose a few extra pounds knows that the bad foods and temptations standing between you and the body you always wanted are countless and seemingly insurmountable. But, according to a new study released in the academic journal NeuroImage, the single biggest weight-loss villain you face every day is so painfully obvious you've likely overlooked it all along: Your eyes."We found that weight loss is not merely a matter of willpower," writes Gidon Levakov, a graduate student who led the study. "But [it] is actually connected to much more basic visual and olfactory cues."The researchers, based out of the Department of Epidemiology at Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, tracked 92 individuals trying to lose weight over the course of 18 months by adopting variations of the Mediterranean diet. To help them along the way, the test subjects were given free gym memberships and access to "moderate-intensity aerobic classes."At the beginning of their journey—and after a six-month follow-up to gauge their progress—the participants underwent a series of MRI scans and "behavioral executive function" tests as the scientists explored deeper into the "gut-brain" interactions associated with the "control of appetite."Ultimately, the researchers uncovered evidence of a "brain subnetwork" that appears to have an outsize influence on one's ability to lose weight less successfully over time. Surprisingly, they discovered that the most active area of the brain associated with feelings of satiety and hunger was the visual cortex."It appears that visual information may be an important factor triggering eating," Prof. Galia Avidan, from the BGU Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Psychology, told Neuroscience News. "This is reasonable, given that vision is the primary sense in humans."Now, anyone who has ever looked at a juicy cheeseburger and instantly felt their mouth water can confirm that your eyes do indeed speak directly with your desire to eat. But the findings are interesting nonetheless, as researchers expand their knowledge of why humans become obese, and why our bodies behave the way they do when we're trying to go on a diet. So if you're looking to lose weight, be sure to rid your kitchen of any decadent items that might catch your eye—starting with the 50 Worst Ever Foods for Weight Loss!For more weight loss news, sign up for our newsletter.
If you've decided to get serious about your weight-loss goals, you already know that focusing on eating healthy and exercising more are two of the core things to do when it comes to maintaining a healthier lifestyle. But you might just be overlooking another important step when it comes to dropping those pounds. And that's walking.Yes, the number of steps you take each day is a key component of not packing on extra pounds!And that's crucial during a time like right now when you might not be in the swing of your usual routine. And if you're looking for more tips to keep you on track, here are the 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.But how many steps do you need to take every day in order to not gain weight?You're probably thinking you know this one—10,000 steps. That has been known as the lucky number, right? Well, that number might actually be too low. See, a 2017 study published in The International Journal of Obesity actually found that 15,000 steps each day is the accurate amount you should be taking.So how did The University of Warwick in England researchers come to these conclusions? Well, they compared the lives of sedentary office workers to those of mail carriers and discovered that the postal-service workers who walked at least 15,000 steps (that's about three hours a day or covering seven miles), had normal body mass indexes (BMI), waistline measurements, and metabolic profiles. They were also the only workers with effectively no heightened risk for cardiac disease. On the other hand, the workers who sat for most of each day (some as long as 15 hours) had larger waistlines, higher BMIs, worse blood sugar control and cholesterol profiles, and had the highest risk of heart disease.The big takeaway here? Workers who walked at least 15,000 steps had the lowest body mass indexes, waistline measurements, metabolic profiles, and lowest risk of heart disease.But before you assume the only way to improve your health is to switch career paths, don't get too ahead of yourself. The study had one positive finding for those who work desk jobs where you're sitting a majority of the day: almost any amount of walking reduced a worker's chances of having a large waistline and other risk factors for heart disease.How can you make sure you're getting enough steps in?Think about this way—your minimum goal should be closer to 15,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent of 2 hours of walking at a brisk pace. So how can you get there? Consider taking a 20-minute walk before, after work, and during lunch. That way, you're getting fresh air three times a day, which is great for your mental health too, stepping away from work to just move. During the day, consider doing a 2-minute loop around your office or home every 30 minutes. Even walking up and down the stairs is a great way to get your steps in and work up a little bit of a sweat.Hitting that daily goal of 15,000 steps not only improves your health, but because it helps jumpstart your metabolism, so you'll be able to efficiently avoid gaining any unwanted pounds. Time to get walking!For even more tips, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!
The CDC list of coronavirus symptoms includes fever, dry cough, and a new loss of taste or smell, along with other issues—but that doesn't explain what happens to your body when you get COVID. We talked to researchers about what happens to your body when you get COVID, and here's what they said. 1 First, COVID Enters Your Body "The virus primarily affects the respiratory system and is transferred between humans by airborne mechanisms, like coughing or sneezing, or by contact of contaminated surfaces, doorknobs, etc, with hands and then rubbing the face," says Dr. Jeffrey Langland, Ph.D., an instructor for Medical Microbiology, Immunology, and Concepts in Research. "It attacks the human body in three phases: viral replication, immune hyperactivity and pulmonary destruction"—pulmonary meaning your lungs—says Dr. Monika Stuczen, FIBMS, a Medical Microbiologist and R&D and QC Laboratory Manager at MWE. 2 In the Beginning, You Might Feel Nothing From COVID "At the beginning of infection, people produce a large quantity of the virus," says Stuczen. "The incubation time is between 2 and 14 days with an average of 5 days. During this time infected people do not show any symptoms but they contribute to the spread of the virus without even realizing it. Moreover, it is proved that some people may be asymptomatic but they are still able to infect others." 3 Once COVID is in Your Body, it Take Over Your Cells "The virus infects the cells in the respiratory tract, taking over the cells' functions, allowing the virus to replicate and then spread from cell to cell," says Langland. "In mild cases, the body's immune system helps to limit the spread of the virus within the body." That's when a fever may set in, to combat the infection. "In more severe cases, the viruses spread more and can lead to a 'cytokine storm' where the immune system is highly stimulated." 4 Then You Can't Breathe Due to COVID "This infection can lead to the problems of breathing difficulties from the bronchials constricting and limiting airflow. You might cough as a result or feel shortness of breath," says Langland. 5 Depending on Your Health, COVID Could Get Worse—Much Worse "There are three patterns presented with Covid-19," says Stuczen. "It usually begins with mild upper respiratory illness followed by non-life-threatening pneumonia. After about 7 days it can progress to severe pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome when the patient may require life support. In severe pneumonia, lungs are filled with inflammatory material. They are unable to get enough oxygen to the bloodstream, reducing the body's ability to take on oxygen and remove carbon dioxide what in most cases causes death. About 1 out of 6 people who contract Covid-19 becomes seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing." 6 If You Have an Underlying Condition, Your Body Has a Harder Time Fighting COVID "People with underlying conditions such as cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, immunosuppressed patients and older people are more likely to develop serious illness," says Stuczen. 7 Eventually, With Good Care and Good Luck, Your Body Can Heal From COVID "Don't panic," says Langland. "Most cases are minor and even the more moderate cases will be fine. The majority of deaths are in the elderly or those with other underlying conditions, including hypertension and diabetes." 8 However, Many Patients Suffer Effects From COVID for Months "Thousands of people across the globe — many of whom were young, active, and healthy — have been debilitated by ongoing, unexplainable symptoms," reports Buzzfeed. "These patients, also known as long-haulers, are crushing the popular idea that COVID is only serious for a small percentage of vulnerable people." "This is not just a respiratory illness. This is a systemic illness that makes you lose connection with the world," patient Hannah Davis told BuzzFeed News. "And the most shocking thing to me is how long it has taken for doctors and the general public to realize this basic fact." 9 What to Do if You Feel Like You Have COVID "Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms, high temperature, new, continuous cough or shortness of breath should stay at home and self-isolate immediately," says Stuczen. "People with mild symptoms are able to recover at home. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids. Proper hydration is very important in your recovery process. Separate yourself from other people at home as much as possible and do not share personal household items such as cups, plates, drinking glasses, towels or bedding. You should stay in one room and use a separate bathroom if available. Wash your hands very often. You should also restrict contact with pets and animals. It is recommended that people with the virus limit contact with animals until more information is known. If you need to leave home make sure you wear a facemask and you keep at least six feet distance from other people.Remember that you may only experience mild symptoms and recover quickly but if you don't use all precautions you may infect other people with weaker immune systems. Their bodies may not be able to cope with the virus and it may cost their life. Everyone reacts to this virus in a different way and we need to make sure we protect not only ourselves but also people around us." 10 What to Do if Your COVID Symptoms Worsen "If your symptoms are worsening (for example you have difficulty breathing) seek medical care immediately," says Stuczen. "Don't go to the hospital or doctor's office. Call ahead and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do. You can leave home after at least 7 days have passed since your first symptoms appeared and you have no fever for a minimum 72 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fever and all other symptoms have improved such as cough or shortness of breath." 11 How to Prevent COVID Infection in the First Place "Try to avoid contact with others. Keep distance between you and others if you need to be in a public space. Wash hands and avoid touching your face with your hands. Disinfect surfaces where others may have touched. Also, try to stay healthy. Eat well, get rest and try to not stress. Keep your immune system strong and healthy," says Langland. "The novel coronavirus is just that, new, which means the world's population has no immunity," says Marjorie Golden, MD, a Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist. Stay inside to keep you—and everyone else—happy and healthy, and your body will thank you. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
For months, as Marilyn Walters has struggled to recover from COVID-19, she has repeated this prayer day and night.Like other older adults who've become critically ill from the coronavirus, Walters, 65, describes what she calls "brain fog" — difficulty putting thoughts together, problems with concentration, the inability to remember what happened a short time before.This sudden cognitive dysfunction is a common concern for seniors who've survived a serious bout of COVID-19."Many older patients are having trouble organizing themselves and planning what they need to do to get through the day," said Dr. Zijian Chen, medical director of the Center for Post-COVID Care at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. "They're reporting that they've become more and more forgetful." Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.Overcoming Muscle and Nerve DamageOther challenges abound: overcoming muscle and nerve damage, improving breathing, adapting to new impairments, regaining strength and stamina, and coping with the emotional toll of unexpected illness.Most seniors survive COVID-19 and will encounter these concerns to varying degrees. Even among the age group at greatest risk — people 85 and older — just 28% of those with confirmed cases end up dying, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Because of gaps in testing, the actual death rate may be lower.)Walters, who lives in Indianapolis, spent almost three weeks in March and April heavily sedated, on a ventilator, fighting for her life in intensive care. Today, she said, "I still get tired real easy and I can't breathe sometimes. If I'm walking sometimes my legs get wobbly and my arms get like jelly.""Emotionally, it's been hard because I've always been able to do for myself, and I can't do that as I like. I've been really nervous and jittery," Walters said.Younger adults who've survived a serious course of COVID-19 experience similar issues but older adults tend to have "more severe symptoms, and more limitations in terms of what they can do," Chen said."Recovery will be on the order of months and years, not days or weeks," said Dr. E. Wesley Ely, co-director of the Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction and Survivorship Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Most likely, he speculated, a year after fighting the disease at least half of the critically ill older patients will not have fully recovered.RELATED: 11 Symptoms of COVID You Never Want to Get"Law&Order" in PurgatoryThe aftereffects of delirium — an acute, sudden change of consciousness and mental acuity — can complicate recovery from COVID-19. Seniors hospitalized for serious illness are susceptible to the often-unrecognized condition when they're immobilized for a long time, isolated from family and friends, and given sedatives to ease agitation or narcotics for pain, among other contributing factors.In older adults, delirium is associated with a heightened risk of losing independence, developing dementia and dying. It can manifest as acute confusion and agitation or as uncharacteristic unresponsiveness and lethargy."What we're seeing with COVID-19 and older adults are rates of delirium in the 70% to 80% range," said Dr. Babar Khan, associate director of Indiana University's Center for Aging Research at the Regenstrief Institute, and one of Walters' physicians.Gordon Quinn, 77, a Chicago documentary filmmaker, believes he contracted COVID-19 at a conference in Australia in early March. At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, he was put on a ventilator twice in the ICU, for a total of nearly two weeks, and remembers having "a lot of hallucinations" — a symptom of delirium."I remember vividly believing I was in purgatory. I was paralyzed — I couldn't move. I could hear snatches of TV — reruns of Law&Order: Special Victims Unit — and I asked myself, 'Is this my life for eternity?'" Quinn said.Given the extent of delirium and mounting evidence of neurological damage from COVID-19, Khan said he expects to see "an increased prevalence of ICU-acquired cognitive impairment in older COVID patients."RELATED: I'm a Doctor and This Vitamin May Reduce Your COVID RiskWorking on RecoveryEly agrees. "These patients will urgently need to work on recovery," he said. Family members should insist on securing rehabilitation services — physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, cognitive rehabilitation — after the patient leaves the hospital and returns home, he advised."Even at my age, people can get incredible benefit from rehab," said Quinn, who spent nearly two weeks at Chicago's Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a rehabilitation hospital, before returning home and getting several weeks of home-based therapy. Today, he's able to walk nearly 2 miles and has returned to work, feeling almost back to normal.James Talaganis, 72, of Indian Head Park, Illinois, also benefited from rehab at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab after spending nearly four months in various hospitals beginning in early May.Talaganis had a complicated case of COVID-19: His kidneys failed and he was put on dialysis. He experienced cardiac arrest and was in a coma for almost 58 days while on a ventilator. He had intestinal bleeding, requiring multiple blood transfusions, and was found to have crystallization and fibrosis in his lungs.When Talaganis began his rehab on Aug. 22, he said, "my whole body, my muscles were atrophied. I couldn't get out of bed or go to the toilet. I was getting fed through a tube. I couldn't eat solid foods."In early October, after getting hours of therapy each day, Talaganis was able to walk 660 feet in six minutes and eat whatever he wanted. "My recovery — it's a miracle. Every day I feel better," he said.RELATED: 11 COVID Symptoms No One Talks About But ShouldThe Need of Human ConnectionUnfortunately, rehabilitation needs for most older adults are often overlooked. Notably, a recent study found that one-third of critically ill older adults who survive a stay in the ICU did not receive rehab services at home after hospital discharge."Seniors who live in more rural areas or outside bigger cities where major hospital systems are providing cutting-edge services are at significant risk of losing out on this potentially restorative care," said Dr. Sean Smith, an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan.Sometimes what's most needed for recovery from critical illness is human connection. That was true for Tom and Virginia Stevens of Nashville, Tennessee, in their late 80s, who were both hospitalized with COVID-19 in early August.Ely, one of their physicians, found them in separate hospital rooms, frightened and miserable. "I'm worried about my husband," he said Virginia told him. "Where am I? What is happening? Where is my wife?" the doctor said Tom asked, before crying out, "I have to get out of here."Ely and another physician taking care of the couple agreed. Being isolated from each other was dangerous for this couple, married for 66 years. They needed to be put in a room together.When the doctor walked into their new room the next day, he said, "it was a night-and-day difference." The couple was sipping coffee, eating and laughing on beds that had been pushed together."They both got better from that point on. I know that was because of the loving touch, being together," Ely said.That doesn't mean recovery has been easy. Virginia and Tom still struggle with confusion, fatigue, weakness and anxiety after their two-week stay in the hospital, followed by two weeks in inpatient rehabilitation. Now, they're in a new assisted living residence, which is allowing outdoor visits with their family."Doctors have told us it will take a long time and they may never get back to where they were before COVID," said their daughter, Karen Kreager, also of Nashville. "But that's OK. I'm just so grateful that they came through this and we get to spend more time with them." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
As your city reopens, you're washing your hands frequently and using hand sanitizer after touching every ATM button—but you may be making one major mistake. The Wall Street Journal studied the common consensus among scientists and reports: "It's not common to contract COVID-19 from a contaminated surface, scientists say. And fleeting encounters with people outdoors are unlikely to spread the coronavirus. Instead, the major culprit is close-up, person-to-person interactions for extended periods."Making things worse: "Crowded events, poorly ventilated areas and places where people are talking loudly—or singing, in one famous case—maximize the risk."It Enters Through Your Face, Doctor Confirms"Here's the problem: COVID-19 is spread by close physical contact," says Dr. Deborah Lee, a medical writer with Dr. Fox Online. "This includes holding hands, hugging and kissing, but also standing close to one another. The virus is transmitted in exhaled respiratory droplets and is also present in nasopharyngeal secretions. It also lives in the skin—for example on fingertips and under fingernails. It can enter the body through the eyes, nose or mouth."She says in order to get back to "normal," we must keep the "R number" down. "The risk of transmission of the virus, whether due to the average day-to-day risk or to the close physical contact during a sexual encounter, is governed by the R number," she says. "The R number is the number of people each person infects before they know they have the virus."Keeping the R number down means the exponential spread of the infection within the community is halted and the infection is under control. "So, your risk of encountering the virus is much lower," says Dr. Lee. "We can only help keep the R number down by following the government's advice of staying at home where possible, frequent hand-washing, social distancing and self-isolation."Not to mention, wearing face masks.Even Speaking and Breathing Can Be DangerousThe Journal goes on to report that: "Health agencies have so far identified respiratory-droplet contact as the major mode of COVID-19 transmission. These large fluid droplets can transfer virus from one person to another if they land on the eyes, nose or mouth. But they tend to fall to the ground or on other surfaces pretty quickly," and continue: "One important factor in transmission is that seemingly benign activities like speaking and breathing produce respiratory bits of varying sizes that can disperse along air currents and potentially infect people nearby. Some researchers say the new coronavirus can also be transmitted through aerosols, or minuscule droplets that float in the air longer than large droplets. These aerosols can be directly inhaled."So: stay more than six feet away from others, wear a face mask and follow the CDC guidelines for staying safe. And to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Know how to tell if a diet is right for you? You don't hate doing it. "The one diet to avoid is one that is not sustainable," explains Amy Helms, LMSW, MS, CEDRD-S, RD, LD. These can include diets that cut too many calories or plans that are not "compatible" with your lifestyle. "A plan that is too calorically restrictive will work against you in the long run," she explains. "Our bodies adapt to function on fewer calories, making weight regain just about inevitable."Additionally, a big cut in calories is a primer for overeating or even binge eating. "For some this may lead to one more failed diet while for others it can lead to disordered eating," she points out. And, while low carbohydrate, high protein, and intermittent fasting methods may be effective in the short-term, they simply aren't sustainable for most people. Here are 12 diets you should never try, according to health experts—and some you should. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 The Atkins Diet While a meat-fueled, no-carb diet may help you lose weight, it can negatively impact your overall health, according to Allen Conrad, BS, DC, CSCS of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, PA. "The Atkins Diet was an idea to include high fat and red meats as a primary component of your meals, and the concept was that you would lose weight this way. The problem with diets like this is that high concentrations of red meat and unsaturated fats can cause many health problems, including heart disease and high cholesterol," he explains. Studies have shown that diets high in red meat and trans fats should be avoided due to their long lasting health concerns. 2 The Ketogenic Diet Keto was the most highly-hyped diet in 2019, but Dr. Conrad isn't a fan. "The concept involves eating low carbohydrate meals with the goal of losing weight. By putting the body into a state of ketosis, the idea is that your body will store less body fat, and you can drop a few pounds," he explains. However, the problem with the ketogenic diet is that this puts additional stress on your internal organs, which need carbs to work, he explains. Additionally, he points to studies that have shown that prolonged low carbohydrate diets were dangerous and could lead to premature death. 3 The Snake Diet The Snake Diet—a fad diet comprised of prolonged fasting periods (the initial two fasting periods are 48 hours and 72 hours) with low carbohydrate, high fat meals consumed in between the fasting periods—slithered around social media in 2019, with followers claiming dramatic weight loss results. However, experts hope the diet will shed in popularity in the upcoming year. "The safety and long-term effects are not known as is the case with most fad diets, which are, after all, a fad—short-lived and without scientific basis," says Ania Jastreboff, MD, Ph.D., Yale Medicine endocrinologist and director of the Weight Management&Obesity Prevention. RELATED: I'm a Doctor and This Vitamin May Reduce Your COVID Risk 4 Juicing Juicing supporters boast that it helps cleanse your body of toxins and "build up" from unhealthy food in your body. "What it really is: fruits and veggies that have been stripped of their fiber and packed into a very expensive compostable bottle," explains certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist Holly Roser. "Our bodies are great at cleansing, through our liver and kidneys so the idea of juice removing toxins, is void of scientific backing." If you want to up your fruit and veggie intake, she suggests adding them to your diet in food form. However, if you prefer drinking them, she suggests blending them in a shake or smoothie, "so you're not missing the skin of the fruit or full fiber of the greens." 5 Whole30—If You're Doing it for Weight Loss The Whole30 is meant to help you identify foods that cause you digestive or inflammation issues. Using it to lose weight isn't ideal. For instance, the plan bans legumes—something Roser finds questionable. "Legumes are packed with protein and have zero cholesterol, an amazing alternative to meat. They are an ideal choice to lose weight and live a healthy life with such an impressive nutrition profile," she explains. And when the diet is over—in this case, in just 30 days—you will likely go back to your old habits. Despite the drawbacks, she does appreciate how the diet encourages people to cook real food instead of consuming processed food. And giving up alcohol is always a good idea. But, "in the end, it's impossible to keep up, like all diets, and people gain weight once they're off it." 6 "Detox" Diets And "Detox" Products Detox is one of those "health" buzzwords that are everywhere these days—from detox diets to detox shakes and detox waters. The idea behind "detoxification" is that by following these diets or consuming these products, your body will be cleansed of "toxins," and that in turn will help improve health and promote weight loss, but it's a little more complicated, explains Melissa Nieves, RD, Healthy Meals Supreme. "The concept of detoxification by external means such as diets and detox products is misleading," she explains. "The body itself is detoxifying, every day, at all times. That's what the kidneys and liver are for! In fact, if we were really so full of toxins, we would be hospitalized, not walking around drinking detox shakes!" While the body does detoxify itself, she explains we can help the process by staying hydrated and eating a high fiber diet. 7 The HCG Diet Run, don't walk, away from the HCG diet, a meal plan that consists of just 500 calories a day and supplements or injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)—the hormone that is produced by women during pregnancy—several times a week. "People do lose weight on this diet, but it's really because they're eating such a small amount of calories a day," points out Nieves. "This type of diet is not sustainable, because who's going to be able to eat such a small amount of food for long periods of time?" Additionally, it's dangerous! Eating so little will lower your metabolism, making it harder to reach a healthy weight in the long-run. It also puts you at risk for malnutrition, can trigger eating disorders, and lead to muscle and tissue loss, "especially in vital organs such as the heart, since the body starts using its protein as energy under starvation conditions." Also, she points out, that the hCG hormone has only been approved as part of fertility treatments—not weight loss. "Only small studies have been done so far on the efficacy of using hCG for weight loss, using small sample sizes," she explains. "We don't have enough evidence of the potential health risks of using this hormone, nor whether it really works for weight loss." 8 The Baby Food Diet Nieves hopes people will grow up when it comes to the Baby Food Diet! "This fad diet is supposed to help you lose weight by cutting calories and controlling portions. It involves replacing one or two meals or snacks a day with baby food. Each jar can range from 20-100 calories," she explains. Again, the reason people lose weight on this diet is due to the small amount of calories consumed each day. But like any other fad diet, it has its drawbacks. These include putting you at risk for malnutrition, "since the nutrient requirements in these foods are specifically set for babies." It is also incredibly difficult to sustain, "since their taste, and the fact that you're not "chewing" your food, is difficult for an adult to get used to," and won't keep you full and satisfied due to their low fiber and protein content. "Also, diets should be pleasurable and practical. It should also help you make and sustain healthy eating habits," she adds. "The Baby Food Diet just doesn't cut it here!" 9 The Boiled Egg Diet You could lose up to 24 pounds in two weeks by eating boiled eggs—all day long—claim followers of this restrictive diet. "This is another diet that cuts out a lot of food groups and restricts your food choices to, well, mostly eggs," points out Nieves. While following this diet, which is very low in carbohydrates and high in protein, can help you shed excess pounds, the results are basically short term. "Many people have trouble sticking with this diet, mostly due to taste boredom," she explains. She also points out that it is not a dietary plan to be followed by individuals with diabetes, cholesterol problems, or heart issues. 10 Paleo Eating like a caveman is so B.C.—or at least it should be, according to Heather Campbell, MS, RDN, LD, consultant dietitian. "Any diet that requires complete omission or serious restriction of entire food groups like carbohydrates or dairy can be problematic and create opportunities for nutrition deficiencies," she explains. "When your body isn't properly fueled with a balance of all of the needed nutrients, then it will be impossible to create sustainable changes you're looking for." While Keto may lead to initial results, she points out that it's not creating a lifestyle you can continue into the future, "then you're less likely to see permanent positive change in your health." 11 Paleo-Vegan ("Pegan") What do you get when you take the trendy caveman-style Paleo diet and remove almost everything that involves animal products? One of the worst diets of the year, according to health experts. This super restrictive diet only allows things like fruit, nuts, vegetables, seeds, and limited legumes. While it bands all dairy products, you are allowed to eat a tad of meat, so there's that at least. But in general, the super restrictive eating method is difficult to sustain. RELATED: 11 Symptoms of COVID You Never Want to Get 12 The Alkaline Diet If a diet seems too good to be true, it probably is! "Many fad diets don't have peer-reviewed science to back them up at all, like avoiding acidic foods for the Alkaline Diet, or using supplements or drinks to remove toxins from the body," explains Campbell, who points out that people with healthy and functioning organ systems, have an adequate detoxification system already built in. "One way to support your body's natural ability to remove toxins is to focus on healthy habits like drinking enough water, making half of every plate fruits and vegetables, and eating adequate sources of lean protein." 13 So Which Diet Should You Try? The best diet is one that emphasizes lean proteins, healthy fats and belly-filling fibers. The best new titles on the market that promote just that are: Sugar Free 3, during which you can eat all you want while giving up added sugars for just three weeks; The Goodful Cookbook, featuring simple and balanced recipes; and How Not to Diet, which speaks for itself. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Ibuprofen first became available over the counter in 1984, and it's developed a reputation as aspirin's gentler, safer younger sibling. That said, like most medications, ibuprofen can have side effects. "Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication that is used for both pain control and fever control," says Kenneth Perry, MD, an emergency medicine physician in Charleston, South Carolina. "Although if taken appropriately ibuprofen is safe, chronic use can cause some long-standing health issues." Read on to see what taking ibuprofen every day can do to your body. (And remember it's a good idea to talk with your doctor about all medications you take regularly.) 1 Ibuprofen Can Reduce Pain and Inflammation Ibuprofen works by inhibiting prostaglandins, natural chemicals that "turn on" pain and inflammation in the body. Ibuprofen has been rated the safest NSAID in terms of spontaneous drug reactions, and it may be easier for some people to take than aspirin, as it requires a lower dose to work and is less likely to cause side effects like stomach irritation. 2 Ibuprofen May Increase Risk For Heart Attack Or Stroke "NSAIDs such as ibuprofen have a black box warning that use may cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events such as heart attacks and strokes," says Leann Poston, MD. "Users should use the lowest dose necessary to relieve their pain, stop taking NSAIDs as soon as possible, and consult your healthcare provider if you need them longer than a week." 3 Ibuprofen May Cause Headaches Ironically, the first medication many of us turn to for a headache can cause headaches if it's used too often. "Use of pain medications such as ibuprofen routinely to treat headaches can cause rebound headaches when the medications are discontinued," says Poston. 4 Ibuprofen May Raise Blood Pressure "Taking ibuprofen routinely can increase blood pressure slightly," says Poston. According to the Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure often has no symptoms; over time, if it's left untreated, it can cause health conditions, such as heart disease. 5 Ibuprofen Can Alter Other Medication You're Taking Talk to your doctor about any other medications or supplements you're taking with ibuprofen. "Ibuprofen interacts with many over-the-counter (OTC) herbs and supplements," says Dr. Danielle Plummer, PharmD. "When taken with other specific medications, the active ingredient of either medication could increase, resulting in either too much of it, leading to increased adverse effects, or decrease, therefore not getting the desired effect from the medication." 6 Ibuprofen Can Cause Edema "A notable side effect of taking this NSAID daily is leg or body swelling." says Magdalena Cadet, MD. This swelling is caused by excess fluid trapped in the body's tissues. It's a common side effect of NSAIDs and usually resolves when the medication is discontinued. 7 Ibuprofen Can Cause Gastrointestinal Issues "If one is ingesting ibuprofen on a regular basis, the stomach loses its protective barrier and is more susceptible to injury," says Barry Gorlitsky, MD. "Over time, this may lead to gastritis (inflammation of the stomach) or something more sinister like a gastric ulcer or perforation, which could be extremely painful, lead to bleeding and may be life-threatening." 8 Ibuprofen Can Cause Kidney Damage Never take more than the recommended dose of ibuprofen; doing so can be dangerous. "Ibuprofen, if taken inappropriately, can also cause damage to the cells of the kidney," says Dr. Perry. "This damage can be irreversible for some patients and require long-term dialysis." 9 Ibuprofen Can Cause Liver Damage "Your liver metabolizes everything you consume. Chronic ibuprofen can damage liver cells," says Siddharth Tambar, MD. "Fortunately the liver can regenerate and recuperate, but if the damage is recurrent, it can eventually lead to cirrhosis." 10 Ibuprofen Can Increase Bleeding Risk "Ibuprofen works by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme involved in the platelet aggregation pathway, which is important in controlling bleeding and hemostasis," says Monisha Bhanote, MD. "Daily long-term use of ibuprofen may increase the risk of uncontrolled bleeding."
It's not a coincidence that at medical school, when student doctors are first taught how to examine patients, they are always told to start by looking at the hands. They can reveal a lot about your health. Read on to discover the warning signs for disease, just a fingertip away. 1 You Might Have Coronavirus You may have heard about "COVID toes" as one of the most common symptoms of coronavirus, but not many people know that the virus can also manifest as swollen hands. According to the Mayo Clinic, this swelling is called edema and it could be linked to kidney or heart problems, both of which may be caused by coronavirus. Weakness or numbness of your hands, as well as a pain in hand or wrist, are also a reported symptom for many sufferers. To ensure your health and the health of others check these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus to see if you've experienced any. 2 You Might Have a Serious Condition Each hand consists of bone, nerves, blood vessels, connective tissue, and skin. Under each fingernail, the nail bed contains a capillary network. Healthy nails look pink as they are near the skin surface and you can see the red oxygenated blood within these capillaries. If your oxygen stores are depleted, for example, in chronic lung or heart disease, your fingers become blue—and this is called cyanosis. Examples of medical conditions which cause peripheral cyanosis include: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, congenital heart disease, pulmonary embolism and heart failure. Abnormal haemoglobin, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, is also a cause of cyanosis. You'll notice if you're ever a patient at the hospital, you have to take your nail polish off. This is why. 3 They Might Shake A tremor in both hands can be a sign of anxiety, alcohol withdrawal or too much caffeine. Other examples include Parkinson's Disease—typically a "pill-rolling tremor"—or an overactive thyroid gland. Sometimes a tremor can be caused by antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. A "liver flap" is a sign of serious liver failure. A tremor in one hand could be due to a neuromuscular weakness such as a stroke, or rarely, a brain tumor. 4 They Might Be Discolored You may notice looking at the color of the skin on the hands, that it is yellowed. In fact, the skin all over the body may be yellow, even the whites of the eyes. This is jaundice and is a sign of liver, gall bladder or pancreatic disease. Cold, pale, puffy hands may be a sign of an underactive thyroid gland.Anemia may also cause the palmar skin creases to look pale, instead of pink.Liver disease causes bright red palms—"liver palms." 5 You Might Have a Skin Condition If the skin is reddened, and has characteristic features such as thickening and fissures, this may be eczema or contact dermatitis—sometimes due to occupational exposure to allergens.A common problem is nickel allergy—nickel being a common ingredient of jewellery, watches, coins, cosmetics and so on. Nickel is also frequently present in food and drink such as black tea, soya milk, chocolate, nuts and seeds. This is a common cause for contact dermatitis.Psoriasis – often pustular, is an alternative inflammatory skin condition affecting the hands. There may be blisters on the palms, and the skin may swell and crack.Scabies is a mite which lives under the skin and causes intense itching. The mite tends to live in the webs between the fingers and burrows under the skin to lay eggs. It has the appearance of tiny red spots, which get scratched and can be secondarily infected. can be a tricky diagnosis to make and needs careful treatment. 6 You Might Have a Bone Condition Arthritis affects the joints of each finger, the thumbs and the wrists. These may appear red, swollen and may be tender to touch. Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis have different characteristic features. Rheumatoid arthritis causes the fingers of each hand to splay out in an ulnar distribution. The tendons become inflamed, and there are painful synovial cysts which can rupture. The fingers become overextended at the joints and become misaligned. Typically the distal finger joints are spared. Rheumatoid arthritis is also associated with Sjogren's syndrome, a condition in which sufferers have dry eyes and a dry mouth.Osteoarthritis causes hard bony lumps at the distal and middle finger joints. Those of the distal joints are called Heberden's nodes. In fact, osteoarthritis can affect any joints of the body. 7 You Might Have a Metabolic Condition Gout can result in acute, painful swelling of one or more joints of the fingers. Gout is a condition in which your body either produces too much or can't break down uric acid. As a result, uric acid crystals are deposited in the joints. Sometimes these look like hard, white lumps called tophi.Cholesterol deposits may occur around the knuckles—called tendon xanthoma. These are a sign of familial hypercholesterolemia, a condition affecting 1 in 500 of the population. 8 You Might Have a Connective Tissue Disorder Dupuytren's contracture is a condition in which connective tissue in the palm of the hand becomes thickened. The tendons become shortened, pulling the 4th and 5th fingers of the hand inwards so they are fixed in a resting position, partially flexed. It means you are unable to fully straighten your fingers and can become very disabling.Trigger finger occurs when a tendon in the finger or thumb, becomes inflamed (tenosynovitis) and cannot function properly. You can bend the finger, but you cannot straighten it again without manually putting the finger back in place. Sometimes it may "pop" when you try to bend or straighten it.Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition in which the median nerve becomes compressed as it passes from the forearm through the carpal tunnel and into the hand. You may get numbness and tingling in the thumb and index fingers, and over time muscle wasting and weakness. Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease. It may be a problem in pregnancy. 9 You Might Have a General Medical Condition Anaemia may cause nails to be brittle or even spoon-shaped—koilonychia. This can be a sign of celiac disease, diabetes, vitamin B12 deficiency or haemochromatosis (a condition in which your body iron stores are too high).Diabetics may have a condition known as cheiroarthropathy. In this condition hands and fingers are stiff. If you put your two palms together and straighten your fingers as much as possible, you will not be able to touch the full length of each finger together."Half and half" nails are a rare but pathognomonic sign of kidney failure. When they occur the proximal part of the nail near the nail bed is pale or white, and the distal part of the nail is brown. 10 You Might Have an Autoimmune Conditions Raynaud's Disease occurs when the blood vessels in your fingers or toes suddenly become constricted. As a result, there is a reduced blood supply to the fingers or toes. They may turn white, then blue, and it can be painful. The fingers or toes feel very cold. If the area is warmed, the fingers and toes will then flush red as the blood supply returns.An overactive thyroid may cause hot sweaty palms.Acromegaly is a condition in which your body produces too much growth hormone. People with acromegaly may have extra-large hands and feet. 11 You Might Have a Mental Health Issue Bitten nails—the medical term is onychophagia—may be a sign of anxiety. They may have deep-seated roots including separation anxiety, stress, or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). Deliberate self-harm—this may be apparent if you look at the wrists and see scars from attempts to cut the wrists. This may represent depression and/or true suicidal intentions. 12 You Might Have a Fingernail Disease Around 80% of people with psoriasis, find the disease affects their fingernails. (Sometimes, it is only the nails which are affected.) The nails appear crumbly, thickened, discolored and have small dents or "pits" within them. Sometimes they lift off the nail bed—onycholysis.Fungal nail infections can occur on the hands, although they are more common on the feet. They are commonly caused by a dermatophyte infection with the organism tinea unguium, but also sometimes by other yeasts or fungi. The nails look discolored and there is thickening and lifting of the distal portion of the nail. This can also occur if someone is immune-suppressed—for example, if they are on chemotherapy, or have diabetes. Small hemorrhages may occur in the nails called splinter hemorrhages. These may be a sign of psoriasis, lichen planus or are sometimes drug-induced. They can also reflect subacute bacterial endocarditis – a bacterial infection of the heart muscle. The skin cancer melanoma can develop under a fingernail. It is a black or brownish streak developing in the nail bed. It is usually just one nail affected. The overlying mail may appear brittle, with lifting of the nail off the nail bed. This is an emergency and must be referred immediately to a dermatologist. Clubbing is a condition in which the nails grow right around the fingertip to give it a bulbous appearance. This is seen most commonly in people with chronic lung disease, and congenital heart disease, TB or lung cancer. 13 You Can't Hide Your Age One of the first things to notice when examining hands is that they give us an indication of your age. As you age, the skin on the back of your hands gets thinner and the veins become more prominent. Sometimes people get brownish patches of discoloration called age spots. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.Dr. Lee is a physician at Dr Fox Online.
You may have read or heard about various reports that taking daily aspirin—yes, that old-time resident of your grandmother's medicine cabinet—may have benefits for modern health conditions. "Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, is a medication that is indicated for many different things," says Kenneth Perry, MD, an emergency medicine physician in Charleston, South Carolina. "From fever control to pain control, even heart attack treatment, there seems to be a new indication every few months." That said, this common everyday drug called aspirin is a strong one, and it can cause some serious side effects in certain people. Read on for more about the features and benefits of aspirin, and what taking aspirin every day does to your body. (And always consult your doctor before beginning a new drug or medication regimen.) 1 Aspirin Can Reduce Inflammation Aspirin works by inhibiting prostaglandins, the enzyme that serves as an on-off switch for pain and inflammation. That's why it has been used for fevers and pain for more than a century. Today, it's still often prescribed to treat or prevent health conditions caused by inflammation in the body. 2 Aspirin Can Cause Stomach Ulcers It bears repeating: Aspirin is a strong drug, and some people can't tolerate it well. "Chronic use of aspirin can damage the lining of the stomach, causing stomach ulcers and pain," says Leann Poston, MD. "The risk increases in people over age 65, those with a history of stomach ulcers, and those who take blood thinners or drink alcohol."If you're sensitive to aspirin, your doctor may recommend taking another NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) instead, such as ibuprofen. 3 Aspirin May Reduce Your Chance of Heart Attack or Stroke "If you have had a heart attack or stroke, your doctor may want you to take a daily low dose of aspirin to help prevent another," says the American Heart Association. "Aspirin is part of a well-established treatment plan for patients with a history of heart attack or stroke." But the AHA notes that you shouldn't take daily aspirin unless your doctor prescribes it—they can help you evaluate the risks and benefits and determine if daily aspirin is right for you. 4 Aspirin Can Increase Your Risk For Bleeding Aspirin is one of the most well-known anticoagulants, meaning it thins the blood. This has advantages (such as reducing the risk of a second heart attack or stroke, which are often caused by blood clotting) and risks. "In case of injury, internal or external platelets aggregate at the site to help clot the blood. When you take daily aspirin, this aggregation is affected and leads to decreased coagulability, says Nikhil Agarwal, MD. "It can increase your risk for bleeding, especially if you are taking certain other supplements or are on certain medications." One possible side effect is gastrointestinal bleeding, says Barry Gorlitsky, MD. 5 Aspirin May Reduce Your Risk of Colon Cancer According to a 2016 meta-analysis published in the journal JAMA Oncology, people who took aspirin for six years or longer had a 19% lower risk of colorectal cancer and a 15% lower risk of gastrointestinal cancer of any type. The researchers estimated that regular aspirin use could prevent nearly 11% of colorectal cancers and 8% of gastrointestinal cancers diagnosed in the U.S. each year. 6 Aspirin Can Cause Tinnitus According to Dr. Guy Citrin, ND, daily aspirin use can cause tinnitus, which is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. This generally goes away when the drug is discontinued. 7 Aspirin Can Lead To Liver Damage Another possible side effect of daily aspirin use is liver damage, according to Dr. Khawar Siddique of DOCS Spine + Orthopedics. According to the Cleveland Clinic, one sign of liver damage is jaundice, which is a condition in which the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes turn yellow. 8 Aspirin May Cause Children To Develop Reye's Syndrome Reye's syndrome is a rare condition that causes confusion and swelling in the brain. "The exact cause of Reye's syndrome is unknown, but it most commonly affects children and young adults recovering from a viral infection," says the NHS. "In most cases, aspirin has been used to treat their symptoms, so aspirin may trigger Reye's syndrome." That's why doctors recommend not giving aspirin to children or teenagers for fever or pain. 9 Aspirin Can Cause Seizures If someone has epilepsy or is on some seizure prevention medication, taking aspirin may affect that. For example, because aspirin is a blood thinner, it may alter the amount of medication in the bloodstream. It's best to consult your doctor before using aspirin daily.
There's no shortage of weight-loss plans out there. But how do you know which one's right for you? A new study from the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine suggests it may come down to the personality traits that make you…well, you.For the study, published October 14 in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, a team of researchers led by X. Shirley Chen, M.D., re-analyzed data from a 2019 study that sought to identify the best way to motivate overweight and/or obese adults to become more physically active. The 602 participants, all of whom committed to walking more and wearing a step-counter to chart their progress, were randomized into three groups defined by their style of behavioral intervention:Competitive: participants' step counts were posted on a leaderboard.Collaborative: participants were assigned teams, and their step counts were combined.Supportive: participants sent step reports to a designated friend or family member.After 24 weeks with the intervention and 12 without, the competitive group's step total was significantly higher than the others. But when Dr. Chen reviewed the data, she observed wide variations among individuals and theorized that this might be due to their different personality traits. (Related: 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)To test this theory, Dr. Chen and her team used data collected at the beginning of the 2019 study to sort participants into three personality types:Extroverted and motivatedLess social and less activeLess motivated and at-riskRe-evaluating the 2019 data through the lens of "personality," Dr. Chen found that competitive weight loss plans were actually not the best plan for extroverted and motivated participants. Their step counts increased at first, only to drop off once the leaderboards were gone. By contrast, all weight loss plans worked for those who were less social and less active, while none worked for the less active and at-risk group.While this research is too preliminary to draw conclusions about the best wellness plans for, say, extroverts, the conclusion to draw, Dr. Chen tells Eat This, Not That!, is that "one size does not fit all. Wellness plans could be more effective if customized for individuals."To that end, here are the 22 best tips to start losing weight, according to dietitians. And make sure to sign up for our newsletter for more weight loss news.
According to the latest reports from the country's top health experts, more COVID-19 transmission is going on inside the house — in the form of small gatherings — than in schools, at work, or the grocery store. During a CBS interview with Norah O'Donnell, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force offered up two incredibly simple yet effective ways you can protect yourself from coronavirus this fall and winter season in the comfort of your own home. Read on so you can stay safe, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Open a Window Dr. Fauci urges the importance of making sure there is good ventilation in your home, as the virus is airborne and can linger in the air — especially in indoor environments with little ventilation. "You may need to expand a little bit more heat energy to keep your house warm, but try and keep windows open, try and keep things well ventilated," he said. RELATED: 11 Symptoms of COVID You Never Want to Get 2 Wear a Mask…Even at Home, If Someone Might Be Positive Everyone knows that wearing a mask is essential when you are out in the world. However, because the virus is spreading in more private types of situations – like small gatherings of family and friends – he suggests masking up at home as well. "Don't be afraid to wear a mask in your house if you're not certain the persons that are in the house are negative," he said. He explained that per Dr. Deborah Birx, his colleague on the Task Force, who has been traveling around the country "to get a feel for what's going on and telling people what to do," household transmission is now responsible for a "greater element of the transmissibility." 3 How You Can Get COVID at Home This is how it happens, according to Fauci: "People who feel comfortable, they say, 'Well, I'm in my own house with my own family. I don't need to wear a mask and I can just be not be as careful as I [was] on the outside,' and that's where the transmissibility is occurring.'" He also points out that the majority of people do not realize they came into contact with an infected person, as most people are asymptomatic when they spread COVID. And, you might not realize you were infected, exposing your loved ones as a result. 4 "We Better be Careful," He Says "So we better be careful," he warned. "Don't assume because you're in your own home with your own family, that you're not going to spread infection because you may feel perfectly well. And when you were outside speaking with someone who felt perfectly well, that they transmitted the virus to you, and then you're in danger of transmitting it to your family," he concluded. RELATED: I'm an Infectious Disease Doctor and Would Never Touch This 5 How to Stay Safe Where You Are Follow his advice above, and wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Early bird gets the worm, right? Well, it's especially true for those who love to workout in the morning. According to a study published by the International Journal of Obesity, working out in the morning can result in significant weight loss compared to working out later in the day. The best part? That workout doesn't have to be massively intense. Simply getting your body moving can result in a change in your mindset, and even your eating patterns, for the rest of the day.Here's why getting into the habit of working out is the key to weight loss, and for more healthy habits, check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.Why a morning workout helps with weight lossIn this study, the participants went through a 10-month supervised exercise program where they were encouraged to complete their exercises between either 7 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. or 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The results showed that after those 10 months, the group of people that went during the earlier times to workout saw significantly more weight loss compared to the later group, which the researchers concluded that "timing of exercise may be important for body weight regulation."Now the interesting thing about this study is that participants were asked primarily to do treadmill jogging or walking, with occasional alternate activities (like biking or walking outside). This means that it wasn't running, in particular, that had them lose weight, but simply moving their bodies on a regular basis. Showing up to do a workout and moving your body truly is enough to get yourself in the right physical and mental mindset to take control of your health.If starting a morning workout routine sounds like something you want to do, it's best to first assess the type of workout you like. If you're not a runner, you don't have to start running. You should participate in the type of movement you enjoy for your body because it will make the entire experience a lot more fun and uplifting. Especially if that's the way you're starting your day. Some great workouts you can try in the morning include going for a walk, riding a bike, trying a new online fitness program with free weights, yoga, pilates, and other workouts along those lines. Just make sure to avoid these 15 Exercise Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Workout.Make sure to fuel up on proteinIt's also important to fuel your body after a workout, so you don't feel ravenous throughout the day. Brianna Bernard, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and Isopure Ambassador, says one of the best post-workout habits is to refuel with a nutrient-rich meal that includes lean protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates. This means looking for all of these nutrients in your post-workout breakfast. A great example of this is enjoying a slice of sprouted toast with smashed avocado and a fried egg on top.Fueling up on protein, in particular, is important for weight loss and for your muscles post-workout. Studies show that the body uses more calories to metabolize protein compared to fat and carbs, which means protein will help you to feel full for a longer period of time afterward. This means you won't snack as much as the day progresses!Protein is also important to have within a 30-minute window of your workout because it fuels your muscles. Research shows protein helps with muscle repair and it also helps to build your muscle, which helps you to look lean. Your muscles need an abundant supply of amino acids to properly repair and build muscle.While there are a lot of details that come into play through this weight loss study, actually living this out really doesn't have to be as complicated. If you want to go for a 30-minute walk in the morning, then dig into a plate of scrambled eggs with a cup of coffee, you've already achieved what you need to do. The combination of movement and protein will help your body to feel full and energized throughout the day, and get you started on the right track for a full day of healthy, nutritious eats. Or even make yourself one of these 19 High Protein Breakfasts That Keep You Full!
Researchers are continuing to learn more about how COVID-19 infections are having a long-term health impact on those who recover from the virus, which has killed over 215,000 Americans in less than nine months. A slew of symptoms have been reported by survivors, ranging from physical to psychological. But one of the scariest so far is highlighted in a new case study published in BMJ Case Reports: irreversible hearing loss. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. "He Noticed Tinnitus and Sudden Onset Hearing Loss"The report, courtesy of University College London and the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, details the case of a 45-year-old asthmatic man who was hospitalized for a severe COVID-19 infection. After being intubated for over 30 days, he developed tinnitus in his left ear, and then the sudden loss of his hearing altogether. "A 45-year-old patient with asthma presented to our otolaryngology department following a week of hearing loss while in hospital for the treatment of COVID-19," the report reads. "A week after extubation and transfer out of the intensive care unit, he noticed left-sided tinnitus and sudden onset hearing loss. He had no previous history of hearing loss or ear pathology."The physicians attempted to treat him with "the administration of steroids" for seven days, "which resulted in partial subjective improvement in his hearing." However, after further treatments, his hearing failed to improve. After doing thorough research, they identified three case reports and two case–control studies linking hearing loss to COVID-19.One study published in the International Journal of Audiology determined that 13% of 138 people discharged from the hospital reported hearing changes or ringing of the ears. The Long Hauler Survey also found that 233 out of 1,567 of surveyed COVID survivors reported tinnitus or "ringing in the ears." However, they noted that "Hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms that have been seen in patients with both COVID-19 and influenza virus but have not been highlighted." Researchers hope their findings will encourage other medical experts to keep an eye out for COVID-induced hearing loss. "Screening for hearing loss is suggested in the hospital environments to avoid missing the treatment window and decreasing hearing loss-associated morbidity," they write. RELATED: 11 Symptoms of COVID You Never Want to Get"More and More People Have Hearing Loss"Over the weekend, CNN profiled an American woman who also lost hearing in one ear after suffering a coronavirus infection. "We're hearing more and more that people have hearing loss as part of their COVID infection," Dr. Matthew Stewart, associate professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Medicine who was part of a study published in JAMA Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, told the outlet. As part of his study, he conducted autopsies on three people who died of COVID. He found the virus in the middle ear and mastoid bone in the skull, located just behind the ear. He is "suspicious that [the novel coronavirus] has the potential to be worse" than other viruses in terms of hearing damage, due to its blood clotting abilities in other parts of the body and possibly in the "extremely small blood vessels" in the inner ear. If you have experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above, call a medical professional, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
As the months have progressed since the first cases of COVID-19 were identified late last year in Wuhan, China, we have learned more about how protective face coverings can prevent the spread of the virus. While most research supports their effectiveness, one new study has found that a common mask mistake can compromise their integrity and make you more likely to get infected with the potentially deadly virus. Read on, and also don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.Masks Should be Considered Contaminated After Each Use, Study ClaimsThe study, published this month in BMJ Open, found that masks were most effective protecting against viral infections from common respiratory pathogens such as the flu, rhinoviruses (common cold viruses), and seasonal coronaviruses if washed daily after use. Researchers also concluded that the temperature at which the mask is laundered is also crucial, citing that they should be washed at a high temperature to ensure they are decontaminated. "Both cloth masks and surgical masks should be considered 'contaminated' after use," Professor Raina MacIntyre, who conducted the study, explained in an accompanying press release. "Unlike surgical masks, which are disposed of after use, cloth masks are re-used. While it can be tempting to use the same mask for multiple days in a row, or to give it a quick hand-wash or wipe-over, our research suggests that this increases the risk of contamination." It's important to note that the randomized trial that this research is based on was conducted in 2015, long before the term COVID-19 became globally recognized. However, researchers from the University of New South Wales at Sydney who analyzed the data point out that due to the fact COVID-19 is a coronavirus, the findings should be the same. "Given the potential implications for health workers or community members who are using cloth masks during the pandemic, we did a deep dive into the 2011 data on whether the health workers in our study washed their masks daily, and if so, how they washed their masks. We found that if cloth masks were washed in the hospital laundry, they were as effective as a surgical mask," she continued. RELATED: 11 Symptoms of COVID You Never Want to Get"The WHO Recommends Machine Washing Masks"As part of the study, the masks were also hand washed, which doubled the chances of infection compared to machine washing them. "The WHO recommends machine washing masks with hot water at 60 degrees Celsius and laundry detergent, and the results of our analysis support this recommendation," says Professor MacIntyre. "Washing machines often have a default temperature of 40 degree or 60 degrees, so do check the setting. At these very hot temperatures, handwashing is not possible. The clear message from this research is that cloth masks do work – but once a cloth mask has been worn, it needs to be washed properly each time before being worn again, otherwise it stops being effective." As for yourself, wear a mask, avoid crowds, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
The dreaded "C" word is something no one wants to hear their doctor say. While cancer is terrifying, it's crucial to catch this disease early to increase chances of survival and stop the growth or spread in its tracks. Learning about a few signs that you've developed cancer is one way to be proactive about catching this disease early. Review these 8 signs you have cancer so you can take them seriously and catch this dreaded disease early. As for our current pandemic: To get through it at your healthiest, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Lumps and Swelling in Lymph Nodes When your body is fighting off a cold, flu, or other sickness, the lymph nodes in your neck and armpits might swell or look enlarged. This is perfectly normal and a sign that your body is working overtime to try and kill the illness quickly. However, swelling in your lymph nodes should go away in a couple of weeks and if they remain swollen or develop lumps, it's a sign that something else may be wrong.The Rx: According to Dr. Adrian Bloor from The Christie Private Care, "If you discover a new lump or swelling which does not go away after a few days, then the recommendation is to seek medical attention so that it can be thoroughly assessed. It could be an early indicator of blood cancer." Your swollen lymph nodes could be nothing, but it could also be a sign of lymphoma, leukemia, or myeloma. 2 Blood in Your Stool Seeing blood in your stool can be scary and it's important to take note if you see any red when you go to the bathroom. Blood in your stool could be due to a number of ailments, some of which aren't very serious. However, it could also be an indication of colon cancer. The Rx: According to Dr. Mache Seibel, "Of course you can have blood in your stool for instance because you have a fissure or a crack in the tissues around your rectum or from a hemorrhoid or from ulcerative colitis or many other kinds of diseases. Blood is just a warning sign; it's not a guarantee of cancer." However, Johns Hopkins Medicine confirms that obvious bright red blood in the stool or darker bowel movements that indicate blood should be investigated for potential colon cancer. Go see your doctor if you see blood in your stool so colon cancer can be ruled out. 3 Hoarse Voice That Won't Go Away If you had too much to drink the night before, rode some roller coasters, or saw your favorite band, a hoarse voice is explainable. Recovering from a cold or other sickness may also cause you to deal with a hoarse voice for a few days. However, if your voice unexplainably becomes hoarse and this hoarseness lasts for several weeks, it may be a sign of larynx cancer. The Rx: According to Dr. Dale Ekbom, M.D. from the Mayo Clinic, "When hoarseness lasts more than two weeks, the list of potential causes grows much larger." He mentions cancer of the larynx as a possible explanation of long-term hoarseness and states that when "detected early, vocal cord cancer can often be successfully treated with surgery or radiation." Your hoarseness may be related to a lingering sickness or a simple irritation of your vocal cords, but it's best to get it checked out if it persists.RELATED: I'm a Cancer Doctor and Here's How to Never Get It 4 Jaundice Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and eyes that may cause itchiness and irritation or may not be felt at all. The skin turns yellow when your bile duct is blocked by a tumor and a yellow pigment called bilirubin builds up in the system. Jaundice may be treatable through medication or surgery. The Rx: However, it's the cause of the jaundice that's concerning. According to a study reviewed by Dr. Peter Saul, "Approximately half of patients are diagnosed with a tumor within the head of the pancreas and many of these will present with jaundice." If your skin takes on a yellowish tint, it's best to see your doctor right away to ensure you don't have pancreatic cancer. 5 A Skin Growth on Your Head or Neck According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), about two million Americans every year are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer. Catching this type of skin cancer early is crucial to stop it from spreading. The good news is this type of skin cancer grows slowly but the bad news is it's easily mistaken for a pimple or scar.The Rx: The AAD warns that basal cell carcinoma "often develops on the head or neck and looks like a shiny, raised, and round growth." If you see any abnormal skin growths or irritations that look like this, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. While this growth may be nothing, it could indicate basal cell carcinoma, and if caught early, it's a simple procedure to get it removed. 6 Seizures Seizures are serious and scary and if you experience one, you should seek emergency medical treatment and consult with your doctor about the cause. In some instances, a seizure may be a result of a brain tumor or growth, which could be cancerous. The Rx: According to Dr. Jessica W. Templer, MD from Northwestern Medicine Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, "Patients may not be aware that seizures are a consequence of their brain tumor. The seizures caused from brain tumors are complex and different for each patient depending on the type and location of the tumor." Your seizure could indicate an abnormal glucose level or a benign tumor but it's best to seek treatment right away to find out if brain cancer was the cause of your episode.RELATED: 11 COVID Symptoms No One Talks About But Should 7 A Single and Hard Breast Lump According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. Early detection is key to stopping the spread of breast cancer. Lumps and bumps on your breast tissue are signs that cancer might be growing. However, the professionals at Stony Brook Cancer Center's Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center state, "Most breast lumps—80% of those biopsied —are benign (non-cancerous)." The Rx: While most lumps and bumps aren't cancerous, it's important to look out for single, hard lumps on your breasts. These medical professionals warn that "most malignant tumors appear first as single, hard lumps or thickenings that are frequently, but not always, painless." If you see any bumps, thickenings, or abnormalities, consult with your doctor and get a mammogram right away. 8 White or Gray Patches in Your Mouth You might find white patches in your mouth as an irritation from food, braces, dentures, or a retainer. However, if you notice thickened areas in your mouth that are white or gray and can't be scraped off, it's possible you've developed leukoplakia, which is a tissue change that may be precancerous.The Rx: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 657,000 new oral cancer cases developed in the world each year. If you're a tobacco user, frequently drink alcohol, or live an unhealthy lifestyle, you're more likely to develop a form of oral cancer. Your leukoplakia may be treatable and not lead to oral cancer but only if it's caught early. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Almost every food you eat has carbohydrates. Carbs are an essential part of the diet, and can be found in all kinds of foods that you love—even fruits and vegetables! And yet, while having carbohydrates in your diet is good (most of them contain the dietary fiber you need on a daily basis), it's important to note which carbs are considered "unhealthy" and why. Simple carbs, also known as refined carbs, are highly-processed and almost always stripped of any nutritional benefit they may have—like that dietary fiber. Which is why there are a lot of benefits of cutting those unhealthy carbs in your diet.We broke down what happens to your body when you cut unhealthy carbs, and also why it's still very important to have carbs in your diet. Here are the benefits of cutting unhealthy carbs, and for more healthy eating tips, check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time. 1 You burn fat. Immediately. Reducing your intake of calorie-dense carbs automatically reduces the number of calories you're consuming on a daily basis, which forces your body to burn fat stored around your midsection for energy, rather than the sugars it takes from carbohydrates.Eat This! Tip: Exercise in the morning before you eat breakfast. This forces your body to burn stored fat, instead of the food you've eaten earlier in the day. Then when it's time for breakfast, follow these 7 Healthy Breakfast Habits for a Flat Belly. 2 You'll feel less hungry. It's not calories that satiate your hunger, it's nutrients: fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Unfortunately, simple, refined carbs are lacking in all three, even as they fill your body with fast, cheap calories. So no matter how much you eat, your body will go in search of more food. The result: a sluggish, hungrier you — one who's more likely to dive into the snack drawer.Eat This! Tip: Start your day with a high-protein, high-fat food like Greek yogurt, eggs scrambled with vegetables, or chia pudding, and you'll reduce your hunger. Start losing pounds a week by eating any of these 11 Best and Worst Greek Yogurts for Weight Loss! 3 Your belly will get flatter. One of the first things you notice when you replace simple carbs with high-fiber foods is that your belly flattens out—literally within days. The reason: Most Americans only take in 15 of the recommended 25 to 38 grams per day, according to the Institute of Medicine. As a result, the healthy gut microbes that keep us lean have less to munch on, and the unhealthy microbes—which feast on sugar—take over. Those are the little buggers that cause bloating, and make your belly look bigger than it actually is."Bumping up fiber can help promote healthy regularity," says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition.Eat This! Tip: Start with simple swaps that feel natural to you. Trade the white bread for whole-grain or add some beans to tacos and stir-fry. And if you're hungry between meals, reach for raw nuts. "Nuts are a great source of fiber and healthy fat, which can help fight inflammation in the body and also promote digestion," Smith adds. 4 You cut your risk for diabetes. Simple carbs are made of simple sugars, and eating too many can wreak havoc in your body in both the short and long term. The more of these quickly digested carbs you consume, the more insulin your pancreas produces, eventually leading to insulin resistance and possibly type 2 diabetes, according to Smith.Eat This! Tip: Fiber-rich complex carbs are harder for your body to digest, preventing the blood sugar spikes that cause insulin release. "The lower and more steady we keep blood sugar, the less insulin is released on a consistent basis and the more insulin-sensitive our tissues remain — which is a good thing," Smith explains. So, cutting back on the simple stuff means you'll be able to maintain stable blood sugar levels and reduce your risk for diabetes. 5 Your muscles get stronger. Almost every food in the world is healthier than simple carbs—from burgers and steaks to yogurt and even ice cream. In part, that's because simple carbs lack protein, the building blocks of muscle (and a key contributor to healthy hair, nails, and skin). By filling your body with protein and other nutrients, you're giving it what it needs to grow without having to find additional calories.Eat This! Tip: If you typically get hungry between meals, try replacing those vending-machine sweets with high-protein snacks that will fuel your body and give you stable energy for the afternoon ahead, like with these 50 Best Snacks for Weight Loss. 6 You'll feel more energized. Not all carbs are bad, of course—especially these 24 Best Healthy Carbs To Eat For Weight Loss. Your body needs carbohydrates to function properly, and they're especially important for adequate brain and muscle function. By switching from simple carbs to more long-running fuel—fruits and vegetables, whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and other whole-grain options—you'll ensure you have a steady flow of energy, and avoid the ups and downs that simple carbs cause. You'll no longer need to make poor food choices as a way of getting quick energy, and you won't be dragging through those afternoon hours.Eat This! Tip: The lowest safe amount of carbohydrates is about 50 grams daily, according to Mayo Clinic; avoid dipping below that amount if you want to avoid major dips in energy. One cup of oatmeal and a half a banana is all it takes to reach that total. So while cutting carbohydrates is good for your overall health, cutting them out completely could have the opposite effect. Here's What You Should Know Before Cutting Carbs for Weight Loss.
There's nothing like sitting down to a delicious dinner after a long day. While starting your day with a healthy breakfast is important for keeping you satisfied and energized, ending your day with a healthy dinner is key for feeling full and curbing those late-night cravings. This is why it's helpful to have healthy dinner habits to turn to—especially if you're trying to lose weight.In order to determine a few healthy dinner habits, we spoke with Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, and nutrition consultant for The Little Potato Company, about preparing yourself for healthy and easy meals at night. And if you're looking for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time. 1 Plan it out. One of the most successful healthy dinner habits to pick up is planning out all of your meals. Having a plan not only helps you avoid unnecessary purchases at the grocery store, but it also guides you with healthy meals throughout the week that you don't have to think twice about."I always recommend working towards planning being a habit, which doesn't have to mean prepping everything in advance," says Jones. "Simply knowing you have the components for a balanced meal, including vegetables, a high-quality starch, a protein source, and some healthy fat, can take a lot of stress away." 2 Stock your pantry and freezer. Make it easier for yourself during the week by stocking up your pantry and freezer with a few healthy ingredients—like these 20 Healthy Pantry Staples That Belong in Every Kitchen."We all have weeks that we can't get our grocery trip in, but that can add a lot of stress to mealtime," says Jones. "By having shelf-stable starches and proteins as well as frozen vegetables on hand, you can always pull together a staple meal. Think rice, potatoes. and wheat pasta for starch, beans, lentils, and canned tuna for protein, and whatever frozen vegetables your family loves." 3 Don't go hungry before dinner. "It's a long haul between lunch and dinner, and your body and brain are using a lot of energy in that time," says Jones. "A busy schedule can distract you from your hunger cues and for others, it's easy to buy into a mentality to 'just make it' to dinner despite noticing hunger."Jones says the best thing to do is to schedule an afternoon snack with a few balanced options such as fruits, nuts, or yogurt. Having a snack can reduce your chances of overeating, which will affect your overall plan. 4 Eat foods you actually like. Why bother eating something you don't like, only to reach for something you really want later? Jones says it's not worth restricting yourself and to simply fit in the foods you really are going to want to eat for dinner."The more you ignore your cravings, the greater chance you'll want to keep eating to feel satisfied or go overboard once those foods are available," she says. "For example, if you enjoy potatoes more with some butter or cheddar, use some, and if you are trying to eat more plant-based, but are craving fish, find ways to incorporate the latter in smaller portions." 5 Get the family involved. "As a mom, I don't let all of the planning fall on me since that tends to increase stress," says Jones. "Over the weekend my husband and I both pick two meals we'd like to have that week so we aren't scrambling to decide what to make an hour before. This also helps everyone's satisfaction with what's on the menu."If you have children, Jones also recommends cooking with them in order to increase their interest in all kinds of foods—including vegetables."Research shows that involving children in meal preparation may increase their vegetable intake and elicit more positive feelings about mealtime," says Jones. "I find my son trying more foods while he's helping me cook than when he's seated at the table for a meal. While you're chopping veggies or over a hot stove, have them start with fun and easy tasks to boost confidence, such as mashing potatoes, adding pre-measured seasonings to a recipe, or tossing a salad." 6 Eat together. Did you know that eating with others can actually help with your stress and cortisol levels?"It's certainly challenging for families to do this every night when you consider everyone's busy schedules and kid's activities, but family meals are important to prioritize when you can," says Jones. "They're associated with lower stress levels for parents and in kids, lower risk of depression, anxiety, and disordered eating, with an increased chance of good self-esteem and success in school." 7 Find easy hacks—like using the microwave. You don't have to turn to unhealthy frozen dinners just to keep it simple. In fact, there are a lot of healthy frozen options out there that can easily be cooked in the microwave."People forget that you can steam vegetables in the microwave, and one of my go-to hacks is The Little Potato Company's Microwave Ready Creamer Potatoes because they come in a microwave-safe container that steams the potatoes and has a separate seasoning pack so you can add as much or as little flavor as you like," says Jones. "They're ready to eat in 5 minutes. [And] because potatoes are considered a vegetable and provide nutrient-rich starch, just pair with a protein, and dinner is ready! Per serving, potatoes provide more potassium than a banana and are a good source of vitamin C. They also are found to be more satiating than pasta or rice."You could also stock up on these 25 Best Frozen Dinners for Healthier Weeknights. 8 Pick nights for leftovers. If cooking every night is stressful for you, why not choose a few nights a week to cook and simply double the recipe? That way you can enjoy some of those leftovers for easy meals."This helps reduce the number of nights you need to plan and prep for and also helps reduce food waste to save money and support the environment," says Jones. "Keep a running list of the leftovers you have each day so they don't get lost in the back of the refrigerator. Then get creative with combining proteins, starches, and veggies. It's helpful to have fresh greens so a salad base can help the meal feel fresher and less like leftovers." 9 Take advantage of your slow cooker. "While pressure cookers are trendy and helpful, using them during the week means you still need to prep a full meal at the end of a long day," says Jones. "The beauty of the slow cooker is adding all of your ingredients in the morning and having the aroma of a warm, balanced meal to greet you once the work and school day has ended. You can even add ingredients the night before and refrigerate until the morning."You can even make it easier for yourself by prepping a few slow cooker meals and storing them in the freezer, like these 8 Fastest Crock-Pot Freezer Meals—Ever.
How long will you have to wear a mask and socially distance from those who don't live in your home? According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's go-to infectious disease expert, it is going to be awhile. During a 30-minute discussion between Fauci and GBMC HealthCare System President and CEO John Chessare, the key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force revealed that masks and social distancing are going to be the norm for over a year at least. Read on to find out why, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.It Will Be Late 2021 Until We're Remotely Normal AgainWhile Fauci admitted that he isn't exactly sure how much of the population would need to be infected with COVID or vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, in a best case scenario—if the majority had immunity—it will still be over a year before any sort of normalcy exists. "Let's assume its 75% of the population is protected either from already being infected and/or having a vaccine. I think by the time we get there, it's going to be well into the end of this year before that occurs, so I don't think people are going to be able to get rid of the masks and not worry about social distancing and avoiding crowds until we get into the third quarter or fourth quarter of 2021," he said. If the vaccine is effective and people actually get it, things could be "close to normal," at that time. RELATED: Dr. Fauci Sees Signs of a New COVID SurgeStick to the Fundamentals—and Get Your Flu ShotFauci also urged the importance of sticking to the fundamentals when a vaccine does hit the market—which will likely be in the next few months. If they don't, it could be "very dangerous," he warned. "Bottom line: we could begin vaccinating people before the end of this calendar year." Even before there is a COVID vaccine, Dr. Fauci points out that there is an easy way to protect your health during this coming months: Get a flu shot. "I got my flu shot yesterday," Fauci revealed. "Everybody, six months of age or over, unless you have a significant contraindication should get vaccinated with the influenza vaccine. We know it isn't a perfect vaccine, but it does prevent infection to various percentages depending upon your demographic group. And it also clearly mitigates the possibility of your having to be hospitalized and even dying. So it's clearly beneficial." Dr. Fauci explains that if everyone does their part, flu season could be milder than usual this year, as it was in Australia. "I believe that if we combine widespread use and uptake of influenza vaccines together with the kind of public health practices, I'm mentioning that we could essentially take flu off the table and avoid that confluence of two respiratory diseases at the same time, namely COVID and influenza." So get that flu shot, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
First thing's first: When we say how many eggs a day you should eat, we don't mean egg whites, we mean the whole thing. While we won't deny that there is cholesterol in there, research shows that dietary cholesterol has little effect on your blood cholesterol levels. Many people still think that eggs can raise their cholesterol levels, but that's actually not true.
Today, Coca-Cola sells so many kinds of different beverages (3,500) that if you drank one a day, it would take you 9 years to sample them all. Are you drinking too much Coke and other sodas? According to one of the largest, the landmark U.S. Framingham Heart Study, drinking just one can of soda daily has been linked to obesity, increased waist size, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart attack, stroke, poorer memory, smaller brain volume, and dementia.
While indulging occasionally isn't going to harm you, if you happen to find yourself eating quite a bit of junk food every day, you're going to want to put down that bag of potato chips. See, while junk food may be tasty, there are plenty of downsides if you're eating it every day. One study compared body weight changes and calorie consumption for 10 men and 10 women who ate either an ultra-processed or a minimally processed diet for two weeks.
McDonald's has been under fire quite a bit this year for various issues, however, the most recent event is unlike any other—a man in Florida is suing McDonald's for an injury he got while eating Chicken McNuggets.Um, what? Yes, you read that correctly. Alexei Stolfat of Palm Beach, Florida filed a lawsuit against the iconic fast-food brand last week for an alleged injury he received from biting into a Chicken McNugget. Evidently, when Stolfat bit into a nugget from an order he got through Uber Eats in May, his teeth hit something hard. Then, as specified in his lawsuit, he felt "unbearable jaw pain." (Related: 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback)So, what was it that Stolfat unexpectedly encountered in what, from the outside, seemed like a soft chicken nugget? It was none other than an 0.8 inch-long bone, which he photographed after removing it from his mouth. It wasn't until a few days after that he would go to the dentist, complaining of a headache and toothache, and discover he has two microcracks in the affected tooth.Stolfat doesn't have dental insurance and he claims that it would take him a half of a year to cover the expenses associated with replacing his defunct tooth. Now, the interesting part of the story is that he isn't just suing McDonald's for the sum required to cover his dental bill. No, he is arguing that the company should pay him $1.1 million and is also demanding that all Chicken McNuggets be recalled. (Related: 8 Major Food Recalls You Need to Know About Right Now)Apparently, Stolfat wants to use the rest of the money to donate to charity. "I'm not looking to be famous in this case or something like that," he told Today. "I want to help other people, to protect them and tell them to be very careful with McNuggets."McDonald's responded to the claim in a statement shared with Today that said the company is "looking into the complaint."
It's National Drink Beer Day, a day that would, in normal times, provide a reasonable excuse to go to your favorite local tavern or brewery, belly up to the bar, and proceed to consume a reasonable amount of your favorite hoppy beverage. But, these are not normal times, and according to research by Nielsen, people are consuming way more alcoholic beverages during the coronavirus pandemic—when we've all been self-quarantining and/or following potentially life-saving orders to stay at home—than any other time.In other words, if drinking beer was your thing, it may really be your thing now to help cope with stress and anxiety. And hey, everyone deals differently.However, it's important to know how a nightly beer (or two) can be affecting your body and overall health. We reached out to registered dietitians to ask them what happens with a daily diet of your favorite beer.And for more, don't miss these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback. How much beer is considered "in moderation"?The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that if alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in "moderation," according to Elizabeth Huggins, RDN at Hilton Head Health."When it comes to drinking, people often have different ideas of moderation, so if you are talking about a 12-ounce beer, that is one or less a day for women and two or less a day for men," says Huggins.RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox! What does having a beer every night do to your body?"First, calories in beer can range from as low as 60 to as high as 240 calories per 12 ounces," says Huggins. This, of course, can be an innocent habit at first. "But it can lead to weight gain, especially if your beer enjoys the company of snacks."In addition to being a highly caloric indulgence, another side effect of drinking beer every night is lethargy. "It may relax you so well that you don't get off the couch to take that walk that you said you would take," says Huggins.There's no doubt that "resolve dissolves in alcohol!" And, especially during these difficult times, forcing yourself to move your body is crucial to stay healthy during quarantine—for however long it lasts. By not doing so, your body can get out of shape, and fairly quickly.What's more, regular beer drinking also "causes bloat and can irritate your digestive tract," says Nutritionist (MS) Katie Boyd.RELATED: This 7-day smoothie diet will help you shed those last few pounds."Drinking beer can make your stomach produce more acid than usual, which can turn into inflammation of the gut lining. This can have long-term side effects like gastritis," Boyd says. "They don't call it a 'beer belly' for nothing."Alcohol is also known to negatively impact your natural sleep cycle. "The more you drink and the closer to bedtime, the more likely you will experience diminished sleep quality," says Huggins. How so? "Alcohol in beer causes gastric acid to be secreted and could increase your chances of suffering from heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux, which in addition to being unpleasant, can also negatively impact sleep."While having a few beers may lead you to think you are sleeping well, it's poor sleep quality, which is less restorative. "We can all agree that poor sleep interferes with mental functioning and our energy level the next day," says Huggins.Boyd agrees. "Drinking too much beer can cause sleep disruption because it causes your insulin to spike in the middle of the night if drank later in the day, thus causing you to wake up. In the morning, you end up feeling groggy and not optimal for the rest of the day."READ MORE: How Much Sugar Is in the Beer You Drink? There's one benefit of having a brewski, though…The only silver lining of having a beer every night? "Beer is touted as more nutritious than most other alcoholic beverages due to the hops and barley that is used in the creation and fermentation process," says Boyd. Beer is also relatively high in "vitamin B, antioxidants, and silicon that may strengthen and build stronger bones," she says.Plus, you may be helping to support a local craft brewer during these tough times if you're buying cases of their stuff.RELATED: Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!But that certainly doesn't off-set all of the negatives of having a beer every night. And if you're going to have one, you should chase it with some water. (Or, better yet, replace that can or bottle altogether with H2O.)"One of the simplest things you can do to improve your body's vitality, aside from keeping the body running smoothly, is getting your recommended intake of water," says fitness trainer Corey Calliet. "It aids in the recovery, detoxification, and elimination processes within the body."Drinking water (not beer) consistently throughout the day can also curb cravings and keep you from eating excess calories.So, there you have it. If drinking beer is your thing, it's best to do it in moderation, not every night. While drinking beer every day may relax you during these tough times, there are some significant downsides: weight gain, poor sleep, bad gastrointestinal inflammation, and other issues that can outlast your time spent in quarantine.And for more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.
Over the years, scientific research has shown that while a balanced diet is key to staying healthy, there are certain foods that just knock it out of the park in terms of overall benefits for your body. But what about your mind? It turns out, there might be at least one easy option: According to a recent study, eating wild blueberries could be one of the easiest ways to give your brain an instant boost.A recent randomized, double-blind, cross-over study examined 35 middle-aged individuals between 40 and 65 years old that were fed either one cup of wild blueberries or a placebo equivalent for breakfast. They were then asked to complete a series of cognitive tasks over the course of the day that tested brain function and memory. (Related: 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)The results were clear: Those who had eaten wild blueberries (aka WBB) were able to maintain a sustained level of concentration and performance during the day in both sets of tasks, while those who had been given a placebo saw a decrease in performance as the day went on. Researchers also noticed that those in the wild blueberry group were faster in their correct responses than the placebo group."This study indicated acute cognitive benefits of [wild blueberry] WBB intake in cognitively healthy middle-aged individuals, particularly in the context of demanding tasks and cognitive fatigue," the study authors wrote.This is far from the first study to find that wild blueberries provide bountiful brain benefits. A 2011 study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry significantly improved the memory performance of older adults who were at risk for Alzheimer's disease. And a study from 2007 found that regularly consuming wild blueberries could help alleviate cognitive decline in aging adults—most likely thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.Whether you're putting them in your morning oatmeal or simply taking them down by the handful as you run out the door, it sounds like there's plenty of science behind blueberries as a fantastic and healthy snack.For more healthy eating news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!