- Keep Them Active
Over time, it is common for many of the elderly to become less active and less involved with their family and in their community.
It’s your job as a caregiver to not let that happen. A good place to start is with their diet. Make sure they are eating nutritious foods that provide them with energy. With the approval of their doctor, encourage exercise at least three times a week. Even a short neighborhood walk will do wonders for their spirit and blood flow.
- Thanksgiving Pies: The Healthiest Sugary Picks
If you want to pick one of the healthiest pies this Thanksgiving, go for the blueberry, says registered dietitian Carol M. Bareuther. It has antioxidants galore. Another good one? Pumpkin. It boasts fewer calories than many, and one slice has up to half of the daily recommendation for vitamin A. One of the worst is yummy old chocolate, with high saturated fat and calories. But it’s also high in taste value, I gotta say.
- Color Code Your M&M's and Other Halloween Candy Calorie Tips
Halloween is so much fun. Gorging yourself on Handing out candy. Helping the grandkids eat sort their finds. Dealing with the moans and groans and sugar crashes—the kids' crashes of course. Okay, fine, let's admit it: Sometimes, adults like to eat Halloween candy, too. There, we said it. Nothing wrong with that, except the munching can extend beyond Halloween—before, after, way after.
- Lose Weight with Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables fill you up with their fiber. Most have very few calories. So . . . eat more, lose more, right?
Yes, actually. It can be that simple, if we eat fruits and vegetables instead of higher-calorie foods. So why don’t we do it? Maybe because we don’t like vegetables. Maybe because they spoil before we can prepare them all, so we don’t buy them. Maybe because we’re just not used to eating them.
- Vitamins, Minerals, and “Supplements”
Nutritious food that is properly prepared, in balance, and consumed in moderation remains the only guaranteed "best program" for optimal nutrition. The science of nutritional supplements, deficiencies, vitamins, minerals, etc., remains challenging. Controlled studies, including outcomes studies (i.e., those that determine if an intervention really helps us or not), are difficult to do because there are so many variables. Evidence-based guidelines are sparse.
Medical science currently recommends the following in terms of vitamins, minerals, and supplements:
- Weekly Health Tip: Simple Lower-Calorie Dessert
Here’s a great tip from nutrition expert Jennifer Neily:
If you like dessert, try angel food cake topped with unsweetened frozen berries and fat-free whipped topping. Let the berries defrost and get nice and juicy, or add some fresh if you like. One serving is around 200 calories.
By James Hubbard, MD, MPH
My Family Doctor Blog
- Natural Sources of Plant Sterols and Stanol Esters
The first time many of us heard of plant sterols and plant stanol esters, and their ability to help decrease total and LDL cholesterol levels, was in a margarine commercial. Brands like Benecol and Take Control hit the market by storm a few years ago—and their message came through loud and clear. But here’s the thing: many foods are natural sources of these same phytochemicals. You can find plant sterols and stanol esters in plant foods like these:
- Less Is More: Spring Clean Your Diet by Eating Less Red Meat!
Less red meat and processed meat means more protection (and risk reduction) against colorectal cancer and other cancers.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) expert panel analyzed the evidence and believes it suggests eating up to 18-ounces of red meat per week does NOT raise cancer risk. This means that if you eat about four 4-ounce servings of red meat in a week, your colon cancer risk is not likely to increase.
- Beans Lower Cancer Risk?
Eating beans is definitely a step toward health, what with all their fiber and plant protein. Some evidence suggests that diets high in fiber are linked to lower risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancers. But it’s their phytochemicals that appear to protect body cells from the type of genetic damage that can lead to cancer.
The three protective phytochemicals
Saponins: These seem to slow the growth of tumors in several body tissues by inhibiting the reproduction of cancer cells, according to laboratory studies.
- The Main Culprits in Food Poisoning
What foods are most likely to lead to food poisoning?
If I’m in a questionable restaurant, particularly when I’m traveling, I tend to avoid meat and go vegetarian. This sounds like a good way to decrease the odds of food poisoning from contaminated meat, but it doesn’t eliminate it if the vegetables were in contact with anything that was also in contact with the contaminated meat (say a spoon or cutting board). Here are some facts to chew on before eating out: