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Go Ahead, Give Your Toddler A Kitchen Knife : The Salt : NPR

My 3-year-old son has an inexplicable fondness for the whisk. And we are pros, my son and I, at making blueberry and chocolate muffins and spooning out cookie batter. But when it comes to leafy greens or butternut squash, my son gets bored. He starts whining or throwing things or yelling at his baby sister. That’s because he’s not allowed to use a knife. And without having helped prepare them, he’s not so inclined to eat those beautiful vegetables either. Many agree with my general stance that equipping a child with a knife to help out in the kitchen sounds like a recipe for wounds and lost appendages. Both my mother and mother-in-law recoiled when I suggested letting my son try his hand at chopping. Yet research, and the experience of educators, suggest that parents such as me would be wise to hand a tot a knife.

Source: Go Ahead, Give Your Toddler A Kitchen Knife : The Salt : NPR

Experts Urge Sparing Use of Nonaspirin Painkillers – The New York Times

The Food and Drug Administration warned last week that the risk of heart attack and stroke from widely used painkillers that include Motrin IB, Aleve and Celebrex but not aspirin was greater than it previously had said. But what does that mean for people who take them?

Experts said that the warning reflected the gathering evidence that there was risk even in small amounts of the drug, so-called nonaspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or Nsaids, and that everyone taking them should use them sparingly for brief periods. Millions of Americans take them.

“One of the underlying messages for this warning has to be there are no completely safe pain relievers, period,” said Bruce Lambert, director of the Center for Communication and Health at Northwestern University, who specializes in drug safety communication.

Continue reading the main story

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F.D.A. Is Set to Toughen Nonaspirin WarningsJULY 9, 2015

But the broader context is important. The relative risk of heart attack and stroke from the drugs is still far smaller than the risk from smoking, having uncontrolled high blood pressure or being obese. At the same time, use of the drugs by someone with those other habits and conditions could compound the risk.

via Experts Urge Sparing Use of Nonaspirin Painkillers – The New York Times.

Only 1 in 10 Americans Eats Enough Fruits and Veggies: CDC

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Only about one in every 10 Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables, a new government report shows.

Just 13 percent of U.S. residents consume one and a half to two cups of fruit every day as recommended by federal dietary guidelines, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

The news on the vegetable front was even worse. Less than 9 percent of Americans eat two to three cups of vegetables every day as recommended, the report showed.

Even residents of California, the state with the best consumption rate for these nutritious foods, fell woefully behind. Only close to 18 percent of Californians ate enough fruit every day, and only 13 percent ate enough vegetables.

via Only 1 in 10 Americans Eats Enough Fruits and Veggies: CDC.

What It’s Like To Go A Year Without Processed Food

Only about 8 percent of people stick to their New Year’s resolution. Food writer Megan Kimble is one of them. Back in January of 2012, the then-26-year-old made a goal to eat only unprocessed foods for a year. Kimble documented her journey, the lessons she learned and the changes she made in her new book, “Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food,” which helps simplify the challenge of subsisting on a mostly-whole foods diet.

What advice can you give to people who want to limit their intake of processed foods?

The first and simplest piece of advice I have is to read the ingredient label of everything you buy. When you start looking at what’s in your food, you’ll start buying things that are better. The next step beyond that is to buy foods without ingredient labels — oatmeal, bananas, single food items that you can combine yourself at home. Even if you’re not much of a cook, you can prepare simple foods at home, like sandwiches, salads and pasta. If you prepare food yourself, you have so much more control over what you’re eating. You’ll have to spend more time prepping in the beginning, but once you start to find the habits and the things that work for you, it’ll start becoming part of a routine and not so time consuming at all.

via What It’s Like To Go A Year Without Processed Food.

New York City Requires Restaurants to Freeze Raw Fish Before Serving – The New York Times

For years, many New York sushi restaurants have lured gourmands by boasting of the freshest fish in the city. But soon, those claims may call for an asterisk.

New regulations, published this week by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, require that fish served raw, undercooked or marinated raw in dishes like ceviche must first be frozen, to guard against parasites. In March, the Board of Health approved the regulations, which now align with Food and Drug Administration recommendations and are set to take effect in August.

That means that by the end of summer all fish used in sushi, sashimi, tartare and other popular raw dishes will make a pit stop in the freezer before they end up on diners’ plates.

Though some customers might blanch at the idea that their coveted crudo and sashimi — sometimes costing hundreds of dollars — emerged from a deep freeze, the truth is that many chefs in the city’s top restaurants have long used frozen fish to prevent serving their raw fare with a side of pathogens.

via New York City Requires Restaurants to Freeze Raw Fish Before Serving – The New York Times.

Want to know how many calories are in that burger? Sit tight. The FDA has delayed menu calorie count rules. – The Washington Post

Want to know how many calories are in that slice of delivery pizza or movie theater popcorn? Sit tight. America will elect a new president before menus across the country are required to feature detailed calorie counts.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will push back the deadline for chain restaurants, grocery stories and other establishments to post calorie counts on their menus. The businesses now will have until Dec. 1, 2016, a year longer than the FDA initially proposed.

The move comes amid persistent pressure on the agency from various corners of the food industry to delay enforcement of the rules. The FDA said that since February, it has received numerous requests from for a postponement, including from groups such as the Food Marketing Institute, the National Association of Theater Owners, the American Beverage Association and Publix Super Markets.

via Want to know how many calories are in that burger? Sit tight. The FDA has delayed menu calorie count rules. – The Washington Post.

Skipping Meals Promotes Belly Fat Storage, Increases Risk For Insulin Resistance

Skipping Meals Promotes Belly Fat Storage, Increases Risk For Insulin Resistance

Anyone looking to lose weight knows they have to restrict the amount of calories they consume, but how much and when they restrict those calories can make all the difference. A recent study conducted at Ohio State University has revealed that skipping meals not only leads to abdominal weight gain, but it can also lead to the development of insulin resistance in the liver.

“This does support the notion that small meals throughout the day can be helpful for weight loss, though that may not be practical for many people,” Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University, said in a statement. “But you definitely don’t want to skip meals to save calories because it sets your body up for larger fluctuations in insulin and glucose and could be setting you up for more fat gain instead of fat loss.”

via Skipping Meals Promotes Belly Fat Storage, Increases Risk For Insulin Resistance.

Farewell, Low-Fat: Why Scientists Applaud Lifting A Ban On Fat : The Salt : NPR

But let’s back up a second. When and why did fat become such a big villain? As Allison Aubrey has reported, it started back in the 1970s, and with the first set of dietary guidelines for Americans in 1980. The message was: Decrease fat and you’ll decrease saturated fat.

Back then, scientists were mostly concerned with saturated fat. And indeed, the latest evidence shows that saturated fats can raise levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. But demonizing all fat set off the fat-free boom, and a big increase in carbohydrate and sugar intake followed, which led to Americans becoming even fatter.

And, as Mozaffarian and Ludwig point out, another problem with telling people to limit total fat is that people end up eating fewer monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – the kind found in nuts, vegetable oils and fish – which are really healthful.

Now, it seems, the government has an opportunity to set the record straight on fat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services are now reviewing the committee’s report and will update the guidelines later this year.

via Farewell, Low-Fat: Why Scientists Applaud Lifting A Ban On Fat : The Salt : NPR.

Battling cancer with exercise, nutrition and mental health – LA Times

Battling cancer with exercise, nutrition and mental health - LA Times

The healing power of exercise

Before Gabriela Dow’s cancer diagnosis, her schedule, which involved juggling professional commitments with motherhood, left little time for working out. But when her oncologist recommended that she exercise during treatment, she started walking. “I learned early on that moving made me feel so much better, especially before the tiredness really set in,” says Dow.

Experts lay groundwork for higher produce consumption to take root

Not only does exercise make people feel better, fitness is correlated with mortality, says Dr. Arash Asher, director of Cancer Survivorship and Rehabilitation at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “There have been oodles of studies that show exercise is good for breast cancer patients. It reduces fatigue, it’s good for the bones and it decreases anxiety. But there also seems to be a much lower recurrence rate for people who get moderate amounts of exercise per week.”

Research shows that exercise also reduces recurrence rates of other types of cancer, including colorectal, prostate and ovarian cancers. The protective benefit may be manifold: physical activity reduces inflammatory chemicals, body fat and insulin sensitivity, all of which may fuel cancer progression and recurrence.

The caveat, says Asher, is that while moderate exercise is beneficial, intense exercise may actually suppress immunity in the short term. “The answer is that it needs to be tailored for each person.”

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Cancer rehab may also include “prehabilitation”: targeted exercises designed to optimize a treatment’s outcome that patients can do before the treatment begins. For example, preoperative lung cancer patients may do breathing exercises, such as blowing up balloons, prostrate cancer patients may do pelvic floor exercises and neck cancer patients may do swallowing exercises.

via Battling cancer with exercise, nutrition and mental health – LA Times.