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GREER HEALTH From June 2011


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Poll: Consumers check biscuit, cake labels less than others
JUN 29, 2011

Consumers are less likely to check labels of biscuit, cake, chocolate and confectionery compared to other food categories, according to Harris Interactive, due to the perception that they are indulgence opportunities.

“Many do not look at labels on these products because nutritional content seems to matter less to consumers on categories which are considered a treat,” claims Geraldine Padbury, senior consultant in consumer research at Harris Interactive.

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Suggestions for better cholesterol and heart health
JUN 29, 2011

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that travels in the blood. If you have too much cholesterol, it can stick to the walls of your blood vessels and narrow or even block them, leading to heart disease. You’re more likely to have unhealthy levels of cholesterol if you eat fatty foods, are overweight or have a close relative with high cholesterol. 

But you can help lower your cholesterol simply by changing your diet. The Mayo Clinic suggests these five foods for better cholesterol and heart health: 

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Restricting some foods may decrease craving for them
JUN 29, 2011

The prospect of going on a diet makes many people nervous. Once cravings for verboten foods set in, dieters may fall off the wagon. But a study finds that over time, restricting some foods may tamp down those cravings.

The study centered on 270 men and women who were randomly assigned to a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-fat diet for two years. Those on the low-carb diet were told to limit carbohydrates and eat foods high in fat and protein. Those on the low-fat diet cut back on calories and fat and limited protein to about 15 percent of calories from protein, 3 percent from fat and 55 percenet from carbohydrate.

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Omega-3 fats linked to lower diabetes risk
JUN 29, 2011

People who get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets may have lowered odds of developing type 2 diabetes, two new reports suggest.

In one study, of more than 3,000 older U.S. adults, researchers found that those with the highest blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) -- two omega-3s found in fatty fish—were about one-third less likely to develop diabetes over the next decade than their counterparts with the lowest levels.

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A hot-water bath for thawing meats
JUN 29, 2011

Even in kitchens where fresh is king, the freezer remains a handy tool. There’s no easier way to deal with a bounty of meat from a big-box store or a butchering class or a C.S.A. share, or the haul from a fishing trip, or the unpredictable sighting of partridge and other rare birds in the Chinese market.

Less handy, however, is the thawing process, which often requires planning a day or more ahead of the cooking. Food thaws slowly in the refrigerator, especially when kept in its plastic packaging, which is the method recommended by purveyors and the Department of Agriculture to minimize bacterial growth and the loss of juices. Thawing in cold water, 40 degrees or below, is safe and much faster — water transfers heat far more efficiently than air — but it can still take hours. 

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Report: Irradiation underused to fight E. coli in foods
JUN 29, 2011

Zapping salad fixings with just a bit of radiation can kill dangerous E. coli and other bacteria — and food safety experts say Europe’s massive outbreak shows wary consumers should give the long-approved step a chance.

The U.S. government has OK’d irradiation for a variety of foods — meat, spices, certain imported fruits, the seeds used to grow sprouts. Even iceberg lettuce or spinach can be irradiated without the leaves going limp. And no, it doesn’t make the food radioactive.
But sterilized leafy greens aren’t on the market, and overall sales of irradiated foods remain low. A disappointed Grocery Manufacturers Association says one reason is that sellers worry about consumer mistrust.

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Americans unwilling to pay more on healthful eating
JUN 29, 2011

Americans might be hearing a lot about eating healthier these days, but most say they would not be willing to pay extra for it when dining out, according to a study from The NPD Group.

The Port Washington, N.Y.-based marketing research firm found that about 70 percent of consumers — most notably those over 50 who tend to show more interest in healthful foods than younger Americans — said they don’t expect to pay a premium for healthier items when they dine out.

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Caffeine the hallucinogen?
JUN 29, 2011

Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages such as tea, soft-drinks and energy drinks access the stimulant and when taken in large quantities increase tendencies to hallucinate says La Trobe University’s Professor Simon Crowe, School of Psychological Sciences.

In a recent study — The effect of caffeine and stress on auditory hallucinations in a non-clinical sample — Professor Crowe and colleagues measured the effect of stress and caffeine with 92 non-clinical participants.

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Two sugary drinks a day can dull taste buds, study claims
JUN 29, 2011

Consuming just two sugary drinks a day can dull the taste buds and lead to cravings for high-calorie food, a study claims.

The research suggests that within a month those who drink sugary beverages are left with a dulled sensitivity to sweet tastes. This leads to an increased preference for high-calorie and sugar-laden foods, creating a “vicious cycle” as consumers look for their next treat.

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New symbol for healthy diet is half fruits and vegetables
JUN 29, 2011

The new American symbol for a healthy diet is laden with vegetables, and it includes plenty of room on the plate for Idaho potatoes.

The dinner plate-based guide from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released last week, which replaces the food pyramid that’s been in place for two decades, is divided into four parts. Fruits and vegetables take up half the space; grains and proteins make up the other half.

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Several low-calorie desserts better for weight loss than one big treat
JUN 29, 2011

Dieters who allow themselves one full-fat dessert a week as a congratulatory treat could be inadvertently thwarting their weight loss efforts, a new study suggests.

Instead of indulging once a week on a regular dessert, a new Greek study suggests a more effective weight loss strategy is to consume low-fat, sugar-free desserts several times a week.

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Sleep-deprived teens may crave carbohydrates
JUN 29, 2011

Daytime sleepiness is associated with an increased craving for carbohydrates among teens, according to new research.

The study of 262 high school seniors in New Jersey found that their desire for carbohydrates increased with the severity of daytime sleepiness. The likelihood of having a strong craving for carbs was 50 percent higher among those with excessive daytime sleepiness.

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Research: More olive oil in diet could cut stroke risk
JUN 29, 2011

Adding olive oil to your diet may reduce your risk of stroke, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that older people who used olive oil intensively — meaning they regularly cooked with it and used it in salad dressing — were 41 percent less likely to have a stroke than those who rarely consumed it.

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Seven wonders: Look to these sources for your omega-3 fatty acids
JUN 29, 2011

Have you had your good fat today?

“Fats aren’t as bad as we thought they were,” says registered dietitian Rachel Huber, a researcher at the Cooper Institute in Dallas. Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines and albacore tuna, reduce inflammation and improve heart health, Huber says, which is why the American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish a week. Vegetarians look to flaxseeds, walnuts and canola oil for their Omega-3s.

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Study: Food allergies affect 1 in 12 kids
JUN 29, 2011

One in 12 kids in the United States may have a food allergy, according to new findings based on an online survey.

The study, published June 20 in Pediatrics, also showed that more than one third of those kids had severe allergies, and that allergies were more common in minority kids.

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25 percent of calories now come from snacks
JUN 29, 2011

While the average American eats roughly the same amount of food during meals as in the 1970s, the number of calories Americans consume as snacks has increased to 580 calories per day, the equivalent of a fourth meal, said Richard D. Mattes, a professor of nutrition at Purdue University.Time spent snacking has increased as well, and so has our daily intake of calorie-rich beverages, which now account for up to 50 percent of the calories we consume outside of meals, Mattes said.

“Snacking may be an important source of nutrients that we would like to increase in our diet,” Mattes said. But when snacks become a source of excess calories, they contribute to obesity, he said.

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Meet Dr. George Blestel
JUN 10, 2011

Dr. George Ambrose Blestel’s practice is limited to the specialty of colon and rectal surgery, which includes treatment of colorectal cancer, diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease including Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. He also specializes in treatment disorders of the rectal area such as hemorrhoids, fissures, fistulas and repair and reconstruction of the sphincter muscle. Colonoscopy for screening and surveillance exams is also provided.

Dr. George Blestel best describes colon and rectal cancer as a closed-door conversation. “It’s getting better but we’re about 10-15 years behind where breast cancer is,” Blestel said.

When Nancy Welch undergoes surgery Monday, Blestel will perform the procedure. His almost 30 years of practicing colon and rectal surgery and related disorders is a field that only has 1,200 board certified surgeons nationally.

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