Watch Out, Zucchini: 4 Other Vegetables You Can Spiralize

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Zucchini noodles, commonly known as “zoodles,” hit the market running with their pasta-mimicking function. Zoodles replaced traditional noodles without hesitation from the public as their popularity increased among individuals looking for a low-carbohydrate option. With one quick Pinterest search, you can find recipes for zoodles and meatballs, zoodle lasagna, zoodle soup or zoodle pad thai. The extra veggie servings must have got our brain juices running. We’ve come up with a few other colorful vegetables to bring to the spiralizer. Read more  »

Sharecare Top 5: Stroke Risk Factors Women Should Know, Dr. Oz’s Favorite Veggie Burger Recipes and How to Spot Skin Cancer

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This week on Sharecare, we’re recognizing American Stroke Month by helping women understand risk factors, dishing on three delicious but healthy veggie burger recipes and teaching you how to identify potentially cancerous moles.

1. Did you know that women have higher odds of stroke in their lifetime than men? And while some risk factors can’t be controlled – such as race or age – there are things you can do to lower your chances of having one. Click through to find out your risk – as well as ways to prevent it.

2. If you’re looking to stay slim this bathing-suit season, you may have already slashed burgers from your diet list. But don’t give up on them just yet. Check out these three healthy veggie burgers that will satisfy any burger craving without upping your waistline.

3. Is that suspicious mole melanoma – or the less alarming basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma? Find out how to detect what could be a cancerous mole or lesion with this simple guide.

4. Are you and your hubby thinking about trying for a baby? You should start treating your body like it’s pregnant at least three months before conceiving. Discover 11 things you should do to get healthy before getting pregnant.

5. You know it’s important to stay in shape year-round, but it can be tough to deal with the heat from the summer months. Try cycling. It’s a fun workout option that can help you stay cool. Watch this video to learn how cycling for just five minutes a day can boost your fitness and even help with weight loss.

Skipping Meals May Boost Belly Fat

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You’ve probably heard that skipping meals isn’t the best way to lose weight, but it’s certainly a tempting one. Dramatically dropping daily calories can help you drop pounds quickly, but it also deprives your body of needed calories throughout the day and causes your blood sugar to yo-yo. New research out this week has found that all that mayhem may boost your risk of diabetes while making it more likely that you’ll put on belly fat when you do regain the weight. Read more  »

What You Need to Know About Common Cancer Screening

doctor-patientIt’s easy to feel like everything in medicine should be straightforward, but unfortunately that’s far from true. New research is constantly changing and deepening our understanding of how to keep people healthy. But I also recognize that getting conflicting advice can be tough to navigate, especially when it comes to getting screened for cancer. To help us out, the American College of Physicians, the nation’s leading organization for internal medicine doctors, has reviewed the evidence and recommendations for cancer screening to clarify what we know. I wanted to walk through their findings with you so that you can get a better sense of how to stay on top of your cancer risk. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Dense Breasts, Hot Flashes and Exercise

Not all women with dense breasts need extra tests. Dense breast tissue can serve as a barrier to detecting cancer since it can hide growths normally picked up on mammogram. But new research has found that not all of those women necessarily need extra tests to make up for the screening troubles. “The study findings come from 365,426 women ages 40 to 74. The researchers wanted to know if they could detect whether, among all the women with dense breasts, any subgroups had a higher risk than others of developing an ‘interval’ cancer found less than a year after a normal mammogram. They used an online calculator to estimate a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in the next five years. The study found that women with certain combinations of breast density and five-year risk levels had the highest odds of an interval cancer. Two groups had high rates of interval cancer, defined as more than one per 1,000 mammograms. One group included women with a five-year risk of 1.67% or higher and extremely dense breasts. The second group had a five-year risk of 2.5% or higher and ‘heterogeneously dense’ findings on mammography.” The researchers hope their findings will prompt more in-depth conversations between doctors and patients about what a woman’s real risk for cancer is and which tests are really going to make a difference in their care. (New York Times)

Alternative treatments for hot flashes can be hit or miss. While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been the most reliable treatment for women experiencing menopause symptoms, some go for other options because of the risks of HRT. New research has found those alternatives may not be so reliable. “The team analyzed past studies on treatments ranging from exercise to antidepressants and behavioral therapy. For exercise, there was insufficient or conflicting evidence that it relieved hot flashes, but the researchers say it is worth trying because it could help improve overall quality of life and offset the increase in heart disease risk women face after menopause. Evidence for supplements or a diet rich in phytoestrogens (such as soy) was also weak. For selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), commonly used to treat depression and anxiety, there was evidence that they are effective in decreasing both the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Gababentin, a drug used to treat some types of seizures and nerve pain, has also been studied as an alternative to hormone therapy, and some research has found it to be effective as well. Finally, behavioral interventions such as cognitive therapy and alternative medical therapy such as acupuncture still only have limited evidence.” That isn’t to say that these treatments don’t work for some. The results instead show that more needs to be done to nail down exactly what’s most effective and for whom. (Reuters)

Exercise extends life span and lower death risk even late in life. Exercise has long been known to add years to life, but many assumed that only held when you had a lot of years left. New data out this week, however, has shown that people on the older end of the spectrum still get a lot out of physical activity. “The trial tracking 68 to 77 year olds found that doing less than an hour a week of light exercise had no impact. But overall those putting in the equivalent of six, 30-minute sessions of any intensity, were 40% less likely to have died during the 11-year study. Even when men were 73 years of age on average at start of follow-up, active persons had five years longer expected lifetime than the sedentary. Physical activity was as beneficial as smoking cessation at reducing deaths.” The team also found that light activity reduced risk of death as long as it was done for more than an hour per week. The research shows that staying fit and active as you get older is important to keeping yourself healthy. (BBC)

Visualizing Appears to Boost Performance More Than Actual Practice

woman meditating relaxingThe old saying goes that practice makes perfect, but new research has started to show that using mental imagery to rehearse what you have to do can help as well. Past research focused on professional athletes, who often benefit from imagining the many ways a game or race could go. But new research out this week has found that everyday people can also benefit and that using visualization may actually work better at improving your performance at something than practicing that activity in the real world. Read more  »