Sharecare Top 5: Surprising Benefits of Ice Cream

There’s nothing like a refreshing scoop of rocky road or very berry strawberry on a hot summer day – but if you’re very health conscious, you might pass on ice cream no matter the season. Well, what if we told you it isn’t so bad for you after all? In fact, if eaten in moderation, ice cream has some surprising health benefits. We’ve got the scoop on five reasons to treat yourself.

1. It may help you lose weight.
If you avoid ice cream because you don’t want to gain weight, this might just change your mind: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate at least one daily serving of full-fat dairy products, such as ice cream, gained less weight than those who didn’t. Now, that doesn’t mean you can sit down with a tub of ice cream every night and expect to lose weight. But a half-cup serving of vanilla or chocolate ice cream – which has about 140 calories, 7g fat and 14g sugar – can be a reasonable part of your diet. (Slow-churned is a bit healthier.) Wondering if frozen yogurt is a smarter choice than regular ice cream? Watch this video with registered dietitian Samantha Heller to find out.

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In Case You Missed It: July 21 Through July 25

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If you missed a segment or forgot to jot down a tip this week, we’ve got you covered. Check out these helpful hints and take-aways and click to read more on DoctorOz.com!

1. Dr. Oz shares his secrets to longevity. Get his full checklist and find out the habits that can help you live longer. Plus, find out seven surprising uses for apple cider vinegar.

2. Dr. Andrew Weil weighs in on the biggest health controversies and what’s safe for your family. Take this quiz to find out what your aura color is.

3. The truth about cellulite and the easy ways to fight it, including six at-home cellulite solutions. Find out which simple food swaps can save you 100 calories or more.

4. What you need to know about fibroids, and when it’s time to get them removed. Learn what the most common symptoms are and how to treat fibroids.

5. Nutritionist Nora Gedgaudas explains the link between food sensitivities and weight gain and mood swings. Use this symptom checker to see if you have a hidden food allergy and get Dr. Oz’s weight-loss plan one-sheet.

Today’s Headlines: Tylenol, Brown Fat, Sleep Patterns

Tylenol may not work for acute back pain: Acetaminophen has long been the first drug of choice for sudden (acute) back pain, but an Australian study is calling this into question. More than 1,600 people with acute lower-back pain either took acetaminophen tablets regularly three times a day, took acetaminophen only as needed or took placebo tablets for up to four weeks. “People in all three groups took about the same number of days to become pain-free: 17 days in the regular-dose group and the as-needed group, and 16 days in the placebo group. Participants also kept track of their daily pain (on a scale of 1 to 10), and pain scores across the three groups were about the same throughout the study.” (Fox)

Keeping brown fat may help control diabetes: Brown fat is the furnace of our bodies and uses energy to regulate our body temperature. This is especially important as baby’s, but as we get older and become better at regulating our temperature, we lose brown fat.  Researchers have known for some time that brown fat is also involved in regulation of body weight, but new research is showing it may also play a role in diabetes. “[A] report published in the journal Diabetes…[by researchers] at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found for the first time that adults who retained more amounts of brown fat were better able to keep blood sugar under control and burn off fat stores.” As of yet, researchers haven’t found a way to turn our natural stores of brown fat “on” or “off.” (Time)

What time you wake up may reflect your personality: It appears night owls may have a rougher time than early risers according to a new study from a group of researchers in Spain. “They found that morning people tend to be more persistent. Morning types are also more resistant to fatigue, frustration and difficulties, which often translates into lower levels of anxiety and lower rates of depression, higher life satisfaction and less likelihood of substance abuse. On the other hand, evening people tend to be more extravagant, temperamental, impulsive and novelty- seeking, ‘with a higher tendency to explore the unknown.’ They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and ADHD. They also appear to be more likely to develop addictive behaviors, mental disorders and antisocial tendencies, and even to attempt suicide.” Researchers think both social and genetic factors underlie these differences. (CBS)

Be Wary of Going Barefoot This Summer

Close-up Of Bare Feet With the long days of summer continuing, many of us are spending more time outdoors. Lounging around the pool or the beach often includes kicking off our sandals and letting our feet do the walking. While this activity may seem natural, there are some risks to ditching our shoe protection from hazards on the ground. Read more  »

Patients with Pill Changes More Likely to Stop Medications

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When your doctor writes you a prescription, the pharmacy often swaps it out for a cheaper generic version of the pill. This can happen during medication refills as well, with some pharmacies even switching out different generics based on changing supply. All these switches can lead to pill color and shape changes, even if the medication and dose is the same.

With pill swapping behind the counter becoming more common, a group of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston wanted to know if these changes made any difference in whether or not people took their medications. The researchers looked at patients who had been discharged from the hospital after a heart attack and who were put on a variety of blood pressure and cholesterol medications. All medications studied had generic alternatives. They looked at how often the color or shape of pills changed while a person was taking them and looked to see whether that change was associated with how often they stopped taking their medications. Read more  »

Keeping Bacteria at Bay This Summer

Family having a barbecue party

Summer is the time for outdoor eating and my family and I have made a habit of grilling when the weather’s nice. But the bacteria in your food love the heat as much as you do and a barbecue can turn bad if food is prepared wrong or left out for too long. Bacteria can lurk on many foods that look and smell fine, so it’s important that you know how to keep your food safe and know what to do if you or someone you know ends up with food poisoning.

Dangerous Meat

Meats may be contaminated when you buy them in the store or may become contaminated in the environment, if the person preparing it doesn’t wash their hands or uses a dirty cutting board, for example. Here are some tips from buying to eating that will help to keep you and your family safe:

  • Keep it clean. You should wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (I sing two “Happy Birthdays”) before touching any meat. Always make sure you’re using a clean knife and cutting board.
  • Defrost it right. You should never leave meat out on the counter to defrost. Doing so makes it the perfect petri dish for bacteria to grow on. Instead, thaw meat in the fridge, cold water or the microwave.
  • Cook it all the way through. The CDC recommends cooking most meats so that the temperature inside reaches 165°F. That will kill off anything harmful that might make you sick. Pick up a good meat thermometer to know if it’s hot enough.

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4 Ways to Combat the Aging Effects of Pollution

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The skin’s barrier is designed to keep pollution out, but unfortunately, it’s not completely impenetrable and these particles are absorbed into the skin on a daily basis, contributing to premature aging.

Ground-level ozone is a gas created when toxic emissions from cars and factories combine with sunlight. The resulting molecule is highly reactive and causes free radicals to form that can damage the lipids and proteins of the skin. The other main pollution source is solid dirt particles, which sit on the surface of the skin and increase inflammation.

While looking older offers legitimate concerns, there are more immediate consequences as well. Airborne pollutants cause a chemical reaction with your natural oils, changing them to a waxier consistency that can clog pores. And those suffering from rosacea can experience flare-ups due to irritants in the air. Read more  »