How to Avoid Extra Pounds on Vacation

couple beach sunglasses fun

Vacations are a special time to explore, relax and enjoy oneself. How thrilling it is to get away from the routine and disconnect from the office, housework, emails and meetings. Most of us return refreshed and renewed with a little pep in our step after leaving behind our cares for a while. Unfortunately, feeling lighter refers only to our emotional state and doesn’t reflect our actual weight. In fact, studies show during each weeklong vacation, the average person gains three to five pounds. Remember this is an average, yet based on travel location and access to food like on a cruise, one could easily see those numbers double. Read more  »

Why Men Should Visit the Doctor’s Office

generations of menI see men all the time in my office with a selective vision of how to care for their health. They tell me that they do things like workout with friends on the weekend or skip dessert a few days a week. But when I ask them when they last had a colonoscopy or checked their blood pressure, most go silent. I completely understand the temptation to think that you know best when it comes to your health. The problem is, most men are more likely to skip a visit to the doctor than admit something is wrong. A study published recently found that only half of men could remember the last time they saw a doctor. Skipping regular visits can lead to big problems down the road if uncontrolled health issues go unnoticed or untreated. In the spirit of Men’s Health Week, I thought I’d give you some insight into what the man in your life should be paying attention to. Read more  »

Practical Tips for Cuts and Scrapes

minor-cut

Minor cuts and skin scrapes are a natural part of an active life. As a mom of two young children, it seems as though I’m tending to a “boo-boo” almost every single day! As a busy dermatologist, I perform procedures on patients such as laser treatments and minor skin biopsies to evaluate for possible skin cancer. Just like the minor cuts and scrapes I care for at home, these small wounds require proper attention to help them heal quickly and reduce the risk of infection and scarring. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Diets, Trans Fats and Nuts

Getting on a diet may matter more than which one. When deciding to cut down on your calories, you probably spend a lot of time analyzing which diet would best fit your needs. But a new study released this week has found that decision may not be as important as you might think. “The team divided about 200 obese adults into two groups at random. Members of one group were allowed to choose either a low-carb or a low-fat plan. They were also allowed to switch diets after three months if they desired. Those in the comparison group were randomly assigned to one of the diets, regardless of their food preferences, and didn’t get an option to switch plans at any point. For 48 weeks, the participants used books and printed handouts as well as telephone and group counseling to follow their respective diets. After nearly a year of dieting, those in the choice group had lost an average of 12.5 pounds, while those in the comparison group had lost an average of almost 15 pounds.” While the researchers aren’t sure why choosing your own diet didn’t seem to help weight loss, they think that people pick diets with food they prefer, which they’re also more likely to eat more of. As one member of the team pointed out, “the findings are a reminder that to really lose weight, you have to make changes to your diet, and they may not always be changes you like.” (Reuters)

Time to say goodbye to trans fats. Health professionals have known for years that trans-fats, the artificial fats made during some forms of food processing, are bad for you. They’ve been shown to boost bad cholesterol and up your risk of heart disease and stroke. While some states and cities have banned their presence in food, the FDA is taking a national stance. “Artificial trans-fats are generally unsafe and food manufacturers will have to phase out their use over the next three years. The action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year. Under the ruling, partially hydrogenated oils are no longer ‘generally recognized as safe’ or GRAS. That means food manufacturers would have to ask the FDA for permission to use them in food products. The FDA encourages consumers seeking to reduce trans-fat intake to check a food’s ingredient list for partially hydrogenated oils to determine whether or not a product contains partially hydrogenated oils.” The ruling will go into effect three years from now, giving manufacturers ample time to switch over their recipes. In the meantime, steer clear of anything that has partially hydrogenated oils. (NBC)

Nuts drop risk of death due to a variety of different diseases. Nuts have been in the limelight recently as purveyors of all sorts of health benefits. A new study out this week adds to the list of reasons to chow down. “Researchers looked at data from 120,000 men and women aged 55 to 69 who participated in the Netherlands Cohort study. Participants were asked questions about how frequently they ate tree nuts, peanuts, and peanut butter, and how much they consumed. Compared to those not eating any nuts or peanuts, the relative reductions in mortality rate for people who consumed at least 10 grams of nuts or peanuts per day were 23 percent regarding total mortality risk (all deaths), 21 percent for cancer, 17 percent for cardiovascular deaths, and 39 percent for respiratory deaths. Ten grams of nuts equals less than a half handful and eating more than 15 grams was not associated with further reduction in mortality risk. To support their findings, the researchers also conducted a meta-analysis of previously published studies on the effect of nut consumption on cancer and respiratory mortality. The research showed a similar pattern.” Unfortunately, the benefits didn’t extend to nut butters, so it’s best to stick to whole nuts for your daily dose. (CBS)

Cigarette Smoking Leads to Many Kinds of Cancer, Half of Cancer Death

Woman Smoking and Reading the PaperWhen cancer and smoking come in the same sentence, many people think about lung cancer. This is because lung cancer was the first to be associated with smoking and the way smoking could lead to lung disease is more obvious. But fewer people realize that cancer risk from smoking goes far beyond the lungs. The carcinogens in smoke penetrate deep into the body and affect many other organs. In an effort to put real numbers on the damage cancer does to the human body and to the health of the population as a whole, a group of researchers have published a study analyzing how smoking contributes to cancer death in America. Read more  »

Quick Snacks to Fuel Your Day

Eating during the work

ER doctors don’t get lunch breaks. Getting to eat – even a quick snack – can feel like a cross between The Hunger Games and Survivor. Finding a minute between patients, fending off competitors for the last peanut butter and graham cracker in the staff room and secretly inhaling said snack before the “Infection Patrol” (staff who discard food in patient areas) throws it out is a challenge worthy of reality TV.

The same probably goes for your day — whether you’re working in the ER or the office or driving the kids among their multiple activities, finding time to eat something healthy can seem impossible.

It’s not. Plus, after many long [hungry] shifts in the ER, I’ve learned that to operate at peak capacity, what you eat is as important as eating at all. Good news: You don’t have to be Martha Stewart (I wouldn’t even know where to begin) to have an arsenal of healthy snacks on hand. You’ll also find that many of these snacks are perfect foods for weight loss. Read more  »

Sharecare Top 5: 14 Easy Ways to Burn 100 Calories, Summer Pool Safety Tips and a Tip to Boost Your Immune System

Beatiful Brunette Playing in the Pool

This week on Sharecare, we’re filling you in on eight surprising migraine triggers, helping you slim down with activities that will torch calories and telling you how to keep your swimming pool safe for the whole family.

1. Losing weight can sometimes feel like a chore – but we’re here to show you how it can actually be enjoyable. Discover how long you need to walk, jog, swim and do other surprisingly fun exercises to burn 100 calories.

2. You’re probably familiar with the head-pounding pain of a migraine, but do you know what’s behind it? Uncover unusual causes – and learn how to prevent migraine pain.

3. Has it been a while since you’ve gotten a physical? Don’t let that deter you from going to see the doctor. Check out these tips to being proactive about your health and how to get the most out of your upcoming visit.

4. Having the daily debate on whether to hand-wash your dirty dishes or stick them in the dishwasher? Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen explain why you may want to opt for hand-washing for better health and a stronger immune system.

5. Whether you’re taking a dip in your own backyard or making a splash in the neighborhood pool, it’s important to ensure that the water is clean and sanitary. Watch this video to learn how to keep the pool safe for swimmers of all ages.