log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 2:57 PM
People concerned about their cancer risk may find that switching their diets can do a world of good.
Certain foods may reduce cancer risk, according to various cancer experts, including the MD Anderson Cancer Center. In addition, some foods might increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. Knowing what to put on the table come breakfast, lunch and dinner can go a long way toward reducing one’s cancer risk.
Some foods show cancer-fighting properties, although it is impossible to currently say one food or another can actually stop cancer from developing. Studies have shown diets filled with colorful fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Cancer Research UK points out that some foods, such as red meat and salt-preserved foods, can increase a person’s risk of developing some cancers, while vegetables, fruits and foods high in fiber have the opposite effect.
A comprehensive review of thousands of studies on physical activity, diet and weight conducted for the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research found that plant-based foods are the best at fighting cancer. Broccoli, berries and garlic showed some of the strongest tendencies to prevent cancer. According to research associates at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a variety of chemicals from plants known as phytochemicals protect cells from harmful compounds in food and in the environment. Phytochemicals prevent cell damage and mutations.
When making their grocery lists, people who want to eat healthy and lower their cancer risk can include as many of these foods as possible.
• Garlic: Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the incidence of stomach cancer by attacking bacteria associated with some ulcers and belly cancers. Sulfur compounds in the food may stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer and could reduce inflammation and tumor growth.
• Broccoli: Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage and kale contain glucosinolates. These are phytochemicals that produce protective enzymes that activate in the intestines. One particular compound, sulforaphane, is strongest and found in broccoli. Protective properties are highest in raw or steamed broccoli.
• Blueberries: Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize the unstable compounds, called free radicals, that can damage cells and lead to cancer.
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 10:19 AM
More than 10,000 Ohioans have now landed in the hospital because of the flu this season, according to Ohio Department of Health (ODH) data released Friday.
Also, the number of people reporting flu-like-illnesses to doctors continues to rise, trending up three weeks in a row and climbing more than 18 percent during the reporting week.
One bit of good news: the rate of hospitalizations declined for the fourth week in a row ending Feb. 10, according to ODH.
Statewide, 10,785 people have been hospitalized for the flu this season.
In Montgomery County, 715 people have been admitted to hospitals for flu-associated illnesses; 373 in Butler County; 232 in Clark County; 188 in Greene County; 78 in Miami County; and 183 in Warren County.
Three children have died from the flu in the state this season, according to ODH.
Published: Saturday, February 10, 2018 @ 11:50 AM
COLUMBUS — About 450 horses stabled at the Warren County Fairgrounds are under a quarantine declared by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, but racing is on at the local racino.
The quarantine is one of a handful around the state declared because horses have tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV), most of which have been traced to a horse brought into the state from Pennsylvania, according to officials.
Still, Miami Valley Gaming in Warren County is expected to hold racing — events were to begin Friday night — using horses from other locations in the region not under quarantine.
“You’re not going to get it under control unless they shut down Miami Valley for 21 days,” horse owner James Schulte said during a meeting Friday at the fairgrounds in Lebanon. “This is a major epidemic.”
The American Association of Equine Practitioners recommends a minimum of 21 days in quarantine.
State officials advise against moving horses because of the growing number of horses testing positive.
“We want owners to move their horses as little as possible,” said Mark Bruce, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “Every time you do, you’re putting your horse at risk.”
However, Bruce said the state could not prevent the movement of horses necessary to pull off the harness racing meet at the track at the racino in Turtlecreek Twp., just east of the Ohio 63 interchange at Interstate 75.
“Our actions are in step with those taken in nearby states, especially for a virus that does not pose a threat to human health,” Bruce added in an email.
Miami Valley Racing released a statement Friday:
“After serious deliberation and research, Miami Valley Gaming & Racing has decided to continue racing despite the fact that we will expect over 100 scratches this weekend due to the unfortunate Lebanon quarantine. We have been and will continue to work directly with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association regarding the Equine Herpes Virus situation.”
The first line was also part of a text message sent to trainers, owners and others connected to the race meet at the track operating in conjunction with the racino.
The “scratches” reference comes from the horses on the race cards for the meet that are barred from the races by the quarantine.
The racing moved from the fairgrounds in Lebanon to the Miami Valley Racing complex after racinos were legalized in Ohio. But many of the owners racing at the new location stable their horses at the fairgrounds.
At Friday’s meeting in Lebanon, horsemen warned that a big part of the problem with preventing the spread of horse herpes was with horses claimed in races outside the state, but then brought into Ohio — like Endeavor’s Pride, the horse brought in after being claimed at the Meadow Track in Pennsylvania.
They also indicated the problem had turned up in other surrounding states and warned a failure to stop its spread could have wide-ranging implications for the horse industry and beyond.
“This could affect the Triple Crown,” Schulte said.
Jerry Abner, spokesman for Miami Valley Gaming, declined to comment on a statement by Dr. Heather Plum, a local veterinarian at the meeting in Lebanon, that “it was recommended” that Miami Valley Gaming cancel the race meet.
Last week, the state said positive tests had been received on four horses at separate locations around the state, including Endeavor’s Pride, which had raced at Miami Valley Gaming in Warren County twice in January.
The quarantine in Lebanon was called this week after another horse at the fairgrounds, “Believe in the Spirit,” tested with a score high enough to indicate it was “shedding” the virus, Bruce said Friday.
”It’s producing virus that can be contracted by other animals,” he said.
The quarantine could end in 14 days, after “Believe in the Spirit” is retested, officials said.
But Dr. Rick Rothfuss, a veterinarian from Grove City, said at the Lebanon at the meeting that other cases could develop, extending the quarantine in 21-day multiples.
So far, six quarantines have been reported in Ohio due to positive tests for the virus, according to Bruce.
Horses at the University of Findlay farm are under quarantine, but not due to exposure to Endeavor’s Pride, the horse from Pennsylvania believed to have originally carried the virus into Ohio.
In addition, horses were in quarantine at a building at the veterinary college at The Ohio State University in Columbus, a stable in Ross County and the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds, Bruce said.
The Larry Finn Stable outside Xenia, where Endeavor’s Pride, was stabled, remained under quarantine, he said.
However, Bruce said there had been “no other serious clinical signs.”
EHV can spread quickly from horse to horse and can cause three different forms of disease: rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease of mostly young horses), abortions in pregnant mares, and the neurologic disease EHV-1 myeloencephalopathy, which can be fatal to horses.
“Everything so far in the State of Ohio has not shown up neurological,” Rothfuss said.
EHV can be spread through the air or by contaminated clothing and equipment. It’s important that horse owners practice strict biosecurity measures in order to protect their animals and prevent any further spread of the disease. Veterinarians may submit nasal swab samples to the ODA’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for testing.
Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 @ 10:53 AM
— If you just can't resist eating the last bits of raw cookie dough from the bowl while baking, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a message for you: don't.
As holiday bakers took to kitchens nationwide last week, the FDA reminded people to refrain from eating raw cookie dough or face the possibility of getting sick.
The warning comes after the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local and state officials investigated an E. coli outbreak linked to raw flour that in 2016 sickened 63 people in 24 states.
The outbreak started in December 2015. The CDC determined at least half of those who fell ill made something at home with flour. Subsequent tests linked the outbreak with General Mills flour produced in Missouri, and the company issued a voluntary recall of 10 million pounds of flour.
Although many people know about the danger of getting salmonella poisoning from raw dough, fewer people may be aware that eating raw flour carries its own risks.
"Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria," Leslie Smoot, a senior advisor in the FDA's Office of Food Safety, said last year.
The bacteria is killed during cooking or processing through boiling, baking, roasting, microwaving or frying. However, raw dough does not go through any of those "kill steps," according to the FDA.
For anyone who still hopes to use raw cookie dough in something like homemade cookie dough ice cream, authorities suggest using commercially made dough.
"Manufacturers should use ingredients that include treated flour and pasteurized eggs," FDA officials said.
Published: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 @ 3:30 PM
— At the start of the new year, you probably promised yourself that you were going to eat healthy and exercise more. Your Pinterest board was filled with Buddha bowl recipes, and that pair of gym shoes was getting more action than it used to. But as January marches toward its end, you find yourself taking fewer Mason jar salads to work, and you can’t even remember the last time you went to the gym.
It’s those times that you have to lean on healthy habits you’ve developed when your willpower was stronger. In a sea of seemingly unhealthy fast-food options, there are still ways to approach a menu and fill up on nutritious items. To help with that, we asked two dietitians to give us some tips and tricks for choosing healthy options and then made them prove the tips would work by taking them to popular fast food and fast casual restaurants.
We accompanied Bethany Doerfler, a registered dietitian at the Digestive Health Center at Northwestern Medicine, and Lori Welstead, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at the University of Chicago, to some of Chicago’s favorite lunch spots to show us how to hack the menu for the healthiest options and give us tips on how to stay on track.
Their suggestions are geared toward people who want to maintain their weight or lose weight. For women, this means a 1,200- to 1,600-calorie daily diet, and for men, 1,600- to 2,000-calories a day. To accomplish those numbers, Doerfler recommends sticking to 400 calories for breakfast and lunch and 500 calories for dinner, which leaves some room for “two thoughtful snacks.”
Don’t despair. There’s still hope for your New Year’s resolutions.
It’s easy to go into a restaurant, look at the menu and pick something on the spot, but Doerfler recommends studying ahead. See if you can check out the menu online, or pick one up when you’re there — some restaurants even have a calorie calculator to help you make better choices.
“Go in with a game plan,” Doerfler said. “Don’t show up and ask what looks good because everything looks good. You’re less likely to make an impulsive decision.”
Examine the calories, fat, sodium and sugars if there is a menu available with that information, Welstead said.
Once you get into the habit of checking nutrition information, it will be easier to modify your meal to make it lower in calories and healthier, Doerfler said.
FIND THE IN-BETWEEN
It’s all about finding a combination of foods that are not only healthy but will also satisfy whatever you’re craving, whether it’s something spicy, savory or sweet. You don’t want to fall into the trap of eating something nutritious but unsatisfying and then later grabbing a candy bar, Welstead said.
At Panda Express, Welstead chose the kung pao chicken bowl with steamed vegetables, garnished with peanuts and chile peppers, to bring the total calorie count to just under 400. She chose the kung pao chicken because it’s a savory and spicy option that is packed with protein.
“When it comes to making these healthy choices, and I think with regard to making a healthy lifestyle, it’s all about balance,” Welstead said. “If you know you want to eat something that is higher in calories, higher in fat, higher in sugar, enjoy it, have that meal, and the next time you have something to eat, make better decisions.”
GO FOR PROTEIN
Choosing options high in protein helps keep you satiated, Welstead said. And while skipping the rice, bread or noodles is preferred — since carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop down — getting a half or partial portion is better than getting the entire serving. Also, skip the lunchmeat.
“Unfortunately when you get things like lunchmeat, there’s not going to be as much bang for your buck when it comes to protein, and it’s going to have more salt,” Welstead said.
When you eat something with as many carbohydrates as a sandwich, your blood sugar will go up and then inevitably crash only a few hours later. If you’re going to have a sandwich at a place like Potbelly’s, choose the skinny bread or the flat instead of the normal bread, Welstead said.
At Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Welstead opted for half a tuna salad, to cut down on red meat and avoid lunchmeat, on whole grain bread, which has fiber to help you stay full and satisfied.
“A pretzel bun or baguette might sound good, but they have no whole grains and so many more carbohydrates because of the dense nature of it,” Welstead said.
Because Corner Bakery Cafe offers the option of getting half a sandwich and a salad, Welstead ordered the Asian wonton salad with the wontons on the side.
GO EASY ON THE DRESSING AND CRUNCHY BITS
Crunchy toppings, like croutons and wontons, can add empty calories to a meal, so opt to have them on the side and have only one or two pieces to appease that hankering, Welstead said.
Dressings can add a lot of calories and sugar to your meal, so the best option is to get it on the side and use only a little bit, Welstead said. Avoid nonfat dressings because they typically have more sugar than normal ones, and opt for avocado, which has healthy fats to help you stay full longer.
Welstead chose the Powerhouse salad at Potbelly’s, made with grilled chicken breast, avocado, hummus, hard-boiled egg, cucumber and grape tomatoes on a bed of spinach. She ordered the Potbelly’s vinaigrette on the side.
“When you get salads with avocado, you won’t have to use as much dressing because it gives that creamy consistency when you start to toss your salad,” Welstead said.
If you’re craving more punch, hot sauces, rather than creamy or garlic oils, are a way to amp up flavor and avoid adding calories, Doerfler said. Another way is to choose chimichurri or salsas, which helps bump up your vegetable intake while making your meal more interesting.
START LOW AND WORK THE SIDES
Building a bowl with salad as your base already gives you a good start toward clocking in fewer than 500 calories for a meal, Doerfler said. This way, you can layer in other healthy things without worrying about overdoing it.
When entrees are too high in calories, check out the sides or a la carte options to build a satisfying meal. At Portillo’s, Doerfler ordered an a la carte meatball, minestrone soup and a grilled chicken sandwich without mayo or cheese.
Sides like soups and salads can help keep calories down while giving you a variety of options that are filling. Studies have shown that starting a meal with a broth-based soup can help people cut back on calories by 30 percent, Doerfler said.
At Noodles & Company, Doerfler ordered a tomato basil bisque with her small penne rosa.
“Save some of the good carbs that you’re craving for times like this when you can do a small or half order. That way you’re getting portion control right out of the gates,” Doerfler said.
DRINK WATER, EAT COLORFULLY
Instead of reaching for a fountain drink or sweet iced teas, drink water. Other drinks can add unwanted sugar and don’t help keep you full. Instead of picking a sweet drink, save those calories for a healthy afternoon snack, Doerfler advised.
“Try to skip all the sodas and milkshakes that can add easily 1,000 calories when you otherwise weren’t planning on it,” Doerfler said.
A regular soda can be the caloric equivalent of four or five pieces of bread, Welstead said, so cutting those out saves you hours of exercising to burn off those extra sugars.
A quick rule that Doerfler and Welstead give their clients is to eat something green, something red or purple, and something yellow or orange every day to ensure they get the antioxidants they need.
“Get all the colors of the rainbow,” Welstead said.
SHARE WITH FRIENDS
People often fall into the trap of finishing their entire plate even if they’re already full. Instead, try to take home leftovers or share with friends, Doerfler said. And if that item wasn’t what you thought it would be or you just aren’t enjoying the taste anymore, don’t be afraid to get rid of it.
“When you feel like you are no longer enjoying the taste and you’re eating just to finish, it’s a great time to try to stop and pause,” Doerfler said. “Take the leftovers home with you, or give them to a friend, or throw them away. Save your heart and health in the long run.”
Here are the restaurants and businesses that Welstead and Doerfler visited, what they ordered and their explanations for their picks.
Case study: Panda Express
Order: Kung pao chicken with steamed vegetables
Reasoning: The chicken is for protein, and the vegetables are for nutrition and as a substitute for rice or noodles.
Case study: Chipotle Mexican Grill
Order: Salad bowl with black beans, fajita vegetables, sofrito and pico de gallo, with the dressing on the side. Skip the sour cream and cheese, and if you’re trying to be conscientious of carbs, skip the rice and corn salsa.
Reasoning: Plant-based, protein packed and loaded with nutrients.
Case study: Potbelly’s
Order: Powerhouse Salad with Potbelly’s vinaigrette on the side
Reasoning: The whole chicken breast provides more protein than lunchmeat, avocado helps make the salad creamier and is a healthy fat, and vinaigrette on the side allows you to use less of it.
Case study: 7-Eleven
Order: Yogurt and hard-cooked eggs.
Reasoning: It’s hard to choose something that is healthy at 7-Eleven, so choose something with protein. Plain nuts are also a good choice. Avoid yogurt-covered nuts because they are just covered in sugar and aren’t made with real yogurt.
Case study: Corner Bakery
Order: Half a tuna sandwich with half an Asian Wonton Salad
Reasoning: Sometimes you want a little bit of each, so choose something with whole wheat for fiber. The tuna is better than lunchmeat. Getting the wontons on the side means you can still have a couple but not eat all of them. Choose carrots over chips as a side.
Case study: Naf Naf Grill
Order: Salad bowl with chicken, tahini and cucumber salad, with hot sauces on the side.
Reasoning: Choose something low-calorie as a base, then add vegetable options. Use hot sauces for more flavor. Avoid the falafel, which is deep-fried and can have as many calories as steak. That pita bread that comes with the meal? Share it with friends.
Case study: Whole Foods
Order: From the salad bar, a kale salad base topped with shrimp, chicken or hard-cooked eggs. Or a packaged salad.
Reasoning: The kale provides a good amount of fiber, and the shrimp provides protein. Add nuts, chia seeds or sunflower seeds for crunch, rather than croutons or wontons.
Case study: Noodles & Company
Order: Small penne rosa with a side of tomato bisque.
Reasoning: Sometimes you don’t want a salad, and this pasta is actually one of the lower-calorie options on the menu. Tomato bisque gives you antioxidants.
Case study: Portillo’s
Order: Grilled chicken sandwich with no mayo and no cheese, small side salad and ministrone soup.