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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

With high blood pressure you want to have a diet low in sodium and fat, so here are the top foods you should really avoid.

Pickles

Pickles are low calorie, which is great, but they are loaded with sodium. One medium pickle (about 5 inches long) can have around 570 mg of sodium. That’s over 1/3 of your sodium limit (2300 mg) for the day!

Canned Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is often considered a comfort food, but it is not so comforting to know that there can be up to 880 mg of sodium in a one cup serving

Sauerkraut

It’s low calorie and a great way to add vegetables to a bratwurst, right? Nope. A half cup may only have about 13 calories, but it also has over 460 mg of sodium.

Fast Food French Fries

While many fast food chains are now frying their fries in trans fat free oil, not all of them are. Regardless, french fries still provide a large dose of fat and sodium. A medium serving of fries has about 19 grams of fat and 270 mg of sodium

Bacon

Bacon is mostly fat. Three slices have 4.5 grams of fat and about 270 mg of sodium. Opt for lower sodium varieties and try turkey bacon instead of pork. Even with these switches bacon should remain a “special treat”, not an everyday indulgence.

Whole Milk

Dairy is a great source of calcium, but high fat dairy sources, like whole milk, provide more fat than you need. A one cup serving of whole milk provides 8 grams of fat, 5 of which are saturated. Saturated fats are worse for you than other types and has been linked to heart disease. Try using 2% milk, or even better – 1% or skim.

Frozen Pot Pies

A single pot pie equals a serving of about 1300-1400 mg of sodium PLUS about 35 g of fat! Keep in mind that this is over 50% of your daily recommended values for both. The fat also includes trans fat, which you want to eliminate from your diet completely, and an unhealthy dose of saturated fat. Clear out your freezer!

Donuts

Donuts may be popular, but they sure aren’t very good for your health and body. Just one donut packs in 200 calories with 12 grams of fat.

Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles are popular among college students, but they are not a healthy meal. One package of Ramen noodles adds 14 grams of fat to your day AND 1580 MG of sodium! Interestingly, it is actually the flavor packet that contains most of that sodium. (To the left is a look at the dry noodles before adding hot water).

Margarine

Margarine is not necessarily bad, you just have to make sure to pick the kind with no trans fats. Read the label closely. It is important for your health to avoid trans fats all together.

Sugar

Foods with extra calories and full of sugar cause you to gain weight. Obesity is a significant determinant for high blood pressure. The extra weight puts surplus strain on the heart and slows down the blood flow.

Alcohol

Alcohol consumption actively causes the blood pressure to elevate.  It also damages the walls of the blood vessels, while simultaneously increases risks of further complications.

Red Meat

A healthy eating plan should include only a small amount (if any) of saturated or trans-fats.  Fatty foods are bad for both the heart and blood vessels.  Avoid red meat and fast food along with other fats that include hydrogenated oils.

Table Salt

Too much sodium does direct damage to the heart and arteries and raises blood pressure significantly.

Seven surprising health and fitness figures

From your BMI to your heart rate, healthy living often revolves around numbers. However, here are 7 surprising health statistics you may be unaware of.

One in 10 parents think cola counts as fruit

According to a survey of family eating habits by food company Green Giant, one in 10 parents in Britain believe that drinking cola counts towards their five recommended portions of fruit and veg. Not only that, one in 10 of those surveyed also believed that chips contributed to the 5-a-day health campaign, while one in five thought that fruit-flavoured sweets counted towards this target. Surprisingly, one in 20 of those questioned, did not however believe that oranges or bananas counted towards their portions of fruit and veg.

One in six women would rather be blind than fat

While many of us would pay good money for the perfect body, research by Arizona State University found that a lot of women would give up a great deal more if it meant being slim – including their eyesight. According to this survey, a surprising one in six women would rather be blind than be obese. Furthermore, many women stated they would prefer alcoholism or catching herpes to being overweight, while one in four would prefer to suffer from depression.

48 per cent of women want cosmetic surgery

Research findings published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery suggest that body satisfaction and confidence for women are at an all time low. According to this survey, a huge 48 per cent of women surveyed would be interested in having cosmetic surgery, while a further 23 per cent would possibly be interested. Although men’s interest in surgery was significantly lower, 23 per cent of men still claimed to be interested in surgery, while 17 per cent would potentially be.

One third of all cancers are preventable

Cancer is the biggest premature killer, accounting for 40% of premature deaths. However, while experts are unclear about the causes of some forms of cancer, the World Health Organization has revealed that one third of all cancers can actually be prevented by careful lifestyle choices. Some of the main preventable causes of cancer include smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, alcohol, infection and environmental pollution.

Smokers lose one third of their everyday memory

While there are many shocking statistics related to smoking (such as that approximately every 6 seconds, someone dies due to tobacco) perhaps a less well known one is that, on top of many of the well publicised health effects of smoking, it can also cause smokers to lose one third of their everyday memory. According to the study by Northumbria University, smokers performed significantly worse in memory tests than those who did not smoke; however, they found that kicking the habit restored their ability to recollect information.

Only six per cent of Americans exercise for 30 minutes a day

The general recommendation for good health and fitness for adults is to get a minimum of 30 minutes daily exercise. However, according to a Cooking Light Insight survey, only six per cent of Americans meet this recommendation. Though a further 22 per cent claim to exercise three to four times per week, this still leaves a high percentage of people who are failing to exercise regularly and therefore increasing their risk of obesity and heart disease.

You could unknowingly eat 46 teaspoons of sugar a day

You may not think that your diet is too high in sugar, but even if you steer clear of desserts and chocolate, you could still be eating well over the recommended maximum sugar intake. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, food companies have been increasing the sugar content of processed foods to make them more appetising, meaning that many are unaware of how much they are eating. The study showed that some people are unknowingly eating up to 46 teaspoons a day, increasing their risk of health conditions including heart disease.

http://www.realbuzz.com/articles/7-shocking-health-statistics/

10 guilt-inducing activities that actually boost your health

Ever promised yourself that this year you were definitely going to give that bad habit the flick, only to give into your vice again after only a couple of hours? Well, the good news is that ‘bad’ habit may not actually be as harmful as you think. Here are 10 common ‘bad’ habits that are actually good for your health.

Gossiping

Most of us love a good gossip, whether we’re giggling over a colleague’s new romance or passing an opinion on someone’s outfit choice or behaviour, and the good news is that gossiping could actually be good for us. Not only does listening to gossip help us to learn more about the characters of those around us, bonding and having a laugh with your peers also releases feel-good hormones which help to relieve stress and anxiety.

Drinking coffee

Although drinking too much coffee can be detrimental to your health, in smaller quantities the popular hot drink can actually be good for you. When drunk in moderation (no more than three cups per day), caffeine can speed up your metabolism, boost exercise endurance and reduce your risk of gallstones and kidney stones. A study by the Harvard Medical School has also found that women who drink two or more cups of coffee a day are less likely to be depressed, while separate research has shown that drinking three cups cuts risk of age-related diabetes.

Fidgeting

It’s the bane of school teachers everywhere, yet research suggests that fidgeting may be no bad thing – at least in us adults. Research suggests that fidgeting can burn up to 350 extra calories a day, helping you to keep off those excess pounds. To further increase your calorie burn, try to squeeze in more incidental exercise, such as getting up to change the channel rather than using the remote control.

Swearing

Swearing: it’s not big and it’s not clever… but studies suggest that in certain situations it may actually be good for you. According to a study by the University of East Anglia, swearing at work could help employees cope with stress and maintain solidarity. Meanwhile, researchers at Keele University’s School of Psychology found that swearing can provide effective short-term relief from pain. However, the study also notes that swearing should be reserved for crises only, as the higher the daily swearing frequency was for participants, the less pain relief they experienced.

Skipping a shower

OK, so repeatedly missing showers may not win you any friends, but if you are ever tempted to skip a shower here and there, research suggests that you could be doing your health (and the environment) a favour. Daily washing not only strips your skin of the natural oils that keep it hydrated and supple, it could also strip your skin of good bacteria that help to prevent disease. If you do decide to skip a shower, just try to do it on a day when you won’t be vigorously working out!

Losing your temper

Many of us have been brought up to believe that losing our temper is the ultimate social faux pas. To an extent this is true (nobody wants to hang out with that person who is always losing their cool and shouting their mouth off), however research has found that losing your temper could actually be good for your health. Venting your emotions is believed to reduce the effects of stress, while a Swedish study found that men who bottled up their anger when unfairly treated at work doubled their risk of having a heart attack.

Sunbathing

In recent years, official advice has been that we should cover up in the sun at all times to protect ourselves from skin cancer. However, more recently experts have stated that actually little and frequent sun exposure is good for us. In the UK, where vitamin D deficiency is common, seven leading health groups and charities have issued a statement advising everyone to spend 10 minutes in the midday sun without sunblock in order to avoid rickets. Meanwhile, a US study has stated that the vitamin D produced by the sun could help ward off colds and flu. However, experts have stressed that people should cover up after 10 minutes, and skin should never be red at the end of the day.

Having a lie-in

Feeling guilty about your weekend lie-in? Don’t be! Research has found that sleep can help you live longer, boost your memory and reduce stress, while not getting enough can lead to accidents, weight gain, and increased risk of heart disease. Furthermore, delaying your morning workout in favour of some shut-eye may have health benefits, as research from Brunel University found that heavy training sessions early in the morning can compromise the immune system.

Giving in to your cravings

Although constantly giving into junk food cravings is a sure-fire way to sabotage your healthy eating success, allowing yourself the odd treat will not only boost your happiness, it will also help you keep motivated to stay on track. Also, as many people crave the foods that they most attempt to resist, allowing yourself a little of what you fancy can actually help to reduce cravings. If you have imposed extreme restrictions on your diet and cut out entire food groups, cravings could also be a sign of a nutrient deficiency in your diet.

Daydreaming

Many of us view daydreaming as a sign of laziness or form of procrastination; however, researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that letting your mind wander can actually help boost your problem-solving abilities. The study found that when participants minds wandered, the parts of their brain associated with problem-solving became more active than when focused on routine tasks. So, while daydreaming can increase the time it takes to complete your present task, it can allow you to unconsciously sort through other important problems in your life

http://www.realbuzz.com/articles/10-bad-habits-that-are-good-for-you/#pagination-top

Drinking water

 

While we are probably all familiar with the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day, more recent research has suggested that there is actually no scientific evidence supporting this recommendation and that drinking excessive amounts of water can actually be dangerous by lowering the concentration of salt in your blood. Health-conscious water drinkers should also be wary of the trend for drinking bottled water, as studies have suggested that the chemicals (phthalates) from plastic bottles can leach into water and disrupt hormone levels.

Talking over your problems

Talking through your problems can be a great way to gain some perspective and get things off your chest. However, studies have suggested that, after a certain point, rehashing and dwelling on problems can actually be bad for your health. According to research, revisiting and analyzing the same problems with friends (“co-rumination”) can lead to anxiety, stress disorders and depression. Next time a problem arises, by all means talk it over with a friend, but try to focus on problem-solving rather than simply dwelling on the issue.

Sipping on mocktails

You may think that by swapping cocktails for mocktails you are doing your health a favour, but this may not actually be the case. While cutting down on alcohol is beneficial for your wellbeing, mocktails are often high in refined sugar which research suggests is just as damaging and addictive as alcohol. For a safer swap and a shot of nutrients, make sure you stick to mocktails made from pure fruit juices instead of those made from syrups.

Early morning workouts

While a daily workout is great for your health, studies suggest that getting up for early morning exercise may not be as ideal as it seems. A study by a researcher from Brunel University, Middlesex, found that heavy training sessions early in the morning can compromise the immune system and put athletes at increased risk of bacterial and viral infection. While a morning jog or gentle exercise session is unlikely to put you at risk, it may be better to save heavier workouts for later in the day.

Taking nutritional supplements

We all know that vitamins are good for us, but relying on nutritional supplements can actually be bad for your health. Separate studies have shown that high doses of vitamin supplements including iron, magnesium and vitamin B6 raise the death rate of older women, while taking vitamin E can increase men’s risk of prostate cancer. While certain people may be required to take vitamins (those with low levels of vitamin D, for example, or vegans who may be deficient in vitamin B12), for most people a better approach is to opt for a varied diet full of fruit and vegetables which will give you all the nutrients you need.

Slathering on sunscreen

Official advice for many years has warned about the dangers of skin cancer, causing many of us to take measures to cover up in the sun at all times. However, while it is extremely important to protect your skin, experts have more recently advised that little and frequent sun exposure is good for us, preventing vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to rickets, osteomalacia and depression. Official advice in the UK, where rickets has recently made a comeback, is to spend 10 minutes in the midday sun without sunblock each day before covering skin up.

Switching to low fat foods

When getting started in healthy eating, it is tempting to opt for low fat foods in order to help keep off excess pounds. However, cutting out ‘good’ fats such as omega-3 fatty acids could be detrimental to your health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, walnuts and flaxseeds, not only help to keep skin supple and wrinkle-free, they are also essential for good brain and heart health and can help prevent arthritis.

http://ph.she.yahoo.com/7-good-habits-bad-health-090000188.html

By Sue Rose, MS, RD

Blood triglycerides may be an important factor in your risk for heart disease. Your doctor may become concerned if your cholesterol level is too high. But another type of fatty substance found in the blood, known as triglycerides, may also need to be monitored in the effort to prevent heart disease. That is because research has identified high triglyceride levels as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, even when cholesterol levels are normal.

What Are Triglycerides?

Triglycerides are a form of fat present in food, human body fat, and blood. Blood triglyceride levels are affected by dietary fat and are manufactured in the body from other energy sources, such as carbohydrates. Triglycerides are also stored as body fat.

An elevation of blood triglycerides is referred to as hypertriglyceridemia . The blood test to measure triglyceride levels is easy and can be done along with a routine blood test that also measures various types of cholesterol. (The most accurate results are obtained when a person fasts before this test.) Triglyceride levels can be quite variable, so several measurements may be needed to provide accurate baseline values.

How High Is Too High?

An elevated triglyceride level can be an independent medical problem or can be due to another existing medical problem. For instance, people with poorly controlled type 1 or type 2 diabetes often have elevated triglyceride levels. Elevated triglycerides can also be brought on by thyroid disorders , kidney problems, obesity , excess alcohol, and taking certain medicines.

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) classifies the ranges of fasting triglyceride levels in the following way:

  • Normal—less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) (1.7 mmol/L)
  • Borderline high—150-199 mg/dL (1.7-2.2 mmol/L)
  • High—200-499 mg/dL (2.3-5.6 mmol/L)
  • Very high—more than or equal to 500 mg/dL (5.7 mmol/L)

Studies have found that high triglycerides levels may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other conditions. There are steps that you can take, though, to lower your levels.

Ways to Tame Triglycerides

Here are some tips from the experts:

  • Increase physical activity —Aerobic exercise can help with weight loss and can decrease triglyceride levels at the same time. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. But, first get approval from your doctor.
  • Maintain a healthy weight—Studies have shown losing weight and maintaining an ideal weight to be associated with decreased levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.
  • Cut down on carbs —Carbohydrates are basically divided into two categories: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates tend to be sweet, such as soft drinks, desserts, candies, and syrup. Complex carbohydrates are found in bread, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables. If recommended by your doctor, reduce your intake of simple carbs.
  • Eat more fruits, veggies, and low-fat dairy products—Include these choices as part of your healthy diet.
  • Choose fats wisely —Instead of choosing foods high in saturated and trans fats, pick food that contains unsaturated fat. Examples include certain oils (eg, olive, corn, canola), nuts, seeds, avocados, and food with omega-3 fatty acids (eg, fish, flaxseed).
  • Eat more fish —Omega-3 fatty acids are found in all types of fish, but are more abundant in fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, and herring. Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include tofu, soybeans, flaxseed, canola oil, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.
  • Limit alcohol —According to the American Heart Association (AHA), small amounts of alcohol can increase triglyceride levels.

RESOURCES:

American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org/

National Cholesterol Education Program http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/ncep/index.htm/

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index_e.html/

References

Austin MA, et al. Cardiovascular disease mortality in familial forms of hypertriglyceridemia: a 20-year prospective study. Circulation . 2000;101:2777-2782.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical activity for everyone: how much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html. Updated May 10, 2010. Accessed June 15, 2010.

DynaMed Editorial Team. Hypertriglyceridemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated June 10, 2010. Accessed June 15, 2010.

National Cholesterol Education Program website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/ncep/index.htm .

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov .

Triglycerides. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4778. Accessed June 15, 2010.

http://www.lifescript.com/special/managing_your_high_cholesterol/how_much_do_you_know_about_triglycerides.aspx?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Cholesterol_Manage

By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men’s Health Sep 01, 2011

After a long hard day at the office, I crave a manly dinner. Something that will sharpen my mind, feed my muscles, and infuse me with energy to keep up with two young kids till bedtime.

So, often, I have a bowl of cereal. With bananas and whole milk. Mmm.

Do I feel like I’m depriving my body of key nutrients? Quite the opposite, actually. My favorite dinner isn’t just for kids. It contains high levels of three nutrients that American adults need much more of: B12, potassium, and iodine. Our shortfalls with these nutrients—along with vitamin D and magnesium—have serious health consequences, including a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, fatigue, and weight gain.

Here’s the good news: These nutrients are readily available in the foods you know and love. You can get more of one simply by spending more time outside. That doesn’t sound so hard, does it? Here’s how to fortify your diet—and your health.

1. VITAMIN D This vitamin’s biggest claim to fame is its role in strengthening your skeleton. But vitamin D isn’t a one-trick nutrient: A study in Circulation found that people deficient in D were up to 80 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. The reason? Vitamin D may reduce inflammation in your arteries. Also, a University of Minnesota study found that people with adequate vitamin D levels release more leptin, a hormone that conveys the “I’m full” message to your brain. Even more impressive, the study also found that the nutrient triggers weight loss primarily from the belly. Another study found that people with higher D levels in their bloodstream store less fat.

The shortfall: Vitamin D is created in your body when the sun’s ultraviolet B rays penetrate your skin. Problem is, the vitamin D you stockpile during sunnier months is often depleted by winter, especially if you live in the northern half of the United States, where UVB rays are less intense from November through February. When Boston University researchers measured the vitamin D status of young adults at the end of winter, 36 percent of them were found to be deficient.

Hit the mark: First, ask your doctor to test your blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. “You need to be above 30 nanograms per milliliter,” says Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Boston University. Come up short? Eat foods like salmon (900 IU per serving), mackerel (400 IU), and tuna (150 IU). Milk and eggs are also good, with about 100 IU per serving. But to ensure you’re getting enough, take 1,400 IU of vitamin D daily from a supplement and a multivitamin. That’s about seven times the recommended daily intake for men, but it takes that much to boost blood levels of D, says Dr. Holick.

YOU, IMPROVED: If you have a problem, we have your solution. Click here for surprising ways to improve your life today!

2. MAGNESIUM This lightweight mineral is a tireless multitasker: It’s involved in more than 300 bodily processes. Plus, a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that low levels of magnesium may increase your blood levels of C-reactive protein, a key marker of heart disease.

The shortfall: Nutrition surveys reveal that men consume only about 80 percent of the recommended 400 milligrams (mg) of magnesium a day. “We’re just barely getting by,” says Dana King, M.D., a professor of family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. “Without enough magnesium, every cell in your body has to struggle to generate energy.”

Hit the mark: Fortify your diet with more magnesium-rich foods, such as halibut, navy beans, and spinach. Then hit the supplement aisle: Few men can reach 400 mg through diet alone, so Dr. King recommends ingesting some insurance in the form of a 250 mg supplement. One caveat: Scrutinize the ingredients list. You want a product that uses magnesium citrate, the form best absorbed by your body.

DID YOU KNOW? There are 46,000 foods in the average supermarket. How to choose what to put in your cart? Here’s your shopping list: The 125 Best Foods.

3. VITAMIN B12 Consider B12 the guardian of your gray matter: In a British study, older people with the lowest levels of B12 lost brain volume at a faster rate over a span of five years than those with the highest levels.

The shortfall: Even though most men do consume the daily quota of 2.4 micrograms, the stats don’t tell the whole story. “We’re seeing an increase in B12 deficiencies due to interactions with medications,” says Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., director of a USDA program at Tufts University. The culprits: acid-blocking drugs, such as Prilosec, and the diabetes medication metformin.

Hit the mark: You’ll find B12 in lamb and salmon, but the most accessible source may be fortified cereals. That’s because the B12 in meat is bound to proteins, and your stomach must produce acid to release and absorb it. Eat a bowl of 100 percent B12-boosted cereal and milk every morning and you’ll be covered, even if you take the occasional acid-blocking med. However, if you pop Prilosec on a regular basis or are on metformin, talk to your doctor about tracking your B12 levels and possibly taking an additional supplement.

4. POTASSIUM Without this essential mineral, your heart couldn’t beat, your muscles wouldn’t contract, and your brain couldn’t comprehend this sentence. Why? Potassium helps your cells use glucose for energy.

The shortfall: Despite potassium’s can’t-live-without-it importance, nutrition surveys indicate that young men consume just 60 percent to 70 percent of the recommended 4,700 mg a day. To make matters worse, most guys load up on sodium: High sodium can boost blood pressure, while normal potassium levels work to lower it, says Lydia A. L. Bazzano, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of epidemiology at Tulane University.

Hit the mark: Half an avocado contains nearly 500 mg potassium, while one banana boasts roughly 400 mg. Not a fan of either fruit? Pick up some potatoes—a single large spud is packed with 1,600 mg. Most multivitamins have less than 100 mg of potassium, so eat your fruits and vegetables, folks!

5. IODINE Your thyroid gland requires iodine to produce the hormones T3 and T4, both of which help control how efficiently you burn calories. That means insufficient iodine may cause you to gain weight and feel fatigued.

The shortfall: Since iodized salt is an important source of the element, you might assume you’re swimming in the stuff. But when University of Texas at Arlington researchers tested 88 samples of table salt, they found that half contained less than the FDA-recommended amount of iodine. And you’re not making up the difference with all the salt hiding in processed foods—U.S. manufacturers aren’t required to use iodized salt. The result is that we’ve been sliding toward iodine deficiency since the 1970s.

Hit the mark: Sprinkling more salt on top of an already sodium-packed diet isn’t a great idea, but iodine can also be found in a nearly sodium-free source: milk. Animal feed is fortified with the element, meaning it travels from cows to your cereal bowl. Not a milk man? Eat at least one serving of eggs or yogurt a day; both are good sources of iodine.

Also, check out our list of the 40 Foods with Superpowers—foods that, even in moderation, can strengthen your heart, fortify your  bones, and boost your metabolism so you can lose weight more quickly.

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/menshealth/5-nutrients-youre-not-getting-enough

Food poisoning is a horrible, even potentially life-threatening experience. But it’s hard to determine if food is safe to eat, partly because problems are relatively rare. But knowing which foods are potentially risky can help.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has issued a list of the top 10 FDA-regulated foods linked to outbreaks since 1990. (That includes produce, seafood, egg, and dairy products, but not meat.)

Be aware of the risk, but don’t avoid these types of food. “They are everywhere and are part of a healthy diet,” says CSPI staff attorney, Sarah Klein.

1. Leafy Grains

Yes, they’re your favorite go-to salad greens—lettuce, escarole, endive, spinach, cabbage, kale, arugula, and chard.

But they also caused 363 outbreaks involving 13,568 reported cases of illness since 1990. (Remember bagged spinach in 2006?)

Greens can be contaminated by manure, dirty water rinses, or unwashed hands before you even purchase them.

To avoid getting sick, wash produce and prevent cross-contamination (improper handling of meat in the kitchen can spread bacteria to other types of food, including greens) by washing hands and using separate cutting boards.

2. Eggs

This breakfast favorite has been linked to 352 outbreaks since 1990, most often due to Salmonella bacteria.

The bacteria can lurk inside the egg, so proper cooking is key (which kills the germs). Avoid eating any products containing raw eggs, including cookie dough.

“Our food supply is safe,” says Craig Hedberg, PhD, of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis. “There is roughly one illness for every three to four thousand meals served,” he says.

Still, “raw food items like eggs may have contamination and need to be handled properly.”

3. Tuna

This type of fish can be contaminated by scombrotoxin, which causes flushing, headaches, and cramps.

If it is stored above 60 degrees after being caught, fresh fish can release the toxin, which cannot be destroyed by cooking (and is unrelated to mercury contamination or other problems related to tuna and other fish).

Tuna has been linked to 268 scombroid poisoning outbreaks since 1990.

“You just can’t cook out all the things wrong with food supply right now,” CSPI’s Klein says.

4. Oysters

Before being transformed into a pricey delicacy, oysters lurk on the ocean floor doing what they do best—filter feeding.

And if the water they are filtering is contaminated, so are the oysters. (Or they can be contaminated during handling.)

If served raw or undercooked, oysters can contain germs—mostly a gut-churner called norovirus and a bacterium known as Vibrio vulnificus—that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

5. Potatoes

A freshly scrubbed spud that’s properly cooked is unlikely to cause illness. But watch out for potato salad.

Cross contamination—the transfer of germs from one type of food, usually meat, to another—can be the source of the problem.

Potato-related outbreaks of illness have been traced to germs like Listeria (which can live on deli counters ), Shigella, E. coli, and Salmonella

6. Cheese

While restaurants are a key source of other food-related outbreaks, most people who get sick from cheese do so from products consumed at home.

Cheese can be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella or Listeria, which can cause miscarriages.

(That’s why doctors warn pregnant women to avoid soft cheeses, such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican style cheese.)

7. Ice Cream

I scream, you scream. We all scream from ice cream? Ice cream has been linked to 75 outbreaks caused by bacteria like Salmonella and Staphylococcus since 1990, according to the CSPI.

The largest outbreak occurred in 1994, when a batch of pasteurized ice cream premix was transported in a Salmonella-contaminated truck, and then used to make ice cream without re-pasteurizing.

“People are making ice cream at home and using raw eggs in the household,” explains Hedberg.

8. Tomatoes

Although tomatoes were found “not guilty” in a 2008 outbreak that sickened thousands (the culprits were jalapeno and Serrano peppers), this summer favorite has been linked to at least 31 outbreaks.

“Lettuce or tomatoes may be contaminated, but once they enter a household, you can make sure that you don’t allow the bacteria to grow and multiply,” says Hedberg.

To do this: wash hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce; wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking, even if you plan to peel it before eating; and keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate from other foods.

9.  Sprouts

While sprouts are practically the poster child for healthy food, they can also be vulnerable to bacterial contamination.

The seeds used to produce the sprouts can be contaminated in the field, and water and warm growing conditions that encourage germination can also boost bacterial growth.

The FDA and CDC recommend that the elderly, young children, and those with weakened immune systems avoid eating raw sprouts.

10. Berries

Another common source of food poisoning is berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

A 1997 outbreak that sickened thousands of children via school lunches was traced to hepatitis A-contaminated frozen strawberries (possibly from a farm worker in Baja California, Mexico).

Other cases—linked to imported raspberries from Chile and Guatemala—have been caused by a germ called Cyclospora, which causes severe diarrhea, dehydrations, and cramps.

http://health.yahoo.net/articles/nutrition/photos/10-types-food-can-make-you-sick#10


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