Fear-mongering and clickbait
While sipping a glass of wine with dinner last night, my ears perked up when I heard a teaser for NBC Nightly News: “New report links even light alcohol intake with increased risk of cancer.”
Oh, boy, I thought. Here we go again.
I don’t like network news because of this kind of lousy health reporting (I just wanted to see local election returns). Again and again, research is taken out of context or blown out of proportion simply to use as clickbait. Argh.
My favorite health news website, Health News Review, agrees with me, and … Continue reading
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month
October has become the month to pressure women to Buy Pink! and schedule their annual mammograms.
But I’d rather see more women informed about the effectiveness of annual mammograms (not as much as you might think).
And I’d like to see more care providers drop the paternal attitudes and really have a conversation with women about the pros and cons of screening mammograms, and how (or if) this diagnostic tool should be used to meet their health care goals.
I’ve written many posts on this topic, so please check them out!
… Continue reading
More exercise, more soluble fiber
I’ve been posting about my husband’s high cholesterol since it became quite high about a year ago. Last December his total cholesterol was 297, with an LDL (low-density lipoprotein) of 219 and an HDL (high-density lipoprotein) of 65.
Now I’m happy to report that after 9 months of pretty simple lifestyle changes his total cholesterol is down to 240. His LDL (the bad one) is way down at 153, and his HDL (the good one) is way up at 77!
Although he has no other risk factors for heart disease—he’s not overweight, … Continue reading
Carbs vs fats in the news…again
A few weeks ago, a study was published that resulted in a lot of dramatic headlines, such as “Your Low-Fat Diet Could Kill You!”
The media always make a big deal out of these nutritional studies because they know we need to eat, we like to eat, and we’re already confused about what we should eat. Or not eat.
Headlines that the one above are great clickbait.
Nutrition studies are notoriously unreliable because they are usually observational studies, based on questionnaires and food diaries, rather than the gold standard randomized controlled trials. … Continue reading
Do these exercises every day!
Do you spend a lot of time hunched over your phone or tablet? Or sitting at a desk?
These simple exercises will help you fight back against some of the problems caused by too much hunching, slouching and sitting.
I love these exercises from my favorite YouTube physical therapists, Bob and Brad, because I can do many of them while sitting at my desk, they don’t require any special equipment, and I don’t get all sweaty in the middle of the day.
Personally, I’m trying to do the exercises several … Continue reading
Because happiness and health are linked
I read an article over the weekend that resonated with me: 10 secrets of happiness that I’ve learnt from my patients
Most of these tips seem pretty obvious, but it’s always surprising to me how easy it is for people to live for years in various states of misery before trying to fix what’s wrong in their lives.
I remember a primary care doctor telling me that so many of his patients came to his office with nothing physically wrong. They were just lonely, unhappy, bored, or stressed.
All these negative emotions can have … Continue reading
The fermented foods bible
Our niece recently gave my husband a fascinating book: The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz.
He’s already an enthusiastic yogurt maker, bread baker, beer brewer and kombucha fermenter (is that a verb?). But this book has increased his knowledge and his projects several-fold, and by extension I’ve learned a lot about the health benefits of fermented foods, too.
Fermented foods include, but are by no means limited to, pickles, sourdough, yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, soy sauce, kimchi, sour cream, cheese, beer, wine, cider, tempeh, kombucha, kefir, and saki.
Most cultures have some kind of fermented … Continue reading
Learn more about your local water supply
I think the water crisis in Flint, MI, a couple of years ago made everyone question the safety of drinking unfiltered tap water.
A recent report shows that almost 70% Americans believe their community’s water is at risk, especially in more urban areas. No wonder we’re buying more bottled water than ever!
But, despite some significant fails, our tap water is some of the cleanest and safest in the world. And do we really want to spend all that money on bottled water?
Rather than worry needlessly about what’s in your tap … Continue reading
Healthy living abroad
My husband dreams of retiring abroad to a tropical country, like Belize, Panama or Costa Rica.
While I’m not quite as attracted to year-long sun and beaches (we Northwest natives have an aversion to too much sunshine), the idea of a less stressful lifestyle coupled with low-cost healthcare definitely makes me think about it.
He showed me a recent email he received from an expat living in Ecuador, and it made me realize just how much our American lifestyles and our healthcare system work together to keep us unhealthy.
In the email, this man described how much … Continue reading
What’s in your chocolate?
I’ve been in the dark about chocolate!
I just received a newsletter from ConsumerLab, one of my favorite consumer websites, that details not only what makes dark chocolate healthy (flavanols), but what potentially makes it just a little bit toxic (the heavy metals lead and cadmium).
And apparently this isn’t new news. I’ve found stories talking about trace levels of heavy metals in chocolate going back over ten years, so I don’t know how I missed it other than I’m not much of a chocolate eater.
Still, I have friends that are chocoholics and I … Continue reading