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JULY 2012
Food Safety Tips for the Great Outdoors
Camping and picnicking are great ways to enjoy good
weather, time with family and friends, and the great
outdoors. But foods eaten outdoors are more prone to
germs and need special care. Foodborne germs sicken
an estimated 48 million people each year in the United
States. And the problem is largely preventable. Here’s
how to keep your food safe for your next picnic or
camping trip:
●● Keep everything clean. Wash your hands before and
after handling food. Don’t use the same platter and
utensils for raw and cooked meats. And
if your destination doesn’t have potable
water, bring your own for preparation and
cleaning. Or pack clean, wet, disposable
cloths and paper towels for cleaning
hands and surfaces.
●● Keep food out of reach. If you’re
camping, store all food out of reach of
bears and other animals. Use air-tight
containers. Store these containers in a tree
or in your car with the windows rolled up.
And never leave food in your tent.
●● Keep hot food hot. Grilled meats and
poultry need to reach 165 °F to be cooked
properly. Use a food thermometer to
check. Once cooked, meats and poultry are safe to eat
for about two hours. But after that, bacteria begins to
grow that can make you sick.
●● Keep cold food cold. Uncooked and perishable foods
like potato salad, pasta, meats, and chicken, need to be
kept cold. Cut melons and foods made with mayonnaise
also need to be kept cold to prevent bacteria from
growing. Keep these foods stored in a cooler packed
with ice until you’re ready to serve them or cook them.
Be sure raw meat and poultry are wrapped well to
prevent juices from contaminating other
foods in your cooler. Cold foods should be
eaten within two hours, or returned to your
cooler or refrigerator.
●● Keep food out of the sun. When the
outside temperature is above 90 °F, or you’re
in direct sunlight, on a beach, in a boat,
or in a car, foodborne bacteria may grow
more rapidly.
When you’re ready to find the perfect picnic
spot, make sure you also plan to keep your
food safe.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Journal of Infectious Diseases
U.S. National Park Service
Healthy Habits at Your Fingertips
seem to
be getting
As mobile
more people are using smartphones
to develop healthy habits.
About 46 percent of all U.S. adults
use a smartphone. And about 44
million health-related smartphone
applications will be downloaded
this year. These apps, or software
programs for your phone, can help
you lose weight, quit smoking, eat
healthier, and be more active.
In a recent study, researchers
recruited 204 inactive, overweight
people, and divided them into four
groups with different health goals.
Each person received a smartphone.
And researchers showed them how
to use the phone to track their daily
activities and eating patterns. During
the 20-week study, each participant
talked with a health coach by phone
once a week. And they reviewed their
eating and exercise habits recorded
with the smartphone.
At the end of the study, the group
assigned to eat more fruits and
vegetables and sit less improved the
most. They learned to eat more fruits
and vegetables per day (2.9 servings,
up from 1.2 servings). They cut down
on watching TV by 93 minutes a
day. And they reduced the amount of
saturated fat they consumed per day
by about 3 percent. Weight loss was
Track your
daily calories,
exercise habits,
and weight with
this free app:
not reported in
the study. But the
smartphone app and
health goals helped
all four groups eat
more fruits and
vegetables, exercise
more, sit less, and
eat less fatty foods.
for Android
If you’re reminded
on a regular basis to eat healthy
foods and exercise, it’s usually easier
to develop healthy habits. Tracking
your progress over time helps too.
Your smartphone can do all of these
things. It’s like having a personal
trainer, recipe advisor, and health
coach at your fingertips.
National Institutes of Health. 2012.
Pew Research Center. 2012.
Slow Down at Meal Time to Prevent Diabetes
If you’re stressed, in a hurry, or both,
it’s easy to inhale your food. And a
lot of people do eat quickly…in the
car, on the way out the door, or at
the office. What you eat certainly
makes a difference when it comes to
your health. But a recent study of
700 people with and without type 2
diabetes, showed that how you eat
may also affect the way your body
responds to food.
In the study those who ate fast were
2.5 times more likely to develop type
2 diabetes, than were those who
took their time eating. About 25.8
million people in the United States
Walk Your Way to
Better Health
When Robert Sweetgall
left his job as a chemical
engineer almost 30 years
ago, he knew he was
staring death in the face.
Three close family members died at an early age
of heart disease. And his
all-grease, all-cholesterol
diet wasn’t doing him
any favors.
So he put a few things in a fanny pack,
walked out the door, and crossed the
United States on foot seven times.
Today, at age 65, Sweetgall is still walking
and encouraging others to keep moving to
lose weight, reduce stress, and live longer.
In a recent study, researchers found
that regular walking reduced the risk for
heart attack and stroke by 31 percent.
They also found that walking just
5.5 miles per week reduced the risk of
early death by 32 percent.
Regular walking strengthens your heart,
lungs, and muscles. And it’s an effective
way to burn calories and lose weight.
Walk or exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day
on most days for best health.
“Just do something to make physical
activity part of your life,” Sweetgall
says. “Then take it one step at a time.”
Harvard School of Public Health
have diabetes. This condition limits
your body’s ability to turn sugar into
energy. Type 2 diabetes can cause
poor circulation, kidney failure,
blindness, strokes, and heart disease.
And it’s the seventh-leading cause of
death in the United States.
Eating a healthy diet and exercising
regularly is the best way to prevent
type 2 diabetes. But this recent study
suggests slowing down at meal time
may be one more way to prevent this
disease. At meal time:
●● Set a timer or stopwatch for
20 minutes. Use all the time
to eat a normal-sized meal.
●● Take
bites and
chew slowly.
●● Eat silently
for the first five minutes. Think
about your food, what it looks like,
how it tastes, and what it took to
●● Slow down your eating by using
your non-dominant hand to hold
your fork. Put your fork down to
chew. Or try using chopsticks if
you don’t normally use them.
European Society of Endocrinology. 2012.
American Diabetes Association
Add Asparagus to Your Plate
Good things come to those who
all-around bone health. But
wait. At least that’s
that’s not all. Nutrients
true of asparagus.
in asparagus can also
It takes about
help digestion, reduce
two years for an
inflammation, regulate
asparagus plant to
your blood sugar, and help
grow from a seed to a
prevent certain types of cancer.
green-speared vegetable. But
Add asparagus to your plate. It’s
it’s worth the wait. The spears of
easy to prepare. And you’ll enjoy
an asparagus plant can grow
a delicious vegetable that
10 inches in 24 hours. And
contains zero cholesterol
Try these
a well-cared for plant will
with just 20 calories in a
produce asparagus for a
half-cup serving.
decade or more.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Steamed, grilled, or
Centers for Disease Control and
sautéed in olive oil,
asparagus tastes great as a side
dish. Try serving it with broiled
salmon and brown rice, or in a stir
fry with tofu and cashews.
Asparagus is a delicious vegetable
to add to your meal. But even
Is drinking vegetable juice just as
better than taste, it is packed with
healthy as eating vegetables?
vitamins and nutrients.
Go to
Asparagus contains folate that
wn/ask-veggie-juice.pdf to
helps cell growth and repair. It’s
read the answer from Don Hall,
rich in potassium, which helps
regulate your blood pressure. It is
To ask your question, email:
a good source of fiber, which can
[email protected], subject
help you lose weight and lower
line: Ask the Wellness Doctor.
your cholesterol. It also contains
Emails with any other subject line
high levels of vitamin K for
will be directed to the spam folder.
Health Challenge: “Complete a Race” available at:
Prepare for and complete a race this month.
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