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INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR KEEPING HEALTHY ellNotes 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 Smartphones seem to be getting smarter. As mobile technology improves, 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 myfitnesspal. com 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. Download 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 small 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 produce. ●● 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 asparagus produce asparagus for a half-cup serving. recipes: decade or more. http://tinyurl. U.S. Department of Agriculture com/6w5xxjg Steamed, grilled, or Centers for Disease Control and sautéed in olive oil, Prevention 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 www.wellsource.info/ 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 DrPH, CHES. 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. Q: A: Health Challenge: “Complete a Race” available at: www.wellsource.info/wn/hc-race.pdf Prepare for and complete a race this month. © Wellsource, Inc. All rights reserved.