by Mike Roussell, ph.D., SHAPE Diet Doctor
What's the deal with BK's new satisfries?Q: OK, what's the deal with BK's new Satisfries? Are these a healthier option than regular fries?
A: Satisfries, a new French fry from BK, are made with a batter that absorbs less of the frying oil so the finished product is slightly lower in fat. They are a better choice, but if your dietary choices are hinging on which fry at your favorite fast food restaurant is the better option, there are other more pressing issues to be corrected in your diet.
To start, "Satisfries" as a name is a little misleading, as you won't necessarily be more satisfied, especially since they are a lower-fat product and fat is a big driver in satiety. Satisfries contain 40 percent less fat than McDonald's French fries and 21 percent fewer calories than the comparable fries on the Burger King menu.
But it isn't like you are going to be standing in line at McDonald's and decide that you should go across the street to Burger King to save five grams of fat. More
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by Mike Roussell, ph.D., SHAPE Diet DoctorRead More »from Are Burger King's New Satisfries Healthy?
What is your pee trying to tell you?You know that you've had your share of water/beer/coffee by the frequency in which you need to use the bathroom, but what else can pee tell you about your health and habits? A lot, it turns out. We asked R. Mark Ellerkmann, M.D., director for the Center of Urogynecology at the Weinberg Center for Women's Health and Medicine in Baltimore, MD, for some of the specific health and lifestyle issues your urine's odor, color, and frequency can indicate.
1. You're Pregnant.
The reason you have to pee on a stick after your first missed period is that shortly after conception (when a fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus), the fetus begins to secrete the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, which is what is detected by home pregnancy tests, Dr. Ellerkmann says. Some women also notice a strong, pungent odor early on, even before they're aware they're pregnant.
Once you've got a baby on board, running to the bathroom constantly is just one of the pesky parts ofRead More »from 6 Things Your Pee is Trying to Tell You
by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.comRead More »from Do Carbs Cause Alzheimer's?
Is grain bad for your brain?Imagine a piece of whole-grain toast slathered in butter- which part of that do you consider to be healthy? For many years the answer has been the whole-grain bread, but Grain Brain, a new book published this past Tuesday by neurologist David Perlmutter, M.D., argues that we'd all be better off chucking the bread and just eating a stick of butter for breakfast.
Perlmutter says that contrary to popular belief, while we definitely require protein and fat, "the human requirement for dietary carbohydrate is none, none whatsoever." Not only do we not need them, he says that they're killing us, calling carbs "the brain's silent killers."
The book is based on his years of extensive research and private practice as a neurologist in Florida. After years of frustration trying to help patients with all types of cognitive impairments, he finally came to the conclusion that modern medicine tends to focus on treating symptoms, not the underlying disease process.
by Jessica Matthews for SHAPE.comRead More »from The Fat-Blasting 20-Minute Tabata Workout
Here's why you need to try Tabata trainingWith the notion of boosting fitness in just four short minutes, it's no surprise that Tabata training is all the buzz. What originally began as a high-intensity interval training protocol performed on a cycling ergometer by Japanese Olympic speed skaters has now morphed into workouts that combine everything from plyometrics to traditional resistance training exercises using the same format: eight cycles of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. To investigate the benefits of this intense type of training, the American Council on Exercise® (ACE) enlisted the research team at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse to examine the true calorie-burning potential of a total-body Tabata session.
In the study, 16 moderately fit to very fit men and women completed two 20-minute Tabata workouts. Each workout consisted of a five-minute warm-up followed by four rounds of Tabata (eight cycles of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest) with one minute
by Elizabeth Goodman Artis for SHAPE.comRead More »from 8 Dinner Foods to Eat for Breakfast
Hummus for breakfast? Why not?If you've ever had breakfast for dinner--pancakes, waffles, even scrambled eggs--you know what fun it can be to swap a meal. Why not try it the other way around?
"Many cultures eat what Americans view as dinner foods for their first meal of the day," explains Mary Hartley, R.D., an online nutritionist from New York City. And since breakfast is still the most important meal you can eat health-wise, adding new foods to your repertoire not only varies the nutrition, it keeps you from getting bored. Plus, eating a heartier "dinner" meal helps fill you up so you eat less throughout the day. Here are eight foods-and serving ideas-to make over your morning meal.
1. Soup: Miso soup specifically, though any broth-based soup is a good choice, especially if it's packed with veggies and lean protein (stay away from the bisques or cream-based soups). Miso soup, popular in Japan, is fermented, and according to Hartley, fermented foods can help populate the
by Mike Roussell, ph.D., SHAPE Diet DoctorRead More »from Does Coffee Help or Hinder Your Workout?
Should you drink coffee before your morning workout? Is it best to drink coffee before or after a morning workout? We went to SHAPE Diet Doctor Mike Roussell, ph.D., to find out.
Caffeine has powerful nootropic effects, meaning it manipulates neurotransmitters to alter how the brain functions. While we all think of caffeine as a stimulant, it doesn't directly stimulate as much as it prevents or blocks the action of neurotransmitters that promote sedation and relaxation.
Your pre-workout caffeine-packed cup of coffee isn't just going to give you the mental edge, though-it will also help you burn more fat. The exact mechanism in which caffeine works to enhance fat-burning has yet to be conclusively nailed down (as it probably works via several different mechanisms), but it primarily seems to work by increasing the breakdown and release of fat.
Now let's get to the nitty-gritty.
What kind of coffee should I drink?
An easy way to adjust how much caffeine you consume is to change the type of
by Heidi Pashman for SHAPE.comRead More »from Do You Know Where Your Coffee Beans Come From?
Do you know where your fave Starbucks drink comes from?On a recent trip to Costa Rica with Contiki Travel, I took a tour of a coffee plantation. As an avid coffee enthusiast (okay, bordering on addict), I was confronted with a very humbling question, "Do you know where your coffee beans come from?"
Costa Ricans typically drink coffee at home without sugar or cream (forget pumpkin spice lattés). Instead, it's enjoyed "like a good glass of wine," said my tour guide at Don Juan Coffee Plantation- straight black so you can swirl the aroma and smell and taste all of the different flavors. And like a good glass of wine, the flavor of the coffee directly relates to where it's grown and produced. "If you don't know where it's from, you don't know why you do or don't like it," the tour guide said.
But figuring out where your coffee is from can be hard. You can scour the website of your local coffee shop and see if you can figure it out that way. Stumptown Coffee Roasters is the model child for transparency, offering
by Matthew Kadey, R.D.Read More »from Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil
Is coconut oil really that good for you?Once castigated for its generous saturated fat content, coconut oil has been given a second life as a (gasp!) healthy fat. And while drinking it by the tablespoon still isn't a great idea, you definitely should consider adding the oil to your diet.
Yes, coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, but not all sat fats are created equal. "The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products," says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.
This makes sense considering citizens of nations that consume prodigious amounts of coconut products, such as Sri Lanka, have lower rates of heart disease than Americans. Some research even suggests that coconut oil can paradoxically improve cholesterol numbers by revving up enzymes in the body that break down fats.
Bazilian adds that
by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.comRead More »from Do You Need a Digital Detox?
Can you be addicted to the Internet?Can you go more than a few hours without checking your Facebook? Does the idea of being away from your laptop or iPad make you break out into a sweat? Do you spend so much time on the Internet that you're ignoring your friends, family, and work? If you said yes, yes, and yes, you may be addicted to the Internet.
Internet addiction is a hotly debated topic within the medical community. According to the American Psychiatric Association, it's not an official psychiatric disorder, so it's not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). However, the country's first inpatient treatment program for Internet addiction opened this week at Bradford Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania. Designed to house up to four patients at one time, the program aims to provide a 72-hour digital detox and lasts 10 days total. Because Internet addiction is not considered a mental illness, the treatments won't be covered by insurance.
by Lindsey Emery for SHAPE.comRead More »from 10 Snacking Mistakes that Cause Weight Gain
Your between-meal bites could be sabotaging your weight loss.Like any smart woman trying to make the number on the scale go down or stay steady, you snack during the day to keep your energy tank full, boost metabolism, and make sure you don't stand a chance of overeating. But to reap those benefits, you need to be strategic about what you eat, when you eat it, and how much you eat, otherwise you'll end up packing on pounds. Follow these easy snacking tips, and your munching will never meddle with your weight.
1. Focus on Your Health: Since most Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables every day, or getting in the daily-recommended amount of omega 3s, "consider snacking a prime opportunity to work on fulfilling these nutritional needs," says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of Eat Your Way to Sexy. Skip candy, cheese puffs, and other foods without benefits, and instead try to include two food groups at every meal: one fruit or vegetable and a source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, flaxseeds, or