Blog Posts by Health.com

  • Psoriasis won’t keep Kim Kardashian off the red carpet

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBy Sarah Klein
    When Kim Kardashian walks a red carpet, people notice. Normally all eyes are on her curves and clothes, but in a series of recent public appearances, her trademark body-hugging dresses have been upstaged by the mysterious red splotches visible on her arms and legs.

    The mystery appears to be solved: On a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the 30-year-old star revealed that she has been diagnosed with psoriasis, an autoimmune disorder that causes overproduction of skin cells.

    Health.com: What's that rash?

    The condition can be painful, itchy, and embarrassing-but, if other celebrities with the disorder are anything to go by, it certainly won't leave her standing on the wrong side of the velvet rope.

    Kardashian-whose mother, Kris Jenner, was also diagnosed with psoriasis at age 30-isn't the only A-lister to have walked a red carpet with psoriasis. Country singer LeAnn Rimes has battled the disorder since age 2, and the flaky red patches that characterize

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  • Top weight-loss secrets: How women in the army lose baby fat


    By Shaun Chavis
    Ruby Murray, a master sergeant at Fort Bragg, N.C., came close to losing her job in 1998 because of nearly 90 pounds of post-pregnancy weight. Six months after she had her baby, the weight was still there, even after working out with fellow soldiers. "I couldn't put on my pants, and I refused to buy new clothes," she said. "I was used to wearing a size 8 or 10, and I needed a 16 and 18." And as a result, her company commander had gone so far as to draw up her discharge papers.

    Tough times
    Murray's case isn't that unusual: Enlisted soldiers have six months after giving birth to meet Army weight standards and pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). If they don't, they could be flagged and ultimately lose their jobs. Until recently, women started physical training with their regular units six weeks after delivery, outnumbered by fit and unsympathetic men and commanders with no experience in training soldiers recovering from childbirth. "They look down on you, no matter

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  • Yes, you can eat sugar!

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesSick of hearing about all the negatives of eating sweets? Well, if you're active, a little sugar can actually be beneficial, according to a new report. "Sipping a sports drink with a small amount of fructose"-a simple sugar-"gives athletes energy and helps combat dehydration," says Richard J. Johnson, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver and co-author of the study. That's true whether you're a marathon runner, a Zumba fan, or an avid walker.

    Health.com: 8 sweet treats under 80 calories

    Not only does sugar help you handle your workout better, but the reverse also seems to be true: Exercise can help you better metabolize sugar, reversing your risk of obesity and diseases like type 2 diabetes, which some scientists have linked to excessive sugar consumption. "The more exercise you do, the better your vascular function," Dr. Johnson says. "You develop high levels of nitric oxide and reduce uric acid in the blood, which can make you

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  • 4 ways to brush off judgmental food comments

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBy Tina Haupert

    A few weeks ago, a friend of mine joked that I shouldn't snap a photo of what I was eating for my blog because it wasn't "healthy." Granted, I was eating a cheeseburger with Doritos, potato salad, and a brownie-obviously, not the most nutritious foods to pile onto my plate.

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  • How to cut your risk of osteoporosis

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesMore than half of Americans over the age of 50 develop osteoporosis, and it's four times more common in women than men. J. Edward Puzas, PhD, is a professor of orthopedics and the senior associate dean for basic research at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in New York. He shed new light on strong, healthy bones.

    Q: Why should I care about bone thinning?
    A: More than half of Americans over the age of 50 develop osteoporosis, and it's four times more common in women than men. Once your bones become thinner and more fragile, you're more apt to suffer fractures. If you're elderly, this can be fatal. A 65-year-old woman who breaks her hip has a 1 in 7 chance of dying as a result.

    Q: I'm in my 20s. Shouldn't I wait to worry about my bone health when I hit menopause?
    A: Lifestyle factors at any age can affect the health of your bones. The body maintains careful blood levels of calcium throughout your life span. If levels get too low, the body will "borrow" calcium from your bones

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  • How to grocery shop on a diet

    IstockphotoIstockphotoStaying slim starts at the grocery store. Here's how to make it easy.

    Meat and fish
    Shoot for 95% lean or higher. If it's only 90% lean, a 100-gram (about 3.5-ounce) portion of meat would still have 10 grams of fat per serving-not exactly low-fat. When buying poultry, choose breast (whole or ground) only.

    Splurge on shrimp. This high-protein, low-fat, low-calorie option feels decadent, so pick up a shrimp cocktail ring.

    Health.com: What can you make with frozen shrimp?

    Dairy
    Don't buy a brick. Cheese is way too easy to overeat if you're faced with a big hunk of it. If there's a block you love, take it to the deli and ask them to slice it into 1-ounce portions. Otherwise, look for string cheese.

    Go Greek. Buy a tub of plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt. At home, mix in some fresh fruit and high-fiber cereal for a delicious low-cal parfait.

    Health.com: 10 healthy calcium-packed recipes

    Fruits and veggies
    Grab a rainbow. To get a variety of nutrients, try to include every color of the

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  • Birth control is safer than ever (and sometimes it's even good for you!)

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBy Louise Sloan

    Times have changed since women going on birth control risked the pelvic infections of the Dalkon Shield or hormones dosed perilously high. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) have been redesigned to be very safe. The contraceptive sponge is almost risk free-though there are more effective ways to prevent pregnancy. Condoms are safe for everyone and are the only form of birth control that protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). And the Pill is so safe and effective these days that it is available over-the-counter in some countries.

    "The Pill is one of the most widely studied drugs; it has probably been studied more than aspirin," says Anne Foster-Rosales, MD, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood Golden Gate and a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

    Health.com: The best birth control for you now

    The Pill can be good for you
    "There are profound and considerable noncontraceptive benefits for most methods," says Lee Shulman, MD, a

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  • 7 new reasons to keep fat off

    By Ginny Graves

    We are in the midst of a fat epidemic: An astounding two-thirds of American adults, including 65 million women, are overweight or obese-a rise of 10% in just a decade. If we keep it up, according to a new study, all adults in the United States (yes, everyone) will be overweight or obese in 40 years.

    What's with the huge numbers? In addition to our poor diets and sedentary lifestyles, one reason for the growing epidemic is that carrying extra pounds doesn't seem dangerous to us; we don't consider it life-threatening.

    In fact, an American Diabetes Association (ADA) survey suggested that people are more afraid of shark attacks and snake bites than diabetes, even though diabetes contributes to more than 230,000 deaths every year-compared with 5 to 10 a year from sharks and snakes!

    Health.com: 10 states where people eat too much fast food

    "People don't take obesity or obesity-related illnesses like type 2 diabetes seriously enough because they don't realize that they can

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  • 8 reasons to make time for family dinner

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBy Sarah Klein

    Soccer practices, dance rehearsals, playdates, and other scheduling conflicts make family mealtime seem like a thing of the past. During the holidays, it gets even worse with parties, school events, and last-minute shopping trips. Suddenly, we're feeding our kids breakfast bars during the morning commute, sneaking 100-calorie packs at our desks, and grabbing dinner at the drive-thru window.

    Eating meals together goes beyond the opportunity for bonding and relaxing. And despite the feeling that there's no time for such luxuries, 59% of families report eating dinner together at least five times a week-an increase from only 47% in 1998, according to the Importance of Family Dinner IV, a report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

    If you're finding it difficult to get together with your family at the dinner table, here's a little inspiration:

    1. Kids might learn to love their veggies.
    A 2000 survey found that the 9- to

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  • 5-minute stress busters

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBy Allison Avery

    Let's be honest: Sometimes a day at work is just no fun, and the stress starts to take its toll. Your heart races, you break out in hives or a sweat, or you have a headache from all that silent screaming. Next time, try to head off that stress attack with these calming tricks from Kathleen Hall, PhD, founder and CEO of The Stress Institute.

    Serenity break
    Take time to tune out. Listen to your favorite music (bonus points if you have an office that allows you to sing or hum along, which increases the calming benefits). Trigger your own slide show of favorite photos. Some people also find that it's very soothing to meditate, practice relaxed breathing, or repeat a mantra, such as "All is well in my life," Hall says. If all else fails, dab calming lavender aromatherapy oil on your pulse points.

    Health.com: Which stress-busting gadgets really work?

    The best medicine
    Remember the time you laughed so hard with your best friend that you almost peed your pants? Stop what

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