Blog Posts by The Editors of Prevention

  • 5 Shocking Truths About Your Pet’s Food

    It's been quite a while since pet food stopped being a boring topic and turned into one that scared people half to death, thanks to a headline-making contamination with a deadly toxin called melamine. My fears have quieted since then, though many pet owners still have questions. My bottom line: Feeding your pet a healthy, tasty diet doesn't have to be complicated--so long as you keep a few key points in mind.

    Commercial pet food is a healthy option.
    If you're straining your purse to buy a boutique brand, relax. All the brands sold in supermarkets or pet stores are nutritionally adequate: They're regulated by the FDA and the Association of American Feed Control Officials, guaranteeing that they meet a cat's or dog's "basic" nutritional needs.

    RELATED: The Diet That Helps Your Pet Live Longer

    But you get what you pay for. Though I've seen some dogs live to a ripe old age on discount brands, I'm not a fan of buying the cheapest bag of pet food. Cut-rate labels typically use relatively

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  • The New Superfood Michelle Obama is Eating (and You Should, Too!)

    It's been a favorite of foodies and health nuts for decades, but kimchi--essentially fermented vegetables with various seasonings--is only recently enjoying a moment in the mainstream spotlight: The item is popping up on menus and grocery store shelves across the country, and even has a seal of approval from First Lady Michelle Obama.

    Now, there's another good reason to add this Korean staple to your diet: A recent study published in The Journal of Medicinal Food reveals that kimchi might improve fasting blood glucose levels and also offers vital doses of antioxidants.

    PLUS: Beat Your Sugar Addiction for Good!

    To reach that conclusion, investigators at the Kimchi Research Institute and Pusan National University in Busan, Republic of Korea, assigned 100 subjects a diet either low or high in kimchi for one week. After the experimentation period had elapsed, researchers concluded that both groups saw decreases in fasting blood glucose levels and increases in antioxidant levels, with

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  • 5 Food Myths, Debunked

    Do you have your food facts straight?Do you have your food facts straight?I grew up in a nature-worshipping, somewhat hippie family, and with my book, All Natural, I attempted to fact-check our idea that instead of protecting ourselves against nature with technology, people are actually healthier when they embrace nature.

    In nearly every case, I found that the answers I got when I asked, "Is nature healthier?" always depended on the way I asked the question. When looking at the issue through a narrow, mechanistic lens, it seems as if nature is dangerous. When looking at things through a wide, ecological lens, it's often the technology that looks dangerous. (More: Are Pesticides Making You Puke?)

    I argue that we need both perspectives: We need reductive science to get the details right, but we also need to look up from the microscope every now and then so we can see where we're going. With the caveat that it's possible to produce different sorts of answers, as well, here are 5 food myths debunked:

    Pasteurization makes food healthier. True, nuking the germs

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  • 7 Surprising Things Your Teeth Say About Your Health

    If your teeth could talk... If your teeth could talk... You've just noticed a crooked tooth. Was that there before? And come to think of it, your gums are feeling a bit sore. Oh well, it's probably nothing. At least, that's what you tell yourself.

    Unfortunately, these seemingly small problems could be your mouth's silent cries for help. From yellow stains to sore gums, experts break down the most common dental complaints--and reveal what they mean.

    Bleeding, red, or swollen gums This could be an irritating side effect of pregnancy or other hormonal changes, says Pia Lieb, MD, DDS, a New York-based cosmetic dentist. It could also be caused by bacterial buildup. If the symptoms pop up for a day or two, but diligent brushing and flossing seem to remedy things, it's nothing to worry about, she says.

    But if your gum problems persist for more than a week, it could be another sign of periodontal disease (or one of these 9 Weird Reasons Your Gums are Bleeding), Dr. Lieb says. Schedule a trip to the dentist ASAP.

    Sharp tooth pain If you experience

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  • The 10 Healthiest Bottled Drinks for You

    Prevention helps you find the healthiest (and tastiest) store-bought drinksPrevention helps you find the healthiest (and tastiest) store-bought drinksThere once was a time when the term "juice cleanse" wasn't part of our national lexicon. When a Red Bull was something you'd expect to find on a farm, not on a store shelf. But companies keep launching new drinks because Americans keep guzzling them. Beverage World estimates that per capita consumption of nonalcoholic beverages (not including water) was about 116 gallons in 2010.

    Many drinks are nothing more than a blood sugar spike waiting to happen. But sometimes you need a little flavor or (gasp!) fizz that water can't provide. So what then? "Keep it simple," says Keri Glassman, RD, the author of The New You and Improved Diet. "Stick to natural ingredients, and use a small piece of fruit-about 60 calories-as a reference for how much is reasonable to consume at once."

    Here, 10 drinks you'll feel good about gulping. (Plus, learn why you should Stay Away From Energy Drinks.)

    1. Alo Drink $1.99; Whole Foods
    Favorite flavor: Escape (aloe, pineapple, guava, and sea buckthorn berry

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  • Can Your Diet Really Prevent Cancer?

    The answer isn't what you'd expectThe answer isn't what you'd expectGrab any given cookbook, and you'll find myriad mentions of eggs, sugar, and wine--all typical recipe fare. But wait. Didn't you just read last month that sugar is toxic to human cells, and that eggs might up your risk of prostate cancer? As for wine, it either cuts your odds of developing breast cancer, or increases them, but you can't remember which. Is your cookbook trying to kill you? Or--even worse--is everything we eat associated with this dreaded disease?

    It's a valid question, and one that scientists from Harvard Medical School and Stanford's Prevention Research Center wanted to answer. So they performed a (much more scientific) cookbook test of their own, choosing 50 random ingredients from the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.

    25 Ways to Start Eating Clean

    The team then pored over journals and analyzed studies involving each ingredient and cancer risk. A whopping 80% of the ingredients were included in at least one study linking them to cancer, and half the

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  • What Celebrity Chefs Don't Want You to Know

    The secret your favorite cook is hidingThe secret your favorite cook is hidingIt's easy to get suckered into thinking that celebrity chef creations are nutritious--after all, their food just looks so good. But while popular chefs churn out tasty recipes, they're likely turning a blind eye to nutrition, warns a new report. In fact, a new Food Network reality TV show focuses on weight loss tips for overweight chefs.

    A team of UK researchers, writing in the British Medical Journal, examined the nutritional content of 100 recipes from popular celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver, Lorraine Pascale, and Nigella Lawson. (The study focused on chefs popular in the UK.) The researchers also looked at pre-packaged grocery store meals, and compared both to the World Health Organization's recommendations.

    As it turns out, none of the meals or recipes--whether store-bought or from a celebrity cook--met the nutritional criteria. Even more surprising? Study authors discovered that many of the pre-packaged meals were actually healthier than recipes from chefs. (Surprised?

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  • 12 Ways to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

    .Many people have mixed feelings about this time of year. I think it's because the festive season is never just one upbeat note. It's never only happy, only loving, only blazing fires and cherub-cheeked children. The holidays, like life itself, are equally miserable and joyful, filled with both light and shadow. The problem is that we often forget the bad stuff. We forget that last year's family gathering was a semi-disaster and believe that this year will be different. We get our hopes up. We enter the holidays with unrealistic expectations of how it's going to be and when it doesn't turn out that way, we often use food to comfort ourselves.

    For many years, I led 1-day holiday overeating workshops, listening to people talk about their fears and their joys during the season. I heard what triggered their descent into binging and what helped them out of it. Of course, these stories weren't really about food but about how we use it to temporarily help ourselves cope. After the food is

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  • The 3-Day Post-Thanksgiving Recovery Diet

    Overate? Get Back in Skinny Jeans by Monday!Overate? Get Back in Skinny Jeans by Monday!Yup, it's officially an "elastic waistband Friday" for most Americans after eating just a little too much of everything in sight last night at Thanksgiving dinner. And while you probably feel bloated and guilty for overindulging, there's no reason to overeat the rest of the weekend--or throughout the holiday season. Use our simple 3-day action plan to undo the calorie damage and make a fresh start. We tell you what to eat, when to eat, how to bump up calorie burn--and give you the motivational tools you need to get back on track fast. Here's everything you need to get back in your skinny jeans by Monday!

    More: How to Lose Weight All Day Long

    Day 1: 7 AM

    Like many of us, you may have woken up feeling fat, bloated, and mad at yourself for overdoing it while celebrating the holidays.

    What to do: Stop beating yourself up.
    "The first thing I would tell people is not to be your own worst enemy, not to be super critical," says clinical psychologist Nancy Molitor, PhD, public education

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  • 8 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds Without Exercise

    Trying to lose those pesky 10 pounds you gained on summer vacation or wondering how to prevent packing them on over the holidays? Oodles of new research has uncovered ways to trim 100 calories or more from your diet without skimping on flavor. While it doesn't sound like much, shaving off 100 calories a day could help you trim 10 or more pounds a year--even if you never set foot in the gym.

    Get started today with these science-backed calorie-cutting shortcuts that'll help you maintain healthy curves all year long.

    1. Dim the lights
    Regardless of what you thought as a kid, it turns out the dark isn't so scary after all. A new study from Cornell University says the secret to eating less--and feeling more satisfied about what you do eat--could be as simple as turning down the lights. Researchers found people who ate a meal under soft, warm lighting consumed 175 fewer calories than those who noshed in brightly lit places. The study participants who dined under mood lighting ate 18

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