Blog Posts by The Editors of Prevention

  • 4 Ways to Put Your Pocketbook on a Diet

    Find out which four key items account for more than their share of weight in women's bagsFind out which four key items account for more than their share of weight in women's bagsWant pain relief without a pill? Look no further than the bag on your shoulder, stuffed with everything from lipstick to lug nuts, as the source of your aching neck and back. Big bags manage big loads and are seemingly perfect for a modern woman, who never knows what duties she might be called on to perform in the course of a day. Substitute ER doctor? Concierge? CPA? Root around long enough in a suitcase-size pocketbook and you'll surely find something to get the job done. And don't forget those everyday contingencies you can't leave home unprepared for--the makeup meltdown, the sugar crash, the chance that a spot might open up in the chronically booked Pilates class.

    All this "you never know what you'll need" practicality comes with a price: Oversize totes carry a serious potential for injury. The combination of the weight of the bag against muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments--plus the compensating shift in posture you make to carry the load--can lead to headaches, back pain,

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  • 7 Ways to Pet-Proof Your Outdoor Spaces

    The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, and like you, your pet can't wait to spend quality time outdoors. But beware of the dangers lurking right outside your house. Here are 7 ways to pet-proof summer's most popular outdoor spaces.

    On the Patio
    1. Charcoal briquettes, which dogs seem to love to lap up or steal from the grill, can easily get stuck in the stomach, causing vomiting and requiring surgery.

    2. Barbecue scraps and fatty leftovers can give your pup pancreatitis, causing severe abdominal pain or death.

    3. Corn on the cob and peach pits are also a huge no-no because they can lodge in a dog's intestines.

    Beware Other Hidden Pet Poisons

    In the Garden
    4. Azaleas are common backyard shrubs that can be toxic for dogs and cats if ingested, resulting in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmias, or an abnormal heart rate.

    5. Backyard lilies (like a daylily or Asiatic, Easter, or Stargazer lily) and their pollen can cause acute kidney failure in cats.

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  • 6 Healthy Chips that Won't Derail Your Diet

    We chipped away at the competition and found six healthy winners that will make your mouth water. Read on to find out why these are our top picks, and what you should avoid the next time you reach for a bag of chips.

    CLASSIC
    Dirty Sea Salted Potato Chips
    (1 ounce)
    Calories: 150, total fat: 8 g, trans fat: 0 g, sodium: 85 mg

    Like: We love that the ingredient list on this bag is short and natural: nothing but potatoes, peanut oil, and some salt.

    Yikes! Beware of disguised trans fats in other brands. Your tip-off: partially hydrogenated oil.

    DIY: 10 Healthy Chips and Dips Recipes

    REDUCED FAT
    Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat Original
    (1 ounce)
    Calories: 140, total fat: 6 g, trans fat: 0 g, sodium: 85 mg

    Like: Each of these crunchy kettle chips tastes remarkably like its full-fat counterpart.

    Yikes! Watch out for the cooking oil Olestra in other brands. This chemical can lead to digestive woes such as gas and cramps.

    6 Ways to Stop Overeating

    LOW SALT

    Utz Natural Lightly Salted Kettle Chips
    (1

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  • 7 Easy ways to get beautiful, toxin-free skin

    Every day, your body does battle with environmental pollutants and toxins--and your looks are the ultimate losers. "Pollutants can dry out skin, and carbon monoxide and ozone can damage your complexion's protective barrier and lead to aging, redness, and irritation," says Dennis Gross, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. It's enough to make anyone crawl inside a BPA-free plastic bubble. Fortunately, experts say a few small changes to your diet and beauty care routine can give your hair and skin a detoxifying beauty boost. Here's how:

    1) Be Choosy about Meat and Cheese. "Hormones in traditionally produced dairy, poultry, and meat may contribute to acne," says Katie Rodan, MD, a dermatologist in the San Francisco Bay area. "My patients who eat those less frequently--or at least choose grain-fed beef and poultry and organic dairy--often notice their skin looks better."

    Get cart smart with these healthier food swaps


    2) Cut Back On Sugar. Refined sugar causes a process called glycation,

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  • 8 Effective Exercises You're Not Doing

    It's easy to get comfortable with a tried-and-true workout routine. But if it's results you want, you'll need to shake things up occasionally. "Changing your routine around every 4 to 6 weeks keeps muscles challenged so you continue to see results," says Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, author of Beat the Gym (William Morrow, 2011). Swap out your regular exercises with these moves to get more bang for your workout buck. Start with 2 sets and work up to 3 when it feels easy.

    9 Exercises You're Doing Wrong

    1. One-arm pull down (Works: back and biceps)

    What you need: medium to heavy resistance tubing with a handle on one end

    How to do it: Attach the end of exercise tubing high up on the door hinge above your head. Stand in a semi-lunge (for balance) with one foot about six inches in front and to the side of the other, knees slightly bent, and pull the handle straight down with one arm; pause and slowly return to starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps on each side.

    Why you need it: A traditional

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  • 6 Ways Your Neighborhood is Making You Gain Weight

    .You might blame your weight gain on your lack of motivation, wavering willpower, and a few too many bad food decisions. Don't get us wrong; those things matter. But there's another culprit you should also consider: your neighborhood. Whether you make your home in the suburbs, a city, or a rural area, where you live can make it easier--or much harder--to put your weight loss goals into action.

    Maybe a lack of sidewalks and bike paths leaves you scratching your head over where to work out. Perhaps your area is short on grocery stores but packed with fast-food chains, or your neighbor's car alarm keeps you up all night, derailing your early-morning jog. Tally up a few of these instances and you could have a hometown problem that's interfering with even the best weight loss intentions.

    The 8 Best US Cities for Weight Loss


    "In my experience it makes a huge difference where you live. Everyone can find a way to overcome their circumstances, but people who live in the suburbs where there

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  • 7 Grossest Things in Your Food

    Why your cheese isn't vegetarian--and 6 other shockersWhy your cheese isn't vegetarian--and 6 other shockersWhen pink slime oozed into public consciousness, we all scrunched our noses. What was this mystery substance--a food additive made of beef trimmings that are heated, compressed into blocks, and then exposed to bacteria-killing ammonia--hiding in processed meat? It also got us thinking about what other shocking ingredients go undercover in our grub. Our research revealed some surprising secrets that rival--and possibly even beat--pink slime. Steel yourself for our list. And just a suggestion: Don't read this during your lunch break.

    Is Pink Slime In Your Dinner?

    1. Shellac In Your Candy

    Lovers of movie-theater concessions, beware. Nearly everything behind that glass case is steeped in, well, beetlejuice. The hard, shiny shells on candies are often made from shellac, a resin secreted by the lac bug. You may know shellac from its more famous work in varnishes and sealants, but it's also a mainstay in pill coatings, candy, coffee beans, and even the waxy sheen on apples and other fruits

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  • 4 Tips for Safer Summer Grilling

    A few wrong moves on the grill can come at a cost to your health. Luckily, our cookout fixes are easy--and result in even more delicious barbecue fare. Read on for 4 quick food tips.

    1. Start With A Soak
    Marinating meat in a mix of vinegar (or lemon juice), fresh herbs, and garlic--as we did with our pork--adds flavor and helps prevent the formation of carcinogens called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). If the mixture contains oil, be sure to let the excess drip off the meat (or pat it dry with a paper towel) to avoid flare-ups.

    Best and Worst Summer Cocktails


    2. Get Finicky About Fat
    Before grilling the skirt steak in our Asian BBQ wraps, we took the time to trim any excess fat. The smoke caused by fat dripping onto the hot grill contains other harmful chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). And don't press down on your burgers--you want to keep the juices in the patties, not in the flames.

    3. Avoid Overcooking
    Don't char your meat. Scraping off burned parts won't get

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  • Why Your Diet Tanks at Night

    What really happens to your good intentionsWhat really happens to your good intentionsIt's the same old story: You start out your day with the best of eating intentions but, by lunchtime, that candy bar's starting to sound really good. And dinner? Well, let's just say the pizza delivery guy asked you to come to his wedding. Just as the last few miles of a marathon are the most arduous (or so we hear), your healthy-eating habits tend to break down as the day wears on, finds a new survey by the digital health company Massive Health.

    7 Takeout Nightmares

    Using an app that lets users send in photos of their meals, Massive Health tracked the eating habits of thousands of people over five months. The results? Most of us hit the wall in our daily race to eat well. In fact, the foods you eat for dinner are nearly 16 percent less healthy than what you ate for breakfast. And get this: For every hour that passes during the day, the healthfulness of the foods you eat drops 1.7 percent.

    "These findings don't surprise me," says Manuel Villacorta, RD, author of Eating Free. People

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  • Fast Summer Time Dinners

    These light beef, fish, and chicken recipes are high on health-not a pat of butter to be found-and full of fresh spring flavors!

    By Lori Powell

    You should be enjoying the nice weather-not stuck inside cooking for hours. Here are three recipes using spring's best ingredients that get on the table and in hungry tummies in 40 minutes or less.

    Grilled Steak And Onion Rings On Garlic Bread Grilled Steak And Onion Rings On Garlic Bread

    20 Minutes or Less

    Grilled Steak And Onion Rings On Garlic Bread

    Prep Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4

    How It's Healthy: A cancer-fighting salad pairs with lean steak and low-fat garlic bread.

    1 lb trimmed skirt steak

    2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce

    4 slices (1/2" thick) French bread

    1 red onion, cut into rings

    1 clove garlic, halved

    3 c arugula

    4 radishes, cut into matchsticks

    2 Tbsp olive oil

    1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

    Prepare lightly oiled grill for medium-high heat.

    Brush steak with sauce. Grill steak, bread, and onion, turning, about 4 minutes. Rub warm bread with cut sides of

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