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If you frequently have racing thoughts or feel anxious, you're not alone. Research shows that nearly 80% of Americans feel the same way at times. Luckily, eating specific foods daily can act as a chill pill, literally calming your nerves like a cozy blanket and helping your body to better adapt to stress. Food manufacturers are stepping up to ensure they're offering just the products to help. In fact, at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference EXPO (FNCE), where food brands go to exhibit their latest edible innovations, an overarching theme emerged: foods to quell anxiety. We're sharing some of our top picks, including these foods and drinks that are hot from the EXPO floor.
The key is to consume these foods each day, rather than just here or there. The same way that you would train for a marathon, it's not one day that will make the difference, rather the consistency and building that will help your body to adapt, be more resilient, and minimize anxiety so that when stressful situations hit, your body will be able to roll with the punches. Read on, and for more, don't miss 6 Best Foods To Avoid Stress-Triggered Weight Gain, Say Dietitians.
Stay focused and prevent anxious thoughts from distracting you by starting your morning with Focus Tea. Harnessing the power of a caffeine-free stimulant, Focus Tea contains spearmint, an ingredient that has been shown to improve concentration thanks to its phenolic compounds that help you to stay attentive, and this brew has a clinically effective dose of it. This minty boost has also been shown to encourage neuroprotective and healthy inflammatory responses, which is a big deal because neuro-inflammation is linked to anxiety disorders. And if worry has affected your memory, this tea's got your brain—supporting short-term memory, as well as "working memory," the ability to use and manage that. Toss these single-serving stick packs into your bag to be conveniently mixed in hot water for an instant, spearmint-flavored herbal tea that boosts focus, attention, and concentration, and helps bring on the calm.
All it takes is one Broc Shot each day to get your freshly activated, daily dose of one of the most potent naturally occurring antioxidants, sulforaphane, which is found in the highest concentration in broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane acts like a prebiotic, helping to feed your gut's good bacteria, and balancing the microbiome, which is huge when it comes to beating nerves; research shows that a healthy microbiome is essential for keeping anxiety at bay. Sulforaphane also reduces inflammation in the body, which is thought to play a role in the root cause of depression and anxiety. Broc Shot makes it easy to get your daily sulforaphane. Broccoli sprouts require thorough cleaning and spoil quickly, and you'd have to eat ten pounds of raw, mature broccoli to get the sulforaphane you'd get in one convenient Broc Shot. No fridge space? No problem. Simply take a shot—cold or room temp—for an invigorating boost—we're currently obsessed with the pineapple + mint flavor! Afraid to try it? Broc Shot guarantees that you'll see and feel results or get your money back.
Whether you start your day with your eggs scrambled or you bite into them hard-boiled for a snack, you'll get a boost of choline, which helps fight stress, as well as protein and the neurotransmitter, tryptophan, both of which help to relieve anxiety. Eggland's Best eggs provide additional advantages to chill you out, as they have more than double the omega-3s compared to ordinary eggs plus six times the vitamin D. These nutrients keep you calm by regulating the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which help you to relax. Thanks to their proprietary vegetarian hen feed, Eggland's Best eggs also offer twice as much vitamin B12, an important nutrient for maintaining a healthy nervous system, and ten times the vitamin E, which the body uses up quickly during stress to fight off oxidative stress, which is associated with anxiety and depression. Replenish it daily to help restore your sense of serenity. High cholesterol? No problem, stick to 4 yolks a week.
If you're feeling on edge, it's likely you'll be looking for a comforting crunchy snack to help distract your mind, so grab a couple of these flaxseed crackers mid-afternoon. Flackers fuel your brain with omega-3 fats from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which are associated with a lower risk of developing anxiety, depression, and other problems with cognitive function. Ideal for anyone who isn't getting omega-3s from fish daily, your calm body will also unwind with the help of rosemary, which has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, improve memory and cognition and boost sleep. Top them with a little ethically sourced smoked salmon for a real omega-3 brain boost.
This velvety delicious dip has a calming reward that doesn't leave you feeling heavy or bloated. Instead, this hummus will boost mood and decrease anxiety, thanks to tryptophan, an amino acid that's abundant in chickpeas and that helps you to make serotonin, the body's "feel-good" hormone. Research shows anxiety may be linked to tryptophan depletion, and with hummus you also get wholesome, slow-burning carbs that help tryptophan make its way to the brain. Simply toss Cal-Organic Hummus with Carrot Chips in your bag and bring them with you for a happy boost at snack time. You'll avoid the vending machine and the sugary-refined snacks that spike and crash blood sugar and that trigger mood swings and anxiety.
Squash your nerves with a dose of a relaxation-promoting blend of spirulina, chlorella, flaxseeds, turmeric, bilberries, and celery, which are all rolled into this easy-to-consume, powerful daily whole foods dietary supplement. You'll get anxiety-lowering magnesium from chlorella and spirulina's high chlorophyll content while also making your body better able to adapt to stressful situations. The omega-3s in flaxseeds, polyphenols in bilberry, and curcumin in turmeric, add to the anxiety and depression-lowering benefits in Liana's Organics Anxiety Free, while the addition of the adaptogen ashwagandha helps to lower cortisol levels.
Kefir is a tart and tangy fermented dairy drink that packs a probiotic punch. With billions of live and active probiotic cultures per serving, kefir is a superstar when it comes to boosting mood, fighting anxiety, and of course, supporting gut health. Research shows probiotics can help alleviate stress and anxiety, which is why Green Valley's Kefir, a blend of 11 different live and active probiotics chosen for their unique and complementary roles and synergy, is like a massage in a bottle. A Gallup poll found that 8 out of 10 Americans admit to frequently or sometimes encountering stress on a daily basis and since stress disrupts a healthy microbiome—and an imbalanced microbiome further contributes to anxiety—let's cheers with a daily glass of kefir.
The Nutrition Twins are sponsored by Eggland's Best, Life Extension Focus Tea, and Broc Shots. All thoughts and opinions are their own.
The post 7 Foods To Eat Every Day for Anxiety Relief, According to Dietitians appeared first on Eat This Not That.
Americans have a lot of options when it comes to tortilla chips.
At least 44 different varieties line a crowded shelf at my local Whole Foods in Brooklyn, N.Y., notably none of which include the Doritos or Tostitos brands that otherwise dominate the U.S. market.
There are salted and unsalted kinds; regular corn, flour, multigrain, grain-free, cauliflower, chickpea, and even cactus versions. Plus, all kinds of flavors, from simple sea salt and lime to "Wicked Hot" and "Rockin' Ranch."
This vast selection reflects the ever-growing demand for both classic and contemporary riffs on the ubiquitous snack.
U.S. consumers spent some $6.77 billion on tortilla chips in 2022, up 7.3% from the prior year, according to market research firm IRI. Sales surged 22% over the week before the Super Bowl, aka the "Black Friday of the snack industry," the trade group SNAC International reported.
Amid this lucrative market, companies are increasingly trying out unique flavors and flaunting better-for-you ingredients in an attempt to attract and retain a larger share of us finicky snackers.
I've tried a lot of these chips and found just one that stands out above all the rest. This single chip has all the qualities that modern snackers seem to want. It's got authenticity. It's got a lot of natural ingredients. And it's got a unique flavor. Oh, and best of all—it's addictively delicious.
I'm referring, of course, to the "Pico de Gallo" chips from Tortilleria Mi Niña in Brockton, Mass. I came across these incredible chips in the bright red paper bag at a neighborhood supermarket a few years ago, and nothing I've tried since even comes close to how good they taste.
Think of them like Doritos for adults—incredibly flavorful and satisfying, but without all the junky middle-aisle ingredients and sense of regret that lingers long after the snacking binge is over.
Named after the fresh chunky salsa that is common to Mexican cuisine, these chips are made from organic, non-GMO white corn, fried in sunflower oil, and seasoned with an ambrosial blend of tomato powder, dried cilantro, onion powder, lime juice powder, and cayenne pepper. Fairy dust, in other words.
The combined flavors are powerful but so well balanced: not too salty, not too sour, not too spicy.
The chip itself is crisp and sturdy, unlike other artisanal-style chips that are too thin to withstand a hefty dip. The pico de gallo chips are good with guacamole and equally good just on their own.
On several occasions the missus and I have reached for a handful, only to end up devouring multiple servings. At the store, I usually pick up a few bags, priced at $5.99 each, because they go so fast at home.
Chef Jamie Mammano of the Boston-area Columbus Hospitality Group founded Mi Niña brand back in 2011. The story goes that he was inspired by the fresh corn tortillas and chips of his wife's hometown in Mexico. His company lays claim to being the first of its kind in New England to make real corn masa the authentic way. Cooks Illustrated visited the facility in 2015 to witness the volcanic stone-grinding process first-hand.
Mi Niña also produces a more traditional tortilla chip, flavored only with sea salt, as well as a jalapeño agave variety, but the pico de gallo is simply next level.
If you find yourself standing in the snack aisle, struggling to decide which chips to serve during the big game, make the right move. Look for the bright red bag with the young masa maker on the logo. You won't regret it.
The post There's Only One Tortilla Chip You Need For the Big Game appeared first on Eat This Not That.
Budweiser and Bud Light are two of America's top-selling beers, according to data cross-referenced from myriad sources. Also rounding out the top five are Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Michelob. What do all of these beers have in common, without editorializing on their taste profiles? You got it: they are all pilsners.
A pilsner, named for the Czech city of Plzeň (pronounced "pill zin"), is a lager style of beer, meaning it is brewed using lager yeasts and is fermented at cold temperatures. Pale in color and usually mild in taste, pilsner beers are anything but tasteless, the common conception of those top-selling American beers notwithstanding.
Indeed, even within that milder taste of a fine pilsner beer, there can be found complexity and nuance, with flavors ranging from the sweet to the bitter to the bready to the grassy, and pilsners can vary greatly in their hop profiles, too. If you have long written off pilsners based on the offerings of the megabrewers, it's time you try a sip or two of these beers and see what the style truly has to offer.
In many ways, this is the beer that started it all, pilsner-wise. Introduced in 1842 in the aforementioned town of Plzeň, Pilsner Urquell was the first pale lager produced in any sort of large capacity. And the beer tastes today much as it would have nearly 200 years ago, which is to say crisp and lightly hopped. And very refreshing.
This is a perfect example of what an American pilsner can be: simple, crisp, tasty, and pure. Blue Hen is made using only the classic four beer ingredients, namely water, barley, hops, and yeast, and it is lightly bitter with a malt background and faint sweetness.
Victory Brewing Company is known for some wild beers, like its Golden Monkey Belgian-Style Tripe, which clocks in just under 10% ABV. Another one is Sour Monkey, which is just as boozy but also ultra tart. So it's kind of amazing the brewery can also make such a mild but pleasant beer as Prima Pils, a 5.3% ABV brew that uses three kinds of hops to create a flavor that has notes of citrus, flowers, and even a bit of spice.
At the risk of setting off a fiery debate, Stella Artois is a pilsner-style beer. All pilsners are lagers, not all lagers are pilsners, but this Belgian brew is, despite the fact that it might not self-brand as such. And also at the risk of outcry, it's a good beer, too. Balanced, refreshing, and widely available, it's a global go-to beer for good reason.
Made with water from the California mountains and barley grown on California farms, with hops imported from Germany, and with a yeast strain that dates back some 400 years, it's little wonder this pilsner is one of the most award-winning beers in the category. It tastes exactly like you imagine when you imagine a classic pilsner beer.
Good luck pronouncing the name of this beer if you're not a competent German speaker (it's kind of like "tannin zep fleh") but that has no bearing on its taste, which is sublime. A bit breadier than many pilsners thanks to the the notable hop presence, this German brew is must try if you spot a bottle or, better yet, head to Germany to drink it fresh.
This California beer may be harder to find than most others featured here, as it's not sold outside the state, but it's worth the hunt when you're in the Golden State. That's because a Reality Czeck Pilsner manages to have both a floral and lightly bitter hop presence and a sweet toasted bread flavor, striking a balance you'd usually only find in beers with a much bolder overall flavor.
This pilsner from The Boston Beer Company—yes, everyone calls it Sam Adams, but the brewery is actually called that—is a beautifully balanced beer. At 5% ABV, it's mild on the alcohol. It's also got a pleasant bitterness provided by two different types of hops, and thanks to the blend of two-row pale malt barley, it's got a notable malty presence as well.
This non-alcoholic beer from Athletic Brewing is an impressive feat indeed: not only does it taste like a true beer, something many NA beers fail to do, but it tastes like a true pilsner. Also, at just 25 calories per can, it's a beer you can sip without any concerns at all really—it's not going to inebriate you, nor will it add any pounds.
When you are craving a juicy hamburger, nothing can kill the mood faster than hearing that your favorite burger joint is heating up patties that were delivered frozen on a truck from some facility hundreds of miles away. Many restaurant chains have been turning to never-frozen patties as their mode of operation, but even then you will find that many of those patties are delivered pre-formed and pre-pressed. Thankfully, you still have options if you're on a mission to find the freshest burger possible, made fresh every day.
Fresh patties made from real ingredients matter a lot to customers. As much as we would rather not admit it, hamburgers can come with a myriad of additives or fillers, not to mention hormones or steroids. Plus, McDonald's once admitted that their mass-produced beef burgers could potentially contain meat from up to 100 cows! So when you dine somewhere that hand-makes their own patties, you can rest assured that what you are about to eat is made with only real ingredients.
There are a number of burger chains across America that do make their patties by hand on-site. The result is often a delicious product made with high-quality ingredients (and none of those unnecessary ones). It is perhaps no coincidence then that all of the burger chains on this list that hand-make each patty are often so highly rated by their customers. Here's where you'll find burgers made from fresh beef on-site.
As the name implies, the patties at Smashburger are "hand-smashed to order" according to the burger chain's website. It all starts with 100% Certified Angus Beef that is hand-packed and hand-pressed right onto the grill using Smashburger's customized metal smasher. You can also order chicken, turkey, or black bean burgers as a substitute.
According to Fuddruckers, everything is prepared on-site, and that includes their patties. Nothing is grilled until an order is placed, and once it's time to prepare your burger, Fuddruckers uses never-frozen beef. To top it all off, even its burger buns are baked on-site, so everything you bite into is as fresh as it gets.
It does not get more custom than at The Counter Custom Burgers. Here, your burger is hand-built and made to order using only 11 ingredients (via PR Newswire). Whether it is a beef, chicken, turkey, or vegan veggie burger, The Counter Custom Burgers warns that "they can take a little longer" to make, but that's what comes with a pattie that is custom-made with each order.
From its inception in 1986, Five Guys has been grilling hand-formed burgers for its customers. That practice has continued over the years, and a trip behind the counter will reveal that the chain still practices what it preaches by making the patties in-house every day (via Insider). To drive the point home, Five Guys boasts that customers will not see a single freezer in any of its restaurants, proving that its ingredients are among the freshest you will find.
The recipe for Fatburger's success is the same today as it was when its founder Lovie Yancey established her very own business back in 1952. That includes patties that are hand-pressed and never frozen, according to Fatburger's website. This approach to fresh ingredients extends throughout the menu, all the way to the hand-scooped ice cream used in the milkshakes.
This smaller burger chain is all about quality ingredients, and as they say themselves, "handmade burgers are our thing." When you order a burger from Hopdoddy, you can rest assured that they cook with Verified All-Natural beef and 100% grass-fed, regenerative bison that is never frozen.
Culver's only uses fresh, never-frozen beef when grilling its signature Butter Burger, with each patty hand-pressed on-site after each order comes in. Each and every burger is made-to-order with all kinds of customizable options that customers can choose from.
When Steak 'n Shake first opened in 1934, its founder Gus Belt would actually grind the meat in front of customers to make the patties that would then become a signature "Steakburger." That process is not done today, but Steak 'n Shake still hand-presses each and every burger patty with its classic combo of round, sirloin, and T-bone steak (hence the name 'steakburger').
The post 8 Burger Chains That Make Their Burger Patties Fresh On-Site appeared first on Eat This Not That.
After an eternity of gazing at various tasty selections on the menu, you've finally chosen your main dish. You confidently tell the server you're going for that Chilean sea bass. She gushes about your selection, making you feel like you made the absolute best decision. Then she asks, "What sides would you like with your entree?"
Wait, what? You weren't expecting that! You frantically flip through the menu, wondering why your dish didn't already come with sides. As you face the dilemma of what's worth ordering and what would pair well with your entree, there are several expert tips to keep in mind. For example, chefs recommend betting on fresh, seasonal ingredients, and steering clear of things you could easily make at home. Here are some usual misses to avoid in the side dish category.
Some restaurants may offer complimentary bread with your meal, while others (more and more these days) may charge for their bread or bread-related sides (cheesy bread, garlic bread, etc.). But think twice before you indulge.
First of all, bread is filling. You should save room in your belly for tasty and unique appetizers and your main dish. Eating bread before or during your meal should be avoided for other reasons, too, according to Jesus Alvarado, the executive chef of Aspen-based restaurant Duemani.
"I never eat [bread] while dining, as this item is often free or very cheap, so many restaurants tend not to store it correctly," he said. "Additionally, guests can be given bread from the night before if the restaurant was slow."
The only exception is if the restaurant has a notable bread program or makes its bread in-house.
While these little green spears may look fancy, asparagus can easily be overcooked or turn out stringy. Even when done right, Sarah Gunderson, chef and instructor of the Culinary Arts program at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, says she would avoid it, especially off-season. Instead, she prefers something more creative, like seasonal vegetables.
"Chefs are celebrating seasonal vegetables; they are more than just a common side of asparagus at a steakhouse. Thought and development go into creating side dishes that showcase the vegetables of the region and season. I honestly look for and want to order those at the restaurants where I dine," she says.
According to John Simmons, chef-owner of Firefly Tapas Kitchen + Bar in Las Vegas, loaded fries are "bad for the heart, body, mind, and soul."
"Why overshadow your—hopefully—delicious and nutritious main dish with a pound of fried food drenched in cheese, bacon, sour cream, chili?" he says.
Simmons strongly believes that french fries are simple and perfect on their own, so why muck it up with all the extra calories, saturated fat, and salt? If you want something healthier, he suggests checking out the more artfully designed vegetable-based alternatives you can't readily recreate at home.
"How about some pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and balsamic? Garlicky spinach, anyone? Yes, please! What about roasted red potatoes with aioli and spicy tomato sauce, a.k.a. patatas bravas?"
It's a time-tested comfort food of choice for sure. And it might be hard to pass on all that creamy, cheesy pasta goodness. But celebrity chef Kai Chase says she never orders mac and cheese when dining out.
"It's a shame too because it's my favorite when it's done right and it's homemade—with crispy edges, several ooey-gooey melted cheeses, and a parmesan bread crumb buttered topping. That's the ticket!" Chase says. However, "macaroni and cheese at restaurants, even from soul food restaurants, tend to overcook the noodles, and they typically never have enough seasoning."
If you're craving something with cheese, she suggests opting for a veggie side dish like broccoli and cheese. Or, if you need something salty with a little crisp, opt for Brussels sprouts.
"On top of being a relatively healthier option, most restaurants these days have mastered flavoring [Brussels sprouts] with an acidic sauce or vinaigrette."
Sean Ferraro, chef-owner of Madison Avenue Pizza in Dunedin, Fla., said he avoids mashed potatoes as a side because they are rarely made in-house unless you are dining at a nice restaurant. Jessica Randhawa, the food blogger behind The Forked Spoon, avoids ordering this side because she lumps it into the category of foods you could easily make at home.
"Going out to eat at a restaurant should be about trying new and unique recipes, not a recipe that can be easily made well at home," she says.
Many restaurants offer soup or salad as a side dish. However, unless you're at a specialized soup restaurant or a high-end restaurant known for its homemade soups, you'll probably want to skip it.
"Many restaurants use stale, less-than-fresh ingredients in soups to use up whatever is near the end of its shelf life," says Chef Susan Irby. "Even if you ask if the soup was made fresh in-house, you may not get a clear, correct answer. Also, if the soup of the day is the same as the day before, that is a clear indication it is not super fresh."
A version of this story was originally published on October 29, 2022. It has been updated to include new information.
The post 6 Side Dishes To Never Order at a Restaurant, According to Chefs appeared first on Eat This Not That.
If you want to lower your cholesterol levels, soybeans might be just what you need. While past research has shown that adding soy to your diet—or increasing the amount of soy that you already eat—can decrease cholesterol, a new study has found that it might be just as effective as commonly used medication to help manage overall cholesterol levels known as statins.
During the study, which was published by Antioxidants, scientists took a look at 19 different types of soybeans with varying levels of glycinin and B-conglycinin. Each soybean was also ground and defatted. After running each individual soybean flour through a simulation that was intended to mimic digestion and used fatty cells, it was found that two proteins in soybeans—glycinin, and B-conglycinin—helped to lower cholesterol. Researchers then measured the extent of absorption of LDL (or "bad") cholesterol in each case.
"We measured several parameters associated with cholesterol and lipid metabolism and various other markers— proteins and enzymes—that positively or negatively affect lipid metabolism," study author Dr. Elvira de Meji, professor of food science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, reportedly explained via Medical News Today.
Beyond that, those behind the study also assessed the effectiveness of both soybeans and cholesterol statin medication, Simvastatin, which is also known by the brand name Zocor, according to the Mayo Clinic.
"The digested soybeans' peptides were able to reduce lipid accumulation by 50% to 70%, and that's very important," Dr. de Meji told Medical News Today. "That was comparable to the statin, which reduced it by 60%."
According to the study's researchers, the overall results suggests "that the intake of selected soybean varieties might regulate cholesterol and LDL homeostasis and, consequently, foster the prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases."
"Since this was an in vitro study, we can't be sure whether the same effects on LDL cholesterol would be seen in humans," Stephanie Wells, MS, RD, tells Eat This, Not That! while addressing the new findings.
"The researchers tested 19 different types of soybeans with varying glycinin:β-conglycinin ratios," Wells also points out. "But it would likely be difficult for consumers to find out what specific variety of soybean their tofu is made with, so this information probably won't be very helpful to most people."
"Since the soybeans were defatted, we can't be sure whether the same effects on LDL cholesterol would be seen with consumption of whole soy foods, like edamame, tempeh, and soy curls, or minimally processed soy foods like tofu and soy milk—which have not had the fat removed," explains Wells.
"A 2015 study found that the LDL-lowering effects of soy were stronger with whole soy foods rather than soy products which were more heavily processed," she adds. "On the other hand, many people have concerns regarding the healthfulness of processed soy foods like textured vegetable protein. And if the results of this study are found to translate to humans, it could help assuage these concerns," Wells says.
"Soybeans are a nutritious legume rich in protein, fiber, isoflavones, and heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats," says Wells. "They are low in saturated fat and cholesterol," which is why "including soybeans as part of an overall heart-healthy eating pattern can be a great choice for people looking to lower their cholesterol."
The post Soybeans May Help Lower Cholesterol as Effectively as Statins, Study Suggests appeared first on Eat This Not That.
If you're under 50, listen up! Research shows cancer rates are on the rise for young adults and the alarming trend implies it could be a global epidemic. The study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and published the peer-reviewed journal Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology finds, "Over the past several decades, the incidence of early- onset cancers, often defined as cancers diagnosed in adults <50 years of age, in the breast, colorectum, endometrium, oesophagus, extrahepatic bile duct, gallbladder, head and neck, kidney, liver, bone marrow, pancreas, prostate, stomach and thyroid has increased in multiple countries."
There's several theories why cancer cases are increasing in people under 50. "A lot of smart people are trying to figure it out," Bhavana Pathak, MD, board certified hematologist and medical oncologist at MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA tells us. "The obvious answers include people who are more sedentary, exercise less, and eat processed foods."
While it's certainly not good news that young adults are at an increased risk, the American Cancer Society says the chance of dying has declined. "The risk of dying from cancer in the United States has decreased over the past 28 years according to annual statistics reported by the American Cancer Society (ACS). The cancer death rate for men and women combined fell 32% from its peak in 1991 to 2019, the most recent year for which data were available. Some of this drop appears to be related to an increase in the percentage of people with lung cancer who are living longer after diagnosis, partly because more people are being diagnosed at an early stage of the disease."
Why Cancer Cases on the Rise
Anton Bilchik, MD, PhD, surgical oncologist and division chair of general surgery at Providence Saint John's Health Center and chief of medicine and director of the Gastrointestinal Research Program at Saint John's Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, CA shares, "There are many possible reasons but there is a clear relationship between a more sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking and processed food. All of these factors are considered pro-inflammatory, leading to a disruption of the microbiome (bacteria in our body) and the immune system.
This disruption may remove the protective effect of some cells to prevent cancer and stimulate other cells to form cancers. It is also possible that with improved screening techniques (mammography, home based stool DNA tests, colonoscopy)and public education that more, younger patients are getting screened leading to detection of more cancers. Finally we have a better understanding of the importance of family history and genes that may lead to cancer at a younger age.
Sean Marchese, MS, RN, a registered nurse at The Mesothelioma Center with a background in oncology clinical trials and over 20 years of direct patient care experience says, "According to the 2023 Cancer Statistics released by the American Cancer Society, the incidence of some cancers, such as prostate cancer, is rising. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in men and increased by 3% annually from 2014 through 2019. It's unclear why specific cancer incidences exist, but increased screening rates and sensitive detection methods may be finding more cases. More adults under 50 are seeing higher rates of cancer, which could be caused by poor diet and lifestyle choices. It's also possible that cancers that would have been missed before are now being diagnosed. More advanced technologies for detecting cancers exist, and more adults under 60 are getting screened."
Why Cancer is Still a Leading Cause of Death Even Though It's More Treatable Today
Dr. Pathak says, "Treatment has indeed vastly improved to become more personalized and focused. One thought is that with the population aging and the biology of cancer starting from cells that have trouble repairing damage as we age, we continue to see its high prevalence."
Dr. Bilchik states, "Many cancers are more treatable but others such as pancreas cancer continue to be resistant to chemotherapy and present at a more advanced stage. With the increase in the number of patients being diagnosed with cancers, particularly at an early age it is understandable that it continues to be the second cause of death. There is optimism that this will change with more effective screening tests, a better understanding of the development of cancer and the availability of newer, more targeted therapies."
Marchese explains, "Cancer is much more treatable than it was years ago, but the fact is that we still don't have a cure for most major cancers. Cancer mortality has dropped 33% since 1991, a difference of an estimated 3.8 million cancer deaths. Many more patients go into remission or have more treatment options for aggressive cancers. More cancers are also being detected in earlier stages. However, the rate that cancer develops in the general population is still concerning, and more effort must be made to prevent exposures and risks that lead to cancer."
How to Help Lower the Risk of Cancer
According to Dr. Bilchik, "It is now well established that exercise, a healthy balanced diet with fruit and vegetables, the avoidance of smoking and obesity, the intake of less red meat and processed food all reduce the risk of developing cancer. "
Marchese tells us, "People can educate themselves on their cancer risk by knowing their family history and how their environment or lifestyle could lead to cancer. Quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet are often apparent solutions, but other strategies, such as heart health and diabetes management, can also prevent cancer. Ask your doctor what your primary risk factors for cancer are and how to avoid them. Be on the lookout for hazardous chemicals or materials in your environment that could be carcinogenic, such as radon, asbestos, smoke or particulates."
Possible Link Between Frozen Embryos and Cancer
A new study based on almost 8 million children from four European countries–Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, suggests that babies born from frozen embryos were more at risk to develop cancer. The findings were published in peer-reviewed journal PLOS Medicine. According to the study, "Children born after FET had a higher risk of childhood cancer than children born after fresh embryo transfer and spontaneous conception. The results should be interpreted cautiously based on the small number of children with cancer, but the findings raise concerns considering the increasing use of FET, in particular freeze-all strategies without clear medical indications."
Marchese says, "There is a limited body of research concerning the long-term health effects for children born from frozen embryos. The most common forms of disease related to embryo freezing have been abnormal central nervous system development and leukemia. The central nervous system is one of the first parts of the body to develop from the embryo. According to the research, the individual risk for cancer is low. Across all assisted reproduction techniques, there has been no increase in cancer rates."
What People Under 50 Should Know About Cancer
Dr. Bilchik says, "Cancer rates are increasing predominantly in younger people under 50. It is not a disease of the "elderly" alone. Therefore more attention should be focused on lifestyle, exercise and nutrition at a young age. Furthermore, younger patients need to be aware of national screening guidelines for some of the more common cancers such as breast and colon cancer."
Marchese says, "People under 50 concerned about rising cancer rates should be aware that overall cancer mortality is decreasing. People are living longer, more comfortable lives after a cancer diagnosis. Clinical trials are developing more new treatments every day. While a cure may still feel like years away, treatments are becoming safer and more effective for all cancers."
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Which foods come to mind when you think of pricier eats? A filet mignon, perhaps? Truffles and caviar, potentially. And eggs, if you're reading this article in early 2023. Oh, and of course, lobster. Who could forget that succulent but pricey seafood when naming expensive foods? And, when someone is looking for lobster at an affordable price, they turn, of course, to Red Lobster.
Given that lobster is generally pricey, what gives with Red Lobster being one of the more affordable chain restaurants out there? Shouldn't an establishment named for lobster, and in which quite a number of these crustaceans are cooked up and served, be known for hefty bills? But Red Lobster is known for affordable meals, not to mention many discount seafood promotions, including Lobster Fest which is going on right now.
Despite, some issues with underperforming restaurants closing, Red Lobster's business model of selling cheaper seafood to the masses is still profitable. Overall sales for restaurants have been stable over the past five years, even though the business has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. Red Lobster is able to keep its seafood within reach for most people for multiple reasons. Here are the secrets to Red Lobster's low-price seafood dinners.
According to sources cited by Mashed, Red Lobster can keep its menu prices so low because it sources a gargantuan amount of seafood at a time. By placing huge orders for seafood that will be distributed among 700-plus Red Lobster locations, the chain can command bargain prices from sellers and it passes the savings on to the customers.
According to a former Red Lobster cook, the chain relies on prepared foods as much as possible, prepping and cooking as few items as possible from scratch. She said: "As a former Red Lobster cook, I can tell you that we get it frozen when it comes in, and we fry it when it's needed. There is one appetizer where the shrimp are tossed in beer batter before they are fried and served, but that's just it."
Red Lobster doesn't hide the fact that it uses mainly frozen seafood. In its lengthy FAQ, the chain says "While some seafood can be delivered from the water to our restaurants fresh and never frozen, other seafood is frozen on the fishing boats or immediately at the docks to maintain the best quality and freshness. It is precisely because some of our seafood is flash frozen at the site of the catch that we are able to serve the highest quality seafood all year round."
Sure, it sounds like it's a can't-lose deal, right? All the shrimp you can eat for the price of one entrée! But in fact, Red Lobster gets their shrimp for such low prices and from so many places all over the globe that there's almost no way a diner will eat enough of the stuff to cut into the restaurant's profit margins. Endless Shrimp is a great way to get people in the door to order foods with higher margins—like cocktails.
Red Lobster has done a good job adjusting to the new realities of how we eat that were largely brought on by the pandemic. Per the chain's FAQ page: "All Red Lobster locations offer To Go, which depending on location includes pickup, curbside pickup, delivery, and catering." By leaning into this business model, the chain has kept profits up and prices down.
Red Lobster is owned by Golden Gate Capital, a massive U.S.-based private equity firm, while a Thai conglomerate, the Thai Union Group, owns a minority stake following a $575 million investment in 2016, per Fortune. With these heavily moneyed concerns backing the restaurant, Red Lobster can keep prices low and keep foot traffic moving.
According to an Inside Edition investigation, many Red Lobster locations used to have a habit of using undeclared cheaper alternatives to lobster in many dishes. In dishes like lobster bisque soup, for example, often the restaurant was using cheaper meat from the langostino.
Red Lobster now notes on its website that it uses a few different kinds of lobsters for its dishes including Maine Lobster, rock lobster, Norway lobster (aka langoustine), and langostino. The three are related to lobsters but are not the same as a higher-priced Maine lobster, and they are all predominantly frozen and shipped to restaurants.
That shrimp or crab or fish you're eating at Red Lobster probably died a long time before you sat down to dine on it. As in weeks before, in most cases. The actual Maine lobsters will be kept alive there at the restaurant, but almost all of the other seafood—including lobster for lobster tail dishes including those mentioned above—are frozen and never served fresh.
Sure, a lot of it is frozen, but at least we know exactly where it all came from. Red Lobster, per its own public website, is committed to traceable, sustainable, and responsible sourcing. By monitoring every step of the supply chain, the restaurant can control costs—or at least anticipate them—and keep its budget stable. That means stable menu prices at the end of that chain.
The post 8 Reasons Red Lobster's Seafood Is So Cheap—Including Lots of Frozen Shortcuts appeared first on Eat This Not That.
Khaliah Ali, the daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, struggled with obesity as a young girl but recently dropped much of her weight and found a measure of happiness, she told NBC's Today.
"I've found peace and happiness and health," Ali says. "And for the first time, I'm really feeling good in my skin."
Ali, 49, is one of Muhammad Ali's nine children and lives near Philadelphia. She is a designer and author and works with philanthropic organizations.
Ali lost more than 100 pounds by altering her diet, working out and undergoing bariatric surgery.
"It definitely was difficult," Ali told Today host Al Roker. "Oftentimes in my life when I realized my weight exceeded his fighting weight, or you're at gym, and you're still picked last because you're the child that's out of shape and no one wanted you on their team, was often very difficult. But you know what, Al? It was also made very easy by the fact that my father always instilled in me a sense of pride and beauty and always reaffirmed to me how beautiful I was in his eyes."
Ali advocates for people who struggle with obesity, especially Black women, nearly two-thirds of whom deal with weight issues, she says. "It's not a sprint," she says. "It's a marathon. … This is a lifelong marathon in battle. I'm doing great today. I can't tell you where I'll be 10 years from now, but I'll always keep fighting."
Obesity and overweight is a common problem among Americans and can lead to dire health outcomes, officials say. Here are the signs and symptoms of obesity and what you need to know.
Obesity Is Common
"Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat," the Mayo Clinic says. "Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It's a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers."
Nearly 42 percent of Americans were obese in 2020 as measured by body mass index, or BMI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's up from 30.5 percent in 2017.
"Obesity is a major risk factor for infertility, but for the seriously obese wanting to have a baby, losing weight is often a losing battle," adds Dr. Yijun Chen, a bariatric surgeon with the Center for Obesity and Metabolic Health at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Obesity Is Expensive
Americans spent nearly $173 billion in 2019 in estimated annual medical costs related to obesity, the CDC says. Adults who had obesity spent $1,861 more in medical costs that year than did people with healthy weight.
"When there's more of you, your heart has to pump harder to get the blood everywhere it needs to go," says Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, a cardiologist and founder of Step One Foods. "So blood pressure goes up."
"Hormonal changes associated with obesity can also lead to higher blood pressure readings," Klodas adds. Obesity also makes your body insulin resistant, "meaning you need more and more insulin to store sugar," she says. "Eventually you exhaust that compensatory capacity, and blood sugar levels start to rise." That could lead to diabetes.
How Obesity Is Defined
Obesity is defined by having a high BMI, a number that expresses the ratio between your height and body mass. It is a shortcut method of assessing whether a person is overweight or obese but is one of only several factors that determines whether an individual person has a weight problem.
"For most adults, having a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 means you're considered to be a healthy weight," says the National Health Service, the government-funded medical and health care service of the United Kingdom. "A person with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered to be overweight, and someone with a BMI over 30 is considered to be obese."
"While BMI is a useful measurement for most people, it's not accurate for everyone," the NHS adds. "For example, the normal BMI scores may not be accurate if you're very muscular because muscle can add extra kilos, resulting in a high BMI when you're not an unhealthy weight."
Another way to assess obesity is to measure waist circumference.
A person's race or ethnicity can be a factor: For nonwhite people, the threshold for being considered overweight or obese may be lower, the NHS says.
Warning Signs of Obesity
Weight and BMI can be indicators of overweight or obesity. But there are other warning signs that indicate you may have a weight problem.
These include difficulty sleeping (sleep apnea), daytime drowsiness, fatigue, back or joint pain, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, infections in skin folds, depression or
shortness of breath, according to the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona in Spain.
You may be obese if you have some specific medical problems, the clinic adds. They include certain skin disorders, stretch marks, or swelling or varicose veins in the lower limbs.
High blood pressure and high cholesterol are also signs of obesity. "Insulin is a storage hormone and puts your body in storage mode. Storage form of cholesterol — LDL — goes up. Elimination form of cholesterol – HDL – goes down. Concentrated storage form of sugar — TGs — go up," Koldas says.
What You Can Do
"Common treatments for overweight and obesity include losing weight through healthy eating, being more physically active, and making other changes to your usual habits," according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Weight-management programs may help some people lose weight or keep from regaining lost weight."
But dealing with obesity may involve more than simply altering lifestyle. "It is much harder when we think about the symptoms of the disease," says Carel Le Roux, professor of experimental pathology in the School of Medicine, University College Dublin. "These are the things that people experience that have the disease. And what we now understand is that the two most important symptoms are excess hunger or reduction in fullness."
"Now what we hear patients say to us is that very often that when they are on a diet, they are thinking about food all the time," Le Roux adds. "This is the excess hunger. It's not dramatic, but patients are just a little bit more hungry than people who do not have the disease."
Some people with obesity are not able to lose enough weight to improve their health or are unable to keep from regaining weight, the institute says. "In such cases, a doctor may consider adding other treatments, including weight-loss medicines, weight-loss devices, or bariatric surgery."
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Consider this: Nearly half of all Americans used at least one prescription drug in the past month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And nearly one in four used three or more prescription medications in the last month.
It then comes as no surprise that many people suffer ill effects from all those drugs. And we're not just talking about prescription drug abuse, which means using a medication in a manner or dosage other than that prescribed.
Prescription drug abuse is indeed a growing problem in this country. It usually involves people abusing opioids, depressants such as tranquilizers and sedatives, and stimulants such as those prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Even without abuse, people may get sick from taking their legally prescribed medications in the manner they were prescribed. Here's what you need to know to avoid falling ill because of your prescriptions.
How Medications Make You Sick
Medications may have toxic side effects, even when taken as prescribed. This happens as you get older and may result from unintended interactions among your various prescriptions.
Drug toxicity is "a major public-health issue even for people in their 40s and 50s," says Dr. Mukaila A. Raji, chief of geriatric medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
"Most drugs are eliminated from the body through the kidneys and liver, but starting around the fourth decade, we start accumulating fat and lose muscle mass, accompanied by a progressive decline in the ability of our kidneys and liver to process and clear medications," Raji adds. "All of this makes us more prone to drug toxicity."
"This is a particular issue in older individuals, because older people tend to have more medical conditions that we now have wonderful evidence basis of the benefits of medications to treat those conditions," adds Dr. Mark Supiano, executive director of the University of Utah Center on Aging.
"When we start to add up those conditions, however, if you start to have three, four, five chronic conditions, and you're on three or five medications for each of those conditions, that multiplier effect increases your risk of having an adverse medical event or a side effect from the interactions between those medications. So older people that we treat are more likely to be on more medications and are therefore at higher risk for exactly these kinds of problems."
It's Not Just Drugs
You may experience unintended side effects when your prescription medications interact with other things you're taking, such as dietary supplements, vitamins and over-the-counter drugs.
"Sedatives or hypnotics or sleep aids that you might be taking over the counter, all of those," Supiano says.
He adds: "So we are very aware of that and really need to be careful about the potential interactions between some of those supplements and prescription and other medications."
Signs There's a Problem
"Some medications such as antibiotics, cause nausea, but it is not serious, it is manageable," says Heidi N. Anksorus, a clinical assistant professor at the University of North Carolina's Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill. "And with some medications, the side effects will disappear, but you have to stick with it for a couple of weeks."
"Blood pressure medications may cause a cough that won't go away," Anksorus adds.
Anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin) can cause bleeding, and opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone or fentanyl can cause drowsiness.
Don't ignore side effects such as blood in the urine or stool, shortness of breath, blurred vision or an intense headache.
With "many of these side effects, someone might think, 'Well, I'm just getting older, so of course I feel run down the next day or I'm having this particular symptom,' say constipation," Supiano says. "They may think this is just part of getting older and may not ascribe it to the medication."
But "anytime someone has a new symptom, we need to first ask, 'Is this potentially caused by an existing medication?'" Supiano adds. "What we really want to avoid is treating that new symptom with yet another medication, because that adds further to this list of medications. It becomes a vicious cycle, and you just keep adding on more and more medications, and you get more and more side effects, and the patient isn't getting any better."
How Do You Know Which Medications to Stop?
To avoid drug toxicity, you should keep a careful record of the drugs you're taking — including supplements and over-the-counter medications — and share it with any doctor you visit. You should also ask your doctor if a new prescription will interact with all the medications you're taking.
"Many doctors don't specifically test for drug toxicity, and a simple CBC [blood chemistry panel] won't detect it," Raji says. Some blood tests can detect the effects of drugs such as Synthroid, Coumadin, antibiotics and digoxin.
"The blood range of digoxin that's listed as 'normal' in medical textbooks is based on tests done on young people," Raji adds.
"As doctors, we see a lot of patients who come in with a general 'I don't feel well' complaint, or maybe they're confused and dehydrated, and we attribute it to a viral illness, when it's caused at least in part by the medication they're taking," says Dr. Kennon Heard, a medical toxicologist and associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver.
What to Do About It
"Make a list of all the medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal remedies you are taking, and keep it up to date," Anksorus says. Be specific: "Telling your doctor that you 'take a little white blood pressure pill that starts with an 'A' won't help — there are a million little white pills that start with an A."
"If you're going to a single pharmacy, if they have an accurate record of all your prescription medications, there are systems now to screen for the most offensive drug-drug interactions," Supiano says. "Most physicians are likewise aware of that." But if you get your medications from several different pharmacies, the systems may not flag interactions; it then falls to you to ask your pharmacist about interactions each time you fill a new prescription.
"There are other subtleties that individuals trained in geriatrics are more likely to pick up," Supiano says. Your doctor or pharmacist may lack geriatrics expertise or awareness that aging changes how the body gets rid of medications that can increase your risk of having the side effects. Don't be shy about asking your doctor or pharmacist about it.
"So if you're not adjusting the dose of the medication appropriately for that person's age or their kidney function that there may be toxic levels of the medication that accumulate and cause these side effects," he adds.
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