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10 Health Food Swaps That Do More Harm Than Good

When it comes to eating healthy foods, some may be more deceptive than others. Sure, we know that a piece of fruit is better than a cupcake to satisfy a sweet tooth, but why is lean turkey breast better than pork? And what about granola, gluten-free, and non-dairy products.

The answer, it turns out, is that some of these so-called “healthy” food substitutions do more harm than good, experts say.

For instance, gluten-free foods are sometimes pushed to boost digestive health and promote weight loss, but aren’t always the healthiest option for those without celiac disease.

“Those with Celiac disease must avoid gluten, but now it has become a trendy thing to do,” registered dietitian and nutrition coach Stephanie Brust tells Newsmax Health. “[But] often, gluten-free items contain more additives to replace the function of gluten. Just because a cookie is gluten free doesn’t make it a healthy cookie.”

Elizabeth Snyder, a dietitian at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, adds that gluten-free foods are actually denser, and higher in sugar, fat, and harder-to-digest carbohydrates per serving than conventional foods, according to “Eat This, Not That.”

Here are other common food swaps that are actually doing more harm than good.

Granola for cereal: 70 percent of Americans view granola as healthy, according to a poll commissioned by The New York Times. Unfortunately, only 30 percent of nutritionists feel the same. Why? Granola is basically cereal with sugar on it. Many granola products actually carry the same amount of sugar as their cereal counterparts. Instead, try a low-sugar, high-fiber cereal which can give you a third of a day’s worth of recommended fiber intake.

Sandwich wrap for sliced bread: Most slices of bread contain roughly 100 calories, while many wraps can have two to three times that amount. Watch out for tortillas especially, as manufacturers often add fat in the form of soybean or hydrogenated oils to maintain flexibility. A burrito wrap from Chipotle contains over 600 milligrams of sodium, according to their online nutrition calculator. Stick to regular sandwich bread or swap out for a lettuce wrap instead.

Non-fat dairy for full fat: Non-fat dairy products often have fewer calories than full fat alternatives, but they aren’t be as filling so you may consume more. A review published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate full-fat foods were less likely to become obese or diabetic than those who opted for low-fat items. It’s important to remember that most vitamins are fat-soluble, which means you need to eat some healthy fats in order to reap their benefit.

Egg whites for whole eggs: Contrary to a long-held myth, egg yolks aren’t bad for you. Studies have found that cholesterol-rich eggs can actually lower LDL “bad” cholesterol because of their high concentration of healthy fats. The yolk contains fat-fighting nutrient choline.

Veggie burgers for meat: Unless you’re a vegetarian, stick with the animal-based burger. Veggie burgers tend to be low in protein and high in carbs, making them the less healthy choice. Veggie burgers, when sandwiched between two buns, can also cause a spike in blood sugar.

Turkey bacon for pork: Although turkey meat will save you about 13 calories and a gram of fat per slice, it adds a ton of sodium to your diet, which is not good if you have high blood pressure. Pork also offers more heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids than turkey does.

Almond milk for cow’s: Almond milk has significantly less protein and calcium than cow-based milk. Most almond milks are also sweetened with added sugars and contain emulsifiers like carrageenan that have been banned from organic products due to their connection to inflammatory bowel conditions.

No salad dressing for dressing: Good news for salad dressing lovers: You’re better off not skipping it. According to Iowa and Ohio State University researchers, a little bit of fat from dressing with your vegetables helps the body absorb cancer-fighting and heart-healthy nutrients. Stick to two tablespoons of an olive-oil based dressing for maximum health benefits.

Pressed juice for smoothies: When your sweet tooth kicks in, it’s better to opt for a piece of fruit or a smoothie than a pressed juice. Pressed juices don’t contain any digestion-slowing fiber but they do have a ton of carbs and sugar — two things that are best in small quantities. Instead, opt for a smoothie with a scoop of muscle-building protein powder and some chia seeds.

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Trump calls four GOP senators opposed to Republican health care bill ‘good guys’

US President Donald Trump is pictured. | Getty Images

President Donald Trump struck an optimistic tone for the prospects of the controversial health care bill in an interview that aired Friday morning. | Getty

06/23/2017 07:18 AM EDT

Updated 06/23/2017 09:40 AM EDT

The four Republican senators who have announced their opposition to Senate legislation that would repeal and replace Obamacare are “four good guys, and they’re four friends of mine,” President Donald Trump said in an interview that aired Friday morning, striking an optimistic tone for the prospects of the controversial bill.

“I think that they’ll probably get there. We’ll have to see,” Trump said Friday in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox Friends” that was recorded a day earlier. “I think we’re going to get there. We have four very good people that — it’s not that they’re opposed. They would like to get certain changes. And we’ll see if we can take care of that.”

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The four lawmakers — Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — announced together on Thursday that they could not support the repeal-and-replace legislation as written, but all left open to some extent the possibility that they could end up backing the bill with some changes.

Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the Senate, can afford to lose the support of just two members and still have their health care bill pass, potentially with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence. The legislation is almost certain to receive no Democratic support.

Should the Senate successfully pass its repeal-and-replace proposal, it would move congressional Republicans and the president one step closer to making good on a campaign promise to undo Obamacare. The House passed its own legislation to do so last month, although Senate Republicans opted to craft their own legislation that would have to be melded with the House version before making its way to the president’s desk.

Trump told Fox News that successful health care reform is a policy goal that has eluded his predecessors, noting that the administration of former President Bill Clinton was unable to accomplish it and Obamacare, the signature legislation of former President Barack Obama, has “failed” and it “virtually out of business.”

“You know, health care is a very difficult situation. If you look, the Clintons tried to get it and, after years and years, they couldn’t do it. Obamacare was murder for them to get, and now it’s failed,” he told Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt. “Well, I’ve done in five months what other people haven’t done in years. People have worked on health care for many years. It’s a very complicated situation from the standpoint you do something that’s good for one group but bad for another. It’s that very, very narrow path.”

Paul reiterated Friday morning on MSNBC that he was still opposed to the bill in its current form.

“I didn’t promise people I was going to replace it with a federal program or bailing out insurance companies … those fundamental flaws still remain,” the Kentucky senator said.

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Few feel they have good understanding of GOP health care plan

By Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto

As Republican leaders push forward to repeal and replace Obamacare, most Americans would prefer a public discussion take place in the Senate, feeling they don’t have a good understanding of what the plans would do. From what they do know, or anticipate, by two to one, more believe the plans will hurt them rather than help them. And the bill passed recently by the House gets majority disapproval.

Almost three quarters — including most Republicans – feel that Senate Republicans should discuss their health care plans publicly as they work on the bill. Republicans are, however, twice as likely as both Democrats and independents to endorse a private approach.


Perhaps this is because most Republicans, Democrats, and independents agree they haven’t heard enough to feel they have a good understanding of the Republicans’ plans yet.


Still looking for information, many start off as skeptical. Most Democrats and nearly a third of independents think the GOP health care plans will hurt them personally. More than half of Republicans anticipate no effect on them personally.


Women and lower-income Americans are particularly likely to say they will be hurt personally by the plans.

Few feel positively toward the bill recently passed by the House of Representatives. Overall, 32 percent approve of the bill, while 59 percent disapprove. Views are divided by partisanship.

Meanwhile, most Americans would prefer that Congress improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it, including half of Republicans who don’t want it repealed entirely. Overall, seven in ten say the law should either be kept in place or that it has some good things but needs changes to make it work better. Fewer than three in ten say Congress should repeal and replace it entirely.


This poll was conducted by telephone June 15-18, 2017 among a random sample of 1,117 adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. 

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone. 

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. 

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. 

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. 

CBS News poll toplines

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‘Practise yoga for good health’ – KARNATAKA – The Hindu

Deputy Commissioner Srirangaiah has said that every person should practise yoga to maintain good health and being active throughout life.

Speaking after inaugurating Yoga Day function organised by the district administration, zilla panchayat and Ayush Ministry of New Delhi at the Old Middle School Grounds here on Wednesday, he said that regular practice of yoga helps keep many diseases at bay.

Chitradurga Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Nitesh Patil, Assistant Commissioner Raghavendra and students from different schools and colleges took part in the programme.

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Trump: Senate health care bill ‘going to be very good’

06/22/2017 12:09 PM EDT

President Donald Trump on Thursday signaled support for the newly unveiled Senate GOP health care bill, saying “it’s going to be very good.”

His remarks come just hours after Senate Republicans revealed a discussion draft for their bill, which would repeal key aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

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Trump spoke at the American Leadership in Emerging Technology event, which was part of the administration’s “tech week” theme.

When asked if the bill has enough heart, Trump replied “A little negotiation, but it’s going to be very good,” according to a pool report.

Trump said he welcomes Democrats’ support, but slammed them for not offering any support to repeal their signature legislative item.

“Obamacare is dead and we’re putting a plan out today that is going to be negotiated,” Trump said. “We’d love to have some Democrats’ support but they’re obstructionists.”

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To Your Good Health: Remove mass on parotid gland sooner rather than later





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TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH: Remove mass parotid gland sooner rather than later

DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently was diagnosed with a benign pleomorphic adenoma of the parotid gland. My surgeon says that the mass should be removed, and explained many of the risks. The risks terrify me: Frey’s syndrome, facial paralysis, numbness.

My mass is 11 mm. Is that considered large? Could this mass be slow-growing, with little chance of it becoming cancerous? How long could I wait before agreeing to the surgery? — J.M.

ANSWER: I think I agree with your surgeon: Most masses like this should be removed. As with any procedure, there are risks and benefits. One risk is Frey’s syndrome (sweating around the face), which is a possible complication of the surgery. Another risk is damage to the facial nerve, which runs through the parotid, and damage to it during surgery can cause facial weakness and numbness.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that 11 mm is a small tumor, and the risks of complications are fairly low. For example, temporary facial nerve damage happens in 10 to 60 percent of surgeries (depending on size and proximity to the facial nerve), but 90 percent recover within one month. Permanent facial nerve damage occurs in 0 to 8 percent of cases in different studies.

Balanced against the risks of surgery are the risks of not doing surgery. Untreated, the tumor is likely to grow, making it harder and more dangerous to remove. However, there is always a small chance of transformation to a malignant tumor. If I had a patient in your situation, I likely would recommend surgery. If you are going to do surgery, it’s better to do so sooner.

DEAR DR. ROACH: What is insulin resistance? Is there such a thing? Does it cause belly fat? How do we get rid of it?

My husband and I are in our 70s, have belly fat, are overweight and are Type 2 diabetics. I take metformin, while my husband is on insulin. We take medications for cholesterol and blood pressure. No matter what we do, we cannot lose weight.

We hear about belly fat being caused by insulin resistance and the pills that remove it. Do doctors know about insulin resistance and treat their patients for it? — G. and B.

ANSWER: Insulin resistance is the primary defect of Type 2 diabetes, but insulin resistance happens before diabetes is diagnosed. The exact mechanism that causes it is not clear. However, it is clear that belly fat is strongly associated with insulin resistance, and that behaviors that reduce belly fat tend to reduce insulin resistance. The preponderance of the evidence is that belly fat is a major cause.

Doctors are increasingly aware of insulin resistance, but some medications we use tend to worsen it. It can happen because of weight gain, but some medicines, especially some of the ones used in psychiatry, can cause insulin resistance by themselves. Some medicines used for blood pressure, including some beta blockers and thiazide diuretics, can worsen insulin resistance as well. Niacin, used for cholesterol, worsens insulin resistance and makes blood sugar higher in a large number of people who take it. There usually are alternatives to these medications.

Exercise improves insulin resistance, even if you don’t lose weight. Avoiding excess dietary sugars, even “natural” sugars in fruit juices and honey, decreases your need for insulin. Some diabetes medications help reverse insulin resistance. One of them, metformin, is increasingly used to prevent diabetes in people with insulin resistance.

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Seven governors offer good health-care advice to Senate

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Ester Marsh: Proper hydration is important for good health

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A major health org just called coconut oil unhealthy

Coconut oil is a healthy girl’s pantry—and beauty—staple. So last week when the American Heart Association released a statement telling people to stop consuming it for better cardiovascular health, eyebrows were raised. It’s like someone saying avocados or sweet potatoes are bad. How could it be true?

The medical researchers who studied coconut oil, which led to the AHA’s statement, say it’s high in saturated fat, even more than butter, beef fat, and pork lard—which, for the record, they all considered unhealthy, too. “Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of cardiovascular disease, and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” its statement reads, in part.

“Coconut oil has not been shown to lower the risk for cardiovascular disease, and people are using it in huge and excessive quantities.”

But it’s worth noting that their claim is at odds with other scientific research that links coconut oil’s fatty acids with weight loss. And hey, butter can actually be good for you, too. What’s with all the mixed signals? I reached out to nutritionist Tracy Lockwood, RD to weigh in on the AHA’s claims, and she agreed with them: “Coconut oil has not been shown to lower the risk for cardiovascular disease, and people are using it in huge and excessive quantities.” Her advice is to go for unsaturated fats instead. “The data has proven time and time again how unsaturated fats can lower the risk for heart disease,” Lockwood says. “The Mediterranean Diet is the way to go.”

Not all experts believe saturated fat is bad, though. Many say it’s only unhealthy when consumed with foods high in sugar and carbs, which it often is. (Proponents of the Ketogenic Diet would surely agree.) In fact, “the [federal] dietary guidelines shifted in 2015, and there’s no longer a recommended cap on the intake of dietary fat,” says Minimal Wellness nutritionist Rebecca Shern, RD.

While experts are still at odds about how much coconut oil is healthy to consume, there’s one point that pretty much everyone agrees on: Using it on your skin and hair is genius.

If you want to stock up on pantry items that are definitively healthy, check out these vegan staples and these alternative flours.

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