Category Archives: health tips

Coffee drinkers enjoy life more

coffee potWhile coffee lovers everywhere might look at that headline and heartily agree – there may just be more to it than you’d think. Sure, drinking coffee might perk you up so you can be more present during your daily activities and interactions. And health benefits like decreased stroke risk and Type 2 diabetes risk could help you enjoy life more. But according to a new study, coffee drinkers enjoy life more because their coffee drinking might allow them to enjoy more life. Multiple cups of joe every day may help boost longevity.

“In our study, we found people who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had about a 15 percent lower [risk of premature] mortality compared to people who didn’t drink coffee,” says one of the study authors, nutrition researcher Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health. Decaf drinkers also saw benefits.
The findings, published in the journal Circulation, build on a body of evidence linking a coffee habit to potential health benefits.

Now, of course, it’s possible to overdo it with caffeine. Research has shown that consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine can interfere with sleep and create feelings of unease. And some of us are even more sensitive.

One study found that 200 milligrams of caffeine (the equivalent of about two cups of coffee) is an optimal amount to enhance cognitive function and mood among sleep-deprived people. But we don’t all metabolize caffeine the same way.

As we’ve reported, the caffeine amounts in coffee vary wildly. One analysis, conducted by Bruce Goldberger, found a 16-ounce cup of caffeinated coffee from Starbucks could contain anywhere from 250 milligrams to more than 500 milligrams of caffeine.

“Not everyone reacts to coffee in the same way,” says Andrew Maynard, who studies risk assessment at Arizona State University. He summarizes the benefits documented in this study as “small.”

He says this study does not prove cause and effect between drinking coffee and living longer. Rather, it points to an association. “There are a lot of unknowns as to what [may explain] the increase in life expectancy,” Maynard says.

Here’s a conversation from The Salt about the findings with study co-author Walter Willett, edited for length and clarity.

So, what do you think might explain this association? In the study, you point to compounds in coffee — such as lignans, quinides and magnesium — that may help reduce insulin resistance and inflammation. Prior studieshave pointed to these as well.

We’re not sure exactly how coffee is [linked] to all these benefits. The coffee bean itself is loaded with many different nutrients and phytochemicals. And my guess is that they’re working together to have some of these benefits.

We [see] similar benefits from caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. That’s important, because it suggests that caffeine is not responsible for [the benefit].

So this may be welcome news to people who drink decaf?

Yes, because too much [caffeinated] coffee can cause insomnia and loss of sleep, and that’s not a good thing!

The reduced risk of death was not seen among the coffee drinkers in your study who were smokers or former smokers.

Definitely. It’s extremely important to disentangle the effects of coffee from the effects of cigarette smoking.

So, what’s the take-home here? Is it that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle?

I think if people like coffee, it’s fine to include it [as part of your daily habit]. So, certainly, [people] should not feel guilty about moderate coffee consumption. It definitely can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
I wouldn’t suggest that someone who doesn’t like coffee go out and drink it.

Are you a coffee drinker? Are these findings likely to influence your own behaviors?

Well, I really like a good cup of coffee. But if I have more than two cups a day, I really don’t sleep as well. So, I’ve been switching more toward decaf or half decaf/half regular.

In this study, you also analyzed how coffee influenced the risk of specific diseases — or categories of diseases. What did you find?

We went beyond total mortality and looked at specific causes of death. And we found that people who drink moderate amounts of coffee have lower risk of [death] from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurologic disease [such as Parkinson's] and suicide.
Your findings come from data from two Nurses’ Health Studies, which included about 167,000 women. And it also looked at the 40,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
As you point out, the participants in these studies are about 95 percent white, largely middle-class and well-educated. Can you extrapolate to other populations?
Yes, I’m quite sure these findings would apply to other populations. This is a biological relationship. And we basically have a common biology. is always happy to see more good news associated with our favorite hot beverage. And while it’s always important for all of us to understand how much is too much, it certainly appears that there’s a lot more going on in that cup than just the caffeine!

Suffering from seasonal allergies? Probiotics might help.

woman-yogurt-bed-150504The season is upon us. After an especially long, cold and snowy winter, millions of people here in the U.S. are greeting the change in seasons with a chorus of sneezing, watery eyes and runny noses. Seasonal allergies have arrived and with them, the attempt to find a way to stop them. Could eating yogurt or taking probiotic supplements be helpful?

Researchers analyzed the results from more than 20 previous studies and found that hay fever sufferers may get some benefits from using probiotics, improving their symptoms and quality of life.

But the jury is still out about whether probiotics are actually an effective treatment for people with seasonal allergies, said lead author Dr. Justin Turner, an ear-nose-and-throat surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Additional high-quality studies are needed before doctors would recommend for or against using probiotics to help treat people with seasonal allergies, Turner said.

Probiotics are bacteria that are thought to help maintain a healthy gut. They are found in certain foods, such as yogurt with live active cultures, kefir and sauerkraut, and also supplements. Probiotics may change the balance of bacteria in the intestines in a way that could protect the immune system from flaring up in response to pollens and other allergens, which may help reduce allergy symptoms, Turner said.

But he also cautioned that there is still much more information that needs to be understood about the effect of probiotics on the immune system.

Seasonal allergies are estimated to affect approximately 50 million Americans, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes are typically treated with a combination of medications, including antihistamines, decongestants and steroid nasal sprays.

In the new study, published online in April in the journal International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, researchers reviewed data from 23 randomized trials and more than 1,900 people.

They found that the majority of these studies (17 of 23) showed that people with seasonal allergies who took probiotic supplements or ate foods containing probiotics showed improvement in at least one outcome measure, such as improving their allergy symptoms, or their general quality of life, compared with allergy sufferers who took a placebo.

Six of 23 studies found probiotics had no benefit to people with hay fever, the researchers said.

But because the studies used different strains of live bacteria, different dosages and different probiotic supplement formulations over different periods of time, it is difficult to make any formal recommendations about probiotic use, bacterial strains or length of treatment that may benefit people with seasonal allergies, Turner said.

Even if probiotics prove effective for seasonal allergies, it’s unlikely they would replace the standard medical treatments currently used by people affected by them, Turner said.

While more research is needed, wants to point out that for seasonal allergy sufferers, it’s easy enough to determine if probiotics can help you. Yogurt is simple enough to add into your diet. And the majority of these studies did yield results that illustrates the addition as a viable option. Over-the-counter medication for seasonal allergies can keep us awake, put us to sleep, raise our blood pressure, and make us thirsty — not to mention that most contain ingredients we’re not very fond of. Testing out the probiotic concept seems to be more than a reasonably good idea!

Have a healthier Thanksgiving! Common sense ideas that DON’T involve avoiding your favorite holiday foods

shutterstock_224254609-676x450In every corner of America, Thanksgiving will see families and friends sitting down to a marvelous and overindulgent feast. Thursday will involve turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables and pies. The preparation of these favorites rarely, if ever, takes into consideration calories, fat, sodium or sugar. It’s a fact, we expect to indulge over the holidays. We even look forward to it.

But, how can we allow ourselves to enjoy that indulgence without the traditional late day “food coma” or the possible weight gain that can easily accompany a meal that some experts have estimated contains an average of 4500 calories?

Here are a few ideas that can help you through your Thanksgiving feast while still maintaining some reasonable standards.

1. Drink Water Through Out the Day
The holidays might make you forget about the most basic need of your body: hydration. Be sure to sip water through out the day to stay hydrated. In addition to staying hydrated, you won’t be as hungry in the face of all those holiday treats.

2. Switch to Sea Salt (And Use Less of It)
The white table salt commonly used at home is the result of many refining processes that leaves us with “dead salt” laden with chemical additives. You can add more healthy minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium to your diet instantly by making the switch to sea salt.

3. Load Up On Cranberries, Not Sugar
These little red berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels in berries, and their bright anthocyanin pigments may also act as antioxidants. For a healthier cranberry sauce, try adding a cup of orange juice and a cup of honey instead of sugar.

4. Skip the Turkey Skin
If you are eating turkey, be choosy about what parts you consume. A single serving of white, skinless turkey (about a size of a deck of cards) has about 160 calories and 4 grams of fat, whereas dark turkey breast meat with skin contains twice the amount of fat and 70 more calories.

5. Stick to Whole Grains
Scientists have found that a diet consisting mainly of whole grains can help lower blood pressure and may help with weight control. Whole grains may also help decrease the risk of heart disease. Yet more than 40 percent of Americans do not consume any whole grains in their diet, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Instead of loading up on white breads and rice, opt for whole-grain products such as brown or wild rice and whole wheat bread.

6. Don’t Forget Your Greens
You may be excited about the turkey, potatoes and gravy, but don’t forget to have some fresh, colorful salads on the table. In general, Americans consume less vegetables than the recommended five servings per day, so give your family the option of a fresh salad with at least three colors (orange, green and red) for an abundant dose of antioxidants and vitamins.

7. Ditch the Dairy Dessert
Ice cream may seem like a necessary companion to pumpkin pie, but it might not be the best option after an already decadent feast. According to FDA’s standards, ice cream must contain at least 10 percent (mostly milk) fat content. Eliminate the fat and cholesterol in your dessert and reduce unpleasant side effects of dairy (such as skin irritation and upset stomach) by switching to organic soy, rice, or coconut ice cream.

8. Listen To Your Stomach
Finally, a simple but effective rule of thumb for festive eating: know when your stomach is full. When your brain starts justifying eating one more bite because it “tastes so good,” it’s time to put the fork down.

A few small suggestions that might leave you feeling much better on Friday morning! wants to point out that no one is suggesting that you forego the candied yams or your favorite stuffing. Instead, you can skip the turkey skin, use less salt and drink more water and you can help yourself avoid the 4500 calorie price tag that might be attached to your Thanksgiving feast!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Surprising health benefits of fasting

"The spoon and fork with a chain and padlock on a white background"If you haven’t tried it, you’ve probably thought about it. You may even have friends who speak highly of it. And you’ve definitely read about its benefits — weight loss and renewed energy to name just a few. That big “it” we’re talking about is fasting. Three day fasts have become incredibly popular. And while it’s not an easy undertaking, people are thrilled with the results. Today, though, learned that fasting may well do more than help with some quick weight loss and energy rejuvenation.

Fasting for three days can kick-start stem cells into a rejuvenation mode that can bolster the immune system, especially for the elderly and those undergoing chemotherapy, according to new research from University of Southern California.

The research results of blood vessel cells’ ability to repair and re-grow damaged tissues and organs were discussed at a recent conference, “Ansary Stem Cell Symposium: Is Regenerative Medicine Ready for Prime Time?”.

“The results suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy,” said Tanya Dorff, a co-author of the research published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

The study reveals those fasting for a few days can regenerate their entire immune system as it creates new white blood cells critical for battling infection.

“When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” states Valter Longo, corresponding author of the study and a professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the USC Davis School of Gerontology.

While there have been studies stating that fasting is not a good thing, in this case it can prove beneficial, say the researchers given the immune system is not healthy either due to age or chemotherapy.

“While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy,” states a release on the study.

The fasting, whether for two or four days, drives the human body into a “survival” mode in which it begins using up stores of sugar and fat and also breaks down old cells.

“With a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system,” Longo said.

But fasting shouldn’t be something done often and deserves further research, states the report.

Fascinating information … as well as a some reasonable explanation for the quick weight loss and energizing effects of a short fast. We’re pretty sure that most who undertake the endeavor never assumed that the immune system could be positively affected by what they probably considered a quick weight loss effort. We’ll definitely be looking for more research into these surprising benefits of fasting.

Happy National Nutrition Month! How do you “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right?”

eatting right.jpgMarch is National Nutrition Month. This is the time for us all to focus on broadening our nutritional awareness and our healthy eating habits. This year’s theme, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” is also encouraging us to focus on the flavor of healthy eating. thinks that this is a great new direction for the occasion! Too many Americans still associate healthy eating with a lack of flavor. Some of us even have some bad memories of our moms attempting to include different versions of health foods into family favorites. My own mom was no exception. Many decades ago, when adding bran to your diet was a popular, healthy addition, my mother got a little carried away. Growing up in an Italian household, meatballs were a Sunday meal staple. She decided to substitute bran for the bread in her meatballs one Sunday. It was rather unforgettable and it would be difficult to accurately describe the look on my dad’s face when he bit into a meatball. If you know anything about Italian Sunday meals, you know they’re rather long, boisterous affairs. That one wasn’t. At all.

We’ve come so far in defining healthy eating and healthy habits. These many decades later, there are so many flavorful ways to incorporate healthy foods (and healthy cooking) into our diets. We can “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” without sacrificing taste or meal satisfaction. So we want to share some ideas with our community to help you get the most enjoyment from your healthy diet.

Fruit in the fridge
Apples, pears, bananas, grapes, peaches, apricots, cherries, melons, berries … we love them all. We sometimes notice though, that we don’t get as much of them as we would if we have them readily available. Many of us like to choose a variety of them, slice up those that aren’t bite size and mix them together in a container to keep in the fridge. Great mid-afternoon snack. Perfect for taking care of a little craving after dinner.

Parfaits for breakfast
They’re appealing. They’re tasty. And when you make them yourself, they’re healthy. Good quality plain yogurt, low-fat granola and the fruit of your choice make for an interesting and satisfying breakfast. Kids love these, too. They look like dessert!

Meatless Monday
We really like this idea. With all the research that’s come out regarding plant-based diets, the mediterranean diets and the benefits of plant-based proteins, many of us here really enjoy reserving one day of the week for meatless meals. It allows us to be creative and experiment. This winter we’ve enjoyed a variety of soups — mushroom barley, potato, tomato and broccoli to name just a few. Beans and root vegetables can make a great, flavorful stew. Let’s move away from the idea that vegetarian meals can’t be hearty and delicious.

Nuts and seeds
In the last twelve months or so we’ve seen some great, meaningful research some out about a variety of nuts and seeds. Walnuts, almonds and chia seeds come to mind, but there are so many options. Sprinkle them in oatmeal or yogurt. Enjoy them over salads. Incorporate them into sauces. They add a distinctive crunch and depth of flavor to whatever dish in which they’re included!

Kids in the kitchen
Looking for ways to encourage your kids to make better food choices? Get them cooking! Kids are naturally creative souls and there’s no better way to put that creativity to work. Their involvement in food preparation actually helps them to try new foods and gets them excited about their meals. Even if they’re not old enough to slice and dice, there are still many different ways they can help out. They can learn to measure and mix ingredients, choose different herbs and spices and help to create new recipes. They’ll love it and you’ll have a great time. And who knows, with a little encouragement you may have a future Bobby Flay or Mario Batali in the family!

However you choose to celebrate National Nutrition Month, make it healthy and delicious for the whole family! “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” throughout March and all year long!

Low-fat yogurt linked to lower risk of Type 2 diabetes

There are so many yogurts in the refrigerator section of our grocery stores these days. You can find fruit yogurts, chocolate yogurts, coffee yogurts, yogurts that taste like apple pie, or red velvet cake … the list is endless. Sadly, we seem to have lost sight of the idea that yogurt was one of the original health foods. It didn’t become popular because of calorie content, it became popular because of health benefits. The first record of possible health benefits from yogurt was in the 1500s. The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire sent his doctor with yogurt to Francois I, the King of France, to cure his intestinal disorder. It worked.

The majority of yogurts available today, however, don’t resemble the yogurt that was around in the 1500s. Just check the database and you’ll find yogurts with numerous controversial ingredients that you’re probably trying to avoid in your diet. There are some, though, that remind us that yogurt is supposed to be a healthy food. A new report has been released that points to the health benefits of low-fat yogurt.

Researchers found that people who ate low-fat fermented dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese slashed their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 24% compared to those who didn’t eat those foods. The 11-year study also showed that yogurt by itself could help ward off the disease. Those who ate low-fat fermented dairy products were 24 percent less likely to develop diabetes.

Eating yogurt and low-fat cheese can cut the risk of developing diabetes by around a quarter compared with consuming none, according to a study of 3,500 Britons published on Wednesday.

The evidence comes from a long-term health survey of men and women living in the eastern county of Norfolk, whose eating and drinking habits were detailed at the start of the investigation.

During the study’s 11-year span, 753 people in the group developed adult-onset, also called Type 2, diabetes. Those who ate low-fat fermented dairy products — a category that includes yogurts, fromage frais and low-fat cottage cheese — were 24 percent less likely to develop the disease compared to counterparts who ate none of these products.

When examined separately from the other low-fat dairy products, yogurt by itself was associated with a 28-percent reduced risk.

People in this category ate on average four and a half standard (4.4-ounce) pots of yogurt each week.

Only low-fat, fermented dairy products were associated with the fall in risk. Consumption of high-fat fermented products, and of milk, had no impact.

The new report is a reminder for us all that enjoying a good quality yogurt as part of our regular diet can, indeed benefit our health. Of course, we’d have to assume that would probably remove key lime pie or strawberry cheesecake yogurt from the list of available options. But most of us who are concerned about diet and nutrition probably weren’t eating those anyway!

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Foods that work to ease your headaches

When you feel a headache coming on, you’re most likely going to reach for acetaminophen, motrin or aspirin. You might try taking a nap. Or if you have sinus troubles, you may take an over-the-counter medication designed to help ease your congestion. But there are more natural ways to take the pain away. Next time, try some of these ideas and you may just beat the headache as a result!

Caffeinated coffee can actually combat headache pain. While many think this remedy is unfounded, it really isn’t. Caffeein can reduce the size of blood vessels that have expanded to cause a headache. It can work. But you’ve got to drink that coffee cautiously. Since coffee is a natural diuretic, drinking too much can dehydrate your body and make your headache worse. Drink a cup, not a mug and wait to see if it’s had the desired effect.

When we dehydrate, one of the unpleasant side effects can be a headache. Rehydration can often reduce or eliminate the pain. But water isn’t the only thing you should reach for. Watermelon is a water-rich fruit, but it also contains magnesium, which has proven to be effective for headaches as well.

Baked Potatoes
Did you know that a lack of potassium can be responsible for chronic headaches? While the first food we think of in terms of rich potassium sources is a banana, there are some foods that will give you an even bigger potassium boost. Baked potatoes contain 725mg of potassium each. A banana contains 465. Try a baked potato for your next headache.

Much like caffeine works to constrict blood vessels that have expanded during a headache, almonds can relax blood vessels. This is considered to be a preventative effect. So if you include more almonds in your diet, you’ll experience less frequent headaches.

Sinus headaches can be particularly painful and frequent during certain seasons of the year. Congestion is the culprit here and many who experience sinus headaches will say that the pressure and pain can be intense and unique. To target congestion, spicy foods like salsa can actually help to clear congestion and reduce pressure. But you’ve got to make sure that it’s a spicy salsa, not mild. It’s the hot ingredients that do the trick.

Spinach isn’t just full of iron, it also contains magnesium and potassium, proven to help relieve headache pain. So you can ease your pain by eating the vegetable, or you can incorporate it into juices or smoothies. It will work just as well.

These simple foods are a great way to help your headache heal naturally, without having to rely on over-the-counter medications. If you’re prone to headaches, there can sometimes be unpleasant effects from taking those meds often. Little things like a strange taste in your mouth, or dried out nasal passages, fatigue or the inability to sleep are all fairly common. hopes you’ll try some natural approaches that will help the pain without the problems!

Live long and prosper. Eat cranberries!

It isn’t often that a study is published that speaks directly to foods that extend longevity. Of course we understand that our lifestyles play a significant role in our life span, as does our genetic history. But a recent study has reported that supplementing our diets with cranberries can have an influence on life span, and it’s pretty fascinating.

Published last month in Experimental Gerontology, researchers report that cranberry supplementation reduces cancer-causing oxidative damage and oxidative stress response in fruit flies. The health benefits of the supplement were significant enough to lower age-specific mortality rate and extend the lifespan of the fly during any of the three life stages of the insect; health, transition, and senescence. In humans, these stages equate to young adulthood, middle age, and old age.

Researchers felt that the long-lasting effect of cranberry supplementation is probably to to its ability to change signaling pathways and epigenetic status. The findings suggest that cranberries may be a viable option for aging interventions in humans of different ages. The three life stages in question reflect distinct changes that occur as we age. At the molecular level, these adjustments involve gene expression and oxidative damage to important molecules in our body. These stages pertain to how our cells become less able to handle metabolism and stress over time. The behavioral and cognitive aspects to aging are associated with a decline in locomotor activity, learning and memory.

Authors noted that it’s challenging to develop effective aging interventions. Often an intervention starting in young adulthood might be costly and impractical to implement and may miss interventions that are effective in certain life stages.

For example, curcumin — a substance in the popular South Asian spice turmeric — was discovered to be beneficial when implemented early in life (the health stage) but harmful if given late in late life (the transition or senescence stage). Conversely, the molecule sodium butyrate was shown to have the opposite effect by increasing lifespan when given during later life stages of the fruit fly, but not earlier.

In the current study, researchers fed a high-sugar diet supplemented with 2 percent cranberry extract to groups of 100 to 200 flies that were sequestered in separate vials. Flies that were given the cranberry supplement during the health stage had a 25 percent longer lifespan than flies that didn’t receive any cranberry in their diet. Flies in the transition and senescence phases of their lives also benefited from having cranberry in their diet, living 30 percent longer than controls.

Overall, the study was the first to show the beneficial effects of cranberry supplement regardless of age. “To our knowledge, cranberry is the first case showing that a pharmaceutical or nutraceutical can promote longevity when administered during any of the three distinct life stages,” the authors concluded. “Future studies are warranted to determine how cranberry extends lifespan during different life stages. Such studies are important because different mechanisms may be involved during different life stages.”

So if cranberries are a part of our regular diet throughout our lives, there may be significant benefits for our life span. That’s a big advantage to be gained from such a small berry. And likes the idea that we can cook with the fresh berries, or add some dried to our salads and vegetable dishes, or enjoy a good quality cranberry juice. Antioxident power. Tart, interesting flavor. Great color and texture. And now cranberries might help us live longer, too!

Avocados can help between meal hunger

Good fats from lean proteins, vegetables and legumes add a lot to our health and our diets. But we have to admit, some are even tastier than others — and present numerous interesting possibilities to add flavor to our meals. At, we’re big fans of avocados for those very reasons.

Technically a fruit, avocados can substitute easily for sandwich spreads, or added to salads or stuffed with tuna or chicken. They can be incorporated into salad dressings, added to home made salsa or combined with with vegetables for new and different flavors. We’ve always appreciated how this good-for-you food can be enjoyed in so many ways.

Now it appears that the addition of avocado to your meals can help you curb between meal hunger.

Research published in the November issue of the Nutrition Journal showed that overweight people who ate half of a fresh avocado with their lunch were more likely feel full and not want to snack more after their meal.

According to the study’s authors, this might help with weight management and may even reduce risk for disease, like Type 2 diabetes.

“Satiety is an important factor in weight management, because people who feel satisfied are less likely to snack between meals,” lead researcher Dr. Joan Sabate, chair of the department of nutrition at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif., said in a press release. “We also noted that though adding avocados increased participants’ calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch, there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was observed after eating the standard lunch. This leads us to believe that avocados potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation.”

The study involved 26 overweight but otherwise healthy adults who were asked to include avocados in their lunch either by replacing an item they would have eaten with the fruit, or eating avocado in addition to their regular meal.

Those that added half of an avocado were found to be 40 percent less likely to want to snack after lunch over a three-hour period, and 28 percent less likely to munch on something else up to five hours after the meal, compared to when they didn’t eat the avocado.

Avocado-eaters also were found to report more meal satisfaction, about 26 percent higher up to three hours after the meal, compared to after eating a standard lunch.

The researchers said that more studies need to be conducted to be able to say for sure that the results would be applicable to the average person,. They want to look deeper at avocados’ effects at glucose and insulin levels, which are markers for diabetes.

This is a great idea for those of us who find ourselves looking for a little something extra between lunch and dinner. Try adding avocados to your lunch. You’ll not only be adding high levels of antioxidants, folate and fiber to your meal. You may just find yourself feeling fuller, longer!

McDonald’s tells its employees not to eat McDonald’s

McDonald’s maintains a resource website specifically for its employees.  Sadly, that site has recently been giving tips lately that its employees haven’t exactly appreciated.  A few of the special nuggets of advice have been telling workers to work a second job and sell their belongings for quick cash.

But the latest advice given by the website is actually helpful — although odd, considering the source.  McDonald’s employee website is advising its workers not to eat McDonald’s.  Actually, it doesn’t refer specifically to McDonald’s, but does explain the unhealthy nature of a fast food meal … and tells workers to avoid such meals.

An image posted on the site labels a McDonald’s-like meal of hamburger, fries, and a coke as an “unhealthy choice,” and warns employees against consuming such foods, which are “almost always high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt.”

“It is hard to eat a healthy diet when you eat at fast-food restaurants often,” the site goes on to say. “Many foods are cooked with a lot of fat, even if they are not trans fats. Many fast-food restaurants do not offer any lower-fat foods. Large portions also make it easy to overeat. And most fast food restaurants do not offer many fresh fruits and vegetables.”

“In general,” the site suggests, “eat at places that offer a variety of salads, soups, and vegetables.”

In a statement made to CNBC, McDonald’s insisted the website’s tips “continue to be taken entirely out of context.”

Not exactly sure what could be “out of context” about advising employees that fast food is an unhealthy choice. thinks it’s actually very good advice.   We also think that perhaps this could have just been a big mix-up and the firm McDonald’s hired to publish content to their employee site didn’t actually realize that the content was, in fact, meant for the employees of a fast food chain.  There are any number of possibilities here.  But we think the obvious take away might just be that McDonald’s is trying to steer their own employees away from the products they serve every day.  Which, when it comes right down to it, really says a mouthful.