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Chemists create chocolate with half the fat
August 14th, 2012
12:56 PM ET

Chemists create chocolate with half the fat

Chocoholics have been looking for the answer for years: Chocolate + ? = Cellulite-free thighs.

We just never thought chemists would be the ones to solve the equation.

Researchers in the United Kingdom have managed to cut the amount of fat needed to make chocolate in half, without losing any of the dessert’s delectable-ness. Their trade secrets were published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry this week.

The new chocolate formula contains small droplets of fruit juice, explains lead study author Dr. Stefan Bon. These droplets can replace up to 50% of the triglyceride fats found in cocoa butter and milk, similar to the way air bubbles reduce the density of Aero chocolate bars.
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Study: Vitamin D lowers bone-fracture risk only at high doses
July 4th, 2012
05:01 PM ET

Study: Vitamin D lowers bone-fracture risk only at high doses

If you're wondering whether to take a vitamin D supplement to keep your bones healthy, it's understandable if you - and even your doctor - are at a loss.

Vitamin D is essential for bone health, but the research on supplements has been inconsistent. Some studies have concluded that vitamin D supplements can lower the risk of bone fractures, while others suggest the pills provide little to no benefit.

The latest study on the topic, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, may help clear up some of the confusion.
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Coffee could cut skin cancer risk
July 2nd, 2012
07:52 AM ET

Coffee could cut skin cancer risk

Good news, java junkies: Researchers have found the more coffee you drink, the more you may be protecting yourself against skin cancer.

According to a new report published in the journal Cancer Research, drinking more caffeinated coffee could lower your chances of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.

Researchers analyzed data from the famous Nurses' Health Study on more than 112,000 people. One fourth of those studied had developed basal cell carcinoma over a 20 year period. Investigators found the more someone drank caffeinated coffee, (more than two cups a day) the lower their risk of developing this form of cancer.

Scientists noted caffeine seemed to be key factor, because tea, cola and chocolate, all of which contain caffeine also seemed to cut a person's risk.
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Watch out for the 2012 'Dirty Dozen'
June 19th, 2012
07:11 AM ET

Watch out for the 2012 'Dirty Dozen'

Apples and celery are still agriculture’s dirtiest pieces of produce, according to the Environmental Working Group’s annual “Dirty Dozen” report. The report names the fruits and vegetables ranking highest in pesticide residue.

Cucumbers were added to the 2012 Dirty Dozen, while Kale and collard greens were moved from the list to join green beans in a new “Plus” category.

The category was created this year to highlight crops that did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but are still commonly contaminated with organophosphate insecticides, which are toxic to the nervous system.

Also included on the Dirty Dozen list are:
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Wake-up call inspires backyard garden
June 15th, 2012
07:28 AM ET

Wake-up call inspires backyard garden

Editor's note: Madeline Martinez is joining dozens of iReporters who are documenting their journeys from garden to table. Stay up to date on her progress toward a more fruitful way of life on iReport.

Well before her diabetes diagnosis, Madeline Martinez knew her unhealthy eating habits were leading her down the wrong path.

Martinez, a 49-year-old corporate travel agent in Miami, Florida, was 120 pounds overweight — the result of years resorting to fast-food dinners after long days at the office.

When her endocrinologist delivered the news in February - Type 2 diabetes - she got serious. She ditched McDonald's and began shopping at Whole Foods and farmers' markets for organic produce.

Then she went a step further and bought a shovel.
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May 17th, 2012
12:14 PM ET

What to eat and drink when you exercise

"Diet and exercise" is a phrase that goes hand-in-hand with losing weight. But what you eat or drink before, during and after your workout is key to the weight loss process.

Whether you run marathons, bike to work or walk around your neighborhood a few times a week - if you really want to optimize your workout, it’s time to check in on your diet.

It’s all about moderation and balancing your food groups: protein and carbs, fruits and veggies, experts say.

So how do they all work together? FULL POST


USDA: Healthy food isn't really more expensive
May 17th, 2012
09:32 AM ET

USDA: Healthy food isn't really more expensive

We have many excuses for not eating healthy: I’m too busy. I don’t live near a grocery store. I can’t afford healthy food. I don’t know how to cook.

A new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service is taking one of those excuses off the table.

Previous studies have shown that eating junk food is cheaper than eating healthy food. But Andrea Carlson, lead author for the USDA study, said the way those researchers measured cost-effectiveness skewed the results.

Carlson and her team analyzed 4,439 foods in three different ways – price per calories (as previous studies had done), price per edible gram and price per average portion. Retail prices were based on Nielsen Homescan data. The average portion was determined from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The researchers found that when they used the price per calories analysis, fruits and vegetables appeared more expensive. “But this changes when you use other two,” Carlson said in a press call Wednesday.
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Battling junk food in high schools
May 11th, 2012
05:57 PM ET

Battling junk food in high schools

Five years ago, California passed some of the strongest school-food legislation in the nation in hopes of combating childhood obesity.

These rules limit the kinds of unhealthy foods that students can buy in vending machines or at a snack bar, which aren’t offered as part of lunch in the school's cafeteria.

The state is well-known for leading the nation with health trends, so it's no surprise that its legislators are out front when it comes to cutting back on junk food in schools. A new study shows their efforts may be working: High school students in California are eating fewer calories and less added sugar and fat during the school day than students from other states.
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Omega-3 may curb memory loss, study says
May 2nd, 2012
04:29 PM ET

Omega-3 may curb memory loss, study says

People who eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may significantly lower their risk of developing memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease, a new study has found.

Researchers recruited 1,219 people over age 65, and followed their dietary habits for more than a year.  Then they tested the subjects' blood for a protein called beta-amyloid, a protein is associated with memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, plaques and tangles which are found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients are actually clumps of this substance.

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Are sugar substitutes worse than the real thing?
April 27th, 2012
07:21 AM ET

Are sugar substitutes worse than the real thing?

Sweet tooth? You’re not alone. Sugary foods and beverages are delicious. But we’ve also learned they can be highly addictive and, too much of them, can take a serious toll on our health.

Today some of our favorite drinks, gum, baked goods, and candy are available in sugar-free versions. But that got me thinking...  are sugar substitutes any better for you than the real thing? I was not alone on this issue. I’ve received dozens of tweets and emails wondering if fake sugar can harm us, or worse, crave more food!

For some answers I turned to internist and physician nutrition specialist, Dr. Melina Jampolis. Her specialty is practiced by only 200 physicians in the United States. She focuses exclusively on nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention and treatment.
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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