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COMMENTARY: COVID-19 Diary Day 2: Insomnia -- The Mark of Medical Practice  - web md

COMMENTARY: COVID-19 Diary Day 2: Insomnia -- The Mark of Medical Practice

Don Dizon shares how he is dealing with the pandemic, knowing that despite COVID-19, people still need care, chemotherapy needs to be administered, and new patients are still coming in for evaluation.
web md - 15 hours ago
COVID-19 Hitting Some African American Communities Harder  - web md

COVID-19 Hitting Some African American Communities Harder

In states such as Michigan and Louisiana, as well as in cities like Chicago and Milwaukee, African American people are making up a disproportionately large number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, officials say.
web md - 15 hours ago
What’s it like to be a healthcare worker in a pandemic? - harvard

What’s it like to be a healthcare worker in a pandemic?

Millions of healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus have a much higher risk of becoming infected, and are being put in further danger due to shortages of protective equipment, but they continue to do their jobs while adapting to current conditions. The post What’s it like to be a healthcare worker in a pandemic? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 16 hours ago
No School Forces Many Medical Workers to Stay Home  - web md

No School Forces Many Medical Workers to Stay Home

About 29% of U.S. health care workers have children between 3 and 12 years of age, the analysis showed. In households without a non-working adult or a sibling age 13 or older to care for them, 15% of health care workers will require child care if schools close.
web md - 2 days ago
Mysterious Heart Damage Hitting COVID-19 Patients  - web md

Mysterious Heart Damage Hitting COVID-19 Patients

Most of the attention in the COVID-19 pandemic has been on how the virus affects the lungs. But evidence shows that up to 1 in 5 infected patients have signs of heart damage and many are dying due to heart problems.
web md - 2 days ago
Patients on Steroids With COVID-19 Might Need Rescue Steroids  - web md

Patients on Steroids With COVID-19 Might Need Rescue Steroids

Those on steroids because of known adrenal disease, and for more common ailments, may need additional 'stress' doses of IV corticosteroids in the case of severe infection with COVID-19, endocrinologists urge.
web md - 2 days ago
Lifestyle changes are important even if you take medications - harvard

Lifestyle changes are important even if you take medications

People who are prescribed medication for high cholesterol or high blood pressure may be more likely to gain weight and less likely to exercise, but for those who are on such medications, it's even more important to commit to making healthier lifestyle choices. The post Lifestyle changes are important even if you take medications appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 days ago
Test for Coronavirus Antibodies Approved by FDA  - web md

Test for Coronavirus Antibodies Approved by FDA

The test checks for protective antibodies in a finger prick of blood, revealing whether a patient has ever been exposed to the coronavirus and now may have some immunity, The New York Times reported.
web md - 5 days ago
COMMENTARY: NYU Med Student Joins COVID Fight:

COMMENTARY: NYU Med Student Joins COVID Fight: 'Time to Step Up'

New York med schools asked fourth-year students to graduate early and volunteer to help battle COVID. One student discusses how he weighed the potential life-or-death decision to join the front lines.
web md - 5 days ago
Coronavirus Hangs Around After Symptoms Subside  - web md

Coronavirus Hangs Around After Symptoms Subside

It took about five days from the time patients were infected until symptoms appeared, and about eight days before they disappeared. Patients were contagious for one to eight days, the researchers said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.
web md - 5 days ago
WalMart Will Check All Workers

WalMart Will Check All Workers' Temperatures

Employees with a temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit will be sent home for at least three days and may be advised to seek medical treatment. The workers will be paid for showing up for work, CBS News reported.
web md - 6 days ago
In Some Cases, COVID-19 May Harm the Brain  - web md

In Some Cases, COVID-19 May Harm the Brain

It's believed the brain can be damaged by viral infection whenever a patient's immune system overreacts to the virus. This immune system hyperactivity triggers a "cytokine storm" -- an overproduction of immune cells and their activating compounds, known as cytokines.
web md - 6 days ago
How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19? - harvard

How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19?

Initial investigation into COVID-19 focused on its respiratory effects, but a more recent report describes serious cardiovascular complications in people with pre-existing heart disease. How does this underlying condition increase risk for these people? The post How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 6 days ago
Top 10 Must-Dos in ICU in COVID-19 Include Prone Ventilation  - web md

Top 10 Must-Dos in ICU in COVID-19 Include Prone Ventilation

With new European Society of Intensive Care Medicine guidelines on caring for critically ill COVID-19 patients covering more than 50 recommendations, Medscape asked one author for his essential top 10.
web md - 6 days ago
Top 10 Tips for Diabetes Telehealth Prophetic in Face of COVID-19  - web md

Top 10 Tips for Diabetes Telehealth Prophetic in Face of COVID-19

A new article sets the stage for routine virtual diabetes visits, offering 10 top tips that will undoubtedly be of use for transforming care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and likely for long afterwards.
web md - 6 days ago
Abortion Access Shifting in Some States Amid COVID-19  - web md

Abortion Access Shifting in Some States Amid COVID-19

In addition to challenges the coronavirus pandemic already poses to women seeking healthcare, several states have included surgical abortions as restricted procedures in executive orders related to COVID-19.
web md - 6 days ago
Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain - harvard

Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain

The FDA has not yet released the results of its testing of the heartburn medication ranitidine. The testing method used by the online pharmacy that originally alerted the FDA may have affected their results. The post Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 6 days ago
Taking Stock - positively positive

Taking Stock

My intention is to walk this part of my life’s journey with a tremendous amount of compassion for myself and others. To navigate with as much positivity as I can muster, to set the intention to come out the other side knowing myself more, connecting a bit more deeply with the world outside my door even if it is over Zoom, and realizing that when push comes to shove, we sure as hell do know how to come together when faced with a difficult time. The post Taking Stock appeared first on Positively Positive.
positively positive - 1 week ago
FDA Requests Zantac Be Pulled From the Market  - web md

FDA Requests Zantac Be Pulled From the Market

Six months after independent testing first raised the possibility that popular heartburn drug ranitidine (Zantac) might break down into the powerful carcinogen n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), the FDA has asked for the removal of all ranitidine products from the market.
web md - 1 week ago
EPA Didn’t Tell Residents About Gas Risks: Report  - web md

EPA Didn’t Tell Residents About Gas Risks: Report

A new government report has rebuked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to tell residents about the health risks they face by living near facilities that release cancer-causing ethylene oxide gas.
web md - 1 week ago
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harvard
What are ultra-processed foods and are they bad for our health?

What are ultra-processed foods and are they bad for our health?

harvard - 2 months ago

You hear it all the time: the advice to eat less processed food. But what is processed food? For that matter, what is minimally processed food or ultra-processed food? And how do processed foods affect our health?

What are processed and ultra-processed foods?

Unprocessed or minimally processed foods are whole foods in which the vitamins and nutrients are still intact. The food is in its natural (or nearly natural) state. These foods may be minimally altered by removal of inedible parts, drying, crushing, roasting, boiling, freezing, or pasteurization, to make them suitable to store and safe to consume. Unprocessed or minimally processed foods would include carrots, apples, raw chicken, melon, and raw, unsalted nuts.

Processing changes a food from its natural state. Processed foods are essentially made by adding salt, oil, sugar, or other substances. Examples include canned fish or canned vegetables, fruits in syrup, and freshly made breads. Most processed foods have two or three ingredients.

Some foods are highly processed or ultra-processed. They most likely have many added ingredients such as sugar, salt, fat, and artificial colors or preservatives. Ultra-processed foods are made mostly from substances extracted from foods, such as fats, starches, added sugars, and hydrogenated fats. They may also contain additives like artificial colors and flavors or stabilizers. Examples of these foods are frozen meals, soft drinks, hot dogs and cold cuts, fast food, packaged cookies, cakes, and salty snacks.

According to a study published in The BMJ, ultra-processed foods are the main source (nearly 58%) of calories eaten in the US, and contribute almost 90% of the energy we get from added sugars.

How do processed foods affect our health?

A recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism compared the effects of an ultra-processed diet to the effects of an unprocessed diet on calorie intake and weight gain. The study involved 20 heathy, overweight adults staying at a medical facility. Each study participant received an ultra-processed diet and an unprocessed diet for 14 days each. During each diet phase, the study subjects were presented with three daily meals and were instructed to consume as much or as little as desired. Up to 60 minutes was allotted to consume each meal, with snacks (either ultra-processed or unprocessed, depending on the study phase) available throughout the day.

The meals were matched across the diets for total calories, fat, carbohydrate, protein, fiber, sugars, and sodium. The big difference was the source of calories: in the ultra-processed diet phase, 83.5% of calories came from ultra-processed food; in the unprocessed diet phase, 83.3% of calories came from unprocessed foods.

The researchers found that study subjects consumed about 500 more calories per day on the ultra-processed diet versus the unprocessed diet. The ultra-processed diet period was marked by an increased intake of carbohydrate and fat, but not protein. Participants gained on average two pounds during the ultra-processed diet phase, and lost two pounds during the unprocessed diet phase. The authors concluded that limiting ultra-processed foods may be an effective strategy for preventing and treating obesity.

The study did have several limitations. For one thing, with only 20 participants, this was a very small study. For another, there was significant variation in individual responses to the two diets. Eleven people gained extreme weight on the ultra-processed diet as much as 13 pounds over 14 days while a few participants saw no weight gain. Its also unclear how generalizable the results are to a wider population, because the study did not include people with chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes. In addition, the study was done in a clinical research setting, which could have affected their eating behavior (the study subjects may have been more isolated and bored than in their natural environments).

Another study, this one published in The BMJ, examined representative dietary records of more than 100,000 French adults over a five-year period. They found that those who consumed more ultra-processed foods had higher risks of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. These results remained statistically significant even after the researchers adjusted for the nutritional quality of the diet (considering factors such as the amount saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and dietary fiber in the diets). Although large observational studies do not prove cause and effect, the research does suggest an association between ultra-processed diets and heart disease.

Learn to identify processed foods

Whenever possible, try to avoid or limit ultra-processed foods. Consider the examples in this table to help you quickly determine if a food is minimally processed, processed, or ultra-processed.

Minimally processed Processed Ultra-processed
Corn Canned corn Corn chips
Apple Apple juice Apple pie
Potato Baked potato French fries
Carrot Carrot juice Carrot cake
Wheat Flour Cookies

The post What are ultra-processed foods and are they bad for our health? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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