Healthy Tips

At Omega Medical Center, we believe that every person should take an active role in ensuring his or her own good health. To that end, we are pleased to provide information on a variety of health topics that will help reduce the risk of injury and illness and enhance well-being and vitality. The right information followed by the right actions are necessary components to a healthy life.

Don't think that the new Pepsi Natural, which is sweetened with "natural sugar," is any healthier than sodas sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

A report from the University of California, Berkeley noted that it still has 38 grams of sugar (almost 10 teaspoons) and 150 calories per 12-ounce bottle — the same as other sodas.  Since HFCS has been blamed for rising rates of obesity and other health problems, some manufacturers are returning to regular sugar (sucrose), hoping to give their products a better image and charge a premium price.  But there is debate whether HFCS is significantly worse than sucrose.  The main problem with HFCS is that we’re consuming so much of it.  Switching to regular sugar won’t help.

Before cutting a cantaloupe or any melon, wash it with cool running water and a scrub brush.

Food poisoning from Salmonella and other bacteria has been liked to melons, reports The School of Public Health in Berkeley, California.  If the unwashed rind is contaminated, the knife can drag the bacteria into the fruit, or your hands can spread them.  Refrigerate cut melon.  It can be left unrefrigerated at a buffet or picnic for up to four hours; after that, discard it.  At markets, buy cut melon only if refrigerated.  Unlike most fruit, melons are not acidic, so bacteria can thrive on them when they are cut up and not kept cold.

People who eat the most red meat (averaging at least 5 ounces a day) are about one-third more likely to die prematurely than those eating little or no red meat

That's according to a 10-year study of more than half a million members of AARP and reported by the University of California.  This was true even when factors such as education, weight, smoking, physical activity and other major dietary variables were taken into account.  The greatest increase in mortality rate was for cardiovascular disease, followed by cancer.  High consumption of processed meat had a similar effect.  However, people who ate the most poultry and fish had a slightly decreased mortality rate.

Exercise reduces the risk of colon cancer and possibly breast cancer.

In a recent article in the British Journal of Cancer, an analysis showed that physical activity reduced the risk of colon cancer by 24%.  A recent German study of nearly 10,000 women concluded that physical activity could indeed help protect against breast cancer, especially for women over 50.

If you garden, make sure that you have had a tetanus booster.

More than a third of all tetanus cases are caused in people who got it while gardening or doing yard work.  The disease is caused by bacteria commonly found in dirt and on tools.  Everyone should have a shot every 10 years.  People over 50 are least likely to be adequately vaccinated.

Even 10-minute exercise can be beneficial.

A recent British study found that three 10-minute bouts of brisk walking over the course of approximately 5 hours are as effective in lowering triglycerides and resting blood pressure as one 30-minute session.

Try yogurt cheese instead of cream cheese.

Yogurt cheese is lower in calories and fat.  Use it as a substitute for cream cheese.  To make your own, place a pint of plain yogurt in a fine-meshed strainer over a bowl and line it with a coffee filter.  The longer it drains, the thicker the cheese.  The yogurt cheese has only 20 calories per ounce.