This is Public Health

Research is continuing to find that inflammation is at the root of many medical conditions and diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, joint pain, allergies, digestive issues, skin problems and more. Thus, we should try to  include these 5 anti-inflammatory foods in our daily diets so we can reduce our risk of these conditions and improve our health.

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The Fit NOLA Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Project, led by the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), in partnership with the City of New Orleans Health Department, is slated to receive a total of $2.2 million in funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and pledged matching funds from community partner organizations to increase use of neighborhood parks and access to healthy foods in three underserved neighborhoods. The project will work to transform policies, systems and the environment in parks and surrounding neighborhoods to address barriers to both physical activity and access to healthy food.

The Fit NOLA Project will work to create innovative linkages between community health clinics, parks, and farmers markets in the St. Roch, Gert Town, and Hoffman Triangle-Central City neighborhoods, with a goal of connecting  approximately 64,000 residents with new opportunities for family-oriented physical activities, nutritious foods, and community centered health clinics that support and promote better nutrition and increased physical activity to improve long-term, community health outcomes.

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Salad dressings are often the cherry on top of what should be a fairly healthy meal – until we load them with a quarter of a bottle of ranch. All oils are not created equally and some are better for us, in moderation, than others. When topping your salads this summer, consider these tips that a research study from Purdue University came up with to give you great taste, and keep you healthy an on track at the same time.

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We all know that fruits and veggies are tasty and good for us. But many people have also heard about the negative side of fruit – too much sugar, empty calories, etc. Well, for those of you who are still wondering, here are 10 compelling reasons why we should all put more fruit in our daily diets.

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According to a recent study by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., people who ate a breakfast that included eggs reported feeling fuller longer than those who are cereal or other items.

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We’ve continued to follow the New York Times’ Recipes for Health section. A recent addition was this wonderful sounding white beans with chicory, or other preferred cooked green. It looks simple and delicious!

Click here for the recipe.

We all know what sugar is – that thing some of us crave, others add to morning coffee and still others avoid like the plague. However you identify the sugars you eat daily, we should all understand the basic differences between Fructose and Sucrose sugars.

Fructose is found mainly in fruits and honey.  It can also be found in high fructose corn syrup, but not regular corn syrup.  Regular corn syrup contains mostly maltrose (malt sugar) with various levels of other types of sugars, including fructose and glucose.  Fructose should not be confused with either high fructose corn syrup or with regular corn syrup, since it is a “naturally” occurring sugar that doesn’t need a lot of chemical processing to be extracted from fruits and honey.

Sucrose is the sugar that’s found in many different types of plants world-wide.  It is the most easily obtained sugar just by doing something as simple as eating a carrot.  The sucrose that a person uses as a sweetener in baking and other food making processes is usually extracted almost exclusively from sugar cane and sugar beets.

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What’s the biggest difference between food back in the 1950′s and today? Portion size. According to the CDC, meals are four times bigger now compared to what they once were and as a result, people are 26 pounds heavier.

One simple solution we can all take – use a salad plate for your meal, eat slowly and if, after 20 minutes you are still hungry, go back for a second small portion.

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While the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may not exactly be true, the habit of having an apple a day for a snack instead of that bag of potato chips does have health benefits.

In fact, creating just a few healthy daily habits can have great benefits for our health. Substitute green tea in the morning for that Venti Macchiato, eat a piece of fruit for an energy boost in the middle of the day instead of something sugary, etc.

Check out these other great, easy tips from Self Magazine and create some healthy habits of your own!

We’ve been following the New York Times’ Recipes for Health section lately and wanted to share a recent entry. This spinach bouillabaisse looks divine, healthy and filling!

Check out the recipe on the NY Times website here.