IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date:  September 1, 2003

Forbidden Foods

Many Americans eventually get tired of their diet fare and suddenly binge on their favorite indulgences. But researchers now say many "forbidden foods" are actually healthful.

Beef. Doctors at the Tufts University say there are excellent nutrients in beef, like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Much of the fat in beef is stearic acid, which does not raise cholesterol. They do advise, however, that a 3-ounce serving is best. Forget the 12-ounce steak.

Avocados. This fruit has been scorned for its high fat content. Doctors at UCLA Center for Human Nutrition say, however, that the fat in avocados is monounsaturated. It helps lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

Dark chocolate. Studies at the University of Pennsylvania say you should feel no guilt when you indulge in dark chocolate. It contains antioxidants that increase good cholesterol by as much as 10 percent.

Nuts. Nuts contain unsaturated fats, magnesium, and vitamin E, which is hard to find in other foods. They also have small amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, that may prevent heart rhythm abnormalities, say doctors at Harvard School of Public Health.

Cheese. Eating cheese helps you protect your bones one way and protect your teeth in two ways. The calcium in cheese guards both bones and teeth; but cheddar, Parmesan, and Swiss help to neutralize acid in the mouth says Joy Bauer, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition (Alpha Books).

The doctors give one caution about these great foods. They are fairly high in calories. It's OK to enjoy them occasionally (probably not every day), and in small portions. If you can eat the foods you love, even in small portions, you're not likely to eat a huge amount in one sitting.

Is it a Stroke?

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness can spell disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

  • Ask the individual to smile.
  • Ask him or her to raise both arms.
  • Ask the person to speak a simple sentence.

    If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

    After discovering that a group of nonmedical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness, and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions.

    They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting in February. Widespread use of this test would result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and preventing brain damage.

  • Tetanus Anyone?

    All wounds and abrasions carry a risk for tetanus. Doctors at UCLA Medical Center recommend:

  • Make sure your tetanus immunization is up to date. Make a habit of getting a booster shot every ten years, such as at age 30, 40, and 50.
  • If you have a skin wound or a scratch on your eye get a tetanus booster.


    Thermoregulation can keep you going even in the dog days of summer. Your body decreases blood flow to the skin when you're cold and increases it when your skin is hot. That's thermoregulation. If your skin is cold, you start to shiver as your body sends heat to protect vital organs.

    When your skin is hot, blood flow to the skin is increased to trigger sweating. Your skin is cooled as sweat evaporates, and that prevents overheating your body's core. Sometimes the system doesn't work, mainly in older people, children, and people taking certain medications. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur if there is an increase in core temperature.

    Heat exhaustion causes cold, clammy, or sweaty skin. It causes weakness, fatigue and a cold sweat. Cool yourself by getting out of the sun and having cool drinks, and you could bring your temperature back to normal.

    Heat stroke is a medical emergency that can be fatal without immediate treatment. It causes headache, vertigo, fatigue, and hot, dry skin. Body temperature may climb as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit.

    It's actually easy to keep your cool even in the dog days of summer. Here's how:

  • Drink plenty of water so your body can cool you with sweat.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, and try to stay inside during the hottest part of the day.
  • Air conditioning is helpful, and fans will keep air moving so sweat can evaporate.

    When the heat index rises above 90, or if it stays hot for several days, do whatever is necessary to stay cool. If nothing else, go to an air-conditioned theater, sit around at an air-conditioned mall, or ask for heat-emergency assistance from your community.

    Putting Mistake

    Raising your head too soon is almost sure to ruin your putt. Don't feel bad if you do it often, because it's the most common mistake in putting. Here's what Billy Casper says you should do about it.

    Focus on the ball. Sounds simple, but it isn't. If you don't see the putter connect with the ball, you're raising your head too soon.

  • Q & A

    Q: When is the best time to workout? Is it in the morning or in the evening?

    A: The morning is best. The whole point to metabolism is to get it up and running at it's nominal pace as early as possible in the day. The metabolism takes a while to come up to speed if you do the normal morning activites, brush your teeth, shower, etc. By the time the metabolism gets up to it's nominal pace, it could be mid-morning to noon. Aerobic activity ramps up the metabolism right away and it stays higher after the activity.

    This is true for weight training as well. Imagine a graph of an electrical signal being ramped up as opposed to the graph of a signal being stepped up. Overall, you burn more calories during the course of a day, maybe double what you would if you saved you workout for later.

    You don't have to do much in the morning. A simple run around the block every morning. Try it for 2 weeks and you will certainly see a big difference in your weight. When you come back do chest presses one morning and then concentration curls the next. Keep it quick and simple.


    True humility is intelligent self respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves. It makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be.
      - Ralph W. Sockman

    Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.
      - Elizabeth O'Connor

    To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.
      - Pearl S. Buck

    The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.
      - Antisthenes

    The telephone book is full of facts, but it doesn't contain a single idea.
      - Mortimer J. Adler

    Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes, and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.
      - Francis Bacon

    He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
      - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief than from the very things for which you are angry and grieved.
      - Marcus Antonius

    Fear is the main source of superstition and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
      - Bertrand Russell