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How to stay healthy while fasting

Photo: Rod Waddington/Flickr CC 2.0/

With the Muslim observance of Ramadan beginning this Saturday, Health Talk thought it’d be a great time to address best practices for staying safe and healthy during periods of fasting.

For health tips to follow during the next month’s sunup to sundown abstinence from food, Health Talk turned to Community-University Health Care Center medical director Roli Dwivedi, M.D. Not only does Dwivedi educate fellow health care professionals in care modifications for Ramadan, she also sees Ramadan-observing patients in clinic.

Here’s what Dwivedi had to say:

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Food safety tips for traveling

Headed to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup? Already thinking about the tantalizing smells of colorful and delicious new foods? For some people, food is the reason to travel. But while the mouthwatering smell of new and exotic treats may call out to travelers’ taste buds, their stomachs may not always be up for the adventure.

It’s a common misconception that food abroad isn’t as “safe” as food at home. While true for some things, more often than not eating food abroad can cause illness because no matter how healthy you are, you haven’t developed defenses against all bacteria — especially bacteria foreign to you. Something as seemingly harmless as a piece of melon can wreak havoc on a person’s system if not properly prepared.

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Expert Perspectives: Why Recent Diet Trends Should be Going Out of Style

Photo Courtesy Flickr User Jeanette Goodrich

Food and diet myths start when we are young: Swallowed watermelon seeds will grow the fruit in your stomach, if you eat too much of one food, your skin will change colors, and gum sticks around in your belly for up to seven years.

But it’s not just kids who get hung up on diet myths. Even adults are drawn in by seemingly healthy diets without understanding what they actually do to the body and overall health.

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Taking a deeper dive into the latest CDC obesity data

Given the intense volume of media coverage this week around the CDC’s latest report on obesity in the U.S., many in the public now know that obesity rates among children aged two to five have fallen over the last decade, a key takeaway from the report.

The media’s interpretation and coverage of that particular point has varied widely; some headlines celebrated the shift as a positive as others focused on the statistic as a lone bright spot among otherwise unchanging obesity rates. As is often the case, perusing multiple media stories – even around the same issue – can generate a feeling of “OK, what’s really going on?”

According to Simone French, Ph.D., a University of Minnesota epidemiologist and obesity prevention expert, a deeper dive into the study is critical for a thorough understanding of what the study actually tells us about obesity trends in the U.S. She points out that where some may see stalled obesity rates as a negative, the flat rates could actually be viewed as a sign of progress.

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Study: Coupons favor wallet, not our health

Photo: Carol Pyles via Flickr

Are you planning to go to the grocery store this week? If you’re like most Americans, chances are you’ll grab some coupons before heading out the door. Unfortunately, a new study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease unveiled that what you may save in money will likely cost you in nutrition.

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Family breakfast is important, too.

photo courtesy whiteafrican via Flickr

It’s been said that a family dinner is important, but what about a family breakfast?

New research from the University of Minnesota has found that families who eat breakfast together may be positively influencing their teen’s food choices and weight-related health.

The latest study examined a diverse group of teens to learn about the practice of eating breakfast together as a family and connections with diet and weight status.

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