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How to stay healthy while fasting

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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research-and-clinical-trials

Alarming number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans struggle accessing enough food

As many as 1 in 4 men and women who served in the U.S. military during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have difficulties accessing sufficient food, found new research from the University of Minnesota.

The study indicates limited or uncertain access to adequate food is a prevalent problem among the newest U.S. veterans, a previously unknown facet of the financial hardships affecting veterans.

“We found that 27 percent of veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have consistent access to sufficient food,” said lead author Rachel Widome, Ph.D., in University of Minnesota School of Public Health. “That’s drastically higher than the prevalence of food insecurity in the U.S., which is 14.5 percent.”

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expert-perspectives

Mealtime with children: Let them feed themselves

It’s fair to say that mealtime with children may not always be the most appetizing experience. Peas all over their face. Oatmeal in their hair. Some of each course being spit back in your direction. It’s magical.

But for parents, serving a child during a family meal and watching them feed themselves can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Now, a new understanding of children and portion control shows that in addition to letting children feed themselves, it may also be beneficial for parents to take a hands-off approach when it comes to serving their kids during mealtime.

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expert-perspectives

New sugar recommendations are bittersweet

What do sweet and sour chicken, fruit yogurt, and pasta sauces have in common? It may surprise you, but all of these pre-packaged foods typically contain more than your recommended daily amount of sugar.

According to new draft guidelines published by the World Health Organization (WHO), people should try and limit the amount of sugar they consume to 5 percent of their daily calorie intake. But if 5 percent is too difficult, the WHO has determined that to avoid weight gain and minimize risk of diseases like diabetes, absolutely no more than 10 percent of a person’s daily calorie intake should be made up of sugar.

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research-and-clinical-trials

The public and science go ‘nuts’ over the Mediterranean diet

Last month, Health Talk highlighted the best and worst diets for 2014 as determined by U.S. News & World Report. Once again, the Mediterranean diet was among the top overall diets, coming in tied at #3. Now, a new study by the Harvard School of Public Health has added some additional fuel to the Mediterranean diet fire.

The study tracked 780 male Midwestern firefighters over the age of 18 and concluded that firefighters who closely followed the Mediterranean diet had fewer risk factors for heart disease than those who did not eat this diet.

The good news for the public is you don’t have to be a firefighter to reap the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

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expert-perspectives

Norovirus: The worst kind of cruise ship stowaway

Imagine lounging under sunny skies aboard a cruise ship sailing through the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. Sounds great, right? Except now imagine that 700 of your fellow passengers are all violently ill. Yeah, that changes things a bit.

The Explorer of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s ill-fated cruise ship, returned to port yesterday following an outbreak of norovirus among at least 630 passengers and 54 crew members. Those numbers are an unfortunate record among cruise ships over the last 20 years for the highest number of ill passengers.

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