Healthy Alternatives

  • The Scary Truth About Statins

    The notion that high cholesterol causes heart disease has allowed doctors to write millions of prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins that can reduce the risk of it. That seemingly indisputable notion has long suffered from an inconvenient fact: Half the people who have a heart attack don’t have high cholesterol.

    What you need to know before you fill that prescription
    By Erin Quinn
  • Good Nuts to Crack

    Wish you could ditch your snack attacks? Maybe you don’t need to after all. Research shows munching on smaller meals throughout the day can actually help you shed pounds—but only if you choose wisely.

    From almonds to pistachios, tasty munchies to boost your health.
    By Molly Lyons
  • The Super Soaker

    Soaking brown rice overnight before cooking releases a compound called ASG (acylated steryl glucoside) that may help diabetics ward off disease-related nerve and vascular damage. New research in the Journal of Lipid Research shows that ASG helps normalize blood sugar by increasing levels of good enzymes that diabetes destroys.

    By Wendy McMillan
  • Fight Cavities With ... Candy?

    It’s true! A Swedish study reports that eating gummy bears containing xylitol, a natural sugar found in the white birch tree, helps prevent cavity-causing plaque buildup. “Xylitol also reduces levels of bacteria in the mouth that break down tooth enamel and can lead to cavities,” says Harold Katz, DDS, in Los Angeles.

    By Nicole Duncan
  • Maple-Ginger Pumpkin Pie

    Crust
    1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
    1/4 cup hazelnut meal or ground nuts
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    6 tablespoons butter, softened
    6 tablespoons cold orange juice or water
    Optional: 1 tablespoon date sugar

    Filling
    1 15-ounce can pumpkin
    1/4 cup molasses
    1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    1 teaspoon each cinnamon and ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon finely grated, peeled gingerroot

    1. In a food processor, pulse together flour, nut meal, spices, and butter to form crumbs. Pour mixture into a bowl, and gradually add orange juice or water to form dough. Press into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. If desired, sprinkle with date sugar. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 to10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine filling ingredients through evaporated milk, blending well. Stir in flour and gingerroot pieces.
    3. Bake at 375 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool or chill before serving.

    Nutrition info per serving (10): 174 calories; 8 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 52 mg cholesterol; 6 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 57 mg sodium

  • Alternative Medicine Cabinet: Fight Food Poisoning

    From fine dining to take-out Thai, Americans eat out much more than they used to—an average of four times every week. Food poisoning is also on the rise—it’s second only to the common cold in how frequently it strikes. Some 76 million Americans suffer from it each year.

    Bounce back faster with these gentle cures.
    By Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH
  • Healthy Pantru: Strawberries

    A bowl of this juicy, sweet fruit tastes too much like dessert to be such a nutrient-rich food, and yet new research shows strawberries may help prevent cardiovascular disease. “They are rich in anthocyanins, plant compounds that have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect,” says Shari Lieberman, author of The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book (Avery, 2007).

    By Lisa Turner
  • Healthy Pantry: Avocados

    As if we needed another reason to love guacamole: A recent study found that compounds extracted from Hass avocados halted the growth of oral cancer cells by killing some and preventing precancerous cells from developing.

    By Lisa Turner
  • Easy Sugar Swap: Molasses

    Cutting back on the white stuff doesn’t mean having to skip sweets altogether. Molasses tastes great and is a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium—essentially all the good stuff that’s stripped out of sugar cane during the refining process.

    By Wendy McMillan
  • Bar Exam

    Energy bars are perfect for your on-the-go nutrition needs. But choosing just the right one can be an overwhelming proposition, especially when most gimmicky “energy bars” come stuffed with refined sugars and other processed ingredients.

    Energy snacks that pass the "good-for-you" test.
    By Nicole Duncan