It’s an exciting time in health care today. The health care landscape is rapidly changing and digital technology has transformed the way we communicate, interact and search for health information.
Social Media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, to name a few, are powerful and phenomenal platforms to educate the public, raise awareness of health issues and collaborate and engage in conversations. Social media platforms gives a voice to consumers.
Pew Research Center reports 87% of U.S. adults use the Internet and 72% of Internet users say they looked online for health information.
What do consumers need to know about health information?
For starters, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
It’s important to be an empowered consumer. Know the warning signs. For example, if a product promises a quick fix, or if it seems exaggerated or unrealistic, be cautious.
Gary Schwitzer, publisher at HealthNewsReview.org offers these seven words that shouldn’t be used in medical news.
If you encounter these words, be cautious and question the information.
Be empowered. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research—gather information from different sources. Talk to your doctor or other health care provider before making any changes to your lifestyle or medical regimen.
WHO: #WorldHealthDay, April 7, 2015, Food Safety-the Global View
“Everyone, everywhere needs safe food, free from microbes, viruses and chemicals. But globalization means the food you are eating today may have come from the other side of the world…we all have a role to make food safe – from farm to plate.”-WHO
In addition to keeping the temperature in your fridge at 40 °F, you can take additional steps to make sure your refrigerated foods stay as safe as possible.
Avoid “Overpacking.” Cold air must circulate around refrigerated foods to keep them properly chilled.
Wipe Up Spills Immediately. In addition to helping reduce the growth of the Listeria bacteria (which can grow at refrigerated temperatures), getting rid of spills — especially drips from thawing meats — will help prevent “cross-contamination,” where bacteria from one food spread to another.
Keep It Covered: Store refrigerated foods in covered containers or sealed storage bags, and check leftovers daily for spoilage.
Check Expiration Dates On Foods. If food is past its “use by” date, discard it. If you’re not sure or if the food looks questionable, the simple rule is: “When in doubt, throw it out.”
Clean The Fridge Out Frequently. Make this task part of your kitchen cleaning routine!
Whether you’re dealing with leftovers or just-purchased foods, it’s important to get foods that need refrigeration into your fridge quickly. Leaving perishable foods out for two hours or more allows bacteria to multiply rapidly — and can put you at serious risk of contracting foodborne illness.
Groceries: When you get home from the grocery store, put your refrigerated items away as quickly as possible. Never allow raw meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or produce that requires refrigeration to sit at room temperature for more than two hours; the limit is one hour if the air temperature is above 90 °F. (If you’re not sure whether certain produce requires refrigeration, ask your grocer.)
Also, keep in mind that your car is probably even hotter than typical room temperature, so it’s important not to leave groceries in your car longer than absolutely necessary — and never more than 2 hours (or 1 hour on a hot day).
Leftovers: These need to be refrigerated or frozen within two hours, as well. Despite what some people believe, putting hot food in the refrigerator doesn’t harm the appliance. To help hot food cool faster, divide leftovers into smaller containers before putting them in the refrigerator.
Doggie Bags and Take-out Foods: Again, the “two-hour rule” applies to carry-home foods. Leftovers from takeout or restaurant meals need to go into the refrigerator within two hours at most. If you can’t get home within two hours after eating out, don’t request a doggie bag.
Marinated Foods: Always keep food in the refrigerator while it’s marinating. Bacteria can multiply rapidly in foods left to marinate at room temperature. Also, remember this tip for marinating safely: never reuse marinating liquid as a sauce unless you bring it to a rapid boil first.
Here is a simple, healthy and delicious recipe with broccoli taking center stage. Enjoy!
By John La Puma, MD
Barbecue Broccoli Sandwich
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 224 per serving
Percent from Fat: 21%
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Vegan
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Food as Medicine(SM) Ingredient: Broccoli
Food as Medicine(SM) Tip
An active compound in broccoli called sulforaphane not only helps the detoxifying efforts of your liver and skin cells, but also helps protect and repair sun-damaged skin.
Culinary Taste Tip
The barbecue sauce adds a zesty, smoky sweetness that complements the broccoli surprisingly well.
Culinary Technique Tip
Using a stainless steel pan for cooking vegetables allows them to retain all of their vitamins; nonstick cookware and glass cookware can actually cause vitamins to leech out.
¾ cup (6 ounces) extra-firm light silken tofu
(Such as Mori-Nu brand)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1-½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 cups chopped broccoli florets
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup barbecue sauce
4 whole wheat or whole grain English muffins, split, toasted
Combine tofu, parsley, lemon juice, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth; set aside. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, add oil and onion. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli, remaining salt and pepper. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add barbecue sauce; continue cooking 2 minutes or until thickened. Spoon broccoli mixture evenly over bottom halves of muffins/ Top with tofu dressing and muffin tops.
Any sweet onion will work. Try Walla Wallas and Vidalias; both are specialty onions, and both are occasionally eaten out of hand! Seasoned rice wine vinegar can substitute for the lemon juice; it is a little milder and smoother than lemon juice, and good by itself as a dressing.
What’s your favorite smart healthy recipe? Please share them with us in the comment section below. As always, thank you for your very valuable time.
About John La Puma, MD
John La Puma, MD
John La Puma, MD is the leading physician voice for healthy eating as part of health, and a wellness, ethics and lifestyle expert. Both a board-certified practicing internist and professionally trained chef, he is a New York Times best-selling author, REFUEL and CHEF MD Big Book of Culinary Medicine, and co-author of Real Age Diet. He hosts PBS’ ChefMD® Shorts and PBS Specials on diet and fitness, and serves on the Board of the Food Bank of Santa Barbara. He is the first physician to teach a cooking and nutrition course in a U.S. medical school (SUNY-Syracuse), with Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. La Puma specializes in weight management in Santa Barbara’s Chef Clinic.
I’m thrilled to be a guest on WMCN44 TV, Power Your Life with Dr. Jo Anne White.
Today, March 17, 2015, tune in at 1:30 p.m. EST to watch a very exciting show with guests Rose Rivera, Judy O’Beirn, and me, Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA. I’ll discuss ways to live a healthier life, focusing on prevention, and empowerment.
WMCN TV is an independent broadcast television station reaching nearly 3 million homes in southeastern Pennsylvania, central and southern New Jersey, and Delaware.
Power Your Life is hosted by Dr. Joanne White, author, speaker and professional coach.
Reading the list of ingredients is more important than reading the front of the food label.
Food labels can be confusing and misleading
The description on the front of a food label may be quite different than the actual ingredients. A food label may look “healthy” because the packaging and the wording are precisely created to capture your attention.
You’re walking through the bread aisle and you see wording on a label, that says “heart healthy,” “winner best food award” given by a popular magazine, “100% whole wheat,” “40% fiber in 2 slices,” and “22 grams of whole grains per slice.” You purchase it and why not? It seems healthy, but is it?
Read the list of ingredients
Turn to the back and read the list of ingredients. The first 2 ingredients are fine, “whole wheat flour” and “water,” but the next ingredient isn’t so healthy; “high fructose corn syrup.” Now, would you buy it?
It’s a big deal
So remember, make sure the next time you’re food shopping, read the list of ingredients, not just the front of the label. You may be surprised at what you find. Healthy nutrition is vital. Remember, prevention, it begins with you.
Barbara Ficarra, Award-Winning Journalist, Writer, Speaker
Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA, is an award-winning broadcast journalist, health educator, international speaker, medical blogger, consultant, and writer. Barbara is a featured writer on Huffingtonpost. She is a registered nurse active on the front lines of health care, and she is an administrative supervisor at a level 2 trauma center and covers multiple medical and surgical units, critical care, oncology, cardiology and step-down units, the psychiatric in-patient unit, the women's and children's units, and the emergency department. Her clinical experience ranges from oncology to general medicine and surgery. Barbara is a leading voice in health and she focuses on consumer and patient engagement and empowerment, health care social media, healthy living, and health care technology-telemedicine, telehealth, mHealth, and gamification. Read more about Barbara.
Speaking Events: PIAA International Conference-Amsterdam, Presentation-Social Media: Friend or Foe in 21st Century Medicine, October 2014, Past Speaking Events: Women's Health Conversations September 2013 Pittsburgh, PA, Presentation-Consumer Engagement: How Social Media and Digital Technology are Changing Health Care, Treatment Centers of America, Moderating Physician Social Media Panel, March 2013, HIMSS SoCal Annual Health Care IT Conference, Los Angeles, CA, Speaking/Moderating Social Media Panel, April, 2013. Novartis Internal Event- Presentation, Social Media is Changing the Landscape in Health Care. Ivey Global Health Care Conference - Measuring What Matters: Cost vs. Value November 27-28, 2012-Metro Toronto Convention Centre Toronto, ON Canada-Panel Session: Needs, Wants and Values in Health Care: The Public Perspective and Barbara's presentation will focus on patient-centric health care and the patient experience. Cayman Islands National Healthcare 20/20 Conference October 18-20, 2012- Presentation Title: "The Rise of Digital Technology for Better Patient Engagement; e-Patient Connections 2012 Conference September 24, 2012, Philadelphia, PA - Title: "Using Gamification as a Tool to Engage e-Patients Effectively, BlogHer ’12 | HealthMinder Day-August 2, 2012 New York City, Cleveland Clinic - "Patient Experience: Empathy and Innovation Summit" May 19-22, 2012 - Cleveland, Ohio - Title: Social Media in Health Care and Arkansas HIMSS - "H.I.T. it to the Green with Leadership" June, 1, 2012 - Little Rock, Arkansas - Title: Using IT to Engage the Patient
Get Health in 30 via Email
Get the latest health news and tips delivered straight to your inbox.
Health care isn’t just what happens between you and your medical professionals. It’s about taking care of yourself, in and out of the doctor's office, and it's about maintaining your well-being and achieving spectacular health. In her blogs, Barbara shares a nurse's inside perspective on healthy living and personal health, as well as the latest legal and political health care issues making all the headlines. Barbara sorts through latest research and provides you with relevant information without any of the confusing medical jargon. Barbara is dedicated to delivering you accurate, balanced, reliable and trustworthy health and medical information. She'll help guide you so you can make informed decisions about your health. Take charge of your health and enjoy every day!
Learn about writing guest blog entries, being an expert guest on the Health in 30 radio show, and sponsorship and advertising opportunities.
Our Partner: The Treatment Advocacy Center
The Treatment Advocacy Center is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illnesses. The center promotes laws, policies, and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the development of innovative treatments for and research into illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Award-winning actor and activist Martin Sheen is working to raise awareness of the need improve treatment for severe mental illnesses. To learn more, watch a recent television interview in which Sheen discusses the challenges and struggles facing those living with these diseases.
Our Partner: The Health Care Blog
The Health Care Blog (THCB) shares insights about the health care system from leaders in the field. It has a reputation as one of the most respected independent voices in the industry. The Wall Street Journalcalls it "among the most widely read insider publications in the field." WebMD describes it as "a free-wheeling discussion of the latest healthcare developments."