Social Media: What Consumers Need to Know About Online Health Information

Friday, April 24, 2015 21:17

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

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.

  1. Cure
  2. Miracle
  3. Breakthrough
  4. Promising
  5. Dramatic
  6. Hope
  7. Victim

If you encounter these words, be cautious and question the information.

Takeaway

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. 

Connect with Barbara | Stay in Touch

·      Twitter @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Instagram @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Founder Healthin30.com 

·      Facebook Healthin30 

·      Facebook Barbara Ficarra 

·      LinkedIn 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Huffingtonpost 

·      Google Plus 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Doctor Oz  and Sharecare

 

World Health Day: How to Keep Food Safe

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 14:27

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

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

How to Keep Food Safe

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Healthy Eating Healthy Living WorldHealthDay Barbara Ficarra Healthin30 iStock_000004720177XSmall

Refrigerator Strategies: Keeping Food Safe

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!

Quick Chill

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.

 

Connect with Barbara | Stay in Touch

·      Twitter @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Instagram @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Founder Healthin30.com 

·      Facebook Healthin30 

·      Facebook Barbara Ficarra 

·      LinkedIn 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Huffingtonpost 

·      Google Plus 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Doctor Oz  

Healthy Eating: Smart Recipes for a Healthier You-Barbecue Broccoli Sandwich

Thursday, March 26, 2015 13:36

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

Servings: 4

Calories: 224 per serving

Percent from Fat: 21%

Cuisine: Vegetarian, Vegan

Course: Lunch

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

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.

Substitutions

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.

Nutritional Analysis

Total fat (g) 5.6; Sodium (mg) 902; Vitamin A (RE) 126; Fat Calories (g) 51; Calcium (mg) 116; Beta-carotene (RE) 754; Cholesterol (mg) 0; Magnesium (mg) 82; Vitamin C (mg) 70; Saturated fat (g) 0.9; Zinc (mg) 1.5; Vitamin E (mg) 1.1; Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1.4; Selenium (mcg) 24; Thiamin B1 (mg) 0.3; Monounsaturated fat (mg) 3.2; Potassium (mg) 500; Riboflavin B2 (mg) 0.2; Fiber (g) 10.1; Flavonoids (mg) 4.7; Niacin B3 (mg) 2.6; Carbohydrates (g) 37; Lycopene (oz) 0; Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.3; Sugar (g) 6.0; Fish (oz) 0; Folic Acid (mcg) 98; Protein (g) 9.0; Nuts (oz) 0; Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0;

More healthy eating on Healthin30.

Your turn

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

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.

To learn more, please visit Dr. John La Puma, MD.

Twitter: @johnlapuma

Google Plus, Facebook

Thank you Dr. La Puma for sharing this great recipe!

Connect with Barbara | Stay in Touch

·      Twitter @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Instagram @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Founder Healthin30.com 

·      Facebook Healthin30 

·      Facebook Barbara Ficarra 

·      LinkedIn 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Huffingtonpost 

·      Google Plus 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Doctor Oz  

Media-TV Guest Appearance: Healthy Living | Prevention | Empowerment

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 10:27

I’m thrilled to be a guest on WMCN44 TV, Power Your Life with Dr. Jo Anne White.

Media Power Your Life WMCN Dr. Jo Anne White Guest Barbara Ficarra

 

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.

 

Meda TV Barbara Ficarra WMCN44 IMG_7854

 

 

Media TV Barbara Ficarra WMCN44 TV IMG_7848[1]

 

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.

Connect with Barbara | Stay in Touch

·      Twitter @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Instagram @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Founder Healthin30.com 

·      Facebook Healthin30 

·      Facebook Barbara Ficarra 

·      LinkedIn 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Huffingtonpost 

·      Google Plus 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Doctor Oz  

Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA, is an award-winning broadcast journalist, registered nurse, writer, international speaker, health educator, lifestyle expert and consultant.

Misleading Food Labels: It’s a Big Deal

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 11:18

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Reading the list of ingredients is more important than reading the front of the food label.

#DailyDoseofHealthy Read the List of Ingredients Barbara Ficarra Healthin30

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.

Picture this

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.

Connect with Barbara | Stay in Touch

·      Twitter @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Instagram @BarbaraFicarra 

·      Founder Healthin30.com 

·      Facebook Healthin30 

·      Facebook Barbara Ficarra 

·      LinkedIn 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Huffingtonpost 

·      Google Plus 

·      Barbara Ficarra on Doctor Oz