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Health & Wellness

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Cleanliness key when preparing food DR. DAVID LIPSCHITZ

fever, headache and muscle pain. The organism may then invade the nervous sysThe Centers for Disease tem, resulting in meningitis Control and Prevention or encephalitis, which can recently reported that more cause a severe headache, than 1,000 food-borne disconfusion and disorientation, ease outbreaks occurred in gait and balance problems, 2008, the latest year inforand convulsions. mation is available. For reasons that are not This led to more than well-understood, listeria 23,000 illnesses; nearly 1,300 infections are more common were reported hospitalized, in pregnant women. Though and 22 people died. The listeria causes only mild actual number of food-borne symptoms in the mother, the illnesses is almost certainly bacteria frequently infect photo courtesy of Scott higher, as the vast majority Bauer the fetus, leading to miscarof them go unreported. The A recent outbreak of listeria riage, premature delivery, CDC believes that more than in cantaloupes killed more permanent brain damage 48 million infections occur and death. than two dozen people. annually. In those with a serious illSalmonella is the most ness, identifying the organcommon type of bacteria that to 28 deaths, and in 1998, ism in the stool, blood and contaminate beef, poultry cerebrospinal fluid and treatlisteria-contaminated hot and fish; it also can be found dogs caused 21 deaths. This ing with antibiotics may prein fruits, vegetables and vent serious adverse effects. organism is particularly nuts. Salmonella infections Patients always require hosdangerous, as it can survive cause abdominal pain, fever, in the refrigerator for propitalization. Antibiotic treatnausea and diarrhea. This ment is given for two weeks longed periods and remain usually occurs 12 to 72 hours viable in many heated foods. or, if the brain is involved, after contamination and for four weeks. Unless you are assured that resolves within four days to recently bought melons are a week. not from a contaminated On rare occasions, salsource, the Food and Drug monella can spread to the Administration recommends bloodstream, leading to a that they be discarded. life-threatening illness. Listeria is most seriRecently, the deadliest Continued from Page 37 ous in those older than 70 food-borne outbreak in the and in those with underlypast decade occurred because ing illnesses impairing the some nutrients when it tastes of contamination of cantasomething sweet, because immune system. The first loupes with listeria. Accord- evidence of illness may occur in nature, sweetness signals ing to the CDC, at least 139 a nutrient-rich food source. within a few days to as long illnesses and 29 deaths have as two months after the ini(Think fruit.) been reported in 18 states in tial infection. In most cases, Instead of getting real the West and Midwest. the illness is mild — abdomi- sugar that it understands how Listeria is the deadliest to use for energy or store, nal pain and diarrhea that type of bacteria contamiyour body is confronted with spontaneously resolve. In nating food. The current a chemical cocktail that prosusceptible people, listeria outbreak is the worst on vides no nutrients (except, can enter the bloodstream, record. In 1985, cheese conperhaps, sodium — which causing flu-like illness with taminated by listeria led you get plenty of from your foods). To compensate, your body tries to get you to eat more — it needs to get fuel from somewhere! — meaning you get stuck with the double whammy of being addicted Changing Lives One Insole At A Time! to a drink that you hope will help you lose weight but that David Verdugo Elizabeth Darrah instead biologically works Master Foot Fit Specialist Owner/CEO against you to get you to eat Let us educate you in proper body alignment and more. weight distribution to relieve Plantar Fasciitis, Don’t get sucked in. Try a Shin Splints, and Heel Spurs. Shoes for today’s feet. fruit juice flavored seltzer, or 347-0731 Office Hours: M, T, Th 12–6 pm • F 1:30–6 pm make your own lime rickey Sat 12–4 pm • Closed Wednesday & Sunday 530 7th Avenue from lime juice, a little sugar

Clearly, contaminated foods are a serious health threat. There is, however, much that can be done to reduce the risk of food poisoning. The way food is handled is particularly important. When shopping, separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods in the grocery cart, and place them in plastic bags to prevent their juices from contaminating other products. Separate these foods at checkout, and keep them in separate grocery bags. When refrigerating foods, place raw meat, poultry and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. Do not leave eggs, meats or milk for extended periods of time at room temperature. Promptly refrigerate leftovers and food prepared in advance. Do not consume food that has been refriger-

ated for too long, and never consume outdated foods or liquids. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling food. Prepare animal products on clean cutting boards, and use separate utensils. Cook foods to the recommended temperature prior to eating, and beware of undercooked or rare meat. Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables under running water rather than in a bowl or sink, and ensure that they do not come into contact with other raw foods or unclean surfaces. Never cut meat with a knife and then immediately use it to chop or slice vegetables. In relation to the food we eat, cleanliness and compulsive attention to appropriate preparation are the keys to preventing serious illness. Dr. David Lipschitz’s weekly column, “Lifelong Health,” can be found at

MYTHS: Diet soda may make you eat more

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and soda water — and add some green or white tea to the mix if you need a caffeine hit. Of course, too much of even the good stuff can be a bad thing, and limiting refined sugar in your diet overall is an important part of weight maintenance. Weaning yourself off super-sweet drinks is a great place to start. • “Trail mix is a low-calorie, low-fat healthy snack.” Myth blasted! Traditional trail mix is basically just a deconstructed candy bar, loaded with saturated fat and tons of salt and sugar. Plus, I don’t think it tastes like much. Instead, either go ahead and get that candy bar you’ve been eyeing — because you’re really not doing yourself any favors by skimping and choosing the trail mix at the office vending machine. Even better, make a much healthier and potentially much cheaper version

at home using air-popped popcorn, walnuts or almonds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, some dried fruit — such as apricots or dates, which also add good fiber — and a handful of semisweet chocolate chips, which will give your sweet tooth a hit without the extra fat and sugar of a milk chocolate alternative. You can completely change the flavor of your homemade trail mix by seasoning the popcorn. Try a healthy kettle corn made with maple syrup, sea salt and coconut oil, or add curry seasoning for exotic variety — or even strips of nori and soy sauce or shredded coconut with sesame oil and tamari; the list goes on and on. Pack a bag for work, and make sure you bring enough to share! Daphne Oz is a co-host of ABC’s “The Chew.” Her weekly column, “Food for Thought,” can be found at

Health and Wellness - Spring 2012  

A guide to staying healthy in Interior Alaska, geared toward Alaska's growing elderly population.

Health and Wellness - Spring 2012  

A guide to staying healthy in Interior Alaska, geared toward Alaska's growing elderly population.