Cookie Dough Dangers
When whipping up a delicious batch of cookies, baking tradition dictates licking the batter off the spoon. But a recent spate of E. coli-contaminated cookie dough has people rethinking this culinary custom.
"This is very uncommon," E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says, "but if you want cookie dough, stick to cookie dough ice cream."
Common over-the-counter pain relievers may have toxic and even fatal side effects. Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of liver failure in the United States, and health officials are considering lowering recommended dosage amounts of the popular pain reliever.
"You should never have more than 4 grams, or 4000 mg, [of Acetaminophen] a day, but in some cases, that may even be too much," Dr. Travis says. "People are showing signs of liver failure at lower doses."
When used properly, acetaminophen is a safe and effective drug. Acetaminophen overdoses occur because people often don't realize that the substance is in a variety of medications that they take. To avoid problems, check the ingredients of your prescription and over-the-counter medications, and be cognizant of the amounts you consume.
Best Fast-Food Options
Jackie, a busy mother of five, confesses that she and her kids are fast-food junkies. Like many American families, they turn to junk food because it's quick, convenient and readily available. But, most of the meals are packed with calories, fat and sodium. Next time you step up to the counter at your favorite fast-food joint, choose these healthier alternatives!
Original Recipe Chicken Breast (without skin or breading) with Corn on The Cob and Green Beans
2.5 grams of fat
Fresco Steak Burrito Supreme
8 grams of fat
Mandarin Chicken Salad with crispy noodles and oriental sesame dressing
14.5 grams of fat
Best Way to Prevent a Bladder Infection
Blood, water and toxins are filtered through the kidneys and then travel through the ureters to the bladder. If bacteria get into the bladder, they irritate the lining, causing a bladder infection, also known as cystitis.
"A bladder infection is not going to go away on its own," OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. "If you've had one for 24 hours or more, see your doctor and get some antibiotics."
Tips to Prevent a Bladder Infection:
• Drink lots of water
• Drink cranberry juice, as it can prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall
• Urinate directly after intercourse
• Wear underwear that allows the vagina to breathe
• Wipe from front to back
• Keep the area clean
The best diet is one that includes 50 percent good carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains; 30 percent protein, such as fish or meat; and 20 percent good fat such as olive oil. Stay away from the so-called bad carbohydrates: sugars, refined grains and starches.
Best Treatment for a Scratched Eye
Dust, dirt and debris can get into the eye and scratch the cornea, causing a corneal abrasion.
"Much like cutting your skin, you're literally cutting the membrane of the eye," Dr. Travis says. "It's very painful. And just like your skin, most corneal abrasions will heal."
If you get something in your eye, rinse it with saline solution. Make sure to remove the offending foreign object, and if you suspect your cornea is damaged, be sure to seek medical care. A doctor will prescribe antibiotics to stave off infection and can perform fluorescent staining, a procedure that identifies the location of the cut in order to treat it.
Best Fever Medication
"Never give aspirin to children," says pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears, "especially if they have a fever. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are great, but never aspirin." Naproxen sodium, the active ingredient in Aleve, should only be taken by children over the age of 13. "It's usually used for more serious conditions," Dr. Jim adds.
Best Way to Prevent Getting and Spreading the Flu
• Sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow
• Wash your hands frequently
• Eat a healthy diet chock full of fruits and vegetables
• Exercise three to four times a week
• Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night
• Get a flu shot