healthy eating

  • One Alcoholic Drink a Day Can Lead To This Serious Condition, Researchers Say

    Perhaps it's time to cut back on your favorite cocktail.According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, consuming a moderate amount of alcohol was linked to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation. Otherwise knowns as AFib, the chronic condition is defined by the American Heart Association (AHA) as "a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications."What else did the study reveal?Researchers examined the data from nearly 108,000 adults from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Italy over a 28-year period. The volunteers, who entered the study at an average age of 48, underwent routine check-ups where they offered a range of personal information, such as medical history and lifestyle, including alcohol intake. (Related: The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.)During the halfway point (around year 14), 5,854 of the men and women developed AFib. In fact, the alcohol and AFib association was seen for all types of alcoholic beverages—wine, beer, and spirits. Researchers discovered that those who drank an average of one alcoholic beverage each day (approximately 4 ounces of wine, 11 ounces of beer, or 1.3 ounces of spirit) showed a 16% increased risk of this cardiovascular condition compared to adults who do not consume alcohol.And the more one drank, the odds of being diagnosed with AFib went up. Two beverages a day was linked to a 28% increased risk, and someone who consumed four or more alcoholic drinks per day faced a 47% increased risk.Doesn't red wine offer a host of health benefits?Interestingly, a number of studies over the years have touted wine as a heart-healthy choice. One 2019 study published in the journal Molecules found that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds in red wine may help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Also, professors from Louisiana State University announced in 2018 that they were developing stents (tiny tubes inserted into a blocked narrow artery) made from resveratrol and quercetin—two antioxidants found naturally in red wine—to prevent blood clotting and inflammation."In conclusion, we were slightly surprised that neither overall alcohol consumption—nor wine consumption in particular—were protective [of AFib] if consumed at low doses because they have been reported to be protective against, for example, heart attack," Professor Renate Schnabel, senior study author and consultant cardiologist at the University Heart and Vascular Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, tells Eat This, Not That!"However, earlier reports already suggested that there may not be a beneficial effect for atrial fibrillation, but did not have enough power to examine very low regular alcohol consumption. Our large study could now demonstrate that there may not be a threshold below which alcohol consumption may be protective."Schnabel points out that he and his team were unaware of the type of wine the participants drank, though. In addition, other elements related to wine consumption, such as socioeconomic status, lifestyle habits, and nutrition, also play a role in one's heart health."Therefore, factors other than the type of alcohol itself may have led to inconsistent associations in different studies," he adds.How common is AFib and what can you do to prevent it?The AHA states that at least 2.7 million Americans are currently living with AFib. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this heart condition is the cause of more than 454,000 hospitalizations each year in the U.S., and the agency calculates that 12.1 million Americans are likely to be diagnosed with AFib in 2030.An editorial written by two professors from McMaster University, in Ontario, Canada regarding this latest research from Europe suggests that the connection between low consumption of alcohol and AFib needs to be further investigated."Until then, each individual has to make their own best-educated decision as to whether consuming up to one alcoholic drink per day is worthwhile and safe," the authors wrote.Fore more, don't miss Side Effects of Drinking Alcohol Before and After Getting the COVID Vaccine and be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest health news delivered straight to your inbox.

  • Top ranked diets of 2021: What works, what doesn’t, according to experts

    From the Mediterranean diet to the Flexitarian eating plan, experts weigh in on some of the best diets in 2021, ranked by U.S. News and World Report.

  • Drinking Your Coffee This Way Every Day Can Extend Your Life, Science Says

    It's no secret that Italians like their coffee strong in the mornings to wake up—but it may also help them avoid cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer, and ultimately live longer, according to new research.A new study published Dec. 31, 2020 in The Journal of Nutrition looks at the relationship between 20,487 people and their daily intake of "Italian-style" coffee, aka espresso. None of the participants had cardiovascular disease or cancer at the beginning of the experiment and each drank around 30 mL or more of espresso—which is about the size of one shot—every day for over eight years.Based on the participants' dietary info, scientists found that compared to those who didn't drink coffee, three to four espresso shots of "Italian style coffee was associated with lower risks of all-cause and, specifically, of CVD mortality," the study authors write. They believe this is thanks to a specific compound called NTproBNP. (Another way to stay healthy is with The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.)There are a few ways to enjoy Italian-style coffee the way they do in the pasta capital of the world, and none of them involve drip or even Keurig machines. Sometimes, milk is involved in the form of cappuccinos, caffè lattes, or latte macchiatos. (Italians only drink espresso with milk in the morning before 11 a.m.) But a simple caffè, or one shot of espresso, can give you a nice caffeine jolt at any time of the day, according to restaurant and grocery store Eataly.To get all the latest food and health news from groundbreaking studies delivered right to your email inbox every day, sign up for our newsletter!

  • Eating Too Much Meat Has Been Linked to This Disease, New Study Says

    You probably already know that meat-heavy diets can be dangerous for your heart, awful for the environment, and cruel to animals. Yet, many of us have trouble cutting back. Now, scientists have found another reason you should skip the spare ribs, and you're going to want to pay attention to this one, considering all that meat your family is eating could be putting your kids' health in danger.Researchers have found a connection between diets high in meat and symptoms of childhood asthma. The study, published in the esteemed medical journal BMJ, used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to look at the health and diet of 4,388 children from 2003 to 2006. The researchers found that eating high quantities of non-seafood meats was associated with breathing issues in children. Specifically, those with high meat consumption were more likely to experience wheeze-disrupted sleep and wheezing requiring prescription medication. (Related: The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.)"Our study builds upon prior work that suggests diet may play a role in airway health and asthma-related symptoms," explains Sonali Bose, MD, the study's senior author and Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and Pediatrics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "The results suggest a link between a component commonly found in cooked [meats] to wheezing in children."The component in question is dietary advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Dietary AGEs, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) explains, are dangerous toxins that come from cooking food at high temperatures. Bose suggests that the link between dietary AGEs and difficulty breathing in childhood "may help to explain the mechanism by which meats may adversely influence airway health.""Interestingly, Bose notes, "our findings were independent of the overall healthiness of the diet." No matter how nutritious the child's diet may have been, the presence of dietary AGEs put them at risk. To reduce the dietary AGEs in your cooked meat, NCBI recommends "cooking with moist heat, using shorter cooking times, cooking at lower temperatures, and [using] acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar."Asthma is more dangerous now than ever, leaving us vulnerable to more severe cases of COVID-19. For more on how to keep your family's breathing healthy, check out these 10 Lung Mistakes You're Making During the Coronavirus Pandemic.For the latest food news, sign up for our newsletter.

  • Drinking This Is Just As Dangerous As Drinking Soda, New Study Says

    Study after study has noted that being a regular soda drinker is one of the worst things you can do to your body. After all, overconsumption of the sugary beverages over time can spur weight gain, increase your chances of getting type-2 diabetes, age your body prematurely, cause your skin to break out, lower your sperm count, affect your kidney health, rot your teeth, and hurt your heart. But if you think that you'll sidestep a lot of the bad side effects of drinking soda by switching to diet soda alternatives or other artificially sweetened beverages—chiefly as it pertains to your heart—we've got bad news for you.According to a new research letter published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which was based on research and data from the French NutriNet-Santé, consuming "diet" sodas and other artificially-sweetened drinks is just as bad for your heart as drinking regular sodas. The study drew on a large sample size of more than 100,000 participants over the course of a decade, and "artificially-sweetened drinks" were defined as those with "non-nutritive" sweeteners. During ten years of follow-up questions, both those who drank sugary beverages and those who drank artificially sweetened beverages showed greater risk of heart disease. (Related: Make sure you're protecting your heart by avoiding the 50 Foods Known to Drive Heart Disease.)"Our study suggests artificially sweetened beverages may not be a healthy substitute for sugar drinks," wrote Eloi Chazelas, a PhD student and lead author of the study and a member of the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team at Sorbonne Paris Nord University, Inserm, Inrae, Cnam, who went on to note that the findings could have regulatory consequences. "This data provides additional arguments to fuel the current debate on taxes, labeling and regulation of sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages."It's obviously not the first study to lay bare some of the risks of drinking diet sodas. According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, for instance, people who drank diet soda over the course of nearly a decade gained almost three times as much belly fat as those who didn't drink diet soda. Researchers have theorized that the consumption of artificial sweeteners leads to more sugar cravings, and therefore, causes people to eat more calories than they normally would.But this new study offers compelling evidence that phasing diet sodas out of your life is crucially important not just for your waistline, but also for your heart. What follows are even more reasons you should avoid drinking diet soda. And for the complete list of beverages you should avoid for the sake of your health, don't miss our list of 108 Most Toxic Sodas on the Planet—Ranked. 1 Drinking soda will make you eat more unhealthy foods "Artificially-sweetened diet soda is way sweeter than regular sugar," Jenna A. Werner, RD, creator of Happy Slim Healthy, once told us. "When your body gets that much sweetness all at once, it may begin to crave even more sweet—which leads to consuming more and more sodas or unhealthy foods." 2 It hurts your gut Studies have suggested that drinking diet soda can be tremendously harmful to your gut bacteria. As we've reported many times at Eat This, Not That!, a flourishing gut microbiome is crucial to digestion, weight management, and overall health. 3 You'll be moodier If you're looking to boost your mental health, a can of diet soda isn't your friend. According to research highlighted by The American Academy of Neurology, drinking diet soda is linked to depression. "Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk," observed Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, with the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. 4 It'll hurt your bones According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, your bone density could be directly impacted by drinking sodas. The likely culprit? The outsize amount of phosphoric acid so many cans contain. And for more ways to be healthier starting now, make sure you're eating This One Food That Will Help You Lose Weight and Live Longer, Say Experts.

  • This is The Most Dangerous Age to Drink Alcohol, Scientists Say

    Almost all of us have made some mistakes with alcohol in our lives, usually when we were young and first getting a sense of how it affected us. You might think that when you get older, you're pretty much out of the woods. Well, think again: a new study published in medical journal BMJ has found that excessive drinking in older adulthood (65 years and up) can be incredibly damaging for your brain.What's more, older adults are especially at risk of these negative effects during the pandemic. Study co-author and old-age psychiatrist Tony Rao writes in the Independent, "If we factor in the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, older people in the 65-74 age group have shown the highest rise in [probable alcohol dependency]." Basically, we've been seeing an increase in excessive drinking among older adults this year, and it could be seriously impacting brain function. Rao adds, "What's more, alcohol now ranks alongside smoking and high blood pressure as a preventable risk factor for dementia." (Related: The One Vitamin Doctors are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.)Why the risk? Older adulthood is one of three "periods of dynamic brain changes" identified by the study—aka moments in life when your brain is changing and alcohol can do the most damage. As you enter old age, your brain starts to atrophy faster as your neurons become smaller and their component parts break down. When this is happening, drinking can start to do irreparable damage to your cognition. And it's not just binge drinking—the study points out that "even moderate drinking has been shown to be linked to a small but significant loss of brain volume."Another of the periods of dynamic brain changes is late adolescence at ages 15-19. Drinking when you're a teenager isn't just a bad idea because you'll hurt your liver and make dumb decisions; It can actually lead you to make even dumber decisions in the future. The researchers explain, "The transition to binge drinking in adolescence is associated with reduced brain volume, poorer white matter development (critical for efficient brain functioning), and small to moderate deficits in a range of cognitive functions." So basically, stealing Dad's party whiskey when you were young could've had a consequence beyond getting grounded.Finally, we all know that being exposed to alcohol in the womb can do some serious damage, which is why the third, risky life period mentioned in the study is gestation. It's not just the stories you've heard about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders from excessive drinking while pregnant. Even a little alcohol can do damage: "Recent evidence indicates that even low or moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy is significantly associated with poorer psychological and behavioural outcomes in offspring."So, for now, if you'd like to drink, keep the imbibing between ages 21 to 64, and steer clear of alcohol while pregnant.For more on how to drink smarter, check out these 10 Alcohol Myths You Should Just Stop Believing, and make sure to sign up for our newsletter for the latest news.

  • 3 genius ways to turn food scraps into delicious treats, from coffee grounds to apple cores

    With these food hacks, chef Joel Gamoran says, "You're saving the earth, you're saving money and you're saving flavor."

  • 9 Thanksgiving foods that are actually great for your body

    Holiday eating doesn't have to be guilt-inducing. Here are nine Thanksgiving table staples that do a body good.

  • The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone To Take Right Now

    At the height of the pandemic, one thing was made clear: Maintaining a strong immune system is pivotal. While there are many natural ways you can strengthen your immune system, one supplement continues to receive a lot of attention—and that's vitamin D. Whether through food or supplements, it's important to ensure you're getting enough of this immune booster in your diet as COVID-19 cases continue to rapidly climb across the U.S."There is good evidence that if you have a low vitamin D level, that you have more of a propensity to get infected when there are infections around," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said earlier this year. "Those data are pretty good data."Vitamin D is known to offer many health benefits. If you don't get enough of the nutrient, your body can become more susceptible to infection and even experience impaired wound healing. In fact, the vitamin plays more key roles in the body than you may realize. (Be sure to read up on 5 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency You Should Never Ignore.)"One of the major roles it plays is to help maximize the absorption and utilization of calcium, which is an important mineral for our skeletal system and teeth. It is also important [for] muscle, heart, and lung functioning," Nicole Avena, Ph.D. and assistant professor of neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York told Eat This, Not That! before.Fauci told actress Jennifer Garner in the same Instagram Live interview that certain supplements can boost your immune system, one of which is vitamin D."If you're deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection," Dr. Fauci said. "I would not mind recommending—and I do it myself—taking vitamin D supplements." (Related: 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)There are many foods that are rich in vitamin D that you may consider incorporating into your diet, such as cow's milk, eggs, mushrooms and salmon. If you want to start taking vitamin D in supplement form, be sure to check with your doctor first to make sure it's safe for you.For more tips, be sure to check out 20 Surprising Foods That Wreak Havoc On Your Immune System.

  • The #1 Halloween Candy Mistake You're Making

    Filling up a sack of candy while trick-or-treating is every kid's dream, and apparently, it is their parents' too. According to a poll from Morning Consult and the National Confectioners Association, 79% of parents say they take Halloween treats from their kids. It may seem harmless, but making this candy mistake adds unneeded calories, sugar, and fat to your diet.It's well-known that sugar can cause things like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and a slew of other health risks. If almost 80% of all parents do take some of their kid's candy, that's a lot of people consuming toxic treats. The survey finds that these parents swipe a few pieces, but that 31% of all adults are planning on stashing away more of their favorite candy for later. (To help offset all this candy, here are the 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)The American Heart Association recommends women eat less than 32 grams of sugar a day and men less than 36 grams. So say you swipe a Butterfinger after the kids are asleep. One bar not only has 250 calories, but it has 10 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar. One Snickers bar also has 250 calories but contains 12 grams of fat and 28 grams of sugar along with that. Eating these suddenly adds 500 calories, over 20 grams of fat, and over 40 grams of sugar to your day. Just one 3 Musketeers bar gives you almost the same amount of sugar as those two. It also puts both women and men over the daily recommended limit.It's not just the regular-sized bars and bags that will do you in. You may be inclined to take a few more mini pieces since they are smaller and seem healthier… But snack and fun-sized treats contain just as much of the harmful ingredients as their full-sized counterparts.If you're going to enjoy some in honor of Halloween, don't make this candy mistake. There are a few we recommend instead, including Dum Dums, Smarties, and Nerds. Here is every single Halloween candy — ranked!

  • 20 Best Instant Pot Hacks Every Cook Should Know

    By now, you've most definitely heard of the Instant Pot, also known as a multi-cooker or a pressure cooker, slow cooker combo. It's the hottest kitchen staple since sliced bread (or the bread slicer, rather) and is currently sweeping the blogosphere with recipes for making healthy food fast.Instant Pots make it easy to meal prep, revive leftovers better than the microwave, and jazz up chicken breast so well that it could compete with your favorite rotisserie brand. But with so many handy hacks, it can be difficult to navigate the ins and outs of the machine when you first give it a try.So whether you just pulled yours out of the box or have been a loyal fan for years, the following wisdom from Instant Pot experts should shed some light on all the ways you can use this gadget to easily create healthy meals at home.To help us hack the pot, we consulted multicooker expert, Dan Zuccarello, an executive editor of Multicooker Perfection: a book from the editors of America's Test Kitchen. Check out these savvy tips below! And for more healthy tricks, check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time. 1 Choose your pressure based on your recipe. Instant Pots generally have both a low and high-pressure setting you can choose from, but the exact amounts and temperatures vary depending on the model you own. High pressure is used most often when cooking things quickly (like your favorite 15-minute chili), but according to Zuccarello, "low pressure produces slightly better results when cooking foods that need a gentler hand." Desserts almost always require the lower setting to come out restaurant-worthy, too. Like this Quick&Easy Instant Pot Lemon Cake. 2 Freeze meals in Instant Pot molds. Because Instant Pots allow you to cook straight from the freezer and throw in all your ingredients at the same time, make things easy for yourself by planning out recipes and freezing them in round containers that fit seamlessly into your Pot. It seems simple, but this hack will allow you to meal prep without the hassle of cooking everything at the same time. Once a Month Meals recommends simply preparing the ingredients, placing into round Tupperware containers (up to 64 ounces, or the size of a gallon-sized Ziploc bag), and freezing until it's time for making dinner. You could also try freezing one of these 30+ Healthy Instant Pot Recipes for Weight Loss. 3 Check parts before cooking. The inner workings of your Instant Pot may be new territory, but it's important to make sure all parts are in place and functioning before you press the start button. Think about it: You'd never drive a car that's missing a part or has the check engine light illuminated on the dashboard. You should be as familiar with your Instant Pot as you are your car. Zuccarello tells us to make sure that the silicone gasket in the lid is in place before cooking. "Soft and springy, not dry and cracked. If your pot is not coming to pressure, it may not be sealed correctly." The gasket should be removed and cleaned after every use for maximum freshness.While you'rea t it,  here are the 50 Best Kitchen Cleaning Tips Right Now. 4 Heed the maximum water line. There's a water line on the inside for a reason. Liquid is required for almost every Instant Pot recipe, and it's important to follow directions for your own safety, says Zuccarello. Every food is different and requires a specific amount of water. Foaming or expanding foods need less than most recipes. It may be easy to overlook the mark, but exact amounts are key if you want your food to be at its best. 5 Finish undercooked food in your multicooker. We won't lie. It's slightly annoying that you can't check the progress of food until it comes out of the pot. Recipes tend to err on the underdone side as opposed to overdone, says Zuccarello in Multicooker Perfection. If your food comes out needing a little more lovin', finish the job by putting it back in the pot and turning it to the highest sauté or browning mode. Add liquids as needed to keep food moist.When Is Meat Cooked Properly and Done? We Have the Answer. 6 Liquids are your friend. While it's important to be exact with the liquids in your initial recipe, err on the wet side when you're putting the finishing touches on a meal. "If you find that food is burning while you're sautéing, try adding a small amount of liquid to slow down the cooking. Although you can't fix food that has been burned during pressure or slow cooking, you can avoid the problem in the future by taking care to scrape up all the browned bits left in the pot after sautéing food and before closing the lid," Zuccarello tells us. With this in mind, now all you have to worry about is whether to use chicken stock or water. 7 Use a natural release when cooking meat. Your Instant Pot has two options when the cooking time has ended: a natural release of pressure or a quick release from the valve. If your timer goes off and you do nothing, the food will cool and the pressure will be released slowly in a natural release. If you choose the natural release option, food will continue to cook until all the heat escapes. Zuccarello tells us that this is the preferred method for meats because it allows the meat to rest and retain the natural fats and juices that make it melt-in-your-mouth good. "If you quick release the pressure on a large cut of meat, it will seize up and be tough." So if you threw in a pork loin, let it be when the timer ends! After at least 15 minutes, quick release any remaining pressure.In the mood for soup? Here are 31 Best Healthy Instant Pot Soup Recipes for Weight Loss. 8 Make it hot. When you're browning, searing, or sauteing, that is. Multicooker Perfection tells us that the heating element of an Instant Pot is not as effective as your stove burner, so when you're adding the finishing touches to a meal, the best practice is to crank the notch to the hottest setting available. 9 Stack away. There are many accessories that can accompany your pot, and they make it easy to get the most from everything you cook. A glass lid will allow you to keep an eye on foods when you're using the saute function. Stackable steamer baskets let you cook meat and veggies on top of each other, which is perfect for reheating last night's dinner. A ceramic inner pot lets you whip up cheesecakes and desserts with ease. You can find countless must-have accessories online at Amazon, like stack baskets, pans, and racks to cook your entire dinner at once. You'll also love these 13 Instant Pot Accessories That Make the Multicooker Even More Functional! 10 Clean parts in the dishwasher. Great news! Most of the Instant Pot's parts are dishwasher-safe, which makes cleanup as fast and easy as the cooking itself. According to Living Well Spending Less, the lid needs to be washed by hand, but other than that, you can safely toss the inside accessories like the inner pot and steam rack into the washer. If you need a deeper clean (food builds up, after all), use vinegar or lemon and hot water to steam clean the inside. This will break down any gunk that's built up in the nooks and crannies. 11 Know about slow. Some multi-cookers have a "high-slow" and a "low-slow" setting. For the Instant Pot specifically, Zucarello says that the low-slow setting isn't hot enough to produce the best quality food promised by recipes and reviews. The optimal cooking temperature is between 195 and 210 degrees, and the low-slow setting of the Instant Pot is 17 degrees too cool for that. If your recipe calls for a low-slow setting, you may want to choose a different setting or switch to high-slow and adjust the time accordingly. 12 Never buy store-bought stock again. Have you ever watched animal stock being made from scratch on those Food Network shows? It's usually one of the first things the chef does because it takes hours—sometimes even an entire day—to be ready to use in recipes. The Instant Pot has eliminated this problem. You can make chicken stock and bone broth in minutes. According to Romper, just throw in leftover chicken bones and veggies and let them stew, and you've got fresh, homemade stock worthy of Ina Garten.RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods. 13 Get poppin'. Microwave popcorn is delicious, addicting, and often full of inflammatory oils that can wreak havoc on your health. Don't feel like you can give it up? Try tossing organic whole kernels in your Instant Pot instead and popping 'em the old-school way. IP Foodie recommends pouring the kernels in, setting your IP to sauté, and letting them slow cook until you've got a movie-worthy snack in no time. Use a glass lid to keep an eye on the popcorn and make sure it doesn't burn. 14 Let steam slow. Zuccarello explains that if you choose to do a quick release of the pressure in your pot for the sake of an overcooked chicken breast or pasta, turn the pressure knob to "vent" as soon as the timer tells you the cooking is done. This is a completely viable option if you're in a hurry, just make sure the recipe doesn't specify a natural release, or you could risk losing some of the recipe's natural flavors. 15 Go with what you know. Every person will inevitably have his or her own experience using an Instant Pot, but there are a few fail-safe recipes that will always cook well. Don't feel like experimenting in the kitchen? Don't start by cooking a whole chicken or a creamy sauce—it takes an advanced user to master those. Instead, start with foolproof meals like risotto and chilis. They're the recipes this gadget was made for and are always easier to make in the Instant Pot than the over the stovetop. In other words, you'll never have to sweat stirring a pot of rice again! 16 Buy extra sealing rings. The rubber sealing ring on the inside of the lid tends to pick up the scent of whatever has been stewing in the pot the night before. This usually requires an easy fix—just wash it often!—but if the smell and stain of tomato sauce simply won't go away, Simple Most recommends ordering a new one. They run for about $8 on Amazon and will be well worth it when you prevent nasty cross-contamination. 17 Be patient. Under no circumstances should you open the lid before pressure has been released. This shouldn't be too hard because the average cook time is rarely longer than 20 minutes, but just in case you're tempted to check on food like you would when cooking it on the stove, we're adding this tip from Multicooker Perfection to the mix. Picture soup or chili exploding all over your walls and floor (and you, if you're too close). Not pretty. 18 Face the steam away from you. While it may seem like a great way to score a free facial, it could be dangerous to release the steam in your direction during a quick release, Zuccarello tells us. For best results, point the vent in the opposite direction and then open the pot carefully. When the last of the steam has escaped, remove the lid and proceed to the next instruction in your recipe. 19 Don't limit yourself to just food. Let your Instant Pot work for your every need—even the ones that aren't food-related. In the same way that you can use the IP to make yogurt, you can also make hand lotion and lotion bars. Using the sauté function, liquefy the ingredients in glass jars and then pour into molds and cool in the freezer. The bars resemble soap but can be rubbed onto your elbows, feet, and hands for ultimate moisturizing power. Just when you thought you knew everything about the gadget! 20 Cook veggies to perfection. The speedy efficiency of your IP is rarely a problem, but it can be when you end up with soggy vegetables. Since fresh produce is finicky and easy to overcook, throw it in before you start up your pot, and the initial heating process will cook it to perfection. Simple Most recommends setting the pot to manual mode and entering zero for the cook time to render perfectly-cooked veggies. Wondering which picks to try your hand at first? Give some of these Best Foods for Fiber a shot.

  • What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Beer Every Night

    It's National Drink Beer Day, a day that would, in normal times, provide a reasonable excuse to go to your favorite local tavern or brewery, belly up to the bar, and proceed to consume a reasonable amount of your favorite hoppy beverage. But, these are not normal times, and according to research by Nielsen, people are consuming way more alcoholic beverages during the coronavirus pandemic—when we've all been self-quarantining and/or following potentially life-saving orders to stay at home—than any other time.In other words, if drinking beer was your thing, it may really be your thing now to help cope with stress and anxiety. And hey, everyone deals differently.However, it's important to know how a nightly beer (or two) can be affecting your body and overall health. We reached out to registered dietitians to ask them what happens with a daily diet of your favorite beer.And for more, don't miss these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback. How much beer is considered "in moderation"?The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that if alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in "moderation," according to Elizabeth Huggins, RDN at Hilton Head Health."When it comes to drinking, people often have different ideas of moderation, so if you are talking about a 12-ounce beer, that is one or less a day for women and two or less a day for men," says Huggins.RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox! What does having a beer every night do to your body?"First, calories in beer can range from as low as 60 to as high as 240 calories per 12 ounces," says Huggins. This, of course, can be an innocent habit at first. "But it can lead to weight gain, especially if your beer enjoys the company of snacks."In addition to being a highly caloric indulgence, another side effect of drinking beer every night is lethargy. "It may relax you so well that you don't get off the couch to take that walk that you said you would take," says Huggins.There's no doubt that "resolve dissolves in alcohol!" And, especially during these difficult times, forcing yourself to move your body is crucial to stay healthy during quarantine—for however long it lasts. By not doing so, your body can get out of shape, and fairly quickly.What's more, regular beer drinking also "causes bloat and can irritate your digestive tract," says Nutritionist (MS) Katie Boyd.RELATED: This 7-day smoothie diet will help you shed those last few pounds."Drinking beer can make your stomach produce more acid than usual, which can turn into inflammation of the gut lining. This can have long-term side effects like gastritis," Boyd says. "They don't call it a 'beer belly' for nothing."Alcohol is also known to negatively impact your natural sleep cycle. "The more you drink and the closer to bedtime, the more likely you will experience diminished sleep quality," says Huggins. How so? "Alcohol in beer causes gastric acid to be secreted and could increase your chances of suffering from heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux, which in addition to being unpleasant, can also negatively impact sleep."While having a few beers may lead you to think you are sleeping well, it's poor sleep quality, which is less restorative. "We can all agree that poor sleep interferes with mental functioning and our energy level the next day," says Huggins.Boyd agrees. "Drinking too much beer can cause sleep disruption because it causes your insulin to spike in the middle of the night if drank later in the day, thus causing you to wake up. In the morning, you end up feeling groggy and not optimal for the rest of the day."READ MORE: How Much Sugar Is in the Beer You Drink? There's one benefit of having a brewski, though…The only silver lining of having a beer every night?  "Beer is touted as more nutritious than most other alcoholic beverages due to the hops and barley that is used in the creation and fermentation process," says Boyd. Beer is also relatively high in "vitamin B, antioxidants, and silicon that may strengthen and build stronger bones," she says.Plus, you may be helping to support a local craft brewer during these tough times if you're buying cases of their stuff.RELATED: Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!But that certainly doesn't off-set all of the negatives of having a beer every night. And if you're going to have one, you should chase it with some water. (Or, better yet, replace that can or bottle altogether with H2O.)"One of the simplest things you can do to improve your body's vitality, aside from keeping the body running smoothly, is getting your recommended intake of water," says fitness trainer Corey Calliet. "It aids in the recovery, detoxification, and elimination processes within the body."Drinking water (not beer) consistently throughout the day can also curb cravings and keep you from eating excess calories.So, there you have it. If drinking beer is your thing, it's best to do it in moderation, not every night. While drinking beer every day may relax you during these tough times, there are some significant downsides: weight gain, poor sleep, bad gastrointestinal inflammation, and other issues that can outlast your time spent in quarantine.And for more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.

  • 20 Amazing Things You Can Do With a Lemon

    With their weight-loss powers, secret uses, and refreshing scent, lemons are our favorite Sour Patch Kid. Not only are the yellow orbs rich in 100% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant that lowers your cardiovascular disease risk and can also boost fat-burning by up to 25%—but they're also way more versatile than you can imagine.To find out how lemon juice can help you look and feel your best, check out these surprising uses for lemons. And for more tips, don't miss these 15 Ways to Lose Weight with Lemons.1 Wave goodbye to acneEver wondered how to get rid of pesky pimples and the ugly marks they leave behind without breaking your piggy bank at the dermatologist's office? Luckily, your solution costs pocket change and is probably already in your fridge! Lemons are perfect for erasing pustules, blackheads, and their leftover scars.All you have to do is dip a cotton ball into freshly squeezed lemon juice (you only need about a tablespoon!) and then rub it on the affected area for about five minutes each day. The fruit is naturally styptic, which can stop the bleeding and its acidity will kiss inflamed acne goodbye.RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!2 Take a dip into the fountain of youthIf your less-than-stellar skin is making you look a decade older than you really are, turn to your lemon's mighty juices. Patting lemon juice on your skin will help tighten it and smooth out fine lines. To further your efforts of aging gracefully, consider avoiding these Worst Foods That Wrinkle Your Skin.3 Scrub away imperfectionsInstead of spending big bucks on fancy scrubs, make a homemade version. Simply squeeze a whole lemon into a small Mason jar and then add enough granular sugar until the mixture becomes thick. Then, splash your skin with warm water and exfoliate away! This natural DIY scrub will keep your face and lips baby smooth.RELATED: Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!4 Erase your elbows' dark spotsMany folks suffer from hyperpigmentation on their elbows and underarms, but how many people actually know that this discoloration is easily treatable? Not many, we'd say. Here's the easy trick: After a shower, dip your elbows in fresh lemon juice or rub a slice on your underarms. If you do this every day, the fruit's bleaching properties will work wonders!5 Lighten your locksEver dreamed of becoming a blonde bombshell? Well, now you can—without a trip to the hair salon. If your hair is on the lighter side (sorry, raven-haired gals!), you can use the juice of a lemon on your locks twice a week to lighten them. Don't have enough lemons for your entire head? Nuke the uncut fruit for 15 seconds in the microwave for twice as much juice.RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.6 Remove unwanted hairTo make homemade body wax, squeeze the juice of one whole lemon and add it to a half cup of sugar. Pop the blend in the microwave until it turns brown; keep stirring until it's sticky. Before you spread it on, let the wax cool down a bit. Now all you need is a few cloth strips, and you'll be on your way to silky, smooth skin.7 Amp up hair healthSpeaking of hair, make sure the strands on your head are on their A-game. Rubbing your scalp with lemon juice and leaving it in to work its magic for a half hour before you wash your hair can strengthen your locks, get rid of dandruff, and make your tresses shine! For more ways to keep your hair in mint condition, check out these 30 Best and Worst Foods For Healthy Hair.8 Fix a patchy tanDon't you hate when the summer sun tans your feet and hands a little too much? To get rid of sock- and glove-like patches, mix lemon juice with water and baking soda, and then exfoliate the affected areas with the mixture. Because lemon juice and baking soda have bleaching properties, the two can help tone the skin.9 Whiten teethForget Crest Whitestrips! To achieve a pearly white smile, mix a bit of lemon juice with baking soda, dip your toothbrush in it, and scrub—but only for a minute! You can repeat this every other day for a red carpet-ready smile.And for better oral health, stay away from The 6 Worst "Healthy" Foods for Your Teeth.10 Pamper your nailsIf you're the type who always has their nail game on point, you're aware of how discolored your nails can get after you remove the polish. To prevent that unsightly yellow hue, soak your claws in a bowl of lemon juice diluted with water for a few minutes. In no time, they'll be bright and back to health.11 Add it to H20Detox water is incomplete without lemons. The citrus' skin is loaded with D-limonene, an antioxidant that helps liver enzymes rid of flush toxins from the body to help you feel your best. So go ahead and pop the peel into your glass, too!12 Add lemon slices to teaHere at Eat This, Not That!, we're huge fans of tea. The antioxidant-rich beverage is perfect to wake up to, drink in between meals, and some brews can even help you sleep better. So what can trump this tried and true drink? Simply add lemon to your morning brew for a debloating vitamin-rich detox tea.13 Preserve avocados and applesEver wondered why your guac wasn't exactly green after a few hours? You can blame the phenolic compounds present in the healthy fat-rich fruit; when these compounds are exposed to air, they oxidize, turning your avocados (and apples, too) from an appetizing to a not so appealing hue real quick. To ensure your avocado toast is Instagram worthy, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice to counteract the oxidation process. Your followers will thank you.14 Get rid of a hangoverLet's face it: Hangovers are the reason we consider nixing alcohol forever. But once the weekend rolls by and you find yourself at another bar at 2 a.m., you may want to jot this one down for the morning. Two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice plus one teaspoon of sugar mixed into eight ounces of water will save you from a massive headache and an upset tummy.15 Improve your concentrationFitness and nutrition expert Jay Cardiello swears that the scent of lemon oil can increase alertness and improve your concentration. But for a quick practical fix for when you don't have the essential oil on hand, try boiling water and adding lemon juice. We totally recommend giving it a shot next time you're in need of some extra brainpower.Don't miss these 30 Best&Worst Foods for Your Brain.16 Relieve stressFor instant stress relief, reach for some lemons rather than a box of frosted donuts. Why? Vitamin C-rich lemons help decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol. So if you find yourself in a hair-pulling sitch, calm your nerves by stirring up some homemade lemonade (with a few extra spritzes of lemon) and snack on one of these 5 Best Foods That Fight Stress.17 Banish tummy issuesIf you regularly suffer from nausea, indigestion, and constipation, consider ditching processed foods. But if your diet is already pretty clean, try adding a few drops of lemon to your meals. The small yellow fruit helps purify the blood and flush your digestive tract to help you feel like your best self again.18 Lower your blood pressureHigh blood pressure, or hypertension, is harmful because it can lead to heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke. Lower your risk of these scary ailments by drinking potassium-rich lemon juice diluted in water.And potassium isn't only beneficial for high blood pressure. The electrolyte plays "a key role in hydration in our muscles and tissues, which helps with muscle contraction and relaxation, and is also crucial for muscle health and recovery," explains Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition.19 Soothe a sore throatWhenever my throat was sore as a child, the one thing I'd look forward to was my mother handing me a tablespoon of honey with fresh lemon juice to suck on. Although the treat was obviously yummy, it was meant to soothe the pain—and it certainly did. So next time you're bedridden and can't ignore a raw aching throat, head straight to the kitchen.20 Suppress your appetiteLemons are wonderful appetite suppressants because they're packed with powerful pectin fiber, which helps increase satiety. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition discovered that those who ate just five grams of pectin felt fuller.For more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.

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