More This, Less That: 3 Healthy Habits to Start, 3 to Quit | Reader's Digest

More This, Less That: 3 Healthy Habits to Start, 3 to Quit

From research labs around the world, a few simple additions and subtractions that just might result in a healthier life.

By Reader's Digest Editors from Reader's Digest Magazine, | September 2011

More of this:
+ GREEN TEA
Cholesterol (both total cholesterol and the bad LDL kind) inches down when people have two or more cups of green tea daily, an analysis of 14 studies showed.

See also: Refreshingly Different Iced Tea Recipes

+ APPLES AND BEANS
People who ate more soluble fiber (found in fruit, beans, and oats, among other foods) over a five-year period gained less belly fat — the most dangerous fat for health. For every ten grams of soluble fiber added to a person’s diet, he or she slowed midsection spread by close to 4 percent.

See also: Tips for Better Digestion

+ HAND WASHING
There are so many health concerns about the flame-retardant chemicals called PBDEs that they’re being phased out in the United States and Europe — but because they’re in computers and office furniture, people still get exposed. New research shows that office workers who wash their hands at least four times a day have one third as much PBDE in their blood as people who wash less often.

See also: 11 Places With the Most Germs

Less of that:
– HPV SCREENING FOR YOUNG WOMEN
Doctors test too many women for human papillomavirus, a recent study shows. Though some types of the virus can cause cervical cancer, routine screening isn’t recommended for women under 30 — but 60 percent of doctors say they do it anyway. The result can be unnecessary treatment in that age group: Yes, many of those women have the virus, but it often goes away on its own.

See also: 31 Ways to Prevent Cancer

– WHITE BREAD
Eating lots of quickly digested carbohydrates (like those in refined grains, candies, and pastries) and saturated fat might make you more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study suggests.

See also: 8 Swaps to Eat More Good Carbs

– HIGH DOSES OF CHOLESTEROL DRUGS
Most people shouldn’t take the highest-approved dose of the drug simvastatin, the FDA recently said, because it ups the risk of dangerous muscle damage.

See also: 4 Foods to Help Boost Good Cholesterol

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