• Creatine

    Creatine

    What is creatine? Creatine is a natural compound that works like a gas pump for your muscles. The fuel from which muscle cells draw energy is a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and creatine helps cells make new ATP to keep your tank from running low. Your kidneys, liver, and pancreas make about 1 to

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  • Sports Drinks

    Do I need sports drinks? When you’re sweating your way to a serious thirst, water isn’t always enough. That’s why old-time American ranchers used to drink batches of switchel — a mixture of water, molasses, and vinegar — during haying season. Workouts have changed since then, and, thankfully, so have the energy drinks. The water

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  • Lowering Cancer Risk Through Diet and Exercise

    Lowering Cancer Risk Through Diet and Exercise

    Cancer can happen to anyone. Still, a healthy lifestyle can definitely help push the odds in your favor. According to the Institute for Cancer Research, between 30 to 40 percent of all cancers are linked to poor diet and a lack of physical activity. If you’ve already made a pledge to avoid cigarettes, getting the

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  • Preventing Diabetes Through Diet and Exercise

    Preventing Diabetes Through Diet and Exercise

    The good news is that neither your lifestyle nor your risk of developing diabetes is written in stone. You can buck the national trends by exercising regularly, eating a well-balanced diet, and watching your weight.

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  • Caffeine

    What is caffeine? If it weren’t for caffeine, lots of people around the world would find it hard to get their day started. Caffeine is mild stimulant that occurs naturally in over 60 kinds of plants, most notably coffee, cocoa beans, and tea leaves. It’s unlikely to cause any long-term health problems, but coffee fanatics

    READ MORE
  • Creatine

    What is creatine? Creatine is a natural compound that works like a gas pump for your muscles. The fuel from which muscle cells draw energy is a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and creatine helps cells make new ATP to keep your tank from running low. Your kidneys, liver, and pancreas make about 1 to

    READ MORE
  • Protein Supplements

    What are protein supplements supposed to do? Step into any health-food store and you’re likely to see stacks of protein-packed powders and bars, often accompanied by pictures of people with action-figure bodies. The message is clear: If you want to trade in your relatively normal body for the Mr. (or Ms.) Olympiad model, you can’t

    READ MORE
  • Diet and Headaches

    Is my diet triggering my headaches? It could be. Cold drinks, alcohol, caffeine withdrawal, hunger, and certain food additives — all these things can cause the blood vessels in your brain to swell and press on the surrounding nerves. (This is the same way migraines cause head pain.) You sip a frozen drink too fast,

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  • Diet and PMS

    How can my diet affect my premenstrual symptoms? What you eat and drink can have a big influence on both the physical and emotional symptoms you may have each month during the week or two leading up to your period. Most experts recommend that women with premenstrual syndrome start by avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which

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  • Diet for a Healthy Heart

    Do I have to give up fat to protect my heart? No. But you probably do have to cut back on saturated fat, the kind that comes primarily from animal foods. The goal is to reduce your level of LDL or bad cholesterol, which can cause a sticky plaque to build up in your arteries,

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  • Eating to Ward Off Heart Disease

    Could the right diet help prevent heart disease? It certainly could. Ask a doctor or a dietitian about the value of good nutrition, and you’re bound to get a lesson on the heart. Indeed, nutrition experts seem to be fixated on the organ. “This is good for the heart,” they’ll say, usually followed with, “And

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  • Dong Quai

    Dong quai (Angelica sinensis ), or Chinese angelica, is a member of a plant family that includes parsley, carrots, and poison hemlock. Asian women have traditionally used its bittersweet root to relieve menstrual cramps and regulate periods. In this country it often shows up as the principal ingredient in “women’s supplements,” commercial mixtures of herbs

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  • Diet and Osteoporosis: How to Strengthen Weak Bones

    Diet and Osteoporosis: How to Strengthen Weak Bones

    There’s nothing in your refrigerator or cupboard that can cure osteoporosis. And no matter what vitamins or supplements you take, there are also no guarantees against broken bones. But if your bones have lost some of their strength, you’ll need to pay extra attention to nutrition. Along with prescription medications and regular exercise, proper nutrition

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  • Lactose Intolerance FAQ

    What is lactose intolerance? You’re lactose intolerant when your intestines lack a certain enzyme, called lactase, needed to digest lactose, the sugar in milk and other dairy products. Within 30 minutes to two hours of eating these foods, you may suffer cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, you can’t reverse lactose intolerance. But by making

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  • Vegetarian Diets

    What is a vegetarian diet? Once a fringy, unpopular notion dismissed by some as downright unhealthy, eating your vegetables is now a mainstream idea. If you’re skipping meat entirely, you’re in good company: More than 7 million Americans say they never eat red meat, poultry, or fish. Instead, they fill their plates with plant-based foods,

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  • Junk Food Cravings

    How to control them

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  • Calcium

    Why do I need calcium? For all of the attention and acclaim calcium gets as a bone builder, that’s just one of its jobs throughout the body. Among other things, the mineral plays a crucial role for the nerves and the heart. Recent studies have shown that calcium can help lower blood pressure, and there’s

    READ MORE
  • Iron

    Why do I need iron? Iron is one of the most abundant metals on the planet, which is a good thing because our bodies can’t function without it. Iron makes it possible for your red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of your body. If you don’t have enough iron, your body won’t

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  • Chromium Picolinate

    What is chromium? It’s a metal that’s much more valuable in your body than on your car. Chromium, found in tiny amounts in most foods, works like a key to unlock insulin. Without this nutrient, insulin is much less effective at controlling blood sugar, building proteins, or performing any of its other jobs. If you

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  • B Vitamins: Folate, B-6 and B-12

    Why do I need B vitamins? B vitamins are an important class of vitamins that help support your red blood cells and your nervous system. Some of the benefits are already well known. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant need plenty of folic acid — also known as vitamin B-9, or folate

    READ MORE
  • Vitamin D

    Why do I need vitamin D? Vitamin D — also called the sunshine vitamin because your body makes it naturally when exposed to sunlight — is perhaps best known for its ability to help build strong bones. Children with a serious shortfall of vitamin D can develop rickets, a condition that deforms growing bones. But

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  • Quick & Healthy Eating Tips

    Eating well doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Some of the simplest meals are delicious and loaded with nutrients. Try the following tips for tasty, nutritious menus that you can throw together in 15 minutes or less. Breakfast Drink your breakfast Start your day with a smoothie: Just spoon a cup of low-fat

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  • Echinacea FAQ

    Echinacea (Echinacea purpura ) is a medicinal herb originally used by North American Plains Indians. In the 1870s, an enterprising Nebraska doctor began touting it as a blood purifier capable of curing everything from headache and rheumatism to syphilis and hemorrhoids. Commonly known as the purple coneflower after the large purple blossom that crowns its

    READ MORE
  • Glucosamine

    For many years, veterinarians routinely gave glucosamine to racehorses to help preserve their joints over years of pounding the track. Now scientists are studying whether glucosamine, a compound that your body uses to make cartilage, can help people as well. For 40 years, European researchers have been studying whether taking glucosamine in supplement form can

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  • Coenzyme Q10

    Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10, also called ubiquinone) is a vitamin-like substance that’s present in foods and is also produced by your cells to help convert food into energy. The Japanese were the first to start taking it in supplement form, and it’s still commonly used in Japan to treat heart-failure patients. During the 1980s, CoQ10 gained

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  • Licorice

    What is licorice? First of all, if you’re looking for the kind of licorice that serves as an herbal medicine, forget about the red and black sticks in the candy aisle. In the United States, so-called licorice candy is almost always flavored with anise and contains no actual licorice. Real licorice, which comes from the

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  • Goldenseal

    Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis ) is a perennial plant that grows deep in the woods from Vermont to Arkansas. Cherokee Indians used its golden roots as a yellow dye, for skin problems, and as an eyewash. After the Civil War it was such a popular ingredient in medicines that it nearly became extinct. Today it’s still

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  • Flaxseed

    You may think of flax as a source of fine linens, but the plant’s greatest value may well lie in its small, dark seeds. As far back as the 700s, King Charlemagne ordered every loyal Roman to eat flaxseed for health, and today many alternative medicine gurus echo that decree to all who will listen.

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  • Ginko: Safety and Uses

    Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ) is the only remaining member of a family of trees that flourished centuries ago in ancient China. Dubbed a living fossil, ginkgo today thrives worldwide in parks and gardens, and in plantations where leaves of carefully pruned ginkgo shrubs are harvested and processed into supplements. Although the people of China have

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  • Ginger

    The knotty, twisted underground stem of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale ) has been used as a spice and a drug in China for the last 25 centuries. Chinese sailors chewed pieces of it to relieve their seasickness thousands of years ago. Today ginger is a leading folk remedy for nausea and digestive problems as

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  • Garlic

    Garlic (Allium sativum ) reigns as a powerful — and pungent — leader among herbal remedies. A close cousin of onions, leeks, and shallots, garlic has traditionally been used to fight off everything from colds and infections to vampires and evil spirits. It’s also one of the most intensely studied herbs; over the last 20

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  • Feverfew

    Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium ) is a relative of the daisy, marigold, and dandelion. The name is derived from the Latin word febrifugia, or fever reducer, and feverfew has been used for that purpose since the first century. Historically, the herb has also been used to treat headache, arthritis, menstrual irregularity, and stomachache. What is it

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  • Chamomile

    Chamomile (Matricaria recutita ) is a fragrant herb known for its apple-like taste and scent. In fact, this relative of the daisy gets its name from the Greek words “kamai’melon,” or “ground apple.” For thousands of years, people all over the world have been brewing chamomile’s fine leaves and small white flowers into teas to

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  • Bilberry

    Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus ), the European blueberry, first caught the attention of the medical community during World War II, when British Royal Air Force pilots who snacked on bread and bilberry jam before their night missions started hitting their targets more often. Today, the fruit is widely used in Europe to relieve eyestrain. What is

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  • Aloe Vera

    What is aloe vera? The aloe vera plant (Aloe barbadensis) is the source of two very different herbal products: aloe gel and aloe juice (also called aloe latex). Although you may hear the terms juice and gel used interchangeably, it’s important to know the difference. Aloe gel, the clear, jellylike stuff that oozes from a

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  • Peppermint

    What are the benefits of peppermint? You already know about peppermint as a flavoring for candy and cookies. The oils from the peppermint (Mentha piperita ) have an unmistakable icy-cool flavor and smell. But peppermint oil seems to do more than freshen breath. It’s a time honored remedy for sore throats. And in Germany, it’s

    READ MORE
  • Green Tea

    Green tea smells different from black tea. And it tastes different, too. You might call it “fresh” or even “grassy.” And if you drink it regularly, you can also call it good for you. Packed with antioxidants, green tea may be one of the healthiest things you could ever put in a mug. What is

    READ MORE
  • Valerian

    What is valerian? Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is an herb that has been used as a sleeping aid for more than 1,000 years. Many people (especially in Europe) still take it before going to bed. It’s also an ingredient in many over-the-counter sleep products in this country. Does it really help promote sleep? Several small

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  • Milk Thistle

    What is milk thistle? Milk thistle (Silybum marianum ), a common herb with spiny white-veined leaves and pink flowers, has been used as a liver tonic for at least 2,000 years. In this case, the ancients may have been on to something. Milk thistle seed extract contains a group of substances called silymarin that may

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  • Caffeine

    What is caffeine? If it weren’t for caffeine, lots of people around the world would find it hard to get their day started. Caffeine is mild stimulant that occurs naturally in over 60 kinds of plants, most notably coffee, cocoa beans, and tea leaves. It’s unlikely to cause any long-term health problems, but coffee fanatics

    READ MORE
  • Creatine

    What is creatine? Creatine is a natural compound that works like a gas pump for your muscles. The fuel from which muscle cells draw energy is a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and creatine helps cells make new ATP to keep your tank from running low. Your kidneys, liver, and pancreas make about 1 to

    READ MORE
  • Protein Supplements

    What are protein supplements supposed to do? Step into any health-food store and you’re likely to see stacks of protein-packed powders and bars, often accompanied by pictures of people with action-figure bodies. The message is clear: If you want to trade in your relatively normal body for the Mr. (or Ms.) Olympiad model, you can’t

    READ MORE
  • Diet for a Healthy Heart

    Do I have to give up fat to protect my heart? No. But you probably do have to cut back on saturated fat, the kind that comes primarily from animal foods. The goal is to reduce your level of LDL or bad cholesterol, which can cause a sticky plaque to build up in your arteries,

    READ MORE
  • Heartburn and Indigestion During Pregnancy

    Once the nausea of early pregnancy wanes, many women look forward to enjoying their meals again. However, around the middle of pregnancy, heartburn and indigestion may spoil the party. These discomforts can happen at any time, but are more common in the second and third trimesters. Fortunately, they’re rarely serious and are easily treatable. What

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  • Calcium

    Why do I need calcium? For all of the attention and acclaim calcium gets as a bone builder, that’s just one of its jobs throughout the body. Among other things, the mineral plays a crucial role for the nerves and the heart. Recent studies have shown that calcium can help lower blood pressure, and there’s

    READ MORE
  • Iron

    Why do I need iron? Iron is one of the most abundant metals on the planet, which is a good thing because our bodies can’t function without it. Iron makes it possible for your red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of your body. If you don’t have enough iron, your body won’t

    READ MORE
  • Selenium

    Why do I need selenium? You probably don’t spend much time thinking about selenium, a rare metal that shows up in tiny amounts in all sorts of foods. There isn’t very much selenium in your body, either, but its doing an important job. The mineral is a key ingredient to powerful antioxidant enzymes that protect

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  • Vitamin A

    Why do I need vitamin A? You’ve probably heard that the vitamins in carrots can help you see in the dark. That old tale is actually true — the beta carotene in carrots and many other vegetables is converted in the intestines to vitamin A (also known as retinol), and vitamin A is undoubtedly good

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  • B Vitamins: Folate, B-6 and B-12

    Why do I need B vitamins? B vitamins are an important class of vitamins that help support your red blood cells and your nervous system. Some of the benefits are already well known. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant need plenty of folic acid — also known as vitamin B-9, or folate

    READ MORE
  • Zinc

    Why do I need zinc? Zinc may come last in any alphabetical listing of nutrients, but it’s one mineral that your body absolutely can’t do without. It plays a key role in your immune system and wound healing. It’s also important for fertility and growth. Severe cases of zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, impotence,

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  • Kava Kava

    Kava (Piper methysticum ) is a plant from the pepper family native to the South Pacific islands. The herbal remedy, also known as kava kava, is derived from the root of the flowering shrub. For centuries, this root was chewed or mashed into a pulp and then mixed with water or coconut milk — and

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  • Echinacea FAQ

    Echinacea (Echinacea purpura ) is a medicinal herb originally used by North American Plains Indians. In the 1870s, an enterprising Nebraska doctor began touting it as a blood purifier capable of curing everything from headache and rheumatism to syphilis and hemorrhoids. Commonly known as the purple coneflower after the large purple blossom that crowns its

    READ MORE
  • Shark Cartilage

    What is shark cartilage? Just what its name implies: Shark cartilage is simply the skeletal material of a shark. But many people believe this substance does far more than keep ocean creatures together. Ever since the book Sharks Don’t Get Cancer hit the market, shark cartilage has been touted as a powerful cancer fighter in

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  • Chamomile

    Chamomile (Matricaria recutita ) is a fragrant herb known for its apple-like taste and scent. In fact, this relative of the daisy gets its name from the Greek words “kamai’melon,” or “ground apple.” For thousands of years, people all over the world have been brewing chamomile’s fine leaves and small white flowers into teas to

    READ MORE
  • Peppermint

    What are the benefits of peppermint? You already know about peppermint as a flavoring for candy and cookies. The oils from the peppermint (Mentha piperita ) have an unmistakable icy-cool flavor and smell. But peppermint oil seems to do more than freshen breath. It’s a time honored remedy for sore throats. And in Germany, it’s

    READ MORE
  • Green Tea

    Green tea smells different from black tea. And it tastes different, too. You might call it “fresh” or even “grassy.” And if you drink it regularly, you can also call it good for you. Packed with antioxidants, green tea may be one of the healthiest things you could ever put in a mug. What is

    READ MORE
  • Alcohol and the Heart

    “God in His goodness sent the grape to cheer both great and small. Little fools drink too much and great fools none at all.” — Anonymous Ask a doctor about preventing heart disease, and you’ll hear a lot of clear-cut advice. Saturated and trans fat: bad. Smoking: very bad. Exercise: excellent. Ask a doctor about

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  • Prenatal Supplements

    What are prenatal supplements? Prenatal supplements are vitamins designed especially for pregnant women. Most of them contain more folic acid and iron than you’ll find in a standard adult multivitamin. Pregnant women need more of these nutrients than usual — specifically, they need 200 micrograms (mcg) a day more of folic acid and close to

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  • Cookbooks for People with Diabetes

    Cookbooks for People with Diabetes

    When shopping for a cookbook, people with diabetes should think about what kinds of foods they really like to eat

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  • Diabetes: Cooking Tips

    Diabetes: Cooking Tips

    If you want to saute onions or vegetables, use small amounts of healthy fats such as olive oil or canola oil instead of butter, margarine, or vegetable oils.

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  • Diabetes: Lowering Your Glycemic Index

    Diabetes: Lowering Your Glycemic Index

    Low glycemic index foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In general, the more fiber in a food, the lower the glycemic index.

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  • Diabetes: Good Fats and Bad Fats

    Diabetes: Good Fats and Bad Fats

    The fats found in fish, olive oil, nuts, avocados, and other foods can boost your HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which helps clear bad cholesterol out of the blood.

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  • Diabetes: Reading Food Labels

    Diabetes: Reading Food Labels

    Some foods — including cereals, pastas, and grains — can be low in sugar but fairly high in carbohydrates, and too many carbohydrates can quickly raise your blood sugar.

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  • Diabetes: Portion Sizes

    Diabetes: Portion Sizes

    If you’ve been to an Italian restaurant recently, you know that you can expect far more than a tennis ball’s worth of pasta with your marinara sauce.

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  • Sugar Substitutes and Diabetes

    Sugar Substitutes and Diabetes

    Some sugar substitutes, including saccharin and aspartame, are man-made chemicals. Others, such as sucralose, are modified versions of real sugar.

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  • Diabetes: What Does a Healthy Plate Look Like?

    Diabetes: What Does a Healthy Plate Look Like?

    Balancing your plate is a great first step toward a healthier diet.

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  • Diet and Diabetes

    Diet and Diabetes

    Eating several small meals throughout the day rather than two or three big ones can help keep your blood sugar stable.

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  • Diabetes: Are Salt Substitutes Safe?

    Diabetes: Are Salt Substitutes Safe?

    Filling your shaker with a low-salt or salt-free alternative can definitely help you cut back on sodium, especially if you’re the type who tends to use the shaker at every meal.

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  • Herbs and Diabetes: Buyer Beware

    Herbs and Diabetes: Buyer Beware

    Someday, there may be a safe, effective, and proven herbal treatment for diabetes.

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  • Fiber: An All-Natural “Medicine” for Type 2 Diabetes?

    Fiber: An All-Natural “Medicine” for Type 2 Diabetes?

    Not only did the patients see striking improvement in their blood sugar levels, they found their cholesterol levels improved as well.

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  • Heart-Healthy Cooking with Recipe Substitutions

    Think about some of your favorite recipes. Do they include heavy cream by the cupful? Butter by the stick? Those meals may be tasty, but they aren’t doing your heart any favors. Fortunately, you don’t have to throw out your recipe books — or sacrifice flavor — to make your meals more heart healthy. All

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