Health & Fitness
Guide to Wellness

Guide to Wellness July 2019

Consumer Reports, Guide to Wellness, will help you discover the healing power of food. What are the top superfoods and how to make healthy swaps. Also, learn about supplements that can make you sick and how to enhance your heart health.

United States
Consumer Union
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$16.86(Incl. tax)

in this issue

1 min.
start here—for a healthier you!

YOU WANT TO feel great, inside and out, and we’re here to help. Consumer Reports is on your side, sharing easy-to-follow advice based on the latest medical studies from the most respected experts (including our own Ph.D.s, dietitians, editors, engineers, and researchers). We know that even when you want to do the best for your health it’s easy to get confused by the constantly changing, sometimes conflicting information out there. That’s why we take a hard-evidence-based approach to every topic, guiding you past questionable science and marketing hyperbole to get to the safest, smartest solutions for everything from insomnia to pain to the best ways to stay fit. You can trust our insight because we’re nonprofit and independent: We buy all the products we test, and we accept no ads. So don’t…

2 min.

A Toast to the Avocado Avocados have become hugely popular in recent years, but are they good for you? In a word: Yes. Half of a medium avocado has 114 calories and 10 grams of fat. That might sound like a lot of fat, but about 64 percent of it is monounsaturated, which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. And avocados offer an array of vitamins and minerals not often found together in one place. These include folic acid and vitamins B6, C, E, and K. Avocados are rich in blood-pressure-lowering potassium and fiber. They also contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are linked to eye health. So go ahead and enjoy your avocado—on toast, in a smoothie, or however else you please. Hugs…

2 min.
decoding food expiration dates

The average American throws out almost a pound of food every day, according to the Department of Agriculture. Why? For one thing, it’s often hard to know how long packaged foods are still okay to eat because there are no federal regulations on date labeling, with the exception of those on infant formula. UNDERSTANDING DATES You’re likely to see one of three designations on food products, though “Sell-By” has a different meaning from “Best if Used By/Before” and “Use-By” (see below). Typically, manufacturers use methods such as lab tests and taste testing to set label dates, according to a report from The Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard University. But those dates have little to do with safety. And, in many cases, the date you see is conservative, so if you eat…

2 min.
what we’re testing in our labs …

Adult Bike Helmets WE TESTED: 45 WE TEST FOR: Ability to absorb impact forces in a crash, ventilation, fit adjustments, and ease of use. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 73 Range: 88-22 Best Overall Performance Scott Arx Plus $125 88 OVERALL SCORE Easily Adjustable Cannondale CAAD MIPS $80 85 OVERALL SCORE Superior Value Bell Draft $40 82 OVERALL SCORE Air Fryers WE TESTED: 14 WE TEST FOR: Legibility and functionality of controls, noise, and ease of cleaning. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 68 Range: 75-53 Largest Capacity NuWave 6-qt. 37001 $140 75 OVERALL SCORE Easy to Use and Clean Ninja AF100 $100 71 OVERALL SCORE Nice Price Farberware HF-919B $70 71 OVERALLL SCORE Air Purifier WE TESTED: 32 WE TEST FOR: Dust, pollen, and smoke removal at high and low speeds; noise at high and low speeds; annual cost of operation. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 52 Range: 89-18 Effective and Portable Honeywell HPA300 $200 76 OVERALL SCORE Quick Air Cleaning Allen Breathesmart $600 72 OVERALL SCORE Solid Bargain Pick Winix 5300-2 $150 59 OVERALL SCORE Blood Pressure Monitors WE TESTED: 29 WE TEST FOR: Accuracy of a model’s…

4 min.
healing foods

A HEALTHY DIET—one with abundant quantities of produce and whole grains, and moderate amounts of “good” fats and lean protein—can help prevent and control chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. But certain foods can have a more immediate benefit and may help tame common health problems such as headaches and insomnia. So the next time you experience one of the conditions below, consider heading to your kitchen before you open your medicine cabinet. Sip Away Headaches Whether you have headaches frequently or only occasionally, “the first thing to do if you get one is drink a tall glass of water or two,” says Robin Foroutan, M.S., R.D.N., an integrative nutritionist in New York City and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Dehydration is a common cause of…

2 min.
can eating organic prevent cancer?

A French study, published late last year in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, has found that people who eat a mostly organic diet reduce their overall cancer risk by 25 percent. The researchers followed almost 70,000 people for an average of 4½ years. In their analysis, they accounted for many cancer risk factors, such as age, gender, lifestyle, diet, and education. Although there was an overall reduction in cancer risk for those eating a mostly organic diet, the reduced risk was even greater for two forms of the disease: lymphoma (a 76 percent reduced risk) and postmenopausal breast cancer (a 34 percent reduced risk). “The most surprising finding was the extent of the reduction, which is far from the usual risk observed for nutritional factors,” says Julia Baudry of the Centre of Research…