The Danger of Eating Too Much Red Meat

The next time you’re trying to decide between a burger and a chicken club, you might want to keep this in mind: Eating too much red meat might boost your risk for type-2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed three studies that included food frequency questionnaires and health data from more than 149,000 men and women in the U.S.  Compared with a control group that didn’t change their red meat intake at all, participants who increased their red meat consumption by more than half an additional serving per day had an increased risk of developing Type-2 diabetes by 48 percent over four years. On the other hand, those who cut back on red meat by at least half a serving per day had a decreased risk of 14 percent.

Since this was an observational study, the authors didn’t examine why the link may exist, says William Evans, PhD, head of the Muscle Metabolism Unit at GlaxoSmithKline and author of the commentary that accompanied the study. One possible explanation: Since some cuts of red meat are high in saturated fat—which previous studies have linked to heart disease and increased insulin resistance—eating more of it could be to blame, says Evans.

As a good rule of thumb, less than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake should come from saturated fat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other foods that contain the harmful fat include whole milk, high-fat cheeses, and anything loaded with butter, says Evans.

If you’re feeling majorly bummed right about now, there is some good news: You don’t have to give up red meat altogether. Leaner portions of it, like sirloin or round cuts, contain less saturated fat. So when you’re in the mood for something other than chicken and fish, you’re better off sticking with one of those—at least most of the time.

photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

More from Women’s Health:
6 Reasons to Eat Less Meat
Assess Your Diabetes Risk in Five Minutes
The Healthiest Meats & Seafood

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How Much PDA is OK?

Taylor’s Swift’s recent performance at the Billboard Music Awards was awesome, but the move everyone’s talking about actually happened backstage: When Swift saw Selena Gomez kiss ex Justin Bieber’s cheek, the singer stuck out her tongue as if the sight left a sour taste in her mouth. (Check it out in GIF form here.)

Swift isn’t the only one with a low tolerance for mushiness. According to one report, Brangelina’s eight-year old daughter Zahara once asked Brad Pitt, “‘Daddy, you’re not going to start making out with Mommy again, are you?’” Awkward.

PDA backlash certainly seems to be trending right now—so we polled Men’s Health and Women’s Health Twitter followers to see which forms of it are cute and which ones are cringe-worthy. More than 500 people weighed in. Here’s what they had to say:


To make sure your PDA stays PG, keep these survey results in mind:

-The least offensive way to show your love in public is to hold your partner’s hand. A full 99.3 percent of the readers polled said they were totally fine with this.

-The most offensive form of PDA: kissing with tongue. Survey participants said making out in public is worse than touching your partners butt, thigh, or back in public!

-Even if PDA makes you cringe, don’t expect to escape it any time soon. Women’s Health and Men’s Health readers said they’ve witnessed PDA almost everywhere—with the one exception being the office.

photo: Blend Images/Thinkstock

More from WH:
6 Sex Tips from the Animal Kingdom
How Much Relationship Doubt Is Healthy?
The Relationship Mistakes You’re Probably Making

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Why Are Women So Much More Exhausted Than Men?

Getting a good night’s sleep and waking up rested might just be one of the best feelings in the world. But—bummer alert—women may be less likely than men to regularly experience that refreshed feeling. New information released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that women aged 18 to 44 are almost twice as likely as men in the same age group to frequently feel very tired or exhausted.

In survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010 and 2011, 15.7 percent of women below the age of 45 said they felt “very tired” or “exhausted” on “most days” or “every day”—compared to just 8.7 percent of men. That means dudes are almost twice as likely to be well rested.

That data doesn’t surprise sleep expert Lisa Shives, MD, who says women are up to twice as likely to report having insomnia. Shives posits that, since many women now work outside of the home and take on a big portion of chores and family duties, it makes sense that women would say they feel wiped out.

But just because it’s super common for women to feel tired doesn’t mean you should ignore it. If you don’t get enough sleep, you increase your risk of health issues like depression, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, weight gain, and more, says Shives, who is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Ill., and the medical expert for

“People treat sleep like it’s a recreational activity, like they can cut back on it,” says Shives. “Sleep is not negotiable.” Read more about why it’s so important to get your ZZZs—and how you can clock more:

Easy Ways to Get More Sleep

Find Out How to Sleep Better

Get More Sleep: 10 Sleep Myths Busted

Sleep Much? The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body and Mind

Yoga for Bedtime

15 Tricks to Sleep Better

Do THIS, Sleep Better Tonight

Sleep Before You’re Dead

Sleep Solutions: Finding the Right Pillow

Need Sleep? Products to Help You Get More Sleep

How Your Diet Affects Your Sleep

9 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

photo: Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

More from Women’s Health:
How to Sleep with a Man (and Actually Sleep)
The Secret to Better Sleep
Comfortable Sleep for Two

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There’s HOW Much Sugar in That Coffee?

Although a judge overruled the ban on large, sugary beverages that was supposed to go into effect in New York City today, the initiative still serves as a good wake-up call about just how much sugar you’re chugging each morning.

The regulation applies to any food service establishment regulated by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, including restaurants, food carts, delis, movie theaters, and stadiums. To prepare its customers, Dunkin’ Donuts has been passing out fliers explaining new policy changes designed to help the chain comply with the initiative.

If the proposed regulation had gone into effect this morning as planned, Dunkin’ customers would have had to add their own sugar and “flavor swirls” to large and extra-large hot drinks, as well as medium and large iced drinks. Translation: While you may not realize it, those coffee beverages typically come loaded with sugar—sometimes as much as 61 grams per drink, which puts them into the category of “sugary beverages with more than 25 calories per eight ounces” (anything that falls into that group would be sold in portions of 16 ounces or less, according to the proposal). Dunkin’ is by no means the only coffee shop guilty of overdoing it with the sweet stuff, though. A grande iced coffee at Starbucks contains 20 grams of sugar, a medium hot latte at Caribou Coffee contains 19 grams of sugar, and a medium premium roast iced coffee at McDonald’s has 30 grams of sugar.

The NYC DHMH estimates that if people cut back their sugary drink intake to one 16-ounce beverage every two weeks, the city’s population would collectively lose 2.3 million pounds over the course of a year.

Some experts doubt the ban will work since people can get around the restrictions fairly easily—they could just buy two 16-ounce sugary drinks, for example, says Brian Wansink, PhD, and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University.

But others say that having to add sweetener to your own coffee will at least make consumers more aware of their sugar intake. “It’s really the first step to reduce sugar consumption,” says Lu Qi, MD, PhD, and assistant professor of genetic and nutritional epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

TELL US: Do you have a sugary coffee habit? Does the proposed ban make you rethink your java routine? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

More from Women’s Health:
How Caffeine Affects Your Body
The Perks of Coffee Drinks
Curb Your Sweet Tooth

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