Drs. Oz and Roizen: Learn how to identify the fish you eat

03/19/2013 7:04 AM

08/08/2014 10:15 AM

DNA testing on 1,200 seafood samples in 21 states revealed that 87 percent of fish sold as “snapper” and 59 percent of fish labeled “tuna” just aren’t.

Mislabeling fish isn’t just a scam, it’s a health hazard. Tilefish is served in place of red snapper, and it’s on the government’s do-not-ever-eat list because of high mercury content.

But eating fatty fish, loaded with heart-loving omega-3 fatty acids, is good for you, and we don’t want this fish-fraud to turn you off. So we suggest:

1. Become an informed consumer and learn how to identify fish by their appearance (skin color and texture are important clues).

2. At the fish store, check out the whole fish before they cut a filet.

3. Order whole fish or fish with skin attached in restaurants so you can identify impostors, and speak up.

4. Your healthiest choices? Salmon delivers 1,500-2,300 mg of omega-3 in every 4-ounce filet. Ocean trout contains 1,380 mg in 5.25 ounces.

Delusions of great driving

A new study shows those who believe they’re above-average driving multitaskers turn out to be the most dangerous. (More than 28 percent of all traffic accidents involve someone who is texting or talking on a cellphone.)

That’s why, in the U.S., more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia ban or restrict cellphone usage while driving.

Do you need help breaking the habit?

• Put your phone in the backseat of the car and turn off the ringer. If you really need it, you can pull over and retrieve it.
• Use your car time for a little timeout: Put on your favorite music (not too loud). You’ll be better equipped to deal with work or family if you have a calm attitude and haven’t been in or caused an accident.
• And remember, when it comes to evaluating your own multitasking skills, it’s a mistake to think that you’re exempt from the hazards of distracted driving.

To clear up acne, go for ‘low-GI’ foods

Simple lifestyle solutions have been few and far between, but a careful review of the facts reveals that eating high-glycemic index foods (and not doing anything to decrease their glycemic effect — we’ll tell you how in a minute) and inflammation-promoting saturated fats may be to blame.

Consuming high-GI foods (such as white bread, any grains that aren’t 100 percent whole, and anything with added sugar or sugar syrup) spikes your blood sugar and insulin (it’s released in reaction). Constantly repeat that roller-coaster ride, and you stimulate overproduction of pimple-producing hormones.

The solution? Decrease the glycemic effect of the foods you eat. Twenty-five minutes before any meal, snack on some healthy fat: six walnut halves, 12 almonds or 20 peanuts. Then when you eat, that healthy fat slows stomach emptying, so there’s no blood-sugar spike. In addition, opt for low-GI foods — lean protein, most whole grains, non-starchy veggies and most fruits. And reduce your intake of saturated fats. (There’s research showing that in cultures where people don’t eat four-legged animals, poultry skin or palm and coconut oils, acne doesn’t exist.) And staying with these dietary changes offers an added bonus: Not only can you prevent acne, you can reduce wrinkling, too.

New hope for dyslexia

What exactly is dyslexia? Simply put, it’s the inability to connect letters with sounds and put those sounds in the right order. Reading depends on accurate, consistent sound processing and ordering — even if, while you’re reading, those sounds are heard only inside your brain.

This new understanding of the sound-reading connection means some kids can ease their reading woes with auditory therapy. The therapy involves listening to sounds, syllables, words and sentences (no reading), then trying to identify differences in pitch and accurately ID the meaning of a word or phrase by choosing a picture that represents it. This can rewire the brain so that sound is processed more accurately, and, yep, that improves reading.

Early indications of dyslexia include: difficulty repeating a list of numbers or words, an inability to rhyme words or to enjoy hearing rhymes, confusing up/down and over/under, or misstating colors’ names (saying “blue” for “green”). So, if you suspect your child has processing problems, get a diagnosis and begin auditory therapy before he or she starts trying to read. Remember, dyslexia needn’t keep your child from enjoying school or success as an adult.

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