TIME Diet/Nutrition

Should I Eat Sushi?

You now have the blessing of five health experts to eat sushi—but there are some things you should know before ordering.

“Sushi is a nice and healthy meal if you make the right choices,” says Sunniva Hoel, a PhD candidate at Sør-Trøndelag University College in Norway. It comes with all the health benefits you’d expect from fish, like omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein, but the problem is often what it’s wrapped in. “Maki and nigiri sushi mainly consist of rice, which is just fast carbohydrates,” she says. Eating sashimi, slices of raw fish accessorized with vegetables, is the better way to order.

It should be noted, too, that sushi is raw, so people with immune deficiency, like the elderly or chronically ill, and pregnant women should take care when eating foods that haven’t been heat-treated, she says. “Raw fish can transmit infectious diseases,” adds Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, “so you need to choose a very well-run establishment.”

Store-bought sushi might face even more of a quality challenge than the kind you eat at a restaurant, since its longer shelf life gives bacteria more of an opportunity to flourish, Hoel says. A study by Hoel and her colleagues found that almost half of the 58 samples of supermarket sushi they sampled had unsatisfactory levels of bacteria. “The main concern is to maintain an unbroken cold chain during production, distribution, and display in stores and all the way to the consumer’s tables,” she says.

Needless to say, rolls that are deep-fried and smothered with mayo are less healthy choices, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, manager of wellness nutrition services at Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. She tells her patients to focus on lean sources of fresh fatty fish, get plenty of sea vegetables and wrap it in brown rice, or no wrap at all. “If that’s how you approach a night at the sushi bar, then a portioned controlled thumbs up to you,” she says.

Mercury is still a concern with sushi, says Roxanne Karimi, PhD, 
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University
. Her research on mercury found that blood mercury levels were positively associated with eating a weekly tuna steak or sushi. But small-bodied fish lower on the food chain have less of it, she says.

Those lesser-known fish lower on the food chain are often the best ones to pick for sustainability, too, says Tim Fitzgerald, director of impact in the oceans program at the Environmental Defense Fund. “The sushi market in general is much more opaque than the larger seafood market,” he says. Unfortunately, three of the most popular items—tuna, salmon and shrimp—aren’t often fished or farmed sustainably, he says.

Opt instead for things with two shells, like scallops, clams and oysters. Roe—fish eggs—are a good choice too and have some of the highest omega-3 levels of any food per volume, Fitzgerald says. Other sustainable options are mackerel and arctic char, which is produced in a much more sustainable way than farmed salmon sushi, he says. (For more on the best fish to order, check out the Environmental Defense Fund Seafood Selector—complete with a sushi guide.)

Some restaurants, too, are raising the bar: Fitzgerald points to Bamboo Sushi in Portland, OR, Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, CT, and Tataki in San Francisco, CA as pioneers in sushi sustainability.

“You don’t have to give up sushi,” Fitzgerald reiterates. “It’s still good for you: just have a cheat sheet when you go in.”

Read next: Should I Eat Tilapia?

TIME workplace injuries

Here’s How Nursing Jobs Could Get a Lot Safer

Tetra Images—Getty Images/Tetra images RF

OSHA is about to crack down on hospitals

What’s the occupation that reports the most debilitating worker injuries?

It’s not factory work, or hazardous jobs on an oil rig or a construction site. It’s nursing.

Nurses and nursing assistants are plagued by back and arm injuries from lifting and moving patients on a daily basis, and hospitals have done little to prevent those injuries.

On Thursday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will announce an effort to crack down on hospitals for such failures for the very first time. The agency’s chief David Michaels told NPR that OSHA will no longer just recommend safe practices for hospitals; it will actually fine hospitals for not adopting them.

Studies have shown that the best way for nurses to move patients is with special equipment such as ceiling lifts. OSHA’s new enforcement program will examine the types of machines hospitals own and the way hospitals train their staff to use them.

Michaels told NPR: “Sadly, there will be some hospitals where we find significant ergonomic hazards, and they are at risk for serious penalties.” Fines will likely total $7,000 per hospital, but could reach as high as $70,000 in instances of deliberate violations.


Condoms That Change Color In Contact with STD Win Tech Award

Condoms Teens Sex
Getty Images

The idea, which involves color-changing protection, remains in its very, very early stages

The old adage goes that teenagers think about sex constantly, but there are at least a few out there who have expressed a very keen interest in the particulars of safe sex.

Three British teens—two 14-year-olds and one 13-year-old—have proposed an idea for a new type of condom that could detect sexually transmitted diseases amongst intimate partners. The Washington Post explains:

There would be antibodies on the condom that would interact with the antigens of STDs, causing the condom to change colors depending on the disease…For instance, if the condom were exposed to chlamydia, it might glow green — or yellow for herpes, purple for human papilloma virus and blue for syphilis.

The proposal won the trio the top prize in the U.K.’s TeenTech Awards, and they have already reportedly been approached by condom companies.

The idea, however, is not without its imperfections. It seems unclear whether the STIs would be detected in just the user’s partner or also the user as well. In addition, there’s the awkward question of what would happen if the condom came into contact with two or more STDs—not to mention the logistical difficulties of figuring out a way to determine the color with sufficient opportunity to make use of those findings.

Nevertheless, if teens are going to think about sex, it’s tough to quibble with them spending more time thinking about ways to make is safer.

[Washington Post]

TIME Diet/Nutrition

10 Delicious and Healthy Ways to Use Chia Seeds

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The tiny little seeds pack in tons of good nutrition

Just because something’s little doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. Case in point: Chia seeds. These little superstars are tiny, but they’re loaded with essential nutrients like omega-3s, calcium, potassium and magnesium. If that isn’t enough, they’re great for keeping hunger at bay; between all the fiber they contain (5 grams per tablespoon) and their liquid-binding power, chia seeds can be a powerful force against the munchies. Here are 10 great ways to incorporate them into your day.

Make them into pudding

Chia seeds can absorb many times their own weight in liquid, so when you soak them in water or milk overnight, you get a dish that’s a lot like tapioca pudding in texture. Add some spices and a little bit of sweetener (like honey or pure maple syrup) and you get a healthy breakfast or snack that tastes like a treat. We love this recipe for clementine chia pudding; the creamsicle-like dish boasts 4 grams each of filling fiber and fortifying protein, all for less than 150 calories. Top it with a tablespoon or two of toasted pistachios or sliced almonds for a bit of crunch.

Use them as a topping

Add some crunch to yogurt or oatmeal by sprinkling on chia seeds. Note: Once they sit in liquid for a while, they form little gelatinous balls. If you don’t like that texture, sprinkle them on just before eating. Just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds gives you 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein, as well as magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and omega-3s, and has just 60 calories. The black and white seeds are equally good for you, so pick up whichever one you prefer (or whichever one your supermarket or health food store carries).

Mix them into muffins (and more)

If you’re making pancakes, waffles, muffins, or homemade granola, toss in some nutritious chia seeds. They have a neutral flavor, so they work in almost anything. Toss a handful into these hearty flapjacks, or swap them for the poppy seeds in the streusel in these tasty muffins. You could also use chia seeds in place of some of the flax seeds in homemade granola bars. Wherever you put them, they bring a happy bit of crunch.

Add them to your kid’s snacks

Admit it: If you have kids, you dip into their little squeeze packs of fruit (we do it, too). Now get your own, with the added goodness of chia. In flavors like wild raspberry, pomegranate mint and green magic, they’re good for grownups on the go ($13.30 for 8, amazon.com). (Your kids might want to try them, too.) These are best for fans of bubble tea, tapioca, or gelatin; if you don’t care for that texture, these aren’t for you.

Bake them in to bread

We love this bread recipe, which combines chia with sunflower, caraway, sesame, and poppy seeds. Not only do you get the crunch (and nutrition) from all those seeds, you also get a delicious loaf perfect for morning toast or lunchtime sandwiches—and it’s gluten free. Try it slathered with your favorite nut butter (or regular butter) and low-sugar jam, with smashed avocado on top, or as an open-face melt with smoked turkey, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut piled on.

Snack on ’em

Chia-packed Health Warrior energy bars ($25 for 15, amazon.com) are a tasty, energizing snack. Flavors include coconut, chocolate peanut butter, acai berry and coffee, so there’s something for everyone. Plus, they’re sturdy, so they won’t get smashed in your purse or gym bag. Have one before or after a workout, with your midmorning coffee, or to stave off the 4 p.m. munchies. With just 100 calories (but 4g fiber), they’re satisfying without weighing you down.

Turn them into a spread

Make your own jam the easy way with chia. The seeds’ binding power means you won’t need pectin—just a bit of sweetener (how much depends on the fruit). For blueberry jam, for example, add a few tablespoons of maple syrup or honey and 1/4 cup chia seeds to a few cups of berries and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until it thickens. The result is so delicious and healthy. Use any fruit you like, or a combination; we love berries mixed with peeled and seeded stone fruits, like peaches or plums.

Bread fish, meat, or veggies

Add some chia seeds to your favorite breading for chicken, fish or vegetables to boost the crunch factor as well as the nutrients. Blog Savoring the Thyme offers this recipe for chia-cornmeal-crusted tilapia, while Dole adds them to a delicious Italian-flavored chicken recipe. For something a little different, click on over to Nutrition Stripped, where you’ll find a trendy cauliflower pizza ‘crust’ fortified with chia seeds.

Work them into your beauty routine

We love superfoods that also work as beauty products (we’re looking at you, coconut oil!). Chia is so good for you inside, it just makes sense that it works on the outside, too. In this scrub by Andalou Naturals ($13, amazon.com), chia seeds work as an exfoliant and buffing agent, leaving you with smoother, brighter skin. If you’re more of a DIY person, make your own chia scrub with this recipe by Spa Index.

Fuel up

If you like to run or bike, no doubt you’re familiar with energy gels designed to keep you going during prolonged exercise. Some of those products are healthy enough, but others are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients, and may upset your stomach. Chia seeds—with their power to turn liquids into gels—to the rescue. We like this recipe by running blogger I Run On Nutrition, which combines chia seeds with tart cherry juice, orange juice, salt and honey for an all-natural boost.

This article originally appeared on Health.com

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TIME Health Care

Needle-Exchange Programs Could Prevent HIV Outbreaks, Experts Say

Congress should make it easier for programs to exist, experts argue in the wake of Indiana's recent outbreak

Offering programs that allow injection drug users to receive clean needles in a bid to avoid reuse and sharing could be one way to combat HIV outbreaks like the one in rural Indiana, two researchers argue in a paper released Wednesday.

In a new commentary published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Chris Beyrer, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professor, and Steffanie Strathdee, director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of California, San Diego, argue that Congress should immediately lift a ban on federal funding for needle-exchange programs.

As of June 10, 169 people living in Scott County, Indiana, had been diagnosed with HIV and more than 80% of them also had hepatitis C. The spread was traced to residents dissolving prescription painkillers and then injecting themselves. As TIME reported in June, some of the residents injected themselves up to 20 times a day, often sharing needles with others to do so. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even reported instances of three generations of family members passing needles around.

“There are going to be more of these outbreaks and what’s urgently needed is a public health response before things get even worse,” Beyrer said in a statement. “Now is the time to implement needle and syringe exchange programs, wherever they are needed. We can’t put politics above public health. We have a cheap tool to prevent this.”

The authors note that buying syringes over the counter is illegal without a prescription in 25 states and that in places where needle-exchange programs are legal, organizers cannot use federal funds. Indiana Governor Mike Pence has opposed needle exchanges, but allowed for them as an exception in the affected region. Still, the authors write that many programs are only open until 6 p.m. and ask for a lot of personal information that may deter people from seeking them out.

As America’s drug-addiction problem has pushed deeper into rural white communities, the report’s authors argue, America’s approach needs to become more nimble. In addition to exchanges, other strategies like asking people about drug use during HIV screenings and considering the use of opioid replacement therapies could help the U.S. combat the growing health problem.

Read next: Why America Can’t Kick Its Painkiller Problem

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