ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
CANCER
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Holiday Eating Without the Guilt -- or the Pounds
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
New Options Offered for Sleep Apnea
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
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Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil

Most French fries served in U.S. restaurants are immersed in corn-based oil -- usually considered the worst oil for human health -- before they're fried, according to the authors of a new study.

Corn oil contains copious amounts of saturated fat, known to contribute to heart disease.

This type of oil is also low in monounsaturated fat, which most Americans need more of, and high in polyunsaturated fat, which, in too-large quantities, can lower HDL ("good") cholesterol along with LDL ("bad") cholesterol, said Karen Congro, a registered dietician and director of the Wellness for Life Program at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City.

Congro was not involved with the new study, published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The same research group that performed this study reported in November that corn, which has been linked to obesity, is a prime ingredient in almost all fast-food sold in the United States, either directly or through animal feed.

Chain restaurants are not required to provide "specific" information on ingredients in the food they offer, while small businesses do not have to provide any information at all.

"Restaurants don't tell you what they're using and, even if you ask them, they will be very cagey," Congro said. "It will be a blend, but the blend is never a blend of anything you want to use."

French fries are particularly worthy of study, said the authors, from the University of Hawaii-Manoa, because they contribute 20 percent of the calories from a fast-food meal via the fat in the frying vat.

And Americans get about one-third of their total calories from restaurants.

The authors focused their attention on the saturated fat content of corn oil, which is higher than in canola, sunflower or safflower oils.

The researchers bought French fries from 68 of the 101 national fast-food restaurants represented on the island of Oahu, including McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and others, as well as from 66 small businesses. Then they measured carbon isotope composition of the oil used to fry the food.

Almost seven out of 10 of the national chains but only 20 percent of the small businesses sold fries dipped in corn oil. Eleven percent of small businesses and 7 percent of chains used blends containing more than 50 percent corn oil, the researchers found.

The authors speculated that larger conglomerates are able to negotiate economical deals to purchase large quantities of oil from suppliers.

Corn oil content ranged from 16 percent on the low end for McDonald's, to 36 percent and even 50 percent and up in other eating establishments.

Danya Proud, a spokeswoman for McDonald's USA stated that, in May 2008, the corporation "completed the transition to a new canola-blend cooking oil in our 14,000 U.S. restaurants. This blend of canola, corn and soybean oil allows us to serve fried menu items with reduced levels of trans fat and saturated fat, while delivering the same great taste our customers expect from McDonald's."

Even if dipped in relatively healthy oils, though, French fries aren't high on any nutritionist's list of preferred foods.

"French fries aren't exactly the most healthy food ... and we all know that eating too much of anything is not a good thing," said Marianne Grant, a registered dietician and certified diabetes health educator at Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center in Corpus Christi.

"We try to steer people away from foods like this," Congro added.

SOURCES: Karen Congro, R.D., CDN, director, Wellness for Life Program, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; Danya Proud, spokeswoman, McDonald's USA; Marianne Grant, R.D., registered dietician and certified diabetes health educator, Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center, Corpus Christi, Texas; Jan. 18-22, 2010, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online Published on: January 18, 2010