The right way to wash your hands
This from the Department of Over-the-Top: In 2015, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., suggested that restaurants be allowed to “opt out” of certain regulations, such as employees washing their hands. “I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy [of employees washing hands] as long as they post a sign that says, ‘We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom.'” Huh?
Although posting a sign that says “Employees must wash hands” is no guarantee they’ll do it, folks need reminding of the importance of clean hands — in a restaurant, hospital, gym or wherever germs can spread illness. It’s scientifically indisputable!
A study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that only about 6 percent of folks wash their hands effectively. So, here’s a refresher course from Dr. Mike’s Cleveland Clinic (where hand-washing is monitored before any caregiver touches any patient or patient’s device) on how to wash your hands in a public restroom so you are protected from infections that can linger on public surfaces.
■ Grab a paper towel and set it aside.
■ Wet your hands thoroughly.
■ Apply soap and lather up for 20 seconds on front and back of hands.
■ Rinse hands well.
■ Use the set-aside paper towel to turn off faucets.
■ Dry hands thoroughly using another towel. Damp hands more likely to pick up bacteria than dry hands.
If you use hand sanitizer, it should contain 60 percent alcohol.
Moms-to-be: Make sure you’re getting nutrients for two
In the sitcom “I Love Lucy,” a very pregnant Lucy sends her husband Ricky out to buy whatever foods she craves. In one episode, Lucy inhales a dill pickle dipped in a papaya milkshake. In another, she chows down on pistachio ice cream topped with hot fudge and sardines. Funny, and not entirely unrealistic. But occasional cravings aside, it’s important for a pregnant woman to eat foods that provide the nutrients she and her fetus need for good health.
Unfortunately, according to a metastudy published in Maternal & Child Nutrition, a majority of women who are hoping to conceive or are pregnant aren’t eating enough vegetables and whole grains and are taking in too much saturated fat. As a result, they’re deficient in vital nutrients such as folate, calcium and iron. Folate helps prevent neural tube defects, like spina bifida; calcium is essential for preventing high blood pressure, preeclampsia and preterm birth; and iron is needed for a healthy red blood cell supply, brain development and to guard against low birth weight.
The solution? Talk with your doc, get a blood test to check for essential nutrient levels, and upgrade your daily diet to eliminate all red and processed meats, added sugars and syrups and any grain that isn’t 100 percent whole. Also, women who are or may become pregnant should take prenatal vitamins with the omega-3 DHA. Remember, a healthy pregnancy is your best assurance of a healthy baby, and you can do a lot to make sure that happens.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.