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Dr. Oz talks grocery diet advice and fat-burning weight loss snacks: Go nuts

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Feeling hungry? You'll curb your cravings quickly when you find out what Dr. Mehmet Oz disclosed about dirty shopping carts (hint: he compared them to toilets) on his July 11 talk show. Plus: Discover the best fat-burning weight loss snacks and why to go nuts.

On previous shows, Dr. Oz has offered weight loss advice for grocery shopping. He recommends eating before you go, because studies show feeling hungry while you shop can lead to buying impulsive items such as candy bars. A healthy snack example: Fresh blueberries and a handful of almonds.

In addition, shop the perimeters of the store, focusing on vegetables, fruit and protein. Processed foods high in sugar and white flour tend to be housed in the center aisles, which you should avoid.

Now Dr. Oz is adding a new caution: Beware of that grocery cart. When an investigator tested one for germs, he discovered staphylococcus, pseudomonas and dermacoccus. Translation: That cart handle might contain more bad bacteria than your toilet seat.

Use antibacterial wipes that contain bleach to clean the cart before you wheel it around the store. In addition, when you get home, wash items such as citrus fruit carefully to remove the bacteria.

Dr. Oz also dished up some tips for fat-burning weight loss snacks on this episode. He recommends watermelon, which he says can help your metabolism function at optimal level. In addition, Dr. Oz suggests licorice because of its enzymes, which support your digestion.

One of his most popular suggestions: Pistachios, which are high in protein and healthy fats. One ounce of pistachios, which equals 49 pistachios, have 159 calories and six grams of protein.

In addition, studies have shown that people who consume tree nuts such as pistachios and almonds experience a reduction in their risk of conditions such as diabetes. They also enjoy healthier, longer lives and can lose weight more easily because of the satiety factor from those healthy fats.

The term "healthy fats" has become a popular label, but what does it really mean? Using nuts as an example, they are considered a beneficial source of fats because they contain omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). A recent study found that consuming foods high in omega-3 fats can help with conditions such as arthritis, reported the Medical Xpress on July 11.

The discovery highlights the link between diet and disease. "Our results suggest that dietary factors play a more significant role than mechanical factors in the link between obesity and osteoarthritis," said study author Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., a professor at Duke University.

Examining what can help alleviate the pain of osteoarthritis, the researchers discovered that lab animals consuming omega 3 fatty acids exhibited healthier joints than mice who ate omega 6 fatty acids. Most Americans consume too much omega 6 from sources such as corn and soybean oil.

In recent years, high fat low carb diets have become popular. However, not everyone agrees on whether it's necessary to reduce certain types of fat. This research indicates that for those with conditions such as osteoarthritis, focusing on omega-3 fat sources is important for reduction of pain.

In addition, the new study is significant because it also showed the role played by leptin. The Duke University researchers found that when obesity existed wtihout leptin, arthritis did not occur, reported Headline and Global News on July 11.

"We were completely surprised to find that mice that became extremely obese had no arthritis if their bodies didn't have leptin," added Guilak. "Although there was some earlier evidence that leptin might be involved in the arthritis disease process, we didn't think that there would be no arthritis at all."

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