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Power up your diet: When digital diet counselors talk, people listen. Then they cut back on calories, consume more fruits and vegetables, and develop healthier lifestyles. That’s the conclusion of Dutch researchers, who analyzed 30 studies and found that computer tailored health messages improve eating habits. People tend to believe they’re doing better than they really are when it comes to diet and exercise, notes lead author Johannes Brug, Ph.D. “The personalized feedback takes away their bias and points out where they need to change.”

Power Up Your Diet: TollieSchmidt.com

Power Up Your Diet: TollieSchmidt.com

The Whole Milk Truth: Raise your glass to this new finding. Drinking whole milk doesn’t boost LDL cholesterol, according to U.K. scientists. When 32 men doubled their consumption of milk to 2 cups a day, their levels of bad cholesterol didn’t rise, even though the men drank only full-fat milk. On average, the participants’ total daily fat intake increased by 14 grams a day, 5 of which were saturated. “It’s likely these increases weren’t significant enough to raise heart-disease risk during a 6-week period, “says study author Parveen Yaqoob, D.Phil. “Remember, even full-fat milk is only about 4 percent fat.” And now there’s a new reason for drinking any kind of milk: Irish researchers recently found that taking in more than 6 ounces daily reduces stroke risk by 50 percent.

Got Milk? TollieSchmidt.com

Got Milk? TollieSchmidt.com

Lemon Aid: Make sure you never get stoned again. Duke University scientists recently determined that drinking 28 ounces of lemonade daily prevents the recurrence of kidney stones. Why? Lemon juice is naturally rich in citrate, a substance that binds with calcium in the urine to keep salts from crystallizing into stones, says lead investigator David Kang. To flush your plumbing, knock back 1/2 cup lemon juice mixed with 2 quarts of water sweetened to taste with Splenda-daily. If kidney stones aren’t a concern, limit your lemonade intake; studies suggest it erodes tooth enamel.

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Save Your Skin: Chocolate used to be a skin-problem scapegoat. But German scientists have discovered that the antioxidants in chocolate may protect skin from sun damage and even improve its appearance. The researchers found that when people drank a cocoa beverage high in compounds called flavonols every day for 12 weeks, their skin exhibited 25 percent less damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Antioxidants may absorb UV light and prevent inflammation, says study author Wilhelm Stahl, Ph. D. They may also boost blood flow throughout the skin, improving texture. Although participants drank the flavonol equivalent of 22 Hershey’s Kisses daily, smaller doses over a lifetime may yield similar results, says Stahl. Try Mars CocoaVia chocolate bars, the only brand that guarantees a high level of antioxidants.High Antioxidant Chocolate Products

Build A Better Salad: Even foods of the same type can vary in the amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants they contain, according to USDA scientists. Below, you’ll find three choices in several categories of salad ingredients. Toss the winners into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, and you’ve got the world’s healthiest salad.

Peppers: [antioxidants per pepper] Yellow: 1,905, Orange: 1,830, Red: 1,072

Onions: [antioxidants per 1/2 cup] Yellow: 1,281, Red: 917, Sweet: 492

Beans: [antioxidants per 1/2 cup] Red Kidney: 13,259, Pinto: 11,864, Black: 4,181

Lettuce: [antioxidants per four leaves] Red Leaf: 1,213, Green Leaf: 620, Butterhead: 427

Nuts: [antioxidants per ounce] Pecans: 5,096, Walnuts: 3,846, Hazelnuts: 2,739

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