Health briefs: Eating ice cream on a diet, warding off mosquitos, honey and allergy prevention

Eating ice cream will not necessarily pack on the pounds if you plan accordingly.

Ice cream and diet

If you're the kind of person who loves to cap off dinner with something sweet -say, some ice cream, but bans it whenever you're trying to lose weight, you might be making a mistake.

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According to a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, banning sugary foods could lead to overeating. One reason may be that removing access to sweet foods stimulates the release of a molecule in your brain called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), produced when you're afraid, anxious or stressed, says Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., lead study author. And increased stress levels may lower your motivation to eat more nutritious foods, making it more likely you'll binge on junk food.

Healthy eating isn't about depriving yourself of everything you love - it's just about eating fewer calories than you're burning, a tactic that can be delicious and can most certainly include dessert. The key is making room for the calories by planning your snacks and meals to accommodate your favorite summer treats.

Warding off mosquitos

Garlic may keep vampires at bay, but unfortunately, it won't keep mosquitoes away. Researchers at the University of Connecticut tested the theory without success, although they did suggest perhaps participants hadn't eaten enough garlic to see results.

Here's a tip, leave the experimenting to the experts. And for now, stick to bug sprays, citronella candles and long-sleeved clothing to fight the critters this season.

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