University of Pennsylvania Health System

Penn Health and Wellness

We are happy to announce the launch of our new Penn Medicine website.

Please stay connected to our Health and Wellness blog by visiting us there.

Friday, May 30, 2014

We would like your input

Dear readers,

We could use your help.

This blog has covered many topics and questions, sometimes all at the same time. And, every once in a while (hopefully more times than not) we strike a real chord—which is what we would like to do more often and with greater depth.

So this is where you come in: we'd like to hear what sort of topics you would like us to cover or questions you would have us answer. The way we see it, a conversation with you is better than a speech to you. And when it comes to health, we're in this together...searching, striving, looking for answers to questions, big and small.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. While we can't offer any reward, we can promise to fully appreciate and thoughtfully consider your input, in where the conversation goes from here.

Thank you for your time and for trusting us with the most important decision you make—your wellbeing.

Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Have Your “Cake” and Eat It, Too

Lori M. Noble, MD, a primary care physician at Spruce Internal Medicine, located at the new Penn Medicine Washington Square building, offers tips on how to satisfy your sweet tooth and do so in a healthy way.

Lori M. Noble, MD
For those that don’t know me, I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Ok, I'm a dessert-a-holic. But, throughout my medical training, I became more aware of the potential detriment this habit of mine could have on my health. It is estimated that diabetes affects 382 million people worldwide and the prevalence continues to increase in every country.

Among adults in the United States, the estimated overall prevalence of diabetes ranges from 5.8 to 12.9 percent. One very large, well-respected study - the community-based Framingham Heart Study- has found that the incidence of type 2 diabetes doubled from the 1970's to the 1990's. Diabetes is one of our country's leading health problems, and as I learned more, I decided I didn't want to become a statistic.

So, over the years, I've found creative ways to satisfy my craving for sweets without breaking the sugar bank. Here are some of the tasty tricks I've developed to make dessert both delicious and healthy:
    Healthy Eating Tips
  • Fruit crisp/cobbler: Slice up a banana or an apple and brown it in a sauté pan that has been sprayed with some non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon and put the warm fruit over ½ cup of granola. Add two tablespoons of low-fat whipped topping – delicious!
  • "Ice cream": Freeze the older, brown bananas that you would normally wind up throwing out. Once frozen, grind them up in a food processor until they are smooth and creamy. You now have what tastes and looks like ice cream without the added sugar and fat! Mix in whatever you'd like – berries, some crushed graham crackers, a tablespoon of chocolate chips…the possibilities are endless!
  • Oatmeal truffles: Mix one cup of instant oats with ½ cup of dried figs, dates or raisins, two tablespoons of skim milk, one tablespoon of honey and cinnamon in a food processor. Once well mixed, form into balls, roll into coconut flakes (optional) and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Bread pudding: Take two pieces of whole wheat bread (stale or fresh) and break them into small pieces, set aside. Mix ¼ cup of egg whites, two tablespoons of raisins, ½ teaspoon of salt, cinnamon to taste and one tablespoon of melted butter. Pour the mixture over the bread, transfer to an oven-safe dish and bake at 350 degrees until warm, about 15-20 minutes.
For those looking for store bought options that don't require preparation, here are two of my favorites:
  • Skinny Cow: Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches or ice cream popsicles. They typically run between 100-150 calories and are very satisfying.
  • Weight Watchers muffins: Add a side of fresh fruit and you've got a high fiber, cake-like dessert.
So next time you are looking for something sweet, try one of these healthy, satisfying options that have earned high praise in my house and should do the trick in yours.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Spring Skin Health Seminar

Penn Dermatology will be a hosting a free reception on Monday, May 19 to provide tips on how to keep your skin healthy and safe this summer.

During the Spring Skin Health Seminar, Penn Dermatology staff will give information on sunscreen, self-skin checks and topical cosmetic products. Joseph F. Sobanko, MD, Director of Dermatologic Surgery Education, will discuss the latest technology and products to help you look and feel your best. His lecture will cover cutting-edge cosmetic techniques, such as lasers for scar reduction and skin resurfacing, injectable products that require minimal downtime and innovative products that are coming out soon.

Event Details

Date: Monday, May 19
Time: 6 pm to 8 pm
Location:  Smilow Center
                for Translational Research
                3400 Civic Center Blvd
                Philadelphia, PA 19104

Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served. Attendees will receive a complimentary gift bag.

To RSVP or find more information, call 215.662.6534 or email

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