The Better (to the Best of) You

Each of us has a potential to become a better version of ourselves. The focus of this blog is to provide information that can improve our lives in many areas, enlighten our attitudes and views concerning ourselves and the world around us, ultimately allowing us to become the best version of ourselves.


Is There Really a Connection between Drinking Certain Tea and Losing Weight?


There I was standing in the wilds of Africa with a massive, red, venomous snake looking right at me and a single thought racing through my mind –“why in the world did I risk my life for this cup of tea?”


The truth is I was looking for what I considered to be the weight loss “holy grail” – a tea that legend claimed completely erased hunger pangs.




The story so intrigued me that I decided to leave the comfort of my home in the US and venture into a remote area of Africa populated by a Kenyan tribe to find out if the tales about this ‘voodoo tea’ were true.


What I discovered changed my life, in that it has allowed me to lose 41 pounds of unwanted fat.


That’s right, not only did the tea really exist (and it’s definitely not ‘voodoo’) but it turned out to be even better than the stories let on.


You see, not only does the tea get rid of hunger pangs; it also activates your body’s natural ability to burn fat. On top of all that, it also boosts your energy without containing potentially harmful caffeine.


I’m going to tell you all about this incredible tea, including how you can get the recipe, in just a minute. But before I do that, let me explain in a little more detail how I ended up in the jungles of Africa.


The first thing you should know about me is that I have degrees in both Psychology and Naturopathy and for over 10 years, I’ve been a practicing Naturopath (ND) specializing in healing through nutrition.


Basically, what that means is, I help people lose weight and improve their health through their diet. Naturally, when I heard about this amazing tea, I was excited.


The fact that I heard the story while I was battling excess weight myself is ultimately what led me to Africa.


At that time, my pregnancy had really taken a toll on me. After multiple complications, I was put on bed rest … I spent 80% of my time stuck in bed, and I was forced to give up the active lifestyle I loved.

I became sluggish. I felt exhausted all the time. Eventually, I developed a sweet tooth, and I absolutely lost control of my weight.


I felt like a fraud. Here I was helping people all over the country lose weight and get the bodies they wanted while I was lying in bed looking worse than I have in my entire life.


Honestly, I felt disgusted with myself, and even though my husband was very supportive, telling me he didn’t care what I looked like, I knew deep down he just wasn’t attracted to me anymore.


Finally, I decided to face the music. I got on the scale one day after having my baby and saw that I was 41 pounds over my target weight.


I couldn’t believe it. I went back to bed and cried.


If you’ve ever gained extra fat, if you’ve ever felt like your body was out of control, I know how you feel. More importantly, I now have a solution that works. It’s fast, easy, and it tastes delicious. I’m going to tell you more about this tea in just a second.


This is the very same tea that helped me drop every one of those 41 hard-to-lose pounds. I feel that weight loss coupled with the success stories of so many others who have followed my program more than justify my “crazy” trip deep into the jungles of Africa.


Now, about that tea…


To put it simply, red tea has the most remarkable “fat-flushing” action I’ve discovered in 15 years of traveling the world as a Medical Maverick.


I’ve seen some truly mind-blowing fat-loss results, but this red tea is by far the most impressive, most incredible thing I’ve ever discovered.


In studying the tea, I’ve learned that its 5 unique ingredients are scientifically proven to trick stubborn fat cells to open and release hard-to-lose fat.


That means it’s now possible to flush away years — if not decades — of unwanted fat simply by drinking this powerful beverage.


Without getting too much into the science and boring you, the five herbal ingredients basically work in harmony to transmit signals from your brain to your fat cells to burn unwanted fat. It allows you to shrink your fat cells without any feelings of hunger.


Up until now one of the main problems with trying to lose fat (especially around your belly) has always been getting stubborn fat cells to “let go” of the “locked in fat” so the body can “flush harmful toxins and fat away.”


Due to cutting-edge research, we now know that the hormone “Noradrenaline” may hold the key to unlocking fat cells and shrinking them.


In a landmark study at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the NIH, researchers showed that Noradrenaline is an arousing hormone known to control cell volume. (NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Brain may flush out toxins during sleep; Sleep clears brain of molecules associated with neurodegeneration: Study.” ScienceDaily. (accessed July 2, 2017).

In other words, Noradrenaline is what causes the action of “the incredible shrinking fat cell.” It signals your body to start using your belly fat for energy.


Now here is the really good news:


People who drink this delicious red tea experience increased Noradrenaline production. That’s why they lose a lot of weight, particularly in the typically hard-to-lose belly area.


Let me repeat what I just said:


Results show that fat cell size and fat storing volume actually shrinks when you drink this red tea!


That is revolutionary information – and the benefits of drinking this tea don’t just stop with weight loss.


When I started drinking this incredibly delicious red tea, my entire mood changed. Instead of being exhausted, I had a ton of natural energy.


This red tea was unbelievably refreshing, and when I drank it, I was never hungry.


Drinking red tea also helped me completely eliminate my soda addiction.


I also noticed after a few days of drinking the red tea that I was sweating less. And my breathing was easier, in spite of the intense African heat, which often rose to a scorching 105 degrees!


Plus, even though I had to climb a massive hill to get to the village every day, I actually had more energy than ever before.


I started sleeping better, and waking up more rested and refreshed. I was even more relaxed and calm, despite having to deal with the hordes of flies that were in the area!


And that’s still not all the benefits that I noticed, my stress level dropped, and I was happier than I’d been in a very long time.


Of course, the weight loss was what really got my attention. The weight was really falling off me.


I lost almost 20 pounds that first month.


That’s when I knew … I wasn’t crazy for making that trip to Africa. In fact, it was probably the best decision of my life! I think red tea might just be one of the biggest weight loss discoveries of the past 50 to 100 years.


It is certainly working for many people who have struggled to lose weight in the past. To learn about the five ingredients that make up red tea (all are available at the local grocery store) see below. You’ll also learn more about how red tea can help you lose weight and get the body of your dreams.







Discover how red tea can help you fix your own “fat-burning glitch” by entering your details below.







Is Acorns Worth It?


What is Acorns?

It is a mobile app you can download that invests your spare change.  The app is tied to your bank account and credit cards and rounds up your daily purchases and invests the change into a portfolio of diversified ETFs.  It is ideal for young, new investors that are worried about huge fees and initial investment buy ins.  You can start with as little as $5.

It costs about $15 a year if <$5000 invested then .275% beyond that.

Setup is easy.

  1.  Download the app and create an account.
  2. Complete your profile.
  3. Link you bank accounts and credit cards.
  4. Select your portfolio type (conservative to aggressive)
  5. Let the app invest your “round ups” and any recurring investments you set.  You can also do any “one time” investments as well.

Here is screenshot of the “aggressive” portfolio:



























Some sample round ups (notice you can set multipliers to your roundups, mine is X2):




























Performance over time (16.03% return):




























I think Acorns is a great app for beginning investors that want to start small and have a fairly set it and forget it solution.  The minimal fees are nothing considering the return and the great dividends.


  •  Ability to start investing with limited funds.  No huge upfront deposit needed.
  • Small fees when considering the dividends more than 5x cover the fees.
  • Invest any time, any amount without a fee.   Some companies like Vanguard, Fidelity charge you per trade.
  • Setup recurring investments so you meet your goals passively.
  • Newsletter that actually has sound advice and interviews.

Sign up and start investing now and get a free $5 in your account!


20 Financial Tips Everyone Should Read

financial advice

  1. Max your 401k or other employee contribution OR at least enough to get your employer’s maximum match.  Don’t throw away free money.  This can be thousands of dollars you are leaving on the table.

a.  Know where your money is invested in your 401k (common stocks, bonds, international stocks, etc.).  Choosing the wrong investments can lose you 1000s of dollars.

2.   Get inexpensive, well-diversified mutual funds such as those in Vanguard (VTSAX).  If you can’t invest a lot, start here.

This app (get $5 just for signing up) allows you to invest small amounts to grow wealth over time.  It even has a cool recurring investment feature where you can invest an X amount from your account every day/week/month.  Set it and forget it.  Fees are low as well.

See below how I used this app to invest a good amount with a good return in a few short years:


Sign up here and start investing today —-> I Want to Invest My Spare Change Now!


3.   Save 20% of what you make.  A large income does not equal wealth. Wealth is what you save, not what you spend or buy.

4.  If you have credit cards, always pay in full every month.  I only have debit cards.

5.  Buy used cars in ca$h.  The certified used cars these days are solid and cost a lot less.  You save paying less for a used car AND no interest charges for a car loan.

6.  Max out tax-advantaged vehicles like Roth, SEP and 529s.

7.  Make sure you know your fees.  High fees can eat away at your investment earnings.  Avoid actively managed funds.

8.  Only choose a fiduciary as a financial advisor.


9.   Read some basic financial books:

a. “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy.”

-develops the right mindset to achieve wealth

b.  “Total Money Makeover”

The success stories speak for themselves in this book from money maestro Dave Ramsey. Instead of promising the normal dose of quick fixes, Ramsey offers a bold, no-nonsense approach to money matters…

Use it for yourself or give it as a gift (makes a great wedding gift).

c. “The White Coat Investor”

-great for high earning professionals especially physicians

d.  “The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing”

-a slightly irreverent, straightforward guide to investing for everyone.   The book offers sound, practical advice, no matter what your age or net worth.

e. Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age, It’s a Financial Number”

-In Retire Inspired, Chris Hogan teaches that retirement isn’t an age; it’s a financial number an amount you need to live the life in retirement that you’ve always dreamed of. With clear investing concepts and strategies, Chris will educate and empower you to make your own investing decisions, set reasonable expectations for your spouse and family, and build a dream team of experts to get you there.


10.  Read these other sources and stay educated. (Money Magazine, Business Insider, Kiplingers, Money Mustache,  Bogleheads, The Penny Hoarder).  These give investing, business and saving advice.

11.  Learn what opportunity cost is and think about this in everything you purchase.  It’s defined as “the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen”.  For example, if you choose to buy a Michael Kors purse for $700, that is $700 that is gone forever.  It cannot be invested or saved.

12.  Do a monthly budget.  Set average projected expenses and try to stay in those boundaries.  Try to make saving and investing more joyful than spending.  EveryDollar is a great tool.

13.   Acquire some passive income streams.  Make your money work for you by working smarter, not harder.  The average millionaire has 5+ income streams.


14.  Try to understand taxes as much as possible. Do taxes yourself for as long as possible (or find a good CPA). People who don’t understand the tax system never become wealthy because they don’t realize that a major way to lose money is through taxes.

15.  Understand the power of compound interest. Wealth is like a snowball that starts small for a while but sooner or later will hit an inflection point leading to big gains.


When you get depressed that your friends in the neighborhood appear “wealthy” because they are driving luxury cars and living in 5000 sq. foot houses, remember this calculator and never forget it.  For example, if you chose to save $30,000 buying a reasonable car such as a Honda as opposed to a luxury car and invested that money, with a 7% interest rate and growing over 20 years, you would have $116,090.53.   Click on image to use the calculator and play with some numbers.


16.  Keep ALL of your receipts and know the deadlines of when you can return purchases.  I used to lose a lot of money being unorganized.  Some stores will only give you store credit or significantly much lower than what you paid without a receipt.

17.  Don’t donate to everyone and your mother.  I see people donating to every cause possible when they can barely afford to pay their own bills.  Donate when you can and as much as you think you can.  Nowadays, almost every major retailer tries to get a donation form you as you checkout.  I just say “no thanks”.  This could be thousands of dollars that you could save and invest.  I am not saying to not be generous, but be generous when you can afford it and give to a cause you believe in.

18.  Sign up for rewards programs and/or store debit cards with stores you visit frequently.  You can get discounts, coupons and other special perks.  My favorite is the Target RED card.  You can get the credit or debit card.  I have the debit card which saves me 5% on everything I purchase and it comes right out of my checking account.  It’s secure and you even get discounts on sale items.  Apply for yours here.


  1.  5% off everything in store and online.  This can add up quickly if you shop at Target a lot.
  2. Free shipping on all online orders.
  3. Custom offers for what you usually shop for.  Coupons for stuff you buy.
  4. Special promotions only for RED card holders like early Black Friday deals.

target red card

19.  Avoid late fees on your bills.  The easy solution is to setup auto-pay from your bank account.  This will save you time and money.

20.  Move.  If you live in a high cost of living area, a lot of your money is going to housing, utilities and food.  That can be $1000s of dollars that could be invested.  Be smart about where you live.

Final thoughts from a video by MJ Harris:

SHARE this if you enjoyed it and know someone who could learn from it.

What is your advice for financial security?  COMMENT below.




8 Appliances Every Busy Family Needs


Once you start a family, time efficiency is critical.  This is especially true if you have young children.  You need help getting things done faster and more efficiently.  Whether it’s something to speed up cooking or cleaning, every little bit helps.  Over the years, I have found these 10 gadgets help immensely and they are worth every penny.  Treat yourself this year to one or more of these and regain some time and sanity back.


iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity + Manufacturer’s Warranty


Imagine coming home to vacuumed floor daily.  No one likes vacuuming, but everyone loves a clean floor.  This is especially helpful if you have young kids.  It is easily worth 10X the investment.  You can program how often you want Roomba to vacuum.  It will recharge it self and let you know when it’s full too.

2.  Griddle

Oster CKSTGRFM18W-ECO DuraCeramic Griddle with Warming Tray, Black/Crème

Oster CKSTGRFM18W-ECO DuraCeramic Griddle with Warming Tray

A game changer especially when it comes to breakfast.  You can make 6+ pancakes at one time.  Do omelettes, hasbrowns and bacon.  It’s quite inexpensive and has a ceramic non-stick coating.

3.  Belgian Wafflemaker

Waring Pro WMK200 Belgian Waffle Maker, Stainless Steel/Black 


Like the double Belgian waffle makers you find in hotels?  This is the best one on the market.  Makes two at a time.  Imagine a nice fluffy waffle with whipped cream and strawberries.

4.  Toaster Oven

Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven, Stainless Steel

Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef's Convection Toaster Oven

For those times you don’t need your regular oven.  Great for toast, pizza, chicken nuggets and for reheating anything you want crispy.  It is also preheats faster to save time.


5.  Food Processor
Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel

Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor


This is a very useful, reliable machine.  Great for grinding vegetables, fruits or anything else you need to dice and slice.  Easy clean up and dishwasher safe.

6.  Blender
Preethi Nitro 4-Jar Mixer Grinder with Super Extractor, 110-volt


Preethi Nitro 4-Jar Mixer Grinder with Super Extractor

A very powerful blender used to make smoothies and to grind anything into a fine paste.  The best part is it comes with many containers and is a 1/4 of the cost of high end blenders like the Vitamix.

7.  Hand Blender
Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 200 Watt 2 Speed Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome
Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 200 Watt 2 Speed Hand Blender

This is very useful to make smoothies, baby food and great to blend things while cooking.  Blend things even if they are very hot.

8.  Instant Pot
Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer

Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer

Pressure cooker + slow cooker in one.  Settings for rice, meats, soups and more.


Top 8 List:

CLICK on the links below for more information and reviews.

iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity + Manufacturer’s Warranty

Oster CKSTGRFM18W-ECO DuraCeramic Griddle with Warming Tray, Black/Crème

Waring Pro WMK200 Belgian Waffle Maker, Stainless Steel/Black

Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven, Stainless Steel

Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel

Preethi Nitro 4-Jar Mixer Grinder with Super Extractor, 110-volt

Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 200 Watt 2 Speed Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome

Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer

Enjoy and SHARE with anyone you think would like or benefit from any of these appliances!



How To Earn Your First $100K Online


Are you serious about earning money online?

Have you tried and failed?

Would you like some FREE training to properly learn internet marketing from a 7 figure earner and still be able to play LOL?

I just got through watching the video and have already gotten some strategies to market online.

WATCH the video to discover:

  • How to create more abundance and wealth in your life
  • How to stop struggling financially and gain financial freedom
  • How to brand yourself and build a big social media following
  • How to get traffic, capture leads and convert them to sales
  • How to earn $100K online even if you are broke or have no formal education
  • How to run your business from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and an internet connection
  • One powerful technique to earn money online by delivering value to your customers

This training is for you if:

  • You are a single mom and want to do better for your family
  • Have a local business and need more leads that convert to sales
  • Need another stream of income to pay off debt, buy a car, save for a house, invest in the stock market or help your family
  • A network marketer that has failed company after company
  • Want to keep your day job and earn additional income working as little as an hour a day on the side
  • You would like to earn money referring people for FREE training and build a list at the same time

If you thought the video was great, imagine what his training will deliver….


Click here to join Tecademics for FREE


How to Get the Lowest Car Insurance Rates


You finally got your dream car or at least your first car.  But, before you can take road trips or hang out with friends and create amazing memories, you’ll need car insurance.   Here are some great ways to get the lowest car insurance rates:

  1.  Compare Rates for Different Carriers

-Different companies have different rates based on a variety of factors.

-Use an auto insurance quote finder to compare rates of the top companies.

2.   Avoid Gaps in Coverage

If you are switching policies, make sure you are completely covered at all times. If you let your insurance coverage lapse by forgetting to make the premium payments, your rates are likely to be increased.

3.  Maintain Good Credit
Insurance companies typically check your credit score when determining your insurance rates because they have found a correlation between bad credit and the likelihood of making a claim

4.  Drive Less
Many companies offer a low-mileage discount for drivers who have a short commute or drive few miles each year.

5.  Request a High Deductible
One of the easiest ways to reduce your car insurance premiums is to increase your deductible. Just make sure you have the funds to pay the deductible if you get in an accident.

6.  Claim all Your Discounts
If your car has extra anti-theft or safety features such as anti-lock brakes, most insurance companies will give you a discount on your premiums. You may also be eligible for a discount if you have taken a defensive driving class or, if you are a student, you have good grades

7.  Drive Safely
Of course you should drive carefully to avoid accidents and tickets anyway, but bad driving can also raise your insurance rates or even lead to a nonrenewal of your policy. While too many speeding tickets can cause a problem, causing an accident will typically raise your insurance costs by as much as 40%.

8.    Consider Moving
While this may be a bit drastic, auto insurance rates vary widely from one location to another because of the likelihood of an accident or a theft. In general, car insurance rates are lower in rural areas, so you may want to look into the potential for higher or lower insurance rates if you are thinking of moving.

9.    Work with One Insurance Company
After you shop around for insurance rates, choose one company for all your insurance needs. Most offer a discount for combining car and homeowners or renters insurance with one provider.

10.    Lower Your Coverage
The Insurance Information Institute (III) suggests dropping collision and/or comprehensive insurance on older cars to save money. As a rule of thumb, III says that if your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, it may make sense to drop that coverage.


The important thing to recognize is that car insurance should be customized to meet your needs. Consulting with an insurance agent can be the best way to make sure you are taking advantage of every possible discount and that you and your car are still adequately covered.

References:  Investopedia







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9 More Reasons to Use DAILY Coconut Oil

coconut oil

I’ve run across some VERY interesting studies recently on the relationship between coconut oil (or any type of coconut fat, includingcoconut milk and cream) and how it can affect your body fat…

The findings may surprise you!

A 2009 study published in the Journal Lipids consisted of testing the effects of either 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or 2 tablespoons of soybean on a group of 40 women over the span of 28 days.

Results showed that the group that ate the coconut oil had a decrease in abdominal fat, while the soybean oil group actually showed a slight increase in belly fat. Additionally, the group that ate the coconut oil showed increased HDL ‘good’ cholesterol levels, while the soybean oil group had decreased HDL cholesterol and increased LDL ‘ bad’ cholesterol.

The Journal of Nutrition published a study where researchers investigated all studies relative to medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are abundant in coconut fat and weight management. The studies showed that diets rich in fats such as those found in coconut oilprompted a boost in metabolism, increase in energy, decrease in food consumption, reduced body weight and lower body fat mass. The study authors highly recommend using oils that contain MCFAs, such ascoconut oil, as a tool to drop extra abdominal fat, manage a healthy weight, and even as a way to treat obesity.

Yet another study that assessed body weight and fat storage relative to three different types of diets including a low-fat diet, high-fat diet with long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) and a high fat diet with MCFAs. In order to bring about weight gain, caloric intakes were adjusted for the diets. At the end of the research period (which lasted 44 days), the low-fat diet group stored an average of 0.47 grams of fat per day, the LCFA group stored 0.48 grams of fat per day, and the MCFA group only stored a mere 0.19 grams per day (despite purposely increasing calories). Those in the MCFA group (coconut fat) had a 60 percent reduction in body fat stored compared to the other diets.

Another added bonus of consuming organic coconut oil (and coconutcream or milk) is that it tends to make us feel fuller for longer. Studies indicate that MCFAs help increase feelings of fullness and lead to a reduction in calorie intake when compared to the same amount of calories from other fats. When MCFAs are metabolized, ketone bodies are created in the liver – these have been shown to have a strong appetite reducing effect helping you to lose fat faster.

If you thought from reading about how using coconut oil daily for helping to reduce abdominal fat is pretty incredible, you’re going to be blown away by the powerful health benefits of coconut oil on the page below…

>> 9 MORE reasons to use DAILY coconut oil (including benefits to thyroid, brain, skin, oral health, heart health, detoxing, cancer, and more)

To Your Optimal Health,

Your Optimal Life

Original Source:  The Alternative Daily




Top 10 Ways to Reduce Sugar Intake


Ever tried to cut back- or even eliminate- sugar? It’s not so easy.

Nature gave us a sweet tooth for a reason- and it wasn’t just to frustrate our diet efforts!

We humans – unlike other animals- don’t make our own vitamin C. Vitamin C is most abundant in fruits. So nature gave us taste buds that would make these relatively sweet tasting foods desirable.

Unfortunately the whole system has become deregulated since just about everything you buy now has sugar in it, and there’s a huge disconnect between the purpose of our original wiring- to make sure we got enough vitamin C- and the way that wiring is used today (to make sure we get enough Krispy Kreme donuts!)

Giving up- or cutting back- on sugar is no picnic. But the rewards are tremendous. Eliminating (or even reducing) sugar can benefit your health in more ways than you can imagine.

Here’s a list of my Top Ten Ways to Start Reducing Sugar……..

  1. Don’t add it to foods. This is the easiest and most basic way to immediately reduce the amount of sugar you’re eating. Biggest targets: cereal, coffee and tea.
  2. Don’t be fooled by “healthy sugar” disguises. Brown sugar, turbinado sugar, raw sugar … it’s all pretty much the same thing as far as your body is concerned.
  3. Make a real effort to reduce or eliminate processed carbohydrates. Most processed carbs — breads, bagels, most pastas and snacks — are loaded with flour and other ingredients that convert to sugar in the body almost as fast as pure glucose. That sugar gets stored as triglycerides, which is a fancy way of saying fat.
  4. Watch out for “fat-free” snacks. One of the biggest myths is that if a food is fat-free it doesn’t make you fat. Fat-free doesn’t mean calorie-free, and most fat-free snacks are loaded with sugar.
  5. Shop for color. The more your grocery basket looks like a cornucopia of color, the better. It usually means you’re getting more fresh vegetables and low-glycemic fruits such as berries and cherries.
  6. Become a food detective. This tip is from the wonderful author and nutritionist Anne Louise Gittleman, who adds, “To reduce sugar, you have to know where it is first.” Start reading labels.
  7. Beware of artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, they can increase cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. They can also deplete the body’s stores of chromium, a nutrient crucial for blood-sugar metabolism.
  8. Do the math. Look at the label where it says “total sugars” and divide the number of grams by four. That’s the number of teaspoons of sugar you are ingesting. This exercise alone should scare the pants off you.
  9. Limit fruit. (Notice I didn’t say “eliminate.”) Fruit has sugar, but it also has fiber and good nutrients. Just don’t overdo it. For weight-loss purposes, keep it to two servings a day and try to make most of them low-glycemic (grapefruit, apples, berries)
  10. Eliminate fruit juice. It’s a pure sugar hit with none of the fiber and less of the nutrients that are found in the fruit itself.

Original Source


Artificial Sweeteners May Boost Blood Sugar? New Study.

People might consume artificial sweeteners because they think it will help them curb real-sugar consumption and prevent weight gain, but the chemicals may actually have an opposite effect. A new study has found that zero-calorie sweeteners may alter metabolism and increase blood-sugar levels, at least in mice and some people.

The negative effects of artificial sweeteners on metabolism seen in the study may have to do with how the sweeteners interact with the bacteria living the gut, the researchers said.

The results don’t mean that eating sugar is healthier than consuming artificial sweeteners, study co-author Dr. Eran Elinav, a researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, said at a news conference Tuesday (Sept. 16). However, the study does suggest that artificial sweeteners may be harmful, at least in some people, Elinav said.

Sugar has been around for a loooong time, but it wasn’t until the Europeans brought it to the New World that it became commonplace, and eventually fueled our growing society.

In experiments, the scientists added an artificial sweetener — either saccharin, sucralose or aspartame — to mice’s drinking water, and found the animals ended up having higher blood-sugar levels than the mice that drank sugar water, or just water. Saccharin is sold under the brand name Sweet’n Low, sucralose has the brand name Splenda and aspartame is found in NutraSweet, Equal and Spoonful brands.

The researchers also found that artificial sweeteners seemed to change the function of the gut bacteria in the rodents. When the researchers used antibiotics to suppress the bacteria, the differences in blood-sugar levels between groups of mice on different diets disappeared, according to the study, published today (Sept. 17) in the journal Nature.

Next, the researchers studied about 400 people, and found that the gut bacteria in people who consumed an artificial sweetener were different from the gut bacteria in the people who ate sugar. Participants who used artificial sweeteners also had higher blood-sugar levels than participants who used sugar. [5 Ways Gut Bacteria Affect Your Health]

“Artificial sweeteners were extensively introduced into our diets with the intention of reducing caloric intake and normalizing blood glucose levels without compromising the human ‘sweet tooth,'” the researchers wrote in their study. “Our findings suggest that [artificial sweeteners] may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight.”

Sugar May Boost Risk of Heart Disease, Death

Your personal gut bacteria

There are trillions of bacteria living in human guts. Collectively called the microbiome, these bacteria are crucial for the normal functioning of the intestines, and their composition could potentially influence diverse functions of the body. For example, previous studies have tied the balance of bacterial species in the gut to people’s risk of conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

But people can have different compositions of bacterial species, and that could potentially contribute to how they respond to different foods, the researchers said.

In the study, the researchers also carried out another experiment. They added saccharin to diets of seven people who didn’t normally consume sweeteners. After only four days, four of these participants showed increased levels of sugar in their blood and changes in the composition of their gut bacteria.

The gut bacteria composition of these participants differed from that of the other three participants, even before they consumed saccharin, the researchers found. This finding suggests that people may respond differently to artificial sweeteners depending on their gut-bacteria compositions, the researchers said.

“What was super striking and interesting to us was the fact that [people’s] susceptibility to [the effects] of sweeteners could be predicted ahead of time, even before the individuals consumed the sweeteners,” said study co-author Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

It’s not clear how, exactly, changes in the bacterial species in the gut could contribute to increased blood-sugar levels, but scientists have some ideas. For example, it could be that the consumption of artificial sweeteners causes people to have more bacterial species that extract fat from the diet, which would contribute to obesity, said Taylor Feehley and Cathryn Nagler, researchers at the University of Chicago who wrote about the new study in the same journal.

Should you ditch the diet soda?

Previous studies have looked at whether people who replace sugar with artificial sweeteners have a lower risk of developing the health problems linked with consuming too much sugar, such as obesity and diabetes.

But although some studies found artificial sweeteners to be beneficial, others yielded mixed results, the researchers said. Some studies even found links between consuming sweeteners and a higher risk of obesity and high blood sugar, but those studies were observational (and didn’t have randomized control groups), and it remains unclear whether artificial sweeteners may cause metabolism changes, or if people who are obese to begin with consume more of the sweeteners, Elinav said.

The new study is not conclusive, either. The results need to be confirmed in future research before recommendations about consuming artificial sweeteners can be made, the researchers said. Still, the findings should provoke discussion among the scientific, medical and public communities.

“By no means do we believe that based on the result of this study are we prepared to make recommendations as to the use and dosage of artificial sweeteners,” Segal said. “We simply point to the immense body of experiments that we carried out both in humans and in mice. In none of these experiments have we seen any beneficial effects for the use of sweeteners.”

Source:  Original article:  Discovery

Do you still eat artificial sweeteners?  Why?  Comment below.

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