The Better (to the Best of) You

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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.

35 Wise Things to Do With $1,000 Now

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Thousand Dollar Bill

These moves can make you smarter, healthier, happier—and richer.

1. Buy 1 share of Priceline Group THE PRICELINE GROUP INC.PCLN1.4832%
The fast-growing travel biz has just 4% global market share, leaving plenty of room to expand.

2. Buy 10 shares of Apple APPLE INC.AAPL1.7866%
The Mac daddy has a dividend yield of 1.9% and a cheap price/earnings ratio of 14.1.

3. Buy 50 shares of Ford FORD MOTOR CO.F1.9108%
The automaker has a P/E of 10.5, a 2.8% dividend yield, and a record (5%) market share in China.

4. Grab the last of the great TVs
While they’re considered superior to LCDs—for having deeper blacks and any-angle viewing—plasma TVs haven’t been profitable enough for manufacturers, so most are curbing production. LG is one of the last in the game, and its ­60-inch 60PB6900 smart TV (around $1,000) has apps to stream digital content and 3-D performance besting its peers. Get the extended warranty, since a service company would have to replace the TV if parts are no longer available.

5. Kick tension to the curb with yoga…
Half of workers say they’re less productive due to stress, the American Psychological Association found; worse, research from the nonprofit Health Enhancement Research Organization found that health care expenses are 46% higher for stressed-out employees. Regularly practicing yoga can help modulate stress responses, according to a report from Harvard Medical School. Classes cost about $15 to $20 a pop, which means that $1,000 will keep you doing downward dog twice a week for about half a year.

6. …Or acupuncture
A recent article in the Journal of Endocrinology found a connection between acupuncture and stress relief. Your insurer may cover treatment, but if not, sessions run $60 to $120 a piece. So you can treat yourself to around 10 to 15 with $1,000.

7. …Or biking
Research suggests that 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. So take a bike ride after work. The ­Giant Defy 2 ($1,075) is one of the best-value performance bikes out there, Ben Delaney of BikeRadar.com says.

8. Give your kids ­a jump on retirement
Assuming your kids earn at least a grand this year from a summer job or other employment, you can teach them the importance of saving for retirement by depositing $1,000 (or, if they earn more and you’re able, up to $5,500) into Roth IRAs in their names. Do so when the child is 17, and it’ll grow to over $18,400 by the time he’s 67 with a hypothetical 6% annual return, says Eau Claire, Wis., financial planner Kevin McKinley.

9. Get over your midlife crisis
Would getting behind the wheel of your dream vehicle make you feel a teensy bit better about reporting to a 30-year-old boss? Then sow your oats—for 24 hours. Both Hertz and Enterprise offer luxury rentals; you can find local outfits by searching for “exotic car rental” and your city. Gotham Dream Cars’ Boston-area location rents an Aston Martin Vantage Roadster for $895 a day.

10. Iron out your wrinkles
For a safer and cheaper alternative to going under the knife, try an injectable dermal filler. Dr. Michael Edwards, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, recommends Juvéderm Voluma XC, which consists of natural hyalu­ronic acid that helps smooth out deep lines and adds volume to cheeks and the jaw area. It lasts up to two years and costs near $1,000 per injection.

11. Live out a dream
Play in a fantasy world with these adult camps, which cost in the neighborhood of $1,000 with airfare: the four-day Adult Space Academy in Huntsville, Ala. ($650); the Culinary Institute of America’s two-day Wine Lovers Boot Camp in St. Helena, Calif. ($895); or the one-day World Poker Tournament camp in Vegas ($895).

12. Hire someone to fight with your folks
Is your parents’ home bursting at the seams with decades of clutter … er, memories? Save your breath—and sanity—by hiring a profes­sional organizer (find one at napo.net) for them. Mom and Dad may listen more to an impartial party when it comes to deciding what to toss, says Austin organizer Yvette Clay. Focus on pile-up zones, like the basement, garage, and living room (together, $500 to $1,500).

13. Launch you.com
A professional website will help you stand out to employers, says Jodi Glickman, author of Great on the Job. Buy the URL of your name for about $20 a year from HostGator and find a designer via Elance​.com or Guru.com; $1,000 should get you a nice-looking site with a bio, blog, photos, and portfolio of your work.

14. Become a techie—or just learn to talk to one
Technical knowledge isn’t just for IT folks anymore. “Digital literacy is becoming a required skill,” says Paul McDonald, a senior executive director of staffing agency Robert Half International. Get up to speed with one of these strategies. Understanding how websites, videogames, and apps are built is useful to almost any job dealing in big data or search algorithms, says McDonald. Take a course in programming for nonprogrammers at ­generalassemb.ly ($550), then get a year’s subscription to Lynda.com ($375) for more advanced online tutorials.

15. Get tweet smarts
Take a class to give you expertise—and confidence— in using social media and analyzing metrics. MediaBistro’s social media boot camp includes five live webcast sessions for $511, and you can add four weeks of classroom workshops with pros for $449.

16. Buy the Silicon Valley gear
Need a new laptop now that you’re a tech whiz? To best play the part, go with Apple’s MacBook Air ($999) or its big brother the MacBook Pro ($1,099). With a long battery life and powerful processors, the Air and Pro are the preferred picks for developers, coders, and designers, says PCmag.com’s Brian Westover.

nikon d5300
David Kilpatrick—Alamy

17. Save your cellphone camera for selfies
Your most important memories shouldn’t be grainy. Get a digital SLR camera featuring a through-the-lens optical viewfinder, “which is still essential for shooting action,” says Lori Grunin of CNET. Her pick, Nikon’s D5300 ($1,050). Its 18–140mm lens produces sharp images shot quickly enough for most personal photography.

18. Class up your castle
Interior decorating can cost a fortune—insanely priced furnishings, plus a 30% commission. Homepolish.com, launched in 2012 and now in eight metro areas, upends the model. The site’s decorators charge hourly ($130 or less) and suggest affordable furnishings.

19-21. Hire a good manager
With only 10 C-notes, your mutual fund choices are limited by minimum investment requirements. Besides simply letting you in the door, these actively managed funds have relatively low fees and beat more than half their peers over three, five, and 10 years:
Oakmark Select large blend; 1.01% expenses
Schwab Dividend Equity large value, 0.89% expenses
Nicholas large growth, 0.73% expenses

22. Primp the powder room
Get a new sink and vanity for a refresh of your guest bathroom without a reno. You can find a combined vanity and sink set for under $650; figure another $100 to $200 each for faucet and labor.

23. Replace light fixtures
Subbing in new lighting in the dining room, the front hall, and possibly the kitchen can take 20 years off your house, suggests Pasadena realtor Curt Schultz. You’re likely to pay $100 to $400 per fixture, plus $50 to $100 for installation.

24. Swap out the front door
It’s the first impression guests and buyers have of your home. Look for a factory-finished door—possibly fiberglass if it’s a sunny southern or western ­exposure without an overhang. You could pay $1,000 for the door and the installation.

25. Catch up on retirement.
If you’re 50 or older, you can put in $1,000 more in an IRA (above the $5,500 normal limit) each year. Do so from 50 to 65, and you’ll have $27,000 more in retirement assuming you get a 6% annual return, per T. Rowe Price.

26. Fly solo to see the Northern Lights
As more companies package deals to Iceland, prices are dropping, says Christie McConnell of Travelzoo.com. You could recently find four-night packages with airfare, hotel, and tours for $800 a person. Go in late fall to see the Northern Lights.

27. Hit the beach in Hawaii
The islands are still working through the overbuilding of hotels that began before the recession, says Anne Banas of Smartertravel.com. Three-night packages for fall with hotel and airfare start around $500 a person from the West Coast.

28. Give your car a makeover
You can’t get a new set of wheels for 1,000 smackers, but you can make your old car feel new(ish) again with this slew of maintenance fixes: A new set of tires ($600), a full car detail ($100), new wiper blades ($50), a wheel alignment ($150), and a synthetic oil change ($100). You’ve likely been putting these off until something breaks, but there’s good reason to do them all at once. Besides giving your car a smoother ride, “this preventative maintenance will help you nurse your car longer, while also saving some gas,” says Bill Visnic, senior editor at Edmunds.com. New car smell not included.

29. Make like (early) Gordon Gekko
Wall Street buyout firms KKR and Carlyle are inviting Main Street investors into private equity funds for $10,000 and $50,000, respectively. Want to play the game with less scratch? Invest $1,000 in Blackstone GroupBLACKSTONE GROUP LP, THEBX-1.6129%. Shares of the private equity giant have a 5.1% yield and a cheap P/E of 8.5, plus Blackstone is a top-notch alternative-asset firm, says Morningstar’s Stephen Ellis.

30-32. Put your donations to work where they’ll do the most good
Groups that focus on improving healthcare in the developing world have some of the best measurable outcomes of all charities, says Charlie Bresler, CEO of The Life You Can Save. Many of the supplies used to improve and save lives, like vaccines or mosquito nets, cost pennies to produce, he says, and surgeries that cost tens of thousands in the U.S. can be performed for a few hundred bucks overseas. Three great organizations working in those areas: SEVA Foundation, which works to prevent blindness; Deworm the World, which seeks to eradicate worms and other parasitic bacterial disease; Fistula foundation, which provides surgical services to women with childbirth injuries.

33. Defend the fort
An alarm system can pare as much as 20% from a homeowner’s policy, and the latest ones have neat bells and whistles. Honeywell’s LYNX Touch 7000 (starting at $500, plus $25 to $60 a month) links to four cameras that stream live video. It randomly switches on lights to make an empty home look occupied—and can detect a flood and shut down water.

34. Enjoy a buffet of entertainment
The average cable bill is expected to hit $123 a month in 2015—or $1476 a year—according to the NPD group. What if we told you you could cut the cord, redeploy $1,000 of that to getting two years worth of the following digital libraries, and still bank about 500 bucks? Yeah, we thought so.
For old movies and TV shows…get Netflix ($7.99-$8.99/month). Analysts estimate the company’s library is much larger than that of Amazon Prime.
For current TV shows…watch via Hulu ($7.99/month), which offers episodes from more than 600 shows that are currently on air.
For music…stream with Spotify Premium ($9.99/month). The premium version lets you skip commercials and listen to millions of songs even offline.
For books…read via Kindle Unlimited ($9.99/month). You can access the company’s library of more than 600,000 ebooks and audiobooks with one of its free reading apps, which work Apple, Android or Windows Phone devices.

35. Protect your heirs.
For about $1,000 you can have a will, durable power of attorney, and health care directive written up. Find an estate planner at naepc.org.

Original Source:  Money

 

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Sugar Intake

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ToxicEffectsofSugar

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

Top Gifts for Christmas 2014

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top toys for christmas 2014

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Top Gifts for Christmas 2014

Christmas is just around the corner, which means that it is time to start thinking about what type of gifts to get for your friends and family. Here is a list of some of the top gifts to give for Christmas in 2014. From electronics to toys, this list will cover it all.

Best Electronics to Buy for Christmas

1. Fire HD Tablet

firehdtablet

When it comes to choosing a tablet, the Fire HD from Amazon has a lot to offer. There is now a kid’s edition of this great tablet, which is perfect for those younger people on your list. The kid’s edition comes in a protective case, offers unlimited access to more than 5000 movies, books, and television programs, and built in parental controls. The price for a Kindle Fire HD tablet ranges from $100 to $400 depending on which version is chosen.

2. Xbox 360 with Kinect

The Xbox 360 remains a popular choice for those looking for a video game console. The Kinect will sense your movement so that your body controls every aspect of the game. This is great for parents that want their kids active, while still allowing them to play the games that they enjoy. Even the youngest of kids will get the hang of acting out the motions quickly, making this fun for the whole family. The price for the Xbox 360 with Kinect ranges from $265 to $380.

3. Smart Cycle by Fisher Price

For younger children who want to play video games, you should consider the Smart Cycle offered by Fisher Price. This is a great game for keeping kids moving while they enjoy playing a video game like they may see an older sibling doing. During play, the kids are actually pedaling a bicycle all while they are learning their numbers, letters, and working on their matching and creativity skills. The Smart Cycle sells for around $220.

4. Leapfrog Leap Band

The Leapfrog Leap Band is an activity tracker made just for kids. There are over 50 preloaded active challenges to get children moving. The parental controls allow parents to set up play times, different challenges, and more. The Leap Band encourages healthy choices and active play and is perfect for those aged four to seven years old. It comes in several colors including pink and green.

5. Leapfrog Leap Pad Learning Tablet

Another great choice for tablets is the Leapfrog leap pad. This is an action packed Wi-Fi tablet allows kids to play and learn in an age appropriate manner. It offers more than 1000 educator approved apps, games, videos, and eBooks. There are also videos that are available for the Leap Pad that are sold separately as well. It comes with 10 apps, has a light touch capacitive screen, video recorders, and 2 cameras. The Leapfrog Leap Pad sells for around $130.

6. Apple iPad Air

The Apple iPad Air is the latest offering from the company and is the best tablet on the market. It is more portable than the other generations of the iPad. It only weighs a pound and is 0.29 inches thick. This tablet has some great features including a 12 hour battery life, a 2048 by 1536 pixel screen, and a 64 bit processor. For those that are looking for a higher end tablet, this is a perfect choice. The starting price for the Apple iPad Air is around $500.

7. Beats Headphones

beatsstudiowireless

Another top seller once again is the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. These headphones are popular for a reason as they provide users with a great listening device. Any music lover is going to appreciate a set of these headphones as a gift. They come in all different colors so you can choose your favorite. The starting price for the studio version is around $299. The studio wireless Beats are another great choice and they start out at around $380.

8. V-Moda XS

Another great choice for the music lover in your life is a set of V-MODA XS. These headphones are great sounding and extremely stylish. They have a sleek design that is foldable, which will turn heads as they are walking down the street. The balanced, full audio is sure to be pleasing to their ears. If the person that you are giving it to really wants to stand out from the crowd, the side plates of these great headphones can be customized to fit their own personal style. The price for this great set of headphones is around $200.

9. Nikon D3300

nikond3300

If there is a budding photographer in your life, the Nikon D3300 is one of the bestselling cameras for a reason. At a price of under $600, this great camera will deliver clear, sharp images that have accurate colors. It can also be used to take stunning videos. It offers a retracting lens that makes for a compact design, which means that it can easily be taken wherever you decide to go. This is a great choice for those who are interested in photography and want a step above the average smart phone camera or a regular point and shoot camera.

10. Dell Inspiron 15R

If you are looking for a great laptop at a great price, the Dell Inspiron 15R sells for around $230 and has a lot to offer. It is a best seller on Amazon for a reason. This great computer offers an Intel Celeron N2830 processor, a 4 GB DDR3, 15.6 inch screen with Intel HD graphics, and a 500 GB hard drive. This laptop was designed with travel in mind; it is only about an inch thick so it can easily be put into a travel bag when you are on the go. The textured lid combined with a palm rest will help you carry it quite easily.

Top Toys for Christmas

Boys

Birth to 24 Months

Lego Duplo

legoduplo

From about six months on, most babies are on the go. They can sit up and love exploring the world around them. The Deluxe Box of Lego Duplo’s provides children with hours of entertainment. These blocks are a great introduction to building fun. The larger size makes them easier for little hands to handle. It comes in bright colors that the children will enjoy. A set can be purchased for anywhere from $20 to $50.

Hide ‘n Spin Monkey by Bright Starts

This wonderful monkey will keep your baby entertained and on the move for many hours. When you press the lights on the monkey’s hat, you will hear the names of colors. Babies can practice their motor skills by picking up the balls and putting them inside the monkey’s hat. Pressing the nose will make the balls drop down into the barrel and they will spin all around. This is a wonderful, interactive toy that any baby boy would love. The price is around $40.

2 to 4 years

Plasma Car

plasmacar

This great toy does not require any batteries, gears, or pedals, which make it the perfect choice for a young toddler boy who is on the go. Simply turning the wheel will make the car go. In no time at all your little one will be cruising around the house and having a blast. This car is recommended for ages 3 and up and can hold up to 220 pounds, so even parents can get in on the fun. It comes in several colors and sells for around $50.

Little People Skyway by Fisher Price

This play set stands over 3 feet tall and offers your little racer the chance to send a vehicle down the ramp from the very top, watching it wind its way down to come out in one of three spots. It comes out of a different spot each time, which is fascinating to the young toddler. This toy offers hours of action for your little one. There is even a crane for your little one to crank. For a price of around $30, this is one of the top toys for your little boy this Christmas.

5 to 7 years

Action Trio Costume

What little boy does not want to dress up as his favorite superhero? This great trio set of costumes provides little boys with the chance to be Superman, Batman, or Robin. The Batman and Robin costumes come with masks and each of the outfits have attached capes. For the price of around $18, you get three costumes that allow your boy to be able to dress up as their favorite comic book hero and save the world.

Transformers Generations Jetfire Figure

TransformersGenerationsJetfireFigure

Transformer toys have been around for 30 years and they are still as popular as ever. These great toys offer hours of play time as they transform from a robot to a vehicle and back again. Every little boy has seen the movies and wants to play with these fun toys. The Jetfire figure will convert into jet mode and then back again. He has turbo thrusters, a removable battle helmet, photon missile launchers, and arm mounted cannons. At a price of around $40, this great action figure is the perfect choice for any little boy.

8 to 11 years

Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack

Disney Infinity is a popular game for the Wii, Xbox, and other gaming platforms. The latest offering for the game is the Marvel Superhero pack. These figures are used to play the game and will help to save the universe. The starter pack is a great gift for the video gamer in your life. The price for the Marvel Hero starter pack will range from $70 to $80 depending on the platform that you are purchasing it for. The starter pack will come with everything that is needed in order to get started playing this fun and entertaining game.

Razor Kick Scooter

The Razor Kick Scooter is the perfect choice for any young boy in your life. This great toy is made out of sturdy aluminum and has 98 mm inline style wheels, with ABEC 5 bearings. It has a rear fender brake so quick stops can be made and it only weighs six pounds. It comes in several color options and there is a six month warranty available. The price for the Razor Scooter is around $20 and it is worth every penny as it will provide hours of entertainment.

12 to 15 years

Maisto Rock Crawler Junior

MaistoRockCrawlerJunior

There is nothing quite like having a radio controlled vehicle if you are a young boy. The Rock Crawler is powerful enough to get over the toughest of obstacles. It has a 4×4 drive train, over-sized tires with a coil spring suspension. The tires provide maximum traction so it really can get over anything that you put in its way. It has articulated front and back axles so that the tires are always in contact with the rougher terrain. There is also a tri-channel feature that will allow 3 people to race simultaneously. At a price of around $30 you really cannot go wrong.

Big Bag of Science by Be Amazing

If you are looking for an educational toy for your tween, this big bag of science is the perfect choice. For around $35 you will receive over 70 fascinating activities to enjoy. This is one of the top parent choices year after year as it is great for science fair projects. The kit will teach about super absorbents and polymers and includes beads that are sensitive to ultraviolet rays, which can be used to test different sunscreens.

Girls

Birth to 24 Months

Bounce, Stride, and Ride Elephant by Fisher Price

BounceStrideandRideElephantbyFisher Price

This fun elephant is the perfect gift for any young child. It is filled with music, lights, and other fun sounds and is a “grow with me” toy that will get your baby moving. It can be used with a young baby for bouncing up and down, and then later on can be used for a walker. Finally, it can be a ride on pal for when they are more steady on their feet. Your baby’s actions are rewarded with great lights and sounds. The soft, big ears will move as the baby does and the light up buttons adds even more excitement. Priced at around $40, this toy is sure to be a big hit!

Jungle Fun Ball Climber by Bright Starts

Your young one is going to love interacting with these fun balls as they climb up the tree, roll around the tops, and bounce into a hippo’s mouth. This climber made by bright starts will amaze both you and your baby. Press the button to watch the balls make their climb and then roll down the ramp. When the balls hit the platform they jump into the waiting hippo’s mouth. To add to the show there are fun animal sounds and silly songs. This is easy for your baby to play with as she can put the ball anywhere on the tree top to watch it roll. It sells for around $30.

2 to 4 years

Elsa Singing Doll

ElsaSingingDoll

Frozen is one of the biggest children’s movies of all time and all little girls have fallen in love with Elsa. What little girl would not want their very own singing Elsa doll? Simply touch her magical necklace and watch her snow power. Her dress lights up and she will talk to her friends as well. If you raise her arm, her necklace will light up while she sings the hit from the show, “let it go.” Your little girl will be singing along as they watch Elsa create a winter wonderland. This Elsa singing doll sells for around $35.

Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Chair by Fisher Price

This great chair from Fisher Price will grow with your child. When they sit and stand they will hear the chair say up and down. Pressing the buttons will play songs or phrases such as 1,2,3,4. Once they get a bit older the chair will introduce your child to opposites, actions, numbers, and will encourage them to play along. They can flip through a book and be asked questions about it such as do you see where the carrots are? Older babies will be able to explore more imaginative play with the chair with commands such as hop like a frog, and playing peek-a-boo. For only around $30, this is a wonderful interactive toy that will grow with your child.

5 to 7 years

Cinderella’s Puppy

CinderellasPuppy

Everyone knows the story of Cinderella and what little girl wouldn’t love to have Cinderella’s puppy as all her own. This great palace pet from Disney offers a magic wand that will activate talking, dancing, and singing. The puppy says 9 phrases, will wiggle her tail and even perform a cute little curtsy. She will twirl and dance to 2 of the songs as well. The price of this cute and adorable puppy is around $60 and she is really worth every penny.

Life Size Fairy Castle by Neat-Oh

Every little girl dreams of being a fairy princess at some point in time and the one thing that she needs to complete this dream is her very own fairy castle. This life sized fairy castle from Neat-Oh is the perfect choice. It is fully printed and can be configured in several ways for customizable play. It is expandable if you want to put more than one together and integrates with an even larger product line for encouraging creative play. Priced at around $35 this fairy castle is sure to make every little girls dream come true.

8 to 11 years

Fashion Headbands

This set includes everything that you could need in order to make ten headbands. The headbands are comfy and will stay on your little girl’s head without pinching her ears. This is a great collection for little girls that want to show off their own unique personalities. There are easy to follow instructions included so that she can make her headbands without much help. A variety of ribbons, feathers, rhinestones, and floss are included. This is a truly creative gift that comes in at under $20.

Ultimate Easy Bake Oven

UltimateEasyBakeOven

The Ultimate Easy Bake Oven is the new version of the old favorite. It comes with pans and yummy mixes that allow you to cook up some great treats and the best part is that no light bulb is needed. Even the first time baker will be able to create cookies, cakes, and other treats by using the different mixes that are available. Simply put your batter into the oven and follow the directions for great results every time. At a price of about $57, there is nothing better than giving your girl her own Easy Bake Oven.

12 to 15 years

Spirograph Deluxe Design Kit

The Spirograph has been around since 1965 and there is a reason that it has remained popular through today. This fun art toy allows budding artists the chance to create intricate designs. Using art and mathematics, the Spirograph has been inspirational throughout the years. There are 19 gears available to create numerous patterns and a design image will provide you with some inspiration to get started. At around $20, this is the perfect creative gift for your tween girl.

Crystal Growing

If you want to encourage a love of science, a crystal growing kit is a great choice. This great kit will allow her to learn about the geometry of crystals as she can use a number of fun plaster shapes and dyes to grow a rainbow of colored gems. The cost of this kit is just over $32 and it is well worth the price to instill a love of science into a little girl.

Conclusion

These are some of the best toys for girls and boys currently available for Christmas 2014. With the holidays just around the corner it is a great time to start purchasing some of these classic games and electronics for your loved ones.

 

 

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Artificial Sweeteners May Boost Blood Sugar? New Study.

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http://cdn.gizmocrazed.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Sweeteners.jpg

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.

Recommended reading:

The #1 WORST food for your skin, joints & blood sugar?

How to Lose Fat without Exercise While Staying Healthy

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WARNING:  Please consult your doctor before any drastic changes to your diet or exercise plan.  Also, let your doctor manage any weight gaining problems (hypothyroidism, weight-gaining medications [steroids, antidepressants, etc.], etc.) BEFORE you start this plan.

It appears that a lot of people want to lose weight, but don’t care much for exercise.  Although I recommend strength training and cardio as a part of any weight loss plan, you can lose fat without exercise.  The key is great self-control in what you eat.  I have done this several times and it always works.

Here is what you should AVOID:

1.  Basically any white carbohydrate:  pasta, potatoes, milk, rice, batter (fried foods), etc.

2.  Sugar beverages: soda, juice, sweet tea, gatorade, vitamin H2O

Sugar snacks:  candy, pastries, desserts, ice cream

3.  No fast food or eating out as much as possible (not only does it make you gain weight, a lot of chemicals and artificial ingredients are used to cut costs and increase profits).  Also, even when you do go out YOU decide what you eat.  For example, some people avoid buffets because of all the unhealthy food.  No one forces you to eat all of it.  Every buffet has a salad bar and healthy selections.  I have gone to buffets plenty of times and have eaten as healthy as I can.

Here is what you should EAT:

1.  Meat: chicken, pork, fish, beef (beef sparingly if eating processed) ; hormone free and grass fed meat is best.

2.  Vegetables, mostly green – broccoli, spinach, carrots, peas

Fruits – if you need sugar, lower sugar fruits are good options (raspberries, blackberries, etc.).  Of course, you will get results much faster if you avoid the sugar.

3.  Plenty of water; tea (especially green tea as it increases metabolism), coffee is ok with no added sugar and some milk.  If you really need a different taste, I recommend squeezing some lemon juice into your water.

4.  Beans – black, red, pinto

5.  Nuts – walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans

 

You should follow this diet Monday-Friday and Sunday.  Take a break on Saturday and eat what you want within reason, but still try to avoid refined, processed, or artificial ingredients.

Remember, you can’t chose your genetics, but YOU can choose what goes in your mouth!

Now, go lose some fat without exercise.

Comments?  Anything else you do to lose weight?

Post your results below if you try this.  You can see results as quickly as 1-2 weeks.

Recommended:

1.  The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

2.  3 Veggies that FIGHT Abdominal Fat

 

 

Secrets the Millionaire Next Door Won’t Tell You

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Although having a million bucks isn’t as impressive as it once was, it’s still nothing to sneeze at.

In fact, Reuters reports that in 2009 there are 7.8 million millionaires in the United States. That’s a lot of people and the odds are one or two of them are living near you.

Heck, one of them might even be your neighbor. In fact, the odds are very good that it is your neighbor.

But, Len, you don’t know my neighbor. That guy doesn’t look anything like a millionaire.

Well, guess what? A millionaire who is truly financially savvy won’t be easily recognizable.

1. He always spends less than he earns. In fact his mantra is, over the long run, you’re better off if you strive to be anonymously rich rather than deceptively poor.

2. He knows that patience is a virtue. The odds are you won’t become a millionaire overnight. If you’re like him, your wealth will be accumulated gradually by diligently saving your money over multiple decades.

3. When you go to his modest three-bed two-bath house, you’re going to be drinking Folgers instead of Starbucks. And if you need a lift, well, you’re going to get a ride in his ten-year-old economy sedan. And if you think that makes him cheap, ask him if he cares. (He doesn’t.)

4. He pays off his credit cards in full every month. He’s smart enough to understand that if he can’t afford to pay cash for something, then he can’t afford it.

5. He realized early on that money does not buy happiness. If you’re looking for nirvana, you need to focus on attaining financial freedom.

6. He never forgets that financial freedom is a state of mind that comes from being debt free. Best of all, it can be attained regardless of your income level.

7. He knows that getting a second job not only increases the size of your bank account quicker but it also keeps you busy – and being busy makes it difficult to spend what you already have.

8. He understands that money is like a toddler; it is incapable of managing itself. After all, you can’t expect your money to grow and mature as it should without some form of credible money management.

9. He’s a big believer in paying yourself first. Paying yourself first is an essential tenet of personal finance and a great way to build your savings and instill financial discipline.

10. Although it’s possible to get rich if you spend your life making a living doing something you don’t enjoy, he wonders why you do. Life is too short.

11. He knows that failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. He also knows that the few millionaires that reached that milestone without a plan got there only because of dumb luck. It’s not enough to simply declare that you want to be financially free.

12. When it came time to set his savings goals, he wasn’t afraid to think big. Financial success demands that you have a vision that is significantly larger than you can currently deliver upon.

13. Over time, he found out that hard work can often help make up for a lot of financial mistakes – and you will make financial mistakes.

14. He realizes that stuff happens, that’s why you’re a fool if you don’t insure yourself against risk. Remember that the potential for bankruptcy is always just around the corner and can be triggered from multiple sources: the death of the family’s key bread winner, divorce, or disability that leads to a loss of work.

15. He understands that time is an ally of the young. He was fortunate enough to begin saving in his twenties so he could take maximum advantage of the power of compounding interest on his nest egg.

16. He knows that you can’t spend what you don’t see. You should use automatic paycheck deductions to build up your retirement and other savings accounts. As your salary increases you can painlessly increase the size of those deductions.

17. Even though he has a job that he loves, he doesn’t have to work anymore because everything he owns is paid for – and has been for years.

18. He’s not impressed that you drive an over-priced luxury car and live in a McMansion that’s two sizes too big for your family of four.

19. After six months of asking, he finally quit waiting for you to return his pruning shears. He broke down and bought himself a new pair last month. There’s no hard feelings though; he can afford it.

So that’s it. Now you know what your millionaire neighbor won’t tell you.

Original source: Business Insider

10 Islands That Are Most Romantic

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No. 1 Most Romantic Islands:

Islands of Tahiti

You can never really see all of the Islands of Tahiti from Bora Bora to Moorea to the Tuamotu Islands to the Marquesas and more. So many of them are romantic in their own way. But for that classic romantic getaway to Tahiti, you have to stay in an overwater bungalow on the lagoon overlooking Mount Otemanu. Everybody loves that. And our gallery of the best overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and Moorea is one of the most popular galleries. Couples remember this ultimate romantic trip forever.

MaldivesUnderwaterhotel

No. 2 Most Romantic Islands:

Maldives

A haven out in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives aren’t just one gorgeous sandy island with a perfect lagoon. This destination consists of hundreds of such islands. And while Bora Bora gets so much attention — at least over here in the Western Hemisphere — for all of its overwater bungalows, the Maldives are dripping in such romantic getaway resorts. See the underater hotel above to get you in that romantic mood.

fijiislandresorts

fijiislandresorts

No. 3 Most Romantic Islands:

Fiji

We’ve been to Fiji many times over the years, staying at private islands and other resorts that capture the romantic feeling of being in the South Pacific.  What’s romantic about Fiji? quiet beauty, exotic flavors, luxury villas, and the feeling that you have all the time in the world together.

seychellessunset

No. 4 Most Romantic Islands:

Seychelles

For decades, writers and photographers have been visiting the Seychelles, raving about the natural beauty, the fascinating wildlife and the world-class resorts that seem woven into these islands.

stlucialadera

No. 5 Most Romantic Islands:

St. Lucia

Those Pitons that rise above the Caribbean in St. Lucia have been the backdrop for many a romantic getaway, ideal wedding and memorable honeymoon. This scene has become synonymous with Caribbean romance. And the resorts of St. Lucia make the most of the Pitons, like Ladera (pictured above), which doesn’t even put a wall between you and the view as you gaze out from your cliff-top sanctuary. It feels like the island was made just for the two of you.

Hawaiiresorts

No. 6 Most Romantic Islands

Hawaii

Granted, “Hawaii” covers a lot. We’re thinking of the most visited islands — Big Island, Oahu, Kauai, Maui — each of which have romantic hideaways scattered throughout some of the most beautiful island scenery anywhere.  It’s very hard not to be romantic in Hawaii.

sicilyitaly

No. 7 Most Romantic Islands:

Islands of Italy

Mainland Italy is one of the most popular and romantic vacation destinations in the world, but the islands are just as nice. And we love those just as much: Sicily, Sardinia, Capri, and Venice. Yes, Venice does count in our book.  The islands of Italy are made for romance.

stbartshotelresorts

No. 8 Most Romantic Island:

St. Barts

“Where should we go on our honeymoon?” often people suggest St. Barts. Yes, it’s the playground of the rich and famous, which gives the island a high-end vibe, like that gourmet restaurant you only go to on your anniversary. You can find stunning villas across the island. Or stay at the Eden Rock Hotel, where you can spring for the Rockstar Ultra Luxe villa if you really are celebrating something big.

queenslandaustraliabeach

No. 9 Romantic Island:

Australia

Whether or not Australia itself is an island is a subject of endless debate. But the islands of Australia off the northeastern coast of Queensland have that special feel. They’re a world all to yourself, often with luxury amenities that make for the most relaxing romantic getaway you could hope for. Qualia resort on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays is one such place where you and your significant other can lounge the day or days away. And then there are surprises like tiny Wilson Island, a speck of beach that has gourmet dining. Australia is full of romantic surprises.

jamaicadoctorsbeach

No. 10 Romantic Island:

Jamaica

Yes, Jamaica is known for its family-friendly all-inclusives, but there are so many intimate resorts across the island, many of them ideal for that perfect romantic getaway.  Stay at the resort or venture into the rich culture of Jamaica — or do a little of both.

Original source:  Islands

Where have you been OR where would you like to go?  Please comment below.

The World’s Most PERFECT Food?

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Did You Know that the avocado has been called the world’s most perfect food and has many health benefits? It has achieved this distinction because many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive — but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.

The avocado (Persea gratissima or P. americana) originated in Puebla, Mexico and its earliest use dates back to 10,000 years B.C. Since AD 900, the avocado tree has been cultivated and grown in Central and South America. In the 19th century, the avocado made its entry into California, and has since become a very successful commercial crop. Ninety-five percent (95%) of U.S. avocados are gown in Southern California.

The avocado, also called the alligator pear, is a high-fiber, sodium- and cholesterol-free food that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium.

Foods naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as avocados, are widely acknowledged as the secret to a healthy heart, a brilliant brain and eagle eyes.

Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, brain-imaging expert and author of the New York Times bestseller Change Your Brain, Change Your Life counts avocados as one of the top brain-healthy foods that can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

That’s not only because of the avocado’s health benefits omega-3 fatty acid content but also its…

Vitamin E content — An international journal called Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders, reported its findings from years of clinical trials — high doses of Vitamin E can neutralize free radicals and the buildup of proteins to reverse the memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients; reverse symptoms of Alzheimer’s in the early stages and retard the progression of the disease;

Folate content — helps to prevent the formation of tangled nerve fibers associated with Alzheimer’s.

The virtues and benefits of the avocado are too numerous to mention.

But Here Are Just a Few More Avocado Health Benefits That Its Nutritional Profile Provides:

•Monounsaturated Fats — These types of fats help control triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood cholesterol and control diabetes.
•Folate — This water-soluble B vitamin promotes healthy cell and tissue development. According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.”
•Lutein — This is a carotenoid (a natural pigment) that protects against cataracts and certain types of cancer, and reduces the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older. Avocados contain 3 or more times as much lutein as found in other common vegetables and fruits.
•Oleic acid and Potassium — Both of these nutrients also help in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of high blood pressure.

You can add these avocado benefits to your diet in many ways:
1) The easiest way is to cut the avocado in half and sprinkle it with herbal seasoning or maple syrup.

2) Chop the avocado and add it to a salad, or use it as a topping or side garnish for soup.

3) Mash an avocado and spread it on bread or a bagel (in place of butter or cream cheese).

4) Cut an avocado in half and fill the little hollow (left after you remove the pit) with your favorite healthy topping such as herbed rice or couscous.

5) Make an avocado dressing or the crowd-pleasing guacamole dip to add flavor to raw or steamed vegetables. You can easily find many avocado recipes online.

Blended with fruit, avocados make a rich and delicious snack, side dish or dessert — and produces highly-nutritious baby food which delivers “good fat” for baby’s brain and physical development.

Before you indulge in avocados to your heart’s content, however, remember that they have lots of calories because of their fat content. According to WebMD, “A medium-sized avocado contains 30 grams of fat, as much as a quarter-pound burger”.

That’s why diet experts have long urged Americans to go easy on avocados in favor of less fatty fruits and vegetables. But now nutritionists are taking another look.

They’re finding that most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated — the “good” kind that actually lowers cholesterol levels. Thanks to this new understanding, the U.S. government recently revised its official nutrition guidelines to urge Americans to eat more avocados.

No time to eat avocados? Get all the nutirion here:

Avogen Avocado Dietary Supplement

Original article: Underground Health Reporter

The Most Functional Drunk Ever. A Must See.

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This guy was pulled over by a cop for driving irradically. He was drunk. What he did even amazed the officer. Driving drunk is a serious offence, but this is too hilarious.

11 Biggest Myths of Nutrition

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There is a lot of misinformation circling around in mainstream nutrition.

I have listed the worst examples in this article, but unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are the top 11 biggest lies, myths and misconceptions of mainstream nutrition.

1. Eggs Are Unhealthy

There’s one thing that nutrition professionals have had remarkable success with… and that is demonizing incredibly healthy foods.

The worst example of that is eggs, which happen to contain a large amount of cholesterol and were therefore considered to increase the risk of heart disease.

But recently it has been proven that the cholesterol in the diet doesn’t really raise the cholesterol in blood. In fact, eggs primarily raise the “good” cholesterol and are NOT associated with increased risk of heart disease.

What we’re left with is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’re high in all sorts of nutrients along with unique antioxidants that protect our eyes.

To top it all of, despite being a “high fat” food, eating eggs for breakfast is proven to cause significant weight loss compared to bagels for breakfast.

Bottom Line: Eggs do not cause heart disease and are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight.

2. Saturated Fat is Bad For You

A few decades ago it was decided that the epidemic of heart disease was caused by eating too much fat, in particular saturated fat.

This was based on highly flawed studies and political decisions that have now been proven to be completely wrong.

A massive review article published in 2010 looked at 21 prospective epidemiological studies with a total of 347.747 subjects. Their results: absolutely no association between saturated fat and heart disease.

The idea that saturated fat raised the risk of heart disease was an unproven theory that somehow became conventional wisdom.

Eating saturated fat raises the amount of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol in the blood and changes the LDL from small, dense LDL (very bad) to Large LDL, which is benign.

Meat, coconut oil, cheese, butter… there is absolutely no reason to fear these foods.

Bottom Line: Newer studies have proven that saturated fat does not cause heart disease. Natural foods that are high in saturated fat are good for you.

3. Everybody Should be Eating Grains

The idea that humans should be basing their diets on grains has never made sense to me.

The agricultural revolution happened fairly recently in human evolutionary history and our genes haven’t changed that much.

Grains are fairly low in nutrients compared to other real foods like vegetables. They are also rich in a substance called phytic acid which binds essential minerals in the intestine and prevents them from being absorbed.

The most common grain in the western diet, by far, is wheat… and wheat can cause a host of health problems, both minor and serious.

Modern wheat contains a large amount of a protein called gluten, but there is evidence that a significant portion of the population may be sensitive to it.

Eating gluten can damage the intestinal lining, cause pain, bloating, stool inconsistency and tiredness. Gluten consumption has also been associated with schizophrenia and cerebellar ataxia, both serious disorders of the brain.

Bottom Line: Grains are relatively low in nutrients compared to other real foods like vegetables. The gluten grains in particular may lead to a variety of health problems.

4. Eating a Lot of Protein is Bad For Your Bones and Kidneys

A high protein diet has been claimed to cause both osteoporosis and kidney disease.

It is true that eating protein increases calcium excretion from the bones in the short term, but the long term studies actually show the opposite effect.

In the long term, protein has a strong association with improved bone health and a lower risk of fracture.

Additionally, studies don’t show any association of high protein with kidney disease in otherwise healthy people.

In fact, two of the main risk factors for kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. Eating a high protein diet improves both.

If anything, a high protein diet should be protective against osteoporosis and kidney failure!

Bottom Line: Eating a high protein diet is associated with improved bone health and a lower risk of fracture. High protein also lowers blood pressure and improves diabetes symptoms, which should lower the risk of kidney failure.

5. Low-Fat Foods Are Good For You

Do you know what regular food tastes like when all the fat has been taken out of it?

Well, it tastes like cardboard. No one would want to eat it.

The food manufacturers know this and therefore they add other things to compensate for the lack of fat.

Usually these are sweeteners… sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

We’ll get to the sugar in a moment, but I’d like to point out that even though artificial sweeteners don’t have calories, the evidence does NOT suggest that they are better for you than sugar.

In fact, many observational studies show a consistent, highly significant association with various diseases like obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, premature delivery and depression.

In these low-fat products, healthy natural fats are being replaced with substances that are extremely harmful.

Bottom Line: Low-fat foods are usually highly processed products loaded with sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. They are extremely unhealthy.

6. You Should Eat Many Small Meals Throughout The Day

The idea that you should eat many small meals throughout the day in order to “keep metabolism high” is a persistent myth that doesn’t make any sense.

It is true that eating raises your metabolism slightly while you’re digesting the meal, but it’s the total amount of food that determines the energy used, NOT the number of meals.

This has actually been put to the test and refuted multiple times. Controlled studies where one group eats many small meals and the other the same amount of food in fewer meals show that there is literally no difference between the two.

In fact, one study in obese men revealed that eating 6 meals per day led to less feelings of fullness compared to 3 meals.

Not only is eating so often practically useless for most of the people out there, it may even be harmful.

It is not natural for the human body to be constantly in the fed state. In nature, we used to fast from time to time and we didn’t eat nearly as often as we do today.

When we don’t eat for a while, a cellular process called autophagy cleans waste products out of our cells. Fasting or not eating from time to time is good for you.

Several observational studies show a drastically increased risk of colon cancer (4th most common cause of cancer death), numbers going as high as a 90% increase for those who eat 4 meals per day compared to 2.

Bottom Line: There is no evidence that eating many small meals throughout the day is better than fewer, bigger meals. Not eating from time to time is good for you. Increased meal frequency is associated with colon cancer.

7. Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories

The mainstream view is that everyone should eat a low-fat diet, with carbs being around 50-60% of total calories.

This sort of diet contains a lot of grains and sugars, with very small amounts of fatty foods like meat and eggs.

This type of diet may work well for some people, especially those who are naturally lean.

But for those who are obese, have the metabolic syndrome or diabetes, this amount of carbohydrates is downright dangerous.

This has actually been studied extensively. A low-fat, high-carb diet has been compared to a low-carb, high-fat diet in multiple randomized controlled trials.

The results are consistently in favor of low-carb, high-fat diets.

Bottom Line: The low-fat, high-carb diet is a miserable failure and has been proven repeatedly to be vastly inferior to lower-carb, higher-fat diets.

8. High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good For You

Polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy because some studies show that they lower your risk of heart disease.

But there are many types of polyunsaturated fats and they are not all the same.

Most importantly, we have both Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and lower your risk of many diseases related to inflammation. Humans actually need to get Omega-6s and Omega-3s in a certain ratio. If the ratio is too high in favor of Omega-6, it can cause problems.

By far the biggest sources of Omega-6 in the modern diet are processed seed and vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower oils.

Throughout evolution, humans never had access to such an abundance of Omega-6 fats. It is unnatural for the human body.

Research that specifically looks at Omega-6 fatty acids instead of polyunsaturated fats in general shows that they actually increase the risk of heart disease.

Eat your Omega-3s and consider supplementing with cod fish liver oil, but avoid the industrial seed and vegetable oils.

Bottom Line: Humans need to get Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats in a certain ratio. Eating excess Omega-6 from seed oils raises your risk of disease.

9. Low Carb Diets Are Dangerous

I personally believe low-carb diets to be a potential cure for many of the most common health problems in western nations.

The low-fat diet peddled all around the world is fairly useless against many of these diseases. It simply does not work.

However, low-carb diets (demonized by nutritionists and the media) have repeatedly been shown to lead to much better outcomes.

Every randomized controlled trial on low-carb diets shows that they:

1.Reduce body fat more than calorie-restricted low-fat diets, even though the low-carb dieters are allowed to eat as much as they want.

2.Lower blood pressure significantly.

3.Lower blood sugar and improve symptoms of diabetes much more than low-fat diets.

4.Increase HDL (the good) cholesterol much more.

5.Lower triglycerides much more than low-fat diets.

6.Change the pattern of LDL (bad) cholesterol from small, dense (very bad) to Large LDL, which is benign.

7.Low carb diets are also easier to stick to, probably because they don’t require you to restrict calories and be hungry all the time. More people in the low-carb groups make it to the end of the studies.

Many of the health professionals that are supposed to have our best interest in mind have the audacity to claim that these diets are dangerous, then continue to peddle their failed low-fat dogma that is hurting more people than it helps.

Bottom Line: Low-carb diets are the healthiest, easiest and most effective way to lose weight and reverse metabolic disease. It is a scientific fact.

10. Sugar is Unhealthy Because it Contains “Empty” Calories

It is commonly believed that sugar is bad for you because it contains empty calories.

It’s true, sugar has a lot of calories with no essential nutrients. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sugar, primarily because of its high fructose content, affects metabolism in a way that sets us up for rapid fat gain and metabolic disease.

Fructose gets metabolized by the liver and turned into fat which is secreted into the blood as VLDL particles. This leads to elevated triglycerides and cholesterol.

It also causes resistance to the hormones insulin and leptin, which is a stepping stone towards obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

This is just to name a few. Sugar causes a relentless biochemical drive for humans to eat more and get fat. It is probably the single worst ingredient in the standard western diet.

Bottom Line: The harmful effects of sugar go way beyond empty calories. Sugar wreaks havoc on our metabolism and sets us up for weight gain and many serious diseases.

11. High Fat Foods Will Make You Fat

It seems kind of intuitive that eating fat would make you get fat.

The stuff that is gathering under our skin and making us look soft and puffy is fat. So… eating fat should give our bodies even more of it.

But it isn’t that simple. Despite fat having more calories per gram than carbohydrate or protein, high-fat diets do not make people fat.

As with anything, this depends on the context. A diet that is high in fat AND high in carbs will make you fat, but it’s NOT because of the fat.

In fact, diets that are high in fat (and low in carbs) cause much greater fat loss than diets that are low in fat.

Original source: Authority Nutrition

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