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3 VITAL Steps To Control Your Sugar Consumption And Related Health Problems

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Sugar Master Of Disguise background photo © HandmadePictures – fotolia.com (under license).

Do you or anyone you know have tooth decay, uncontrolled weight gain, tooth decay, diabetes, brain health issues such as Alzheimer’s, cancer or sugar cravings?

Despite sugar’s current status as a food item, it could be argued that it is actually a deadly drug. Why? Because it causes physiological and behavioral changes, is addictive (causes cravings), and causes serious health problems for millions of people. Obesity alone is thought to kill 800,000 people a year in the USA – and then add to that diabetes and cancer; which have both been connected to sugar consumption.

One of the problems we face is that manufacturers of food products are continually working to make the list of ingredients of their products as appealing as possible – because these have a huge influence on sales. Sadly there is a dark side to this – and sugar is one of the ingredients given numerous other names. This handy data will help you ‘unmask’ sugar and gain an awareness of what you are eating.

Here are three vital steps to controlling your sugar consumption and related health problems:

First of all it is suggested to consume unprocessed, fresh, real ‘single ingredient foods’ wherever possible – for example organic fruit and vegetables and grass-fed butter.

Second – check your ingredients carefully against our chart so that you are aware of when you are buying sugar-laden products!

Third – understand the nutritional differences between different types of sugar and how they affect you. Here’s a great article the explains the nutritional differences between sugar, coconut sugar (the ‘new kid on the block’) and honey.

Here are a few more of our pages about sugar:

New Research Suggests Sugar Causes Cancer

How Sugar Harms Your Brain Health and Drives Alzheimer’s Epidemic

5 Important Facts About High Blood Sugar And The Best Foods To Eat To Prevent It

5 Things That Happen When You Quit Eating Sugar

5 Amazing Benefits of Skin Icing

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5 Amazing Benefits of Skin Icing photo © Dasha Petrenko – fotolia.com (under license).

Its not just vanity: You should practice proper skin care not just for aesthetic purposes but also for health and hygiene reasons. Remember, your skin is your first line of defense against the environment. It protects us from disease-causing microorganisms if it is properly taken care of. But good skin care need not be super-expensive. One of the most surprising ways to improve your skin condition is widely available and inexpensive: Ice!

#1: The glow
Forget strobing and using highlighters – all you need is a clean cube of ice to get an extra healthy, natural glow to your skin. Take one cube and gently rub it around your face. This will help improve circulate and hydrate your skin – hence the glow! But don’t stop with ice! You can freeze fruit cubes and get the same effect with added benefits of vitamins and minerals from the fruit flesh and skin.

#2: Clear skin
For people battling acne, pimples can be the bane of their existence. They are red and painful, often taking several days to weeks before they pop or begin to heal. While ice doesn’t necessarily get rid of the pimple itself, it can help drastically reduce inflammation and discomfort. Remember to use clean ice cube and apply it for a few minutes on each acne spot until the pain and redness is relieved.

#3: De-puffer
Puffy eyes are common problems when waking up in the morning – whether or not you’ve had an exciting night out or in watching The Notebook. Because ice cubes help improve circulation, they can also help reduce the swelling around your eyes. However, take caution! The skin around the eyes is very delicate, so directly using the ice cube can damage the delicate blood vessels in the area. pPlace the ice cube in a soft cloth and make gentle swipes around your orbital bone to get that freshly awake look (even though you only had two hours of sleep!).

#4: Pore shrinking
It’s time to put your expensive face primer back in the drawer for a more natural approach to reducing pore size. It’s an age-old beauty tip to splash cold water on your face after cleansing in the morning to reduce the size of your pores. Take this up a notch by passing a cube of ice along problem areas and watch your pores get smaller and smaller! This will provide a smooth canvas for applying makeup – or for that fresh, natural look!

#5: Wrinkle prevention…
Because ice helps stimulate circulation to the skin on your face, it keeps it well oxidized and healthy. This helps prevent the formation of premature wrinkles and retains the natural elasticity of your skin. When skin is well supplied with oxygen, it is much healthier, takes faster to heal, and overall looks a lot better – without the expensive price tag of most skincare lines that promise the world but whose results sometimes leave much to be desired.





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3 Unhealthy Habits That Cause Bloating, Indigestion & Acid Reflux

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3 Unhealthy Habits That Cause Bloating, Indigestion & Acid Reflux
Ice water photo © amphaiwan – fotolia.com (under license). Digestion pic – Wikipedia (public domain)



Bloating, abdominal pain and acid reflux can occur after a heavy meal, especially if you eat dairy or acidic food. It might also be accompanied by irregular bowel movement, excessive flatulence, and nausea. According to a study published by the UNC Center for Functional and GI Disorders, bloating is experienced by 10 to 30 percent of the American population. [1] While abdominal bloating rarely a symptom of a more serious disease, it is still very uncomfortable – leading to more sick days, visits to the doctor, and use of medication. Here are three surprising causes of bloating, indigestion and acid reflux.

Unhealthy habit #1: Carbs and Protein together

A filling meal usually has two parts – starch and protein. Steak and potatoes. Rice and chicken. Bread and ham. While these combinations are staples in diets all over the world, people don’t think about what happens to these food items once they enter the stomach. If you eat starch and protein separately, you’ll know that starch is digested faster – providing a quick release of energy that is either used or stored by the body. Protein, on the other hand, is not a first-line source of energy, meaning it takes longer to process. When starch and protein are eaten together, starch is still digested faster but stays in the stomach longer because of the presence of protein. When starch takes too long in the stomach, it can ferment – which releases gas and causes bloatedness.

Healthy tip: Eat both in moderation or eat starch first before you move on to protein. There’s a reason why bread is served first in restaurants before the main dish.

Unhealthy habit #2: Drinking cold water during a meal

Cooler temperatures cause our blood vessels to constrict – slowing the body’s normal digestive process because there is less surface area for oxygen and nutrients to enter or leave the bloodstream. If you drink cold water during a meal, it constricts the blood vessels in the stomach, slowing its ability to complete the normal process of digestion. Even if you don’t eat starch and protein together, the cold temperature still slows the normal rate of digestion – and we’re back to unhealthy habit #1. Starch stays longer in the stomach, produces gas, and causes bloatedness.

Healthy tip: Have a warm or hot drink like tea during a meal. You can drink cold water before or after, but not while you’re eating.

Unhealthy habit #3: Carbonated beverages with meals

While this is an obvious unhealthy habit, it’s a hard one for some to break! Carbonated beverages produce excess amounts of gas on their own, what more when they interact with the gastric juices that naturally occur in the stomach? It’s a recipe for disaster. Not to mention the sugar, HFCS and/or artificial additives. Limiting intake of carbonated beverages is advised by physicians and health professionals in order to avoid excessive abdominal bloating. [2]

Healthy Tip: Don’t eat a heavy meal too late in the evening.

References:

[1] Thiwan, S. Abdominal Bloating: A Mysterious Symptom. http://www.med.unc.edu/ibs/files/educational-gi-handouts/Abdominal%20Bloating.pdf

[2] National Institutes of Health (2015). Abdominal bloating.