Friday, July 29, 2016

Sitting Is the New Smoking

Sitting Is the New Smoking: Ways a Sedentary Lifestyle Is Killing You


09/29/2014 10:32 am ET
| Updated Nov 26, 2014
The ticking clock and furious patter of computer keys are staples in offices around the world. Regardless of specific business, offices share many similarities. One such similarity is a sedentary culture and studies show all that sitting is taking a major toll on employee health.

Click Here to see the Complete List of Ways Sitting is Shortening Your Life

From the driver’s seat to the office chair and then the couch at home, Americans are spending more time seated than ever, and researchers say it’s wreaking havoc on our bodies. The Los Angeles Times recently interviewed Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk. Levine has been studying the adverse effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles for years and has summed up his findings in two sentences.
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.

Levine is credited with coining that mantra — “sitting is the new smoking” — but he’s not the only one who believes it. Researchers have found and continue to find evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Another reason the smoking analogy is relevant is that studies have repeatedly shown the effects of long-term sitting are not reversible through exercise or other good habits. Sitting, like smoking, is very clearly bad for our health and the only way to minimize the risk is to limit the time we spend on our butts each day. If you need a bit more encouragement, take a look at all of the ways sitting is killing you...and then scour Pinterest to make your own standing desk.

Click Here to see the Original Story on The Active Times
- Diana Gerstacker, The Active Times
More Content from The Active Times:
Better Sex, Healthier Teeth, Clearer Skin: 12 Surprise Benefits of Exercise
5 Things You Can Do Today That Will Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals
7 Reasons Your Weight Loss Goals Are Failing
The Surprising Way Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight
The Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep










A study released by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that, because you’re human, you lose 11% to 14% of your productivity-potential every day. You check the news. You chitchat with a colleague in the next cubicle. You daydream about dinner, who is going to be on Jimmy Kimmel tonight, or your upcoming weekend road-trip. We’re all human. We’re not machines. And there’s not much we do to change it.
Here’s something you can change. Research also suggests that for every health risk you possess, you lose an additional percentage of your productivity-potential (small health risks obviously impact productivity less than serious health concerns). Some studies suggest that the average person has between 10 to 12 health risks every single day. Do the math. Even if a minor risk reduced your potential by 3%, but you possess 10 small risks, you could be operating at about half of your potential.
Curious about how these seemingly small physical changes could impact performance at work, we started digging for more research. And, we found it—a ton of it, packaged neatly into one book.
“Losing four hours of sleep is comparable to drinking a six-pack of beer ,” says Tom Rath, Author of the New York Times bestselling book, Eat Move Sleep. “I don’t want to be in a serious meeting with a person who drank six beers or lost four hours of sleep. I don’t want my child’s teacher to be that person. I don’t want my doctor to be that person. Still, we don’t view the two scenarios (beer drinking and not sleeping) as equal. In fact, our culture views a person who needs sleep, as a person with a weakness. In fact, in the business world, many professionals take pride in burning the midnight oil.”

Rath, most known for his thought-leadership in the business space—the author of Strengths Finder 2.0, How Full is Your Bucket, and the more recent bestseller Strengths Based Leadership—has both personal and professional reasons for shifting his attention toward health and wellness. “I’ve battled health issues of my own,” he recently told us during a podcast interview. “But when I started doing research for personal reasons, I realized the impact small changes could make in elevating performance as well.”

In Eat Move Sleep, Rath cites a study from Harvard Medical School, which suggests ‘lack of sleep’ costs the American economy $63 billion in lost productivity.  And it’s not because employees aren’t showing up for work—we’re not talking about absenteeism.  A concept called presenteeismis apparently slaying our ability to perform. Basically, the word means being sick in some way, but showing up to work anyway. We’ve all had those days where we’re not performing at our best—too little sleep, a headache, or the common cold. We’re present; we’re just not in the game.


“Not reaching your potential is not just about having an illness,” said Rath. “It’s about not being fully healthy. Our culture has spent a lot of time talking about how not to be sick—don’t smoke, and don’t eat junk food. We also talk a lot about how healthy habits prevent disease. But most people don’t talk about how healthy habits improve you—your energy, your focus, your mood, and your performance.”
Surprising your colleagues at work with a box of glazed donuts might seem like a great idea to motivate people to work harder. But, when the sugar-rush dies, so will their energy. And, according to Rath, it’s not just the donuts, or sodas, or candy bars that have an impact. “Every ounce of food or liquid you consume has either a net positive or a net negative effect by the time it runs through your body,” said Rath. “You don’t get healthier by simply trying to eat better in general. You improve your health on a bite-by-bite basis. One of my favorite meals was hickory-glazed salmon at a local restaurant. I loved it, and assumed it was healthy until I started doing research on barbecue sauce. Basically, it’s almost all sugar—like syrup for meat. But, if you want big change, you’ve got to think about every small bite and the impact the ingredients will have either positively or negatively.”
For anyone who’s experienced the afternoon coma that follows lunch, you understand exactly what bite-by-bite means—that the food you eat today, affects your performance today.
Still, when it comes to the impact our health choices make on our abilities to accomplish great work, one specific comment made by Tom Rath shocked us—because it challenges a common workplace habit that has been baked into most workplace cultures. Rath said, “ Sitting is the most underrated health-threat of modern time. Researchers found that sitting more than six hours in a day will greatly increase your risk of an early death.”
That comment might be hard to digest if you spend your day in a chair. And, for those of you who have a ‘butts in chairs equals productivity’ mindset, Rath also mentioned that walking could increase energy levels by 150 percent. “Inactivity is dangerous,” he said, “In fact, some research shows inactivity now kills more people than smoking .”
“Any advice on where a person should start making small changes?” we asked.
“The business world is really good at tracking and accountability,” Rath replied. “At work we’re really good at setting goals and creating systems and processes to reach those goals.  Our culture, however, has never been good at tracking and accountability when it comes to health, until now. Technology (like Fitbit and Jawbone devices) now makes it effortless to track activity, and sleep. And when you’re aware of what you’re doing in real-time, it’s easy to see how small choices lead to big changes.”
Rath paused. “Beyond that…” he said, “It is about eating, moving, and sleeping well in combination.”

by David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom
Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidsturt/2015/01/13/is-sitting-the-new-smoking/#5b95363c239a

Being Unfit May Be Almost as Bad for You as Smoking

Being out of shape could be more harmful to health and longevity than most people expect, according to a new, long-term study of middle-aged men. The study finds that poor physical fitness may be second only to smoking as a risk factor for premature death.
It is not news that aerobic capacity can influence lifespan. Many past epidemiological studies have found that people with low physical fitness tend to be at high risk of premature death. Conversely, people with robust aerobic capacity are likely to have long lives.
But most of those studies followed people for about 10 to 20 years, which is a lengthy period of time for science but nowhere near most of our actual lifespans. Some of those studies also enrolled people who already were elderly or infirm, making it difficult to extrapolate the findings to younger, healthier people. 

So for the new study, which was published this week in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and other institutions turned to an impressively large and long-term database of information about Swedish men.
The data set, prosaically named the Study of Men Born in 1913, involved exactly that. In 1963, almost 1,000 healthy 50-year-old men in Gothenburg who had been born in 1913 agreed to be studied for the rest of their lives, in order to help scientists better understand lifetime risks for disease, especially heart disease.
The men completed baseline health testing in 1963, including measures of their blood pressure, weight and cholesterol, and whether they exercised and smoked. Four years later, when the volunteers were 54, some underwent more extensive testing, including an exercise stress test designed to precisely determine their maximum aerobic capacity, or VO2 max. Using the results, the scientists developed a mathematical formula that allowed them to estimate the aerobic capacity of the rest of the participants.
Aerobic capacity is an interesting measure for scientists to study, because it is affected by both genetics and lifestyle. Some portion of our VO2 max is innate; we inherit it from our parents. But much of our endurance capacity is determined by our lifestyle. Being sedentary lowers VO2 max, as does being overweight. Exercise raises it.
Among this group of middle-aged men, aerobic capacities ranged from slight to impressively high, and generally reflected the men’s self-reported exercise habits. Men who said that they seldom worked out tended to have a low VO2 max. (Because VO2 max is more objective than self-reports about exercise, the researchers focused on it.)

To determine what impact fitness might have on lifespan, the scientists grouped the men into three categories: those with low, medium or high aerobic capacity at age 54.
Then they followed the men for almost 50 years. During that time, the surviving volunteers completed follow-up health testing about once each decade. The scientists also tracked deaths among the men, based on a national registry. 

Then they compared the risk of relatively early death to a variety of health parameters, particularly each man’s VO2 max, blood pressure, cholesterol profile and history of smoking. (They did not include body weight as a separate measure, because it was indirectly reflected by VO2 max.)
Not surprisingly, smoking had the greatest impact on lifespan. It substantially shortened lives.
But low aerobic capacity wasn’t far behind. The men in the group with the lowest VO2 max had a 21 percent higher risk of dying prematurely than those with middling aerobic capacity, and about a 42 percent higher risk of early death than the men who were the most fit.
Poor fitness turned out to be unhealthier even than high blood pressure or poor cholesterol profiles, the researchers found. Highly fit men with elevated blood pressure or relatively unhealthy cholesterol profiles tended to live longer than out-of-shape men with good blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Of course, this study found links between poor fitness and shortened lifespans. It cannot prove that one caused the other, or explain how VO2 max might affect lifespan. However, the findings raise the possibility, as the scientists speculate, that by strengthening the body, better fitness may lower the risk of a variety of chronic diseases. 

This study also involved men — and Swedish men at that. So whether the findings are applicable to other people, particularly women, is uncertain.
But “there is no reason not to think” that the rest of us would also share any beneficial associations between fitness and longevity, said Per Ladenvall, a researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, who led the study. Past studies involving women have found such links, he said. 

Encouragingly, if you now are concerned about the state of your particular aerobic capacity, you most likely can increase it just by getting up and moving. “Even small amounts of physical activity,” Dr. Ladenvall said, “may have positive effects on fitness.”


Source: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/27/being-unfit-may-be-almost-as-bad-for-you-as-smoking/?_r=0

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

7 Steps to Have More Energy All Day

If you’re like me, you have less time to juggle more tasks these days. Those overwhelming responsibilities and demands can drain every ounce of energy before morning even ends. But there are things you can do to have more energy all day…without short-term stimulants like coffee and energy drinks.

get more energy

The Problem with Short-Term Stimulants

I see so many people reach for a quick stimulant to keep them going all afternoon to complete their ever-growing to-do list. Food manufacturers capitalize on that fatigue with hyper-caffeinated energy drinks and amped-up coffee.
Believe me, I get it: some days you feel like you’re running on empty and desperately seek a boost to pull you through that afternoon meeting and then fight rush-hour traffic.
A tall late-morning java gives you a jolt, but coffee also raises your cortisol levels, stressing your already-overworked adrenals. Inevitably you crash, though your next fix conveniently lies around the corner at your favorite coffee place or in the break room where your receptionist left freshly baked cookies.
Related Article: Want a Natural Pick-Me-Up? Try Functional Herbs
You don’t have to feel this way and you needn’t succumb to short-term solutions that contribute to long-term energy crashes. I use these seven strategies to maintain steady, sustained energy all day:

How You Can  Have More Energy From Morning Through Night

1. Get 7 – 9 Hours of High-quality Sleep Every Night
Nothing zaps your energy like a restless night. You wake up feeling lousy and start the day’s caffeine cycle. Even one night’s poor sleep can adversely affect your hunger hormones and set the stage for cravings, lethargy, and a miserable day at the office.
Aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night. You need to prepare for sleep. About an hour before bedtime, turn off electronics (your email will still be there in the morning), take a hot bath with some chamomile tea, practice deep breathing or meditation, and relax.
Related Article: 4 Ways to Sleep Better
2. Check Your Thyroid Levels
Fatigue could signify something deeper like thyroid problems. Ask your doctor to run a thyroid panel and include free T3 to make sure you convert well to the active form. Signs of low thyroid include low body temperature, dry skin, weak nails, poor hair growth, high cholesterol, constipation, slightly yellow palms, and missing the outer third of your eyebrows. Aim for a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level between 1 and 2.
3. Eat by the Plate
Start your morning with a low-fat muffin or cereal and you’re due for a mid-morning energy crash. Instead, make breakfast a protein shake for blood sugar-balancing protein, good fats, and fiber to keep you full and focused for hours.
I load mine with plant-based (but not soy) protein powder, berries, kale, flax or chia seeds, blended with unsweetened coconut or almond milk. To maintain that steady energy all day, load your plate with lean protein, good fats like avocado and olive oil, leafy greens, and slow-release high-fiber carbs.
Related Article: 12 Ways to Eat Right on a Budget
4. Zap the Energy Thieves
No, not your in-laws! (Though toxic relationships can certainly drain your energy.) I’m talking about coffee, alcohol, and other stimulants or relaxing substances that help you in the moment but leave you listless later. I enjoy a cup of organic dark roast or pinot noir as much as anyone else, but over-relying on these for energy and relaxation can create long-term problems.
5. Burst to Boost Energy
Kind of ironic that exerting energy creates more energy, but that post-exercise endorphin boost can make you feel exuberant. Who has hours for the gym? That’s why I love burst training, which can help you blast fat and boost energy in just minutes a day.
You don’t need any special equipment: a park hill or mall stairs provide the perfect place for bursting.
Related Article: Why Burst Training is Your Best Fat Burning Workout
6. Get your Vitamin D
Sunshine helps regulate your circadian rhythm and improve energy levels. Studies show[1] among its many problems, vitamin D deficiency contributes to fatigue. Ask your doctor to test your D levels and aim for 60 – 80 ng/ ml. Once you’ve hit that mark, I recommend 5,000 IUs of vitamin D as a maintenance dose. And get out: even 10 minutes of sunshine on unprotected skin can boost your D levels.
7. Try this Energy Cocktail
Supplements aren’t magic potions, but they can provide nutrients that replenish energy at the cellular level. If you’re eating correctly, exercising, and getting optimal sleep, but still can’t sustain steady energy levels, my favorite nutrient cocktail includes a B Complex, CoQ10, carnitine, and tyrosine. Don’t forget the basics too. A good multivitamin/ mineral could be the missing link to feeling revitalized.
************
jj virgin Celebrity nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin is author of The New York Times Bestseller The Virgin Diet.
Featured photo by Hugo Bernard

[1] Sinha A, et al. Improving the vitamin D status of vitamin D deficient adults is associated with improved mitochondrial oxidative function in skeletal muscle. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar;98(3):E509-13. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-3592. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Source: http://inspiyr.com/ways-to-have-more-energy-all-day/

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How to Figure Out the Cost of a Medical Procedure Before it Happens

"How much will that cost?" It’s a question we aren’t used to asking in the healthcare marketplace. Many of us grew up with the $10 co-pay, but that’s rapidly becoming a thing of the past. With rising deductibles, more out-of-network providers, more uninsured people, and more out-of-pocket spending, it’s increasingly a question we need to ask—and before the medical procedure, not after, when the “gotcha” bill upsets us.
This post originally appeared on Credit.com.
So, how do you find out what things cost in the healthcare marketplace?
First, let’s distinguish between two groups: routine care (preventive checkups, the garden-variety strep infection, etc.), and emergency care (or other big-ticket medical events like crisis appendectomies). The first group is fairly easy; the big-ticket stuff, less so, though you can do some things to help yourself.
When you’re insured, you have to deal with factors like: Have you met your deductible? Does your plan require pre-approval? Are you in network or out? So indeed it can be complicated. But we’re hearing more people asking for cash or self-pay prices, negotiating surgical fees (a friend just negotiated a $40,000 fee down to $10,000), and being thoughtful about purchasing.
If you’re insured, ask your provider or check the company’s website for pricing tools. Many insurers now offer them, though not all are extremely useful. Some states have terrific pricing tools, such as Minnesota and New Hampshire, but a lot of the state resources are not so great. In Ohio, for example, the prices are simply the list or “chargemaster” prices, which are the top-end rates, and thus not very useful. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a scorecard of those resources.
Here are some easy steps to find out what things cost.

Routine or Non-Emergency Care

1. Find out the exact name of the procedure, and how it’s referred to in the medical billing system, (the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) or CPT codes). These codes categorize the mind-numbingly huge number of medical procedures that go through the nation’s billing system. There’s often a five-digit code: for example, a simple MRI of the lower back is coded 72148. To find the procedure name and number, ask the provider, or try the search box on the clearhealthcosts.com site: type in “MRI” and pick from the choices offered. If there’s something you don’t understand, ask the provider: “Is that a 72148 MRI or a 72156?”
2. Find out the price paid for that procedure by Medicare in your locale. The Medicare price is the closest thing to a fixed or benchmark price, and there’s a byzantine formula for determining that price. For a 72148 MRI, for example, the Medicare price in Manhattan is $497.
3. Now it’s time for a little spadework. There may be several providers–say a colonoscopy, which might include the doctor, the anesthesiologist, the pathology charges, maybe even a “facility charge” for the building where it all takes place–so ask about each of them. We often hear of people encountering out-of-network anesthesiologists, emergency-room docs, and even pathologists—not to mention the ambush “facility fee.”
4. Are you uninsured, or is it not covered by your insurance? Then ask for a cash or self-pay price. Quite often, providers will offer a discount if you pay upfront, in advance—not just for discretionary procedures like Botox and Lasik eye surgery, but also for things like an MRI, a mammogram, or an ultrasound. We hear a lot from people who are asking to pay the Medicare price, or something close. The first price that is quoted, we often find, is a “chargemaster” or sticker price–like an MSRP in electronics. Depending on where you live, you might be entitled by law to a much lower price. In California, for example, discounts off the sticker price must be given to uninsured or underinsured patients below a certain income level. Ask if there are any price breaks. Then ask again.
5. Are you insured? Is it covered by your insurance? Ask “Is Dr. X in my network? Is it covered? What’s my co-pay? Am I required to pay a percentage?” Ask if the price being quoted to you is the chargemaster or sticker price—or if it is the “negotiated rate,” negotiated by the provider and the payer (in this case your insurance company). Know your plan: Have you met your deductible? Is this something your plan doesn’t cover at 100%? Ask, and keep asking. You may need to ask both provider and insurer; you may have to ask for “pre-authorization” to assure it will be covered. Know your policy. Take notes. Take names.
6. If you think the prices are high, you may be right. Hospitals generally charge more for things like an MRI than a self-standing radiology center does. If your provider is offering a $2,300 MRI, you might feel comfortable asking if you could go to the place up the street that charges $500.
7. Keep a record of who you talked to and when, what they said, and how to reach them again. We have heard many times that people asking these questions get several different answers from different people at the same provider or insurance company.
8. Check online resources. Clearhealthcosts.com is part of a growing ecosystem of transparency tools. Some of the others:
  • healthcarebluebook.com (gives a “fair price” based on your location);
  • fairhealth.org (price information for consumers and businesses);
  • newchoicehealth (offers generally high prices, then invites users to connect with featured providers or request a bid);
  • faircaremd.com (offers a range of provider-supplied prices and an opportunity to negotiate).

Emergency Care: Walk-In Center Before Emergency Room

You’re not likely to be shopping around if you’re in an ambulance with a broken leg, or unconscious on a gurney. But there are things you can do to make smart choices about emergency care.
First, if you’re insured, know the hospitals close to you that are on your plan that will be your ER of choice in case you or a family member needs crisis care. But also–and this is new for many of us–a walk-in center could be a better choice. Walk-in centers tend to be much less expensive than full-blown hospital emergency rooms. Many of us routinely took croupy kids to emergency rooms in the middle of the night, but that’s changed in a big way.
Walk-in centers of all kinds are the fastest-growing part of the medical marketplace. They range from pharmacy and big-box clinics (Dr. Walk-In at Duane Reade, The Clinic at Walmart) to Concentra, a big chain with more than 300 clinics in 39 states, to mini-chains like CityMD in New York. If your problem is a sore throat, a urinary tract infection, or a croupy kid, your first choice is likely to be your doctor—if you’re insured and you have one. But if you’re uninsured or can’t get to your doctor quickly or easily, this is another option. It’s not a bad idea to call around just to know providers near you.
Walk-in centers may not feel comfortable quoting a price in advance, because the price can depend on treatment: Do you need lab tests, X-rays, a cast? So you might inquire: Do you take my insurance? What kind of cases do you treat? What is the charge for a basic office visit? What are your hours? What’s the charge for a cash visit for a sore throat if you’re uninsured? Not all walk-in centers are created equal. Some are staffed by nurse practitioners, by emergency room doctors, by owner-operator doctors, or by a pharmacist. Some may not take people with gynecological issues, or gaping chest wounds, or broken bones. It’s worth knowing the territory to save yourself time, trouble, and money.
Ask friends and neighbors for their experiences. Social media can help: in my village, we’ve got a “Moms” Facebook page where people share recommendations for gynecologists, primary-care providers, and the best place to take a croupy kid on the weekend. Use those resources. Also, beware of the rising trend toward free-standing emergency rooms, which are separate from hospitals. They present what appears to be an attractive alternative, but the word on the street is that they can be expensive.
And if you’re in an emergency situation and still able to ask, do yourself a favor: Make sure that all the providers you see are participating providers. We hear a lot about people who receive bills telling them that they were at an in-network hospital with an in-network doctor and in-network pathology, but the anesthesiologist was out of network and therefore the bill blows back on them. Insist that you want an in-network provider.
How much will that cost? Always ask.
How to Figure Out the Cost of a Medical Procedure Before You Get It | Credit.com

Jeanne Pinder a contributor at Credit.com. She is the founder and CEO of clearhealthcosts.com, bringing transparency to the health-care marketplace by telling people what stuff costs. A former New York Times editor and reporter, she loves finding things out and telling people.
Image remixed from piotr_pabijan (Shutterstock).

Source: http://lifehacker.com/how-to-figure-out-the-cost-of-a-medical-procedure-befor-1348059616

Thursday, January 7, 2016

6 Reasons Why Eggs Are The Healthiest Food on The Planet


By Kris Gunnars, BSc |, November, 2015


Boy Eating a Fried EggEggs are so nutritious that they’re often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.”

They also have unique antioxidants and powerful brain nutrients that many people are deficient in.

Here are 6 reasons why eggs are among the healthiest foods on the planet.

1. Whole Eggs Are Among The Most Nutritious Foods on Earth

One whole egg contains an amazing range of nutrients.

Just imagine… the nutrients in there are enough to turn a single fertilized cell into an entire baby chicken.

Eggs are loaded with vitamins, minerals, high quality proteins, good fats and various other lesser-known nutrients.

One large egg contains (1):

    Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): 9% of the RDA.

    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDA.

    Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.

    Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 7% of the RDA.

    Selenium: 22% of the RDA.

    Eggs also contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body… including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, Folate and many more.

A large egg contains 77 calories, with 6 grams of quality protein, 5 grams of fat and trace amounts of carbohydrates.

It’s very important to realize that almost all the nutrients are contained in the yolk, the white contains only protein.

    Bottom Line: Whole eggs are incredibly nutritious, containing a very large amount of nutrients compared to the calorie load. The nutrients are found in the yolks, while the whites are mostly protein.

2. Eggs Improve Your Cholesterol Profile and do NOT Raise Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease



The main reason people have been warned about eggs is that they’re loaded with cholesterol.

One large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is a LOT compared to most other foods.

However, just because a food contains cholesterol doesn’t mean that it will raise the bad cholesterol in the blood.

The liver actually produces cholesterol, every single day. If you eat cholesterol, then your liver produces less. If you don’t eat cholesterol, then your liver produces more of it.

The thing is, many studies show that eggs actually improve your cholesterol profile.

Eggs tend to raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and they tend to change the LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol to a large subtype which is not associated with an increased risk of heart disease (2, 3, 4).

One study discovered that 3 whole eggs per day reduced insulin resistance, raised HDL and increased the size of LDL particles in men and women with metabolic syndrome (5).

Multiple studies have examined the effects of egg consumption on the risk of cardiovascular disease and found no association between the two (6, 7, 8).

However, some studies do show an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients. This needs further research though and probably doesn’t apply on a low-carb diet, which can in many cases reverse type II diabetes (9, 10, 11).

    Bottom Line: Studies show that eggs actually improve the cholesterol profile. They raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and increase the size of LDL particles, which should lower the risk of heart disease.

3. Eggs Are Loaded With Choline, an Important Nutrient For The Brain



Choline is a lesser-known nutrient that is often grouped with the B-complex vitamins.

Choline is an essential nutrient for human health and is needed for various processes in the body.

It is required to synthesize the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and is also a component of cell membranes.

A low choline intake has been implicated in liver diseases, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders (12).

This nutrient may be especially important for pregnant women. Studies show that a low choline intake can raise the risk of neural tube defects and lead to decreased cognitive function in the offspring (13).

In a dietary survey in the U.S. from 2003-2004, over 90% of people ate less than the daily recommended amount of choline (14)!

The best sources of choline in the diet are egg yolks and beef liver. One large egg contains 113 mg of Choline.

    Bottom Line: Choline is an essential nutrient that 90% of people in the U.S. aren’t getting enough of. Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline.

4. Eggs Contain High Quality Proteins With a Perfect Amino Acid Profile



Proteins are the main building blocks of the body and serve both structural and functional purposes.

They consist of amino acids that are linked together, kind of like beads on a string, then folded into complex shapes.

There are about 21 amino acids that the body uses to build its proteins.

The body can not produce 9 of these amino acids, which are deemed as “essential” and must be gotten from the diet.

The quality of a protein source is determined by its relative amounts of these essential amino acids. A protein source that contains all of them in the right ratios is a good source of protein.

Eggs are among the best sources of protein in the diet. In fact, the biological value (a measure of protein quality) is often evaluated by comparing it to eggs, which are given the perfect score of 100.

    Bottom Line: Eggs are an excellent source of protein, with all the essential amino acids in the right ratios.

5. Eggs Are Loaded With Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Which Protect The Eyes



There are two antioxidants in eggs that can have powerful protective effects on the eyes.

They are called Lutein and Zeaxanthin, both found in the yolk.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin tend to accumulate in the retina, the sensory part of the eye.

These antioxidants significantly reduce the risk of Macular Degeneration and Cataracts, which are among the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the elderly (15, 16, 17).

In one study, eating 1.3 egg yolks per day for 4.5 weeks increased blood levels of Zeaxanthin by 114-142% and Lutein by 28-50% (18).

    Bottom Line: Eggs are very high in the antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which can drastically reduce the risk of Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.

6. Eggs For Breakfast Can Help You Lose Body Fat



Eggs contain only trace amounts of carbohydrates, but plenty of protein and fat.

They score very high on a scale called the Satiety Index, which is a measure of how much foods contribute to satiety (19).

For this reason, it is not surprising to see studies where eating eggs for breakfast leads to fat loss.

In one study, 30 overweight or obese women consumed either a breakfast of eggs or a breakfast of bagels. Both breakfasts had the same amount of calories.

The women in the egg group felt more full and ate less calories for the rest of the day and for the next 36 hours (20).

In another study that went on for 8 weeks, eating eggs for breakfast lead to significant weight improvements compared to the same amount of calories from bagels. The egg group (21):

    Lost 65% more body weight.
    Lost 16% more body fat.
    Had a 61% greater reduction in BMI.
    Had a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference (a good marker for the dangerous abdominal fat).

Not All Eggs Are The Same

It’s important to keep in mind that not all eggs are created equal.

Hens are often raised in factories, caged and fed grain-based feed that alters the final nutrient composition of the eggs. It is best to buy Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs, they are more nutritious and healthier.

However, conventional supermarket eggs are still a good choice if you can’t afford or access the others.
Take Home Message

To top things off, eggs are cheap, taste awesome and go with almost any food.

Eggs really are an egg-ceptional superfood.

Source: http://authoritynutrition.com/6-reasons-why-eggs-are-the-healthiest-food-on-the-planet/

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

11 Ways To Stay Positive (Even When You’re Around Negative People)


We’ve all been there: you get stuck with a Debbie Downer at work, or you get pinned in line behind someone at the grocery store that has absolutely nothing nice to say about the cashier.
Whether it’s at work, in public, or with “that one friend” who you can’t seem to please, there will always be negativity in this world.
Our job is to not take it personally, try to overcome it as gracefully as possible, and know that we’re armed and ready to move on with our own positivity to drown out any pessimism that may drag us down.
You can stay positive with these tips to help combat the negativity…because no matter what unconstructive criticism may be thrown at you, you’re above it, and you are amazing.
8073409053_5291f33528_z

How You Can Combat Negativity In Your Life

1. Try not to take it personally.
If you are dealing with someone who has a “toxic” personality, just remember this: it’s really none of your business what any other person thinks of you, and it doesn’t affect you. If they think negatively of you, who cares? Just be you, and be the bigger person.
Related: 4 Reasons Why You Should Stop Trying To Change People
2. Keep your cool.
By not lowering yourself to the standards of negative Nellys, you will find it is much easier to stay calm, stay positive, and just accept the state of things as they are, until you can get out.
3. Remove yourself from the situation.
It may seem like an easy out, but it is sometimes the best choice. If you’re stuck and can’t get out, sometimes just backing out of a negative conversation and daydreaming for a minute is enough to keep the negativity from sticking to your aura, until you can get out of dodge.
4. Breathe.
Any good therapist will recommend breathing therapy to ease anxiety, and it works. The next step is a great way to follow it up…
Related: You’re Probably Not Breathing Right. Here’s How To Fix It
5. Count to 10. If that doesn’t work, count to 20.
Works like a charm. That’s because it gives you a few seconds to let go of your instinctive reaction so that you don’t let the negativity affect you.
6. Exercise.
Even if you are only exercising for 15 minutes a few times a week, you’ll feel better, and your head will be clearer.
I’m not saying you should immediately leave a negative situation and run out and exercise (although that’s not a horrible idea), but frequent exercise will get your mind in a more healthy place to combat all the negative influences around you.
Related: The 7 Best Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Without Going To The Gym
7. Speak up.
If you are ready and willing, fight the negativity with your (positive) words. Just be ready to defend your position, and keep a steady head, or else you will end up lowering your standards without realizing it.
8. Keep yourself occupied.
If your mind is focused on something else, it is easier to ignore the pessimism surrounding you.
9. Surround yourself with things that help you stay positive.
If you feel your work environment is constantly destructive to your mood, try to surround yourself with things that make you content and keep you uplifted.
It doesn’t matter if it’s sticky notes with optimistic quotes, photos of family, or listening to music that brings you back to a positive place—try to frame your workspace with all things that remind you that you are above the negativity, and overall, awesome (because, duh…you are).
10. Don’t hold grudges.
It’s just not good for you. It will bring you down to a self-destructive place, and it can be very hard to transport yourself away from there, the longer time goes on.
Related: The Power Of Forgiveness
Remember, forgiveness isn’t about the other person. It is about you, moving forward and letting go.
11. Make your home your oasis.
Since negativity can be overwhelming in today’s world, the most stable place to boost positivity is in your home.
You owe it to yourself to turn your home into a peaceful mecca, where you are able to come home and leave the negativity at the door.
Check out colourtherapyhealing.com to learn how the colors of paint on your walls can transform your home into a peaceful sanctuary.
Related: 5 Ways To Use Color Psychology To Improve Your Life

The Takeaway

It is so easy in today’s society to get drawn into the darker, more depressing circumstances of life. The best way to combat this and stay positive is to follow these tips. Don’t let the negativity get to you, and to try to overcome it in the most positive ways possible.
Keep your home and work place simple, encouraging, and proactive. When in doubt, turn to Inspiyr. Together, we got this.
**********************
AudraAudra Dittlinger is a contributor for Inspiyr.com, as well as a full-time working mom living in rural Indiana. She is an insurance professional with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She writes to create, inspire, and empower.
Photo by Jon Siegel


Source: http://inspiyr.com/how-you-can-stay-positive/

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bankruptcy Can Help Seniors Protect Assets

Bankruptcy was a chance to hit the financial reset button, he said. “I wanted to leave money, not debt, to my grandchildren,” he said, “and begin rebuilding my life.”
Getting over the stigma of bankruptcy was the hardest part, Mr. Maxey added.


For some older Americans, bankruptcy can bring much-needed relief from debt brought on by medical expenses or helping needy children, and experts say it can be a valuable tool to protect retirement assets, after negotiating with creditors. But with reliable statistics on current bankruptcies hard to come by, anecdotal evidence suggests that shame at being in financial turmoil frequently prevents retirees from getting help early.
“People usually postpone bankruptcy for several years before filing,” said Deborah Thorne, an associate professor of sociology at Ohio University, who has studied older Americans and bankruptcy. “When finances head south, they should file right away.”
By spending retirement assets, Ms. Thorne said, retirees risk a downward financial spiral from which they are less likely to recover than younger people. A better strategy is to defend assets at all costs, she said.

Why? Retirement income and savings are usually untouchable during bankruptcies under federal law. Pensions, 401(k)’s and qualified profit-sharing plans are exempt from creditors, as are individual retirement accounts worth up to $1.245 million. Social Security payments are also exempt.

Retirees can usually avoid losing their homes by using a homestead exemption, intended to protect the equity of a principal residence in a bankruptcy. (Equity is the value of a property minus the amount owed on it.) Homestead exemption amounts vary by state, but some states, including Florida and Texas, do not limit the equity that is exempt. “This is a way to keep your estate intact,” said Eric Klein, a bankruptcy lawyer in Boca Raton, Fla.

Some debts like student loans and federal tax bills less than three years old usually cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy, said Walter Benenati, a bankruptcy lawyer in Orlando, Fla. The same goes for alimony and child support. So bankruptcy may not wipe the slate clean.
A means test helps determine which type of bankruptcy fits best. Chapter 7 usually works best for people without a lot of income or assets, specialists said, because they are usually used to satisfy creditors. High-income filers usually opt for Chapter 13, which is a repayment plan. “It lasts for a minimum of five years, and it’s a budget that’s created to pay back creditors.” said John Pottow, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and a bankruptcy specialist.
But before going into a bankruptcy, try negotiating with creditors, said Johanna Sweaney Salt, a certified public accountant with Gray, Salt and Associates in Claremont, Calif. One place to start is credit card companies, by asking for reduced interest on outstanding balances. Even medical debt can be negotiated, she added. “In many cases, hospitals have even cut balances in half,” she said.
“A lot of people who jump into bankruptcy never know what settlement they could have had,” said Paul Kuzmickas, a bankruptcy lawyer with Luftman, Heck & Associates in Cleveland. “So it’s always better to negotiate first.” Retirees have leverage here because creditors know they cannot touch retirement money, he added.
Simply refusing to pay is another strategy. Retirement assets are off the table, and the retiree may have little else. Yes, creditors can take the retiree to court, and even get a judgment, but the money may be uncollectable. This is called being judgment-proof, Mr. Kuzmickas said.

Either way, credit scores do take a beating. A bankruptcy can stay on a credit report for as long as 10 years. But negative credit scores from mounting debt can be equally corrosive, specialists said.

After Mr. Maxey declared bankruptcy, his credit score dipped 200 points. “Now it’s slowly coming back,” he said. He is also working on rebuilding his credit by leasing a car.
People who declare bankruptcy must also take credit and debtor counseling classes that help them rebuild their finances.
“I’m so conservative now,” he said, “and careful with everything I do.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/14/business/retirementspecial/bankruptcy-can-help-seniors-protect-assets.html?emc=edit_my_20150803&nl=your-money&nlid=32663937