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10 Surprising Empty-Calorie Drinks You Should Avoid

10 Surprising Empty-Calorie Drinks You Should Avoid


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Usually, when we try to change our beverage diets for the better, soda is the first thing to go. We’ve seen the studies and read the literature that tells us just one tiny can of caramel-colored, high fructose corn syrup masquerading as refreshment is just about the worst thing to reach for when we’re thirsty. Even diet soda is no longer safe, with new reports offering evidence that folks who drink diet soda end up consuming more calories in a day than those who don’t.

10 Surprising Empty-Calorie Drinks You Should Avoid (Slideshow)

But are we really drinking smarter? According to Mason Bendewald, chief production officer at DailyBurn, “many people are unaware of just how many extra empty calories they consume from beverages alone that ad zero, or a negligible amount of ingredients our bodies actually need.” For example, most people know they need to drink water to rehydrate after a workout, but many reach for flavored “vita waters” for a tastier alternative to plain water.

That, says Bendewald, is a mistake — because there’s more sugar than vitamins in most of those drinks ; “one bottle a day for 5 days ads 750 extra empty calories. Instead get your “vitas” from veggies and fruits and reap the benefits of antioxidants and fiber at the same time. How about a small (16oz) Tropical Mango Jamba Juice? Well that little beverage has a whopping 45g of sugar and 210 Calories!”

All those extra calories don’t really serve any purpose, since they don’t make us feel full. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t register liquid calories in the same way they do food calories, so it’s possible to drink way more calories than we need simply because we never get that full feeling that says “Stop!”

So what sneaky beverages are secretly messing up your calorie count? Read on to find out!

Skim Milk

For years it was common knowledge that skim milk was a better dairy option than higher calorie whole milk. Lately, however, researchers aren’t so sure. A recent study showed that children who drank skim milk tended to be heavier than children who drank 2% or higher. One reason could be that skim milk simply isn’t as filling as its higher fat counterpart.

Bottled Orange Juice

While orange juice commercials would have you believe a glass of not-from-concentrate juice is just as healthy as eating a ripe orange, that’s just not the case. Thanks to flavor packs and processing, most grocery store juice has as much sugar as a soda and not many of the nutrients found in fresh fruit.

Read more about the 10 Surprising Empty-Calorie Drinks You Should Avoid


Surprising Foods You Think Are Vegan But Aren't

Is wine vegan? What about bread? Here are a list of foods you might want to watch out for.

Sure, you know to avoid meat, dairy, eggs and fish when you&aposre vegan. But it&aposs not always easy for a vegan to tell which foods are safe and it can be even harder for someone new to vegan eating to decide which foods are truly vegan. It&aposs important to double-check labels and ingredient lists to avoid hidden animal-based ingredients in your foods and beverages.

Here are 13 foods that aren&apost always vegan that you might want to watch out for.

1. Chocolate

Cocoa itself is vegan, but sometimes milk or milk products are added-even to dark chocolate. Many chocolate brands call out if their product is vegan, but check the ingredient list for dairy (including whey and casein).

2. Beer and wine

Isinglass, a gelatin-based substance derived from fish, is used as a clarifying agent in some beer and wine. Other non-vegan ingredients sometimes used are casein (from milk) and egg whites. Since those ingredients aren&apost listed on wines and beers you should ask a store employee or contact the brand if you have questions.

3. Candy

Sugary sweets like gummies, sour candies and marshmallows may contain gelatin. Gelatin is derived from animal collagen and would be listed as an ingredient. Many candies are made with other vegan thickening agents, such as agar-agar.

4. Sugar

Table sugar is made from either sugarcane or sugar beets, both completely plant-based ingredients. Some sugar is processed with bone char, which is used in the refining process and helps whiten sugar. Sugar certified as USDA organic is not allowed to use bone char, and many brands have started calling out when they are vegan.

5. Non-dairy creamers

Don&apost be fooled by the nondairy description-many of these creamers contain small amounts (less than 2 percent) of sodium caseinate, a milk-based derivative.

6. Red foods

Some red-dyed food and drinks (e.g., yogurt, juices, sodas and candies) may contain an ingredient called carmine (or cochineal or carmic acid), which is derived from an insect, cochineal scale. Look at the ingredient list on foods made with red dye.

7.Worcestershire sauce

Although vegan-friendly brands are available, traditional recipes for this condiment include anchovies.

8.Veggie burgers

Many veggie burgers contain eggs or dairy, so check the labels. Luckily, you can easily find vegan varieties at the store.

9.Honey

Honey is a little controversial among the vegan community. Because it comes from bees, many-but not all-vegans choose to avoid honey.

10. Miso soup

Many restaurants use a fish-based broth (dashi) to make their miso soup, so ask if there is a vegetarian version on the menu. However, the ingredient miso is vegan-friendly and you can make vegan miso soup at home.

11. Bread

Some breads may contain milk, eggs, butter or other animal byproducts.

12. Soy-based yogurts and cheeses

You would think these products would be vegan, but not always. Read the label to make sure these soy-based products do not contain the milk-based protein casein.

13. Omega-3 fortified products

Heart-healthy orange juice boasts omega-3s because it contains fish-based ingredients like tilapia, sardine and anchovy. Make sure to check other foods with an omega-3 promise to see if they&aposre vegan.


The Surprising Low-Carb Food You Should Avoid Because It Slows Down Your Metabolism In The Morning

Let’s set the record straight about carbs: everyone needs them! Our bodies use carbohydrates to create energy. Some carbs are good and some are bad. Good carbs, also known as slow carbs, are rich in fiber so they release energy into the blood stream slowly, help you avoid spikes in insulin and blood sugar, and stabilize metabolism – and therefore prevent weight gain. Bad carbs lack fiber and are full of sugar and processed ingredients – think bagels, pancakes, muffins, etc. But even opting for certain low-carb foods can mess with metabolism.

You might think that you&rsquore avoiding white flour and only eating healthy low-carb wheat bread. But just because a food is described as &ldquowhole wheat&rdquo or &ldquoseven-grain&rdquo doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos good for you unless it has at least 4 grams of fiber. &ldquoRefined wheat, aka white flour, contains no nutrients and leaves your body hungrier than when you sat down to eat,&rdquo says Dr. Marizelle Arce, a naturopathic physician. Any food that lists &ldquowheat flour&rdquo or &ldquounbleached enriched flour&rdquo is pure weight gain promoting junk. &ldquoThese empty calorie carbs will cause the next meal you have to be stored and turned into fat,&rdquo she says. Always choose whole-grain varieties labeled &ldquo100% whole grain&rdquo or &ldquo100% whole wheat&rdquo. Then check the ingredient list to verify that enriched, refined flour is not the first ingredient.

And don&rsquot lean on GF carbs. &ldquoUnless you have a gluten intolerance, there is no reason to substitute foods for their gluten counterparts,&rdquo says Alix Turoff, a New York City nutritionist and trainer. GF versions of your fave breakfast foods (waffles, pancakes, muffins) are always higher in calories and carbs than the original versions. &ldquoIf you're going gluten free and cutting out all processed food, that's a different story,&rdquo she says, &ldquobut don't be fooled by foods that sound healthy just because they're &lsquogluten-free&rsquo.&rdquo A meal made of these empty carbs will leave you feeling ravenous and with little motivation to workout. And that&rsquos the cycle that will continue all day. It&rsquos bad news.

But you still need to include fiber at breakfast. &ldquoFiber helps to boost metabolism,&rdquo says Brooke Zigler, a registered dietician in Austin, Texas. &ldquoYour body has a tough time digesting high fiber foods which means you burn calories while trying to get the job done,&rdquo she says. Plus, all of that fiber in your belly is playing interference with fat and calories. It actually absorbs calories and fat from other foods before your body is able to absorb the enemies. Boom. Weight loss.

The best choice for a low-carb, high-fiber breakfast is steel-cut oats. Dress up a bowl with fresh fruits and cinnamon. Consider adding some quinoa. It actually lowers blood glucose levels which is significant for healthy weight loss because excess glucose gets stored as fat in the body. Quinoa takes on multitude of flavors so it&rsquos incredibly versatile for breakfast.


6 Surprising Foods and Drinks You Should Never Eat Together

Some foods play really well together. Take these 13 health-boosting food combos, for example. Their chemical compounds merge to create a turbo-charged nutritional symbiosis. It's a beautiful and tasty thing. Other foods, however, don't play so nice together&mdashwe're talking combos that leave you bloated, send blood sugar levels soaring, and dampen the absorption of important nutrients. Here, six pairings to avoid if you want to feel your best:

Tea + milk
"Black tea is rich in antioxidants that work to decrease inflammation that's linked to many chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes," says Alissa Rumsey, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. However, splashing even a little milk (cow or soy) into your cup short-circuits those benefits: "Milk proteins bind to antioxidants in tea and prevent them from being absorbed," she explains.

What's more, milk doesn't even offer a calcium boost in this situation. "The caffeine in tea can decrease calcium absorption," says Rachel Meltzer Warren, RDN, author of The Smart Girl's Guide to Going Vegetarian. "If you really want to add something good to your tea, squeeze some lemon in there instead. It'll actually increase the amount of antioxidants that your body can absorb."

White bread + jam

"Simple carbohydrates spike blood sugar the most," says Liz Weinandy, RD, MPH, a dietitian at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Put two or more together&mdashthink white bread and jam or soda and French fries&mdashand you've got a recipe for disaster. "Your blood sugar goes up fast, and your body has to work very hard to bring it down by releasing insulin from the pancreas," explains Weinandy. Once that inevitable drop happens, your energy and mood can bottom out, leaving you tired and irritated.

"In the long term, this process can eventually wear the pancreas down and create insulin resistance and diabetes," adds Weinandy. A smarter idea: Swap out those refined carbs for fiber-rich whole grains, which help to slow down digestion and keep you off the blood sugar roller coaster.

Salad + fat-free dressing
"When you avoid fat on your salad, you put up a roadblock to your absorption of nutrients," says Meltzer Warren. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that carotenoids&mdashplant pigments linked to a reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration&mdashare more readily absorbed when paired with full-fat dressing as opposed to low-fat or fat-free varieties. But you don't need a heavy pour of ranch to reap the benefits&mdashsplash greens with olive oil and vinegar and you're good to go.

Alcohol + caffeine

You know the drill: You're drinking wine at dinner, start to yawn after a few glasses, and perk yourself up with a post-meal cappuccino. Bad idea. Why? The energy boost you get from caffeine can mask intoxication, so you underestimate how drunk you are. The same goes for directly mixing caffeine + booze (think vodka and Red Bull or coffee and Kahlua). Research out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that people who combine caffeine and alcohol are at a greater risk of being in an accident than those who steer clear of the combo.

Lentils + red wine
Red wines contain compounds called tannins. When tannins intermingle with plant-based sources of iron, like those found in lentils and soybeans, it seriously hinders your body's ability to absorb the mineral. This issue is particularly relevant to vegans and vegetarians, notes Rumsey: "Plant-based iron is already more difficult to absorb than meat-based iron," she says. "Add tannins to the mix and it's that much harder to get the iron you need."

Burgers + beer

"Both are processed by the liver, and your body naturally prioritizes breaking down the alcohol first, since it recognizes alcohol as a toxin," says Rumsey. This leaves fat floating in your blood stream, where it can then be stored in fat tissue. Moreover, you'll feel especially gross afterward. "Fat causes food to digest more slowly, which is why a high-fat meal can leave you feeling stuffed and bloated long after you eat it," says Rumsey.


One Key Difference Between Foods You Should Avoid and Keto-Friendly Foods: Net Carb Content

What do I mean by “net carbs”? Technically, it is a term we use to decipher the amount of carbs that our bodies can fully absorb from the grams of dietary fiber that a particular food contains. Many countries, such as the United States and Canada, include dietary fiber in with the total carb count on food labels.

Since fiber isn’t absorbed and used in the same way that net carbs are (i.e., they won’t impair ketosis), we must subtract total fiber content from total carbs to figure out how many carbs are in the food that will decrease ketone production. (If you live in Europe, Australia, or Oceania, the “Carbohydrates” on your food labels already reflect the food’s net carb content, so you won’t have to do any calculations.)

In other words, a keto-friendly food is a food that is low in net carbs (which is the amount of total carbs minus total fiber for those who do not live in Europe, Australia, or Oceania).

Let’s take vegetables for example. Why aren’t all vegetables keto-friendly?

Although vegetables are a healthy part of the diet, this doesn’t mean that each one is also keto-friendly. (Healthy does not always mean keto-friendly and keto-friendly does not always means healthy.)

If we compare kale (a leafy green vegetable) to a sweet potato (a starchy tuber), we will find that one cup of chopped kale only has

5 grams of net carbs (6.7 g of total carbs minus 1.3 grams of dietary fiber) while one cup of cubed sweet potato has roughly 22 grams of net carbs (4 grams of fiber subtracted from 26 grams of total carbs). This striking difference gains further significance when we look at it from the context of a keto diet as a whole.

For most of us, limiting net carbs to below 25 grams per day for about a week is what we need to do to enter a deep ketosis. If we were to increase our daily net carb consumption above 25 grams, we would make it more and more difficult to sustain deeper levels of ketosis. Once we consume more than 50 grams of net carbs per day, it will be nearly impossible for most of us to sustain ketosis (unless you are very active).

If you take a look at our vegetable example from before, you can now see why starchy tubers aren’t keto-friendly. Although eating a starchy tuber won’t doom you to sugar-burning oblivion, eating a sweet potato instead of kale will make it much more difficult for you to achieve and sustain ketosis (assuming you are eating enough fat and protein).

With that being said, the difference between a keto-friendly food and a food we should avoid on keto does have some gray areas. With due diligence, it is possible to fit some higher carb foods into your diet without kicking you out of ketosis.


10 Surprising Empty-Calorie Drinks You Should Avoid - Recipes

Not necessarily. Although they have fewer calories, many light beers have almost as much alcohol as regular beer—about 85% as much, or 4.2% versus 5.0% alcohol by volume, on average.

Check the alcohol content of your beverage. Malt beverages are not required to list their alcohol content on the labels, so you may need to visit the bottler's Web site.

How many "drinks" are in a bottle of wine?

A typical 25-ounce (750 ml) bottle of table wine holds about 5 "standard" drinks, each containing about 5 ounces. This serving size of wine contains about the same amount of alcohol as a 12-ounce regular beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits.

Get to know what 5 ounces looks like by measuring it out at home. That way you can estimate how many standard drinks you're being served in a restaurant or bar that uses large glasses and generous serving sizes.

Mixing alcohol with certain medications can cause nausea, headaches, drowsiness, fainting, a loss of coordination, internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulties in breathing. Alcohol can also make a medication less effective. For more information, see Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol with Medicines.

Examples of medical conditions for which it's safest to avoid drinking include liver disease (such as from hepatitis C), bipolar disorder, abnormal heart rhythm, and chronic pain.

Among the dangers of underage drinking:

  • Each year, an estimated 5,000 people under age 21 die from alcohol-related injuries.
  • The younger people are when they start to drink, the more likely they are to develop alcohol use disorder at some point in their lives.
  • Underage drinking is illegal—an arrest can lead to losing a job, a driver's license, or a college scholarship.

Even moderate amounts of alcohol can significantly impair driving performance and your ability to operate other machinery, whether or not you feel the effects of alcohol.

Heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause brain damage and other serious problems in the baby. Because it is not yet known whether any amount of alcohol is safe for a developing baby, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not drink.

Highest risk

About 50% of people who drink in this group have alcohol use disorder.

Increased risk

This "increased risk" category contains three different drinking pattern groups. Overall, nearly 20% of people who drink in this category have alcohol use disorder.

Low-risk drinking

Only about 2% of drinkers in this group has alcohol use disorder.

A U.S. standard drink contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol (also known as an alcoholic drink-equivalent). That's the amount in 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of table wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

Distilled spirits include vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, and tequila.

Light to moderate drinking

Heavy or at-risk drinking

  • Men: More than 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks per week
  • Women: More than 3 drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks per week

Low-risk drinking

Men: No more than 4 drinks on any day and no more than 14 per week

Women: No more than 3 drinks on any day and no more than 7 per week

People with a parent, grandparent, or other close relative with alcoholism have a higher risk for becoming dependent on alcohol. For many, it may be difficult to maintain low-risk drinking habits.

Pace yourself: It's best to have no more than one standard drink per hour, with nonalcoholic "drink spacers" between alcohol beverages. On any day, stay within low-risk levels of no more than 4 drinks for men or 3 for women. Note that it takes about 2 hours for the adult body to completely break down a single drink. Do not drive after drinking.

For comparison, regular beer is 5% alcohol by volume (alc/vol), table wine is about 12% alc/vol, and straight 80-proof distilled spirits is 40% alc/vol.

The percent alcohol by volume (alc/vol) for distilled spirits is listed on bottle labels and may be found online as well. It is half the "proof," such that 80-proof spirits is 40% alc/vol.

Convert proof to alc/vol

Enter in the proof of the alcohol in the left field to automatically calculate the alc/vol.


10 surprising food and drink products that aren't suitable for vegans

Beware of decomposed wasps in figs, fish bladder derived finings in beer, dough containing animal-derived products, and of the gelatin in some chewing gums

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V eganuary 2018 has taken off like never before this year. It's likely to have been a tricky task to take on for meat, cheese and chocolate lovers - whether they took on the challenge due to health reasons, ethical concerns or environmental causes.

But if you've been sticking to your resolutions up until now, you might be disappointed to discover that there are a fair amount of rather surprising non-vegan foods and beverages around to trip you up.

Some of these unexpected non-vegan foods may be the deal breaker for those weighing up whether Veganuary should become a long-term lifestyle commitment, or whether it should remain a short-term experiment.

Either way, the more you know about what's vegan and what's not, the easier it'll be to avoid temptation or to make informed lifestyle decisions.

Too often, though, it seems that animal-derived products are hidden in the small print.

1. Beer

C ertain beers (particularly many British ones) are filtered with isinglass, which is a membrane that comes from tropical fish bladders. The ingredient is used as a fining agent to remove haziness from beers and to make them look clearer, brighter and more appealing to drinkers.

But although some British beers use isinglass, gelatin, glycerin or casein, German and Belgian beers using traditional methods of brewing, which are vegan - according to German purity law or Reinheitsgebot, which ruled that only the ingredients of water, grain (barley or wheat), hops and yeast could be used.

T hankfully, other brewers, both multi-national and micro, are cottoning on to customers feeling sea-sick about the fishy product, and to the fact that they're thirsty for vegan beer. The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) has called on brewers to remove isinglass, and Guinness announced in 2016 that its draft stout would be vegan-friendly, and other big brewers including Carlsberg, Stella Artois and Heineken also get the green light for Veganuary after-work pints. Prost!

2. Wine

D uring the wine making process, the wine is filtered through agents which can include blood and marrow, milk protein, and fibres from crustacean shells and gelatin, in order to reduce haziness and cloudiness in the liquid.

However, if your day has been really tough, do not fear - there are vegan wines available. Animal-friendly winemakers are turning to activated charcoal and the volcanic clay bentonite to process their products, and these vegan wines are hitting supermarket shelves. The Co-Op has committed to expanding its vegan wine range to 100 products by the end of this year and Waitrose has over 200 wines listed as vegan.

3. Worcestershire sauce

W hile Lea & Perrins is often the key ingredient in completing your dish or perfecting your Bloody Mary at the weekend, its worth considering that it is in fact fermented anchovies that give this British brand its famous umami flavour.

L uckily, there are other brands to choose from, such as the Biona Organic Worcestershire Sauce (£2.89, Holland and Barrett) - or you could even make your own Worcestershire sauce at home (vegan resource One Green Planet has a recipe available online, as does blogger Martha Stewart).

4. Margarine

I t's commonly believed that margarine is the vegan alternative to butter. However, the truth is that it often contains traces of whey, gelatin and milk proteins. Checking the ingredients list is one of the only ways to be sure that your margarine isn't harbouring any milk-derived ingredients.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), have a guide to plant-based, vegan butter and margarine.

5. Bagels

T hese floury affairs can be equally as feathery, it turns out. Many breads, bagels and pizzas contain a L-cysteine, an amino acid most commonly derived from human, duck or hog hair. Food manufacturers add this amino acid to bread because it helps speed up large-scale factory production and can improve the texture of commercial bread products, including bagels and doughnuts.

Synthetic and microbial versions of L-cysteine do exist and are used in some products, but at present are more costly than hair- or feather-derived L-cysteine. So if you want to avoid human or animal sourced products, it's worth doing some research.

F or reference, the E number for L-cysteine is E920. According to The Vegan Society, a number of other food additives can be derived from animal products. Examples include E120, E322, E422, E 471, E542, E631, E901 and E904.

6. Orange juice

F ruit juice might seem like the perfect vegan breakfast drink, but if you're drinking it from a carton, it could be time to start reading the ingredients more closely.

Some fortified juices (those that have added ingredients to up the vitamin count) contain vitamin D3 obtained from lanolin, the waxy substance from sheep's wool. If your orange juice is promising you a healthy heart, you're even even bigger trouble, since added omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil and fish gelatin. Anchovies are a common source.

According to Business Insider, Tropicana Healthy Heart orange juice lists tilapia, sardine, and anchovy in the ingredients. To avoid breaking any vegan diets, look for 100 per cent orange juice on the packaging - or start squeezing your own.

You should also look for the presence of carmine in pink lemonades and grapefruit juices, which is made from the ground-up shells of cochineal bugs.

7. Figs

T o avoid a sticky end to Veganuary, figs are worth avoiding. Having laid their eggs inside the fruit, female wasps are often unable to escape and decompose inside.

N on-vegans shouldn't worry too much as the fig plant produces an enzyme that breaks the wasp down into a protein, but technically when you bite into a fig, you're often munching on the by-product of a wasp carcass.

Despite this, you're unlikely to have ingested too many dead wasps over the years. UK edible figs are normally varieties of the common fig which are still pollinated by wasps but don't act as a fruity incubator for eggs. And some varieties have even been bred to self-pollinate, removing waspish involvement from the the entire process.

8. Red sweets - and lipstick

A rtificial sugars seem to go hand in hand with the natural colouring contained in red sweets, which are given their colour by crushed bugs, mainly cochineal insects. Carmine, the red dye often used in confectionery, is made by boiling the crushed bugs with sodium carbonate or ammonia.

It's used as a dye in makeup such as red lipsticks, foundations and eyeshadows, while boiled animal bones provide the fat - or tallow, as it’s more commonly called.

9. Chewing gum

B efore you tuck into a piece of chewing gum to stifle a hunger pang or resist a chocolate temptation, it's worth checking the back of the pack, as some gums use bases which are made of gelatin or stearic acid, derived from animals.

M arshmallows, gummy bears, and jelly products often gelatin as a thickener. Gelatin is made from boiling animal products such as leftover skin and bones from meat processing. You can also find it in some pill coatings, jellies, yogurts, and beauty products.

10. White sugar

F or those of you that look forward to the odd one or two sugar cubes in your almond milk tea in the afternoon, it might be best to stick to coconut sugar or maple syrup.

White sugar is often bleached after it has been filtered through animal bones. Bone char is made by heating animal bones to incredibly high temperatures and helps removes impurities from sugar.

But don't think switching to brown sugar will make your sweet tooth more Veganuary-friendly: brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses added back in, so there's no guarantee that it's avoided the animal bones filtration process. The nutritional value of the molasses is minimal, so it's another myth that brown sugar is healthier (as debunked by the New York Times.)

As always, it's worth checking the label and referring to The Vegan Society's guide to avoiding non-vegan products. Not all brands still adopt this process Billington's uses no bone char in the manufacturing or processing of its sugar, and animal bone derivatives have not been used in the Tate & Lyle sugar cane refining process since the early 1990’s. Where bones were historically used to absorb some of the dark colours from the sugar, today decolourisation can also be achieved through simple processes that do not involve bleaching or the use of animal derivatives.

M eanwhile, products such as Silver Spoon royal icing sugar contains dried egg white and therefore would not be suitable for vegans, although it doesn't use the bone char process.


10 Surprising Empty-Calorie Drinks You Should Avoid - Recipes

There is definitely more to this unassuming fruit than meets the eye. While most commonly used as a base for salad dressings or to add flavor in cooking and baking, lemons actually have a lot more to offer than their current ‘bit part’ roles allow for. Rich in potassium, folate, Vitamin B6 and thiamin, lemons also contain bankable amounts of magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and vitamins A and E.

Their pièce de résistance however, lies in their astonishingly high levels of Vitamin C. One lemon contains a whopping 187% of the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin C is one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your immune system. It helps neutralize free radicals associated with aging and disease and it’s also excellent for the skin.

The challenge though, comes in figuring out how to ingest more of them, and starting in the morning is the perfect solution. The Guided Reboot Programs all start with lemon every morning because it’s that good for you. If you join one of the Programs, a nutritionist will further explain its benefits during a Reboot.

Lemon Water Can Boost Your Energy

The answer is both surprisingly simple and very refreshing. Warm water and lemon is a natural energizer. It hydrates and oxygenates the body, leaving it feeling refreshed and revitalized for quite some time. As opposed to coffee, whose effects are short lived. Perhaps the biggest benefit of drinking warm water and lemon is that it helps to maintain your body in an alkaline state. Interestingly, while lemon juice itself is acidic, it’s actually one of the most alkaline foods available.

The foods that cause an imbalance in our pH levels are the usual ‘low to no nutrition’ suspects —sugar, processed or excessively fatty foods, alcohol, certain meats, etc., so it’s no wonder that cold and flu causing bacteria and viruses thrive in this acidic environment. A diet overhaul is clearly in order if you fall into the above category, but a good first step is a daily regimen of a cup of warm water and the juice of half a lemon first thing in the morning.

Lemon juice is a digestive martial artist too, relieving symptoms such heartburn, belching and bloating in a natural and cost-effective manner, while the citric acid in this mighty fruit stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification by maximizing enzyme function. It’s also a fantastic natural solvent, making short work of the uric acid that causes joint pain and inflammation. Check out the 25 Anti-Inflammatory Juice Recipes mini-recipe book filled with the best recipes for fighting inflammation, plus tips on how to live a more anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

Here’s How I Use Lemon Juice Every Day

1. Drink the juice of one lemon in one cup of warm water first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach).

2. Make sure to wait 30 minutes before eating breakfast, as this will ensure your body gets the most energy and nutrients from the food you eat. Use fresh lemons (preferably organic and locally grown) and mineral rich filtered water.

3. In terms of water temperature, Goldilocks’ approach is key —not too hot, not too cold, but just right. In this case just right is lukewarm. Boiling water will destroy some of the enzymatic properties of fresh lemon, while icy cold water will hinder its digestive benefits.

4. It might take a little getting used to, but before you know you’ll be looking forward to this refreshing elixir. And even if you find you don’t end up acquiring a taste for it, the health benefits alone will inspire to keep going.

Upgrade Your Lemon Water

If you enjoy lemon water, you can boost it even more by making this Anti-Inflammatory Concoction with turmeric, ginger and honey. It’s one of our most popular recipes. Get the recipe.


8 Unlikely Sources of Hidden Sugars

Don’t be fooled into thinking these “healthy” choices are innocent – these foods are notorious for containing a high amount of added sugars. The good news is that there are low-sugar or no-added-sugar replacements for all of these.

1. Yogurt

Yogurt is often considered a healthy breakfast or snack option, but most people aren’t buying the plain varieties with no sugar added. Even a basic low-fat vanilla yogurt can contain more than 23 grams of sugar, with no fiber to help slow down absorption. This means that a single container of yogurt can eat up almost an entire day’s allowance of sugar. (3)

If you’re going to buy yogurt from the store, make sure it’s completely unsweetened, then top it with fresh berries. Even better, try making your own non-dairy, low-sugar coconut yogurt at home.

2. Salad Dressing

Salad dressing adds flavor to salads and, in many cases, makes them palatable. Who wants to eat a dry plate of lettuce, right? However, many salad dressings can also contain enough added sugars to put a hefty dent in your daily sugar allowance, with the creamier kinds often containing 13 or more grams of sugar per serving. (4)

Stick to basic vinaigrette dressings rather than creamy ones, or try whipping up this homemade lime tahini dressing – it pairs great with kale.

3. Granola Bars

There are hundreds of varieties of granola bars, nut bars, energy bars, and the like, but one thing that most have in common are sneaky-named sources of added sugars. Depending on the ingredients, these bars can range from 6 to 7 grams of sugar to upwards of 16 grams. (5, 6)

Replace store-bought granola bars with your own DIY snacks, like raw nuts mixed with seeds, beef jerky, or even keto bombs, which are rich in healthy fats and low in sugar.

4. Condiments

How much ketchup do you add to your hamburger or fries? Probably more than you think. An average amount of ketchup used for a meal contains 12 or more grams of sugar, and other condiments aren’t better, with barbecue sauce closer to 16 or more grams. (7, 8)

Choose mustard or mayonnaise over ketchup and BBQ sauce, or even make your own healthy condiments!

5. Nut Butters

Since peanut butter contains protein, many people are fooled into thinking it’s healthy. However, a single serving of peanut butter can contain 13 or more grams of sugar, and some almond butters are even worse, with 15 or more grams for the same serving size. (9, 10)

The good news is that you can easily make your own nut butter and completely skip the added sugars.

6. Veggie Sticks

Crunchy potato chip replacements like veggie sticks or straws seem like a healthy choice for snacking, but unfortunately, a serving of these can contain as many as 12 grams of sugar. (11)

You’re much better off making your own veggie chips right in your own kitchen, with no hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Try these Nacho Cheese Kale Chips or even beet chips!

7. Store-Bought Sauces

Whether you’re making chicken teriyaki or something with a balsamic glaze, the sauces you’re putting on top of your favorite dishes can be a major contributor of sugar. In fact, the average store-bought teriyaki sauce can contain as much as 24 grams of sugar per serving. (12) If you’re pairing that teriyaki sauce with white rice, you’re looking at a major carb overload.

Skip the store-bought stuff and make your sauces at home to cut down on the sugar.

8. Canned Fruit

Canned fruit might seem like a healthy option, but unless you specifically read labels, you could be getting canned fruit that’s loaded with extra sugars. An average serving of canned peaches contains more than 25 grams of added sugars when the same serving in fresh peaches would be 12 grams. (13, 14)

Avoid the canned stuff and reach for a piece of fresh fruit instead. Berries, kiwis, and grapefruit are some great low-sugar options.


10 Foods That Make Inflammation Worse

When it comes to staying healthy and pain-free, chronic inflammation is pretty much your enemy. It plays a role in a host of conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and it also contributes to sore joints&mdashthe kind that's associated with many forms of arthritis, including the osteo and rheumatoid types.

While medication (especially anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen) can ease everyday aches, lifestyle choices matter, too. Reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and staying active all help, but changing your diet is especially crucial (see exactly what you should be eating to get off your diabetes meds for good with Rodale's The Natural Way To Beat Diabetes). To stop fanning the flames within, start loading up on whole, unprocessed foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and spices such as garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Meanwhile, you'll want to cut way back on these 10 damaging items.

It's hard to choose a side salad in the face of French fries, but your body will thank you every time you do. While you're at it, skip the fried fish and chicken fingers. Research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai shows that when people cut out fried food, markers of inflammation in their body diminish, too. (Try these healthy baked fries instead.)

"Foods that are high in refined flour produce pro-inflammatory signals like cytokines," says Victoria J. Drake, PhD, manager of the micronutrient information center at the Linus Pauling Institute. And while white bread is certainly a major source of refined flour in the American diet, it's far from the only one. Most packaged snacks are loaded with it, which is why Drake and other experts urge a ditching them in favor of whole foods.

Whether your pleasure is hazelnut or French vanilla, you're probably getting more than you bargained for when you pour that creamer into your coffee. The main problem here is trans fat&mdasha known trigger of inflammation. And just because the label reads "zero grams trans fat" doesn't mean you're safe food manufacturers are allowed to say that as long as the product contains less than half a gram of trans fat per (teeny tiny) serving. "No one ever measures how much coffee creamer they are taking," says Lori Zanini, RDN, CDE, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. Always read the ingredients list "partially hydrogenated oil" is code for trans fat.

Refined flour plus tons of sugar is a surefire way to spur your body to produce those pro-inflammatory signals, according to Drake. Watch out for other pastries, like cookies and cakes, as well.

While some research suggests that a little alcohol&mdashno more than one serving a day for women&mdashmight quell inflammation a bit in some people, it's clear that any extra booze will provoke it. So either strictly adhere to the recommend cut-off or don't drink at all, says Alexandra Caspero, RD, founder of Delish Knowledge.

Often labeled with healthy-sounding but meaningless terms like "multigrain," crackers tend to be highly-processed and loaded with refined flour, sugar, and trans fat. They also often have oils, like soybean, safflower, and corn oil, that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which can contribute to inflammation, says Zanini.

"Some are healthy, but many are glorified dessert," says Zanini. Look for a low-sugar option with whole grains and plenty of fiber&mdashan important part of an anti-inflammatory diet, according to Caspero.

Even though saturated fat has been getting some positive press lately, there's no green light to binge on bacon. "Processed saturated fat, the kind in bacon, hot dogs, and bologna, also contributes to inflammation," says Zanini.

Be cautious when it comes to packaged foods touting health claims, like granola bars and other so-called meal replacement or nutrition bars. "A lot of granola bars have more sugar than a doughnut," says Caspero. Choose those with less than 8 g of sugar and a list of ingredients that you actually understand.

Plain yogurt is generally a dietician-approved kind of food, but when you start adding fruity flavors to the mix trouble ensues. "All yogurt has lactose, a kind of milk sugar," says Caspero. What you really want to watch out for is an excess of added sugar, which might be listed as brown rice syrup, agave, molasses, etc. "Some manufacturers use a lot of different kinds of sugar to prevent any one type of sweetener from appearing high up on the ingredients list," says Caspero. The best way to play it safe: Opt for the plain stuff and swirl in some fresh fruit.



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