6 Basic Fall Instagrams That Are Never Acceptable To Post

Consider this a humble brag, but being from LA *flips hair*, I don’t do seasons, drinking hot coffee is solely due to the fact that the ice melted in my cold brew, and the only hurricane that’s ever hit me was an alcoholic bevvy that resulted in morning-after regrets (too soon?). I don’t want to talk about it, truthfully. That said, there’s one of three ways I am fully aware that fall is a current thing: 1) My coconut oil has returned back to its solid state, 2) wearing a sweater in the morning results in pure, unadulterated heatstroke by 12 pm, and 3) Instagram. Motherfucking Instagram.

Fall used to be a time of spending all my babysitting money on Bath & Body Works candles and roughing puberty with Marnie Piper while she simultaneously conquered the world of witchcraft. But since Instagram, fall is now a time of gothic hair shades and slutty lingerie that somehow passes as things that should never be costumes, like a fucking Twister game board. We all play by the same rules when it comes to fall Instagram aesthetic, and frankly, I’m over it. Actually, I was over it eight years ago when I realized PSLs were pretty much just steamed milk, artificial nutmeg and the reason for that fat ring around my belly button in high school. Anyway, I’ve found better alternatives to get me through fall while scrolling through your dumb Instagram that probably contains one of the following unacceptable photos. So hold onto your suede booties, basics, because you probs already know what I’m about to say.

1. Throwing Leaves In The Air

Unless you’re from the fucking countryside and have to drive an hour out of the backwoods to get to the nearest Walmart, there should be no reason to sacrifice an entire day for the sole purpose of a Boomerang throwing leaves in the air, especially when we all know that Boomerangs get way less likes than a normal pic anyway. Like, imagine putting in an entire eight hours worth of effort into throwing around dead plants only to get more likes on last week’s “You Have Just as Many Hours in the Day as Beyoncé” post because that’s exactly what will happen. Ugh, my self-esteem hurts for you.

2. Pumpkin Spice Lattes

I had to. Don’t @ me. But seriously, if you feel the need to brag about the 600 calorie journey you’re about to embark on the moment temperatures take a step below 75 degrees, I hate you. I hate you more than I hate drivers who leave their blinker on for 12 miles straight. I hate you more than I hate myself for probably hitting up Starbs on my next lunch break. Tbh these things wouldn’t be so bad if pumpkin spice wasn’t as unnecessarily overused as Adam Levine’s voice on rap hooks. Like, we now have the option to coat our armpits in PSL-scented deodorant. Pumpkin. Spice. Armpits. What in the actual fuck, America. The only ever acceptable PSA should be a public service announcement that we need to get our shit together.

3. Pumpkin Patch

You know what’s worse than documenting your trip to a pumpkin patch holding a pumpkin you probably didn’t even end up buying? Documenting your trip to the pumpkin patch holding a child. Either this makes me an old fucking hag or just a responsible badass at taking Plan B within the designated timeframe, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the latter just for the sake of my sanity. Regardless, this now marks two filthy objects you’ll never see in my custody.

4. A Summer TBT

Oh, this asshole. This is normally always the bitch who thrived on juice cleanses all summer while hashtagging #TreatYoSelf on a picture holding a PSL. Fucking spare me. I already go out of my way to avoid Instagram like the fucking plague every Thursday, so I don’t need to be reminded of a season that caused me emotional distress every time I put a bikini on and tried to binge drink my insecurities away. Plus, summer was over like, four hours ago, so sit down. Wait until February and then come talk to me about how much you miss summer.

5. A New Hair Color

Trying to mask all your summer regrets with a new disguise hair style isn’t fooling anyone. It’s like the “new year, new me” trend, except it’s still not a new year and you’re the same hoe you were three weeks ago, only with better matching eyebrows and less split ends. I’ve never understood the point of throwing away half a paycheck on bleaching your head for the summer, only to go dark the second Labor Day ends. But do I myself give into this absurdity? You’re damn right I do. But do I regret not spending that money on more important things like a new pair of riding boots, or say, alcohol? Every damn time. In conclusion, the only thing your before-and-after photo proves is that you’re still the same egotistical dickhead, and also whoever thought to slap blonde highlights onto a natural black mane should probably never step foot near a head of hair again.

6. Studying For Anything

Anyone who’s anyone that’s ever gone to school knows that the entire fall season is basically a bunch of syllabus bullshit and making sure you bought your protractor and/or the stupid amount of books you’ll never touch, so your “I Woke Up Like This” morning studying aesthetic is fooling nobody. The whole point of Instagram is to at least make it seem like your life is somewhat exciting and not at all miserable. Like, a photo that shows that it probably took more time to set up than the amount of time that actually went into studying proves nothing. The only thing worth studying and actually documenting in the fall is the bulge in every dudes’ pair of gray sweatpants. On second thought, that bedding is SO cute—where did you get it?

So, by the power vested (and severely built up) in me, I now pronounce you unfollowed. Until next fall…

Read more: http://www.betches.com/basic-fall-instagrams-that-are-not-acceptable-to-post

Why I gave up being vegan – BBC News

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Why are some people coming back from a vegan diet?

“Vegan food has got so much better in recent years,” according to Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour leader says “more and more” of his friends are choosing the diet, which excludes all food that comes from animals – such as meat, dairy and eggs.

And whilst cheese may be keeping him from fully committing, he is “going through the process” of making different food choices.

But whilst some people are happy to go the whole hog – and leave the hog behind them – some vegans are making the choice to return to the meat market.

‘The moral choice’

John Nicholson and his partner became vegans in 1984, at the age of 23, when living on a farm in the north of Scotland.

But 26 years later, the couple decided to return to eating meat for what they believed was the good of their health.

“We used to see the cattle being taken away to go to the slaughter house and the both of us thought we should stop,” he said.

“Back then, we really did have to research what to eat.

“We started looking at Eastern and Indian food and were really expanding our cultural horizons from our bringing-up in the North East.

“And soon after, the government came out to speak about healthy eating – which it hadn’t really before – so we thought, great, we are taking the moral choice and the healthy choice.”

‘Back to basics’

But as the years went by, the couple saw their health deteriorate and wondered what might be the cause.

“I suffered from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for 17 years,” said John.

“Every time I ate, my stomach would get distended and it would be like a shelf you could put your glass on.

“Anything I ate would then leave me very quickly and some days it was so bad that I couldn’t leave the house.”

He also started to put on a lot of weight – standing at 5ft 10in (1.78m) but weighing 15st – and had the “highest cholesterol in North Yorkshire”, according to his GP.

At the same time, his partner was suffering with depression and a slow thyroid, and they both wanted to make a change.

“She said to me it was not what we were eating, but what we weren’t eating, and making that change might make a difference.

“I was very cynical about it, but I wanted to support her.”

The impact was almost immediate. Within 48 hours, John started to feel better and his IBS all but disappeared, and, for his partner, there was a marked improvement.

Image copyright John Nicholson
Image caption John Nicholson in 2010 whilst he was a vegan (left), compared with after he returned to eating meat

“When you have been a vegan for 26 years, it becomes part of your identity,” he said.

“I was worried that I must have been shallow, but me and my partner had talked long into the night about it and we just came to the decision that we wanted to put our health above that of the animals.”

The pair are still against industrial farming practices and ethically source their meat from farms, choosing free range and organic produce.

“I think about what my grandma would have said to people being vegan,” said John. “She would have called it self-indulgent nonsense.

“But her generation knew how to feed themselves for where they were from and how they were made. Who am I to go against these generations of wisdom?

“What we are doing here is just going back to how things used to be before we got funny about our food and before processed food.”

Dairy sensitivity

Estelle Silver had been a vegan for eight years before she made the switch back to eating meat. Little did she know it would also seem to help with her health problems.

“I went vegan because I was told I had a dairy sensitivity,” she said.

“I had already been a strict vegetarian for 20 years and had wanted to become vegan anyway due to my feelings about animal abuse and farming methods, so it was a convenient excuse for me to take that final step.”

To start with, Estelle was pleased with the effects as it helped clear up her skin – a problem she had faced since her 20s – but as time went on, she became tired, less able to cope with stress and developed anxiety.

“I became a bag of nerves whenever I went out and could barely speak to people, just clinging to my then-boyfriend all night,” she said.

“I didn’t make the connection with diet and so I stuck with it because ethically I felt so much better not supporting the animal food industry, and I had convinced myself that it was a healthy diet.”

Image copyright Estelle Silver
Image caption Estelle Silver went vegan after she was told she had a dairy sensitivity

Eight years on, Estelle began craving meat and fish, and she started to have “little cheat treats”.

“It was like my body was really grateful and I felt better every time I ate a bit of meat,” she said.

Later that year, she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and a support group told her eating meat and fish would help her symptoms.

“Since then my health has improved hugely and my anxiety has completely gone,” said Estelle.

“From an ethical point of view, I wish I could live without animal products, but I no longer believe that a vegan diet is a healthy one – my body just can’t cope with it.”

‘All in the planning’

According to the NHS, vegans should be able to get all the nutrients they need if they eat a varied and balanced diet, and plan ahead.

It suggests eating your five a day, basing meals on starchy carbohydrates – such as potatoes, rice and pasta – and having dairy alternatives, like soya drinks.

But without monitoring what you eat, the NHS said vegans could miss out on important dietary elements, such as calcium, iron and B12.

Heather Russell, a dietitian with the Vegan Society, said the group was working with the British Dietetic Association to get the message of planning out to people.

“As a vegan, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious food whilst making a really compassionate lifestyle choice,” she said.

“It is possible to get all the nutrients your body needs from a vegan diet.

“If you need individual support regarding your vegan diet, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian.”

‘Sharper and calmer’

For Carrie Eddins, she believes her change in diet has improved her life.

She has been a vegetarian since she was 10, but 18 months ago, at the age of 40, she decided to go vegan.

“I decided to make the change because the dairy industry upsets me and broke my heart,” she said. “And I was feeling sluggish from milk, and eggs.”

Image copyright Carrie Eddins
Image caption Carrie Eddins says she feels “sharper and calmer” after going vegan

Since cutting these out of her diet, Carrie said she has “never felt better”, with improved digestion and a feeling that she is “sharper” and “calmer.”

Carrie now has to check menus more and carry around a pot of coconut oil to use as butter.

When first making the change, she also admitted she felt very tired and had to have B12 vitamin patches to “balance the system out”.

“But it works like a charm,” said Carrie, “much better than coffee.”

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41158365

Pumpkin Spice Deodorant Exists If You’d Rather Smell Like A PSL Than Taste One

The Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks doesn’t even have an official release date this year, and yet the scrumptious #basic scent has already infiltrated our beauty routines in more ways than one: bath bombs, lip balms, and now . That’s right, the same people behind the amazing brunch-scented deos are back with another must-own armpit product. I give you: Pumpkin Spice deodorant by Native. Yep, you can literally smell like a PSL all season long, even if drinking one 24/7 isn’t your thing.

According to Native’s website, the scent is “inspired by the PSL” and “makes the perfect holiday gift.” While the glide-on sticks — which feature the all-natural brand’s signature white packaging and a pumpkin orange font — are available to order online right now for $12, but they won’t start shipping until Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Just like Native’s viral “Brunch Scents” (Rosé, Sangria, and Mimosa), its Pumpkin Spice Latte option is made with soothing ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil and contains zero aluminum, making it super safe for your precious underarms.

If you’re skeptical about the whole natural deodorant thing, just know that Native’s reviews are for their 24-hour formula. One reviewer, known as Krystal N., basically convinced me to buy the entire line with this A+ recommendation from Tuesday, Aug. 29:

I have tried almost all commercially available deodorants,including the clinical strength formulas. I would often have to re-apply several times a day, and still didn’t think the products worked well. After one application of Native I didn’t have to reapply for the whole day, and loved the way it smelled and left my skin feeling soft. I will never again use another deodorant. Thank you for such a great product!

Native

In all seriousness, there’s no better way to exude fall vibes than to wear the season’s most beloved scent beneath your arms (besides, you know, walking around aimlessly with a PSL in hand).

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/social-news/where-to-buy-pumpkin-spice-deodorant-by-native-if-you-want-to-smell-like-a-psl/2058208/

5 Life-Changing Reasons To Start Using Honey On Your Hair For Gorgeous Locks

The beauty industry has gone holistic. Now more than ever women are paying close attention to ingredient lists and have begun demanding natural remedies for skin and hair, as well as organic cosmetics from their favorite brands. I personally think we have the no-makeup makeup look to thank for this change of events, but either way, beauty is back to basics. When it comes hair especially, home-remedies are having a moment, and while apple cider vinegar and coconut oil have their own cult-following, honey is healthy for your hair, too.

You can thank those hard worker bees for this multi-purpose product that lovingly tends to your strands and scalp. Honey is a nature-made humectant that retains moisture and is loaded with antioxidants to fight off environmental stressors. Why add honey to sweeten your hair? Here are a few life-changing reasons to drip a few drops into your everyday routine.

1. It feeds strands the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive.

Commercial shampoos get the job done, but unless your label reads “natural” or “organic,” chances are chemicals are lurking throughout the formula.

Raw, unprocessed honeys are rich essential nutrients unlike processed products where vitamins and minerals are often diluted with those hard-to-pronounce ingredients. It can mend breakage and add a ton of moisture to a parched head of hair. Bee Keeper and author of Eating for Beauty David Wolfe told SheKnows,

Honey is a humectant. It attracts moisture from the air. This hygroscopic property, along with its antibacterial, emollient and softening properties make it ideal for hair and scalp care.

Two-for-one care? Does your shampoo do that?

2. Honey Stimulates Hair Growth

If you’re not sold on oral hair growth supplements, try adding honey to your routine for a natural stimulant.

Because it is an emollient, honey seals in moisture and sustains conditioning while its antioxidant properties protect strands against environmental damage. Adding a few drops of this bee-produced beauty product enhances your regular wash with antiseptic elements and by strengthening hair follicles for less fallout.

3. It works as a no-poo alternative or shampoo additive.

Allow me to set the scene: You’re three days’ post-wash, out of dry shampoo with zero baby powder in the house. My advice? Check the kitchen.

Similarly, to how people gravitate towards an apple cider vinegar wash when their hair care routine is product-free, honey can be used as shampoo, too. Mix one tablespoon of raw honey into half a cup of water and mix well. Apply to hair like you would any traditional shampoo and rinse well.

If you’ve got a ride-or-die shampoo product you’d never swap out of your shower, try adding a teaspoon of honey to a dime-sized amount of your shampoo for much-needed moisture retention.

4. You Can Use It For No-Dye Highlights

A lot of people are opposed to hair dye because of the chemicals, but if you’re interested in lightening your strands, honey can do so au natural.

Add a mixture of three tablespoons of honey and two tablespoons of water to damp hair, allowing the blend to sit and settle for one hour before rinsing. The key is to perform this method once a week until results are visible. It may not be as fast as a salon treatment, but there’s no damage done to hair or scalp.

5. It Can Make Your Hair Shine

Winnie the Pooh got it right; milk and honey are a power couple.

Hair feels soften when it’s been nourished, and honey is known for its ability to lock in moisture for long periods of time. Milk contains casein and whey proteins which strengthen strands and stimulates growth. Combine the two in one 20-minute mask (like this one a la From the Grape Vine) for salon-style treatment that results in soft, supple strands.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/5-life-changing-reasons-start-using-honey-hair-gorgeous-locks/2056498/

5 Things You Can Do As Soon As You Wake Up To Prevent Stress From Taking Over Your Day

The morning is probably the most crucial time of your entire day, because it’s your one chance to set the tone for whatever the next several hours have in store for you. If you do it right, you can ensure that your whole day is stress-free. To say the least, figuring out how to avoid stress in the morning is something that should be handled with mindful consideration and care, as everything you do during those early hours has the potential to affect your overall mindset later on.

To put it simply, a stress-free morning pretty much means a morning devoted to self-care, at least in part. I know it’s very difficult to jump up and into productivity when you can barely open your eyes, but a morning sans stress starts with a very intentional self-care routine.

According to Shane Evans, founder and CEO of popular spa retreat, Massage Heights, it’s important to start your morning by setting good intentions and reminding yourself about how you feel when you put your wellness first — whatever that means for you. For some, she tells Elite Daily, that may include meditation for centering your mind, a beauty routine that improves your sense of self-image, or anything else that promotes relaxation and serves you.

Overall, what works for some may not work for you, but if you’re not sure how to get started on your journey to stress-free mornings, here are five ways to wake up feeling way too blessed to be stressed.

1. Don’t Check Social Media

I know you’ve heard this time and time again, but it honestly cannot be said enough.

Your morning should be a time of personal peace. Logging into the happenings of the world as soon as your eyes are open automatically takes you away from tapping into a sense of calm and peace.

Evans tells Elite Daily that one of the keys to self-care is to limit distractions. If the first thing you do when you awake is tap into social media, then you are literally awaking to chaotic, digital distraction.

2. Move Your Body

I personally wake up with a lot of pent-up energy, so to get my day started with movement really helps me to release whatever anxiety I’m carrying.

It’s actually a muti-win, because I release emotional and physical stress, and I’m able to breathe a huge sigh of relief that lifts the weight from both my heart and my limbs.

3. Write It Out

Journaling is another way for me to release anxious energy when I awake. Sometimes, when I first wake up in the morning, my thoughts literally feel heavy on my mind, and I need to sort through them in a careful, mindful way.

So I open up my cute little notebook (Target is your friend, guys), and I free-write, without judgment of myself, and as if no one will read it. Sometimes, by the end, I’ll discover something new about myself, or I’ll come to a conclusion independently, which means that I don’t have to call a friend and vent.

If nothing else, being in touch with myself and my thoughts and emotions fills me with a sense of pride, and let me tell you, that feels downright amazing first thing in the morning.

4. Put On Some Music

Dancing in my room has to be my favorite past-time. I literally start my morning with a party sometimes, Jamaican dancehall music being my sound of choice. I’m sweating, I’m happy, and I have an adrenaline rush to start my day.

Music makes it so that you don’t have to yourself to get your body moving — you naturally move with the rhythm, you don’t take yourself too seriously, and you enjoy the hell out of your time.

5. Masturbate

In the amazing words of YouTuber Shameless Maya, all you need is two fingers and some coconut oil.

Kit Maloney told Bustle that masturbation is the best way to start your day. Yes, it may sound a little out there, but for real, it can reduce stress, help sharpens your focus, and even improve your work performance later in the day.

Don’t knock ’til you try, feel me?

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/5-things-can-soon-wake-prevent-stress-taking-day/2057683/

Millennials want nothing to do with this avocado mac and cheese recipe

The world of social media can be an unforgiving place, especially when it comes to food. And as it turns out, a whole lot of people aren’t into the idea of low-calorie mac and cheese. Much less when the cheese is partially substituted for―brace yourself―avocado.

The recipe, from PopSugar Food’s Nicole Iizuka, was demonstrated in a video re-posted by the Twitter account @TheFitFood on Friday. Suffice to say it’s provoked some rather strong feelings.

The recipe calls for coconut oil, almond flour, avocado, lime, garlic, goat cheese, chili flakes, basil, skim milk, salt, and, of course, macaroni. Many people on Twitter are reacting to the recipe, and the accompanying video, as a sort of culinary war crime.

It’s also worth noting that any dish that calls for two whole avocados isn’t exactly as lean as it could be (also, who heats up what is essentially guac?). A single, medium-sized avocado contains about 230 calories, and as fruits go, they’re extremely high in fats. Of course, that seems to be less the problem people are having with the recipe than the blasphemous nature of the ingredients involved. This is like the “peas in guacamole” scandal all over again.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/avocado-macaroni-and-cheese-twitter-reacts/

How To Get Rid Of Your Morning Breath Before You Have Morning Sex

If you are fortunate enough to be indulging in morning sex, do yourself a solid and don’t sabotageit with a mouth that radiates stuck-in-your-gums-overnight-sashimi and eau-de-next-day-Chardonnay. (I definitely just gagged a little.) You had a great date followed bya great sleepover; withgreat power comes great responsibility, you dig?

There’s no placeformorning breath in morning sex. If youstay over your date’s house or, more likely, apartment andwake up with a monster-mouth ofhideousness because you didn’t bring a travel toothbrush with you and it’s too soon to leave one at casual bae’s place, what do you do?

There are many things you can do to keep your mouth smelling fresher than a brand new baby’s. (Assuming babies have fresh breath? I feel like they do.) Here’show to get rid of morning breath for morning sex, according to science:

Watch What You Eat

If someone wants to morning-sex you, I’m going to assumethat’s anindication that you’re a pretty awesome person who is intelligent enough to know that onions and garlic are on a date. Beware, though, it’s not only sardines and garlic fries that are going to leave your mouth stinkier than the New York City subway.The truth is, any food can cause an unpleasant odor when particles linger in your mouth, according to theNational Sleep Foundationwebsite.

And the sooner you can brush those bits right out of your teeth, do it. (See Hoe On The Go kit below.)

Drink More Water

Science says thata dry mouth is the leading cause of bad breath in the AM. According to the National Sleep Foundation, our bodies make less saliva while we sleep, and that encourages bacteria to grow, which leads to the smell we associate with bad breath.

Takeaway: Stay super hydrated. Obviously you don’t want to beexiting your spoon sesh at all hours of the night to pee, but having a glass of water next to the bed is a good hack. You can be real cute and bring bae a postcoital beverage, too. Plus, you get to snoop that fridge, which I find weirdly interesting when I’m getting to know someone.

However, make sure that beverage is H2O: The National Sleep Foundation confirms that alcohol and coffee in fact lead to more bacteria in the mouth. Gross.

Shut Your Mouth (At Night)

Yes, not talking in your sleep on a sexy sleepover is smart so as not to humiliate yourself,but more importantly, shutting your mouth is good for your breath situation. Keeping your mouth closed at night (unless your nose is clogged; please don’t suffocate) prevents your mouth from getting too dry during the night.

Of course, you can’t control everything that you do in your sleep, but you can control what position you go to sleep in. According to the National Sleep Foundation, back sleepers are more likely to snore with their mouths open, so working to find a better sleep position might help you fend off morning breath. Spooning seems like a good fix here.

Create An On The Go Kit

I enjoy calling this a hoe on the go kit, because reclaiming the word hoe is my favorite. I bring my makeup in my bag with me on dates, so why can’t I fit a cute little oral hygiene kit in there, too?

Pick out a tiny toothbrush, petite paste, and maybe even a mini mouthwash and place them in a small pouch. You’ll be able toclean your teeth right after dinner, before bed, and in the morning as well. After all, the key to more tolerable morning breath is care of your teeth and gums.

Rinse Your Mouth

OK, so mouthwash is one way of doing rinsing out, but the alcohol in it can also make your mouth dry, which we now know is the arch-nemesis of fresh breath. Still, it can have its benefits.Mayo Clinic explains, If your bad breath is due to a buildup of bacteria (plaque) on your teeth, your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse that kills the bacteria.

Another rinse-centric option is to give oil pulling a try. It sounds weird, but putting a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swishing it around for 20 minutes can actually help your mouth get clean. According to a 2008 study, sesameoil pulling decreased bacteria counts in adolescent boys’ plaque in just two weeks.

I know, 20 minutes is long AF.When I was researching this article, I got really freaked out about my own breath and decided to give oil pulling a try. It was surprisingly easy to keep liquid in my mouth for twenty minuteswhile I was distracted by my work.

There are a lot of different ways to get your mouth in shape for a morningromp. You might choose to ignore all of my suggestions and just make a quick exit to root around in your date’s medicine cabinet for some toothpaste to put on your pointer finger.Or, you might choose to go see your doctor and see how to get rid of bad breath once and for all. (It might be a scary thing called a tongue scraper.)

Bad breath isn’t a cute look and you are a cute person, so take care of your mouth the way you take care of your nether regions before a date.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/dating/sex/how-to-get-rid-of-morning-breath-for-morning-sex/2045052/

Is coconut oil healthy?

(CNN)According to a recent survey, 72% of Americans think coconut oil is a healthy food.

But despite popular health claims about coconut oil, a report from the American Heart Association recently advised against its use, stating that it increases LDL cholesterol (a cause of cardiovascular disease) and has no known offsetting effects.
“There are many claims being made about coconut oil being wonderful for lots of different things, but we really don’t have any evidence of long-term health benefits,” said Dr. Walter C. Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
    How exactly, then, does coconut oil rank among oils?
    “Coconut oil is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum in terms of types of fats. It’s probably better than partially hydrogenated oils (which are) high in trans fats but not as good as the more unsaturated plant oils that have proven health benefits, like olive and canola oil,” Willett said.
    “It’s probably not quite as ‘bad’ as butter but not as good as extra virgin olive oil,” agreed Kevin Klatt, a molecular nutrition researcher at Cornell University who is studying the metabolic effects of coconut oil.
    Klatt cautions that we should not develop too strong of an opinion about coconut oil without more data. “But at the same time, you have to be evidence-based … and (currently), the evidence reflects benefits for olive oil, fish, nuts and seeds — so that should be the focus in the diet.”

    What’s in coconut oil?

    Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of the fruit. It contains mostly saturated fat, which is also found in large quantities in butter and red meat. Like other saturated fats, coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol associated with increased risk of heart disease. In fact, coconut oil has more saturated fat and raises LDL more than butter, according to Willett.
    But coconut oil does a particularly nice job of raising HDL, the “good” cholesterol, especially when replacing carbohydrates in the diet. This may be due to its high content of a fatty acid known as lauric acid.
    “Coconut oil is half lauric acid, which is a little bit unique,” Klatt said, as the acid seems to raise HDL more than other saturated fats and is rarely found in such high amounts in foods.
    Still, though the increase in HDL seen with consumption of coconut oil may offset some of the disease risk, it’s still not as good as consuming unsaturated oils, which not only raise HDL but lower LDL, according to Willett.
    Complicating matters is the fact that we still don’t know for sure what exactly a high HDL translates to in terms of health risk. “There’s been debate about the role of HDL,” Willett cautioned. “Partly because there are many forms of HDL which have different health consequences … which has made the water murky.”
    For example, there are different forms of HDL that do different things. One role is to help take LDL cholesterol out of the bloodstream. “But some forms of HDL don’t do that,” Willett said, “so we don’t know for sure that higher HDL is better.”
    And while it’s true that an elevated LDL level is only a risk factor for heart disease and doesn’t always translate to heart attacks, it’s still cause for concern. “High LDL is a risk factor, but it strongly predicts negative health events,” Willett said.
    There is extremely preliminary evidence that the increase in LDL may not be as pronounced if one consumes extra virgin coconut oil instead of refined coconut oil, according to Klatt. For example, polyphenols present in unrefined oils may help to blunt the effects on LDL. But “the effects of extra virgin compared to refined coconut oil and other common oils require further study,” he cautioned.

    Coconut oil and weight loss

    Some research suggests that coconut oil may be helpful in reducing belly fat, at least in the short term. One study found that coconut oil was associated with reduced waist circumference (belly fat) compared with soybean oil. Participants also consumed a lot more fiber, followed a low-calorie diet and walked for about an hour each day.
    “Even if coconut oil does help reduce belly fat, it doesn’t necessarily outweigh the concern about its effect on lipids, specifically LDL,” Klatt said.
    Other research has touted benefits such as increased metabolism, reduced appetite or improved cognitive function associated with fats known as MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides, which are present in coconut oil.
    “You can’t infer from … studies what coconut oil will and will not do. We need better controlled trials,” Klatt said. “Right now, the internet is jumping the gun and going way beyond the evidence.”

    Coco-calories

    Like other oils, coconut oil is calorie-dense, which means consuming large amounts without reducing other calorie sources can lead to weight gain. Just one tablespoon has 120 calories, about the same as a large apple or four cups of air-popped popcorn.
    “Oil is a really easy way to increase the energy density of a food. Things like almonds have a lot of fat, but it’s easier to overeat pure oil than overeat pure almonds,” Klatt said.
    In small amounts, however, coconut oil can have a place in one’s diet.
    “It’s not that you have to absolutely avoid coconut oil but rather limit coconut oil to where you really need that special flavor, like for Thai food or for baking a special dessert,” Willett said.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    “If you love using butter and need a hard fat, coconut oil may be a better choice and is certainly fine to consume occasionally, when a recipe calls for it,” Klatt added.
    But for day-to-day use, vegetable oils such as olive, canola or soybean oil, along with nuts and seeds, should be your primary fats. “These have better effects on blood cholesterol and long-term studies showing reduced risk of heart disease,” Willett said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/18/health/coconut-oil-healthy-food-drayer/index.html

    13 “Health” Foods Youre Better Off Avoiding

    We’re all familiar withthem foodswe think are healthy because we heard them somewhere on the news or from a health-conscious friend. And no matter how much we may dislikethem, we just keep buyingthem because we think they’re good for us.

    Take swapping your dairy milk for almond milk. Is liquidfrom nuts really nutritionally superior to milk from a cow?Or splurging on pink Himalayan sea salt. Healthy habit or a little bit of nonsense?

    We askedAndy Bellatti, a registered dietitianand the co-founder ofthe groupDietitians for Professional Integrity, for advice on what “health foods” are worth eating and which aren’t.

    The answers to these questions might surprise you.

    Multivitamins

    Reuters

    Close to half of American adults take vitamins every day. Yet decades’ worth of research hasn’tfound any justification for our pill-popping habit.

    That isn’t to say we don’t need small amounts of vitamins to survive without vitamins like A, C, and E, for example, we have a hard time turning food into energy and can develop conditions like rickets or scurvy. Here’s the thing: Research shows we get more than enough of these substances from what we eat, so no need for a pill!

    Almond butter

    em>jules/Flickr

    Everything from Gwyneth Paltrow’s daily breakfast smoothie to the grocery store around the corner now seems to contain almond butter, but the stuff is incredibly pricey.

    So we askedAndy Bellatti, a registered dietitianand the co-founder ofthe groupDietitians for Professional Integrity,what the harm was in substituting almond butter for plain old peanut butter, which is roughly four times cheaper. “It can just be peanut butter!” says Bellatti. “If the only ingredients are peanuts and salt, that totally works. It’s still going to have your protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E.”

    Juice

    Flickr/cjtrigg

    When you juice fresh fruits and veggies, you remove all of their fiber, the key ingredient that keeps you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal.

    What you keep is the sugar. In the short term, a high-sugar, low-protein diet means constant hunger pangs, mood swings, and low energy. In the long term, you can lose muscle mass since muscles rely on protein.

    Gluten-free bread

    Shutterstock

    Unless you’re one of the 1% of Americans who suffer from celiac disease, gluten probably won’t have a negative effect on you. In fact, studies show that most people suffer from slight bloating and gas when they eat, whether they consume wheat or not. So go ahead and eat that bagel.

    Almond milk

    Flickr

    Alternatives to dairy milk have been surging in popularity in the last few years, chief among them almond milk. Yet almond milk is practically devoid of nutrients.

    By themselves, almonds are protein powerhouses. But a typical glass of almond milk, by volume, is just about 2% almonds and contains almost no protein. And all the vitamins inside are added. So if you’re looking for a truly healthy alternative, opt for soy, skim, or low-fat milk.

    Granola

    Flickr/Stacey Spensley

    If you’re like me, you associate anything crunchy and sold in bags in the health-food aisle with nature-loving hikers people who get lots of exercise and keep their bodies lean and healthy. But most granola is no health product. In fact, it’s packed with sugar and calories a cup contains about 600 calories, or the same amount as two turkey and cheese sandwiches or about four cereal bars.

    Egg whites

    An egg-white omelet. Gross. flickr/ missy-and-the-universe

    Lots of people began avoiding egg yolks when nutrition experts came out with a recommendation that eating cholesterol was bad for you because it raised your cholesterol.

    But there’s good news: A growing body of research shows that for the vast majority of people, dietary cholesterol (from foods you eat) doesn’t really have much of an effect on your blood cholesterol. So unless you have high cholesterol, ditch those nasty egg-white-only alternatives. Good morning, eggs Benedict!

    Bottled water

    Getty Images/Matt Cardy

    Bottled water is not cleaner or healthier than tap water. Yet globally, we spend more than $100 billion on the bottled, yet otherwise widely available, good every year.

    Author Elizabeth Royte writes in her book, “Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought it,” that 92% of the nation’s 53,000 local water systems meet or exceed federal safety standards and are at least as clean and often cleaner than bottled water.

    Agave nectar

    Agave NYC

    Once upon a time, many health proponents (including Dr. Oz) claimed that you should swap your sugar foragavesince it has a low-glycemic index and doesnt lead to the kind of impromptu spikes inblood sugar (a.k.a. glucose) linked with plain old white sugar.

    As it turns out, whileagave isn’t high inglucose, it is high in another type of sweetener fructose (the same stuff inhigh-fructose corn syrup).Some recent studiessuggest that diets high in fructose arelinked with several health problems, includingheart disease.

    At the end of the day,it doesn’t so muchwhich sweetener you use as how much you’re using.”Sugar is sugar is sugar,” says Bellatti.

    Anything that promises to “detoxify” your system

    Flickr/Pen Waggener

    No one needs to detox. Unless you’ve been poisoned, you already have a superefficient system for filtering out most of the harmful substances you eat. It’s made up of two toxin-bashing organs: the liver and the kidneys. “There’s nothing about these products that’s detoxifying nor is there any food thats detoxifying,” saysBellatti.

    While our kidneys filter our blood and remove any waste from our diet, our livers process medications and detoxify any chemicals we ingest. Paired together, these organs make our bodies natural cleansing powerhouses.

    Coconut oil

    Adding coconut oil to everything won’t make it healthier.mealmakeovermoms/flickr

    Coconut oil (CO) is roughly identical to olive oil (OO) in terms of its overall calorie and fat content.

    But as opposed to a tablespoon of OO, which has just 1 gram of saturated fat and more than 10 grams of healthy mono- or poly-unsaturated fats, a tablespoon of CO has a whopping 12 grams of saturated fat and just 1 gram of healthy fat. Experts suggest avoiding saturated fats because they’ve been linked with raising cholesterol and the risk of type-2 diabetes.

    Himalayan salt

    Flickr/Pabs D

    The distinctive pink hue of Himalayan salt can be traced to the tiny amountof iron oxide, or rust, in thepebbles.

    It alsocontains small amounts of calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium, and fractionallylower amounts of sodium than regular table salt. But is it worth the price?

    “Yes, the pink hue comes from minerals but the content is close to nil. Nobody should be looking for minerals in things like sugar or salt! Just because it’s Himalayan crystal salt you can’t just use more of it or think it wouldn’t have the same effects as other salts would. Understand that it’s still salt,” says Bellatti.

    Coconut water

    Wikimedia Commons/Crisco_1492

    This $4-a-serving beverage is not a panacea for everything from post-workout dehydration to cancer.

    Yes, coconut water is a great source of potassium and other vitamins and minerals. But it’ll do your body just as good to drink a glass of water and snack on a piece of fresh fruit.

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/thirteen-health-foods-youre-better-off-avoiding/

    Amateur Bodybuilder Treated After Injecting Himself With Coconut Oil

    Doctors are warning about the practice among bodybuilders in the UK of injecting substances such as coconut oil to enhance their muscle shape. The extent of the practice is only coming to light due to the case of a young man being admitted to hospital with loss of function in his right arm, but medics are warning this is potentially only the tip of the iceberg.

    Alarmingly, this practice used for the short-term enhancement of muscular appearance seems to come at a significant cost, write the authors of the case study published in BMJ Case Reports. There is a risk of long-term muscle fibrosis, deformity and irreversible loss of function.

    The practice has been brought to light due to an occasion where a 25-year-old amateur bodybuilder was treated for pain and loss of function in his right arm. He told doctors hed taken up body building four years earlier, but that hed had trouble moving his arm for a few months. An ultrasound of the arm revealed that not only had he ruptured his triceps, but that there numerous cysts inside his arm muscle.

    Despite being reluctant to talk at the start, the man eventually revealed that he had been injecting his arm with coconut oil to improve the aesthetics and contouring of his muscles. While the self-administering of steroids is a well-known practice, the extent of using other compounds, such as walnut oil, sesame oil, and paraffin, is less well established and not really recognized among medical practitioners. People are turning to them as cheap and easy to get hold of alternatives to anabolic steroids.

    The doctors think that it is unlikely that the rupturing of the tendon that connects the triceps to the bone near the elbow an injury that is rare in younger people was related to the coconut oil, and is more probably linked to the fact that he was also taking steroids at the same time. But the cysts forming in the muscles were almost certainly the result of injecting the coconut oil into them. It also turned out that the patient was taking non-prescribed insulin and vitamin B12 injections.

    The long-term impact of this practice on the musculature itself, as well as potential adverse effects compromising health and sporting ability, lack thorough description, the authors continue. We need to be aware of these cases to enable correct clinical diagnoses and also to recognize other self-abusive and potentially life-threatening practices which may be seen in conjunction.

    Not only is there the threat of developing cysts, but the experts also warn of causing potential blood clots if the injections hit a blood vessel. Needless to say, the doctors recommend against such practices in all situations.

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/amateur-bodybuilder-treated-after-injecting-himself-with-coconut-oil/