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Top 10 Unhealthy Foods You Should Avoid

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Here is a list of the top 10 unhealthy foods that are often looked over or misunderstood to be “very” healthy. Understandably some of these are most surprising so we’ve added some good alternatives for you to try.

 

Breakfast Cereals

If you’re staring at the screen with your mouth wide open in shock, you’re not alone. While cereals may tout their “whole grain” benefits, they’re crammed refined salt and sugar, and usually devoid of many essential nutrients. As a general diet rule, avoid anything that is pre-packaged, processed or contains added sugar — these are a no no. Homemade breakfast smoothies (chockfull of veggies and fruits), eggs, fruit, homemade natural oatmeal are all examples of hearty, healthy breakfast choices.

Margarine

Margarine manufacturers may claim that their product is virtually cholesterol free, and subsequently get away with it with ingenious product labeling techniques, but that definitely does not change the fact that margarine is detrimental to health. Margarine is vegetable oils that have been processed to create a spreadable, cheaper butter-like substance, but don’t be fooled — it’s full of trans fats and other harmful additives. Trans fat affects raising your cholesterol and damages the lining of the arteries. If you must have that buttery goodness, go for the real thing or ghee; better yet, use heart-healthy fats like olive oil as a substitute. Have you ever had extra-virgin olive oil drizzled on toast with salt and pepper? It’s delicious!

Soy Proteins

Found in vegetarian non meats and processed products, soy protein is considered as a suitable alternative to eating meat without depriving the body of essential nutrients. However, health consultants worry that soy protein is a processed food, and the intense processing procedures all but eliminate all of the useful proteins that your body needs. The more processed a food is, the least likely it is to do a body good, so keep your soy protein to a minimum.

Potato Chips

We all love them, but they’re on this list for a reason. Potato crisps are prepared in extremely hot oil, which encourages the formation of toxic compounds. Some crisps, tested by the World Health Organization, were found to contain elevated levels of acrylamide, a cancer causing agent! And here’s something that will really put you off crisps for good: the oil used for cooking is re-filtered and reused numerous times before it is finally thrown out. If you’ve got a hankering for chips, break out the mandolin and bake or fry up some thinly sliced potatoes at home.

‘Diet’ Foods

Yes, believe it or not, the same food items that promise to help you slim down are the very ones that keep the scale from budging. Those who have tried diet foods can vouch for the fact that they do not yield the promised results. Fat makes food taste good, and if a food item claims to be low-fat or diet, then that typically means the manufacturer have removed the fat and replaced it with added sugar, sweeteners and chemicals. Fat, is in fact, very good for you, so stay away from deceptive diet foods, and enjoy your natural, full-fat yogurt instead.

Processed Meats

Processed meats, including deli meats, hot dogs, pepperoni and bacon, contain a compound known as sodium nitrite, a compound that can yield cancerous effects on the body’s cells. Research indicates that those who regularly consumed processed meats have a frightening 67 per cent greater chance of contracting pancreatic cancer as opposed to those who consumed little or no processed meat products. Again, unprocessed organic meats from your butcher are always your best option. Are we sensing a pattern here?

Canned Soup

It’s handy, appetizing, and bad for your health health. Canned and packaged soups contain mammoth quantities of salt (about a 1000 mg per cup), added sugar, trans fat and artificial substances. If you don’t want to suffer from high blood pressure or cholesterol, sidestep that canned soup aisle when grocery shopping and buy all the ingredients for homemade soup instead. It’s for your own good!

Doughnuts

Doughnuts: Those delicious, addictive treats that you just can’t get enough of.  Unfortunately, according to health researchers, the only thing good about doughnuts is the empty hole. Doughnuts are essentially a concentrated amalgamation of refined flour, sugar, artificial flavours, partially hydrogenated oil and mammoth quantities of trans-fat, with absolutely zero vitamins or nutrients. That’s a lethal combination, one that you should definitely limit.

Artificial Sweeteners

Many people have taken to regularly using artificial sweeteners as a healthier alternative to sugar. However, it turns out that our love of Splenda and diet sodas may have been woefully misguided. Artificial sweeteners are worse than sugar, and that is a grave understatement. Artificial sweeteners, when broken down by the body, produce toxic substances which can have surprising and subtle adverse effects, such as depression, anxiety attacks, asthma, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and ironically, weight gain. Multiple studies have shown that artificial sweeteners also stimulate appetite.

Refined Flour

White refined flour (and the pasta that is made from it) are nutrient-free, calorie-laden food items that you should try to avoid as much as possible. These food items lack the essential vitamins and minerals that are present in whole grains. Instead, opt for whole gains like quinoa, oats, barley, brown rice and whole wheat products to benefit from a marvellous treasure trove of nutrients.

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Working for Yourself: Pros and Cons

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featured image working for yourself

Most of the people who leave their jobs and start a business of their own do this on an impulse. The reason is simple. Working in an organisation means you are answerable to the people higher up the success ladder. Often due to office politics, even the right decisions by you aren’t appreciated.

It is always fun to think that you are working for yourself. You do not have any fixed schedules to adhere to. You do not have anyone to dominate you or fire you. The independence that a personal venture brings along with it is always thrilling.

Yes, there sure are countless benefits of working for yourself. Here we have listed out a few prominent benefits that usually lure people to starting their own venture.

Advantages of working for yourself

1. You Do Not Have Boss Above You:

The most annoying aspect of a job is a boss who is there to dominate you. If you have a good and understanding boss, you are lucky. But most often bosses tend to be bullies who exploit their juniors and extract maximum work from them. People who are under such bosses would surely prefer to have their own venture.

When you start your own business or startup, you can work on your own will. You do not have to abide by anyone’s orders. This is particularly good for people who do not possess the knack of diplomacy. People who do not know how to handle different types of people or convince others in a gentle fashion should opt for a personal business or venture.

working for yourself is better than killing yourself for another job

2. You Can Opt For Flexible Schedules:

Many people complain that their office schedule is so hectic that they do not get ample time with their loved ones. This is one problem you won’t face if you have your personal venture. You can schedule your work such that you get ample time with your near and dear ones.

There is no restriction regarding the time you should reach office or the time you should leave office premises.

This lack of restriction in a personal venture allows you sufficient flexibility to balance personal and professional lives. It also helps to reduce the level of stress that is very common in job life.

3. You Can Explore and Experiment:

Most creative and thoughtful people despise their jobs because the job gives them very little opportunity to explore and experiment. An age-old organisation with a set reputation will never bear the risk of experimentation from an employee. Most employees thus experience stagnancy after 2 or 3 years in a certain organisation.

This is not the case when you start your own venture. You need to be alert all the time. You need to come up with new strategies and ideas that help to increase growth of the organisation. These aspects of a business make it much more interesting than a job.

4. You Can Avoid Office Politics:

There are many individuals who are not good at tackling office politics. They do not enjoy going with the flow if they think the decision is wrong. This attitude can jeopardize their job in the long run.

A person who starts his own venture does not have to go through the ordeal of convincing the people ongoing ahead with wrong decisions out of peer pressure. You have the freedom to take the right decisions. You also have the freedom to make choices. This way you can completely avoid the politics part of the work management and ensure work gets done without wastage of time.

5. You Are The Boss:

The best part is that you are the boss when you start your own venture. You get to meet people at higher positions. You get special benefits as a businessman. You get respect in your family and social circles. No one has the right to rule over you. You have the complete control over your situation.

Disadvantages of working for yourself

Everything that has a good side has a bad side too. While there are many benefits of working for yourself, you cannot completely ignore the disadvantages. The risk is elevated in the case of a personal business. It may not be a good idea for you personally to start your own venture.

You need to possess the courage to take such risks. You also need to possess the foresight to predict the growth of the business. There are some major drawbacks of working for yourself. Here we have listed these out for your knowledge and reference.

balanced scales working for yourself

1. You Need to Have a Strict Code of Discipline:

A high level of maturity is essential to ensure that you prosper and grow in your business. This means that you need to have a fixed set of personal etiquettes and a proper code of discipline. These are necessary to ensure that your business grows and expands.

People who lack a strict discipline may misuse the funds from the business for their personal needs. This can eventually lead to the failure of the firm and organisation. Individuals who have strong principles are capable of controlling their urges.

They make sure that they set aside a certain amount as business funds and use the rest to grow their business. They tend to use just about 20% for their own personal needs.

2. Any Failure Could Mean Monetary Loss To You:

In the initial stage of the business, any loss could mean that you need to put money from your pocket. You need to have some backup money to handle such situations. Usually traditional families are not very supportive in case of businesses.

You may not have family support and if you are not confident about your venture, their words could demotivate you. People who are capable of foreseeing such possibilities and tackling them smartly can start ventures and succeed.

3. Progress Could Be Slow and Gradual:

Patience is an important quality that every businessman should possess. Business ventures do not grow in a day. They require time, effort and dedication. They require you to consistently put in efforts. Instant gratification happens only in fairytales and if you expect the same in your life, you are being foolish.

You must try to grow gradually and save a small amount as profits. This way, the profits you save can later be used for further expansion without disrupting your income.

4. There could Be Lack of Job Security:

When you are working for a firm or organisation, you have job security if the firm is doing well. When the firm is in a loss, you simply need to switch the job and if you are good in your field, you will continue to make money.

This is not the case with a business or startup. Inspite of all the research, it is not always possible to predict whether a firm will make a profit or loss. Everyone may not be capable to handle this kind of job insecurity. This simply means that you need to plan your finances properly.

5. You Need to Have a Proper Growth Plan:

You need to have a well defined growth plan when you have your own venture. You should have a clear idea how much money you wish to make at the turn of the year and how you plan to grow.

A proper plan will help you allocate funds and grow your network accordingly. If you don’t have a proper growth plan, there are greater chances of misuse of money and finances.

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Extremely Useful Tips for First Time Health Insurance Buyers

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There’s nothing quite as confusing and bewildering as realizing you need to buy your own health insurance. The world of insurance policies and deductibles can be an intimidating place for newbies. So we have put together a list of extremely useful tips for first time health insurance buyers which will simplify the process and guide you past making any big mistakes.

Don’t go shopping without doing your research

First time health insurance buyers, STOP. There are some things you need to know before you call that number! Make sure you familiarize yourself with common insurance terms, what they mean, and what things are best for you and your lifestyle.

Health Insurance Terms:

  • Premium: the upfront amount you’ll pay each month to have health insurance
  • Deductible: the amount you’ll pay for health care services before your insurance kicks in
  • Co-payment: Also called a copay, it’s a flat amount you’ll pay for specific services or medication, even if you’ve reached your deductible.
  • Coinsurance: Unlike a copay, which is a flat amount, coinsurance is a fee you pay that is a percentage of the cost of a covered service.
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: This the the most you’ll pay for covered health services in a single year, including your deductible, your copay, and your coinsurance. In 2020, the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,150 for individuals and $16,300 for families.
  • Subsidy: Subsidies are the government’s way of helping you pay for health insurance. Obamacare technically provides three subsidy types: advance premium tax credits, cost-sharing reductions and Medicaid (more on these in a minute).

Related: What is public health and why is it important,

3 unusal way to improve the value of your home

8 ways to cut car insurance for teen drivers


Conduct a Self Check-up

Determine how much coverage you need — and what you can afford.

If you rarely get sick or injured it might be a good option to go with a higher deductible and lower monthly cost, but if your lifestyle sees you in the doctors office more often than not, look into a low deductible and a low/no copay.

Unless you have a qualifying life event, you cannot apply whenever you want

Yes, that’s right, you cannot go without health insurance for half a year before deciding you had better buy some. Unless you have a qualifying live event, such as pregnancy or turning 26, (you cannot be insured by your parents after your 26th birthday) then you must apply during open annual enrollment. Companies typically hold open enrollment in the fall, while the U.S. government begins accepting applications on Nov. 1.

There are two types of networks

Deductibles and premiums aren’t the only factors to consider when choosing a plan.

You may also need to choose between two types of networks: PPOs and HMOs. A PPO gives you access to a broader network of doctors than an HMO, but PPOs generally cost more. Research what insurance companies your primary care physician accepts before purchasing a plan so as to not lose access to your doctor.

First-time health insurance shoppers may feel lost if they’ve relied on employer-sponsored health insurance up to this point. But health insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you know what you’re looking for, where to shop, and how to keep it affordable, health insurance will be a regular part of your health – and your financial safety net.

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Trump Tries to Meet with Xi, but Uses Hong Kong Strife as an Excuse

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Donald Trump Wants to Meet Xi featured image

The equity markets tumbled in mid-August, a global trade tension started to peak and economic data in the US, China and Europe, started to show contraction. While President Trump was quick to point to how well the US economy is performing, the administration decided that some of the items that were announced to experience tariffs as of September 1, will now only receive a tariff beginning December 15, 2019. Trump is in a bind. He wants to portray that he is in a strong negotiating position but realizes that China is not going to bend to his tactics. Many of the forward looking US economic reports are now pointing to contraction which is now what Trump wants ahead of the 2020 campaign season.

Trump Uses Hong Kong Strife to Try to Speak to Xi

President Trump suggested that he would be willing to have a “personal meeting” with China’s President Xi to discuss the escalating crisis in Hong Kong. China views the issue in Hong Kong as purely a domestic matter and would not likely want a meeting based in this issue. The US has warned China it must respond humanely to the protests if it wants to strike a trade deal.

Donald Trump with President Xi at formal dinner
President Donald Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting, December 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Trump is trying to use any measure to try to needle China and get them back to the negotiating table in a way that would help the US. President Trump’s statement via Twitter marked a shift in tone in his public statements regarding the situation in Hong Kong. Trumps tweets came amid growing concern within the administration that China would respond with military force to the antigovernment protests that have shut down Hong Kong’s major international airport.

Hong Kong Growth Contracts

The Hong Kong government now believes that growth will be close to zero making investing into Hong Kong a risky scenario. Hong Kong receives special treatment from the United States. If this were changed, it could lead to a liquidation of many Hong Kong assets. Senator Marco Rubio has introduced a bipartisan bill that threatens to revoke Hong Kong’s special trade status with the US if Beijing intervenes in the city. Beijing has reacted angrily to US congressmen’s comments, citing them as further evidence of American involvement in China’s internal affairs.

Trump Blames the Fed

President Trump continues to blame the Federal Reserve the decline and volatility in US stocks. Most believe its trade and the weak data that has followed including the Chinese and German data, which has been adversely impacted by the trade conflict between the US and China. The trade war is overwhelming and the Fed’s last change in monetary policy did little as Trump quickly reverted to fighting his war with China. The Fed might reduce rates further but will be unable to help the market unless China and the US come to some form a trade agreement. For this to occur, the US will likely have to agree to something that is softer than what they had originally expected.

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