Maintaining a Healthy Weight through Routine Workouts

Maintaining a Healthy Weight through Routine WorkoutsWhy maintaining weight through regular workouts is so crucial?

Almost every health-conscious individual is aware that obesity can lead to grave lifestyle diseases and disorders eventually affecting one’s well-being as well as cutting short the lifespan. Over 33% of the adult populace in the US was found to be obese in 2010. Obesity is rated in terms of BMI or body mass index and anybody with a BMI of 30 or above is said to be overweight.

Corpulence is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and even some kinds of cancer. Limiting calorie intake by controlling what you eat and exercising regularly will lead to weight loss on a gradual basis.

Losing Weight by Harmonizing Exercises with Balanced Diets

In order to ensure that you burn excessive fat gradually, you should exercise regularly as well as stick to a balanced diet. In fact, the key to torching the calorie build up is to strike a balance between a regimented workout program and low-calorie meals. Exercising habitually will not only help in weight loss but also prevent, reduce or delay the onset of several disorders and diseases.

Exercise boosts your confidence levels, keeps you energetic all day long, stimulate your metabolic and immune systems, and help keep cholesterol as well as blood pressure levels under control.

How Frequently Should You Exercise for Losing Weight?

You should do some sort of cardiovascular exercise nothing less than thrice weekly, each session lasting for at least 20 minutes in order to keep yourself in the pink of health. Nevertheless, you’ll tend to lose weight faster and with consistency if you exercise for half an hour. For instance, you can go on an early morning trek in your neighborhood walking for 2-3 miles or you can consider cycling, swimming or jogging as well.

Estimating the Targeted Heart Rate

For getting the best out of your workouts, you’ll have to perform some strength building exercises. Running on the treadmill, doing pushups, and exercising with kettlebells will keep your heart in perfect working order. To keep a tab on the efforts that you are putting, calculating your heart rate would be necessary. Consult a fitness expert for knowing the intense workouts that will be suitable for you and surely get in touch with a doctor before starting on a fitness schedule.

Various Forms of Workouts

Depending on your age and level of fitness as well as taking into account any ailment you suffer from there are different kinds of exercises you can perform including aerobics, meditation, yoga, and weight training.

Integrating Exercises with Your Lifestyle

No matter how hectic or busy your daily life is, you can always take out some time for engaging in some sort of physical activity. For instance, you can get a little early in the morning and go for a walk or jog in the local park. Or, instead of driving to your workplace, you can cover the distance by striding in case your office is not situated very far away. Sometimes you can pace up and down the stairs rather than stepping into the elevator.

Before Getting Started

You should definitely talk to a physician before you start following a workout program and more so if you suffer from diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis or heart disease.

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6 Likely Reasons why you are not getting enough sleep

6 Likely Reasons why you are not getting enough sleepThe last thing that you might want after an exhausting day at the office is tossing and turning in bed the whole night and getting up next morn, feeling restless and piqued. Sleeping soundly through the night, for 7-8 hours, is indispensable if you want to start and end the following day on a high note. However, a good majority of people, both young and old, spend sleepless nights or make do with just a few hours of sleep.

The stress that results from living a fast-paced and hectic life is surely the chief culprit that keeps an individual awake when he or she should be sleeping. On the other hand, not being able to sleep peacefully on a recurrent basis eventually leads to several health issues. Besides stress, leading an undisciplined lifestyle, typified by bad habits could also rob you of your sleep.

Following are some of the most common gaffes that many people make which ultimately prevent them from dozing off along with tips on how to tweak them:-

1. You are hitting the sack too late

Most of us spend the better part of the day trying to complete too many tasks in too little time. We rush through our meals and more often than not, skip our daily workout regimen. When you reach home, you’re thoroughly spent, and by the time you settle down in your sofa to watch your favorite TV program, it’s time to have dinner and hit the sack.

However instead of rushing to bed, you keep on dithering and deferring, and finally, when you do, you find yourself staring at the ceiling hours later. Doctors and sleep therapists suggest that you should retire for the day latest by 9 pm to enjoy a good night’s sleep and to get up feeling refreshed the morning after. There are some tasks which you can delegate to your spouse or postpone until the weekend.

2. Switch off or dim lights before going to bed

The idea of using LED lights is always praiseworthy as this type of lighting is environmentally friendly and also goes a long way in helping you to save on utility bills. However, the downside of using LEDs is that their brightness or luminosity could adversely affect your sleep. Switch off or dim the lights before going to bed.

3. You are not following a routine

Your physiological systems could go haywire if you do not sleep, eat, exercise or work at fixed times. Try following a regular sleeping pattern as well as complete all your routine tasks at the same specific times every day.

4. You are restless and worried about having lost sleep

Being overly anxious about having lost sleep yesterday night could keep you awake for the subsequent nights as well. Just tell yourself it’s perfectly OK to have lost sleep the previous night.

5. Some medications could be keeping you awake

Certain medications including antidepressants, analgesics, and blood pressure medications could keep you from shutting your eyes. Consult your doctor and he or she may put you on another drug.

6. You are glued to the computer or TV when you should be sleeping    

There’s no earthly reason why you should end up stressing yourself watching your favorite team win or lose when the outcome is not going to make a difference to your life. Switch off the TV before it’s too late and jump to bed.

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Should I Go to the Chiropractor or the Doctor?

Should I Go to the Chiropractor or the Doctor? When you’re dealing with a chronic pain situation, either in your back, neck or elsewhere on your body, you need to think about what may be causing it and how you can go about addressing it.

First of all, going to see a medical doctor can cost you a lot of money. While that shouldn’t be your first area of concern, for many people it is, just practically speaking. If you believe you have a neuromusculoskeletal problem, seeing a chiropractor is a good idea. It’ll likely save you a lot of money and it will help you to address the cause of your pain right away.

What’s really great is many insurance plans now cover chiropractor services. Even if it’s not covered by your insurance, a visit to the chiropractor is quite affordable. The fact that chiropractic is affordable is one thing but with this type of care, you are actually trying to treat the cause of your problem instead of just treating the symptoms which can be easily masked. It’s rather easy to spend over $1000 at the medical doctor’s office and still not find a solution for your condition.

Chiropractic care will get right to the problem. Discounts are often available for visits and adjustments. You can even get an x-ray, if needed, at a fraction of the cost that a medical doctor would charge you.

Even better? Adjustments will actually show you significant results, quickly. No, you won’t see a change overnight, but you will see a dramatic improvement in your symptoms after several treatments that will specifically target your cause of the problem you are experiencing.  A lot of people seek out prescription medications because they provide immediate relief. However, they don’t actually fix the problem. Prescriptions often just mask your symptoms allowing for more time to elapse before seeking appropriate treatment. This time lost often causes your symptoms to worsen without ever truly addressing the main issue.

If you want an actual solution to your problems, seeing a chiropractor can offer you that. Non-traditional therapies like adjustments and physical therapy or rehabilitation have proven to be highly effective in study after study, even more so than medical intervention. And when you throw the cost factor in there, the route most people would elect to take stands out prominently.

While it may not seem traditional, seeing a chiropractor can make a huge difference in your health and relieve you of chronic pain conditions that have plagued you for months or years! Don’t be afraid to try something new in the pursuit of pain relief and improved health!

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Processed Carbohydrates and Cancer Risk

Processed Carbohydrates and Cancer RiskThere is a growing body of literature that shows the damage that carbohydrates can have on our bodies, especially when overconsumed. There is growing concern that it is sugar and carbohydrates that have actually driven the increasing obesity levels in Western countries. This is in stark contrasting to the previous sentiment that fat was the culprit and the implications are tremendous. Carbohydrates are so heavy in many foods, particularly processed foods where high fructose corn syrup is often one of the top three ingredients. Now, research suggests that the detriment of carbohydrates extends beyond just metabolic diseases into potentially cancer risk as well.

A new study shows that people who consumed sugar drinks like soda or even juices had a rate of prostate cancer almost three times that of those who did not drink the same sugary liquids. Furthermore, people who ate processed lunch foods including pizza, burgers, and processed meat had twice the prostate cancer risk as those who did not. People who ate lean meats and healthy carbohydrates like vegetables and legumes, on the other hand, had a much lower risk of breast cancer than those who did not eat these nutritious foods.

NourMakarem, the lead author on the new study, explains that they looked at health records for 3,100 volunteers who offered up information beginning in the early 1970s. Diets began to be tracked in 1991. Makarem and her colleagues looked at the glycemic indices of the foods that were in the diets and used this to calculate the glycemic load in people’s diets. They then look at the retrospective data on cancer in the same patients and were able to assess potential associations between diet and cancer incidence.

The results showed very strong correlations. It should be stressed that this type of retrospective data research while growing in popularity, does have its limitations. In the end, it is only an association that can be drawn and not a causal conclusion. That being said, however, strong associations often have some underlying scientific mechanisms and in this case, the study is hypothesis-generating. Future research including randomized clinical trials (if possible and ethical) should be done to look at the impact that diet and carbs have on cancer risk. One of the other major limitations of the Makarem study was that the vast majority of patients were Caucasian.

Cancer is a very complicated set of diseases and the causes for each type are multifactorial. That being said, certain things seem to really drive the incidence up and trying to adjust our lives to avoid these risks may make sense in the overall assessment of our health prospects. Considering the synergies in avoiding the risk of other metabolic diseases by avoiding too many and bad carbs, it makes sense to cut back. When it comes to the metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, there are many studies that show causal relationships between carbohydrate consumption and the development of disease, so it is wise to cut back even if the cancer hypothesis turns out not to be true.

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6 Foods Which Can Be Potentially Damaging for Your Metabolism

6 Foods Which Can Be Potentially Damaging for Your MetabolismUp till now, it was generally believed that a large variety of foods or food items that titillated the taste buds the moment you tucked into them ultimately led to your putting on weight. However, recent studies and researches on the health effects of consuming these foods have indicated that these items could also take a toll on your metabolism as well. Hitherto, the perception that predominated amongst dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals was that weight loss or gain resulting from purported healthy food was exclusively dependent upon thermodynamic laws.

Simply put, you tended to put on weight if your daily calorie intake was higher than the amount you expended. But if the current trials are to be believed, equal calorific amounts of specific food items say margarine or soda, inside your system, may not affect you in the same way, unlike what was previously thought. Following are six distinct food items whose consumption will not only boost up your calorie balance but also have other adverse effects.

1. Soda

Soda never makes it to the diet chart of any individual who swears by healthy living. The carbonated drink has earned a bad name owing to its presence of an artificial sweetener called HFCS or high-fructose corn syrup. HFCS is not only a cheap but also a detrimental sweetening agent that is used in a range of soft and fizzy drinks as well as processed foods.

As per findings of the studies, sugar when consumed in the form of fructose can be more damaging for health when compared with consumption of other sugar forms like glucose or sucrose (in equal quantities). HFCS can be a risk factor for causing obesity due to its adverse or negative impact on metabolism. Drinking soda-based beverages regularly lead to ‘metabolic syndrome’ making you highly susceptible to suffering from stroke, diabetes or heart disease.

2. White Bread

White bread is one highly treated or processed food that your body finds easy to break into smaller fragments and digests. This is so because fibers which help boost the metabolic mechanism are absent in white breads-the substance or element is done away with during the processing stage. No extra calories are expended or burnt by your body during the digestion or ingestion process which ultimately brings down the normal functioning rate of your metabolism. If your body doesn’t burn the extra or unspent calories, these get converted and stored as fats. You’ll be better off consuming healthy food items that have been made out of whole grains of rice, wheat, barley instead of ones that don’t contain any fiber.

3. Margarine

In the pecking order of fats, trans-fats also called trans-fatty acid are worse than saturated fats owing to their potential to spike up the LDL cholesterol level thereby putting you at high risk of suffering from strokes and CAD. Following FDA’s directive to clearly label the ingredients of processed food items way back in 1999, most of the foods laden with trans-fats have been removed from the racks of departmental stores. Nevertheless, baked foods and margarine blocks or sticks contain a reasonably high level of trans-fats that can cause insulin resistance. Developing a resistance to insulin, which plays a key role in metabolizing carbohydrates and fats may ultimately lead to slowing down of metabolism.

4. Vegetable or Canola Oil

Canola oil which was previously promoted as healthy food is now being considered as a harmful ingredient that might actually decelerate the metabolic process owing to its high content of omega-6 fatty acids.

5. Farm Reared Apples

Vegetables and fruits grown in farms where a high level of pesticides and fertilizers are used can cause metabolic changes leading to fat buildup. Though organic food items including apples are more expensive, consuming the same would keep you in good health and save your visits to the clinic.

6. Farmed Beef

Farmed beef, in the long run, can turn out to be more damaging to the health, compared to beef obtained from livestock that has been fed on grass. Farmed beef contain antibiotics that drive away from both the bad and good bacteria from our guts. And there is a strong correlation between gaining weight and alteration in the bacterial structure of the gut.     

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The Impact of Sugar on Our Health

The Impact of Sugar on Our HealthSugar has been one of the most misunderstood, yet shockingly abundant parts of the modern Western diet over the last few decades. For a long time, fat was considered to be the primary culprit for rising rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease in the United States and elsewhere. Newer literature suggests that we may have had this drastically wrong with carbohydrates, namely sugar, perhaps being the real detriment to the public health. Coupled with a strong industry lobby, sugar flew under the radar for a long time and even today is still added in many, many products in which consumers would never suspect it- often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (examples include tomato sauce, baked beans, and many processed foods).

Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are everywhere and have numerous detrimental effects on our health. Diabetes is the obvious downstream disease which is most often associated with high sugar intake. In this metabolic disease, patients’ bodies cannot effectively clear sugar from the blood by moving it into cells as healthy people might be able to do. Blood sugar levels get higher and stay high longer than in those without the disease, often leading to numerous sequelae. These downstream effects include, but are not limited to, increased risk of infections, increased incidence of neuropathies, and increased risk of heart attacks.

There is also some thought that the high sugar levels may effectively stimulate the growth of cancerous cells with a virtually unlimited supply of nutrients, although this research is not as conclusive. Increased sugar levels in the blood may also have effects on numerous chemical pathways in the body which we have not yet even studied.

One of the other major concerns with high sugar intake is the potential development of cardiovascular disease. As the rate of heart attacks continues to be worrisome in the United States, this is a legitimate public health concern. Programs to stop sugar consumption or increase education on it may help offset the downside impact. Specifically, some municipalities have turned to Pigouvian taxes such as those on soda in order to discourage consumption of excessive sugar. Many fruit juices even contain tons of added sugar, which is often given to children and starts them off with bad nutritional habits which carry over into adulthood.

As a country and society, there is little arguing that we eat too much sugar. A lot of this goes back to the availability of cheap foods in supermarkets and fast food restaurants which are riddled with the additive, often without people even realizing it. It will really take a significant educational and cultural change to turn the tide, but it is well worth the investment and effort to do so for the sake of the future health of the country and world. On an individual level, educating yourself and minimizing sugar consumption in a balanced diet can be a great start to living a healthier and likely more fulfilling life. As the health food movement continues to gain steam, it may eventually squash the stranglehold of the substance.

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Getting A Good Sleep Is All Around Helpful

Getting A Good Sleep Is All Around HelpfulThere’s no underestimating the benefits of a good, sound, sleep.

Rest is essential on multiple levels regarding one’s own well-being, physically, and mentally.

The body has its own repair systems.  When we are at rest, these repair systems perform at maximum efficiency.  Without rest, we end up compromising our health across the board.  The human body and brain are very complex systems that interact with its environment that can introduce harmful agents like toxins and microorganisms.  The body needs rest so it can self-diagnose itself and issue out the proper defenses and rehab.  A proper diet is essential in this.

A good sleep helps the body to regulate itself, reboot systems, and do repair.  We often overtax ourselves in one way or another, and in Western countries like the US, food is the main problem.  Foods aren’t processed properly, toxins, radiation, and more.  It can cause inflammation throughout the system and cause serious damage.  If one plays sports or has a labor intensive job, you definitely need sleep.  For people who use intense concentration like administrators, artists, and such, getting that sleep is essential.

A good sleep first of all repairs body damage.  It regulates the endocrine system, circulatory system, and everything else.

One’s mental health is at issue too.  There are several levels of sleep ranging from none REM sleep to REM sleep.  REM stands for rapid-eye-movement.  When one drifts off to sleep, you first encounter non REM sleep.  You can be awakened easily.  With REM sleep, this is where dreaming occurs.  While in deep sleep the body repairs and grows tissue, tests systems, and importantly, strengthens the immune system.

REM sleep with dreaming allows for the mind to troubleshoot issues that are unresolved.  The mind examines information and processes it. Repairs memory gaps or modifies memory.  It overall relieves mental and physical stress.

Sleep is nature’s way of growing you. During the day you provide nutrition, exercise, protection, and more, but you need time to repair the damage of everyday survival which can be brutal.  We have to flush out toxins, battle diseases, solve mental challenges, prevent further injuries, and more.  Less sleep means the body and brain and mind can’t rehab itself and that leads to dangers in the waking world.

Without sleep you’ll be more vulnerable to diseases, stumbling and falls, your senses will be less than optimum.  Your sight, hearing, sense of direction, and more won’t be spot on.  You’ll be inviting disaster along the way.

To get that much needed rest, there are some simple ways to handle things.  If you’re not suffering from insomnia and you don’t need to see a doctor for the condition, then it’s just a matter of discipline to get what you need.

Try to schedule your sleep time better.  Demand the family to knock off the noise. Get comfortable before getting in the bed.  You want peace of mind and control. Look for the things that help you sleep better.  With some trial and error you’ll find your regimen.  Once you’ve nailed down what works for you, just keep a steady course and see how it goes.

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Reasons Why Fewer Americans Are Interested in Slimming Down

Reasons Why Fewer Americans Are Interested in Slimming DownIt is quite intriguing to note that more and more Americans have gone on record iterating that they don’t consider themselves to be obese, and hence not likely to be interested in weight loss programs. The chances of the present day US population expressing their desire to shed pounds and lose weight are less if the results of a recent poll or survey conducted on a section of American adults are to be believed. The survey was carried out by Gallup which revealed that more than 50 percent of Americans who were surveyed in the years between 2010 and 2016 had shown a desire for weight loss.

However, the corresponding figure for opinion polls conducted between 2000 and 2009 was 59 per cent which clearly establishes the aforementioned generalization that presently less number of Americans might be eager to slim up or melt the fat around their waists. Perhaps the inducement or stimulus for toning up the muscles or torching fat is in some way connected with the generation perception Americans have about obesity. Just about 44 percent of Americans felt that they were obese or overweight in the nineties. This figure came down to 41 percent in the initial millennial years and in the last seven years from 2010 to 2016, only 37 percent of the adult US population considered themselves to be obese.

The findings of the obesity perception of Americans were in sharp contrast compared to data collated from numerous other surveys indicating that the rate (of obesity) were on the rise in the US. In the last decade and a half, the obesity rate of/in the country demonstrated a steep 30.5 per cent spike in the year from 1999 to 2000. Then again, the rate heightened to 37.7 per cent in the year 2013-2014. These data were released by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. The exact reasons behind such findings that were at odds with each other are ambiguous but Gallup-the organization behind the survey also discovered that Americans’ insight or opinion about what constitutes ideal weight is also undergoing a sea-change.

Americans who were polled in the nineties considered 153 lbs to be the figure for ideal weight. Nevertheless, for polls that were carried out in the first decade of the new millennium, the corresponding figure was 159 lbs and for surveys conducted in between 2010 and 2016, the figure was `161’ lbs. Gallup, therefore, concluded that the benchmark or yardstick for an individual’s ideal weight showed a slow and steady increase.

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Can Fruits And Vegetables Fight ALS?

Can Fruits And Vegetables Fight ALS?According to a new study from Columbia University, the scientists there state that their data suggests that fruits and vegetables can lessen the severity of ALS.

Basically, it’s all about good nutrition. Staying away from dairy and deli or processed meats. These products have been nailed as problem foods for decades now and in this case, the data proves it out. Along with other nutritional advice spouted by just about every fitness and bodybuilding professional as well as the world’s top nutritionists, it’s all about eating smart. Eating what humans are supposed to eat, not cramming ourselves with foods that lack nutritional value and are so overly processed with salt, sugar, and chemicals, that they become more problematic than providing sustenance.

It’s a given, the body is a miraculous healing machine, however, for the body to repair itself and prevent damage from stress, diseases, insects, etc, it needs the vitamins and minerals in the right combinations and portions to provide the body’s regenerative systems to operate at peak proficiency. Without such nutrients, the body ends up getting damaged and falling backward, the processed foods doing more damage than good.
That’s why the researchers of this study in the JAMA Neurology, states that ALS patients should be eating high fiber grains, poultry, fish that are high in antioxidants and carotene. Any nutritionist worth their beet juice will tell you the same thing, but our lifestyles have to change if we’re going to battle devastating illnesses like ALS.

It’s not that difficult to change one’s lifestyle. There’s no time like the present to get on a healthy route by eating smart. Organic products may seem more expensive but their benefits are worth it. There are tons of websites by organic experts showing products available as well as how to grow your own products. You have to be careful with fish, though. Often, fish imported aren’t what they’re labeled. It’s a practice the government is cracking down on , but since it makes so much money fooling the public it’s an uphill battle. Instead, look for local fisherman if you have them around. If not, try a nearby community that packs and ships fish after they’ve caught them. They usually arrive the next day but this way you’ll be assured what you’re buying is what you want.

Lifestyle changes also include carrying a bag of nuts, grains, dried fruits and other natural snacks with you so that you don’t get tempted by that sale at the local donut shop or that new scrumptious cake that the kids are all clamoring about.

This study is a validation to those who’ve been professing the benefits of nutrition for decades. Perhaps ALS patients will take note and get on the bandwagon.

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Five Chemicals in the Coffee Creamer That You Could Do Without

Five Chemicals in the Coffee Creamer That You Could Do WithoutA cup of steaming coffee gets you started for the morning and the rest of the day like nothing else can. Either you prefer it black or have it laced with some coffee creamer. Though you may have disposed of all those processed blends from the kitchen larders, you just could not bring yourself to throwing out the container of coffee creamer that you had bought a couple of days ago.

Acutely aware that the coffee whiteners or non-dairy creamers are replete with some toxic chemicals, you keep gulping down those cuppas safe in the belief that your health is not at stake after all as you’re doing fine. The following categories of insalubrious ingredients and preservatives ingrained in your coffee creamer will compel you to sit up and take notice.

1. Synthetic flavors or essences

It is only the heady aroma of the mocha, hazelnut or tawny caramel wafting from your espresso that can wake you up when it’s still dark and freezing cold outside. If you’re under the impression that the added flavors have been naturally sourced then you’re only fooling yourself. Reach for the container and go through the ingredients listing on the label. Chances are that the flavors have an artificial or synthetic base and that’s surely not good news for you as far as your health is concerned. Sure, these added flavors make your coffee smell strong and leave behind a lingering aftertaste, but do you have any idea as to how damaging these could be for your wellbeing?

2. Bizarre Thickeners

The terminology ‘coffee creamer’ is actually a misnomer. For a start, these coffee creamers don’t contain cream at all. The thickness or denseness of the liquid is due to emulsifiers and/or thickening agents like ‘carrageenan’ and ‘Irish Moss’ which are seaweed extracts. Emulsifiers find widespread use in food processing industry due to their stabilizing, thickening and gelling properties. Most such thickening or gelling agents have an adverse impact on an individual’s ‘health’ if he or she consumes processed foods laced with these additives almost every day.

3. Trans fats or partly hydrogenated oils

The creamy texture of the liquid is not solely due to the thickeners. Trans-fats or partly hydrogenated oils, another toxic ingredient, also contributes towards the creamer having a gelatinous form. There is an abundance of medical data or statistics to corroborate the assertion that trans-fats can trigger LDL (bad cholesterol) levels putting you at grave risks of suffering a stroke or heart attack, and surely these excessively processed fats are not conducive to health.

4. Synthetic sweeteners

So that your cup of creamer-laced coffee tastes sweet and savory and at the same time doesn’t cause your blood sugar or calorie levels to shoot up inordinately, producers add artificial sweeteners like stevia, sucralose, aspartame, saccharin or neotame. Nevertheless, these sweeteners are not without their side-effects and if consumed on a regular basis can make you suffer from type 2 diabetes.

5. Not so healthy preservatives or additives

Manufacturers in order to make sure that your coffee creamer container remains palatable for a long period of time, put in preservatives or additives like dipotassium phosphate. Though these preservatives don’t pose serious health hazards, you’d be better off adding milk or cream to your coffee. You can even go DIY with coffee creamer.              

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