From left: Chocolate Pecan Mounds, Ginger Spice Shorty Stars and Brazil Nut Crunch Bars Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden
Image by: From left: Chocolate Pecan Mounds, Ginger Spice Shorty Stars and Brazil Nut Crunch Bars<br/>Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden
Author: Canadian Living
Oversized blanket scarves are the best winter accessory you can have in your closet. They are versatile and stylish, all while keeping you warm when faced with cold winter temperatures. Here are 15 soft blanket scarves add style to your cold weather ensembles, all under $100!
Your body needs some sugar to function, but Canadians, who consume the equivalent of 26 teaspoons of the sweet stuff every day, are probably overdoing it. We break down what too much sugar does to your body, and how you can cut back.
Good news for those with sweet tooths: Glucose is our main source of fuel, so, yes, we actually do need sugar in our diets. But don't get too excited— they're not all alike.
"All carbohydrate-containing foods, whether candy, pop, fruit, vegetables or grain products, break down into glucose in our bloodstream," says Patricia Chuey, a Vancouver-based registered dietitian. "But our bodies respond differently when we get sugar from nutrient-dense, fibre-rich foods, eaten as part of a balanced meal that contains protein, compared to 'empty' calories from zero-nutrient, fibre-less foods."
Those carb-heavy, low-nutrient foods cause our blood-sugar, or glucose, levels to spike, triggering the release of insulin in response. One of insulin's jobs is to move glucose from the blood to our liver, muscle and fat cells for storage, and when there's more in our bloodstream than what our bodies need for energy, it can end up as stored fat—"even though fat, per se, wasn't consumed," says Chuey. That's partially why excess sugar consumption is linked to fatty liver disease, as well as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Fibre-rich, nutrient-dense foods, on the other hand, break down more slowly, so they don't cause as much of a blood-sugar spike, or the resulting weight gain.
That doesn't mean you have to skip your favourite sweet indulgences entirely. What we know today is that moderation is key—a little sugar won't hurt you.
But, for the most part, Canadians are not consuming a little sugar. According to Statistics Canada, on average, 22 to 26 percent of our total daily caloric intake consists of sugar. Put another way, that's an average of 110 grams, or 26 teaspoons, per day. And it's not just how much; experts are also concerned about where it comes from.
"Whole foods that are sweet, like fruit, can be good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre, which can contribute to overall health," says Gita Singh, a research assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Boston's Tufts University.
It's added sugar, regardless of the source, that's the problem. You'll find it in processed foods, such as many breads, soups, salad dressings and pasta sauces. And then there's pop, sports drinks and fruit drinks, which experts collectively refer to as sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). These drinks are among the top causes of obesity and its attendant ailments, which include heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and other chronic diseases. In fact, Singh coauthored a report published in the medical journal Circulation that estimates SSB consumption is partially responsible for the diabetes-, cancer- and cardiovascular disease–related deaths of 1,600 Canadians each year.
The fact that SSBs are a leading source of excess sugar in our diets is galling but encouraging. That's because the solution is straightforward: Stop, or at least cut back on, drinking them.
Chuey says you can further reduce the added sugar in your diet by avoiding convenience foods that list sugar (or maltose, corn syrup, cane sugar or honey) among the first three ingredients; swap your caramel macchiato for a latte; and top plain yogurt with fresh fruit. The less sugar you consume, the less you'll end up craving.
But when you do indulge, go all in. "Apply the pleasure maximization principle," says Chuey. "Make it really worth it! Not in terms of quantity, but the kind of quality that will really satisfy." So skip the soda fountain. But those homemade cookies? Enjoy!
YOUR BODY ON SUGAR
Click on image for larger view. Illustrations, thenounproject.com.
There are lots of table sugar subs on the market, but how do they stack up, health-wise?
Stevia: Zero calories per teaspoon
Stevia is a zero-calorie, fructosefree option.
Date sugar: 11 calories per teaspoon
Date sugar contains all the fibre and nutrients found in the dried fruit.
Coconut sugar: 15 calories per teaspoon
Made from the sap of coconut-tree flowers, coconut sugar has the same calorie count as table sugar, but it's lower on the glycemic index.
Agave nectar: 15 calories per teaspoon
Agave nectar is about 1 1/2 times sweeter than refined sugar, so you can use less. But it's high in fructose (hello, blood-sugar spikes!).
With the growing trend of love blending with technology, there are a variety of online dating sites with mobile apps that are helping connect more people. Whether you're looking for a casual encounter or something more serious, there’s a dating app to suit almost every need. Here are seven top dating apps for you to consider.
1. OkCupid (free for both iPhone and Android devices) This popular online dating site also has a location-based mobile app that allows you to take your experience on the go. Users can sign in via Facebook or directly through the app to find local singles. The app allows you to watch the activity stream for potential matches, "favourite" a profile and rate your potential matches through the Quick Match feature. With over five million registered users since 2010, you never know whom you might find.
2. Match (available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices) Match.com, a pioneer dating website that launched in 1995, has users based in 24 countries around the world. People can sign up through Match.com and then download the app on their mobile devices. The app allows members to view profiles, upload up to 24 images, add users to their "Favourites" and rate their "Daily Matches." Subscriptions range anywhere from a month to a year. Pick one that suits you best.
3. eHarmony (available for iPhone and Android devices) This popular online dating site launched in 2000. Its claim to fame? Over one million people who used eHarmony went on to find lifelong partnerships. Users can sign up via the app, complete a relationship questionnaire, upload photos from their mobile phones or from Facebook, and receive daily matches—all free of charge. Paid subscribers get access to email and can also see who has viewed their profiles. It's the perfect app for those of all ages who are looking for long-term commitments. 4. Badoo (free for both iPhone and Android devices) With a community of more than 208 million users, Badoo is perfect for those looking to socialize and meet new people. The free basic service allows users to chat with and message other members, and upload photos and videos. Members can sign in with a Badoo or Facebook account via the mobile app or website to connect with locals who share common interests. The app also features a fun game called Encounters, which allows users to view potential matches and then tap "yes" or "no" to indicate whether or not they would like to meet. If you're not looking to date, Badoo is also a great app for social networking and friendship.
5. Plenty of Fish (free for both iPhone and Android devices) Plenty of Fish (POF) allows users to find potential dates and perhaps even their soul mates for free! It does have paid services as well, but users don't really need to upgrade; most of the best features such as Meet Me, which allows members to flirt with locals in their areas, are free of charge. This app allows users to search for singles using filters such as education, height, religious affiliations and body type. Another cool feature is Date Night, which tells other singles in your area that you're available for a date.
6. Zoosk (free for both iPhone and Android devices) Zoosk is one of the top mobile dating apps for iPhone users and is one of the Top 10 grossing social networking apps in the iTunes store. This app is available for free and also has a paid subscription option that allows you to access more features. If you’d rather not pay, you can still browse millions of singles, create a profile, upload photos, see who has viewed your profile, and scan and show interest in another member by using the Carousel feature.
7. Tinder (free for both iPhone and Android devices) Tinder has quickly become the go-to dating app for young adults. And the best part? The app is completely free and works on the premise of anonymity. Users, who need a Facebook account to create a profile, can upload up to six profile photos and scroll through recommended matches from your area. If you don't like what you see, you can anonymously "like" or "pass" on the person. But it isn't just for the younger demographic: Tinder reports that 31 percent of its users are aged between 25 and 34, making it a great app for anyone looking to casually date or form potentially long-term relationships.
We talked to a trend forecaster to see what we can expect for 2017. Here's what she had to say.
Do you ever wish you could see into the future? Well, for Sheryl Connelly, in-house futurist at Ford Motor Company, this is exactly what she does for a living. For over a decade, Connelly and her team have been forecasting trends and producing a comprehensive list that covers everything from consumer shopping habits to the changing job landscape and societal shifts. This data, collected globally and by country, helps anticipate customer needs and determines how these factors will impact changes globally.
Here are Sheryl Connelly’s top 10 trends for 2017:
Female Frontier (Revisited)
Progress on the female front is slow—82% of adults feel that men and women aren’t viewed as equal. But 78% of people think women have more opportunities than just three years ago. Good news: The number of female billionaires continues to be on the upswing. Women make up 10.4% of the world’s billionaires, compared with 9.7% in 2014. Some of the wealthiest people in China are women, and there are more female than male entrepreneurs in the G8 countries.
The Good Life 2.0
The definition of prosperity seems to be changing across the globe with more people valuing wellness over wealth. Seventy-one percent of Canadians agree “prosperity is more about happiness than wealth.” And, the overwhelming majority (regardless of age) find it annoying when people are showy with their money. Wellness travel is now a $563 billion dollar global industry—up 14% in the last two years. More than 690 million wellness-focused trips were taken worldwide in 2015. And Millennials, instead of booking a stay at a five-star hotel, are using vacation time to book yoga retreats.
Time Well Spent
Along with wealth, the concept of the currency of time and how it’s used is changing. It’s not about spending more time working or on FOMO, but carving out more “me time.” In the global survey, the question: Which of the following do you consider a productive use of time? The responses included: 19% daydreaming, and 57% said sleeping. Thirty-one percent of Canadians agreed that procrastination helped them be productive. Connelly thinks that if someone has an idea, then the seemingly off-task activity of walking the dog or taking a shower could spark some new thoughts.
Some resorts have picked up on the importance of time, and lock up customers’ cellphones so they don’t overuse it on vacation.
In 2010, the United Nations officially declared water a “human right,” and this resource continues to be a growing concern. In Canada, 48% versus 81% in India agree that “they have changed their behaviour in the last year as a direct result of concerns related to water. One smart solution: Nozzle, described as “the world’s most extreme water-saving gizmo.“ It transforms tap water into a mist, which provides the adequate amount needed instead of an unnecessary stream.
Revisiting Trust Is The New Black
Remember the dress debate (gold vs. blue http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/is-this-dress-white-and-gold-or-blue-and-black-tumblr-photo-sparks-unlikely-online-debate)? Well, it seems that when it comes to news and information, it’s all about perception. Eighty-percent of adults globally agree that today’s media outlets offer more opinion instead of objective news coverage.
With so many choices at our disposal, it seems the endless options are making us reluctant to commit. Nearly every person in China–99% –agreed with the statement “The internet creates more choice than I want.” Seventy-seven percent of Canadians agree: “the quest to find ‘something better’ is never-ending.” Even when it comes to dating, the options can be daunting. Most respondents feel that online dating sites make it harder to commit to relationships. Housing service Roam has tapped into this footloose trend, allowing customers to sign one lease and live in any of its properties across three continents for as little as a week at a time.
Technology has undoubtedly provided many beneficial, convenient and efficient perks. But many people agree that it’s making us dumber, less polite, sleep deprived and contributing to obesity. A study found that kids who spend two to four hours a day on digital devices outside of class are 23% more likely not to finish homework, compared with kids who spend less than two hours.
The Parenting Trap
From free-range to attachment parenting, the spectrum of child rearing styles is endless. Japanese parents let their kids ride the subway at the age of eight while others monitor their every move via an app. Once children reach the workforce, there’s uncertainty about the climate and options that will be available to them. According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of children entering school today will work jobs that don’t currently exist. Making a guidance counsellor’s job even more difficult.
Today, the idea of community takes on many forms, shapes and sizes–both online and off. Many are seeking more from their fellow citizens and companies. Eighty-two percent of adults globally agree that they are more likely to support companies that prioritize purpose over profit.
Increasingly, the idea of being an architect of change is shifting from institutions to individuals, with people taking more responsibility for their actions and the impact it has on society. Eighty-six percent of adults globally agree that they should pay closer attention to the production ethics of the products they purchase.