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What Americans Drink: New Study Shows We Love Pricey Wine (and Tequila)

What Americans Drink: New Study Shows We Love Pricey Wine (and Tequila)

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New study delves deeper into the consumption habits of Americans

In spite of the recession, Americans solidified their position as the world’s largest consumers of wine, drinking 4.5 percent more in 2011 than in 2010 — more than 3.8 billion bottles — after just passing the French and Italians in that category. We also drink the pricier stuff.

These new figures from 2011, the most-recent available, were released yesterday by Vinexpo, the Bordeaux-based wine exhibition company in its 17th annual survey.

Among other findings:
• Americans are the largest consumers of wine that cost more than $20 a bottle.
• A lot of the wine Americans drink is from foreign markets, as the U.S. is the third-leading wine importer.
• Consumption of sparkling wine is still a small segment of the market, but our bubbly buying is growing at a rate twice that of still wines.
• We are also exporting a lot of domestically made wine, ranking sixth in the world.
• The Chinese just passed us to take third spot in red-wine drinking. They drink relatively little white wine, while 40 percent of our consumption is white, which allows us to be number one overall.
• The U.S. does not live by wine alone; our consumption of spirits rose by 7.59 percent in 2011 over 2010.
• Among spirits, vodka, rum, and bourbon are our poisons of choice — and we actually drink more tequila than do the Mexicans who produce it.
• Meanwhile, the Europeans are turning wimpish, with the Germans, British, French, Italians, and Spanish all drinking substantially less in 2011 than they did in 2007.

Vinexpo will have its semi-annual exhibition, the world’s largest wine and spirits show, in Bordeaux from June 16 to 20.

Retire in Spain: An American’s Story

Retire in Spain? You may be wondering, “Could it be possible for me? The place for me?”. Assumptions exist that discourage people, like the perception that living anywhere in Europe is too expensive. But over the past couple of years, more and more Americans are making their retirement dreams come true by making the move to Spain.

Today, you get to meet one such American, Tara. She decided to retire in Spain and we met her and became friends when she moved to Denia in the summer of 2018 with her boyfriend at the time. She shares what’s really at the heart of such a life-change – their personal story of what brought about the desire. Let it encourage you that you’re not ‘insane’ for wanting to retire in Spain. It is possible! – Amalia & Eric

This post was originally published in February of 2019 and has since been updated.

The 29 Best Reality Shows of All Time

We were rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!

Ah, reality television. A stellar way to ignore the state of the world and focus on what's important: other people's drama. The genre has been around since the '70s, but didn't get popular until the '90s when MTV gifted us the powerhouse that was and forever will be The Real World. After that, we saw a boom of reality TV content. From Bunnies revealing what it's really like to live in the Playboy Mansion to belting your heart out for a golden ticket to Hollywood, networks couldn't get enough of the stuff.

And while reality TV is great and all, there's also a lot of it. From The Bachelor to Top Chef, we've got a wide variety of shows on this list for pretty much every person on earth. Without further ado, these are the best reality shows of all time&mdashnot in chronological order, don't yell at us if you think this is a ranking!&mdashand where to find them. Some of them are lost in the abyss that is YouTube. Others just require a Hulu subscription. Either way, you're about to be entertained for hours on end. Who knows, maybe you'll find your next new favorite show.

When was it on? Let's go back. back to the beginning, when the show premiered in 2004 on MTV and concluded in 2006.

What's it about? The show follows the lives of eight high schoolers living in Laguna Beach, California, and made Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad the people they are today.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Please binge-watch every season immediately, if not to hear Kristin iconically shout, "STEPH-ENNN!"

Where can I watch it? You can watch re-runs on MTV or on Amazon Prime below.

When was it on? The show premiered on MTV from 2006 to 2010.

What's it about? Though the show uses the term "reality" loosely, The Hills is a follow-up to Laguna Beach and follows the lives of Lauren Conrad, Audrina Patridge, Whitney Port, Heidi Montag, and more.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Seasons 1-5 are the best. After Conrad leaves in the middle of the fifth season, Kristin Cavallari becomes the main star of the series until the show concludes at the end of season six.

Where can I watch it? You can watch re-runs on MTV or on Hulu below.

When was it on? The series premiered on E! in 2007 and will air its 20th and final season in 2021.

What's it about? Do we really need to answer this?

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?For some great nostalgia and iconic lines ("Kim, would you stop taking pictures of yourself? Your sister's going to jail!"), the early seasons are the best.

Where can I watch it? *Ryan Seacrest voice* Only on E!

When was it on? Before the world shut down in March 2020, we received the gift of Netflix's Love Is Blind.

What's it about? Couples go through several rounds of dating without ever knowing what the other person looks like. Once they finally meet each other in real life, they must decide whether they want to follow through with their engagement and, ultimately, marriage.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?So far there's only one season, so you should definitely binge-watch that.

Where can I watch it? Netflix.

When was it on? The show premiered in 2000 and has been running for 40 seasons (. ) and counting.

What's it about? Contestants compete on an island with limited resources to survive. The winner receives a cash prize.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Here's a list of all 40 seasons of Survivor ranked.

Where can I watch it? On Paramount Plus, CBS, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu below.

When was it on? The show ran on MTV from 2009 to 2016 for six seasons. Spin-off shows include four seasons of Snooki & JWOWW (2012-2015) and three seasons of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation (2018) that's still on the air.

What's it about? Known as one of MTV's most-watched television shows, Jersey Shore followed eight roommates who spent their summer working and living together in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Following seasons of the show included new locations like Miami, Florida, and Florence, Italy. The show gave us new lingo (Gym, Tan, Laundry, anyone?) and probably helped self-tanner sales.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Season two in Miami is, without a doubt, one of the best of the six seasons. It gave us the anonymous letter to Samantha written by Snooki and JWOWW, Angelina leaving for good, new relationships, and so much more.

Where can I watch it? MTV has every episode free if you sign in with your cable provider, or you can head on over to Hulu.

When was it on? The original series aired on Bravo for five seasons from 2003 to 2007. The reboot began on Netflix in 2018.

What's it about? This makeover series, originally titled Queer Eye for The Straight Guy (they dropped the "straight guy" part for the revival, which is all-inclusive), focuses on the Fab 5, a group of queer and gay men who each have an individual focus on fashion, style, personal grooming, interior design, and culture, perform a makeover on a person in need.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Just watch the entire revival. If you get through the first episode without crying, you are a stronger person than I.

Where can I watch it? The fourth and fifth seasons of the original series are available for purchase on Amazon Prime, and the revival is streaming now on Netflix.

When was it on? The show ran for 32 seasons on MTV (1992-2017).

What's it about? The show that started it all! The opening credits described the show better than I could: "This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a house, work together, and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real." And oh, it got so real.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? The Real World: San Francisco is easily the most famous season, and the impact Pedro Zamora had on AIDS awareness in the 90s changed everything. Oh, and it also features one of the best uses of Lisa Loeb's "Stay," possibly ever.

Where can I watch it? Seasons 1-32 are all available on Amazon Prime.

When was it on? The Real Housewives of Orange County, premiered in 2006 followed by in New York City and Atlanta in 2008, New Jersey in 2009, Washington, D.C. and Beverly Hills in 2010 (D.C. aired for a single season), Miami in 2011 and aired for three seasons, Potomac and Dallas in 2016, as well as the international installments, The Real Housewives of Athens premiered in 2011, Vancouver in 2012, Los Angeles (in French) in 2013, Melbourne in 2014, Cheshire in 2015, Auckland in 2016, Sydney, Toronto, Hungary in 2017 and South Africa in 2018.

What's it about? The simplest way to put it is. rich women doing things. It's better than it sounds.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Oh, god. Dip your feet in the water with Beverly Hills's first season, and then go from there.

Where can I watch it? Every American installment (except Dallas) is available to stream on Hulu.

When was it on? The Bachelor began airing in 2002 on ABC and has aired for 23 seasons, and has given us plenty of spin-offs: several spin-offs including The Bachelorette (which began airing in 2003 until 2005, and then returned in 2008 and has aired 14 seasons), Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, and The Bachelor Winter Games.

What's it about? A single suitor has a pool of romantic interests to pick from and find the person of their dreams through a sea of eliminations.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Oh, man. Season 17, Sean Lowe's season, is a safe place to start.

Where can I watch it? Two seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are available on Amazon Prime, and the most recent two seasons are available to stream on Hulu.

When was it on? The show ran for six seasons on E!, from 2005 to 2010.

What's it about?The first five seasons focused on Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson, who were then-girlfriends of Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine. The show allowed viewers to look into the lives of Playmates from the female gaze showing the day-to-day life of living in the Playboy Mansion to what went into planning a Playboy party.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Season 1, without question!

Where can I watch it?While you'll have to buy most of the seasons on Amazon, some fans of the show have uploaded a couple of episodes on YouTube, including the first one.

When was it on? The show ran for 10 seasons between 2005 and 2017.

What's it about? One of MTV's better reality shows documented the lives of wealthy teenagers planning a birthday extravaganza. While most of the episodes focused on the big 1-6, other episodes included lavish quinceañeras, one titled My Super Swag 18, and a Super Sweet 21.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? A personal favorite is season two, due to episode seven having a 2006 Rhianna cameo.

Where can I watch it? Seasons two through ten are available on, and you don't even need a birthday invite to get in.

When was it on? The show ran on Fox from 2002 to 2016 for fifteen seasons and then was revived two years later on ABC.

What's it about? In case you've been living under a rock, the show's premise is auditioning for a panel of celebrity judges and competing to see who will be &mdashyou guessed it&mdashthe next American Idol.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Eh, all of them. It's hard not to be in awe of this amount of talent. But my personal favorite, forever, is the original, Kelly Clarkson.

Where can I watch it? This is a case where it's okay just to get lost in a YouTube hole on the American Idol channel, but the most recent episodes are streaming on ABC, too.

When was it on? The show ran for five seasons on Fox (2003&ndash2005) and E! (2006&ndash2007).

What's it about? It's the show that blessed us with Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, and we have never been the same since. The show followed the two socialites as they were taken from the comfort of their lives in Beverly Hills and put into rural environments and given manual jobs, all to comedic effect.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Season 2, the "Road Trip" season, is end-to-end hilarious.

Where can I watch it? The entire show is available to watch on Amazon.

When was it on? Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles premiered in 2006, followed by Million Dollar Listing New York in 2012 and a single season of Million Dollar Listing Miami in 2014.

What's it about? Bravo shows us the lives and work of some of the best real estate agents in the most expensive cities. It's what you always wanted HGTV's House Hunters to be.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Former fashion-model turned real estate agent Steve Gold joined the New York cast in season six. You'll thank me later.

Where can I watch it?Sign in with your television provider on Bravo to watch all seasons for free.

When was it on? The most legendary and iconic of reality shows premiered in 2003. The first six seasons (a.k.a. "cycles") aired on UPN, then the following sixteen cycles were aired on The CW until the series was first canceled in October 2015. The series was revived in 2017 with cycle 24 and is currently airing on VH1.

What's it about? Tyra Banks hosts this competition for aspiring models to compete for the title of "America's Next Top Model" and the opportunity to begin their career in the modeling industry.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Season 6. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.

Where can I watch it? The first twenty-two seasons are available to stream on Hulu.

When was it on? The U.K. phenomenon has had six seasons since 2015. Other versions of the show have been mimicked in Australia, Finland, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and the United States.

What's it about? If I'm being honest, it's basically a bunch of hot Instagram people (with accents!) living in a villa together in Spain under constant surveillance trying to "couple up" and be the winning couple (chosen by the public) to win £50,000.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Watch the latest season, since each season averages around 50-something episodes.

Where can I watch it?Get ready to crack on (you'll understand soon) with a friend's or your own Hulu account, because they have all six seasons ready to binge.

When was it on? Project Runway first aired on Bravo for the first five seasons beginning in 2004, followed by Lifetime for the next eleven seasons (as well as seven seasons of Project Runway: All-Stars) . It returned to Bravo for the seventeenth season in 2019 and has aired two new seasons since.

What's it about? Aspiring fashion designers compete for a chance to break into the fashion industry compete in various weekly design challenges.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Seasons 2, 4, and 12. Take your pick.

Where can I watch it? Seasons eight to sixteen are available for purchase on Amazon.

When was it on? The show premiered on MTV in 2014 and has eight seasons.

What's it about? Twenty singles have 12 weeks to find their deemed &ldquoperfect match,&rdquo based on a series of algorithm tests they completed before coming on to the show. If everyone finds their perfect match, the group will leave with $1 million. The show&rsquos eighth season featured their first group of sexually fluid singles ever.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Season six is a personal favorite of mine&mdashit was the first time they didn't film in a tropical setting&mdashbut any season is a good place to start.

Where can I watch it?Since Netflix cares about our well-being, you can watch seasons one and two if you have an account.

When was it on? Flavor of Love ran for three seasons from 2006 - 2008 on Vh1 I Love New York ran for two seasons from 2007-2008 on Vh1.

What's it about? If you've ever used this GIF of Tiffany "New York" Pollard indignantly saying "BEYONCE?" you can give your thanks to Flavor of Love. After falling in love with Brigitte Nielsen on The Surreal Life, Flavor Flav decided reality tv found him love once, why not try it again? Pollard, after coming in second place twice on Flavor of Love, was gifted her own spin-off, I Love New York. Neither series was successful in their goals of finding love, though.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Oh, season 1 for sure.

Where can I watch it? Flavor of Love is available for streaming on Hulu.

When was it on? The show premiered on Bravo in 2006 and has aired seventeen seasons.

What's it about? Top Chef features professional chefs competing against each other in various culinary challenges for prizes while being judged by a panel of chefs and food and wine industry people. It's the Olympics of TV food competitions.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? All of them, but if you're really short on time, start with Top Chef:Las Vegas or Top Chef: Chicago.

Where can I watch it? Every season is available to stream on Hulu.

When was it on? The show has run for nineteen seasons on TLC since 2007.

What's it about? Following the day-to-day in Kleinfeld Bridal, one of the most notable bridal salons in the world, as brides come in and choose a dress for the best day of their life. Its makeover meets self-care.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Just find a marathon on. You don't need to watch this one by season.

Where can I watch it? Seasons 14-17 are available to stream on Hulu.

When was it on? Shark Tank began its run on ABC in 2009, and has aired 12 seasons.

What's it about? Aspiring entrepreneurs get a chance to pitch investors, or "sharks" for the opportunity to invest in their company.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Another "catch it on a marathon" one &mdash you can even start from whatever episode's on this week.

Where can I watch it? Every season is available for streaming on Hulu.

When was it on? The show has run for 12 seasons beginning in 2009.

What's it about? Drag queens compete to see who is best and who lip-synchs for his or her life and "sashays away."

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? If you can get through the "Vaseline" filter of season 1, feel free to start from the beginning, as the series becomes more self-referential as the series goes on. But if you can't, start with season 4 and bounce around from there.

Where can I watch it? Seasons one through six are available to stream on Hulu.

When was it on? The show first aired in the UK in 2010, with the first four seasons airing on BBC Two, moved to BBC One for the next three seasons, and then with the seventh season, the show moved to Channel 4. On the other side of the pond, most episodes aired on PBS starting in 2012.

What's it about? The most charming show on television, this devastatingly British competition series follows amateur bakers as they compete against each other in a series of rounds with different themes, hoping to impress a group of judges with their baking skills

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Season 1 on Netflix is season 5 in the UK world, but really, with this show, you can start wherever. A personal favorite is the third "collection" (a fancy way of saying "season") on Netflix.

Where can I watch it? In the US, you can find (most) of the seasons on Netflix.

When was it on? Love & Hip Hop: New York first started airing in 2011, followed in 2012 by Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood in 2014, and Love & Hip Hop: Miami is the most recent, premiering in 2018.

What's it about? The series follows the lives of hip hop and r&b musicians, performers, managers, and producers living in, well, New York, Atlanta, Hollywood, and Miami. You can thank the show for giving us Cardi B.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? New York, season 4 because of the love triangle between Peter Gunz, Tara and Amina. Atlanta, season 1. Hollywood, season 2. And Miami's only had one season!

Where can I watch it? All episodes are available to stream on Vh1 with a cable login, or for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.

When was it on? The show has aired on Bravo for eight seasons starting in 2013. Below Deck: Mediterranean began its run in 2016.

What's it about? Below Deck, or as I like to call it, Maids on a Boat follows a young yacht crew of a multi million dollar charter boat in the Caribbean as they handle their jobs serving guests and the interpersonal communication issues. Sounds boring? Imagine being young, hot, and trapped at sea. Yep, it gets real.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Every season has its shining moments, but without question, start at season three, and try not to buy a mermaid suit.

Where can I watch it? Every season is available to stream on Peacock for free.

When was it on? Vanderpump Rules started its run in 2013 and has aired for eight seasons.

What's it about? Following the trials, tribulations, and tequila drinking of the employees of Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant, SUR.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? SEASON ONE EPISODE ONE AND YOU ARE SO WELCOME.

Where can I watch it? The entire series is available on Hulu.

When was it on? The original show, 90 Day Fiancé, premiered in 2014 and has aired eight seasons. The first spin-off, 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?, began airing in 2016 and has aired five seasons, and the second spin-off, 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, premiered in 2017 and has aired four seasons.

What's it about? 90 Day Fiancé, or as I like to call it, 90 Day OG follows couples who are in the K-1 visa process, which means that as foreign fiancés of American citizens, they have 90 days to decide if they're going to get married before the visas of the foreign half of the couple expire and they must leave the United States . Happily Ever After? (The question mark is imperative.) follows couples from previous seasons and their relationships post-marriage. Before the 90 Days follows six couples as the American counterpart goes abroad to be with their partner before the K-1 Visa process begins.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Definitely start with 90 Day OG, and start with season 2. You won't regret it.

Where can I watch it? Every season of 90 Day OG, Before the 90 Days, and Happily Ever After are available on Hulu.


Wine sales in bars and restaurants are either of fixed serving sizes when sold by the glass, or, particularly in restaurants, sold by the bottle or carafe.

'Pouring wine from a bottle or a carafe, as happens for most wine sold in restaurants, allows people to pour more than a standard serving size, and this effect may increase with the size of the glass and the bottle,' said first author Dr Mark Pilling at the University of Cambridge.

'If these larger portions are still perceived to be 'a glass', then we would expect people to buy and consume more wine with larger glasses.'

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge's Behaviour and Health Research Unit, compiled the data from multiple experiments over the four years to estimate the effects of wine glass size.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge increased the size of the standard 300ml glass by 70ml while also knocking 50ml of size off another set of glasses for their study

In restaurants, when glass size was increased to 370ml, wine sales increased by 7.3 per cent, while reducing the glass size to 250ml led to a drop of 9.6 per cent.

The measurements in the study refer to the total capacity of the glass, rather than any pour line.

However, increasing the glass size to a hefty 450ml made no difference in consumption volume compared with using 300ml glasses – possibly because drinkers were more aware of the larger size.

'Very large glasses, such as the 450ml glasses, are more obviously larger, so drinkers may have taken conscious measures to reduce how much they drink, such as drinking more slowly or pouring with greater caution,' said Dr Pilling.

The team found no significant differences in wine sales by glass size in bars, however.

Unsurprisingly, the study also found much higher sales on Fridays and Saturdays than on Mondays and lower sales of wine on warmer days.

Our Georgian and Victorian ancestors probably celebrated with more modest wine consumption than we do today – if the size of their wine glasses are anything to go by, according to previous University of Cambridge research

The Chief Medical Officers' low-risk drinking guidelines

The Chief Medical Officers' guideline for both men and women states that:

To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis

If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it's best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days. If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risk of long-term illness and injury

The risk of developing a range of health problems (including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) increases the more you drink on a regular basis

If you wish to cut down the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days a week

How much is 14 units of alcohol?

One unit is 10ml of pure alcohol. Because alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes units are a good way of telling how strong your drink is. It’s not as simple as one drink, one unit.

The new alcohol unit guidelines are equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or six 175ml glasses of average strength wine.

Wine glasses have increased in size almost seven-fold, according to previous research at the University of Cambridge.

Wine servings in 1700 were just 70ml, before rising to 140ml in 1850, 180ml in 1950 and 450ml today.

In the last 60 years alone, wine consumption increased almost four-fold between 1960 and 1980, and almost doubled again between 1980 and 2004.

The most marked increase has been a doubling in size since about 1990.

Since then the amount of wine consumed in England quadrupled, although the number of wine consumers remained constant.

Alcohol is now the fifth-largest contributor to early death in high income countries and the seventh-largest contributor worldwide.

One proposed way of reducing the amount of alcohol consumed has been to reduce the size of wine glasses.

However, the University of Cambridge claim evidence to support such as move has been 'inconclusive and contradictory', until now.

Public Health England welcomed the study and supported the idea of a new approach to alcohol policy.

'It shows how our drinking environment can impact on the way we drink and help us to understand how to develop a drinking environment which helps us to drink less,' said Clive Henn, Senior Alcohol Advisor at the government agency.

A large glass of wine is classified as 250ml, according to drink aware, while one unit of alcohol is just 76ml.

Bissell 1400P Auto Care SpotClean Portable Deep Cleaner

The Bissell 1400P Auto Care SpotClean Portable Deep Cleaner is one top-rated pick from Amazon Canada that’s been winning over shoppers thanks to its deep-cleaning capabilities on even the toughest ground-in dirt.

The two-in-one spot cleaner provides strong spray and suction to remove tough spots and stains from every nook and cranny of your car. Each Bissell Auto Care SpotClean comes with two brush heads for cleaning all types of surfaces: one wide brush head for cleaning flat surfaces, and one narrow brush head for getting into tight corners and crevices.

It also comes with a trial size of Bissel’s OXY Boost cleaning formula, which is a powerful cleaning agent that’s even tough enough to take on beverage stains like coffee, soda and juice with ease.

“Being healthy isn’t just about what you do in the gym or in the kitchen — it’s about the in-between too and how it all fits together. I’d never realized how much sleep impacts everything else, but what I’ve learned from my Fitbit sleep data is that I don’t get enough of it, so that’s the next thing I’ll be working on. It’s connected to so much of our overall health and is so important. “

“My daily routine typically starts with a coffee with Ghee and coconut oil blended. I try to drink 32 ounces of water before noon and flavour it with cucumbers and lemon. I, also, will have a couple [of] recipes in Fitbit Premium to check out, too.”


Whole milk rapidly dropped in favor, from 0.76 cups a day in 1970 to 0.16 in 2013, amid fears over fat, according to US Census data.

However, the dairy industry has still thrived thanks to an increased appetite for cheese - particularly Italian which went from 0.04 cups a day to 0.27.

There has been no real replacement for whole milk. Despite an increase in sales of two per cent milk, the figures are nothing compared to what whole milk once was (0.11 cups a day in 1970, 0.21 in 2013).

The way data was collected for cooking oil consumption changed in the 1980s.

As a result it looks like there was a sudden surge in consumption.

While that may not be the case, cooking oil did become more popular.

Amid public health warnings over fat, families began to shun butter in cooking, and picked oil instead.

There was one bizarre spike in tastes for shortening between 2000 and 2004.

The room-temperature cooking fat, such as Crisco, rocketed from 13.4 cups a day to 20.1 in just one year from 1999 to 2000.

But by 2005 it started to plummet amid health concerns about trans-fatty acids, which were linked to a slew of illnesses. Shortening contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oils that have trans-fatty acids.

Despite Crisco's attempts to create a low trans fat version, Americans' taste for shortening had gone sour. By 2013, it was down to 9.8 cups a day per person.

How a New Generation of Chefs is Making LA Fall in Love With Filipino Food

Los Angeles County is home to the greatest population of Filipinos outside the Philippines, but their cuisine still struggles to win over the mainstreaming dining public. Now, a growing community of ambitious young cooks is starting to change Angelenos' minds about adobo and kare-kare

Charles Olalia holds a chicharon bulaklak (which means flower in tagalog) at Bahay Kubo. Craig Cavallo

To Filipinos born and raised in the Philippines, Alvin Cailan is an Amboy: an American-born Filipino. Amboy is also the name of the lunch project he operates out of Unit 120 in Los Angeles from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. His menu there is a mix of Filipino cuisine and Southern California style, including a celebration of LA’s backyard grill culture that parallels the grilled meats found throughout the Filipino canon.

Most people know about Cailan from Eggslut, his enormously popular counter in Downtown’s Grand Central Market where you’ll find one of the city’s best, and most obsessed-over, breakfast sandwiches. This January he opened Unit 120 in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, not just to expand his repertoire beyond egg sandwiches, but to show LA just how much Filipino cooking has to offer.

At this point, arguing that Filipino cuisine is going to be the Next Big Thing in American food is hardly new. But in Los Angeles, a powerful wave is cresting, and the argument deserves a fresh perspective. There a quickly growing community of second-generation Filipinos cooks are taking a refined, even studious approach to their heritage. In the county with the largest population of Filipinos outside the Philippines, chefs like Cailan are making unprecedented headway in a decades-long push to make Filipino food as attractive to the American mainstream as Chinese or Thai.

Traditional dishes (bopis, laing, and kare-kare) and tray-style counter service at Bahay Kubo.

Four years prior to Amboy’s debut, the Concordia family opened The Park’s Finest, a community-driven barbecue spot at the end of West Temple Street in Historic FIlipinotown. At Warren Almeda’s Belly & Snout and Eric de la Cruz’s Oi Asian Fusion, diners are swooning over classic Filipino dishes sold at inexepensive prices and executed for a modern crowd. And if you’re looking for Filipino desserts, you won’t find any better than those made by Isa Fabro (and served at Amboy).

So how are they doing it? That’s a question Cailan addressed in June last year at Next Day Better, a discussion and event series about diaspora communities. But the first spark came at Coachella two months prior, when Cailan first met fellow Filipino chef Charles Olalia and began a discussion about Filipino food in an entirely new way. At Next Day Better, Cailan spoke to a crowd of 300 people. “Because my restaurant Eggslut had made it to the mainstream,” he says, “people wanted to know how I got there.”

Cailan was born to Filipino parents in Pico Rivera, a predominantly Latino neighborhood 15 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles. His second-generation sensibilities, academic background (he graduated from the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland), and commitment to the culinary arts put him in a position to consider the role Filipino food plays in the North American landscape. And he’s not doing it alone.

Olalia sitting on the counter at his 225-square-foot RiceBar. Craig Cavallo

“Alvin wants to help everyone out in the most honest way,” Olalia says on a Monday evening, surrounded by people snapping open cans of beer while cooks fry chicken in the kitchen. It’s industry night at Unit 120.

“Six months ago Charles and I decided to invite chefs we didn’t know to get together and ask them to bring food,” Cailan says, the excitement in his voice enough to drown out the small speaker on the table playing Drake. The first meeting place before 120? Olalia’s apartment. There, a roomful of chefs started talking about how to make the crispiest lechon skin and ways to promote sweet Filipino rice-based desserts by translating them into something with mainstream appeal. “It started amongst the Filipino community,” Cailan says. “But the awareness has grown to everyone in the industry.”

A large part of the initiative has to do with the growing number of Filipino chefs in Los Angeles. “Every major Los Angeles restaurant has a Filipino chef working in it,” Cailan says. Most don’t serve Filipino food, but the presence of Filipino chefs in their kitchens is encouraging. “It shows we can cook and run successful restaurants,” Cailan says. And it’s a great start. “But if our community doesn’t support us,” Cailan wonders, “then what’s the point? Unless my mom, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews support us, there’s no way we can cross over.”

At Amboy, Cailan leaves the core of Filipino food intact. But he shifts the final product for the community at large he’s cooking for. “Instead of using heavy pork fat as the base,” Cailan says, “I’m using vegetarian shiitake mushroom dashi.” For other traditional Filipino stews—kaldereta, kare-kare, and monggo—he swaps out meat for legumes to appeal to the area’s vegetable-oriented diet. “Southern California food is vegetable heavy,” he says. So he roasts vegetables, sears and glazes them with an adobo sauce, and then adds lashes of soy, vinegar, and garlic—classic flavors of the Filipino pantry. Traditional? Not really. But “if you eat it all together,” Cailan tells me, “you’re eating Filipino food.”

Hopia baboy: sweet onion-filled pastries from My Mom’s Bakeshop on West Temple Street. Craig Cavallo

Filipinos began arriving in Los Angeles at the turn of the 20th century after the signing of the Pensionado Act of 1903, which allowed Filipino students to study in the United States. 20 years later, as the population grew, restaurants opened to feed them, particularly in LA’s Little Tokyo, where the community eventually established what’s become known as Little Manila there. The Depression and, later, the Tydings-McDuffie Act, restricted Filipino migration, which would not pick up again until after WWII. Decades later, in 2002, the city of Los Angeles designated the area that makes up the southwestern portion of Echo Park Historic Filipinotown, which is home to a number of Filipino restaurants and bakeries. They still serve a primarily Filipino dining community.

“For our parents,” Cailan says, “Filipino food wasn’t a focus, because it was more sustenance than craft.” He’s after what Chase Valencia calls a “second-generation response to the food.” In addition to cooking lunch at Amboy, Cailan hosts Filipino-American brothers Chad and Chase Valencia’s dinner pop-up LASA Friday through Sunday.

“Our parents’ main concern was assimilation,” Valencia adds, and seconds Cailan’s point: “They never thought about Filipino food other than as a means to provide for their families.” Valencia, 31, tells me that he and young people like him have opportunities their parents never did—the result of the herculean work of his parents’ generation. “We’re able to move more freely with our decisions and the careers we choose,” he says.

That’s why, for Charles Olalia, when he’s cooking, “the element of home always has to be there.” Olalia is the chef/owner of RiceBar in Downtown LA, where he serves Filipino rice bowls out of a 275-square-foot space. “For me,” Olalia says, “my social responsibility is to take the food we’ve been enjoying our whole lives and give it to everyone consistently with a level of attention and care.”

Olalia points to and talks about dinuguan, a traditional Filipino pork stew made with pig’s blood, garlic, chiles, and vinegar. Craig Cavallo

RiceBar offers $7 to $10 bowls made from heirloom grains imported from the Philippines. The low price point “brings the city together,” Olalia says. “We get all types of people coming to us.” The low pricing is only one means of drawing in non-Filipinos central location is another. But low prices don’t mean low effort. “It’s about properly cooking proteins and vegetables,” Olalia says, “and serving things at the right temperature.” You get it perfectly when you taste his pork longganisa. Bright yellow pickled vegetables shine against green scallions and the deep reddish-pink hue of the most flavor-packed and juicy sausage I have ever eaten.

The attention to detail is Olalia’s response to the casual Filipino steam table restaurants run by the older generation over on West Temple Street, the main artery in Historic Filipinotown. Filipino restaurants there like Nanay Gloria’s and Bahay Kubo serve dozens of classic Filipino dishes, like dinuguan, laing, sisig, pinakbet, and various forms of adobo. “What they’re doing is the most efficient way to serve food,” Olalia says, “and I always give them respect for that.” But Olalia’s micro-managing—even closing the restaurant during low-traffic hours to keep things as fresh as possible—reflects his industry chops and, ultimately, care for the level of detail that upscale restaurants can achieve more easily than volume-focused restaurants.

At RiceBar, Olalia makes everything from scratch. That longganisa—a sweet, smoky, spicy Filipino pork sausage that Olalia grinds using his uncle’s recipe—gently cooks in stock all morning in the tiny open kitchen in front of guests. “I wanted to keep a sense of the restaurant experience there,” he says, “and curiosity. I want people to ask questions.”

Pork longganisa bowl with garlic rice and a fried egg at RiceBar. Craig Cavallo

Olalia admits RiceBar may not be the most revenue-driven model. It’s difficult to scale up this attention to detail. But it’s also an investment in Filipino food education. “Eight months in, non-Filipino people are coming in and asking for dishes by name,” Olalia says, “and they are pronouncing things right.”

Cailan is seeing similar results. “Because people Instagram,” he says. “People talk about it. The food is delicious. We take our time and strike a combination of price point and sourcing ingredients.” He’s hopeful that special sauce of approachability without compromise will give Filipino cuisine the momentum not just to build great restaurants, but work its way into public discussion.

He doesn’t see any of this work as cutting ties from the old generation. Quite the opposite: keeping a sense of family and community is everything.

Cailan recalls going to his dad’s friend’s house as a kid. “Their camaraderie and closeness, and generosity and willingness to help each other, was just amazing.” As Cailan becomes a leader in the industry, he sees parallels to his father, who’s an established figure in the Catholic community and who teaches bible studies and preaches regularly at church. “When I was giving that speech,” he tells me about the Next Day Better talk he gave in June, “in the middle of it I realized, wow, I just became my dad.”

Beefeater parent Pernod Ricard snaps up Malfy Gin

Pernod Ricard has got a taste for juniper! The drinks group released a statement this morning confirming it’s about to buy Italy-based Malfy Gin, growing its gin portfolio to six….

Pernod Ricard has got a taste for juniper! The drinks group released a statement this morning confirming it’s about to buy Italy-based Malfy Gin, growing its gin portfolio to six.

“This acquisition is true to our long-standing strategy of investing in brands with strong potential in growing categories,” said Christian Porta, MD of Pernod Ricard’s Global Business Development arm.

Malfy Gin is made by the Vergnano family in Moncalieri, and is available in four varieties: Originale, Con Limone, Con Arancia and Con Rosa. It’s produced using genuine Italian ingredients including juniper, coastal-grown lemons, Sicilian blood oranges and pink grapefruits.

It has already proved popular in big drinks markets around the world, including the US, Germany, and here in the UK.

Pernod Ricard hasn’t said how much it has paid for the brand, which will join the likes of Monkey 47, which it partnered with in 2016, and Ungava, a 2018 acquisition, once the transaction goes through.

“We are excited to see Malfy Gin move to the Pernod Ricard family of brands,” said Elwyn Gladstone, founder of Biggar & Leith, which launched Malfy in 2016.

“We believe that with their stewardship and expertise in building super-premium spirits brands, Malfy will continue to flourish.”

The deal is expected to close shortly – and it seems likely we will see more brand-buying from the drinks giant. “In line with the launch of our ‘Transform and Accelerate’ strategic plan, we will continue actively managing our fantastic portfolio of brands,” Porta added in the statement.

Malfy is pretty popular here at MoM Towers. If the news is giving you a bit of a hankering for a gin cocktail, why not give this super simple Pink Lemonade a go, made with Malfy Gin Rosa.

Take an ice-filled Highball glass and mix two parts Malfy Gin Rosa with one part Limoncello. Top with three parts soda water and garnish with a slice of lime and a raspberry (if you’re feeling fancy). Enjoy!

Plus-Size Women Often Forced to Wear Men's Workout Gear, Says Study

Size discrimination is all too common in the fashion industry, but new research from Washington State University’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles suggests the phenomenon is also prevalent in the world of fitness apparel.

In other words, a plus-size woman who wants to look good and feel good about her workout can’t pull on some cute activewear and head to the gym like a thinner woman could — even though the average American woman is close to a size 18, according to other research by the study’s co-author, Assistant Professor Deborah Christel of WSU.

Instead, the study shows that plus-size women have no choice but to shop the men’s department for workout gear. “There’s a societal expectation that I think is communicated in clothing availability,” said Christel to NBC. “Companies are saying it’s OK for a guy to be big because we are offering guy clothing, but it’s not OK for a woman to be big because we are cutting it off at a certain size.”

Lululemon — one of the pioneers of women’s high-end activewear — is the prime example of this phenomenon, as the chain only sells clothing up to size 12. After controversy swirled about the company’s pricey yoga pants being too sheer, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson notoriously said during an interview with Bloomberg News that the yoga pants “don’t work for … some women’s bodies.” He later apologized.

It could be that these companies simply can’t afford to make plus-size workout gear — fashion labels that make clothing that fits bigger women often sell it at a higher price, blaming the cost on extra fabric, according to NBC — but more likely it has to do with sizeism. Christel blames high-end fashion companies for overlooking plus-size women in an effort not to “be associated with or condone obesity.” Others simply feel that selling gear only to thin women increases the companies’ “cool factor.” The irony that regular exercise helps a person shed weight, and that athletic wear is utilitarian fashion, seems lost on these companies.

A recent study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that high-end activewear — which has become so chic, many women wear it even when they’re not working out — can actually improve your workout. The study cited something called “enclothed recognition,” which means when you’re confident in the clothes you’re wearing, you’re more motivated to work out, and you see better results. So neglecting to make cute workout wear available to bigger women who want to be fit ends up being counterproductive.

Christel is hopeful that cold, hard facts will eventually sway fitness apparel companies to make their gear available to women of all sizes. “Before any major cultural changes happen, you’ve got to prove the problem with research, so that’s what we are trying to do here,” she said to King 5.

The assistant professor is also making a brand-new class available to students involved in Washington State University’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles. It’s called “Fat Studies,” and it’s been approved by the school but has yet to be scheduled. Christel hopes the class will educate students and future designers and women’s wear professionals “to evaluate their own implicit prejudices about overweight people and study weight discrimination as a social justice issue.”

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12 Diets You Should Never Try, According to Health Experts

Know how to tell if a diet is right for you? You don't hate doing it. "The one diet to avoid is one that is not sustainable," explains Amy Helms, LMSW, MS, CEDRD-S, RD, LD. These can include diets that cut too many calories or plans that are not "compatible" with your lifestyle. "A plan that is too calorically restrictive will work against you in the long run," she explains. "Our bodies adapt to function on fewer calories, making weight regain just about inevitable."Additionally, a big cut in calories is a primer for overeating or even binge eating. "For some this may lead to one more failed diet while for others it can lead to disordered eating," she points out. And, while low carbohydrate, high protein, and intermittent fasting methods may be effective in the short-term, they simply aren't sustainable for most people. Here are 12 diets you should never try, according to health experts—and some you should. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It. 1 The Atkins Diet While a meat-fueled, no-carb diet may help you lose weight, it can negatively impact your overall health, according to Allen Conrad, BS, DC, CSCS of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, PA. "The Atkins Diet was an idea to include high fat and red meats as a primary component of your meals, and the concept was that you would lose weight this way. The problem with diets like this is that high concentrations of red meat and unsaturated fats can cause many health problems, including heart disease and high cholesterol," he explains. Studies have shown that diets high in red meat and trans fats should be avoided due to their long lasting health concerns. 2 The Ketogenic Diet Keto was the most highly-hyped diet in 2019, but Dr. Conrad isn't a fan. "The concept involves eating low carbohydrate meals with the goal of losing weight. By putting the body into a state of ketosis, the idea is that your body will store less body fat, and you can drop a few pounds," he explains. However, the problem with the ketogenic diet is that this puts additional stress on your internal organs, which need carbs to work, he explains. Additionally, he points to studies that have shown that prolonged low carbohydrate diets were dangerous and could lead to premature death.RELATED: The #1 Cause of Obesity, According to Science 3 The Snake Diet The Snake Diet—a fad diet comprised of prolonged fasting periods (the initial two fasting periods are 48 hours and 72 hours) with low carbohydrate, high fat meals consumed in between the fasting periods—slithered around social media in 2019, with followers claiming dramatic weight loss results. However, experts hope the diet will shed in popularity in the upcoming year. "The safety and long-term effects are not known as is the case with most fad diets, which are, after all, a fad—short-lived and without scientific basis," says Ania Jastreboff, MD, Ph.D., Yale Medicine endocrinologist and director of the Weight Management&Obesity Prevention. RELATED: I'm a Doctor and This Vitamin May Reduce Your COVID Risk 4 Juicing Juicing supporters boast that it helps cleanse your body of toxins and "build up" from unhealthy food in your body. "What it really is: fruits and veggies that have been stripped of their fiber and packed into a very expensive compostable bottle," explains certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist Holly Roser. "Our bodies are great at cleansing, through our liver and kidneys so the idea of juice removing toxins, is void of scientific backing." If you want to up your fruit and veggie intake, she suggests adding them to your diet in food form. However, if you prefer drinking them, she suggests blending them in a shake or smoothie, "so you're not missing the skin of the fruit or full fiber of the greens."RELATED: This Supplement Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk, Experts Say 5 Whole30—If You're Doing it for Weight Loss The Whole30 is meant to help you identify foods that cause you digestive or inflammation issues. Using it to lose weight isn't ideal. For instance, the plan bans legumes—something Roser finds questionable. "Legumes are packed with protein and have zero cholesterol, an amazing alternative to meat. They are an ideal choice to lose weight and live a healthy life with such an impressive nutrition profile," she explains. And when the diet is over—in this case, in just 30 days—you will likely go back to your old habits. Despite the drawbacks, she does appreciate how the diet encourages people to cook real food instead of consuming processed food. And giving up alcohol is always a good idea. But, "in the end, it's impossible to keep up, like all diets, and people gain weight once they're off it." 6 "Detox" Diets And "Detox" Products Detox is one of those "health" buzzwords that are everywhere these days—from detox diets to detox shakes and detox waters. The idea behind "detoxification" is that by following these diets or consuming these products, your body will be cleansed of "toxins," and that in turn will help improve health and promote weight loss, but it's a little more complicated, explains Melissa Nieves, RD, Healthy Meals Supreme. "The concept of detoxification by external means such as diets and detox products is misleading," she explains. "The body itself is detoxifying, every day, at all times. That's what the kidneys and liver are for! In fact, if we were really so full of toxins, we would be hospitalized, not walking around drinking detox shakes!" While the body does detoxify itself, she explains we can help the process by staying hydrated and eating a high fiber diet.RELATED: The #1 Cause of Diabetes, According to Science 7 The HCG Diet Run, don't walk, away from the HCG diet, a meal plan that consists of just 500 calories a day and supplements or injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)—the hormone that is produced by women during pregnancy—several times a week. "People do lose weight on this diet, but it's really because they're eating such a small amount of calories a day," points out Nieves. "This type of diet is not sustainable, because who's going to be able to eat such a small amount of food for long periods of time?" Additionally, it's dangerous! Eating so little will lower your metabolism, making it harder to reach a healthy weight in the long-run. It also puts you at risk for malnutrition, can trigger eating disorders, and lead to muscle and tissue loss, "especially in vital organs such as the heart, since the body starts using its protein as energy under starvation conditions." Also, she points out, that the hCG hormone has only been approved as part of fertility treatments—not weight loss. "Only small studies have been done so far on the efficacy of using hCG for weight loss, using small sample sizes," she explains. "We don't have enough evidence of the potential health risks of using this hormone, nor whether it really works for weight loss." 8 The Baby Food Diet Nieves hopes people will grow up when it comes to the Baby Food Diet! "This fad diet is supposed to help you lose weight by cutting calories and controlling portions. It involves replacing one or two meals or snacks a day with baby food. Each jar can range from 20-100 calories," she explains. Again, the reason people lose weight on this diet is due to the small amount of calories consumed each day. But like any other fad diet, it has its drawbacks. These include putting you at risk for malnutrition, "since the nutrient requirements in these foods are specifically set for babies." It is also incredibly difficult to sustain, "since their taste, and the fact that you're not "chewing" your food, is difficult for an adult to get used to," and won't keep you full and satisfied due to their low fiber and protein content. "Also, diets should be pleasurable and practical. It should also help you make and sustain healthy eating habits," she adds. "The Baby Food Diet just doesn't cut it here!" 9 The Boiled Egg Diet You could lose up to 24 pounds in two weeks by eating boiled eggs—all day long—claim followers of this restrictive diet. "This is another diet that cuts out a lot of food groups and restricts your food choices to, well, mostly eggs," points out Nieves. While following this diet, which is very low in carbohydrates and high in protein, can help you shed excess pounds, the results are basically short term. "Many people have trouble sticking with this diet, mostly due to taste boredom," she explains. She also points out that it is not a dietary plan to be followed by individuals with diabetes, cholesterol problems, or heart issues.RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers. 10 Paleo Eating like a caveman is so B.C.—or at least it should be, according to Heather Campbell, MS, RDN, LD, consultant dietitian. "Any diet that requires complete omission or serious restriction of entire food groups like carbohydrates or dairy can be problematic and create opportunities for nutrition deficiencies," she explains. "When your body isn't properly fueled with a balance of all of the needed nutrients, then it will be impossible to create sustainable changes you're looking for." While Keto may lead to initial results, she points out that it's not creating a lifestyle you can continue into the future, "then you're less likely to see permanent positive change in your health." 11 Paleo-Vegan ("Pegan") What do you get when you take the trendy caveman-style Paleo diet and remove almost everything that involves animal products? One of the worst diets of the year, according to health experts. This super restrictive diet only allows things like fruit, nuts, vegetables, seeds, and limited legumes. While it bands all dairy products, you are allowed to eat a tad of meat, so there's that at least. But in general, the super restrictive eating method is difficult to sustain. 12 The Alkaline Diet If a diet seems too good to be true, it probably is! "Many fad diets don't have peer-reviewed science to back them up at all, like avoiding acidic foods for the Alkaline Diet, or using supplements or drinks to remove toxins from the body," explains Campbell, who points out that people with healthy and functioning organ systems, have an adequate detoxification system already built in. "One way to support your body's natural ability to remove toxins is to focus on healthy habits like drinking enough water, making half of every plate fruits and vegetables, and eating adequate sources of lean protein." 13 So Which Diet Should You Try? The best diet is one that emphasizes lean proteins, healthy fats and belly-filling fibers. The best new titles on the market that promote just that are: Sugar Free 3, during which you can eat all you want while giving up added sugars for just three weeks The Goodful Cookbook, featuring simple and balanced recipes and How Not to Diet, which speaks for itself. As for yourself: And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss: This Supplement Can Raise Your Cancer Risk, Experts Say.

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Drinking This for Just 12 Weeks Can Improve Your Heart Health, Says New Study

You often hear of fruits and vegetables being powerful for your cardiovascular wellness. Now, a new study has just uncovered how an increasingly popular dairy drink may deliver surprising benefits to your heart health, with cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure-stabilizing properties as well.The journal PharmaNutrition has published a study conducted by pharmaceutical and physiology researchers at the University Vila Velha and the Federal University of Espirito Santo, both in Brazil. The researchers examined data from 48 patients who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, which is simultaneously occurring conditions that increase an individual's risk of heart disease. These may include cholesterol, blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, high blood pressure, or other ailments.RELATED: The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone To Take Right NowThe researchers divided the 48 participants into two groups. For 12 weeks, one group drank kefir (a liquid drink that's very similar to yogurt and is known for its probiotic benefits) with curd daily, while the control group received a placebo. (None of the patients in either group knew which of the two beverages they were drinking.)The results were intriguing. The study's abstract states that the participants who drank kefir saw decreased blood pressure, lower fasting blood sugar, decreased levels of bad cholesterol, and, for female participants, increased levels of good cholesterol. The study authors write: "Kefir also reduced the risk of cardiovascular events for the next ten years."The researchers may have been prompted to examine the effects of kefir on cardiovascular health, cholesterol, and blood pressure based on a 2019 study, in which researchers found that administering kefir to rats stabilized the animals' blood flow, reduced enlarged heart size, and improved calcium-handling proteins—all of which are important mediators in the strength and efficiency of the heart's blood-pumping function. It's been theorized that these study results were thanks to milk fermented by kefir grains.It might seem hard to believe that just 12 weeks of drinking kefir can result in a whole decade's worth of better heart health… but for someone who tolerates dairy well, seeking kefir out at the grocery store and working it into your diet (such as with this smoothie recipe) could be worth a try.Also, check out:6 Reasons To Start Drinking KefirThe Surprising Effect Yogurt Has on ImmunityDrinking This For Just 10 Days Can Improve Your Health, New Study SaysCooking With This Oil Lowers Heart Disease Risk and Cholesterol, New Study Says

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One Major Effect of Eating Bell Peppers, Says Doctor

Finding the right foods to include in your regular diet can feel daunting. With nutrition rules changing so often, keeping track of what you should put in your body can end up seeming like an overwhelming task. Luckily, you can always hold fast to one standard—make sure to include colorful foods into your eating plan. According to Winneshiek Medical Center, fruits and vegetables from across the color spectrum come loaded with antioxidants and have the potential to prevent stroke, cancer, heart disease, and much more. (Related: Check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now) When you want to reach for the most colorful vegetable, you can't go wrong with eating bell peppers, thanks to their ability to preserve our health."Bell peppers are especially rich in vitamin C," says Dr. Melina Jampolis, internist, board-certified physician nutrition specialist, and author of Spice Up, Live Long."[Bell peppers] may give us some extra defense against stroke and some kinds of cancer. They contain beta carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the body and helps our eyes, skin, teeth, gums, and immune system stay healthy. Many also contain the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, as well as vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidant-rich polyphenols, which can have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor capabilities."Bell peppers truly can ward off anything time and nature throws our way, helping us preserve our impeccable health. According to a study published in Current Opinion in Lipidology, the high potassium content of bell peppers also contributes to staving off illness and leaving our health intact."The potassium in [bell peppers] can lower our risk of high blood pressure," says Dr. Jampolis. "So make sure you add these to your diet, as well as tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, red and orange bell peppers, winter squash (acorn, butternut, and Hubbard), pumpkins, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, and watermelon."With a colorful diet, you can't go wrong and it all starts with adding more bell peppers into your regular eating plan. With a bit of planning, you can tap into the potential of this vegetable and help ward off some major illnesses. So why not cook with bell peppers tonight and whip up this Portobello Mushroom "Pizzas" with Sausage, Bell Pepper, and Basil for dinner?Get even more healthy tips straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter!

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This One Thing Can Seriously Increase Your Chances of Diabetes

Approximately ten percent of Americans, 34 million, suffer from diabetes, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 2 is the most common, accounting for 90-95 percent of cases. There are multiple risk factors, some preventable and others not. However, one of them can increase your chances of developing by a whopping six times—and it might be within your control. Read on to find out what it is—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID And Should Tell Your Doctor. 1 What Is The Biggest Risk Factor For Type 2 Diabetes? Jonathan Bogan, MD, Yale Medicine endocrinologist specializing in diabetes and weight management as well as associate professor of medicine and cell biology, Yale School of Medicine, explains that diabetes is a disease that results in altered metabolism, including excessive amounts of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. "This can lead to problems with the eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves, circulation, and other organs," he says. The biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes, per Dr. Bogan? Obesity. According to a 2020 study, obesity increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping six times—regardless of genetic predisposition to the disease. Those who were overweight had a 2.4 times increased risk. 2 How You Can Prevent Hypertension Related to Obesity In most cases, obesity is preventable. And, it can also be remedied. "The results suggest that type 2 diabetes prevention by weight management and healthy lifestyle is critical across all genetic risk groups. Furthermore, we found that the effect of obesity on type 2 diabetes risk is dominant over other risk factors, highlighting the importance of weight management in type 2 diabetes prevention," the study concluded. Dr. Bogan also endorses diet and exercise to help maintain a healthy weight. RELATED: The #1 Cause of Diabetes, According to Science 3 Other Dangers of Obesity According to the CDC, "people who have obesity, compared to those with a healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions." They are more likely to die from all-causes of death, more likely to have high blood pressure, high LDL and low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia), coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint), sleep apnea and breathing problems, many types of cancer, mental illness, body pain, and in general, a lower quality of life. RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts 4 Obesity Also Significantly Reduce Blood Flow to the Brain Scientists at The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin recently discovered that being overweight or obese can also significantly reduce blood flow to the brain, a term called "cerebral hypoperfusion." The new study pointed out that it is considered an early mechanism in vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss: This Supplement Can Raise Your Cancer Risk, Experts Say.

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Most Common Health Problems After Age 70, Say Doctors

As we get older, we get wiser, but, health-wise, we also get more complex. Over the years, life accentuates our differences. Look at 100 20-year-olds and most are similar in health. But 100 70-year-olds will have many differences. Your genes, the environment where you live, your economic situation, your education, your behavior—particularly exercise, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, and drugs—all of these factors affect your health and the likelihood of developing diseases in your 70s and beyond.Here are some of the most common health problems people experience in their eighth decade of life—and some suggestions on how to avoid or reduce their effects. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Hypertension Hypertension or high blood pressure is known as the "silent killer" because there are few or no symptoms. Having high blood pressure damages arterial walls and increases the risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. If you are a man or woman in your 70s, you have a 60% chance of having or developing high blood pressure.The Rx: Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years. But, it's important to know that what constitutes "good blood pressure" for people in their 70s remains a bit controversial. A recent study shows that, down to 120, lower is better, but other studies suggest a blood pressure in the 120s may raise risk for kidney problems, passing out, and falling. So, the take-home message is: we're not quite sure what's the best blood pressure for 70-year-olds, but have your doctor monitor yours to watch for changes over time.Best bets for a healthy blood pressure: start by decreasing your salt intake, increasing physical activity, and eating a healthy diet, especially fruits and vegetables. Then if that doesn't work, your doctor will likely recommend blood pressure medicines. 2 High Cholesterol You may not know if you have hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia—high levels of fat in the blood—until a blood test reveals it. It's almost completely asymptomatic. Most often hyperlipidemia—the better term because it's about more than just cholesterol—is the luck of the genetic draw. But cheeseburgers, milkshakes, and other foods that contain high levels of fats certainly don't help and can make it worse. If untreated, high cholesterol can lead to heart attacks and strokes.The Rx: High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia) can be managed through diet, exercise, and medication. Get more physically active doing the things you like to do—play tennis, walk, hike, or swim. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day—sweating a bit suggests you're doing enough—four days a week. And follow a healthy diet, eating foods low in total fat and saturated fat. The good news is that some fats—mono- and polyunsaturated—found in avocados, dark chocolate, and nuts—are good for you. But limit fast food, junk food, and processed meats. These steps will help you maintain a healthy body weight, which is really important for your cholesterol and overall health.RELATED: The #1 Cause of Diabetes, According to Science 3 Arthritis It's not life threatening, but arthritis can make you pretty miserable, affecting your quality of life, including how much pain you have and how much activity you can take part in. Arthritis grows more common with age. There are many different types of arthritis. Wear and tear, associated with aging, is the cause of osteoarthritis, the most common form, when cartilage inside your joints starts to break down, causing changes in the bone that worsen over time. Another type, rheumatoid arthritis, is linked with inflammation, when the immune system attacks the body's joints.The Rx: If you're experiencing pain, swelling, stiffness and tenderness in your joints, the first thing you want to do is talk to your doctor. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, you may ache in the morning or throughout the day. Moving is one of the best treatments there is. In addition, strength exercises help because strong muscles protect the joints. There are a variety of pain medications, both in pill form and topical creams, that help joint pain. Ask your doctor what combination is right for you, they all have some adverse effects. If a clinician suggests that it's time for joint replacement due to arthritis pain, it's smart to get at least one second opinion. Total joint replacement is the most common elective surgery in the United States, and the number of these surgeries is on the rise. Some believe the operation is being performed too often these days. Joint replacements shouldn't be done too soon or too late! 4 Cataracts Over time, the clear lenses in your eyes can become cloudy and impair your vision. While several vision conditions affect older adults, including macular degeneration and glaucoma, the one that is most common is cataracts. Not only are cataracts unsightly, but they can get in the way of living your best life, making it hard to see clearly, especially at night.The Rx: The good news is that cataracts are one of the most treatable vision problems for older people. Getting your cataracts extracted can be a game-changer the surgery allows many to resume night driving because it decreases glare from headlights of oncoming cars. People who've had cataract surgery are also less likely to take a fall. While not everybody gets cataracts, the vast majority of older people do. They are more common in people who're out in the sun a lot, have diabetes, or take steroids for any reason.. But, at some point in our lives, most of us will eventually need to have cataracts removed. One fringe benefit: If you've worn glasses most of your life, your distance vision may improve from having cataracts removed. I'm almost looking forward to it because I have been wearing glasses for distance since I was in kindergarten! 5 Uncontrolled Blood Sugar A new worrisome trend is an increase in the number of people in their 70s getting diagnosed for the first time with diabetes. It's not clear whether risk factors for diabetes in the 70s are the same as for those diagnosed at younger ages. Also, doctors are finding that tight control of your blood sugar (hemoglobin A1c) in older adults sometimes leads to excessively low blood glucose levels which is almost as bad as too high. On the one hand, it's important to keep your blood glucose, and what's called your hemoglobin A1c, under control to decrease the likelihood of negative health effects to your vision, kidneys, or nerves (a condition known as neuropathy—when you can't feel your feet or you get pain in your feet, and with uncontrolled diabetes, it can even lead to an amputation). But you also want to avoid the complications of too low blood sugar, which can cause fainting, breaking a bone, or brain damage. The Rx: To reduce the odds of developing diabetes in your 70s, maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of physical activity, both of which help keep your weight in the healthy range. Obesity, after all, is associated with the development of diabetes. And, if you do get a diabetes diagnosis in your 70s, make sure your treatment is neither to little or too much—a bit like Goldilocks.RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts 6 Hearing Loss The frequency of hearing loss goes up among people in their 70s, and many underestimate how devastating this can be. Studies show that hearing impairment itself is a risk factor for dementia, depression, and other conditions. My guess is the generation that is growing up wearing earbuds in their ears all the time will experience an even bigger problem with hearing loss in the years ahead.The key is to really recognize how important hearing is to quality of life. It is a major determinant of social isolation. I hear from my patients all the time: "Well, I really don't want to go there because I can't hear anything. I don't want to go to the theater. I don't want to go to this dinner party."The Rx: Number one, make sure you don't have wax in your ears. The second thing is to get a hearing test. If hearing aids are recommended, recognize that the quality of hearing aids are markedly improving these are not your grandmother's hearing aid. I recommend getting the best quality hearing aid you can afford. Keep in mind that you have to get tested and may need repeat visits to get them adjusted to make sure they're working correctly.People who can't afford hearing aids may find that listening devices can be helpful too, and they are far less expensive. Some, particularly helpful in situations like a one-on-one conversation in a relatively quiet place, can be purchased for around $50. 7 Osteoporosis As we age, we lose bone density, and a condition called osteoporosis, weakening of the bones, can occur. It puts you (especially women) at risk for fractures. While post-menopause is one of the biggest risk factors for osteoporosis, bone loss can affect anyone. Whereas in your 20s you make new bone every few years, by the time you reach your 70s, you don't make much new bone at all.The Rx: To prevent fractures, moving is the best thing you can do. To benefit your bones, movement against resistance, like on a sidewalk is most helpful —so walking in the water or swimming won't do it. In addition to activity, give your bones a good amount of calcium. If you don't consume dairy, take calcium supplements and vitamin D supplements since vitamin D is also important to bone health. Although we can still absorb some from the sun as we age, it gets harder to absorb vitamin D from sun exposure.Also, if you're put on bisphosphonates, a class of drugs that people take to prevent bone loss, keep in mind that they should only be taken for five to seven years, after which you should take a holiday. If you take them too long, they can cause problems with bone. So ask your doctor: "How long have I been on this, and should I continue to take it?" 8 Memory Loss I see a lot of people worried they may be getting dementia, so it's important to know that some symptoms occur in what we call "usual aging." In usual aging it takes longer to learn new tasks, like computer skills. It also takes a little bit longer to retrieve information that you eventually remember. (This is the "tip of the tongue" phenomenon. For example, names are harder to recall. You know that person, and you know where you know him from, and you can probably remember what color of dress they wore five years ago, but you can't remember their name. Or, you walk into a room and can't remember what you came in to do.) Those are all normal memory issues that come with aging and do not necessarily mean you're any more likely to get dementia than anyone else. However, dementia may be the problem if memory loss starts interfering with your function: you don't remember to pay bills, forget important appointments, or get lost when you drive to places where you've been many times.The Rx: There are a lot of apps that promise to boost memory we don't know if they help. But the best recommendation I can give is to remain physically, socially and intellectually active, doing the things you like to do. Read if you like to read. If you like to do crosswords, do crosswords. It's not clear that any one thing is better than another. Being socially involved—volunteering, going out with friends or whatever you like—helps. Sleep is important for cognition, so being mentally and physically active during the day will help tire you out.RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers. 9 Sleep Issues As we get older, despite how much time you spend in bed, the amount of time that you are asleep—and stay asleep—goes down. What's called sleep efficiency—the percentage of time that you're in bed and sleeping—decreases with age. That's a normal (albeit frustrating) part of aging. But changes in your normal sleep in your 70s really are not a problem unless you are fatigued during the day. That's one clue that there may be a problem to see a sleep specialist about.The Rx: Whatever you do, stay away from over-the-counter sleep medications. They all have bad effects and not many good ones. The only reason they're available without a prescription is because they were on the market before the FDA started evaluating drugs. Except for melatonin, all of them contain a chemical that directly works against the major chemical in the brain for memory. Anything that says PM is in the same medication class as Benadryl, an antihistamine which is anticholinergic. The cholinergic nervous system is part of what maintains memory. If you're having trouble sleeping, my number one piece of advice is to have a regular sleep schedule. And if you are in bed and you're not asleep within a half an hour, you should get up. Try again in a while when you are feeling drowsy. 10 Cancer Most cancers increase with age: prostate, colon, lung, and breast cancer all become more prevalent as we get older. However, there is evidence that the rates of cancer deaths overall is declining and has been for the 26th year in a row. The Rx: While screening won't prevent cancer, catching it early gives the best chance for successful treatment. Talk to your doctor about what screening tests are recommended for you, depending on your family history, medical history, age, gender, and other risk factors such as smoking history. Regular mammograms and colonoscopies are effective screening tools to detect cellular changes early before they become cancer or can spread. But, depending on the screening guidelines your healthcare system follows, it may be recommended to stop breast and colon screenings after age 75. This is because the benefits go down (the test won't help you live longer) and harms (the adverse effects of the tests or subsequent treatments) go up. 11 Chronic Lung Disease Chronic lung disease is increasing, and we're seeing it more in women. According to the U.S. Office of Health&Human Services, the number of women diagnosed with lung disease in the U.S. is on the rise, as is the number of women dying from lung disease. By far the major risk factor for chronic lung disease is smoking. And there's pretty good evidence that no matter how old you are—and this is certainly true in your 70s, where you have another possible 20 years of life—it's worth quitting.The Rx: If you are having trouble with coughing or wheezing or shortness of breath with normal activities it's important to ask your doctor about a screening test for lung disease. There are a number of treatments that can help you breathe easier. (Did I mention it's almost never too late to stop smoking?)RELATED: The #1 Reason You Could Get Cancer, According to Science 12 Falls About one out of three older people will fall doing normal activities. Falling can cause a considerable amount of stress, discomfort and even disability. Fall injuries, such as hip fractures or head injuries, are as common and devastating as strokes. The Rx: The things that we know most contribute to preventable falls include muscle weakness and poor balance—both of which can be improved by being physically active and exercising, as well as with physical therapy. Medications are a major contributing factor to falls, particularly drugs that work on the brain or circulation. Blood pressure medicine, depression medicine, sleep medicine, and pain medication are among the biggest categories of medications to think about with fall prevention. You want to be on the lowest dose and take as few medications as necessary. Some studies suggest that Vitamin D may decrease the risk of falling and it definitely decreases the likelihood of a fracture if a fall does occur. 13 Depression We shouldn't think about depression any differently than we do cancer or heart disease or blood pressure. It's a disease that's caused by an imbalance of chemicals in your brain. We can adjust the balance among those chemicals with medication and talk therapy. If you're feeling down and hopeless and aren't enjoying activities you once did, talk to your doctor about screening tests that are easily done in office setting to detect depression.Because depression can be both undertreated and overtreated, it's important to make sure that there is a diagnosis of depression and a monitoring of response to the treatment and how long you should be on it. After a year or so, you and your doctor should evaluate whether to continue on the medication or come off of it. The Rx: One of the best preventive therapies for depression is physical activity. If only you could bottle the benefits of movement—I don't call it exercise, I call it physical activity because it's incorporating it into your daily life as opposed to, "I'm going to sit on the couch for 20 hours a day and then I'm going to exercise for half an hour." It's really important to move as much as you can and get outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. Those kinds of things can really help people's mood. And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss: This Supplement Can Raise Your Cancer Risk, Experts Say.Mary Tinetti, MD, is a Yale Medicine geriatrician and section chief of Geriatrics.

There May Soon Be a Major Coffee Shortage For This Reason, Experts Say

The week started high for coffee lovers, with some cafés, like Starbucks', announcing that vaccinated customers may now enter Starbucks mask-free. Unfortunately we're ending on a less celebratory note, as Bloomberg reports that the world's biggest coffee exporter is under threat. In truth, this could soon wipe out the majority of our coffee supply.This week, Bloomberg reported that Brazil's rainy season saw a serious lack of rain. Some of the biggest coffee-producing areas received less than half the rain than the usual amount. As a result, says the report, "production of arabica coffee, the high-end kind used by chains like Starbucks Corp., is also dropping sharply." Brazil is the world's biggest exporter of coffee.RELATED: Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According To ExpertsThe wet season in Brazil typically runs during the northern hemisphere's winter and leaves farmers with enough water to irrigate coffee crops and keep them alive for several months. However, some Brazilian coffee farmers in the central and southern part of the country say they've already used up the water supply that usually keeps their crops wet until September, while there are also fears that their soils didn't store enough water to stay moist for the season ahead.Bloomberg reports that in terms of exporting cost, coffee benchmarks have reached their highest in four years. This could mean much higher prices for retailers and consumers, and a possible dearth of our beloved arabica coffee.A downer, yes—but let's hope this turns around. In the meantime, catch up on the week's coffee news with One Major Effect Drinking Coffee Has on Your Liver, plus:The One Spice Everyone Is Adding To Their CoffeeWe Tried the Most Popular New Iced Coffees and This Is the Best OneThe Worst Types of Coffee For Your Heart Health

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