1. Dust chemicals linked to weight gain

    You won't believe what else could be making you fat

    You know how all the wrong foods and drinks can make you fat.

    But most folks don't realize that you could stick to a perfect diet and STILL struggle to lose weight.

    In some cases, you might even gain it.

    One reason for it isn't in something you're eating.

    It's in the very air you're breathing!

    The "dirty" truth about house dust is that it's not just dirt. It's often a mix of chemicals and pollutants both from inside and outside your home.

    Now, the latest research reveals how common pollutants floating around in the air in your home right now could trigger the very process that causes weight gain.

    Researchers from Duke University in North Carolina took special cells from mice called "preadipocytes," which can become fat cells in the right circumstances.

    And, boy, did they find those circumstances!

    They exposed those cells to 11 samples of dust -- not from a construction site, industrial complex, or even their own lab.

    They went door-to-door and collected dust from typical American homes right there in North Carolina.

    Only ONE of those 11 samples caused no reaction at all.

    The rest did at least something -- and, in most cases, it was something not good for your health.

    In seven of the samples, the dust caused precursor fat cells to transform into fully mature fat cells -- exactly the kind of cells that build up around your middle as you gain weight.

    They're also the ones that stubbornly resist all your attempts to burn them off.

    And that's not all that happened.

    I'm sure you know a little something about triglycerides, dangerous blood fats you want to reduce as much as possible.

    Instead, the fat cells exposed to the dust sucked up the triglycerides and stored them.

    Nine of the samples even started to divide, which means they were making MORE fat cells.

    And all this fat was being cranked out not because of bad food or sugary soda.

    It was from house dust!

    When the researchers examined just what was inside the dust, they found 44 different chemicals.

    Most of them are bad for you in some way. But three of them -- a pesticide called pyraclostrobin, a flame-retardant chemical in furniture called tert-butylphenyldiphenyl phosphate, and the dibutyl phthalate used in plastics and solvents -- had the biggest effect on stimulating those fat cells.

    Unfortunately, they're also three of the more common chemicals found in U.S. homes. So, odds are, they're hiding in your own house dust right now.

    If you haven't given your home a good top-to-bottom cleaning recently, it's time. You just need three things: a surgical mask, cleaning cloths, and a white glove.

    Put on the mask so you don't inhale... clean up good... and then do the "white glove test" to check your work.

  2. Waistline is more important than weight

    This one measurement tells you everything

    Forget the scale... and break out the measuring tape.

    We all like to associate our weight with our health, but let's face it: It's not because it's the BEST measurement.

    It's the EASIEST!

    We can step on the scale and get an instant answer (even if it's one that makes you want to hide the scale in the closet and never step on it again).

    But while your weight certainly is important, new research shows how your waistline is an even BIGGER indication of your health and the risks you're facing.

    Fat that gathers around your middle is often far more dangerous than fat more evenly distributed around your body. It's a sign of organ-squeezing, disease-causing visceral fat, which has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and an early death.

    Now, the new study shows how this dangerous fat around your middle can increase your risk of dying -- whether you're overweight or not.

    If you have a normal BMI but extra belly fat, you're facing a 22 percent higher risk of death from any cause and a 25 percent jump in your risk of dying from heart problems when compared to someone with the same BMI but less fat in the middle.

    If you're overweight or obese, you're already facing a higher risk of heart disease and an early death... but the risk jumps yet again if you have excess fat on the middle.

    If you're overweight with too much belly fat, your risk of death from heart problems jumps by 26 percent.

    If you're obese and have that bulging midsection, your risk of death overall rises by 13 percent and your risk of death from heart conditions jumps by 56 percent.

    Obviously, figuring out where you stand is more complicated than stepping on the scale.

    It's even more complex than calculating your BMI, which can look like something only a math major can figure out.

    But it's not as hard as it sounds.

    You have to measure your waist at its narrowest point, and your hips at its widest and calculate the radio.

    If calculating ratios is something you haven't done since grade school, Google "waist to hip ratio calculator" for some helpful online tools where you just plug in the two measurements and get a result.

    For guys, you want a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.90. Ladies, aim for 0.85. Any higher, you're at risk for heart disease and other health problems... so work on bringing the belt in a couple of notches.

  3. The wrong way to 'cure' diabetes

    Despite what you've heard, type-2 diabetes doesn't have to be a lifelong sentence. You don't have to live with the disease or even "manage" it. It can be cured -- and I mean really, truly cured: No more drugs, and no more insulin.
  4. Sex is safe for heart patients

    Just because you're a heart patient doesn't mean you have to miss out on some Valentine's Day romance. There's still one "do" you can do: If you can climb a flight of stairs without suffering chest pain or a bout of gasping, you can have sex -- even if you had a heart attack just last week, according to the latest advice from the American Heart Association.
  5. Don't go low-cal to fight diabetes

    I can't think of any good reason to ever starve yourself on purpose -- but researchers keep pushing ultra-low calorie diets for everything from longevity to disease prevention. The latest: A new push to brand these extreme and dangerous diets as a "cure" for diabetes.
  6. More meals, less weight

    If you want to weigh less... eat more often. That might sound counterintuitive, but some of the most successful dieters around are the ones who make sure they have all three meals each day -- or even more.
  7. Red wine: exercise in a glass

    You might think the only "exercise" you'll get from drinking wine comes from lifting the glass -- or maybe struggling to open the bottle. But it turns out resveratrol, the famous "red wine antioxidant," can actually trick the body into thinking it's getting some actual exercise -- giving you a big-time metabolic boost with every little sip.
  8. Placebos for asthma relief

    Believe it or not, plain old air delivered via an asthma inhaler can actually bring as much relief as an inhaler filled with a common asthma med.
  9. Olive oil cuts stroke risk

    Years ago, researchers tried using olive oil as a placebo in trials for heart drugs. As it turned out, olive oil -- not widely known at the time for its heart benefits -- protected the patients in placebo groups better than some meds.
  10. New questions over sex drugs

    Headaches are one of the common side effects of sex drugs like Viagra, along with vision problems, hearing loss, difficulty breathing and more – including those infamous painful prolonged erections.
  11. Don't ignore this deadly threat to your heart

    A new study shows that a third of all Americans have elevated levels of triglycerides.

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