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You Can Now Get Birth Control From an App, Without Seeing a Doctor. Here’s What to Know Before You Try It

In this day and age, you can order pretty much anything online and get it delivered to your door—including protection against unplanned pregnancies. A number of companies have sprung up in the last few years that allow women in certain states to request birth control pills and other contraceptive methods via the Internet, sometimes without even seeing a doctor.

These suppliers—with catchy names like Maven, Nurx, Lemonaid, and Pandia Health—offer convenience and confidentiality to women who may be too busy to squeeze in a visit to their gynecologist or nervous about picking up their prescription at a local pharmacy. And according to a recent NPR article, they’re gaining popularity in rural parts of the country sometimes called “contraception deserts” that lack easy access to women’s health services.

But is getting a birth control prescription online really safe? And is it a good option for everyone? Health spoke with Sophia Yen, MD, CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health. (Yes, she’s got skin in the game, but she’s also got real medical cred: She’s a clinical associate professor of pediatrics and adolescent health at Stanford University and a member of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals.) Here’s why Dr. Yen jumped into the online market, and what experts say about the science and safety behind these services.

Online consultations can do almost everything in-person visits can

Customers can use companies like Pandia Health to fill existing birth-control prescriptions they receive from their doctor—but if they don’t have an Rx, they can usually get one in just a few simple steps.

On Pandia’s website, for example, users answer a series of questions about their health and are asked to submit a blood-pressure reading. “If you’ve been to a doctor’s office in the last year, you can ask them to send it over—or you can go to most pharmacies or grocery stores to have [blood pressure] checked, too” says Dr. Yen.

Some birth control delivery apps require a phone call or video conferencing instead of an online questionnaire. Regardless, the point of these evaluations is for a doctor to make sure that women don’t have existing health issues that could raise the risks associated with birth control pills. If you get certain types of migraine headaches, have a history of blood clots or stroke, or if you smoke, for example, your request could be denied.

RELATED: 7 Health Benefits of Birth Control Nobody Talks About

Doctors support the idea of fewer barriers to birth control

In 2012 and again in 2016, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued position statements advocating that oral contraceptives be sold over the counter, without a prescription. “That’s already the case in China and in many European countries, because they know that the benefits of preventing unplanned pregnancies and making women’s lives easier outweigh the risks,” says Dr. Yen.

In fact, ACOG’s position statements cite research showing that when women use a self-screening checklist—similar to the health questionnaires used by these apps—they are more likely to identify risk factors that could make birth control dangerous than their doctors are.

While a doctor’s prescription is still required in most states, Dr. Yen says ACOG’s statements gave her the confidence to invest in telemedicine and to issue prescriptions over the Internet. And it’s paying off, she says: Already, her company has helped many women get contraception who never had it before.

“We thought we’d get a lot of 18-year-old customers, but we’re also getting 23-year-olds who have never been on birth control,” she says. “When we ask them what they’ve been doing for protection, they say condoms, withdrawal, and prayer. Thank goodness now they have a better option.”

RELATED: The Most Effective Birth Control, Ranked

Cost can still be an issue

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, birth control is free for most women with health insurance. But these apps may still charge a fee for a doctor’s consultation. Pandia Health’s fee, for example, is $39 if you opt for mail delivery of your meds, or $59 if you choose to fill your Rx at a pharmacy.

Uninsured customers, on the other hand, must pay upfront for birth control pills. These companies offer medications at several different price points, but even low-cost, generic options (which run about $15 a month) can be prohibitive for low-income women, says Kyl Myers, PhD, a sociologist and research associate in the University of Utah’s department of obstetrics and gynecology. 

“These apps can be really great for people with insurance or who can afford out-of-pocket care,” says Myers, who leads a University of Utah and Planned Parenthood initiative to provide free birth control to women in Salt Lake County. “But we need to make sure that all women have access to affordable contraception.”

RELATED: 5 Times Celebs Got Candid About Their Birth Control

In-person visits are still a good idea, if they’re doable

Dr. Yen still recommends seeing a doctor in person “if it’s doable for you,” especially if you have questions about which type of birth control is best for you. (Pandia Health offers the pill, the patch, or the ring.) “We’re here to give you access,” she says, “but having a provider talk you through your options is always better if you’re a newbie.”

Seeing a doctor in person is also a good way to make sure you’re up-to-date on important screenings. A face-to-face visit can give you a chance to bring up any health-related questions or concerns you might have as well. But it’s those issues that should determine when and how often a woman sees her doctor, says Myers. “If nothing’s changed with your health or your sex life, you shouldn’t have to go every 12 months just to get your prescription renewed,” she says.

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If you want an IUD or implant, you still need to see a doctor

Another drawback of these online subscription services is that they can’t provide implants or intrauterine devices (IUDs), which have been shown to be the most effective forms of birth control on the market. “I always encourage patients to learn about and consider the IUD, but you do need to visit a doctor to have it inserted,” says Dr. Yen.

Myers agrees. “These apps are a step in the right direction, but we need to be making sure people have access to a whole range of effective contraceptive methods,” she says, “not just to user-dependent methods like the pill, the patch, or the ring.”

What’s the Deal With Complete and Incomplete Protein—and Does It Even Matter?

If you’re a big fan of quinoa, or chia seeds, you may have heard them touted as complete proteins. In a nutshell, that means they contain all of the nine essential amino acids required to build and repair protein tissues in the body. But the question is: does that matter? 

The short answer is no, not really. But first, let’s back up a step.

Animal-based foods like eggs, dairy, fish, and meat are complete proteins; while most plant foods are incomplete—meaning certain amino acids are missing from the protein puzzle.

Some people believe that in order to utilize plant protein efficiently, you must eat so-called “complimentary proteins” together. Rice and beans are a good example of complimentary proteins, because the amino acids that are missing from beans are found in rice and vice versa. 

However, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the terms “complete protein” and “incomplete protein” are misleading. That’s because if a person consumes enough calories from a healthful, varied diet—even if those calories come exclusively from plant-based foods—she should get an adequate supply of essential amino acids within a 24-hour period.

Your liver helps by storing various essential amino acids over the course of a day for use later on. In other words, you don’t need to worry about eating complimentary plant foods simultaneously, as long as you’re eating a variety of nutritious foods (and not just vegan junk food).

Ready to ditch added sugar? Sign up for our 14-Day Sugar Detox Challenge!

So no, you don’t need to eat quinoa or chia at every meal; or memorize lists of foods to pair. But if you are vegan or lean toward a plant-based diet, to meet your protein needs by the end of the day it’s important to eat quality calories from a mix of whole foods. Here are some examples of snacks and mini-meals that can help you consume a broad spectrum of the nutrients and amino acids your body needs:

  • Add veggies, like shredded zucchini or finely chopped kale and fresh fruit to oats, and garnish generously with nuts and/or seeds.
  • Layer cooked, chilled quinoa and hummus and scoop it up with raw veggies.
  • Whip up energy balls made from nut butter or sunflower seed butter, mixed with rolled oats or toasted quinoa and dried fruit, rolled in chia seeds.
  • Add black beans and cooked, chilled wild rice to garden salads.
  • Toss buckwheat soba noodles with veggies, black eyed peas, and a sauce made from almond butter seasoned with ginger, garlic, and chili pepper.
  • Garnish lentil and veggie soup with chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • Whip chickpea flour into fruit and veggie smoothies along with sprouted pumpkin seeds.
  • Drizzle oven roasted veggies with tahini or serve with pesto made from olive oil, herbs, and nuts.

And remember that if you eat animals foods, quality still counts for wellness, weight management, and disease prevention. Pair pastured eggs, grass-fed dairy or beef, organic poultry, and wild, sustainable seafood with plenty of plants. And keep in mind that you don’t need to eat animal protein at every meal in order to consume an amino acid-rich diet.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets.

 

 

 6 ‘Healthy’ Snacks a Nutritionist Will Immediately Cut From Your Diet

Many of my clients think they eat pretty healthfully in general. So they’re often surprised when I recommend nixing snacks they believed were smart choices. But once they hear why their go-tos aren’t ideal, they’re all for making the switch to options that actually are nutritious and energizing. Maybe your snack list could use an overhaul too? Take a look at these six packaged bites that you might consider “health foods”—plus the alternatives that offer more overall nutrients, and help you avoid unwanted additives.

Veggie chips or puffs

The fresh veggies on the packaging can be deceiving. Be sure to check the ingredients on those veggie chips and puffs before you add them to your cart. You’ll often find potato flour and/or potato starch, cornmeal, or rice flour as the main ingredients—not veggies. Because of the starchy add-ins, these snacks can pack far more calories than plain vegetables. 

One popular brand provides 120 calories per one ounce serving, with 7 grams of fat, 16 grams of carb (1 gram as fiber), and 1 gram of protein. That’s only 40 fewer calories and 3 grams less fat than an ounce of regular potato chips, which provide 1 gram fewer carbs and 1 extra gram of protein.

To get your crunch fix—and a whole lot more nutrition—stick with the real deal, like baby carrots, broccoli florets, sliced bell pepper, and cucumber, paired with hummus or guacamole for dipping.

Ready to ditch added sugar? Sign up for our 14-Day Sugar Detox Challenge!

Vegan cookies

Simply being vegan doesn’t automatically make a food healthy, or better for you. Vegan cookies are a perfect example: Many are made with loads of sugar and refined flour, and lack fiber and nutrients.

And a vegan label doesn’t negate the importance of portion control. One brand that makes 4.25-ounce vegan cookies (about the size of your palm) considers one cookie to be two servings. Eat the whole thing, and you’ll have racked up 480 calories, 78 grams of carb, including 57 grams as sugar, with just 2 grams of fiber.

If you’re craving something sweet, make your own no-bake vegan “cookies” using a combo of nutrient-rich whole foods, like almond butter, rolled oats, and chia seeds, with a little bit of maple syrup and vanilla. (Check out this recipe.) And needless to say, get your fix with just a few (not the entire batch). 

Gluten-free crackers

Not all gluten-free crackers are created equal, so reading the ingredient list is key. But, it’s important to note that “gluten-free” is not synonymous with “healthy.” In some brands of gluten-free crackers, for example, the first two ingredients are white rice flour and vegetable oil—a refined grain paired with an oil heavy in omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked to inflammation. The calories and carbs can also add up quick, rivaling the amounts in potato chips.

For a crunchy gluten-free snack made from a whole grain, reach for olive oil popcorn instead. Trader Joe’s makes one with just three simple ingredients: organic popcorn, organic extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. For 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, 18 grams of carb (3 grams as fiber), and 3 grams of protein, you get to eat a pretty generous portion of two cups, which is about the size of two baseballs.

RELATED: The 6 Best Gluten-Free Snacks You Can Buy on Amazon, According to Nutritionists

Fruit snacks

The word fruit may be in the name, but the ingredients of one popular brand of fruit snacks include fruit puree combined with corn syrup, sugar, cornstarch, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. Fruit snacks made with these ingredients can easily pack about 20 grams of carb in a serving the size of a ping pong ball. You could get the same amount of carbs from eating a baseball-size serving (one cup) of fresh blueberries, a medium apple, or two kiwis, all of which come bundled with filling fluid and fiber, along with antioxidants and more overall nutrients.

If you like fruit leather made with 100% fruit, that’s fine. But remember that fruit leather is more concentrated than fresh fruit, so sticking with the portion size stated on the label is key.

Trail mix

The healthfulness of trail mix really depends on how it’s made. Many brands contain dried fruit that’s been sweetened with sugar and treated with artificial preservatives, in addition to sugar-laden add-ins, like candy coated milk chocolate. Per quarter cup (which is a serving about the size of a golf ball), these varieties can pack close to 200 calories and not much nutritional value.

Instead, make your own. Include tree nuts, like almonds, walnuts, pecans, or pistachios; as well as seeds, like pumpkin or sunflower, as the primary ingredients. Add a smaller amount of unsweetened, preservative-free dried fruit, like a few finely chopped dried figs, plums, or a sprinkling of dried cherries. And if you need to add a little sweetness, chop a square or two of 70% dark chocolate to add to the mix. Pre-portion in snack-sized bags you can eat on the go. At home, leave a quarter cup scoop in the jar, so you won’t overdo it by grabbing big handfuls.

RELATED: 21 Homemade Granola Recipes That Slash Sugar

Pita chips

They may seem like a healthier alternative to potato chips, but the main ingredient in most varieties is refined white flour (think white bread in a chip form). A one-ounce serving, about 10 chips, contains around 130 calories, including 5 grams of fat, 19 grams of carb, with only 1 gram as fiber, and no significant nutrients.

That’s not far off from kettle chips, which contain 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 17 grams of carb per 13 chips. Go for the latter instead, but choose a brand made with just whole potatoes, avocado oil (which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids), and natural salt, like Kettle’s Himalayan variety.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets.

 

Experts Are Urging People Not to Drink Straight Apple Cider Vinegar

 

When it comes to home remedies, few products are as revered or as misunderstood as apple cider vinegar. It’s been hailed as a “cure” for everything from hiccups to acne, and is believed by many to hold the ultimate key to weight loss.

Nobody can deny the power of this famously tart fermented liquid. It’s packed with enzymes, probiotics, and has even been shown to help regulate blood sugar. Heck, we’ve even used it in our hair! But as ACV’s popularity grows, more and more experts are warning overzealous consumers of the harmful side effects associated with drinking it straight.

As registered dietitian and Food Network personality Ellie Krieger advised in The Washington Post, beneficial or not, apple cider vinegar is still an acid, and you should handle it with care. “It is a potent acid that can be dangerous if aspirated, may cause burns to the tender tissue of the mouth and esophagus, and can lead to tooth erosion,” Krieger advised.

ACV can also cause nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms in already sensitive stomachs, so use common sense. If you’re experiencing discomfort, it might be time to cut back.

Luckily, it’s possible to avoid unpleasant side effects while still getting the most out of your apple cider vinegar by diluting 1 to 2 tablespoons of it in 8 ounces of water. Better yet, use it in your salad dressing!

“I say incorporate vinegars, like apple cider and red wine vinegar, into your diet by tossing them with veggies,” Keri Glassman, MS, RD, founder of Nutritious Life, told Woman’s Day. “The fiber and water volume of the veggies will help keep you full and hydrated, which naturally aids in digestion and weight maintenance. Plus, vinegar contains close to zero calories—as opposed to creamy bottled salad dressings.

This Is the Surprising Diet Meghan Markle Sticks to on Weekdays

Imagine a diet with roasted sweet potatoes drizzled with olive oil, or a hearty black-eyed pea chili with carrots, corn, and all your favorite veggies. How about spicy Cajun rice with stewed tomatoes and okra. Sign us up.

All this and a whole world of the occasional indulgence—Oreo cookies! Tater Tots! Ritz Crackers!—can be yours if you sign up for the go-to dietary regime of Ms.Meghan Markle: Eating (mostly) vegan. Indeed, the actress and fiancée to Prince Harry maintains a vegan diet on weekdays, choosing to abstain from animal products Monday through Friday, reports the Portland Press Herald.

While the idea of going sans meat, fish, eggs, and dairy may seem daunting at first, many converts of the diet are delighted to learn there’s a tasty substitute for nearly everything under the sun. Vegan mac and cheese? Check. Vegan chicken and waffles? You betchya. Vegan buttermilk biscuits? But of course. Ben and Jerry’s even has vegan ice cream pints (hello, dairy-free Chunky Monkey). And if you grow tired of waffle fries at Chick-fil-A, a veggie or sofritas burrito loaded with guac, corn, and salsa at Chipotle, and hash browns smothered and peppered at Waffle House, check out an extensive list of more vegan fast food offerings here.

When you feel like cooking, there’s also no shortage of blogs, cookbooks, and magazines that provide you with simple and easy-to-make recipes. For those who fear an inflated grocery bill, trust us when we say it will shrink and the bulk aisle bins will quickly become your best friends. (For some further inspiration, check out the book Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day: A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook). If you’re into cooking with meal kits, try The Purple Carrot or Sun Basket’s vegan menu. For pre-made plant-based meals delivered to your door, there’s Sakara.

As for that perfect vegan scone recipe? Well, the 1,910,000 Google results should help you on that front. And if your scone craves a spot of genuine clotted cream, that’s what we believe Ms. Markle would happily reply “that’s what Saturdays and Sundays are for.”

Bubbles 101: What’s the Difference Between Seltzer, Sparkling Mineral Water, Club Soda, and Tonic Water?

This article originally appeared on CookingLight.com. 

With so many different kinds of bubbly waters that all seem like they’re one in the same, it can be tricky to keep track of them all. From tonic water to seltzer to mineral water, it seems like nobody is drinking just plain water anymore. There’s a lot going on when it comes to H2O (I mean, there’s a whole aisle dedicated to just that in the grocery store), so what (if anything) is the difference between them all? If you’re looking to increase your water intake and do so in a fizzy manner, we’ve lined out all the different bubbly beverages to look out for, and how to incorporate them into your daily drinking habits.

Seltzer Water

This is the most basic kind of bubbles. Solely made up of plain, unadulterated water that has been highly charged with carbon dioxide, seltzer has a clean, plain taste to it with that makes for a great canvas for added flavors, like citrus or berries. Keep in mind that flavored seltzers contain added citric or phosphoric acid which has been proven to erode tooth enamel over time. Instead, infuse your seltzer water with fresh fruit and citrus for a splash of flavor that causes no dental harm.

Sparkling Mineral Water

What sets sparkling mineral water (or just sparkling water) apart from seltzer is that it is made with natural spring or well water where naturally-occurring carbonation is common, thus allowing the product to be bottled at the source. Although the carbonation is naturally occurring, there is often times additional carbon dioxide that is added to the natural mineral water. If you’re a fan of Perrier or San Pellegrino, this is what you’re drinking, so you’ll notice a crisper mouthfeel and a more mineral-y taste as opposed to seltzer water.

RELATED: 3 Ways to Protect Your Teeth If You Are Addicted to Seltzer

Club Soda

Very similar to seltzer, club soda is carbonated water that also has a couple mineral add-ins, like sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, and potassium sulfate. It can be used interchangeably with seltzer, however you’ll notice an earthier, more mineral heavy taste to club soda as opposed to seltzer, which is why club soda is typically not flavored. Additionally, you will find on the nutrition facts that it does contain sodium, as opposed to the other bubbles which do not have any added sodium.

Tonic Water

Like the rest of these beverages, it starts with carbonated water. However, the added ingredient here is quinine, a traditionally bitter medicine that is now used to give tonic its signature taste (that pairs great with gin, as you may already know). Another huge difference between this water and the rest is that tonic has calories (12 ounces is about 130 calories). You cannot substitute tonic water with the others as easily, as it has a distinct, signature taste that is vastly different to the rest.

RELATED: If You Have a Seltzer Habit, This Is What You Should Know

Regardless of the bubbles you prefer, make sure you know what you’re drinking because these are not all interchangeable. Of course, hydrating with plain tap water is ideal, but if you need to switch it up from time to time and keep things fresh and exciting with the occasional fizz, looking to bubbly water is way better than a sugar-laden cola or soft drink. Bubbly water is fun to play around with when you’re mixing drinks and it’s just as good on it’s own. After all, a little carbonation can never hurt.

What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup and Is It Bad For You?

You hear about high-fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, all the time. But do you actually know what the ingredient is, or how it affects your health? In this video, we’re bringing you all the info you need to know about the buzzed-about sweetener, including the foods it’s hiding in and the maximum amount you should consume daily.

HFCS, which is commonly found in sodas, desserts, and certain breakfast cereals, is often criticized for its contribution to America’s obesity epidemic. It’s also been linked with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.

The sweetener is made from processed corn starch. Starches are made of long chains of linked sugars, and HFCS is produced by breaking down the starch into a syrup made of the sugar glucose. Manufacturers then add enzymes to the substance to convert some of the glucose into fructose, which tastes much sweeter.

WATCH THE VIDEO: 6 Surprising Sources of Added Sugar

Why don’t brands just use regular table sugar? HFCS is much cheaper, hence why it became so popular starting in the 1970s. But the affordable ingredient also comes with a catch. Studies have shown that animals who eat a diet high in HFCS gain more weight than those who don’t. Even worse, the ingredient doesn’t fill them up, so it makes them more likely to overeat.

HFCS is similar to table sugar in its ratio of fructose to glucose, and both sweeteners contain four calories per gram. So while the syrup may not be any worse than regular sugar, both contribute to health concerns like weight gain and diabetes.

RELATED: 10 Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar Substitutes

To stay healthy, cut down on any and all added sweeteners, HFCS included. Try not to consume more than 40 grams (or about 10 teaspoons) per day.

Don’t forget that added sugar isn’t just the spoonful you add to your morning cup of coffee, either. Sweeteners are often hiding in soft drinks, sauces, and even salad dressings and condiments. Since the average American eats about 60 pounds (yep, pounds!) of added sugar per year, there’s certainly some room to scale back when it comes to the sweet stuff.

21 Important Facts About Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse. It helps make DNA, nerve and blood cells, and is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system. Your metabolism wouldn’t run smoothly without it. But B12 isn’t like other vitamins. It’s only found in animal products like eggs, meat, shellfish, and dairy. Up to 15% of people don’t get enough B12, and they’re more likely to be vegetarians, have celiac disease or other digestion problems, or be an adult over 50. The signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include exhaustion, rapid heartbeat, brain fog, and other symptoms, says Maggie Moon, RD, a Los Angeles–based nutritionist and owner of Everyday Healthy Eating. Read on to find out more about the causes, symptoms, and cures for a vitamin B12 deficiency.


Watch the video: 5 Foods That Contain Vitamin B12

6 Sneaky Ingredients That Are Really Just Added Sugar

Trying to cut back on added sugar? It may require a little more sleuthing than you think. That’s because the sweet stuff is hiding in countless foods (from soup to tomato sauce!) under sly aliases like “brown rice syrup” and “evaporated cane juice.” But with some basic knowledge of food label lingo, you can start picking out those sneaky ingredients—and slashing your daily intake. From now on, whenever you pick up a packaged product, turn it over and scan the label for any of the code words below. While some of the sweeteners are slightly better for you than others (hi, molasses), at the end of the day, they all count as added sugar.

Coconut sugar and date sugar

These terms often pop up on the labels on natural foods. Coconut sugar is made from sap extracted from the buds of coconut palm plants. And date sugar is typically made simply from dried, ground dates. But don’t be fooled: While a whole food source may seem like a much more nutritious option, the amount of nutrients in a teaspoon of any type of sugar is generally minimal at best.

Brown rice syrupand any other kind of syrup

High-fructose corn syrup isn’t the only syrup to watch out for. Syrup can be made from brown rice or rice, barley, sorghum, and maple (of course). The process to make these different syrups varies. Maple syrup, for example, is made by boiling sap from maple trees. Brown rice syrup, on the other hand, is made from cooking brown rice with enzymes that break down the starch; the liquid is then strained to produce a syrup. Regardless of how they’re made, however, all syrups count as added sugar. (That said, I am partial to maple syrup. One tablespoon satisfies about 25% of your daily recommended intake of manganese, a mineral that helps produce collagen and promote skin and bone health.)

RELATED: Here’s Why Sugar Makes You So Thirsty

Evaporated cane juice

Though it sounds healthy-ish, evaporated cane juice shares similarities with white sugar. Evaporated cane juice is made by taking the liquid “juice” from a sugarcane plant, drying it, then separating the sweet crystals from the sticky molasses (more on molasses below). White sugar is just evaporated cane juice that’s been further processed to remove its brownish color.

Molasses

Because of its dark color and full-bodied flavor, molasses often shows up in cereals and baked goods. This thick syrup is a byproduct of processing sugarcane and sugar beets. (It’s what’s left over after the sugar has crystallized.)

You might see “blackstrap molasses” on the labels of some healthy-looking foods. This is the syrup that remains after the maximum amount of liquid has been removed, and it actually does provide some nutrients: One teaspoon contains about 6% of the Daily Value for iron and calcium. And it packs more antioxidants than any other sweetener, according to research from Virginia Tech.

RELATED: 5 All-Natural Sweeteners That Are (Somewhat) Healthier Than Sugar

Words ending in –ose

The Latin suffix –ose is used in biochemistry to name sugars. There are many that appear on food labels: Think glucose, sucrose, lactose, fructose, dextrose, galactose, and maltose. Some of these sugars are found naturally in whole foods, such as fructose (in fruit) and lactose (in milk). But beware: When any of these -ose terms are listed in a product’s ingredients, it’s just another word for “added sugar.”

If all this detective work seems like a pain, here’s some good news: The FDA has mandated that by 2020, all food manufacturers are required to list the amount of added sugar (in grams and as percent Daily Value) right on the label. So you can make informed choices, no hunting and decoding necessary.

Cynthia Sass is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets.

This Fitness Blogger Just Proved How Easy It Is to Edit Your Butt in Bikini Photos

Sia Cooper calls out these booty-popping tricks and cellulite erasers.

Sia Cooper is on a roll when it comes to demystifying social media images. On Tuesday, the diaryofafitmommy.com fitness blogger shared a before-and-after photo of herself at the beach. She presented two variations: real and edited. In the edited version, Cooper’s cellulite is gone, her waist and thighs are smaller, and her butt is more bootylicious.

RELATED: These 13 Women Prove Every Body Is a Bikini Body

“It’s so easy to edit a photo these days,” she wrote. “No, I’m not even talking about Photoshop. I’m talking these little iPhone apps that allow you to smooth cellulite, slim waists and thighs, and make your booty bigger. Crazy right?”

Cooper shared that it took her less than a minute to make these changes to her Maui vacation photo, and she said celebrities and fitness models often use the same manipulation strategy. She hopes this insight will help women understand that influencer-edited images should not influence them.

“I’m not saying to stop believing everything you see,” she said. “Just stop COMPARING. You’re a queen and the only person you need to focus on and compare yourself to is the gal you were yesterday.”

RELATED: We Love That These 8 Celebrities Over 50 Are Still Rocking Bikinis

Cooper has long called out ocial media body manipulation tricks, showing just how easy it is to make yourself look more Instagram-ready with the right pose and adjustment. Just last month, she posted a photo of her stretch marks to send a message about embracing flaws.

“It seems so sad to me that the world is so focused on attaining a certain weight or dress size,” she wrote. “It’s a shame because there are a lot of women out there who are covered in tiger stripes or a size 8 and are amazingly BEAUTIFUL AND STRONG … Fight against a world who is constantly telling you that you’re not enough.”

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