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Bizzare & Odd

Step Away from the Juice Bar — Scientists Claim that Drinking Juice Is NOT Good for Our Health


Mrs. G. came to our offices for her first visit distraught. Her primary-care doctor had just diagnosed her with diabetes, and she was here for advice. She was shocked by the diagnosis. She had always been overweight and had relatives with diabetes, but she believed she lived a healthy lifestyle.

One of the habits that she identified as healthy was drinking freshly squeezed juice, which she saw as a virtuous food, every day. We asked her to stop drinking juice entirely. She left the office somewhat unconvinced, but after three months of cutting out the juice and making some changes to her diet, her diabetes was under control without the need for insulin.

Mrs. G. is not an uncommon patient. As diabetes specialists, we see patients like her all the time, who for one reason or another believe that juice is a health food. The truth is that fruit juice, even if it is freshly pressed, 100 percent juice, is little more than sugar water.

Yet many Americans believe that juice is good for them. In one survey of parents of young children, 1 in 3 believed that juice was at least as healthy as fruit. We are inundated with the message that juice is healthy. Juice bars abound in gyms, spas and health food stores, while government programs supply large quantities of juice to low-income children and pregnant mothers.

The commercial juice industry is happy to take advantage of this idea, as with POM Wonderful’s tagline “Drink to your health” or Juicy Juice’s labels extolling the (mostly added) 120 percent of recommended daily vitamin C in the products. While the Internet is busy laughing at the Juicero juicing system — in which, it turns out, your hands work as well as the $400 WiFi-enabled machine — what people should really be talking about is a much simpler fact: The product takes healthy fruits and vegetables and makes them much less healthy.

At first glance, it is reasonable to think that juice has health benefits. Whole fruit is healthy, and juice comes from fruit, so it must be healthy, too. But when you make juice, you leave some of the most wholesome parts of the fruit behind. The skin on an apple, the seeds in raspberries and the membranes that hold orange segments together — they are all good for you. That is where most of the fiber, as well as many of the antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals are hiding. Fiber is good for your gut; it fills you up and slows the absorption of the sugars you eat, resulting in smaller spikes in insulin. When your body can no longer keep up with your need for insulin, Type 2 diabetes can develop.

Finally, when you drink your calories instead of eating them, your brain doesn’t get the same “I’m full” signal that it does from solid food, even though you wind up consuming far more calories in the process. Whereas an orange may contain 45 calories, an eight-ounce glass of orange juice contains 110 calories, and a large kale, banana and orange juice blend at a leading juice chain contains 380 calories. We always counsel patients to chew their food; people tend to overconsume liquid calories.

In addition, you might feel full immediately after drinking a glass of juice or a fresh smoothie, but that sensation goes away quickly as the liquid quickly empties out of your stomach, and many of those calories you just drank don’t get counted in your body’s internal calorie counter contributing to that bulging waistline the gym was supposed to help fix. When researchers gave adults an apple to eat — either as a whole fruit, fresh applesauce, apple juice or apple juice with the fiber added back — followed 15 minutes later by a meal, on the day they ate the apple, they ate fewer calories at the meal than if they consumed the same number of calories from applesauce or apple juice. The chewing really counts.

Our perception of juice needs a radical makeover, starting with our kids. Juice comes in easy, single-serving, shelf-stable packages that parents don’t hesitate to give to kids anywhere. Yet children don’t need juice for nutritional purposes, and most juice boxes contain more than the 4-to-6-ounce maximum recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for daily consumption by kids under 6. In fact, kids who drink juice regularly are shorter and heavier than those who rarely drink juice, probably because they consume less milk, something young children do need for healthy growth.

The perception that juice is good for kids comes in part from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as WIC, which provides food assistance to 25 percent of all pregnant women and half of all children in the United States at some point in their first five years of life. While the program has helped to improve birth outcomes and cognitive development in participants, it needs some revision. WIC supplies a very narrow range of foods deemed healthy for pregnant women and growing children. This includes healthy staples such as milk and eggs but also, surprisingly, a gallon of juice per month. When the program started in the 1970s, there was no obesity epidemic, and undernutrition was a major concern. In that context, giving juice rather than fresh fruits and vegetables — which didn’t have the year-round availability they do now — may have made sense. Today, it just feeds the false perception that juice is a healthy choice.

So what can we do to start fixing this problem? First, recognize juice for what it is: a treat. It doesn’t belong at your breakfast table or in your post-workout routine. Next, get juice out of your children’s lives. Ditch the juice boxes in favor of water or shelf-stable milk boxes. Not only does milk contain about a third of the sugar of juice, it’s also a great source of the protein, calcium, vitamin D and magnesium that growing kids need. Make sure that their day care or after-school program is following current guidelines and serving only milk or water. Finally, the National Academies recently released recommendations for revisions to WIC, including a lower juice allowance. Write the Department of Agriculture and let officials know that you support the reduction or elimination of juice in the WIC program.

While we can’t solve the diabetes and obesity epidemics with any one move, rebranding juice from a health food to a treat would be a major step in the right direction.

By Elvira Isganaitis, Florence Brown and Heather Ferris

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Bizzare & Odd

Mysterious Humming Sound Recorded in Sky over Sweden 

A mysterious humming sound that was said to have reverberated through the air for an astounding 45 minutes was recorded in Northern Sweden back in December.

According to the witness, the humming noise was constant and seemed to almost vibrate the air.

The witness goes on to say “it is usually a very quiet place here. But I’m sure the sound came from the sky or the atmosphere. The sound came from the whole sky. I could not locate if it came from north south east or west. it filled it all. Strange it was….”

Could the sound heard by the witness in Sweden may be connected to the larger mystery hum phenomenon heard in different parts of the world in recent years.

Some theories for what may be causing these sounds range from the conspiratorial, such as clandestine military weaponry, air displacement caused by slow-moving huge UFOs to prosaic possibilities involving natural events surrounding the magnetic field of the Earth.

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Bizzare & Odd

Watch the Trailer for the New Peculiar Children Book ‘Map of Days’

The peculiar children come to America and encounter unimaginable new dangers in Map of Days, the new novel in the Miss Peregrine series from Ransom Riggs.

Jacob uncovers new secrets about his grandfather’s double life, leading the peculiar children on a dangerous new adventure in Map of Days, the latest book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs.

Map of Days is part of the 2018 Cult of Weird Fall Reading List.

From the description:

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.

Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.

Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Their story is again illustrated throughout by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking addition for this all-new, multi-era American adventure—full color.

Map of Days

Map of Days hits shelves on October 2.

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Bizzare & Odd

13 spooky vintage board games to play this Halloween

Battle monsters, ghosts, voodoo curses, boobytrapped mansions, haunted carnival rides, and more with these vintage spooky board games.

Spooky vintage board games
Voice of the Mummy board game

The Ouija board is the only board game known to cause so much fear that people refuse to touch it. But these vintage board games from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s are considerably spookier. We’re talking about games where a mummy’s voice echos from its tomb, an electronic Deathhead determines if you win a battle against demons or perish, a game where you put voodoo curses on the other players, and plenty of haunted mansions with traps, treasures, and monsters lurking around every corner.

With their eerie box art and creepy themes, these board games will add some spooky fun to the Halloween season without putting your mortal soul in danger.

1. Seance (1972)

Seance spooky vintage board game by Milton Bradley

Your dear Uncle Everett has died in this rare board game from Milton Bradley. According to the directions, Everett was a spiritualist. He believed his spirit would return from the grave to guide the distribution of his wealth.

Although he left the bulk of his estate to his parrot, players (his nieces and nephews, of course) gather in his creepy Victorian mansion to hold a seance and bid on his remaining possessions of unknown value. Everett’s ghostly voice emanates from an actual record player hidden inside the seance table. When everything has been bought, Uncle Everett reveals how much each item is worth, or how much each player owes in taxes.

The player with the most money wins.

“When the game is over and the room is plunged into darkness,” the instructions read, “it is said that the image of Uncle Everett may be seen.”

Seance vintage board game

2. Ghost Castle (1985)

Ghost Castle board game by Milton Bradley

Based on Milton Bradley’s earlier Which Witch? and Haunted House (The Real Ghostbusters board game was also a re-themed version of this), players had to collect ghost card and avoid traps as they made their way up the stairs to close the coffin lid and “lay the ghost.”

3. Mystic Skull: The Game of Voodoo (1964)

Mystic Skull voodoo board game

Each player is a witch doctor with a voodoo doll. When you stir the cauldron, the Mystic Skull spins and determines where you will place the next pin in your opponents doll.

Mystic Skull vintage board game

4. Escape from Frankenstein (1983)

Escape from Frankenstein board game

Players move around Frankenstein’s castle looking for the key that matches their color, hoping to reach the laboratory and shut off the power before the monster comes alive.

Escape from Frankenstein vintage game

5. Green Ghost (1965)

Green Ghost board Game

The Green Ghost board is on stilts, players can fall through trap doors, there’s keys, bat feathers, bones, snakes, ghost children, pets, and it was the first board game to glow in the dark. I have no idea what you need all of these things, but the inclusion of everything creepy means it’s obviously amazing.

Green Ghost vintage game

6. Alien (1979)

Alien board game

Aliens have invaded the Nostromo. Each player is an astronaut trying to make their escape on the shuttle while using their own personal xenomorph to eliminate other players. While it may seem tempting, please refrain from laying eggs inside your opponents.

Alien movie vintage game

7. Ghost Train (1974)

Ghost Train board game

Based on the Ghost Train amusement park ride, this game simulates the experience by including sudden and jolting changes of direction, dead stops, getting stuck, and mechanical ghosts. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the expansion pack where you have to buy tickets, wait in line, and exit the ride feeling like you got seriously ripped off.

Ghost Train vintage game

8. Mystery Mansion (1984)

Mystery Mansion board game

Roll the dice and search for clues as you build a Victorian mansion room by room in hopes of finding a treasure chest filled with gold and jewels rather than cobwebs and dust.

Mystery Mansion vintage game

9. Voice of the Mummy (1971)

Voice of the Mummy board game

The precursor to Seance, Voice of the Mummy also has a record player inside. The mummy doles out instructions while players race around the three levels of the sarcophagus collecting gems. All the fun of looting tombs without all those pesky death curses.

Voice of the Mummy vintage game

10. Scream Inn (1974)

Scream Inn board game

With a slogan like “We’re only here for the fear!” this must be the world’s first (only?) dark tourism board game. Players spin the wheel and try to get all of their pieces out of the haunted inn without disturbing a ghost.

Scream Inn spooky vintage game

11. Superstition (1977)

Superstition board game

Players wander around a cemetery trying to reach the Wizard’s Tomb, but the graveyard is full of rubberband-powered traps with superstitions like a black cat and a broken mirror that may fling your piece off the board.

Superstition spooky board game

12. It from the Pit (1992)

It from the Pit board game

Players have to dash for the treasure chest while a giant green mechanical monster tries to pull their tiny plastic explorers into the pit full of bubbling green goo.

It from the Pit spooky board game

13. Horror House (1986)

Horror House board game

Face off against 45 monsters from around the world (including the dreaded Umbrella Monster!) in this electronic board game from Bandai. Players move through the house fighting these monsters while the Deathhead Roulette determines the outcome of each battle. The demons scream if you win. If you lose, a wicked laugh emanates from the Deathhead.

Be careful with this one, though. Bandai recommends you never play alone.

Deathhead Roulette on the Horror House game board

Which of these spooky board games was your favorite to play when you were young? Let me know in the comments below.

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