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In American football, there’s a “fake” happening on almost every play. Whether it’s a head fake, a running fake or a passing fake, the idea is to trick the defense into going one way while your offense goes another — and gains yardage.
But if you take in lots of artificial sweetener, you fake your digestive system into believing that you’re giving it calories when you’re not, and all you’ll gain is unwanted weight and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
A team of researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia took a look at what happens in your body when you use a lot of artificial sweeteners for as little as two weeks, and found that those fakes throw your body’s ability to control blood glucose out of whack.
Seems that faking out your endocrine system (“Here, you have fuel. Oh, wait, no you don’t!”) damages your body’s ability to process real sugar properly and increases post-meal blood glucose levels. So when you eat food containing real sugar — naturally found in 100 percent whole grains, fruits and veggies, and crammed into packaged foods and beverages — your system hoards it and gets overwhelmed. That leads to glucose intolerance. Fake sugar substitutes also change the bacteria inside your gut, increasing inflammation and insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is around the corner. Clearly, sugar substitutes lie to your body and nobody likes a liar.
Craving a sweet treat? Enjoy 1 ounce of 70 percent cacao dark chocolate and 2-3 servings of fresh fruit. See, there’s no reason to lie.
Prevent road rage
The Lone Ranger rode across the Great Plains during the early days of the Wild West, enforcing law and order. His creed; “I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one” and “all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.”
If those words were heeded today, we bet the term “road rage” would never have had to be coined in 1987 by a still-wild West Coast radio station when reporting repeated incidents of gunplay on L.A. freeways. Since then, road rage has become increasingly dangerous: Over a seven-year period, it was linked to 218 murders and 12,610 injuries. Here are a few tips to help you avoid it.
Don’t Cause Road Rage in Others
• Pay attention (no texting or putting on makeup!) to traffic flow, and be considerate; 49 percent of road rage incidents are caused by a distracted or inattentive driver.
• Don’t speed or change lanes recklessly. Signal! Always check your blind spot.
Don’t React to Bad Behavior
• Don’t honk your horn, flash your lights or make obscene gestures at other drivers to express your discontent.
• If someone cuts you off or misses moving through a light because they are texting, practice anger management, such as deep breathing and redirecting your thoughts to more pleasant topics.
• If enraging traffic is a daily occurrence, consider carpooling or taking public transportation.
Remember that road rage — assault or endangering other people or property with a motor vehicle — is a criminal offense.
What to do
when you see a seizure
What do actor Danny Glover, President Theodore Roosevelt and singer Neil Young have in common? All of them have or had epilepsy, disturbances in the brain’s electrical activity that lead to recurring seizures.
An estimated 10 percent of Americans will have or have had a seizure at some point in their lifetime. Would you know what to do if you saw someone having a seizure?
Sometimes the only symptoms are that the person suddenly has a blank look accompanied by facial twitching. You should calmly guide the person to a safe, quiet place. If he or she is agitated, speak calmly. Call 911.
Some seizures are more active: A person having what’s called a generalized seizure may cry out, fall, jerk and become unaware of his or her surroundings. Some forms may interfere with regular breathing. The person may collapse suddenly. Incontinence can happen. Here’s what to do:
• Turn the person on his or her side to help breathing. Loosen anything around the neck.
• Put something soft under the person’s head.
• Remove glasses if wearing, and any other nearby objects.
• Call 911 and seek medical help.
• Do NOT put your fingers or anything else in the person’s mouth. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t swallow your tongue.
• Do NOT try to restrain the person.
There are also nonepileptic seizures that can happen when a drop in blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat or very low blood sugar causes sudden changes in blood flow or glucose and oxygen supply to the brain. Call 911 immediately.
When apologies backfire
Last April, when United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz issued apology after apology for the forcible ejection of Dr. David Dao from a flight he was seated on, the repeated mea culpas did nothing to quiet public reaction to the incident. Social media lit up with outrage at the inadequate responses, and millions viewed various videos of the incident on YouTube.
That wouldn’t have surprised researchers who recently published a study in Frontiers in Psychology. They found that apologies are not the most effective way to ease someone’s damaged feelings when you have turned down or rejected them.
The researchers conducted a series of experiments with around 1,000 people. In one scenario, people shown rejection letters found the ones containing apologies to be more hurtful. In another, researchers told people that they were being rejected from a hot-sauce-tasting event, but allowed those barred from the activity to decide how much hot sauce participants had to eat. Those who had received apologies (“I’m sorry, I don’t want to work with you.”) took more revenge on the hot-sauce qualifiers.
So next time you have to reject (or eject) someone romantically, professionally or socially, explain your reasoning and be friendly and polite. Accept responsibility for your action. But don’t say, “I’m sorry.” That will just make the rejection sting more and put you in the hot seat. Save “I’m sorry,” for when you are in the wrong and need to make sincere amends, but don’t ask for forgiveness — that’s not up to you. Then it works wonders.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.