Friday Features

Man, oh man, do I have some great reads for you!  I've just been collecting them and the list grows longer and longer...

Reminder: If you like Friday Features, you can always stay up to date with articles that I find worth sharing by following me on Twitter, because I'm always retweeting similar content!

There is a LOT of nutrition in the news these days, so today is going to be nutrition-heavy.  Maybe next week I'll shift gears to focus on fitness.

[But, before we begin, one fun fitness feature:]
Remember last year's introduction to SlimKicker?  It's this awesome website that helps you tackle challenges you give yourself, to become a better you.  Sound familiar?  Anyway, they're hosting a huge giveaway, where you can win a Bowflex Home Gym, worth over $1000!  They tell us: "This home gym features more than 50 strength building exercises, with resistance ranging from 50 to 210 pounds. It's very convenient, and simple to use, with no cable exchanges needed."  In addition,  three lucky winners will receive a $20 Amazon gift certificate, just for participating! If you're interested, enter here.  Good luck!

Oh, and one more quick fitness share: If you hate touching sweaty, germy machines at the gym (and if you don't win the Bowflex giveaway above), consider getting Handy Bands.  They'll protect your hands from gym equipment, or even other public germ risks, like grocery carts.

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Now, on to nutrition: 

This is article I was really excited to see and definitely retweeted a few times:  In Eat Your Heart Out (via NYTimes), Gretchen Reynolds shares new studies that overturn old assumptions about cholesterol and saturated fats.  As many paleo gurus have been spouting for a while, the diet--heart-disease relationship isn't as clear as much popular media and conventional wisdom make it out to be, and the truth may, in fact, be the opposite of what we've been taught.  Whichever camp you're in, this article is a stepping stone that admits that, "at this point, we don't truly understand how it all works."  Scientific study of nutrition is a young field and is constantly evolving and learning.  If you're still stuck in the "butter is bad" and "cholesterol is bad" and "saturdated fats will kill you" phase of knowledge, then please read!
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On a similar note, AuthorityNutrition.com shares the Top 11 Biggest Lies of Mainstream Nutrition, most of which I've come to agree with.  Don't fall victim to these myths! 
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Another NYTimes article made a big splash recently: The Extraordinary Science of Junk Food: Things you didn't want to know about the people selling and engineering your favorite bagged and boxed treats.

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I may as well stay on the nutrition rant for now--and MORE brought to you by the New York Times!  In How Sweet It Is, David Kamp reviews Michael Moss's Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.  Moss is the investigator who exposed the prevalence of Pink Slime a few years ago, and he, once again, has our health in mind as he investigates other supermarket foods.  This book "continues Moss's hot streak of ace reportage, chronicling the insidious ways in which big food companies, over time, have sneaked more and more of the bad stuff into our diets," the reviewer writes.  If you're interested in learning more, read the review or get yourself a copy of the book.

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Speaking of sugar, recently Jenn over at Peas and Crayons went on a rant about the Glorification of Sugar, and, if you enjoy scouting foodie photos online and elsewhere, it's worth a read.  I am ALL for her proposed shift to glorifying vegetables.  I dare you to do the same, and Play with your Produce, like Jenn!
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Swapping your nightly sweet treat for a different snack could help you sleep through the night,
according to SHAPE.

I think that's a solid nutritional blow to start your weekend.
Happy reading!

Have you read any noteworthy nutrition articles lately?
What's caught your attention?

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