Unhealthy Eating

"How Much Exercise It'll Take to 'Undo' 17 Popular Fast Food Items" Review

How much exercise will you need to do burn off your next fast food guilty pleasure? You might be surprised by this list....especially the items from Chipotle and Panera (from the article How Much Exercise It'll Take to 'Undo' 17 Popular Fast Food Items)!


550 calories, 34 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat, 1,180 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 28 g protein

You'd have to jump rope for exactly 61 minutes to work off Dave Thomas' fat and calorie-laden burger. It's doubtful that even the champion of your elementary school's double dutch team could go for that long. Opt for the Jr. Cheeseburger instead to slash 270 calories from your order—and shave a half-hour from your subsequent workout. If these cuts aren't enough, you may want to read "The Secret to Losing Nearly 27 lbs!" for more ideas.


540 calories, 28 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat, 970 mg sodium, 47 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 25 g protein

You'd have to run for 50 minutes to burn off this bi-level burger—assuming you we're chugging along at about 6 miles per hour. If you typically take about 12 minutes to complete a mile, it will take you closer to 60 minutes to incinerate your lunch.


550 calories, 33 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 1,558 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 25 g protein

To undo the damage from this burgers' two patties, cheese, toppings, and sauce-smothered bun, you'd have to hit the water and kayak for one hour and 37 minutes. If fitness isn't your thing, order the chain's hot dog (310 calories, 19 g fat) or grilled chicken sandwich (400 calories, 15 g fat) instead. They're two of the healthiest things on the A&W menu.


450 calories, 20 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat, 1,280n mg sodium, 45 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 23 g protein

What Arby's does best is roast beef and maybe it should just stick to that plan. The totally decadent-sounding Beef n' Cheddar Classic is a healthy serving of lean protein that won't blow your saturated-fat budget. Better yet, if you take a 50-minute bike ride around your neighborhood you'll be able to burn it right off. Considering how long it takes to burn off some other meals, that's not half bad.


700 calories, 45 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat, 1,180 mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 35 g protein

Both the bread and the patty contribute to the trans fat content of this caloric calamity—which by the way, would require 3 hours and 25 minutes in the weight room to work off.


Large, 1,190 calories, 70 g fat, 24 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 2,860 mg sodium, 89 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 53 g protein

When hot dog vendor, Pat Olivieri, first invented the cheesesteak in the 1930s, we don't think this 1,190 calorie monstrosity was what he had in mind. By stretching out the bun (and the overall portion size) and then topping their creation with both cheese and peppercorn dressing, Blimpie managed to create a sammy that requires over four hours of hatha yoga to negate. Just say no to this terrible lunch—and all of these 50 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet, too.


850 calories, 54 g fat, 18 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fat, 870 mg sodium, 49 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 43 g protein

When it first made its debut in 1957, the Whopper sold for 37 cents. Since then, the burger has increased in price—and size. With the addition of the second patty, the Double Whopper gains an additional 220 calories. To burn off this bad boy, you'd have tohit the elliptical machine for two hours and thirty minutes! We'd rather do anything other than stay put on a piece of workout equipment for that long.


830 calories, 44 g fat, 19 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat, 1,540 mg sodium, 68 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 39 g protein

Smash a plate of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns between two buns, and you get a breakfast sandwich that's nearly three time the calories of an Egg McMuffin. Oh, and not to mention, one takes a grueling one hour and 45 minutes of bicycling to work off.


440 calories, 18 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 1,390 mg sodium, 41 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 28 g protein

Though we're not in the habit of giving deep-fried indulgences the Eat This stamp of approval, Chick-Fil-A's classic sammy is a surprisingly modest indulgence. So, as long as you steer clear of the fries and soda fountain, it'll only take 40 minutes of running (at a pace of 10 miles per hour) to undo the damage.


800 calories, 49 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 795 mg sodium, 81 g carbs, 14 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 10 g protein

Ah, chips and guac: a classic combo that no Tex-Mex lover can forgo. So crunchy, so creamy! If you decide to indulge, though, just be sure to do so with a friend or two. If you gobbled up Chipotle's version of the dish solo, you'd have to spend two hours hiking to negate all of its calories.


570 calories, 31 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 1,290 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 27 g protein

Made with eggs, fatty bacon, sodium-filled cheese, and thick Texas toast, DD's monstrous a.m. sandwich will give your abs a real run for their money. If you decide to bite into one, plan to embark on a one hour-long cross-country skiing session to work it off. You'll also want to read "4 Simple Ways to Flatten Your Stomach" while you're at it too.


953 calories, 41 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat, 962 mg sodium, 131 g carbs, 15 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 15 g protein

Not only do these spuds carry an entire day's worth of fat, they also pack traces of dangerous trans fat, a type of heart-harming man-made fat you should always try to stay away from. If you don't want to walk for three hours and 30 minutes to burn off the calories, we suggest you make it a point steer clear of these crispy taters!


670 calories, 41 g fat, 18 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat, 1,440 mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 37 g protein

If you ate this burger as is, you'd need to hit the stair climber at the gym for one hour and 40 minutes to get rid of the calories. However, if you ditch the mayo-based spread and extra cheese (a modification that nixes 170 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat) you could end your workout at the 75 minutes mark. We know which order we'd choose! Still want to cut more fat and calories, check out the article "Hidden Calorie Bombs: 9 Foods You Didn't Know are Secretly Fattening".


540 calories, 27 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 1,330 mg sodium, 50 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 24 g protein

KFC's "Go Cups" which launched in 2013 and fit into car cup holders, may just be one of the most genius road trip creations of all time. The bad news? Colonel Sanders overload the cups with junk. Down just one of their extra crispy tender cups and you'll need to channel your inner Phelps and swim for one hour and 20 minutes to burn off the calories—and let's be honest unless there's a metal involved, no one wants to do that. Want to know which foods Phelps and other Olympians have kicked out of their personal diets? Read "16 Olympic Gold Medalists Reveal The Foods They Won't Eat" Review.


2 tacos: 720 calories, 46 g fat, 9 g fat, 7 g trans fat, 1,620 mg sodium 60 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 18 g protein

Fat in the breading, fat in the tortillas, fat in the sauce—and none of it the healthy kind. It all adds up to a full day's worth of the stuff, and nearly a full day's allotment of salt—and that's not even taking the sauces, sides, or drink the meal comes with into account. To work it off, you'd have to spend one hour and 20 minutes playing singles tennis.


690 calories, 42 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat, 2,165 mg sodium, 66 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 42 g protein

This nutritionally poor Po' Boy, contains not one, not two, but six different artificial dyes, a few of which have been linked to learning and concentration disorders (like ADD) in children and thyroid tumors in rats. Aside from the scary ingredients, it contains more calories than 160 M&Ms and requires one hour and 42 minutes of pilates to work off. If you want to indulge in something fried and starchy, opt for the chain's loaded chicken wrap, which has half the calories and a fraction of the fat.


700 calories, 26 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 1,140 mg sodium, 90 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 17 g protein

Thanks in part to its mayo-free chicken salad, this sandwich is actually one of the chain's better-for-you bread and meat options. However, we can't deny that it's a bit high in calories. It would require one hour and 30 minutes of rowing to negate its wrath! We suggest getting the sandwich as part of the chain's "You-Pick-Two" deal and pairing it with a green salad. This simple swap shaves off 170 calories and adds some much-needed greens to an otherwise beige-colored meal.

Did you realize the amount of exercise needed to burn off these items? How will you change your approach to fast food?

Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "The 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips From 2015 " Review. This list helped my personal training clients in 2015 and will help you today.

Picture Credit: MSN.com-How many personal training sessions will you need to burn off Chipotle's Chips and Guac?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " How Much Exercise It'll Take to 'Undo' 17 Popular Fast Food Items " on MSN.com.
"How Much Exercise It'll Take to 'Undo' 17 Popular Fast Food Items" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Transform your life with Michael's s elf-help book Redefine Yourself here !

Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself here!


"20 Foods Pretending to be Something They're Not" Review

Do you still plan to indulge while losing weight in Chicago this summer? Okay...I don't blame you. You definitely don't want to grab these products though...they aren't what they claim (YIKES!!!!!!!!). Be prepared to be shocked....(from the article 20 Foods Pretending to be Something They're Not).


Yes, technically brands like Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth's, and, most deceptively, Log Cabin, only call their products "syrup," but their marketing sure says otherwise. Whether their dark amber color shines through clear plastic bottles or lies hidden within the same plastic jugs that have housed maple syrups for generations, there's no discrepancy that these companies want you to equate their product with the real stuff, Grade A maple syrup—you know, the sap that's tapped from maple trees and boiled into an antioxidant-rich sweetener? But unlike this functional sweetener, these syrups are primarily composed of high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and caramel color—all ingredients that have been connected to a slew of health issues, from fatty liver disease to cancer.


Think of white chocolate like white, refined flour: over processed and devoid of nutrients. White chocolate's only "chocolate" comes from cocoa butter (the rest is milk solids, milk fat, and sweetener), and even that ingredient commonly loses its antioxidant properties during a "deodorizing" step. Without non-fat cocoa solids, white chocolate doesn't have any flavanoids—antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve glucose metabolism and lower blood pressure—or gut-healthy prebiotics, which help reduce inflammation and fight weight gain. It also lacks the ability to stimulate the euphoria-inducing chemicals that real chocolate does, including serotonin. Grabbing some chocolate? The darker the better. More cacao means more happy chemicals and less sugar.


Whip, as in whipped cream, right? Not exactly. Kraft Cool Whip's first ingredient is water, followed by hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and finally, skim milk. Fun fact, the original recipe was "non-dairy"—it didn't even have milk! Kraft only started adding skimmed milk and light cream in 2010. And although Kraft is the most common store-bought brand, you should also be checking the ingredients of any generic "whipped" topping out there. Looking for whipped cream? Buy a little carton of heavy cream, grab a mason jar, and start shaking!


When an apostrophe replaces a letter in a food's name, it's a dead giveaway this product isn't what it wants you to think it is. Oh, and the label's "bacon flavored." Textured soy flour and oil provide the "bit," carcinogen-contaminated Red 40 and caramel coloring provide the visual cue this stuff sure looks like bacon, and the combination of yeast extract, disodium inosinate, and disodium guanylate—otherwise known as MSG—provides the meaty, umami flavor. These so-called "flavor enhancers" have been implicated in increasing appetites along with stimulating your body to pump out insulin, the fat-storage hormone. If you fried up a slice of bacon and crumbled it, you might be eating double the calories, but you'd save yourself 180 mg of sodium.


We're big fans of KIND bars because their products are low in sugar and high in satiating, healthy fats and protein, but they might not be giving you exactly what you think. Yes, even healthy foods can be untrustworthy. This bar boasts the name "blueberry," but upon a closer look at the ingredients, we see KIND really means apples and plums. Huh? In reality, KIND's formulation of its "blueberry pieces" is actually "blueberries, sugar, apples, plum, apple juice, vegetable glycerine, citrus pectin, natural blueberry flavor." Rather than nosh on this bar with "natural blueberry flavor," pop a few raw blueberries to burn belly fat, boost memory, and uncover your abs.


Just because the label says "guacamole" and the stuff inside looks green does not mean this product is bursting with the same fat-blasting properties as avocado. Keep reading and you'll see one of the most telling words in branding: flavored. This imposter is made mostly of skim milk (!), oil, water, and tomatoes. And less than 2 percent real avocado! With all its liquid, how is this guacamole-style dip dip-able? It's from emulsifying egg yolks, gelatin, a slew of gums and gels, and then thickening it up with isolated soy protein. And that green color you see? It's just blue, red, and yellow food dyes. Besides the fact that real avocados will lend their free-radical-fighting benefits, sticking with the green fruit will also help you avoid this waist-widening concoction.


Wood you like some wood pulp on your pasta? No? Well then maybe you should nix the pre-grated parmesan cheese. Kraft was slammed with a lawsuit in early 2016 for using cellulose, an anti-clumping filler made from wood chips, in its "100% Grated Parmesan Cheese" product. And more private testing found Castle Cheese Inc.'s "Parmesan" also included less expensive cheese like cheddar, swiss, and mozzarella. In fact, American versions of Parmesan cheeses are so far from the real thing (they also include nontraditional ingredients such as potassium sorbate and cheese cultures) that the European Union wanted to ban American-made cheeses from even calling their product parmesan!


If the sun tastes like corn syrup, modified cornstarch, canola oil, cellulose gum, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and loads of preservatives, Sunny D certainly unleashed it. And while Sunny D Tangy Original promotes that it has 100 percent of your vitamin C for the day, the majority (a whopping 98 percent) of this drink is just water and high fructose corn syrup. That's right. That orange you see on the label is only present in the "2% or Less" section, along with five other fruit concentrates, so that amount of vitamin C is probably only coming from the added ascorbic acid. If you want some orange juice, you're better off going with something that has to be refrigerated, like Evolution Fresh's Cold-Pressed Orange Juice.


Yes, the first ingredient is usually fruit and vegetable juice blend from concentrate, but following that is sugar, corn syrup, and modified corn starch, along with more sugar, and carnauba wax. Heck, some roll-ups even include partially hydrogenated oils—aka artery-clogging trans fats now banned by the FDA! And don't be fooled into thinking these gummies are as healthy as the real thing just because they have the word "fruit" in them. In fact, fruit juice is one of the worst added sweeteners for your health because it's high in liver-wrecking fructose and low in the slow-digesting fibers that make fruit healthy in the first place. Snack on real fruit to get the fiber and nutrients that come naturally packaged with it.


While this might be the only product on the list we wouldn't dock for its ingredient list, it has rightfully earned its place as an untrustworthy food. That's because Just Mayo isn't actually just mayo. According to the FDA's "Standards of Identity," the condiment has to have vinegar, lemon juice, and an egg-yolk-containing ingredient in order to be called mayo, and because Just Mayo is vegan, it has no eggs. (Which is weird because the label also has an egg on it.) Maybe "I Can't Believe It's Not Mayo" would be a better name. If you're as confused as we are, but still want a vegan mayo, check out Sir Kensington's new Fabanaise, a mayonnaise-like spread made with chickpea water!


You've been told to eat more whole grains, but don't think that choosing whole wheat ensures a healthy pick. According to a Harvard School of Public Health study, many products displaying the yellow Whole Grain Stamp have more sugar and calories than whole grain foods not bearing the logo. That's because manufacturers realize that many of us still crave the sweetness of white breads, so they add back the sugar to make whole wheat taste better. When you're looking for a whole grain bread, make sure whole wheat is listed as the first ingredient and the food should ideally be free of high fructose corn syrup.


Whiz or whizout? That's the question you'll often be asked in reference to whether you'd like your Philly Cheesesteak doused with a heaping spoonful of Cheez Whiz. Or should they be called a cheezsteak? That's because Cheez Whiz, along with processed cheese products like American Cheese and Velveeta aren't really cheese at all. In fact, federal laws mandate that each of these products be labeled as "processed cheese" or a "cheese product" since their manufacturing process is quite different from natural cheeses: they start with only 51 percent real cheese, add some artificial flavors, colors, fillers, preservatives, emulsifiers, acidifiers, heat it up, and then wrap it up. Reach for a block of 100 percent real cheddar—the U.S. just imported way more than we need, so cheese prices are about to go way down.


We've already busted the egg-yolk myth, but if you're looking to boost your protein intake, we can see why you might want to pick up a carton of egg whites. But don't think all you're getting in a carton of Southwestern Egg Beaters are eggs. Somewhere between processing and packaging this carton also picked up a few extra ingredients, like "natural flavors," a slew of gums, autolyzed yeast extract (aka MSG), and a tinge of color to make it feel like you're eating the real thing. You know what's better than feeling like you're eating the real thing? Eating the real thing: Whisk two eggs together (yolks and all), season with salt and pepper, and dice up a red pepper. Saute the pepper in light canola oil for about a minute, or until it's tender, pour in the whisked eggs, and cook until done. Voila! And no "autolyzed yeast extract."


Peanut butter is touted by experts as a health food—packed with protein, fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats, plus plenty of fat-burning folate. But when you pick up a reduced fat butter, you're getting a product that's packed with sugar and fillers, causing you to store fat, not burn it. When manufacturers take out the naturally-occurring, healthy fat, they're left with a bland product in need of some serious doctoring up. So they add things like sugar, corn syrup solids, and soy protein concentrate. And regardless of whether you go for fat or not, picking Skippy means your PB will contain hydrogenated vegetable oil, the trans fat which researchers found to increase heart disease risk by a whopping 23 percent. The best butters have just two ingredients: peanuts and salt.


People ate up the fact that Agave syrup was a great alternative to sugar because it was natural and came from a plant. Newsflash! Sugar also comes from a plant—so you can throw out that argument. Plus, agave is actually a modified sugar, which means you can't actually tap an agave plant and get syrup. The syrup has to be processed (yes, it's technically a processed food) with enzymes that turn it into sugar. Another argument by marketers? It has a low glycemic index, which means it doesn't spike blood sugar levels right after eating it. And that's actually a bad thing. It has a low GI because it's full of fructose—at least 80-90 percent, way more than the 50 percent of white sugar—a form of sugar that doesn't affect glucose levels, but it can lead to insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity over time.


They might be convenient, but these sliders are certainly a stretch of the truth. In reality, they're closer to veggie burgers than they are beef burgers. That's because Banquet's patties are made of beef, water, textured soy protein, soy flour, caramel color, soy protein concentrate, and soy lecithin. You're better off whipping up your own burger at home using 100 percent grass-fed ground beef. It'll probably take more time to preheat the oven for these nasty sliders than it will to simply sear your perfect patty in a skillet.


Whatever the brand, these potato chips aren't what you imagine when we say "Lay's." Rather than sliced potatoes, these "chips" are really pulverized potato flour mixed with varying additives like oils, fibers, and yeast extracts and then molded into a chip-shaped snack. What's even more amusing is that the Kellogg Company actually argued with the U.K. government that Pringles weren't chips so that the product wouldn't be taxed as a luxury item. And a judge agreed, citing the fact they were unnaturally shaped and were made up of less than 50 percent potato. Congrats?


With everyone touting the health benefits of chocolate, it's no wonder our go-to warm-me-up drink during the cold months is chocolate. But just because cocoa is on the label doesn't mean this product is healthy. Many hot chocolate mixes should really be called "Sugar Blends with Oil, Additives, and Oh yeah, Some Cocoa." Cocoa is actually listed fourth on Swiss Mix's list of ingredients, and what's worse is that the cocoa powder is alkalized, meaning it's devoid of any healthy antioxidants. Make your own hot chocolate but just boiling a cup of whole milk mixed with a tablespoon of pure cacao—the naturally-occurring sugars in the milk are all you need to sweeten this beverage up.


We don't know about you, but when we read the word "creamer," dairy cows come to mind. Unfortunately, that's not what you're getting when you pick up coffee creamers like Coffee-Mate. In fact, the brand even labels it as lactose-free! And in true untrustworthy food fashion, this creamer is none other than corn syrup solids and hydrogenated vegetable oil in disguise. But hey, there is milk protein! That counts, right? Wrong. If you're looking for something to add to your coffee, add heavy cream.


Ever heard of net carbs? Many diets are based on this term, claiming that we should only be worried about the total carbs minus the amount of fiber because fiber is what helps slow digestion of the carb sugars, keeping blood sugar from spiking and hunger at bay. We'd be on board if it weren't for the fact that many companies lower the net carb count by adding functional fibers to their bars and meals. Functional fibers, like polydextrose, are synthetically created in a lab, and may not provide all of the same benefits that the dietary fibers from veggies, whole grains, and fruits do. According to multiple studies, polydextrose is fermented like fiber and has beneficial effects on bowel function, but a study in Nutrition Review found it has little or no effect on fasting glucose levels and doesn't form the same kind of filling viscous gel that dietary fibers do to slow the rate at which food is broken down and nutrients such as glucose are absorbed—which means it might not actually help keep you fuller longer.

Do you know any other foods that are making false claims? How do you think these products are affecting your weight loss?

Are you having trouble attaining any level of weight loss success? Check out the list of tips and tricks in my post The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More.

Picture Credit: nutritionsecrets.com-Could this all-natural sweetener be fooling you and affecting your ability to lose weight?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 20 Foods Pretending to be Something They're Not " on EatThis.com.
"20 Foods Pretending to be Something They're Not" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"The 10 Dirtiest Foods You're Eating" Review

After reading this list, I realized how unsafe my kitchen really is. Without a doubt, Sammy and I have to change our approach starting TODAY! Take a look and see what you need to change too (from the article The 10 Dirtiest Foods You're Eating).


The dirt: Potentially one of the foulest of the fowl. A USDA survey showed that the odds are better than one in four that your ground gobbler contains Listeria, Campylobacter, clostridium, or some combination of the three. In 2011, an antibiotic-resistant, virulent strain of salmonella prompted a recall of 36 million tons of fresh and ground turkey.

At the supermarket: Hunt for organic turkey... it's grown without using antibiotics. Most commercial turkey processors pump up their birds the drugs, a practice that may have encouraged the rise of resistant bacteria. In fact, a study from the University of Maryland found that organic turkey operations not only had lower levels of Salmonella, but the strains they did find were less resistant to antibiotics than strains found on factory turkey farms.

At home: "Change your mind-set about poultry. Start by thinking of it as being contaminated," says Donald W. Schaffner, PhD, an extension specialist in food science at Rutgers University. Immediately after preparing turkey, wash any platter that has come in contact with raw ground turkey. Serve cooked turkey burgers (180°F) on a clean plate. And wipe up any spillage with a paper towel instead of a sponge—the most dangerous item in the house because of bacteria, says Philip Tierno, PhD, a microbiologist at New York University medical center and author of The Secret Life of Germs.


The dirt: These filters for ocean waste can contain the norovirus, campylobacter, and vibrio vulnificus. Researchers who studied oysters from so-called certified-safe beds discovered that 9 percent were in fact contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

At the supermarket: Buy from the same beds that a chef stakes his reputation on: Sandy Ingber, executive chef and seafood buyer for Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City, buys Blue Point, Chincoteague, Glidden Point, Narragansett Bay, Pemaquid, and Wellfleet oysters in the winter months. During summer, he buys Coromandel oysters from New Zealand. The reason for the seasonal shift: More than three-quarters of outbreaks involving raw oysters occur during the Northern Hemisphere's warm-water months.

At home: Very simple: Eat only thoroughly cooked oysters. If you must slurp, do so only after following the buying advice above. But don't avoid oysters all together—after all, they're one of the best libido-boosting foods, one of the more sustainable fish you can eat, and they provide lots of health benefits as well—provided you cook them first.


The dirt: Which is dirtier, the chicken or the egg? Definitely eggs. Food poisoning linked to eggs sickens an estimated 660,000 people annually and kills 300.

At the supermarket: Check egg cartons for one word: "pastured," and be aware of the nine most common egg carton labels and what they mean. Research has shown that the rate of salmonella contamination in eggs is directly related to flock size. Therefore, factory-farmed eggs from henhouses containing 80,000 hens are more likely to pass the bacteria along to you than those from a local farmer with a flock of 100 or so hens that he raises on pasture. In fact, bypass the supermarket altogether. Get your eggs at the farmer's market, from a backyard chicken owner, or start your own backyard flock.

At home: Keep eggs in their carton and stow that in the coldest part of your fridge (usually the back of the lowest shelf). After you crack one open, wash your hands. Finally, cook your eggs—thoroughly (or, if they're an ingredient in a dish, to 160°F).


The dirt: When the FDA sampled domestically grown cantaloupe, it found that 3.5 percent of the melons carried Salmonella and Shigella, the latter a type of bacteria normally passed person-to-person. In 2011, a cantaloupe recall involving fruit from Colorado was infected with Listeria, a bacterium more commonly associated with meat and dairy products.

At the supermarket: Dents or bruising on the fruit can provide a pathway in for pathogens; cut up slices may not be any safer if employees don't properly wash their hands.

At home: Because cantaloupe grow on the ground and have a netted exterior, it's easy for salmonella to sneak on. Scrub the fruit with a dab of mild dishwashing liquid for 15 to 30 seconds under running water.


The dirt: Being pretty as a peach comes at a price. The fruit is doused with pesticides in the weeks prior to harvest to ensure blemish-free skin. By the time it arrives in your produce department, the typical peach can be coated with up to nine different pesticides, according to USDA sampling, making it one of the dirtiest fruits at the supermarket. On an index of pesticide toxicity devised by Consumers Union, peaches rank highest.

At the supermarket: Fill your produce bag with organic peaches. And since apples, grapes, pears, and green beans occupy top spots on the Toxicity Index, too, you may want to opt for organic here, as well. Just know that organic produce also contains some pesticide residues, but in minuscule amounts.

At home: "A lot of produce has a natural wax coating that holds pesticides, so wash with a sponge or scrub brush and a dab of mild dishwashing detergent. This can eliminate more than half of the residues," says Edward Groth III, Ph.D., a senior scientist with Consumers Union. But in many cases, pesticides are systemic, meaning they are absorbed by the plant after being applied to seeds, soil, or leaves, and contaminate the meat of the fruit, where washing and peeling won't remove them—which is why it's that much more important to opt for organic.


The dirt: The lettuce on a burger could cause you more grief than the beef. February 2010 tests from Consumers Union on 208 packages of salad greens found that 40 percent tested positive for fecal coliform bacteria. Before then, the Center for Science in the Public Interest estimated that lettuce accounted for 11 percent of reported food-poisoning outbreaks linked to produce from 1990 to 2002, and "salad" accounted for 28 percent.

At the supermarket: Prepackaged salad mix is not inherently more hazardous than loose greens or a head of lettuce. It's the claims of being "triple washed" that lull consumers into complacency.

At home: Rinse salad greens one leaf at a time under running water before eating. Beware of cross-contamination, too. You know it's risky to put salad in the same colander you washed chicken in but may accidentally touch a towel used to wipe up poultry juice, then make a salad.


The dirt: Germs don't take a number in the deli; cold cuts have been labeled at "high risk" of causing listeriosis by a joint team of researchers from the USDA, FDA, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Combine that with the fact that cold cuts are, well, eaten cold, and you've got trouble; Listeria thrives at refrigerator temperatures that stun other foodborne pathogens.

At the supermarket: Turns out the most likely source of Listeria-contaminated cold cuts is the deli slicer. Without regular cleaning, the blade can transfer bacteria from roast beef to turkey to pastrami and back. Don't buy more deli meat than you can eat within two days because the germ multiplies quickly, and remember that they're also one of the saltiest foods in the supermarket, so go low-sodium but skipping altogether.

At home: When you're ready to build your sandwich, slather on the mustard. Researchers at Washington State University killed off 90 percent of three potent pathogens—Listeria, E. coli, and salmonella—within two hours of exposing them to a mustard compound.


The dirt: Sprouted seeds of all kinds—broccoli, alfalfa, mung bean, pea—contain potent amounts of phytonutrients, and broccoli sprouts have even been shown to help prevent stomach cancer. Unfortunately, the warm, humid conditions needed for the sprouts to grow are heaven to Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli bacteria. According to Marler Clark, a law firm that handles high-profile foodborne-illness cases, sprouts have been blamed for at least 40 significant outbreaks of foodborne illness across the United States, Canada and Europe over the past 20 years.

At the supermarket: The FDA has recommendations for sprout producers to follow, such as decontaminating the seeds before sprouting or conducting regular microbial testing. But experts say those rules aren't strictly enforced. So, bottom line? Don't buy them. But if you must, look for crisp-looking sprouts with the buds attached. Avoid musty-smelling, dark, or slimy-looking sprouts.

At home: If you must get your sprout fix, make sure you refrigerate them as soon as you get them home, and cook them before eating them, or grow your own sprouts right at home.

What other "dirty" foods should we avoid trying to lose weight or simply living a healthy life?

Are you having trouble attaining any level of weight loss success? Check out the list of tips and tricks in my post The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More.

Picture Credit: Porterbriggs.com and Jackie Garvin-Could this peach make you sick?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " The 10 Dirtiest Foods You're Eating " on MSN.com.
"The 10 Dirtiest Foods You're Eating" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"50 Foods You Should Never Eat" Review

After seeing this food list, I had to seriously reconsider the groceries I buy each week. Whether you're trying to live healthy or lose weight, you may want to revamp your grocery list, too. Check out the 20 guilty foods I think you should forget about immediately (from the recent article "50 Foods You Should Never Eat" on MSN.com).


William Davis, MD, creator of Wheat Belly 10-Day Detox

The Problem: Modern wheat is nothing like the grain your mother or grandmother consumed. Today, wheat barely resembles its original form, thanks to extensive genetic manipulations during the 1960s and 1970s to increase the grain's yields. "You cannot change the basic characteristics of a plant without changing its genetics, biochemistry, and its effects on humans who consume it," Dr. Davis notes.

Dr. Davis makes the case that modern-day wheat is triggering all sorts of health problems, everything from digestive diseases like celiac and inflammatory bowel disease to acid reflux, obesity, asthma, and skin disorders. "If there is a food that yields extravagant, extraordinary, and unexpected benefits when avoided, it is bread," says Dr. Davis. "And I don’t mean white bread, I mean all bread: white, whole wheat, whole grain, sprouted, organic, French, Italian, fresh, day-old…all of it."

The Solution: Try eliminating wheat altogether from your diet for a few weeks to see if you note health improvements. But be prepared for the wheat withdrawal syndrome of nausea, headache, fatigue and depression, and a host of other strange side effects of going grain-free during your first wheat-free week, since there are opiates that develop from the gliadin protein of wheat. Once you are through this process, you'll feel better, maybe better than you have ever before.


Will Clower, PhD, author of Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight

The Problem: The health benefits of coffee are pretty impressive (Note: Too much caffeine is not...read here to find out why), so don't go throwing them away by splashing non-dairy creamer in your morning joe. Fake creamers are full of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, including liver-damaging high-fructose corn syrup, inflammatory hydrogenated oils that would never exist in nature, and artificial flavors.

The Solution: Drink your coffee black, or if you want to add cream, opt for organic from grass-fed cows or organic unsweetened coconut milk without the food additive carrageenan.


Ellen Gustafson, author of We the Eaters

The Problem: Concord grapes are delicious (and are one of the few fruits native to North America), but the way most of us taste them is in the form of high-fructose-laden grape jelly. "Even though it's given away for free like ketchup in little plastic packets, it's basically a jelly-textured candy loaded with various forms of sugar, artificial colors, and flavors," Gustafson says.

The Solution: Gustafson suggests opting for real fruit, honey, or apple butter on your PB&(F, H, or AB) sandwich. If you do reach for jelly in the store, look for low-sugar, organic versions—organic bans the use of artificial colors and flavors and requires that the grapes be grown without the use of chemical pesticides. (Nonorganic grapes are one of the most pesticide-laden fruits.)


Isaac Eliaz, MD, founder of Amitabha Medical Clinic and Healing Center

The Problem: Dr. Eliaz stays away from any diet soda (here's how) and foods, sugar-free candies, and gum containing artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame K, and neotame, among others. "The safety data on these sweeteners is shrouded in controversy and conflicts of interest with the manufacturers of these chemical compounds," Dr. Eliaz warns. "Independent research strongly suggests that when metabolized in the body, these sweeteners can cause health-related issues and problems related to metabolism and weight gain, neurological diseases, joint pain, digestive problems, headaches, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, chemical toxicity, and cancer, among others."

The Solution: From its weight gain effects to the overload of artificial sweeteners, the disturbing side effects of soda are enough to break the fizzy habit. If you're craving a soda but want to avoid the shady sweeteners, fake food dyes, and preservatives found in popular brands, try making one of these naturally flavored water recipes, or brew your own kombucha, a naturally bubbly fermented tea that's easy to make at home.


Frederick vom Saal, PhD, professor of biological sciences, University of Missouri at Columbia

The Problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Studies show that the BPA in most people's bodies exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. "You can get 50 micrograms of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young," says vom Saal. "I won't go near canned tomatoes."

The Solution: To avoid negative BPA health effects, choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Eden Organic and Bionaturae. You can also look for tomatoes in Tetra Pak boxes instead of cans.


Douglas Powell, PhD, food safety consultant, barfblog.com

The Problem: Sprouts have been the source of so many major food recalls that they're really not worth the risk, Powell says. Be they bean or broccoli, alfalfa or pea, sprouts have been at the center of at least 55 outbreaks of foodborne illness, affecting more than 15,000 people over the last 20 years. Often, sprouts harbor salmonella, E. coli, or listeria; they're vulnerable to contamination because the seeds require moist, warm conditions in order to sprout—ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive and multiply in.

The Solution: Get the crunch of sprouts—without the added bacteria—by shredding cabbage or carrots onto your sandwiches. If you really enjoy the flavor of sprouts, cook them first, but watch out for cross-contamination.


Tasneem Bhatia, MD, author of What Doctors Eat

The Problem: A single chicken wing has 81 calories and 5 grams of fat. Given that most people don't eat just one, a lone feast of chicken wings could easily lead to 1,000 extra calories and 50 grams of fat—nearly two or three days worth of artery-clogging fat! "Since 500 extra calories per day leads to two pounds per week, chicken wings are a recipe for weight gain," Dr. Bhatia says.

The Solution: If you like chicken, try baked or grilled versions to avoid a calorie overload. Since conventional chicken feed often contains antibiotics to stimulate faster growth (and sometimes even arsenic), choose organic whenever you can. If you want to go the veggie route, try this delicious vegan Buffalo wings alternative.


Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research at Women’s Voices for the Earth

The Problem: Diacetyl is used in a lot of fake butter flavorings, despite the fact that the chemical is so harmful to factory workers that it's known to cause an occupational disease called "popcorn lung," Scranton says. After news of the chemical got out to the popcorn-eating public, companies started replacing diacetyl with another additive—which can actually turn into diacetyl under certain conditions, she adds. Neither chemical is disclosed on microwave-popcorn bags because the exact formulations of flavorings are considered trade secrets. "It's a classic example of the need for better chemical regulation and improved transparency on the chemicals used in our food and other household products," she says.

The Solution: Pop it on the stovetop in a pot and season or go an easier homemade popcorn route: Put a small handful of kernels into a brown paper lunch bag and stick the bag in the microwave. The kernels will pop just like those fake-butter-flavored kernels in standard microwave popcorn bags. When they're done, pour seasoning over them. "Makes pretty good popcorn at a fraction of the cost!" Scranton says.


Margaret I. Cuomo, MD, author of A World Without Cancer

The Problem: "Fish is naturally low in saturated fat, and some types, like salmon, are also high in omega-3 fat, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack and inflammation throughout the body. While Americans need to eat more seafood and less red meat, some fish such as farmed salmon are contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides (including dieldrin and toxaphene) and antibiotics," she says. And unlike wild salmon, farmed salmon are fed a mixture of other fish ground into fishmeal and fish oil, and they concentrate more toxins in their fat tissue than do other fish, Dr. Cuomo notes.

The Solution: "Fish is an important part of my family's diet, and I am very careful to choose wild salmon, rather than farmed salmon, which contains many carcinogens," Dr. Cuomo says.


Mark Moyad, MD, MPH

The Problem: Vitamins in the form of candy? Sounds like a dream to the parents of picky eaters. Too bad it's too good to be true. Each serving is about 15 calories a day and, while 2 or 3 grams of sugar a day (often as corn syrup) doesn't seem like much, Dr. Moyad points out that this translates to nearly 6 cups of sugar a year. Not to mention, gummies contain artificial food dyes and can contain a laundry list of other problematic ingredients: "Many contain gluten, and some also contain corn syrup, carmine, and pregelatinized cornstarch," he says.

The Solution: "Always go to food for nutrition first," says Dr. Moyad. "Don't teach kids to rely on pills at such a young age."


Joel Salatin, sustainable farmer The Problem: McDonald’s isn't just about food, it's about food mentality, according to Salatin. "It represents the pinnacle of factoryfarming and industrial food," he says. "The economic model is utterly dependent on stockholders looking for dividends without regards to farm profitability or soil development."Fast food typically is loaded with all sorts of the ingredients mentioned elsewhere in our list: genetically engineered corn, food dyes, artificial sweeteners, and other bad actors in the food supply. The type of farming that supports this type of food business relies on harmful chemicals that not only threaten human health, but also soil health.

The Solution: Learn to cook! You might be surprised to find that paying extra up front for a pasture-raised chicken can be cheaper than buying prepared fast-food chicken. For instance, cooking a chicken and then boiling down the bones for a rich, disease-fighting stock can yield up to three meals for a family! (Here's how to make homemade stock.) Find sustainable farmers at LocalHarvest.org.


Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale, Inc. and author of Organic Manifesto

The Problem: Ironically, there's a lot of evidence that suggests using artificial sweeteners, which have zero calories, is just as bad for your waistline as using regular, high-calorie sugar. For instance, research from the University of Texas has found that mice fed the artificial sweetener aspartame had higher blood sugar levels (which can cause you to overeat) than mice on an aspartame-free diet. Not only are they bad for your health, but scientists have also detected artificial sweeteners in treated wastewater, posing unknown risks to fish and other marine life. Plus, as Rodale says, "They're unnatural, nonorganic, taste horrible, and lead to all sorts of bad health consequences, false expectations, and short-term strategic thinking."

The Solution: Refined white sugar isn't any healthier, but you can replace it with small amounts of nutritious sweeteners, including honey, blackstrap molasses, and maple syrup, all of which have high levels of vitamins and minerals, or make homemade healthy sweeteners that are far better for your diet.


Gerard E. Mullin, MD, author of The Gut Balance Revolution

The Problem: "Refined honey is among the most insidious sweeteners of all time," says Dr. Mullin. The pasteurization process eliminates the health properties of honey, essentially turning it into just another form of sugar. To make things more confusing, research has shown that more than 75 percent of honey has been processed to the point where it isn't even considered honey anymore. Some honey is even blended with high-fructose corn syrup, additives, and other flavorings.

The Solution: In moderation, raw honey from your local farmer's market has the opposite effect on your health. "Good data show that a teaspoon or less per day of raw honey has positive effects on gut microbimone health," Dr. Mullin says. Raw honey may have an antimicrobial effect against harmful pathogens in your gut, including E. coli. At the same time, this superfood can help promote the growth of healthy bacteria. "Honey also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune-regulating, and anti-tumor properties," he points out. It can also improve many aspects of your health, including allergies, bone health, diabetes, and wound healing.


Robert Lustig, MD, author of Fat Chance

The Problem: Don't trust the health halo claims associated with the natural sweetener agave. While it is technically a low-glycemic food, it actually drives up blood fructose, which is way worse, Dr. Lustig explains. "Fructose causes seven times more cell damage than glucose because it binds to cellular proteins seven times faster and releases 100 times the number of oxygen radicals (like hydrogen peroxide, which damages cells)," he notes.In addition, fructose is turned into fat in the liver, which contributes to the development of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. "Glycemic index is irrelevant; fructose damages your body unrelated to glycemic index. Agave nectar should have a skull and crossbones," Dr. Lustig says.

The Solution: Retrain your tastebuds to not want excessively sweet foods.


Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, and founder of DrAxe.com

The Problem: Table salt starts out as a healthy sea salt, but the extreme processing that happens next makes this one of the worst things you can put in your body. Manufacturers strip it of all its minerals and heat it to around 1,200 degrees, completely changing its chemical structure. Then, the naturally-occurring iodine that was destroyed is replaced with potassium iodide, and the salt is stabilized with dextrose, which turns it purple. Finally, it is bleached white.

The Solution: For an all-natural, unprocessed way to add flavor to food, choose Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt. You'll also get a heavy dose of health benefits, including bone support, improved cognitive function and pH balancing.


Natasha Turner, ND, author of The Supercharged Hormone Diet

The Problem: While everyone loves a good barbecue, grilling meats can produce carcinogens if you aren’t careful. The two most associated with charring are HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). HCAs form when meat is cooked at high temperatures; PAHs are created when the flames touch the meat or when fat drips into the flames and produces smoke, which then rises and coats the food.

The Solution: To grill more healthfully, lower the heat on your gas grill or increase the distance between the fire and the meat if using a charcoal grill. Choose smaller cuts of meat, flip them often, and use a meat thermometer when cooking at lower temperatures so you can check to be sure the meat is fully cooked. Homemade grilling marinades, particularly ones containing rosemary, can reduce the risk of HCAs by up to 99 percent.


Jillian Michaels, fitness expert

The Problem: Heart disease has become the number one killer in America. One main culprit, Michaels says: Trans fats, aka hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils that have been "reconfigured" to extend their shelf life (but that ultimately harm your cholesterol levels). A medium fry from a fast-food restaurant could contain as much as a whopping 14.5 grams of this fat. That's significant because there are no safe levels of trans fats, according to many public health experts. In fact, if only 3 percent of your daily calorie intake is from trans fats, your risk of heart disease goes up by 23 percent, Michaels notes. "Although fast-food fries are a main culprit, I highly recommend reading your food labels and avoiding this toxic preservative wherever and whenever possible," she says.

The Solution: Bake your fries at home using this simple recipe: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Cut a potato into wedges. (Soak potatoes to reduce harmful acrylamide levels.) Mix together 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Coat the potato wedges with the oil/spice mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven.


Jayson Calton, PhD, and Mira Calton, CN, authors of The Micronutrient Miracle

The Problem: Don't ruin your healthy salad by dumping inflammatory oils all over it. "Most salad dressings on the market today use canola or soybean oil—two major GMO-laden, pro-inflammatory no-nos," says Jayson Calton. Mira points out that even organic versions still contribute to the unhealthy, pro-inflammatory omega-6/omega-3 imbalance. "Due to the adverse processing methods for corn, soybean, canola, safflower, or cottonseed oils, you are essentially ingesting oxidized molecules that wreak immediate havoc on healthy cellular function," she says. "The bottom line is that these oils are not healthy and should be avoided at all costs."

The Solution: Make your own salad dressing with fresh healthy oils and organic vinegar—it's super easy. Olive oil is OK, say the Caltons, but it can be high in inflammatory omega-6s (if you do go with olive oil, always opt for cold-pressed, extra-virgin). Safer oils include peanut, sesame, avocado, macadamia, flaxseed, and fish oils. Simply combine the oil of your choice with your favorite herbs, garlic, red wine vinegar, and voilà—homemade Italian dressing!


Dawna Stone, author of The Healthy You Diet

The Problem: Fruit is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients—but fruit juice does not provide the same health benefits. "Even if you are label conscious and purchase 100 percent real fruit juice or make your own fresh squeezed juice at home, you need to beware of the high sugar content," Stone warns. A glass of fruit juice can have as much sugar as a can of soda, not to mention it's void of one of fruit's main health benefits—its high fiber content.

The Solution: Next time you think about grabbing a tumbler of juice, consider opting for a splash of real fruit juice to a glass of still or sparkling water. Not enough juice to satisfy your craving? Combine whole fruit and ice in a blender for a refreshing and satisfying smoothie. Even better, opt for a green vegetable juice and add the juice of a half a green apple. "I find just ½ an apple or other fruit gives my nutrient-dense green juice just the right amount of sweetness," Stone says.


Philip Landrigan, MD, professor of preventive medicine and pediatrics, Mount Sinai

The Problem: One of Dr. Landrigan's No. 1 warnings to women who are pregnant or are looking to become pregnant? "Make avoiding mercury in fish a priority," he says. Swordfish is notoriously high in the heavy metal, a potent neurotoxin that can damage developing children and even trigger heart attacks in adults. Aside from obvious health concerns, swordfish is often overfished and some of the gear commonly used to wrangle in swordfish often kills turtles, seabirds, and sharks.

The Solution: For a healthy omega-3 brain boost, look for fish that are low in contaminants and have stable populations, such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Atlantic mackerel, or pole- or troll-caught Pacific albacore tuna. Got a more adventurous palate? Try snakehead fish to satisfy your fish craving and improve the environment.

The invasive species lives on land and water, where it wipes out important frogs, birds, and other critters. Snakehead fish is popping up on some restaurant menus, and the taste and texture are about identical to swordfish.

What other foods do you think we should avoid?

Picture Credit: sweets.seriouseats.com - Jelly may consist of fruit but it doesn't mean it's healthy for you or with your weight loss goals.

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article 50 Foods You Should Never Eat Review on MSN.com
"50 Foods You Should Never Eat" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"30 Foods You Should Never Eat After Age 30" Review

Your 30s are a great period of your life....a time of wisdom, experience, and international travel (hopefully!). Despite the fact that you should be celebrating this landmark age range, you should also be aware of your increasing sensitivity to different foods (or at least finally recognize it).

I've dissected the Eat This, Eat That article: "30 Foods You Should Never Eat After Age 30" article. Of this questionable list, I've chosen the top 10 foods you should most definitely minimize (especially if you're health conscious or trying to lose weight):

1. Flavored Yogurt

2. Canned Soup

3. & 4. Pop-Tart & Breakfast Pastries

5. Special K Protein Bars

6. & 7. Diet Mountain Dew & Fresca

8. Sugar-Free Snacks

9. Margarine

10. Bacon

Can you think of any other foods you shouldn't eat after the age of 30?

Picture Credit: © Provided by Eat This, Not That! - Luckily, Applegate Natural Good Morning Bacon is a halfway decent alternative to feed our pig addiction.

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from Eat This, Not That!
"30 Foods You Should Never Eat After Age 30" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

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