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Moderation is my mantra. How many times have we heard coffee is bad for you, chocolate is fattening, butter is evil….

Studies continually prove that in moderation, many of our older abstinence items are really actually good for us. For example:

Alcohol: Resveratrol in red wine is a powerful antioxidant, regulates blood sugar and increases heart health. 12 ounces of beer per day provides healthful benefits – Adults who drink in moderation show lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and an increase of life span. One drink per day for women and no more than two for men is recommended.

Chocolate: Anyone who has seen Down with Love can agree with Renee Zellweger’s character: Chocolate is a best friend. In addition, an ounce of dark chocolate each day is good for you and I don’t care how or why, just hand it over.

Sodium: It’s everywhere: sodium-free, low sodium, no sodium. While an unhealthy amount of sodium can contribute to many health issues, too little can cause fatigue, nausea, cramps and cognitive problems. In general however, our processed and fast foods contain nearly double the recommended amount of sodium. Opt instead for increasing flavor in foods through herbs like Basil, Paprika, Tarragon. On another note, too much sodium clogs the kidneys which causes an increase in blood pressure. Dementia is caused by too much pressure in the brain caused by swollen blood vessels which basically suffocate brain cells. Drinking plenty of water flushes the kidneys of this overdose of sodium.

Caffeine: Moderate use of caffeine is useful for decreasing type 2 diabetes, possibly preventing Alzheimer’s and leads to a better defense against certain types of cancer. Caffeine may offer protection against sun damage, though of course too much can cause cysts, migraines and  sleep issues (no kidding?).

Potatoes: Typically growled at for being a “carb,” potatoes actually are a good source of vital nutrients including those which protect against colon cancer. A medium potato provides 27 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C, as well as providing B6, fiber and niacin. Cooking and then allowing the potato to cool (then reheating) increases the nutrient value of the potato.

Butter: Yes, butter is a “fat.” However, margarine is made of hydrogenated oils which is made of a chemical reaction which occurs when hydrogen is added to the vegetable oils. Hydrogenation creates saturated and trans fats which have been proven to heavily increase cardiovascular disease among others. Also, hydrogen fusion … the atomic bomb. Need I continue?

Exercise: 30 minutes of a heart-rate increasing brisk walk three times a week is as beneficial as hours of gym sessions. Use half your lunch hour to walk around the office park, or bundle up to walk Fido and you’ll save yourself the monthly membership fees.

Cell Phones: Using a headset or earpiece for calls over 2 minutes cuts radio-frequency waves by 1,000 times. When you have a weak signal, your body actually is subjected to an even higher dose of these waves as the phone attempts to boost its signal for a connection.

Sun Exposure: Everywhere you look now, SPF and sun protection are plastered. But sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D, which is nearly if not more important than vitamin C for prevention of cold-season sickness. Obviously baking oneself during the summer in eight hour sessions of full exposure on the beach is not recommended!

We could go on, but you get the idea.

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