Here are 8 so-called "health" foods you may want to rethink before placing in your grocery cart

Published: Thursday, May 21, 2015 @ 9:10 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2015 @ 9:10 AM

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These days it's tough to navigate our health at the grocery store. What's actually good for us and what we think is good for us can be two completely different things.

Here are 8 so-called "health" foods you may want to rethink before placing in your grocery cart:

1. Sports drinks. Most sports drinks are just made up of sugars, chemicals, and salt. While many people use them to hydrate, these drinks can cause a myriad of health issues in the body.

Solution: Try coconut water or chia seeds instead. Coconut water provides much-needed electrolytes, and both coconut water and chia seeds are great hydrators.

2. Almond milk. Many almond milks contain a chemical called Carrageenan that can disrupt your GI tract and cause other issues.

Solution: Make your own at home or look for a brand that doesn't contain Carrageenan on the ingredients list.

3. Frozen yogurt. At some point we came to the conclusion that this was healthier than ice cream. The truth is that it is loaded with sugars and other processed ingredients that aren't good.

Solution: You can easily make your own ice cream or frozen yogurt in about 10 minutes at home if you have a small ice cream maker.

4. Skim milk. Remove the fat and we're healthier, right? Wrong. Recent studies are showing people that consume healthy fats are actually able to maintain healthier weights. Those that drink whole or 2% milks end up fuller sooner, and do less binge eating to make up for the lack of fullness from skim milk.

Solution: Choose whole or 2% milk.

5. Turkey burgers. While they're lower in saturated fats, sodium is usually higher. Plus, you're also dealing with things like added growth hormones and an overuse of antibiotics.

Solution: If you do go for turkey, choose the organic option. Or you can try a veggie burger. Just be sure to choose one without a bunch of additives.

6. Reduced fat peanut butter. Skimming on the fat will get you things like partially hydrogenated oils, added sugars, carbohydrates, and sodium. And real healthy fats are actually good for the body.

Solution: Go with an all-natural or organic peanut butter. You can even make it easily at home and avoid the additives.

7. Sushi. Trust me...no one mourns this fact more than I, as I am an avid sushi-lover. Because of the white rice, sushi is a high glycemic food with very little protein that can result in rapid increases in blood sugar and insulin levels.

Solution: Order sushi "naruto" or "sashimi" and the chef will either roll your sushi in cucumber instead of rice or just serve it as is: fish only.

8. Granola. We see the word granola and suddenly feel like we've hit the motherload of healthier snacking. Not so true. Many granolas contain way too much sugar and oils.

Solution: Make your own so that you know the ingredients that are going into it, or choose a simpler whole grain cereal for your morning routine.

What are some food items that you can think of that aren't necessarily healthy?

Crystal Collins, a Savings.com DealPro, is an Atlanta local, adventurer, a health advocate and thrifty as can be. Check her out on her blog at 
NaturalThrifty.com.

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Toddler toys, decorative pillows, and water bottles among the latest product recalls 

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 2:41 PM

Toddler toys, decorative pillows, and water bottles among the latest product recalls

Children’s xylophones, water bottles sold at Costco, and 21 styles of decorative pillows are among the latest recalls announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

The Petit Collage musical jumbo wooden xylophones made by Wild & Wolf are under recall because the ball on the end of the stick can detach and pose a choking hazard. 

There is one report of the ball separating and another report of a loose ball, but no injuries.

They were sold at Barnes & Noble, Urban Outfitters and other retailers.

Don’t let your child use the toy and contact Wild & Wolf at 855-215-5879 to receive a free replacement beater stick. 

Reduce Hydro Pro Water bottles are being recalled over lead paint. 

They were sold in two packs with a dog and lamb design printed on the outside.

No one has been hurt, but the pink paint on the outside of the bear bottles contain levels of toxic lead that exceed federal standards.

Don’t use the recalled bottles and contact Base Brands at 833-600-2887 or return them to place of purchase for a full refund or replacement bottle. 

Decorative pillows by Primark are being recalled because they may catch on fire. 

No one has been hurt, but don’t use the cushions which come in 21 shapes, sizes and colors, click here for full product codes and descriptions. 

Contact Primark at 855-215-5829 or return the pillows to the store for a full refund. 

One million Square D safety switches are under recall because the could shock or electrocute users, although no injuries have been reported.

The power may stay on when in the “OFF” position on several catalog numbers of the general duty switches made by Schneider Electric. 

Contact Schneider Electric at 877-672-1953 or click here to find out how to inspect the switch, receive free service support, and a replacement switch. 

Pressure washer surface cleaners by Briggs and Stratton are being recalled because  the spray bar can fly off and cause an injury. 

One person reported needing sutures on a cut to the knee after being struck by the bar.    There are four other reports of the bars detaching from the central hub. 

3000 PSI Briggs and Stratton and Crafsman branded surface cleaners are involved in the recall.

Stop using the cleaners and Contact Briggs and Stratton at 877-370-7505 to receive a free replacement. 

RELATED: Recent Recalls from CPSC 

Jo-Ann Stores are recalling string light sets which can break and cut you.

Two people have  been cut by the decorative glass jars in the Jo-Ann’s Makers Holiday 10-count LED string lights. 

Don’t use the lights and contact Jo-Ann stores at 888-739-4120 for a full refund. 

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Polaris is recalling Ranger XP recreational off-highway vehicles and Phoenix 200 all-terrain vehicles due to injury and crash concerns.

Multiple model numbers of the 2016 and 2017 Ranger XP ROVs have seat belt brackets that can separate from the frame. No injuries have been reported.

All model year 2014 through 2017 Phoenix ATVs are being recalled because of nine reports of a damaged throttle limiter, with one minor injury.

Stop using the ROVs and ATVs and contact Polaris at 800-765-2747 for a free repair.

For more on these and other recalls visit CPSC.gov.

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Local students learn how to combat scams, fraud

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 1:08 PM

Students in the Miami Valley are learning to recognize fraud and scams, and finding out how they can protect themselves from these potential money pitfalls.

Several schools in our area teach a free consumer life skills and financial literacy curriculum called FoolProof. 

The goal of the web-based, interactive coursework is to teach a healthy dose of skepticism in a scam-filled world.

Related: "Shimming” is the latest threat to shoppers

Kettering, Xenia, Franklin, Stebbins, Greenville and Lebanon high schools offer FoolProof classes.

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray will find out more about what the students learn and what they can teach us about avoiding scams and fraud. 

Watch tonight on WHIO-TV at 5pm.

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Audit-proofing your taxes 

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 @ 11:29 AM

Audit-proofing your taxes

First, the good news.  The IRS is auditing fewer taxpayers.  

In fact, audits are at an all-time low. You can’t completely audit-proof your tax returns, but there are ways to make your chance of an IRS investigation less likely. 
Failing to report taxable income and cryptocurrency income, are among Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s list of audit red flags.

Math errors, sizeable donations, home office deductions and deductions of unreimbursed business expenses, for example, commuting costs and clothing, are also going to raise eyebrows at the IRS.

RELATED: IRS ID theft prevention steps appear to be working

One of the biggest red flags is income.

The more money you make the more likely you’ll be scrutinized by the IRS, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.  

If you make $200,00 or more, there is a one in 80 chance of an audit, and if you make more than $1 million your odds are one in 25, according to Clark Howard’s website, Clark.com.

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray will have insight from a local tax preparer about ways to audit-proof your tax return tonight on WHIO-TV at 5.

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‘Shimming’ has emerged as the latest threat to shoppers

Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 @ 1:58 PM

Shimming has emerged as the latest threat to shoppers

There’s a growing threat to your credit and debit card information, and you might not be aware of it.

It’s called “shimming.” 

New Recalls: power banks, PAW PATROL hats and more

 Scammers insert paper-thin devices into credit card chip readers that can copy your data. 

The information can’t be used to make a chip card clone, but it can be used to create a traditional mag-stripe card, which could be used to fraudulently make purchases or withdraw cash, according to Creditcards.com.

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