High Vitamin D Levels Are Linked to Better Exercise Capacity

You already know that vitamin D is good for your bones, your brain, and your heart. Now, new research suggests that it may also give your workout routine a boost. According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, people with higher levels of vitamin D tend to be more physically fit.

Specifically, the study looked at cardiorespiratory fitness, a measure of how efficiently the heart and lungs supply oxygen to the muscles during exercise. People with higher cardiorespiratory fitness can exercise longer and harder, and they also tend to live longer and healthier lives.

For the study, researchers compared the vitamin D levels and cardiorespiratory fitness levels—measured by a treadmill test—of nearly 2,000 U.S. adults ages 20 to 49 who took part in a nationwide study from 2001 to 2004.

They found that people in the top quartile of vitamin D had cardiorespiratory fitness levels that were 4.3 times higher than those in the bottom quartile. Each 10-point increase in vitamin D was associated with a 0.78-point increase in VO2 max, the measurement for cardiorespiratory fitness.

Even after adjusting for participants’ age, sex, race, body mass index, and health history, fitness levels for those with the highest vitamin D levels were still 2.9 times higher than those with the lowest. The link held true for both men and women, and for all of the age groups and ethnicities in the study. It was also true regardless of whether participants were smokers or had hypertension or diabetes.

The study was observational, so it could not show a cause-and-effect relationship. But the association was “strong, incremental, and consistent across groups,” said lead author Amr Marawan, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, in a news release from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

“This suggests that there is a robust connection and provides further impetus for having adequate vitamin D levels,” Dr. Marawan said, “which is particularly challenging in cold, cloudy places where people are less exposed to the sun.”

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because the human body makes vitamin D in response to sun exposure. People can also get it from supplements or from fortified foods. (The study did not take into account how much vitamin D participants got from sun, supplements, or food.)

The study notes that vitamin D could potentially affect cardiorespiratory fitness in several ways. For starters, the nutrient has been shown to boost the production of muscle protein and aid in calcium and phosphorus transport on a cellular level. It may also affect the body’s makeup of fast-twitch muscle fibers, “suggesting that vitamin D may improve aerobic fitness,” the authors wrote.

This isn’t the first study to suggest a link between vitamin D and athletic performance: Previous research has noted that vitamin D-deficient ballet dancers jump higher and have fewer injuries—and pro athletes have better sprint times—when they take supplements. Vitamin D levels have also been linked to levels of inflammation, pain, and weakness.

In the ESC news release, Dr. Marawan said the study is another good reason for people to make sure they’re getting enough vitamin D—which can be done through diet, supplements, and “a sensible amount of sun exposure.”

Stella Volpe, PhD, professor of nutrition sciences at Drexel University, agrees with Dr. Marawan. “The study was very well done,” she says, “and given what we know about vitamin D’s role in protein synthesis of muscle, these findings are really not a stretch at all.” (Volpe was not involved in the current study, but she has conducted other research on vitamin D and physical fitness.)

Volpe does point out, however, that the study only found a relationship between vitamin D and cardiorespiratory fitness at a single point in time and can’t show whether one is driving the other. It’s possible that having high vitamin D levels improves fitness levels, she says, but it’s also possible that someone with high fitness levels spends a lot of time exercising outdoors—and has higher vitamin D levels as a result.

“Sitting around and simply taking more vitamin D isn’t going to increase your VO2 max,” Volpe says. “You still have to exercise, and maybe if you also have high vitamin D levels your cardiorespiratory fitness may be greater.”

But higher levels aren’t always better, either. Both Volpe and Dr. Marawan caution against taking too many vitamin D supplements, which can lead to excess calcium in the blood and cause nausea, vomiting, and weakness.

Doctors don’t know yet what the ideal dose of vitamin D is for heart health or for fitness, and Dr. Marawan says more research is needed. Until then, he says, making sure your vitamin D levels are “normal or high” is your best bet for overall health. (What’s considered a normal vitamin D level is also up for debate: Some doctors say patients’ levels should be 30 nanograms per milliliter or higher, while others say levels as low as 10 or 15 can still be healthy.)

Many people get enough vitamin D through sun exposure and a healthy diet, says Volpe. But if you’re concerned about your levels, she says, ask your doctor for a test. “If your levels are fine, my advice is to maintain a healthy level of exercise and a healthy diet,” she says. “And if you’re deficient, you can work with your doctor to bring those concentrations back up with a supplement.”

5 Things to Do If You’re Having an Asthma Attack That Could Save Your Life

An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms caused by a tightening of the muscles around your airways. But asthma attacks–also called asthma exacerbations–aren’t the same for everybody.

“People with asthma can have different levels of symptoms,” says Melinda Rathkopf, MD, a physician with the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska. “What makes an attack for you may be different from me.”

Individual attacks may bring slightly different symptoms or severity of symptoms, but they all have one thing in common: a rapid change from your normal symptoms (which, with good management, may be zero).

“It’s sudden,” says Marilyn Li, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. “It’s a distinct event.”

Symptoms of an asthma attack can include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, mucus production, shortness of breath, chest tightness or pressure, and even trouble talking or hypoxia (when your lips or fingernails turn blue due to lack of oxygen). These last two, though, are “pretty extreme,” says Dr. Rathkopf.

Triggers of an asthma attack vary from person to person, but the two main causes are allergies or infections, says Dr. Rathkopf, also a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

For people with allergic asthma, common triggers are pollen (especially during certain seasons), mold, dust mites, cockroaches, and pet dander, especially from cats.

“Cat dander tends to be stickier and gets caught in the airways,” says Dr. Rathkopf.

Upper respiratory infections like a cold, the flu, or sinusitis are also common causes of an asthma attack.

Other possible triggers include cigarette smoke, perfumes and fragrances, stress and strong emotions, cold air, exercise, acid reflux, and even bad weather. Certain weather-related events, such as high winds, can aggravate asthma.

“When the Santa Ana winds [in California] start, they blow everything off the bushes or ground so it’s airborne for a while,” says Dr. Li. Those airborne elements–pollen, dirt–easily get into your airways and precipitate an attack.

Home remedies for asthma attacks

While some asthma attacks are mild, lasting just a few minutes, others are severe and may need immediate medical treatment. Many milder attacks can be handled at home. Here’s what to try.

Avoid your triggers.

If you know what your triggers are, try to stay away from them so you can avoid asthma attacks altogether. Sometimes, this isn’t possible–but if you find yourself having an asthma attack and you know why, do what you can to get away from the culprit.

“If you walked into someone’s house with a cat, then get outside,” says Dr. Rathkopf. “If you’re outside and it’s cold, then get inside or cover up your mouth with a scarf.”

Follow your action plan.

“Every [asthma] patient should leave their doctor’s office … with an asthma action plan,” says Dr. Li. These individualized plans will guide you through the best next steps during an asthma attack.

“Preparation is key,” says Dr. Li. “Attacks happen.”

That goes for everyone–even if you’ve never had an asthma attack. “Patients have felt like they can’t really have asthma because they’ve never had an attack,” says Dr. Rathkopf. “That’s fortunate for them, but it doesn’t mean they couldn’t have one.”

The first step after getting away from your trigger–or if you can’t avoid your trigger or don’t know what it is–is usually medication.

Take your rescue inhaler.

“Every asthmatic should have a rescue medication–generally some form of albuterol inhaler–and the idea is to carry that on you all the while … even if you haven’t needed it for a long time,” says Dr. Rathkopf. These are usually quick-acting bronchodilators, meaning they open up the airways to help you breathe more easily. “For severe asthma, [doctors] can prescribe an injectable epinephrine, but that’s rarely necessary,” Dr. Rathkopf adds.

Take anywhere from two to four puffs, advises Dr. Li.

Stay calm.

It may be easier said than done, but it often helps to relax your upper body and slow down your breathing during an asthma attack. “You don’t want to have a panic attack on top of it,” says Dr. Rathkopf. “It’s separate from an asthma attack, but [can] coexist with one.

Get medical help.

If you’ve had an asthma attack before, you’ll probably have a good idea of how this attack will play out. “The highest risk of a severe attack is a history of a severe attack,” says Dr. Rathkopf. “Prior symptoms really predict future reactions.”

If you don’t feel better after one round of your rescue inhaler, repeat the process if your action plan calls for it. After that, you should seek medical attention, either at the emergency room or your doctor’s office, especially if you have a respiratory infection. In these cases, rescue medications might work, but there’s a good chance you’ll need more help.

Some signs that you need emergency medical treatment are not being able to speak because of shortness of breath; not feeling better after using your rescue inhaler; and straining your chest muscles just to breathe.

Hundreds of Supplements Have Been Found to Contain Hidden Drugs, Like Viagra and Steroids

More than half of U.S. adults take dietary supplements, a category of products that include over-the-counter vitamins, minerals, botanicals, amino acids, and enzymes. But the supplement industry is only loosely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a new study is shedding light on just how many of these products contain unapproved and potentially dangerous prescription-strength drugs.

Even though the FDA only inspects a small percentage of the supplements sold in the U.S. every year, the agency issued warnings about 776 different products that contained “undeclared, unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients” between 2007 and 2016, according to the study published this week in JAMA Network Open.

Experts have been warning about these problems in the pharmaceutical industry for years, but this is the first time FDA warnings have been quantified to show the extent of the problem.

More than 98% of the FDA’s warnings over this period pertained to supplements marketed for sexual enhancement, weight loss, or muscle building. Most commonly, the FDA found traces of the drugs sildenafil (the generic name for Viagra); sibutramine (a weight-loss drug that was taken off the market after it was linked to heart attacks and strokes); and synthetic steroids or steroid-like ingredients.

Other hidden drugs include antidepressants, laxatives, and stimulants. Some of those drugs have not been approved—or have been banned—by the FDA, and have been linked to serious side effects including suicidal thoughts, abnormal bleeding, and seizures.

In addition to those top three categories, the investigation also found unapproved ingredients in 14 supplements marketed for joint pain, muscle pain, osteoporosis, bone cancer, sleep issues, gout, or prostate health.

Overall, the FDA sent warnings to 146 different supplement companies. More than 150 of the products cited in these warnings (about 20%) contained more than one unapproved ingredient, and 28 of them were cited in two or three warnings more than six months apart. In other words, even after these companies were warned once, they continued selling adulterated products—often with new unapproved substances detected the second or third time around.

The study authors concluded that the drugs found in dietary supplements “have the potential to cause serious adverse health effects,” either from accidental misuse, overuse, or interaction with other medications, supplements, or existing health conditions. They also point out that hidden pharmaceutical ingredients may be one reason why supplement use is associated with 23,000 emergency department visits and 2,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year.

The study also shows that the number of tainted supplements reported by the FDA has increased over the years, and that they include both products purchased via international mail shipments as well as those for sale in the United States. (Just today, a weight-loss supplement was recalled due to detection of a hidden drug.) “Adulteration with active pharmaceutical ingredients does not happen by accident,” the authors wrote in their paper, “and poses a serious public health risk as consumers unknowingly ingest these drugs.”

Pieter Cohen, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, wrote an editorial that accompanies the new study. The number of adulterated products highlighted in this study was “no surprise at all,” he tells Health.

“We’ve known for years that companies have been putting drugs into supplements, and we thought there might be 100 or 200 of those kinds of products,” he says. “As time has gone by, every year more and more products have been seen.”

Dr. Cohen says the new study also highlights just how few of these products were ultimately recalled by the FDA. Even if they were, it may not have made much of a difference: His own research shows that following FDA recalls, supplements with unapproved ingredients are often still available for purchase, and consumers remain unaware of their potential dangers.

The U.S. government isn’t currently doing enough to guarantee supplement safety, Cohen wrote in his editorial, and Congress should reform the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 to require stricter testing and enforcement policies.

In the meantime, he says, it’s largely up to consumers to be informed about the potential risks and benefits of supplements. He agrees that products marketed for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and muscle building pose the greatest risk in terms of hidden drug ingredients. Supplements used for more general health and wellness (like multivitamins or fish-oil capsules, for example) are less likely to contain dangerous drugs, he says—but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own problems with inconsistent and misleading ingredients.

“They might not be accurately labeled in terms of the dosage you’re getting, or the labels might be misrepresenting the health benefits,” he says. Dr. Cohen says he regularly recommends vitamins and minerals to his patients who have (or are at risk of) deficiencies, but—with the exception of multivitamins and calcium/vitamin D supplements—he tells them to look for single-ingredient products.

“If your doctor tells you to take iron, look for a product that’s just iron,” he says. “If you decide to take black cohosh, look for something that’s just labeled black cohosh—not a mix of ingredients.” He also recommends staying away from supplements that claim to have specific health benefits, since those claims don’t have to be backed up by research.

That’s one of the most important things to understand about supplements, he says. “When you buy a product that says it will help you lose weight or improve your workout, there is no requirement that there’s any evidence in humans that it will actually work,” he says. “That’s where consumers have to be wise about their choices, and should consult with their doctor about what they really need.”

Source Health.com

5 Supplements You Should Take If You’re on the Keto Diet

Following the ketogenic diet means sticking to a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb meal plan. What’s the purpose? Eating this way puts your body in a state of ketosis, so you burn fat rather than sugar for energy.

Though it wasn’t developed as a weight-loss plan, that’s what keto has become, with hordes of devotees dedicated to obtaining most of their calories from fat and protein and limiting themselves to less than 50 grams of carbs a day. While fans rave about the pounds they’ve shed, health experts say there are some potential drawbacks to the keto diet, such as a loss of muscle mass, diarrhea, and a condition dubbed the keto flu.

Another downside to keto is that you could become deficient in some crucial nutrients that are typically found in foods banned or restricted under keto guidelines. If you follow keto or are thinking about trying it, nutritionists say you should consider taking these five supplements to make up for the nutrients you might miss.

Magnesium

Many high-magnesium foods, like whole grains, bananas, and beans, are not keto-friendly because they contain too many carbs per serving, explains Seattle-based nutritionist Ginger Hultin, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“Magnesium is a mineral that’s important for many cellular functions and helps regulate nerves, muscles, and the immune system,” Hultin says. It also plays a role in building strong bones, maintaining blood sugar levels, and keeping your heartbeat steady. “It is critical for the body to make protein, bone, and DNA, too,” she adds.

Keto devotees can try to meet their recommended intake of magnesium (310 to 320 mg, depending on your age) by consuming keto-approved, magnesium-rich foods like spinach, broccoli, kale, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. But taking a magnesium supplement can make sure you cover your bases. “Talk to your doctor about possible supplementation but be sure not to exceed the recommendations, as too much magnesium can cause diarrhea,” says Hultin.

Calcium

Many milk and dairy products don’t work on the keto diet because of their carbohydrate levels—think whole milk or flavored yogurts, both of which have 12 grams of carbs per serving. (Remember, keto followers are advised to limit carb intake to under 50 mg daily.) By largely limiting or avoiding milk products, you also limit your intake of calcium. Depending on your age, women should take in 1,000 to 1,300 mg of calcium daily.

“Calcium is a mineral that helps maintain bone health but also supports muscle and nerve communication,” says Hultin. “It helps the cardiovascular system and supports the release of hormones.” Other foods with optimum levels of calcium that are excluded or limited on keto include fortified orange juice and tofu. “The good news is that you can get calcium from sardines with bones, salmon with bones, kale, and broccoli,” she says.

Yet if you find it hard to eat so many leafy greens or you dislike fish, that’s where a calcium supplement comes in. “Talk to your doctor about how much calcium you may need to supplement with based on your diet and your needs,” she advises.

Iron

Think of iron as the fuel that allows every cell in your system to function properly. “Iron is a mineral the body needs to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body,” says Hultin. Without the 18 mg of iron recommended daily for non-pregnant women between ages 18 and 50, you’ll feel lethargic and weak, and your skin may appear paler.

Many keto-approved foods contain excellent amounts of iron, says Hultin, such as beef, some fish, and oysters. However, other solid iron sources are restricted or excluded from the keto diet, like fortified breakfast cereals, lentils, tofu, and beans, she says.

Getting adequate iron is even more challenging if you are a vegetarian or vegan on keto, since you can’t consume animal products. Leafy greens, like kale and spinach, are good plant sources of iron, but the type of iron they contain is not easily absorbed by the body. To ensure that you’re getting the right amount, a daily iron supplement is a smart idea. Make sure you try to meet your needs through the diet, and check with your doctor if you may need supplementation,” says Hultin.

Vitamin D

Getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D is hard even if you’re not on keto. The sunshine vitamin is made by the body when skin is exposed to the sun—and direct sun exposure is something many people try to avoid to lower the risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Though vitamin D is also found in some foods—such as milk, orange juice, and cereal—these items are limited under keto because of their high carb counts.

But vitamin D is essential. “Vitamin D is necessary for bone health, and being deficient for a long period of time can lead to the development of brittle bones and fractures,” says New York City nutritionist Natalie Rizzo, RD. It gives you energy, powers your immune system, and may even help ward off depression.

To get your recommended daily intake (600 IUs), you could turn to keto-approved fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, or up your intake of eggs—a keto favorite thanks to the high-fat yolk. But with so few food options, a daily vitamin D supplement can come in handy. Check with your physician for the right amount based on your needs.

 

Fiber

You need fiber to keep your GI tract running smooth and to avoid digestive buzzkills like constipation. But most sources of fiber come from carbohydrate-rich bread, grains, fruits, and vegetables, and these are not keto-friendly.

“Since these foods are limited on the keto diet, so is your intake of fiber,” explains Rizzo. When you lack fiber, it opens the door to other health risks too, such as obesity, heart disease, and a higher risk of developing colon cancer, she says.

“Because you can eat some carbs on keto, you should opt for fiber-rich veggies, such as broccoli and cauliflower,” she advises. But since it would be tough to fill your entire diet with these day after day, a daily fiber supplement could be a big help. Rizzo suggests talking to your doctor about the best one for you and how much to take. You don’t consume too much and end up with loose stools or diarrhea, she warns.

 

Source Health.com

This Couple Lost 235 Pounds on the Keto Diet in Under a Year—and Their Transformation Photos Will Inspire You

April McIntosh always had a complicated relationship with food. She struggled with her weight growing up and regularly indulged in fatty, sugary meals to deal with her emotions. April always wanted to lose weight, and she made an effort to be active, but she just couldn’t get her diet on track.

That all changed about a year ago, when April and her husband, Chris, discovered the high-fat, low-carb keto diet—and lost a collective 235 pounds.

Last November, the number staring back at April on the scale was 330 pounds, and for Chris it was 316. April tells Health the Virginia couple’s diet consisted of processed, less-than-healthy foods like mac and cheese, frozen chicken nuggets, and instant mashed potatoes. “Stuff that really had no nutritional value,” she says.

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Chris is a mechanic, a job that calls for long, stressful hours, he says. His food choices reflected this. If he was making lunch to take to work, he would throw together “whatever was quick,” he tells Health. At the end of the workday, he indulged to take the edge off. “Eating was my coping mechanism,” he says.

Slowly but surely, April began to realize that her weight was holding her back. One moment that stands out to her was when she was at an amusement park with her 8-year-old brother. He was dying to ride a rollercoaster with his big sister, but April was panicked about it, she recalls.

“While we were in line, I was thinking ‘I don’t know if I’m going to be able to fit or if it’s going to be dangerous because I’m so much larger than him and the bar isn’t going to close properly to keep him safe,’” April says. When it was their turn to get on the ride, April’s fears came true. Her hips couldn’t fit in the seat, and she had to tell her little brother she couldn’t ride with him.

April wishes that would have been the final straw to force her to commit to losing weight. But that breaking-point moment finally happened a few months later, when she and Chris were at an awards dinner. She dressed up for it, and she felt like she looked incredible. But when she saw the photos from the night, the woman she saw on the screen didn’t look anything like the way she felt. “It was mind-blowing to me that I got to a point where I didn’t even recognize myself,” she says.

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At that moment, April was done sitting back and watching her health spiral out of control. She had been following keto success stories on social media, and though she was skeptical about giving up foods like pasta, she knew something had to change.

So on the last day of November 2017, April made the switch to keto. She admits the first few days were hard, especially because of the hunger. But after about a week, she noticed healthy changes. “I had more energy, I didn’t feel bloated all the time, and I was really excited,” she says.

Chris, on the other hand, wasn’t convinced keto was for him. He stuck to his usual meal choices while he watched April give the high-fat, low-carb keto lifestyle a go. Chris didn’t think he could give up foods like bread and potatoes, which had been staples of his diet for his entire life.

It took him about a month of watching April’s progress to join her on her weight-loss journey. As soon as he got on board, he knew he made the right choice. “You won’t believe the places you lose weight,” he says—explaining that he wears rubber gloves to work, and in a short period of time, he dropped a glove size.

April and Chris agree that those early signs of success motivated them to stick to it. They replaced their usual frozen chicken nuggets with steak, cheese, broccoli, and bacon, and they made sure they were getting exercise in ways that worked for them. April says she likes to walk a mile or two on her lunch break to get her body moving, and Chris works on his feet all day and does active house chores like splitting wood.

Now, a year later, April has lost 135 pounds and weighs in at 195. Chris has lost 100 pounds and clocks in at 216.

Both are more confident about the way they look, and they love that they no longer worry that their weight is holding them back from pursuing activities and hobbies. But April believes that the most rewarding part for her is her newfound freedom from food.

“I don’t feel like food controls me anymore,” she says. “When I put something in my mouth, it’s because I know what I’m doing, it’s intentional. I’m not just eating to eat.”

 

Source: Health.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Drinks You Can Enjoy on the Keto Diet

T

he ketogenic diet is all about achieving ketosis, a metabolic state that burns fat for fuel, instead of carbohydrates or protein. To remain in that heightened fat-torching state, you need to limit your carb intake to 5-10% of your total calories. For most women, that translates to about 25-40 grams of carbs per day (about the amount in a single English muffin, or one glass of fruit juice)—which is why followers of the diet need to be so careful not only about what they eat, but what they drink too. To help you choose your sips wisely, here’s a list of seven keto-friendly drinks that’ll make it a little easier to meet your carb cap.

Water with lemon or lime

Still or sparking zero-calorie, zero-carb water is always going to be a dieter’s best choice. But go ahead and add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to your glass. The sour juices have a negligible amounts of carbs. What’s more, drinking water before meals has been shown to be an effective way to help curb appetite.

Diet soda and other diet beverages

Most diet sodas and beverages sweetened with sugar substitutes have zero grams of carbs. Some keto purists may claim sugar subs are not actually keto-friendly, because they believe the sweet stuff increases cravings for carbs. But there is no evidence to suggest using carb-free sugar substitutes will interfere with your weight-loss efforts. (What’s more, many packaged keto snacks and foods made with carb-free sweeteners actually make it easier to stick to a keto lifestyle longer, so you can lose weight and keep it off.)

When selecting a diet drink, check the Nutrition Facts panel to make sure it contains less than 5 grams total sugars or 20 calories from carbs. Of course, you’ll need to count any carbohydrates in these beverages against your allotted daily carb budget.

Keep in mind that as a general rule, diet beverages that are clear have fewer questionable ingredients. There are also diet beverages, like Zevia, that are sweetened with all-natural stevia.

RELATED: 9 Fruits You Can Actually Eat on the Keto Diet

Coffee and tea (with cream, coconut oil, or butter)
If you like a dollop of butter whipped into your morning cup of Joe, you’ll be happy to learn that bulletproof coffee is indeed keto-friendly. When you blend fat like butter or coconut oil or heavy cream into your coffee or tea, you’re not adding carbs.

If you prefer a more traditional cup of coffee or tea, you’ll need to drink it either plain (or with sugar substitutes) and with very little milk since milk contributes some carbs.

Cow’s milk
On the keto diet you can drink some milk without disrupting ketosis. A ½ cup of milk has 6 grams of carbs (24 calories) while providing plenty of protein (4 grams), and much-needed nutrients like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D.

RELATED: 5 Supplements You Should Take If You’re on the Keto Diet

Almond milk
Unsweetened almond milk has around 30 calories per 8-ounce serving and no sugar, making it a great option for those following a keto lifestyle. Look for brands that are fortified with calcium and vitamins A and D.

Keto smoothies
While many smoothies are super sugary thanks to the fruit and milk base, a quick Google search of “keto smoothie” or “low-carb smoothie” will return millions of recipes. The best way to keep carbs low and taste and satisfaction high is to make your smoothie base with fats like nut butters, avocado, or coconut oil. Then add in some low-carb veggies like leafy greens, cucumbers, celery or beets, and smaller amounts of fruits like berries, apples or pears. If you need liquid, use ice, water or unsweetened almond milk.

Reference: Health.com

Woman Who Lost Her Sight for Hours from Eyelash Extensions Warns Others: ‘Be Careful’

Megan Rixson has an important PSA for people who want eyelash extensions.

“Girls be very very careful where you get your eyelashes done!!” she tweeted on Oct. 19. “I got my individuals done today somewhere new and it turns out they used nail glue on my lashes. I genuinely lost my sight for 2 hours. Thankfully the swelling has gone down, but there [sic] still very sore. Be careful.”

“This [right eye] is on fire. This [left eye] won’t open as much. This is as far as I can open them. This [right eye] is more closed,” Rixson told the camera in an accompanying video. “I’m not crying because I’m sad. I’m crying because my eyes are just continually watering. Everything is very blurry.”

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“When she was doing the first one my eyes were stinging lots,” Rixson told BuzzFeed News. “But she said, don’t worry, it’s normal, and told me to hold my eye open.

“It was burning so much my eyes were naturally closing, but she kept telling me to hold them open,” she continued to the outlet. “After she was done, I sat up on the bed and couldn’t open them. I said, this isn’t normal, but she kept saying it was.”

Two hours later, Rixson reportedly used eye drops and eye wash to help regain her sight.

“My eyes are recovering well, still very sensitive. Occasionally the left eye blurs and both are a tiny bit sore but are getting better every day,” she told BuzzFeed News.

In June, celebrity lash expert Clementina Richardson, who founded Envious Lashes, gave PEOPLE tips for safely getting eyelash extensions.

“Safety should be your number one concern,” she said. “Finding someone who is certified to apply the lashes is definitely a must. Depending on the state, the stylist also needs to be licensed, not just certified. Research who you want to go to and call them and ask them questions about their license and how long they’ve been in business.”

“Nail salons and nail techs are not licensed to apply lash extensions,” Richardson added. “I would stay away from that altogether!” She recommends customers ask about the lash adhesive. “At Envious Lashes, we use a medical grade, formaldehyde free, non-irritating formula that is suitable for women even with the most sensitive eyes. We also offer a sensitive version as well.”

“Do not go for the cheapest price, and take the time to do your homework. Make sure to look at their before-and-after photos, read reviews and ensure the studio looks clean and safe upon arrival,” Richardson advised. “It’s extremely important to also choose a salon that understands your language, as a language barrier can cause poor communication with styling or the preference you desire.”