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Life-Changing Food Facts

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Stumped by food labels? Read this and feel a whole lot smarter!
'People think fat = bad, but unsaturdated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) can reduce cholesterol, lowering your risk of heart disease,' explains dietician Victoria Taylor of the British Heart Foundation. 'Foods like nuts, seeds, fish, avocados and olive oil may seem high in fat, but it's good fat.' Even so, keep your total fat intake below 70g per day.
Saturated fat Never have more than 20g of saturated fat per day, say government guidelines. 'Saturated fat, found mostly in meat, dairy products and processed foods such as sausages and cakes, is artery-clogging and waistline-widening,' adds Taylor. '1.5g or less per 100g is OK.'
Trans fat This is a wax-type substance created when vegetable oil is chemically altered. It's in many processed foods such as ready meals and pastries. Just 2g a day ups your chances of  heart disease by 23% It's not obligatory for labels to declare it, but if they say 'no trans fats' or 'no hydrogenated fats', great.
'A danger zone many women ignore,' says Taylor. 'Ready meals tend to be full of it, another reason to eat fresh.' The GDA (Guideline Daily Amount) for salt is 6g and for an individual product, low salt is 0.3g or less per 100g.
'There are so many of these, they can't all be included on the food label,' says Taylor. 'The general rule is to stick to fresh food, that way you'll be getting the maximum possible intake.'
'Healthy carbs, like starch, found in bread, rice and pasta, are great,' says Taylor. 'They provide a slow release of energy. About a third of your daily food intake should be from starchy carbs, and you should include them at each meal.
Sugars Sugary carbs, such as those found in honey or cookies, are absorbed into the body quickly, providing that instant energy burst. Confusingly, natural sugars are grouped here on the label as well. 'These are sugars that are naturally occurring, in fruit or yoghurt, for example,' explains Taylor. 'These are fine. It's the added sugar that's bad.'
Who hasn't been horrified by seeing 800 on a bar of chocolate after mistaking the kJ (kiloJoule) value for kcal (calorie) value? What's the difference anyway? 'KJ is the international terms,' explains Taylor. 'One calorie is roughly four kJ, so the kJ content is aroudn four times the amount of the calories.'

Do you have an idea that will change women's lives?

Do you have an idea that will change women's lives? ...then we want to know about it.
With the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund we'll turn your dream into a reality - with £30,000 up for grabs!
Do you have an inspiring business idea waiting to be launched? GLAMOUR is here to help. Once again, we've joined forces with the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund to award cash prizes to the four best not-for-profit ideas. All we ask is that it directly benefits women. This year's top two winners will each receive £10,000 and the third and fourth winners £5,000 each. Avon launched the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund to give women the chance to help other women who need it most. Avon UK President Anna Segatti, says, "We truly believe that empowering women is the best way to improve society. Last year, three inspiring individuals fulfilled their vision."
Joining Anna and GLAMOUR's Editor, Jo Elvin, is businesswoman and newly appointed Apprentice ace Karren Brady and TV presenter Claudia Winkleman. Jo says, "We are thrilled to be once again helping women make their business dreams a reality because we've seen how one great idea can affect a positive change in the lives of so many people. Last year, the passion and originality of our entrants was inspiring. I can't wait to see who enters this year." Now make it happen Simply log on to or, follow the link and tell us your life-changing idea before May 21. Our judges will shortlist the entries and then it's down to you, the GLAMOUR readers, to vote for the winners!

Murder On The Dance Floor?

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It looks so idyllic on Strictly: matched with an ardent, hot-bodied dance pro, romance and weight loss naturally ensue. So arriving for your first Latin dance class at your local village hall can be underwhelming to say the least. I've seen so many friends fall at the first hurdle, I felt compelled to make this honest list of the top five things you need to know about learning to dance -  in the hope that you'll persevere long enough to sup your second mojito/sangria/glass of Argentine Malbec…
1. Bear in mind the cultural template for the English male dancer is Morris Dancing - men skipping and waving hankies. Be patient as your partner attempts to master a grinding hip action.
2. There will be sweat - underarm-turns that'll have you fighting the gag reflex and palms so slimy you'll be unable to maintain the vital grip. (I once even experienced a guy with a prosthetic hand, leaving me terrified I was going to accidentally dislodge it and spin off with an extra set of digits.)
3. There will always be a quota of men in the class who, in normal life, don't get to touch women. Instead of being freaked out by their earnest attention, enjoy being gazed upon like you are some kind of shimmering goddess.
4. For every blushing, awkward man there will be a know-it-all bore. Miranda Garrison (aka Bungalow Bunny Vivian in Dirty Dancing) wisely advised me not to take offence at these arrogant 'correctors' but to pity them. If they are more concerned with technique than the bliss of dancing with a real live woman, they are sorely missing the point. (For the record, in Cuba they simply don't allow the women to apologise for any mis-steps on the dancefloor - it's always considered to be the man's fault and they seem to like it that way!)
5. There will always be someone better than you. Don't let that superfox in the beaded undies cause you to question your own unique appeal. The brilliant thing about dancing is that chemistry can hit the strangest couplings. I've seen the most talented male dancers have the best time with the least polished women because they are paying full attention to their partner rather than showing off for the audience.
To conclude, hang in there - because once in a while, the music will cause your body to synchronise with another so exquisitely you will be transported to a place of such soul-satisfying connection that will make everything else worthwhile. It's a feeling you can't get any other place or any other way. At least not with your clothes on.

Got A Problem? Tweet About It!

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There's nothing more irritating than when a product or service you've paid for goes horribly wrong - a broken strap on a pair of heels, a horrendous dinner, a bad flight. But new research has found that Brits are no longer taking this kind of thing lying down - rather, we're speaking up when it comes to our rights as consumers. And it's all thanks to digital media.
The survey, commissioned by RightNow, found that Brits are three times more likely to write a negative comment on a website than  they were five years ago, and that fifteen per cent of us will criticise products on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Even more interesting, perhaps, is that people who use social media see it as a first stop for their complaints - fully expecting that companies will respond.
'You feel with email and with the internet and with social network sites that it's something within your control,' says psychologist Corrine Sweet. 'I think British people have traditionally been quite passive-aggressive - we've swallowed our annoyance, or we've moaned in a pub, but we don't like to make a fuss...[but] people now have higher expectations.'
The result? Companies are responding quickly to consumers, and everybody is happier. 'I was on a train that was broken down and I tweeted that my battery had run out on my laptop so I was having to resort to Twitter for entertainment,' says Laura Evans, who was on the way to Liverpool from London, 'but if anybody knew where the power socket was on a Virgin train then I'd be very grateful.  [A manager] replied to me...and said that it was under the table.'
But even though social media can give you the impression that you have a direct line to the powers of be. Sweet notes that it's important to remind your manners - and stay calm. 'The internet creates a feeling immediate intimacy where there are no boundaries, but actually it is, in the end, another person who's going to be responding. It's always good to be polite and concise and do your homework.'
What do you think of this new era of customer power? Tell us how you've made it work for you!

World Cup For Girls

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One sleep to go until the World Cup kicks off, and it's an odds-on chance that the men in your life are going crazy with anticipation. But while many people seem to assume that football is a chance for guys to have fun and women to roll their eyes and complain about feeling abandoned, lots of girls are actually just as keen - if not more so - to get involved!

Fay Block says that she learned to love football from her older brothers - 'they were Tottenham fans, so I became an Arsenal fan,' she says. Fay loves the World Cup because 'it's a kind of social phenomenon. It brings people together at lunchtime, at work. You're sharing the excitement of supporting the team, and it's really quite an ecstatic feeling.'
Zita Lloyd points out that even if you don't care that much about the score, 'There's a lot of sexy men on show,' she says. 'Even the ones that aren't that handsome in the face have brilliant legs and bodies.' And she also thinks that girls shouldn't be misled by guys who claim that football is too complicated for them to understand. 'Everybody gets their knickers into a twist about the offside rule,' she says. 'It's not that complicated and it doesn't come in to play that much!'
And's own Natasha McNamara doesn't even like football most of the time, but that's not stopping her. 'It's a perfect opportunity to get people together - how many of us are having a BBQ this Saturday?' she says. 'In terms of women who don't usually enjoy football (myself included)   - stop being such killjoys and get into the spirit of things. It's only once every four years.'
And what about reports that the World Cup can be bad for your relationship? These fans think that it can improve it. 'My husband wasn't a football fan,' Fay says. 'Basically, when we got married a few years back, he wanted me to take his name which I wasn't too keen on...[so] I ended up having a kind of agreement with him that if I took on his name he would have to take on my football team. He is a lot more interested in football now, and it's something we can share.'
And Zita agrees that being a fan has been good for our relationship - 'it's one of the things that unites our relationship,' she says. 'My boyfriend and I spend every Saturday night watching Match of the Day together.'
Hm. We're not sure we're going to give up Saturday nights out for THAT. But that doesn't mean that we're not going to find a way to have a good time during the tournament. 'If you REALLY can't enjoy the fun - use the match to do something YOU enjoy,' Natasha says. 'You don't need a man to have fun, surely? Go see SATC2, get a mani, read, go shopping - consider it quality boy-free time!'

Wedding Weight Loss: Must You?

A new survey has found that modern brides are regarding weight loss to be nearly as essential a part of wedding preparations as, well, finding a husband! More than half, it seems, lose more than a stone before their big day. And they're ordering their dresses accordingly - ten per cent go for a size smaller than usual, to give themselves something to aim for. But is all this slimming really necessary? We asked Lucy Mangan - author of the fabulously witty wedding memoir, The Reluctant Bride -  to weigh in on the issue.
Lucy says...
Until cellulite and whatever those fat flumpy bits that appear between your boobs and your underarms are called become internationally recognised objects of desire, brides are going to lose weight before their wedding days. I did - I think I lost about half a stone, which was enough to make a difference to the photographs and to my mental health. I couldn't have gone to the altar looking like I did when I first tried my dress on. They would have had to have armed my dad with a cattleprod to get me down the aisle. But three months of tennis and no chocolate later, I looked better and felt great.
And while I would never encourage anyone to go on an unnecessary diet, I would say that for a lot of us, diets are necessary and weddings can provide the extra impetus to get  ourselves off our lazy bums at last and lose those few pounds that are doing us no good, physically or mentally. But don't get stupid about it. Know what you need to lose and aim to lose it - and no more - steadily and sensibly.

Of course it's a great shame that we can't all accept and love ourselves for what we are and for how we're built, but I would suggest that the run up to your big day is probably not the best time to try and work on this. Unpicking
your body image issues is the kind of thing that should be done calmly and at leisure with a kindly friend or therapist, not in the febrile atmosphere of a bridal shop or the glassware section of John Lewis.

And if you don't want to diet, don't. Better a happy, buxom bride than a miserable bony one. If you're doing it because your mother has suggested it, don't. Ignore her. If you're doing it because your fiance has suggested it, don't. Ignore him, and then dump him. A man who wants you thinner is a man who will never make you happy. 

4 easy ways to eat smarter

The amount of information about healthy eating we're all bombarded with on a daily basis can feel so overwhelming that you need to tuck in to some chocolate to help you recover! We thought we'd give it a shot at simplifying things, so we asked four of the UK's top nutritionists to give it to you straight.
Please eat more iron
'A lack of iron can cause anaemia, and 40% of twenty- and thirtysomething women don't get enough. Blood cells can't carry adequate levels of oxygen without iron, leading to fatigue, shortness of breath, poor concentration, pale skin and weak nails. Spinach, eggs, broccoli, wholegrain cereals and baked beans are all fantastic sources of iron. As is lean red meat, and because most of the fat is unsaturated, it's pretty healthy too. Vitamin C helps iron absorb into your blood, so try to include some in every meal. Follow beans on toast with an orange, eat chopped tomatoes with your scrambled eggs, or add berries to your wholegrain cereal. - Nutritionist Juliette Kellow is co-author ofThe Italian Diet
Planning is your friend
'Being chained to your desk at lunchtime means you end up munching a processed sandwich or, worse, skipping lunch altogether. Missing meals will not make you lose weight, it'll just make you binge on the next meal you have. Regulate your appetite by eating regularly and steadily. Planning meals in advance ensures healthy food gets a look-in. Freeze home-cooked food and bring it to work. Arrive at work armed with fruit and yoghurt to avoid succumbing to the vending machine. When you're starving and having to make snap decisions, you often make poor food choices that are high in sugar and salt. And finally, it's a cliché, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.' - Dr Lisa Hark is author of Nutrition for Life
Feed your skin
'Strict diets can lack protein, which is essential for healthy skin. Meanwhile, sugar-stuffed foods such as muffins and biscuits make your blood sugar shoot up and, dermatologists say, can harden collagen, causing wrinkles to appear. Protein and vitamin C help create collagen, which is needed to keep your skin flexible, so make sure your diet includes food rich in these nutrients, such as baked and red kidney beans, Quorn, chicken, citrus fruits and berries. Have protein at every meal - milk with breakfast and tuna or salmon at lunch. Silica also helps make collagen and is found in porridge, green beans and honeydew melon.' - Nutritionist Amanda Ursell
Don't forget dairy
'Dairy is as important to your diet as fruit and vegetables. The idea that it's fattening is not entirely true, as the fatty acids in dairy can help prevent heart disease and control how the body metabolises fat, helping you lose weight. Above all, calcium is vital for bones. They'll start to weaken when you hit 30, so in your twenties it's vital to build density and prevent osteoporosis. Aim for three serving s of calcium-rich foods per day. Reduced-fat yoghurt and cheese is just as good, as calcium is stored in the watery parts of dairy, not the creamy parts. Soya is a great alternative if you are dairy-intolerant.' - Dietician Nigel Denby is founder of

Naomi And Scarlett Support Global Health Campaign

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Thinking of starting a family...oh, say, in the next couple of decades? Ifyou live in the UK (or most other Western countries) you will be fortunate enough to be able to depend on getting the medical care that you need for yourself and your baby when it's your time to become a mum. But tragically, this is not the case for millions of women and their children living in the developing world, where many new mothers have no access to any medical care when they need it most. And that's why Naomi Campbell and Scarlett Johannson are amongst a number of celebrities who have signed an open letter to G8 leaders, calling for them to make a serious commitment to promoting the health of mothers and children around the world.
'It is a global scandal that millions of women and newborn babies die or suffer severe injury during childbirth every year - despite the fact that the vast majority of these injuries and deaths are preventable,' reads the letter, which will be presented to leaders at the G8 summit next week (that's the annual meeting of leaders from the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, Russia, France and Italy).  In addition to Naomi and Scarlett, celebs who've signed the letter include many other women we love - like Kristin Davis, Judi Dench, Claudia Winkleman and Davina McCall. And men are getting involved too: Rio Ferdinand and Jermain Jenas are among the chaps who have also signed on to the cause.
The campaign goes on to call on the leaders to double aid for health care for women, infants and children; dramatically increase numbers of health professionals in the developing world; and increase health care access to women and children who live in poverty by making it available at no cost to them. The statisticsc speak for themselves: 'Increased investment could save the lives each year of appoximately 1 million additional children and between 200,000- 300,000 women,' the letter explains.
But how can you get involved? Turns out, it's quite easy. 'You can support the [campaign] in lots of ways,' says Brigid McConville, UK Director of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, which is one of the many organisations backing the initiative. 'Join up on the website (it's free!) and find out about all the activities, from fashion shows to dinner parties, from marathons to mountain climbs - that our members are involved in all over the world, raising awareness as well as funds.'

Interview With Karren Brady

Karren Brady talks to GLAMOUR.COM about her new role on the Apprentice and gives us some very useful career tips!

What are you looking forward to most about appearing on The Apprentice?
I have really enjoyed being involved. Lord Sugar and Nick [Hewer] are amazing to work with as are all the team involved in the production of the show. The amount of integrity and energy that goes into it is absolutely mind-blowing. I'm looking forward to seeing the change that occurs in the candidates. The show holds up a mirror to who they are and what they
are about, and as it progresses you see the candidates change, improve and develop.

Do you think you will agree with Sir Alan Sugar or have a difference of opinion?
My job isn't really about my opinions, my role and Nick's is to be the eyes and ears for Lord Sugar when the candidates are doing the tasks. We give an honest appraisal of what happened and who made which decision so that he can make a decision on who to keep and who to fire.
What do you find impressive about someone in an interview?
Four things. Firstly, that they have done their preparation - having done some background research on the company, who we are, where we
are going etc. Secondly, that they understand and think about the job they are applying for; having a focus on exactly what they intend to bring to the role and the organisation as a whole. Thirdly; confidence. If they cannot sell themselves, they cannot sell my business. Finally; enthusiasm. I never employ anyone without this magic ingredient.

Is it difficult being a woman in the male-dominated world of football?
No. Whilst football may seem very male-dominated, it actually isn't as bad as you'd think! In fact 75% of my senior management team at Birmingham City Football Club were women.

What's the best piece of career advice someone has given to you?
Never let your heart rule your head, and never believe the manager when he says 'just one more player!'
You lead a busy life. How do you find time for your family?
My kids are the most important thing in my life so I make time. They love to come to work with me, they enjoy the football games and I always say no to the many invitations that I receive because at the end of the day I cannot go to the Oscars and make my kids breakfast, so I choose the second! When I do have to travel I keep in constant touch with my kids by sending them text messages, calls and videos and photos of where I am and what I am doing.

Who has inspired you?
I love self-motivated, enthusiastic people. Sir Philip Green and Lord Sugar are top of my list.

What qualities do you think women bring to the boardroom?
A lack of politics, ability to see the bigger picture, fantastic strategists, natural nurturers of people and great communicators.
What are your ambitions? The next female prime minister?
I like politics and would like to be an advisor in a political arena, but my ambitions don't extend to being the PM. I'm very lucky to do a job that I love, and - as I always say - nothing is work unless you'd rather be doing something else. And there is nothing else I'd rather be doing.

How Much Chocolate Can You Fit Into a Healthy Diet?

By GalTime Associate Producer Kendall Bitonte
Along with diamonds, most girls would agree that chocolate can really be a gal's best friend. But don't go splurging on this yummy candy for a good heart-to-heart ... According to Elisa Zied, registered dietitian and author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips, chocolate's benefits must be enjoyed in moderation to keep it "healthy."  Here are some of her tips and guidelines on how to keep chocolate a sweet delight in your diet. 
Related: Get Real About Your Goal Weight 
1. An Ounce to Help Your Heart
"According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, there's moderate evidence that eating modest amounts of dark chocolate or cocoa may be beneficial to your heart by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease," Zied said. The key, however, is the word modest.  Overindulging in any food is not healthy but since chocolate is a bit high in calories and fat, having more than deemed appropriate by dietary guidelines can cancel out many of its benefits.  
"An ounce to an ounce and a half is usually the amount believed to confer health benefits; this is far less than the amount you'll find in a typical candy bar. Chocolate also contains lots of fat and added sugar, so if you choose it, you'll have to curb intake of other foods rich in solid fats and added sugars so that you keep your calorie intake in check," Zied recommends.
Related: Do You Really Need to Build Your Core Strength?
2. Choose Dark Chocolate
But what is it about chocolate that makes it good for us? Zied specifically points out thatchocolate is abundant in stearic acid, a saturated fat that does not raise your blood cholesterol levels.
But beyond just recognizing chocolate in general, Zied specifies the powers of dark chocolate gets its good reputation from being rich in flavonoids.
According to research presented by the Livestrong Foundation, flavonoids are compounds that have strong anti-oxidant activity that may help with cardiovascular health as well as chronic conditions like osteoporosis and diabetes. 
"Dark chocolate has more flavonoids than other types of chocolate, which is why it's typically touted as health food. But not all dark chocolate is equal when it comes to flavonoid content. A good rule of thumb is to look for at least 70 percent cocoa solids when you buy dark chocolate--that indicates it contains a good amount of flavonoids in the chocolate," she said. 
 Related: Finally, a Fix For Stubborn Fat3. Mix Chocolate with a Healthy Diet
So there you go-chocolate may help your heart, and dark chocolate can be an especially good source of antioxidants.  However, Zied cautions, "Before you turn to dark chocolate for its potential heart-health benefits, be sure to keep in mind that chocolate candy is calorie dense--it contains lots of calories in a relatively small portion. If you like the taste of dark chocolate, consuming small amounts--in the context of a heart-healthy diet rich in produce, whole grains, lean protein sources, low fat dairy foods, and healthy fats--can help you satisfy your craving for sweets while minimizing dietary damage."