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How many times have you heard someone say, "sorry I can't, I'm on a low carb diet." – cue a serious eye-roll.

Hands up for the many times you've heard a family member, friend or co-worker say they're following an Atkins or Keto diet.

There is no denying that cutting carbs is a popular way to lose weight and to be fair, the majority of us have given it a go.

However, new research has provided us a reason to embrace the bagel, because scientists have found cutting carbs is shortening our lives.

Yes, you're miserable and you're actually doing more harm than good by avoiding your mum's potatoes.

The study published in the Lancet Public Health journal investigated the link between carbohydrate intake and mortality.

The research followed 15,400 Americans over 25 years and showed that a moderate cut in carbohydrates is much healthier than a dramatic one. 

The scientists collected data from participants' questionnaires which included portion size, and the food and drink they consumed. 

They then went onto estimate how many calories each person obtained from carbs, protein and fat.

However, before you raid the bread bin, moderation is key.

The study suggests that a diet both high and low in carbohydrates are associated with increased mortality.

Those who ate a moderate amount, which means 50–55 percent of their diet came from carbs, lived longer than those who followed high and low carb diets.

Scientists predicted that those in the moderate group had an extra four years of life on those who adopted an extra low-carb diet (less than 30 percent of their energy came from carbs.)

Compared to the low-carb group, moderate carb eaters were expected to enjoy a further 2.3 years of living (30-40 percent coming from carbs.)

And, as for the high-carb bunnies – those who got 65 percent or more of their energy from carbs, would live 1.1 years less than the moderate group. 

It's time to bin the Atkins book – the study also showed that plant-based protein and fat is a healthier swap for carbs, than animal-based products.

Their findings discovered that the risk of death increased when carbs were exchanged for "animal-derived fat or protein" and the risk decreased when it was substituted with plant-based foods. 

Leading the research, Dr Sara Seidelmann, clinical and research fellow in cardiovascular medicine from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told the BBC:

"Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight-loss strategy.

"However, our data suggests that animal-based low carbohydrate diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall life span and should be discouraged.

"Instead, if one chooses to follow a low carbohydrate diet, then exchanging carbohydrates for more plant-based fats and proteins might actually promote healthy ageing in the long term."

If this research is anything to go by, carbs are your friend and not your enemy.

Moderation and balance diets seem to always rule out.

However, if you are changing up your diet – make sure you talk to your doctor before you do.

Now I'm off to indulge in some pasta!

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Look, we all thought that by the age of 25 we would be married and living in a lavish house, spending our Sundays browsing around home stores and buying the expensive candles.

Alas, society shifted on it's arse and most of us are lucky at to have moved out of our parents house and into an overpriced box falsely given the name 'an apartment' before our 25th birthday.

So it comes as no surprise that us millennials are suffering from something that never before existed and that is 'the quarter life crisis'.

When you cop that you haven't lived up to their own expectations by a certain age, it can be crushing.

As this study shows.

More than 1,000 people aged between 23 and 39 were surveyed to see what factors they believed affected their life satisfaction.

It showed that 30 percent of married people who were going through a quarter-life crisis thought that they had settled for their other half. 

Those who blamed the pressure to get hitched in adding to their depressive state made up 17 percent and 16 percent blamed it on the pressure to get pregnant. 

 

And it found out that 2 in 3 people had experienced the quarter life crisis. 

Do you agree?

 

 

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Your work wife makes those long, exhausting and downright dull days in the office bearable. They’re the person you gossip with as the kettle boils, the gal who will never say no to a midweek trip to the chipper and the person who will always give you a pep talk in the loo before a big meeting.

The friendship you share with your work wife is like no other, but a new study has found that this friendship may be having a negative impact on your work.

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According to Dr Sangyoon Park, having a work bestie slows down your productivity by 6 percent. 

Dr Park found that people sitting next to your pals in work reduced your productivity, but only if you were sitting next to each other as opposed to across from one another.

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He explained, “I find that employees are less productive when working with friends but only when friends are close enough to socialize with each other. 

“I find no effect when friends are working at positions further away from her such as across the table or at a neighbouring table.”

Despite the lack of productivity, Dr Park did stress the importance of socializing with your work colleagues.

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“An employee is willing to forgo approximately 6 percent of her wage to socialize with friends at work.”

We may chat too much and make way too many cups of tea, but they make work far better. Having strong relationships in work even makes employees want to stay in that company longer, so it’s a win-win for everyone really.

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When you think about it, four out of the six characters on Friends, who all pretty much co-habited with each other, also slept together.

So it doesn't come as much of a surprise that women would get hot and heavy with their opposite-sex flatmates.

According to a study,  most people would rather live with members of the opposite sex – a whopping 68% of men and 63% of women. 

We wonder why.

When it comes to going through a dry spell, the study showed that 74% of men vs. 57% of women aren’t opposed to pursuing a romantic relationship with their flatmate. 

Looks like people aren't so mad about living alone.

It seems that fancying the people that you're living with is also common 74% of men and 57% of women thinking that their roommate is a ride. 

Also, 1 in 3 people have had a sexual encounter with their roommate. 

Have you?

Or have you ever been tempted?

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I love a good beard, I must say.

There's something so sexy about them, the way the command attention and can transform a guy from looking cute to looking HOT.

But we have some bad news, guys.

According to a study, your fellas facial hair contains a lot of dirt.

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The study analysed bacteria levels in the beards of 18 men aged between 18- and 76-years-old and what the found was gross.

Basically, they were chock FULL of bacteria.

In contrast, only 23 out of 30 dogs had high counts, while the rest had moderate levels. 

Professor Andreas Gutzei said, ''On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean compared with bearded men.” 

Oh, lovely. 

A previous study by Fragrance Direct and Manchester Metropolitan University found that, after testing a range of beards from long and short to stubbly, almost half of male beards contained faecal matter. 

Dear Lord – we're kissing faces with traces of sh*t on them?

Most of the participants involved in the study claimed they had washed their beards the same day of the test.

Also, interesting to note – shorter beards had more bacteria.

Hmmm, maybe clean-shaven is the way to go…

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Science has upped it's game.

Most researchers seem to be pretty busy with conducting medical studies and making valuable scientific discoveries for society's gain, but this latest survey really takes it to the next level.

Bloom & Wild have worked with London Metropolitan University to undergo an experiment to figure out when the 'love hormone', AKA oxytocin, is released.

The anti-anxiety and stress reducing hormone is pretty special, the chemicals are made when you're in love, and having some KICK-ASS sex. We heart it. 

The study measured how the brain reacts to receiving certain gifts, and it's led to some pretty interesting, and useful, results. We're not hugely surprised at what topped the list, they're all unreal.

Research also suggests that people in the first three stages of love reported higher oxytocin levels that last for roughly six months to a year. At a chemical level, can presents recreate this high of lovestruck heartbeats?

Scientists reported that the subjects of the study showed an average increase of 73pg/ml in the hormone oxytocin after getting chocolates, and 62pg/ml after receiving flowers. Feeling loved comes in all shapes and sizes, it would seem.

The official top five items or experiences included on the list which trumped having sex were; chocolate winning the number one spot, then flowers, food, shopping and booking a holiday.

Receiving chocolate apparently creates a high increase in oxytocin the same rise in oxytocin comes from sex, so a quick nip down to Butlers could solve your stress issues. 

Flowers can spark the same feeling as love, relationships and sexy times, and a study by Havas Worldwide revealed that 57 percent of millennials think that food is better than sex. Damn.

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Retail therapy also made the list, according to the experiment. The neurologist David Linden, in his book The Compass Of Pleasure, explains that the experience of shopping triggers dopamine circuitry in the brain's mesolimbic pathway.

In plain-old-English, the mesolimbic pathway is a key part of how we experience entertainment and happiness, so having a sneaky online shop at ASOS is good for you. Thank God we have a valid excuse to do this now…

Booking a holiday is better than having some intimate. alone time with a partner, according to research. 16% of Brits claim to support this, so those Aer Lingus January sales must have had people feelin' pretty damn euphoric.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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To carry out their research, Bloom & Wild and London Metropolitan University split 30 volunteers into three groups.

Each were to receive a gift of flowers, chocolate, or water, and took saliva samples before the gift arrived, and then again 10 minutes after delivery, and finally 40 minutes after receiving the gift. 

It just goes to show, chocolate should always be cherished. We're in a loving relationship with Cadbury's Dairy Milk, and there are zero signs of a break-up coming our way.

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Female masturbation has long faced stigma, yet male masturbation is socially accepted as normal, and even healthy. Yet the advantages and benefits of self-pleasure for women can be easily overlooked.

A new study by TENGA took a dive into the world of self-lovin', and highlighted the impacts it has on everyone around the globe. 

The sex toy company surveyed 10,000 people from nine different countries worldwide to investigate how much masturbation has impacted their lives. The result? It's pretty damn important to people.

According to the results, 91 percent of people in the United Kingdom indulge in masturbation, or have at one point or another. That's around 60 million people, which is impressive.

Unfortunately the survey didn't use Irish people as participants, but we reckon the UK is close enough of an indicator.

When the surveyed population were asked why they masturbate, they responded with three dominant reasons; to satisfy their horniness, to achieve sexual pleasure or to relax/relieve stress.

Other reasons were boredom, to help them sleep, to give them body confidence, to become a better sexual partner or because their partner didn't want to have sex with them at the time.

Other research showed that British men and LGBTQ+ are more likely than other group to masturbate, and men and younger generations tend to start younger – around the age of 13.

93 percent of men said that they had masturbated before, while 88 percent of women claimed to have indulged themselves in self-pleasure before. Women tended to start at the later age of 15.

The stereotype is that women don't masturbate as much as men, but science has disproved this on multiple occasions. Girls love self-love, face the pleasurable facts.

Women who currently use a sex toy were found to be more satisfied with almost every aspect of their sex lives than women who don’t – especially when it comes to quality of masturbation and frequency of orgasm.

When asked how often they masturbate, 61 percent of British participants confirmed they do it at least weekly – a greater share than in almost every other country surveyed. 

Those UK people surveyed said that they are horniest in the month of July (summer lovin'), touch themselves most between 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. and, normally take to their bedrooms to do it.

Sexual therapists and health experts agree that masturbation has many benefits, including letting go of sexual shame, better sex, improved body image and a stronger libido. It also releases stress-reducing endorphins in women. 

64 percent of Brits surveyed consider masturbation to be a form of self care or therapy, and 52 percent think it impacts wellness or state-of-mind.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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While men tend to orgasm all or most of the time, women are significantly less likely to orgasm as frequently.

Nearly 80-90 percent of people find masturbation to have a positive effect across most aspects of their lives, including their mood, health, energy and productivity levels, and their relationships.

Among the 41 percent of Brits who have regular masturbation routines, men usually watch porn but women prefer to use their imaginations. Interestingly, British fantasise about previous partners more often than their current one. Hmm…

Finally, when asked what celebrities were fantasised about, the most common answers were Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Hardy, Mia Khalifa, Christian Grey, Johnny Depp and Emma Watson.

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Sexual fantasies might sound slightly taboo but it turns out that there are some pretty unexpected things going on in your partner's mind.

And it's not all threesomes and sex with an ex, we were shocked to discover. 

A study carried out by Superdrug Online Doctor found out that men's fantasies are emotional as well as physical – who knew, huh?

And it seems that those sexy daydreams aren't doing any damage to your relationships as 4 in 5 of those who do fantasise consider themselves either satisfied or very satisfied with their partner. 

While fantasising about sex is obvs up there for both men and women, we're also thinking about more innocent hanky panky such as cuddling and kissing. 

Yes, 16.8% and 29.7% of men respectively fantasied about cuddling and kissing. 

The figures show that women are 30% more likely to fantasise about kissing than men but men are 7% more likely to fantasise about sex…not too shocking tbh.

And sharing is deffo caring or so the stats say as it shows that those who share their fantasies with their partner are 13% more satisfied with their sex lives – get sharing, lads. 

So, lets get down to the nitty gritty – who are these people in our fantasies? 

The results show that fantasies usually involve an ex, a friend or a stranger but more often a stranger. 

Men were more likely to think of an ex or a friend while women opted for the stranger.

Interesting, right?

Do you think sexual fantasies are okay and if so, would you talk about them with your partner? 

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We all have our favourite ways to enhance our experience between-the-sheets but can our own personality type play a role in our sex life?

A  study looked at 16 personality types and compared feedback from 1,000 people to see how our personalities impact how we are in bed.

Ready to see the results?

Extroverted personalities including ENTP, ENTJ, and ENFP are the most willing to try new sexual scenarios including anal, bondage, or same-sex encounters.

Unsurprising.

Sex positions like doggystyle and reverse cowgirl were popular among extroverts while introverts like ISFPs prefer 69 and ISTJs like spooning.

Also, extroverts are 11% more likely to be satisfied in bed than introverts with ESTJs being the most easily satisfied (81%) and INFPs being the hardest to satisfy (60%)

When it came to being vocal in the bedroom, people who identified as ISTJ (the Logistician) were the least likely to vocalise what they waned in bed.

According to the study, extroverts were 10 percent more adventurous than introverts in bed.

Getting to know what turns your partner in the bedroom is an important part of a relationship and can make your sex lives together so much better. 

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If you're trying to have a baby, or thinking about starting a family in a few years, you may want to start taking notes.

According to new research, your man should be chowing down on nuts (sorry boys) as they increase his sperm count. 

Researchers took 119 healthy males between the age of 18 and 35 and gave one group a portion of nuts whilst the other continued to eat as normal.

They found a 16 percent increase in sperm count from those who had the nuts.

Their sperm vitality also rose by 4 percent, sperm motility by 6 percent and sperm morphology by 1 percent.

The study was run in the Human Nutrition Unit of the Rovira i Virgili University in Spain, by lead author Dr Albert Salas-Huetos. 

Dr Albert says they embarked on the study in response to "pollution, smoking, and trends toward a western-style diet," which is impacting the quality and quantity of human sperm.

The results also concluded that those who ate nuts had a “significant” fall in sperm DNA fragmentation, which is crucial for successful fertilisation and normal embryo development.

Before you run out and stock up on the nuts and force-feed them to your partner, the author said more investigations need to take place before they can solidly conclude the benefits of the nuts when baby-making. 

“We can't yet say that based solely on the results of this study,” says Salas-Huetos.

During the 14-week study the men ate 60 grams of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts. 

Dr Albert did say that if you want to try for a baby, evidence points to a healthy diet aiding your chances of conception.

“But evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception – and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet," he said.

It's never too early to get his swimmers fighting fit!

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We might inherit certain things form our parents, like blue eyes or our height, but what about our ability to cheat? It might sound extreme but is there anything in it?

Bloom&Wild asked a few questions about genetics to Dr. Daniel Kelberman, from Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. When it comes to pulling the wool over your other halves eyes, is it something learned from our Mum and Dad?

Dr Kelberman believes not.

He said, ''No – such behaviours are acquired and nothing to do with genetics.'' He continued, ''[Speaking generally about behaviour-related genetics], there are lots of studies on the genes involved in inheritance, most of which are contentious. There are potentially thousands of genes involved, and our estimates at present only account for a very small amount of what is inherited.”

This therefore means cheating is something you may act out with on your own and not inherited from your parents. Other genetic questions asked including one about obesity and height.

So is obesity inherited?

Dr Kelbermman said, ''There are many genes that have been implicated in increased BMI, but few rarely proven and the biological basis is unknown. Genetics is suggested to play a role, but quite a small one.''

He added, ''There are rare forms of childhood onset obesity that are caused by mutation of a single gene, but these would be considered more of a rare disease than the phenomenon of increasing rates of obesity in the population.''

So if you feel the need to cheat, don't go blaming genetics. 

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Our sisters drive us crazy at the best of times, but a new study has found that having a sister makes you a more optimistic person.

According to a study conducted by researchers at De Montfort University and Ulster University, people who grow up with a sister are happier people.

They may steal our clothes, forget to call us for weeks and hogged the remote like there was no tomorrow when we were kids, but researchers found that sisters are more open to communication, making their siblings feel more supported.

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Nearly 600 people took part in the study. They were asked about a variety of topics, including having a positive outlook and mental health.

The participants were aged between 17 and 25.

The team found that sisters encouraged their siblings to talk more, especially if they had something on their mind.

“Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families. Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families,” said Professor Tony Cassidy.

 

He added that boys tend to bottle things up, but we need to encourage them to communicate more too.

The researchers said their findings will help promote communication in families, which will help youths who are suffering from mental health disorders. They believe that opening up to their family will relieve some of their stress.

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Professor Cassidy added, “I think these findings could be used by people offering support to families and children during distressing times.

We may have silly tiffs with our sisters from time to time, but they are always there to cheer us up in our time of need.

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