Why They Call Me the Codger

In the office, they call me “the codger.”

It’s meant in good humor, but as with most jokes, it carries a bit of truth…

Most of my Stansberry Research co-workers are much younger than I am. I think I’m at least twice the average age in our Baltimore office.

As a codger, though, people in the office regularly come to me for advice… from topics like what to do when an investment goes south, or for some of my favorite ways to treat back pain without resorting to pills.

There are some beliefs I’m well known for having. For example, longtime subscribers are familiar with my love of blueberries. In today’s Q&A, we’re revisiting advice I’ve long given subscribers and colleagues.

Q: I know blueberries are at the top of your food list. But I actually am not crazy about them. Are blueberry juices nearly as good and, if so, do you have a recommendation? And regarding frozen blueberries, do I have to let them thaw fully before eating, in yogurt for example? – R.G.

A: Blueberries are my favorite berries. Blueberries contain health-boosting molecules like vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, fiber, and flavonoids. They lower cholesterol, improve eyesight, and reduce inflammation.

If you don’t like blueberries, other berries – raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries – have similar benefits (just not to the same degree).

Pairing berries with yogurt is one of my favorite ways to eat them. The probiotics in foods like yogurt help break down the antioxidants into more usable forms. This allows your body to absorb more nutrients and reap more benefits.

It’s OK to eat them frozen. Although if you have sensitive teeth, the cold might hurt your teeth. And if you really want to eat blueberries without the taste, blend them up with your favorite fruits (and vegetables) in a smoothie.

And avoid blueberry juice. Fruit juice is high in sugar, which causes spikes in glucose that increase your risk of developing diabetes and cancer.

Q: It would be great if you could supply a list of the antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers NOT to use. The product labels are lengthy and I don’t know the code words. I just read a Purell label and it does not say “anti-bacterial.” But, it “kills 99.9% of most common germs.” So, is it or isn’t it anti-bacterial? Should I use it? Maybe? Probably? Or probably not? Please help. – D.S.

A: The easiest way to tell if something is antibacterial is to look for “triclosan” on the ingredient label. Other common antibacterial ingredients are ethyl alcohol, triclocarban, and chloroxylenol. And it’s probably safe to assume that if something claims to “kill 99.9% of germs,” it’s antibacterial. We touched on the dangers of triclosan here.

As we’ve mentioned before, plain old soap and water does the job. So stick with that and stop creating superbugs.

Q: Your [password security] suggestions are well founded, however, how do you keep track of all this? I have a protected document on which I store all my passwords, but I can’t begin to keep track of these security questions and answers. Suggestions? – R.B.

A: As we mentioned last week, if you’re not able to remember the answers, you can write them down (just keep the paper secure) or use a password manager like LastPass. LastPass can even generate the answers for you. You can download the free basic program right here.

I also know some people who, like you, use a password-protected document to keep track of passwords and security questions. But keep in mind that if your computer is hacked or stolen, thieves will have quick and easy access to all of your information. So make sure you’re using a strong password on the document.

Q: I sincerely hope I’m not the only one to point out a rather egregious error in the Q&A about Splenda, which is that sucralose, not saccharin, is the main ingredient. – C.F.

A: Thanks to C.F. and all our eagle-eyed readers who pointed out our typo in this issue. Saccharin is the main ingredient in popular sweeteners like Sweet’N Low. Splenda, as we’ve written before, is made from sucralose. Stevia is a separate sweetener and goes by brand names Truvia and Pure Via. (If you’re interested, this is one of the studies we read.)

As always, we appreciate our subscribers who point out errors in our newsletters. Thank you for keeping us in line.

Have a question you need answered? Write to us at [email protected].

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