How to Lower Blood Sugar

Originally authored by Ryan Rodal • HVMN.com -April 16, 2019 •

What does it mean if you have high blood sugar? Maybe you are under immense stress, or haven’t had the best diet lately, or have been fairly inactive. Even a big, carb-heavy meal will lead to higher blood sugar. Just because you once registered high blood sugar doesn’t mean you’re immediately at risk of poor health. But consistently high blood sugar should be taken seriously.

It’s usually related to a few health concerns—most often, diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are characterized by high levels of blood sugar (or blood glucose).Table of ContentsScience Behind Blood SugarConnection Between Weight and Blood SugarLosing WeightLowering Blood Sugar Through DietConsume the Right CarbsConsume Little or No CarbsIncrease Fiber IntakeCount Calories and Monitor Food IntakeAdditional Ways to Lower Blood SugarSleep MoreDrink Apple Cider VinegarExogenous KetonesExercising RegularlyRegularly Monitor Blood Sugar LevelsLowering Blood Sugar for Overall Health

Type 1 diabetes usually begins in childhood and is considered an autoimmune condition. In cases of type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little-to-no insulin. Generally, type 1 is caused by a genetic predisposition—meaning most people are born with it.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common, accounting for a majority of all cases. This form of diabetes is typically developed in older children and adults, but can occur in people of all ages. In type 2 diabetes, the body fails to properly use and store glucose because it doesn’t respond to insulin.

Obesity is one of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetics also tend to have other health issues, often relating to processes involved with the heart, kidney, eyes, and blood vessels. According to a study from 2015, type 2 diabetes has become worryingly prevalent in the American population; 12% – 14% of adults are estimated to have the disease.1

Even before diagnosis, having higher-than-recommended blood sugar levels can be harmful to your health and may ultimately be a sign that you are on the path to developing type 2 diabetes. This is called “pre-diabetes.” Pre-diabetes means that you have blood sugar levels that are higher than recommended (possibly due to insulin resistance), but below what is considered in the diabetic range. An additional 38% of the population has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

What role does elevated blood sugar play in diabetes, pre-diabetes, and obesity? And how can you lower your blood sugar? Do you even need to lower it in the first place?

Let’s explore the science behind the data to understand how blood sugar is correlated to these health concerns.

Science Behind Blood Sugar

Many people use the terms “sugar” and “glucose” interchangeably, but their differences are nuanced. All forms of sugar consumed must be converted into glucose as a fuel source for the body; this energy is created through a process called glycolysis. Any extra glucose from the diet is stored in the body as glycogen.

When present, the brain and body prefer to burn carbohydrate (and thus glucose). The brain is reliant on carbs, but the rest of the body can switch to burn fat in between carb-rich meals. Glucose stores are low compared to the seemingly endless bodily fat stores. Thus, on a typical eating plan, carbs or sugars are regularly consumed and metabolized into glucose to be used as energy for the brain.

However, if you don’t eat carbs, small amounts of glucose can also be made through non-carbohydrate food sources through a process called gluconeogenesis. The body can also slowly learn to make ketones from fat, and ketones can supplement glucose as brain food.

While glucose can power the body, uncontrolled levels can lead to complications.

Diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. In healthy humans, blood glucose levels are controlled by the secretion of insulin from the pancreas. The insulin acts as a regulator, lowering blood glucose levels as needed.

When you eat certain food, blood glucose levels increase. Insulin is secreted from the pancreas to normalize levels through the uptake of glucose into the body’s cells. In people with type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond correctly to insulin. The result? Blood sugar doesn’t get into cells and thus, can’t be stored for energy. When sugar can’t enter these cells, that’s when high levels of blood sugar occur (this is called hyperglycemia).

Connection Between Weight and Blood Sugar

Although a definite link cannot be established, there is some evidence to suggest weight gain is often associated with increased blood glucose. A study showed weight gain increased risk of diabetes among overweight adults.2 Weight loss was shown to have major beneficial effects over time. Every kg of body weight lost annually was associated with a 33% lower risk of diabetes.2

An illustration of a brain, separated by a light switch, showing how the brain and body use sugar

For people who are considered overweight and have high blood glucose, improving body composition may help lower blood glucose levels thereby lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Losing Weight

Maintaining healthy weight is key for overall health.

Many studies have shown being overweight has been linked to hypertension and type 2 diabetes.3 There is no one-size-fits-all weight for each and every person. However, for many people having a body mass index (BMI) below 25 is considered within normal weight range. BMI calculators online can help determine whether or not you are considered overweight.4

Even modest weight gain can have a substantial impact on the development of diabetes.5 Careful monitoring and maintenance of weight is important for overall health, especially in the case of diabetes prevention.Are you at risk for diabetes?

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Lowering Blood Sugar Through Diet

The most direct way to impact blood sugar levels is through healthy diet. Blood sugar or blood glucose is directly affected by the foods that we eat; carbohydrates are readily converted into glucose, entering the bloodstream and becoming blood sugar.

It’s important to make the right dietary choices to minimize the risk of high blood sugar, and potentially developing type 2 diabetes. Instead of a diet, think about these strategies as lifestyle changes.

Consume the Right Carbs

The body converts dietary carbs into glucose to be used as energy. Because carbs are so readily converted into glucose, foods high in carbohydrate have the largest impact on blood sugar levels (which normally increase after a high-carb meal). But when you consistently consume too much sugar, the pancreas will secrete extra insulin; and over time, it can’t produce enough to keep blood glucose at normal levels.

images of chickpeas, sweet potatoes and beans, the right carbs to consume

One way of maintaining healthy blood sugar is to simply eat the right type of carbohydrates.

Just like calories—not all carbs are created equal. Every source of carbohydrates has a Glycemic Index (GI), which is a ranking of carbohydrates in food relative to how blood glucose is affected. Carb sources with a GI index of 55 or less digest slowly, causing a lower and slower rise in blood glucose. Commonly, they’re referred to as “complex carbs.” Carb sources with a GI index closer to 100 are considered “simple carbs,” broken down quickly to be used as energy.

But what makes a carbohydrate complex or simple? Often, it’s how processed the food is.

More processed, sugary items have likely been stripped of all natural fiber, leaving it to be rapidly metabolized into glucose. Whole grains, on the other hand, will have a lower glycemic index (GI).

Consuming low GI carbohydrate sources may help manage blood sugar levels to stay within normal range.

Foods with a low glycemic index include meats, oats, beans, lentils, legumes, sweet potatoes, corn, yams, some fruits, and all non-starchy vegetables.

Consume Little or No Carbs

Instead of considering what types of carbs you’ll eat, another approach is to consume little-to-no carbs. Studies have shown that limiting carbohydrates is an effective strategy for improving glycemic control.6

Consuming very few (or zero) carbs and higher amounts of fat can control blood sugar and limit your glycemic response, which can help prevent diabetes.

There have been numerous instances in which diabetics have benefited from low carbohydrate diets. Andrew Koutnik, a graduate researcher at the University of South Florida found that type 1 diabetics were able to lower their blood sugar levels to normal range on a low carb diet.7 He says, “I simply took the foods in my diet with the highest elevation in blood glucose and replaced them with nutrient-dense fat sources.” His TED Talk provides anecdotal evidence of using low carbs to combat type 1 diabetes.

In 1976, another researcher named Bruce Bistrian discovered that seven cases of type 2 diabetes were reversed within one year on a low-calorie ketogenic diet, which employs a low-carb, high-fat eating regimen.8,9 Individuals on a ketogenic diet saw better improvements in health compared to a low-glycemic index diet.10

Increase Fiber Intake

Fiber can help you control blood sugar levels.

In diabetics, soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels by controlling glucose and insulin spikes.11 If you have (or are at risk of) type 2 diabetes, introducing high-fiber foods into your diet may help control high blood sugar. Fiber will pass through your digestive tract and will not cause a large spike in blood sugar, and it has been shown to be helpful in managing type 2 diabetes.12

The national fiber recommendations for individuals over 50 is to consume 30g – 38g daily for men and 25g per day for women. Another guideline is to simply consume 14g of dietary fiber per every 1,000 calories in your diet. Try adding more fiber to your diet if you are looking to lower your blood sugar.

Count Calories and Monitor Food Intake

Being overweight or obese has been linked to high blood sugar and an increased risk of diabetes. Like it or not, one of the best ways to lose weight is through a caloric deficit, consuming less energy than you expend. A healthy weight has been proven to help lower blood sugar levels, thereby lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.13

Ever been to a restaurant and got served a plate the size of your head? Portion control can be difficult, but today, when portion sizes seem to get bigger and bigger, it can be a method to help you lose weight. Although not as precise, studies have shown that portion control has been an effective way to help obese individuals lose weight.14

General “I’ll finish eating when I’m satisfied” portion control may work for some people, but precise methods will provide more consistent results.

Some of the best ways to make counting calories easier include:

  • Use a food scale: it can be difficult to accurately determine caloric intake without determining precise serving sizes
  • Use a food diary app: there are several free apps that will record calories and servings
  • Learn to read food labels: you should learn to read serving sizes to more accurately record meals in your food diary
  • Eat slower: studies have shown the speed at which you eat can have a direct effect on obesity, BMI, and waist circumference. Eating slower may prevent weight gain15

Counting calories and constantly monitoring food intake may be time-consuming, but it can pay dividends for weight loss, which means dividends for overall health.

Additional Ways to Lower Blood Sugar

Diet may be the most direct and obvious way to keep your weight within healthy levels and help you control blood sugar. In addition to diet, there are also other techniques to supplement your journey along the way.

Sleep More

It’s no secret adequate sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. Sleep can help lower stress, strengthen our immune system, and decrease blood pressure. Sleep is also important for mental function including: alertness, memory consolidation, mood regulation, and physical health.

Poor sleeping habits also affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

Slow wave sleep (SWS) is thought to be the most restorative sleep stage, as it affects hormonal changes. These hormones impact glucose regulation. Studies show when people do not get enough SWS, they have decreased levels of insulin sensitivity without an adequate compensatory increase in insulin release. This leads to an increased risk of diabetes due to reduced glucose tolerance.16 Reduced sleep quality may contribute to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

The benefits of a good night’s rest are important for maintaining hormonal balance and glucose regulation. But just how much sleep should you be getting? The amount of sleep required will differ depending upon age. For adults, seven to nine hours of sleep are recommended. At H.V.M.N., we know getting enough sleep is vital for performance. That’s why we developed Yawn—it’s our non-habit-forming sleep aid shown to decrease time it takes to get to sleep and improve sleep quality, leaving you feeling refreshed upon waking.17,18,19

Illustrations of a brain, a drop of blood in a shield, a blood pressure monitor and a brain, showing all the benefits of sleep

Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has many benefits to overall health and wellness. Studies have suggested ingesting vinegar before sleeping may favorably impact waking glucose concentrations in people with type 2 diabetes.20

The everyday kitchen staple can influence the body’s response to sugar by improving insulin sensitivity, with studies indicating vinegar can improve postprandial insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects.21

An easy way to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet is by creating vinegar-based salad dressings. You can also mix two teaspoons into a glass of water and drink it that way. The use of apple cider vinegar is an inexpensive remedy to potentially improve blood sugar levels.

Exogenous Ketones

A low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet and the state of endogenous ketosis is a great way to bring blood sugar down over time. Focusing on consuming healthy fats, along with general carb restriction, will undoubtedly lower insulin and glucose.

Interestingly, exogenous ketones such as H.V.M.N. Ketone can also regulate blood sugar in the short term. But it doesn’t require weeks of dieting to get into ketosis, so the effects on blood sugar are fundamentally different, because the body can still consume carbs and be in ketosis with H.V.M.N. Ketone.

Studies have shown that H.V.M.N. Ketone lowers blood sugar and may even reduce the insulin spike if you consume carbs.22 Maybe it’s not just the macros of the food you don’t consume—maybe the food you do eat can have a direct blood-sugar lowering effect.

Exercising Regularly

Regular exercise in conjunction with a proper diet can help you maintain or lose weight. People with type 2 diabetes can benefit from aerobic exercise, because physical activity is effective for reducing visceral fat as well as liver adipose tissue.

A single bout of exercise can increase insulin sensitivity for up to sixteen hours through multiple adaptations in glucose transport and metabolism.23 When you exercise, blood sugar is more effectively used for energy and muscle contraction.

Exercise can come in several forms including walking, running, biking, swimming, boxing, and weight lifting. The most important part of exercise is making the time to do it.

Regularly Monitor Blood Sugar Levels

Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels will help determine where you stand. If you are pre-diabetic, it’s important to get levels down to normal range to prevent full diabetes from occurring.24 If you already have type 1 or type 2 diabetes you must regularly check and log blood sugar levels to prevent seizures or a diabetic coma.

If you are not pre-diabetic, type 1, or type 2, it is still important to check readings regularly. Blood sugar levels are fluid and always fluctuating. Based on test results, you can adjust your diet (or medication if applicable) to help regulate blood sugar levels.

There are different ways of checking blood sugar.

  • Fasting Plasma Glucose Monitoring: fasted glucose levels are considered the baseline, used to compare against times when sugar was ben consumed. In order to obtain fasted plasma glucose, don’t eat for twelve hours prior to measurement. Then, prick your finger and obtain a small drop of blood to be used on a test strip. The strip is then placed into a glucose meter that reads blood sugar levels. Normal fasted glucose levels range from 100 – 125. If your blood sugar is 126 or higher you may be at risk for diabetes or pre-diabetes.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test: in this method, you are given a measured dose of glucose (approximately 75g) after taking the fasting glucose test. Blood is tested prior to the intake of glucose, immediately afterwards, and two hours later. The two hour measurement is most important. Normal range is considered blood glucose of less than 140. If your blood sugar is 140 – 199 after the second test, you may be at risk for pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar is 200 or higher after the second test, you could be at risk for diabetes.
  • Hemoglobin A1C: this method of blood sugar testing provides data over a three month period. As blood sugar levels are elevated over time, the sugar molecules will bind with the hemoglobin. Some of the sugar molecules will bind with the hemoglobin. The HbA1C tests determines the percentage of hemoglobin with bound glucose and is considered a much better measurement of long term glucose control. Using a percentage of glycosylated Hb, the HbA1C tests determine the percentage of hemoglobin with bound glucose. Hb A1C tests consider A1C levels of 4.5 – 5.6 range to be normal. An A1C test of 5.7 – 6.4 is considered pre-diabetic and 6.5 or higher is considered diabetic.

Glucose levels can vary significantly depending on many outstanding factors, like sleep and diet. It’s important to continually monitor levels on a regular basis to get a clearer picture of health.

Lowering Blood Sugar for Overall Health

Keeping your blood sugar within normal recommended ranges is important for overall health.

By effectively controlling these levels you are less likely to develop diabetes. Make smart lifestyle decisions, including practicing regular exercise along with having a proper diet. There is no excuse when it comes to your health. Stay healthy. Stay strong. Stay happy.

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Be OK Financially: Living Well After Divorce

Originally posted by Sandra Hughes on silvernest.com Apr 13, 2017 8:58:10 AM

Going through divorce is challenging on so many levels: mentally, emotionally and financially. Having a plan and support systems in place is critical in getting through each of these challenges. When you are dealing specifically with the financial realities of divorce, you may be wondering, “Will I be ok financially? Will I be able to live well after the divorce?” The answer to both of those questions can be yes—with thoughtful planning on your part.

The reality of divorce is that at least one of the parties will have a standard of living less than the marital standard of living, or what you were used to. From a completely practical standpoint, you may have never been involved in the financial planning, tax or estate planning aspects of your marriage. It will be useful to have sound advice to guide you through these conversations, as you get used to dealing with even more “new” things.

Divorce has a decidedly “business perspective” that may feel like foreign territory. And thinking about it just that way can take some of the emotion out of the break-up and focus you on the details of the next stage of your life. Following are three key suggestions to give you the support and comfort you need:

1) Put the right “business” team in place.

Ideally the team would consist of your divorce attorney, financial adviser, accountant, and estate planning attorney. If you can’t have all of these, a good attorney or mediator and a financial adviser is a good starting point. The best way to find all of these people is by referral. Talk to people that you know who have been through a divorce. Find out who they used and whether they would recommend that person, then interview the person before you start working with him/her to see if you get along well. It is very important for you to respect your adviser as well as having him/her respect you. A financial adviser will make sure you are clear about what you have now, and also that you budget and plan wisely for the income and assets you’ll have when the divorce is finalized. Finally, a good estate planning attorney is critical because there are all sorts of the issues surrounding your estate and beneficiaries once you are no longer partnered.

2) Create a budget immediately.

In order to get a sense of what you have and what you will need, do a current budget, as well as a projected post-divorce budget. If you have the ability to work with a certified financial planner or even a certified divorce financial planner, that is really beneficial. In any event, understanding what you have to work with and creating a current budget, highlighting your income and expenses, and also listing your assets and debts is a great starting point. Projecting your post-divorce budget is key as well. Figure out what financial information you have and what you need to find. Most important, you need to think about what you will need to live on, where you are going to live, and what you need to keep in mind regarding children, if you have them. Do a preliminary inventory of your assets so you have an idea what you will have when you and your spouse eventually divide them up.

3) Formulate your plan.

Know what you have to work with now helps you formulate a realistic plan for what you want to have at the end of the divorce negotiations. Once you have a sense of that, then the next step is figuring out what you will need to do to achieve that end. Setting realistic goals, and having your team in place goes a long way to creating a focused plan.

Having a structure, a plan and support will alleviate some of the stress and worry that is center of a divorce. That is what I want for each of you – the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will be financially ok, and the knowledge that you can live well after your divorce.

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Gallup Poll: 14% of Americans Use CBD

It may have taken almost a century to lift the prohibition on hemp, but it’s taken only a couple of years for the world to fall in love with cannabidiol (CBD). It hasn’t even been one full year since the non-psychoactive member of the cannabis family was declassified as a schedule 1 controlled substance. 

Now, a Gallup report finds that one in seven Americans use some form of CBD products. Let’s take an in-depth look at what Gallup found out about the 14% of Americans who use CBD, including where they live and what they use it for.

What is the Gallup CBD Poll About?

Gallup is a long-standing analytics and advisory board out of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Noted for their public opinion polls, Gallup has been cited by reputable sources penning articles on everything from current events to science to politics. Founded in 1935, this American institution has seen it all, including the first blow against hemp in the 1900s with the Marihuana Act of 1937. 

As 2018 drew to a close, an amended Farm Bill was signed into law. Under this legislature, hemp products became available from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Due to increased accessibility, CBD products are suspected to hit around the $22 billion mark by 2022. Naturally, these numbers caught the eyes of Gallup, prompting experts to conduct a survey on CBD usage in America.

This study was conducted from June 19, 2019, until July 27, 2019. 2,500 adults willingly participated in phone interviews with analysts. These discussions spanned a wide range of topics around the CBD industry. Here is what Gallup interviewers found. 

gallup poll American's use of cbd products

Image Source: Gallup

Who Uses CBD the Most?

The results are in. All age demographics use CBD in some fashion! Currently, the biggest proponent of CBD is the generation who has pushed the hardest to lift the prohibition. Almost 500 of the 2,500 surveyed fell within the 18 to 29 age bracket.

As the demographics aged, the number of people who used CBD decreased. 16% of adults in the 30 to 49 range stated they used CBD, while 11% of those between the ages of 50 and 64 also enjoyed the benefits of CBD. Lastly, just 8% of seniors 65 and over, turned to hemp-based products.

While seniors seem to be using the least amount of CBD, they are, interestingly enough, far more educated than the other age brackets. Only 42% of the seniors polled said they weren’t aware of CBD. Those numbers are in comparison to the 52% of those surveyed in the 50 to 64 and 30 to 49 age groups who claimed not to know much about CBD. Funny enough, the age group who knew the least about CBD were the 18 to 29 year-olds. 54% of them claimed to be unfamiliar with CBD products.

Where Do the Most CBD Users Live?

CBD is now available across all state lines. While there is a representation of CBD usage in each of the 50 states, some areas are more apt to use hemp-based products than others. Perhaps a given, the West represents the highest number of CBD users. With the first state to allow medical cannabis, California, plus cannabis hotspots like Colorado and Washington, this statistic shouldn’t come as a shock. 

21% of people who take CBD, come from the West. This area of the States seems to be a little more familiar with hemp-based living because the plant has been a part of their culture long before the rest of the country caught on. 

In what may perhaps be a shocking realization, the South had the second-highest number of CBD enthusiasts. 13% of the people who used the products came from below the Mason-Dixon line.

A gasp-worthy turn of events sees the East and Midwest tie for last place in the number of CBD users. Just 11% of CBD users come from these areas. What makes this statistic such a jaw-dropper is that this includes states where alternative forms of therapy are popular such as New York, Maine, and Massachusetts. 

Meanwhile, the Midwestern state, Kentucky, was the first state to regulate industrial hemp production. The state’s pilot program served as the prototype for the first Farm Bill amendment made by former President Obama back in 2008. 

What Do People Use CBD For?

Not only did Gallup find out who is using CBD and where they are living, but the analysts also pinpointed why people are turning toward hemp in the first place. An overwhelming majority of people are using CBD products to help with managing pain. 40% of people stated pain management was their number one reason for switching to hemp products. 

Anxiety came in at a distant second, bringing in 20% of the votes. However, finding alternative ways to handle mental distress is still a priority for CBD users. That’s why it still has quite a significant lead over the number three reason most people use CBD.

In third place, 11% of people surveyed claim that CBD helps as a natural sleep remedy for managing insomnia. 

Furthermore, some people use CBD for multiple reasons. Therefore, they voted for more than one option. That further drives home the versatility of CBD products. When it was all said and done, Gallup projected that 90% of people used CBD for therapeutic purposes. 

[RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress: CBD Can Help]

The Future of CBD

14% of people using a product that was virtually unknown a year ago is impressive. However, when you look at how many people are still uneducated about CBD, it shows there’s still a long way to go. As more people see their friends and family enjoying the potential benefits of CBD, the demand for hemp-based care will inevitably go through the roof.

Currently, CBD products are unregulated. The Department of Justice just handed off the oversight of hemp products to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). With the USDA regulating hemp cultivation, the next step of regulating CBD for the masses will be to get the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) involved.

At the moment, the FDA is still trying to calculate the most efficient, fair, and safest way to regulate CBD products. Officials are taking into consideration practices used when regulating supplements. Hopefully, CBD will be classified as a supplement in the very near future. 

With a change in classification, more research will be conducted, and analyses will be readily available. Naturally, the mainstream media will get a hold of this data and share it with media consumers. Undoubtedly, this shift in coverage on CBD products will have a monumental impact on the results of the Gallup poll. 

Where to Get CBD Now

While the FDA catches up to the 14%, you can still find high-quality CBD products. Just be sure to do your due diligence. Research the companies to make sure they are using the finest ingredients. Check to see if they participate in third-party lab testing. In an unregulated world, the more transparent a company is, the better you can feel about choosing their product. 

Contributed Post. Article originally posted on https://madebyhemp.com/

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Should You Outsource The IT Needs Of Your Small Business?

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At the center of any small business is the idea that drives it. This concept will be the reason that you started your company in the first place, and it will be the thing that hopefully generates you all of your profits. 

But very often when it comes to running a small business, you end up spinning lots of different plates. You’ll be worrying about keeping your company website up-and-running, managing your social media accounts, trying to get your website more exposure, making sure your antivirus is up-to-date, and worrying about your firewall, and router. 

Unless you are in the business of IT, these are probably not your fields of expertise. But, hiring a professional with the relevant skills and experience can be costly. And then you’ll also have to worry about managing them, and maybe even finding space for them in your organization. This may not be a viable option for you. 

Consider Outsourcing Your IT Requirements

Whatever your business needs in terms of IT support, there are plenty of great companies who are very well positioned to give you excellent service. Click here for an example of one such company. 

By outsourcing IT requirements, you will be freeing up your time in order to focus on the things that really matter to your business. You’ll be able to expand and grow in new ways, and you will have more energy for progress. 

Getting The Experience That Your Company Needs

Someone with the right experience levels and skill set could easily do a much better job of managing your tech support than you. You will be supported by a team who will have the relevant qualifications and will have no doubt handle multiple clients in a similar situation to yourself. They will understand the needs of your business and be able to react to this immediately. 

Access To Industry Standard Software

Your IT consultants will be able to set you up with some of the most useful pieces of software for your business. You’ll get updates as required, and whenever there are developments in areas of technology that may benefit you, you can access this quickly. This will allow you to position yourself ahead of others in the industry, whose in-house IT support may not have the knowledge or infrastructure to get on board with changes quickly enough. 

Security And Data Protection

Your customer’s data is extremely valuable. Not just to you, but to hackers who may try and benefit from it. With cybersecurity representing such a significant threat to business, you need to make sure that this is managed effectively. 

Having a managed IT solution will allow you to protect your data effectively. By keeping your network secure, and carrying out regular data compliance audits, your IT support company will help you rest easy, safe in the knowledge that your data is safe. In completing these audits, you can be sure that you will also meet any official regulatory requirements. 

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Are Background Checks Necessary For Businesses?

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Background checks are becoming more common, with businesses using them now as a part of the final stage of their hiring process, but are they necessary, why do businesses conduct them and do you have to ask permission?

What is a background check?

A background check is the process of finding and reviewing a person’s criminal history, their recruitment history and occasionally their commercial history and financial records. The details of these checks can vary from country to country and state to state and so it’s important to reference the laws regarding background checks where you live. The service of conducting a background check is typically outsourced to a company such as Checkr who will find the person’s information and raise any red flags.

Why do businesses conduct background checks? 

Businesses may conduct a background check for many different reasons. Some roles especially those within government or finance may require them to do so. Other employers may opt to do one as a safeguarding measure and to help them gauge the character of a person and their suitability for a role. 

It has been estimated that up to 40% of people lie on their resume and a background check can help employers to find out if an applicant has made false claims regarding their employment or education history. Even the process of ringing up a persons references could be classed as a form of background check and is just a way for a potential employer to gauge the fit of a prospective employee and to check that they have not been dishonest in order to be considered for the role. 

A background check can also highlight any issues that may make someone unsuitable for their role for example it could highlight driving offences which could make a person unsuitable for a role as a delivery driver. Background checks can also highlight any criminal records and any time spent in jail, and although a person should not be disregarded for their criminal history alone this should be taken into consideration when trying to maintain a safe working environment. For example, a candidate with a violent history may not be suitable for a high stress working environment as they may pose a risk to other members of staff. Background checks are also often performed for roles in which the individual is responsible for money as a means of additional security and protection against theft. 

Do employers have to ask the candidates permission?

Yes, as a potential employer you must ask and receive written permission from a candidate in order to conduct a background check, otherwise this could be a breach of a person’s privacy. An employer is also required to offer a copy of the finished report should you wish to query anything stated within it. 

The laws around background checks and what can and cannot be done change from place to place, so be sure to read up on the laws for your location if you wish to conduct one or believe one is going to be conducted on you. 

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Become A Plant Cultivator In Your Own Garden

There are many fantastic reasons why you might want to get into cultivating plants in your own garden. If you approach it in the right way, it can be an exercise in environmental aid, as growing certain native plants in your own home can help the local ecosystem to thrive. For some plants, there may be a range of uses which you might want to get out of them, whether medicinal or otherwise: even a bed of sunflowers might be cultivated for their edible seeds, as well as their flowers, which may be crushed and used in making homemade soap. Whatever your reason, it’s an exciting hobby to delve into – but one which will take a fair amount of preparation, especially if you want to see great success some time soon.

Pic Credit – CCO Licence

The Value Of Good Soil

Whatever it is that you are growing, you are almost certainly going to need good quality soil to grow it in. This is not a blanket rule, of course: water lilies will need either a pond or wet sand, and cacti can grow in rocky material. But for the majority of plants, you are likely to want to grow, good soil will be necessary. The best (and most rewarding) way to get your hands on good quality soil is to cultivate it yourself, a process which is probably easier than you think and yet still has the potential to be back-breaking. Over-cultivation is a real issue, and relatively easy to stumble into, so make sure that you don’t overdo it. With a simple compost and some physical labour digging it into the ground, you can have good soil in no time. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s crumbly, sweet-smelling and a rich colour.

Expert Equipment For Expert Cultivation

In the case of most plants that you will be seeking to cultivate, you are doing so in order to harvest something that you might get some use out of. Whatever it is, you will need to make sure that you are going to be able to do that, preferably by working to find the best possible tools and equipment out there. Relying on reliable and trusted sources like trimleaf can be an excellent way to do this, and you will find that having those decent tools in your hands will help you to feel more engaged with the art of cultivation as well. A bad workman blames his tools, but a good workman can often draw a line between their success and the quality of their tools.

Pic Credit – CCO Licence

The Time To Harvest

The harvest, of course, is what it’s all about. Arguably the most crucial part of harvesting is making sure that you are doing so at the right time, which can be much more of a challenge than you might have assumed. You will need to carry out the relevant research for each plant that you have, but you also have to keep your wits about you, as this is the kind of thing where real-life observation is very often more relevant than the information you find in books and online. In time, you will come to appreciate the signs of harvest time, which will yield greater results in your garden, whatever you are growing.

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How to Dispute Something on Your TransUnion Credit Report

Filing a credit report dispute with TransUnion is easy. Here’s how to do it.

One of the most important things you should check throughout your credit report is that the information listed in it is accurate. Sometimes, creditors report information that is inaccurate or outdated. Fortunately, if you spot something that doesn’t look right in your TransUnion report, it’s easy to file a dispute. Here’s how it works.

Why Dispute?

If you’re reviewing your report and notice something that’s not accurate, the inaccuracy could have a negative effect on your credit scores and perceived creditworthiness. If you file a dispute, the bureau producing the report (in this case, TransUnion), will investigate the credit report item in dispute. If it’s found to be inaccurate, the bureau will change it so that it’s accurate, which could mean removing it or altering it in some other way.

How to Dispute

Each bureau has its own way of receiving and processing disputes to its credit reports. At TransUnion, it’s easiest and fastest to dispute online: simply create your account or log in at dispute.transunion.com to get started. You can also call TransUnion or mail in a dispute.

What to Expect

The outcome of your dispute depends on what the investigation reveals. If it is found that you did have inaccurately listed information in your report, it will be changed to be listed accurately. Regardless of the outcome, you’ll be updated at key moments throughout the dispute process and can log in anytime to check the progress. Investigations typically take 30 days to complete, but 30-45 days is a good estimate. It’s in the best interest of the bureaus to make sure their credit reports are as accurate as possible, so you can trust your dispute will be investigated fairly.

Take the next step: protect your credit and start saving money.

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This article was originally published on truecredit.com.

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