In the U.S. Health Professionals study and the Nurses’ Health Study, poor lifestyle choices accounted for more than half of all strokes. Study participants who adhered to the five pillars of stroke prevention — did not smoke, had a body mass index of less than 25, took part in at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, consumed alcohol in moderation (less than 9 drinks a week for women or less than 14 for men), and scored within the top 40% of a healthy diet score — had an 80% reduction of stroke compared with participants who followed none of those healthy diet and lifestyle measures. A study out of Sweden, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found a similar benefit. An analysis of 13 studies found following a Mediterranean-style diet alone, characterized by high amounts of olive oil, nuts, fruits, vegetables and cereal; moderate amounts of fish and poultry; low consumption of dairy products, red and processed meat, and sweets; and consuming wine in moderation was associated with a 30 percent reduced risk of having a stroke. Diet can reduce the risk of stroke in a variety of ways, including helping to lower blood pressure [the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) are quite similar], lowering blood cholesterol and triglycerides (compounds that may clog arteries), preventing blood clots from forming, reducing inflammation, helping to regulate blood sugar, increasing the “good” bacteria in the colon, and aiding in weight management. Diet is a critical part of stroke prevention, regardless of age. Pairing a healthy and balanced diet with the four other pillars of stroke prevention can significantly reduce your risk and protect your health against other disease conditions as well.


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Fortunately, you don’t have to guess about the trustworthiness or the efficiency of a particular group, because you can check on it. To make sure that a charity is an actual charity – one that is tax-exempt and listed as a 501(c)(3) organization – you can go to www.irs.gov , the website of the Internal Revenue Service, and hit the “Charities & Nonprofits” link. An organization called Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org) tracks charitable groups’ financial health and accountability, including how much is spent on administrative and fundraising costs. Generally speaking, a charitable group that dedicates more than about 30% to 35% of its total costs to administration and fundraising expenses might be considered somewhat inefficient, though you’d want to evaluate each charity individually, since extenuating circumstances can occur. Keep in mind, though, that smaller charities may not have the same resources as a national organization to provide the reporting necessary for Charity Navigator. Will my employer match my contribution? You can make your charitable gift go a lot further if your employer matches it. Typically, companies match donations at a 1:1 ratio, but some will match at 2:1 or even higher. Check with your human resources department about your company’s policy on charitable matches. Are my charitable gifts tax deductible? A few years ago, Congress significantly raised the standard deduction, which, for the 2021 tax year, is now $12,550 for single taxpayers, $25,100 for joint filers and $18,800 for heads of household.


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(Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters) Warning: this story includes graphic sexual details Canada's top court heard arguments today about whether a B.C. man who allegedly ignored a woman's request to wear a condom during sex should stand trial — a case that could have broad impacts on the legal interpretation of consent and sexual assault. The question at the heart of the case concerns the definition of "sexual activity" — and whether sex with a condom is a type of sexual activity different from sex without one. The complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, met Ross McKenzie Kirkpatrick online back in 2017. She testified that she had insisted he wear a condom during sex.  They met up and had sex twice in one night, the first time with a condom. On the second occasion, the woman said, Kirkpatrick briefly turned to the bedside table; she said she thought he was getting another condom. The complainant continue reading went to the police, saying she didn't consent to sex without a condom and never would have done so if asked. B.C. woman says Mounties need better training on investigating condom-free 'stealthing' assaults The original trial judge acquitted Kirkpatrick in 2018, finding there was no evidence that the complainant had not consented to the sexual activity in question.  Last year, the Court of Appeal for British Columbia unanimously ordered a new trial — although the judges' reasons for doing so differed. Two of the judges said that sexual intercourse with a condom is different from sexual intercourse without one — and the complainant had not consented to sex without a condom. The dissenting judge found there was evidence Kirkpatrick had defrauded the alleged victim.