Good Day Alabama: Dec. 8, 2015

Good Day Alabama: Dec. 8, 2015

Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama:

MONEY TUESDAY - As 2015 quickly comes to a close, now is the time to sit down and consider what you might do to reduce your April 15 tax bill. 
• Tax Loss Harvesting.  The stock market is relatively flat for the year, but most investors will find both winners and losers within their investments.  Take a moment before year-end to review your portfolio for rebalancing realizing that up to $3,000 of realized losses in excess of realized gains can be deducted against ordinary income taxes.
• Charitable gifts.  Another way to reduce your income taxes is to make gifts to qualified charities.  This can be in the form of cash, securities or personal items.
• Retirement plan contributions.  If you have not maxed out your contributions to your company 401-k you can use the remaining paydays to increase your investment and income tax deduction at the same time.
• Roth Conversion.  If for some reason your tax rate will be low for this year, consider converting all or a portion of your IRA to a Roth IRA.  When you convert a traditional deductible IRA to a Roth IRA, you create ordinary income.   
For more information, visit welchgroup.com.

BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin joined us to explain how to make the most of your milk. There are a lot of popular milk choices:  cows', soy, and almond. But are they nutritional equals? Cow's milk has a lot going for it. It's naturally high in protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.  If you're not a vegan vegetarian -no animal products- and you're not allergic to casein -milk protein, milk is a nutritious choice. If you're lactose intolerant -you can't digest the carbohydrate in milk, lactose reduced milk is a good and effective choice for most people. And some good news if you don't like fat-free milk. Some evidence suggests that low-fat and full-fat milk may give you more heart health benefits than fat-free! The jury is not completely in on this one, but it is probably safe to say that fat-free milk is not necessarily better for you than full fat – so either is a healthy choice! A good alternative to milk if you're allergic to milk protein or you are vegan vegetarian, is soy milk. Soy milk is also very high in protein -8 grams- and it's a very high-quality plant protein. It's also naturally high in folate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin C. The manufacturers add calcium, some B vitamins -B12 and riboflavin- and also vitamin D. I would say that soy and cow's milk are the most nutritious milk choices. Both have a broad array of naturally occurring nutrients plus a few that are added for other benefits. Flavored soy milks have some sugar added so be sure to check out the sugars. Some have less, some have more than the natural sugar in milk -lactose. A lot of people are drinking almond milk, but it's probably not as nutritious as you think. It only has one gram of protein compared to the eight grams in soy and cow's milk. Nor does it have all the nutrition that almonds have – so don't forgo your whole nuts for the milk. To make almond milk, the almonds are soaked in water and ground up and then more water is added. Then the mixture is strained – so much of the almond gets drained out.  When you look at the almond milk label, most of the nutrients in almond milk are added – not a natural part of the almond. The calcium, vitamin E, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, and the B-vitamins are all added synthetically. As with soy milk, the flavored versions can have quite a bit of sugar added. If you are vegan or allergic to cow's milk, I definitely give a big nutritional edge to soy milk. One advantage to the plain almond milk -which is lightly sweetened- and the unsweetened is that they are low in calories – 30 and 60 respectively.  But light soy milk and skim milk are also pretty low in calories – 60 and 85 respectively. Now, if you love the way almond milk tastes, then it is fine to drink it – just make sure you're getting your protein elsewhere. To me, taste always wins out! But if you're just looking at which one packs the biggest nutritional punch, I'd have to give the edge to soy and cow's milk over almond milk.

GOOD DAY CHRISTMAS - Join the Good Day Alabama crew on Christmas morning as we share our memories and some great music! As we gear up for this year's show, we enjoy some music from some of our favorites. We visited our vault and enjoyed Carol of the Bells from Act of Congress this morning.

GIFTS FOR KIDS - WBRC FOX6 was proud to once again partner with the Salvation Army for our annual "Gifts for Kids Angel Tree" program. The "Gifts for Kids Angel Tree" program is a way for people to donate Christmas gifts to foster children and children in need during the holiday season. You could either supply the gifts yourself or donate cash to the Salvation Army to use that money to buy clothing and toys for children on the Angel Tree list. You could help by adopting an angel, dropping off a gift, or donating online. All gifts were due back Saturday and crews have been busy trying to get everything settled for all the angels this year. Jeh Jeh checked out all the goodies at the Gifts for Kids warehouse this year! If you would still like to donate money to help cover additional expenses, visit OnlineRedKettle.org.

Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, more advice on financial moves to make before the end of the year! Have you noticed all the ladybugs around? We explain the invasion and how to deal with it at your home. Trying to get those packages to your loved ones in time for the holidays? We talk with a shipping expert for pointers to get your items there safe, sound, and on time! Mickey takes us for a visit with his buddies at the Birmingham Zoo! And the doctor joins us to take your questions. Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!