Low-carb diets are low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fat and have been studied for years on how beneficial they are to the health. The main purpose of these diets is for weight loss but they have also been shown to benefit the health in other areas, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
The ketogenic diets has also been popular in recent years, as it is a form of low-carb diet that puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Most people opt for the pills as an easier alternative, which has also gotten more popular and is sometimes referred to as the shark tank keto pills, following the movie- Shark Tank.
Below are some of the health benefits of low-carb and ketogenic diets:
1. It Helps with Weight Loss
Low-carb diets have restricted amounts of carbohydrates, which causes a decrease in appetite-stimulating hormones- insulin and ghrelin. The high-fat content also has a satiating effect, which causes decreased food cravings. While the body works to convert fat and protein to glucose, it burns more calories. All of these contribute to weight loss, which makes this form of diet known for its weight loss effects.
2. It Reduces Triglyceride Levels
Triglycerides are fat molecules in the blood and an important measure of heart health, as a high level can increase the risk of heart disease. A study on some subjects showed how the restriction on carbohydrates altered lipoprotein metabolism, with the plasma LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) significantly reduced.
3. It Reduces Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
Low-carb and ketogenic diets are known to reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, which reduces the risk of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and other illnesses. Studies have shown that very low carbohydrate with a high saturated fat diet has an effect on the blood sugar and insulin levels. A PubMed study further proves that this diet may be useful in the short-term management of subjects with insulin resistance.
4. It Lowers Blood Pressure
Health experts advise people to check their blood pressure regularly due to the risks associated with elevated blood pressure. This includes heart disease, stroke, narrowed blood vessels in the kidney, aneurysm, and more. Low-carb diets have been shown to help lower blood pressure due to the reduced levels of carbohydrates and increased nutrients to keep the body healthy.
5. It Increases HDL Cholesterol and Reduces LDL Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the “good” cholesterol while low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as the “bad” cholesterol. The ratio of HDL levels to LDL can determine your risk of heart disease. Low-carb and ketogenic diets contain healthy fats that help increases good cholesterol, which reduces the risk of several illnesses.
Low-carb and ketogenic diets have been to benefit health in several ways beyond weight loss. This could be a safe and effective method to try to help improve your health while eating healthily. These five benefits are important and will give you an improved quality of life.
There are certain foods you should eat on a ketogenic diet to allow your body to produce ketones which will help with weight loss. Ketones are produced through a process referred to as ketosis, wherein your body burns fat rather than carbohydrates to produce energy.
In a ketogenic diet, you should consume foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat. Although there are several versions of the diet, you should typically consume up to 4 grams of fat for every gram of protein and carbohydrates. This diet will give you about 90% of calories from fat. This is unlike a traditional diet that involves decreasing carbohydrates and consuming foods rich in protein.
The Mediterranean Ketogenic Diet
This is a version of a ketogenic diet that is rich in fat. In this diet, you are limited to less than 30 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. The main source of the protein includes fish while olive oil is recommended for unsaturated fat.
This article mainly looks at some of the best foods you can consume if you a following a ketogenic diet. It also examines what you should avoid and the benefits and risks involved.
Healthy sources of fats in the ketogenic diet include coconut oil and nuts. Fats are the main source of calories and energy in this diet. Fats are very different. For instance, health experts don’t recommend trans fats because they are hydrogenated to enhance their shelf life.
Trans fats can increase inflammation and cholesterol levels in your body. These are not recommended in a ketogenic diet. Instead, saturated fats which remain solid at room temperatures are endorsed because they play a crucial role in the immune systems and other functions in the body.
Examples of healthy saturated fats in the ketogenic diet include:
In a ketogenic diet, the amount of protein is limited. Protein cannot be stored in the body. The excess is converted into glucose for energy production when carbohydrate intake is low. This restricts ketosis. The same foods that provide protein in a ketogenic diet happen to be the same that give healthy fats.
Examples of protein-rich foods that give healthy fats include:
Grass-fed meat products are rich in omega-3 fatty acids Nuts Seeds Eggs Seafood, particularly shellfish, shrimp, and crabs
It is worth noting that some fish are rich in carbohydrates and people in a ketogenic diet should keep that into account. Examples include oysters, mussels, squid, and clams.
Some non-starchy vegetables are part of the ketogenic diet. Examples include:
Asparagus (3.88 g of carbohydrate per 100 g) Baby corn (18.7 g per 100 g) Broccoli (6.64 g per 100 g) Brussels sprouts (8.95 g per 100 g) Artichoke (10.51 g per 100 g) Eggplant (5.88 g per 100 g) Okra (7.45 g per 100 g) Green beans (6.97 g per 100 g) Salad green, like spinach, endive, and romaine Squash Turnips Water chestnuts Okra Tomato Onions Fruits
Due to their high content of carbohydrates, fruits are not a part of the ketogenic diet. However, avocado is a part of this diet. Blackberries are sometimes recommendable because they are rich in fiber.
What to Avoid in a Ketogenic Diet
All foods that are rich in carbohydrates should be avoided if you are following a ketogenic diet. Examples include bread and pasta. In addition, most fruits are not friendly to a ketogenic diet.
Important Tips while on a Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is different from other dieting plans because it doesn’t incorporate a lot of carbohydrates. This can make it difficult for some people to stick with. Luckily, you can stick with a ketogenic diet in a number of ways without getting deprived.
Some of the tips you can try include:
Sipping unsweetened drinks like tea or coffee instead of sugary drinks. Incorporate ketogenic recommended condiments like ketchup, yellow mustard, or hot sauce Cook with no-sugar-added spices or herbs
It is important to contact your dietician if you are on a ketogenic diet. He or she will examine your nutritional or supplement requirements as cutting out most of the carbohydrates in your diet can lead to malnutrition. A ketogenic diet has helped many people lose weight and manage some conditions like diabetes. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, some children with epilepsy who don’t respond well to traditional medicine can benefit well from a ketogenic diet. Studies indicate that a ketogenic diet can suppress appetite while ensuring that your body has a steady metabolic rate.
Apart from being a staple food for humans for many years, bread is also a major component that most people consume regularly. Modern bread currently found on the shelves contains refined wheat, which is very rich in carbohydrates (carbs). A good number of people can shed weight and lower the risk of certain disorders by opting for low-carb bread in their diet.
Unfortunately, some people who eliminate bread in their diet as an option to ketogenic or low-carb diet often find it hard to get alternatives.
The good news is that there are plenty of creative bread alternatives out there. Although some are quite complicated to prepare than others, they can give that feeling of regular bread. People who are intolerant to gluten can also find a variety of gluten-free bread.
Opting for bread alternatives can give you a chance to go on enjoying your favorite foods, and sticking to a particular diet will be easier.
Sandwich Bread Alternatives
The following are bread alternatives you can comfortably make sandwiches with:
Ezekiel bread is a nourishing alternative that contains legumes and organic grains. It is a healthful option you can trust that derives its name from a biblical verse that explains an ancient method used in bread preparation. Organic grains and legumes found in Ezekiel bread include: Barley Wheat Lentils Sorghum Spelt Millet Soybeans
These grains should be whole and unaltered. Other Ezekiel bread types contain other ingredients like sesame. Prior to the flour-milling process, these grains in Ezekiel bread should be allowed to sprout. The idea behind sprouting that it enhances the nutrients load in the bread. Plus, it lowers the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar.
Also called oopsie bread, cloud bread has gained popularity in ketogenic and low-carb dieters. It is rich in protein and goes well as a sandwich base or English muffin alternative.
Ingredients in cloud bread include:
3 Ounces cream cheese 3 large eggs 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
• Preheat your oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet that is lightly greased with a parchment paper.
• Detach the egg whites from the yolk.
• In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer until foamy and stiff mounds form.
• Mix the cream cheese, egg yolk, and salt in another bowl.
• Carefully fold the egg whites into the second bowl ensuring that you don’t the air out of them.
• Scrape the mixture in small dollops on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes.
• The versatility of cloud bread makes it a good daily alternative for people on a low-carb diet.
This is a straightforward alternative whereby can slice the large end of an eggplant into an inch-thick disk and season to your liking. You can them grill or bake them. Allow the disks to cool and use them as a base for your burger.
Tortilla alternatives or wraps can include lettuce leaves.
• You can use iceberg lettuce leaves as alternatives when preparing wraps.
• Select the outermost leaves or the ones that are big to make flexible and fresh wraps.
• You can also gently break off the head of lettuce and use them as alternatives.
Gently steam the collard greens using a small amount of water in a large pot for a minute or two and let them cool. This makes the leaves flexible for making a delicious wrap. Alternatively, you can blanch collard leaves by placing them in boiling water for half a minute and then quickly put them in an ice bath.
The flavor on cabbages makes it preferable for specific food types. You can use a blanched or steamed cabbage leaf to make ideal wraps for flavorful spring rolls, wontons, or dumplings.
Other Bread Alternatives
If you want to completely avoid bread and stick to low-carb foods, you might miss eating your favorite comfort foods. Examples of healthy replacements include:
Cauliflower pizza crust mixed with eggs Zucchini Lasagna Pancakes made with almond flour Sweet potato toast
Skipping bread could mean you are losing a staple item from your favorite diet. Luckily, there are plenty of healthful bread alternatives that you can switch to. Although bread alternatives can be challenging in the beginning, most people adjust quickly to them. Eventually, you won’t miss that bread loaded with carbohydrates.
Lectins refer to plants that are associated with positive and negative benefits in the body. Examples of plant-based foods that contain lectins include whole grains, legumes, and some vegetables. This article gives more information about lectin and lectin free diet. It covers about scientific findings of this diet and why some experts recommend it.
What are the Lectins?
Lectins comprise a form of proteins that facilitate the interactions of cells in the human body. Some scientists claim that lectins offer a kind of defense in plants to keep off insects.
These proteins are also loaded with nitrogen, which plays an important role in the growth of plants. Although most parts of plants have lectins, they are commonly found in seeds, which people often consume. Lectins can impact your health in a number of ways, including digestion and heighten vulnerability to chronic medical conditions.
Given that they inhibit the absorption of some nutrients, they are classified as anti-nutrients. In addition, studies indicate that they can make red blood cells to bunch together. When taken uncooked, plants that contain lectins can cause stomach discomforts. That’s why it can be dangerous to consume legumes that are undercooked.
There is a specific lectin found in red kidney beans referred to as phytohaemagglutinin. It accounts for red kidney bean poisoning that results from the consumption of undercooked or raw kidney beans. In reference to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consumption of just four raw kidney beans can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Effects of Cooking Methods
Deploying cooking methods that use some moist heat can lower the number of lectins in plants. Cooking also facilitates the breakdown of starch into simple carbohydrates which are eliminated from the body before they can trigger the negative effects.
Slower cooking methods are not recommendable in the preparation of kidney beans because the temperatures are insufficient in the elimination of lectins.
Some of the best ways to minimize lectins in plant foods include: Fermentation Boiling Peeling Sprouting Deseeding Pressure cooking
Health Benefits of Lectins
Although lectins are associated with negative effects, they also have some benefits. When taken in small amounts, they help in the growth of the good bacteria found in the digestive system. Studies have shown that lectins can be helpful in the identification and diagnosis of cancer. Researchers are currently trying to find the potential role of lectins in slowing down the proliferation of cancerous cells.
There are promising findings of the potential role of lectins in treating health conditions resulting from viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Lectin-free diet was popularized by Dr. Steven Gundry, a former heart surgeon who shifted focus to food and supplement-based medicine. He describes lectins as the main danger Americans are taking in their diet. Dr. Gundry has come up with a book with information on how to avoid lectins and turn to alternative recipes and food choices.
According to some scientists, lectins are harmful and can lead to inflammation. They have been linked to autoimmune conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease.
One study linked wheat germ lectin with increased inflammation in the body. Long-term inflammation has been associated with serious health conditions, such as depression, cancer, and heart disease. One of the best ways to lower inflammation in the body is to follow a lectin-free diet. Nevertheless, further research is needed in humans before the effects are confirmed.
According to the authors, lectins can make it easier for toxins and bacteria to go through the gut barrier. In contrast, they have indicated that whole grains contain antioxidants, which counter inflammation. This factor could mean that plant-based lectins may not be potentially harmful in the body.
Risks of Lectin-Free Diet
The lectin-free diet happens to be a restrictive plan, which some people can find difficult to stick with. It also eliminates many nutritious foods like certain vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Research indicates that consumption of whole grains can lower the risk of health conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Fruits and vegetables also come with a number of health benefits. Their regular consumption can lower the risk of conditions like lung and heart disease. They can also fight cancer and prevent weight gain. Vegans and vegetarians may find it difficult to follow a lectin-free diet. This is because plant-based protein is derived from nuts, legumes, seeds, and whole grains.
Dietary fiber is found in whole grains, legumes, and fruits and vegetables. Since the amount of this fiber decreases in a lectin-free diet, it can lead to constipation. Additionally, sticking to a lectin-free diet can be expensive. This is mainly because the plan advocates specialty milk, expensive supplements, and pasture-raised meats.
What to Consume
To limit your lectin intake, Dr. Gundry recommends the following foods: A 2 Milk Pasture-raised meats Onion and garlic Leafy, green vegetables Cooked sweet potatoes Asparagus Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and broccoli Avocado Mushrooms Celery Virgin olive oil or olives
What to Avoid
When trying to avoid lectins, you should limit the following foods, according to Dr. Gundry:
Squash Tomatoes Peppers Legumes, such as peanuts, beans, and lentils Nightshade vegetables, including potatoes and eggplant Fruit, although in-season fruits are allowed in moderation Grains: If to be consumed, the plan allows products made from white flour rather than from wheat. A1 Milk Corn Meats from corn-fed animals
The Bottom Line
Although lectins are associated with some damages, there is evidence to support their benefits when consumed from plant sources.
Lectins are found in a number of plants but their quantities vary depending on types. There are different kinds of lectins and some are beneficial.
It is worth noting that most studies on lectins have been conducted on animals and test-tubes. In addition, most studies mainly focus on specific lectins rather than the foods that contain them. Before following a lectin-free diet, comprehensive studies should be conducted. At this juncture, a lectin-free diet is just a trend instead of a plan supported by scientific research.
While there are plenty of fad diets that come and disappear within a very short time, the keto diet or ketogenic diet has been dominant for over 90 years. Its success is based on a solid understanding of nutrition and physiology science.
Ketogenic diet works for many people because it addresses underlying causes of weight gain. These include hormonal imbalances, food cravings, and binge eating among others.
Instead of relying on cutting portion sizes, counting calories, and resorting to extreme workouts, the keto diet takes a different approach to health improvement and weight loss. It works by changing the same fuel source that keeps your body energized. It switches your body into a state of ketosis when your body burns fat instead of sugar.
Steps of Ketogenic Diet
1. Reduce your carbs intake.
2. Consume healthier fats.
3. Without a lot of glucose in your system, your body is forced to burn fat and produce ketones.
4. An increase of ketone levels in your blood turns your body into a state of ketosis.
5. Ketosis is consistent until you achieve a healthy and stable weight.
What You Should Eat on the Ketogenic Diet
• High amounts of healthy fats (not more than 80% of your calories)
• Different types of non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, leafy greens, cucumber, asparagus, and zucchini
• Moderate amounts of foods rich in protein but low- or no-carb. These include pasture-raised poultry, grass-fed meat, raw dairy products, cage-free eggs, bone broth, wild-caught fish, and organ meat.
Foods to Avoid on Ketogenic Diet
You are not supposed to consume items that are high in sugar. These include processed foods and drinks, fruits, conventional dairy products, wheat-derived foods, desserts, and other high-carb foods (particularly those are rich in calories).
The Ketogenic Diet Food List
You are probably wondering about the types of high-fat low-carb foods you should consume if you are new to the ketogenic diet. Basically, it is important to remember that most of the calories in the keto diet come from natural fats with moderate amounts from foods rich in protein. The keto diet only limits foods that offer lots of carbs, including those are considered healthy like whole grains.
The major shifts in your daily dietary routine will depend on the food you shop, cooking procedure, and recipes that the keto diet requires to be followed instead of low-carb. The healthy fats are required to help your body enter into a state of ketosis while giving you enough energy in the absence of carbs. In addition, you will feel more energetic and healthier when preparing your own meals instead of buying keto snacks or recipes.
The Keto Diet Plan
The ratio of recommended nutrients in your diet depends on your particular goals and your current health status. Other factors that will determine your fat intake include gender, age, activity level, and body composition.
Let us look at some of the best keto foods you should consider:
These include monounsaturated fats, saturated fats, and certain kinds of polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Examples of healthy fats are olive oil, avocado oil, chicken fat, MCT oil, flaxseed oil, butter, and macadamia oil.
Animal protein usually contains very little fat, if any. You can eat them in a moderate amount to control hunger. Best sources include grass-fed beef, poultry, cage-free eggs, fish (tuna, trout, mackerel, and salmon), and organ meat.
These include all leafy greens, such as beets, collards, dandelion, spinach, chard, kale, fennel, turnip, mustard, and romaine. Cruciferous veggies are also non-starchy. Examples include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. A touch of fresh herbs can also go well with the ketogenic diet. You can add small amounts of veggies that are slightly higher in carbs like bell pepper, radishes, green beans, wax beans, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots.
The only recommended fat-based fruit that you can take in a keto diet is avocado.
Snacking while on a keto diet is allowed although all snacks foods should be low in carb content. Examples include homemade or protein powder, turkey jerky, hard-boiled eggs, avocado slice, minced meat wrapped in lettuce, and raw or cooked veggies with homemade dressing.
They include herbs, spices, unsweetened mustards, apple cider vinegar, and hot sauce.
Water, bone broth, and unsweetened tea or coffee are allowed in the ketogenic diet.
Foods you should Never Eat on Keto Diet
If you are on a keto diet, there are certain foods you should only take occasionally. These include full-fat dairy, medium-starch veggies, legumes, beans, nuts, fruits, and smoothies. However, you should totally avoid the following foods:
• Any type of sweetener including honey, agave, and cane sugar. Also avoid foods with ingredients like fructose, dextrose, glucose, and maltose
• Certain grains like corns, rice, and wheat products
• Nearly all processed foods
• Caloric or sweetened beverages including alcohol, soda, fruit juices, milk, and dairy replacements.
While we spend much time thinking about the nutritional content of the food we consume, many of us don’t pay a proportionate amount of attention to getting enough fluid.
When it’s hot – and even when it’s not – bear in mind that you need to drink water even if you only plan to lounge by the pool. Since the human body is 60% water by weight, this logic should be as clear as a glass of the cold elixir itself.
How the Body Uses Water
As our body’s dominant chemical known as “H20” plays a part in every bodily system. The water washes through organs to bring moisture to tissues and nutrients to cells. It flushes out wastes and toxins. When the body runs low on water, a condition known as dehydration sets into sap energy and make you tired. Dehydration can cause headaches, muscle weakness, and lightheadedness. Many of the aches and pains that we feel are often symptoms of dehydration. A few glasses of water could make us feel better in no time.
We lose water when we sweat, breathe, urinate or have bowel movements. Additional water is lost with exercise or strenuous activity, and, when we’re sick, in vomiting and diarrhea. If fluids that we take in do not replace water that is expelled, then we feel bad. How bad we feel and whether dehydration becomes life-threatening or not depends on how out of balance the outtake and input of fluid becomes.
Most of us have heard that drinking 8 glasses of water on a daily basis is recommended to ensure balance, but 8 glasses may be too much for some and not enough for others. The 8-glasses rule was calculated based upon a replacement theory.
The theory assumes that the average adult’s urine output is 1.5 liters a day and that he or she loses another liter of water breathing, sweating and defecating. Since the water in food generally includes 20 percent (one-fifth) of total fluid intake, an adult must drink 2 liters of water or a little more than 8 cups a day. The 8 glasses a day model doesn’t take into account individual health, activity level or environmental conditions.
A better way to tell whether you are drinking enough water is to pay attention to what your body is telling you. First and foremost, you should drink enough so that you never feel thirsty.
Thirst is like the emergency warning light that goes off to tell you that something is wrong. If you wait until you are thirsty, it is too late and you are probably already heading to the couch to lie down because you have a headache, are tired, and feel lightheaded. Second, you should be urinating one to two liters of slightly yellow or colorless urine a day.
Hydration During Exercise
The Centers for Disease Control suggest that you get active, and that during your physical activity, whether it is walking, hiking, softball or any other sport, you drink plenty of water to replace the additional lost fluids. Their recommendation is at least eight to ten 8-ounce cups per day.
The more you exercise, the more you need to keep the water coming. The Mayo Clinic says that an extra 1 or 2 cups of water a day should suffice if you walk or bike for an hour. If you are paddling in your kayak for 3 hours or training for a marathon, though, you will probably need more, which varies depending upon how much you sweat. 2 or 3 cups may be fine unless it is exceptionally warm. During long sessions of intense exercise, you might need to go instead for mineral-rich alkaline ionized water to replace lost sodium in sweat.
Fluid can also be replaced at a rate of 16 ounces per pound of weight lost during exercise. Weigh yourself immediately before and after strenuous exercise to see how much weight you lost. It is important to note that some diseases impair body fluid loss, so you may need to correct your calculation of replacement fluid intake.
Water is the best bet for replacing the water you use, but many fruits and vegetables are high in water content. Even milk, juice, and beer contribute to your fluid intake total, but alcohol and caffeinated products cause water loss and should not be a major portion of your intake.
Make it a routine to drink a glass of water with each meal and between meals. Drink more before, during and after exercise. The Centers for Disease Control suggest that you drink a cup of water before you get moving, and another half cup every 15 minutes that you remain active.
While drinking a lot of water may be a concern for endurance athletes, the Mayo Clinic Web site states that it is rare in healthy adults who consume an average American diet to drink too much water. If you have concerns about the correct intake of water, consult your doctor to determine what is best for you.
You live in an “instant” world. With your fast-paced lifestyle, you want to get everything you need in an instant.
Thanks to processed foods which are packaged for convenience, you can rush through your daily work and family duties without having to worry about cooking for hours. But, should you really thank processed food?
Before you become too generous with your praises for this modern-day time saver, you must first know a few things about processed food. According to the National Health Service of UK, processed food does not refer merely to ready-to-eat microwavable meals or the cold cuts you buy for sandwiches. Once a manufacturer changes the natural state of any food item for packaging or safety purposes, that food item is processed.
Of course, we know that fast food burger is a processed food, and so is a hotdog. But, how about that chicken you fried for dinner, which you coated with a pre-packed batter mix to make it crispy? Or that home-cooked spaghetti you served for lunch, on which you sprinkled ground pepper or grated parmesan cheese before serving? What about the pancakes you made from grocery store-bought flour and topped with maple syrup from a bottle? Are they natural or processed?
Unfortunately, these little spices and condiments and other instant ingredients you use for cooking are processed foods. Taking all these into consideration, you probably realize now how much processed items you use in your recipes. Your meals, no matter how nutritious they may seem, are not 100% healthy.
Understanding the Contents of Processed Food
Not all processed foods are unhealthy as is, but all processed foods contain an extra amount of sugar, salt, and fat. The primary purpose of these is to preserve the product — a practice followed for centuries.
Salt, in particular, is instrumental in prolonging the ‘shelf life’ of food, especially when refrigeration was not even a concept yet. Salt also hastens fermentation and improves the flavor of your dish. No matter what advertising slogans say, all processed foods contain some amount of salt. Here’s why.
Salt is made up of sodium and chloride ions, which are responsible for decreasing the process called “water activity” in food. Water activity refers to the amount of water present in food that enables bacteria to thrive. Salt reduces that amount to stop bacterial growth. It also absorbs the water from bacteria, killing them in the process. So, the more salt in food, the less likely bacteria will develop.
However, while salt alone is an excellent preservative, many products require other additives to attain the chemical reaction needed to arrest food spoilage. As such, manufacturers add the following chemicals to your food:
These chemicals, which make food unhealthy, are found in many popular food items such as cured meats, salad dressings, baked goods, fruit fillings, cheese, jams and jellies, and canned foods. When consumed in vast amounts, these chemicals could potentially trigger conditions such as heart disease, bowel problems, cancer, and high calories.
It’s important to know that 80% of the sodium we consume every day is hidden in these processed products, so cutting down on your table salt intake isn’t the only way to lower sodium consumption. If you suspect that the food you eat or use for cooking has the chemicals above, check the ingredients on the package.
The Effects of Sodium on Your Body
Sodium removes the water activity of bacteria and food, but it causes the body to retain water. The more sodium you consume, the more water your body keeps. This vast amount of fluid on your body consequently raises your blood pressure, causing strain on your arteries, kidneys, heart, and brain. It puts your body at risk of kidney disease, stroke, heart attack, and dementia.
The Blood Pressure Association (BPA) helps us understand exactly how these conditions may develop:
HOW SALT AFFECTS THE KIDNEYS. Kidneys filter your blood and remove excess water from your bloodstream. The kidney flushes out the extra water through a collecting channel that leads to the bladder, where the latter releases it as urine. This process involves a balance of potassium and sodium to pull water from cell walls via osmosis.
Your frequent intake of processed food which increases your body’s sodium content upsets this balance and prevents your kidneys from doing their job well. With weak kidneys, your body will not be able to flush out water, and it accumulates in the blood stream, eventually raising your blood pressure.
The mounting pressure and fluid could destroy your kidneys, making them unable to filter your blood. When kidney disease occurs, the toxins and waste products in your blood will start poisoning your body.
HOW SALT AFFECTS THE ARTERY. While this is all happening to your kidneys, something else is occurring inside your artery walls. The high blood pressure brought by high salt consumption also puts a strain on the interior walls of the artery, making it difficult for the organ to pump blood. The artery muscles thicken to cope, but they reduce the passageway of blood, causing your blood pressure to continue rising. It becomes a cycle of artery wall thickening and blood pressure increase that could end in clogging the artery or damaging it.
HOW SALT AFFECTS THE HEART. In turn, the narrow passageway of your artery due to the thickened muscles lowers the pressure of blood, preventing the right amount from reaching the heart. As such, the primary organ of the circulatory system does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients it needs, causing chest pains called angina.
Guess what? The low blood pressure to the heart is a blessing in disguise as it prevents significant damage to the heart. At this point, you should have stopped eating processed food or anything with too much salt. If you continue, your blood vessels will eventually get blocked by the thick cell walls or burst from high blood pressure. Your heart will then stop receiving oxygen and nutrients from the blood and will die – a condition we know as a heart attack.
HOW SALT AFFECTS THE BRAIN.The same thing happens to the brain when your salt intake is high. With the blood pressure thickening the arteries, a slightly lower amount of blood goes to the brain, causing dementia, preventing certain parts of the brain from functioning as they should. It is the cause of dementia patients losing their cognitive and motor skills.
When the arteries leading to the brain clog or burst from high blood pressure, the blood will cease to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the brain. The result is a stroke. Severe strokes render the brain incapable of controlling bodily functions.
Are You Eating Too Much Salt?
Do you know how much salt most Americans (maybe including you) typically consume? More than 3,400 mg per day, the American Heart Association (AHA) reveals. Now, do you know how much salt is recommended to keep your body’s sodium content within the acceptable level? Not more than 2,400 mg per day, or ideally 1,500 mg. This means the average American consumes 1,000 to 1,900 mg MORE THAN the recommended amount of salt!
AHA released an infographic called the Salty Six, which shows the top six foods that are rich in salt. They include cold cuts and cured meats, canned soups, poultry, bread and rolls, sandwiches, and (everyone’s favorite!) pizza. Are these the exact foods we might find in your pantry and refrigerator today?
Lessening Your Sodium Consumption
It’s time to rethink your food options. Sodium, incidentally, causes not only severe health conditions but adverse effects on your appearance as well. Too much salt can make you appear bloated or puffy-faced, and can cause weight gain. So, even if your body does not contain the amount of sodium that could lead to severe illnesses, any amount more than the recommended daily intake can make you look unhealthy and unattractive.
The BPA suggests the following tips for reducing your sodium consumption:
● Don’t add salt to the water you use for cooking pasta, rice, or vegetables.
● Do not add an extra pinch of salt or seasoning to your cooked food. Doing so will help your taste buds get used to slightly bland meals. After a few weeks, you will have adjusted to less salty foods and can recognize the other subtle flavors.
● Choose low-salt sauces, soup bases, gravy mixes or stock cubes over high-sodium ones. Better yet, make your own stock for cooking purposes. Also buy low-sodium table salt alternatives, which contain potassium instead of sodium.
● Add flavor to food using fresh and safe ingredients such as chilies, ginger, pepper, shallots, vinegar, and others.
● Manufacturers now display the fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt content of food products on the package. They present precautions as “traffic lights.” A green light means the ingredient is safe to eat; amber indicates that the food is good for eating in moderation; while red means you should eat the food sparingly. Always go for the ingredient with a “green light” on sodium.
The next time you learn that the food you’re eating is potentially dangerous to your health, don’t take it with a grain of salt (pun intended). Read the ingredients on the package and always choose ‘low sodium.’
M is a happily married Filipino mother to three wonderful little daughters, ages: 8 years, 5 years, and 4 months old. Her daily life is a struggle between being the Executive Content Director for Home Fine Living and deciding who gets to watch television next. She specializes in creating and editing content for female empowerment, parenting, beauty, health/nutrition, and lifestyle. As the daughter of two very hardworking people, she was brought up with strict traditional Asian values and yet embraces modern trends like Facebook, vegan cupcakes, and the occasional singing cat video.
A shocking 1 out of 3 adults over 20 years old in the United States has high blood pressure, with a good many of them not even knowing it according to the American Heart Association. High blood pressure, or hypertension, equals a consistent increase in the force at which blood is being pumped through your arteries.
As your 4-chambered heart takes blood in and pumps it out to recirculate vital nutrients and oxygen to your organs, bones, and muscles, it maintains a steady pressure around 120/80. The top number (systolic) indicates the pressure level at which your heart is beating and pumping blood through your body. The bottom number (diastolic) indicates the pressure level of blood in your arteries while your heart is at rest in between beats. A normal systolic pressure reading may actually range between 90 and 120, while a normal diastolic pressure reading may range between 60 and 80. Depending on your activity level, posture, age, sex, health, and even your sleep, your baseline blood pressure should fall within those windows.
A blood pressure that starts to rise above 120/80 reflects more and more effort required by the heart to pump blood throughout the body. As the heart works harder and harder, it can weaken and stop functioning correctly; and as high blood pressure places added stress to artery walls, they can create pockets for cholesterol to build up, degrade, and even lead to heart attack and stroke, among other health threats.
So what can you do to track down your potential for high blood pressure and fight hypertension in your own home? Turns out, the answer is quite natural.
Check Your Blood Pressure
Tracking your own blood pressure from home is easier than ever with digital blood pressure monitors you can wear on your arm or wrist. A bp checking device will read your systolic and diastolic pressures in seconds and display the reading on a digital screen. Many even track your pulse rate and maintain a digital memory file of past readings. For the average able-bodied person, blood pressure readings should be taken around the same time each day, sitting down with feet flat and hand raised to the heart.
Recording regular blood pressure readings daily gives you a baseline understanding of what a normal blood pressure is for you. If it is consistently high, see your doctor right away. If you have already been diagnosed with hypertension, tracking your blood pressure at home to monitor progress towards lowering it is a good idea as well. Portable blood pressure monitors can be found over the counter in most pharmacies as well as online.
Modify Your Diet
A healthy and balanced diet that is rich with fruits and veggies as well as lean proteins and whole grains does wonders for managing a healthy weight, which is crucial to fighting hypertension. Additional diet modifications, however, have proven to carry as much efficacy as some high blood pressure medicines. A DASH diet which includes eliminating almost all sodium, incorporating low fat foods, eating nuts regularly, and of course fruits, veggies, and lots of whole grains and lean meats has been proven to lower blood pressure. Drinks including beet juice, low-fat milk, and hibiscus tea have also been shown to effectively lower blood pressure when regularly consumed.
Routine fitness plays a key role in lowering high blood pressure as it helps strengthen the heart, and simply put, a stronger heart can pump blood more efficiently, lowering the force on your vulnerable arteries. Exercise doesn’t need to include running marathons either – it can be as simple as taking brisk 20 or 30 minute walks every day, swimming, playing tennis, bicycling, hiking, even mowing the lawn or running around with your dog.
Mindfulness-cultivating exercises like yoga practice have also been shown to positively impact hypertension sufferers by boosting heart rate while also improving mood, reducing stress, and relieving joint and back pain.
While seemingly alarming rates of hypertension pervade the American population, the ability to prevent and control it at home potentially without pharmacological intervention is great news. Small steps add up to big results when it comes to blood pressure – self-monitoring, diet, and exercise are your keys to success.
Whether you are living with estrogen levels that are too high, or estrogen levels that are too low, knowing which foods impact it is vital. Those living with raised estrogen levels could be dealing with conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome, polyps, fibroids, endometriosis, and more. While estrogen is a vital part of many functions of a woman’s body, balance is ideal. Men living with raised estrogen levels will also face some health issues. While working with your doctor, take a look at these foods listed that will lower estrogen levels—good to know for anyone no matter where they stand on the spectrum.
• Leafy Greens
Celery, spinach, parsley, swiss chard, dandelions, and rucola are all in this category. It is easy to get the recommended 2 to 3 servings per day when you make a tasty salad or blend them up with other foods on this list to make a tasty smoothie. One banana or a handful of berries is a great way of masking the flavor of many greens.
• Grapes and Red Wine
Grapes and red wine are filled with resveratrol and other polyphenols—known to lower estrogen levels. Their other anti-estrogenic compounds include proanthocyanidins and quercetin. This means that a glass of red wine can be beneficial for your hormonal health, or you may opt to have a handful of grapes as a snack if you do not drink alcohol.
• Cruciferous Vegetables
This includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts. These types of vegetables contain gas forming sulfur compounds and indole-3-carbinol. These substances bind to estrogen and lead it out of the body. To reduce dominant estrogen, have 3 servings per day raw or steamed.
An apple a day does keep the doctor away! Apples have insoluble fiber that binds to estrogen within the small intestine, which stops it from being absorbed in the body. Two servings per day would be ideal.
Turmeric is praised for so many health benefits, but more specifically it is known to be naturally anabolic and anti-estrogen. This can be mixed in with so many different foods and adds amazing color to any meal.
• Citrus Fruits
All of the fruits that are reminiscent of the summer and sunshine—oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes, pomelos, tangerines, and mandarins contain d-limonene—a substance that aids in detoxifying estrogen. To reduce dominant estrogen, aim for one serving per day for reduced estrogen dominance. There are so many ways to enjoy these fruits—eat them just as they are, juice them, add them to salads, add them to smoothies, and the list goes on. When purchased as organic, you can even add whole lemons and oranges whole into smoothies.
Flaxseeds and sesame seeds contain estrogen binding lignans that keep it from being absorbed in the body. Flaxseed can be taken through the ingestion of flaxseed oil or ground up flax mixed into anything that you ingest, giving you an added bonus of omega 3 fatty acids. Sesame seeds can be sprinkled on pretty much anything, or ground up into a paste.
• Olive Oil
Olive oil is high in lutropin, which has been known to inhibit aromatase enzymes in the body. The aromatase is what converts testosterone into estrogen.
These goods should be staples in your daily diet—not only to keep healthy estrogen levels, but because they provide a lot of vital nutrients for the body. They are so easy to incorporate, that getting all servings in before the day is over should be a breeze. The list is so large that anyone can find what works for them with no problem at all.
When it comes to healthy snacks, people don’t pay a lot of attention to what they eat. Contrary to what most people think, eating in between meals isn’t really bad. It’s the quality of food that matters. In fact, nutrient-dense snacks provide you with the energy you need to remain productive throughout the day. It’s necessary for your health and well-being, most especially if you have a job that requires you to stay alert.
The problem is that we defeat the real purpose of snacking by bingeing on junk foods – burgers, pizzas, ice cream, and more. These foods are loaded with excess carbohydrates, calories, and fats that only increase our risk for developing lifestyle diseases like diabetes. Sure, we get a temporary lift from such snacks but end up feeling cranky. According to a study published on Time magazine, foods with higher glycemic index can make a person at risk for developing depression.
For you to be able to maintain a healthy eating habit, it’s vital to know why choosing the right foods matter. Read on.
1. Balanced Mood
Your mood affects your work performance more than you think it does. When you’re in a terrible mood, you are more likely to procrastinate, make poor decisions, or even lash out at your customers. Healthy snacks like nuts, chia seeds, and asparagus are considered brain foods since they induce positive feelings at the same time balance your neurochemicals. Unlike junk foods, you won’t feel sluggish after eating these snacks.
Eating right doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite comfort foods. You only need to eat them less often and prioritize healthy choices instead. When it comes to snacking to achieve weight control, go for foods that satisfy your hunger yet are low on calories. These kinds of foods normally score high on the satiety index, according to Authority Nutrition.
Examples of snacks that easily make you full include ginger-carrot soup, eggs, oatmeal, popcorn, and greek yoga. These are loaded with protein and volume. With these snacks, you won’t have to worry about gaining extra weight and feeling hungry every time.
3. Improved Concentration
Productivity happens when you have focus. It’s impossible to be able to accomplish anything at work if you can’t even think clear. Some people are unaware that what they eat during snack time impacts their brain health. Remember that after your food gets digested, all the nutrients reach your brain through your bloodstream. Before you reach for that box of glazed donuts, think again.
In general, foods that have high sugar content, leading to sugar spikes, decrease your mental focus. Brain-loving snacks you should be bringing to the office include avocado and raw carrots. Avocados promote proper blood flow to your brain while raw carrots improve your memory.
4. Better Overall Health
Taking snacks that are filled with nutrients help ease your stress, thereby preventing you from getting sick. Health.com encourages superfoods such as blueberries and pistachios. These great snacks fight free radicals in your body and promote good cardiovascular health. Be very wary of foods that are high in trans-fat and cause gastrointestinal disturbances like dairy products.
Work-related stress and other poor health conditions as a result of your poor snacking habits can lead to absenteeism.
5. Increased Energy Levels
Some foods simply make you tired and lazy. Food should make you perform your best, not feel sluggish throughout the day. Aside from the lack of sleep or skipping exercise, choosing junk foods every snack time can actually lead to fatigue.
Instead of drinking sweetened beverages like soda, have plain cold water instead. Since water helps keep your body well-hydrated, you’ll stay alert and get a boost in energy.
You might not be losing weight because of insulin resistance. When your muscles, fat, and liver cells are not responding properly to insulin, glucose absorption from the bloodstream becomes compromised. For glucose to enter into the cells, your body demands higher levels of insulin. We will look at top pointers of insulin resistance that may be holding back your weight loss goals.
Insulin Resistance Diagnosis
Your doctor can identify if you are likely to have insulin resistance by performing a physical examination, taking your detailed history, or through simple laboratory tests depending on your risk factors. Common tests include:
• Waist Size
By examining your waist circumference, your doctor can easily find out if you have insulin resistance. Chances are that you have the condition if it is bigger than 35 inches.
• Fasting Insulin Levels
This is a test that examines insulin levels in the blood after fasting. If it is higher than10 uIU/ml, you probably have insulin resistance.
• Fasting Glucose Levels
If an examination of your blood sugar after fasting for a couple of hours finds that it is higher than 75-100mg/dl, chances are you have insulin resistance.
• Glucose Tolerance Test
This is complicated and your doctor has to take a few blood tests during the day. It is commonly done if you are suspected to be diabetic or hypoglycemic.
Signs of Insulin Resistance
Signs and symptoms of insulin resistance may vary with each person, but some are very common.
• Sleepiness, particularly after meals.
• Addiction to carbohydrates.
• High blood sugar.
• Lack of concentration or inability to focus.
• Increased hunger.
• Higher blood pressure.
• Intestinal bloating.
• Nausea, headache, and anxiety that disappear after taking a meal.
• A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above.
• A waistline of 53 inches or more.
• Continuous weight gain even when dieting.
• Increased appetite.
• Inability to diet.
• High triglyceride levels.
• Skin growths particularly on your breast, neck, chest, groin, or underarms.
• Irregular menstrual cycle, specifically skipping months.
• A history of polycystic ovarian disease.
• Excessive sweating.
• Increased craving for snacks.
• A family history of obesity, diabetes, stroke, or heart disease.
• Low HDL (the “good”) cholesterol below 35mg/dl.
• High LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol above 130 mg/dl.
• The metabolic syndrome.
Causes of Insulin Resistance
Researchers have tirelessly been debating about the causal mechanism of insulin resistance. It is a misnomer to say that there is a certain cause of this condition. Potential causes include:
• High-fat diet.
• Regular consumption of low-fiber diet.
• Sedentary lifestyle or lack of regular workout.
• Regular consumption of processed foods or sugary drinks.
• Accumulation of toxins in the body.
• Liver failure.
• Inadequate consumption of quality protein.
• Vitamin D deficiency.
Reversing Insulin Resistance
Use of dietary supplement can be effective for dealing with insulin resistance and diabetes. Supplements rich in minerals and vitamins can be helpful but it is important to contact your healthcare provider before use.
• Lifestyle Improvement
Changing your lifestyle for the better can go a long way in reversing insulin resistance. Excessive use of alcohol, smoking, inadequate sleep, and excess stress should be avoided at every cost.
• Exercise Regularly
Engaging in regular workouts can help reverse insulin resistance and prevent other illnesses. Start slow and adopt a workable program that you can stick with. It’s also a great way to shed extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
Detoxification eliminates inflammatory fats and carbohydrates from your body. It is also paramount to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.
• Use Medications
A number of medications can be helpful in treating insulin resistance and diabetes. They may help in improving your blood sugar and stimulate insulin production.
Insulin resistance can be hampering your journey to weight loss. It’s important to contact your doctor if you suspect to have the condition. The good news is that there is something you can do about it. An effort every day can shield you from future complications.
A ketogenic diet plan is a high fat, low protein diet. This diet shifts the body’s metabolism to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Since a ketogenic diet plan is a high-fat diet, more than 50% of its composition is foods with beneficial fats such as groundnuts avocado and coconut oil. Research has shown that the ketogenic diet plan helps in the treatment of many diseases such as epilepsy in children, cancer, obesity, migraines, and autism.
FEATURES OF KETOGENIC DIET PLAN
The ketogenic diet plan is high in fats, low in carbohydrates and contains adequate proteins. This composition has an impact on the metabolism of the body. This diet also lowers glucose levels in the body and improves insulin resistance. The liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies are transported into the blood stream. Since many ketone bodies are produced, this state of the body is known as ketosis.
1. ITS ABILITY TO KILL CANCER
Cancer is a disease that invades the body. It is caused by abnormal cells that multiply rapidly in parts of the body. Cancer cells thrive on feeding on sugars in the body. This diet does not encourage sugar consumption and the carbohydrate intake is low. By introducing a ketogenic diet plan , body cells will adapt and use fat for energy but cancer cells cannot shift to using fat. Cancer cells, therefore, cannot survive or multiply. There have been promising results in the use of ketogenic diet plan in treating colon gastric cancer and prostate cancer.
The low-calorie ketogenic diet plan causes ketones to be produced from fats in adipose tissue. The ketones produced, in return, produce a lot of energy, less glucose, and less oxidative stress. This enables the brain and muscles to work more efficiently. Migraine patients have an energetic deficit in the brain and therefore the effect of the ketone bodies being energetic boosters greatly reduces migraines. Another positive effect is that ketogenic diet has anti-inflammatory effects. It reduces inflammations that may be caused by migraines.
4. TREATS AUTISM
Autism is a mental condition that is characterized by communication difficulty and strains when forming relationships with other people. Normally autism presents from childhood. Ketogenic diets have been used to treat epilepsy in children since 1920 and epilepsy is a common symptom in people who have autism. According to a study done in 2003, autism patients who were put on a ketogenic diet showed reduced autism symptoms.
A case report in the Journal of child neurology is a four-year-old child with autism. The child showed an insignificant response to all other diets like gluten free and casein diet. On modifying her diet to a ketogenic all balanced diet, there was a great improvement. Theses included reduced seizures, weight loss, the child was calmer and there was the notable improvement in social skills.
The ketogenic diet has a significant impact on the treatment of several diseases and conditions. These diseases and conditions include obesity, epilepsy, and cancer. Although research about how effective the diet is under these conditions is undergoing, most results have shown that ketogenic diet works. This information is not known to many people. This is unfortunate since people who do not respond to medication or those who cannot afford treatment can switch to the diet. Taking cancer as an example, many people cannot afford chemotherapy and the treatment has adverse effects such as hair loss, feeling weak, feeling tired and muscle wasting. Following this diet is much cheaper and does not have any reported adverse reactions. Some people use Ketogenic supplements to get short-term and long-term release of energy during their workouts.
Research has long shown that choosing a health-conscious diet is beneficial to the body. It is advised that we eat foods from the five food groups: vegetables, fruit, dairy, grains, and proteins. However, we are frequently inundated by fad diets that seek to alter the proper balance. Therefore, I would like to share the food habits that help me stay healthy.
Although junk food can be quite tempting, and fast food often serves a purpose, these are poor food choices. In fact, they are major contributors to obesity and type II diabetes. People are at a disadvantage because their lives are often so rushed that they feel there is no time to make proper meals. However, there are ways to better plan so that you can incorporate healthier food into your daily intake. I will share that here as well.
Fruits and Vegetables
We need to address fruits and vegetables at the beginning because they are probably the first to go when it comes to eating on the run. Fast food establishments rarely offer the rainbow of fruits and veggies for your enjoyment. In fact, the food you purchase at their restaurants (a term I will use loosely) is usually very high in carbohydrates.
Do not misunderstand, I am not suggesting that carbohydrates are unacceptable. I am, however, reminding you that a balanced diet, one deemed healthy, will be just that: balanced. You cannot overload on one group in the food pyramid. So, you will need to start eating more fruits and veggies if you hope to alter your diet into a healthier one.
And, do not forget the value of fruits and vegetables. That food pyramid we referenced earlier recommends that you get 9 servings of fruits and vegetables. If you try to cover half your dinner plate with vegetables you will make a great step towards improved health. This is because fruits and vegetables have been proven to provide protection against cancer and heart disease.
Eat Natural and Limit Liquid Calories
If you are like most people, a large portion of your daily caloric intake can be found in the things you drink. You might have a proclivity toward sweet tea or soda. These things are eating up your calorie allowances and adding far too much sugar to your diet. Sugar is fine in moderation, but when you indulge in extra sugary drinks throughout the day, you are causing damage to your teeth and potentially increasing your probability of developing diabetes.
Get rid of the liquid calories. And, eat natural! Try to rid yourself off processed foods. When you are able to get rid of the Twinkies and Spam, you will also stop ingesting detrimental manmade chemicals. The more natural and organic things you utilize in your diet, the less toxic pesticides you will poison yourself with. And, there is research that shows organic foods have increased percentages of antioxidants and nutrients.
If you want to have consistent access to these types of foods, you can grow your own. There are a number of options for urban vegetable gardening. Or, there are farmers who create collectives that will allow you to pay a set fee for the month and then you can receive baskets of fresh-from-the-farm fruits and vegetables. Sometimes the farmers even have delivery services.
In a world where most people are thinking about supersizing when it comes to eating, it is in your best interest to start considering the superfood options. These foods are high in essential nutrients and minerals and can make a tremendous difference in your pursuit of a healthier diet. While these foods are phenomenal by themselves, there is strength in numbers, so consider pairing them when you add them to your menu.
Superfoods include blueberries, salmon, avocado, broccoli, walnuts and yes, even dark chocolate. Some would even say that guacamole is the perfect food. If that puts a smile on your face do not hesitate to indulge in its goodness. In fact, guacamole is slam full of lycopene which helps fight cancer and beta-carotene which contributes to a healthier immune system. I really enjoy my guacamole.
Be a Smart Snacker
Listen, we all have those moments when we just want to eat something. The important thing is making sure that we choose the right substances to snack on. As much as you might want to eat those goldfish or little caramel squares, you should come prepared to snack. This means creating little snacking sacks or containers.
Consider going everywhere with a granola bar or a piece of fruit. You can also pack little Ziplocs with an ounce of nuts. You do not want to overdo the nut intake because they are pretty high in calories. Maybe you would be better served by a reduced fat version of string cheese. Whatever snack you pack, make sure you are aware of its caloric value so you don’t overindulge.
I have long been on a journey to eat healthier so that I can maintain a healthy lifestyle and physique. These are some of the other things I have utilized in maintaining my physical well-being. Consider utilizing some of these suggestions to make a difference in your own health:
Use Healthy Alternatives
It is easy to recognize that your diet needs to change, but more important is the fact that you have to be certain to choose healthy alternatives. Switch fried chicken for grilled fish to replace trans-fats with healthier versions.
I cannot tell you how big a difference this can make in your life. You are probably walking around dehydrated thinking that you are hungry when you are really thirsty instead. So, drink lots of water.
It may sound boring, but if you want to eat less processed foods and decrease your intake of refined sugar, reading the labels is an important step. This way you will know what you are putting in your mouth.
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Enjoy Your Rapid Weight Loss With This Egg Fast Diet Plan
You may or may not have heard about the egg fast diet, a dietary plan that works for many people. Today, boiled eggs are the ideal food for fast weight loss results since they speed up metabolism and fat-burning. On an egg fast diet, you consume eggs, cheese, and butter. The egg fast diet ratio is 1Tbsp. of fat and 1oz. of cheese for every egg ingested. Pure and healthy fats including coconut oil, olive oil, and some low carb condiment exceptions like mustard and hot sauce are also necessary. The addition of citric fruits and some vegetables completes this dietary plan.
You might be wondering how the egg fast diet works. Metabolism and burning fat are among your liver’s functional responsibilities. Choline plays a significant role in the liver’s ability to metabolize fat. As it turns out, choline deficiency often leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which minimizes the liver’s ability to function properly. Casein and an amino acid known as methionine are also important for optimal liver performance.
Casein is present in several dairy products including cheese, which is why the egg fast diet includes cheese. Additionally, yolks contain massive quantities of choline while egg whites have the highest amounts of methionine. A combination of choline, methionine, and casein is perfect when it comes to ensuring optimal liver performance. Unfortunately, the potential benefits offered by these three liver superstars cancel out in the presence of excess glucose.
Fortunately, the egg fast diet has a few simple rules that help to eliminate the possibility of excess glucose. You must limit your salt and sugar intake as much as possible. As such, ingesting foods such as sweets, burgers, soda, and alcohol is strictly prohibited.
For nourishment and easier detoxification, you must hydrate adequately by taking at least eight glasses of water a day. Besides, most people feel hungry all the time because they lack water. Apart from less hunger, drinking a lot of water helps to ensure you are energetic and in good shape.
Below is the egg fast diet’s two-week menu:
Breakfast: Two boiled eggs and a single citric fruit
Lunch: Some fruit and two slices of wholemeal bread
Dinner: A big serving of chicken and salad
Breakfast: Two boiled eggs and a citric fruit
Lunch: Green vegetable salad and chicken
Dinner: Vegetable salad, two boiled eggs, and an orange
Breakfast: Two boiled eggs and a citric fruit
Lunch: Low-fat cheese, one tomato, and a single slice wholemeal bread
Dinner: Chicken and salad
Breakfast: Two boiled eggs and a citric fruit
Dinner: Steamed chicken and salad
Breakfast: Two boiled eggs and a citric fruit
Lunch: Two eggs and steamed vegetables
Dinner: Salad and fish or barbecue
Breakfast: Two boiled eggs and a citric fruit
Dinner: Vegetables and steamed chicken
Breakfast: One citric fruit and two boiled eggs
Lunch: Steamed vegetables, chicken, and tomato salad
Dinner: Steamed vegetables
Second week Monday
Breakfast: Two eggs and citric fruit
Lunch: Chicken and salad
Dinner: An orange, two eggs, and salad
Breakfast: Two eggs and citric fruit
Lunch: Two eggs and steamed vegetables
Dinner: salad plus fish or barbecue
Breakfast: Two eggs and citric fruit
Lunch: Chicken and salad
Dinner: An orange, two eggs, and vegetable salad
Breakfast: Two eggs and citric fruit
Lunch: Steamed vegetables, low-fat cheese, and two eggs
Dinner: Steamed chicken and salad
Breakfast: Two eggs and citric fruit
Lunch: Tuna salad
Dinner: Two boiled eggs plus salad
Breakfast: Two eggs and citric fruit
Lunch: Salad and chicken
Dinner: Some fruits
Breakfast: Two eggs and citric fruit
Lunch: Steamed chicken and vegetables
Dinner: Tuna salad
As you can see, this egg fast diet contains almost zero carbs. As such, you may want to consult a doctor before you start practicing this particular dietary plan. The egg fast diet menu is simple and repetitive. Additionally, including simple workouts that last at least half an hour every day increases your chances of attaining better results.
Theoretically, the egg fast diet is effective because it provides everything your liver needs while eliminating everything it doesn’t. Regardless of the results attained by other people, the egg fast diet may or may not be suitable for you. As such, it is only you who can make that decision. However, considering the potential benefits it offers, trying it out might be worth your while.
It’s wise to consult a doctor before you undertake an extremely low carb diet plan such as the egg fast diet. This applies in particular if you have existing health conditions. Do not ignore any red flags. Stop immediately you feel the effects are not suitable or as expected.
When you first hear the word “cancer” from either your loved ones or doctor, many are left wondering what they can do to give them the best chance to fight off cancer. There are many articles that talk about the types of foods you should stop eating, but there are also many foods that you should be eating upon receiving a cancer diagnosis. This article will describe 7 foods that are all shown to be highly effective in fighting cancer based on scientific research.
1.) Leafy Green Vegetables
Antioxidants are some of the top nutrients that help your body fight off cancer. Leafy green vegetables are all rich in these essential vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and glucosinolates, which have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Some of the vegetables that you should focus on are spinach, kale, collard greens, arugula, and more. Not only that but the clear health benefits of eating more vegetables, in general, are enough to put this at the top of the list.
Turmeric is a spice that has been used for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory agent in ancient Chinese and Indian holistic medicine. It is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, which include heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and even cancer. Vegetable curry with turmeric is an excellent cancer-fighting meal that also makes a delicious lunch or dinner.
3.) Nuts and Seeds
Nuts in general are a nutrient-rich source of many required vitamins such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and more, with walnuts at the top of the list for their antioxidant properties. A single cup of walnuts supplies more than 100% of the daily recommended anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, with a host of other minerals such as copper, manganese, and biotin. The list of healthy nuts is expansive, ranging from chia and flax seeds, to sunflower seeds, and even hemp seeds, which are also rich in soluble and un-soluble fiber to naturally cleanse the colon.
This dish was mentioned earlier, but the health benefits cannot be overstated, such that it deserves its own mention. Curry has been proven to kill both bowel cancer and throat cancer cells. Research is not yet complete, but scientists recommend including curry as part of your diet in the meantime.
The health benefits of tea may not come as a surprise to you, in this day and age where information regarding their healing properties is so easy to come by. Green tea, in particular, is a potent antioxidant, with studies showing that drinking at least 2-3 cups a day reduced tumor cell invasion by up to 50%. In fact, green tea is an excellent way to help prevent cancer from ever taking hold due to antioxidant concentration.
Tomatoes deserve a special mention separate from the other fruits and vegetables, due to their Lycopene content. Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomatoes their color, but most do not also know that it’s an angiogenesis inhibitor. Studies found that there was a 23% less chance of cancer in individuals that had two servings of tomato sauce a week.
There are many studies that reveal the cancer-fighting properties of common fruits and berries. One such study has shown that 1 and 1/2 cups of blueberries per day reduces the rate of pre-cancerous lesions by 57%. The reason for this is similar to the other foods on this list: the high antioxidant properties naturally found in berries. Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, and goji berries are all amazing sources of antioxidants and other vitamins required to help the body fight off inflammation and by extension, cancers.
This list does not have to be followed word for word, but it is easy to draw a common element that most of these foods have that make them so good at fighting cancer: antioxidants. Any antioxidant-rich food helps to fight inflammation, which also supports fighting cancer cells. Combining the food that you should eat, with food taken out of the diet that you shouldn’t eat, helps to fight off cancer.
Whether you are currently suffering from diabetes or want to prevent having diabetes, drinking green smoothies is a good way to make sure you are getting enough nutrients in your diet. Even if you are consciously trying to eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can, green smoothies have the advantage of having already been broken down which makes it very easy for our bodies to absorb the nutrients. You can easily make them from any locally available fruits and vegetables, or even your own garden!
Green Smoothies Recipes for Preventing and Managing Diabetes These Green smoothie recipes made out of fruits and vegetables for diabetes enrich your body with nutrients which aid in maintaining your fat and blood sugar levels. They also prevent you from consuming food responsible for causing diabetes by giving you healthier alternatives which make the craving less, which in turn, ensures that your body remains safe from diabetes or other chronic conditions. Here, I will be giving you seven of the best green smoothies recipes intended to prevent as well as manage diabetes.
What You Will Need: 3 tomatoes 2 apples A cup of parsley 5 sprigs of watercress.
How to make it:
Wash all ingredients under running water thoroughly to make sure no chemical residues are left. The skin of the apple is filled with nutrients, but it leaves a rough texture to the smoothie. It is up to you if you want to skin your apple or not. Cut apples into wedges. Be sure to remove the core and the seeds of the apple. Put all ingredients into the blender or food processor and mix for about three minutes or until smooth.
This recipe can make up to 4 and a half cups of green smoothies. The juice may be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two, but the presence of apple in this recipe will darken the juice in just a few hours. Though oxidized or browned apple is also considered to be very healthy, you may not find the color very attractive.
What You Will need: A bunch of kales A bunch of spinach. An ounce of hemp seed 1 large banana 2 cups of water, Stevia (to sweeten the juice after preparation.)
The banana and spinach serve to thicken the juice with a very rich, creamy taste. At the same time, the banana and the Stevia are used to sweeten the mixture, therefore, reducing the taste of spinach, kales, and hemp seed in your smoothie. Many people do not like those last three ingredients but the taste of banana and a bit of stevia makes it very palatable. Add a bit of water if it is a bit too thick for your liking.
3. String Bean Juice with Brussel Sprouts Smoothie
Wash your ingredients well under running water. Slice the lemon and remove seeds. Slice Brussel Sprouts into small pieces. Put the Brussel sprouts and water into the blender or food processor for 2 minutes. Add in the string beans, cucumber, and lemon. Blend the mixture for 2 more minutes. Chill and serve. This recipe can make about 5-6 cups of smoothies.
What you will need: 1 Large banana 1 apple, skinned and cored 1 medium carrot a cup of celery leaves 1 whole lemon (seeded and skinned) 2 cups of water A pinch of cinnamon powder A pinch of pepper powder
How to make it:
Wash your ingredients well under running water. Put water and carrots into a pot and boil for about 5 minutes or until carrot is soft. Do not drain the pot, let it cool. Once your boiled carrot is cool enough to touch, transfer carrots and water into a blender. Add in all remaining ingredients. Chill for an hour and enjoy!
This recipe will give you around 6-8 cups of smoothies.
What you will need: 2-3 leaves of spinach and kales 1 tsp goji berries 1 tsp vegan protein powder 1 tbsp. chia seeds 1 peeled orange 1 cup purely organic coconut milk
How to make it:
Wash spinach and kales leave under running water thoroughly. Chop down the leaves and put it in the blender or food processor. Add coconut milk then mix. Add all other ingredients to the mix. The smoothie can take up to 3 minutes to refine. You can add some cayenne pepper to make it easier for you to drink. The above ingredients can produce around 3-4 cups of juice after preparation.
6. Spinach, Oats, Cucumber, Flax Seed, and Cinnamon Smoothie
What you will need: 1 bunch of spinach 1 cucumber 1 celery stick 1 tbsp. cinnamon 1 tbsp. flax seed 2 cups unsweetened almond milk 3 tbsp. organic rolled oats.
How to make it: Wash spinach, cucumber, and celery under running water thoroughly. Slice and chop cucumber, spinach and celery Put all ingredients in the blender or food processor and mix for about 3 minutes or until smooth. This recipe will produce up to four cups of smoothies.
What you will need: 1 Large banana 1 Medium-sized avocado 2 cups unsweetened almond milk 1 cup chopped spinach
How to make it: Just add all of these ingredients together in a blender and mix. Should make around 4 cups of smoothies. Avocado is a favorite fruit to many people. Together with the banana, they make the juice tastier and more delicious. This makes the juice friendlier to many people who like these 2 fruits. Green smoothies can be used effectively in the fight against diabetes. They can be used to substitute for meals or snacks and are very easy to make. You can even have a different smoothie for every single day of the week just to keep your taste buds fresh. In addition to managing or preventing diabetes, you will also get to enjoy better general well-being from eating healthier and getting a more balanced diet.
Paula Hughes is the founder of Chew The World, a handy blog concentrated on food delights, tips, and tricks on preparing the best meals, getting the best kitchen gadgets, and being a better chef. You can also find many interesting recipes, top lists of kitchen stuff, and in-depth guides on everything related to the kitchen.
Disclosure Policy: This blog is a collaborative blog written by a group of individuals. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites, and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content will always be identified.
Today, issues related to the thyroid are a growing concern. You could be wondering what the thyroid is, even though you know it works as your body’s thermostat and also controls metabolism. The thyroid gland lies in front of your throat, above your breastbone and under Adam’s apple.
The thyroid regulates the rate at which your body uses both food and oxygen as well as the functional rates of several organs. Some of the signs and symptoms that indicate when your thyroid function is low are:
• Chronic constipation
• Inability to lose weight
• Sluggishness or lack of initiative
• Abnormal menstrual cycles
• High cholesterol
• Poor digestion
• Dry skin
• Cold hands and feet
• Easy sleepiness and fatigue
• Hormonal imbalance
• Seasonal affectiveness disorder (SAD)
• Poor circulation
• Loss of hair
• Having a waking body temperature that is under 97.8 degrees
If you have some of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, it could be time to start thyroid proofing your diet.
Causes of Low Thyroid Hormones
Autoimmune Disease. This is a condition in which your antibodies are attacking your own bodily tissues, including your thyroid glands. Because of this, your thyroid glands ability to produce enough hormones are affected.
Thyroid Surgery. Removal of all or a portion of your thyroid gland leads to poor production of hormones. This is why people who have undergone thyroid surgery are taking thyroid hormones permanently.
Radiation Treatment. Radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer may affect and even injure your thyroid gland. This procedure usually leads to hypothyroidism.
Apparently, anything that may hurt your thyroid gland may cause your thyroid hormones to decrease in amount. Therefore, taking thyroid hormones is necessary.
You can, however, help your thyroid by effectively strengthening your liver. Listed below is the right nutrition plan to strengthen your liver and reduce thyroid problems:
Add a lot of whole animal proteins to your diet
An amino acid balance is achieved whenever you ingest whole animal proteins, balance your entire body needs, particularly the liver. Your body will trend toward inflammation if you only consume specific proteins from animals, such as the exclusive ingestion of muscle meats.
Include more nutrient-rich sugar sources to your diet
Nutritious sources of sugar are commonly known as carbohydrates. As such, the word sugar should not be scary to you, nor should you blacklist it from your diet. The correct types of sugar could boost your metabolism. Sugar from fresh and unadulterated fruit juices, maple syrup, ripe fruits, honey, and a bit of white sugar are the most suitable types.
Include more pro-thyroid saturated fats in your diet
Healthy saturated fats such as butter and coconut oil enhance thyroid function, which significantly benefits your body. Healthy saturated fats are a source of energy and help in the construction of the tissues that line and protect internal organs. They are also necessary when it comes to absorbing fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which most people are surprisingly deficient. You should, however, eliminate unsaturated fats (PUFA) from your diet since they typically suppress thyroid function.
Include meals supporting blood sugar balance in your diet
Poor handling of your blood sugar causes the release of stress hormones by your adrenal glands. It also alerts your liver to start breaking down fats and proteins in order to provide energy. The entire process releases amino acids, which are generally anti-metabolic to your thyroid. Cysteine, which suppresses thyroid function, is also released in massive amounts by muscle catabolism.
Remove indigestible foods from your diet
Indigestible foods such as soy products often lead to the production of insufficient amounts of stomach acid by the stomach. Stomach acid is responsible for stimulating proper digestion by sterilizing your stomach, killing unwanted microorganisms, and breaking down proteins. All of which makes it the first line of defense when it comes to your digestive cascade. You should, therefore, remove such foods from your diet and instead focus on the foods that are easy to digest.
Adopt a different plan
Get a nutrition plan that provides you with adequate nutrients and calories to adequately support the energy production and cellular metabolism rates of your body. You should also reduce your levels of stress and ensure you get enough sleep.
Is There Any Food or Diet that Should Be Avoided?
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Avoid foods that interfere with thyroid function, including broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soybeans, peanuts, linseed, pine nuts, millet, cassava, and mustard greens.” They added that tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine can impact several conditions that may affect the health of your thyroid gland. Moreover, excess iron intake may reduce thyroid hormone absorption.
Another thing to avoid is iodine supplement or any supplement that contains high amounts of iodine unless the cause of hypothyroidism is iodine deficiency. It is because too much of it may cause hypothyroidism as well.
Why the right nutrition plan is better than taking thyroid hormones
You can induce hypothyroidism by not meeting the energy requirements of your body, especially if you take thyroid hormone without a sound nutrition plan. You may feel tired and fatigued like you always have no energy. You could feel better, enough to resume your normal activities after taking thyroid hormones. But you could end up feeling even worse because you did not alter your lifestyle habits and diet.
Excluding a nutrient dense diet aimed at backing up that energy production is usually the cause for such issues. Taking thyroid medication to increase your energy without addressing the root cause of the problem, usually a nutrient and cellular energy deficient is only a temporal solution.
Side Effects of Taking Thyroid Hormones
According to Cancer.org, “High levels of thyroid hormone can lead to problems with a rapid or irregular heartbeat. Over the long run, high doses of thyroid hormone can lead to weak bones (osteoporosis). This shows that taking thyroid hormones is not the only solution.
Thyroid medication might dig you deeper into a nutritional deficit, especially when taken without having the necessary nutritional stores for backup. This is not to say all thyroid replacement is bad, especially if you need it after having your thyroid removed. However, it is important to remember there is always a nutritional aspect to be addressed whenever your body energy is low.
It is often said that the pharmaceutical industry is more interested in creating clients than cures. When it comes to mental health issues, it seems that this statement, as cynical as it is, may hold some truth. A 2013 study out of New Zealand found that better nutrition improved mental health much more effectively than medications and did so without the unwanted side effects pharmaceutical options can cause.
In the five years previous to the New Zealand study, children internationally have experienced increasing incidences of mental illness at alarming rates. During this five year period, the number of diagnosis of:
• ADHD increased 3 times • Autism increased 20 times • Bipolar disorder increased 40 times
As a result of these increases, 20% of the world’s children are now living with some type of mental health issue. Researchers feel that this rise in mental health issues may be related to the concurrent rise of more processed and less nutritional foods. Clinical psychologist Julia Ruxklidge agrees, claiming that nutrition is a “viable way to avoid, treat or lessen mental illness.”
Unfortunately, the first line of treatment for mental disorders is medication, followed by therapy and then other treatments. The problem with this line of attack, however, is two-fold. First, it is of note that medications often cause unwanted side effects. Some of these can be dangerous or life-threatening. It is also of note that the effectiveness of many medications fades over time, forcing doctors to increase dosages or try different medications.
In the hope of proving that nutrition could be a better option, researchers at The University of Auckland in New Zealand tested the theory in 2013. Their study focused on adolescents as this is a critical time for psychological development. They managed to show that adolescents who ate a healthier diet rich in micronutrients did notice an improvement in their mental health. They also showed that those with a poor diet reported much lower mental health scores and more problems.
While it may be too soon to know if nutrition can cure or reduce all types of mental illness, the research is compelling. It is a known fact, however, that better nutrition is beneficial to overall health, so there is no harm in adding more healthful foods to the diet. It certainly seems worth a try.