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Fats and carbohydrates – their place in your healthy

Fats and carbohydrates – their place in your healthy diet
Zaak OConan

Lately it would seem that fats and carbohydrates have both gotten a bad rap. First it was fat that was the culprit in all dietary ills, and low fat diets were all the rage. Then the two switched places, with carbohydrates being the bad guys and fat reigning supreme.

As with most extremes, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There is no such thing as a bad food, only bad dietary choices. While some foods are naturally better for you than others, there is no reason that all foods cannot be enjoyed in moderation. After all, the most successful diet is not one that you can follow for a day, a week or even a year. On the contrary, the only successful diet and nutrition program is one that you will be able to follow for a lifetime.

Both fats and carbohydrates play an important role in nutrition, and both are important to a healthy diet. It would be impossible and unwise to eliminate all fat from the diet, since fat is important for the production of energy, and for carrying valuable fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, throughout the body. In addition, fat plays a vital role in regulating various bodily functions.

Even though some fat is essential to a healthy body, too much fat can be harmful. Excessive levels of dietary fats have been implicated in heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol levels and even some cancers. Most nutritionists recommend limiting daily fat intake to less than 20% of calories, although taking that level lower than 10% is not recommended.

Of course not all fats are created equal, and some fats are more harmful than others. Saturated fats and trans fats are generally understood to be more harmful in the diet than polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These lighter fats, like canola oil and olive oil, should form the basis of cooking a healthier diet.

Keeping saturated fats and trans fats to a minimum is important to a healthy diet. Trans fats, which are solid at room temperature, are most often found in highly processed foods like cookies, cakes and other baked goods. In addition, trans fats are often found in fried foods and in salty snacks like potato chips. While these foods are fine in moderation, it is best to avoid large quantities of such snacks.

One additional word here about good fats – yes there are such things, and one of the most powerful of these are the so called omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are most often found in fish, and they have shown great promise in preventing and even reversing heart disease and high cholesterol levels.

When limiting your daily intake of fat and cholesterol, it is good to have an understanding of nutritional labels. These government mandated labels can be a huge help to those who take the time to read and understand them. Not only do nutritional labels provide valuable information on calories, fat content and sodium, but they provide valuable information about the most important vitamins and minerals as well.

Like fats, carbohydrates are found in a variety of different foods, some healthier than other. For instance, both Twinkies and whole wheat bread are sources of carbohydrates, but while one can form the basis of a healthy diet, the other is best used as an occasional snack.

In addition to cereals and breads, carbohydrates are also present in fruits and vegetables and in milk and other dairy products. Carbohydrates and fats are both important to a healthy, varied diet.

As with many products, less is often more when it comes to choosing foods rich in carbohydrates. For instance, less refined whole grain bread is generally more nutritious than white bread which has gone through a greater amount of refining. That is because the refining process tends to reduce nutrient content over time.

Of course, there are some elements in the diet that should be limited. Two of these elements are sugar and salt. Most Americans consume too much salt and sugar, and this has led to epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other ills. Limiting sugar and salt, while choosing good fats and unrefined carbohydrates, is a great way to maximize the nutritional value of the foods you eat.
About the Author

Zaak O’Conan discovers and presents useful information on how to enhance and/or repair your life, body and relationships. You’ll find his other articles on eating better and other ways how to improve your life at http://your-health-center.com


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Achieving Youthful Healthy Skin with Vitamins A, C and

Achieving Youthful Healthy Skin with Vitamins A, C and E
Charlene J. Nuble

We all want healthy skin. While the main reasons for pursuing healthy skin tend to be purely shallow and cosmetic in nature, healthy skin is beautiful and keeps us looking younger than our years and there are actually some practical health benefits to maintaining the good health for our skin. The purpose of the skin is to act as a barrier. It serves to prevent bacteria, viruses and other contaminants from entering the body and causing infection, illness and disease. There are many vitamins and minerals that help to keep skin healthy and thus be able to serve its vital role in the protection of the body.

Antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are very important to healthy skin because it is these vitamins that share in the responsibility of controlling the damage that free radicals byproducts of energy production within the body and of environmental contaminants such as air pollution produce. Among the several types of damage done by free radicals is the destruction of collagen and elastin which are fibers that support the skin and keeps it looking supple. As these are damaged wrinkles and a lack of that youthful firmness can occur. Vitamin C also plays a part in the production of collagen making it essential to the function and look of the skin. Recent studies have found that Vitamin C and E used together may help to repair sun-damaged skin.

Vitamin A has its own important role in skin health and beauty in addition to its anti-oxidant properties. In terms of diet even small deficiencies can negatively affect the skin causing flakiness and dryness. Dryness can make lines and wrinkles that are much more apparent. Its primary use however, is as a topical solution for the treatment of severe acne and the reduction of lines and wrinkles themselves. Recent research has showed that a topical solution that contains both Vitamin A and Vitamin C can in some cases reverse the damage done by the aging process and by sun-damage.

Deficiencies in the Vitamin B complex can leave the skin prone to cracking, bleeding and dangerous skin lesions that allow all kinds of bacteria, viruses and other contaminants to easily enter the body. But in terms of strictly cosmetic concerns even a little shortage of the Vitamin B complex can result in scaly and poorly textured skin. Topical preparations have been found to play an important role in the hydrating of skin cells leading to noticeably firmer and healthier looking skin.

Vitamin K has been found to relieve those awful dark circles under the eyes. Some research has found that creams made up of both Vitamin K and Vitamin A are more effective than those that just contain Vitamin K but researchers are still following up on these results.

Minerals important to the look and to the health of the skin include selenium, copper and zinc. Selenium whether used as a topical solution or taken in the form of a dietary supplement is thought to play a big role in the prevention of skin cancer. Copper, zinc and Vitamin C work together to form elastin which helps to support skin keeping it firm and healthy.

Topical solutions and dietary supplements can help to keep the skin healthy and youthful in appearance. However, it is important to recognize that these are powerful substances and using them within the standard guidelines of dosage is essential to good health. There is such a thing as too much of abusing such natural healing powers which could then result to a not so pretty sight. But when used correctly however, your skin can look better than ever.

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About the Author

Charlene J. Nuble 2005. For up to date links and information about Vitamins, please go to: http://vitamins.besthealthlink.net/ or for updated links and information on all health related topics, go to: http://www.besthealthlink.net/


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