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Staying Healthy on a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Staying Healthy on a Low Carbohydrate Diet
Marjorie Geiser

It is estimated that about 32 million Americans are following some type of low carbohydrate diet. This is the result of fad diet authors claiming that carbohydrates are the cause for Americas rising obesity problems. The backlash against carbohydrates is a result of the low fat craze that started in the 80s.When consumers started cutting down their fat intake, manufacturers figured out that they could create low fat processed food products that the public would buy. Because these products claimed to be fat free, Americans didnt pay attention to the fact that they were not also calorie free, and as a result, the total amount of daily calories has slowly been increasing. In fact, although the total percentage of calories from fat has decreased, the actual amount of fat intake has increased by 10# per year since 1975! The increase of carbohydrate has also increased, at a rate of 20# per year, mostly as a result of highly processed foods.

It is estimated that 3800 calories are now produced for every American man, woman and child. We have evolved from a world of feast or famine, but were in a state of perpetual feast, although our bodies have not changed. We have no defenses against excess calories: Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 deaths in the US are attributed to obesity.

Meanwhile, Asian and Middle Eastern populations consume 50-75% of their calories from rice and have some of the lowest rates of obesity and heart disease in the world. People living in the Mediterranean also have fewer health conditions commonly seen in the US. This diet consists of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruits. Their diets are rich in fish and low in meats and poultry. Although their fat intake is about the same as in America, the type of fat is primarily monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, where Americans eat primarily saturated animal fats.

Regardless of the actual advantage or disadvange to following a low carbohydrate diet, there are three recommendations for maintaining good health while following such a diet. The first is to choose healthy fats over the unhealthy, saturated fats, when considering fat intake. Examples of healthy fats would be plant fats that have not been hydrogenated, which makes the fat more solid at room temperature. It is believed that hydrogenation is actually more harmful to health than saturated fats found naturally in animal products. Plant fats would include nuts, avocados, and olives. Oils such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil are better choices than fats that come from animal sources, such as butter, lard or bacon grease. Multiple studies over the years have shown that excess animal fats lead to higher risks of cancer, heart disease and other inflammatory disorders. Saturated fats have been linked to increased cholesterol, LDL (the bad) cholesterol as well as to increased LDL cholesterol oxidation. In fact, in January 2004, an Atkins representative put out a press release advising the public to decrease their amounts of steak, eggs, and saturated fast to less than 20% of their total fat intake.

The next recommendation to ensure good health is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Although fruits and most vegetables are restricted in the initial phase of some low carbohydrate diets, they are then allowed back in limited amounts. The phytonutrients that come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have been shown to decrease blood pressure, as well as protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Its easy to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, once you get in the habit. Examples are; add some berries to breakfast, eat a tomato at lunch, include broccoli with dinner, drink some vegetable juice with snacks, and have a large salad with your meal.

The final tip to ensure good health is to eat a diet of whole foods, rather than fall back on the easy snack, convenience foods of today. If Americans had just cut down their amount of fat intake in the 80s, without finding new ways to snack, we may not be seeing the epidemic of obesity we see, today. When people started going on the low carbohydrate diets, they eliminated a large number of calories by eliminating snacking, especially at night, where common snacks are chips, crackers, and other high fat, high refined carbohydrate foods, such as ice cream. Today, though, much like in the 80s, manufacturers are now developing low carb and low net carb snack foods. We can now find low net carb chips, crackers, ice cream, popcorn, even low carb pizza! As Americans start to increase their intake of these foods, we will soon see a slowing of the weight loss many had seen initially. In order to call themselves a low net carb food, manufacturers subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates in the product, rather than produce products without carbohydrate. There is no actual FDA standard for what a low net carb food is, yet, though, so right now its anything the manufacturer wants to say it is. These foods also are very high in fat and saturated fat, usually through hydrogenation. So, not only will calories be added back into the diet through resuming unhealthy snack habits, but they will be calories consisting of high amounts of the unhealthy fats.

So, while following a low carbohydrate diet, in order to ensure continued good health, follow these three recommendations: 1) Make most fats you eat the healthy, plant fats, rather than eating a diet high in animal or hydrogenated fats, 2) Eat plenty of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, which are high in disease-fighting antioxidants, and 3) eat mostly whole, fresh foods and very little processed snack foods, even if they say low carb, in order to avoid hidden and unnecessary fat and calories.

Marjorie Geiser has been teaching health, fitness and nutrition since 1982. She is a nutritionist, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and life coach. As the owner of MEG Fitness, Marjories goal for her clients is to help them incorporate healthy eating and fitness into their busy lives. To order her 30-Day Health & Fitness Challenge e-course and learn more about Marjorie, go to her website at www.megfit.com or email her at Margie@megfit.com


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STAY HEALTHY AND YOUNG

STAY HEALTHY AND YOUNG
Hifzur Rehman

Yes, it is possible for the people of all ages to keep themselves healthy, physically fit and young looking throughout their whole lives. Just take the following three steps and enjoy a healthy, happy and a long life.

1.Eat Balanced Food

Its OK to eat for taste or for fun and eat whatever you like most but only occasionally. Remember, if you develop bad eating habits then you would have to pay its price in the shape of bad health and illness. Hope you are wise enough not to play with your health.

Eat a wide variety of foods containing a good balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, food fiber and minerals, which are essential elements of a healthy diet. Eat simple and natural foods that are easily digestable and promote good health. Fruits, vegetables, green leaves, grains, whole grain breads, fish, poultry, low fat dairy products, honey, nuts etc. are good and nourishing food. Limit you intake of full-fat milk, full-fat yogurt, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, milk shakes, cakes, eggs, all kind of fried foods, red meat, sugar and salt.

2.Exercise Regularly

A simple way of living a healthy life is to exercise regularly. Regular exercise keeps your body in good shape, physically as well as mentally. It increases your stamina, builds and tones your muscles and energize your whole body. It also reduces the chances of having heart attacks, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Engage yourself in some kind of regular exercise of your own choice; brisk walking, jogging, hiking, swimming, dancing, cycling, skiing, climbing, aerobics or yoga. These are good exercises. Choose one or more exercises which you like most. Do it regularly. Give top priority to your health. Put it in your agenda. Make it a part of your goal.

3.Get Rid of Negativity

If you are a person with negative approach to everything then nothing will work for you. Even eating the balanced diet and taking part in regular physical activity will not show any sign of recovery in your body if it is charged with negativity. Get rid of negative feelings about yourself and others. Think positive, feel positive, be friendly with positive people, read a lot of self improvement and motivational material and charge your body with positive currents. Depression, stress, tension and anxiety are the products of negative thinking about life and thus increases your chances of having a heart attack and other diseases like colon cancer, high blood pressure, indigestion problems, gastric troubles, body pains, headaches etc. Find the reasons of depression and try to address them through positive thinking and a sensible approach to day to day problems. Learn from your mistakes and try your best not to repeat them. Get rid of negativity and enjoy a healthy life!

Hifzur Rehman is the owner and editor of a wonderful website http://www.selfimprovement.ch which offers a lot of useful and interesting information on various aspects of human life.

hrehman@selfimprovement.ch


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Relaxation – The key to healthy life

Relaxation – The key to healthy life
Nitin Jain

Physical exercise complemented by a healthy diet may still leave you bereft of a truly fit body if you dont relax enough. Relaxation releases ‘feel good’ hormones in our body. They help us reduce free radical effect, which means it slows down the ageing process, reducing the PMS syndrome, speeds up recovery of post-operative healing, increases our lung power… the list is endless.

Result shows that just 15 minutes of daily relaxation can aid in the complete avoidance of blood pressure tablets. No amount of exercising and dieting alone can ensure that. Diet and exercise reduce stress levels, but they cannot wholly account for our emotional thought patterns. And thse negative emotions that are mainly accountable for many psychosomatic diseases.

Evidently, pumping iron till your arms ache and dieting diligently will be futile minus relaxation. Relaxation is a must in our daily life. It alone can strengthen our immune system. Right from gardening to playing chess to practising simple mental exercises, anything can be relaxing. The choice and onus both lie with the person.

Research studies have documented positive changes in the blood flow, neurochemistry as well as neurophysiology of the brain when one is relaxed. The blood flow to the brain is increased to those regions of the brain that are associated with feelings of being calm. So, to ensure the complete health quotient, one needs relaxation as much as one needs physical exercise and a proper diet.

TOP TEN RELAXATION TIPS

1. Do what you love daily, like listening to your favorite music.

2. Devote time to a hobby.

3. Look at some old photographs of an occasion that was full of fun.

4. Be with nature any time of the day.

5. Establish contact with old friends.

6. In the afternoon, take a 20-minute nap.

7. Sit on a chair with your feet touching the floor and your back upright. Focus on anything or any sound for three minutes.

8. Once back from office, as you step into your home, just sit for 10-15 minutes doing nothing. You may switch on the television or listen to some music if you so prefer.

9. Breathe deeply while listening to your favorite music.

10. Press under the big toe and the arch of your foot.

For www.vitaminsdiary.com.

Your complete guide to buying vitamins online – http://www.vitaminsdiary.com/buy-vitamins.htm

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People Stuggle to Eat Healthy

People Stuggle to Eat Healthy
Brian Clancey

Most people struggle to eat healthy foods throughout the day and
at each meal, according to results of an Ipsos-Reid poll for
Canada’s President’s Choice label.

The poll found 94% say they just can’t live without a favorite
food, while 7% concede they almost never make healthy food
choices.

“Canadians want food choices that help make it easier to eat
better and live healthier without giving up the foods and
flavors they love,” says Paul Uys, Vice President, Loblaw Brands
Limited. Most surveyed do understand the importance of reducing
the salt content of their diets and increasing fiber, Uys
noted.

These results “suggest they’re not eating as well as they could
because of their must-have meals,” say officials at Presidents
Choice. “In fact, 59% say they’d like to eat healthier but don’t
want to give up their favorite foods, with 40% citing comfort
foods like macaroni and cheese or pizza as real weaknesses.”

Finding Time a Priority — Doing It Hard

Despite these findings, the survey found people know it’s
important to eat well. Roughly 82% say finding the time to
prepare and eat healthy meals is a priority, yet half still find
it difficult to make healthy food choices.

“There are a number of other perceived barriers to healthy
habits other than favorite foods that may explain why eating
well can be a challenge,” Presidents Choice said in discussing
the survey results. “Time of day certainly seems to be a factor,
with more than 80% of Canadians finding it hard to eat properly
at some point.”

A quarter find it hard to eat healthy snacks during the day,
with 30% of woman falling prey to temptation, compared to 17% of
the men surveyed. Men, by contrast, struggle with breakfast,
with 24% saying they do not start their day with a healthy
breakfast, compared to 17% of women. This works out to 21%
finding it hard to eat a healthy breakfast. Fewer people have a
problem eating healthy meals the rest of the day. Even so,
eating a healthy lunch is a problem for 16% of people surveyed
and 15% find supper a struggle.

Cost, taste, and choice

The perceived cost, taste and overwhelming number of choices
when it comes to healthier food products also seem to be
barriers for many. In fact, 60% feel that the costs of eating
healthfully have increased, while 54% say their family would eat
more healthfully if the nutritious options tasted better.
Furthermore, 59% indicate they can be confused by the many
different things they’re supposed to look out for when shopping
for healthy foods.

“Canadians do recognize that specific foods are important in
achieving a well-balanced diet,” says Uys. “Interestingly
enough, the Healthy Eating survey found that 68% think it’s
important to incorporate sodium-reduced foods into their diet,
and 58% of younger Canadians aged 18-34 agree with this
statement. This is an age group that typically loves their salty
foods, so the fact that they’re aware that it’s important to
choose foods that offer responsible sodium levels is
encouraging.”

About 40% of those surveyed would like to incorporate more fibre
into their diet, but find it difficult. “There are so many great
and easy ways to add fibre to your diet – yogurt with a
high-fibre muffin and a handful of almonds is a perfect
breakfast to take on the go,” says Uys.

The Joy of Soy

The Healthy Eating survey found that just 29% of Canadians
incorporate soy protein into their diet on a regular basis.
While overall, soy is just one component of healthy eating
towards lowering cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk,
evidence continues to be strong on the benefit of soy protein
compared to animal protein sources.

Not only is soy a great source of vegetable protein and so low
in saturated fat – but many soy foods can be a source of omega-3
polyunsaturated fatty acids and a good source of calcium.
Despite this, 27% of Canadians feel they get enough protein from
other sources; 25% aren’t familiar with soy protein; 20% say
they’re not interested; 18% don’t like the taste; 13% don’t know
how to incorporate it into their daily diet; and five% don’t
know how much they should eat.

Nutritionists recommend consuming 25 grams of soy protein each
day – about eight grams per meal. “When you consider that just
one glass of PC Soy Beverage contains about a third of your
daily requirement, it’s easy to swallow,” says Uys.

Resources

Rachael Ray’s
30-Minute Get Real Meals

About the author:

Brian Clancey has a long standing interest in health and an
active lifestyle. This was the inspiration behind creation of
the http://www.thehealthyweb.com< /a> website, offering daily recipes and discussion of food and
health issues.


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