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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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Some Healthy Nutrition

Some Healthy Nutrition
Terje Brooks Ellingsen

Below are listed some foods that are containing ingredients of
healthy nutrition.

Berries are incredible antioxidants

Ah, the sweet taste of fresh berries! Berries are actually good
for you and contain plant nutrients called anthocyanidins. Some
of these have high levels of resveratrol, which helps fight
heart disease and cancer. The next time you want something
sweet, juicy, and good for you, reach for blueberries, grapes,
or strawberries, and do not feel guilty!

Tasty Almonds

If you love nuts, then you are in luck. Almonds are not only
delicious and make a great snack food, medical studies show they
contain as much protein per ounce as red meat. In addition, they
aid in reducing the risk of heart attacks by up to 50%. The next
time you need something crunchy, reach for a handful of almonds.

Flaxseed

A great way to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system is by
adding flaxseed to your daily diet. Flaxseed actually contains
what is called alpha-linolenic acid, which is a fatty acid
essential in controlling blood pressure. They have a benefit of
helping with digestion; just make sure the flaxseed is crushed
for easier consumption and absorption.

Saucy but Healthy

Eating bland foods is boring, unsatisfying, and if that is what
your diet consists of, more than likely, you will be off it
shortly after you start. If you enjoy good tasting food, some
sauces and spices can enhance your food while not adding
calories to your food. The next you grill meat, consider using
one of these:

*Reduced-salt Soy Sauce

*Mustard

*Salsa

*Worcestershire Sauce

*Vinegar (this comes in wonderful flavors)

*Teriyaki Sauce

*Tomato Sauce

*Hot Sauce

Some like it Hot

Hot, spicy foods that contain curry, chilies, or other hot
peppers such as cayenne, help to trigger endorphins. These
hormones are what make people feel good and well balanced. In
fact, endorphins are like a natural morphine that helps ease
pain and provide a sense of well being. The next time you are
feeling a little down or have some minor pain, try eating
something spicy.

Stick with Whole Wheat

Whole wheat is actually better for you. It offers more fiber,
which helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer,
diverticulosis, diabetes to name a few. When possible, set aside
the white flour and bread and reach for products that are made
from oats, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, rye, brown rice, millet,
and wheat.

What are Flavonoids?

These are oestrogen-like compounds found in plants that act as
hormone blockers any place in the body where there are excess
hormones that could cause such cancers such as breast cancer.
Flavonoids are also strong antioxidants, which can be found in
foods such as beans, onions, broccoli, apples, and soy products.

About the author:

Terje Brooks Ellingsen is an internet publisher. His
website
nv-Fitness4Life.com
offers valuable free information for all
who are interested in fitness issues, for example
diets and other fitness products
. Check out Fitness4Life now.


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Raw Food Diet – Healthy or Not?

Raw Food Diet – Healthy or Not?
Deborah Wilson

Raw foodism is a way of eating that has grown in popularity in recent years. Celebrities such as Woody Harrelson, Carol Alt, and Alicia Silverstone have gone raw. So what’s the story? Raw foodists believe that cooking anything over 120 degrees destroys essential food enzymes needed for proper digestion.

So is it myth or fact that raw food is better for you? As with so many things, the jury is still out. Whenever you make drastic changes to your diet, it’s important make sure you’re receiving all the nutrients you need. Those who incorporate more raw food into their diets such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh juices, and raw nuts often see a huge improvement in overall health and well-being. It may not be necessary to be so extreme as to eat everything raw in order to reap the benefits.

If you decide to “go raw,” how far you decide to take your raw diet is up to you. Many people choose to eat their morning and afternoon meals raw and then eat a cooked dinner. Forget the fads and do what feels right to you. Adding more raw fruits and vegetables to your diet never hurt anyone.

As for the health benefits, proponents of the raw diet claim it can lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, improve eyesight, heal skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, and even aid in reversing chronic disease and cancer. While there is no research to back this up, more and more doctors and scientists are becoming interested in what raw food can do.

There are several great online raw food resources:

Health Diaries features blogs on the raw food diet. New raw foodists can read others’ diaries or start their own and track their progress.

Shazzie has been raw for several years. Her site features a blog, raw products, and several great before and after pics.

David Wolfe, the owner of Rawfood.com, is a well-known raw foodist. On his site, you can purchase raw food products, books, and just about everything else related to raw food.

Through these sites you’ll discover many more raw resources. There’s a great online community just waiting for those who are looking to improve their health through the raw food diet.

About the Author

Deborah Wilson is a freelance writer specializing in health and wellness topics.


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NON-TOXIC AND HEALTHY CANDLES

NON-TOXIC AND HEALTHY CANDLES
Patty Avey

Upon retiring to bed each evening for weeks, Mark was repeatedly alarmed as he experienced shortness of breath, heart palpitations, extreme weakness, and pressure in his chest. One evening, he was so concerned that he went to the emergency room of the local hospital where he was diagnosed as having panic attacks. Mark could not understand the diagnosis because he did not sense any anxiety or concerns that would precipitate in panic attacks. He left the hospital continuing to question why he was experiencing these symptoms.

One evening as Mark retired to bed, he noticed the four wick scented candle burning on his night stand as it normally did, he wondered if there might be any connection between the scented candle and his symptoms. At that point, he put his head closer to the candle and inhaled the smoke to see if he would have a reaction and immediately the symptoms manifested very strongly. Mark and his wife immediately proceeded to rid their home of the candle in their bedroom and others around the house. Mark’s alarming physical symptoms disappeared.

As you festively decorate your home during any Season, bring ambiance, tradition and warmth to your family with the natural glow of candles. When choosing candles to burn in your home, carefully take into consideration that not all candles are made the same and some candles may be exposing your family to a toxic and unhealthy environment. According to the American EPA, certain candles when burned release carcinogens (cancer causing agents) such as benzene and toluene into the air and are toxic when inhaled. These toxins will also settle on surfaces in your home. Candles made from paraffin, which is a derivative of petroleum wastes, create both smoke and soot which carry toxic substances. One air quality researcher has stated that soot from paraffin candles contains many of the same toxins produced by burning diesel fuel. Some paraffin candles also have lead core wicks which upon burning emit small particles of lead into the atmosphere.

There is also concern that some scented candles when burned may cause health challenges. Toxic chemicals such as acetone, benzene, carbon disulfide, carbon monoxide and many others have been cited as toxins emitted as some fragrances mix with the burning wax. If you desire to burn scented candles, make sure the candles are authentic aromatherapy candles which are scented with real essential oils.

But be of good cheer, candles can still be enjoyed without concern for toxic elements. Candles made from beeswax or soy provide a healthy alternative to potentially harmful candles made from paraffin. Beeswax does not produce toxins or soot when burned. Soy is a new substance used in the manufacturing of candles with the benefits of clean burning with little soot, made from a renewable resource, and uses no petroleum products. Soy candles are also available in many wonderful scents. Also, look for aromatherapy candles that are scented with real essential oils. Read labels carefully on candles before purchasing or ask the sales clerk for information on the ingredients. Unfortunately, candle manufacturers are not required to list hazardous, toxic or carcinogenic compounds used in their ingredients but you can call the manufacturer with your questions if the label is unclear.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR FOR IN A NON-TOXIC CANDLE:

– candles made with beeswax or wax with vegetable derivatives, with no animal products

– candles that burn with zinc-core or cotton wicks – NOT LEAD

– check to see if candles are authentically aromatic

HELPFUL SAFETY REMINDERS:

– Always keep a burning candle within sight
– Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire.
– Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
– Trim wicks to inch prior to each use
– Keep candles away from drafts and vents.
– Always use an appropriate candleholder placed on a stable, heat resistant surface
– Never touch or move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquid

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Brought to you by http://www.smartlivingenws.com

About the Author

Chief Editor for www.smartlivingnews.com


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