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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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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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Nuts To You… Just One Way to a Healthy

Nuts To You… Just One Way to a Healthy Heart
Dr. John Rumberger

Nuts are readily available and provide a highly nutritious food. In addition to protein, carbohydrate, and fat, nuts contain many other important nutrients: fiber, vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, and magnesium. Although on some food charts you may see nuts listed in the same food category as diary products, eggs, and red meat because of the fat content, new information calls into question this designation.
While nuts do contain a high proportion of fat, tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazel nuts, Brazil nuts, and macadamia are actually low in saturated fat. Most of the fat comes in the form of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered to be acceptable forms of fat that actually “reduce” the incidence of heart and vascular disease.
Several large studies have examined the relationship between the risk of heart disease and intake of omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources. In the Seventh Day Adventist Health Study researchers found that those who reported eating nuts more than four times per week had a 50% lower risk of heart disease than those who rarely ate nuts. The Nurses’ Health Study found that heart disease risk was reduced by 35% in those who ate nuts compared with those who rarely ate nuts. An addition study found that the risk of type 2 diabetes went down by nearly 1/3 in women who consumed 1/4 cup of nuts five times per week compared to those that did not eat nuts at all.
One recent study looked at almonds in particular. They examined the effects on LDL [“bad”] cholesterol values. Each person served as his own control and they were each on three different “diets”: almonds representing about 1/4 their entire daily calorie intake, OR a “handful” of almonds per day, OR a muffin [containing about the same number of calories as a “full dose” of almonds]. The LDL cholesterol went down about 10% when the subjects took a “full dose” of almonds, went down about 5% with intake of a “handful” of almonds, and did not go down at all with eating a muffin. In those with the higher “dose” of almonds, the “ratio” of bad to good cholesterol [LDL/HDL ratio] went down by 12%.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recognizes nuts [including almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, macadamia, and pistachios] may help to lower your blood cholesterol and may be a very healthy “snack”. However, they also warn that they are a source of calories and should not be used to great excess in those with calorie restricted diets and that you should avoid nuts with added oils or added salt. The AHA recommends eating an overall balanced diet that is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and includes low-fat [or non-fat] diary products, fish and lean meats. If you add nuts to your diet, just be sure that you don’t inadvertently add considerable total calories – despite the benefits of nuts, maintaining an ideal body weight is more important. Weight is often a simple lesson in physics – what comes in either stays [as increased pounds] or is used up for energy and metabolism [which is increased by a regular exercise program].

Disclaimer: If you are under 18, pregnant, nursing or have health problems, consult your physician before starting any weight loss plan. The information here is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.

About the Author

Dr. John Rumberger’s experince in the field is extensive, and includes achieving his doctorate in 1976 (Bio-Engineering/ Fluid Dynamics/ Applied Mathematics) from Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio, with a dissertation on, A Non-Linear Model of Coronary Artery Blood Flow. He has just completed his book The WAY Diet available on amazon.com or direct through the publisher at http://www.emptycanoe.com


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