Friday, November 17, 2017

***8 Healthy Holiday-Eating Strategies ***

***8 Healthy Holiday-Eating Strategies ***
**The Strategy: Bring Your Own Food
Contribute a healthy dish to a gathering to ensure there’s something you can indulge in.
Tricks to Try
Eat the best-for-you offerings first. For example, hot soup as a first course―especially when it's broth-based, not cream-based―can help you avoid eating too much during the main course.
Stand more than an arm's length away from munchies, like a bowl of nuts or chips, while you chat so you're not tempted to raise your hand to your mouth every few seconds.
Concentrate on your meal while you're eating it. Focus on chewing your food well and enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each item. Research shows that mealtime multitasking (whether at home or at a party) can make you pop mindless calories into your mouth. Of course, dinner-party conversation is only natural, but try to set your food down until you're finished chatting so you are more aware of what you're taking in.
**The Strategy: Don’t Go Hungry to the Mall
To cut down on the lure of the food court, never go to the mall on an empty stomach.
Tricks to Try
Plan your shopping route so you don’t pass the Cinnabon stand a dozen times. The obvious reason? Both sights and smells can coax you to eat, and with some vendors purposefully wafting their aromas your way, saying no can feel impossible.
Choose a proper restaurant over the grab-and-go food court whenever you can. And request a table away from loud sounds and distractions, which can cause you to eat more. The bright lights and noisy hard surfaces can speed up the rate at which you eat and lead to overeating.
**The Strategy: Keep Track of What You Eat
Maintain a food diary to help you stay committed to your goals during this risky eating period.
Tricks to Try
Weigh yourself daily and use that number to guide your actions. (Food diaries are helpful, but only if you’re totally honest and diligent about recording every morsel you eat.) Research has shown that women who step on the scale every day and then act accordingly, either increasing their exercise or being stricter about their eating, are 82 percent less likely to regain lost weight than those who don’t weigh in as often.
Zip yourself into your favorite pair of slim-fitting pants once a week and note how they fit. Too tight? Adjust your eating and exercise habits. Just right? Keep up the good work.
**The Strategy: Eat Before Going to a Party
Before going out, have a healthy snack to curb your appetite.
Tricks to Try
Eat breakfast. This has been shown to prevent overeating later in the day.
Limit the number of high-calorie foods on your party plate. Research has shown that when faced with a variety of foods with different tastes, textures, smells, shapes, and colors, people eat more―regardless of their true hunger level. Cutting down on your personal smorgasbord can decrease what you end up eating by 20 to 40 percent.
Choose foods wisely, filling your plate with low-calorie items, such as leafy green salads, vegetable dishes, and lean proteins, and taking smaller portions of the richer ones. That way, you can eat a larger amount of food for fewer calories and not feel deprived.
**The Strategy: Keep Healthy Snacks at the Office
Stash healthy foods in your desk at work so you’re not as tempted by the treats piling up at the office.
Tricks to Try
Try to keep communal office goodies out of view, either in an area that isn’t as highly trafficked as the kitchen or the break room, or in dark containers or covered dishes. In one study, people ate 26 percent more Hershey’s Kisses when the candies were in clear dishes versus white ones. And when the chocolates were placed six feet away, the average person ate only four a day, as opposed to nine a day when they were within arm’s reach.
Before you allow yourself a splurge, do something healthy, like eating a piece of fruit, walking around the office for five minutes, or climbing a few flights of stairs.
Plan on taking whatever tempts you home, and delay the daily indulgence until just before bedtime. At that point, you’re less likely to crave another treat immediately than you would during your afternoon coffee break, especially if the whole box is no longer around.
**The Strategy: Manage Portion Size
Take sensible portions so you don’t end up eating too much.
Tricks to Try
Use smaller plates and serving utensils. Try a salad or dessert plate for the main course and a teaspoon to serve yourself. What looks like a normal portion on a 12-inch plate or a troughlike bowl can, in fact, be sinfully huge. In one study conducted at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, even nutrition experts served themselves 31 percent more ice cream when using oversize bowls compared with smaller bowls. The size of the serving utensil mattered, too: Subjects served themselves 57 percent more when they used a three-ounce scoop versus a smaller scoop. Pour drinks into tall, skinny glasses, not the fat, wide kind.
**The Strategy: Keep Up the Exercise
You’re determined to squeeze in at least one or two workouts a week, no matter how busy you get.
Tricks to Try
Break it up. If you don’t have time for your daily four-mile walk, do a few 10- or 15-minute spurts of exercise throughout the day (to accumulate the surgeon general’s recommendation of 30 minutes a day). They can be just as effective at maintaining overall fitness as one continuous workout.
Tell yourself that all the running around you’re doing (cleaning for houseguests, dashing through a million stores to find the perfect presents) can help keep your weight in check. In one Harvard study, people who were simply told that they did enough in their daily lives to meet the surgeon general’s recommendations lost weight and body fat without consciously changing a thing. A possible reason? Believing that what they were doing was having a positive effect may have led to subtle changes in their overall health behaviors.
**The Strategy: Choose Your Indulgences
You intend to stave off feelings of deprivation by allowing yourself a “cheat” day a week.
Tricks to Try
Plan in advance to eat a little more and be a little more flexible at this time of year, when you face daily temptations. That way, you can savor the culinary joys of the holidays a little more often and you'll be less likely to binge. For instance, rather than inhaling four sugar cookies on your cheat day, allow yourself one as a dessert when the mood strikes. Then make one little switch during the day to account for those calories―maybe skipping that morning latte or cutting out an afternoon snack.
Choose your indulgences wisely. Instead of wasting calories on foods that you can have at any time of the year, pick items that are truly special and unique to the season, like your grandmother's candied yams or your daughter's first batch of Christmas cookies.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s 7-Day Crash Diet (Approved by Dr. Oz)

Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s 7-Day Crash Diet (Approved by Dr. Oz)
Dr. Oz recently introduced his approved crash diet on his show (7-day crash diet devised by Dr. Joel Fuhrman). People can supposedly lose up to 10 pounds per week using this diet method (including fluid loss).
Under this crash diet, you can eat the following foods as much as you want:
Dark leafy vegetables
Fresh fruits
Starchy vegetables
And must limit the following to less than 10% of your meals.
Meat
Dairy
You pretty much have to cut out sweets and other treats.
When asked the question whether it’s safe to lose so much weight in 1 week, Dr. Joel Fuhrman replied that basically in this diet you would be getting all of your nutrient needs met.
Weight-loss guru Dr. Joel Fuhrman claims he can get you on the fast track to dropping the pounds in just one week. The secret? It's not a starvation diet, but the exact opposite. His plan allows you to eat all you want and still lose weight. The key is in feasting on nutrient-dense foods — rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants — that are low in calories. Many of the superfoods you are familiar with fall under the nutrient-dense category. According to Dr. Fuhrman, the more of these kinds of foods you eat, the faster you will lose weight.
Why does Dr. Fuhrman’s plan work?
Every meal you eat according to his specifications also helps you stave off hunger. Hunger is one of the major roadblocks most dieters face when attempting to lose weight. Dr. Fuhrman’s findings suggest that eating a diet of nutrient-dense foods results in a sustainable eating pattern that can lead to weight loss and improved health — even if you are consuming fewer calories. It’s the nutrients that satiate you for longer and make the periods of hunger between meals more tolerable, so you won’t feel desperate to reach for an unhealthy snack or comfort food. His plan focuses on healthy, whole foods – but makes no room for anything processed, including fake diet foods.
Dr. Fuhrman’s Crash Diet is only extreme in that you dive right in. The idea is that the new habits you learn in the next 7 days will become part of your lifestyle. It will no longer feel like a diet, but your default method of eating. Here are the 3 simple steps for everyone who wants to slim down in a week:
Step 1: Follow the 90/10 Rule Every Day
For the next 7 days, you’ll eat 90% nutrient-dense foods — veggies, fruits, seeds and nuts, beans and whole grains. For the remaining 10%, you can have healthy oils, meat and dairy.
A typical day on the Crash Diet would look like this:
Light and Lean Breakfast
While eating protein, like eggs, is often touted as the right way to start your day, the same rules don’t apply here. Many people eat too much protein, resulting in an overconsumption of calories and weight gain. Think of only light and lean foods, like fruit, oats and flax. You may be asking yourself, what about the yogurt? None here. If you are concerned about calcium, consider this: Natural unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables have calcium. For example, an orange has 60 mg of calcium.
Belly-Blasting Bean Lunch
Ignite your body’s fat-blasting furnace by eating beans. Beans are a dieter’s best friend. They keep you full, and are high in resistant starch, meaning that half the calories consumed can not be absorbed. They also reduce blood sugar, and create the fatty acid butyrate, which may burn fat faster. Studies show that butyrate improves mitochondrial function in your cells, leading to a decrease in fat. If you’re worried about gas, fret not. The more beans you eat, the more your body will build up the good bacteria you need to digest them. You can enjoy beans in a burger patty, in chili or as a dip.
Lean Green Skinny Supper
Think outside the salad bowl. Make greens and vegetables your main dish in other creative ways — enjoy a veggie pizza, eggplant roll-ups or a veggie stir-fry. You can even add an ounce of chicken to your stir-fry for a little bit of extra flavor.
Step 2: Use Secret Weapons
Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating “BOM’s” to really kick your body’s fat-burning mechanisms into high gear. BOM’s are Berries, Onions and Mushrooms. These foods are anti-angiogenic. Why is this important? Because anti-angiogenic foods can starve fat cells by cutting off the blood supply to your fat. Dr. Fuhrman maintains you can also block the blood supply to fat cells by eating anti-angiogenic foods. The more of these foods you eat, the more weight you lose..
Step 3: Detox With Skinny Shakes
To flush fat from your body, you’ll need to release the toxins that are keeping you swollen with fat and fluid. To repair cellular damage from processed foods, make a Skinny Shake of pomegranate juice, strawberries and lemon. Pomegranates are anti-angiogenic and can reduce inflammation. Strawberries are anti-angiogenic and protect against oxidative stress. And lemon juice has vitamin C, natural antibacterial properties, can aid digestion, and helps reduce stress.

A Low Carb Diet Meal Plan

Low Carb Diet Meal Plan
A low-carb diet is a diet that restricts carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. It is high in protein, fat and healthy vegetables.
There are many different types of low-carb diets, and studies show that they can cause weight loss and improve health.
This is a detailed meal plan for a low-carb diet. What to eat, what to avoid and a sample low-carb menu for one day.
A Low Carb Diet Meal Plan
What foods you should eat depends on a few things, including how healthy you are, how much you exercise and how much weight you have to lose.
Consider all of this as a general guideline, not something written in stone.
The Basics
Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, high-fat dairy, fats, healthy oils and maybe even some non-gluten grains.
Don't Eat: Sugar, HFCS, wheat, seed oils, trans fats, "diet" and low-fat products and highly processed foods.
Foods to Avoid
You should avoid these 7 foods, in order of importance:
Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, agave, candy, ice cream and many others.
Gluten Grains: Wheat, spelt, barley and rye. Includes breads and pastas.
Trans Fats: "Hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils.
High Omega-6 Seed- and Vegetable Oils: Cottonseed-, soybean-, sunflower-, grapeseed-, corn-, safflower and canola oils.
Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Cyclamates and Acesulfame Potassium. Use Stevia instead.
"Diet" and "Low-Fat" Products: Many dairy products, cereals, crackers, etc.
Highly Processed Foods: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don't eat it.
You MUST read ingredients lists, even on foods labelled as "health foods."
Low Carb Food List - Foods to Eat
You should base your diet on these real, unprocessed, low-carb foods.
Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, chicken and others. Grass-fed is best.
Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock and many others. Wild-caught fish is best.
Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.
Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and many others.
Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
High-Fat Dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt.
Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard, olive oil and cod fish liver oil.
If you need to lose weight, be careful with the cheese and nuts because they’re easy to overeat on. Don’t eat more than one piece of fruit per day.
Maybe Eat
If you're healthy, active and don't need to lose weight then you can afford to eat a bit more carbs.
Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes and some others.
Non-gluten grains: Rice, oats, quinoa and many others.
Legumes: Lentils, black beans, pinto beans, etc. (If you can tolerate them).
You can have these in moderation if you want:
Dark Chocolate: Choose organic brands with 70% cocoa or higher.
Wine: Choose dry wines with no added sugar or carbs.
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and may provide health benefits if you eat it in moderation. However, be aware that both dark chocolate and alcohol will hinder your progress if you eat/drink too much.Drink
Coffee
Tea
Water
Sugar-free carbonated beverages, like sparkling water.
A Sample Low-Carb Menu For One Day
It provides less than 50 grams of total carbs per day, but as I mentioned above if you are healthy and active you can go beyond that.
Monday
Breakfast: Omelet with various vegetables, fried in butter or coconut oil.
Lunch: Grass-fed yogurt with blueberries and a handful of almonds.
Dinner: Cheeseburger (no bun), served with vegetables and salsa sauce.
Again, if you’re healthy, lean and active, you can add some tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as some healthier grainlike rice and oats.
Some Healthy, Low-Carb Snacks
There is no health reason to eat more than 3 meals per day, but if you get hungry between meals then here are some healthy, easy to prepare low-carb snacks that can fill you up:
A Piece of Fruit
Full-fat Yogurt
A Hard-Boiled Egg or Two
Baby Carrots
Leftovers From The Night Before
A Handful of Nuts
Some Cheese and Meat
Eating at Restaurants
At most restaurants, it is fairly easy to make your meals low carb-friendly.
Order a meat- or fish-based main dish..
Ask them to fry your food in real butter.
Get extra vegetables instead of bread, potatoes or rice.
A Simple Low-Carb Shopping List
A good rule is to shop at the perimeter of the store, where the whole foods are likelier to be found.
Organic and grass-fed foods are best, but only if you can easily afford them. Even if you don't buy organic, your diet will still be a thousand times better than the standard western diet.
Try to choose the least processed option that still fits into your price range

Thursday, August 3, 2017

10 More Most Friendly Weight Loss Foods

10 More Most Friendly Weight Loss Foods

11. Avocados
Avocados are a unique type of fruit.
Whereas most fruit is high in carbs, avocados are loaded with healthy fats.
They are particularly high in monounsaturated oleic acid, the same type of fat found in olive oil.
Despite being mostly fat, they also contain a lot of water, so they aren't as energy dense as you may think.
Avocados are perfect as additions to salad, because studies show that the fats in them can increase the nutrient uptake from the vegetables 2.6 to 15-fold.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is incredibly popular in the natural health community.
It is popular for use in condiments, like dressings or vinaigrettes. Some people even dilute it in water and drink it.
Several studies in humans suggest that vinegar can be useful for weight loss.
Taking vinegar at the same time as a high-carb meal can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.

13. Nuts
Despite being high in fat, nuts are not inherently fattening.
They're an excellent snack, containing balanced amounts of protein, fiber and healthy fats.
Studies have shown that eating nuts can improve metabolic health and even cause weight loss.
Population studies have also shown that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier, and leaner, than the people who don't.
Just make sure not to go overboard, as they are still pretty high in calories. If you tend to binge and eat massive amounts of nuts, then it may be best to avoid them.

14. Some Whole Grains
Despite grains having gotten a bad rap in recent years, there are some types that are definitely healthy.
This includes some whole grains that are loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein as well.
Notable examples include oats, brown rice and quinoa.
Oats are loaded with beta-glucans, soluble fibers that have been shown to increase satiety and improve metabolic health.
Rice, both brown and white, can also contain significant amounts of resistant starch, especially if cooked and then allowed to cool afterwards.
Keep in mind that refined grains are a disaster, and sometimes foods that have "whole grains" on the label are highly processed junk foods that are both harmful and fattening.

15. Chili Pepper
Eating chili peppers may be useful on a weight loss diet.
They contain a substance called capsaicin, which has been shown to help reduce appetite and increase fat burning in some studies.

16. Fruit
Most health experts agree that fruit is healthy.
Numerous population studies have shown that people who eat the most fruit (and vegetables) tend to be healthier than people who don't.
Of course... correlation does not equal causation, so those studies don't prove anything, but fruit do have properties that make them weight loss friendly.
Even though they contain sugar, they have a low energy density and take a while to chew. Plus, the fiber helps prevent the sugar from being released too quickly into the bloodstream.

17. Grapefruit
One fruit that deserves to be highlighted is grapefruit, because its effects on weight control have been studied directly.
In a study of 91 obese individuals, eating half a fresh grapefruit before meals caused weight loss of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) over a period of 12 weeks.
The grapefruit group also had reductions in insulin resistance, a metabolic abnormality that is implicated in various chronic diseases.
So... eating half a grapefruit about a half hour before some of your daily meals may help you feel more satiated and eat fewer overall calories.

18. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.
They do contain 12 grams of carbohydrate per ounce, which is pretty high, but 11 of those grams are fiber.
This makes chia seeds a low-carb friendly food, and one of the best sources of fiber in the world.
Because of all the fiber, chia seeds can absorb up to 11-12 times their weight in water, turning gel-like and expanding in your stomach.

19. Coconut Oil
Not all fats are created equal.
Coconut oil is high in fatty acids of a medium length, called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).
These fatty acids have been shown to boost satiety compared to other fats, as well as increase the amount of calories burned.
There are also two studies, one in women and the other in men, showing that coconut oil led to reduced amounts of belly fat.
This is not about adding coconut oil to your diet, it is about replacing some of your other cooking fats with coconut oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is also worth mentioning here, because it is probably the healthiest fat on the planet.

20. Yogurt
Another excellent dairy food is yogurt.
Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut.
Having a healthy gut may potentially help protect against inflammation and leptin resistance, which is the main hormonal driver of obesity.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The 20 Most Weight Loss Friendly Foods on The Planet (Here is a list of the first 10, next week I will list the last 10)

The 20 Most Weight Loss Friendly Foods on The Planet
(Here is a list of the first 10, next week I will list the last 10)

Not all calories are created equal.

Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body.
They can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn.
Here are the 10 most weight loss friendly foods on earth, that are supported by science.

1. Whole Eggs
Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.
New studies show that they don’t adversely affect blood cholesterol and don’t cause heart attacks.
What’s more… they are among the best foods you can eat if you need to lose weight.
They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories.

2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards and a few others.
They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet.
They are low in both calories and carbohydrates, but loaded with fiber.

3. Salmon
Oily fish like salmon is incredibly healthy.
It is also very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories.
Salmon is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats and also contains all sorts of important nutrients..

4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts.
Like other vegetables, they are high in fiber and tend to be incredibly fulfilling.
 5. Lean Beef and Chicken Breast
Meat has been unfairly demonized.
It has been blamed for all sorts of health problems, despite no good evidence to back it up.The truth is… meat is a weight loss friendly food, because it’s high in protein.
Protein is the most fulfilling nutrient, by far, and eating a high protein diet can make you burn up to 80 to 100 more calories per day.

6. Boiled Potatoes
They are particularly high in potassium, a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of and plays an important role in blood pressure control.
On a scale called the Satiety Index, that measures how fulfilling different foods are, white, boiled potatoes scored the highest of all the foods tested.
What this means is that by eating white, boiled potatoes, you will naturally feel full and eat less of other foods instead.
If you boil the potatoes, then allow them to cool for a while, then they will form large amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that has been shown to have all sorts of health benefits… including weight loss.
Sweet potatoes, turnips and other root vegetables are also excellent.

7. Tuna
Tuna is another low-calorie, high protein food.
It is lean fish… so there isn’t much fat in it.
Tuna is popular among bodybuilders and fitness models who are on a cut, because it’s a great way to keep protein high, with total calories and fat low.
If you’re trying to emphasize protein intake, then make sure to choose tuna canned in water, but not oil.

8. Beans and Legumes
Some beans and legumes can be beneficial for weight loss.
This includes lentils, black beans, kidney beans and some others.
These foods tend to be high in protein and fiber, which are two nutrients that have been shown to lead to satiety.

9. Soups
Meals and diets with a low energy density tend to make people eat fewer calories.
Most foods with a low energy density are those that contain lots of water, such as vegetables and fruits.
But you can also just add water to your food… by making a soup.
Some studies have shown that eating the exact same food, except made in a soup instead of as solid food, makes people feel more satiated and eat significantly fewer calories.

10. Cottage Cheese
Dairy products tend to be high in protein.
One of the best ones is cottage cheese… calorie for calorie, it is mostly just protein with very little carbohydrate and fat.
Eating plenty of cottage cheese is a great way to boost your protein intake. It is also very satiating, making you feel full with a relatively low amount of calories.
Dairy products are also high in calcium, which has been shown to aid in the fat burning process.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Good Fats vs Bad Fats

Good Fats VS Bad Fats

Fat, fat, fat! Would all of our weight loss problems be solved if we just eliminated fat from our diets? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. We actually need fats -- can't live without them. Fats are an important part of a healthy diet: They provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel. But it's easy to get confused about good fats vs. bad fats, how much fat we should eat, how to avoid artery-clogging trans fats, and the role omega-3 fatty acids play in heart health.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults get 20%-35% of their calories from fats. At a minimum, we need at least 10% of our calories to come from fat.
The problem is that the typical American diet is higher in fat: Roughly 34% to 40% of our calories come from fat. Why? Because they taste so good and are widely available in our food supply. Fats enhance the flavors of foods and give our mouths that wonderful feel that is so satisfying.

Does Dietary Fat Make You Fat?
You might assume that fat is to blame for the obesity epidemic now plaguing our nation. Actually, fat is only part of the problem. Obesity is much more complicated than just overeating a single nutrient. Eating more calories -- from fats, carbohydrates, protein, and alcohol -- than you burn off leads to weight gain. Simply put, people who get little physical activity and eat a diet high in calories are going to gain weight. Genetics, age, sex, and lifestyle also weigh into the weight-gain formula.
That said, dietary fat plays a significant role in obesity. Fat is calorie-dense, at 9 calories per gram, while carbs and protein have only 4 calories per gram, and alcohol has 7 calories per gram. It's easy to overeat fats because they lurk in so many foods we love: french fries, processed foods, cakes, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, thick steaks, and cheese.

Eating too much fat does more than expand our waistlines. Our love affair with fat has helped to trigger an increase in the rates of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease.
Basically, there are two groups of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Within each group are several more types of fats.

Let's start with the good guys -- the unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Both mono- and polyunsaturated fats, when eaten in moderation and used to replace saturated or trans fats, can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Polyunsaturated fats, found mostly in vegetable oils, help lower both blood cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels -- especially when you substitute them for saturated fats. One type of polyunsaturated fat is omega-3 fatty acids, whose potential heart-health benefits have gotten a lot of attention.
Omega-3s are found in fatty fish (salmon, trout, catfish, mackerel), as well as flaxseed and walnuts. And it's fish that contains the most effective, "long-chain" type of omega-3s. The American Heart Association recommends eating 2 servings of fatty fish each week.

The other "good guy" unsaturated fats are monounsaturated fats, thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. Mediterranean countries consume lots of these -- primarily in the form of olive oil -- and this dietary component is credited with the low levels of heart disease in those countries.
Monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but solidify if refrigerated. These heart-healthy fats are typically a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, a nutrient often lacking in American diets. They can be found in olives; avocados; hazelnuts; almonds; Brazil nuts; cashews; sesame seeds; pumpkin seeds; and olive, canola, and peanut oils.

Now on to the bad guys. There are two types of fat that should be eaten sparingly: saturated and trans fatty acids. Both can raise cholesterol levels, clog arteries, and increase the risk for heart disease.
Saturated fats are found in animal products (meat, poultry skin, high-fat dairy, and eggs) and in vegetable fats that are liquid at room temperature, such as coconut and palm oils. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting saturated fats to 10% or less of your total calories, while the American Heart Association recommends keeping them to just 7% of total calories.

The real worry in the American diet is the artificial trans fats. They're used extensively in frying, baked goods, cookies, icings, crackers, packaged snack foods, microwave popcorn, and some margarines. Some experts think these fats are even more dangerous than saturated fats.
"Trans fats are worse than any other fat, including butter or lard," says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit advocacy group.

Research has shown that even small amounts of artificial trans fats can increase the risk for heart disease by increasing LDL "bad" cholesterol and decreasing HDL "good" cholesterol. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting trans fat to less than 2 grams per day, including the naturally occurring trans fats. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines simply recommend keeping trans fats consumption as low as possible.

It is recommended to read all labels. Look for foods that are low in total fat and well as in saturated and trans fats.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How to Eat Healthy While on Vacation

How to Eat Healthy While on Vacation

When you go on vacation, remember that you shouldn't derail your healthy eating habits. Entering your getaway with some ideas about how to eat healthy while still enjoying yourself (and indulging a little) will keep you on track. After all, nobody wants to return from vacation with an extra couple of pounds as a souvenir. Here's how to eat healthy while you're away without feeling restrained.

Have Healthy Snacks Readily Available

Make your vacation food indulgences count; don't waste calories on a bag of potato chips in the airport or a mid-afternoon cookie at a local coffee shop. Take healthy snacks with you (or purchase them when you arrive) and keep them nearby so that you won't give in to your mid-meal hunger with empty calories. By not vacationing from your healthy snacking habits, you'll give yourself the leeway to enjoy something a little extravagant for dinner or dessert.

Share Your Meals

Going on vacation means dining in restaurants frequently. It's part of the experience and the fun. The danger is that restaurants usually serve enormous portions laden with all kinds of fat and calories you wouldn't consume if you had cooked them at home. Rather than limit yourself to garden salads the entire time, plan to share your meals with someone with whom you're vacationing. You still might not be eating the healthiest by splitting a plate of cheese enchiladas, but it's definitely less detrimental to your diet to share than to eat the entire plate on your own.

Go Easy on the Alcohol

Paradise doesn't feel complete without a cold bottle of beer or a fruity blended cocktail, but consuming too many will significantly increase your daily calorie intake. A classic margarita, for example, contains several hundred calories. Your best option is to limit yourself to a cocktail every other day while you're on vacation. If you absolutely must have a drink every day, limit it to one and switch from cocktails to wine or light beer every other day. As you would when not on vacation, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to curb cravings.

Split Dessert

Just as you should share calorie-laden meals, split desserts between two or more people, too. It's one of the best ways to prevent yourself from over-indulging without feeling deprived.

Avoid Fast Food

Whether you drive or fly to your destination, it's hard to escape the presence of fast food restaurants. When you're in a hurry or have limited options available for meals (as is common during road trips), resorting to a value meal is all too convenient. Plan ahead when you're traveling. If driving across country, pack sandwiches and fruit in a cooler. If you're flying, you can almost always find a kiosk or store selling fruit, yogurt and packaged salads. It all gets back to making smart choices on the ordinary meals so you can take more liberties with dinner or dessert.

Remember, a vacation isn't an excuse to throw all of your healthy eating habits to the wind. Aim to still consume well-balanced meals and nutrient-rich foods while on vacation the majority of the time. By doing so, the indulgences you do consume won't be a big deal.