Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA-TEN WAYS TO BURN MORE CALORIES WHEN YOU WORK OUT

 

images (10)Ten Ways to Burn More Calories When You Work Out

 

 

To lessen the chances you’ll get bored and feel tempted to stop exercising, it’s important to occasionally revisit your routine and make any necessary changes. It’s easy to fall into a rut, doing the same exercise program over and over again, while realizing few benefits.

Eventually, you’ll lose your enthusiasm and very likely start making excuses for why you no longer exercise. Now is a good time to check out 10 tips and proven techniques, presented by Health.com,1 designed to help you burn more calories when you work out.

By incorporating one or more of them into your routine, you may become more enthused about exercising regularly. As you know, regular exercise is a vital aspect of achieving optimal health.

1. Listen to Music

Music and exercise have long been paired together. You may be among those who believe a pair of high-quality earbuds is nearly as essential to your workout as a good pair of athletic shoes. If that’s the case, then you’ll be happy to know listening to music is an easy and fun way to fuel your calorie burn.

Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison2 revealed students who listened to music while exercising on a stationary bike achieved more health benefits compared to those who biked in silence.

Additionally, music with a fast (160 beats per minute) or medium (100 beats per minute) tempo was shown to fuel the participants’ exertion more than music with a slow tempo (60 beats per minute).

Specifically, researchers found students who listened to music during an eight-minute biking workout increased their average heart rate by 10 beats per minute, increased their exertion by 5 percent and burned 7 percent more calories than the non-music group.

A 2010 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports3 also demonstrated cyclists worked harder when listening to fast music as compared to music with a slow tempo. However, music that is too fast was also shown to detract from the workout.

Researchers concluded songs with tempos between 120 and 140 beats per minute seem to benefit exercisers the most.

2. Choose an ‘Exercise Buddy’

Exercise has long been as much of a social outlet as it is a means through which to achieve optimal health. Identifying an “exercise buddy” adds a level of accountability to your workout program. If you plan to meet a friend at the gym but wake up feeling like you’d rather not go, chances are you will be more motivated to honor your commitment because your friend will be waiting for you.

Research conducted at Kansas State University (KSU) revealed you are more likely to achieve greater benefits from exercise when you work out with someone you think is fitter and stronger than you.

In fact, study participants increased their workout time and intensity by as much as 200 percent when exercising with a partner they perceived as better!

Brandon Irwin, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology at KSU and principle investigator in the study, designed various exercise scenarios to determine if individuals engage in more intense physical activity when alone, paired with a virtual partner or engaged in team competition. Said Irwin:4

“People like to exercise with others and make it a social activity. We found that when you’re performing with someone who you perceive as a little better than you, you tend to give more effort than you normally would alone. …

By the last session, participants in the team group were exercising almost 160 percent longer than those in the partner group, and nearly 200 percent longer than those exercising as individuals.”


3. Standing Builds Core During Exercise

The goal of any exercise is to involve as many muscles as you can. You will burn more calories by involving as much of your body as possible in your workout. If you go for a brisk walk, for example, move your arms in a motion that helps propel your legs forward.

If you work out using an elliptical, Stairmaster or treadmill, you can strengthen your core by only using the rails for balance. This means no leaning on the rails! Your core muscles are strengthened when you engage them to keep your body upright and in motion while using these machines.

Maintaining good posture and correct form also will help you avoid injury. As much as possible, keep your head up and your eyes facing out. Resist the temptation to hunch your shoulders, slump on the rails or stare at your feet.

If you find yourself frequently leaning on the rails, you may need to temporarily slow the pace of your workout, shorten your workout or take occasional breaks.

4. Using Your Arms Adds More Fat-Burning Oxygen

Whenever your exercise is focused on your legs, see if there is a way to also involve your arms. As mentioned above, when you go for a walk, pump your arms and your feet will follow.

A study5 published in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport demonstrated exercisers use more fat-burning oxygen when involving their arms while using an elliptical machine than when using their legs alone.

While it may feel strange and will likely draw some curious looks at the gym, walking on the treadmill with your arms raised above your head will intensify your workout.

Certified personal trainer Sandra Hahamian, who works with clients employed by businesses such as Facebook and Google, told Shape:6 “You may look a little funny, but bringing your arms up really raises your heart rate.”

5. Adding HIIT Can Shorten Workout Time

I’ve mentioned high-intensity interval training (HIIT) many times before and, more recently, variable-intensity interval training (VIIT). Both programs are a great way to reduce the time you spend working out while dramatically increasing the benefits you receive from exercise.

A 2016 study7 involving three groups of exercising men — a control group, a group doing sprint interval training (SIT) and a group doing moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) — underscored the value of brief intervals of high-intensity exercise. After 12 weeks of workouts, researchers concluded brief strenuous activity performed during shorter exercise sessions is as effective as working out for longer periods of time at a moderate pace. The study authors stated:8

“[W]e report that a SIT protocol involving three minutes of intense intermittent exercise per week, within a total time commitment of 30 minutes, is as effective as 150 minutes per week of MICT for increasing insulin sensitivity, cardiorespiratory fitness and skeletal muscle mitochondrial content in previously inactive men.”

As with all types of exercise, HIIT and VIIT also trigger mitochondrial biogenesis, which is important for longevity. By reversing age-associated declines in mitochondrial mass, you slow down the aging process. As noted in a 2011 review9 published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, increasing evidence suggests “exercise can induce mitochondrial biogenesis in a wide range of tissues not normally associated with the metabolic demands of exercise.”

As explained in my book, “Fat for Fuel,” because mitochondrial dysfunction seems to be at the core of most chronic disease, activities like HIIT and VIIT that support mitochondrial biogenesis will strengthen your body and help it fight back. Be sure to allow ample recovery time between workout sessions because as intensity increases, frequency diminishes.

6. Weights Help You Burn More Calories

Adding weights to your workout can be an effective means of not only creating more intensity, but also burning more calories. Walking outdoors or on a treadmill while carrying hand weights works well if you are in reasonably good shape.

If you are new to this, I recommend you start with a 1-pound (0.45 kilogram) dumbbell in each hand. Focus on swinging your arms naturally and bending your elbows slightly, while keeping your arms close to your body.

You’ll be more likely to stress your joints and risk injury if you use overly heavy weights or swing your arms too high or unnaturally. Another option for adding bulk during exercise is to wear a special garment that gives you control over how much additional weight you carry.

A 2016 study10 sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) proposes that wearing a weighted compression shirt that holds additional weight close to your body’s core can increase your calorie burn by 7 percent during a typical workout.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, led by John Porcari, Ph.D., professor of exercise sport science. Porcari offers the following cautions you should keep in mind when using weights during exercise:11

  • Do not use weights if you have existing cardiovascular or joint problems
  • Do not use weights on your extremities heavier than 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms)
  • Do not run while wearing ankle weights

Regarding the popularity of wearing weighted clothing during exercise, ACE chief science officer Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., states:12

“Weighted compression shirts or vests … place the load more centrally on the body, making them likely a more comfortable and safer choice. Another potential benefit associated with adding weight in the form of a compression shirt is it allows for greater freedom of movement with the hands and arms during a wide variety of exercises and physical activities.”

The video featured below, produced by SixPackFactory, shows you how to add weights and inclines when doing pushups.

7. Inclines Can Burn More Calories

Leveraging the effects of gravity during your workouts is another useful tool to burn more calories. After all, your body must work exponentially harder to counteract the forces of gravity when you bike, run or walk on an incline. Exercising on an incline not only intensifies your workout, but it also forces your body to activate more muscle groups beyond those used when you are walking on level ground.

Research performed at the University of Colorado13 looked at muscle activity for the calves, glutes, hamstrings and quads when study participants walked at varying inclines and rates of speed.

They found muscle activity increased significantly with the introduction of inclines of just 3 degrees, with hamstrings displaying 635 percent and glutes 345 percent of the muscular activity of level walking. Muscle activity increased even more when higher rates of speed were introduced with inclines. The study authors concluded:14

  • Hip, knee and ankle extensor muscle activities increase with steeper uphill grade
  • Only knee extensor muscle activities increase with steeper downhill grade
  • Changes in muscle activity with grade are more pronounced at faster walking speeds

8. Caffeine Can Enhance Exercise Performance

Caffeine has been shown to boost your metabolism and can help enhance exercise performance. Caffeine gives you a “lift” because it blocks the normal action of adenosine, which normally slows down your brain’s activity and induces sleepiness. Adenosine forms from the breakdown of ATP or adenosine triphosphate, the molecule that provides cellular energy.

Research by Ori Hofmekler, author of “The Warrior Diet: Switch on Your Biological Powerhouse — for High Energy, Explosive Strength and a Leaner, Harder Body” and “Unlocking the Muscle Gene: Trigger the Biiological Mechanisms That Transform Your Body and Extend Your Life,” showed coffee increases your metabolism by up to 20 percent and can be quite beneficial if consumed before exercise.

In addition to providing you with a temporary metabolic boost, other functional benefits of a preworkout cup of coffee include:

  • Enhanced memory
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Increased endurance
  • Muscle preservation
  • Pain reduction

When used before exercise, coffee will give you a good boost. Because coffee affects your muscles, you do not want to drink coffee immediately after exercising.

Also make sure it’s organic, and drink it black (sans sugar or milk). While it may be a bit confusing, coffee, like exercise, inhibits one of your body’s inherent mechanisms called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). mTOR increases protein synthesis and builds muscle — after exercise. (Remember, you do not build muscle while exercising; but rather, muscle building occurs afterward.) Says Hofmekler:15

“[T]he timing of coffee is very important. Before exercise, it will work with the exercise itself. It really inhibits the mTOR, but at the same time, it will stimulate energy production, burning fat and increasing performance. After exercise, it’s not time for coffee. It’s time for a recovery meal … good-quality whey protein.”

9. Drink Water Before and After Exercise

As you know, pure, clean water is essential for your survival. If you are an athlete or exercise regularly, you must get your fluid/water replacement issue right to avoid the possibility of becoming dehydrated. On the other hand, you also do not want to overhydrate. As a general rule, drink to thirst.

While severe dehydration can be life threatening, even mild dehydration is problematic — causing cramping, headaches, irritability and impaired cognition. Lack of adequate hydration will most definitely affect your sports performance and diminish the effectiveness of your workouts. As reported by CNN, sports dietitian Amy Goodson said:16

“A 2 percent dehydration level in your body causes a 10 percent decrease in athletic performance. [T]he more dehydrated you become, the worse performance gets.”

A lack of proper hydration during exercise diminishes blood circulation, which can make muscles cramp up. If you’ve ever had them during exercise, muscle cramps can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. Keep in mind changes in your potassium and sodium levels due to sweat loss may also contribute to cramping.

Although you may be tempted to drink sports drinks before your workout to boost your energy, or afterward to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes, you’re better off sticking to regular water or coconut water.

Sports drinks contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas as well as many artificial flavors, food coloring and high-fructose corn syrup — all of which are bad for your health. Remember that low-calorie and sugar-free versions most likely contain artificial sweeteners, which are even worse for you than fructose.

You can easily make your own rehydration beverage by simply adding a small pinch of natural, unprocessed salt to your water. I recommend Himalayan sea salt which, unlike processed salt, contains 84 unique minerals and trace minerals your body needs for optimal functioning.

10. Listen to Your Body During Exercise

While it may be tempting to flip through a magazine, read a book, text or watch TV while walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike, you may realize more benefits if you tune in to your body during exercise. Daniel Frankl, Ph.D., kinesiology professor at California State University, Los Angeles, told Health.com:17

“[These activities] take your attention away [from] your workout so you may not be giving it your best effort. Paying attention to your effort — your heart rate, your breathing, the sensation in your muscles — helps you maintain a steady effort so you can burn more calories.”

One concern I have about distractions during workouts is the potential risks for accidents and injuries that accompany them. For example, while focusing on a book or screen, you may inadvertently stumble or trip, not notice your shoelace has come untied, or begin slouching or slumping on the equipment.

As told to Outside Online,18 Dr. John Higgins, chief of cardiology and director of exercise physiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston, Texas, says there are benefits to turning off certain distractions while you work out: “Exercise can often help clear your mind and help you solve problems. If you’re now focused on the movie, you may lose that valuable benefit.”

The Importance of Exercise for Optimal Health

Having been an avid exerciser for nearly 50 years, I wholeheartedly believe a comprehensive fitness routine is essential for optimal health. No matter your level of physical activity, it’s important to make a realistic evaluation of your situation and continually motivate yourself to greater levels of achievement with respect to your personal exercise program.

Listen to your body and be willing to modify, or completely change up, your routine as your life and health circumstances change. To be successful, you must be willing to change and experiment to find what works best for you, and to continue experimenting as time goes on. Start today by choosing one or more of the tips suggested above and incorporate them into your current routine.

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Low-Calorie Sweeteners Connected to Diabetes

Low-Calorie Sweeteners Connected to Diabetes

artificial sweeteners

Giving up sugar to rely on low-calorie sweeteners seems like a good idea for your diet. Those small packages often have 600 times the sweetness of sugar, ensuring your favorite food or beverage won’t be bland. But there’s a hidden danger connected to artificial sweeteners: Dr. Sabyasachi Sen, associate professor of medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., authored a study that shows the use of low-calorie sweeteners may pre-dispose overweight individuals to diabetes.

If you are predisposed to metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat — all things that lead to heart disease and strokes — then your risk of diabetes is also increased by three to five times. According to Sen, artificial sweeteners, especially in a person with metabolic syndrome, increase fat accumulation and can lead to diabetes.

Sen’s study looked at sucralose, the equivalent of three to four cans of diet soda per day, and found that transporters on the cell surface show more cell function when a person consumes artificial sweeteners. “Glucose rushes in when the gates are open,” he said. “And this causes inflammation.”

The study found that people who were already obese were the most likely to add fat cells. “If you are an athlete and normal weight, you can handle glucose,” Sen explained.

It is difficult to determine which chemical is causing the increased risk of diabetes, but Sen’s study used sucralose-based products, which are the newest on the market. He used a low-calorie, low-sweet mixture of sucralose in powder form that was diluted and added to cells. When quantities were increased, effects were even more pronounced.

In a separate experiment, biopsy samples of abdominal fat from people who said they consumed low-calorie sweeteners, primarily sucralose and a trace of aspartame and/or acesulfame potassium, were compared. The cells of the patients who were obese showed increased glucose transport compared to those who did not consume low-calorie sweeteners.

The FDA has approved five low-sugar products — saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. One low-calorie product, Stevia, has also been approved. One of the problems with artificial sweeteners is that a small portion of a low-sugar product is much more intense than sugar, and a person can begin to use it more and more or may find normally tasty foods less appealing.

So, what should you do? According to Sen, both sweetened beverages and low-sugar drinks are bad for you. “If you just drink sweetened beverages, you are taking in sugar itself, but if you drink beverages with artificial sweeteners you are taking in greater quantities of glucose. I’m not saying we should replace artificial sweeteners — that’s even worse,” Dr. Sen added. “But consider an option like fizzy water.”

In other words, weight gain and metabolic syndrome can be a vicious cycle for some. You use artificial sweeteners and become more and more reliant on these products. The more you use, the more glucose your body produces. Foods rich in natural sugars like fruit don’t taste as good.

The other problem is that people tend to think that artificial sweeteners don’t pack any extra calories and so they may over-indulge in other sweetened products.

Sen’s research took place in petri dishes in a laboratory, but the implications for people are serious. You don’t get a free pass with artificial sweeteners — even though the research model used smaller quantities of artificial sweeteners, the impact on cells was significant.

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Are You Drinking Enough During Winter Months?

Health and Wellness Associates

Are You Drinking Enough During Winter Months?

Remembering to drink enough water is easy during the summer, when higher temperatures and outdoor activities drive the point home. But staying adequately hydrated is just as important during the winter.

Environmental humidity plays a role, said Stavros Kavouras, who directs the Hydration Science Lab at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Central heating causes drier interior environments during the winter, which can lead to increased water loss simply from breathing.

That’s not the only challenge. In cold environments, the kidneys actually excrete more urine, said Joseph C. Watso, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas.

“It’s a small change that could potentially make a difference,” he said. “If you’re not sweating, you might forget to drink adequate water.”

Dehydration sets in when the body loses more water than it takes in.

Even minor dehydration – the level at which people begin feel thirsty – is linked to difficulty concentrating, poor memory and bad moods. And studies have shown people who chronically consume a low amount of water seem to be at higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease, kidney stones and urinary tract infections. “High urine flow seems to be protective,” Kavouras said.

News Picture: AHA News: Are You Drinking Enough During Winter Months?  Kavouras and his colleagues found mild dehydration impaired the function of cells that line blood vessels almost as much as smoking a cigarette. Dehydration also has been linked with inflammation, artery stiffness, blood pressure regulation and other factors that can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Research also has linked poor hydration to diabetes. “Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that’s associated with what we eat, what we drink and how physically active we are,” Kavouras said. “Hydration seems to be part of this recipe.”

Exactly how much water people need can vary.

“Our water needs change from day to day based on factors such as environmental temperature and activity level,” Kavouras said. “If you are an Ironman athlete who trains four hours per day, your water needs are higher than somebody who is sedentary.”

In general, the federal Institute of Medicine suggests women take in 2.7 liters and men 3.7 liters of water per day. That might sound like a lot, but because food contributes about 20% of the daily water total, women should drink 8, 8-ounce glasses and men 12, 8-ounce glasses.

“It’s underappreciated that many fruits and vegetables are 90 to 95% water,” Watso said. “Eating more fruits and vegetables can certainly help you stay hydrated.” Soup, an old winter standby, also counts. “Just be sure to avoid soups with very high amounts of sodium.”

Watso recommends people keep a refillable water bottle with them and sip on it all day. “Your body can only process water at a certain rate, and if you drink too much too (quickly), the excess will be excreted,” he said.

Experts say fluid from tea and coffee – even that eggnog latte – counts toward hydration. Even soda and juices technically contribute to one’s daily fluid intake, although experts do not recommend them because of their high sugar content. Alcohol, however, doesn’t make the cut.

Kavouras advised people to pay attention to how often they use the bathroom. Adults should urinate six or seven times per day. Dark yellow or orangish urine is a sign to drink up.

“Drinking water throughout the day is one of the most effective things you can do to improve health and well-being.”

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Nutrition Plays An Important Role In Brain Shrinkage

Nutrition Plays An Important Role In Brain Shrinkage

 

Those with diets high in a number of vitamins as well as omega 3 fatty acids are not as likely to get the brain shrinkage linked to Alzheimer’s disease than those whose diets aren’t high in these nutrients. According to the research, elderly people with higher amounts of a number of vitamins as well as omega 3 fatty acids within their blood had much better results on mental acuity tests and also less of the brain shrinkage found in Alzheimer’s disease – whereas “junk food” diets resulted in exactly the opposite.

These omega 3 fatty acids as well as vitamin D are found mainly in fish. The B vitamins as well as antioxidants C and E are found mainly in vegetables and fruit. The research also revealed that those that had diets that were high in trans fats were more prone to have brain shrinkage as well as lower scores with the memory and thinking tests than those that had diets that were low in trans fats. Baked goods, prepackaged food, fast food, fried food and also margarine spreads are the main foods that trans fats are found in.

The research involved 104 individuals with an average age of 87 with very few memory and thinking problem risk factors. Blood tests had been made use of to ascertain the amounts of various nutrients within the blood of each person. Each of the participants also took memory and thinking skill tests. Forty two of the people had MRI scans to determine their brain volume.

On the whole, they had good nutritional status, but 7 % were vitamin B12 deficient and 25 % were vitamin D deficient .

The nutrient levels within the blood accounted for a lot of the variation in both brain volume as well as memory and thinking scores. The levels of nutrients accounted for 17% of the score variations for the memory and thinking tests. Other factors like age, amount of years of education as well as hypertension accounted for 46 % of the variation. The levels of nutrients accounted for 37% of the variation for brain volume. The potential to help stop brain shrinkage just by adjusting diet is exciting.

Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food Infographic

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

 

Cherries for gout

100g of cherries has 50 caloriesCherries are especially useful for treating gout.  Gout is a kind of arthritis linked to an unusually high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is made in the liver and sometimes too much uric acid is made. Needle-like crystals form as uric acid levels increase, and these crystals build up in the joints over time, resulting in the pain and inflammation typical of gout.

Bing cherries have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties, in particular a compound known as cyanidin, which has been found to inhibit the activity of the enzyme involved in the making of uric acid. Research has revealed that eating the equivalent of a pound of fresh cherries each day is highly effective for lowering uric acid levels.

One study demonstrated that healthy people who ate Bing cherries for 28 days had reduced inflammation markers and they stayed low for days despite discontinuation of cherry consumption.

Another study has also shown that eating cherries may lower risk of gout attacks. Gout sufferers consuming cherries for a 2 day period had a 35 % reduced risk of gout attacks when compared with those not eating cherries. The risk of gout flare continued decreasing with the increase of cherry intake, up to 3 servings over 2 days. It was found that additional cherry intake did not provide any extra benefit.[3]

Nutritional value of cherries (red) per 100g:

  •     How many calories in cherries – 50
  •     How much protein in cherries – 1g
  •     How many carbs in cherries – 12g
  •     What is the fat content of cherries – 0.3g

Nutrients in cherries

Cherries are a very good source of vitamins C and A. They are a good source of copper, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.

 

Cherries and blood pressure

Cherries and blood pressure

Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers blood pressure

Consuming tart cherry juice is as effective for reducing high blood pressure as blood pressure lowering medications. Participants of a 2016 study who had early signs of hypertension experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7% three hours after consuming a Montmorency tart cherry concentrate and water mixture.[4]

The blood pressure readings of the 15 participants was least 130/90 mmHg, which means they had a higher risk of having cardiovascular related problems. They consumed either 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate or 60ml of a commercial fruit-flavored drink.

Blood pressure was taken before consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate and was measured thereafter on an hourly basis. The participants consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7 mmHg in the 3 hours after consumption.

The greatest systolic blood pressure improvement occurred when vanillic and protocatechuic, the cherry concentrate’s phenolic acids, reached peak plasma levels. The reduction in blood pressure from the consumption of the Montmorency cherry concentrate was comparable to the reduction achieved by blood pressure lowering medication.

A 2018 study found that consuming Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced systolic blood pressure in individuals between the ages of 65 and 80. The 34 study participants in this 12-week randomized controlled trial were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.[5]

The 1st group drank 240ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and 240ml in the evening every day for the 12 weeks. The 2nd group drank the equivalent amount of a cherry flavored placebo drink devoid of tart cherries. Blood pressure as well as blood sugar, insulin, weight and cholesterol were measured when the study began and again when it ended.

The Montmorency tart cherry juice group had a significant reduction (4.1 mmHg) in systolic blood pressure in comparison to the drink placebo drink group.

How much tart cherry juice should you drink a day to lower blood pressure?

The participants in the 2016 study drank 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate, which is estimated to be equivalent to about 500g of whole tart cherries.

The participants in the 2018 study drank 480 ml tart cherry juice, which was prepared from 68ml Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 412ml water.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Tart cherry juice for sleep
Melatonin in cherries

Montmorency tart cherries have been found to contain substantial amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Although some other foods also have melatonin, the quantity is too low to be effective, but, according to research, Montmorency cherries have 0.1 to 0.3 milligram of melatonin a serving,[6] and contain about 6 times more melatonin compared to Balaton cherries. At this dosage melatonin has been proven to be an efficient sleep inducer.

 

A 2014 study concluded that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps in improving the quality and duration of sleep, as well as help in reducing insomnia severity.[7] The 7 study participants who suffered from insomnia that consumed the cherry juice in the morning as well as at night slept over an hour longer each night.

Besides Montmorency tart cherries being a good source of melatonin, tart cherry juice also helps in increasing the availability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin which helps with sleep.  The tart cherry juice inhibits a tryptophan degrading enzyme and degradation of tryptophan is a predictor of insomnia. The researchers suggest the melatonin and tryptophan combination in Montmorency tart cherries is likely contributing to the benefits of tart cherries for sleep.

Cherries for weight loss

The Chemistry of Cherries

A 2008 animal study has suggested that tart cherries have significant potential for reducing belly fat. Obese rats that were given tart cherry powder combined with a high-fat diet gained less weight than rats that were not given cherries. After 12 weeks, the rats that were given the tart cherry powder had 54% body fat in comparison to 63% for rats that were fed a “Western diet”. The difference in weight gain was particularly pronounced in fat around the waist area, the rats that were given the cherry powder gained less belly fat.

The rats were given either a high fat and moderate carbohydrate diet,  or a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, both of which came either with or without tart cherry powder. The cherry enriched diet rats experienced a total cholesterol level reduction of approximately 11%.The TNF-alpha inflammation marker was reduced by 40% and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was reduced by 31%.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries and cancer

Cherries have quite high levels of anthocyanins (the flavonoids giving cherries their intense red color), which give them anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and chemopreventative properties. Tart cherries contain the natural compound perillyl alcohol, which seems to be very effective in reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer.  Perillyl alcohol has tested well for treating advanced prostate, breast and ovary cancers.[9] Research suggests that substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals (HCAAs) that develop from the charring of meat.

Cherries for colon cancer

Two of the anthocyanidins present in cherries, quercetin and isoquerxitrin, have been found to prevent the growth of colon cancer.

Cherries for breast cancer

Cyandin-3-glucoside, another anthocyanin found in cherries and other fruits, has antioxidative and anti‐inflammatory properties and also induces the death of  breast cancer cells. Cyandin-3-glucoside inhibits the cytokine VEGF, which plays a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) plays a major role in breast cancer progression by providing cancer cells with nutrients, oxygen, and blood vessels for cancer cells to spread.

Delphinidin is another  anthocyanin found in cherries and other brightly colored fruits and veggies, and is also found in certain dietary supplements used as complementary cancer treatment. Delphinidin induces cell death in HER2+ breast cancer cells. Delphinidin also inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer cells.

Cherries and muscle soreness

Tart cherry juice benefits for exercise

Tart cherry juice improves exercise recovery

Cherries help to alleviate muscle soreness after exercising. A cup of tart cherry juice can help in reducing the soreness and inflammation of the muscles that is experienced after strenuous exercise. Marathon runners consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for 7 days before a race experienced less post race pain compared to runners not consuming cherry juice.

A 2011 study revealed that men who had tart cherry juice after weight training exercises experienced less muscle pain as well as less strength loss.

A 2019 study found that active women consuming tart cherry concentrate twice a day for eight days experienced reduced muscle soreness after exercising.

Tart cherry juice improves exercise performance

A 2019 study concluded that Montmorency cherry supplementation improves cycling performance. Eight trained cyclists supplementing Montmorency tart cherry for 7 days improved cycling time-trial performance. The exercise performance improvement was accompanied by muscle oxygenation enhancement which suggests that the cherry polyphenols’ vasoactive properties could be supporting the performance improvement effects.

Cherries and osteoarthritis

Tart cherry juice for arthritis

Commonly used pain medication for osteoarthritis doesn’t actually reduce inflammation and has  unwanted side effects such as kidney or liver damage. The pain relieving properties of tart cherries have been show to be effective for the relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis without the side effects of conventional treatments.

A 2007 study revealed that pain and function improved significantly in osteoarthritis of the knee patients when they were given tart cherries in supplement form for 8 weeks.

Cherry juice for inflammation

In a 2012 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 20 patients suffering from inflammatory osteoarthritis had significant reductions in inflammation markers after consuming tart cherry juice twice daily for 3 weeks.

The study participants included twenty  40 to 70 year old women experiencing at least moderate osteoarthritis pain. They consumed 10.5-ounces of tart cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice daily for 3 weeks. There was a statistically significant reduction in inflammation among those individuals who consumed the tart cherry juice, which was indicated by reduced C-reactive protein levels. The reduction in inflammation was greatest for individuals who had shown the highest levels of inflammation at the beginning of the study.

Cherry juice for pain relief

Cherries are a natural pain reliever. Researchers have found that anthocyanidins from cherries have the ability to block both COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes considered to cause pain. Of all the fruits which were tested, cherries had the highest amounts of key anthocyanidins. The COX-inhibitory activities of the anthocyanidins in cherries were even found to be comparable to those of naproxen and ibuprofen.

Cherries and heart health

Tart cherries and cholesterol

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The standard medical approach to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to a safer range is to prescribe statins to reduce blood lipid levels. However, some patients encounter Statins are however not without side effects such as muscle pain to liver dysfunction.

A 2011 study reported a 26% reduction in cholesterol levels in mice fed tart cherry powder. A  reduction in early death of 65% was also reported, which was believed to be as a result of an improvement in cardiovascular health.

Another 2011 study in humans reported a reduction in of triglycerides levels of more than 17% on average after consuming 8-ounces of tart cherry juice daily for 4 weeks.[21]

A 2018 study reported a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels after participants drank Montmorency tart cherry juice made from concentrate. Study participants drinking 480ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels as well as lower levels of total cholesterol.

How to Freeze Cherries

Benefits of cherries for skin

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress when the body has an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the cells of the body during normal metabolic processes, and free radical neutralizing antioxidants are also produced by the cells. The body usually maintains a balance between free radicals and antioxidants.

Oxidative stress plays an important part in the aging process, especially in the skin. Aging results in the thinning of the epidermal (outer) as well as dermal (under) layers of the skin. This leads to fine wrinkles as a result of reduction of elastic fibers, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

What are antioxidants?

Free radicals are unstable molecules which can cause damage in the body, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving the free radical an electron. Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body and can also come from food such as fruit and veggies.

Several human studies have shown that sweet as well as tart cherries reduce oxidative stress. Melatonin, carotenoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols,  and vitamins C and E are all contributors to the antioxidant properties of cherries.

Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, the flavonoid pigment that gives the cherry it’s color, and which has the greatest antioxidant capacity of any of the flavonoids. Tart cherries have more anthocyanins in comparison to sweet cherries. Scientific evidence has suggested that anthocyanins could possibly delay the appearance of signs of skin aging.

Health Benefits of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice and diabetes

There is some evidence to suggest that consumption of cherries could help in promoting healthy glucose regulation and reducing diabetes risk.

The enzymes dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and α glucosidase which are involved in the promotion of diabetes are inhibited by chlorogenic acid, one the main polyphenols of tart cherry juice.

Study results suggest that blood glucose could be reduced from anthocyanins by slowing the production of glucose from complex carbohydrates. The production of glucagon by pancreatic α cells could also be reduced, and hepatic glucose uptake and production of insulin by pancreatic β cells increased.

A 2008 study revealed a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) after diabetic women supplemented 40 mL of concentrated tart cherry juice day for 6 weeks. Fasting blood glucose was also decreased by 8%.

History of cherries

Cherries were named after the ancient Turkish town of Cerasus and go as far back to at least 300 B.C.

Cherries were among the first fruits the early settlers brought to America. The first cherry orchard was planted in northern Michigan in the 1600s. The 1st commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893.

The ultimate celebration of cherries is the National Cherry Festival, which is held each year in July in Traverse City, Michigan.

Cherry trees have played a part in American folklore since George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree, then couldn’t tell a lie and told his father what he’d done.

Sweet cherries are cultivated throughout North America and Europe. France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Russia are big producers in Europe. Sour cherries are cultivated in Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Germany tops the world in cherry production, followed by the United States.

Remember We Are In This Together!
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Article reviewed by Dr Patricia Carrothers, Regenerative and Preventative Medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Goat Cheese & Artichoke Dip Recipe

Goat Cheese & Artichoke Dip Recipe

 

Goat cheese & artichoke dip recipe - Dr. Axe

INGREDIENTS:

  • One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 pound chévre goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup pecorino romano, grated
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • ½ tablespoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (optional*)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a food processor, mix all ingredients except the pecorino romano until well incorporated and creamy.
  2. Top with freshly grated pecorino romano.

 

If you’re someone who enjoys snacking or dips, you’ve likely had your share of artichoke and cheese dips. And sure, they’ve probably been tasty. You might have even prepared a few. But if you’re ready to take your dips to the next level, it’s time to make this artichoke dip recipe. Trust me — this one’s tastier (and much healthier) than any spinach and artichoke dip or cheesy dip I’ve ever had.

 

Goat Cheese Appetizers: A Crowd Favorite

Goat cheese is one of my favorite cheeses. It’s tangy and creamy, perfect for adding to your favorite dishes. It’s also lower in the milk proteins some people are sensitive to, so often even if you struggle with digesting traditional cow’s milk cheeses, you might find you can tolerate goat’s milk better. Different countries call goat’s cheese by different names; one of the most common is the French chèvre, which is what we’ll use here.

Goat cheese & artichoke dip recipe ingredients - Dr. Axe

 

Remember we are in this together!

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

7 “Healthy” Food that Can Make You Fat

7 “Healthy” Food that Can Make You Fat

 

 

Salads, Granolas and smoothies seem like smart picks for healthy on-the-go foods, but you may be surprised to learn that many times they’re packed with extra calories, sugar, carbohydrates and salt.

 

Soups

Soups are hearty and delicious go-to’s on colder days, but not all soups are created equal. The base of your soup can make or break its healthiness. “A cream-based soup is going to be much higher in calories and fat,” says Allen. In fact, one cup of chicken noodle is about 100 calories, while one cup of broccoli cheddar is almost 250.

When you eat soup, opt for broth-based soups like vegetable or chicken noodle or cream-free tomato soups and stews instead. And steer clear of cream-heavy bisques and chowders when you can. If you have to reach for canned soups, choose low-fat, reduced-sodium soup options.

 

Salads

 

Salads, depending on what they’re made of, can be fresh and healthy picks to throw together or order in a pinch. But dieters beware: they can also sabotage your weight loss goals if they’re covered in fatty toppings like cheese, bacon, creamy dressings and croutons.

“Salads at some fast food restaurants can have almost 30 grams of fat and 500 calories, while a cheeseburger and an order of medium fries has 28 grams of fat and 630 calories, so there’s not much difference between the two,” says Allen.

Make sure your salad is actually healthy by asking for your dressing on the side, choosing the grilled version of your protein rather than the fried, and asking for little or no bacon or cheese. For a crunchy topping without all the calories, try sliced almonds or crushed bean “tortilla” chips instead. And whole grains like quinoa, bulgur or barley will help fill you up.

When it comes to dressings, choose oil and vinegar-based dressings rather than cream and mayonnaise-based options; fresh salsa can be a guilt-free salad topper, too. If you can’t bear a salad without your favorite creamy dressing, divide your salad into two. Use your favorite fatty dressing on one portion, and the healthier dressing option on the other half.

 

Smoothies

 

Sugary syrups and processed protein powders can add up to 1,000 calories at fast food chain smoothies, says Allen.

It’s better to make your own smoothies at home, or hand pick the ingredients that go into you smoothies if you order them out. If you’re new to smoothie making, here’s how much of each ingredient to include: one to two cups of liquid base, up to two cups of greens, up to three cups of fruit, plus a tablespoon of nut butter or protein powder.

Keep your smoothie healthy by using milk—like unsweetened coconut, almond or skim milk—as your base instead of juice. Then add fruits like strawberries, bananas or blueberries and a protein such as Greek yogurt, nut butter, seeds like hemp or chia or protein power (whey, soy and plant-based options are best). For added vitamins, try throwing in some spinach, kale or celery. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla extract can pack an extra, low-cal flavor punch, too.

 

Granola

 

Depending on what it’s made out of, granola can be super high in calories, fat and sugar, says Allen. Most granola is made of oats, nut, seeds and dried fruit—all nutrient rich ingredients—but chocolate chips and sugary syrups can add serious calories to store-bought options.

Look for granola options with raw oats, unsalted nuts and unsweetened fruit, and mix your granola into something rather than snacking on it by the handful. Add it to something like low-fat Greek yogurt, then top it with some fruit such as berries, says Allen. Hooked on granola bars? Try options that are nut or fruit based rather those that are grains-based. Homemade granola bars are easy to make, too: ingredients like unsweetened cranberries, old-fashioned oats, unsalted almonds, all-natural maple syrup, flax seeds and peanut butter can be combined and baked for a nice treat.

 

Dried Fruit

 

You may think anything made of fruit is good for you, but that’s not always the case. Certain dried fruits like apricots and dates are concentrated with calories, especially from sugar, says Allen. While they still have antioxidant and fiber components, they may actually be stripped of some vitamins during the dehydration process.

Sprinkle dried fruit like apples or cranberries in your salads rather than snacking on them straight out of the bag. And when you do eat dried fruit by itself, pair it with a low-fat cheese stick or a handful of nuts so you’ll stay fuller, longer. When selecting picks from the grocery store, aim for options without added sugar or other ingredients (the only ingredient should be the fruit itself).

 

Fruit juices

 

All-natural fruit juice can provide some of the vitamins and minerals that you find in whole fruits, as long as you control your portions. “The biggest problem with fruit juices is that most people pour more than the recommended serving size,” says Allen.

Craving apple juice? Eat an actual apple instead of reaching for juice. “You’ll get a lot more fiber eating the whole fruit than you would in fruit juice,” says Allen. When you do choose juice, opt for all-natural, 100 percent, no-sugar added juice options or the low-cal versions of your favorites. Do limit the amount you drink—the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends no more than one cup per day.

***  Never give your children Apple Juice!

 

Pretzels

 

Pretzels may have been your go-to snack food years ago, but you may want to be careful when it comes to the salty snack nowadays.

“People are starting to look at carbohydrate intake much more now than they did in the past,” says Allen. “10 or 15 years ago there was a push to reduce fat intake so we turned to things like pretzels and baked potato chips.”

But reduced-fat doesn’t give you license to eat as much as you want. With low-fat foods, people think they can eat as much as they want because it’s low fat, but they still have to watch portion sizes, says Allen.

While pretzels are a much healthier pick than greasy potato chips, pay attention to serving size: only about 16 small waffle-shaped pretzels equals one serving. And don’t eat too many flavored pretzels like honey mustard and barbeque as they likely have a lot of sugar and sodium. Your best bet: unsalted mini pretzels to keep your sodium and hunger levels in check.

 

Just be aware of what you’re eating

 

You don’t have to do away with these foods completely, but reading labels and educating yourself on serving size, calorie count, fat content and how they fit into your diet is key, says Allen. “For example, many people are leaning towards almond milk these days, but the calories per serving can range from 30 to 100.”

One of the easiest ways you can monitor what you’re eating is to track it or look it up before you indulge.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Paleo Turkey Wonton Soup Recipe

Paleo Turkey Wonton Soup Recipe

Have you ever thought of wonton soup as a health food? Probably not. But with my gluten-free, gut- and figure-friendly wonton soup recipe, you can think again! For my wonton soup recipe, I use a combination of gluten-free cassava flour and tapioca flour to make the wonton dough. I also fill the wontons with ground turkey instead of pork or shrimp since I avoid both of those foods.

And the healthy choices don’t stop there. I also add a ton of vegetables, herbs and spices to this soup to boost its nutritional value. The vegetables in this wonton soup recipe may just leave you with a stronger immune system, healthier heart and gut and improved digestive tract. You’ll also feel completely satisfied from this hearty recipe.

 

What is Wonton Soup?

Wonton soup is commonly prepared in Chinese cuisine. It includes wontons, which are tiny dumplings that are filled with a seasoned ground meat. The traditional way to prepare wonton dough is using a combination of flour, egg, salt and water, but for my wonton soup, I chose to use cassava flour and tapioca flour so the wontons are completely gluten-free.

Wonton soup recipe - Dr. Axe

My favorite thing about wonton soup is that it includes a bunch of nutrient-dense vegetables, like mushrooms, cabbage, carrots and onions, plus a handful of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, like ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper and cilantro. With so many ingredients in wonton soup, you are getting a slew of health benefits, from improved digestion and heart health, to a reduced risk of obesity.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Wonton Wrapper:
  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • Filling:
  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Soup:
  • 8 cups chicken bone broth
  • 4 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, combine broth, aminos, garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne, sesame oil, chili flakes, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  2. Bring broth to a boil and then simmer on low.
  3. While broth is simmering, combine cabbage and carrots in a strainer placed over a bowl. Pour 1 teaspoon of salt over the top. Let sit for 10 min.
  4. Massage cabbage and carrots to release excess water. Ring out the water and place in a medium sized bowl.
  5. Add ground turkey, onions, coconut aminos, garlic, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, mix flours, avocado oil and hot water. Knead dough thoroughly until smooth.
  7. Lay parchment paper on a flat surface and sprinkle flour.
  8. Place 2 tablespoons of dough on the parchment and flatten with a rolling pin. Cut dough into 3 inch squares.
  9. Place 1 tablespoon of turkey filling in the center of the dough. With one lightly wet finger, trace two edges of the wonton dough in an “L” shape.
  10. Gently, enclose wonton fillings to create a triangle shape. Fold the wings inward, making sure to release any air pockets.
  11. Bring the broth back to a boil and gently drop wontons into the soup.
  12. Boil wontons for about 10 minutes.
  13. Serve with fresh green onions, sliced.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Right Fatty Foods For a Flat Stomach

7 “FATTY” Foods that Can Help You to Get a Flat Stomach 

 

At this point, the anti-fat propaganda has died and almost everybody understands by now that eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat.  In fact, it’s absolutely imperative to get enough healthy fats in your diet to keep your hormones balanced, blood sugar under control, and prevent cravings.  Here are 7 examples of “fatty” foods that can actually HELP you to get lean…

healthy chocolate1.  Super Dark Chocolate (at least 72% cacao content or higher)

It might not be a secret anymore, but yes, dark chocolate (NOT milk chocolate) can be a very healthy food, even though it is technically calorie dense.

However, I would contend that dark chocolate can actually HELP you to burn off more body fat if you’re the type of person that has a sweet tooth and likes to eat a lot of desserts.  In this case, just 1 or 2 small squares of dark chocolate can many times satisfy your sweet tooth for only 30 or 40 calories as opposed to 500 calories for a piece of chocolate cake or a piece of pie.

Also some brands of dark chocolate that are in the mid 70’s in % cacao content or higher, can have a fairly high ratio of fiber content (I’ve seen some brands have 5 grams of fiber out of 15 grams of total carbs per serving), and relatively low sugar content compared to the amount of healthy fats.  In fact, that’s one of the “tricks” I use to select a good quality chocolate… I look for more total fat than total carbs (or about the same number of grams of each).

The importance of that fact is that it means many dark chocolates will not greatly affect your blood sugar and will have a fairly blunted blood sugar response compared to other “sweets”.

In addition, dark chocolate is also very rich in healthful antioxidants, including a powerful compound called theobromine which has been shown to help lower blood pressure and have other health benefits.  The fat content in a good dark chocolate should come solely from the natural healthy fats occuring in cocoa butter and not from any other added fats.  Any chocolates with added fats or other additives will generally not be as healthy.

The reason I say to choose dark chocolates with at least 72% cacao content is that the higher the % of cacao, the lower the % of sugar.  However, this does mean that any chocolate over 80% cacao content will generally start to get a more bitter taste and have very little sweetness.  If you like this type of taste, then the higher % cocao, the better. Otherwise, a good 75% dark chocolate is in my opinion an almost perfect combination of lightly sweet with a rich chocolate taste.  Just remember to keep those daily quantities of chocolate small as it is calorie dense!

You can also reap the benefits of the antioxidants and fiber without all of the calories by using organic unsweetened cocoa powder in your smoothies or other recipes.
coconuts have healthy fats2.  Coconut milk, coconut flour, and coconut oil

Coconut milk and oil are great sources of a super healthy type of saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), including a component called lauric acid, which is a powerful nutrient for your immune system, and is lacking in most western diets.  In addition, MCTs are readily used for energy by the body and less likely to be stored as bodyfat compared to other types of fats.

Along with coconut milk and coconut oil as healthy fat choices, we’ve also got coconut flour as a healthier flour option for baking. Coconut flour is an extremely high fiber flour alternative (almost ALL of the carbs in this flour are fiber and not starch!).  Coconut flour is also VERY high in protein compared to most flours and is also gluten free!

Just beware that if you’re going to use coconut flour for baking, it absolutely NEEDS to be mixed with other flours as it sucks up moisture like crazy… I’ve made delicious baked goods by mixing coconut flour with almond flour and quinoa flour in equal parts, and adding slightly more liquid ingredients than the recipe calls for.
healthy fats in butter3.  Grass-fed (pasture-raised) butter

Yes, delicious smooth and rich BUTTER (real butter, not deadly margarine!)… It’s delicious, contains loads of healthy nutritional factors, and does NOT have to be avoided in order to get lean.  In fact, I eat a couple pats of grass-fed butter daily and maintain single digit bodyfat most times of the year.

There’s a lot of confusion about this topic… in fact, I just saw a TV show today that was talking about unhealthy foods and one of the first things they showed was butter.  It just shows that the majority of the population has zero idea that butter (grass-fed only!) can actually be a healthy part of your diet.

In fact, there’s even ample evidence that REAL butter can even help you to lose body fat for a couple of main reasons:

a.   Grass-fed butter is known to have high levels of a healthy fat called CLA, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, and also has been shown to help burn abdominal fat and build lean muscle.

b.   Grass-fed butter also has an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (unlike conventional grain-fed butter) which helps fight inflammation in your body, and can help balance hormones.

c.   The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also contain MCTs, which help to boost your immune system and are readily burned by the body for energy.  The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also help to satisfy your appetite and control blood sugar levels, both of which help you to stay lean!

d.  Grass-fed butter also contains the vitally important nutrient vitamin K2.  Vitamin K2 works alongside vitamin D and calcium for proper calcium metabolism in your body, and is also involved in balancing hormones by making vitamin D more powerful.  Vitamin K2 is generally only found in grass-fed animal products such as butter, cream, full fat cheeses, and organ meats, so it’s hard to obtain from plant sources except for certain types of fermented foods.  It’s one of THE most important vitamins for overall health that many people lack, and it’s found in that beautiful grass-fed butter that we all love!

If you have a hard time finding a grass-fed butter at your grocery store, Kerrygold Irish butter is one of my favorites, and the cows are 100% grass-fed on lush green pastures in Ireland. It’s one of the richest butters in color that I’ve seen, which indicates high levels of carotenoids.  Organic Valley also has some excellent grass-fed butter that’s rich in nutrients as well.
whole egg nutrition to burn body fat4.  Whole Eggs, includin g the yolk   (not just egg whites)

Most people know that eggs are one of the highest quality sources of protein.  However, most people don’t know that the egg yolks are the healthiest part of the egg … that’s where almost all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (such as lutein) are found in eggs.

In fact, the egg yolks contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and panthothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the yolks contain ALL of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids.  Also, the protein of whole eggs is more bio-available than egg whites alone due to a more balanced amino acid profile that the yolks help to build.

Just make sure to choose free-range organic eggs instead of normal grocery store eggs.  Similar to the grass-fed beef scenerio, the nutrient content of the eggs and the balance between healthy omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (in excess) is controlled by the diet of the hens.

Chickens that are allowed to roam free outside and eat a more natural diet will give you healthier, more nutrient-rich eggs with a healthier fat balance compared with your typical grocery store eggs (that came from chickens fed nothing but soy and corn and crowded inside “egg factories” all day long).

 

grass-fed beef healthier than grain-fed beef5.   Grass-fed beef or bison (NOT the typical grain-fed grocery store beef!)

I know most people think that red meat is unhealthy for you, but that’s because they do not understand how the health of the animal affects how healthy the meat is for consumption.  Keep this in mind — “an unhealthy animal provides unhealthy meat, but a healthy animal provides healthy meat”.

Typical beef or bison that you see at the grocery store is raised on grains, mainly corn (and to some extent, soybeans). Soy and corn are NOT the natural diet of cattle or bison, and therefore changes the chemical balance of fats and other nutrients in the beef or bison.  Grain-fed beef and bison is typically WAY too high in omega-6 fats and WAY too low in omega-3 fats.  In addition, the practice of feeding cattle corn and soy as the main portion of their diet upsets their digestive system and makes them sick… and it also increases the amount of dangerous e-coli in the meat.  This is not the case with grass-fed meat.

grass-fed steaks, healthy fat burning foodOn the other hand, grass-fed beef from cattle and buffalo (or bison) that were raised on the type of natural foods that they were meant to eat in nature (grass and other forage), have much higher levels of healthy omega-3 fats and lower levels of inflammatory omega-6 fats (that most people already eat way too much of) compared to grain fed beef or bison.

Grass fed meats also typically contain up to 3 times the Vitamin E as in grain fed meats.

In addition, grass-fed meat from healthy cattle or bison also contain a special healthy fatcalled conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in MUCH higher levels than grain-fed meat.  CLA has been proven in scientific studies in recent years to help in burning fat and building lean muscle (which can help you lose weight!).  These benefits are on top of the fact that grass-fed meats are some of the highest quality proteins that you can possibly eat… and this also aids in burning fat and building lean muscle.

Grass-fed meats are a little harder to find, but just ask your butcher or find a specialty grocery store and they usually have cuts available.  I’ve also found a great site to order grass-fed meats online and have gotten to know the owner of this company well, and they are dedicated to the quality of their foods.
avocados - healthy fats and high nutrition6.  Avocados

Even though avocados are typically thought of as a “fatty food”, they are chock full of healthy fats !  Not only is this fruit (yes, surprisingly, avocados are actually a fruit) super-high in monounsaturated fat, but also chock full of vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, and antioxidants.

Also, in my opinion, guacamole (mashed avocados with garlic, onion, tomato, pepper, etc) is one of the most delicious food toppings ever created, and you can be happy to know that it’s also one of the healthiest toppings you can use on your foods.  Try sliced avocados or guacamole on sandwiches, burgers, eggs or omelets, on salads or with fish, or as a delicious side to just about any meal.

The quality dose of healthy fats, fiber, and micronutrients that you get from avocados helps your body to maintain proper levels of hormones that help with fat loss and muscle building.  Also, since avocados are an extremely satiating food, eating them helps to reduce your appetite in the hours after your meal.  Say goodbye to junk food cravings and bring on that fat burning!  I personally eat anywhere from a half to a full avocado DAILY and it only helps to keep me lean.
nuts - more healthy foods to burn fat7.  Nuts:  Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans, Brazil Nuts, Macadamias , etc

Yes, this is yet another “fatty food” that can actually help you burn belly fat!  Although nuts are generally between 75-90% fat in terms of a ratio of fat calories to total calories, this is another type of food that is all healthy fats, along with high levels of micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  Nuts are also a good source of fiber and protein , which of course, you know helps to control blood sugar and can aid in fat loss .

Nuts also help to maintain good levels of fat burning hormones in your body (adequate healthy fat intake is vitally important to hormone balance) as well as helping to control appetite and cravings so that you essentially eat less calories overall, even though you’re consuming a high-fat food.  My favorite healthy nuts are pecans, pistachios , almonds, macadamias, and walnuts, and by eating them in variety, you help to broaden the types of vitamins and minerals and also the balance of polyunsaturated to monounsaturated fats you obtain.

Try to find raw nuts instead of roasted nuts if you can, as it helps to maintain the quality and nutritional content of the healthy fats that you will eat.

Also, try to broaden your horizons beyond the typical peanut butter that most people eat, and try almond butter, cashew butter, pecan butter, or macadamia butter to add variety to your diet.

One of the little “tricks” that I’ve used with clients when trying to cut down body fat is to have them eat a handful of nuts such as almonds or pecans about 20 minutes before lunch and dinner .  This ends up being a perfect time to control your appetite before lunch or dinner and helps you to eat less overall calories on that meal.

I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the healthiest “fatty” fat-burning foods you can possibly eat.  I could list a ton more, but wanted to give you a few of my favorites for now.  Enjoy!
But BEWARE 

Although these “fatty” foods may be a super-healthy choice for achieving your lean, strong, and energetic body… I’ve discovered that there are at least 23 popular foods that most people falsely think are “healthy”, but they actually HARM  your metabolism and pack on belly fat. 

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Mike Geary

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

 

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Abdominal Fat

 

Excess Abdominal Fat is Not Only Ugly, but Extremely Dangerous to Your Health – This is More Than a Vanity Issue!

 

The difference between subcutaneous fat and the more deadly “visceral fat”… Plus the simple steps to REMOVE this fat permanently.

 

big stomach, visceral fat

 

Although this picture depicts an overweight man, this article applies to dangerous types of fat inside the bodies of both men and women … and this discussion also applies even if you only have a slight amount of excess stomach fat.

Did you know that the vast majority of people in this day and age have excess abdominal fat?  It’s true — as much as 70% of the population in some “westernized” countries such as the US and Australia are now considered either overweight or obese.  The first thing that most people think of is that their extra abdominal fat is simply ugly, is covering up their abs from being visible, and makes them self conscious about showing off their body.

However, what most people don’t realize is that excess abdominal fat in particular, is not only ugly, but is also a dangerous risk factor to your health. Scientific research has clearly determined that although it is unhealthy in general to have excess body fat throughout your body, it is also particularly dangerous to have excess abdominal fat.

There are two types of fat that you have in your abdominal area The first type that covers up your abs from being visible is called subcutaneous fat and lies directly beneath the skin and on top of the abdominal muscles.

The second type of fat that you have in your abdominal area is called visceral fat , and that lies deeper in the abdomen beneath your muscle and surrounding your organs. Visceral fat also plays a role in giving certain men that “beer belly” appearance where their abdomen protrudes excessively but at the same time, also feels sort of hard if you push on it.

Both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat in the abdominal area are serious health risk factors, but science has shown that having excessive visceral fat is even more dangerous than subcutaneous fat .  Both types of fat greatly increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, various forms of cancer, and other degenerative diseases.

Part of the reason visceral fat is particularly dangerous is that studies show that it releases more inflammatory molecules into your system on a consistent basis.

One of the major reasons that some people accumulate more visceral fat than others can be from a high carbohydrate diet that leads to insulin resistance over time (years of bombarding your system with too much sugars and starches for your pancreas to properly handle the constant excess blood sugar) … and studies show that high fructose intake particularly from high-fructose corn syrup can be a major contributor to excess visceral fat.

So what gets rid of extra abdominal fat, including visceral fat? 

Both your food intake as well as your training program are important if you are to get this right and the good news is that I’ve spent over a decade researching this topic, analyzing the science, and applying it “in the trenches” with myself as well as thousands of my clients from all over the world to see what works to really stimulate abdominal fat loss.

I’ve actually even seen a particular study that divided thousands of participants into a diet-only group and an exercise & diet combined group. While both groups in this study made good progress, the diet-only group lost significantly LESS abdominal fat than the diet & exercise combined group .

From my research, two of the most important aspects to getting rid of visceral fat are:

1. The use of high intensity forms of exercise and full-body resistance training.  Low intensity cardio exercise simply isn’t as effective for removing visceral fat in particular.  High intensity exercise such as interval training, sprints (bike sprints or running sprints), AND full-body weight training are very effective at helping to improve your body’s ability to manage glucose and increases insulin sensitivity, a crucial step in removing visceral fat.


These types of high intensity exercise routines are also very effective at increasing your fat-burning hormones and creating a hormonal environment conducive to burning off abdominal fat, including visceral fat.

2.   In addition, it’s vitally important to get blood sugar under control to help restore insulin sensitivity through the right nutrition.  This means greatly reducing sugars and refined starches in your diet (including fully eliminating any use of harmful high fructose corn syrup!), and focusing more of your diet on healthy fats (such as avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut fat, olive oil, grass-fed butter, free-range eggs, fatty fish and fish oils, etc), as well as increasing protein and fiber intake.  The standard diet recommended by the government, which contains an unnaturally high grain intake is NOT conducive to controlling blood sugar and reducing visceral fat!

Reducing grain-based foods in your diet and getting more of your carbs from veggies and high fiber fruits such as berries can go a long way to helping to solve this problem.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Mike  Geary

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