February 15, 2017

The Horrible Effects of Soda on your Health

In the United States, the average person drinks 57 gallons of soda per person every year [1]. Sugary drinks have many negative effects on a person’s health. Soda has an extremely high sugar content, which causes frequent changes in blood sugar levels and stress on your pancreas to produce insulin. Drinking soda is pleasing because it causes your body to produce dopamine which “stimulates the pleasure centers of [the] brain… just like a low-grade line of cocaine” [1].

Furthermore, the consumption of sugary drinks like soda has a direct link to obesity. A typical soda bottle contains about 15 to 18 tea spoons of sugar and over 240 calories. The matter is compounded after consumption of a soft drink, as people tend to still be hungry. This is the definition of “empty calories” because people do not feel full from drinking a soda, unlike if they were to consume 240 calories of food. Since these people will likely consume food as well, the extra calories only add to the obesity epidemic. Harvard researchers have found out that for “each additional 12 ounce soda children consumed each day, the odds of becoming obese increased by 60%” [2]. Additionally, they concluded that increased sugar intake in the form of liquids also increases the chances of heart attacks and has a significant impact on an individual’s cardiovascular health.

Most soft drinks also contain corn syrup, which is high in fructose. Intake of this substance causes greater chances of metabolic syndrome, heart attacks, and diabetes. Soda consumption also limits the availability of potassium due to the increased intake of sodium preservatives. Therefore, this may increase the risk of asthma and eczema [1]. With all these risks, an innocent can of sugary soda with dinner may lead to many more problems.
[1] Soft drink Dangers: 8 Ways Soda Negatively Affects Your Health. Olson, Samantha. Medical Daily. Retrieved From: http://www.medicaldaily.com/pulse/soft-drink-dangers-8-ways-soda-negatively-affects-your-health-319054

[2] Sugary drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet. Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Retrieved from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-drinks-fact-sheet/

April 10, 2013

Are Bananas Fattening?

are bananas fattening

 

 

There is a nasty allegation circulating the health sphere that bananas are fattening. Various parties are even claiming that bananas aren’t the angelic, low-fat, high-health food we always believed them to be.

But is this actually true? What is the nutritional value of bananas? Are bananas adding extra calories to diets and sabotaging weight loss efforts worldwide? Let’s look at the facts.

 

The case for bananas as a fattening food:

High in calories
Bananas are high in calories compared to other fruits. A standard banana contains about 105 calories. A cup of grapes meanwhile, contains around 62 calories.

Loaded with carbs
A banana has around 127 grams of carbohydrates, compared to grapes, which contain just 15 grams of carbs. This carb variance is largely because bananas contain less water.

The case against bananas being fattening:

Rich in potassium
According to registered dietician and author, Cynthia Sass, bananas are incredibly rich in potassium. Potassium helps to reduce blood pressure, encourage the maintenance of healthy muscles and also ease water retention and bloating.

Packed with fiber
Anything with fiber helps you stay fuller for longer, so the fact that bananas are packed with fiber is a huge plus in their favor. Fiber also acts as a ‘broom’ to your intestinal tract to ensure healthy digestion.

Contains B6
Vitamin B6 is responsible for equalizing blood sugar levels, which in turn promotes a healthy weight.

Low GI
Bananas have a glycemic index (GI) of 55, which means they release energy at a slower rate than other foods. Low GI foods decrease your risk of heart disease and other blood-glucose related diseases.

Provide instant energy
As bananas are higher in carbs (the fuel our body uses for energy), consuming a banana boosts your energy levels almost immediately.

The verdict
As with most things, moderation is clearly key here. Bananas are higher in calories and carbs than other fruits. But, if consumed sensibly, the health benefits of bananas are that they can actually aid your weight loss efforts by keeping you full and your energy high.

Experts suggest swapping a high-sugar dessert or snack for a banana and if you’re worried about weight gain, consuming a banana before or after a work out.

Overall, bananas are considered to be healthy, nutritious and delicious and when consumed in moderation should not impact any weight loss efforts.

Comments, questions, or concerns? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or the comment box below.

April 20, 2012

Healthy Weight Loss Is Closer Than You Think

Filed under: weight loss — Tags: , — patt @ 6:34 pm

older people doing tai chi Healthy weight loss is hard to come by in today’s world of advertisements upon advertisements promoting the latest prescription weight loss medication or quick fix for weight loss. It is uncommon to watch your favorite show nowadays without seeing at least one advertisement about a miracle weight loss supplement or a special drug that helps you lose weight with little to no effort at all. Some of these miracle pills and supplements may give you temporary results, but the only sure fire way to lose weight effectively is through a healthy weight loss exercise routine and a healthy weight loss diet.

In today’s modern world of efficiency and immediate results, Americans tend to shy away from hard work – the only guaranteed way to lose weight. These exercises can be as simple as running everyday – starting off slow and and slowly increasing your speed and distance until you’re able to run farther than you ever have before.

Getting involved at a gym, although sometimes pricey, is also a wonderful option. Many gyms offer the opportunity to hire a personal trainer who will cater to your specific needs and push you in a personalized way to achieve your weight loss goals.

Regardless of what exercise you choose, make sure it is right for you. The most important part of losing weight through exercise is to set a pace that is comfortable and effective without being too overbearing, or conversely, too easy. Talk to weight loss experts or consult a book, website, or medical journal on what would be the best and most comfortable weight loss exercise for you.

Another extremely important aspect of weight loss is the food you consume. It would be easy to tell you to stay away from greasy foods and to only eat salad until you’re as skinny as you desire, but letʼs be practical – some greasy foods are just too delicious to stop eating.

Luckily, a healthy balance in your diet can be achieved without weeks of nothing but salads and water. The easiest way to make sure that you are achieving this balance is by finding a diet plan regiment. There are countless books, websites, and magazines specifically devoted to weight loss diets. These regiments are designed by professionals, and are extremely effective. But remember, always make sure that the diet plan you set up is right for you. Our bodies can have adverse effects to a sudden and intense change, so be careful what you put into and take out of your diet.

The biggest thing I can stress about weight loss is making sure the steps you are taking in order to achieve a smaller size are practical, comfortable, and reasonable. You are beautiful just the way you are, but if you’d like to shed a few pounds, find a healthy diet and exercise plan that fits into your lifestyle. Only you can decide how much weight you want to lose, or how you go about doing it.

July 29, 2011

Need Help Losing That Belly Fat? Well Bring Out the Vitamins!

It’s an age old battle that has lasted since the beginning of mankind. A battle that over whelms some and others take it to the extreme to get rid of it. I am talking about belly fat perhaps the most stubborn thing out there. We all want to look good especially when we see those celebrities with the hot bodies and think I want that but how? We try so hard but not everyone can get rid of the stubborn belly fat. Deep down we all know what we have to do to get loose fat, eat healthy (little calories), exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. However to some that’s just too hard so we try finding faster and easier ways to achieve weight lose and keep it natural. That’s why the use of vitamins is booming. Vitamins are a fast and easy way of helping you lose that fat and at the same time doing some good for your whole body. The best vitamins for weight loose are vitamin C, D, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Recently there has been a lot of talk about Omega 3 fatty acids because of all the benefits for your body. In terms of weight lose omega 3 fatty acids keep those joints loose, your organs healthy, and cells active so they can properly function when you exercise.

Vitamin D is even more important in your diet for weight lose. Studies show that women who are exposed to more vitamin D generally have less fat. If you want to know the science behind it well the kidneys activate vitamin D into the hormone which controls the growth of cells including fat cells. So the fat cells become smaller. It is recommended that you take a minimum of 2,000 units of vitamin D a day. Here are three reasons why you should take vitamin D it drains fat cells, improves metabolism, increases appetite, and increases muscle contraction.

Vitamin C might just be the most important one of the there. Vitamin C naturally turns your body fat into energy especially around your abs. Vitamin C basally increases your metabolism. Your metabolism is what burns your fat. Keeping that on tract is critical.

However you have to keep in mind that vitamins alone aren’t going achieve weight loss, just aid you in your quest in losing weight. Also keep in mind over doing it one vitamin can lead to other problems so take the right amount recommended by your doctor.

December 17, 2010

Slow and Steady Loses the Weight

Motivated by the fact he may not be able to have kids with his wife, Tony Posnanski went from 420 pounds to 200 since 2008. His diet? Eating less and working out.  Posnanski went from eating 10,000 calories a day to only 2,400. Posnanski got rid of processed food and consumed vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. While it seems mundane, eating less is the best weight loss diet there is.

When Professor Mark Haub went on the “Twinkie Diet”, he was making a point as to that it’s not the nutritional value of the food that matters, it’s the intake. The “Twinkie Diet” is not recommended because it may have long term consequences. On the other hand, there are many low fat diets such Mediterranean diet that help improve your cardiovascular and metabolic health. Popular programs such as Weight Watchers, bring attention to portion sizes.

There are no short cuts to losing weight and maintaining the body you desire. The biggest factor to losing weight is reducing portion sizes, eating healthy, and working out for at least an hour each day. There will be no immediate difference. One needs to make a lifelong change to see true results.

Small changes in your diet such as staying away from processed foods will create a great difference. Your ideal body and health are found through hard work, not by taking shortcuts.

Diet and exercise are the best solution. Small portions, but no less than 1,200 calories, and about an hour of physical activity show the best long term results. Posnanski suggests eating whole grains to lower cholesterol, fruits and vegetables to reduce the chances of cancer, and creating a healthy relationship with food.

August 23, 2010

Shaping Up This Summer

Filed under: weight loss — Tags: , , , , — patt @ 9:25 pm

weight, cycling, bicycle, exerciseIf you’ve found yourself to be overly conscious of your midline this summer, you’re not alone. Close to sixty percent of Canadians are struggling with the same problem. This fat that is stored on your midline has larger implications than making it difficult to fit into your favorite pair of jeans, this excess weight contributes to your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke. Summer is a great time to start getting in shape – the gorgeous weather outside and warm temperatures make for a comfortable workout environment before fall sets in. By starting a workout routine in the summer, you implement a habit that carries into the fall, and provides a healthy activity for when the skies become gray, as well as an excellent way to manage your weight.

Although the easiest way to lose that spare tire might seem to be a spot workout, say doing one hundred crunches per day; the best workouts incorporates aerobic activity, strength training and healthy eating in order to effectively help you to lose weight.

Aerobic Activity is essentially the calorie-burning component of any great work out, and helps to control weight by using the excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. Aerobic activities can include dancing, jogging, bicycling, racket sports, skiing, rowing or using aerobic equipment such as a treadmill or elliptical machine at your local fitness gym. Many other activities may also classify as aerobic activities, so long as they increase your heart rate and cause you to sweat. Many workout plans recommend that aerobic activity lasts for a significant amount of time, in order to burn as many calories as possible. Participating in an aerobic activity for half an hour to an hour each day is a crucial part of any effective workout training, and will help you get back into shape within weeks.

Strength Training helps to shape up your body after aerobic activity. This component of an effective workout may include core exercises and weight training, which builds muscle in the body and additionally raises metabolism, allowing for more calories to be burned during aerobic activities. If you’re just starting a new workout regimen, take strength training slow. You may wish to consider enrolling in a boot camp or engaging a personal trainer to help you start your strength training on the right track.

Healthy Eating is an especially important component of any effective weight loss plan. Without engaging in a healthy diet, all of the work that you put into both strength training and aerobic training essentially goes to waste. A healthy diet means that you eat balanced meals of regular portion size, which include all of the essential food groups. By eating all of your grains, dairy products, vegetable and protein servings, you’ll be able to supply your body with the energy it needs to function properly every day. A healthy diet will not only promote your weight loss, it’ll make you feel good each day too!

Losing weight is an uphill battle that takes perseverance and planning, but with an excellent workout schedule that incorporates aerobic training, strength training and healthy eating, you’ll have no problem shaping up this summer.

June 4, 2010

Shoes With Toes – A Revolution For Healthy Feet

Filed under: footwear,weight loss — Tags: , — patt @ 12:27 am

vibram, toes, toe shoesIf you stand on your feet for most of the day, you know how important it is to have a pair of shoes that properly fit your feet. Without shoes that fit well, you’ll often find yourself not only subjected to blistering and soreness, but also to bunions, calluses and back problems as a result of long-time use of ill-fitting shoes. The average human foot is made up of twenty-six bones that are connected by thirty three joints and surrounded by twenty muscles, not to mention hundreds of sensory receptors, ligaments and tendons. We owe it to our feet to find shoes that fit our feet well, seeing as they are the mechanisms that hold us up all day.

A new type of shoe has recently come onto the market that opens up a whole new world for runners, walkers, and everyday people everywhere. The shoes, which are glaringly different from anything else on the shoe market right now, exhibit rubber soles and a specific pocket for each toe, similar to toe socks. These shoes are designed to shape to the feet, and provide the wearer with a natural feeling, as the foot is allowed to stay in its original and natural state. Although they may look strange, but there are several researched benefits to wearing the Vibram FiveFingers shoes, including the improvement of the muscle strength of feet and lower legs, a tendency towards reducing the risk of running injuries, the improvement of balance and agility as well as the improvement of posture and spine alignment.

It’s difficult to tell whether or not these shoes will have a large impact in the fashion-driven shoe industry, however their health and running benefits show that the “toe shoe” may one day become an integral part in procuring good health, wellness and even weight loss.

May 7, 2010

Will Digestive Cleansing Help You Lose Weight?

Filed under: weight loss — Tags: , , , — patt @ 7:41 pm

fruits, vegetables, detox diets, diet, digestive cleansing dietMany Hollywood movies will denote losing weight as an easy task. In nearly every “chick-flick”, the female protagonist will make a comment – either stating that she looks the way she does because she’s only been drinking cranberry juice for the last forty-eight hours, or to complement the shape of her side-kick, who in return will usually reply that she’s following a new dietary plan that involves eating a block of cheese once a week. These methods of cleansing and detoxifying seem overdramatized and unrealistic (which they often are), however, nutritionists and family physicians agree that the detoxification of your system isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you plan to change your eating habits and make more healthy dietary choices.

The act of cleansing out your system usually takes from two to ten days and involves eating minimal amounts of foods that are easily digested. Although this may seem extremely difficult, cleansing out your body is the easiest way to change the eating habits that you’ve spent your lifetime developing. The foods that are recommended below are all easy for your body to digest, and will additionally draw out toxins to improve overall weight loss.

Most Cleansing Diets Recommend Eating:

Fresh Vegetables – They aren’t your favorite food, however vegetables are exceptionally good detox foods. Cauliflower, broccoli, onions, garlic, artichokes, beets and any other red or green vegetables are nutrient-packed and will help to remove toxins during your cleanse.

Nuts – You need protein while you cleanse, and nuts are the most beneficial source of protein for you. Any flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews or walnuts are good choices while you partake in any cleansing festivities.

Rice and Alternative Grains – All forms of rice are extremely easy to digest, including rice cakes and products made with rice flour. If you’re not a fan of rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat products are all excellent and easily-digestible alternatives that can be purchased at your local health food store.

Beans – Although the split yellow and green peas are the easiest form of bean to digest, all beans including the kidney, pinto, and chickpea varieties are effective components to a cleansing diet.

Oil – If you must use oil, either to cook your food or as an ingredient in a new recipe, using extra-virgin olive oil is wise, as it is the most beneficial for cleansing purposes.

Only Certain Beverages – The fluids that you ingest will affect the effectiveness of your cleanse. Drinking only herbal teas, green tea, water, lemon water, pure unsweetened fruit juices and rice milk are key components to removing the toxins in your body.

Though cleansing diets will often help you to start your new diet on the right foot, they aren’t for everyone. It’s important to talk to your doctor or nutritionist before starting a cleanse – they may have some helpful tips or advise you to additionally take a medication that encourages weight loss.

April 15, 2010

“An Apple a Day…”


Ever heard the old phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, it’s not as far fetched as you may think. Apples have numerous health benefits that people overlook all the time. Benefits of eating apples include:

Strengthening Bones
An element called boron is a component of apples. Boron aids tremendously in strengthening bones. Apples can also help prevent osteoporosis for occurring in women.

Avoiding Alzheimer’s
A study on mice was done at Cornell University located in Ithaca, New York. It was found that mice with diets focused on apples did better than mice who had a regular diet. This is because of quercetin which is a plant pigment in apples.

Lower Cholesterol
Apples have a large impact on lowering cholesterol. For example, a single apple can reduce cholesterol up to 8%. A component of apples called pectin has the ability to lower Low- density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is basically “bad cholesterol”.

Fewer Chances of Getting Diabetes
Statistics say that “Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.” This is because of the soluble fibers in apples. Not only that, but for people that currently have diabetes, apples can reduce the need of
insulin.

Losing Weight
Apples have a large quantity of fiber in them. This fiber keeps you full for a long period of time without consuming many calories. Perfect for losing weight. Apples also help maintain a healthy lifestyle because of the numerous nutrients in them.

There are many ways to enjoy apples and incorporate them into dishes. For example, you could make apple pie, apple crisp, fruit salad, or just eat it raw. Try it! “An apple a day [really does keep] the doctor away!”

February 27, 2010

5 Fastest Ways To Lose Weight

1. Drink Water – Have eight to ten glasses of water a day. Most people only have between 3 or 4 glasses of water two day. That is less than half of the required amount. Water is used for nearly every process in your body. If you drink a glass of water 15 minutes before a meal you are more likely to eat less and feel full faster.
2. Eat 3 Meals per Day (and 2 snacks) – Having a balanced eating pattern will help you to realize when you are more likely to binge. Avoid frequent indulgences and instead replace them with small portions of healthy food.

3. Exercise – I am not just referring to running. Exercise includes lifting weights and turning that fat into muscle. Weight-lifting will also increase your muscle and thus your metabolism. Be warned that in doing this you may not see the numbers decreasing very rapidly on the scale (because muscle weighs quite a lot), but you will see your stomach depleting quickly!

4. Use Dark Colored Plates – Smaller, dark colored plates are the best to use! Dark blue is an ideal color as it has been proven to fight off appetites. Red, orange, and yellow are the colors that increase your appetite significantly. (Remember the McDonalds logo?)

5. Eat Good Fat – There are good fats and bad fats. Trans fat and saturated fats are the worst for you when trying to lose weight. Try to consume essential fatty acids! They can even help your body to burn fat. Eating lots of fish would be very helpful as fish are full of essential fatty acids.

Eating the right things, drinking the right things, eating the right amounts, and exercising may seem like a lot to do, but if you can accomplish all these and stick with it for a while you will be amazed at how fast you can lose weight!

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