Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Good Fats, Bad Fats: How to Choose | Which oils are healthy?

Good Fats, Bad Fats: How to Choose

Which oils are healthy?

By Anne Harding

Eating fat can be heart-healthy if you pick the right kind. Too many of us cut fat willy-nilly and replace it with refined carbs, so we miss out on the benefits of healthy fats, says Suzanne Rostler, a registered dietitian and nutritionist in Framingham, Mass. What’s more, eating lots of refined carbs—like white bread and white rice—can increase triglyceride levels, which can contribute to heart and blood vessel disease.

Adults should get 20% to 35% of their calories from fat, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting enough of the right kind.


Trans fat
Goal: Limit or eliminate
Trans fats are liquid oils bombarded with hydrogen so they stay solid at room temperature. They’re found in many processed and fried foods.

Trans fats increase total cholesterol and LDL, or bad cholesterol, and lower HDL, the good cholesterol.

Food manufacturers can say a product is trans fat free if it contains less than half a gram per serving. These can add up. Check a product’s ingredient list. If you see the words hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or shortening, it contains trans fat; you’re better off leaving it on the shelf.

Saturated fat
Goal: Limit
Saturated fat increases total cholesterol and LDL, and may boost your type 2 diabetes risk. Meat, seafood, and dairy products are sources of saturated fat. Some plant foods, like palm and coconut oil, also contain it. Animal or vegetable, saturated fat carries the same risks.

Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products to get their key nutrients while cutting saturated fat.

The Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 10% of total calories come from saturated fat. So if you eat 2,000 calories a day, for example, keep your saturated fat intake below 22 grams.

Unsaturated fat
Goal: Get more!
Unsaturated fats are mostly good guys—although trans fat is technically an unsaturated fat. However, healthy unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, while trans and saturated fats are solid.

To increase your unsaturated fat, replace solids, like butter, with olive and vegetable oils, and swap red meat for seafood or unsalted nuts. (Seafood and nuts also contain saturated fat, but usually less than red meat.)

The two main types of unsaturated fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; their chemical structure is slightly different, as are their health benefits.

Goal: Limit
Scientific understanding of the dangers of dietary cholesterol has shifted. "It used to be thought that eating dietary cholesterol, like in shrimp or eggs, would raise cholesterol," Rostler explains. "It does to some extent, but it’s more important to focus on not eating saturated and trans fats."

For people with normal cholesterol levels, Rostler says, the current recommendation is no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily, while people at high risk of heart disease should consume less than 200 milligrams daily. For perspective, one egg contains about 200 milligrams of cholesterol.

Polyunsaturated fats
Goal: Get more!
You can find polyunsaturated fats in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as corn and safflower oil, and fatty fish. This category encompasses omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are known as essential fatty acids because our bodies don’t make them—we have to get them from food.

Polyunsaturated fats can help lower your total cholesterol level, says Sari Greaves, a registered dietitian and nutrition director at Step Ahead Weight Loss Center, in Bedminster, N.J.

Monounsaturated fats
Goal: Get more!
Monounsaturated fats raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL. Canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are good sources.

Trade sour cream dip for hummus (which is rich in olive oil) or guacamole; use veggies or whole-wheat chips to dip. Try peanut oil in a stir-fry to jazz up your diet while helping your heart, says Greaves, who is also an American Dietetic Association spokesperson and coauthor of The Cardiac Recovery Cookbook.

Unsalted nuts contain monounsaturated fat, but they’re high in calories. Sprinkle them on salads or yogurt, rather than eating a 170-calorie handful.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Goal: Get more!
In the world of good fats, omega-3s are superstars. They fight inflammation, help control blood clotting, and lower blood pressure and triglycerides.

Fatty fish like albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good sources, Greaves says. You don’t have to break the bank to get them; canned Alaskan salmon and canned sardines are okay too.

Vegetable sources include soy, walnuts, and some vegetable oils. There are no specifics on how much you should consume, but the American Heart Association suggests eating at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fish each week.

Omega-6 fatty acids
Goal: Jury still out
Most of us have no trouble getting enough omega-6s, which are found in vegetable oils and many snack foods.

The ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in the typical Western diet is around 10 to 1. Some research suggests that between a 2-to-1 and a 4-to-1 ratio reduces the risk of death from heart disease.

There has been some controversy over whether omega-6s can actually be harmful to the heart, but Greaves and Rostler agree that as long as you’re eating them instead of saturated or trans fats, and you make a point of upping your omega-3 intake, you’ll be helping your ticker.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Herbs & Spices | 10 of the world's best healing herbs and spices | Best Healing Herbs & Spices

10 of the world's best healing herbs and spices

Here is the List of top 10 healing herbs and spices:

This golden spice, used in almost every meal in India is very valuable. "It is a very powerful healer. It prevents growth of cancer cells and thus can prevent cancer," says Mumbai-based nutritionist Naini Setalvad. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduces swelling caused due to pain. "It also said to prevent alzhiemers and said to reduce severity of pain caused due to arthritis," says Mumbai-based nutritionist Maithili Pashtekar. This spice also acts as an antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol.

Often used in coffees and other desserts, cinnamon is said to have the ability to reduce blood sugar levels. "This spice contains antioxidants that help lowering levels of bad cholesterol," says Naini. More good news for women- including this spice in your diet will also ensure less painful cycles.

Good ol' ginger candy has always been an instant cure to motion sickness or has curbed a feeling of nausea. The spice does more than that. "It improves your digestive process and prevents stomach disorders like flatulence," says Naini. It is also said to regularize blood flow, thus maintaining your blood pressure.

Holy basil or tulsi is said to be a great de-stressor as it "reduces levels of serotonin," Maithili says. Try a tea made of basil leaves and ginger for relief from indigestion, headaches and fever. Chewing on leaves of basil could also reduce symptoms of bronchitis and asthma.

This condiment lowers your chances of getting cancer. Other than that, according to Naini, "it helps in lowering bad cholesterol and keeping your blood pressure in control." It also has anti viral properties and helps in clearing your sinuses. "It helps to digest iron and protein," says Maithili. Garlic is also a powerful antioxidant that protects your body against damage from free radicals.

Cumin powder in water with salt and lemon is probably the best way to curb a diarrhoea attack. "It also acts as a blood purifier and is an excellent remedy for stomach cramps," says Naini. Due to its cooling properties, it is added to most drinks and juices during summer.

Mustard seeds is said to curb the growth of cancer cells. "it also has anti inflammatory properties and is said to restore normal sleeping patterns in women with symptoms of menopause," says Maithili. It also reduces severity of asthma and lowers high blood pressure.

Saffron is a powerful antioxidant too. "It is said to be an anti-depressant and can cure bladder, liver and kidney disorders," says Naini. A li'l saffron in your tea can relieve you of a cold too. Saffron also has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. Rubbing saffron on sore gums can provides relief.

Known as elaichi, this spice is also effective in curing stomach cramps. It is also said to cure other stomach disorders like flatulence and acidity. "It also improves your circulation to your lungs, Maithili says. Boil water and add mint leaves and cardamom to it and have it to cure hiccups, suggests Naini.

Mint or pudina is known to ease symptoms of the irritable bowel syndrome. It is also known to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Mint oil when rubbed on your forehead soothes headaches too. Mint paste while applied on pimples and acne can cure it

Immune System | 6 Immune Boosters

6 Immune Boosters

No matter what time of year it is, you can help fight viruses and infections by strengthening your body's natural defense against them.

Have you ever wondered why some people always get sick when it's being "passed around?"

Poor immune system.

You can use boatloads of hand sanitizer or wash your hands until the cows come home, but unless you make sure your immune system is strong, you are a likely target for many a nasty virus or infection.

The great news is that there are some very effective ways to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape, 12 months a year.

Six Super Immune Boosters

1- Get enough sleep and boost your immune system
Nothing can wipe out your immune system faster than inadequate sleep. Turn off the TV and get some decent rest.


2- Avoid fast food, processed food, sugars, refined carbs and excessive alcohol consumption
All of these feed the harmful bacteria in your gut, which can then crowd out your friendly flora and greatly hamper your immune function.

3- Limit antibiotic use for a stronger immune system
Sure, they can be life-savers, but antibiotics can also obliterate your immune system because they destroy your immune-boosting beneficial bacteria as well as the illness-causing bacteria.

If you must take them, be sure to help counteract their harmful effects with a good probiotic supplement.

4- De-stress for greater immune response
Stress causes your body's protective mucosal barrier to become less effective at defending against unfriendly bacteria and dangerous pathogens. That's why many people get sick when they're really stressed--their bodies literally can't fight off illness as well. 

There are many ways to help de-stress: Meditation, exercise, counseling, deep breathing and seminars, to name a few.

5- Make sure you have adequate vitamin B12 to boosts your immune system
In addition to helping your body generate energy and keeping your thinking sharp and clear, vitamin B12 is also essential for a strong immune system.

B12 is crucial for the formation of red and white blood cells, which help boost your immune function.

Problem is, as many as 1 out of 4 people are deficient in B12. Especially vulnerable are people over age 50, people who take acid reducers, vegetarians and people who have Crohn's, colitis or IBS.

And even if you eat foods that are rich in B12 or take oral supplements, B12 is not easily absorbed through the GI chances are good you're getting far less than what you think and what you need.

The easiest way to make sure you have enough is to supplement with a highly absorbable form of B12.

Liquid Spray is an easy to use form of B12. Just few sprays under your tongue give you easy absorption of B12. Look for a product comprised of two of the best forms--hydroxocobalamin (which raises your B12 level faster than other forms) and adenosylcobalamin (the form of B12 most used by your brain).

6- Take a top shelf quality probiotic supplement for immune health
One that contains the medical-grade bacteria strains, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, has been shown to stimulate antibody production and enhance phagocytosis (one of your body's weapons for destroying dangerous invaders).

In addition, it should also contain Bifidobacteria Lactis, which has high adhesion to human mucus. That means it will stick to your colon wall to keep it strong and protective, which helps keep wastes, dangerous toxins and bacteria from leaking out into your bloodstream and making you SICK.

Do as much as you can to keep your immune function strong, and you can reap the rewards of fewer or less severe illnesses and quite possibly, avoidance of more dangerous diseases.

Excerpts from Sherry Brescia

Omega 3 | The importance of Omega 3 | Help reduce risk of heart disease

The importance of Omega 3


There is much talk of Omega 3 in television or in magazines not only industry (fitness and personal training) as a healthy component of our food, but few explain exactly what really are, which provide benefits to our body and where they are but especially why it is good to integrate them. Together with Omega 6 fats are called "essential" because, although there are indispensable for living, our body is unable to produce them. They, accordingly, must be taken through diet or supplementation.

According to Barry Sears (creator of the Zone diet) integration of Omega 3 is, in the context of a balanced diet, a significant protective effect on the body, helping to bring a number of benefits, including improved concentration, of ' mood, cognitive and capacitance of the result to be a valid support for the level of triglycerides in the blood through action antisclerotica, that clean the blood triglycerides, prevent excessive platelet aggregation and the consequent possible formation of blood clots.

Furthermore give fluidity to membranes of nerve cells, making it easier the interaction between them.

Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated along with Omega-6 which are rich vegetable oils (from the chemical point of view, have the characteristic of a double bond in position 3 (omega 3) or in position 6 (omega 6), chain that forms them).

They are technically called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in the diet is 4:1, while the current one is 10:1. This explains why so much of the talk about the need to supplement Omega 3. The current diet of an average Italian is almost exclusively based on products based on cereals, vegetables and meat from livestock, all foods that contain Omega 6, this is the reason for the imbalance.

Foods that contain Omega 3 are mainly fish (all the big fish of the sea that are not breeding), shellfish (mussels, clams, scallops, oysters, shrimp), tofu, almonds and walnuts, as well as some oils plants such as flax seed oil, hazelnut oil and rapeseed oil. For this reason it is recommended to consume fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week to obtain appreciable advantages to your health.

Unlike the market you can find different types of supplements for supplementation but it is good to check the ratio of DHA and EPA. Before tell you a trick that personal trainers use to check the quality of my Omega3 supplements, remember two things: 1) - should not exceed 10 grams per day (thus avoiding the side effects, the O3 are in fact of Vasodilators) 2) - that diets rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower the levels of "bad" cholesterol, while saturated fats (meat and dairy) will increase.

Secret of the personal trainer: good Omega3 put in the refrigerator should not freeze!

Fruits | Benefits of Eating Fruits | More reasons to eat fruit

Benefits of Eating Fruits

Clean fruit, mine of natural vitamins, nutrients and roughage content are ideal to consume at least 4-5 servings per day. Since they are in the natural form, account for most of water and 100% bad cholesterol levels no cost, it's much easier for the body to process and absorb nutritional supplements from fruit.

Circular fruit with lots of roughage content, natural vitamins A, C, E and supplement B folic acidity.

Lengthy wide skinned fruit yellow-colored when fresh. Excellent resource of roughage content, blood potassium, natural vitamins A, E, C, B6, and supplement B supplement b folic acidity. Unripe or natural apples are used in cooking.

Little round fruit with a seed, red or dark-colored when fresh. Cherries must always be time to eat. Cherries contain anthocyanins that decrease pain and dansinflammations.

Taken fresh or dried, figs contain supplement A, C, vitamin b folic acid and niacin. A little lovely fruit full of little seed products.

A wealthy resource of natural vitamins A, C, E, B - complex, calcium mineral, metal and supplement b folic acidity, kiwi is a little square fruit with thin brown epidermis, smooth natural epidermis and dark-colored seed products. The epidermis is full of antioxidising flavonoids.

Calcium or lemon is the most cultivated acidity with natural to C jauneouleur loaded with natural vitamins A, C and supplement b folic acidity. Calcium fruit juice is wonderful for cleansing and has antioxidants.

Circular hot fruit with red epidermis and yellow-colored epidermis with a taste of bitter and lovely Tang contains a rough rock. Always be picked and taken fresh.

A round thick-skinned hot passable fruit that is a reddish-yellow when fresh with the lovely and bitter flavor. Peeled and taken fresh or squeezed to make fruit juice. Vitamin contain C, flavonoids, provides pectin and full of salt when ripened in the sun.

A melons like fruit with yellow-orange epidermis with dozens of little dark-colored seed products enclosed in epidermis that is in shade from natural to red. Circular, pear-shaped or long like a banana. Rich in natural vitamins A, B, C and D, calcium mineral, phosphorus and metal. It is great in digestive qualities and has a direct pick-me-up effect on the stomach.

A hot fruit yellow-colored or natural with a rounded appearance narrow towards the stalk. Best taken at 70 degrees, pear contains blood potassium and riboflavin. It's suitable for the epidermis and contains plenty of roughage content.

A triangular formed red shade fruit. This is one of the richest sources of supplement C and roughage content. It is great in salt and metal. It helps to make teeth whiter. Used to relieve rheumatism.

A type of melons with sleek exterior skin and hot epidermis red interior. Extraordinarily stimulating to drink fruit juice or taken when fresh and fresh. Valuable nutrients, natural vitamins and sugar with a useful quantity of roughage content, and metal.