Obesity is one of the most talked about health issues today. Since 1980, overweight rates have doubled among adults and children and tripled among adolescents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Regular exercise and good nutrition are at the heart of staying healthy, reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. But eating right can be a challenge in today's fast-paced world. With a bit of creativity and professional-style equipment, preparing healthy, delicious food is faster and easier than it may seem. Here are tips for using blenders in the Vita-Mix Professional Series to easily create flavorful, nutritious meals and snacks:* Fresh fruits are an essential part of a healthy diet, and they're easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Make a fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast instead of a sweet roll, or try a smoothie for an evening snack instead of ice cream, cookies or chips.* Soup made with fresh ingredients can make a light but satisfying entre. Using a commercial-grade blender, you can create a variety of recipes in minutes - from a heart-healthy tomato soup to a delicious squash soup - and add more vegetables to your diet. * The USDA food pyramid recommends 5 to 8 ounces of grains per day, with an emphasis on whole grains. The Vita-Mix Professional Series cracks whole grains into flour for creating delicious cereals, pancakes and healthy homemade breads. * With childhood obesity a growing concern, parents can prepare baby food at home using fresh, flavorful and healthy ingredients. When you make it yourself, you know exactly what is in it.* Offer fresh and healthy appetizer options at a party. Salsa or red pepper hummus on summer squash rounds are tasty ways to celebrate any occasion.
I have been a registered dietitian long enough to see nuts go up and down the nutrition roller coaster. When I was a kid, I ate a lot of nuts, especially when they were left over after my folks' bridge parties! Then low-fat diets came in and nuts went out because they are high in fat. Today, nuts are in again, and nut lovers like me are thrilled!The Dietary Guidelines for Americans put nuts in the same food group as meat because, like meats, they contain protein. But unlike meats, nuts also supply fiber, a nutrient that is essential for a healthy digestive tract. They are a top source of vitamin E, a vitamin that helps protect cells throughout the body from everyday damage. Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that is recommended in the Dietary Guidelines. "Emerging research shows that nuts can boost health in several ways," says Liz Ward, R.D., a nutrition consultant and author of "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids." "Eating almonds, for example, may help lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in people with high blood cholesterol and in people with normal cholesterol." Scientific evidence suggests that nut eaters may also have a lower risk of developing heart disease.Ms. Ward points out that many consumers are surprised when they discover nuts can be part of a weight-maintenance plan. "Dieters usually avoid nuts because they are concentrated in fat and calories. It's possible that because nuts are satisfying, people who eat them may find they automatically cut back on other foods." How can you eat nuts without overdoing it? Practice portion control. Limit nuts to about one ounce-24 almonds, 18 cashews, 49 pistachios or 14 walnut halves -three or four times per week. Once you've taken your portion, put the jar or bag away! (Keep nuts fresh by storing in the freezer or refrigerator.)Ask MindyQ: Do peanuts have the same health benefits as other nuts?A: Even though peanuts actually are a legume, their nutrition profile is similar to that of tree nuts. Peanuts contain monounsaturated fat, protein, fiber and important vitamins and minerals. Studies show that peanuts can be enjoyed as part of a heart-healthy and weight-loss diet.
Perhaps you've already heard of hoodia, the unsightly and unpleasant tasting cactus-like plant which grows in the Kalahari Desert. In recent months, hoodia has received an overwhelming amount of attention from the media for it's ability to suppress hunger with no discernable negative side effects. But how exactly does this plant fool our brains into thinking we are full?Hoodia contains, among other things, steroidal glycosides. These glycosides, when consumed, act on the hypothalamus of the human brain in much the same way that an increase in the amount of sugar in the bloodstream would. When the hypothalamus believes that blood sugar is high, it sends out a signal to the body that no more sustenance is required. Effectively, one of the components of hoodia's biological make-up tricks our brains into thinking we have already consumed enough caloric intake, which consequently suppresses our hunger.Several studies have been performed on both animals and humans which have shown conclusive results that hoodia is effective in facilitating weight loss. The only known side effect of hoodia is a feeling of overall well-being which accompanies appetite suppression. While the majority of the human studies performed on hoodia have involved participants who suffer from obesity, animal studies indicate that hoodia may be just as effective in helping those who are in reasonably good health but would like to lose a small amount of weight.Unlike ephedra and caffeine based stimulants, hoodia demonstrates no cardiovascular side effects such as thermal or nervous system acceleration or increased blood pressure. While the medical community continues to study what many are calling the greatest weapon in the fight against obesity, several manufacturers have made hoodia available to the public in pill or patch form. Perhaps the magic pill that science has been searching for decades has been with us all along, slowly growing in the Kalahari Desert.
Trans fats, or Trans Fatty Acids, are a vegetable-based fat that is made when vegetable oils are hardened for use in shortening or margarine. Trans fats are found in baked and fried foods, such as cookies, fried fish or chicken and donuts, which are prepared using the hardened vegetable oil.The problem with eating Trans fats is that it contributes to clogging of the arteries, increases the presence of low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the "bad" cholesterol, reduces the presence of high density lipoprotein (HDL), "good" cholesterol and also contributes to other serious health conditions including heart disease and Type II diabetes.Food manufacturers use Trans fats instead of healthier oils because it is less expensive, imparts a better flavor, and increases the shelf life of the products that contain them.Up until recently, food manufacturers were not required to list Trans fats on the product labels. As a result, consumers did not know how much of the Trans fats the products contained so they were not able to make healthy decisions.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently enacted a rule which requires food manufacturers to list the presence of Trans fats on the nutrition labels. Although the FDA did not set any limits as to the percentage of Trans fats that are allowed to be present, they did say that it should be as low as possible. These labels first started appearing in 2006.Experts believe that there are nearly 50,000 products on the market that contain Trans fatty acids. While the term Trans fats might not specifically appear on the nutrition label, you will see terms such as shortening and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. The closer to the top of the nutrition label these Trans fats appear, the higher the percentage that are present.Sometimes in an effort to eat healthier, we end up digesting Trans fat without realizing it. Stick margarine is a good example. Many people switch to margarine to reduce the quantities of real butter that they consume. Stick margarine, however, is as close to 100% Trans fat as youll find in a food product. The end result is that we think we are doing our body a favor by eating healthy when, in truth, we are treating it worse than if we continued eating butter.Consumer health groups have begun to pressure food manufacturers to remove Trans fats from their products altogether. Some have gone so far as to file law suits demanding that a particular product be removed from the shelves unless Trans fats are eliminated from the ingredients.As awareness levels rise, you can expect to see Trans fats all but disappear from the list of ingredients in any product where the manufacturer wants to avoid the potential legal problems and negative publicity of cooking with Trans fats. Food giants Kraft and Frito Lay, major users of Trans fats, have already publicly committed to reducing the level of Trans fats in their products.
With the amount of information that exists about good nutrition, you would think it was a big mystery. The truth of the matter is, there is no mystery involved in getting the proper nutrients that your body needs. Why should you care about getting the proper nutrients? Many people are under the misconception that eating healthy is for the young because they are growing. Tissue and cells are constantly being renewed in both children and adults. The failure for these elements to repair themselves can result in diseases of lifelong misery or worse, death. To lower your risk of developing a disease, you simply need to follow three simple steps of good nutrition. Proper HydrationPlain and simple, your body needs water. Being properly hydrated will benefit you from head to toe. Water keeps your cells hydrated and flowing throughout your body. It doesn't take long to witness the benefits of drinking sufficient water. Just a week of being hydrated and your skin will have a new glow. If you need to lose weight, water can help you achieve your goal. In many instances, people misinterpret thirst for hunger. Unless it's been a few hours since you have eaten, have a glass of water the next time you have hunger panes.There are numerous guidelines for how much water to drink. Consuming eight glasses of water each day is the most popular guideline. People have different needs. A better indication of how hydrated you are is your urine. When you are properly hydrated your urine is almost clear. There is the possibility of water intoxication so you don't want your urine to be completely colorless.Eating HealthyIn addition to being hydrated, you need to eat a variety of foods. Forget fad diets that restrict certain foods. The key to healthy eating is to eat in moderation and variety. Your food choices should include a large percentage from complex carbohydrates, which is sufficient for energy. You should also consume several servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy every day. You should limit your servings of protein and fats to two or three servings each day. By including all of these food groups in your diet, you are less likely to be hungry or have cravings for sweets and other non-nutritional foods.Vitamin SupplementationAs long as you live in a country where food is plentiful and produced safely, you should have no problem obtaining the amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs. However, food allergies, dislikes, and illness may prevent you from eating certain foods. Some people, for example, are lactose intolerant and cannot consume dairy products. In these instances, supplementation should become a part of a plan for healthy nutrition. You don't need a prescription to purchase vitamins, but it is a good idea to discuss your particular needs with your medical doctor. Consuming excessive amounts of some vitamins can cause toxicity and unpleasant side effects.To check out the supplement we take daily and highly recommend, be sure to check out http://www.nutritional-supplement-guides.com/what-we-use.html