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When it comes to maximizing your energy levels, carbohydrates are the best "go" food around. Think of carbohydrates as gas in your fuel tank. If you don't provide yourself with carbohydrates throughout the day, you simply won't have the energy to function. Now this would be a shame for new moms who definitely don't have much of an energy reserve and who have one or more little kids relying on them for just about everything.

Potential Diet Killer! Food High In Carbohydrates

Potential Diet Killer!  Food High In CarbohydratesWhen it comes to maximizing your energy levels, carbohydrates are the best "go" food around. Think of carbohydrates as gas in your fuel tank. If you don't provide yourself with carbohydrates throughout the day, you simply won't have the energy to function. Now this would be a shame for new moms who definitely don't have much of an energy reserve and who have one or more little kids relying on them for just about everything.Everything we eat is made up of some combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrate. Simple sugars, like table sugar, starches, like pasta, and fibre, like oat bran, are types of dietary carbohydrates. All carbohydrates deliver four calories per gram. Something to digest: All carbohydrates are not bad! Carbohydrates are vital because they provide the body with the energy it needs to support daily activities-from breathing and digestion to thinking and exercise. Consuming whole grain and high fibre carbohydrates, including fruits, veggies, dried beans, and whole grain cereals, breads and crackers will make you feel satisfied for longer periods of time than foods high in refined sugar and low in fibre (i.e. cakes, cookies, sugary candy, etc.). Foods high in fibre expand in your digestive tract making you feel full. To visualize how fibre can expand, put a piece of whole grain or bran cereal in a bowl with a little water then watch it swell to two to three times its original size. This makes it very clear how fibre can help make us feel fuller.Why do people count carbs? In general, carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly while fat and protein cause blood sugar to rise more slowly. In response to a rise in blood sugar, the body releases insulin, the hormone required to bring blood sugar into cells or fat tissue. If one eats excessive amounts of carbohydrates, the insulin cycle can become imbalanced, resulting in continually raised insulin levels. High insulin levels have been associated with obesity as well as increased risk for heart disease and blood sugar imbalances. Controlled carb diets may promote a gradual rise and fall of insulin and are therefore more satiating. In high protein/controlled carb diets, it is thought that weight loss occurs through consumption of fewer calories resulting from increased satiety. Weight loss also occurs because very low carb intake triggers a condition called ketosis, which forces the body to burn fat stores, but ketosis can be unhealthy if continued for a long period of time.The glycemic index measures how quickly a carbohydrate digests, enters the bloodstream, and raises blood sugar levels. High glycemic index foods, such as refined flours and high sugar beverages, are quickly digested, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. Such effects have been linked to diabetes, overeating, and obesity. Low glycemic index foods, in general, foods high in fibre and protein, contribute to a steadier blood sugar level and have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of diabetes. Many controlled carb diets recommend eating low glycemic index foods, such as beans, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. Keep in mind that the glycemic index of a food may be balanced in the context of a meal where several foods of varying glycemic levels are consumed.Remember, many theories exist about what constitutes a "perfect" diet. We believe a good foundation for any diet consists of a mix of fresh, minimally processed foods from all food groups, including: lean proteins; fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grain-based breads, cereals, and pastas; and heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and avocado. And, just as important, a good diet contains delicious foods you enjoy and is one that you can maintain as an ongoing lifestyle choice

The Dangers Of Fad Dieting

The Dangers Of Fad Dieting

Almost everywhere you turn, fad diets are appearing. They often deliver results, but at what cost? Is there a healthier but still effective option?Youre joining your friend for lunch. She looks great. Shes shed the extra twenty pounds that shes been carrying since college, and shes dressed in a slinky black outfit that makes you a bit envious. When you question her about it, she tells you shes been on the Atkins diet. She proceeds to recount how she ate a pile of bacon for breakfast, and some pork rinds for a midmorning snack, and you feel your eyes widen in shock when she orders a double cheeseburger off the menu. Is this really a smart diet?Are you really going to eat that? You stare in awe at the size of the two monster hamburger patties. She quickly peels the bread off her burger, discarding it on the side of her plate.Sure, She quips. I can eat all the meat I want, cooked anyway I want.With all the fad diets circling around, its important to evaluate a diet before signing on. Is it really a "smart diet" ? Sure, your friend looks amazing, but can it really be healthy to eat a pound of bacon and greasy burger meat every day? It doesnt sound like a smart diet. The fact is that your body needs carbohydrates for energy, and people on the Atkins diet have reported fatigue and even experienced high blood pressure.The same is true of low fat diets. While you may drop weight fairly easily by limiting your fat grams, its not really a smart diet. Your body actually needs some fats. These fat-free foods are often loaded with extra sugar to make them taste better.There are literally too many current fad diets to list. Most of them include loading up on a particular type of food while depriving yourself of other foods. In the case of diets like Atkins diet, you are not allowed to eat carbohydrates. What you arent being told is that this is not a smart diet. Not only does your body need carbohydrates, it also shifts into carbohydrate starvation mode when you finally splurge on one, storing it as fat. Your body doesnt know when it will get this type of fuel again.Most physicians will tell you that a smart diet consists of a variety of different food groups. This means incorporating every group (even carbohydrates) in moderation.The bottom line is that to lose weight, you simply have to cut calories. Although most people acknowledge this would be a smart diet, they often crave the immediate results that some not-so-smart diets offer.Perhaps youve tried smart dieting. Youve selected the proper foods, youve even developed an exercise plan, but youre miserable. The weight isnt coming off all that quickly, and quite frankly, youre just starving. Thats the reason you binged on the pizza from Dominos last night, and its probably the reason you thought you deserved that extra helping of mashed potatoes. If only you could stick to a "smart dieting" without feeling deprived.The good news is that you can. Im not talking about diet pills because youre probably smart enough to know the dangers of those products. Im talking about a vegetable an all natural cactus-style plant literally changing the way people look at dieting. If you missed the specials on the Today show and 60 Minutes, let me fill you in. Hoodia Gordonii is a plant from the South African desert. Bushmen used it for centuries to ward off hunger. It tricks your body into thinking that youve eaten, limiting your consumption by up to 2000 calories a day.Remember that a smart dieting is one that limits calories, not one that tells you to avoid certain food groups entirely. With Hoodia Gordonii, you will have the extra willpower you need to commit to a smart dieting. Its easy when youre not hungry. Best of all, this isnt a drug. Its a vegetable, so its healthy and safe. Say goodbye to fad diets and give something smart a try.

New U.S. Guidelines: More Veggies, Fish, Whole Grains

New U.S. Guidelines: More Veggies, Fish, Whole Grains

The curtain is rising on the new U.S. dietary guidelines and it looks like fresh produce, fish and whole grains are going to be center stage.If the rest of the recommendations follow such a promising preview, the new guidelines will be a step toward combating obesity and related ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Data from the National Weight Control Registry, which maintains records on more than 4,000 individuals who have had success keeping off a minimum of 30 pounds for more than a year, suggests that the winning strategy for long-term weight loss is a low-fat, complex-carbohydrate diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Moreover, decades of research on the diverse benefits of the vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals found in such foods led to the National Cancer Institute's approval of the dietary guidance: "Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases." Based on such evidence, the committee is expected to increase its recommendation of five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables to thirteen servings. This may seem daunting to Americans used to gargantuan servings of unhealthy fast food, until one realizes just how relatively modest an actual serving size turns out to be: a half cup of spinach, two apricots, a sliver of avocado, a carrot, 3/4 cup of pineapple.Importantly, while the new guidelines tell us to increase consumption of certain foods - fish, produce and whole grains among them - they are also expected to advise cutting back on others. In particular, Americans will be urged to minimize consumption of saturated and trans fats, added sugars and salt.Who will be the winners and losers when the anticipated guidelines get handed down? Manufacturers of refined carbohydrate products - white breads, cookies, sugary cereals - won't be happy. Neither will low-carb product makers, given the panel's debunking of the glycemic index as an effective weight-loss tool. But the decision should buoy produce farmers, fisheries, and those who sell fruits and vegetables.Said David H. Murdock, chairman and owner of Dole Food Company, the largest producer and marketer of fruits and vegetables, who himself follows a fish-vegetarian diet: "I'm glad the federal government has finally caught up to what I've been preaching for years: Stick to a natural diet of whole foods like fruits and vegetables, and nature will reward you with a long lifetime of good health."Jennifer Grossman is the director of the Dole Nutrition Institute. - NU

Fingernails: common problems and care

Fingernails: common problems and care

Nails have no colour and are transparent. Because of the abundance of blood vessels under the skin, nails appear pink when healthy. The tissue of the nail is called the matrix and the white half-moon (lunula) is at the top of this. Below the matrix is the nail bed, where the nail attaches to the finger. The cuticle, which is the skin that grows over the "nail bed" , grows towards the tip of the nail and forms a watertight seal protecting the matrix. The cuticle should never be cut away as this increases the chance of getting a nail infection. Massaging your cuticles with oils, which include primrose, camellia or almond, can soften the skin, which helps when pushing back the cuticle when manicuring your nails. Rosehip oil is another good oil that can be used, this oil contains prostaglandin, which strengthens the nail cells and increases circulation it can also stimulate growth. The fatty acids it contains will replenish moisture and the vitamin C content helps to fend off germs. Nail ProblemsBrittle, discoloured nails, or nails with lines may be symptoms of changes within the body. Thyroid, kidney or problems with circulation could be the cause of brittle nails; even the fact that there is not enough Vitamin A, omega-3 "fatty acids" or calcium in your diet may also be a contributing factor.Vertical lines may be caused by a shortage of iron, while lines that are horizontal indicate stress levels are raised. Also, both of these symptoms may indicate none or little absorption of nutrients. Tell-tale signs of fasting/poor diet are white spots on the nail. Introducing a zinc supplement to your diet may help to restore this to a normal level. Nails, which peel, crack or chip easily, may be caused by lack of minerals being absorbed - a mineral supplement may help with this. Common Nail Problems and Possible Causes- Spoon-shaped nails (lack of iron in the diet)- Square, wide nails (hormonal imbalances)- Very thick nails (the onset of vascular degeneration or thyroid conditions)- End of nail curves down (lack of vitamin B12)Looking After Your NailsTo ensure healthy nails, a diet should include plenty of fruit and vegetables to make sure that vitamins and minerals are absorbed properly. Silica is essential for the formation of healthy and strong nails a silica supplement in the diet would be most beneficial.

Goji Berries: Mother Nature's Vine-Grown Vitamins

For centuries on end, herbalists in Tibet and Mongolia have recommended small red berries called Goji as a remedy for those suffering from a variety of problems. In fact, the people of Tibet and Mongolia hold a two-week annual festival in honor of the goji berry. Many of them have nicknamed the goji berry happy berry because in common folklore to eat goji in the morning will lead to smiles all day.But respect for the goji berry isnt confined to the foothills of Tibet and Mongolia. The goji berry has been used for hundreds of years as a tonic in Chinese medicine. During the Tang dynasty (A.D. 772-842), poet Liu Yuxi wrote a poem celebrating the nourishment of body and spirit brought about by the goji berry. Without a doubt, the people of this region of the world love the goji berry. But the goji berrys introduction to the Western world is still fairly recent, so the berry remains a relatively unknown fruit for a large fraction of the worlds population. So what is a goji berry? And why is it so loved?What is a goji berry?The term goji berry technically refers to the Tibetan goji berry, also known as Lycium Barbarum (its Latin name). It is a member of a family of flowering plants known as the Solanaceae, a plant family which also includes within its ranks potatoes, tobacco, and tomatoes. Roughly eighty different varieties of lycium berry exist, including the Chinese Wolfberry (often touted by Chinese healers as a cure for male sexual dysfunction). However, the Chinese Wolfberry is only considered a genetic cousin of Lycium Barbarum and not a true goji berry.Goji berries grow on small green-leafed vines that yield a bright red fruit with a shape most resembling a raisin. The berries are extremely delicate, and during harvest, they are shaken from the vine rather than being picked. To avoid spoiling, they are slowly dried in the shade. The texture of a goji berry is very chewy, and its taste is often described as a cross between a raisin and a cranberry. Several additional names are used to describe the goji berry, such as happy berry, gouqi, and gou qi zi.What makes the goji berry so potent?Goji berries are believed to be a rich source of vitamins and nutrients with each goji berry purported to contain 18 different amino acids and vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E. It is believed that goji berries contain more beta carotene than is found in carrots of equal size. And the goji berry is touted as one of the richest sources of vitamin C in the world, trailing only the Australian billygoat plum and the South American camu camu. Goji berries are also believed to contain zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and germanium in varying quantities. As a rich source of many of the vitamins and minerals essential to nutrition, "goji berries" are filled with antioxidants.The unique properties endemic to the Tibetan goji berry make it one of the more fascinating fruits on Earth. As consumption of the goji berry grows in popularity in other parts of the world, our knowledge of the plant itself is certain to increase. Until then, do yourself a favor and enjoy a delicious goji berry!

Dining Psychology: Understanding How And Why You Eat Or Overeat

We've all heard the expression that our eyes are bigger than our stomach, but for many that's still no reason to STOP indulging or enjoying their probably way too generous portions. But, experts assert that staying healthy as well as physically fit means listening to your body, eating when you're hungry and, YES, stopping when your are not. And they offer basic tips for calling it quits.1. Control Yourself And Your Hunger "Pains": Experts asserts that many hunger pains are merely a bodily request for water (or some exercise). But, how will you know which ones are legitimate and which are not. Well, if you drink water, coffee, teas, or get up and walk around but the pains are still there, chances are your body needs food. But, if they are NOT stop yourself from giving into your weakness and your cravings.2. Keep An Eye On Your Plate: Take time out to eat so you can literally concentrate and focus on what you are doing. Multitasking can make you lose site of what you are munching on, or how much, and you could wind up eating more than you normally would or want to.3. Tune Into Your Own Body Language: A balanced diet means mostly veggies with a small portion of lean protein and a starch that will normally satisfy you after one serving. So, if you are craving seconds, consider firstly how MUCH of everything you actually ate during "round 1", what is consisted of, and give your body enough time to resister the intake. Experts suggest waiting about 20 minutes before filling up againnoting that most times you probably won't still be hungry. If you are, you can always go back for more.4. Don't Confuse Apples And Oranges: Experts assert that it's easy to interchange physical hunger and fullness for emotional hunger and fullness, and they stress the importance of refraining from emotional eating (or rather overeating). They recommend keeping a food journal and noting your triggers and addressing some "WHY" questions when you realize you let your emotions get the best of you.

Summary

When it comes to maximizing your energy levels, carbohydrates are the best "go" food around. Think of carbohydrates as gas in your fuel tank. If you don't provide yourself with carbohydrates throughout the day, you simply won't have the energy to function. Now this would be a shame for new moms who definitely don't have much of an energy reserve and who have one or more little kids relying on them for just about everything.