Monday, May 20, 2019

Healthy Diet Daily


Whole grains come in all shapes, sizes, tastes and textures. With a myriad of B vitamins, fiber, iron, plant-based protein and minerals, each tiny grain delivers a nutritional punch. A whole grain has its natural bran, which holds a good portion of its nutritional value.
The complex carbohydrates present in whole grains digest more slowly than refined versions, keeping blood sugar levels (and cravings) regulated for sustained energy. They've also been shown to reduce LDL ("bad" cholesterol), help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, as well as lower heart disease and diabetes risk. With whole grains, you've got many options not only in variety, but versatility in the kitchen, too.
From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, there's a grain out there for every time constraint, cooking level and craving. Here are the 4 most nutritious whole grains with tasty ways to add them to your daily diet. Its tiny, bead-like appearance makes it a whole grain alternative to refined white pasta, can be ground in your blender to make gluten-free flour for baked goods, and can be turned into a creamy grain main like this Millet, Lemon and Kale "Risotto."
Bran rolled, steel-cut and whole grouts are all the same grain presented in different ways. They're high in soluble fiber, helping to lower cholesterol, improve digestion, help manage a healthy weight, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and more.
An everyday pantry staple that makes not only a fantastic warm breakfast cereal with rolled oats, but also risotto with steel-cut or pilaf with whole grouts.
They're also star players in desserts, like this healthier recipe for Honey Oat Roasted Pears.
Not often thought of as a whole grain, corn's bad-boy health persona should be limited to the refined versions of itself (i.e. high-fructose corn syrup).
Its standout nutritional features are lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help eyesight. As a whole food, corn is a unique grain in that it's eaten fresh from the cob, as well as dried in the form of cornmeal and flour.
For an elegant and healthy vegetarian entree with corn, try this Veggie Ragu on Blue Cheese Polenta.
Brown Rice
Whole grain brown rice is a low-allergen; gluten-free whole grain high in B vitamins, selenium, fiber and slow-digesting carbohydrates. Many varieties of white rice can be readily found in whole grain brown rice such as basmati, short grain and long grain.
Combined with a legume or bean, brown rice turns into a complete plant-based protein, as showcased in this recipe for Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls.
Black Rice
Inky-black with a slightly sweet, grapey taste, this dark-colored whole grain is one of the highest sources of antioxidants in any food, even more so than most fruits and vegetables.
It's excellent as a side dish, used as a bed for curries or made into a healthy dessert like this Black Rice Pudding with Mango, Lime, Passion Fruit and Coconut.

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Can Carbs Actually Be Good For You?

By    Expert Author Joan Kent

Okay, let's start by clarifying which foods we mean when we say "carbs." After all, vegetables are carbs, and so are fruits. Yet few people consider them carbs. In any case, they are, but the ones I'm talking about in this article are starches.
Starches include quinoa, lentils, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, yams, rice, squash, beans, pumpkin, and such. They also include bread, pasta and cereals, but those aren't as healthful, so we'll focus on the first list above.
As you probably know, everyone seems to be avoiding starches (or in common parlance, "carbs") lately. Everyone's reading about avoiding carbs. Everyone is recommending that we avoid them, too. Everyone has lots of reasons to avoid them.
So why am I recommending the opposite? Why should you eat starches? When might starches actually be good for you?
They Help Defeat Sugar Cravings - That's Good!
Eating the right kinds of starches -- such as those in the first list above -- in controlled quantities within a meal or snack throughout the day can help prevent sugar cravings.
The reverse is also true. Avoiding starches may lead to cravings for sugary foods or even for wine or other alcohol.
Best Practice
Combine the starches with protein, vegetables and healthful fats - both at meals and even for snacks - and you can reduce the likelihood, and the severity, of sugar cravings. You may even stop the cravings altogether.
My research and clinical practice show this works and makes starches good for us - and worth eating.
If you'd like more help with sugar cravings, perfect! That's what I do. Please grab your free copy of "3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Quit Sugar" when you visit

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Healthy Late Night Snacks That Help You Sleep

By    Expert Author Mandita Narayan

Whether you are an adult trying to figure out budgeting and how to fix the leaking faucet or a college student who has 2 tests and 3 submissions due in a couple of hours or a mom who is trying to keep it together without going crazy, we all need one thing to stay sane. What is it you ask? A good night's sleep. Preferably 8 hours, uninterrupted. If you are a mom, maybe try in 18 years.
Life of every age group (except preschoolers) in this day and age is stressful. Every individual is overworked and over-scheduled, trying to meet this deadline and get to that class. Despite our days planned and packed down to the minute, a lot of folks have a lot of trouble getting decent shut-eye. Some people may have a different kind of sleep related issue. They do not have any problems falling asleep, but more so staying asleep. Who these people are is beyond me, I honestly try to catch some snooze on my way to the dentist and my dentist is a 6-minute car ride away!
Nonetheless, nature seems to have a solution for every problem and sometimes never the other way around. But we are trying to keep the good vibes going so let's focus on the first one. So, before you find yourself in a doctor's office getting a prescription for Valium or a little friend known as 'sleeping pills', make sure you give naturally occurring things a try. Other than an over dependence on drugs and pills, it will also save you a few bucks, which can shamelessly be spent on a sugar overdose.
Nature has sleeping pills of its own and they work better than most drugs. You just have to find one that is best suited to your problems. Check out these healthy late-night snacks...
If you are from the group that has trouble staying asleep, then you should go for almonds. The issue of not being able to stay asleep may be due to a lack of magnesium and almonds are rich in this stuff! Also, almonds do wonders for your bones.
You remember how your mom used to push that warm glass of milk before bedtime when we were kids? Turns out milk isn't the only dairy product that can help you get a good night's rest. Cheese can do just the same- without the milk after taste! And not just cheese, break out the yoghurt too.
Do you like to get your greens in? Then that salad for dinner can go a long way than just keeping you in good shape. Lettuce has sleep-inducing characteristics. So, if you skipped lettuce in your salad for dinner, then you can always brew a tea. It's pretty simple and effective; boil a few large lettuce leaves in a cup of water for 15 minutes and add a couple of sprigs of mint. Drink this before bed and you shall sleep like a baby. This phrase has never quite hit home with me, mainly because, I can't get my baby to sleep... like a baby.
If you have an 8 hour window to catch some shut-eye and want to reduce the time it takes to actually fall asleep, then reach for that bag of pretzels. Yes, you read that right- PRETZELS! An increase in blood sugar and insulin levels cuts down the time it takes to actually fall asleep. Whether you can switch that up with a bucket of chocolate chip ice cream? Yeah, that might be pushing it.
Fish like tuna, halibut and salmon are rich in the vitamin B6 and this is the magical nutrient that helps make sleep inducing hormones, melatonin and serotonin so that you can sleep like a... Koala (Koalas sleep 22 hours a day!)
Chamomile Tea
Living up to clich├ęs, chamomile tea is known widely to have sleep-inducing properties. It also acts as a mild sedative and may help numb the pain from the daily grind. On a serious note, this tea has made it across the centuries, so it's worth a try, no? If you want to take your chances up a notch, then try adding a spoonful of honey. The sugar from the honey increases insulin levels, making it easier to dose off.
Love breakfast for dinner? Now you have a reason with solid scientific back up to indulge in a bowl of cereal every night. Carbs from the cereal and calcium from the milk are two great sources that can help you score some zzz's.
Have a knack for mid-Eastern cuisine? Me too. Here's another reason to not stop snacking on Hummus (the best dip ever?). Chickpeas are rich in tryptophan which make it easier to get some sleep and stay asleep. The one advantage of trying this even if it doesn't work is that although you may not fall asleep, you get to eat lots of hummus.
Sleep is one of the best things on the planet that rejuvenate our bodies and comes for free. Don't take it for granted. If you have spare time, stop scrolling on social media and go take a nap!
Mandita has been a sufferer of sleep apnea for many years, which caused her excessive loud snoring. As this is a sleeping disorder that is not widely spoken about, she found it hard to locate information to help her understand the causes and symptoms of the syndrome, and also the treatments available.
She created - a site designed to help suffers of Snoring and various types of sleeping disorders. The site has information on all aspects of sleep heath and hygiene to help everyone get a better nights sleep.

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Healthy Eating - Exercises to Help Establish Your Mindful Eating Technique

By    Expert Author Beverleigh H Piepers

Mindful eating requires practice just like anything else. If you have never used mindful eating during meal time, now is a great time to start. By teaching yourself how to connect with your emotions you are creating a healthier, more aware eater. Associating with your feelings will make you less likely to eat for the wrong reasons. When we do not put any thought into our food, we often overeat because we are distracted or emotional and need comfort. These situations are just a few examples of how being aware of what you eat can increase your spiritual connection with yourself while decreasing your risk for serious chronic diseases, such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
To practice your mindful eating technique, try the following exercise...
1. Choose a small piece of food, such as almond, a slice of fruit, or a portion of chocolate.
2. Examine your food. Notice the color, shape, and texture. Is your food fresh? How does it compare to other foods just like it? Be sure to take in what you are about to eat with all of your senses.
3. Smell the food and think about how the fragrance makes you feel. Maybe it reminds you of a particular memory or the last time you ate this specific food.
4. Taste the food. Put it on your tongue but do not take a bite just yet. Notice the response of your salivary glands.
5. Take a bite of the food but do not consume the whole amount. Notice the taste and how the texture feels on your tongue.
6. Chew the food. This is an essential step because most of the time we do not chew our food long enough. While eating, think about how the food taste, what sound it makes while you chew, and how the taste changes.
7. When ready to swallow the food, take time to notice the feeling you get when the food travels down your throat to your stomach.
8. Say the name of the food out loud. Acknowledge the food and appreciate it. Think about where it came from and how it got to you. Think about the ingredients in the food and the effort put into either making it or growing it. Say a few words out loud about how the food made you feel. Notice any emotions that coincide with the food you just ate and think about how these emotions may affect your eating of this food in the future.
Finally, practice taking one mindful eating bite of your food at each meal. Dedicate one bite per meal to the steps taken in this exercise. Gradually increase this process, and soon you will be eating full meals mindfully.
Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.
For nearly 25 years Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body. Go to to learn about some of those secrets.
The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

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12 Local Foods That Amazingly Boost Metabolism

By    Expert Author Esbon Mwema

Metabolism is the chemical processes in the body that involves the break down of food substances into useful nutrients for the build up and repair of body cells and organs and their proper functioning. Apart from water which is known universally to be one of the essential components for excellent body functions, there are other foods good for boosting your metabolism.
1. Legumes
Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils contain proteins which takes longer to digest hence increasing the rate of metabolism. They are rich in fiber too, which helps in efficient digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body.
2. Nuts
Nuts are suitable antioxidants and thus help in bringing down sugar and fat levels in the body. They are rich in energy which keeps the body fueled up without eating much, and this leads to weight loss.
3. Berries
These are good in bringing down the much-loathed belly fat by burning huge calories and at the same time maintaining high energy levels. Berries are also known to be useful in fighting diabetes.
4. Citrus
Anybody can attest to the fact that fruits and especially citrus ones are fantastic for losing excessive weight. They are useful in digestion too and boosts the body metabolism to great lengths.
5. Seafood
Fish is very rich in omega-3 which is essential in the body for increasing metabolism and burning calories which is a suitable weight management mechanism.
6. Spinach
Spinach is one green vegetable known for its richness in iron which in turn boosts the amount of oxygen intake to body tissues through the blood.
7. Avocado
Avocado is rich in omega-3 and contains essential fats that increase the rate of metabolism in the body and keeping the body weight in check by lowering excessive sugars.
8. Spices
Although spices are not everyone's darling, there are very good for burning calories and also aids in digestion thus boosting metabolism.
9. Chocolate
Chocolate is good in adding up energy levels and lowering the intake of unnecessary fats and sugars. It helps to reduce the body weight and increase metabolism.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil unbelievably helps to lower unnecessary fats because it contains fatty acids which limit the accumulation of lipids and boosting the rate of metabolism in the body.
11. Vegetable Soup
Among the numerous benefits of veggie soup is the ability to aid the body in digestion and uptake of nutrients and boosting metabolism.
12. Green Tea
Green tea is useful in breaking down the excess glucose stored up in the body. It lowers calories and boosts metabolism too.
High metabolism is vital for everyone at every stage of life for a proper and perfect body functioning.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Healthy Eating - Which Foods Are Highest In Antioxidants?

by   Expert Author Beverleigh H Piepers

If you have been paying attention to health and nutrition, you likely know by now it is vital you take in a good dose of antioxidants every day. You encounter...
  • free radicals from your environment,
  • from the foods you eat, and even
  • from the stress you experience on a day-to-day basis.
All of this adds up and can do a number on your overall health. Fortunately, by eating foods rich in antioxidants, you can help avoid some of this damage. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals before they cause significant problems with your health.
So which foods are best? Which foods will help you say goodbye to harm's way? Let us look at the top picks to consider...
1. Dark Chocolate. That's right! Chocolate lovers rejoice! Eating dark chocolate can be a delicious treat as far as your health is concerned. Dark chocolate is lower in sugar than regular milk chocolate, and while it does contain some fat, it is coming from a healthier source.
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants to help...
  • combat disease,
  • reduce your cholesterol levels, and help
  • boost brain health.
So, sink your teeth into a piece. But be sure to limit yourself to one or two squares only: this will help keep your calorie intake in check.
2. Pecans. Another food often overlooked, are pecans. They are an excellent source of antioxidants you might want to consider adding to your list of healthy foods. Rich in healthy fats, pecans are ideal for helping to stabilize blood sugar levels as well.
You will get a little protein and carbs from pecans, plus a reasonable amount of fiber. That makes it an excellent choice for people with Type 2 diabetes who are struggling with their blood sugar.
3. Artichokes. When you choose the vegetables to eat with your meal, chances are good you are opting for varieties like broccoli, carrots, or corn. While these are all nutritious choices, artichokes are better.
Artichokes are one of the foods highest in total antioxidant levels, so are great for combating disease. Artichokes are also loaded with dietary fiber and are a relatively low-calorie food.
4. Cranberries. A delicious fruit well-known for fighting urinary tract infections, cranberries are a must-have in every diet.
Eat them fresh though for best results. Cranberry sauce contains far too much-added sugar, so will not be an ideal option if health is your top concern.
Keep these delicious foods in mind and consider adding them to your diet today. They will all help you take your health up a notch.
Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. By making easy changes to your daily routine, its possible to protect your heart, kidneys, eyes and limbs from the damage often caused by diabetes, and eliminate some of the complications you may already experience.
For nearly 25 years, Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body. Go to to learn about some of those secrets.
The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

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Plant Based Meal Plans for Beginners - Are They Healthy for You?

By    Expert Author Jim Rosenau

When I was researching how to lower my very high blood pressure, I discovered plant-based meal plans for beginners and I wondered are they healthy for you? It really wasn't a diet as in terms of someone selling a plan, it was simply incorporating plant-based foods into my life. I also read that meat and dairy products are very bad for you. Now some people will jump all over this and say you need meat to get your protein. I will get into that a few paragraphs down the article.
First of all why the withdraws? To simply put this, you have lived you're whole life eating meat. Your body has never experienced not having the animal fat that it had processed all this time. Same with dairy. Imagine this, from a young age you're eating dairy with your cereal. Your body grew accustom to storing that animal fat to burn at a later time. Being young most have so much energy that you're body actually burns most of it. What happens when we start getting older. You got it, we store it and don't get it burnt off.
Your body is like a machine, as it works through time, it develops the markings of time. I hope I made that make sense. It's like forensics when a gun has been fired off, it leaves the markings of the activity. So if your body has been accustomed to storing this animal product, that is want it knows to do.
When you make the change to a plant-based diet, you're body say's "wait a minute, I don't know how to work this, I have nothing to store". At first, you will feel great because you're burning everything eat, but I noticed after a few days, my body started craving the storing of animal fat. That is the reason for withdraw symptoms.
As I worked through withdraws of no animal by products, I had to keep focused because the world will not let you forget that it wants you to continue eating those products. You can see that on TV all day long. So I had to work on it. Something started to change. I started losing weight, I started feeling way more energy. I didn't feel tired anymore after I ate food. Matter of fact I felt amazing. You truly never know how bad you feel until you start feeling good. The withdraws subsided quickly once my body adjusted to actually burning what I was eating and not in storing mode.
One thing I was trying to figure out was my daily meals. I needed help. I looked into vegan prepared meals. I thought they would be like anything else, too much processed products. They were not. They actually have less sodium and very little oil. I actually had room to flavor them to my liking.
No, and I am a living testament to this. Now I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, I can't give you advice for your health. You need to see your doctor to make the best plan for you. I am only telling you my opinion. I have talked about protein in a recent article and actually broke down some of the best protein options. You can check that out by clicking here. Truth is living a high protein diet can actually cause more harm to your body. The protein really isn't the problem, it's the bad fat that comes with it.
Disease is possibly a by-product of this type of high animal protein diet. Just look in the world today. The countries that eat more of a plant-based diet have much less disease. Just look at the United States, one of the leading countries in obesity. One of the highest countries with type 2 diabetes.
You can get more of your daily protein just by doing a plant based diet. Plus you don't have the fat that stores on your body and so hard to work off. To me this makes sense. Oh did I also mention, my blood pressure is back to normal levels, I have lost 80 pounds and still going. Why wouldn't I do this?
Plant based meal plans for beginners are they healthy for you? Finding the right meal plan for you would be a great idea. Our busy schedules do not allow for us to every single day prepare and cook a meal. Especially with children. These meals are quick, easy and are strictly plant-based. Great for the kids after school as well. I would always use the meal plans to keep on track. I still cook my regular meals as well.
Why wouldn't you try to use these plans for controlling you're vegan diet and you're meat and dairy cravings. They don't have the animal by products, which means the fat intake is very low and they also have plans for weight loss as well. If you're a beginner, I would use these all day long until you have mastered you're plant based lifestyle. Please remember these are purely my thoughts and opinions and by no means backed by a doctor.
I would love to hear you're comments and have a full discussion on this topic or any other plant based topic. Please give me some comments. Have a great and healthy day!
Please feel free to check out my website for great reviews and great information

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Nutrition and How to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

By   Expert Author Bryan M

Nutrition is basically the science of food and the amount of nutrients and calories each of the food item contains. It is regardless to say what importance food has in the existence of an individual. It is needed for the very survival of not only human beings, but every living organism on the face of earth.
Nutrients are the substances needed for the proper functioning of the body. These nutrients consist of proteins, vitamins and minerals, fats, carbohydrate, roughage and water. And it is required by every individual to have food which consists of all of them in the right amount.
Most of the times we tend to ignore or rather refuse to eat the vegetables and indulge more in fat-related products, primarily because of the taste. But we have to understand that vegetables and fruits are as much an important part of the diet as chicken and cheese.
But why should we let taste come in the way of our health. Here are some of the dishes that are a fantastic combination of good taste and healthy eating.
As the name suggests, it is an easy-to-make dish. It is a noodle dish filled with the goodness of vegetables, adding to the proteins, vitamins and minerals. The flavor makes it a tempting preparation and what's more, it looks so colorful. This dish is a healthy go-to dish and is ideal for lunch and dinner.
Nowadays, most people tend to choose 'gluten-free' food products, some because of its allergic reactions and some just for the sake of the diet. This dish is ideal for all those people. Again, it is an easy to make tasty, healthy dish with the richness of nutrients. It is full of flavorsome ingredients that are a delight to the food palate.
The one salad we all love. A perfect combination of protein and vitamins, this chicken plus vegetable dish is a favorite among the junk food eaters as well as the health conscious gym-freak. It is a great and easy-to-make dish that is perfectly ideal for brunch and dinner, and can be spread out throughout the week.
Again, a healthy, yummy and easy to prepare rice dish. Sometimes making a rice dish can be a hectic process in itself, but not this one. It's a perfect blend of flavor and nutrients. It is the ideal side dish for Mexican food.
No meal is complete without a dessert and what better way to end it with a Cherry Pineapple and Peach Dump Cake. Whereas on one hand, the cheery, pineapple and peach provides the goodness of nutrients, the whipped cream makes it all so-more delicious. It does take time to make but then it is all worth it in the end.
It is extremely important for us to know, which food is good and which is harmful. It is not always possible to count the calories of each and every food we eat, but we can balance it all out through a balanced diet containing of all that is good, healthy and delicious at the same time.
Want to have a better idea about the dishes and try them at home? Check out the recipes in and surprise your friends and families with these healthy, yummy, easy-to-cook preparations in no time.

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TLC Your Way to a Healthy Heart

By   Expert Author Bonnie R Giller

Did you know that heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States? Almost a third of the population has some form of cardiovascular disease, costing the U.S. Healthcare System a staggering $273 billion every year. There are some risk factors for heart disease you can't change, such as your family history or your age, but there are quite a few that you DO have control over, including the foods you eat and how much physical activity you get. Combining a heart healthy eating plan with mild to moderate exercise is a great way to feel more energetic while protecting your heart.
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes:
For those already diagnosed with heart disease or those with a high risk of developing heart disease, doctors and registered dietitian nutritionists recommend the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) plan to help lower their risk. The basic recommendations that come along with the TLC are easy to implement and are a good place to start for anyone trying to decrease their risk of heart disease. The TLC plan has two main components which, when combined, provide the highest protective qualities.
o At least half of your daily intake should come from whole grains and cereals. Look for breads with whole wheat flour as the first ingredient. There has been a recent popularity in "ancient grains", such as einkorn, spelt, or farro, which can be found in specialty food stores and can serve as the base for pilafs and grain salads. Increased intake in whole grains such as oatmeal and barley increase your intake of soluble fiber, which research has shown can reduce blood cholesterol levels.
o Aim for 3 - 5 servings of vegetables and 2 - 4 servings of fruit every day. Vegetables and fruits contain compounds which offer a variety of health protecting qualities, along with insoluble and soluble fiber to make you feel fuller longer while protecting your heart.
o Choose proteins which are naturally low in saturated fat. Lean cuts of meat, such as tenderloin, have little saturated fat. Legumes, such as lentil and chick peas, are fiber and nutrient-rich meatless choices with no saturated fat. Oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, have additional cardioprotective qualities in providing anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
o Exercise doesn't have to be exhaustive to be good for you. Find a physical activity you enjoy and try to get involved for 30 minutes a day, 3 - 4 days a week. Start small if you can't fit it all in at once; two 15 minutes sessions in a day is just as good as one 30 minute session.
o Spend less time in (and on) your seat. Being sedentary for most hours of the day is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Set a timer to get up every 30 or 60 minutes and take a lap around the building or even your living room. Every little bit helps.
o Make physical activity part of your daily routine. One small step leads to more and more, eventually taking you wherever you want to go. Park your car at the far end of the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator even just for a floor or two, or get outside and pull weeds or rake leaves.
In Conclusion:
Just a few minor changes can have a huge impact on the health of your heart. Pick one or two new things a week to try, such as a recipe with a new vegetable or grain and taking a lunch lap around the parking lot at work. Small changes have a big impact over time, so start giving your heart a little TLC.
Bonnie R. Giller helps chronic dieters and people with medical conditions like diabetes take back control so they can get the healthy body and life they want. She does this by creating a tailored solution that combines three essential ingredients: a healthy mindset, caring support and nutrition education.
Bonnie is a registered and certified dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes educator and certified intuitive eating counselor. Learn more about Bonnie and her nutrition services at
Get your Free Guide "5 Steps to a Body You Love without Dieting" at
Author *Bonnie R Giller

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Levers? Brain Chem? What's the REAL Addiction Stimulus?

By   Expert Author Joan Kent

A woman whose knowledge and expertise I greatly respect was recently interviewed on a podcast about sugar addiction.
At some point, the interviewer asked what makes some people more "addictable" to sugar.
I'm paraphrasing everything, but she said animal studies have shown that "addictable" rats develop greater attachment to the cue for food (sugar) delivery than non-addictable rats. Addictable rats nuzzled the lever that signaled the food delivery, for example, as opposed to simply waiting for the food, as non-addictable rats did.
Is That All There Is?
I felt something was missing. Attachment to the cue (lever) is behavioral, and doesn't necessarily get to the underlying facts in sugar addiction. What made these rats develop the attachment in the first place?
I wanted the brain chem piece.
To my knowledge, here it is - and this is more about alcoholism and sugar addiction than about food addiction generally. It's based partly on work by the brilliant Christina Gianoulakis, PhD, at McGill University.
Alcoholics have a genetic trait that spans several generations. They have low levels of certain brain chemicals, so they feel 'less good' on a day-to-day basis than non-addicts. And when they consume alcohol or sugar, they show an exaggerated release of those same chemicals.
That makes sugar and alcohol extra reinforcing for addictable types. They feel lousy without sugar and Beyond Great with it.
What About the Rats?
I submit that the lever-nuzzling of the addictable rats in the study is based on this trait. For clarity, every addiction involves release of the brain chemical dopamine.
In the study, a lever appeared in the cage and signaled the arrival of food (sugar). The sugar delivery was both consistent and quick (within seconds). That created 2 events that need to occur for dopamine to be released in large quantities:
1) anticipation of a pleasurable experience.
2) a realistic chance that the experience will occur.
The lever was event #1. The consistent, quick delivery was event #2. Result: big dopamine.
Yet There's More!
Scientists now call dopamine the "anticipation molecule" because research shows it's released in large quantities when those 2 events occur. So all of the rats probably got a big dopamine hit when the lever appeared.
But what made the addictable rats nuzzle the lever - to the point of sometimes missing the food delivery?
I would add a 3rd factor: the genetic trait uncovered by Dr. Gianoulakis - low dopamine plus exaggerated release in response to a stimulus.
My take on the rats-and-lever experiment is that the addictable rats nuzzled the lever because of their lower-than-normal level of dopamine, plus their exaggerated dopamine release when the lever appeared.
The lever-nuzzlers became as addicted to the anticipation as to the sugar. Or even more so. That can happen with foods - and with people. Due to the brain chemical similarities between alcoholism and sugar addiction, I've connected the dots on this. (Blast me if you must.)
I love the neurochemical explanation of addiction because it removes all the blame from us. It makes no more sense to blame your brain for its response to sugar than to blame your eyes for their color. We got what we got.
The good news is we can do something to reverse the effects. It's about food and it's easy, so you can do it.
If you feel stuck on sugar or other foods, I'd love to help. Just visit and grab your free Empowered Eating Consult. Find out how easy it is to start moving things forward and feeling great - and great about you.
Brought to you by Dr. Joan Kent, best-selling author of Stronger Than Sugar: 7 Simple Steps to Defeat Sugar Addiction, Lift Your Mood, and Transform Your Health.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Addiction & Nutrition

A holistic diet and supplement plan can go a long way toward helping you kick the habit-any habit

There's an old comedy routine: A guy keeps banging his finger with a hammer and says, "It hurts every time I do that." That, in a nutshell, is the nature of addiction. We know it's bad for us. And yet we just can't stop.

How Fast Food is Designed For Addiction & Obesity, Psychetruth Nutrition...

Adam Sud | Nutrition For Addiction

They Are All Wrong - Saturated Fats Can Be Good For You


For almost six decades, we have been told that saturated fats clog our arteries and cause heart disease. In 1961, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended Americans to limit their fat intake, especially saturated fats, to reduce the risk of heart disease. To this day, the AHA still maintains the same position. The reasoning is that if a fat is solid at room temperature, it is likely to clog your arteries. Hence, saturated fats, including tropical oils which are very high in saturated fats, and trans fats have been deemed bad fats.
CURRENT AHA GUIDELINES (Some Have Been Proven Incorrect)
1. Saturated fats
- Butter, cream, full-fat dairy, bacon, and fatty meats.
2. Tropical oils
- Coconut oil
3. Trans fats
- Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine, and vegetable shortening.
1. Monounsaturated fats (omega-9)
- Olive oil, avocado, macadamia nuts, canola oil, and peanut oil.
2. Polyunsaturated fats (omega-6)
- Vegetable oils from corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, soybean, safflower, and sunflower.
3. Polyunsaturated fats (omega-3)
- Fatty fish
It has been well documented that trans fats are indeed disastrous for health. But are saturated fats really the villain for heart disease? Are liquid vegetable oils truly as healthy as suggested by the AHA?
One may argue that animal fats have been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years. As a species, we have survived for generations and generations eating saturated fats from animal sources, like lard, butter, and tallow of pasture-fed animals, and tropical oils. The truth is that humans have never consumed liquid vegetable oils in huge quantities until the 1960s when extraction technology improved and corn and soybean oils became widely available.
This coincided with the AHA recommendation in 1961 to switch from saturated fats to liquid vegetable oils. Since then, Americans have also adopted a phobia for fat, and the low-fat, high-carb craze became a new phenomenon.
What we then witness in the following 50-60 years is skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. This has never happened before in the history of homo sapiens! Look at these statistics:
  • Two out of three Americans are now overweight or obese.
  • Almost one in three Americans are living with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America.
One might ask, what has changed? Looks like our diet has something to do with it!
The dramatic switch to a low-fat, high-carb diet and the increasing use of vegetable oils have resulted in several major health issues:
First, it led to a massive increase in sugar consumption. Saturated fats are tasty and satisfying. When you take out saturated fat and make something low-fat, you have to increase the sugar content to make the food taste good. Sugar is now added to almost every food we eat. Two hundred years ago, the average American ate only two pounds of sugar a year. In 1970, we ate 123 pounds a year. Now, we eat about 170 pounds a year, which is over three pounds per week!
Second, fat is very satiating, so you are much less likely to overeat. When you eat a low-fat diet, you tend to consume a lot more carbohydrates. Most people replace the fat calories with carbohydrate calories, usually in the form of white flour and sugar. Carbohydrates are quick-burning fuel, even if they are whole grains, as opposed to fats which are slow-burning fuel. As a result, you tend to get hungry faster and you are more likely to overeat. All carbohydrates break down to sugar. A diet high in any types of carbohydrates is associated with increased risk of diabetes, and diabetics are prone to heart disease.
Third, as opposed to what the ADA recommends, liquid vegetable oils are really bad for you. They are highly processed oils which have been refined, bleached and deodorized (or RBD for short). They are processed in high temperatures, making them rancid or oxidized even before consumption. Rancid oils promote inflammation in the arteries and the initiation of plaque formation.
Furthermore, vegetable oils contain mostly omega-6 fatty acids. The body uses omega-6 for the process of blood clotting and inflammation. Without it, we would bleed to death when we cut ourselves and wounds would not heal. However, this inflammation-promoting mechanism has to be balanced by an opposing process that inhibits blood clotting and inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids will do just that.
Therefore, when you take in excessive omega-6 of which is not balanced by sufficient omega-3, it becomes a recipe for disaster. The result is chronic inflammation and a higher tendency to form blood clots, leading to heart attacks.
What's more, omega-3 fats are not merely important for your heart but the brain too. Omega-3 fats contain both DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). DHA is vital for the brain as about 90% of your brain is made up of DHA. EPA is essential for heart health.
Flawed Research On Saturated Fats
The piece of research that linked saturated fat intake with heart disease was Ancel Keys' Seven Countries Study in the 1950s. The study revealed that the countries where fat consumption was the highest had the most heart disease, hence, supporting his hypothesis that dietary fat caused heart disease.
Many years later, reanalysis by other researchers revealed that he intentionally left out vital data, such as:
  • Countries where people eat a lot of fat but have little heart disease, including Holland and Norway.
  • Countries where fat consumption is low but the rate of heart disease is high, like Chile.
Basically, Keys cherry-picked his data from countries that supported his hypothesis. If he were to include all the data from the 22 countries he had done research on, it would have shown that there was no association between saturated fat intake and heart disease.
Unfortunately, by then, Keys' biased research had already been incorporated into public health policy and endorsed by organizations like the American Heart Association. Low-fat, high carb diet became the new paradigm in modern nutrition science.
Subsequent Research Shows No Connection Between Saturated Fats And Heart Disease
Decades after Ancel Keys came out with his diet-heart hypothesis in the 1950s, definitive research supporting his assertion on saturated fats has never been established.
Rigorous data from randomized controlled clinical trials (which can establish cause and effect) has failed to support the allegation that saturated fats cause heart disease or death.
  • While saturated fats can be shown to raise the "bad" LDL-cholesterol, this elevated risk factor does not result in higher death rates. This is probably explained by the fact that saturated fats also consistently raise the "good" HDL-cholesterol, which becomes a compensating factor.
  • Additionally, saturated fats have a positive effect on the LDL profile. They increase large, buoyant LDL and decrease small-dense LDL. Small-dense LDL particles are more prone to getting dislodged from arteries, raising the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Observational studies (which only show associations) from meta-analyses consistently find no association between saturated fats and heart disease. There is, however, substantial observational findings that low consumption of saturated fats is associated with higher mortality and higher rates of stroke.
The only review of the data that did find a significant negative effect of saturated fats was done by the American Heart Association (AHA), which excluded the more definitive mortality evidence and used only data from studies that supported its preconceived view. It is important to note that the AHA was the original proponent in 1961 to limit saturated fats, hence, it also has a significant interest in defending its long-held position.
In 2015, the US government's latest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer recommends an upper limit on total fat intake. Moreover, cholesterol is no longer considered a nutrient of concern. This is a huge step away from the fat and cholesterol phobia that has dominated the health and nutrition community in the last five decades.
Why The Body Needs Saturated Fats
Saturated fats play many important roles in the body:
Bones. Saturated fats are necessary for calcium to be effectively incorporated into the bones. Individuals who avoid saturated fats may have lower bone density and at higher risk for developing osteoporosis.
Brain. Most of your brain is made of cholesterol and fat. The vast majority of that fat are saturated fats, which act as an insulation coating for the nerve cells. Saturated fats help improve nerve signaling within the body, resulting in better hormonal control which may affect your ability to burn fat or produce insulin.
Heart. Saturated fats do not clog arteries or cause heart disease. In fact, the fats found in artery clogs are mostly unsaturated (74%) of which 41% are polyunsaturated. The truth is that the preferred fuel for the heart is saturated fats. They raise the "good" HDL-cholesterol and lower lipoprotein A, a very accurate marker for proneness to heart disease.
Immunity. Saturated fats enhance the immune system. Without sufficient saturated fats, your white blood cells may lose their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Liver. Eating saturated fats help the liver release its accumulated fat (a process called lipolysis), whereas excess carbohydrates and sugar consumption result in fat production in the liver (a process called lipogenesis). Fatty liver is associated with high triglycerides, high fasting glucose, low "good" HDL-cholesterol, high "bad" LDL-cholesterol, especially the dangerous type that is small and dense. Fatty liver, in short, increases your risk for heart disease.
Lungs. In order for the lungs to function properly, they must be coated with a thin layer of lung surfactant, which is made of entirely saturated fats. When people consume a lot of trans fats, some of that trans fats get to the lungs where the body normally wants to have saturated fats, causing the lungs to not work as effectively. Some research has suggested that trans fats are causing asthma in children.
Nutrients. Saturated fats carry the vital fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which we need in large amounts to stay healthy.
Eat The GOOD Saturated Fats
If you are getting saturated fats from animal sources, conventionally-raised animals are not the way to go. They are fed a diet of pesticide-laden, GMO corn or soy designed to fatten them as quickly as possible. They are also routinely administered antibiotics and/or growth hormones.
Always choose pasture-raised animals. Their fat profiles are far superior to the conventionally-raised animals. For example, cows that eat grass have a much higher omega-3 to omega-6 ra]tio compared to cows that are fed corn. They are higher in vitamin A and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps with fat loss and cancer and heart disease prevention.
Beef and Dairy
  • Best is from 100% grass-fed and organic cows and products derived from them.
  • Also, their organ meats are nutritious and rich in vitamins and minerals. Try to have some every week.
  • Choose grass-fed and/organic whole milk and cream over low-fat or skim milk.
  • Use grass-fed and/organic butter, ghee (clarified butter), and tallow (beef fat) for cooking. Butter and tallow contain 58% and 46% saturated fats respectively.
  • Look for traditionally cultured, full-fat yogurt, kefir, and sour cream. Opt for the plain varieties to avoid added sugars.
  • For cheese, raw grass-fed cheese is the healthiest.
  • Go with pastured pork, which comes from animals that are fed a natural diet and allowed to roam and root. Pastured pigs boasts 300% more vitamin E and 74% more selenium than those raised in confinement operations.
  • Enjoy bacon but only those from pastured pork and without added nitrites or nitrates.
  • Lard (rendered pork fat) contains 32% saturated fats.
  • Best is from those that are pastured-raised and eat a chemical-free forage diet containing seeds, insects, berries, and grass.
  • Do not limit yourself to just eating skinless, boneless breast meats. You will be missing out on all the other nutrients from the dark meats, liver, gizzards, skin, cartilage, tendons, and bones from healthy pastured poultry.
  • Pastured-raised and/organic chicken and duck fat are delicious for cooking. Chicken fat and duck fat contain 29% and 35% saturated fats respectively.
If you are getting saturated fats from tropical oils, coconut oil is your top choice. Several populations in the tropics and sub-tropics have thrived for generations eating massive amounts of coconuts and they were found to be in excellent health with very low rates of heart disease.
Coconut Oil
  • Always choose organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil.
  • Coconut oil contains about 86% saturated fats, hence, it is very stable and can be used for baking and high heat cooking.
  • Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are processed differently by the body from other fats. Instead of being broken down by your bile, MCTs go straight to the liver where they are converted to ketones. Your liver releases the ketones into your bloodstream and they are transported around the body to be used as fuel. Ketones have powerful benefits for the brain and are now being studied as treatment for Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.
  • MCTs stimulate the body's metabolism and help promote weight loss.
  • The fatty acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties which help strengthen immunity against infections.
- Pasture-raised, organic meats and organ meats
- Full-fat dairy from pasture-raised cows
- Grass-fed butter and ghee
- Tallow, lard, and poultry fat from pasture-raised animals
- Eggs from pasture-raised chickens
- Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, and anchovies
- Organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil
- Olives and olive oil (third party certified that it is not diluted with vegetable oils)
- Avocados and avocado oil
- Nuts and seeds such as macadamia, almonds, cashew, pistachio, pecans, and flax.
Canola oil
- Highly processed. Likely to be genetically modified.
Grapeseed oil
- Very high in omega-6.
Peanut oil
- Peanuts are heavily sprayed with pesticides. Higher in omega-6.
Rice bran oil
- Higher in omega-6.
Saturated fats from conventionally-raised animals
- Animals are given unnatural diet of GMO corn or soy. Pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones in animal feed.
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine, and vegetable shortening.
- Contain trans fats.
Liquid vegetable oils from corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, and sunflower.
- Highly processed. Likely to be genetically modified. Very high in omega-6.
Carol Chuang is a Certified Nutrition Specialist. She has a Masters degree in Nutrition and is a Certified Gluten Practitioner. She specializes in Metabolic Typing and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition.

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