Well the holiday/festive season is over and a new year 2012 is upon us. Many people will be thinking of all the things they will be doing in the new year and a new diet is usually top of the list. A new year resolution to lose weight or eat more healthily is the first thought especially after the guilt of all that food and drink over Christmas and New Year.
The papers and magazines all had their diet stories and diet plans for a new you and of course a new diet pill is out to make it easy for you to lose those pounds. Once again it is an attack on fat. The new pill like many others is supposed to work by interfering with the body’s ability to absorb fat. This is not the answer. The body needs fat for various reasons but the right fats. Stop using cooking oils and margarine and spreads. Cut out the fried foods and use olive oil and a little butter. The brain is made up of a high proportion of fat and we need the fat soluble vitamins – Vitamin A, D, E, K and essential fatty acids. Why do we keep getting told to take our omega 3 oil. Vitamin D is also important for many health reasons including heart health and there are always stories about the need for Vitamin D.
The other problem with a pill is that even if it worked it does not change your diet. Which is why you got fat in the first place. If you have also changed your diet, well forget the pill. A diet of healthy highly nutritious foods as I keep recommending is the way to achieve a healthy weight loss. Plenty of fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains if you tolerate grains and legumes. Eat a wide variety of foods and as many as possible raw. You can learn more about a healthy nutritious diet at http://www.thenutritiondietclub.com. No need for a pill and so you save money as well! Happy and Healthy New Year.
One of my pet hates is the drug industies attempts to provide miracle cures for illness and of course obesity and its related problems. There have been various diet pills, fat burners, fat blockers, etc. Get the latest pill that stops you getting fat, and the obesity epidemic is solved. It doesn’ t seem to be working. Just this week the UK is top of the list for obesity in women. Like most health related problems just taking a pill is not a cure all. You have to change your diet and also your lifestyle. But that is too difficult for most.
There is now another wonder drug in the pipeline to cure obesity. This time it is a daily jab that attacks the blood supply of fat cells. The supposed obesity solving drugs on the market all have side effects and this new one is no different. At the moment only being trialled on animals but the drug causes some kidney related problems which the researchers think can be overcome.
Regardless of that, we have fat cells in our body for a reason – we have fat soluble vitamins and fat is a large constituent of the brain. So why would scientists/experts think blocking the blood supply to fat cells will be any safer than previous attempts at curing obesity with a miracle cure. Of course if the product sells there is a large profit.
Diet and lifestyle changes are the only way and it does not have to be difficult. My nutrition based diet does not deprive you of food but concentrates on small changes that add quality to your diet. You can read more in my book The Nutrition Diet and Recipe Book which is available free from www.obooko.com (under heading of Health and Self Improvement).
Just to confirm the benefit of diet instead of a pill new research has now shown that obese people with type 2 diabetes, can be overcome by diet. A low calorie diet can help with the diabetes and show results in 4 months. This is good news for those with type 2 diabetes and would mean they don’t take a pill for the rest of their lives. How much this news is taken up is of course another matter. People seem to prefer taking a pill to changing their ways unfortunately.
There are often questions about whether there is any benefit in the accepted advice that we should drink up to 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Scientists have studied all the studies into the benefits or not of drinking water and came to the conclusion that there was no measurable benefit for the average person to drink large quantities of water. They went on to say that the average person obtained plenty of liquid from tea, coffee and diet etc. But tea and coffee especially are not always good for you in large quantities so water is better.
They did though in my opinion contradict themselves a little by saying that there was a need in certain instances to drink more water. Such as sportsmen, workers who sweat a lot, people with certain illnesses, people living in hot climates and elderly people who don’t always realise they are thirsty, etc. So in fact there are benefits from drinking extra water. Whether it is measurable in the average person is another matter. There are arguments among some experts as to what is acceptable as water. Most say coffee and alcohol are not counted and some say that tea, especially herbal teas can be counted.
We are all different and have different requirements and in an ideal world a healthy diet such as The Nutrition Diet can provide plenty of water. The diet emphasises the importance of fruit and vegetables and these have a high water content. But if you don’t eat much fruit and vegetables and live on junk or processed food that is one source of water gone. Coffee is a diuretic and so if you count that as water you need more water to make up for the diuretic action. In some coffee drinking societies it is normal to take a glass of water with the coffee, perhaps there is a reason. Also liquids like coffee and fizzy drinks interfer with other nutrients and nutrient metabolism whereas a glass of water is ‘clean’.
Once again listen to your own requirements. Watch your diet and carry on drinking water, but as with food don’t be fanatical or worry about whether you have had 5 glasses or 7 glasses of water that day. You should in any case cut down on stimulants such as coffee and alcohol and drinking water regularly soon becomes natural and cuts down the need for other forms of water.
The past few years have seen a plenty of interest in healthy living and healthy eating, and that is a good thing. We all know that most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, and that many people eat too much of the wrong things – like sugar, salt, processed and junk foods and fat. Reversing this trend will take some time and some effort, but starting with adding nutrition to your own diet is a great way to improve your health and your life.
The key to changing your diet, of course, is to change it in ways that you can live with for a lifetime. The reason that most diet and lifestyle changes fail is that they are too difficult to follow once the initial excitement has worn off. The key is to make small changes, simple changes, that you can follow for the rest of your life.
Where you start your healthy eating plan depends in great part on your particular goals. For many people, a healthy eating program can be as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables. For others, a healthy eating plan will require a radical change in the way they shop, cook, and eat. But these changes can still be done gradually as part of your busy lifestyle.
Since healthy eating means so many different things to different people, it is impossible to come up with a single healthy eating guide that will be right for everyone. The runner toning up for a marathon will have different nutritional needs than the factory worker who wants to lose 20 pounds. But everyone can benefit from a more nutritious diet.
No matter what the goal, however, it is important to eat a variety of foods, and to make smart choices when shopping, when cooking and when eating. Eating out can present special challenges, and it is important to familiarize yourself with the ingredients of the foods you order in your favorite restaurant. But don’t get worried by the occasional lapse as long as the majority of the time your diet is healthy and nutritious. Still enjoy a meal out or a party.
Making healthy food choices means eating more of the good foods – like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc., and less of the bad foods, like salt, sugar and fats and especially processed and junk foods and ready meals.
Starting by eating more high nutrition, low calorie foods is a good place to start. Luckily, the produce section of the local supermarket is likely to contain hundreds of different examples of such foods. Fruits and vegetables are almost always low in calories and fat, and they are generally very nutritious as well.
Since variety is so important to a healthy diet, it is a good idea to try out a sampling of different fruits and vegetables on your first healthy eating shopping trip. Start with some of the fruits and vegetables you have always wanted to try but never gotten around to. For instance, many people have never tasted asparagus, spinach or Brussels sprouts. While some love these foods and others hate them, you will never know unless you try them for yourself. Don’t forget you can also improve nutrition and variety by adding to your existing diet, such as adding a grated carrot on your salad.
This kind of foraging is a great way to introduce yourself to foods you have never tried before. It is a great way to try new things, and you just might discover a new favorite food while you’re at it.
Experimenting with cooking new uses for fruits and vegetables is another great idea. There are lots of healthy cooking recipes and cookbooks on the market, and a new cookbook can be a great motivator for healthy eating.
It is important to remember that making your diet healthier does not necessarily mean making a radical change. Simple changes like adding extra portions of fresh vegetables and reducing the meat content of a meal or adding extras to a coleslaw are one way. Also eat more raw foods and gain the benefit of better levels of enzymes.
As a matter of fact, in the long run the simplest and easiest to follow changes are the ones that matter most. That is because making easy changes means that you will be able to stick with them for the long run. Healthy eating is a marathon, not a sprint.
Lately it would seem that fats and carbohydrates have both had a bad press. First it was fat that was the culprit in all dietary ills, and low fat diets were all the rage. Then the two switched places, with carbohydrates being the bad guys and fat reigning supreme.
As with most extremes, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There is no such thing as a bad food, only bad dietary choices. While some foods are naturally better for you than others, there is no reason that all foods cannot be enjoyed in moderation. After all, the most successful diet is not one that you can follow for a day, a week or even a year. On the contrary, the only successful diet and nutrition program is one that you will be able to follow for a lifetime.
Both fats and carbohydrates play an important role in nutrition, and both are important to a healthy diet. It would be impossible and unwise to eliminate all fat from the diet, since fat is important for the production of energy, and for carrying valuable fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, throughout the body. In addition, fat plays a vital role in regulating various bodily functions. Vitamins D and K are have now been promoted as two of the most important and underrated vitamins for health and wellbeing.
Even though some fat is essential to a healthy body, too much fat can be harmful. Excessive levels of dietary fats have been implicated in heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol levels and even some cancers. Most nutritionists recommend limiting daily fat intake to less than 20% of calories, although taking that level lower than 10% is not recommended.
Of course not all fats are created equal, and some fats are more harmful than others. Saturated fats and trans fats are generally understood to be more harmful in the diet than polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These lighter fats, like canola oil and olive oil, should form the basis of cooking a healthier diet. Though again there are other arguments in favour of saturated fats. Animal fats can be nutritious and healthy but in todays world they may not be so healthy with drugs, hormones and other chemicals used in a lot of modern animal farming. You need to know the source of your food and buy organic meat.
Keeping saturated fats and trans fats to a minimum is important to a healthy diet. Trans fats, which are solid at room temperature, are most often found in highly processed foods like cookies, cakes and other baked goods. In addition, trans fats are often found in fried foods and in salty snacks like potato chips. While these foods are fine in moderation, it is best to avoid large quantities of such snacks since transfats are the most dangerous type of fat.
One additional word here about good fats – yes there are such things, and one of the most powerful of these are the so called omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are most often found in oily fish, and they have shown great promise in preventing and even reversing heart disease and high cholesterol levels.
When limiting your daily intake of fat and cholesterol, it is good to have an understanding of nutritional labels. These labels can be a huge help to those who take the time to read and understand them. Not only do nutritional labels provide valuable information on calories, fat content and sodium, but they provide valuable information about the most important vitamins and minerals as well.
Like fats, carbohydrates are found in a variety of different foods, some healthier than other. In addition to cereals and breads, carbohydrates are also present in fruits and vegetables and in milk and other dairy products. Carbohydrates and fats are both important to a healthy, varied diet. Low carbohydrate diets are now considered more healthy but again they should be part of a varied healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
As with many products, less is often more when it comes to choosing foods rich in carbohydrates. For instance, less refined whole grain bread is generally more nutritious than white bread which has gone through a greater amount of refining. That is because the refining process tends to reduce nutrient content over time.
Of course, there are some elements in the diet that should be limited. Two of these elements are sugar and salt. Most people consume too much salt and sugar, and this has led to epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other ills. Most salt is hidden in processed and junk foods so avoiding those foods helps lower salt levels. Limiting sugar and salt, while choosing good fats and unrefined carbohydrates, is a great way to maximize the nutritional value of the foods you eat.
As usual everything in moderation and also don’t forget the other part of any diet – exercise!!