Some time ago sports drinks were presumed to be a healthy choice. They were portrayed as a better alternative to sodas and energy drinks. However, sports drinks are not a healthier choice and the truth is – they are bad for you. They should not be labeled a better option. Most commercial sports drinks contain ingredients that can destroy your health such as high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, and genetically modified organisms. You should not sacrifice your health for a quick energy boost. Sports drinks are especially dangerous for your health if you don’t exercise. Since they are designed to boost energy, drinking them and not exercising is particularly bad. See here why you should avoid sports drinks.
Most of us are faced with a burning desire to stamp out morning drowsiness with a cup of coffee. If you love coffee, you don’t just like it, you love it and need it. I am definitely one of these people who treats coffee as necessity. People’s love for coffee is special. For many, it develops over years. With age we appreciate coffee even more. There’s been a lot of buzz on the health benefits of coffee: some say it’s good, and some say it’s bad. So, what should you know about coffee and it’s health benefits?
Who doesn’t want balanced hormones and glowing skin? Really nutrient packed foods will help with this. If we don’t eat get enough nutrients, our hormones get messed up. So whatever you are putting into your body, will either help or destroy our hormonal production? As you know, hormones control our mood, metabolism, digestion, energy, libido and even our skin.
While many women like wearing Spanx to better fit into their favorite clothes or to get a quick self-image boost, not many of them enjoy the tight, restrictive feeling that the shapewear tends to cause. There has been an ongoing discussion in the media about various health risks related to with wearing Spanx, and to clear any confusion around the issue, Huffington Post has interviewed three experts about the concerns associated with shapewear.
Vegetable Oil is not a health food (as many people present it to be). People have been cooking with vegetable oil for several decades and the results are devastating – cancer and cardiovascular diseases are on the rise. Some might argue with me that full fat foods are to blame but it’s been nothing but a low fat culture for many years and the rate of cardiovascular disease and obesity have not gone down.
What does it take to disabuse the majority of food consumers that a no or low fat diet is actually unhealthy. There have been conventional cardiologists who’ve recently asserted that we need healthy fats to maintain good cardiovascular health.
They have debunked the myth of cholesterol as the cause of clogged arteries and heart attacks and warned about statin drugs’ dangers. Statin drugs do lower cholesterol.
But brain and nervous system tissue need cholesterol and other types of fats to rebuild and maintain proper function. Statin users have a high rate of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
Skin cholesterol is what starts the conversion process of UVB sunlight exposure to vitamin D3 in the liver. Without cholesterol, there’s no conversion, thus insufficient vitamin D3.
Now, recent mainstream research discoveries have shown that a high fat diet can reverse aggressive cancers. Don’t expect any faction of the cancer industry to disclose this.
They all need to receive funding to research patentable drugs that don’t cure while they keep killing with chemo, radiation, and surgery to enrich Big Pharma.
You may have been eating all wrong tomatoes. The fact is most of us have been robbed of the amazing taste and abundant nutrients that tomatoes offer. Most of us have been buying hybrid tomatoes or genetically modified tomatoes that don’t come close to the greatness of heirloom tomatoes. The truth is commercial fruits and vegetables are mostly grown for high profits and not for their exceptional taste or nutrient content.
Overweight does not necessarily equal unhealthy. There are actually plenty of overweight people who are in excellent health (1). Conversely, many normal weight people have the metabolic problems associated with obesity (2). That’s because the fat under the skin is actually not that big of a problem (at least not from a health standpoint… it’s more of a cosmetic problem).
It’s the fat in the abdominal cavity, the belly fat, that causes the biggest issues (3). If you have a lot of excess fat around your waistline, even if you’re not very heavy, then you should take some steps to get rid of it. Belly fat is usually estimated by measuring the circumference around your waist. This can easily be done at home with a simple tape measure. Anything above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women, is known as abdominal obesity. There are actually a few proven strategies that have been shown to target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body.
Here are 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.
1. Don’t Eat Sugar… and Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Like The Plague
When you eat a lot of refined sugar, the liver gets flooded with fructose, and is forced to turn it all into fat (6).
Liquid sugar is even worse in this regard. Liquid calories don’t get “registered” by the brain in the same way as solid calories, so when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you end up eating more total calories (9, 10).
Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children… per each daily serving (11).
Make a decision to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, and consider completely eliminating sugary drinks.
Keep in mind that none of this applies to whole fruit, which are extremely healthy and have plenty of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose.
The amount of fructose you get from fruit is negligible compared to what you get from a diet high in refined sugar.
Btw… if you want to cut back on refined sugar, then you must start reading labels. Even foods marketed as health foods can contain huge amounts of sugar.
Bottom Line: Excess sugar consumption may be the primary driver of belly fat accumulation, especially sugary beverages like soft drinks and fruit juices.
2. Eating More Protein May be The Best Long-Term Strategy to Reduce Belly Fat
If weight loss is your goal, then adding protein to your diet is perhaps the single most effective change you can do.
There is also some evidence that protein is particularly effective against belly fat.
One study showed that the amount and quality of protein consumed was inversely related to fat in the belly. That is, people who ate more and better protein had much less belly fat (19).
Another study in Denmark showed that protein, especially animal protein, was linked to significantly reduced risk of belly fat gain over a period of 5 years (20).
This study also showed that refined carbs and vegetable oils were linked to increased amounts of belly fat, but fruits and vegetables linked to reduced amounts.
Many of the studies showing protein to be effective had protein at 25-30% of calories. That’s what you should aim for.
If you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, then a quality protein supplement (like whey protein) is a healthy and convenient way to boost your total intake.
If you’re a vegetarian, check out this article on how to increase your protein intake.
Bottom Line: Eating enough protein is a very effective way to lose weight. Some studies suggest that protein is particularly effective against belly fat accumulation.
3. Cut Carbs From Your Diet
Carb restriction is a very effective way to lose fat.
This is supported by numerous studies… when people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight (23).
This is true even when the low-carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while the low-fat groups are calorie restricted and hungry.
Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which gives people near instant results… a major difference on the scale is often seen within a few days.
What this means is that a particularly high proportion of the fat lost on a low-carb diet is the dangerous and disease promoting abdominal fat.
Just avoiding the refined carbs (white breads, pastas, etc) should be sufficient, especially if you keep your protein high.
However… if you need to lose weight fast, then consider dropping your carbs down to 50 grams per day. This will put your body into ketosis, killing your appetite and making your body start burning primarily fats for fuel.
Bottom Line: Studies have shown that low-carb diets are particularly effective at getting rid of the fat in the belly area, around the organs and in the liver.
4. Eat Foods Rich in Fiber… Especially Viscous Fiber
Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter.
It is often claimed that eating plenty of fiber can help with weight loss.
This is true… but it’s important to keep in mind that not all fiber is created equal.
It seems to be mostly the viscous fibers that can have an effect on your weight.
These are fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that “sits” in the gut (31).
This gel can dramatically slow the movement of food through your stomach and small bowel, and slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The end result is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite (32).
One review study found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day were linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of 2 kg (4.5 lbs) over 4 months (33).
In one 5-year study, eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was linked to a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity, but it had no effect on the amount of fat under the skin (34).
What this implies, is that soluble fiber may be particularly effective at reducing the harmful belly fat.
The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals like oats.
Bottom Line: There is some evidence that soluble dietary fiber may lead to reduced amounts of belly fat, which should cause major improvements in metabolic health.
5. Aerobic Exercise is Very Effective at Reducing Belly Fat
Exercise is important for various reasons.
It is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long, healthy life and avoid disease.
Getting into all of the amazing health benefits of exercise is beyond the scope of this article, but exercise does appears to be effective at reducing belly fat.
However… keep in mind that I’m not talking about abdominal exercises here. Spot reduction (losing fat in one spot) is not possible, and doing endless amounts of crunches will not make you lose fat from the belly.
In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity (40).
That being said, other types of exercise can be very effective.
Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from re-gaining abdominal fat after weight loss, implying that exercise is particularly important during weight maintenance (43).
Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation, blood sugar levels and all the other metabolic abnormalities that are associated with central obesity (44).
Bottom Line: Exercise can be very effective if you are trying to lose belly fat. Exercise also has a number of other health benefits.
6. Track Your Foods and Figure Out Exactly What and How Much You Are Eating
What you eat is important. Pretty much everyone knows this.
However… surprisingly, most people actually don’t have a clue what they are really eating.
People think they’re eating “high protein,” “low-carb” or whatever… but tend to drastically over- or underestimate.
I think that for anyone who truly wants to optimize their diet, tracking things for a while is absolutely essential.
It doesn’t mean you need to weigh and measure everything for the rest of your life, but doing it every now and then for a few days in a row can help you realize where you need to make changes.
If you want to boost your protein intake to 25-30% of calories, as recommended above, just eating more protein rich foods won’t cut it. You need to actually measure and fine tune in order to reach that goal.
Check out this article here for a calorie calculator and a list of free online tools to track what you are eating.
I personally do this every few months… I weigh and measure everything I eat to see what my current diet is looking like.
Then I know exactly where to make adjustments in order to get closer to my goals.
There’s been much controversy surrounding the question of whether or not you need to take supplements. Critics claim that vitamin supplements are a waste of money, as you can get all the nutrients you need from your diet. They also claim that most people are not, in fact, nutritionally deficient, thanks to all the fortified foods on the market.
Alas, there are a number of problems with such assertions. First of all, I believe we have to acknowledge that there is a problem with our food supply—it’s simply NOT providing you with the same nutrition as it did in generations past.
This is largely related to industrial based modern methods, which include reliance on synthetic fertilizers that radically decreases nutrient density, including valuable micronutrients that have long ago largely vanished from most of these soils.
There are lots of reasons to admire the Nordic Nations. For example, the magnificent landscapes, stunning architecture and most importantly – their health. According to Forbes, Nordic regions such as Sweden are among the world’s healthiest top ranked countries. Sweden is the largest of the Scandinavian countries. It not only has some of the cleanest air in the world but it can also boast about their low rates of health issues. Statistically, in Sweden, only 3 children are stillborn out of every 1000 births. And for every 100,000 people, there are only about 4 cases of tuberculosis. Their life expectancy is one of the highest in the world. So what are they doing that we are not?