fats

How Important Is Consuming Protein?

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How Important Is Consuming Protein?

Everyone knows what protein is, in general, but most people don’t have a deeper concept of just how vital it is to our body. It is so important to consume enough healthy protein in our diet and from a healthy source. Opinions vary, but it is recommended that it is healthy to consume anywhere from 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. A bodybuilder’s protein intake recommendations may be higher in order to add the desired muscle mass.

So What Are Proteins?

Proteins are the macronutrients that form the foundation of our diet. Proteins help to build new cells and regulate the metabolism. They actually help all of your cells communicate and shuttle oxygen throughout the body in the form of hemoglobin. They also have the ability to build muscle.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. It is absolutely essential that we consume these daily and in the right way. Our DNA directs the body to join various combinations of amino acids into a variety of sequences, each serving a unique function and feeding our bodies exactly what it needs.

We can store fats and carbohydrates to draw on when needed, but we do not have a storage pool of amino acids. We need to add to it each day in order to build the body proteins that we need. If we are missing a particular amino acid to form the protein it needs, it will pull that amino acid by breaking down existing muscle protein. Consistently lacking certain amino acids means we will lose muscle weight, energy and, eventually, fundamental body functions.

The Main Sources Of Daily Protein:

  • Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish are complete sources of protein. They contain all of the essential amino acids.
  • Nuts, seeds, beans, peas, and whole grains. However, in order to consume all of the essential amino acids, plant foods must be used to complement each other with their amino acid profiles. Beans tend to be low in one amino acid that grains have plenty of, so combining these foods forms a complete protein, like beans and rice.

Be sure and consume your daily healthy protein and remember that centering on a protein diet promotes energy, healthy muscles and even weight loss!

Avocados And Many Of Their Amazing Health Benefits

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Avocados And Many Of Their Amazing Health Benefits

Avocados have a high fat content, but it is a super healthy fat. They were once put on the bad foods list for this fact and yet now they are one of the most popular foods because of their wonderful nutritional value. They are literally packed with the healthy monounsaturated fat, lutein, potassium, folate and numerous other vitamins and nutrients. Avocados support your entire body, from your heart to your eyes.

What are some specific things avocados can do for you?

  • Heart protection – the high amounts of potassium regulates blood pressure, which helps to prevent heart disease and strokes, and even lower cholesterol. The folate in them also contributes to lowering your chances of getting heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Your vision – A fabulous ingredient in avocados is lutein, numerous antioxidants and zeaxanthin……all that protect your eyes from macular degeneration and even improve your eyesight.
  • Cancer prevention – The numerous antioxidants in avocados are a great cancer prevention. Oleic acid that is prevalent is known protection against breast cancer.
  • Great source of fiber – Consuming healthy amounts of fiber is a major component in the prevention of chronic disease. Avocados are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers.
  • Low glycemic index – This helps to control your blood sugar levels, preventing the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Rich in Vitamin K – This great vitamin plays an important role in our ability to have functional blood clotting and wound healing. It is also very important to help build strong bones.
  • Rich in Vitamin B6 – This directly supports your nervous system, your teeth and gums and your numerous red blood cells and can reduce morning sickness.
  • A stronger immune system – The high amount of antioxidants directly supports the immune system.
  • Lose weight – The high amounts of monounsaturated fats in avocados actually speeds up your metabolic rate which can help with weight loss.
  • Prevent halitosis – Believe it or not, but avocados can get rid of bad breath! It is able to effectively remove intestinal putrefaction and decomposition which is the actual cause of bad breath and a coated tongue.
  • A protein source – They provide ALL 18 essential amino acids we need for our bodies to form a complete protein, that is just amazing! Also, the protein in an avocado is easy to digest and readily absorbed due to their fiber content.

We all love a delicious guacamole, but adding a little avocado to your daily meals can benefit your health tremendously! Add it to a burger, a salad, slice it up on the side with a little salt and pepper or use it as a condiment.

 

They are delicious and so good for you!

Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

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Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

In recent years fat became enemy number one and all the experts preached that a low-fat or zero fat diet was the only healthy diet. They believed this was the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol and basically would solve any and all health issues. What happened was the opposite and our population has never been so obese and riddled with health problems, including soaring numbers of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Everyone turned to processed foods with very little if any fat and filled with carbohydrates and fillers, to just end up putting on the weight.

As a result of these disastrous results for so many was the new focus to not only make a solid effort not to consume too much fat, but to try to consume a healthy portion of the good types of fat. Diets then emerged like the Atkins diet and the South Beach Diet that are very high in fat and with a definitive protein a focus and yet everyone on these diets started losing weight like crazy. With this new way of eating, the concept of healthy fats has really taken off and all of the great health benefits that go along with it.

So, there is such a thing as a healthy fat! They are essential to our daily physical and emotional health. Fat is not the enemy and can even help you lose weight and improve your health. What gets confusing is that there are good fats and bad fats….oh and trans fats are really bad. They are the biggest cause of weight gain, clogged arteries and so much more.

So what are are some of the good fats?

Monounsaturated Fats:

  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts

Polyunsaturated Fats:

  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sunflower, Sesame and Pumpkin Seeds
  • Fatty Fish
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids:

  • Mustard Seeds
  • Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil
  • Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon and Sardines
  • Fish Oil

Saturated Fats (but on a limited basis):

  • Beef, Lamb and Pork
  • Chicken (with the skin on)
  • Butter, Milk and Cream
  • Ice Cream
  • Cheese
  • Palm Oil
  • Coconut Oil

Make that special effort to get your healthy fats at each meal and enjoy them guilt free! ( :

The Way To Maximize Your Metabolism

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The Way To Maximize Your Metabolism

What exactly is your metabolism? It is the process of how we burn our calories we eat and how quickly or easily we gain and lose weight. Age and genetics play a role, and there’s nothing we can do about that, but there are other ways to speed it up if you want to.

First, a key piece of advice, is to get your thyroid checked by a qualified practitioner (they are hard to find). If your thyroid is under active then boosting your metabolism will be a real challenge.

A key way to boost your metabolism is to eat breakfast! This can boost it by as much as 10%. Eating a healthy protein is the best choice for sure and this gets the digestion process going to start your metabolism burning.

Eating protein is a great way to support and boost your metabolism, by as much as 25%! It requires more energy to digest protein which burns more calories and it sustains you for longer.

Regular exercise is key, especially earlier in the day. If you can even take a brisk walk first thing in the morning this will get your motor going and burn more calories throughout the day. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so don’t forget to include some anaerobic activities in your work out routine (stretching, weight lifting and resistance exercises).

Get your fiber! Having a diet rich in fiber is very helpful. It makes you feel fuller longer which helps with weight management and keep you regular.

Try just a few of these and see what happens! These are easy changes that will have dramatic effects on your metabolism.

The Amazing Health Benefits Of Coconut Milk

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The Amazing Health Benefits Of Coconut Milk

Coconut is a unique flavor and not everyone likes it, but it is becoming increasingly popular because of all of the great health benefits it has from the coconut itself, coconut milk, coconut water and coconut oil. Coconut milk is a very healthy alternative to other products and especially for those who are intolerant to traditional cow dairy. It is rich in healthy saturated fat and many other wonderful nutrients.

Coconut milk is rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 as well as iron, selenium, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. It’s a great option for those who are allergic to traditional cow’s milk or who don’t care for almond milk.It is also a rich source of phosphorus. It contains selenium, an antioxidant, which relieves arthritis and is a rich source of magnesium, which helps to calm the nerves and maintain normal blood pressure. It is a great source of fiber, which makes you feel fuller for a longer time and if taken in moderation, can help to control or contribute to weight loss.

Even though coconut milk contains saturated fat, it reduces cholesterol levels and contains lauric acid which boosts HDL, which is your good cholesterol.

 

Like coconut oil, coconut milk is great for your hair in many ways by nourishing your hair giving natural moisture from roots to ends. It boosts the hair follicles and stimulates hair growth, restoring dry, damaged, weakened and brittle hair as well as split ends, and as a bonus it works as a natural hair detangler.

I love to drink it but there are many other uses for it. Enjoy it in a protein smoothie, with cereal or for your hair!

A List Of Paleo Foods For Beginners

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A List Of Paleo Foods For Beginners

What is the Paleo Diet? It is eating like they did during the Paleolithic Period, or that’s the idea behind it….imagining what was eaten…WAY back in the day. This means anything we could hunt or find – meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. The idea is to focus on protein and vegetables that are from whole and natural sources, plus a little bit of healthy fats and very few carbs.

We all have to start somewhere and sometimes having ideas or a list really helps! On the Paleo Diet you can’t have dairy, grains, starches, wheat or legumes….but what CAN you have? It can be a challenge to make these changes, so here’s some specific ideas on what to put on your shopping list.

Healthy meats of all kinds and fish, plus fruits and veggies are a winner. Everyone knows fruit is healthy but too much is not good for you because many of them are high in sugar, which spikes your blood sugar. So what are the approved fruits and veggies, oils, nuts and seeds? Here’s some great ideas for you….

Suggestions for healthy vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Eggplant
  • Green Onions

Suggestions for healthy fruits:

  • Apple
  • Bananas (but limited)
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Mango
  • Lychee
  • Blueberries
  • Lemon
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Lime
  • Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges

Suggestions for healthy nuts and seeds:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Walnuts

Suggestions for healthy oils:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia Oil

I always love something I can print out and take to the grocery store with me. I hope this helps you follow your new lifestyle changes on the fantastic Paleo Diet!

What Exactly Is Quinoa?

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What Exactly Is Quinoa?

Quinoa is increasingly becoming popular as a health staple in the place of rice and potatoes. The three common types are white, red and black. White is the most common. It has a very mild flavor that makes it easy to incorporate in lots of great recipes. Red is crunchier and has a stronger flavor and needs a longer cooking time. Black is the crunchiest and with that comes the strongest flavor. The quinoa glycemic index is relatively low compared to rice which is relatively high.

It has a unique texture and appearance once cooked.

What are some of the great things quinoa can do for you?

  • Migraine Reliever
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Prevent Gallstones
  • Bone Health
  • Lose Weight
  • Great For Diabetics
  • Easily Prepared
  • It Has Protein!
  • It’s Low Calorie
  • It’s Nutrient Rich
  • Supports Cardiovascular Health

What are the great nutrients in quinoa?

Quinoa contains high amounts of riboflavin, magnesium, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, protein, iron, B vitamins, potassium, zinc, amino acids and calcium. It is much safer for diabetics to consume because it is not likely to spike your blood sugar compared to most simple grains. It is alkaline so it can be eaten to balance out your diet and maintain an alkaline state in the body.

What’s really great is it is very easy to cook, just like rice without the insulin response. Brown some chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms in coconut oil then add the quinoa and lightly fry and season. It’s easy to add chopped cooked veggies to it as well, top it with parmesan, pine nuts, cut up avocado and tomatoes. Yum!!

It used to be that quinoa could only be found in specialty stores, but now you can find anywhere and it’s pre-rinsed and ready to cook.  It can easily be cooked in just 15-20 minutes.

Quinoa is naturally low in calories and contains only around 220 calories per cup. It’s a great diet staple that is healthy, a great source of fiber and is very delicious and filling.

Give it a try! You will love it.