Category Archives for "Eating Well"

Sugars In Fruit the Truth Explained

By Robert Worrell | Eating Well , Life and Stuff

good sugars fruit

In recent times there have many debates as to whether fruit is actually good or bad for you. The low carb diet trend saw many people avoiding fruit, because according to them ‘fruit is all sugar and loaded with carbs’.

It has left a lot of people still uncertain as to whether they should reach for that tempting, golden banana or just pass it by. Let’s, right off the bat, tell you that it’s okay to grab that banana, orange or a handful of grapes – and continue reading about the facts of sugar in fruit.

Things We’ve Always Known About Fruit

Two simple facts – fruit comes from plants and humans have been eating them for millennia. Our bodiesgood sugars fruit have evolved to adapt to the small quantities of fructose found in nature. Fruits are real, whole foods that provide not just sugar and starches, but also water, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients (naturally occurring plant compounds that work with other nutrients to promote good health). Fruit also offers significant chewing resistance, meaning they take a while to chew and digest. As a result, the fructose they contain gets to the liver slowly.

Fruits are incredibly filling, ranking among the most filling foods you could eat. So when you eat whole fruits, you are less likely to over-indulge and there is an almost automatic reduction in your calorie intake. Fruit comes in at about 75 calories per serving. That’s 75 calories of nutrient packed goodness. Take a moment to compare that to the 225 empty calories you get form a 20 ounce can of soda!

Sugary Facts

Calories consumed from eating fruits and vegetables are predominantly in the form of carbohydrate. This carbohydrate is often fructose, the natural sugar in fruit. It is well known that fructose is harmful when consumed in large quantities, and fruit is relatively high in sugar when compared to other foods.

This is where things begin to get a bit warped. Some people started to argue that all of this means that fruit is bad for you. However, it is virtually impossible to consume too much fructose by eating fruit. Feel free to grab an apple while we crunch the numbers to see why.

One large apple contains 23 grams of sugar, 13 of which are fructose and it will leave most people feeling satisfied. On the other hand, a 16 ounce bottle of cola has52 grams of sugar, 30 of which are fructose.fruit sugars

And you don’t quite get the same feeling of satiety. Also, let’s not forget the great nutritional value of the apple, as compared to the cola. And just to rub it in, a quick look at a cup of strawberries shows us just 7 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and nearly a day’s worth of vitamin C, with some healthy antioxidants, folic acid and potassium thrown in for good measure.

The sugar in soda is referred to as ‘added sugar’ and it is added (quite liberally at times) to most of the foods we consume. That takes in the brownies, breakfast cereal, barbecue sauce and ‘fruit’ juice. There is an over-abundance of evidence that added sugar is bad for you, and not just because of the speed at which it is absorbed and hits the liver.

Consider as well, that foods high in added sugar are usually also high in added fats, sodium and refined flours.

We must point out that dried fruit and fruit juices do not fall in the same boat (or sugar bowl) as whole fruit. In fact, some nutritionists will tell you that dried fruit contains an excess of sugar and therefore, more closely resemble commercial candy than they do fresh fruit.

In the case of fruit juices, even the ones you make at home are lacking in the rich fiber and some other benefits you derive from eating the whole fruit. A healthier bet is to go for a smoothie (whole fruit put in a blender), but watch what you add. And remember smoothies eliminate the liver pleasing, time consuming action of chewing.

Conclusion

So now you know sugar in fruit is not the bad guy. What we need to be weary of, is when sugar is taken out of its natural package and consumed in excess. So go ahead and enjoy the all-natural goodness of fruit.

Can Flaxseed Oil Help With Weight Loss?

By Robert Worrell | Eating Well , Supplements

flax seed oil capsules

Weight loss is the most desired result in an age of unhealthy diets and a lock of exercise. While there is no magic pill for weight loss unless your fork over thousands for potentially dangerous surgeries, flaxseed oil can be a great tool in the battle of the bulge.

In this article, we’ll explain how flaxseed oil can improve digestion, burn fat, keep your blood sugar in check, boost your metabolism, and curb your appetite.

Why Dieting Doesn’t Work

When many people try to lose weight, they go on a diet. However, many diets fail, and for good reason. When you eat less in a sudden manner, your body will believe that it has to store fat and reduce your energy. When you stop dieting, your body might learn how to be more efficient when it comes to fat storage.

Granted, a gradual decrease in calories is the way to go, but many people go for a sudden starvation diet. But all it does is kill your muscle mass and lose water weight, and eventually, you may end up weighing more in the long run.

Omega-3s and Weight Loss

Omega-3, which flaxseed oil has plenty of, is a fatty acid. When you think of fatty acid, you may think that it will make you fatter, but this isn’t true. It’s not about how much fat you consume, but what kinds. Healthy fats, like the ones found in omega-3s, help you to lose weight. If you lower your omega-3 consumption, it will make it harder to shed some weight.flax seed oil capsules

To function, your body needs an essential fatty acid known as alpha linolenic acid, a kind of omega-3 present in flaxseed oil. On the other end, our current diets are giving us too many omega-6s, another essential fatty acid that has negative effects in high doses. It’s recommended that you consume a ratio of one in five when it comes to omega-3 and 6, or even one in two. But many Americans only consume one in 20. We are undernourished, to say the least.

So what does the lack of omega-3s do for you? As omega-3 is involved in many of your body’s natural processes, a lack of it can cause some serious issues. Arthritis, asthma, skin conditions, and even obesity can occur due to an excessive amount of omega-6s in compared to omega-3s. Yikes!

Fat Storage and Flaxseed Oil

When you consume flaxseed meal or oil, you’re getting some essential nutrients. When your body is nourished with them, you’ll feel fuller. On the other hand, if you lack nutrients, you’ll feel hungry, even if you’ve eaten. You may feel hungry, and it’s not a desire for more food, but for more nutrients.flax seed oil for weight loss

To quell this, eat more nutrition. Add more superfoods to your diet and see what results you’ll have. To test this theory, replace your potato chips or other junk foods with something healthier, such as pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts. You’ll eat less seeds than you will chips, and that’s because they actually satisfy your body’s cravings.

In other woods, put some flaxseed oil or meal in your food when you eat. Your satiety will be increased. In other words, you’ll feel fuller for longer, making you eat less food. When you consume flaxseed oil, it also slows down your food’s digestion, especially if it’s flaxseed meal. This means that your insulin levels will gently rise.

Insulin is a hormone in your body, and one of its many uses is to store fat. If you just have a meal that’s high in carbs and low in fiber and fatty acids, it will digest fast and spike your blood sugar.

In other words, insulin comes to help regulate your blood sugar. When it takes care of your blood sugar, you may feel tired. The insulin does more than that, however. It also stores all the carbs you’ve eaten into triglycerides, and it puts them into the adipose tissue, which is fatty, around your belly, waist, and hips. So you get fatter. In fact, while saturated and trans fats are bad, too many simple carbs, which are used in Western diets primarily, are an even worse cause in gaining weight.

If you consume healthy fat such as the omega-3s in flaxseed oil, it can help you to lose weight. So when you’re dieting, never cut fat. Instead, eat healthy fats and reduce the amount of simple carbs you eat, and you won’t have to have so much insulin that’s storing your fat.

Flaxseed Oil and Metabolism

When you take flaxseed oil on a regular basis, it’s said to promote fat burning, or thermogenesis, and flax seed oil capsulesflax seed oil capsulesboost your metabolism. In thermogenesis, your brown fat cells are increased when it comes to burning fat, making it beneficial.

In a strange turn of events, thermogenesis is improved by eating healthy fats, such as omega-3s.

So it’s wise to take some flaxseed, whether in oil or meal form, with each meal, especially if you want to lose weight. Look for cold-pressed or cold-milled flaxseed for best results.

Ground Flaxseed Versus Flaxseed Oil

We’ve mentioned both flaxseed oil and ground flaxseed. Is there a difference? There are a few, and both have their own pros and cons. Ground flaxseeds come with beneficial fiber and plenty of nutrients that can help with your weight loss goals even more, but have less omega-3s than flaxseed oil, even though it’s still a good amount.

Flaxseed meal also contains lignans, an anti-estrogenic. In layman’s terms, they help women reduce their chances of breast, cervical, and other forms of cancer primary found in females. If you’re a woman, you should look into that. There are also oils with added lignans.

If you wish, you can reap the benefits of both by taking ground meal and oil with your main meals.

Overall

It’s not how much you eat, but what you eat, when it comes to losing weight. Flaxseed oil can help you on your weight loss journey, curbing your appetite while firing up your metabolism. If you’re looking to lose weight, or just improve your health, it won’t hurt to try some flaxseed. You’ll be glad you did.

Flaxseed Oil and What it Can Do for You

By Robert Worrell | Eating Well , Life and Stuff

flaxseed_oil_34

Flaxseed oil comes from, well, flax seeds, which have been used as medicine since ancient times. Even in modern day, people still acknowledge flaxseed oil as healthy, and its benefits are something to be looked at.

Containing some of the most potent amounts of omega-3, it’s something that’s definitely good for you, and this article will explain more.

Omega-3s

Omega-3s are fatty acids that are well-known in the health community to help build health and prevent many diseases. They help to keep your cells in check and work well with one another, can improve cell walls, and can help to reduce inflammation. They help to lower your bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood, reducing your chances of heart disease. They help even more by lowering your plaque levels and keeping your blood vessels widened.

When it comes to diabetes, omega-3s tend to help lower the effects that insulin resistance has to your metabolism. This is due to the fact that it lowers your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. It can improve circulation and nerve function, two things that diabetes compromises.flaxseed_oil_34 But if you’re diabetic, high EPA fish oil may be your better bet, as it provides you with an enzyme known as delta-6 desaturase, which many diabetics lack.

For depression, there’s research that omega-3s can help reduce the risk of depression. Of course, you should see a professional if you’re suffering from depression, but they should recommend a healthy diet of omega-3s and exercise is another great defence.

What a Lack of Omega-3 Does for You

On the flip side, having too little omega-3 can be detrimental to your health. You may have mental health problems, including poor memory, depression, low brain function, trouble sleeping and more. Your immunity may be compromised, you may have an increase in blood clots, tingling hypertension, and so much more. Yikes! flaxseed_oil_34flaxseed_oil_34

Despite the healthiness of it, many people do not get enough omega-3 in their diet, and odds are, you aren’t either. But you need plenty of omega-3 to stay healthy, and make sure the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is good, or else face inflammation issues if you consume too much omega-6. Your ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be 2 to 1, or at least 5 to 1.

So how much omega-3 does the average American consume? According to some studies, it’s anywhere from 20 to 1 to 50 to 1. You can blame processed foods and a poor diet for that.

Why Flaxseed Oil is Needed

Flaxseed oil is one of the biggest sources of omega-3s out there, and it’s easily available. You can cook with it, take it in supplemental form, which can be bought in any pharmacy, and so much more. You don’t need to shell out too much money to stay healthy.

If you haven’t already, put some flaxseed oil in your diet today. You can never have too much omega-3, but you can have too little of it.

Brazil Nuts: An Effective Testosterone and Selenium Supplement

By Robert Worrell | Eating Well , Supplements

selenium_brazil_nut_22

You’ve probably heard that big things often come in small packages, the same is true for the Brazil nut. Can you think of any other nut with the ability to increase testosterone levels and raise selenium levels? In my opinion, this may very well be the king of all nuts – the BRAZIL NUT.

Brazil nuts are a great source of bio-active selenium, in fact as little as one to two Brazil nuts daily can easily give your body the selenium it needs to function at optimum levels. Continue reading

How to Improve Your Eating Habits with Small Changes

By Robert Worrell | Easy Exercise , Eating Well

balanced_diet_help

You’ve heard it countless times before: you need to improve your eating so that you can have a healthy weight and function to your fullest potential. However, there is so much information out there about eating that it’s hard for you to grasp just what you need to do.

And you may have so many questions about what you should and shouldn’t eat. While eating fewer calories can lead to weight loss, is there more you need to do in order to improve your body’s performance? Thankfully, there are quite a few ways that you can do that and just a few are listed below.

 

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Cut Out Soda

Whether you call it pop, coke, or soda this sugary drink can be damaging to your teeth and body if consumed in excess. Soda contains excess sugar that gives you a rush when you initially drink it, but then you crash afterwards, which is never fun. Some people drink one, two, or even three cans every day and suffer from dental and weight problems because of it.

Granted, having a drink every once in a while is not going to break you, but if you consume it daily you might want to ease out your consumption. To do that there are plenty of healthier alternatives that can give you the same caffeinated rush, but without the harmful side effects. Try replacing your soda intake with some green tea, or maybe drink coffee instead, without the excessive cream and sugar of course. Speaking of caffeine, this leads to the next point.

Consume Less Caffeine

Caffeine wakes you up and keeps you going, but odds are that you’re consuming too much. Coffee with a shot of energy drink with a soda afterwards and then a tea… yeah, you’re drinking a lot. The truth is, too much caffeine can be counter-productive on your body. Why is that? It’s simple, really. You’re kicking your adrenal glands to their maximum and this can cause imbalances in your body. Besides that the effects of caffeine will start becoming less the more you drink, as your body adapts. If you drink too much close to bedtime then you’re going to suffer from horrible sleep patterns and difficulty falling asleep.reduce_caffine_12

So what’s a person to do for energy? Well, you can still drink caffeine, but leave it to once or twice a day. Perhaps have a cup or two of coffee in the morning, followed by a cup of tea in the afternoon. Exercising and eating a balanced diet will give you all the energy you need, so that you don’t have to worry about putting too much caffeine in there.

Consume Enough Macro-Nutrients

Your diet needs a good balance of fat, carbs, and protein in order to function to its fullest. While reaching the perfect balance is something that is next to impossible to do without screaming, a good rule of thumb is to have 40 percent carbs, 40 percent protein, and 20 percent fat. If you don’t get those numbers exact don’t fret, but try to keep it in that given range – if taking vigorous exercise, you may need to increase carbs.
A good source of each of these is included below:

Fat:

  • Ghee
  • Avocado
  • Plant-based oils
  • Raw coconut oil

Carbs:

  • Fruit
  • Honey
  • Agave nectar

Protein:

  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Fish

Drink Enough Water

Water is something that’s difficult to drink too much of, but easy to not drink enough. Drinking water has many benefits. It can keep your complexion going, defeat dehydration, and provide a natural way to clean your body. However, you need to always have a water bottle with you. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink; take a sip every once in a while to keep your body going. It will thank you for it later.

Eat Plenty of Veggies

Vegetables provide plenty of nutrition but without the calories. While a good balance of other foods is important, it never hurts to put more leafy greens in your foods. Of course not everyone is a fan of vegetables, but there are ways you can implement them in your diet.healthy_veg_improve_diet

For many people, vegetables turn out to be an acquired taste. In other words, you may not like it very much the first time, but if you keep eating them, you’ll end up loving them. Try putting a little bit of vegetables in your meal and build it up from there every week. If that’s not enough, there are plenty of vegetable juice blends out there that taste great and will provide the same amount of nutrition for you.

Try to Avoid Processed Foods

In this era pre-packaged foods and fast food consumption are rampant. After all, they’re cheap and easy to make, so many just want to have a way to eat food that is convenient. However, the problem is that many of these foods are high in fats, calories, salt, or sugar, but are nutrient lacking. Having them every now and then will not kill you, but it’s best to avoid them if you want to have a healthy diet and a functioning body.

When shopping look for foods that have nutrition and are not overly processed with additives and artificial ingredients. Try looking for foods at farmers’ markets on occasion. Not only do these foods tend to be delicious, but you’re supporting the local market by doing so, which more people need to do.

Small Steps to Success

So how do you make these changes? It’s definitely not an overnight process, but instead something gradual. Changing your body’s intake of foods can be done through a slow process. Doing it all at once can be a shock to your eating habits, making it easy to go back to eating the bad foods. However, if you cut back on soda every week, start eating more and more vegetables every single day, and gradually change your diet, you can achieve a healthy diet that allows for the unhealthy foods on occasion. It’s not a difficult process, and your body will thank you for it later.