Lose Weight Classic Healthy Diet Obesity Facts Overweight Children
Counting Calories French Paradox Fitness Classic
lose weight eating sugar?
by Wes J Kaczmarek, Ph.D.
My wife loves yogurt. She consumes several 6 oz containers of that popular fruit flavored mash every day. She does it without any sense of guilt. When I grumble, she says: My goodness, this is just a dairy product, not some kind of desert!
Fortunately, Dana is one of those very active persons, genetically blessed with a fast metabolic rate and no tendency to gain weight. Otherwise, her yogurt gluttony would worry me.
Let me study the Nutrition Facts label of one of those ubiquitous "dairy products". A 6 oz plastic can of a 99% fat free substance provides you with 170 calories. It means that just five of those so easy to consume and so easy to forget (who would count!) "dairy snacks" would provide a 130 pound, medium active women with about 50% of her daily calorie requirement. If she added to those "yogurts" (850 calories), a modest lunch of 400 calories, and a dinner of just 650 calories, she would be already at least 200 calories over her daily energy requirement. Given that one pound of human fat contains 3500 calories, this hypothetical lady would gain about one pound in 17 days and more than 20 pounds in a year.
Counting calories is relatively easy but realizing, why we want more and more of them, invites a scientific explanation. Have you noticed that after eating one of those "healthy foods" you quickly feel like another one? May be you also noticed that there is some pretty regular time span between consecutive "yogurts" or other snacks you consume?
According to the glycemic index concept, foods rich in easily digested sugars work as additives: after being consumed they quickly create a desire for another serving, and then another. Read more about glycemic index and glycemic load in the article below. As for now, let me return to the Nutrition Facts label of the "dairy product" in question.
The 6 oz. serving of 99% fat free "yogurt" contains (next to 170 calories mentioned above): 1.5 g fat, 5 g protein and... 33 g of carbohydrates, including 27 g of pure sugar. Obviously, the main ingredient of this allegedly healthy food is sugar and once again sugar.
One might suggest: Milk naturally contains a lot of carbohydrates, so may be this is the reason, why its products are also rich in sugar. No way, because in a cup of milk (2 oz more than the examined serving) there is only about 13 g of carbs and, at the same time, 9 g of proteins. Clearly, the "yogurt" feeds you to much less protein and to much more sugar than regular milk. At the same time, 6 oz serving of fat free milk contains only 68 calories.
I used a popular yogurt snack only as an example. There are many other sugar loaded products pretending to be very nutritious and very healthy. Consume them in moderation, if you really want to lose weight or control it. And read those Nutrition Facts labels!
The Truth about Carbohydrates Exposed!
by Jim Gerard
Some people load them. Others unload them. According to mainstream science, they're what we burn when we go for a burn, and we couldn't sing dance or, well, breath without them. However, a more radical school of nutrition claims that carbohydrates - especially the simple, refined kind - are the real cause of America's obesity epidemics, and that, unlike protein and fat, they aren't even essential nutrients. American Council on Exercise polled some experts to referee this nutritional skirmish and answer the question: Is there life after carbs?
What are Carbohydrates and What is Their Function?
A carbohydrate is a six-carbon molecule that can shape-shift into many formations. The difference in its chemical structure affects the kind of carb it is, the rate of its absorption by the body and its effect on blood sugar.
The mainstream scientific consensus is that carbohydrates are the body's go-to fuel, our primary energy source, especially for the brain. They also help constitute cellular substances such as nucleic acids, cell walls and cell membranes.
More importantly, they're our sole source of fiber, which is essential in the maintenance of our colon and gastrointestinal tract and the prevention of colon and other cancers.
Simple and Complex Carbs
The two basic varieties of carbohydrates are simple (sugars) and complex. Simple carbs come in two varieties: monosaccharides and disaccharides. The two main monosaccharides are glucose, found in fruit, sugar and honey, and obtainable from complex carbs via process known as hydrolysis; and fructose, found in fruit, fruit juice, honey and engineered foods such as high-fructose corn oil. (In a recent experiment at the University of California, Davis, rats fed a high-fructose diet became abundantly fat, which suggests that we should limit our intake of that sugar.)
The disaccharides are sucrose, maltose and lactose. Sucrose (table sugar), the most important disaccharide, is found in all photosynthetic plants, where it serves as an easily transported energy source. Maltose, which is formed when a malt enzyme interacts with starch, is found in beer and cereals. And lactose is found in milk, whether human or bovine.
The main complex carbs, also known as polysaccharides, are starches, glycogen and fibers. Starch is the reserve carbohydrate in many plants and comprises large percentages of cereals, potatoes, corn and rice. Once in the body, starch is broken down into glucose.
Blood Sugar and Insulin level
The pancreas secretes the hormone insulin when sugar enters the bloodstream; it immediately transports that sugar (glucose) from the blood into the cells. Whatever the cells don't need is stored as fat. Since simple sugars enter the bloodstream quickly, they lead to a very sharp rise in insulin. In turn, these sharp spikes in insulin cause levels of blood glucose, which is being sucked up into the cells, to drop quickly. People are left feeling lethargic and hungry, so they consume more calories than normal. This often triggers "syndrome X" (also called metabolic syndrome), a chain of events made up of overeating, obesity, insulin resistance,type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Because complex carbohydrates are more difficult for the body to metabolize, they have a less severe effect on blood sugar and keep you full longer. They're also nutritionally preferable because they tend to be lower in fat.
How Many Carbs are Too Many?
Here's where things get interesting. Felicia Greer, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise physiology at California State University, Fresno, represents the traditional wing of nutritional science (as typified by the American Dietetic Association and American Heart Association, among others) She stipulates the following carbohydrate requirements:
Elite athletes - with exception of power lifters and bodybuilders - should get 70 percent of their dietary calories from carbs and at least 60 percent from complex carbs, and ingest simple sugars during their event. "In order to perform on a daily basis," she says, "they need to replenish muscle glycogen stores as quickly as possible." She recommends that they consume fruit or a sports drink within the first 30 minutes following an event to get blood glucose back into the muscles. From 30 minutes to two hours afterward, they should eat a complex carbohydrate (such as whole-grain cereal), and two hours after an event a meal high in carbs that also contains protein and fat.
Strength-training athletes such as power lifters, as well as recreational athletes who work out four to five times a week for 30 to 45 minutes, should get from 55 percent to 60 percent of their diet from carbohydrates.
The deconditioned should get 50 percent to 55 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates.
As for fiber, everyone needs 25 to 35 grams a day, according to Douglas Kalman, director of nutrition at Miami Research Association, as well as the National Cancer Institute. (The average American consumes just 16 grams).
Most nutrition texts state that the average person should consume 1 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrates for every kilogram of body weight. Not Joey Antonio, Ph.D., who the high priests of carbophilia might call a heretic. Antonio, co-editor of the textbook Sports Supplements, claims that high-glycemic carbs (simple sugars) can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and that unless one is an ultra-endurance athlete, there's no reason to get from 50 percent to 60 percent of one's diet from carbs. While both of these ideas are gaining more of scientific credence, Antonio goes further. "Strictly speaking," he says, "carbs aren't needed at all. They're not an essential nutrient, like fatty acids, amino acids and vitamins. If you stop eating them, you won't die or suffer a deficiency of any kind." Antonio cites a recent study of the Inuit people of Nunavut, whose diet consists almost exclusively of protein and fat. There was little evidence to conclude that this extreme restriction of carbohydrates was harmful.
Antonio admits that people who go on low-carb diets "may feel sluggish," and adds two caveats: that a diet totally lacking in fiber may ultimately compromise the colon and GI tract, as well as leave the body with inadequate supplies of essential vitamins and minerals. He concludes that carb-lessness is most suitable for the completely sedentary.
For active people, from elite athletes to weekend warriors, Antonio recommends a diet composed of equal thirds lean protein, saturated fat and high fiber carbs. How many grams of carbohydrates can the body process at one time? "Nobody knows", says Antonio, although he notes that ultra-endurance athletes such as Tour de France cyclists consume 10 to 12 grams per kilogram of body weight, or 700 grams of carbohydrates a day.
Do you Need More Carbs on the Day you Work Out?
Again, there are two schools of thought. Greer claims that carbs are most needed in the morning (because half of your liver's glycogen stores are burned overnight), and in anticipation of any athletic activity. "Eat for what you're going to do rather than what you have just finished," Greer advises. Antonio, a proponent of a recent dietary development known as "nutrient timing", suggests the opposite - that the most important time to eat is after your workout, when you should consume a drink composed of two parts of protein to one part of carbohydrate (such as protein powder blended with fruit juice), followed by a full meal an hour or so later.
Are Low-carb Diets Healthy?
No one knows the long-term effects of any diet - most dietary studies last eight to twelve weeks, with the longest six months to a year. However, some new studies demonstrate that a healthy low-carb diet - that is, one such as the South Beach Diet that emphasizes complex carbs and unsaturated fat - can not only help reduce weight, but benefit overall health. For example, a study at the Human Performance Laboratory of the Department of Kinesiology of the University of Connecticut demonstrated that a low-carb diet increased levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol), while lowering triglycerides.
One More Reason for Men to Exercise
For years health promoters have been racking their brains trying to come up with persuasive reasons for Americans to be more physically active. Well, here's a new one that's sure to get some attention: Men who exercise are less likely to experience sexual dysfunction as they get older.
Analyzing data from surveys of nearly 32,000 men ages 53 to 90, researchers concluded that men who were the most physically active were the least likely to become impotent. According to Eric B. Rimm, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, men who ran at least three hours per week appeared to have a sexual functioning of men two to five years younger.
But even moderate physical activity proved beneficial: Men who briskly walked for thirty minutes , most days of the week , had a fifteen percent to twenty percent reduction in the risk of erectile dysfunction.
Fewer than twenty five percent of Americans get enough exercise , so it is not surprising that sexual dysfunction is a comm0n complaint , particularly among older men. However, some doctors believe that impotence could be considered an early warning sign of what could happen to the heart. Exercise appears to benefit the small arteries that control erections, which is the same reason exercise is good for the heart - it benefits the arteries that feed the heart.
And while many men appear unconcerned about heart health, chances are they might be more motivated to do something about the health of their sex lives. Even moderate exercise would be very beneficial and there are countless forms of pleasant and entertaining physical activity: walking, playing golf, playing outside with children, lifting light weights, stretching or doing traditional calisthenics, dancing, gardening, etc.
Source: Annals of Internal Medicine.
Diet, Exercise, and Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Part of keeping sharp as you age may be a simple matter of movement. Research shows that regular exercise can offset declines in cognitive function that are a normal part of the aging process. Compared to people who had low fitness levels, the very fit people in a study who completed a mental task showed more activity in key brain regions related to cognitive performance.
If you need to focus better on the task at hand, grab your walking shoes. Improving your cardiovascular fitness through brisk walking or jogging can help boost your mental acuity. In a study, people who regularly participated in cardiovascular exercise were able to focus better on a target compared to people who performed only stretching and toning exercises.
Don't let a mild case of the blues put your heart health at risk. More and more research is suggesting that depression can impact heart health. Now a recent study in postmenopausal women revealed that even a mild case of the blues may increase the risk of developing heart disease down the road. When you feel a blue mood coming on, cut it short by spending time with good friends or going for a brisk walk.
Getting softer as you get older is not an inevitable part of aging. Although gradual muscle loss is a natural part of the aging process starting at about middle age, it's not something you have to accept. Research shows that regular exercise, and particularly strength training, helps to halt age-related muscle loss in both men and women and helps them maintain their strength late in life.
If you're feeling spiritual these days, you may start feeling better about your health, too. Taking time to nurture your spirit may be a path to better health, according to some researchers. An assessment of the health perceptions of older adults revealed that the people who reported being the most spiritual also tended to rate their health more highly, compared to people who did not consider themselves to be spiritual.
Are you a hot head? A less hostile outlook may help keep your heart rhythms steady. Studies in men revealed that men who are generally hostile or often openly angry may have as much as a 30 percent greater risk of developing irregular heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a risk factor for stroke.
If you're searching out the pepper with the most vitamin C, head toward the red hues. Sweet red and yellow bell peppers contain almost twice as much vitamin C as green bell peppers. An ample supply of vitamin C in the diet has been credited with reducing the risk of stroke, one of the most common causes of death and disability in the United States and other developed countries.
Sipping on a cup of hot tea may be a safeguard against cancer. Population studies have linked the consumption of tea with a reduction in risk for several types of cancer. Researchers speculate that the polyphenols in tea may inhibit certain mechanisms that promote cancer growth. Both green and black teas have been credited with cancer-inhibiting powers.
Don't just walk your way to fitness. Swim, bike, and dance, too. A recent survey revealed that many people who walk for exercise don't walk often enough to maximize the health benefits. A comprehensive exercise program with several different activities in addition to walking, such as swimming and calisthenics, may help people better meet their minimum physical activity needs
CHANGE A PATTERN... LOSE THE FAT
By Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D.
A couple years ago, I put on 23 pounds during the winter months. I love watching college basketball, and I follow my favorite teams during conference play, March Madness and the NCAA championships. At the end of college basketball season, I get caught up in the NBA playoffs. To increase my enjoyment, my habit was to have a beer or two along with my favorite snacks. Also, because of a lingering cold, I got out of my usual routine of working out. So it’s no mystery to me why I gained the weight.
Shocked at what I saw on the bathroom scales, I returned to sensible eating and regular exercise, and 6 months later I had lost all the weight, and then some.
Last year, I vowed not to gain the weight back again. I maintained my regular exercise program, and I stayed away from beer and chips. Unfortunately I substituted red wine and mixed nuts. Yes, these foods are said to have positive health benefits, but they are rich in calories and I managed to gain 11 pounds. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I had to admit that I hadn’t broken my pattern at all.
What’s a habit? Most people don’t know that the behavior patterns we call habits are “hard-wired” in the cerebral cortex of the brain. If you do the same things over and over, dendrites from neurons related to the behavior will grow towards other specific neurons to make the connections needed to execute the behavior. This creates a neuronal pathway that makes the satisfying behavior automatic—a pattern. You no longer have to try to make it happen. It just feels right and you do it.
Habits, then, have a physical basis in the brain. This explains why they are so hard to break.
But people do change habits. They’re successful because they substitute an alternative behavior pattern that also satisfies the need, hopefully without the negative side effects. Repeating this pattern creates a new neuronal pathway. Once the new habit is ingrained, the new behavior pattern also becomes easy and automatic. If you don’t return to your old ways, over time the old pathway, like an unused highway, will eventually deteriorate from lack of use.
Knowing all this, I created a delicious substitute for my usual glass of wine. I simply squeezed a one-quarter segment of lime into a glass of cold club soda water. This drink is healthy and has practically no calories. And it tastes great! For variety I would sometimes jazz it up a little with a fruit drink.
Instead of chips or nuts, I substituted fresh fruit: berries, cherries, grapes, pineapple segments, or orange slices. Occasionally I’d have half a bag of microwave low-fat popcorn or some baked chips with salsa.
This year, I felt the craving for wine and nuts, but I substituted my healthy snacks instead. It worked! By the time I got to March Madness, I automatically poured my lime concoction, which I enjoyed. I only gained a couple pounds, which I quickly lost as I increased my activity during the summer.
Remember: habits ARE hard to break, but you can do it. The key is to maintain your fitness habits while sticking with your alternative. The new pattern must be:
1. Nutritious and low in calories
2. Just as satisfying as the unhealthy habit
If an obsessed basketball fan like me can do it, so can you!
Lose Weight Classic Healthy Diet Obesity Facts Overweight Children
Counting Calories French Paradox Fitness Classic
Copyright (c) 2006-20116 Lose Weight Classic. All rights reserved.