Why People Fail at Diets

girl looking scared into a fridgeAt some point, nearly everyone has been on a diet. And almost every person has failed at one time or another on their quest to achieve a healthy weight on that diet. According to the National Institutes of Health, almost two-thirds of people who start a weight loss program end up heavier than when they started. Why do people fail at diets? That’s a big question — but we have a few answers for you!

The Fear of Commitment

Learning about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is a big task and knowing is only half the battle. Once you find a diet and exercise program that works for you, you have to commit to it. That doesn’t mean you’ll never eat a Big Mac again (everything in moderation, after all) – it simply means that your habits have to change for good. That’s a far taller order than many people realize.
For a lot of folks, weight loss and dieting is a temporary solution to something they’ve been struggling with their entire lives. They want immediate and long-lasting results without the commitment to a healthy lifestyle that good health requires. If you find yourself endlessly searching for quick fixes and you have an entire shelf of fitness DVDs, fad diet books, and various other weight loss products, then it’s time to take a step back and think about your goals and how you plan to achieve them. You’re not going to get sculpted, rock hard abs in just four minutes a day – sorry!
What everyone on a diet must remember is that small changes will last — big ones won’t. Good health is a habit and must become a way of life to truly be successful. Weight loss is a marathon, not a race. So sign up for the marathon!

Not Getting Enough Sleep

girl laying awake at 2:29 amWould you believe that your snooze schedule has a huge impact on your physical health – including weight? It’s true! Restorative sleep helps your body to balance the hormones that make you feel hungry or full. When you don’t spend enough time with the Sandman, the hormone that causes hunger shoots up while the hormone that helps you feel satiated when you eat goes down. So, when you’re tired you’ll be hungry and find it difficult to reach a point where you feel satisfied. When you’re well rested, you’re not as hungry.

Sleep deficiency also happens to be linked to a host of chronic illnesses beyond obesity such as kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, stroke, and diabetes. The lesson to be learned here is if you want to lose weight, you have to make sure to get enough sleep every night! A few tips to help you include:

  • Going to bed at around the same time each night
  • Waking up at about the same time every morning
  • Turning off electronics at least an hour before bed
  • Keeping your room dark and cool
  • Creating a bedtime ritual that helps you fall to sleep easily

More sleep is definitely a good thing, for your mental and physical health! Do what you must to make sure you’re getting good quality sleep every night and don’t count on the weekends to help you catch up. You’ll always be running a sleep deficit if you do it that way!

Timing Meals Poorly

Be like Indiana Jones – choose wisely. When you eat your meals may just be as important as what is being eaten. The consequences of eating at irregular times may not be apparent right away, but over time there will be subtle effects on health, including the ability to lose weight and keep it off. One of the keys to long term weight loss success is to time meals appropriately.
Many people live under the false impression that they need three large meals a day. The truth of the matter is that eating small amounts of food several times over the course of the day has a much more positive impact on blood sugar, helping the body to avoid spikes in glucose that result in being hungrier later on and keeping the metabolism going at a steady rate.
Keep snacks on hand that supply your body with a good quality source of protein such as nuts, cheese, or nut butter. Combine them with whole grains and you’re one step closer to keeping that metabolism pumping and controlling hunger so you don’t overeat. Then, when it is time for meals, you won’t be so hungry that you overeat.

Miscalculating Calories

woman on her calorie tracker.Keeping track of calories is just one aspect of learning how to eat right for weight loss. Make sure to always take the calories on the nutrition label with a grain of salt – not literally, of course, since too much salt is a big no-no! You must look at the big picture on a nutrition label. Many people don’t bother to fully take in the complete nutritional information of what they’re eating. That snack size bag of Doritos may only say 140 calories, but that’s 140 calories in one serving, not the whole bag. Read the information on the nutrition label completely before writing it down in your daily food journal.

Eating out is also a huge minefield of calorie miscalculation, so be careful when dining out with family and friends. When the meal isn’t prepared by you in your own kitchen, there are many hidden calories that can be added (hello, butter!). Plus, portion sizes in restaurants are notoriously large, meaning you’re not getting one serving but likely 3 or more. Even if there’s a breakdown of nutritional information on the menu, it may not always be on target.

The best way to counter calorie underestimation is to use an app on your smartphone or a journal to track calories daily. It’s well documented that people trying to lose weight who keep track of what they eat in a day lose twice as much weight as dieters who don’t. It’s also important to remember calories are merely a guideline. Fiber, sugar, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are all important factors when choosing what goes on your plate, too.

Overestimating How Many Calories are Burned

The human body requires energy to function, which is the whole reason for eating food in the first place – to provide energy! A diet rich in proper vitamins and minerals, along with adequate hydration, is incredibly important to overall health and wellness. If you’re focusing only on how many calories you’re eating a day to lose weight to the point where you don’t eat enough, you may find it causes you to experience a sharp decrease in energy. That will create less enthusiasm for exercise – and exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle that helps you achieve a healthy weight.

When you do get your body moving every day, you have to make sure you’re not overestimating how many calories are burned. Keeping track of your exercise with a fitness app or fitness tracker is a great idea. That way, you can get an accurate count on calories in versus calories out – and that’s one of the most important things you need to do in order to meet your weight loss goals.
So you’ve tried a diet or two – or five – in your life and not had long lasting success. So what? You have to get back on that saddle and take control. Learn about healthy eating, get some exercise every day, and concentrate on the quality of the food you’re eating and you may find that the elusive success of the past is finally yours!

The Real Deal on ProBiotics

a few raspberries in yogurtThe first time you heard about the necessity of probiotics for your health was probably during a round of antibiotics. Your healthcare provider likely explained that the drug you were taking to fight an infection was going to wreak havoc with the bacteria in your gut that keep your digestion running smoothly.

Is this the only benefit that probiotics have for your health?

Emerging research shows that these live bacteria and enzymes – found in foods like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha (a fermented tea drink), are vital to more than gut health; they provide an incredible array of health benefits.

Other natural sources of probiotics are:

  • Pickles
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

Unfortunately, most of us don’t consume enough probiotics for optimum health through our diets – meaning lots of people are missing out on the health benefits of these little bacterial and enzyme powerhouses.

What can probiotics do for you?

While far from exhaustive, we’ll go over some of the most important and scientifically verified benefits of probiotics.

Keep reading to discover the real deal on probiotics.

What are Probiotics?

what are probioticsAs you read earlier; probiotics are the bacteria and enzymes necessary for proper digestion and gut health in general. But, what exactly are they and what do they do in our guts?

Probiotic bacteria fall into one of two kinds.

1) Bifidobacteria

Bifidobacterium bifidum: living inside the mucus lining of your large intestine or vaginal tract, bifidum prevents infectious bacteria and yeasts from invading. Bifidum makes positive changes in pH levels through the production of lactic and acetic acids. Additionally, this bifidum increase the absorption rate of essential minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

B. infantis: stimulates the production of cytokines affecting the immune system, and will kill off such infectious agents as salmonella, clostrida, and shigella.

B. longum: thrives in the large intestine. Longum prevents pathogenic bacteria and yeast from invading. This could mitigate the severity of gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, and nausea while on antibiotics.

2) Lactobacteria

Lactobacillus acidophilus: is a commonly known probiotic and is also one of the most critical for small intestine health.

This probiotic bacteria inhabits the lining of the intestine, but it can also take up residence in the vagina, cervix or urethra. Acidophilus inhibits infection, and produces natural antibiotics like lactocidin and acidophilin, enhancing our immunity. Acidophilus is an anti-microbial against pathogens such as; staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, E. coli and candida albicans.

Lactobacillus brevis: also called L. brevis, is a lactic acid producing probiotic that helps your body to synthesize Vitamins D and K.

L. bulgaricus: Is used to ferment yogurt and plays a protective role by generating lactic acid, creating a friendly environment for other probiotic bacteria species.

L. plantarum: creates lactolin, one more natural antibiotic. Plantarum will also produce L-lysine, a potent anti-viral amino acid. This bacterium eliminates nitrate while increasing nitric oxide levels and eliminating pathogens.

L. rhamnosus: exhibits a high bile salt tolerance and survives in less hospitable environments. This bacterium has demonstrated benefit for both the elderly and infants. Rhamnosus mitigates lactose intolerance, protects your small intestine, and produces lactic acid in your large intestine. There are many strains of lactobacilli that include; L. fermentum, L. caucasicus, and L helveticusi.

These are the most basic facts about the different kinds of probiotics we rely on for digestive health – but in what other ways do probiotics optimize our health?

Weight Loss

strawberry smoothieAccording to a study published in the journal Obesity; taking probiotics can protect against weight gain and aid in your weight loss efforts.

Past research has demonstrated that imbalances in our microbiome (the trillions of bacteria living in the gut) can increase the chances of suffering metabolic disease like diabetes, weight gain, and poor nutrition due to impaired digestion.

This time test subjects were placed on a high fat and high calorie diet to determine what effect if any consuming probiotic supplements would have on weight gain. The subjects who consumed a probiotic shake as part of their daily food intake had lower total body mass gain and fat accumulation than the subjects who didn’t.
Immune Health

Research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition details the effects that probiotics have on strengthening our immune response for greater resilience against infection.

This research published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found out that athletes in New Zealand had almost 40% fewer colds and intestinal infections when they took a probiotic compared to when they were given a placebo.

Maintaining healthy intestinal flora by eating probiotic rich foods or taking supplements will also help your immune ability by increasing production from your lymphocytes; a strong marker of a robust immune response.

If you’re sick of being sick, consuming more probiotics is a proven way to turbocharge your infection fighting ability.

Skin Problems

Salmon over some noodles with chop sticks on the edge of plateProbiotics have been studied for their power to minimize and even prevent the symptoms of psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.

Studies have proven that probiotics are instrumental in mitigating the effects of eczema, psoriasis, and other bothersome (and sometimes painful) skin conditions.

The health of our gastrointestinal tract affects an incredible range of organs and systems throughout the body.

Improve Your Mood

Research shows that individuals suffering from depression and other mood disorders respond positively to supplemental probiotics added to the diet. Researchers conclude that probiotics have strong potential in alleviating distress and anxiety in psychiatric patients suffering from mood disorders.

There is a proven link between gut health and our mental health; if you’re feeling down, try including probiotics in your diet for a pick me up.

Women’s Health

Similar to the digestive tract; the vagina relies on a delicate balance of bacteria for health. An imbalance can result in extremely uncomfortable conditions:

  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Yeast infection

L. acidophilus has been found useful in both preventing infection and managing an already active case of vaginosis or yeast infection.

Probiotics may be of particular benefit to pregnant women since bacterial vaginosis is a risk factor for pre-term labor. If you’re expecting a baby – take probiotics for your health, and your baby’s.

Probiotics are Tasty!

probioticsIt’s easy to start enjoying the health enhancing benefits of probiotics. Try some of the probiotic rich foods mentioned in this article and see which ones are enjoyable and easy to add to your diet.

From pickles and sauerkraut to yogurt and kefir – there are many delicious ways to maintain your gut health!

Is Your Emotional Eating to Blame for Excessive Weight Gain?

Emotions can Cause Weight Gain?

Woman looking sadly at a table of foodOverweight? Gaining Weight? Not sure what has caused the pounds to pack on? Most people think overeating, poor diet and lack of exercise is the cause but ever think it’s how you are feeling mentally? Have you ever asked yourself “am I happy?” or “where was the last time I was happy?” Emotional eating is a very common cause of weight gain and obesity. Your emotional and mental health are very important to your overall health. Some people don’t make the connection that the reason your gaining weight is your emotional health. 75% of over eating is caused by emotional stress, that is a problem. Emotional eating is when you eat because you need comfort, whether you are sad, stressed, lonely or bored. Eating “comfort food” can help numb the bad feelings and give you something to occupy yourself and give you happiness.

What Causes Emotional Eating?

Fat Man at table with too much food and a laptopDo you find comfort in food because of social situations and anxiety, conflicts or just depression? Are you bored or lonely? When I was a child they only way to get seconds was to eat faster than my brothers, so I grew accustomed to eating fast which can cause you to over eat. By the time my stomach showed signs of feeling full I had already over indulged. Going out to social events with free food, or to restaurants where everyone gets appetizers, entrees and desserts. These events cause you to eat to fit in with the group and also over eat. When everyone at your table is eating unhealthy entrees of course you are influenced to make the same bad choices. Sometimes a daily routine causes us to overeat. Scheduled lunch breaks, busy schedules where you know you won’t be able to eat for hours so you over compensate now. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget to eat and then starve causing us to scarf down as much food as possible. Emotions in general cause us to overeat. If you’re excited and joyous going out to celebrate you are more prone to eating fun foods than a salad or sandwich. We can get upset and emotional that we crave sweets and sugary mixed drinks. I know women will tend to crave chocolate and salty snacks when emotional. If you are stressed you may binge eat to relax your nerves. Sometimes when I am overwhelmed and stressed I like to disengage with a snack because it relaxes my mind and nerves, it’s a reason to chill out. If you are lonely it’s very common to overeat. Make food for two and then eat for two. Portion control is very difficult when alone. If I am with someone I will eat less and have that distraction to not eat more. If I am alone I will get seconds and eat snacks just to feel occupied. It’s even harder to not binge eat when you have health issues like low blood sugar. If my blood sugar is low I feel horrible and very weak. The faster I get sugar in my system, the quicker I will feel better. This is when I scarf down a candy bar and chug a soda. All this sugar can be addictive. The sugar can boost your endorphins making you feel high and happy. When this high is gone you crave even more sugar.

When Emotional Eating Causes Serious Problems

A woman lying in bed staring at a plate with a cherry tomatoFrom a psychological standpoint, emotional eating can cause a lot of problems like eating disorders. Say you are feeling fat and upset for over indulging. So, you starve yourself from all food. Then you feel sick and deprived so you binge eat. This makes you feel great but then you quickly feel regret and anger which causes the cycle to start again. In extreme cases the regret and anger can cause the purging of all the food consumed. This can become a very dangerous and life-threatening situation.

How to Control your Emotional Eating Habits

A happy couple eating healthy plates of foodThe easiest way to control yourself from over indulging is to be mindful of what, when and where you eat. If you eat fast then be aware of each bite, calm yourself and enjoy it, there is no race. If you eat more when alone, then occupy your mind, be active and be busy. If you need to eat or indulge keep only healthy snacks in the house so you’re never packing on the calories and fat. Be aware of portion size when eating in a group. Sometimes we get distracted and eat way more than we should. If you have a small plate then there’s no way you can over eat. If stress is causing you to over eat then go for a walk instead, take a bath, listen to music. There’s many things you can do to not overeat. If you have that strong of a need to consume something, then drink a glass of water. When it comes to low blood sugar, a soda and candy bar doesn’t have to be your only savior, try an apple or a glass of orange juice instead. All in all, the things you need to be aware of when tempted to over indulge is to slow down. Think about what you are feeling and eating. Be patient, don’t jump to food as the first option. If you over eat it’s not the end of the world, you will slip up. Still feeling like your emotions are getting the best of you? Is anxiety the reason behind your eating habits and weight gain? Check out my previous article, it will help you learn to suppress your anxiety.

The 10 Tastiest Foods for Heart Health

Tomatoes in a bowlFirst, the bad news – heart disease is still one of the leading causes of death in the US. It affects people across ethnicity and race and kills more people nationally than even cancer!

The great news is that studies have demonstrated that close to 70% of new heart disease cases could be prevented by making changes in what you eat.

Don’t worry, though! Eating heart healthy isn’t annoying and doesn’t limit your food choices to bland and tasteless meals. Let’s take a look at ten delicious and heart healthy foods that you can add to your diet right away to keep your ticker ticking for the long haul.

Red Wine

Yes, you read that right; red wine is a heart healthy addition to your diet – didn’t I say that eating heart healthy isn’t annoying?

According to studies, red wine is packed with a variety of healthy substances that will keep your heart happy. Red wine has an incredible compound called resveratrol that has shown to be effective against the majority of degenerative and cardiovascular diseases from

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Ischemia/Reperfusion
  • Heart Failure
  • Diabetes,
  • Obesity
  • Aging

But, what about alcohol – isn’t that supposed to be bad for you? Yes, if you’re regularly consuming large quantities of alcoholic beverages; you’ll be putting yourself at risk for a laundry list of health problems.

The real question is the dose. Studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption has a protective effect on your heart. As with anything else in life; moderation is the key.

Coffee

A coffee cup with coffee beans spilling out In today’s health conscious world, we’re all preoccupied with the possible damage anything we eat or drink can do to our health, and coffee has been blamed for a host of ills from high blood pressure to cancer.

It’s pretty much nonsense.

Enjoy your java knowing that coffee has been shown to improve your circulation and reduce the incidence of heart trouble. Research published in Current Cardiology Reports demonstrates that the caffeine in your cup of Joe has a real effect on blood flow. The researchers discovered that blood flow in the smaller blood vessels increased by almost one-third among the test-subjects who drank caffeinated coffee.

Coffee has been shown to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other forms of heart disease.

Dark Chocolate

The good news keeps coming! Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, a plant based compound that has demonstrated effects on cardiovascular health. While exactly how chocolate flavonoids help your heart isn’t known; the theory is that this compound acts as a powerful antioxidant that maintains circulatory health and helps prevent conditions such as arteriosclerosis from becoming an issue.

Avocado

The avocado isn’t just delicious; this fruit (not a vegetable!) is chock full of healthy fats that enhance not only heart – but whole body health.

Avocados are brimming with the monounsaturated fats that may significantly reduce heart disease risk factors like cholesterol. Avocados are also rich in potassium and antioxidants, which provide a range of health benefits.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It’s what makes a salad worth eating. There’s no need to feel guilty about dripping this golden oil over your greens because science has discovered that extra virgin olive oil has extra heart health benefits.

Olive oil is mostly composed of monounsaturated fatty acids, the most important of which is oleic acid. Oleic acid has been proven to be extremely an extremely heart-healthy fat.
Most importantly, diets high in extra virgin olive oil, including the Mediterranean diet, have demonstrated a lower incidence of

  • Atherosclerosis,
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Certain cancers

Tomatoes

It’s all about a substance called lycopene.

Lycopene is a form of carotenoid (vegetable) vitamin A that creates the red color we associate with this delicious food. It’s also found in pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, guava, and other fruits (yes, tomatoes are a fruit).

Research has shown that lycopene can reduce oxidized LDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) and reduce the markers of systemic inflammation (inflammation can damage blood vessels).

Consuming tomatoes and tomato products also has the effect of modestly lowering your blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke.

Salmon

Salmon plated with a small side saladSalmon isn’t just the tastiest fish you can enjoy – this oily fish will also keep you healthy for the long-term. Salmon is rich in an essential fat called omega-3; omega-3s are fats we can’t produce in our own bodies and need to include in our diet for optimal health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a kind of unsaturated fatty acid that could reduce levels of inflammation throughout your body. Inflammation in your body can cause damage to your blood vessels and consequently lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Researchers have consistently demonstrated that increased consumption of omega-3 fats has heart protective effects.

Nuts

Nuts are a healthy addition to any diet. They’re full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs.

A team of researchers discovered that in a study of over 200,000 people worldwide, those who routinely ate both peanuts (a legume) and other nuts were significantly less likely to have died of any cause, including heart disease, than those who rarely or never ate nuts.

Keep in mind that peanuts have been shown to have the same effect! While price may be a limiting factor for many people who would like to add nuts to their diet for health; peanuts are a cheaper and equally effective alternative.

Legumes

People who eat legumes have a much lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. But, what is a legume?

A good rule of thumb is that while not all legumes are beans, all beans are legumes. A couple of exceptions are peanuts and alfalfa.

Medical research indicates that eating between one-half to two cups of cooked legumes a day could reduce heart disease risk by:

  • Lowering LDL cholesterol
  • Increasing HDL cholesterol
  • Reducing your blood pressure
  • Helping to maintain a healthy blood glucose level

Green Vegetables

Hearth Healthy Tomatoes in a jarThe health benefits of eating green vegetables are incredible. The consumption of green vegetables has repeatedly been shown to have not only a heart protective effect – but also a role in preventing a host of maladies; from stroke to cancer, people who consumed more green vegetables showed a reduction in the incidence of a plethora of health problems.

From vitamin C to a broad range of flavonoids and natural chemical compounds; green vegetables are tasty and nutritional powerhouses to maintain your health.

Eating Heart Healthy Tastes Good!

There you have it! The ten tastiest ways to be heart healthy.

Not only is eating heart healthy the smartest thing you can do for yourself, but it’s also an excuse to eat and drink some of the most enjoyable foods you can throw in your shopping cart.

8 Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil Health BenefitsOf all the foods that we can include in our diets to maintain health and reach peak performance – coconut oil has jumped to the top of the list for it amazing, and scientifically proven – health enhancing effects.

Keep reading to discover the 8 most amazing benefits of using this incredible substance for vitality, healing, and avoiding or treating many bothersome (and some serious) health problems.

What is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil, also called copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the sweet internal ‘meat’ of the mature palm coconut. The oil has an extraordinarily high saturated fat content that makes it very slow to spoil (it has a shelf life of about 6 months) and can be heated to high temperatures without burning – making it very good for frying.

Known and used by people in tropical climates for thousands of years, it’s both a staple of food preparation and used in various traditional remedies. Decades of scientific research have shown that this simple nut oil can benefit human health and treat an incredible array of symptoms and illnesses.

The secret to coconut oil seems to be in its high percentage of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)

  • Caprylic acid
  • Lauric acid
  • Capric acid

Medium chain triglycerides have demonstrated health benefits including; weight loss, improved energy metabolism, and spot reduction of abdominal fat.

Unlike the long-chain fatty acids found in most other plant-based oils, MCTs are:

  • Easier to digest
  • Antimicrobial and antifungal
  • Processed by your liver, meaning that they’re rapidly converted to energy instead of being stored as fat

Coconut Oil for Heart Health

As mentioned previously; coconut oil is naturally high in saturated fats.

Saturated fats increase the healthy cholesterol (the HDL cholesterol) in your body, but they also help convert the LDL (bad) cholesterol into the good cholesterols your body needs. By increasing your HDL levels, coconut oil can promote heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease.

Coconut oil can also benefit your heart by reducing high triglyceride levels in the blood.

A Fat That Helps You Lose Weight

benefits of Coconut OilWhen it comes to losing body fat, metabolism is a huge factor, so the quicker you can get your metabolism revved up, the more calories you’ll burn.

Coconut oil is different from many of the other fats we eat in our diet.

While the majority of other oils consist mostly of long-chain fatty acids (LCT); coconut oil is almost entirely made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCTs).

The difference with these medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), is that they are metabolized in a different manner than the longer chain fats. The reduced chain length means that MCTs are absorbed more quickly by your body and are consequently more quickly burned as fuel.

This results in MCTs being quickly metabolized instead of being stored as body fat, the calories in MCTs are efficiently turned into fuel for immediate use by the organs, tissues, and muscles in your body.

One study investigated the effects of MCT oil on weight: it compared weight changes in rats who were overfed with either long chain or medium chain triglycerides. The study found that the rats fed the medium chain fats gained almost 20% less weight and a staggering 23% less body fat.

Improve Digestion

Coconut oil improves digestion because it helps the body to absorb vital fat-soluble vitamins, as well as health-essential minerals like calcium and magnesium.

If you consume coconut oil at the same time as omega-3 fatty acids, it can make them up to two times more effective, as they will be readily available to be digested and used by your body due to the effect of the MCTs in coconut oil.
Coconut oil will also help to improve probiotic bacteria and your gut health by destroying harmful bacteria and prevent candida overgrowth. A candida imbalance can decrease stomach acid, causing inflammation and bad digestion.

Coconut oil not only benefits digestive health, but it also helps treat or prevent stomach ulcers and ulcerative colitis.

Prevent Diabetes

coconut oil prevent diabetesWhen cells no longer respond to insulin and aren’t able to utilize glucose for energy, is when you’re considered to be insulin-resistant.

Your pancreas will begin to pump out increasing quantities of insulin to compensate, and this overproduction cycle in concert with insulin resistance is the prelude to type II diabetes.

The MCTs in coconut oil will help to balance the insulin reaction in your cells and consequently promote a healthy metabolic process. MCTs take the strain off the pancreas and provide your body with a stable/consistent energy source – not dependent on glucose metabolism.

This process can prevent the development of insulin resistance and type II diabetes.

Coconut Oil Can Reduce Seizures

It’s been known for over a century that by reducing the intake of carbohydrates and switching the body over to using fats as the main source of energy (ketosis), that epileptics will experience a reduction in seizures.

MCTs are metabolized in the same manner as ketones in the body, in one study an epileptic man was given 2 tablespoons of pure MCT oil per day and experienced a marked reduction in seizures with no other changes in diet.

MCTs for Alzheimer’s

coconut oil comes from palm treesA study by the University of Oxford suggests that even though the effect of coconut oil on dementia may be temporary; Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have actually seen measurable short-term benefits from using it.

This research supports the theory that ketones, which are simply byproducts of the breakdown of fats in your body – do play a critical role in the health of the brain.

The concept is that by boosting ketone levels with coconut oil, it’s possible to significantly improve cognitive function.

Treatment and Prevention of Cancer

Coconut oil has two important qualities that help it to fight cancer:

1) Because of the ketones created as coconut oil is digested. Cancer cells are glucose dependent and aren’t able to access the energy in ketones – slowing or even stopping growth (the Warburg effect).

2) Coconut oil MCTs eat away the lipid walls of harmful bacteria, consequently also killing the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known to increase our risk of developing stomach cancer.

Even in studies where cancers are chemically induced, the use of coconut oil has prevented cancers from growing.

 

The Importance of Omega 3s for Health

Why You Need Omega 3s for Health

Bottle of Omega 3 PillsThe food we eat – or don’t – can impact our health in many ways, lets take a look at how foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can keep us healthy and mitigate (or even reverse) a broad range of health issues.

What is an Omega-3 Fat?

Omega-3s, also called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), are fatty acids that are essential for human health, but the body can’t produce them. You have to get the omega-3s you need through food.

They are commonly found in fish, such as:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Halibut

And other seafood that include algae, krill, some plants, and also certain nut oils.

Omega-3 fatty acids have a crucial role in healthy brain function, as well as normal growth and development. They have become popular recently because consuming these fatty acids may significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Types of Omega-3s

As I mentioned earlier; you can get the omega-3s from both plant and animal sources.

Plants like flaxseed, chia, and hemp, all provide a type of omega-3 called alpha-linonleic acid (ALAI).

Animal sources, on the other hand are where we find eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA); the type of PUFA that has demonstrated significant cellular health benefits.

While ALA is converted into EPA and DHA in your body – it only does so at very low levels. Even consuming large quantities of ALA will only result in a small increase in EPA and DHA levels in the body (and only when there is a sufficient level of enzymes present).

Ideally, to enjoy the full health benefits of omega-3 consumption, you will want to focus on getting it from animal sources.

Omega-3 Regulates Your Triglyceride Levels

omega 3 triglyceride levelsOmega-3 fatty acids are remarkable for their triglyceride-reducing properties. No other fatty acids like omega-6, monounsaturated or saturated, will match the triglyceride-busting effect of omega-3.

Omega-3 fatty acids are almost ten times more potent for triglyceride reduction than any other food oil.

Evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil reduce triglyceride levels by:

  • Reducing VLDL production in the liver
  • Accelerating chylomicron and VLDL elimination from the blood
  • Omega-3s charge up the cellular mechanisms needed to convert fatty acids into energy

Additionally, study findings published online in the medical journal The Lancet show that fish oil is more effective than the prescription drug Crestor for lowering triglyceride levels.

DHA Can Maximize Your Kids Intelligence

This study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that supplemental omega-3 had significant positive effects on children from three to five years of age in:

    • Rule-learning and inhibition tasks
    • The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test at 5 years of age
    • The Wechsler Primary Preschool Scales of Intelligence at 6 years of age

There have been several other studies conducted, and every one has found a direct correlation between omega-3 intake and cognitive ability in children.

Fish Oil for Heart Health

Omega-3 fatty acids can promote heart health by reducing inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels over time; it’s this damage that can result in heart disease and strokes. Evidence also indicates that Fish oil helps prevent, and even treat, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by retarding the development of plaques and blood clots, which will ultimately clog arteries.

Prevent Osteoporosis

A new study in mice seems to confirm that omega-3 consumption will prevent and treat osteoporosis in humans by boosting bone health.

The study, published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry claims that fish oil supplementation resulted in a higher bone mineral density (BMD) in the tested mice, whereas the mice that didn’t receive supplemental omega-3s did not experience any improvement in BMD.

Relief from the Symptoms of Asthma

People suffering from asthma have an imbalance between the molecules that retard inflammation and those that increase inflammation.

Steroids are commonly prescribed as a treatment because they control the inflammation – relieving symptoms, but not curing the disease itself. Disturbingly, according to some research, it appears that steady corticosteroid use will, in some cases, reduce the body’s natural ability to fight asthmatic inflammation.

Omega-3s have been shown to convert to unique pro-resolving mediators that can halt inflammation without suppressing the immune system like corticosteroids.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative condition. It gradually damages areas of the brain needed for memory, cognition, speech, and behavior.

Alzheimer’s commonly affects the aged; affecting 10% of people over age sixty-five and almost half all people over eighty-five.

But is Alzheimer’s disease an inevitable part of aging? Researchers have noted that it’s far less common in certain populations that eat lots of fish.

Recent research has shown that increasing dietary intake of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA from fish oils increases the rate that the body breaks down the beta-amyloid plaques implicated in Alzheimer’s disease while helping maintain, and in some case improve cognitive function. The high-DHA diet delivered a massive (70%) drop in levels of beta-amyloid protein in the brain compared to the other groups in the study.

Arthritis and Omega-3 fatty Acids

According to an article in Arthritis and Rheumatology; patients taking a fish oil supplement showed marked improvements in the symptoms of arthritis from a number of baseline measurements that included the number of painful joints.

Ultimately, some patients who took fish oil were able to stop NSAID use without experiencing further pain.

Weight Loss

Individuals who used supplemental fish oil omega-3s experienced a reduction in abdominal body fat according to this study published in PLOS One.

Although fish oil did not result in a statistically significant level of weight loss in the test subjects – it did reduce the amount of abdominal fat that the subjects carried before increasing their omega-3 consumption.

The take away is that even if omeg-3s may not reduce total body weight; they can slim you down where it counts most for your appearance (and health).

Omega-3s are Essential for Your Health

The science is settled; not only are the omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood an essential component in a healthy diet – omega-3s also provide a cornucopia of health benefits that can improve:

      • Brain health and function
      • Heart and circulatory health
      • Help keep lungs healthy by controlling inflammation
      • Mitigate the effects of age on the brain
      • Keep bone and joints healthy
      • Maintain a healthy distribution of fat in the body

Eat omega-3 rich foods or use a quality fish oil supplement and enjoy improved health and fewer age-related health issues.