Chocolate Health Benefits

Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate

Various study show that a daily chocolate intake will decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Increasing number of studies are suggesting that regular, moderate chocolate consumption may yield significant health benefits, particularly when it comes to dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has the highest cocoa content, which means it has the highest levels of antioxidants, specifically, Flavonoids. Flavonoids are molecules that can prevent some forms of cell damage.

Studies about Chocolate Health Benefits

  • A study looked at the eating and lifestyle habits of more than 1,100 adults ages 18 to 69 over the course of two years and determined that consuming chocolate every day correlated with lower insulin resistance and liver enzymes, which are indicators of heart disease risk.
  • Researchers also observed that participants who did eat chocolate regularly tended to be younger, more physically active and more highly educated than those who did not eat chocolate
  • Another study concluded that regularly chowing down on the dark stuff leads to better cognitive brain function, including stronger working memory, spatial organization, and reasoning skills.
  • Researchers also suggest that frequent chocolate consumption is associated with a nearly 40% reduced risk for heart disease and a 30% reduced risk for a stroke. Chocolate can provide significant amounts of arginine, an amino acid that’s required in the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps regulate blood flow, inflammation and blood pressure.

Continue reading “Chocolate Health Benefits”

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Dietary Supplements and Nonprescription Drug Products May Harm You

If you buy imported products marketed as “dietary supplements” and nonprescription drug products from ethnic or international stores, flea markets, swap meets or online, watch out. Health scammers often target advertising to people who prefer to shop at nontraditional places, especially those who have limited English proficiency and limited access to health care services and information

“Natural” Does Not Mean “Safe”

Just because a product claims to be natural doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe, says Gary Coody, R. Ph., FDA’s national health fraud coordinator. Likewise, just because a product claims to be natural does not mean that it’s free of hidden drug ingredients.Furthermore, these products may also be contaminated or contain potentially harmful chemicals or drug ingredients not listed on the label.For example, many products that claim to help people lose weight contain hidden and dangerous prescription drug ingredients such as sibutramine. Sibutramine was in Meridia, a formerly FDA-approved drug that was removed from the market in October 2010 because clinical data indicated it posed an increased risk of heart problems and strokes.

How’s Do You Know It’s Fraudulent?

Watch out for these claims:One product does it all.
1. Be suspicious of products that claim to cure a wide range of diseases.
2. Personal testimonials. Success stories such as “It cured my diabetes,” or “My tumors are gone,” are easy to make up and are not a substitution for scientific evidence.
3. Quick fixes. Few diseases or conditions can be treated quickly, even with legitimate products.
4. Beware of language such as “lose 30 pounds in 30 days,” or “eliminates skin cancer in days.”
5. “All natural.” Some plants found in nature can kill if you eat them. Plus, FDA has found products promoted as “all natural” that contain hidden and dangerously high doses of prescription drug ingredients.
6. Miracle cure. Alarms should go off when you see this claim or others like it such as “new discovery” or “scientific breakthrough.” A real cure for a serious disease would be all over the media and prescribed by doctors—not buried in print ads, TV infomercials, or on Internet sites.
7. FDA-Approved. Domestic or imported dietary supplements are not approved by FDA.
Finally, if you’re tempted to buy an unproven product or one with questionable claims, check with your doctor or other health care professional first. You can also check FDA’s website to see if the agency has already taken action on it.f

Health News – Diet Fizzy Drinks are Harmful

Avoid Fizzy Drinks
Avoid Fizzy Drinks

Researchers at the University of Texas’s Health Science Centre found that people who drank diet soft drinks every day put on more than three inches around their waistlines in a decade. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, focused on 749 adults aged 65 years or older over a 10-year period.

  • Those who drank diet fizzy drinks saw their waistlines expand nearly three times as much as non-drinkers, by an average of 2.11cm.
  • Non-diet drinkers’ waists only expanded 0.77 cm
  • Those who occasionally drank diet beverages experienced a 1.83 cm growth

A 2014 study published in the journal Nature suggested that diet fizzy drinks could cause weight gain due to artificial sweeteners altering the body’s natural gut bacteria. The study, published in The Journal of Physiology, suggests it is hard to fool the brain by providing it with “energyless” sweet flavours. Our pleasure from consuming sweet solutions is driven by the amount of energy it provides. Artificial sweeteners trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain Continue reading “Health News – Diet Fizzy Drinks are Harmful”

Health News – Mental Health linked with Healthy Diet

Fiber Diet
Healthy Diet

Changing lifestyles and increasing access to processed foods has reduced our intake of fresh, nutritious, local produce, at the same time as our intake of fat, sugar, alcohol and additives is much higher. Approximately, two thirds of those who do not report mental health problems eat vegetables, fresh fruit or fruit juice every day, compared with less than half of those who do report daily mental health problems. Those who report some level of mental health problem also eat fewer healthy foods and more unhealthy foods. Healthy eating can help stabilize our moods better and even help reduce the risk of depression. A balanced mood and feelings of well being can be achieved by ensuring that our diet provides adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and water. Proper nutrition plays an important role  when it comes to control mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  Continue reading “Health News – Mental Health linked with Healthy Diet”

Health News – Sugar content in some Foods may Result in Obesity

Sugar
Sugar

The American Heart Association (AHA) have said that added sugars “contribute zero nutrients” and are just empty calories “that can lead to extra pounds, or even obesity, thereby reducing heart health.”Being aware of the existing and added sugar contents of the foods and drinks we consume is vital for our health – even more so today because so many products have sugar added to them.

The AHA currently recommend that men consume no more than 150 calories from added sugar per day, and women 100 calories.In early 2014, however, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a reduction of daily sugar intake to 5% of total daily calories in order to tackle public health problems, such as obesity and tooth decay.Nutritionists strongly recommend against consuming more than 13 teaspoons a day.

Some common everyday foods and drinks, together with their sugar content. Some of these may surprise you:

Chocolate Bars2015-09-02-15-56-44-477266204

With high sugar content, chocolate should always be viewed as an occasional treat.

  • Marshmallows (100g) – 14.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Milky Way bar (58g) – 8.5 teaspoons of sugar

  • Snickers bar (57g) – 7 teaspoons of sugar

  • Milk chocolate bar (44g) – 5.75 teaspoons of sugar
  • Caramel piece (10g) – 1.7 teaspoons of sugar

  • Butterfinger bar (60g) – 6.9 teaspoons of sugar

  • Dove chocolate bar (37g) – 5 teaspoons of sugar

  • Starburst packet (45 grams) – 5.5 teaspoons of sugar

  • Twix bar – 2.75 teaspoons of sugar

  • M&Ms packet (45 grams) – 5.75 teaspoons of sugar

  • Boiled sweets bag (100 grams) – 11.5 teaspoons of sugar

Soft Drinks2015-09-02-16-00-09--1552782260

Asthma Diet

Good Foods for Asthma

There’s really no diet that will eliminate or cure your asthma but there are certain things you could be incorporating to help, individual reactions to food vary a great deal, but here are some guidelines on what to eat to possibly help asthma, or at least not make it worse.

  • Organically grown fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce is high in many nutrients that help the lungs, including vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and beta-carotene. Fruits and vegetables also contain plenty of bioflavonoids, which can help to reduce free radicals in the body. Quercitin, which is found in high quantities in yellow onions, apples, and tea, has been shown to be especially good at combating free radicals.
  • Two other important foods are garlic and onions, which also contain substances with powerful antioxidant activities. These vegetables may not only help get rid of the free radicals that contribute to asthma, they are also a zesty addition to a healthy diet.
  • Fish, particularly cold water fish like salmon, cod, mackerel, herring, and halibut, and oily fish like sardines and tuna, are an especially important source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the lungs. Extra virgin olive oil
  • Rosemary may help with asthma symptoms. rosemary is high in a substance known as rosmarinic acid, which has several actions that are beneficial in asthma. In addition to its antioxidant abilities to neutralize free radicals, rosmarinic acid has been shown to block the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals, such as leukotrienes.ary is high in a substance known as rosmarinic acid, which has several actions that are beneficial in asthma. In addition to its antioxidant abilities to neutralize free radicals, rosmarinic acid has been shown to block the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals, such as leukotrienes.
  • Other spices like peppermint, sage, and oregano, also contain rosmarinic acid. These spices added to vegetable dishes or sprinkled on top of baked fish contribute to making meals that are not only delicious but healthy.
  • , ginger and turmeric
  • When cells have enough omega-3 fatty acids available, they produce substances that naturally reduce inflammation. Increasing omega-3 fat intake has been shown to improve lung function in asthmatic patients. Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds and cold water fish, like salmon, cod, and halibut.
  • Nutrients such as magnesium, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, may improve the normal function of the lungs.
  • Foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, cold water and oily fish, olive oil, and certain spices like rosemary, have been associated with reduced rates of asthma.

Bad Foods for Asthma

  1. Eliminate milk and other dairy products which have been most commonly cited as increasing the severity of asthmatic symptoms.
  2. Eggs aren’t usually associated with asthma, yet for some people, eating a little bit of egg can bring about an onslaught of asthmatic symptoms
  3. Diets high in the omega-6 fatty acids found in farm-raised meats, vegetable oils, and margarine, and those high in table salt and salty foods have been associated with increased rates of asthma.
  4. Asthma patients have been shown to react to artificial food additives or preservatives, such as MSG (monosodium glutamate), yellow dye #5 (tartrazine), and sulfites. Eating these chemicals in processed foods may trigger asthma attacks.

Dietary Fat Types and Sources

There are four main Fat Types that are available in our food, these are discussed below:-

Bad Fats

Unhealthy Fat Types

  1. Saturated Fats. Saturated fat is solid at room temperature, which is why it is also known as “solid fat.” Saturated Fats are present in many prepared foods made with hydrogenated oils, as well as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter, milk, cheese, and meat. Saturated fat can raise your cholesterol; therefore, a healthy diet shall have less than 10% of daily calories from saturated fat. The foods with highest level of saturated fats is as follows:-
  • Pizza and cheese
  • Whole and reduced fat milk, butter and dairy desserts
  • Meat products (sausage, bacon, beef, hamburgers)
  • Cookies and other grain-based desserts
  • Mexican fast food dishes
  1. Trans Fats. This is a fat that has been changed by a process called hydrogenation and it is harder at room temperature. Trans Fat is present in all foods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and many snack foods, fast foods Snack foods, such as chips and crackers, Cookies, Some margarine and salad dressings and ready-prepared foods. Trans Fat can raise your cholesterol, so eat as little Trans Fat as possible.

Healthy Fat Types (unsaturates)

Good Fats

Unsaturated Fat is liquid at room temperature, these are mostly available in oils from plants. Unsaturated Fats are predominantly found in foods from plants, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. Unsaturated Fat may help improve your cholesterol levels.

  1. Monounsaturated Fats/Monounsaturates. These fats are available in olive, canola and peanut oils, avocados, non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts and seeds. Monounsaturated fats may help lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol and may also keep “good” HDL cholesterol levels high.
  2. Polyunsaturated Fats/Polyunsaturates. This type of fat is mainly in vegetable oils
  • Omega-3 Fat. The body can’t make these, so they must come from food. It is available in Safflower, sesame, sunflower and corn oils, non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts and seeds
  • Omega-6 Fat. It is available in fattier fish, canola and soybean oils, flax seed, omega-3 eggs, walnuts

Healthy Cooking Oils

Olive Oil
Olive Oil

There are bad fats that contribute to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, but all fats are not bad. Replacement of bad fats, like saturated and Trans-fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats is healthier for our hearts and overall health. While selecting cooking oils , we consider the type fats available in it and its impact on your health.

Canola Oil

With its light flavor, high smoke point, and smooth texture, canola oil is one of the most versatile cooking oils. Canola oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the canola plant (rapeseed), is generally recognized as safe for cooking. It is projected as oil that is “heart healthy” and high in unsaturated fatty acids like Omega-3s. Most canola oil is highly refined that means that it doesn’t have many antioxidants like olive oil does but it does have a relatively long shelf life.

  • Flavor                  – Plain and mild
  • Smoke point       – 400 degrees F
  • Uses                      – Sautéing, baking, frying, marinating

Continue reading “Healthy Cooking Oils”

Top Protein Rich Foods

Protein is a nutrient needed by the human body for growth and maintenance. Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. Protein can help you lose weight and keep your belly full. But it’s important to eat the right kind. Protein is found throughout the body, in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that power many chemicals. All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Following foods are considered high in protein:-

Chicken Breast
  1. Chicken Breast. Chicken tops the list of high protein foods, and can generally be divided into two categories: white meat (breast) or dark meat (thighs and legs). Chicken, it does your body good especially when building muscles. The average serving of chicken breast has between 21g and 40g of protein. A 4-ounce roasted chicken breast gives you more than 35 grams of protein. 4 ounces of cooked chicken thigh meat offer nearly 30 grams of protein.

    Fish
  2. Fish(Tuna, Salmon, Halibut). Most fish are good sources of dietary protein while also supplying essential minerals and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna has the highest protein content compared to other types of fish. The blue fin and yellow fin species of tuna are especially high in protein, with blue fin offering up 29.91 g of protein per 100 g of dry-cooked fish, and yellow fin providing 29.15 g. A 3-ounce serving of halibut provides 23 grams of protein. Other fish high in protein per fillet(3oz or 85g) are Salmon (22g), Halibut (22g), Snapper (22g), Perch(21g), Flounder and Sole (21g), Cod (20g), Tilapia (17g).

    Fat free Mozzarella Cheese
  3. Cheese (Non-fat Mozzarella). There are 42 calories in 1 stick of Nonfat or Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese. It has 0% fat, 10% carbs and 90% protein. Non-fat mozzarella cheese in a serving size of ¼ cup usually contains 45 calories, 0 percent fat, iron and potassium, 2 percent cholesterol, 12 percent sodium, 1 percent carbohydrates, 9 g protein, 10 percent vitamin A and 25 percent calcium. Other cheese high in protein per ounce (28g): Low-fat Cottage Cheese (5g), Low-fat Swiss cheese (8g), Low-fat Cheddar (6g), Parmesan (10g), Romano (9g). Low or Non Fat Mozzarella and Cottage Cheese provide the most protein per calorie, full fat cheeses typically only provide 1g protein per 20 calories, and are less optimal sources of protein.

    Pork
  4. Pork Loin (Chops). Pork is full of protein, but not all cuts of pork are lean and healthy. Pork tenderloin is one of the leanest cuts of pork. A 4-ounce cut of broiled pork tenderloin has about 160 calories. Nearly 75 percent of the calories come from protein, while only about 25 percent of the calories come from fat. A large grilled pork chop weighing 8 ounces has around 425 total calories. Pork chops are higher in fat than pork tenderloin. Roughly 52 percent of the total calories come from protein, while the remaining amount comes from fat. Pork loin is low in fat and high in protein. Sirloin Roast 3oz (28g) provides 23g of protein, Ham 3oz (28g) provides 18g of protein, 1 slice of bacon (8g) provides 3g of protein.

    Beef
  5. Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat). Eating lean protein helps lower cholesterol levels; Extra Lean Beef has little more than 7 g protein per ounce. Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat) 100g has 36g protein, 3oz Slice (85g) has 31g Protein and the protein to Calorie Ratio is 1g protein per 5.3 calories.

    Tofu
  6. Tofu. Tofu is a good source of high quality protein compared to other plant sources. Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. Tofu and soy protein can be industrially processed to match the textures and flavors to the likes of cheese, pudding, eggs, bacon, etc. Half cup serving or 4 ounces of raw, firm tofu has 95 Calories; 10 grams Protein and 3 grams Carbohydrates.

    Soybeans
  7. Beans (Soy Beans). Soybeans are a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates. The protein content of soy foods varies, ranging from about 25 grams for a ½-cup serving. Other beans high in protein per cup cooked: Kidney Beans (17g), White Beans (17g), Lima Beans (15g), Fava Beans (14g), Black Beans (15g), Mung Beans (14g).

 

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