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You won't stick to a diet that is comprised of foods you do not like. Choose your plan carefully. Choose foods that you love that are also good for you so you are in a win-win situation.

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By Leo Gil

We tend to overlook a key nutrient in our diets— fiber! According to the Institute of Medicine, men and women younger than 50 years need 38 and 25 grams of fiber respectively, every day[1]. Men and women older than 50 years require 30 and 21 grams of fiber daily. So, why is fiber so important?

4 Benefits of Fiber

·         Healthy Colon and Cancer Prevention:
Fiber is crucial for a healthy digestive system, since it prevents constipation by promoting healthy bowel movement, which decreases the chances of colon cancer.[2]

·         Heart Attack Prevention:
Fiber also aids in the absorption of cholesterol in our bloodstream. This is linked to the prevention of coronary artery disease, which is directly associated with heart attacks.[3]

·         Type 2 Diabetes Prevention:
Fiber doesn’t require insulin to be digested, so a diet that is high in fiber helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. A study performed by the German Institute of Human Nutrition suggests that people who include the daily requirement of fiber into their diets are 27% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t.[4]

·         Weight Loss Promotion:
Since fiber is not broken down, it does not contribute any calories to your diet. However it does provide a feeling of fullness which battles hunger and overeating.[5]

In conclusion, fiber assists in the prevention of three major diseases which are amongst the top leading causes of death in the U.S. Give your body a nutritional boost and add some more fiber to your diet today!



[1] http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/many-grams-soluble-fiber-per-day-8084.html
[2] http://www.webmd.com/diet/fiber-cancer
[3] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol/art-20045192
[4] http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20070515/fiber-may-fight-diabetes
[5] http://www.joslin.org/info/how_does_fiber_affect_blood_glucose_levels.html

Comment
12 hours, 54 minutes ago


by Theresa Greenwell, International Science
 
Polyphenols are phytochemicals commonly found in plants and fruits such as grapes, broccoli, and tea.  These phytochemicals have been proven to provide strong antioxidant and health-related benefits.
 
A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity focused on how polyphenols, resveratrol in particular, affected fat mass and type in mice fed a high fat diet. 
 
The study found that a diet containing as little as 0.1% resveratrol could help to change white fat into brown-like (beige) fat. White fat is typically fat that the body stores for future energy use; white fat is the hardest fat to lose. Brown fat is that fat which the body can use more rapidly and is used for the production of heat; brown fat is more active and energy-burning. The ability of the resveratrol to alter white fat into brown-fat helped reduce the mice’s weight by approximately 40%. The amount of resveratrol used in this study was roughly equivalent to 2-3 servings of fruit per day.    
 
While this study only used resveratrol, the researchers felt that many polyphenols may have the same effect. They believe this to be the case due to the fact that polyphenols appear to increase gene expression that can enhance the oxidation of dietary fats. By increasing the oxidation of fats, the body can burn more lipids off as heat instead of storing them. 
 
Though the study was done in mice, it does lend itself to the possibility of using polyphenols in humans in order to reduce fat mass. Research needs to be conducted in humans, as well as in males versus females; in order to see if, how and to what extent polyphenols might be beneficial for weight reduction. 
 
 
Source:
Wang, S., et al.  Resveratrol induces brown-like adipocyte formation in white fat through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) a1. International Journal of Obesity. 39(6): 967-976, 2015.

 

Comment
3 days, 13 hours ago


By Crystal H. Shelton, Senior Scientific Researcher
 
A new study conducted at the University of Kansas Medical Center found that older adults who increased their fitness levels also improved their brain activity. A 6-month trial followed healthy adults, aged 65 and older, with no previous signs of cognitive decline. Participants were split into one of four groups, one group who exercised for the recommended time of 150 minutes per week, the second exercised for 75 minutes per week and the third who exercised for a total of 225 minutes per week and the last that did not have any monitored exercise. ALL of the exercising groups saw some benefit in their ability to better perceive objects spatially, as well as an increase in their overall attention levels and ability to focus. In fact, the ones who exercised more saw greater benefits, proving more exercise was better for the brain. The study also found the intensity of the exercise seemed to matter more than the duration of the exercise. For your brain to really get the benefit, you have to really bump up your fitness level and intensity.
 
The group of scientists at the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center have studied the relationship between exercise and brain metabolism for many years. They are actively working on a number of research studies on how exercise may help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's.
 

For more detailed information, see the reference link below:
 
Eric D. Vidoni, David K. Johnson, Jill K. Morris, Angela Van Sciver, Colby S. Greer, Sandra A. Billinger, Joseph E. Donnelly, Jeffrey M. Burns. Dose-Response of Aerobic Exercise on Cognition: A Community-Based, Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (7): e0131647 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131647
 

Comment
5 days, 13 hours ago


by Theresa Greenwell, International Science


These tasty patties are great for vegetarians or any individual following a meat restricted diet.   

Serves:4
Ingredients:
·         ½ cup dried red lentils
·         2 cups fresh mushrooms sliced
·         2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
·         1 medium onion
·         1 egg
·         1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
·         2 tbsp. soy sauce
·         1 tsp. Italian seasoning
 
 
Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Cook lentils in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Drain lentils and allow these to cool.
  3. Finely chop the onion, mushrooms and walnuts.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine lentils, onion, mushrooms, walnuts, egg, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and Italian seasoning.
  5. Form mixture into 4 evenly sized patties (shaped by hand or biscuit cutter).
  6. Spray baking tray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place patties on baking tray.
  7. Bake patties for 25-30 minutes. Serve with lightly grilled/baked vegetables or green salad.
 
Nutritional information (approximately per serving)
Calories: 250
Protein: 11 g
Fat: 12 g
- Saturated: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 26 g
- Fiber: 11 g
Sodium: 522 mg

Comment
1 week ago


Put Down That Menu! Eating out at restaurants may be as terrible for your body as dining on fast food. If you’re one of the many people who frequent restaurants, but avoid fast food for the sake of good health, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. 

A recent study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, discovered that “eating at a restaurant is comparable to -- or in some cases less healthy than -- eating at a fast-food outlet. While people who eat at restaurants tend to take in more healthy nutrients… than those who eat at home or at a fast-food outlet, the restaurant diners also consume substantially more sodium and cholesterol -- two nutrients that Americans generally eat in excess, even at home”.1

Another concerning factor is sodium intake, since the recommended daily allowance is 1,500 – 2,300 milligrams. In this study, they found that eating fast food increases sodium intake by roughly 300 milligrams, and eating at a restaurant boosts your sodium intake by 412 milligrams.1 Consuming too much sodium is bad for your health, so perhaps it’s time to rethink the commonly held belief that dining at restaurants is healthier than eating at fast food outlets.

In conclusion, eating at a restaurant isn’t always healthier than eating fast food. This means that we need to pay careful attention to what we order, as well as the portion size when dining at restaurants. If your aim is to be as healthy as possible, than it’s best to prepare your own food and cook at home. Create your own, healthier versions of your favorite restaurant meals. Let’s cook up some healthy, delicious and nutritious meals today!

1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Restaurant meals can be as bad for your waistline as fast food is." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2015. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150701123350.htm
 

Comment
1 week, 3 days ago
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