Monday, February 11, 2008

Good and Bad Fats: The Ultimate Guide

Remember when any fat was bad fat? When the only difference between a croissant and a donut was snob appeal? Now science has found that some fats are good fats.

TOP FATS: THE OMEGA-3s

Among the best fats on the planet, omega-3s add years to your life by dramatically reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. They may also stave off arthritis, depression, and some cancers, and might even tame menstrual cramps, postworkout soreness, and give you clear, soft skin and great hair!

Eat these frequently:
  • Fatty fish, such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, and tuna
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • Walnuts

GOOD FATS: THE MONOS


All monounsaturated fats are kind to your heart because they raise good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol (the kind that clogs arteries). But virgin olive oil, the MVP of monounsaturates, does more. For starters, it contains micronutrients that are needed for hormone and enzyme production. But olive oil also boasts compounds that may fight breast and colon cancer as well as boost the cancer-fighting power of other foods.

Delicious sources are:
  • Olives
  • Virgin olive oil (be sure it's virgin; processing destroys nutrients)
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut and other nut oils
  • Nuts
  • Avocados

PRETTY GOOD FATS: THE POLYS

Most polyunsaturated fats are heart-friendly, but, with the exception of omega-3s, they don't have the star power of other healthy fats. Also, poly fats contain omega-6s, which are healthy unless you get too many of them -- and most Americans get up to 25 times more omega-6s than they need. Omega-6s should be eaten more sparingly because they can overwhelm the superstar omega-3s. Overall, try to get most of your polyunsaturated fats from omega-3 sources.

Find them in:
  • Corn, soybean, safflower, canola, sunflower, and cottonseed oils
  • Fatty fish (canned light tuna counts)

LOUSY FATS: THE SATS

Saturated fats are mainly trouble because they raise blood cholesterol to artery-clogging levels. In one study, eating a single slice of carrot cake and drinking a milkshake that were high in sat fat hindered the body's heart-protective functions. Loading up on saturated fats may also harm brain molecules that help form memories, raising the risk of dementia.

Skimp or skip:
  • Meats, particularly with visible fat
  • Poultry skin, fat, and dark meat
  • Whole-milk dairy foods, including butter, full-fat cheeses, ice cream, sour cream
  • Most hard margarines (those in stick form)
  • Coconut and palm oils
  • Lard and shortening

DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT 'EM: TRANS FATS

These fats are so scary that they're being banned in some cities, and food manufacturers and restaurants are working fast to find substitutes. Trans fats boost bad cholesterol, decrease good cholesterol, gum up arteries, and set off inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger a host of problems, from stroke to diabetes.

Bypass completely: Be suspicious of any fast or processed food that's not labeled trans-fat-free (packaged-food labels must now list trans fats), including:
  • All deep-fried foods -- chips, French fries, onion rings, donuts, etc.
  • Many fast foods
  • Candy
  • Commercial baked goods -- cookies, pies, cakes, rolls, muffins, etc.

Bottom line: Stay away from trans fats the way you'd avoid highways on the day before Thanksgiving. Clog city.

Read more from RealAge.com

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kiss Your Treadmill Goodbye

Source CBN.com and The Cardio Free Diet

Author and weight-loss expert Jim Karas says you can kiss your treadmill goodbye. He says cardiovascular workouts burn a few calories, but far fewer than you think. From 1987-2000 the number of people exercising on treadmills increased by 900 percent, meanwhile obesity doubled. Using this and other research, Jim developed a new approach to weight-loss: The Cardio Free Diet.

Your body functions like an equation, Jim says, where we look at calories in and calories out. For too long we’ve focused on the first part of the equation when trying to lose weight. Instead, Jim notes that looking at dieting like that is what has led many people to fad dieting. We need to burn calories and interval strength training is the best way to do that for these reasons:
  1. It provides absolute enhanced heart health. It’s our heart-rate variability that counts, how fast we respond to stimuli. If we’re walking at one pace for 30 minutes on a treadmill, our heart rate is at a steady rate. That doesn’t replicate real life. “We live our lives in spurts, not marathons,” Jim says.
  2. Interval strength training provides greater flexibility.
  3. Interval strength training increases lean muscle tissue and increases metabolism. Jim says that we can lose weight doing intervals of cardio exercise also, but that cardio will not build your lean muscle tissue in the same way that interval strength training does. Jim says cardio can be detrimental. “It kills your time, your energy, your joints, and your motivation.” He says the only people who should ever do cardio are those who really enjoy it. Others should cut it out completely.


Read more more from The Cardio Free Diet include first two chapters: Cardio's Reign of Terror and The Body Weight Equation.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Keep Your Heart Healthy!

DVDs and books by Denise Austinby Denise Austin
If you were asked what the number-one cause of death among American women is, you'd probably say breast cancer, right? If so, you'd be wrong. It's cardiovascular disease that holds that title, and on average, 1 out of every 2.6 American women loses her life to this silent killer.

There are things you can do to prevent heart disease, though — including quitting smoking if you smoke, eating a healthy diet, and losing weight if you're overweight. Physical activity also plays a crucial role in keeping the heart healthy, and the American Heart Association recommends exercising for 30 minutes each day at a moderate-intensity level. Your heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle, it needs sufficient exercise in order to stay fit and healthy! Regular exercise helps you to maintain healthy blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. It's the key to maintaining a healthy weight.

DVDs, books and more by Denise Austin

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