Monday 31 July 2017

Abdominal fat (visceral fat) and what to do about it

   Visceral fat more of a health concern than subcutaneous fat.Though the term might sound dated, "middle-age spread" is a greater concern than ever. As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase — more so in women than men. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection.
    At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we've now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it's a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.
   Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.
Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?
    Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss.
    The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels. Subcutaneous fat located at the waist — the pinchable stuff — can be frustratingly difficult to budge, but in normal-weight people, it's generally not considered as much of a health threat as visceral fat is.
    Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It's appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it's becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones.
     Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. These and other biochemicals are thought to have deleterious effects on cells' sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.
     One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
     Insulin resistance means that your body's muscle and liver cells don't respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body's cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.
Exercise and dieting can help you get rid of belly fat
    So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular exercise(30 minutes per day) to control weight. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won't get at visceral fat.
     Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat. 
Bottom Line : Exercise and proper nutrition combined are the only wat to rid yourself of the      visceral fat .

Friday 28 July 2017

Which Fruits Have the Most Sugar?

Fruit’s good for you! It has fiber and other nutrients you need. But it also has natural sugar, and some have more than others. For example, one mango has a whopping 45 grams of sugar -- not your best choice if you’re trying to watch your weight or how much sugar you eat. Maybe enjoy a couple of slices and save the rest for later.                             

A cup of these has about 23 grams sugar. That’s a lot for something that’s so easy to pop in your mouth. You might eat them more slowly if you slice them in half and freeze them. They’ll be waiting for you as a refreshing summer treat that takes a bit longer to eat. 
They’re sweet, and they have the sugar to show for it:  A cup of them has 18 grams. If you fill up a large bowl with them, you can lose track of how many you eat. Measure your snack beforehand so you know exactly how much sugar you’ll get. 

One medium pear has 17 grams of sugar. If you’re trying to cut back, don’t eat the whole thing -- just put a few slices in some low-fat yogurt or on top of a salad. 

A medium wedge of this summer treat has 17 grams of sugar. As its name suggests, it’s loaded with water, and it has special minerals called electrolytes that are just what your body needs to recharge after some time in the sun. Just keep it to a slice or two. 

Two medium-size ones have 16 grams. If you’re trying to keep an eye on your sugar, maybe slice a couple and spread some goat cheese on them for a protein-rich treat, or use some in a sauce to add some zip to lean meats like skinless chicken. 

One medium banana has 14 grams sugar. If that seems like more than you bargained for, slice half of it into your morning cereal or smash a small piece in the middle of your peanut butter sandwich 

Less Sugar: Avocados
Not all fruits are loaded with the sweet stuff. A whole avocado -- yep, it's a fruit -- has only half a gram of sugar. Put it in a salad, spread it on toast, or make some guacamole. But while they’re low in sugar, they’re high in calories, so it might not be a good idea to make them a daily habit. 

Less Sugar: Guavas
Each one has 5 grams of sugar and about 3 grams of fiber, too -- more than you'd get from a serving of brown rice or a slice of whole-grain bread. You’ll get even more fiber if you add guavas with the skin on to your smoothies. 

Less Sugar: Raspberries
These pack a serious punch of fiber with 8 grams per cup -- and only 5 grams of sugar. The fiber is good for digestion and can help you feel fuller with fewer calories. They’re the perfect size to savor one at a time, and they’re not bad with some fresh whipped cream and a spoon, either. 

Less Sugar: Cantaloupe
It’s kind of amazing that the flavor and satisfaction packed in a single medium wedge can come from only 5 grams of sugar -- and only 23 calories. Try it with some cottage cheese and a sprinkle of salt. 

Less Sugar: Papayas
Here’s a good one to add to your shopping list: Half of a small one has 6 grams of sugar. Even a small one is pretty big, so half is plenty to eat at one time. You can add a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of sea salt -- or a dollop of frozen yogurt for a tropical treat. 

Less Sugar: Strawberries
A cup of whole strawberries has only 7 grams. Add them to a salad for some vibrant color and a touch of summer. 

Bottom Line : Don’t avoid any of these healthy fruits. This is just to help keep you informed.
















Tuesday 25 July 2017

Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

Your Sleep Schedule Is Off
If you get more than 9 hours of sleep a night, you may be the envy of your friends, but too much or too little sleep -- less than 5 hours a night -- can be linked to weight gain. Both can throw off the way your body makes the hormones that control your appetite and hunger. And if you don’t feel rested, you may skip your workouts, too.
You Don’t Drink Enough Water
Between 2 and 6 cups of clear, plain water each day can help you lose extra pounds. Water has no calories at all, so it satisfies your thirst without adding weight. And when you drink enough water, you may be less likely to grab sodas, juices, or coffee drinks packed with sugar. High calories in sweet drinks can add up to a big weight gain.
You Wait Too Long to Eat
When you space out your meals too much, your metabolism slows down and isn’t able to burn off all the calories you eat in your next meal. Those extra calories may wind up as extra weight. And you may overeat because you’re too hungry. Try eating smaller portions, and eat more often.
You Eat Out Too Often
OK, you hate to cook. But if you eat most of your meals at restaurants, it may be harder to keep your weight under control. Even so-called light dishes may have more calories than you realize. And we’re not just talking about dinner, either. People who eat lunch out daily can weigh up to 5 pounds more than those who brown-bag it. 
You Sit All Day
Your desk job or TV obsession may make it harder for you to drop those pesky pounds. When you sit most of the time, your body can lose its ability to know when you’ve eaten too much -- you can overeat and gain weight. Even brief exercise breaks during the day can help you stay healthy. Get up for three 10-minute walks around meetings or your favorite shows.
You Reward Workouts With Food
Exercise is a great way to lose weight -- it burns calories and builds muscle mass. But if you indulge in a big dinner or smoothie after every workout, you can ruin all that sweaty work. Watch out for high-sugar sports drinks and protein bars, too. While they can help quench your thirst or give you an energy boost post-workout, they can be very high in calories.
You Overdo the Alcohol
Whether you like wine, beer, or mixed drinks, alcohol has calories that add to your daily amount. If you often have 3 or more drinks a day, you’re more likely to gain weight or be overweight, no matter what type of alcohol you drink. Stick to light or moderate drinking, like the occasional glass of wine with dinner. That may actually help keep you from gaining weight.
Stress Gives You Snack Attacks
If you feel tense, you’re more likely to reach for unhealthy, high-calorie treats for a quick comfort fix. You may eat when you don't really need food.
You Make Quick Food Decisions
It’s worth your time to plan out your meals and healthy snacks so you’re not tempted to grab something on the go. Even if you get enough activity, you can gain an extra pound or two if you tend to eat fast food or sugary snacks or sodas. Your body doesn’t seem to treat these calories the same as energy you get from healthy foods -- it breaks them down too quickly. They’re also low in fiber, so you don’t feel full afterward and you’re likely to eat or drink more.
Your Thyroid Is Sluggish
If this tiny gland in the front of your throat lags on the job, you could gain as much as 5 to 10 extra pounds. Your thyroid makes hormones that control your energy level and how your body breaks down food. If you don’t make enough of them, it can be hard to shed pounds. You may also feel bloated because your body holds on to too much water and salt. If you think you might have a thyroid problem, talk with your doctor. Medication can help.
You’re Pregnant
Healthy weight gain during your pregnancy is a good thing. If you’re at an average weight before you get pregnant, it’s good to gain 25 to 35 pounds. Go for whole foods like fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins that nourish you and your baby.
Your Medication
Some drugs you take for health problems could make you gain a little weight. For example, steroids can change your metabolism and make you feel hungrier -- you may overeat and gain extra belly fat. Even antihistamines that calm your hay fever could cause weight gain. They lower a chemical your body makes to control your appetite, so you may sneeze less but eat more.
You’re in Menopause
If you’re like most women, you may find your weight creeps up during menopause. Changes in your hormones, less muscle mass, and too little sleep from hot flashes can all lead to added pounds. If you wake up tired, you’re more likely to want to munch on snacks for a boost of energy later in the day. Your genes may also make you more likely to get a “spare tire.”
Check With Your Doctor
Some health problems can make it really hard to lose weight even if you diet and exercise. Your genes can also play a role in how much you weigh or where your body stores fat. Talk to your doctor if you just can’t seem to lose weight. Tests can show if you have a health problem that makes weight loss hard, and you can get medicine or other help to overcome it.


Wednesday 19 July 2017

Why Have I Lost Weight Without Trying?

Sounds good ? Well maybe not. If you lose more than 5% of your weight in 6 to 12 months, tell your doctor, especially if you’re an older adult. That would be about 8 pounds if you weigh 150, or 10 pounds if you weigh 200. Sudden weight loss without a reason can be a sign of a health problem.
If your thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone, it revs up your metabolism so you burn more calories and lose weight. You also may have more bowel movements and a racing heartbeat, and you may feel anxious. Your doctor can help you manage it with medicine. She may also talk to you about surgery to take out all or part of your thyroid.
Insulin is a hormone your body makes to turn blood sugar into energy. If you have diabetes, you either can’t make insulin or can’t use it the way you need to. When your cells run out of fuel, your body thinks it’s starving and starts burning fat and muscle. This makes you lose weight. You may also be thirsty, tired, hungry, or pee more than usual. Talk to your doctor right away if you notice these symptoms. If you have diabetes, she can help figure out a treatment plan that’s right for you
Celiac Disease
If you have this, your body reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. When you eat it, your immune system -- which helps you fight off bacteria and other germs -- attacks your small intestine by mistake. That can make it hard for your body to take in nutrients, and that can lead to weight loss. You also may have headaches, itchy skin, sores in your mouth, and joint pain. Only a doctor can tell you for sure if you have it. If you do, you’ll need to follow a special diet to stop the symptoms.
Drugs used to treat certain health conditions may ramp up your metabolism so you burn more calories or make you less hungry. These include:
•Chemotherapy drugs
•Drugs for type 2 diabetes
Talk to your doctor if you lose your appetite or start losing weight on a new medication.
It’s normal to drop a few pounds after something like losing a job, a divorce, or the death of a loved one. You should return to your regular weight once you have time to grieve the loss or get used to the change. You may need help from family and friends, group therapy, or a professional counselor. Talk to your doctor if you keep losing weight
This is when your immune system turns on your body and attacks your tissues and organs. You may lose weight because it can irritate your digestive system and make it hard for your body to take in nutrients from food. You may be very tired, and your joints may hurt or be stiff. Many people also get a butterfly-shaped rash on their faces. Your doctor can help you ease these symptoms with medicine and changes in your diet and lifestyle.
Addison’s Disease
With this condition, your adrenal glands don’t make enough of certain hormones, especially one called cortisol. It can cause stomach issues like nausea, vomiting, belly pain, and, in some cases, diarrhea. These things can make you lose your appetite and eventually lose weight. Your doctor can help you manage your symptoms and give you medicine to replace the hormones.
These harmful cells may use more of your energy, or they might make chemicals that change the way you digest food. Your immune system often has to work harder, too. That tires you out and makes your body burn more calories, which can lead to weight loss.
This disease damages tiny air sacs in your lungs. It’s often caused by smoking. It makes it hard to breathe and makes you cough up a thick fluid called mucus. Your body needs more calories to get enough oxygen into each breath. You may also get tired easily and lose your appetite. These things all can lead to weight loss.
Heart Failure
If your heart can’t pump blood and oxygen to the rest of your body like it should, your digestive system may not get enough blood to do its job well. This can make you feel full even when you haven’t eaten and may make you sick to your stomach. Eventually, your body might not be able to get rid of fluid like it should, and it can build up in your intestines and keep you from taking in nutrients. Your doctor may recommend that you cut down on salt and give you medicines called diuretics that help you clear out the fluid.
This weakens your ability to think along with your basic memory and social skills. In later stages, you may lose a lot of weight because you forget to eat or find it harder to chew or swallow. Chronic infections, special diets, and drugs used to treat dementia can make it worse.

Tuesday 11 July 2017

What Is Processed Meat?

There’s no clear definition -- it’s more of a description -- but if you smoke it, salt it, cure it, or add preservatives to it, it’s probably processed. People who eat a lot of these kinds of meats are more likely to get heart disease, diabetes, and even certain kinds of cancer, thanks to all the salt, fat, and chemical preservatives
The fat in bacon is no secret -- it splatters away right there in the pan when you cook it. But not all bacon is the same. Look for brands lower in salt and nitrates -- some use none at all -- and go with leaner cuts.
Cold Cuts
Hunks of beef, ham, and turkey are preserved with various amounts of salt, seasonings, sugar, and sometimes chemicals, and sliced for sandwiches or snacks. Check the ingredients -- quality cold cuts, though still processed, can be a healthy part of a balanced diet, as long as you don’t eat them every day.
Hot Dogs
These processed tubes of meat are a staple at baseball games and neighborhood cookouts. Some brands use more ... er ... parts of the animal than others, but most of them are still loaded with salt, saturated fat, and nitrates.
Fast Food Chicken Nuggets
They’re easy to pop in your mouth, but they’re processed. There’s chicken meat in them, along with bones, blood vessels, nerves, connective tissue, fat, and skin. If you buy your own chicken and bake it in bite-size chunks, you can leave out the stuff you’d rather not think about, let alone eat.
Beef Jerky
It’s the perfect traveling meat snack: dried, salted meat you can put in your pocket. Quality makes a difference here: Cheaper, mass-produced beef jerky can have added sugar along with the fat and salt. But high-quality beef jerky is still processed meat, so don’t overdo it.
It’s a favorite topping for pizza, but it’s part of a family of processed meats -- fermented sausages -- that have all the usual suspects: salt, fat, calories, sugar, and preservatives. To ferment a sausage, you let the raw meat cure in its casing, which gives it that tangy flavor and chewy texture.
Breakfast Sausage
If it comes in a package, glistens like it’s been dropped in a vat of oil, and tastes like a salt lick, it’s probably not that good for you. It sure looks tasty next to those eggs, though. If you’ve gotta have it, check the ingredients for lower amounts of salt and preservatives. You also can try turkey, chicken, or even vegetarian sausage for less fatty alternatives.
This is pork belly that’s been preserved with salt. Unlike bacon, it’s not smoked as part of the curing process, and that’s a plus because smoked meat has been linked to some kinds of cancer. It’s found mostly at specialty delis and usually has fewer preservatives. But it’s still full of fat, calories, and, of course, salt, so make it a rare treat.
Fast Food Hamburgers
The ground beef fast food restaurants use in their hamburgers often has growth hormones and antibiotics to go along with all the salt, fat, and preservatives. It’s a better idea to make your burgers at home with good quality leanground beef or ground turkey. Ground is different than mince.
Deviled Ham
You can make it in a food processor at home -- with some cooked ham, mustard, mayo, hot sauce, and onions. That’s better for you than the stuff that comes in cans at the supermarket. It often has too much salt and preservatives like sodium nitrate -- a chemical that may make you more likely to have heart disease or diabetes
Vienna Sausages
It may be different in Austria, but inBritain, these are tiny sausages in a can. They’re made from “mechanically separated chicken” -- meaning the bones are taken out with a machine, and all the rest of the animal is used -- along with small amounts of pork or beef. It’s all ground to a fine paste and cooked in little hot dog casings, ready to eat when you pop the top.
Canned Corned Beef Hash
Fry some chopped corned beef (typically brisket that's been salted and cured) with some onions and potatoes, and you’ve got corned beef hash. Put it in a can and you have an inexpensive meat product loaded with fat, preservatives, and salt. For a healthier take, make your own version with turkey pastrami.

Sunday 9 July 2017

99.99% of the pesticides we eat are produced by plants !

    The word pesticide is misunderstood, nearly to the same extent as the word chemical. People have been led to believe, largely by the organic food industry and environmental activists, that pesticides are unnatural, dangerous, and do not belong in the food supply. But this defies a basic understanding of biology.
A pesticide is any chemical, natural or human-made, that is designed to kill another organism.
      Using that broad definition, there are probably hundreds of thousands of pesticides in the natural environment. As it turns out, biological warfare was invented and perfected by Mother Nature.
For example, some bacteria and fungi produce antibiotics to kill other microbes. We don’t call these antibiotics “pesticides,” but that’s exactly what they are. To a bacterial cell, a microbe of a different species is often nothing more than a competitive pest that should die. So, it produces chemicals with the intention of killing it. That’s a pesticide.
Plants do the same thing. From a plant’s point of view, many insects are nothing more than dangerous, leaf-eating parasites that should die. So plants produce insecticides, like caffeine and nicotine, to keep those obnoxious, six-legged vegetarians away. (They also produce pesticides to keep the furry, four-legged vegetarians away, too.)
And guess what? When we eat plants, we’re eating those pesticides, too. A paper co-authored in 1990 by the venerable Bruce Ames found that 99.99% of the pesticides we consume in our diet are produced by the plants themselves. Given the popularity of organic food and the unscientific mythology underlying it, his findings are more relevant now than ever.
The Natural Pesticides in Your Food
According to Dr. Ames’s team, every plant produces roughly a few dozen toxins, some of which (at a high enough dose) would be toxic to humans. Cabbage produces at least 49 known pesticides. Given the ubiquity of natural pesticides, Dr. Ames estimates that “Americans eat about 1.5 g of natural pesticides per person per day, which is about 10,000 times more than they eat of synthetic pesticide residues.”
Furthermore, Dr. Ames estimates that we consume 5,000 to 10,000 different natural pesticides every day, many of which cause cancer when tested in lab animals. Dr. Ames then pens quite possibly the best paragraph ever written in the scientific literature:
"[R]odent carcinogens are present in the following foods: anise, apple, apricot, banana, basil, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, caraway, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cherries, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa, coffee, collard greens, comfrey herb tea, currants, dill, eggplant, endive, fennel, grapefruit juice, grapes, guava, honey, honeydew melon, horseradish, kale, lentils, lettuce, mango, mushrooms, mustard, nutmeg, orange juice, parsley, parsnip, peach, pear, peas, black pepper, pineapple, plum, potato, radish, raspberries, rosemary, sesame seeds, tarragon, tea, tomato, and turnip. Thus, it is probable that almost every fruit and vegetable in the supermarket contains natural plant pesticides that are rodent carcinogens. The levels of these... rodent carcinogens in the above plants are commonly thousands of times higher than the levels of synthetic pesticides." [Emphasis added]
Do you cook your food? That produces cancer-causing toxins, too. Do you like coffee? That’s a boiling hot cup of rodent carcinogens. It must be kept in mind that for every scary synthetic pesticide man has created, Mother Nature has created something worse. And you probably eat it regularly.
However, if you still insist on eliminating all pesticides from your diet, there is one thing you can do: Stop eating

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