Sunday 17 November 2019

Eat these to promote fat loss.

Eat Your Way Slim
We’d all love a magic pill or food that makes weight loss easy and permanent. But until either one comes around, healthy eating is still your best bet. The trick is to choose foods that do three things:

  1.  Keep you full

  2.  Won’t cause major spikes in your blood sugar (too much sugar in your blood gets stored as fat)

  3. Support a healthy metabolism -- your body’s system for turning what you eat and drink into energy 

It’s Important to Eat

If the rule of weight loss is to burn more calories than you take in, not eating should make you lose weight fast, right? Wrong. Animal studies show that with less eating, the body goes into “starvation mode,” burning fewer calories to conserve energy. Also, you’ll be short on nutrients, making you tired and sluggish. To get your pep back, you might be tempted to eat sugary or fatty foods, which will pack all those skipped calories back on.

Choose Iodine-Rich Foods

The thyroid gland plays a key role in helping your metabolism burn calories and control your appetite. To do its job, your thyroid needs healthy levels of iodine. Most people in the U.S. get all the iodine they need through a regular diet, but some foods have more iodine than others. Make sure you get at least some of these common sources:
  1.  Table salt

  2.  Egg yolks

  3. Milk and dairy products

  4.  Saltwater fish, such as cod

Show Legumes Some Love

Legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils, are rich in fiber. This makes your metabolism work harder to digest them and keeps you feeling full longer. Studies have shown that lentils can help you eat less and lower your body weight and waist measurements. Beans also have something called resistant starch, which is linked to higher rates of fat metabolism.

Water, Drink Up!

Water supports your metabolism in ways that might surprise you. The trick is to drink more than usual, or drink it instead of beverages with calories. Research suggests that water may:

  1. Help you take in fewer calories

  2.  Boost calorie burning if you’re obese

  3.  Help your body burn fat

Want to bump up the health benefits of water? Drink it very cold. Your digestive system burns extra calories -- about eight -- to get it to room temperature. Eight calories per glass isn’t much, but it adds up over the course of a day, and especially over a week.

Get Your Calcium

When you think of the role of calcium, strong bones probably come to mind. You can thank your metabolism for that, as it helps your body get calcium from food. Some studies suggest calcium can also help you shed pounds and fat, but it’s too early to know for sure. Still, you can’t go wrong with healthy, calcium-rich foods in your diet. These include low-fat dairy, broccoli, and canned sardines or salmon, which have soft, edible bones.

Don’t Be Ginger About Ginger

This funny-looking root packs all kinds of health benefits: It can soothe an upset tummy and ease arthritis pain and swelling. Research shows it may also have a powerful effect on body weight and blood sugar. One study found that drinking a hot ginger drink with breakfast lowered feelings of hunger and had a strong thermogenic (calorie-burning) effect. You can savor its spicy kick in tea and Asian dishes such as stir-fries and soups.

Be Less Refined About Grains

Love Chinese takeout? Do your metabolism a favor and ask for brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice is a whole grain, while white rice -- which has been stripped of the brown nutrient-rich layer -- is a refined one. Some studies show that whole grains have an effect on weight loss, but the jury’s still out on that. Whole grains, unlike refined ones, support your body in key ways:

   1. Appetite control

   2. Nutrient supply

   3.  Sustained energy

Load Up on Low-Glycemic Foods

Low-glycemic index (low-GI) foods are relatively low in carbohydrates. Your body digests them more slowly than high-carb, high-glycemic index foods. That means your blood sugar doesn’t surge when you eat them. Research suggests low-GI diets can help stop diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. Low-GI foods include green veggies, chickpeas, most fruits, beans, and bran breakfast cereals.

Steer Clear of Sugar-Sweetened Drinks

The obvious reason sugar-sweetened beverages are a no-no for your waistline: They have lots of calories. Some research suggests they can also negatively impact your metabolism beyond the “calories in, calories out” rule. Juice, regular soda, sweet tea, and other sugary drinks may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and body fat. Several studies have shown that sugar also increases cholesterol levels.

Cut Down on Alcohol

It’s easy to forget about calories in what you drink, and the ones in alcohol add up quickly. A 12-ounce beer has about 150 calories -- 100 in a light brew. There are about 100 calories in a 1½-ounce shot of rum, whiskey, or vodka, and a pina colada packs 490! Alcohol can also stimulate your appetite. The weight you gain from it tends to settle on your belly, which can cause heart disease, diabetes, and raise your breast cancer risk.

The Skinny on Fat

Your body needs some fat to work well. But fat is high in calories, and it doesn’t keep you feeling full. This can lead you to eat more later, taking in even more calories. And indulging in fatty foods for even a short time can worsen your metabolism. One study found that just 5 days of eating a high-fat diet can hurt your muscles’ ability to process glucose. This can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems.


Sunday 10 November 2019

Added sugar: Where is it hiding?

      Added sugar is everywhere in the food supply. Britain take in an average of more than 17 teaspoons of sugar (about 290 calories) a day from added sugars, often in sweetened beverages, far more than the daily recommended amount
    Sugar is added to countless food products, including breads, condiments, dairy-based foods, nut butters, salad dressings, and sauces. The sugar is added not just to impart sweetness. It's also used to extend shelf life and adjust attributes like the texture, body, colour, and browning capability of food
        To start reducing added sugar in your diet, first it helps to know where it comes from. Here are the basics.
Where's the sugar?
     Unless you consume only whole, unprocessed foods, you are bound to have added sugars in your daily diet. Sugar-sweetened beverages lead the pack, but many other foods also contain added sugar—sometimes a substantial amount in a typical portion.
Sugar-sweetened beverages.
      Sugar-sweetened beverages contribute about half of the total added sugar in the supply. The source of the sweetness in most products is high-fructose corn syrup. These sugary drinks include any of the following:
             regular soda
             juice drinks, like fruit punch and juice "cocktails" (but not whole fruit and vegetable juices)
             energy drinks
             sports drinks
             sweet tea
             sweetened coffee drinks
             sweetened water
             any other beverages with sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup added to enhance sweetness.
        It's important not to confuse sugar-sweetened juice drinks with whole fruit juices. Processed beverages like fruit punch or cranberry juice cocktail contain a fair amount of added sugar—in the case of cranberry juice cocktail, the sugar is added to counter the naturally sour taste of cranberries. This is an example of a fruit drink that is also a sugar-sweetened beverage, and therefore a source of added sugar. Whole (100% fruit) juices contain only the sugars in the juice extracted from the fruit or vegetable. However, it's a good idea to limit even whole juices in your diet.
         Sugar-sweetened drinks can pump a large amount of added sugar into your body, and quickly. These beverages are not as filling as sweet whole foods like fruit, so it's easier to consume a lot of them. On average,Britains get more than 200 calories a day from sugary drinks, about four times what we consumed in 1965.

Sweets and desserts.
Brownies, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, pastries, pies, puddings, and sweet rolls are just some of the processed foods widely understood to contain substantial amounts of added sugar.
Honey and syrups.
Sugars naturally present in honey and syrups, including maple syrup, are also considered added sugars. Although honey and syrup are sold as freestanding products, you don't eat them by themselves. They are squirted into hot drinks, drizzled on pancakes and waffles, or added during baking or making sweets.
Condiments are defined as spices, sauces, or other preparations that you add to food to enhance its flavor. Tomato ketchup, relish, barbecue sauce, salad dressings, and salsa are condiments, and they can contain considerable amounts of sugar per serving.
Prepared foods.
    A vast variety of prepared foods contain additional sweeteners. Breakfast cereals contain added sugar, but so do ready-to-eat meals, breads, soups, tomato sauces, snacks, and cured meats.
     Among the many processed and prepared foods with added sugar are sugar-sweetened yogurts. Plain unsweetened yogurt contains naturally occurring milk sugars, but added sugar can double or triple the total amount of sugar.
Are natural sugar alternatives healthier
      Many people are seeking out what they perceive to be healthier alternatives to refined (granulated) white sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. They may have heard that plant-based natural or organic sweeteners such as agave syrup (sometimes called nectar) or coconut sugar are less likely to trigger spikes in blood sugar. Less-processed "raw" sugars, maple syrup, or honey also may be perceived as better options simply because they are more "natural" than highly refined table sugar.
      Popular sugar alternatives do come from things in nature, such as tree sap or beehives. But the sugar in them is the same as what you'll find in a bag of "unnatural," refined white or confectioner's sugar. The same goes for sugars labeled "organic" or "raw." Though less-processed sugars may contain trace elements and minerals that refined white sugar lacks, they still end up as glucose (blood sugar) after the body breaks them down.
      In the case of agave syrup, there is a difference in the way the body processes it compared with table sugar. Agave syrup is mostly fructose, which does not directly raise blood sugar (glucose) levels. Instead, the fructose goes to the liver to be converted to glucose  
   On the other hand, consuming excess amounts of fructose can cause the liver to start making fat in the form of triglycerides. Chronically high triglycerides raise the risk for diabetes and heart disease.
In the end, the key message is "the dose makes the poison." Whatever type of sugar you use to sweeten your tea or oatmeal, or to cook with, the important thing is to limit the total amount of added sugar in your diet.


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