Thursday, October 22, 2009

5 Tasty Foods That Help You Burn Fat

By Kevin Koskella

When most people think of losing weight, they think of doing some kind of intense activity like running to burn fat off. While exercise is helpful in keeping or obtaining a fit body, it is secondary to what you are putting into that body.

Many people also eat too many carbohydrates, which contribute to weight gain. Here are 5 foods that you can start adding into your diet immediately that will help you to lose or keep away unwanted weight. (Think of replacing some unnecessary carbs with these foods):

1. Almonds/Almond butter. This is a great addition to your meals to get some extra fat burning fat, and feel full longer. I tend to snack on almonds often, and the result is higher energy levels, feeling satiated, and a flatter tummy. Research published in the International Journal of Obesity indicates that diet-study participants who ate one serving of almonds daily for six months lost 18% of their body fat. Study participants who had a diet with the same amount of calories and protein but substituted an equal number of calories in complex carbohydrates (from a source like whole grain crackers) instead of the almonds, lost only 11% of their body fat.

2. Avocados. Contrary to popular belief, avocados are extremely healthy and a great food to eat if the goal is to burn fat. They are loaded with essential healthy fats that our bodies need. Typically, health-conscious people will see the guacamole dip and avoid it because of all the fat. Nonsense! You would be better off not having the chips and eating several spoonfuls of guacamole if you are wanting to eat a food that will help you slim down instead of pack on the pounds.

3. Broccoli. I hated this vegetable as a kid, but began enjoying it as an adult, when I decided to eat foods that would give me more energy and help burn fat away instead of junk food. A good way to eat broccoli is to steam cook it and pour olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on it. Yum! With great dietary fiber, nutrients and protein, broccoli stands as one of the most nutritious and healthy foods we can eat.

4. Green Tea. Another amazingly healthy green food. Several studies have shown that drinking green tea boosts exercise-induced weight loss. A new study in the Journal of Nutrition confirms the weight loss benefits and claims drinking green tea also helps the body burn fat - belly fat in particular. Drink up!

5. Coconut Oil. Yes, it's loaded with saturated fat, and common wisdom says this is fattening and will lead to dreaded high cholesterol. This is where common wisdom is wrong! Coconut oil has been shown to help with fat burning with a rare type of fat called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT's). MCT's are more suited for energy use rather than fat storage. One study on coconut oil, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrated that the medium-chain fatty acids that comprise coconut oil were threefold more effective than polyunsaturated oils at raising metabolism. Make sure to get high quality, virgin coconut oil- taste and nutritional value will be higher!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to Create a Healthy Grocery List on a Budget

By Cindy Hamilton

Creating a healthy grocery list on a budget doesn't have to be complicated. Although it seems like there is an endless amount of unhealthy foods lining the grocery store shelves, there are ways to bring home healthy foods and still stay on a budget.

Here are a few tips on creating a healthy grocery list:

1. When buying bread and pasta check the list of ingredients. Look for the words "Whole Grain" as the first ingredient. If you see "wheat flour" or "enriched flour" as one of the first couple of ingredients, then this is mostly refined white bread with some whole grains added.

2. Buy lean meat, fish (especially oily fish like salmon) and poultry. Try to limit deli meats, hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats due to high levels of nitrates.

3. Stop buying soda or fruit juice that is mostly sugar water and empty calories! Buy unsweet tea or tea bags to make tea yourself and keep in your refrigerator. If you must buy juice, be sure it is 100% juice and limit your intake to one glass a day.

4. Stop buying junk food at the store like chips or soda. It will save room in your grocery budget for healthier foods.

5. Learn to read food labels. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat), bleached flour, enriched flour, and high fructose corn syrup by checking the ingredients on packages.

6. Avoid pre-packaged meals that contain high levels of sodium, fat and calories. Try broiling fish and steaming fresh broccoli instead!

7. Try to spend half your budget each week on fruits and veggies and spend the other half on whole grains, dairy and lean meat. Start in the produce department first and work your way around the outside edges of the store. Most processed and unhealthy foods are kept in the center aisle. Limit what you buy there!

8. Stock up on lean meat, fish and poultry when it is on sale and freeze it for future use.

9. Purchase berries, peaches, mangos and other fruits when they are on sale and freeze in individual baggies for use later in smoothies or on whole grain waffles.

10. YES you can use coupons and still have a healthy grocery list! It takes some work to pull your list together each week, but stores offer great coupons on things like frozen vegetables, whole grain pasta and whole grain waffles. But, don't get tricked into buying processed foods just because you have a coupon. Just because a bag of candy is $0.50, doesn't mean it needs to be in your cart!

With a little effort and some planning you can have a healthy grocery list and still be on a budget.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Alkaline Fruits - Eat More, Live Longer!

By Bryan Dixon

Eating alkaline fruits is one of the essential steps in the alkaline diet system. This isn't a difficult step at all as many people are fond of eating fruits. Fresh fruits are not only delicious they're also packed with nutrients that can only be good for the body.

There is an abundant variety of fruits and vegetables in our natural environment so even if some fruits are not that appetizing to your palette, you can still find many choices that will surely satisfy your taste buds. Each kind of fruit contains different components that can make us healthy.

More importantly, lots of fruit varieties are rich in alkaline content. Our bodies contain both alkaline and acid substances but in order to be healthy, we need to keep our pH or alkaline vs acid ration at just the right level. A balanced pH is the key to being strong and resilient against diseases. Thus, when we eat more alkaline-rich foods, we are neutralizing our body's pH balance.

You may be wondering, what particular fruits are high in alkaline content? Dried figs and raisins are known to be wonderful alkaline sources. Other popular alkaline fruits are grapes, apples, pears, papaya, banana, pineapple, avocado, mangoes, watermelon, peach, honey dew, coconuts, and other tropical fruits.

Citrus fruits such as cherries, strawberries, oranges, limes and lemons are also rich alkaline-source although many people would consider them to be "acidic". Yes, citric fruits contain vitamin C but it is the type of acid which has an alkalinizing effect to the body. These citrus fruit varieties do not leave acid-ash or acid residue in our system. In fact, they leave alkaline-ash or alkaline residue in our system.

The great thing about practicing the alkaline-acid diet program is that you don't need to spend so much just to be healthy. You won't be required to buy expensive pills or exercise equipment. Alkaline-rich fruits are so easy to find in the market and they're not at all expensive. Some of these can even be picked from your garden so achieving good health shouldn't be an impossible feat. Along with correct eating, practice a daily exercise routine and avoid bad habits like smoking and drinking.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Replacing Ice Cream With Yogurt

By Todd Grummans

One of the longest running summer staples in America is a nice ice cream cone to eat to cool off. It tastes great, is cold, and comes in all your favorite flavors.

The one drawback though is it is not that good for you. A solution? How about some frozen low fat or non fat yogurt?

I loved the tasty and creamy snack as a kid, but once my metabolism started slowing down I decided I needed to switch to something just as tasty but healthier.

Yogurt varies in how much healthier it is for you than ice cream. For the most part, you can save at least 30% off the normal fat and saturated fat found in the frozen treat by opting for yogurt.

Most think of yogurt as not exactly like the same type of food though. A snack you can find cold but not cold like ice cream. Fortunately, they make yogurt that is frozen. It's pretty simple: frozen yogurt.

I can get my favorite ice cream flavors and put them on a cone just like the old days at the Creamery. The indulgence doesn't kill my diet, but still should only be eaten in moderation.

We all want to snack on the things we grew up eating. The fact is as we get older you have to find a healthy alternative, or start snacking on vegetables all day. I can't give up the flavor, so I'll stick with the low fat, or even fat free yogurt for desert from now on.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Is Your Diet Giving You Dark Under Eye Circles?

By N. K. Yukai Platinum Quality Author

Think dark under eye circles mean you need to change how you're sleeping? Think again. They could mean you need to change what you're eating.

When you see dark circles you're actually seeing the network of blood vessels that lies just under the skin, which is thin and delicate in the under eye area. They make you look tired, and perhaps because of that most people assume that they're caused by lack of sleep. But in reality exhaustion is just one of many things that can lead to dark circles, and it's actually more likely that the wrong diet is the primary cause.

Here are some diet don'ts that are associated with dark circles:

Lack of iron in the diet - Iron is absolutely essential to the body. It's used in the creation of healthy blood cells, and insufficient iron can lead to anemia. Symptoms of anemia include listlessness, loss of energy, and dark discoloration under the eyes. Good sources of iron include liver, lean beef, molasses, beans, broccoli, sardines, tuna, prunes, and leafy dark green vegetables like spinach.

Too much salt in the diet - Eating too much salt can make the body retain fluid, which in turn can lead to puffiness and discoloration in the under eye area. Stay away from salty foods and snacks like chips and salted nuts, and avoid high sodium items such as bacon and other processed meats, canned soups and vegetables, and fast foods.

Not enough vitamin K - Dark circles under the eyes can be a sign of vitamin K deficiency. Without sufficient vitamin K the blood will not clot properly, and any leakage from the tiny capillaries under the eyes may pool and create very dark, bruise-like discoloration. Good sources of vitamin K include olive, canola, and soybean oil and dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and swiss chard.

Not enough vitamin C - Vitamin C is known to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, preventing them from leaking. Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, peppers, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe.

Not drinking enough water - Not drinking enough water can quickly lead to dehydration, which may have serious impact on circulation. When the circulation slows, the blood vessels under the eyes become enlarged and look darker.

Too much alcohol and caffeine - Both alcoholic drinks and caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee, and tea can increase dehydration.

Specific food allergies - allergies are definitely associated with dark circles, and food allergies are a major culprit. Some foods often associated with allergies and dark circles include dairy, wheat, yeast, and sugar.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You Are What You Eat - To a Point

By Rick Javier

Combining a good diet with good exercise will go a very long way in keeping you healthy and helping you to live longer and stronger. It has for a lot of people.

You can never run out of ideas on how to keep fit to be healthy because it is one of the most discussed topics on the radio and television and one of the most written subjects in magazines and newspapers. With the Internet, there are lots of articles such as this that talk about it and they can be found on almost every health related website like this and even article directories and other content websites.

It's not only through physical activities that you can combat stress and look good. You will be surprised but as simple as winding down with a good book can be an effective way to combat stress, which has an adverse impact on the health of the body.

If you are one of those who don't frequently visit their doctors for checkups, you should. Regular trips to the doctor to ascertain your health status keeps you updated about your body and helps you maintain perfect health. I know you might say you don't visit the doctor frequently because nothing is wrong with you, but who knows? You can't be sure unless you are constantly given a clean bill of health by your doctor after medical checkups.

When you are trying to make up your mind on what exercise equipment to buy, make sure you have the space to put it, the time to use it and the money to buy it. The money is very important as some of the exercise equipment can be very expensive. You should only buy those that you need AND that you can afford. Both factors are very important.

What Are the 14 Super Foods?

By Kristie Leong M.D.

Here are the 14 super foods you'll want to consider adding to your diet. There's no doubt that diet plays an important role in the maintenance of health and the prevention of disease. To help reduce the risk of disease, more people are adding super foods to their diet. Super foods are those foods that have additional health benefits beyond simply providing nutrition.

These foods are high in phytonutrients, which may give them additional disease fighting powers. Although the foods that are worthy of being called super foods may be open to debate, there are certain stars in the nutritional world that play an important role in diet, and may play a part in protecting against chronic disease.


Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin C and fiber, as well as a group of chemicals known as isothiocyanates, thought to potentially prevent certain types of cancer. This simple, green super food is a healthy addition to any diet.


This green super food has a unique chemical known as nasturtin, which is converted into an isothiocyanate known as PEITC. This has been shown in studies to slow down the growth of prostate, breast and colon cancer cells. The components in watercress are also thought to reduce the risk of macular degeneration of the eye. This green super food is best eaten raw, as heat can destroy the PEITC.


Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They're also a rich source of fiber and vitamins, particularly vitamin E and the B vitamins. Although nutritionally dense, they're higher in calories than the other super foods and should be eaten in moderation.


These humble fruits have the distinction of having one of the highest antioxidant capacities of the common fruits. Rich in powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins, blueberries are thought to play a role in protecting nerve cells involved in motor skills, learning and memory as people age.


Although the apple may not be the most exotic fruit on the vine, it does have some noteworthy health benefits. Apples are rich in flavonoids, which have been shown to have antioxidant activity. Apple consumption has been correlated with a reduced risk of stroke as well as diabetes. Plus, apples are also a good source of vitamin C.


Spinach is another green super food lauded for its health benefits. Rich in a variety of flavonoids and high in vitamins K, A and C, this simple food is thought to play a role in the prevention of a host of chronic diseases. It packs a powerful nutritional punch for a vegetable so low in calories.


Yogurt is considered a super food because of its probiotic capabilities. The friendly bacteria found in a container of yogurt help to preserve the health of the intestinal tract, as well as the immune system. Plus, it's a good source of calcium and protein. There's much to love about this underappreciated dairy product.

Wild salmon

The only meat to make the list, salmon is known for its high content of omega-3-fatty acids, the same heart friendly fats found in walnuts that help to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It's important to select wild salmon since farm raised salmon may be contaminated with PCBs and dioxanes, both potential cancer causing agents.


Kale is a member of the brassica family of vegetables, which includes fellow super foods, broccoli and watercress. Kale has many of the same benefits as these other green superstars because of its high content of isothiocyanates. It's thought that kale may have cancer preventive properties as well as cardiovascular benefits. It's also a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals, being particularly high in vitamins A, C and E.


Although many people may not think of the tomato as a super food, it is a rich source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant that is being studied for its role in preventing prostate cancer. The lycopenes found in tomatoes are best absorbed when the tomato is cooked, so tomato sauce is one of the best ways to get the health benefits that tomatoes have to offer.

Green tea

Green tea is a healthy source of catechins such as EGCG, which are thought to play a role in preventing a variety of chronic disease including certain types of cancer and heart disease. Numerous studies are ongoing to look at the potential benefits of drinking green tea for health.


High in omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed may help protect heart health and reduce inflammation in the body. It's also high in lignans, which studies have shown may prevent or slow down the growth of breast tumors. The beneficial components of flaxseed can only be absorbed when the seeds are ground; whole flaxseeds pass through the body undigested.


Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that's associated with a lower risk of heart disease as well as the ability to lower cholesterol levels. They're also rich in potassium, fiber and folate, although higher in calories than most vegetables.


Last but not least, raspberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, and their sweet taste makes them an excellent alternative to a high calorie dessert.

These super foods are a tasty way to add extra nutritional punch to your diet. Whether you choose a green super food or a cup of yogurt flavored with fresh blueberries, you'll be doing something good for your body.