Food and Mood

Healthy DietIt is easy to make the connection between eating a healthy diet and optimum brain development. Of course, eating a healthy diet ensures that the brain has all the nutrients for building a healthy brain. But few are unaware that our diet also has a direct effect on our moods and emotions.

The quality of our diet can have an effect on the duration and severity of depressions. Signs include a sudden loss of appetite, food cravings and skipping meals. Sudden mood changes could be the brains signal that something is wrong or it is severely lacking in some nutrients.

Carbohydrates are important in the structural and functional integrity of the body. Some studies have shown a direct correlation between the levels of carbohydrates and its effects on our moods and behavior. Eating carbohydrate rich food triggers the release of insulin that converts blood sugar into energy. It also simultaneously sends tryptophan in the brain.

Diets which are low in carbohydrate increase the chance for depression. This is because carbohydrates are important building blocks for serotonin and tryptophan or “good feel” hormones. However, it is important that people get their carbohydrates from healthy sources. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and pasta could provide carbohydrates but have a lasting and stable effect on brain chemistry, mood and energy levels compared to sugar sources that only provide temporary relief.

Here are some of the cause and effects of food on our mood:

  • Changes in our blood sugar levels can affect our energy levels and mood. Sudden fluctuations in blood sugar levels could lead to stress.
  • Below average levels of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals could affect normal brain functioning.
  • Certain allergies contained in food such as artificial colors and flavorings. People could also develop hypersensitivity to certain foods which they previously have not any difficulty eating.
  • Protein rich foods contain amino acids which are essential to normal brain functioning. These are needed by the brain’s neurotransmitters. Amino acids are also needed for the production of serotonin and dopamine, mood hormones. And any imbalance could lead to depression and even aggressiveness.
  • Before cutting your fat consumption consider the important role they play in brain health. Brain cell membranes are largely composed of fats and the brain’s gray matter is built from polyunsaturated fatty acids.

The connection between food and our brain go beyond supplying it with energy and nutrients. Food also plays an important role in our moods and emotions. Eating the right diet maintains our levels of “feel good” hormones that can fight depression naturally.

 

Shedding Pounds after Pregnancy

Pregnant LadyPost pregnancy period in a woman’s life is the time when a woman has that highest weight gain tendency and these tendencies amount only to three high risk periods in a woman’s life. This is according to the research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Once a post pregnancy weight gain isn’t shed in a period of six months after birth, the pounds she gained she will likely keep. And once you are already obese before your pregnancy, chances are you will be facing more problem there is.

Health concerns regarding post pregnancy weight gain includes:

  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • Higher risk of heart diseases
  • Complications in later pregnancies.

The Truth About Losing Post Pregnancy Pounds

Most women who have given birth is likely to lose it with the right process. 61% of new moms expect that they will lose the extra pounds they accumulated at the time their babies turn one. It some cases, it can’t happen. But mostly, with the well planned program, it can be possible.

 

Some women though may go back to their old weight but would wear larger clothes. 87% of women say that their stomach or tummy has not return to its normal shape.

Many new moms who have the difficulty in getting their weight down may opt for some attractive alternative such as tummy tuck procedures for slimming down. And given that many women now have been exposed to media and the wonders of medicine, they tried seeking some alternative solutions to their problems in the cosmetic world.

Exercise can be a Jumpstart

Weight loss can’t happen in a day or two especially with post pregnancy gains. A series of exercise after giving birth can get you on track. Always give a time for it. Exercising is essential in losing weight, activity can burn fat. A simple exercise you may incorporate in your walk with your baby’s stroller or in your other free time.

Exercise and other activities can help you lose fat and not muscles. Women who returns to work after a reasonable time, according to research, may lose weight more than those who stays at home.

Don’t Diet too Soon; Watch your Calorie Intake at the Right Time

You should give yourself some time before you start dieting. It is essential especially if you are breastfeeding. Incorporate your diet with a good and regular exercise.

A diet plan that has been well planned (not done abruptly) may help you avoid the delay for your recovery and won’t cause fatigue in you. And when on your diet regimen, keep everything healthy. No fasting, no over the edge solutions. Why not bank on some super foods?

Consult Doctor for Safety Purposes

Some exercises and diet plans may not suit you. Your diet program should also be approved by your doctor to be able to keep you safe and help you be on the right track. Remember, when you are still nursing, even though you are trying to lose weight, you should still give your motherly duties some consideration.

Some women though who seemed to have difficulty in slimming down and losing weight results to other cosmetic procedures. Liposuction is popular among many women hoping to loss flabs after giving birth. Some would even result to a make-over that wouldn’t address tummy flabs alone but problems with saggy breasts and buttocks as well. Mummy makeover has been a long time popular in many countries all over the world.

Most women would want pre-baby bodies because they need to be assured that they are getting it back. Getting it safely though should be the priority of these Mums. And it isn’t a race, it isn’t about who get it back the fastest, but it’s how it will stay. Once you have it back, maintain it.

Injury Proof Workouts with a Healthy Diet

Fitness girl DDuring physical activity, we can be prone to injuries. We can lose balance and trip over, fall and sprain an ankle.  We can prevent injuries during workouts by strengthening our muscles before embarking on an exercise program. Strengthening core muscles improve balance and flexibility and enable us to exercise effectively to burn fat and build muscle.

However, muscle strengthening is not all about exercise; it also needs balanced nutrition. The purpose is this article is to identify the types of diets which can strengthen muscles effectively.

High Lean Protein Diet

Protein is essential in your diet to encourage growth of muscle mass. This is because a protein-rich diet can provide you with amino acids needed for your body to recover from stress and injury. Amino acids are also needed to rebuild and strengthen muscle tissues after exercise. However, be careful with the type of protein you should include in your diet. You may include lean protein foods such as eggs, beans, chicken, turkey, legumes and low-fat or nonfat dairy products.

Complex Carbohydrate Diet

Complex carbohydrates differ from plain carbohydrates because they are slowly digested, thus providing a slow but steady release of glucose for energy. Consuming this type of carbohydrate can boost your energy levels, especially during a muscle strengthening workout. Consuming carbohydrates also spares protein from being used up for energy in the body.

A good example of a complex carbohydrate is the type of carbohydrate found in oatmeal. Oatmeal is high in dietary fiber, which in turn releases steady energy while keeping blood glucose levels at a normal range. Oatmeal also helps you control your appetite and prevents hunger pangs by making you full all the time. Other foods with complex carbohydrates are whole grain foods and yams.

 

Healthy Fat Diet

 

Fat is not all that bad; in fact, you need a reasonable amount of healthy fat to strengthen your muscles. This is because a healthy amount of fat can build muscle and can help rebuild skin, hair, nails and joint tissues. Choose to include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet such as the ones found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, canola oil and fatty fish like salmon. These fats can help decrease high cholesterol levels in the blood and can protect you against cardiovascular disease.

 

Frequent Eating

 

For muscle strengthening, consider consuming a diet that allows you to eat frequently. Eating frequently has been shown to promote weight loss and burn fat. This is because more frequent eating encourages your body to burn calories during digestion every time you eat. The more frequent digestion is, the more calories are burned. Each of your meal portions should contain only 300 to 400 calories.

 

Frequent eating can also help manage protein stores in the body so that protein is not utilized for energy but only in the building and repair of muscle tissues. There should be six small meals per day to help you shed fat and prevent hunger pangs.

 

Other useful tips:

 

Warm up exercises – get your blood circulation going and warm those muscles up. If you’re planning to carry weights or just do a couple of heavy exercises, limbering up will be your best defense against muscle sprains or injury.

 

Get the help of a professional – if this is your first time going to the gym or are planning to seriously get into an exercise regimen, getting the help of a gym instructor is a must. At least get a friend who has experience. Lifting weights in the gym could be dangerous. If you’re trying to lift a heavier weight enroll the help of a friend who could assist you if anything goes wrong.

 

Healthy Tips to Stop Smoking Naturally

cigaretteDo you smoke? You probably know about the consequences of cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly one out of every five deaths in America. It is a major cause of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Maybe you are also aware of all these but you still have a problem: you simply can’t stop smoking.

We cannot blame you. Cigarette smoking is an addictive habit. Whenever you smoke a cigarette, nicotine is absorbed by your body through the blood and it enters your brain. Upon reaching the brain, there is a stimulant effect in the body brought about by a rush of adrenaline. Your heart rate and breathing increases along with your blood pressure. You feel more awake and you forget hunger.

The problem with nicotine is that it is an addictive chemical. Nicotine has the ability to activate reward pathways in the brain. This means that when you smoke a cigarette, you feel pleasure. This is due to the fact that nicotine increases the secretion of a chemical in the brain called dopamine, causing pleasurable sensations. When you don’t smoke, you feel bad and you experience withdrawal symptoms. This is what makes cigarette smoking a habit which is difficult to break.

So, how do you stop smoking in a healthier way? Here are some tips:

Face Your Cravings

You should learn the art of self-control. If you experience cravings, tell yourself to wait for 10 minutes before you give in. During that time you should be able to distract yourself. Delaying your cravings can actually drive your cravings away.

You should also avoid triggers. Cravings may surface out when you go with the same smoking crowd or when you go to certain places. You must avoid those places or those friends of yours. Also avoid parties and bars while you are on the process of quitting smoking.

Exercise

Getting physical very often can actually help ease cravings for smoke. You can walk, jog or play sports. You may also try relaxation techniques such as yoga. Whenever you crave for tobacco, try to practice relaxation techniques to drive away your cravings and distract you.

Get support

You can ask support from your family members and loved ones. Tell them to constantly remind you to quit smoking. Listen to the advices of these loved ones and lean on them for support whenever you feel weak. You can also join support groups for smoking cessation.

Get Replacements

Smoking alternatives such as nicotine gums or e-cigarettes can help reduce your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor should be able to help you with these. Your doctor may also give you some medications to help you quit smoking.

Help Yourself

You hold the key towards your rehabilitation. You should constantly remind yourself of why you would like to stop smoking. Think of how smoking can kill you. Think of the cancers and lung diseases you may get if you continue to smoke. Think about the things you would like to do when you grow old and tell yourself that you cannot enjoy these things if you continue to smoke and shorten your life. You may write down your thoughts on a journal or a blog. You can say out loud what you have written to strengthen yourself. Remind yourself constantly and you will not fail.

Keeping Osteoarthritis Away with Healthy Eating

Healthy DietOsteoarthritis is a medical condition that is mainly caused by lifestyle factors. These include unhealthy eating, sedentary lifestyle, over weight problems and previous injury. Osteoarthritis is highly preventable and all it takes is living a healthy lifestyle. One simple way is to start eating a healthy diet to help prevent or manage osteoarthritis.

Dietary supplements, information on osteoarthritis fighting foods and other natural treatments are also readily available to help people fight off this disease. Getting the right nutrients into your body is just one of the ways to minimize your risk for developing osteoarthritis. However, working with your doctor to develop a prevention or treatment plan still remains to be the way of keeping this disease at bay.

Building Stronger Bones and Cartilages

Vitamin C rich food is essential in developing a diet designed to prevent osteoarthritis. Vitamin C is an important nutrient responsible for building collagen and proteoglycans. These are the building blocks for stronger cartilage which helps cushion the joints. Vitamin C rich foods also contain powerful antioxidants that prevent toxin buildup in the joints that can damage the cartilage.

Fruits and vegetables are definite staples when it comes to osteoarthritis preventing diets. Eating a variety of frozen, dried and fresh fruits is a must but also keep fruit juices to a minimal since these contain large amounts of sugar. The recommended amount of vitamin C for example could easily be reached by eating an orange, a large banana, a quarter of dried peaches or other dried fruits.
Another essential food group includes nuts and seeds and fish. These are healthy sources of protein but do not contain the same high levels of fat seen in poultry or animal meat. Regular diets can easily provide much needed proteins but the trick is to get this from healthy sources. Fish and calamari for example contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids which has anti-inflammatory properties. Other ways of minimizing fats in your diet are boiling, grilling or baking. Cooking oils could also be replaced with healthier alternatives such as flaxseed and olive oils.

Eating dark green and orange vegetables are important for preventing osteoarthritis. The recommended amounts of daily intake may depend on a person’s age, activity levels and gender. However, adults in general are advised to eat two to three cups of vegetables daily. Broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, squash and beans are ideal.

Calcium is essential for building strong and healthy bones, which is important for preventing joint damage. Make drinking milk healthier by choosing low or no-fat milk. Adults are advised to drink three cups of dairy daily.

Foods to Look out For

There’s no shortage of information regarding the types of foods that could prevent or manage osteoarthritis. Eating a healthy and well balanced diet for example is not only great for reducing our risks for osteoarthritis but also for keeping us healthy in general.

One of the simple rules when it comes to healthy eating is to eat less as we grow older. We must not forget that factors for developing osteoarthritis are weight problems. A heavier weight means more pressure on the joints so be sure to avoid that. Changes associated with aging include slowing metabolism. You might be eating the same food amounts but the body is unable to burn fats effectively.

People who are suffering from osteoarthritis are advised to stay away from unhealthy and fatty foods. Keeping your weight within ideal limits minimizes the pressure, wear and tear on your joints. Fat can also increase your chances of inflammation which can worsen joint inflammation.

Stay clear from foods that contain large amounts of simple refined carbohydrates, saturated fats and trans-fats. Processed foods, fast foods, fried and sweets are also good candidates for increasing your risk for osteoporosis.

Animal meat and eggs contain saturated fat which can have negative effects on our health when taken in great amounts. It does not only increase your risk for osteoarthritis but also makes you susceptible to cancers and cardiovascular diseases. These foods also contain rich amounts of Omega 6 which if left unchecked could increase the pain and inflammation in the joints.

Eating a healthy and well balanced diet is important for preventing osteoarthritis. A diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fish and complex carbohydrates is perfect for reducing your risk for osteoarthritis. It is a good diet that helps you maintain your ideal weight.

Switch to “good fats” or unsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are rich in antioxidants that can clear the joints from damaging toxins. Foods that are rich in vitamin C are good for strengthening the bones and cartilages. Improving the strength in the joints and prevents injuries.

 

 

 

Healthy, Younger Skin Naturally

sun safety 101People spend more for beauty and for the goal of looking good. Since looking good and looking young in today’s society may mean promotion, better work, more self confidence, better chances for relationship and even a jumpstart of positive outlook and raised self esteem, the  cosmetic and beauty industries have banked on it and evolved into giant industries. Expensive surgeries and treatments has grown and expanded.

So here are those skin friendly superfoods you may choose from.

Flaxseed. Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids which is a good kind of fat. These fatty acids strengthen cell membranes. It also helps prevent the absorbtion of harmful toxins in the body. Flaxseed helps cell membranes hold water which makes the skin look youthful and younger.

Tuna. Tuna when eaten in moderation may help in skin sagging. It has omega-3 fatty acids as well as selenium. These two helps prevent cellular damage while promoting elastin. Selenium can also be found in some beef, cod and turkey.

Other Fish oil. Coldwater fish can be a good source of protein, Carotenoids and omega-3 fatty cuds. These have anti-inflammatory effects and are very good for the skin. It also helps in fighting aging process.

Chia. Again, Chia can be very little seeds but it pack still some surprise for the skin. It helps in skin hydration and makes skin look healthy, young and well moisturized.

Green Tea. Not only can it help detoxify the body but it can also help prevent skin damage. Green tea has Polyphenols which is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. These components also help the body from absorbing the damages of the UV rays.

Low fat dairy. Low fat diary helps in preventing acne as well as in lessening wrinkles. Low fat dairy contains vitamin A, a known skin food. Plain yogurt is one with broccoli, liver, sweet potatoes and spinach among others.

Almonds. Almonds contain a hefty amount of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a natural sun blocker. Due to this, the sun’s effects can be neutralized and can have little damage on the skin once it gets in contact with it.

Sweet potato. Sweet potatoes may not be your thing but they can eventually smoothen your skin. It has high levels of vitamin C and supports collagen production.  Once collagen production gets better, a fuller appearance and a more youthful skin may be seen. In studies conducted, those who are ingesting more vitamin C may get to have smoother skin, with lesser wrinkles. Maybe it’s time that you add more carrots, citrus and papayas in your diet.

Avocadoes. Avocadoes are one for skin’s elasticity. It contains all the healthy fats and can protect the skin as well as prevent it from forming wrinkles and fine liens.  MUPAs when ingested and gets to befriend the body can help make the cell walls stronger.

Berries. Just every berry out there contains all the anti-oxidant which can help slow down the aging process while making your skin glow. Since it has various helpful compounds, it has the ability to protect the skin’s breakdown of collagen and elastin. Berries have compounds that are known to increase lifespan of the cells.

Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain lycopene. This anti-oxidant helps defend the body from sun damage and wrinkles. It is also under study as a possible cancer treatment. The lycopene helps the body neutralize the effect of free radicals as well as the UV rays from the sun exposure.

Beets. Beets contain phytochemicals and minerals. It helps the body fight infection, purifies the blood and helps cleanse the liver.

Kale. Kale is known to contain more nutrients than any other vegetables. It just is power packed with every nutrient that the skin will be thankful of.

Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate contains a higher amount of cocoa. Or if available, raw cacao can even be better. It is packed with anti-oxidants for a smooth and glowing skin.

Water is Important

Superfoods this good can never be enough though. It may need you to do all things right since a single superfood meal can’t combat a whole week of your consumption of processed foods. It has to be a lifestyle.

Now, for skin health, water hydration can be very important. You may have all the juices but water is still needed. Without water, skin may turn flaky, sallow and even dry. So make an effort in increasing your water intake to boost energy and of course to rehydrate your cells for glowing and healthy skin.

The Healthy Way to Keep Diabetes Away

Healthy DietYour most recent visit with your physician confirmed you have diabetes.  As an effort to fight off this illness, you educate yourself with useful information.  But in your search for aid, you stumbled upon tons of materials that lead you to false promises.  You must now turn to natural ways to fight off this unnatural condition.

Bad carbs

Start your battle by eliminating bad carbohydrates.  Avoid foods that contain white flour and refined white sugar.  They have been stripped of its essential nutrients.  These foods are the culprits for the increase in numbers of obese people over the past few decades.

Another type of sugar that contributed to American obesity rates is High fructose corn syrup or HFCS.  This carbohydrate ispresent in almost all frozen foods and baked goods.  You may also find this in sugary drinks.

As a solution to this, read the labels in every item before you toss it to your grocery cart.  Purchase items without HFCS.  Pick foods that have been sweetened with natural products.

Good fats

Another item to add in your diabetes check list is food items that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids.  This includes albacore tuna, halibut, herring, calamari and squid oil and your favorite fish salmon.  Read the rest of this entry »

Must Not Miss Nutrients – Get that Healthy Body

eating healthyHow do you define a good meal? Is it a serving of fries followed by a quarter pounder burger? Is it that deliciously smelling bacon along with other “nutritiously” processed food that you are regularly having every morning? Well, even these types of foods spell comfort to you and definitely satisfy your appetite, you still have to be wary of your intake. Preservatives and too much calories are not friends especially if you aim for a healthy lifestyle.

 

Some food may be bland for our taste, but their health benefits are ultimately essential keep us going for the rest of the day. The human body needs a balanced eating plan to serve the best of its function, so if we are eating a diet that completes of our daily nutritional requirements, we are having enough nutrition in store to:

  • Heal and repair.
  • Boost immunity to fight against infections.
  • Grow and build muscles and bones.
  • Stay fit and healthy.

Eating various food groups can also reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart problems, cancers, stroke, join-related diseases, and diabetes. A good diet partnered with regular exercise can also slow down aging and keep the body’s youthful glow for a better physical appearance.

When ensuring a healthy diet, we have to go back to our basic food groups our health teachers and nutritionists had been discussing since elementary years. Though many of us are fully aware of them, we tend to forget these basics since that there already are limitless selections for available in the food stores. Let’s have a quick recap of the essential nutrients that we should never miss out in our diet.

Fruits: An apple a day keeps the doctor away is not a famous saying for nothing and it also applies in different types of fruits. Fruits are free of cholesterol, and are naturally low in fats and calories. It is packed with Vitamin C that is essential for our daily immunity boost.

Tip – Try adding a banana or mixed fruits in your daily oatmeal or cereal for breakfast. With all the types of foods

Vegetables: Vegetables like fruits are a fat-free source of nutrients.  Having a good amount for veggie intake daily can give you potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C and the important mineral Selenium.

Tip – Since veggies can be eaten raw or cooked, you can incorporate it in your diet as a healthy snack. Vegetable salads are great appetizer and can also be a filling for sandwiches. There are plenty of delectable recipes you can choose from soups to stir fries, to veggie patties and vegetable curries. Vegan recipes will never let you run out of creativity. Read the rest of this entry »

Natural Ways to Battle Cellulite in Our Later Years

The skin has several layers. The outside epidermis is the part that covers the inner dermis. The inner dermis contains the hair follicles, blood vessels, nerve receptors and connective tissues. Under the connective tissues are the subcutaneous fat that is the main culprit for cellulite.

Cellulite usually builds up and gets worse at the onset of old age. And usually, it happens in women as men tend to have different skin configuration. Their epidermis and dermal layers are thicker than women.

Modern medical science has made it possible for us to get of these cellulite deposits quickly. Of course there are liposuction treatments which make it quick and easy.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite are those bumpy and dimply skins that appear in a woman’s thighs, back and stomach. Due to the fats push on the connective tissue, the skin puckers causing the orange peel appearance.

Cellulite may appear in age as early as 15 years old and may even get worse as one gets older. But what are the possible causes of cellulite? Here are some.

  1. 1.       Poor diet
  2. 2.       Lack of physical activity
  3. 3.       Hormonal changes
  4. 4.       Dehydration
  5. 5.       Obesity
  6. 6.       Slow metabolism

And as said, cellulite may tend to get worse as women age. But why? Here are some more reasons.

  1. When aging sets in, the skin gets thinner thus the cellulite appears more pronounced and even more visible.
  2. Skin loosens during old age. Tone decreases and collagen is reduced. These allow adipose fat cells to press toward the surface of the skin.
  3. Due to the years seen by the body, it tends to become less efficient when dealing with waste removal. Circulation also decrease thus cellulite are added.
  4. Weight gain can also be another factor in the worsening of cellulite. When one age, tendency is one may pick and gain more weight. This increases the problem again.

So how do you fight cellulite build up as you age?

Fighting Cellulite

Cellulite treatments can promise you to get rid of these bumps and orange peel look. But some of these treatments may just be hypes but some can be effective. Let’s take a look at them below:

  1. Cellulite creams. These have no scientific evidence. Sometimes, they can even be harmful as its treatment includes the narrowing of blood vessels and forcing of water from the skin. This is bad for the circulatory system and can cause allergic reactions.
  2. Change of diet. To cut down on toxins is one major advice to get rid or minimize cellulite. Refined and processed foods, artificial additives, dairy products, foods high in fats and sugar are several foods that should be avoided. Vegetables and fruits should be added in every meal.
  3. Change of lifestyle. Foregoing of smoking, alcohol and self induced worries can help a lot.
  4. Liposuction. Since liposuction is a procedure that can remove fat deposits, it can be a possible treatment for cellulite as well. But for caution, liposuction may not remove cellulite itself altogether but the deep fats.
  5. Vitamin and mineral supplementation. To be able to keep healthy, Vitamin, C, E, A and selenium should be included in your daily nutritional supplements.
  6. Massage. Massage and other spa treatments can help in minimizing cellulite; it can’t remove it altogether but can temporarily lessen it for a short time.
  7. Laser treatments. Laser has already been approved to be used as a cellulite treatment. Laser can melt the fat under the skin, break the fibrous bands below the skin and can even stimulate the collagen production.

Mesotherapy was originally used as a treatment to relieve pain from skin conditions that are inflammatory. Substances will be injected into the body such as amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. It can help break down fat and can bring some improvement in the cellulite.

The Good and Bad Side of Fat

pie and ice creamAlmost all of us think that achieving a healthy and slimmer body requires burning and shunning away from fat. While this can be true for people who are tipping the scales on the extreme side, people who are within reasonable distance of their ideal weight should think about starving themselves of fat.

There are fats and there are fats. And when it comes to fat, not all fat is created equal. Fat is needed by the body as an energy source. It is also essential for absorbing vital A, D and E. In fact, some studies show that people ate a Mediterranean diet that is rich in monounsaturated fat were able to lower their risk for cardiovascular diseases.

The Good Fats

Monounsaturated fats increase the level of good HDL cholesterol and decrease bad LDL cholesterol. Major risk factors for cardio vascular diseases include clogged arteries which is a result of plaque buildup. Monounsaturated fats help clear plaque buildup improving blood flow. This type of fat could also prevent the buildup of fat in the belly area.

Monounsaturated fats could be found in almonds, peanut products, avocados, canola oil, sesame seeds and olive oil. It is recommended that people include two to three tablespoons of olive oil daily. This increases the levels of HDL to lower risks for cardiovascular disease.

Polyunsaturated fats also lower LDL or bad cholesterol. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is important for normal brain development, cell health and immune functioning. Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent blood clots and can help people suffering from arthritis. Omega 6 on the other hand is necessary for keeping the skin and eyes healthy.

Rich sources for Omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, mackerel and cold water fish. It could also be found in squid or calamari oil. Plant based sources for Omega 3 includes walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil. Omega 6 can be found in safflower oil, corn oil, farmed fish and beef. The benefits of calamarin oil and cold water fishes make them a perfect match for many healthy dishes.

Taking too much Omega 6 could have negative effects on your health. This can lead to inflammation and aggravate the condition of people suffering from arthritis. Your polyunsaturated fats should mostly come from Omega 3. These are essential for many normal brain growth and development. It also lowers your chances for stroke and heart disease.

The Bad Fats

Saturated fats increase cholesterol levels and risks for cardiovascular disease. It blocks arteries and decrease blood flow. These could be found in dairy products, coconut and palm oil, and meat. You should limit your daily intake of saturated fats at ten percent of total daily calories.

The Ugly

And you think it couldn’t get worse. Unsaturated fats often undergo chemical processes and are found in processed and packaged foods. This is to increase shelf life. It lowers levels of HDL or good cholesterol and promotes the buildup of LDL or bad cholesterol.