Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Month: August 2014 (Page 2 of 4)

Women Find Higher Protein Diets Help Weight Loss

SalmonAccording to The International Food Information Council Foundation 37% of all consumers are convinced that they can lose weight more easily with a high protein diet. 

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour described how a team surveyed a nationally-representative sample of 1,824 women aged from 40 to 60 years.

They wanted to find out how the women perceived protein sources and how many used a high protein, low carb diet to maintain their body weight.

They found that eating more protein to prevent weight gain is popular among women, and over half of all the obese women and 43% of the women overall in the study ate more protein to prevent weight gain.

The researchers commented that the participants who said they lost weight with “eating more protein” had a dietary protein intake similar to the recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

Bear in mind, of course, that not all proteins come from animal sources. Many plants including soya (tofu), other legumes like lentils, quinoa and nuts and seeds are rich in protein too.

Natural Choices

Natural CoursesIf you’re interested in Natural Health you’ll love Natural Choices. This online course in Natural Health, Nutrition, Psychology and Food Choices, will help kick start your healthy living plan.

There are 18 modules you can go through in your own time. This course is a unique and potentially life-changing learning experience giving you constant access to 100s of tips and health suggestions that you can easily incorporate in your life to make a difference!

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Tummy Fat is Toxic Fat

Woman standing pulling measuring tape around waist.Fat around the middle manufactures an array of chemical messengers including blood-clotting agents, substances that contract blood vessels and raise blood pressure, inflammatory agents, hormones and molecules that control hunger. 

Fat cells are also able to produce an immune response in the body, which causes inflammation.

Fat cells secrete oestrogen and two other compounds — tumour necrosis factor alpha and resistin — both of which interfere with the functioning of insulin.

Not all fat in the body behaves in the same way and it is the fat around the middle that is more metabolically active than fat elsewhere.

It has also been called “toxic fat” because it increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

Natural Choices

Natural CoursesIf you’re interested in Natural Health you’ll love Natural Choices. This online course in Natural Health, Nutrition, Psychology and Food Choices, will help kick start your healthy living plan.

There are 18 modules you can go through in your own time. This course is a unique and potentially life-changing learning experience giving you constant access to 100s of tips and health suggestions that you can easily incorporate in your life to make a difference!

GuaranteeSmallI can thoroughly recommend it! You can download it right away here…

Mediterranean Diet and Memory

how to keep your brain sharp

A mediterranean diet helps keep your brain sharp

I have written before about the association between high cholesterol levels and brain plaques that cause Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Today we look at a study from the University of Alabama that suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet with more omega-3 rich foods and avoiding saturated fats may be linked to preserving memory and thinking abilities.

Published in Neurology Journal, the researchers emphasised that as there are no definitive treatments for most dementing illnesses, diet takes on great importance.

The study enrolled 30,239 people ages 45 and older between January 2003 and October 2007.  It was the largest study yet done on the Mediterranean diet, collecting dietary information from 17,478 African-Americans and Caucasians.

The study found that in healthy people, those who more closely followed the Mediterranean diet were 19 percent less likely to develop problems with their thinking and memory skills.

The study leader commented, “Diet is an important modifiable activity that could help in preserving cognitive functioning in late life. However, it is only one of several important lifestyle activities that might play a role in late-life mental functioning.

“Exercise, avoiding obesity, not smoking cigarettes and taking medications for conditions like diabetes and hypertension are also important.”

The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Natural Choices

Natural CoursesIf you’re interested in Natural Health you’ll love Natural Choices. This online course in Natural Health, Nutrition, Psychology and Food Choices, will help kick start your healthy living plan.

There are 18 modules you can go through in your own time. This course is a unique and potentially life-changing learning experience giving you constant access to 100s of tips and health suggestions that you can easily incorporate in your life to make a difference!

GuaranteeSmallI can thoroughly recommend it! You can download it right away here…

Could Vitamin D Therapy Help Fight Against Liver Fibrosis?

Vitamin dLiver fibrosis results from an excessive accumulation of tough, fibrous scar tissue and occurs in most types of chronic liver diseases.

In a new study published in the journal Cell, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered that vitamin D deactivates the switch governing the fibrotic response in mouse liver cells, suggesting a potential new therapy for fibrotic diseases in humans.

“Because there are currently no effective drugs for liver fibrosis, we believe our findings would open a new door for treatment,” says senior author Ronald M. Evans, a professor in Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory and lead researcher in the Institute’s new Helmsley Centre for Genomic Medicine.

Natural Choices

Natural CoursesIf you’re interested in Natural Health you’ll love Natural Choices. This online course in Natural Health, Nutrition, Psychology and Food Choices, will help kick start your healthy living plan.

There are 18 modules you can go through in your own time. This course is a unique and potentially life-changing learning experience giving you constant access to 100s of tips and health suggestions that you can easily incorporate in your life to make a difference!

GuaranteeSmallI can thoroughly recommend it! You can download it right away here…

Good News for Soy Lovers

Soy FoodsThere has been much debate about soy and its effect on thyroid function over the years.

Now, however, a three year safety study appears to definitively state that the soya isoflavone genistein does not affect thyroid function.

I have often recommended soy-based foods and supplements for improving menopausal symptoms and so am pleased that soya has finally been vindicated as a thyroid suppressant.

In this safety investigation, a group of postmenopausal women receiving 54 mg of the soy isoflavone genistein were assessed for thyroid function after three years of treatment and it was found that circulating thyroid hormones were no different to those women who received the placebo.

Eat Fish and Protect Your Heart

salmon steakA study by the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen found those who have fish-rich diets could cut their risk of heart attack or stroke by 90 per cent.

Traditionally findings have highlighted the health benefits for men of omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon, mackerel and sardines.

However it is now believed that, because of gender differences, fish oil might be even more beneficial for women improving blood pressure, cardiac and blood vessel function.

Published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, the study involved 49,000 Danish women aged 15 to 49 whose health was monitored for eight years.

Over the period their diet, lifestyle and family history were assessed, with 577 cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes recorded, five of which resulted in death.

Researchers found women who rarely, or never, ate fish had 90 per cent more cardiovascular problems than those who ate oily fish every week. Although the study found cardio-protective effects at relatively modest dietary levels, the authors believe that higher levels may yield additional benefits.

Healthy Gluten-Free Meal Plans

Gluten-free lentil bolognaise

Gluten-free Lentil Bolognaise with Brown RIce Pasta

I don’t know about you, but I generally struggle thinking of fun and nutritious lunches and dinners to cook every day…

And just to make life harder for myself, I recently doubled that challenge by going gluten-free.

Yup… not only do I now have to think of something to cook but all my ‘staples’ like bread and pasta have gone out the window. Or more precisely in the bin…

So, what’s a wanna-be gluten-free cook to do? Well, the first thing I have rushed out and bought is brown rice pasta and lots of buckwheat. Brown rice pasta is my saviour on those “I have to have spaghetti bolognaise” days and surprisingly tastes really rather good.

But, the problem I’m having is that while there is a lot of gluten-free ‘stuff’ out there, most of it is junk food. Before I was gluten-free I avoided all the processed rubbish really rather well, so the last thing I want to do now is start eating all that junk out there.

The other problem I’m having is nearly all the Gluten-Free Books I have found are all so meat-heavy. Now I have no problem with eating meat, but I just don’t want to have to eat it every day.

So, now the fun really starts… experimenting with old favourite recipes and adapting them to be gluten-free… ! I’m doing really well so far and I’m particularly pleased with my Red Lentil Bolognaise. I swear no one will know it doesn’t contain meat if you don’t tell them!

Split Red Lentils

Split Red Lentils

Ingredients

1 onion
1 carrot
1 garlic clove
100g red lentils
1 carton or tin of chopped tomatoes (use the best quality ones you can find — it really makes a difference)
1 Tbs tomato puree
1 gluten-free vegetable stock cube
30ml red wine
Dried mixed herbs
Handful of fresh basil

1. Peel and slice the onion and crush the garlic. Add to a large sauté pan.
2. Finely grate, or finely chop, the carrot into the pan. Add the wine, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, lentils and chopped herbs and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes or until the lentils are al dente. You may need to add more stock or water (or wine works too!) as the lentils can absorb a lot of liquid.
3. Serve over brown rice spaghetti. I have also tried the gluten-free corn spaghetti which is not bad either.

If you eat cheese, this is delicious topped with Parmesan or other strong cheese. Serve with a nice large salad.

Note about Brown Rice Pasta: Don’t overcook it. Mine says 8 minutes, but I cook for around 6 or 7 and find it a better texture and more ‘al dente’.

Gluten Free Meal Planner

Gluten Free Meal Planner

Gluten Free Meal Planner

My other ‘saviour’ while I fiddle, adapt and learn how to cook again is The Gluten Free Meal Planner. I really do want to adapt all my all-time favourite recipes but I have found this is great resource in the meantime.

And there are some great ideas here like Warm Corn Chowder Salad with Bacon and Bloody Mary Salmon.

What I love about this website is you get a weeks meal plan and shopping lists delivered to your inbox. This may sound unnecessary, but trust me… if you’ve just gone gluten-free — every little bit of extra help can make a big difference! Check it out here: The Gluten Free Meal Planner.

21-Day Gluten Free Challenge

gluten free challenge

Gluten Free Challenge

If you’re really struggling, this is another great resource from Shirley Plant, nutritionist and author of Finally… Food I Can Eat. She has come up with a 21-day challenge for you.

Shirley’s step-by-step approach has helped thousands of people wean themselves off not only gluten, but sugar too. So, if you need a bit of extra help, the  21-Day Gluten Free Challenge could be exactly what you are looking for…

If you’re looking for more tips and hints in your gluten-free lifestyle and recipes like this Lentil Bologanaise, please follow my blog by clicking the link below.

Please ‘share me’ on Facebook too! I’ll be posting more recipes, other gluten-free stuff that I find as I go along, and general health tips based on healthy food and living.

Thanks for reading!
Fiona

 

 

Tummy Fat Harmful Even With Low BMI

Woman standing pulling measuring tape around waist.Yet again more research bears out the fact that, no matter that you have a healthy body mass index (BMI), being apple-shaped, with fat around the middle, has serious health consequences.

According to a new study led by a Mayo Clinic researcher, men and women with fat around the middle are more likely to die younger from diseases affecting their hearts and lungs, as well as from cancer.

Published in the March edition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the research looked at past studies involving over 600,000 people from around the world. It clearly showed that men with a waist measurement of 43 inches or over had an astonishing 50 percent higher mortality risk than men whose waists measured 35 inches or less.

Women with a waist measurement of 37 inches or more were facing an 80 per cent higher risk of dying than woman with a 27 inch waist — that’s about a five year lower life expectancy after the age of 40.

Tips for Combating Constipation

psyllium_huskPsyllium husks are commonly used as a bowel cleanser or laxative because they are both high in fibre and mucilage, a thick, gluey substance produced by nearly all plants.

When mixed with water — drink immediately — the psyllium husks swell and form a gelatinous mass that keeps faeces hydrated and soft. It’s very important, however, to ensure that you drink sufficient water at the same time.

Another benefit of psyllium husks is that they have been found to lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, without affecting the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol.

If you suffer from irregular bowel movements, do make sure that you drink plenty of water, because dehydration can cause constipation. In the same vein, avoid dehydrating drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol.

Do try to exercise regularly. Anything from yoga, Pilates, swimming or a brisk walk around the block for 20 to 30 minutes per day may help.

An Apple a Day….

applesThere’s often more than a grain of truth in ‘old wives’ tales’, and there is a lot of research to show that apples (or more specifically their phytochemicals) can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, allergies, and inflammation.

The skin of an apple is actually more beneficial than the flesh, and it is important to buy organic apples so that you can eat the skin which is free of pesticides.

The important nutrient in an apple’s skin is quercetin, which is known as a flavonoid and is a powerful antioxidant that can also help reduce inflammation.

But there is more to an apple than just quercetin. The insoluble fibre found in apples is helpful for constipation and the soluble fibre, such as pectin, helps to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

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