According to a new statement released by the American Heart Association, aerobic fitness should be considered as a vital sign. In other words it should be given the same attention and importance as body temperature, blood pressure, pulse and breathing rates. It is now felt that aerobic fitness is a better indicator of heart disease more so than smoking, obesity and high blood pressure. Cardio-respiratory fitness, another name for aerobic fitness, is an indication of how well the body can deliver oxygen to all the tissues of the body especially the heart. However, most doctors are still reluctant to give aerobic fitness the attention it deserves. Some are unaware that a treadmill is not necessary. There are now simple equations and calculations that can give accurate levels of aerobic fitness. It is advised by the heart association to request a test for aerobic fitness the next time you go for an examination.
The Food and Drug Administration has just made the announcement that it will be adding a line Added Sugar to the nutrition content label of all products. Up to now only sugars that occurred naturally in food (ex. sugar found in milk products) were listed. This would mean two distinct categories, one for total sugar and one for added sugar. Under the new guideline many sugars that were hidden under names such as evaporated cane juice, rice syrup, treacle, mizuame etc. slipped by the consumer. This made it impossible to determine the exact amount of sugar you were actually consuming in an effort to maintain a healthy diet.
1.Combine red wine vinegar with thyme and parsley, heat and saute’ your chicken.
2.Grate orange rind avoiding the white and add to oil and vinegar as part of your salad dressing.
3.Dried figs are a great addition to pancakes, omelettes and cereal.
Weighing yourself every morning if you are trying to lose weight, can prove to be more detrimental than constructive. Our bodies can fluctuate by a few pounds from day to day. This can be the result of water retention which can vary greatly. Seeing a higher number on the scale then you are expecting can lead to discouragement and even sabotage of healthy eating. People who are trying to lose weight can become “scale obsessed” and start to lose focus on their way of eating and add unnecessary stress to their lives. Weekly weighing can give a more accurate reading of your progress.
Some restaurants are serving unusually large portions. If you are aware that the serving size is too large in a particular restaurant, think about sharing an entree and begin the meal with two appetizers. Most restaurants are more then happy to split a meal and serve it on two plates. If you feel you cannot resist having dessert, try sharing one. The amount of calories you are saving will probably be close to a day’s worth.
That particular song, with the above title, was released in the early 50’s. It was at that time the food industry began their big push on processed foods. Women were entering the work force. TV dinners, packaged cookies, frozen breakfast meats were all introduced to make life easier. Since at that time, mostly women prepared meals, the purpose of these products were to relieve the stress of having to provide healthy eating for the family. To make all these foods more palatable and have a longer shelf life they were loaded with bad fat, salt and especially sugar. We now know that cutting back on the amount of sugar we consume will eventually lead to weight loss and in turn prevent many diseases. When it comes to losing weight most people assume you must cut out carbohydrates. Do we need to cut sugar or carbohydrates? Is there a distinction? Is it necessary to cut out all carbohydrates? It helps to understand what exactly is classified as a carbohydrate before a generalization like that can be made. Do all carbohydrates turn to sugar? Are all forms of sugars the same? Every carbohydrate must be broken down into a simple sugar before it can be absorbed and used by the body. So what foods are classified as carbohydrates? A simplified way to look at this is basically every thing that grows in the ground is a carbohydrate. Whole grains take longer to break down as opposed to grains that are more refined. When a grain is refined the bran and germ are removed and all that is left is the starchy endosperm which quickly turns to sugar. However this does not mean that these different forms do not have a purpose. Whole grains give a more sustained energy and keep blood sugar levels at an even keel throughout the day. Refined grains such as white rice and pasta give a quick surge of energy. They usher glucose into the body at a quicker pace, which has its benefits after a strenuous workout when the body needs it immediately. Nuts, seeds and avocados are all basically carbohydrates but they also contain good amounts of healthy fats. The fat present in these foods gives a feeling of fullness. Fats also aid in helping the body absorb minerals and vitamins. Beans and legumes are carbohydrates but have a nice amount of protein which makes them a source of energy while also providing a vegetarian source of protein. Any vegetable that grows underground (root vegetables) has a higher sugar content than any vegetable grown above ground (leafy greens). Leafy greens have some protein, are very low in carbohydrates but high in vitamins and minerals and are extremely important for blood purification. Both root and leafy vegetables contain soluble and insoluble fiber which keep everything moving throughout the body at a healthy rate while pulling anything toxic out of the system. It is usually more beneficial to combine one from each category since they have the ability to enhance flavor in the other and also create a better balance in sugar distribution. Some fruits can be extremely high in sugar. However unlike fruit juice which is pure sugar, the fiber in fruit can slow down the absorption of the sugar content. Dairy products are another source of sugar. All dairy contain lactose a form of milk sugar. But here again the fat and protein content make these products more balanced. Since 75% of carbohydrate consumption is used for brain function, 25% for muscle movement and red blood cell production it is important to recognize carbohydrates as a necessary macronutrient. It is also important to re-evaluate the type of carbohydrates you are consuming and when to use them for your benefit. If you decide that excessive consumption of carbohydrates could be the cause of retaining unwanted weight, try to first eliminate all heavily processed, packaged foods. Then take stock in the amount of protein and healthy fats you are consuming to see if you are eating a balanced diet.