Healthy Eating
Fitness, Healthy Eating

Can Protein Bars Be Beneficial for You?

Can Protein Bars Be Beneficial for You?

Question: One of my gym friends recommended me to get more protein, so I started eating protein bars. While shopping, I see various types of protein bars. They are all different, though look like they may help me. I am not completely sure I need them. So, can you answer my question about the use of protein bars?

Answer: I am sure that the key reason to purchase protein bars is for the sake of convenience.
Irrespective of form, either making special home-made protein bars or buying pre-packaged ones, they simplify the process of increasing body protein. It is not a problem to tuck away a delicious protein bar in a purse, backpack or gym bag. So, it makes meal planning simpler for people who require more protein in their diet.

What Is the Right Time to Eat Protein Bar?

No matter if you eat your protein bar before or after a workout, it will provide with the energy required for the workout or recovery. The bar becomes ultimately helpful if it is rich in carbohydrates from dried fruit and whole grains. Even though it is useful anyway, you’d better take it 1-2 hours before the beginning of the exercise. Another protein bar right after the workout will give you the identical combination of protein and carbs your muscles require for growth and recovery.

What Is the Source of Protein and What Does It Do?

Protein is an inevitable component for everyday use, since it helps maintain body organs, muscles, fluids and other structures within the organism.

The most protein-rich foods include poultry, meats, nuts, legumes, dairy and seeds, though the substance is present in other foods as well, but in smaller amounts. Once you are engaged in a difficult physical activity, you will need an advanced dose of protein, compared to people will less active jobs. Proteins can come from animal or plant sources, though the origin does not matter, as the body gets a sufficient amount of proteins anyway.

Is Extra Protein Necessary?

Maybe you need a higher protein dose. However, as long as you keep to a healthy, balanced diet, you get a sufficient amount of protein and other vitamins and minerals. Even if your diet is not perfect, sufficient protein intake is still possible. Still, an advanced protein dose may be required for athletes and people with extremely physical jobs. Daily protein dose can be easily calculated, based on the current calorie intake. The vast majority of people need 55-100 g of protein a day.

Are Protein Bars Suitable for Weight Management?

Definitely, protein bars can help you with weight management. With their help you can both lose and gain weight if necessary. Taking a single protein bar between meals can decrease your appetite, while a few bars can significantly advance the number of calories you consume. Most bars contain 150-250 calories each, so make sure you read the labels and select bars made with less fat and sugar.

Additionally, protein bars can be helpful if you are trying to gain body mass. Add several protein bars to your daily diet without cutting the calories from the main meal and you will notice the desired effect within a while.

What Protein Type Is Used in Bars?

An overwhelming majority of protein bars is made from whey and soy proteins with extra protein from seeds and nuts. Occasionally, you can find bars made from green pea, rice and other plants rich in substance.

Can Protein Bars Harm?

Hopefully, there are no harmful protein bars, but you need to read the label carefully before buying the bar. You may be surprised at the number of calories it contains, since many of them include sugar. Avoid protein bars made with hydrogenated oils.

Healthy Eating

How to Choose Healthy Foods High in Protein

How to Choose Healthy Foods High in Protein

If you want to include healthy foods high in protein in your nutrition, you should choose products with a low amount of saturated fats and more unsaturated and mono fats. Also, it is important to cook your meal in a certain way to ensure the presence of protein.

General Recommendations

Great examples of healthy protein meals are fish fillet baked with almonds and lemon or roasted chicken breast topped with salsa. Although porterhouse steak has lots of protein and is really delicious, it is not that useful as fish or poultry because of a great amount of saturated fats that are usually found in red meat.

The general recommendation for most people is to limit the consumption of red meat to two times per week. Processed meats do not have lots of protein, because they are prepared with the use of ingredients and fats that may cause cancer. There is also a theory that links hotdogs with the occurrence of brain tumors.

The important thing to note is that chicken and fish are not always healthy foods with a good amount of protein. Fried chicken, for instance, has lots of extra calories and bad fats, which is not good for your health.

If you wish to enjoy healthy and delicious meats, you may consider grilling them. That will work for you if you do not char meat using pieces that do not have lots of fat and cook them with indirect heat.

Other foods high in protein are nuts, legumes and seeds. Some of it can also be found in grains and vegetables, and these plants also have polyunsaturated fats that are beneficial for your health. Generally, it is very useful to learn what types of fat exist, and which of them should be included in your nutrition.

Needed Amount of Protein a Day

If you consume 2,000 calories a day, then 300-400 of them should be obtained from protein. 1 g of protein has 4 calories, which means that you need about 100 g of protein every day. 1 oz. of protein has around 28 g, so you need 4 oz. of protein per day. 1 cup of diced chicken breast meat contains around 45 g of protein, so it has less than 2 oz. Canned tuna of 3 oz. come with 20 g of protein or about 2/3 of 1 oz. of protein.

So, how do you find the right portions? 1 serving of meat is about 3 oz. (the size of a deck of cards), and it has about 20 g of protein. 1 cup of low-fat milk comes with 8 g of protein. 12 almonds contain around 3 g of protein.

Protein Choices for Vegetarians

There are two basic types of proteins: complete and incomplete. The first type contains all of the essential amino acids, and the other one does not have one or more of these acids. Proteins obtained from animals have a set of all essential amino acids, and proteins contained in plants do not have all of them.

If you are vegetarian, you should choose the right combination of protein foods, so that you could get all of the needed elements. There is no such problem for people who regularly consume meat, eggs and dairy, because these products have complete proteins with all the needed nutrients for the human body. As for vegans or vegetarians, they should choose complementary protein foods in order to obtain a full range of amino acids.

For instance, grains do not have enough essential amino acid lysine, but there is plenty of it in legumes, so these foods are considered to be complementary, and you should combine them in your meal. If you eat both legumes and grains during the day, you will obtain the needed amount of lysine.

Below you will find examples of how you can combine complementary plant proteins. There is no need to combine them every time as long as you get enough of different proteins every day:

• Grains and legumes (black beans with rice);
• Nuts, seeds and legumes (lentil soup with almonds);
• Corn and legumes (corn tortilla with pinto beans).

You can also check out the following combinations:

• Whole grain pasta, peas, almonds and Vegan Alfredo Sauce.
• Wheat toast with some peanut butter;
• Corn tortillas with rice and refried beans;
• Bean soup with whole grain crackers.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, you should include all of the following foods in your nutrition, because this is how you will obtain all the essential amino acids:

• Whole grains;
• Legumes;
• Nuts;
• Seeds.

Soy has complete proteins, so you should also eat it regularly.

Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

Best Low Calories Foods

Best Low Calories Foods

Eating healthy and low-calorie food is important to be healthy and fit. There are various foods in the store labeled low in calories, low-fat, sugar-free, etc. It is just great to be able to choose such products, because it is very convenient and does not take much time. Still, you should know that lots of them are not really useful for your body. Although they do not have many calories, they do not have useful elements as well that are so important for the organism. You should choose low-calorie foods that contain lots of minerals, vitamins and other useful elements.

There are natural foods that you can easily cook or consume raw to achieve the best weight loss results or just maintain your good shape. The following products are recommended to be included in nutrition: kale, arugula, carrots, broccoli, Swiss chard, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, Brussels sprouts, chicken breast, grapefruit, cod, mushrooms, shrimp, tomatoes, zucchini, celery, radishes, strawberries, scallops, blueberries, clementine and watermelon. All of these foods are very tasty and useful, and you should choose them over those junk products sold in many stores.

Below you will find more information on each of them, including how many calories they contain, how you can consume them, what nutrients they have, and other information.


Kale contains plenty of minerals and vitamins, particularly, calcium and vitamin C. It is also rich in antioxidants and fiber. You can use kale to cook a side dish or salad. 1 cup of chopped kale contains only 33 calories.


Arugula contains lots of various vitamins and minerals, so it is extremely useful for your body. 2 cups of this vegetable have only 10 calories. It can also be used in salads and side dishes. It tastes great along with nuts, fruits and light dressing. To make a great side dish, you can fry arugula along with garlic and some olive oil.


Carrots are perfect for losing weight, because they have a bit sweeter taste compared to many other vegetables. It can be used as a side dish, snack or an appetizer. There are lots of vitamins A, B, C, manganese and potassium. 1 cup of carrot slices contains 50 calories.


This vegetable is perfect for those people looking for antioxidants and nutrients. In particular, it has lots of iron, vitamin A and B, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Broccoli is also a good source of fiber. 1 cup of broccoli slices contains 31 calories.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a vegetable with has colorful stems. It has lots of nutrients and few calories (35 calories per 1 cup of cooked chard). The vegetable has lots of potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and K. You can boil it or fry with a little bit of olive oil and white vinegar.


Cauliflower does not have a green pigment, but it is pretty similar to kale and broccoli. This vegetable has plenty of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. 1 cup of cauliflower contains 25 calories. You can use it for side dishes or just consume it raw with a light veggie dip.


Spinach is very rich in calcium, iron and several vitamins. 1 cup of raw spinach has only 7 calories, and 1 cup of this cooked vegetable contains only 41 calories. You can use spinach as a side dish, and it is also great for making salads.

Green Beans

Green beans do not attract that much attention, which is a pity, because they have lots of vitamins A, B and C, minerals and fiber. They are also low in calories, because 1 cup of green beans contains 44 calories.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are extremely useful vegetables that have several minerals and many vitamins. They are another great source of fiber. You can use them for cooking a tasty and useful side dish. There are many ways of how you can use them. 1 cup of cooked vegetable contains only 56 calories.

Chicken Breast

If you are looking for a great source of protein, you should eat chicken breast meat with no skin. It is also rich in selenium, niacin and vitamin B12. 1 raw three-ounce portion of this meat has around 100 calories. You can cook it with other useful ingredients. It is also important to eat small portions that should be about of the size of a deck of cards for one person.


Grapefruit is a wonderful fruit that has plenty of vitamins C and A, potassium and fiber. Of course, this fruit is also low-calorie, because one grapefruit contains about 104 calories. You can eat it as a snack or use as an addition to your breakfast.


Cod is ocean fish that has a mild and pleasant flavor. A three-ounce portion of baked fish contains about 90 calories. Also, it has lots of B12, selenium, niacin and protein.


The nutritional value of mushrooms depends on their type. For instance, chanterelles has lots of vitamin D. Most mushrooms contain minerals, B vitamins and fiber. Also, they are very low in calories, because 1 cup of raw mushrooms contains about 15 calories. They can be used in salads as well as ingredients in various meals.


Shrimps have lots of selenium, protein, niacin and vitamin B12. There are only 26 calories in 4 large cooked shrimps. They can be used in salads or consumed as an appetizer with sauce.


Tomatoes are one of the most common vegetables used for making various meals, such as salads, snacks, side dishes, etc. Not only do they have a great taste, but also lots of vitamins A, B and C, minerals and fiber. Tomatoes are a great choice for dieting. 1 tomato contains about 35 calories, and 5 cherry tomatoes contain about 20 calories.


Zucchini is another good choice for a snack or preparing a side dish. 1 cup of chopped vegetable contains only 20 calories. This is also a good source of various minerals, vitamins and fiber.
If you are cooking a veggie plate, do not forget to add fresh celery sticks. Also, you can use this vegetable along with peanut butter, which will make a great snack. This vegetable has a plenty of calcium, fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Of course, one of its greatest advantages is the amount of calories. 1 celery stalk contains only 10 calories, and 1 cup of chopped vegetable has only 16 calories.
Radish is a great addition to salads thanks to its unusual taste resembling peppers. You can serve it with hummus or a light veggie dip. These vegetables have lots of vitamin C and several minerals, such as potassium and zinc. Also, they are extremely low in calories, because 1 radish contains only 1 calorie.

Strawberries are perfect for those people who like a sweet dessert. They have lots of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Strawberries are great for dieting because 1 cup of strawberry slices contains 53 calories. There are various ways of how you can consume strawberries, for instance, you can eat them without any addition after your dinner or with low-fat yogurt.
Scallops are another choice for dieting. They have lots of minerals, proteins and vitamin B12, but very little calories, as 2 large scallops contain only 26 calories. You can fry them and serve with a lemon or cooked greens. They are also great for salads.
Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and minerals, and they are very low in calories. 1 cup of blueberries contains 84 calories. You can consume them as a dessert or add them to smoothies or cereal.
Clementines are little oranges that have a great taste. They are also very easy to peel. These fruits are rich in fiber, potassium and vitamin C. 1 little Clementine contains 35 calories. You can add them to your breakfast or just eat them during the day.
Watermelons are very tasty and refreshing. Each watermelon has lots of vitamins A and C and potassium. 1 cup of watermelon contains 46 calories. You can eat it as a snack or dessert.

Healthy Eating

10 Tips to Avoid Eating Junk Foods

10 Tips to Avoid Eating Junk Foods

Sometimes you want to eat junk foods so bad that it is really hard to resist. You may even feel miserable because of that. Craving for foods may occur suddenly, and once this happens, you will not be able to think of anything else until your finally satisfy your need. It is great if you have an irresistible desire to eat apples or green beans, because they do not contain many calories and are generally good for your health. But what if you want to eat something sweet, salty, high in fat or even all of this at the same time? This is the craving that can really make your life worse. If you experience it, you have two ways: eat the food you want or fight your desires. If you allow yourself to relax rarely, or if you eat a small portion of foods, it is not a major problem. But when you notice that your eating habits result in unwanted weight, you should find the way to deal with them. Below you will find 10 helpful tips on how you can avoid eating junk foods.

Tip #1. Make unwanted foods unavailable

It is extremely tempting to eat the food that you can get from your fridge. That is why you should make sure that there is no food that you do not want to consume in your house or at work. It does not mean that you should not have any treats at home, but you can choose to buy something that does not cause such a great desire, but is tasty and good for your body. Do not buy a large cake if you cannot stop by eating just a small piece when you want it.

Tip #2. Avoid being hungry due to skipped meals

Cravings are extremely powerful if you have not eaten when you should have. You should start your day with a healthy breakfast, eat lunch and dinner. Also, you can allow yourself some snacks unless they are useful and low in calories.

Tip #3. Try to learn to distinguish whether it is hunger or craving

Hunger and craving are not the same. The first one is related to physical feelings, and the latter one is all about your emotions. If you are really hungry, you should eat something, because it is a natural need of your body. If you are not hungry, but still have the feeling that you want to eat something, you should use special distraction techniques.

Tip #4. Drink lots of water or beverages low in calories

Glass of water on nature background.

If you have a big desire to eat soothing, and you know that it is not hunger, you should drink a large glass of water. This is a fast and effective way to get rid of this feeling without adding lots of calories. Also, you can add a couple slices of lemon, cucumber or lime into your drink, which will make it not that boring. Another good stuff that you can drink is iced tea with no sugar.

Tip #5. Have a nice long walk

If you want to avoid eating unwanted food, you should have a nice and long walk. Not only will this prevent you from adding more weight, but it will also improve your health. You will get ever more benefits if you do some exercises in fresh air. If you cannot go for a walk for some reason, you can do some exercises at home. An additional benefit you will get from doing some physical training is getting rid of stress, which, by the way, may be the cause of craving.

Tip #6. Take a nap

If you are tired, you will feel a great desire to eat something. That is why taking a nap would be a wise decision. Additionally, you should make sure that you have enough sleep every day.

Tip #7. Try to brush your teeth

Brushing your teeth will work as a distraction. Also, you may not want to put something in your mouth when it is so clean and fresh. Instead of this, you can also use breath mints, for instance, if you are not at home.

Tip #8. Choose either gum or hard candy

You can use gum or hard candy with a pleasant flavor and not many calories. There are many similar products available, and you can choose something that works for you.

Tip #9. Call somebody you know

Another thing that can distract you is talking to someone you know, like your friends, relatives, etc. Also you can exchange messages. This will help you forget about your needs and enjoy conversation.

Tip #10. Choose healthy snacks

You can choose something from a plenty of healthy foods to satisfy your need to eat something salty or sweet, for instance, fruit smoothie, fresh berries, a slice of grain toast with some butter, etc. This will definitely help you fight cravings.

Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

Can Coconut Oil Help Reduce Body Fat?

Can Coconut Oil Help Reduce Body Fat?

Coconut oil is one of the most popular health foods, and a range of research has been conducted proving that this product has lots of benefits. According to some studies, coconut oil can improve the immune function and help manage various health problems, such as diabetes and neurological disorders. One of the most interesting announced properties of this product is its ability to decrease fat, particularly around the abdominal area.

Today coconut oil is considered to be a wonderful product that helps lose fat. Naturally, this statement has caused lots of interest, stimulating people to use it to reduce body fat pretty often. At the same time, opposite opinions about the effectiveness of coconut oil also exist. So, is coconut oil really good for health?

Historical Background

Coconuts grow on coconut trees originating in the tropics. They are considered to be a drupe, because they have the following three layers:

• Outer layer (exocarp);
• Husk of the fruit (mesocarp);
• Fruit (endocarp).

Coconuts have been consumed for medical purposes for several centuries. Today, coconut oil is used widely around the world.

Is Coconut Oil a Healthy Fat?

The oil contains up to 85% of MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids), lipids that are metabolized easily and do not remain in adipose tissue like LCFAs (long-chain fatty acids). Thanks to a shorter chemical chain, MCFAs are absorbed by the GI tract and transported directly to the liver, where they are turned into energy. That is why MCFAs do not have many opportunities to create fat deposits, which is great for the body. Coconut oil is very different from other fats thanks to MCFAs, and it can be considered to be healthy fat. That is why coconut oil can be used in treatment of various medical conditions, particularly related to excessive weight.

Can It Help Reduce Body Fat?

So, if you use coconut oil daily, can it help you reduce body fat? Because MCFAs are digested in a special way, they can boost the metabolism, which increases our ability to burn fat. Thanks to this property, coconut oil is widely used in sports nutrition. It has been proven that it can improve athletic performance. Coconut oil is one of the most popular ingredients in many drinks in sports bars. Coconut oil is really beneficial for our metabolism, and a range of research has been conducted to check the ability of coconut oil to help in weight management.

What Research Has Been Conducted?

Coconut oil is believed to have lots of benefits, including the ability to reduce body fat. Today, it is widely marketed as healthy fat helpful for the achievement of best fitness results. Many celebrities use it as part of their healthy diet.

To find out if it is really so good, we will go through a range of studies conducted on this topic.

Study #1

According to an article published in the NIH, coconut oil is able to reduce abdominal obesity. There was a double-blind study conducted on 40 women aged 20-40, where the participants were divided into two groups. Women from the first group received two tablespoons of soybean and women from the other group received coconut oil daily during 12 weeks. All women had to stick to a low-calorie diet and had to walk for fifty minutes a day. In women who used coconut oil, the level of HDL cholesterol (good stuff for our body) increased, and the level of LDL cholesterol decreased (bad stuff for our body). The opposite results occurred in the other group. BMI decreased in women from both groups, but waist size reduced only in the group taking coconut oil. Also total cholesterol decreased in this group.

Study #2

The results of several trials were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition. They compared 13 trials examining MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) and LCTs (long-chain triglycerides) to check if MCTs were able to increase metabolism and boost fat burning.

According to the results, MCFAs are able to improve body composition compared to LCFAs. Research participants taking coconut oil decreased in waist circumference, weight and body fat. All in all, it was concluded that MCFAs are effective in reduction of body weight.

Study #3

Another study was conducted in Malaysia, where 20 obese participants from 20 to 51 years old used virgin coconut oil to reduce abdominal fat. Each participant received 10 ml of virgin coconut oil three times a day before having a meal. The research lasted for 6 weeks and showed the effectiveness of the product in decreasing abdominal fat. Also, reductions in body fat and BMI were reported. Virgin coconut oil has lots of MCFAs that are considered to be a safe and inexpensive supplement for body fat reduction. You should note that this was a short-term study, and further long-term research is needed to prove the health benefits of virgin coconut oil.

Study #4

Another study checked MCT oil to determine its effectiveness in reduction of body fat and weight over olive oil. There were 49 overweight men and women aged 19-50. The study lasted for 16 weeks. Men were instructed to consume 1,800 calories a day, and women had to stick to 1,500 calories. A part of their diet was a muffin baked with 10 grams of MCT oil or olive oil.

A greater loss in body weight was seen in the group of people consuming muffins with MCT oil. Participants from both groups were able to lose some body fat, but those consuming MCT oil reached much better results. It was concluded that MCT oil could be part of a weight-loss program to reduce body fat more efficiently.

How You Should Use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains lots of MCFAs that can be part of a healthy diet to reduce body fat. You can use this healthy fat every day, but remember that all fats are high in calories. One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 14 grams of fat, or 120 calories. Fat intake can be about 20-30% of your total daily calories intake, and you should keep it in mind before you start using coconut oil. If you wish to achieve the best results, you should determine your daily calories and use coconut in the proportion mentioned above.

Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

Are Cheat Meals Healthy or Unhealthy?

Are Cheat Meals Healthy or Unhealthy?

Cheat meals are a hot topic, and they are always your personal choice, but they show certain health and fitness benefits. Based on studies of leptin, which is a hormone responsible for regulating energy expenditure and hunger, it increases after eating meals with higher calories. Its increased levels help people lose their body fat effectively.

Low-calorie diets are linked to decreased leptin levels. Since this important hormone is synthesized mainly by fat, the human body holds onto it and doesn’t want to give up energy when it’s in a starvation mode. Negative outcomes include reduced metabolism and no weight loss when you have low leptin levels.

The only solution to maintaining healthy metabolism and losing weight healthy is increasing its levels on a regular basis by kicking up your calorie intake. Using cheat meals is a great option to increase this hormone while enjoying your favorite foods.

Cheat Meals Help You Lose Fat

Calorie shifting is a widespread method to maintain a healthy lifestyle while enjoying different treats without feeling deprived. As a general rule, dieters prefer to eat 90% of healthy food and allow themselves to enjoy 10% of cheat meals every week. Basically, it’s a strict eating clean method, but it helps people benefit from some indulgence. They enjoy a number of emotional and physiological health benefits with cheat meals.

Another popular rule says that dieters can consume 80% of good carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats and 20% of snacks and cheat meals. The latter ones are created to promote people’s positive dieting outlook, keep them on track with their important fitness goals and overall health and avoid cravings. For example, if you eat about 1,500 calories per day, but one day you eat about 2,300 calories, there’s no need to worry, because these extra calories won’t derail your nutritional plan.

Are Cheat Meals Your Perfect Fit?

There are different factors that should be taken into account before making a final decision whether cheat meals are your good fit. Those people who have any emotional eating disorders are easily triggered to unhealthy binge scenarios, so indulgence is not the best strategy for them. Some dieters may feel psychological guilt after indulging, so their emotional stress is not worth extra calories.

For newcomers who start adopting healthy lifestyles, it’s hard to define how to moderate cheat meals, and this lack of knowledge results in a downfall spiral and long splurging. You need to cheat smart to boost your metabolism, have normal leptin levels and maintain a fit body.

How Much You Should Eat

The latest discovery of fat loss benefits of increased leptin levels doesn’t mean that people can gorge everything on their cheat days. All you need to do is increase your daily calorie intake up to 20%, and it’s enough to boost your metabolism and leptin levels. This means that over-indulgence is never a good idea. Besides, leptin is a hormone responsive to carbs, not fats or proteins, so you should consider healthy carbs when enjoying your cheat meals.

Best Cheat Meal Methods

Planning cheat meals with your focus on healthy carbs is the best way to stimulate your body to burn fat in a more effective manner. The main idea of cheat meals is placing dieters back into maintenance calories where the human body feels more balanced. Living even one week on low calories take a toll of it, so refueling the body with cheat meals is a great way to maintain and reach any fitness goal.

Healthy Eating

Why Eating Fat Helps Maintain Overall Health

Why Eating Fat Helps Maintain Overall Health

Fats received a negative image lately, because consuming them was blamed for increasing bad cholesterol, causing obesity and leading to other health issues. Many doctors and nutritionists were obsessed with low-fat diets as effective solutions to solving medical problems and losing weight. However, this statement is very far from truth, because fats are important to maintain good health, so they should be consumed every day.

Human Body Needs Fat

The body requires fats to function at its best level, so they are needed to maintain good health. Fat serves many important purposes, such as:
• Growth and development;
• Vitamin absorption and energy;
• Maintaining cell membranes and protecting body organs.

Get a better understanding of the role played by fats in healthy nutrition to stop removing them from your daily diet. They offer a key source of energy and contain active molecules that affect the way muscles respond to insulin.

Good Fats Are Important to Keep Your Body Healthy

Based on the latest research, there aren’t any connections between fats in diets and diseases or weight. Studies reveal that only a total amount of calories consumed by people really matters for their weight loss. Good fats keep your body healthy, while bad ones promote different health issues and high cholesterol levels. This means that they aren’t created equal, so you need to differentiate good and bad fats to stay healthy.

With the hype about fats, many people stopped eating good fats that are quite beneficial for their heart and overall health. Picking healthy fats are good for your heart, but all of them have the same amount of calories when it comes to weight loss. It’s advisable to focus on proper portion control and total intake of fats to lose weight and promote a healthier and longer life.

Useful Information about Good Fats

They are known as:

• Polyunsaturated;
• Monounsaturated.

Some of the main health benefits provided by unsaturated good fats include decreased inflammation, lowered cholesterol levels in the blood and stabilized heart rhythm. They are easily found in such food products as vegetable and olive oils, seeds, nuts, etc. There are two basic types of unsaturated good fats.

Monounsaturated fats are also called heart-healthy. They remain liquid at a room temperature, but they solidify when you refrigerate them. Olive oil is the most popular mono-fat in this list, but there are other products where this fat can be found in high concentrations, including peanut oil, pumpkin seeds, cashews, avocados, almonds, and so on.

Polyunsaturated fats play an important role in decreasing overall triglyceride and blood cholesterol levels. For example, Omega 3 fatty acids provide users with heart health benefits, and their good food sources include walnuts, catfish, salmon and flaxseeds. However, people should get them from different food sources instead of their supplemental forms.

Bad Fats

They are known as trans or saturated fats, and the worst part is that their increase poses a risk of different diseases in the body.

There are many hot debates and controversial discussions over this subject, and the main thing is that all saturated fats must be eaten sparingly to stay healthy. They are available in two basic types discussed below.
1. Saturated fats are connected with such health problems as clogged arteries, increased cholesterol levels in the blood and heart diseases. They are found in such animal sources as poultry skin, red meat, eggs and vegetable fats, such as palm oil. It’s necessary to decrease the intake of saturated fats.
2. Trans fats are made by heating all kinds of liquid vegetable oils during the process known as hydrogenation, which is responsible for creating fake food results and giving food products their longer service life. This process turns something that should be in a liquid form into solid food products, including margarine. Nowadays, trans fats are commonly used in the modern food industry, such as many restaurants, for pastries, frying, processed snacks, baked goods and others. People shouldn’t eat more than 2 g of these fats a day.

Healthy Eating

Top 10 Food Myths Debunked

Top 10 Food Myths Debunked

With so many nutrition and health eating tips, it becomes difficult to understand what to believe. Many people feel confused about different food products and when they should eat them.

Juice Cleanses Can Help You Detox

Many people still think that juicing is an effective method of detoxing their body from different impurities. Is drinking fresh vegetable and fruit juices for a few days a really good idea? If you choose juices over vegetables and fruits, you miss out their fiber, which is an important nutrient that helps the human body to digest food. When you drink juices, you dump a lot of sugar in the bloodstream without enough fat, fiber or protein.

There are no studies and tests that can support the health benefits of juices over vegetables and fruits in a diet plan. The worst part is that juicing even can be harmful, because oxalates in plant food products can be toxic when they’re consumed in high doses. So, juices can be a great addition to your healthy nutrition that includes different food products that have enough antioxidants to detox your body.

People Must Eat Gluten Free

It’s quite a popular diet trend. Wheat contains gluten (protein), and consumers keep shopping for gluten-free products, because they think that they are healthier. This diet choice is necessary for those patients who have celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, so that they could feel much better when they avoid such food products as wheat and whole grains.

Gluten-free diets are not the best way to go for other people, because they often lack essential minerals, vitamins and fiber. Another problem is that they tend to decrease beneficial gut bacteria necessary to maintain the immunity, so going gluten-free is not the healthiest choice.

Fruits Contain Bad Sugar

Fruits have sugar, which is called fructose, and it forms table sugar or sucrose. When consumed in higher doses, it’s also linked with the so-called metabolic syndrome or health issues that increase the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. When drinking such sweet beverages as soda, fruit juices and sweet coffee drinks, people get too much fructose in their diet. When it comes to fresh fruits, there’s no need to worry, because they provide only minimal fructose.

They also have a lot of fiber, which is an important nutrient that slows down sugar absorption in the bloodstream. Besides, there is an inverse connection between body weight, eating fruits and a risk of all kinds of obesity-related ailments, so they are healthy for everyone!

Organics Have Better Nutrients

The organic market is booming, because people are obsessed with food products with organic labels, but they aren’t necessarily healthy. Based on clinical reviews and studies, organic products aren’t more nutrient-dense compared to conventional. For instance, conventionally-farmed pork and chicken are more likely to have essential antibacterial-resistant bacteria. When it comes to organic chips and cookies, they can’t be healthier for consumers. Another problem is that organics are more expensive than conventional food, but there’s no difference in their nutrient value. Organics should be chosen, because they are usually treated with fewer pesticides and other toxic products.

Eating After 6 p.m. Makes People Store More Fat

This statement is wrong! Consuming more calories than the body can burn through different daily activities makes you store more fat. However, late night eating is still a problem if you don’t eat during the day, because you’re more likely to overeat and choose junk foods.

Eating before going to bed can have interesting health benefits, because it supplies the human body with different nutrients and promotes positive physiological changes. These results can be improved even more if you combine this eating habit with regular exercises. As long as you make healthy nutritional choices and exercise regularly, eating before going to bed is not a bad thing.

Chocolate Is Not Healthy

It’s true that not all types of chocolate are created equal. Based on the latest research, dark chocolate has many powerful antioxidants that are good for the human body and must be included as a part of any healthy nutritional plan. Eating it can even decrease the risk of dangerous heart problems, such as stroke.

The chemical compounds included in dark chocolate can enhance your athletic performance and improve overall body functioning. This eating habit also stimulates the release of nitric oxide in the bloodstream, thus, dilating vessels for better oxygen and blood flow to muscles. Eating chocolate is a good choice as long as it’s dark and has a good quality.

You Can’t Eat Bad Foods Any Longer

Bad food can be defined in many ways, but it’s not a realistic or healthy approach. Healthy dieting is a method of eating that should be sustained. Black-and-white thinking is not really helpful when making healthy lifestyle choices. Pick nutrient-dense food products in most cases and ensure that your current diet plan isn’t overloaded when enjoying treats. Make a big part of your daily snacks and meals both delicious and nutritional, but think about saving some room for fun foods that you enjoy.

Carbohydrates Make People Fat

Many people think that they need to stop eating carbs to lose fat, but they don’t make anyone fat, though there can be a difference in their types. Your fat stores are increased when you consume more calories that you burn on a daily basis, while eating good carbohydrates can provide you with such benefits as:
• Losing weight;
• Reducing body fat;
• Supporting optimal fitness levels;
• Decreasing the risk of heart diseases and other health problems;
• Enhancing your digestion;
• Improving your muscle growth.

Carbs are also primary energy sources important for your optimal body function. Whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent examples of those carbs that should be included in any healthy diet. The good ones contain fiber and essential nutrients, thus, giving the body sustained energy during the day. Consuming bad carbohydrates that don’t have enough nutrient value, such as white bread, sugary drinks, ice cream and processed food, makes people be unhealthy and gain weight. There’s a difference between bad and good carbs when losing fat.

Carbonated Drinks Are Bad

Many people think that bubbly drinks contain a lot of sugar, so they are bad for health, but it’s not true. Some carbonated drinks can be quite healthy and they help people who struggle drinking usual water to meet their daily fluid requirements. Being well-hydrated is an essential part of being healthy.

Pay attention to ingredients to decide if these drinks are good for you. For example, if they contain a lot of sugar, preservatives and additives, drinking them is not a good choice. If they contain water-made bubbly, carbonated drinks are good for you. Mineral and seltzer water is a health alternative to regular one.

Don’t Eat Egg Yolks

Egg yolks contain many valuable nutrients, including fatty acids that are quite beneficial for cells, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Eat whole eggs to increase good cholesterol levels and metabolism and get beneficial nutrients and quality protein.

Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

Why Calories Are So Important

Probably, everybody knows that in order to maintain normal weight, it is important to control a number of calories in your body. If you are trying to lose some weight or gain some muscle, you should be very careful with reduction of calories. You should find out what calories are and why your body needs them.

What Are Calories and How Do They Work?

The body needs to use units of energy (calories) to function properly. It consumes them no matter what you do. You spend calories even when lying down in your bed and watching TV. Different types of activities require different numbers of calories. This means that you spend more of them when you work out or run than when you sit at your desk.

We receive calories from foods that we eat, and we use them as fuel for metabolic processes. Also, calories are necessary for our body to become healthier and toned. It is very important to provide quality calories for your body. You should consume healthy carbs, lean proteins and fat. If you want to be fit, you should choose healthy calories. Read further to find out why you may need to consume more.

When Are Calories Burned?

Calories are burned all the time even after you finish your workout. Your body spends calories around-the-clock non-stop through digestive processes, which allows your heart to beat, muscle tissue to rebuild and lungs to breathe. There are so many processes going on in your body all the time that it is even hard to imagine.

In order to make sure that your body will be able to function at an optimal level, you should consume quality foods. Restricting calories is actually one of the most common mistakes. When the body does not obtain enough calories, it starts storing fat deposits for protection purposes.

Probably, you did not know that most of our calories are burned when we are having rest. During this time, we get rid of about 60% of all calories burned per day.

How to Maintain Lean Muscle?

Calories turn into energy, which is needed for hard training and repairing lean tissue that becomes stressed during exercising. It is important to consume the right food in order to obtain nutrients to build lean mass.

When we engage in more intensive activities, our body requires more calories to sustain its work. It is a big mistake when people who wish to gain some muscle mass start reducing calorie intake. If you do not eat enough, this may lead to poor workout results. This means that in order to build lean muscle, you should eat enough good food.

How to Maintain Metabolism?

The healthy metabolic function can only be conducted if your body has enough calories. Metabolism is the ability of the body to produce energy, heal and ensure the growth using chemical processes from the water and food we consume.

If our body does not obtain enough calories, our metabolism may slow down and we won’t be able to burn fat efficiently. If you exercise hard and often, but do not consume enough food, metabolic damage may occur.

How to Lose Some Weight?

Probably, you will be surprised to find out that in order to lose some weight you need to consume a certain amount of calories. Before you start implementing your weight loss plan, you should understand how many calories you need to burn. Otherwise, you may eat not enough, which will result in bad consequences only. For instance, your body may decide that it is in danger and that is why it has to store more fat.

How Many Calories Do You Need Daily?

The number of daily calories should be calculated individually. You should consider your fitness goals, eating habits and other factors. Remember that it is better to consume too many calories than not enough.

Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

Nutrient-Dense Foods as Part of Nutrition for People Trying to Lose Weight

Usually, a brave decision to start keeping to strict diets in order to shed some pounds may be challenging, but the results tend to appear unsatisfying. Billions of dollars are spent to be fashionable and follow diet trends to lose weight and gain lean muscle, however, according to numerous studies, a wide variety of diets lack the necessary nutrients.

Instead of tiring dieting and calorie restriction we recommend a different approach. Have you ever considered nutrient-dense foods as a way to lose weight? Forget about diets as this is just a way to change the kinds of food you consume to get closer to your final aim and get a healthy fit body. The idea lies not in dieting, but eating cleaner food products and making it your lifestyle.

Another great piece of news is that with nutrient-dense foods you can eat more and not gain any excess weight, which would be a bit difficult to comprehend for strict dieters used to counting calories. That is because the difference in the quality of the food you eat and the calories they contain, and the way they function in the body.

Nutrient-Dense Food: What Is It?

This food contains macro- and micronutrients that are vital for our health. Among macronutrients are the ones that provide our bodies with enough energy:

• Proteins are necessary for muscle recovery, making it leaner. Opt for healthy products, such as turkey, tuna, fish, chicken breast, etc. over processed foods;
• Fats play a vital role in optimal functioning of our body. Instead of fatty salad dressings and fast food you need to select such heathier options as avocado, extra-virgin olive oil and natural peanut butter. Contrary to popular statements, healthy fats help boost your metabolism and are a great energy source for the body;
• Carbs are primary macronutrients providing us with energy. Nutrient-dense carbohydrates include whole grains, a plethora of fruits and vegetables. However, if you want to gain muscle and lose excess weight, you have to give up pastries and processed foods.

Micronutrients are minerals and vitamins derived from foods rich in nutrients. To live a healthy life people need to consume all types of nutrients in different quantities. Various studies show that nutrient-dense foods boost the metabolism and make us lose more fat.

Way Nutrient-Dense Foods Reduce Body Fat

As we have already stated, real foods or superfoods (common names for nutrient-dense foods) are low in calories and rich in nutrients, which allows us to eat healthier, thus, making our way to a fit body. Moreover, they are digested easier and faster.

Studies show that optimal fat levels are better achieved when we are focused on quality of the food we consume, not calorie counting, that’s why we can eat more, consume fewer calories and still get the necessary elements. To lose excess weight our body needs a good ratio if minerals, vitamins and other useful nutrients, which would stimulate the metabolism, thus, burning excess body fat faster and more effectively. There are several functions using which nutrient-dense foods reduce body fat, and they are the following:

• Boosting the metabolism, thus, stimulating our body to burn fat faster;
• Promoting satiety and stopping additional cravings;
• Providing the needed quantity of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and a range of other nutrients;
• Maintaining energy levels;
• Regulating blood sugar levels;
• Improving the functions of hormone leptin and regulating fat stores.

What Research Says

There have been many studies conducted to find evidence that would prove the benefits of nutrient-dense foods and their high antioxidant values, and many studies and reports explain that eating healthy helps decreasing the risk of being obese, copes with nutrient deficiencies, improves blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of heart diseases, thus, promoting a healthier lifestyle and improving health in general.