November 29, 2011

How to Eat More Healthy Foods to Lose Weight

There seems to be more people overweight every day. This is despite tons of fad diets hitting the market every day and hundreds of prepackaged goods which promise to help you in losing weight. The simple fact of the matter is that weight loss is something that cannot be squeezed into a fad diet. There are no magic bullets. Even the zero-calorie foods like celery are just a nice way to introduce fewer calories into your diet. The best way is to exercise and eat more healthy foods to lose weight.

The question is what foods should you eat and how much of them should you eat? The answer to the question lies more in what you like to eat than in anything else. This may be shocking to the crowd which believes that all weight loss plans should seem like torture. In fact, if you are not ready to commit to something, you will not. This is as true for a weight loss regimen as anything else. If you are looking to eat healthy foods to lose weight, you should be able to choose foods that you enjoy eating so that you will commit.

Try different foods
One of the best ways to make sure that you are ready to commit to a healthy weight loss regimen is to try out different kinds of foods. You can try your way through different kinds of raw foods to discover which foods you enjoy the flavor of. Try them raw, roasted or even cooked with some extra virgin olive oil. There are many healthy foods to lose weight which will be delicious to your palate which you will actually look forward to eating. Many people are surprised by the meaty texture of roasted portabellas and other flavor complexities they never knew existed.

Cook with simplicity
Take a page out of the books of some of the finest chefs in the world and you will learn how to eat healthy foods to lose weight. Their advice is to start with the finest ingredients and cook them as simply as possible so that their natural flavors can come through. Chopping fresh garlic for a tomato sauce is not only good for the senses, it is also better for the heart than the garlic which is pre-chopped. The explosion of flavor will invite you back to the table.

Making healthy snacks
There are many people who are not aware of the simple method of eating snacks to lose weight. Snacking on healthy foods to lose weight is a concept which makes people’s heads spin. It works because you are keeping your metabolism fire burning all day long. By reducing the size of meals and adding in two snacks in between, you will notice that you are shedding weight at a prodigious rate. Best of all, this is a life change which you can maintain after you have achieved your target weight. This will help you to maintain that weight as well as give you more energy.

Healthy Hair – Everybody’s Dream

healthy hairWho does not love a scalp full of healthy, long and black hair? Healthy hair is everybody’s dream. Since the days of Cleopatra, men are just mad with a woman having long hair. Transforming your head with a layer of healthy hair is not actually difficult. You need not go to the costliest salon; you do not even bother to purchase some expensive hair care products. All you need is dedication, some modifications in your lifestyle and lots of endurance power.

In any point of time, almost 75 per cent of our hair is in a state where their growth has reached a plateau phase. This bunch of hair will eventually fall. 10-15 number of hair fall daily from our scalp. This is a normal shedding phenomenon and there is no point to be panicky. But if the rate increases to 50-100 per day, you must have some problem in your body.

The hair has three parts – the bulb, root and the shaft. The bulb is entrenched in the upper layer of the scalp and is responsible for the entire nutrition of a hair. As the nutrition of hair comes from the scalp tissue, you need to keep your scalp in good condition. There are certain foods that help in the growth of the hair. Let us discuss them.

Fresh green leafy vegetables – spinach, broccoli, cabbages, Swiss chard are full of Vitamins, mainly vitamin A and C. Both of them help in production of sebum, the natural conditioner of your hair. They are also rich in Vitamin E. It protects the hair bulb from oxidative reaction. This will remove any free radical present in the hair and gives it longer life span. Vitamin E also promotes blood circulation in the scalp; thus more and more nutrition is available to the hair.

Salmon – this fish is one of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, the well known antioxidant. Omega-3 fatty acid keeps the hair more time in their plateau phase. This will in turn help in more volume of healthy hair.

Flaxseed oil – this also contain high amount if Omega-3 fatty acids and is an alternative to Salmon for the vegetarian.

Beans – beans are particularly rich in biotin, a vitamin responsible for healthy hair growth. Biotin is also abundant in liver, tomato, lettuce, soybean, carrot, eggs, cucumber, cabbage, milk, strawberry, raspberry and walnuts. All these foods are beneficial for healthy hair.

Apart from foods, you need to take care of some of your daily routine. Most of the shampoos are harsh to your hair as they contain chemical cleanser. It is always better to buy an herbal shampoo that is less apt to damage your hair. You can shampoo your hair thrice in a week, no need to do it daily. While combing your hair, extra care has to be taken that you are not damaging the root of the hair. Most of the hair accessories like pony tail holder and hair clips are notorious for your hair as they can weaken the hair root. Trim your hair regularly. Always cut the damaged tip as you come across.

Maintaining healthy hair is not a job for days or weeks. You need to take care of your beautiful hair in a regular basis.

Healthy Fast Food : Do They Really Exist?

fast foodWe don’t have time to cook good foods, let alone going to church or our respective places of worship. Our jet set lifestyle is alone to be blamed. In this situation, we are slowly but surely inclining to such foods those are easy to cook and take less time to prepare. Even they are available in ready to eat state. Yes, I am talking about fast foods. Most of the ingredients of fast foods contain high calorie value. They also contain much amount of saturated oil, which are unhealthy. But, is there any healthy fast food? Does this concept really exist? Let us find it out.

Well, they do exist. Gourmet companies and fast food joints have bent to the increasing pressure of health conscious people. They have started preparing fast foods that are prepared from healthy ingredients. They are using oils and meats which contain less amount of trans fat.

Whenever you are going to a fast food court, look for the salad dressings containing less oil or grilled chicken sandwiches. Order a sandwich but ask them to cut the mayonnaise or the extra cheese. You will find detailed nutritional information of all the ingredients used in a preparation over the counter or printed on the packaging. You can choose between healthy and ‘not so healthy’ foods. And if you are thirsty, choose a diet cola or water. It is another good habit to choose the smallest burger size.

Eat your fast food on the go. Drive-in restaurants are preferred. Studies have shown that people who sit and order their preferences in a fast food joint, land up into eating more. Watch the size of the portion of each food. Normally the portion size of any preparation in a fast food joint is 2-3 times more than they are in a restaurant. If the portion size is larger, ask them to pack the food and take it away. You can eat half of the item and keep the other half for next day’s use. What’s more, you can have your food without all the condiments and while at home, you can add healthier food options. Salads are notorious in terms of calories. You will have a family size salad dressing but your appetite will remain almost same. And if the salads contain oils and meat, you are in a soup. Try to order foods which do not require salads as its taste enhancers.

Many companies are marketing sandwiches and burgers with chicken free nuggets, which are nothing but chicken flavored tofu. Soybean nuggets are another healthy alternative. There are some joints which exclusively prepare these ‘healthy fast foods’. Some Asian fast food preparations like egg roll and veg spring roll are highly nutritious and contain less calorie and saturated oil.

Taking some light snacks before going out will kill your appetite. It is an old trick but it works. As you will have less appetite, you will tend to avoid fast food.

Healthy fast food is not a joke. With some modification in your taste and mindset, you can always enjoy the comfort of a fast food minus the extra calories.

Fast Foods: A Bane for Healthy Living

fast foodsAs we are advancing and going to a jet paced society, we get little time to cook delicious foods at our places. That’s why, we are slowly but surely inclining to fast foods, which are easy to cook and take very little time to prepare. Fast foods are also called ‘convenient foods’. Fast foods are inexpensive too in comparison to the conventional foods. Therefore, it is gaining popularity day by day. You can get fast foods through easily accessible places – foods and snack stalls, food vending machines, drive-in restaurants and in all departmental stores in easy to prepare packaging. Since its initiation, the concept of having fast food was not using any kind of cutlery. They are sometimes called ‘finger foods’ also.

The concept of fast food was present since the ancient times. Chinese were taking noodles as convenient foods, Middle -East Asian countries had their own falafel and flatbread, Indians were having panipuris and parathas, European countries had pies and cakes. All these suggest that people were always had an inclination towards the foods that are easy to prepare and takes less cooking time.

Today’s fast food includes – fish and chips, burgers, noodles, sausages, pizzas and pastries. They are cheaper as they are made from meat containing high fat level, refined white flours and sugars. They are prepared with oils containing high level of saturated fatty acids (which gives the richer taste to otherwise low taste foods).

Fast foods are generally unhealthy to us. They are made from high fat meat and oils. There are responsible for increasing cholesterol level in our blood. This can cause heart attack, deep vein thrombosis and cerebral stroke. Cholesterol can deposit inside the blood vessel and narrows their lumen. This in turn gives rise to high blood pressure. Deposition of fats in our body can make us obese, which is a predisposing factor for many diseases like diabetes, anxiety, depression, hormonal problem and arthritis. In a recent survey, it was seen that more than 190 million US citizens are either overweight or frankly obese. Researchers have identified increase use of fast food is one of the primary causes of these rapid progress.

As there is little effort takes to make fast foods, people are excessively dependent upon these foods. In January 2003, BBC published news based on surveys of the US scientists that fast foods are becoming as addictive as heroin. This over eating is purely due to lack of willpower. The problem has so vivid that the Los Angeles City Council had to pass an ordinance in barring construction of new fast food joints in a 83 square kilometer are in a specific locality populated by 500,000 people from low socio economic condition. Eating fast food is not necessarily causing harm to us. But the real problem lies elsewhere. You cannot control yourself going on eating. And at the end, you land up into gaining weight. Think it in this way; fuel is important for your engine. But in any case if excess fuel gets entry your car’s engine, it will sure to work less.

Having fast food is good, but always within a limit.

Calculate Your BMI to Remain Healthy

calculate BMIThere are more than 800 Million obese people around the world who needs some assistance to lead their normal life. Obesity is widespread and has become an epidemic nowadays. It does not only look ugly to be obese but it is a predisposing factor for many diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, heart attack and coronary thrombosis. Earlier, we did not have a tool to measure how much obese is a patient. It is only in 1996 when Adolphe Quetelet, a Belgian scholar in anthropometry developed a formula to calculate obesity. This was the beginning of BMI or Body Mass Index. BMI estimates total body weight in terms of height and gives us a ratio.

We have a misconception that BMI only measures body fat. It’s not true. As BMI needs your total body weight to produce a ratio, it cannot calculate the amount of fat alone. And there is no need to calculate the amount of fat alone to in any kind of weight reduction program. This is because you have to control the total body weight, not isolated fatty tissue.

The easiest measure to calculate BMI is your weight in Kilograms divided by square of your height in meter. In another calculation, measure your weight in ponds. Multiply it with the factor 703. Then divide it with square of your height represented in inches.

Ideal BMI is different in various ethnic groups, depending upon their ideal height. According to the classification of World Health Organization, a person will be diagnosed as severely underweight if the BMI is less than 16.5. He will be underweight if BMI is in between 16.5 to 18.5. Normal BMI is 18.5 to 25. He will be overweight if BMI is 25 to 30, class I obese 25-35, class II obese 35-40 and morbidly obese if BMI is more than 40.

Here is a pictorial representation of the BMI, both in pounds and kilogram:

You can take the print out of this picture and tabulate the BMI to get the status of your body weight.

Adult representation of BMI cannot be accepted in case of children. Although the calculation is pretty same as in case of adults, the BMI for children has to be compared to the normal BMI for that particular age group. Then it becomes a percentile calculation to the age and sex group.

Doctors are using BMI for diagnosis and estimating the prognosis of a patient. However, BMI has its own shortcomings. It cannot be relied upon in an athlete or elderly. As BMI is dependent on height and weight, it may erroneously calculate a high BMI for an athlete having more muscle bulk and low BMI for an elderly having less lean muscles.

How you can use BMI in reduction of your weight? First of all you have to get the ideal BMI. Take realistic steps like diet control and regular exercises to reduce weight. The target for losing weight should ideally be 500 grams to 1 kilo per week. And always consult your doctor before jumping into conclusion. Calculate your BMI ever week to see the difference.

Also you can calculate your BMI on your home page.

Healthy Food: The Easiest Way to Live Longer

healthy foodEvery one of us cherishes a notion to live a long healthy life. But often we forget to have a diet that is really healthy to our body. Instead, in this jet paced society, we are slowly but surely inclining towards junk ‘convenient foods’. But these convenient foods are damaging every organ of our body, not to mention some of the ingredients have a direct deleterious effect. So what are the eating options we have? Which are those healthy foods that help our body to flourish and to combat against diseases? Let us discuss these factors.

Have you ever heard of food pyramid? This pyramid tells you which food is good for your health and to take as much as possible and from which foods you should refrain yourself. At the bottom of the pyramid is the orange zone. It is the zone of the grain foods. Cereals, breads, rice, pastas, crackers are included in this group. Your maximum daily calorie intake should come from this group only. It is better to take whole grain foods rather than milled and polished grains. Whole grain food retains the original nutrients which is lost during the milling process. Besides, having a whole grain cereal will make the bowel movement easier.

Next comes the green zone of vegetable group. You must eat fresh green leafy vegetables as much as possible. Vegetables are the main source of vitamins and minerals and give us 80% of the total requirement. It is better to eat a wider variety of vegetables rather than depending upon limited numbers. You must eat vegetables of different colors as they are rich in different vitamins. For example, yellow and green vegetables are rich in Vitamin A whereas, dark orange and dark green vegetables contain high amount of Vitamin C.

You must eat at least one of the seasonal fruits each day. Fruits are also rich and balanced source of vitamin and minerals. It is always better to take fresh fruit or natural fruit juice than juices containing preservatives.

Next comes the oil group. Oils are notorious to produce cholesterol in our body. Try to prepare foods with less oil. It is better to take oils having more Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid than Monounsaturated or saturated fatty acid. Sunflower oil, safflower oil, sesame oil are good examples of heart friendly oils. Avoid butter, ghee (clarified butter), cheese and whole milk. Foods containing oils are the main culprit for weight gain.

Always try to take white meat instead of beef or pork. This is true for poultry also. Sea fishes are good to your health are they are rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Although meat is the supreme source of class I protein (animal protein), they offer enough cholesterol to damage our health.

Maximum amount of your daily calorie requirement should come from the breakfast and dinner should be light. This formula will help you in losing weight or maintaining it if you don’t want to add some pounds.

Boiling, grilling or broiling are the better methods of cooking than fried or roasted food. Boiled food retains the nutritional value and it is good for your health also. Cut your portion of each meal. Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and tobacco.

Taking healthy food is the easiest and cheapest way to live a longer vigorous life. A lot of diseases can be averted by eating a healthy diet. Millions of people throughout the world have gained by eating healthy foods. Now it’s your turn to become healthy.

All vegan diet, is it healthy?

Actually it is. There was a pretty significant study done that was widely published. Researchers from the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center looked at data from 10,104 adults who were eating different kinds of diets including vegetarian diets, low carbohydrate diets and high carbohydrate diets and their effects on BMI, energy intake and diet quality. The study concluded that those who were eating a vegetarian diet had low BMI’s and ended up eating less energy. (Kennedy et. al Popular Diets: Correlation to Health, Nutrition and Obesity. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 2001 Apr. 101(4) 411-20). There is something to be said for it but it comes down to knowledge and balancing. You have to be cautious when starting a vegetarian diet and you need to make sure you are knowledgeable about it.

It’s harder to get the adequate amount of B vitamins on a vegetarian diet and you have to know which foods to eat to get the right amount of vitamins and minerals. So you know which vegetables to eat and how much to eat in order to get the amount of protein that you need.

Healthy mouth

mouthCaring for Your Mouth

Basic dental care involves brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist and/or dental hygienist for regular checkups and cleanings, and eating a mouth-healthy diet, which means foods high in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and dairy products. Oral health is strongly related to overall health. The mouth is the gateway to the body. Basic life activities—like talking, smiling, tasting, chewing, laughing and swallowing—depend on oral health, which influences overall health. And what we put into our mouths—food, drinks, medications and tobacco products—impacts our overall health and well-being.

Oral health includes:

- Upper and lower jaws
- Gums and the tissues in the mouth
- Linings in the mouth and throat
- Tongue
- Chewing muscles
- Roof of the mouth
- Lips and salivary glands

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Today’s hectic lifestyle may seem to leave little time for good dental care. Regular brushing and flossing helps prevent tooth decay and cavities, prevents gum (periodontal) disease and bad breath, keeps the teeth white and free from stains, and saves money (by reducing the need for fillings and other costly procedures). Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Good daily oral care makes the trip to the dentist easy and pain-free. With proper dental hygiene, your teeth will last a lifetime.

Brush Up On Your Brushing Technique

- Always select a SOFT brush, and brush your teeth twice a day.

- Replace your brush every 3 to 4 months. If you are sick, replace your brush when you feel better. Thousands of microbes grow on toothbrush bristles and handles. Most are harmless, but others can cause illnesses or infections, like colds, influenzas, cold sores and periodontal infections.

- You may also use an electric toothbrush that has the American Dental Association seal of approval. Studies suggest that powered toothbrushes with a rotating and oscillating (back-and-forth) action are more effective than other toothbrushes, including other powered toothbrushes. In addition, if you have a habit of brushing too hard, using an electric toothbrush might be a good option for you.

One Minute to a Healthier Mouth

When it comes to healthy habits, let’s face it…some of them are time-consuming. But flossing is not one of them.

Flossing only takes about 60 seconds. Who doesn’t have an extra minute or two in their day? Floss at least once a day. The type of floss you use is not important. Choose the type and flavor you like best. A plastic flossing tool makes flossing easier. If your gums bleed when you floss, the bleeding should stop as your gums become healthier and tighter next to your teeth.

If you’re not in the habit of flossing, challenge yourself to make the time every day. It’s a small change that makes a big difference in the long-run of your oral health. And when it takes so little time, what’s your excuse?

Keep Your Teeth for a Lifetime

Regular dental visits—every six months or as scheduled by your dentist or dental hygienist—will help you learn more about proper care for your teeth and gums. Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and other health problems. Gingivitis (the early stage of periodontal disease) and other abnormal conditions in the mouth are often painless, so you won’t detect them on your own.

If you have dental care coverage, check your plan to learn more about your benefits. Most dental care options encourage good dental hygiene by paying for preventive care, as well as a wide range of other dental services. Schedule regular visits for you and your eligible family members and see your dentist every six months. Start children out early to learn about proper dental care and establish healthy habits to ensure lifelong oral health. Experts recommend that your child’s dental care start at 12 months of age.

Healthy Weight Loss

weight lossDoes this sound familiar? You got tired of hearing your doctor and family bug you about
losing weight to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. So, you got a two-week diet plan
from a friend. You started gung-ho. The first few days were great. Then you found there
were nights you didn’t have time to fix your food and the family dinner. By the weekend
your family wanted to have pizza. And the diet went out the door when you left for your
favorite pizza place.
Many people try to lose weight, but fewer people lose weight and keep it off. This
happens for several reasons. Sometimes people aim to lose too much weight too fast. Or
they try to follow a food plan that isn’t how they can eat long term. Reality is that losing
weight in a healthy way and learning how to to keep it off for years, is not easy. It takes a
new way of thinking. Are you ready?

Set Your Goals:
• Set a realistic weight loss goal. Think about losing 5, 10 or 15 pounds. One of
your goals should be to lose a few pounds and be able to keep it off for a long
• Choose a time to start when you feel the next couple of weeks life will be as calm
and in control as possible.
• Do a self-check on what and when you eat. Keep honest food records for about a
week. Write down everything you eat or drink. Use these records to set a few food
goals. These food goals should be small changes you can easily make to your
existing food habits.
• Don’t look for a magic bullet diet. They don’t exist. You’ll do best if you base
eating habits on what you found out in your self check food records. Do you
snack a lot? Could you snack on a piece of fruit, pretzels, or nuts instead of chips
or a candy bar? Are your portions too large? Do you eat too many sweets?
• Be ready to change your food habits (and perhaps your family’s food habits) for
good. Say good bye to some of your unhealthy habits and food choices.
• Do a physical activity self-check. How much exercise do you get? How can you
work more of it into your day? The tip sheet – Be Active, But How can help

Be Ready to Start:
• Learn about how much you should eat to eat healthy.
• Get hints for how to make healthy eating happen in your life.
• Clear the refrigerator and pantry of those tempting items. Having them out of the
house makes it easier to say no.
• Stock the house with healthier foods. If you have plenty of fruits and vegetables,
it will make it easier for you to eat them. Keep the fatty foods and sweets to a
• Use soups, salads, raw vegetables and fruits to fill up. Eating fewer calories
doesn’t mean facing an empty plate. You need to feel full to have long term
• Think through how you will deal with common food problems. Don’t put these on
hold. At times you’ll have to grab a fast food meal. So, think about the healthiest
and most satisfying options. You’ll want to enjoy a restaurant meal now and then.
Ask your dining partner if they are willing to share. Can you order a doggie bag
and put half the food away before you eat? How can you deal with work parties
and holiday meals?. Having a plan will help you.