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Best foods to lower cholesterol

Healthy Eating Against Bad Cholesterol


Forms Of Cholesterol

There are basically two types of cholesterol. They are often refereed to as: “good” and “bad”, or healthy and unhealthy. The struggle against the bad cholesterol can be led, not with exhausting diets and strict regimens, but by emphasizing on the consumption of foods which protect the arteries.

Cholesterol can be categorized into two basic forms according to the functions:

LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol
Is termed unhealthy, as its elevated levels are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. LDL deposits cholesterol along the inside of artery walls as a thick substance and can cause the narrowing of the arteries, which decreases blood flow through them, and eventually may lead to their occlusion. It can be found in fried food, cheese, chips, sweets and cookies, pasta products…

We should also know that there is good cholesterol, called:

HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol –
Which is termed as healthy. It may prevent heart disease and strokes. Its particles possess the property to extract cholesterol from the insides of artery walls and flushing it out through liver metabolism.

Best Foods to Lower Cholesterol

With regular movement and proper nutrition, you can lower the total cholesterol levels and increase the degree of the good one. Enrich your daily menu with more healthy food As a start you can go for aronia juice, raw nuts, raisins ,spices like: savory, black and white pepper, oregano, parsley, curry, cinnamon, clove, ginger, etc. They will lower the cholesterol levels in the blood.

Quick Advices:

Apples are tasty and wholesome, as they contain pectin which cleanse the intestines from cholesterol and lower by approximately
20% the bad cholesterol.

Consume different kinds of vegetable oils, try mostly to replace the sunflower oil with unprocessed olive, maize or peanut oils.

Eat milk and dairy products, aim at low fat ones!

Natural Foods that Lower Bad Cholesterol

What Else Should Your Menu Include? Which Are the Best Allies to Win the Struggle for Being Healthy and Vital?

Oats are highly nutritious cereal culture, which lower the elevated fats (lipids) levels in the blood and transforms bad cholesterol into good, due to the content of soluble fiber, known as beta-glucans. Health specialists and nutritionists suggest that 20g of oats in our daily food intake (in yoghurt, or to ad soy milk to your porridge and combine it with white cheese – wonderful healthy breakfast)
are sufficient for the organism.

Walnuts are with proven anti-cholesterol action, as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids food source. Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts affect high blood pressure in a beneficial way, as these nuts contain healthy fats and fiber to help naturally lowering high cholesterol levels .

To maintain good shape and to decrease unhealthy cholesterol, try to eat 4 – 5 walnuts (hazelnuts, almonds – high in omega-3 content) daily. You can mix them with yoghurt to come up with a healthy dessert, or make a healthy vital snack of nuts and apples as a light meal before lunch and/or dinner.

Garlic is good ally in the struggle against high blood cholesterol levels. Garlic contains the health important
chemical allicin, which has been shown to fight bacteria and fungi, and alleviate certain digestive disorders. It also helps to lower the clotting properties of blood. Some studies have shown that 1 – 2 green garlic stalks or 2 – 3 garlic cloves a day are enough to decrease bad cholesterol by about 20%. You can eat garlic as fresh food garnish, or as a salad dressing to ad its specific flavor.

Flax seed is a traditional culture for Europe, as it is wholesome for the human organism and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Good results may be achieved by a daily consumption for about 50g of flax seed in products from animals fed with flax flour – meat, eggs, milk and dairy products. According to some health specialists for good health you can take a snack of flax germs mixed with yoghurt or as a salad dressing.

With regular consumption of the listed above plant foods, you can lower bad cholesterol levels and will cleanse your arteries. You can do this in favor for your healthy heart and for steady heartbeat.

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Do you like a cup of cofee?

Nowadays coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Rich in taste, with wonderful aroma and highly stimulating effect, it has become a staple of life. But is coffee really that good or is it so addictive? May be it is both.

You love to drink coffee. Many people found it relaxing, for others it’s the fuel that gets the blood flowing. Is coffee good or bad for you? It depends on who you ask.

Generally, you must drink coffee in moderation. A cup or two per day is not going to be bad. But as in all things, too much of something is not so good. If you drink a cup of coffee every hour it will definitely have an effect on you.

What are some of the bad things about coffee:
Coffee stains your teeth. We all know how coffee stained teeth look like. Yes you can by things to whiten your teeth, but is it really necessary to get so far. You could cut back a little on the brew instead.

It causes bad breath. The whiff of the breath of someone who has recently had a couple of cups of coffee is not something pleasant at all.

It raises stress levels. Too much coffee can raise anxiety levels, so you can become stressed out. Just think about it, have you ever notice how much you shake after having too much coffee?

It can raise the risk of heart attack. If coffee elevates the heart and blood pressure, then too much of it, is asking for troubles.

It can also cause stomach problems. Drinking too much coffee may result in problems for your stomach. The caffeine irritates the lining of the stomach.

Some of the good things about coffee:
Drinking coffee before cardio exercise can increase the fat burning process.

It is a good social drink. People go to the coffee house to rest for a while and chat all the time. A cup once and while can’t hurt and it could be a reason to meet new interesting people.

In many cultures it is impolite to either start or finish a meal without having a cup of coffee. It is said that coffee helps wash down a meal, but no one is certain whether it is actually so, but what is for sure is that it really tastes good after a meal.

As with all things in life, if you feel you are over doing something you need to cut back on it. You need to do things in moderation. We all know that coffee tastes good, but if we go too far with it, we’ll be doing ourselves more harm than good. You just need to know that one or two cups per day isn’t going to do you any harm.

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Calories Explained


Calories in a nutshell

Everybody has heard that for women the daily allowance is of about 2,000 calories, compared to men who are allowed 2,500 calories. But do you know exactly what calories are? Let’s find out.

Calories are essentially units of energy. Energy which is used to raise your body temperature. One calorie equals the same amount of energy that is needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.

Calories are our way of measuring the energy content of the foods we eat.

Another metrical tool you need to know when you are losing weight, which you won’t traditionally find on a food label, is joules. These measure food energy too, but work on a higher setting.

1 Kcal= 4.1864 Kj
1 g of protein = 17 Kj (4 Kcal)
1 g of fat = 38 Kj (9 Kcal)
1 g of carbohydrates = 17 Kj (4 Kcal)
With such high figures it is easy to see why calories are preferred by companies. What you see on the labels is Kcal (called Calories, with a capital “C”). 1 Kcal equals to 1,000 cal (with a small “c”). When it comes to dieting Kcal (Calories) are what you really deal with, but people usually refer to Kcal as calories.

Calories and weight loss

The basic rule in terms of weight loss is that you have to burn more calories than you consume. Take this example: to lose 1lb of your weight, you need to burn 3,500 calories – more from your daily allowance. This may look as to harshly lose weight, you have to starve. Do not do that mistake!

Fanatic weight loss is extremely unhealthy. Cutting your calorie intake below 1,200 a day can lead to many serious health problems.

We recommend that consuming 300 to 500 calories less per day should lead to a loss of between 1-2 lbs of your weight per week, which is generally safe.

When on a weight-loss plan another important thing is that the number of calories of your daily intake depends on your actual weight. More extra weight means that more energy to perform your daily activities is needed.

So if two persons with different body weight are trying to lose weight at the same rate, then the heavier one will need more energy, respectively calories, to keep the process steady. Cut down your calorie intake too low and you wouldn’t have enough energy for your body to function properly.

Once you’ve made a considerable weight loss progress, you should have to adjust your daily calorie consumption to your new weight.

So now you can see the significant role that calories play in weight loss. Let’s move on to the next important question.

How can we understand how many calories the food we eat contains?

For successfully achieving healthy and sustainable weight loss we need to work out our daily allowance including: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. To gain a clearer perspective, here is the daily allowance for people eating 2,000 calories per day.

Total fat
Saturated fatty acids
Total Carbohydrates
Here you can find more detailed information about your daily caloric requirement

As you can see, what you need every day goes beyond the basics of fat, protein and fibre, but also branches into fatty acids, sodium and potassium too.

Now to inform yourself about nutrient food content you just have to check out the food label. But it is not always so simple. For example when you are at the restaurant ordering your meal, you can’t really know what you are eating and how many calories it contains. So what do you do? The best thing you can do is to take a look into the ingredients to see what the food contains.

Essentially you can pre-learn the calorie content of certain foods, so that you can still monitor your diet everywhere you go. Completely remembering the ins and outs of all foods is not a must, but if you can learn the basics of your favourite foods instead, then you can still enjoy going out and losing weight.

Here are some examples which can be helpful when making your food choices:

lean steak (140g) – 181 calories and 6g of fat
Grilled chicken breast (130g) – 192 calories and 2.9g of fat
Lean pork chops (120g) – 221 calories and 7.7g of fat
Bacon (1 slice/25 g) – 64 calories and 4.0g of fat
Ham (1 slice/30g) – 35 calories and 1.0g of fat
Medium baked potato (180g) – 245 calories and 0.4g fat
Mash potato with butter (28g) – 29 calories and 1.2g of fat
Chips (100g) – 253 calories and 9.9g of fat
Salad (100g) – 19 calories and 0.3g of fat
Carrots (60g) – 13 calories and 0.2g of fat
Cabbage (135g) – 21 calories and 0.5g of fat
Broccoli (30g) – 7 calories and 0.2g of fat
Peas (60g) – 32 calories and 0.4g of fat
Red peppers (28g) – 7 calories and 0.1g of fat
Mushrooms (28g) – 44 calories and 4.5g of fat
Coffee (1 cup/220ml) – 15.4 calories and 0.9g of fat
Tea (1 cup/220ml) – 24.2 calories and 0.4g of fat
A can of Coke (330ml) – 139 calories and 0.0g of fat
Orange juice (1 glass/200ml) – 88 calories and 0.0g of fat
Baileys Irish Cream (50ml) – 175 calories and 8.0g of fat
Champagne (1 glass/120ml) – 89 calories and 0.0g of fat
A pint of beer – 182 calories and 0.0g of fat
Wine (1 glass/120ml) – 87 calories and 0.0g of fat

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Benefits of Exercising


Excercise: Run Forest!!! Run!!!

Exercise is beneficial for your general health – this is what every health expert will advise you. Combined with healthy and balanced eating, adequate rest and relaxation, exercise is highly recommended to promote our overall well-being. It can improve the health and general well-being of inactive people by becoming even moderately active on a regular basis.

For achieving significant health benefits physical activity doesn’t need to be strenuous. Greater health benefits can be achieved by changing the different parameters of physical activity like: frequency, duration or intensity.

The many benefits of exercise range from reducing the risk of developing or dying from many illnesses, to aiding weight loss or boosting emotional well-being.

Here is a general overview of what beneficial effects exercise can have on us:

1. Exercise reduces our risks of dying prematurely.
2. Exercise reduces the risk of heart diseases, cancers (including colon, uterine and breast), stroke, diabetes and arthritis
3. Helps us to lose weight, especially from excess body fat by decreasing our BMI (Body Mass Index). Reduces our total cholesterol and reduces the circulating levels of triglycerides in our blood and also increases our metabolic rate.
4. Exercise improves the functioning of our Immune System and also blood and oxygen circulation for our vital organs.
5. Prevents against type 2 diabetes by increasing our insulin sensitivity.
6. Increases our energy and endurance levels.
7. Exercise slows down the process of aging by improving our physical, mental, psychological and emotional well-being.
8. Exercise decreases the risk of developing many bones and joints diseases or disorders.
9. Helps even in enhancing creativity and imagination and also can improve mental vigor, including reaction time, acuity, and math skills.
10. Exercise can help us in providing physical and mental rejuvenation, thus making us feel good about ourselves and improving our esteem and confidence as well.
11. Exercise can boost our mood and it releases endorphins (chemical compounds produced in the brain), giving you an overall feeling of well-being. The same chemicals that being in love or eating chocolate includes.
12. Exercising can help you with your sleep. Just you have to know that if you exercise not long before you go to bed it may keep you awake. Experts say you should allow yourself about three hours between exercising and your bedtime.
So don’t waste much time in front of your computer, get off that chair and start moving. Remember that all the time and efforts you put in it, are worth spending, because you are “investing” in your body and your general health.

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Alcohol Habits


Alcohol Habits, know your enemy

Nowadays alcohol is very popular with consumption at mass levels. As a social facilitator and feel good drug it has become well-established part of human culture.

However studies have shown that alcohol has many deleterious effects: lower performance, mental impairment, possibility of addiction, diabetes or liver disease – those seem to be good enough reasons for anybody to give up drinking once and for all. In terms of weight gaining alcohol has an effect which impacts the body composition. In its purest form, ethyl alcohol, with seven calories per gram, is an energy source that bumps up the total energy balance when consumed.

Alcohol also provides what nutritionists often refer to as empty calories – calories without nutrition. And what is worse it is the first fuel which our body uses, combined with proteins, carbohydrates and fats. In that way it postpones the fat-burning process and leads to grater fat storage.

Alcohol provides almost twice as many calories as carbohydrates and proteins
With seven calories per gram alcohol contains twice as many calories as proteins and carbohydrates, and only two calories less than fats, which provide nine per gram. You must remember also that calories in alcohol lack the nutrients beneficial for a healthy metabolism and will therefore fasten the excess body fat gaining.

Alcoholic drinks also contain calories from other sources. Whine and beer are rich in carbohydrates for example, while some cocktails contain fats. This is an addition to the overall caloric intake. Carbohydrates release insulin, which can fasten fat storage, while fats are directly stored in the fat reserves of our body.

Alcohol can damage the stomach, liver and kidneys
When taken to excess it can have an irritating effect on the lining of the stomach and gradually weaken the liver and kidneys. This can lead to some serious health problems. Any damage done to the stomach will lessen the rate and efficiency of the food digestion. And the liver, which processes toxins and breaks down fats for energy is crucial for maintaining a healthy body composition.

Alcohol lowers testosterone levels
When alcohol is consumed, it decreases testosterone which contributes for the fat burning process, and as an anabolic hormone for the gaining of lean muscle mass. Lower testosterone levels result in lower muscle gain and less muscle means lower metabolic rate, which will decrease the process of fat loss.

Alcohol increases appetite
According to many researches alcohol can increase appetite, thus making us to crave for more food. This means that it increases the possibility of much “bad” food to be consumed. Highly caloric alcohol combined with large fatty meal is not something you want for your weight loss and for your health.

So maintaining a reasonable health and enjoying few drinks once in a while would not be a problem. But for those of you who want to lose weight or increase athletic skills, the best advice is to totally abstain until weight loss and improved performance are achieved.