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An Apple a Day, Does Keep the Doctor Away
Increasing the fiber in your diet has been shown to: reduce your cholesterol, reduce your hunger, lower your fat absorption, reduce surges in insulin levels, help with weight loss, lower the risk of colon cancer, and lower your risk of heart disease. WOW! Sounds like a miracle cure - where can I get this stuff? The answer: At your grocery store.
Old Ben Franklin, citing in Poor Richard's Almanac 250 years ago stated "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well he was right. Not only because the apple contains vitamins and minerals, but also because it is a major source of fiber. Maybe three apples a day keeps three doctors away!
What is fiber? Well, it is basically indigestible complex carbo-hydrates that come from plant foods. What your Grandma called "roughage" is called fiber by scientists. When you look at some food labels, fiber is often listed under carbohydrates - but it is not a single food or substance and by itself has no calories because your body cannot absorb it.
There are actually two types of fiber and they have different health benefits. The two types are "water soluble" and "water insoluble". Soluble fibers include the skins of fruits such as apples, oranges (not the orange peel, but the white material after you peel it), pears, peaches and grapes; the skins of vegetables, seeds; oat bran, dried beans, oatmeal, barley, rye, and prunes. Insoluble fibers include the meat of fruits and vegetables, dried beans, wheat bran, seeds, popcorn, brown rice, and whole grain products such as breads, cereals, and pasta.
Bran of course does bulk up the diet and results in larger, softer stools. But it actually does more than prevent constipation - there are clear data showing that fiber also reduces the risk of colon cancers. The "stickiest" kinds of fiber are the gums and pectins (soluble fiber) and they help keep cholesterol under control by removing bile acids that digest fat. Bile acids, which promote better digestion, unfortunately also contribute much to the "reabsorption" from the bowel wall of our bodies own "home-made" cholesterol. Every gram of fiber intake per day reduces your total blood cholesterol by approximately one point. The same class of fibers may help regulate blood sugar as well. This latter feat is accomplished by coating the bowel's lining and delaying stomach emptying. As a result, fiber can slow sugar absorption after a meal and may reduce the amount of insulin needed to keep blood sugar at the right levels. Reducing the over-production of insulin is a major factor in reducing obesity.
Insulin "resistance" (abnormally high insulin levels) is common in very obese patients and may be a factor in "obesity begets obesity". Fiber is also a weight watchers dream since fibers called cellulose and hemicelluloses take up space in the stomach, making us feel full; thus lowering total caloric intake at meal time. Popular agents such as Metamucil are actually an important part of many weight reduction diets as they slow down absorption of sugars taken in as part of most meals - promoting further weight loss.
The average American gets only 14 grams of fiber per day in their diet. Most scientists agree that the optimal amount is closer to 35 grams per day. Increasing the consumption of "complex" carbo-hydrates is the best way to increase fiber intake. Fiber supplements are also available at the grocery. However, be aware that a large increase in your fiber intake over a short period of time may result in bloating, diarrhea, gas and general discomfort. It is important then to increase the fiber amount in your diet gradually over a period of time (up to three weeks) to allow your "gut" to acclimated and avoid abdominal side-effects.
Disclaimer: If you are under 18, pregnant, nursing or have health problems, consult your physician before starting any weight loss plan. The information here is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.
Dr. John Rumberger is the Author of The WAY Diet, The complete lifestyle plan to live longer, reduce stress, and lose weight the healthy way. To purchase The Way Diet simply go to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?path=ASIN/0974993387
Nutrition - Google News
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Not All Protein is Created Equally
America's focus on nutritious eating began to receive national attention in the 1940s when President Roosevelt introduced the RDA, or Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) model. This model, which took on the shape of a pyramid in the 1980s (and hence now goes by the term "food pyramid"), has gone through a number of iterations since its inception more than 60 years ago[i].
Surprise! Many Fats, Even Some Saturated Fats Can Actually Be Good for You
I'll preface this article by saying that it will help if you have an open mind and accept that some of these facts are a slap in the face to politically correct nutrition in this day and age where fats are admonished by nutritionists, doctors, etc. To start, eating an adequate supply of healthy dietary fats is vitally important to your overall health.
Simple Food and Diet Nutrition Remedies for Your Common Health Ailments
You are what you eat is a simple, time tested adage that still holds true today. There are non-medical remedies that can help with many of today's most common illnesses and conditions.
Water - The Natural Choice
Proper hydration is extremely important during exercise. Adequate fluid intake for athletes, even the recreational kind, is essential to comfort, performance and safety.
Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil -- Why Is It Different?
A flood of scientific evidence about fish oil points to a startling conclusion that taking high-dose fish oils, which are very rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, helps support a healthy heart, a healthy brain, a healthy immune system, healthy joint movement, healthy kidneys and much more.Each grade of fish oil is distinguished from the other by its purity and concentration of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Essential Fatty Acids - Americas Major Dietary Deficiency
America's major dietary deficiency - EFA a panacea for good healthToday you cannot so much turn a corner without seeing a sign on a fast food restaurant's window boasting the "Low Carb" menu. You cannot read a magazine without seeing an ad for "Adkins friendly" foods.
The Niacin Rush
Your face turns flush and your skin starts to itch. Yourheart begins to beat faster.
Inactive Alert: Essential Proteins for Sedentary People
The importance of protein in diet has been clearly established by nutritional scientists, and widely accepted by athletes. Among other vital functions, protein is indispensable for creating muscle.
Surrender To The Spell Of The Pyramid
Food in general has the distinction of being probably thefirst thing we all think about in the mornings before our feet hit the floor. The main reason for this is we cannot survive without it.
7 Things To Your Health
Health is the thing. And no matter how many ways you can measure and quantify symptoms and disease, the only way to be healthy is to add to your health.
Fighting Burn-out: Natural Help For Stress, Fatigue and Adrenal Insufficiency
The adrenal or "stress glands" are small, triangular shaped glands located on the top of the kidneys. Their function is to prepare the body's resources to run or fight through the releasing of specific hormones.
Odd Fact or Oxymoron: Learning How To Cook Will Help You Drop a Few Pounds and Gain a Few Friends
Finding simple ways to reduce my waistline is always a personal objective. I am by no means a health expert, and I have not always been too concerned with what I put into my body.
The Ugly Truth About Food
At any grocery store in North America right now, there are shoppers cruising the isles, making thoughtful choices about their family's nutrition. Armed with the latest information about health, choosing foods high in nutrition is a primary goal.
Why Fad Diets Don't Work
Fad diets have been around for more than 50 years and no matter how many come and go, we are always intrigued and excited by the next one feeling almost sure this will be the one to work. And they do work.
You Are What You Eat
You've no doubt heard the saying, "You are what you eat", as it typically pertains to encouraging people to be more health conscious- and really consider each food before it enters the mouth! In America in fact, a commercial for a popular brand of cereal bars actually depicted people walking out of donut shops and bakeries in costumes of the food that they ordered for breakfast, and of course, everyone stared at the donut shaped person walking into the office. The idea behind the phrase, "you are what you eat", is if you don't want to look like you eat donuts every morning for breakfast and fast food every night for dinner, you need to eat healthier.
Busy Mums Guide to Losing Weight
Hormonal changes during pregnancy, and quite normal fat gain often makes many women feel unattractive and sometimes quite depressed. Many women still believe that "eating for two" is the way to go during pregnancy.
Ayurvedic Nutrition: Let Your Food Be Your Medicine
It is ironic how something as obvious as nutrition has become overlooked in the modern health care system, and how in the name of convenience our fast paced society has given way to fast foods, microwaves, quick fix medicines, and eating on the run. Fortunately, there is a growing focus in the important role that nutrition plays in maintaining good health.
Take Back Your Life 5
In parts 1-4 of this series of articles titled "Take Back Your Life", we discussed what could be considered the four wheels of the human wellness vehicle. We discussed the importance of proper cell function, the necessity of having and maintaining a balanced endocrine system, and the role of vitamins and minerals, including certain trace minerals as they relate to wellness, and the value of antioxidants.
The Magic in Food: LOVE
Remember the old adage, you are what you eat? The simplest magical ritual that you can do is to cut open a fruit or vegetable and eat it while thinking of your magical intention. Below is a compilation of common foods and their metaphysical associations.
Just What Is A Carbohydrate Anyway?
During a recent discussion with my father about low carb diets, he pointed to the butter on the table and said "is that a carbohydrate?" when I started to explain, he then pointed to the sugar and said "well, what about that?"Unfortunately, you cannot just point to a food and label it a "carbohydrate" as each food is made up of protein, carbs and fats in varying degrees. Some foods are almost all carb, and some, like meat, eggs and fish have none.
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