The Dangers Of Trans Fats And How To Know If You’re Eating Them

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Trans fats, or Trans Fatty Acids, are a vegetable-based fat that is made when vegetable oils are hardened for use in shortening or margarine. Trans fats are found in baked and fried foods, such as cookies, fried fish or chicken and donuts, which are prepared using the hardened vegetable oil.

The problem with eating Trans fats is that it contributes to clogging of the arteries, increases the presence of low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the “bad” cholesterol, reduces the presence of high density lipoprotein (HDL), “good” cholesterol and also contributes to other serious health conditions including heart disease and Type II diabetes.

Food manufacturers use Trans fats instead of healthier oils because it is less expensive, imparts a better flavor, and increases the shelf life of the products that contain them.

Up until recently, food manufacturers were not required to list Trans fats on the product labels. As a result, consumers did not know how much of the Trans fats the products contained so they were not able to make healthy decisions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently enacted a rule which requires food manufacturers to list the presence of Trans fats on the nutrition labels. Although the FDA did not set any limits as to the percentage of Trans fats that are allowed to be present, they did say that it should be “as low as possible. These labels first started appearing in 2006.

Experts believe that there are nearly 50,000 products on the market that contain Trans fatty acids. While the term “Trans fats” might not specifically appear on the nutrition label, you will see terms such as shortening and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. The closer to the top of the nutrition label these Trans fats appear, the higher the percentage that are present.
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Sometimes in an effort to eat healthier, we end up digesting Trans fat without realizing it. Stick margarine is a good example. Many people switch to margarine to reduce the quantities of real butter that they consume. Stick margarine, however, is as close to 100% Trans fat as you’ll find in a food product. The end result is that we think we are doing our body a favor by “eating healthy” when, in truth, we are treating it worse than if we continued eating butter.

Consumer health groups have begun to pressure food manufacturers to remove Trans fats from their products altogether. Some have gone so far as to file law suits demanding that a particular product be removed from the shelves unless Trans fats are eliminated from the ingredients.

As awareness levels rise, you can expect to see Trans fats all but disappear from the list of ingredients in any product where the manufacturer wants to avoid the potential legal problems and negative publicity of cooking with Trans fats. Food giants Kraft and Frito Lay, major users of Trans fats, have already publicly committed to reducing the level of Trans fats in their products.

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Agustin Quinones

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Menopause And Weight Gain


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Talking to most women over 50 you will quickly find that menopause and weight gain are linked in their experience. It is very common to put on weight at this time and while some of this may be due to lifestyle changes, that does not explain why suddenly we develop a tendency to put on weight at different parts of the body, especially the abdomen, while any weight gained when we were younger tended to be centered on the hips.

The truth is that hormonal changes do have a part to play in this, although the process is not completely understood. At menopause a woman stops ovulating, her monthly menstruation periods end, and her body produces much lower levels of the female hormone estrogen which is responsible for the ovulation process. Low estrogen has been shown to cause weight gain in animals and it almost certainly is the reason why our bodies change shape. While women of childbearing age store fat in the lower body, after the menopause they store it on the abdomen instead, like men. This leads to a greater risk of heart disease.

At the same time, both men and women tend to find muscle turning to fat as they grow older, and the metabolism slows down. This means that if you do not adjust your eating habits you will probably find that your weight increases. A person of 60 just does not need as many calories as a person of 40. Hormone therapy with estrogen is sometimes prescribed to control menopausal symptoms. Many women will be surprised to hear that studies have shown that hormone therapy does not cause weight gain. Some women experience bloating and water retention in the early stages of hormone therapy but this is usually temporary and they have not gained any fat. Hormone therapy can reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing the changes in storage of body fat around the abdomen and lowering cholesterol. However, hormone therapy has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in some studies.

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If you find that you are gaining weight around the menopause, there are several things you can do.

– Eat a healthy, low fat diet with plenty of fiber, avoiding sugar.

– Take regular exercise. As people get older their physical activity levels naturally drop. Work often becomes less physically demanding, there are no kids to run around after, we take less active holidays and do things more slowly. 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day will help to balance out the effect of this.

– Maintain your muscle strength and mass. Use weights for arm muscles and walking or cycling for legs.

– Accept the changes to the shape of your body. If you are not overweight, but simply have a thicker waist and slimmer legs, that is fine.

Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program if you have any medical conditions or your fitness levels are low. Your doctor can also help with symptoms of the menopause and weight gain.
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Low Carb Dieting For Successful Weight Loss

 


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Low carb dieting has become fashionable in recent years especially with the publication of the Atkins diet. Losing weight is a goal for so many people and everybody is looking for the quick and easy way to lose weight. Some people do not need to lose weight at all but still get stressed over a couple of pounds. Others need to lose for medical reasons and may have one hundred pounds or more that they want to shed.

There are many different diets out there including low carbohydrate diets and the truth is that most of them will achieve weight loss if they are followed correctly. This does not mean always doing what the diet says every moment of every day. What is more important is how you deal with the inevitable occasion when you eat too much or feast on foods that are not on the plan. If you can write this off and return to the plan without giving yourself a hard time, you are likely to succeed. Everybody has those days – the important thing is to let them go and accept them as just another step on the road to permanent weight loss.

It is also important to find a diet that you can easily follow. Low carb diets suit many people because the rules are quite simple. As the name suggests, the diet consists of avoiding or limiting foods that are high in carbohydrates. These include bread, pasta, potatoes, rice and other grains. Sugar is also a carbohydrate. Once you understand what these foods are, it is a simple matter to choose dishes that avoid them.

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Most criticism of low carbohydrate dieting is based on the fact that the dieters will get most of their daily calories from meat, dairy and other high fat products. This can lead to high cholesterol and other problems related to a high intake of saturated fats. Medical advice is advised before starting this type of diet. Sometimes weight loss is good in the early stages but people cannot handle the restrictions in the longer term and start to deviate from the diet.

One of the problems that many people have with low carb dieting is the elimination of bread and pasta. No more toast, spaghetti or pizza! Many of the foods that are quickest to prepare are based around carbohydrates – burgers in their buns, fries, sandwiches, pasta and sauce. Beer and other alcoholic drinks are high in carbs too. It is true that alcohol is generally restricted on any diet, because it is high in calories and very low in nutritional value, but low carb diets put particular emphasis on this.

Still there are many foods that can be enjoyed on a low carb diet. If you are fond of meat you will relish the opportunity to consume beef, chicken and other animal products. The popularity of these diets is clear from the length of time that they stay on the bestseller lists. It is just a matter of what suits you. Low carb dieting works for many people.
Agustin Quinones

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15 Great Ways To Lose Weight Fast


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Want to lose weight fast? It’s easy to say goodbye to 10 pounds of unwanted fat with these easy diet tips. Just pay attention to what you eat and be sure to have good tasting, fresh and healthy food including snacks, fill up on vegetables and keep your taste buds happy with fruit.

No need to make sacrifices! Just follow these simple guidelines to lose your first 10 pounds, last 10 pounds or give your weight loss program a boost when it seems to have stuttered to a halt. This is a balanced and flexible plan that you can use for as long as you want.

1. Keep a note of everything that you eat and drink. You do not need to estimate calories. Just write down what it was that you had and the approximate quantity. You will find that being more aware of what you are eating helps you to plan healthy meals and snacks.

2. Halve your intake of all pure or added fats. This means using half as much butter or spread on your bread, toast, muffins and potatoes; half the usual amount of mayonnaise or sauce on your salad; and half the oil in the frypan every time.

3. Limit treats containing sugar to three times per week. This includes chocolate, ice cream, desserts, cake, pastries, cookies, etc.

4. Include a lower fat source of protein at most meals: chicken, fish, beans, cottage cheese, or low fat yogurt. Have eggs, nuts and red meat occasionally but not every day.

5. Plan at least one lunch and dinner every week without meat or cheese. Build those meals around whole grains, vegetables and beans to increase fiber and reduce fat.

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6. Reduce the fat content in your milk products. If you are currently drinking whole milk, reduce to 2% fat. From 2% reduce to 1%. Choose lower fat cheese and yogurt. When you buy yogurt, also check that it does not contain sugar.

7. Have at least two servings of fruit every day. This can be for dessert or snacks. Choose fruit that is in season.

8. Drink water instead of sodas, juices, milky drinks or alcohol. Avoid diet soda – the sweet taste only encourages you to crave sugar. Hot water with a slice of lemon can be very refreshing in the morning.

9. Include at least two servings of vegetables at lunch and dinner. If you are getting hungry, have more.

10. Eat slowly. The body is slow to register when you are full and it is easy to eat too much if you are racing through your meals.

11. Grated carrot makes a great snack. You will find that a grated carrot is much more filling than a whole carrot. Strange but true.

12. Use whole grains wherever possible. The fiber will give you a fuller feeling and also help your digestion.

13. Choose food that you can chew. Again this will increase your fiber intake, and the act of chewing will make you feel more satisfied too. This means eating fruit instead of drinking juice. If you have soup, make sure it is chunky.

14. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. Plan your shopping too – make a list of what you need and stick to it. If you just grab something when you are feeling hungry, you will probably choose high calorie food.

15. Always switch off the TV when you eat. That includes snacks as well as meals. Studies have proved that we eat larger portions in front of the TV, probably because we are much less aware of what we are eating. When you eat, only eat if you want to lose weight fast.

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