12 Foods that Will Lower Your Cholesterol
Medication isn’t the only way to fight cholesterol. You can help control your levels by eating foods that are linked to decreasing cholesterol. Medical News Today lists the following scales as an indicator of high cholesterol levels. If you’re above 200 mg/dl, you should consider changing your eating habits.
Total Cholesterol: Milligrams/Deciliter (mg/dL)
• Less than 200 mg/dL – Desirable
• 200 to 239 mg/dL – Borderline High
• 240 mg/dL and Above – High
Medical News Today also lists the following scale as an indicator of high LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is often referred to as the “bad” type of cholesterol. It’s important to keep these levels low as well.
LDL Cholesterol Millimoles/Liter (mmol/liter)
• Less than 5 mmol/liter – Optimum
• 5 to 6.4 mmol/liter – Mildly High
• 6.5 to 7.8 mmol/liter – Moderately High
• 7.9 mmol/liter and Above – Very High
You can keep both of these numbers at a good level with a low cholesterol diet and LDL reduction. Here are a few foods that can help get the job done.
Sautéed and raw are the most common ways to eat and prepare spinach. Saute and eat it as a side to a protein like salmon or chicken. Then anytime you can, substitute lettuce, which has few nutritional values, for spinach. And if raw or sautéed spinach isn’t your thing, blend it into a fruit smoothie in small quantities.
Check the labels of your favorite cereals and select the one with the highest amount of natural oats. Or go big with a bowl of straight oatmeal in the morning. You can also make oats a side item by tossing them in a cup of yogurt or a smoothie or make them the main ingredient in oatmeal cookies and snackbars.
Red wine is good for fighting cholesterol but it must be done in moderate. One glass a day is recommended for woman, and two for men. When sitting down for dinner and a drink, select a glass of red over a white wine, a beer, or a cocktail.
If you want to sneak some lentils into your diet, find soup and casserole recipes that incorporate them. Or mix them with rice and stuff them into vegetables like peppers. Or you can simply add them to a salad or bake them into a loaf of bread.
Oolong tea is said to fight against cholesterol as well as obesity, diabetes, and eczema. It can also boost the immune system giving it an added bonus.
Dark chocolate is the best type of chocolate if you’re looking for health benefits. To get the health benefits of eating chocolate, you can’t overdo it. Eat a piece of chocolate a day, not an entire candy bar.
Avocados can be crushed into guacamole and added to pretty much any food. Avocados also make great replacements for mayo on sandwiches and in egg salads. They’re tasty in salads or sushi and dishes both hot and cold, making the avocado recipes almost endless.
Garlic is a seasoning that can make your food full of flavor and cholesterol levels better. Try garlic roasting your proteins or mixing garlic to make a spread for bread and pita chips. Or chop up garlic and add it on top of side dishes or in soups.
Salmon can be paired with a few other items on this list to make a full meal (with sautéed spinach, in a salad with avocado, served over lentils). Bake the salmon over a cedar plank to get the best flavor out of this healthy, fatty fish.
Certain fruits can also help lower cholesterol levels. Look for citrus fruits, grapefruits and oranges, as well as grapes, strawberries, and apples when finding healthy choices.
Edamame, or fresh green soybeans are a great steamed snack. Or they can be added to side dishes, salads, stews, and stir-frys.
Snack healthy; put away the chips and reach for walnuts, cashews, and almonds instead. These mixed nuts fight cholesterol and are a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, and phytochemicals that are linked to a healthy heart.
What Not To Eat
These 12 foods are easy to prepare and mix into your regular eating habits. Make sure to select those healthy items instead of foods that raise your cholesterol:
• Egg Yolks
• Fast Foods
• Processed Meats
So if your cholesterol levels are getting a bit too high, considering changing your diet and incorporating these 12 foods that lower cholesterol.
Author Bio: Samantha Ducati is a loving wife and a mother of 2. She loves reading and writing so much that during her free time she writes about anything and believes that a pen is mightier than a sword.
Tags: avocado, Bad Cholesterol, chocolate, Cholesterol, edamame, fruit, garlic, low cholesterol diet, nuts, oats, red wine, salmon, spinach, tea, What Not To Eat
People eat more when they’re together
Married people are more prone to obesity. That’s one of the negative health realities of marriage, though there are positives as well. In trying to understand why this is so, here’s an interesting nugget from a recent article.
People eat more when they’re together. A 1992 study that asked participants to record their food consumption for a week found that eating with one companion increased meal size by 41 percent compared with eating alone, while breaking bread with six or more people increased an individual’s caloric intake by a whopping 76 percent. Other studies have found somewhat more modest increases, but the effect is remarkably consistent.
Why do we eat more when we eat with others? It may be a result of social norms. Communal meals tend to last longer than eating solo, and people who sit in front of food can’t resist eating it. Another possible explanation is our habit of mimicking our dining companions: When they take a bite, we take a bite. More people means more cues to eat. The habit may, alternatively, lie deep in evolutionary history. Chimpanzees and marmosets spontaneously share food, probably to help form social bonds. From the innocent, altruistic act grew a regrettable human custom. Perhaps you feed (and feed, and feed) your spouse to strengthen your marital bond, even if you’re ultimately shortening its duration.
Think about your own eating habits. You might be able to make a real difference in your food consumption and overall health just by being more conscious of who you eat with and how often you do that. Finding more opportunities to eat alone can potentially have significant results!
Hiking and Camping opportunities in Canada
We’re advocates of anything that get people moving and becoming more active. Some people just don’t like being confined to a gym and much prefer being outdoors. If you’re one of those people, hiking and walking have to be high on your list of activities to help you get to a more active and healthy lifestyle. Hiking in particular offers great motivation for people who appreciate natural beauty, and any motivation is important. Camping isn’t something you think about right away, but if done right camping can be another great motivator if you plan your camping trip around locations where you can also find great hiking trails. Places like Canada can be very popular for all these reasons as Canada has so many places with natural beauty as the country is so big. Some people end up getting seduced by this natural beauty and spending so much time in Canada that they either want to move there or get a second home, and soon they get the motivation to shop around for Canadian mortgage rates to explore their options.
If this intrigues you, you can start planning your own trip by checking out resources like this list of the top ten hikes in Canada, or just start tooling around the web. The Trans Canada Trail can be another good place to start. The key is that as you start getting excited for your trip, you then start looking for local places to explore and hike so that your ready for serious hiking. The next thing you know you might end up finding a park or nature trail near your home that’s perfect for regular hikes.
The point here isn’t that you want to get on a plane tomorrow and find hiking trails in Canada. The point is that you have to ask yourself the question of what places you love to visit or want to visit, and how can you use that for motivation to become more active. There are beautiful hiking trails everywhere, even if you live in areas that aren’t typically considered beautiful. If you like nature, you can enjoy it while going on a long walk or a long hike. Get creative and start exploring, and the next thing you know you’ll be developing the habit of walking and hiking.
If you want to become more active, don’t think you can just replicate what others are doing. If you like the gym and the treadmill, that’s great. Some people love the idea of walking there and watching their favorite TV shows on their iPad. The key is being honest with yourself about what activity you will enjoy. If you start there, you have a much better chance of being successful in developing a healthy habit.
Adriana Lima – Workout warrior
Everybody needs to work out! Even supermodels like Adriana Lima.
Difference between the DASH and Paleo Diet
Knowing that the diet industry is a billion dollar business, it is hard to sometimes trust which diet plan is the best one to take on. Every diet plan out there says it is the best one. But how can that be true. As we all know, it is impossible for them all to be the best, plus, each person is a unique human being with their own needs and inspiration.
There are two diets out there, though, that have done plenty of good for many people wishing to lose weight: the DASH Diet and the Paleo Diet. These two diets have things in common and aspects that differ. Keep reading to learn more.
The Paleo Diet
Developed on the belief that we should be eating like they did in the Caveman Era, the Paleo Diet (also known as the Paleolithic Diet) is all about consuming that which Mother Nature gave us directly. For example, if the cavemen back in the day could have fished it, foraged it, or hunted it, chances are you are allowed to eat it on the Paleo Diet. Foods such as fish and grass-fed beef as well as gatherable foods like vegetables, nuts, roots and fruit are allowed. What’s not allowed? Pretty much anything that is of today’s way of eating is off the list. Things like whole grains, beans, dairy, salt, oils and refined sugars are a definite no-no.
Why is it believed that this is a good way to fight the bulge and obesity-related diseases? Experts have come to understand that the processing of our food in our agricultural society is not good for the body. In fact, some believe that we as humans were never meant to consume things like bread, donuts, or cake. A possible concern of the Paleo Diet is the overeating of lean meat which could be an issue for people that have heart problems.
The Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet
This diet is considered by the U.S. News and World Report to be the Best Diet of 2012. That is pretty amazing considering all of the diets out there, so there must be something impressive with this way of losing weight and getting healthier.
Considered to be the diet of choice for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as well as the Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association, the DASH Diet has experts on its side. One of the main reasons this might be the case is because the DASH Diet is not really a diet…it is a change in life for the better. Created to assist people with increasing their cardiovascular health, the diet doesn’t stop you from living. Instead, it has minimal restrictions and is basic to do, helping people integrate it into their life with ease.
The main diet consists of eating plenty of vegetables and fruit along with low or nonfat dairy, whole grains, nuts, beans, lean poultry, meat and fish as well as whole grains. What to stay away from consists of red meat, refined sugar drinks and salt.
Kishana Sainte writes on fitness, health & lifestyle, as well as diet and weight loss articles on behalf of MyDocHub.com, a trusted online doctor reviews and medical information website.
Tags: American heart association, DASH diet, DASH Diet vs Paleo Diet, diet plans, fruit, lean meat, nuts, Paleo Diet, roots, vegetables, weight loss
Workout programs and losing weight
There are many good reasons to add workout programs to your daily routine. The best reason involves improving your health of course, and that should always be the top priority when trying to craft a workout program that’s best for you. Other reasons usually have to do with appearance and losing weight. For many of us, that’s usually the biggest motivator, unless of course we’re dealing with a health crisis like high blood pressure that forces us to become focused on our health.
As you consider different workout options, you need to be honest with yourself about what exactly you want to achieve, and that will help you make better decisions.
But, choosing workouts is only part of the process. When considering your health and your weight, your diet can be just as important, if not more important, than your workout routine. The harsh reality is that for many people, exercise will not make them thinner. The fact is that many people end up eating more when they exercise. Perhaps they want to rewards themselves, or maybe the workouts make them hungrier. So while they might be getting healthier, these people who don’t consider diet and start eating more might actually gain weight.
For many of you, hearing this may be frustrating, but you have to understand that there is no “silver bullet” when it comes to weight loss. Drugs are a bad idea, and niche diets just don’t last.
The key is developing a sound plan that includes exercise along with a rational, sustainable diet plan that feeds your hunger but also helps you keep the pounds off.
So, when considering workout options, keep in mind that there’s much more to consider. For example, a daily walking routine, combined with a sensible approach to reducing your sugar intake makes a ton of sense. Also, replace processed foods and white flower bread with more fruits and vegetables and whole grain products is also a great idea. Take a more holistic approach, and you’ll be much more successful in achieving your weight loss goals.
Evaluating stability training – is it right for you?
Is stability training right for you? It’s getting a lot of hype these days, and you’ll see all sorts of new exercises out there.
Mike Furci cuts through the hype and gives you his perspective on the new fitness trend of stability training.
Unstable surface training (UST), also referred to as stability training (ST), has gained tremendous popularity in the last several years. Unfortunately, for the average person just trying to improve themselves physically, the popularity of stability training has exploded into the mainstream. Why do I think this explosion in popularity is unfortunate? Because, like any industry, the fitness industry is full of people trying to make a buck anyway they can.
The fitness industry preys upon people’s insecurities; the fitness industry is always looking for something new because of the ease at which they can hook consumers with an “easier”, “faster” way to look better. UST is not popular because it is more efficacious than traditional training, but because of a tremendous media campaign. They know there’s huge money in marketing a piece of equipment and/or workout program, especially when it’s backed by pseudo-scientific studies.
Read the entire article and see what you think.
The 6 Most Useless Stretches and Exercises – and Better Alternatives
Unlike stretching, (below) which only takes only a couple of seconds, exercising takes a fair bit of time out of your day. So you want to be sure that you are selecting the absolute most efficient exercises available. No one wants to waste time burning energy if it’s not going to result in a loss of fat, or an increase in muscle mass.
Click on the “Underrated” links for a video version of the exercise in question.
1. Overrated: Pull Ups
Putting aside the fact that pull ups are hard, and not many people can manage to hammer out more than like two or three, it turns out the exercise is not even all that great for the body, putting unnecessary and sometimes dangerous pressure on your shoulder muscles and bones.
Underrated: Inverted Row
Instead of starting from an absolute dead hang like some kind of orangutan, Ben Hendrickson, NSCA-certified master-level trainer, suggests instead the inverted row pull up. This approach has the participant pulling themselves up to a bar from a 30 degree angle.
2. Overrated: Leg Press
No one even likes doing the leg press. It’s painful to pump out those reps and it makes you knees feel like they are about to burst out of their sockets. That aside, the leg press only targets one muscle group. In other words, “the strength you gain on a leg press doesn’t translate into everyday activities,” says Lauren Gould, ACE-Certified personal trainer.
Underrated: Clockwork Lunges
Unlike the above, clockwork lunges target multiple muscle groups and provide functional real world strength. After a couple sessions doing clockwork lunges you will notice that things like climbing the stairs or carrying those heavy groceries have suddenly become a lot easier.
3. Overrated: Crunches
Crunches are really pretty simple when you start crunching the biological numbers. You just lie down on the ground and start lifting your head, which is not very thought through. Case-in-point: crunches are actually one of the least effective strengthener of any abdominal area because they do not target any major abdominal muscle group.
Things can be improved.
Underrated: The Plank
The plank is just as easy to do as a crunch (easier, actually) and provides a host of benefits that the crunch does not. In addition to targeting multiple abdominal areas, research has actually shown that this position can help lower the risk of lower back pain developing later on in life because it almost completely bypasses all stress on the spine while simultaneously strengthening the muscles that constitute back strength and stability.
The main thing to take away from this is the fact that when it comes to pre-workouts, the idea of the static stretch—that is, holding a limb in place for an extended period of time— is a thing of the past. Those types of stretches are fine for a post-workout scenario, but if are not warmed up yet, you want to be using dynamic stretches.
Let’s look at a couple right now.
1. Overrated: The Quad Stretch
Shying away from this stretch works out well because it is the one that most people seem to have some degree of trouble with anyway. Instead of staring at that one spot on the ground as you try to maintain your balance, give up this stretch all together.
Underrated: Butt Kicks
Stretching is moving away from static holds and more toward variable-motion options. Butt kicks involve “jogging” forward while kicking your heels back toward you butt before landing on the balls of your feet. It’s easier on your body, and easier to do without falling over.
2. Overrated: The Butterfly Stretch
You know the butterfly stretch where you push the bottoms of your feet together and push down on the inside of your knees while sitting on the floor? It is a common stretch that works your groin and inner thighs.
Yeah, don’t do that one.
Underrated: The Dynamic Groin Stretch
This variation is fairly similar to the above stretch with one big difference: you are standing up. You still spread your legs and keep your back straight, but this time you simply squat down, stretching out your groin and inner thighs without the need to press on the sides of your kneecaps.
3. Overrated: The Standing Hamstring Stretch
The standing hamstring stretch is the consummate “runners stretch” where you lift your leg up onto something and lean down towards the foot with your hands, attempting to touch your toe. As it turns out, this one wreaks havoc on your hamstring.
Underrated: The Leg Hugger
The leg hugger stretch involves standing on one foot, bringing your other knee up to your chest so that you can “hug” it inwards and upwards, touching your quad muscles to your sternum.
Simon is a writer and content specialist who is addicted to being on the front page of anything. A graduate of Dalhousie University, he specializes in using the em dash too often. Currently, Simon rests his typing hands in Vancouver, Canada. Check out his recent thoughts on gaming.
Tags: butt kicks, butterfly stretch, clockwork lunges, crunches, Dynamic Groin Stretch, Inverted Row, leg press, pull ups, quad stretch, The Plank, underrated exercises
4 Healthy Ways to Handle a Midlife Crisis
Studies have shown that as many as one in every 10 Americans over the age of 35 experience what is called a “midlife crisis.” The simplest explanation of a midlife crisis is that point where a person starts to questions the past decisions he has made and tries to alter his lifestyle to accommodate his new perceived desires and goals. While these questions and decisions can alter one’s life, there are ways to deal with it that can save a marriage and preserve the family savings account.
Make Calculated Changes
People who go through a midlife crisis often take unnecessary risks such as quitting their jobs to seek out adventure. Instead of making rash decisions that you could regret later, a healthier way to handle the situation is to plan your own business and make a smooth transition from your current job to something new. If you take the time to plan your changes, then you’ll be able to support your family while satisfying the need for change that a midlife crisis creates.
Talk To Your Spouse
These uneasy feelings about aging, especially in men, are normal. A healthy outlet for these kinds of feelings is to talk to your spouse and let her know what you are feeling. This will give her a chance to do some research on her own and help determine the best plan of action to take. In most cases, men who go through a midlife crisis and allow their marriages to dissolve regret it later. If you let your spouse know what is going on, then she has a chance to transition with you.
Get It Out Of Your System
One of the ways to deal with a midlife crisis is to allow yourself one binge to satisfy these feelings. Head down to look at used cars for sale in Miami can help you to satisfy the urge for a sports car. By purchasing a used car, you get the kind of vehicle you want and you can still save money. You can also try a weekend in Las Vegas as a way to let off steam. These can be healthy ways to eliminate those initial anxious feelings that could drag on for months if they are not dealt with.
In many cases, remaining active is a great way to combat the feelings of a midlife crisis. Men who start exercising can get their aggressions and frustrations out in a healthy manner that can make them feel better instead of worse. You can also start to eat a healthier diet and drink more fluids. All of this will help to boost your energy, as well as giving you the sense of accomplishment that you’re looking for.
When a midlife crisis comes around, it’s potentially very unhealthy to ignore it. Instead of making decisions that you’ll regret later, the healthiest thing to do is to meet the transition head on and turn it into something positive. With some good planning and support from your family, you can conquer a midlife crisis and become a better person because of it.
George Root has been a published author since his college days in 1985 at SUNY at Buffalo. Throughout a long career, he has had thousands of titles published to his credit both online and offline. His work can be seen on websites such as the Houston Chronicle, Business.com and Answers.com.
Work your back and biceps
Here’s a video fro Power Up with a super set for your back and biceps.