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INCREASING PROTEIN INCREASES WEIGHT LOSS - Increasing protein intake to 25% of calorie intake increases both fat loss and weight loss, according to a new study. In this study, 65 obese patients consumed a diet containing 30% fat. They were divided into two groups. One group's diet contained only 12% protein and the other group is 25%.
After six months, the group eating the higher protein diet had lost 75% more weight. The group eating more protein also lost significantly more fat- 16.7 lbs. vs. 11.2 lbs.
ANTIOXIDANTS BATTLE HIGH FAT MEALS - Researchers have measured how much damage just one high fat meal can cause. They've shown how, for at least six hours afterwards, arteries are unable to expand to properly handle the blood flow needed during physical or emotional stress. Scientists believe this may be one reason why people who already have "clogged" arteries so often suffer heart attacks soon after eating a high-fat meal. Scientists have suspected that a sudden high dose of fat triggers oxidation. This results in the release of certain chemicals in the body that damage the inner layer of cells that line the heart and blood vessels. They hypothesized that introducing antioxidants may counteract the process.
Antioxidants Before the Feast
To test their theory, scientists at the University of Maryland first measured the arteries in volunteers' arms, then invited them to eat a high-fat meal, including hash browns, eggs, cheese and sausage, which contained 50 grams of fat. But before they ate, they also took two popular antioxidants; 800 units of vitamin E and 1,000 mg of vitamin c. After the meal, technicians again measured the volunteers' arteries. This time, they found no damage to the arteries. The vitamins supported cardiovascular integrity.
Hints of Lasting Benefits
"The exciting thing to us is we could see an immediate, beneficial, profound physiological effect," said Dr. Gary Plotnick, co-author of the study. The researchers measured artery response for up to six hours after the meal and found the vitamins provided a lasting benefit. "We were surprised by the magnitude of the results," said Dr. Robert Vogel. "There's been a great debate about the use of antioxidant vitamins and we were surprised to see how powerful just one dose of antioxidant vitamins were on this important process."
USDA'S SERVING SIZES - The government's food guide pyramid suggests eating 6 - 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice or pasta daily. However, their idea of a serving is just a half-cup! (That's not exactly my idea of a serving!)
DID YOU KNOW? -- Lightly cooking carrots and other vegetables actually frees up more of the beta-carotene they contain.
WATCH HOW YOU COOK 'EM -- Cornell scientists have found that microwaving vegetables is the best way to cook them to preserve their vitamin C. Steaming came in second followed by boiling, which reduced the vitamin C to half of the microwaved veggies.
SOMETHING FISHY? -- New government dietary guidelines in England now recommend having two servings of fish each week, and at least one of them should be an oily fish - rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that eating just 7 oz. of fish a week is linked to a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists think that is partly due to the omega-3s, which all fish contain in varying amounts.
In choosing canned fish, choose albacore tuna, sometimes labeled "white" tuna. Canned tuna labeled "light" is not high in omega-3s. Or choose ANY variety of salmon.
With fresh fish, choose any variety of salmon. Almost all fresh tuna, however, is yellow fin, which is low in omega-3s. Bluefin tuna, which is served in many sushi dishes, is high in omega-3s.
IT REALLY WORKS! -- The best breakfast food with the most staying-power is oatmeal. Because it's rich in soluble fiber, its energy is metered into your body slowly, as you need it. You avoid the spike and dip in blood sugar that you get from boxed cereals and pastries. Tip: eat oatmeal 45 minutes to 1-1/2 hours before exercising to give your body time to absorb the slow release energy.
FYI -- Eggs will last longer if you store them in the center of your refrigerator. They'll spoil more quickly if you store them in the egg cups on the door; that's the warmest spot in the appliance.
WHICH JUICE IS BEST? -- A recent Health magazine gave the lowdown on several popular juices. No matter what, they're still better for you than a soda.
Apple - An 8-oz cup contains 295 mg. of potassium, which helps control high blood pressure, and boron, which helps maintain healthy bones. It isn't high in calories or causes heartburn. One drawback, drinking a cup of apple (or grapefruit) juice may raise the risk of kidney stones.
Cranberry - One cup supplies your daily requirement of vitamin C. Also keeps bacteria from away from the urinary tract, thus preventing bladder infections.
Orange - One cup contains twice your daily requirement of vitamin C. The vitamin C can eliminate the free radicals that harm the linings of your blood vessels. Orange juice is high in folic acid, which is critical for preventing premature delivery and of neurological birth defects such as spina bifida in unborn children. It also lowers the blood levels of homocysteine, and amino acid linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Orange juice is also high in potassium, which is important in controlling high blood pressure.
Tomato - Very low in calories, just 40 per cup. This juice is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant. A tomato-rich diet results in a lower incidence of stomach cancer, and it also slows the growth of mammary tumors in mice. It is also high in vitamin C. The only drawback is that tomato juice is very high in sodium.
Carrot - High in nutrients, including vitamin C and potassium. Contains carotenoids, which are substances that turn into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A helps maintain the cells that line the eyes, the mucous membranes of the nose, the outer layer of the skin and the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Carotenoids, especially beta-carotene, appear to slow the rate at which LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) oxidizes in the body. A cup of carrot juice contains as much fiber than from two apples.
ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO EAT HEALTHIER -- Studies have shown that people with the highest levels of B6, B12 and folate in their blood did better on memory tests than those who had lower B-vitamin levels. Foods high in these vitamins include: mussels, oysters, chicken, asparagus, brussel sprouts, spinach, oranges, bran cereal and whole wheat bread. An added bonus: adequate folate, B6 and B12 levels have been associated with fewer heart attacks and strokes.
FROM SOUP TO NUTS -- In a surprise find, scientists have found that eating nuts, even though they are high in fat, may reduce bad cholesterol and help keep the arteries clear. People who eat nuts often (5+ times per week) are half as likely to have a heart attack or die of heart disease as people who rarely eat nuts. In a recent study, people who added walnuts to their diet say their cholesterol levels drop more than 22 points within weeks. Most of the drop-off was in the artery-clogging kind of cholesterol. Apparently, walnuts contain an alpha-linolenic acid, which the body converts to the more well known omega-3 fatty acid, which is found in fish oil.
Other good news about nuts is one ounce of nuts contains as much fiber as 2 slices of whole wheat bread. Nuts also contain vitamin E, which cuts the risk of heart disease, and they are loaded with the amino acid arginine, which protects arteries from injury and stops blood clots from forming.
What was also surprising, the people who added nuts to their diet, didn't gain any weight. Nutritionists think that possibly the nutrients in the nuts stopped their hunger pangs quicker and left them more satisfied than if they had eaten another type of snack.
SOUNDS GOOD, BUT HAVEN'T TRIED IT YET -- Orange smoothie: In a blender, mix 2 cups skim milk, 6 oz. frozen oj concentrate, 1/4 c sifted confectioners sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. While blending, add 4-6 ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Makes three 8 oz servings. 170 calories, 0 fat.
ONION INFO -- Studies in the Netherlands show that people who eat a half an onion a day have half the risk of stomach cancer as those who don't eat any onions at all. Scientists think that the sulfur compounds in onions attack the stomach bacteria called Helicobacter pylori that's believed to cause ulcers and possibly stomach cancer. Studies in other parts of the world have reached the same conclusions.
If you like onions, an easy way to eat more is to bake them, they're delicious. Select a mild type of onion (such as a Vidalia or a Texas Sweet), cut off the top and bottom ends and peel off the tough outer layer. With a sharp knife, make several cuts through the top of the onion, cutting to within an inch of the bottom. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a dab of butter. Microwave a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Makes a great side dish.
WHAT'S FOR DINNER? -- The fresh seafood you buy at the supermarket will be safe to eat for up to two days if you rinse it under cold water when you get home, put it in a tightly covered pan filled with crushed ice, and store it in the refrigerator.
TIP FOR EXERCISERS -- Meal-replacement bars, sometimes called sports bars or energy bars, supply energy - in other words, calories. You can get the same boost with fewer calories from a piece of fruit, a cup of yogurt or a low-calorie granola bar.
DIETING TIP -- To find out how many calories that you need daily: multiply your current or ideal weight (in pounds) by 11 if you're sedentary; 13 if you do aerobic exercise for 20 minutes three times a week; 15 if you exercise for 20 or more minutes four or more times a week; and 18 if you do at least 1-1/2 hours of vigorous activity four or more times a week. The number attained represents the total number of calories you need in one day.
To calculate your maximum fat intake, divide your approximate daily calorie intake by 30.
SAFE COOKING -- A few tips to reduce your chances of coming down with a food-borne illness, such as salmonella: At the grocery store, bag raw meat separately from other foods, especially produce. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them and rinse meat before cooking. Wash your hands, knives and cutting boards before and after handling food. Defrost food in the microwave or refrigerator, not on the counter. Cook meat thoroughly. Don't stuff poultry. Wash your sponges in the dishwasher periodically.
HOTTER THE BETTER? -- Chilies contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fresh green chilies provide more vitamin C than oranges.
MILK TIP -- Don't keep milk out on the table while you're eating a meal. Milk's shelf life is reduced by 50% for every 5 degrees it rises in temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
FYI -- If an egg cracks while you're boiling it, remove it from the water, pour salt on the crack, then return the egg to the water. The salt will seal the crack.
GOOD FOR YOUR HEART -- If you use margarine, choose brands that list a liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient, and that have no more than 2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. Choose soft margarine, not stick margarine, to limit your intake of cholesterol-raising trans fatty acids. The more liquid the margarine is, the less hydrogenated it is and the fewer trans fatty acids it contains. (The four top sources for trans fatty acids in the American diet are margarine, red met, cookies, and white bread.)
JUICE NEWS -- Oranges stored at room temperature yield twice as much juice as those stored in the refrigerator.
WATCH THAT EATING OUT -- In a recent one-week study of 129 women, those who ate at least eight restaurant/fast food meals a week averaged 2056 calories and 80 grams of fat a day. Those who ate out only three restaurant meals a week averaged 1768 calories and 61 grams of fat a day. Studies show that people choose food in restaurants that they wouldn't keep at home because of their high calorie/fat content.
CALCIUM UPDATE -- The average American boy drinks three cans of soda a day, and two glasses of milk. The average teen girl drinks two cans of soda and a cup and a half of milk. If teens, especially girls, don't do something about increasing their calcium intake, they may be suffering from osteoporosis in the coming years. You can build up peak bone mass only between the ages of 11 and 25. Diets high in protein cause calcium loss. Vegetarians who eat less protein lose less calcium in their urine; therefore, they may need to consume less calcium. Teens who eat the typical American meat-based diet should be especially careful to get enough calcium, i.e., four or more serving of calcium-rich foods every day.
MY KIND OF ANTIOXIDANT! -- One scientist recently discovered that chocolate contains phenolics, an antioxidant that is believed to reduce your overall chances of contracting heart disease. Pure chocolate may be the best chocolate around. That's because the fat in pure chocolate usually comes from cocoa butter and cocoa butter has a high content of stearic acid, the saturated fat that doesn't hurt your blood cholesterol level. What's better for you white or dark chocolate? As a general rule, dark chocolate is made from a higher content of cocoa butter. It also contains many phenolics.
White chocolate usually doesn't have very many phenolics, but is loaded with cocoa butter. A dark chocolate bar is considered the most beneficial, followed by fudge syrup, baking chocolate, chocolate fondue, and semisweet chips. Stay away from the candy bars at the supermarket checkout aisle, they usually contain less than 20 percent of the good-for-you cocoa butter. Also avoid chocolate ice cream since it's usually not made with cocoa butter.
THE CRANBERRY DRUG -- Generally speaking, drinking lots of fluids is the best way to flush out the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections. But some fluids are better than others. Cranberry juice is probably the best because it helps prevent bacteria from anchoring to bladder walls. The key is to drink real cranberry juice, not those cranberry juice cocktails - it has to be really tart to work properly.
WOKS UP, DOC? -- One study found that Chinese food cooked in a steel wok has eight times more iron than food cooked in glass cookware.
SOMETHING TO TRY -- If you don't want to give up butter completely and don't want to use margarine (usually high in dangerous trans-fatty acids), combine 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick) with 1/2 cup canola oil or olive oil. Put them in a blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly combined. It will be the consistency of yogurt or thick cream. Spoon into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm. Herbs or fresh crushed (not powdered) garlic may be added for a unique taste. This butter has half the saturated fat of regular butter and, unlike most margarines, negligible amounts of hazardous trans-fatty acids. It also spreads well at refrigerator temperature.
FOR YOUR INFO -- Vegetables and fruits with the deepest colors contain the highest levels of antioxidant nutrients.
ONIONS HELP ASTHMA SUFFERERS -- Naturopathic doctors treat asthma with onion juice. That's because onions contain compounds that relax the bronchial muscles and prevent spasms. Blend two ounces of onion juice with two ounces of carrot juice and two ounces of parsley juice, then drink this blend twice each day. Of course, use this remedy in conjunction with proper medical treatment.
FYI -- Flax seed oil must be refrigerated. It's also best to refrigerate opened canola oil and shelled nuts to keep them from turning rancid and dangerous to your body's cells. Olive oil doesn't need to be refrigerated, just keep it in a cool, dark place.
ULCER INFO -- Studies show that cabbage is able to help ulcer sufferers. Cabbage contains a lot of glutamine, an amino acid that has been shown to heal ulcers. The recommended dosage is to have at least one healthy serving of steamed cabbage each day for two weeks.
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