Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Phytochemicals | Their Amazing Health Benefits

Phytochemicals And The Health Value Of Colors

Mother Nature has generously supplied the plant world with thousands of bioactive chemicals, in turn giving protection to assure health and regeneration of the species. In each edible plant are dozens, if not hundreds, of phytochemicals with health benefits that transfer to us through our diet.

A simple way to grasp what phytochemicals do is to understand why plants have colors in the first place. Colorful chemicals can be described as pigments in two main classes: phenolics and carotenoids.

Phenolic Pigments

Plant colors of blue, purple, black and red belong to the pigment class called phenolics (or polyphenols), which includes several thousand individual chemicals across the plant world.

Although phenolics may be grouped in as many as 11 subclasses, each with hundreds of chemicals, those known best in public media are the flavonoids found in colorful edible plants like berries. A principal flavonoid subgroup that is common in dark berries is the anthocyanins (anthos = flower, cyanin = blue, Greek). Anthocyanins give the brightest colors to plants, including the blue of blueberries, black of blackberries, red of cherries or rose petals, and purple of prunes and eggplant.

Pigments provide two general functions to plants. Via their scent, flavor, and color, pigments serve to attract pollinators and assure continuation of the species. Secondly, they act as a defensive shell of acidic protectors guarding against bacteria, viruses, fungi and other pests. This category includes antioxidant roles necessary to neutralize the effects of constant exposure to the sun, ultraviolet radiation and production of free radicals during photosynthesis.

Following digestion from eating pigmented foods like berries, phenolics distribute throughout the body's water compartments. This includes the inside of cells where oxidative reactions are occurring second by second throughout life. Phenolics (and carotenoids below) are the antioxidants that neutralize oxidation reactions from free radicals that can damage cell structures and contribute to disease and aging.

Simply stated, humans can increase their defenses against disease by eating colorful plants. Preliminary evidence for this benefit comes from a host of research studies on animals and in limited human clinical trials. Theses studies show positive results by phenolics against:

•Cancer •Cardiovascular disease •Thrombosis (blood clots) •Inflammation •Diabetes

Phenolics appearing in public media over recent years include:

•Proanthocyanidins (anti-cancer effect from grape seeds) •Resveratrol (protective effect against cardiovascular disease from red grapes and dark wines) •Anthocyanins (protection against brain damage following stroke from blueberries) •Chlorogenic acid (reduction of high blood pressure from strawberries) •Ferulic acid (cancer prevention from black raspberries)


In plants that are red, orange, yellow or green are a smaller family of pigments called the carotenoids. These are the pigments associated with the vivid colors of corn, carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes and spinach. Even though green plants have a predominance of chlorophyll – a green pigment – carotenoids are ever present (though masked by chlorophyll). An example of this effect occurs in spinach. Even though it is a dark green vegetable, spinach contains high levels of a yellow carotenoid called lutein.

Other carotenoids now seen in consumer products like vitamins and supplements include:

•Beta-carotene •Lycopene •Zeaxanthin (“zee-a-zan-thin”)

Carotenoids have two characteristics of particular health value to us. First, they tend to dissolve best in lipids and so are concentrated in fatty parts of human cells (like membranes, nuclear envelopes and the sheaths of nerves close to critical functions of these cell components). Second, carotenoids typically have numerous double-bonds between carbon atoms, a highly effective source of electrons needed in antioxidation processes.

Simply for the above reason, carotenoids are thought to be more powerful dietary antioxidants than phenolics. With carotenoids in cell lipids and phenolics in cell water, phytochemicals from a diet of colorful plants act in concert to protect our organs from potential damage by radical oxygen and nitrogen species.

In ongoing basic research on animals, carotenoids have been linked to broad health benefits including:

•Eye diseases •Cardiovascular diseases •Cancer •Psoriasis •Inflammation •Viral infections

Summary of health benefits: Enrich your dietary content of phenolics and carotenoids by eating a variety of the most brightly colored vegetables and fruits!


* Heber D, What Color is Your Diet?, 2001, HarperCollins, New York. * Joseph JA, Nadeau DA, Underwood A. The Color Code, 2002, Hyperion, New York. * Lee J, Koo N, Min DB. Reactive oxygen species, aging, and antioxidative nutraceuticals. Comprehen Rev Food Sci and Food Safety 3:21-33, 2004.

Copyright 2006 Berry Health Inc.

About The Author: A scientist, author and expert on cardiovascular and brain physiology, Dr. Paul Gross has done extensive research on the brain, bones and antioxidants. Gross is also founder of Berry Health Inc, a developer of nutritional, berry-based supplements. For more information, visit http://www.berrywiseonline.com

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More Holiday Eating Tips

Holiday Eating Strategy Sheet

“I'm glad it is over,” say many people after Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's.

If you are the food preparer, you are most likely shopping, mincing, dicing, and saut̩ing, days Рpossibly weeks before the event. The good china, crystal, flatware, and serving pieces are brought out of storage. They are washed, polished, and used once more before they are stored away for the next special event.

If you are the attendee, you may be feeling guilty that the food preparer did all the work, so you may be thinking of eating a second portion of everything to show appreciation to the preparer.

An enormous amount of food is put on the table(s). People come. They eat. They leave over an enormous amount of food. This brings us to Holiday Leftovers.

Holiday leftovers are not to be confused with the tuna fish left on a platter after your family has had their share at lunch yesterday. I'm talking about vast quantities of many dishes. Leftovers are not left over if they are eaten.

For many, part of the ritual of Thanksgiving is the 11 p.m. raid on the refrigerator to join everyone else who is standing and eating in pajamas and bathrobes. Is a turkey leg one item? Two? Three? Might be more. You'd recognize the satiation component if you were eating slower and sipping water between bites. Plates and utensils are your friends. They keep you mindful.

You want to fit into your dress/pants at the end of the meal, at the end of the day, at the end of the weekend, as well as at the beginning when everyone arrives (or if you are the arrivee) and tells you how wonderful you look. Someone said, “A goal without a plan is just a daydream.” And I know Yogi Berra said: “If you don't know where you're going, you could end up someplace else.”

There are a few things you can do during a holiday meal day that can be practiced year round. If you set a goal to make this your new way, it becomes comfortable year round, then when a holiday meal comes along, you won't be looking to make it an overeating exception. You'll keep feeding the smaller person no matter who you are with, what country you are in, and what the holiday it is.

You are either striving to become a smaller person in which case you feed that smaller person you want to be. Or, you are a smaller person, in which case, you feed the smaller person you are.

Here's the plan:

Almost every month has a holiday where food is the centerpiece. The holiday eating strategies are helpful if you read the information before, during, and after the festivities. This will help you plan ahead, execute, evaluate, and adjust, for next time. That's the thing with holidays – there's always a next time. Fill in the following sentence. Go for it. I want to weigh pounds, 365 days a year, not just when it's convenient. I can do it!

1. Don't skip meals. Starving all day as an excuse to overeat at a party doesn't work. Plan ahead, instead.

2. In a relaxed, quiet atmosphere, envision what food and drink you'll be encountering and plan, in advance, in writing, what you want to do. Just scribble a few decisions in a 3 X 5 (or smaller) card: Is it going to be a one-item, two-item, three-item meal? How many items are appropriate? What are they to be? Chicken? Fish? Veal? Will you choose a potato? Do you want dessert more than bread? A salad more than a vegetable? To weigh pounds or to continue weighing what you weigh. And 2b) What behavioral techniques do you plan to use to help lessen food-related anxiety? Will you carry around a goblet of water during the stand up portion of the festivities? Will you help the hostess set the table? Will you play with the children? Food is just a part of the day. What are you going to be doing when social anxiety and old family issues rear their heads in the guise of best sweet potato pie. If you always do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got.

3. Wear a belt with a buckle, whenever eating and whenever necessary. Buckle on snug. Wear a thin belt under your clothes if the outfit is of the cover-up variety. When an elastic-waisted pants/skirt give, it gives oh so quietly. You're not even aware that you're growing back into that bigger person's pants/skirt. A waistband tells you at dinner that you haven't even digested what you had at lunch. When you reach for a second helping of something, your waistband will tell you: “don't do that.” And you'll pick up the water instead.

4. While in attendance, keep moving. Help the hostess, play with children, and talk to everyone in the room before looking at the food. Don't linger near the buffet table. A wonderful three-part question to ask before eating anytime, anywhere, is: a). Am I hungry? b). Am I hungry enough to put food on a plate and eat with utensils (knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks)? c). Am I hungry enough to make my meal – whether one or two or three or more items – last a relaxing, pleasant, 20-minutes, or more?

5. Fill a glass with water. Carry it around and drink it. Throughout the party and whenever necessary, relax, deep breathe, and stretch to reduce socially anxious moments. If the dinner is to be very late, you might consider having a cup of soup or cereal at home in a quiet atmosphere before leaving for the festivities. Then when the flying Rumaki appetizers make an entrance and you're waiting for the entree, you'll be able to honestly say, no thanks, I'm not hungry.

6. If it is a buffet meal, walk the distance without a plate as you identify the protein and the vegetables and whether dessert is more tempting than the bread or the drink. Then go back to the beginning of the table and make yourself a plate as you might be served in a restaurant. Plan the number of items in advance. Decide, before arriving, whether you'll choose a bread or beverage or dessert or alcohol, rather than deciding you'll have all four. (Is the bread really unique, the coffee unusual, the extra drink adding to your enjoyment?)

7. Find a place to eat where you can enjoy your meal in a relaxed manner while using utensils. If this is not possible, or the choices are really not to your liking, do the best that you can do under the circumstances. It is okay to tell your hosts you don't want a second helping of everything. They only want you to have a good time. You won't be having a good time if you eat too much and your clothes become tight. Overeating is not a reward. Fill up on the ambiance. Food is just part of the day's events. Food is not entertainment.

8. Eat slowly and thoughtfully. Make each meal last a relaxing twenty minutes, or more. Put utensils down between bites, take frequent sips of water, and intersperse plenty of good conversation between bites. Finish chewing and swallowing each bite before inserting more food.

9. Alcohol causes lack of resolve, which may cause you to eat or drink too much of things you didn't plan for. Less and less alcohol is needed as your total body weight diminishes. If alcohol is your choice instead of bread, beverage, or dessert, toast the holiday but try to drink two or more sips of water for each sip of alcohol. Always make sure the alcohol is part of the meal where you will be coating the inner lining of your stomach. Before drinking an alcoholic beverage, bear in mind, nobody said you have to finish your drink either.

10. There will always be another meal, another holiday, another party. Keep in mind how much more fun they will be with a slimmer waistline, a more in control you.

11. Do the best you can. There are a lot of choices to make. The first time, your plan may not turn out exactly as you pictured it to be. By reading your strategies and planning in advance, in writing, what you want to accomplish, chances are you'll eat a little less, move a little more, put your fork down sooner, and feel a little better than had you not had a plan. But, no matter what happens, Get Back on The Program at the very next meal.

12. Most of all have a nice time. Feeling stuffed, bloated, or uncomfortable in your clothes does not enhance the enjoyment of the event. More is not better; it is only more.

13. Rewrite this Holiday Eating Strategy Review onto a compact piece of paper. Carry your Holiday Eating Strategy Review sheet with you to read before, and during the party. Repeat your weight loss goals to yourself several times during the day of the food encounter. I want to weigh pounds. Any meal is not the Last Supper. It's just another meal. When sufficiently armed, the battle is won.

14. If all else fails, flee the city with a friend.

About the author:
This article is an excerpt from the book Conquer Your Food Addiction published by Simon and Schuster. Caryl Ehrlich, the author, also teaches The Caryl Ehrlich Program, a one-on-one behavioral approach to weight loss in New York City . Visit her at http://www.ConquerFood.com to know more about weight loss and keep it off without diet, deprivation, props, or pills.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Obesity | Causes Most People Don’t Know About

Causes of Obesity

With all the emphasis on the importance of weight loss and dieting in the world today, obesity incidence is still rising. The diet industry generates billions of dollars annually and yet the majority of the money spent by consumers is wasted. Why is that?

Why do people have so much trouble losing weight and even more difficulty in maintaining weight loss? Well, when we narrow it down, the problem lies either with the diet or the dieter. Let’s look at the bottom line cause of weight gain or weight loss.

If we look at the energy equation we find that when Input (food intake) exceeds Output (energy expenditure) the result is an excess of calories which are stored in the body as fat causing weight gain.

When Output exceeds Input we have a situation where a negative balance occurs in the equation (the body burns more calories than it consumes) which results in weight loss.

It’s as simple as that. Obesity is caused by excessive calorie intake over a long period of time (when Input exceeds Output).

This, however, is only ONE cause of obesity – NOT the only cause.

There are also other important factors related to obesity. Some of which people may not know.

Etiology (causes) of Obesity:

- Metabolism
- Genetics
- Activity Level
- Behavioral Factors
- Endocrine Factors
- Race, age and sex
- Ethnic background and cultural factors
- Socioeconomic position
- Dietary practices
- Smoking cessation
- Menopause and pregnancy
- Psychological factors
- Family background of gestational diabetes
- Lactational background in mothers

Secondary Obesity Causes

- Hypothyroidism
- Cushing syndrome
- Insulinoma
- Hypothalamic obesity
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Genetic syndromes (Chen syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, etc.)
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Medication factors (phenothiazines, sodium valproate, carbamazepine, tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, glucocorticoids, megestrol acetate, thiazolidine diones, sulphonylurias, insulin, andrenergic anagonists, serotonin antagonist, specifically cyproheptadine.
- Eating disorders such as binge eating disorder, night eating disorder and bulimia nervosa.
- Hypogonadism
- Pseudohypoparathyroidism
- Obesity associated to tube feeding

Other Conditions to Note

- Adiposa dolorosa (Dercum disease)
- Partial lipodystrophies related to localized lipohypertrophy

It is wise, therefore, to try and determine or to pin point the cause(s) of obesity before beginning a treatment plan. As they say knowledge is power. And only with the proper knowledge can a person treat this problem efficiently.

If you are obese or know someone who is obese and has tried calorie restriction without success then it may be wise to get medical diagnosis to get to the root of the problem. See your doctor first.

Video: Doctor Discusses Sleep and Obesity

Stay informed - stay healthy.

By John Tiniakos

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Friday, December 15, 2006

How Fiber Can Keep You Lean During the Holidays

High Fiber Menus throughout the Holidays with the Glycemic Index

And what do you want for Christmas this year, asks Fiberlady? GI? GI Joe? Sorry, but I cannot consciously support the military-industrial complex by purchasing idols of warmongers for children to reenact their misplaced power. Okay, go ahead. Tell Santa.

The only GI that I can conscientiously promote is the Glycemic Index otherwise known as the GI. Originally used to manage diabetes, the theory behind the Glycemic Index is simply to reduce insulin-related problems by identifying and monitoring foods that have the greatest effect on your blood sugar.

If you want to learn (it's as easy as buttering a carrot bran muffin), here's how it works. The Glycemic Index system ranks foods from 0 (good) to 100 (not so good) according to the effect on blood sugar levels after eating. Low-GI foods (less than 55) produce a gradual rise in blood sugar that's easy on the body, keeping blood sugar levels fairly tame. Foods between 55 and 70 are intermediate-GI foods. Foods with high-GI numbers (more than 70) make blood sugar as well as insulin levels quickly surge.

A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. It doesn't tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. Adding protein and/or fat or increasing acidity may alter the GI of any given carbohydrate-laden food.

Here's a simple comparison. White bread (GI=70), not a high fiber food by any means, is digested almost immediately to glucose, causing blood sugar to spike rapidly. Brown rice (GI=59), however, is digested more slowly, causing a lower and more subtle change in blood sugar. Once more. By eating a cup of All Bran cereal (GI=51), your blood sugar level will sustain you longer than a cup of corn flakes (GI=83). The numbers say it all. Corn Flakes bring up your blood sugar faster than All Bran. When blood sugar rises and falls rapidly, the body is stimulated to eat again. What? Never during the holidays.

During the holiday season you need to be particularly aware of a high fiber diet of which many are low to intermediate-GI foods. Otherwise you will be seeking a serious weigh loss plan in the New Year from overeating refined and processed foods, i.e. cakes, pies, cookies.

To stave off the indulgences, eat low-GI foods such as beans, vegetables, fruits and certain whole-grains. These choices also affect the amount of fat absorbed in the body, and less calories to burn off. You stay full and away from that beckoning buffet! Fiberlady reminds you that they don't call it the holiday spread for nothing.

High fiber foods are crucial when balancing a low glycemic diet. Your blood sugar will maintain a slow, even rate so you can ease your way through holiday gatherings without too many ups and downs. You really can't fumble this balancing act because high fiber foods provide the perfect safety net on the Glycemic Index. It might be enough reason to bring GI Joe home for the holidays.

About the author:
Stephanie Shank (a.k.a. Fiberlady) has studied good nutrition since her days of mothering began 15 years ago which prompted her commitment to a high fiber lifestyle and the development of her informative website www.High-Fiber-Health.com.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Here are Ten Tips for Quick Weight Loss

10 Tips for Losing 7lbs

1.Cut out the carbs at night, you in all probability won't be burning them off unless you head over to the gym after dinner. Make sure you have some carbs at lunch.

2. Abstain from alcohol. After a drink or two your will power is lessened and that chocolate doesn't seem like a bad idea. Not to mention all the excess calories in the alcohol. It's hard I know but unless you do you won't be getting into that slinky outfit that you bought to wear for the party.

3. Try and keep on the move, even if you are sitting at a desk all day, get up and walk over to the water cooler more frequently, or just amble around the office as much as possible. You can even do some buttock tightening exercises whilst sitting down.

4. Cut down on fat. Be cautious with the olive oil it has as many calories as butter (even though its better for you). Try using an oil spray instead.

5. Go to bed early. If you catch yourself snacking in front of the television every evening then get yourself a good book and go to bed.

6. Hide the cookies..... .better still don't purchase them anyway. If they are on view you will no doubt not be able to resist. Take care with the nuts and dried fruit too as these calories can mount up.

7. A quick 1 day detox, boil up some vegetables in a light stock, simmer for at least an hour. Remove the liquid and sip all day. You can also consume the cooked vegetables when hungry, this is a good detox.

8. 7 day detox, this really will help to drop some pounds, just sip lemon water first thing in the morning then fruit and vegetables (salads) all day for the first2 days. After that you can introduce beans and lentils and grilled fish, try and leave out the dairy and you should see a definite improvement. Not only will you shed some pounds but your skin will be looking much healthier and you will feel a lot fitter.

9. NO Butts! Exercise, its a must to help move the excess. If you hate the gym then just walk round the neighborhood. If you don't like the neighborhood then walk up and down your stairs several times. If you don't have stairs then try and invest in a piece of home gym equipment. You can discover bargains on Ebay, especially if you look for misspelled words.

10. Stand up straight and Suck it in! Good posture is a big help to giving the illusion of having lost weight, stand up straight with your shoulders back and your chin parallel with the floor. Push your hips forward and bottom under, this sucks the abdomen in.

About The Author: Struggling with Weight Gain? Tried every diet out there? Here's where I finally found the program that inspires and works for life http://www.janetdun/ more.com Janet Dunmore Northampton UK . Reformed serial dieter.


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Monday, December 11, 2006

The 2 Types of Fiber | and Their Amazing Health Benefits

If you have been confused by the 2 basic types of fiber and what their functions (and benefits) are, this article will help make it very clear.

Many people think that fiber’s only role is to help overcome constipation. You will find out later in this article how certain chemical by-products formed by the digestion of fiber, have been shown to greatly reduce risks of developing cancer, heart disease and obesity.

There are 2 types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Their food sources and health benefits will be discussed here in quite detail…

Fermentable Fiber for Functional Foods

The title’s abuse of alliteration is meant to draw attention toan often ignored and misunderstood nutrient category withgrowing scientific evidence for significant health benefits. Fiber!

Most consumers associate fiber with bowel regularity, an important function of normal body physiology. We all know it’shealthy to be regular but there are more subtle and importantroles fiber plays in our health and protection against disease.

Defining Insoluble and Soluble Fibers

Sources of dietary fiber are usually divided into categories of“insoluble” and “soluble” fibers. Both types are present in allplant foods, with varying degrees of each according to aplant’s characteristics. Insoluble refers to the inability todissolve in water and soluble indicates a fiber source thatwould readily dissolve in water.

As you will soon see, those definitions are too limiting,especially because soluble fiber undergoes active metabolicprocessing via fermentation that yields end products withbroad, significant health effects.

To conceptualize insoluble and soluble fibers, consider thesegments of a plum (or prune). The plum skin is an example ofan insoluble fiber source, whereas soluble fiber sources areinside the pulp. Other sources of insoluble fiber include:whole wheat, wheat or corn bran, flax seed lignans, andvegetables like carrots, celery, green beans and potato skins.
One of the most versatile sources of dietary fiber is the husk(hull) of seeds from psyllium grain (Plantago ovata), a fibersource with clinically demonstrated properties of loweringblood cholesterol when it is regularly included in a humandiet. Psyllium seed husk is 34% insoluble fiber and 66% solublefiber, providing an optimal division of both fiber types thatmake it a valuable food additive.

Fermentable Fiber

The American Association of Cereal Chemists defined solublefiber this way: “…[T]he edible parts of plants or similar carbohydratesresistant to digestion and absorption in the human smallintestine with complete or partial fermentation in the largeintestine”.

There are several key words in this statement that inspireanalysis and comment for considering fermentable fiber. Let’sbreak it down.

•“…edible parts of plants…” oThis phrase indicates that all parts of a plant we eat – skin,pulp, seeds, stems, leaves, roots – contain fiber. Bothinsoluble and soluble sources are in those plant components.

•“…carbohydrates…” oComplex carbohydrates, such as long-chained sugars also calledstarch or polysaccharides, are excellent sources of solublefiber.

•“…resistant to digestion and absorption in the human smallintestine…” o Foods providing nutrients are digested by enzymes and acidsin the stomach and small intestine where the nutrients arereleased and then absorbed through the intestinal wall fortransport via the blood throughout the body. A food resistantto this process is undigested, as both insoluble and solublefibers are. They pass to the large intestine only affected bytheir absorption of (insoluble fiber) or dissolution in water(soluble fiber).

•“…complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine…” o The large intestine is comprised mainly of a segment calledthe colon within which additional nutrient absorption occursthrough the process of fermentation. Fermentation occurs by theaction of colonic bacteria on the food mass, producing gases andshort-chain fatty acids. It is these short-chain fattyacid—butyric, acetic, propionic, and valeric acids—that havesuch significant health properties.

Short-chain Fatty Acids

Short-chain fatty acids are absorbed through the intestinalwall into portal blood (from the intestine to the liver) thattransports them into the general circulation. Particularlybutyric acid has extensive physiological actions that promotehealth effects among which are:

o Stabilizing blood glucose levels by acting on pancreaticinsulin release and liver control of glycogen breakdown

o Suppressing cholesterol synthesis by the liver, therebyreducing blood levels of low-density lipids (LDL cholesterol)and triglycerides responsible for atherosclerosis

o Lowering colonic pH (i.e., raise the acidity levels in thecolon) which protects the colon lining from cancer polypformation and increases absorption of minerals such as calcium,magnesium and iron

o Stimulating production of T helper cells, antibodies,leukocytes, splenocyte cytokines and lymph mechanisms havingcrucial roles in immune protection

o Increasing proliferation of colonic bacteria beneficial forintestinal health—bifidobacteria and lactobacilli (providing aprobiotic value)

o Improving barrier properties of the colonic mucosal layer,inhibiting inflammatory and adhesion irritants

To summarize these effects, fermentable fibers yield theimportant short-chain fatty acids that affect blood glucose andlipid levels. They also improve the colonic environment andregulate immune responses.

Regulatory Guidance on Fiber Products

Americans and Canadians consume less than 50% of the dietaryfiber levels required for good health. Recognizing the growingscientific evidence for physiological benefits of increasedfiber intake, regulatory agencies such as the US FDA have givenapprovals to food products making health claims for fiber. Inclinical trials to date, these fiber sources were shown tosignificantly reduce blood cholesterol levels and so areimportant to cardiovascular health.

The Soluble (fermentable) fiber sources gaining FDA approvalare:

o Psyllium seed husk (7 grams per day)

o Beta-glucan from oat bran, whole oats, oatrim or rolled oats(3 grams per day)

o Beta-glucan from whole grain or dry-milled barley (3 gramsper day)

Other examples of fermentable fiber sources used in functionalfoods and supplements include:

o Inulin

o Fructans

o Xanthan gum

o Cellulose

o Guar gum

o Oligofructose

o Oligo- or polysaccharides

Consistent intake of fermentable fiber through foods likeberries and other fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, seedsand nuts is now known to reduce the risk of some of the world’smost prevalent diseases.

These diseases include:

o Obesity

o Diabetes

o High blood cholesterol

o Cardiovascular disease

o Numerous gastrointestinal disorders (constipation,inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’sdisease, diverticulitis and colon cancer)

Reading Fiber, Harvard School of Public Health,http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fiber.html Fiber Health Claims That Meet Significant Scientific Agreement,US Food and Drug Administration,http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/lab-ssa.html Fiber 101: Soluble fiber vs. insoluble fiber,http://healthcastle.com/ http://www.healthcastle.com/fiber-solubleinsoluble.shtml Higgins JA. Resistant starch: metabolic effects and potentialhealth benefits. Journal of AOAC International 87:761-767,2004. Tungland BC, Meyer D. Nondigestible oligo- and polysaccharides(dietary fiber): their physiology and role in human health andfood. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety1:73-92, 2002.
Copyright 2006 Berry Health Inc.

About The Author: A scientist, author and expert oncardiovascular and brain physiology, Dr. Paul Gross has doneextensive research on the brain, bones and antioxidants. Grossis also founder of Berry Health Inc, a developer ofnutritional, berry-based supplements. For more information,visit http://www.berrywiseonline.com

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Hello Everyone,

The holiday season traditionally is a time for fun, celebration and indulgence. Holiday parties are also notorious for spoiling weight loss regimens. The average American gains five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

This is because you don’t want to think about fitness and diet during these festive times. You can, however, party to your heart’s content without gaining an ounce. And you don’t have to worry about eliminating or avoiding the festivities. Here are ten tips to help you stay on top through these trying times.

1. Make a plan. Sit down and look at your holiday schedule. Because it’s different from the rest of the year, you have to be flexible. Stay active. Try to keep exercise in your daily schedule. Don’t scrap your exercise plans just because you don’t have time for a full workout. Make it smaller or split it up.

2. Concentrate on weight maintenance instead of weight loss. Maintaining your weight is more realistic than trying to lose weight during these difficult times. Don’t set yourself up for failure and disappointment by setting unrealistic goals.

3. Don’t make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight by dieting. Thinking about dieting after the holidays sets the stage for food binging during these times. The reasoning behind this is since you are going to avoid certain foods completely in the future - you may as well eat as much of them as possible now. Besides, dieting by calorie restriction only works in the short term.

4. Many people make the mistake of skipping breakfast and lunch so they could pig out later in the evening. This type of strategy is what makes you put on the pounds. You end up stuffing yourself with holiday foods high in fat, sugar and starch. What you should do is the opposite. Don’t miss any meals. Eat healthy all day long and drink plenty of water. This way when you get to the party you won’t feel hungry and you will eat less rich foods.

5. Choose high protein foods at the expense of foods high in sugar. Foods high in protein keep you full longer than foods containing simple refined carbohydrates.

6. Eat plenty of high fiber foods before you hit the dessert table. Raw vegetables are rich in fiber, low in calories and will bulk you up, leaving less room for sweets which are converted directly into fat.

7. With all the food available at parties it’s easy to overeat. To avoid this fill your plate with the foods you like and eat only what’s in your plate. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly.

8. Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. One drink contains 200-300 calories. Set a limit of no more than three drinks. Drink plenty of water instead, throughout the night.

9. Learn to say no. There is always someone pressuring you to try some of their homemade cake – even though you may not desire it. Just say no. You have to have a limit. If you use excuses like “not now, I’m just too full” people will keep trying to push their food on you. Instead, you should say things like “No thanks, I don’t eat desserts”, and don’t make any apologies.

10. Keep everything in perspective. One day of over indulgence is not going to make or break your food consumption plan. And you won’t gain weight because of it. It takes several continuous days of overeating to produce weight gain. So, if you overdo it at a holiday dinner one day, forget about it. Simply return to your normal eating habits the next day without feelings of guilt, anger or despair.

So have a great holiday time and enjoy.


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Monday, December 04, 2006

Are You Dieting and Exercising and Still Can’t Lose Weight?

Hello everyone.

If you are dieting and/or exercising and find you have stopped losing weight, you have come to a weight loss plateau.

If you are dieting without exercise you will probably see weight loss at the early stages of dieting. Significant calorie restriction, however, may work against you. Although the theory is: if you eat less you will lose more weight, it doesn’t exactly turn out that way. It is a little more complicated.

While eating less causes initial weight reduction, it triggers the body’s metabolism to slow down at the same time. Your body has a certain set point that when reached, it will stop losing weight and begin storing and maintaining weight (fat).

Your body is made that way so it can survive as long as possible during periods of little or no food intake. This is when the metabolism slows down significantly and the body goes into conservation mode. Not good for weight loss right? What do you do?

First watch this video and then read the article below that explains how to break a weight loss plateau that is encountered even while exercising regularly.

Video: Crash Diets Slow Metabolism.

Top 5 Exercise Plateau Breakers

Plateau. That dreaded word that you do not want to hear, let alone experience. Especially if you have been diligently exercising in an attempt to get fit or lose weight. We have all experienced a plateau at some time all of a sudden you stop losing weight or you just cant seem to run any faster. When you hit a plateau, dont panic. It doesnt necessarily mean you need to work harder or spend more days at the gym.

Here are five ideas that may help you break through in record time.

Take an Active Rest

If you have hit a plateau, it may be time for an active rest. Take a week off from structured exercise, and instead take leisurely walks, play ball with the kids, or take a yoga class. Active rest rejuvenates the mind and the body and allows for overworked muscles to rest and rebuild. You will return to exercise stronger and ready for new challenges.

Time to Eat

As you increase your fitness level, your bodys metabolism may increase and so will your calorie needs. If you hit a plateau, evaluate how much you are eating. You may need to eat more than you have in the past for your body to continue to increase its fitness level. If you find you are often hungry, this is a clear sign you need to eat more to sustain your exercise program.

Mix it Up

If you do not vary your workout routine your body will eventually run on cruise control, and you will experience a plateau. Try new cardiovascular activities, or use free weights if you always use machines for strength training. Changes in your routine will surprise the body and force it to adapt, bringing you to new levels of fitness.

Different Day, Different Intensity

Varying your activities, or cross-training is important to avoid or break through a plateau. While cross-training the type of activity is often recommended, it is also important to cross-train the intensity of your workouts. Specify different days of the week as low, moderate or high-intensity days. Try interval training work at a low intensity for a couple of minutes and increase to a high intensity for a couple of minutes, and repeat. If you use a heart rate monitor, be sure your average heart rate for your exercise sessions vary from day to day.

Sleep It Off

Be sure you are getting enough sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep for your body will allow time for your muscles to recover from exercise. This will ensure that you can come to your next exercise session with enough energy and at full strength to take on a challenging workout.
If you are still frustrated, find inspiration in the story of Chris Witty, winner of the Gold Medal in 1000 meter speed skating in the 1998 Winter Olympics. A month before she was to compete in the Olympics, she was diagnosed with mononucleosis. Of course she had to cut back on training, and at the time that she should have been preparing to peak for competition. Not only did she win the Gold Medal, which nobody expected, she broke the world record! Imagine what a little rest might do for your workouts!

If you find you still cant break through that plateau, then make the decision to ride it out. Sometimes a plateau is necessary to allow the body to catch up with a new body weight or fitness level. Rest assured your body knows what is best and will break through the plateau at the right time!

About the author:
Gillian Hood-Gabrielson, MS, ACSM is the president of Flexible Fitness, a nationwide coaching practice offering health and fitness solutions for your busy lifestyle including Fitness Coaching by Phone, Intuitive Eating, and monthly motivational seminars. She can be reached at 866-618-8814 or by email at gillian@flexiblefitnessforyou.com. To receive our free report, I Hate Exercise Too! and our newsletter, please visit www.flexiblefitnessforyou.com.


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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Lose Weight Without Leaving Home or Office

Recent studies suggest that fidgeters actually burn more calories than non-fidgeters. People that are always fidgeting even while sitting down – like moving their arms, hands, or constantly changing sitting positions actually burn more calories.

If you are sitting for long periods for example you should try to change positions or simply get up of your seat and move your arms, rotate your shoulders, walk or jog on the spot – whatever is appropriate for your environment.

This is why it’s important to break up your periods of inactivity with physical movements. This article will give you a few ideas on how to add exercise to what normally would be a sedentary environment - whether you are at your home or office.

How To Lose Weight Without Leaving Your Home Or Office

If finding time to work out is tough for you to balance, thenit may be time to adjust some of your common activities.Despite what many people think, you do not have to dedicate hours of your time or copious amounts of space towards your exercise routine. In fact, for many busy people, exercising has become as simple as squeezing in ten-minute sets of sit-ups or 30-minute sessions at a local gym.

No matter where you work or live, here are some tips to help you fit in some extra weight-loss strategies into your daily routine:

1. Squat often. Many people spend a solid 2-3 minutes twice aday brushing their teeth. As they brush, they stand still in front of the mirror. If you added a few lunges or squats to that routine, then you would spend a solid 4-6 minutes a day working out those important thigh muscles. The thigh muscles are one of the largest muscle groups in your body. Not only are they the quickest to be transformed once you start to work them out, but they also help you lose weight quicker when they are loaded with muscles instead of fat. Therefore, work out this large muscle group to get toned up and slimmed down quickly.

2. Lift the jug while pouring the milk. If you have milk or juice with your breakfast, spend a few minutes doing curls with the bottles as your coffee brews. The early-morning burst of energy and muscle activity will help you raise your body’s metabolism for the rest of the day. You’ll also find that by making small work-out sessions the first thing you do in themorning, you are more likely to continue to do them throughout the day.

3. Take a double step. While walking up the stairs, take a double step instead of just one. By extending your leg slightly higher, you are increasing the angle from about 45 degrees to 90degrees. The increased angle means that your muscles will haveto work harder to get your body up the stair than if you were taking smaller steps.

4. Tip toe even when you’re not trying to be quiet. By tiptoeing around your home or office, you will find that your calves benefit the most from the extra effort. Stay as high onyour toes as possible for a long amount of time. Or, raise and lower your body using only your calf muscles. The more you work those calf muscles, the tighter they will be in the long run.
5. Roll your neck. Most people store a large amount of their stress in their necks. When you keep stress in your body, itaffects the amount of fat that you retain in your belly negatively. Therefore, by rolling the stress out of your neck,you inadvertently release the fat storage from your stomach.The effects of this exercise are both immediate, as you will begin to feel relaxed, as well as long term, as your entire body starts to slim down.

No matter how busy you are, it is important that you take timeout to treat your body well. Stress, caused by a busy lifestyle and fast-paced work environment can not only increase the fat on your body, but it can deplete you of the energy you need to exercise properly. Therefore, it is important that you remind yourself to take care of your body, even if you cannot sampleNew Jersey’s wonderful parks and gyms everyday. A little movement goes a long way to a healthier lifestyle.

About The Author: Author: Joey Dweck is the Founder & CEO ofhttp://weightlossbuddy.com/ a community committed to 24/7support, expert advice, and helping people find a buddy(s) whowill support their effort to lose weight, and live a healthierlifestyle. And it's all Free. Sign up for the Free, awardwinning, 12-Part E-Course “Losing for Good”http://www.weightlossbuddy.com/


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