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Unhealthy Foods

High Carb Foods- Why You Should Keep Them Under Control

Diets With High Carb Foods Won’t Work

If you are looking to lose weight, a diet loaded with high carb foods and low fat is probably not going to work for you, and you will probably gain weight.  The argument for high carbohydrate diets seems to be a backlash against low carb diets such as the Atkins Diet, popular in the 1970s. We don’t think these low carbohydrate diets are the answer, either.  The fact is, as is the case with most things we consume in our diet, there are happy mediums for everything.  More of a good thing isn’t better.

high carb foods

Low Carb Food Pyramid

Lately there seems to be a school of thought that carbs are the good guys of nutrition.  Athletes in heavy endurance training might be able to get away with eating lots of high carbohydrate foods, but when most of us devour breads, pasta and cereals in mass quantities, we are probably going to gain weight.  Just because you cut back on fats, if your diet consist of 75% of carbohydrates to total calories you won’t lose weight.

What Happens When You Eat Carbohydrates

It is true that fat calories can be easily converted into body fat, but calories from carbs (as well as protein) can also be transformed into fat if these calories are not used.  If you load up on carbohydrates, any extra that you don’t use will be converted into glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles, or fatty acids, which is stored as body fat.

So what happens to these carbohydrates when you start downing them in mass quantities?  Initially, glycogen is sent to the muscles for growth and repair, and also to the liver to keep your organs to function properly.  This is not that much; a couple of cups of pasta, maybe.  After that, most everything is surplus, and the body has to do something with it.

The body sends more insulin into the bloodstream in response to this increase in glucose in the blood, and off to long-term storage it goes, also known as fat.  Now carbohydrates are fat-free, and since you are on a fat-free diet you should be losing weight, but sadly you’re gaining weight.  And to make things even worse, because your rising insulin levels are telling the body to store more fat, it won’t release the fat you already have in storage.  So that high carb foods diet is adding unwanted pounds.

Why Do You Get Hungry Right After a High Carb Meal?

Nutribase Guide To Carbohydrates Calories And Fat

Nutribase Guide To Carbohydrates Calories And Fat

Have you asked yourself why you get hungry two hours following a high carbohydrate meal?  It’s that crazy uncle insulin again.  Insulin’s job is to lower blood sugar levels.  When that is done, and blood sugar is again low, then cravings for sweets usually start. When you don’t satisfy those cravings, your mood goes south and you have no energy.  And during this time you think you should be burning stored fat, but you’re pretty much going into hibernation.

So the answer to why those high carb foods aren’t working is because they do not moderate your response to insulin.  By eliminating the intake of refined sugars and keeping carbohydrates a moderate part of your diet, about 40%, you can avoid those disastrous insulin spikes.  Normally, non-carbohydrate foods, that is high in proteins and the so-called good fats, tend not to set off insulin.  Also, natural fiber should be added to the diet to minimize the insulin response.

There is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to have the nutrition experts control your diet, and still consume delicious meals, and that is with meal delivery plansRead more about it on our website

High Carb Foods

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What Is Margarine, and Is It As Healthy As Butter

What Is Margarine in Comparison to Butter?

When we ask what is margarine, we will look to its health benefits.  Nutrition-wise,we will point out that it just doesn’t stack up to butter.  And after reading this, we doubt you will ever want to use margarine again.  Looking at what margarine is, we can only assume we went down the margarine path because we didn’t know better.

what is margarineThe best option for keeping good eating habits when cooking will be to compare cooking oils that are available to us.  You will find olive oil as one of these staples in cooking healthy, delicious meals.  At the bottom of this piece check out an interesting video on cholesterol.

So Just What is Margarine?

what is margarine

99 Out of 100 Ants Know the Difference

The damage of margarine isn’t readily apparent, but the evidence against it is the way it is produced.  It starts with cheaper oil such as cottonseed oil, and then goes through a hydrogenation treatment.  This is where hydrogen molecules are forced into the oil molecules under extreme heat.  The catalyst that is used in this process is toxic nickel.

From there it’s bleached and deodorized, flavored artificially and tinted with a yellow dye.  So far nothing we describe will make you want to use margarine.  Some defenders of the product make the claim there is less Trans fat in soft margarine.  This is a little like defending cigarette smoking, saying it’s okay if you cut your usage back.  It may not be as bad, but any processed food should not be in our diet.

The Pluses and Minuses of Butter

Butter on the other hand has the same amount of calories as margarine.  It does have nutritional benefits, plus it helps in the absorption into the body of other nutrients.  It has gotten a rap because it is elevated levels of saturated fats. It comes from animals and will be graded lower because it isn’t derived from vegetation.  But because it is saturated fat doesn’t automatically disqualify it as a healthy food.

The Worry-free Bakery: Treats Without Oil And Butter

The Worry-free Bakery: Treats Without Oil And Butter

For instance, when consumed moderately saturated fats can help our bodies better utilize Omega-3s.  Also, current investigation suggests that the natural (not processed) Trans fat in butter can actually be healthy because of their anti-cancer components.  Finally, by utilizing organic butter, or that which has had no pesticides or antibiotics through its production, it rates very well in health benefits as opposed to hazards.

The What Is Margarine vs Butter Issue Will Persist

As more data comes in, we will probably continue to hear the debate.  Plus there is an entire industry that understandably wants to shine the best light possible on their product.  But our opinion couldn’t be clearer: there is absolutely no reason at all to use margarine.  If you use butter in moderation, especially organic, you should have no health issues.

As stated earlier, there are better alternatives when it is necessary to use oils in your cooking.  Olive oil is very healthy, and is a staple for the Mediterranean diets, and its health benefits have become more renown all the time. But bear in mind  that olive oil doesn’t hold up well to intense heat when cooking, and has high calorie content, so apply it in moderation. And also keep in mind you cannot make unhealthy foods healthy simply by adding olive oil to them.

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Unsaturated Fats vs Saturated Fats- Cut Through the Myths

Unsaturated Fats vs Saturated Fats

By looking at unsaturated fats and saturated fats, we find that although they’re similar in calorie content, the effect they have on the body is much different.  We know we can’t exist without them, so by educating ourselves we can formulate a diet plan that is best for our health.  In this discussion we will also discuss Trans fats, but basically our advice on them: stay away from them, period.  A diet to reduce our excess fat that uses unsaturated fats and saturated fats in the proper proportion is what we are trying to achieve.

Should We Eliminate All Fats?

unsaturated fats

Be Good At Reading Labels

First, are we better off eliminating fats from our diet completely?  We all know that too much fat is bad, so should we attempt to wipe it out of our diet totally?  The answer is a definite no.  Fats are an important part of our diet, as they assist in absorbing many nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Another valuable function of fats is to offer linoleic acid, which is an essential fatty acid as an aid to metabolism.  Finally, fat adds to the flavor of foods, making eating a more pleasing experience.  So with that, we will talk about the benefits and harmful effects of the three basic types of fats.

1. Unsaturated Fats.  These come from plants, and are found in avocado, peanut oil, nuts, olives and olive oil as monounsaturated fat. As polyunsaturated fats they can be found in such foods as safflower, sesame, corn, cottonseed and soybean oils. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in soy, fax seed, cold water fish such as salmon, and walnuts, are also vital for health, as they assist our immune system. Look on the label for unsaturated fats, but remember they are still calorie-laden so more isn’t necessarily better.

2. Saturated Fat. These are fats originating as animals, and include dairy, eggs, meat to name a few.  They will be dense at room temperature, and with these fats discussing their benefits will bring up a lot of gray area.  A great deal of how they affect the body has to do with their molecular composition, and if you want to get into that complex subject further check out the Wikipedia page on fat.  But they directly elevate LDL levels of cholesterol and can clog arteries, so their use should be watched carefully.

The Trans Fat-Free Kitchen

The Trans Fat-Free Kitchen

But saturated fats do have some redeeming qualities.  They help in the absorption of vitamin D, and this is important for bone calcium.  In addition, brain cell maintenance, prevention of infectious diseases, helping the liver with protection from toxins and fat-soluble vitamin absorption.  In short, for a well-rounded diet (with the exception of some vegetarian diets) it would be very difficult to eliminate saturated fats from our diet.  But again they should only be consumed in moderation.

3. Trans Fats. There isn’t much good we can say about these guys.  It had been estimated recently that 40% of our grocery shelves in much of America had product with Tran’s fats in them.  If you eat product that is processed, baked or fried, you probably are consuming these fats.  Many communities like New York City have tried or been successful in legislating them out of all foods sold there, and companies like McDonald’s have eliminated them from all their foods.  It hasn’t been easy, as finding alternatives that make the food taste as good as these fats do is difficult.  They also extend product shelf life.

unsaturated fats

But why society is trying so hard to get rid of Tran’s fats makes sense.  There has been established a link with them and fat gain, especially in the stomach area.  Even so-called low calorie products can add body fat if those calories are from Tran’s fat.  They’re manufactured, and are produced by turning liquid oils into solid fat, like shortening and  hard margarine by injecting them with hydrogen.

It’s not easy determining what is good and bad with fats, but you do know you must control the quantity you consume.  By cooking more foods at home and learning how to read ingredient labels you will be able to control your diet much better when it comes to fats along with the rest of your diet.  There is a third way to go, which has taken hold in much of the United States and elsewhere.  That is Diet-to-Go, where you can turn food planning and preparation over to expert dietitians you can trust for roughly $18 per day. There are other vendors who are serving this rapidly-growing industry.

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