Quick healthy meals- What do they mean for the present day consumer?

Be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or the time in between, quick healthy meals are always welcome. More so if they are low fat, low sugar recipes so you don’t need to worry about the carbs and the calories and don’t go on guilt trips. They fill you up, make the tummy happy and the taste buds happier. Ideal for carrying to work for lunch, they can also be the healthy, flavour packed and low cost substitute to al fresco eating (which in other words means ‘eating outdoors’). What’s more, these ready to eat/ quick healthy meals are sometimes even better than the homemade curries which can be deceivingly high in fat.

But who do you think would win the battle if we were to draw a comparison between home cooked food and ready to eat/ quick healthy meals? There are no prizes for guessing you would say and the verdict would be ‘home cooked food wins hands down’. Points you’d corroborate your answer with? You know what you have put in it, what cooking oil you have used, whether the ingredient is organic or not. You know you have given it your special touch and that it is exclusively your creation. You know you can have it 365 days a year without having to think twice or worry about the elevated levels of saturated fat or the high sodium content. And so on. Therefore, it is far more healthy, nutritious and safe, is what you’ll say to conclude.

But the other side of the coin shows instant mixes, ready to cook, ready to eat and quick healthy meals are becoming excessively popular nowadays. A steady rise in online meals order is also being witnessed. This is so because most of these renditions are being made in the form of guilt free treats and balanced precooked meals. They are totally in sync with modern sensibilities, thanks to consumerism, present day lifestyles and the rise of the moneyed middle class. Besides, renowned and reliable brands are coming up with these kinds of meals (which includes sandwiches, soups, potato wedges, paranthas, desserts, curry dishes, meal time accompaniments and the like). Many brands even claim they are bringing age old cooking traditions to the forefront and highlighting the legacy of ancient cuisines through their food packets. This in turn is encouraging the present day buyer and the modern consumerist to indulge in such concoctions.

Other factors responsible for the success of the above include affordability, viability and variety. To conclude, it is a trend that isn’t going to go away any time soon.

By Anonymous

Healthy Lifestyle

According to the American Heart Association Statistical Fact Sheet 2009, among Americans age 20 and older, 145.0 million are overweight or have a BMI [Body Mass Index] of 25.0 or higher). The recommended Body Mass Index is in the range of 19 to 25, which means most Americans are overweight. This calls for a pragmatic action to deal with the growing problem in our society. BMI is the widely used index in determining different levels of weight from underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity. Being overweight increases the susceptibility to diabetes and heart attack (American Heart Association, 2009).

According to the BMI calculator I used in the internet, my BMI is 29.9. That means that I am overweight, and if I don’t start to change on how I eat and exercise, I will eventual become obese. American Heart Association (2009) says that obesity can degenerate into a heart attack. The reasons are that obesity: raises triglyceride and blood cholesterol; lowers the HDL cholesterol; raises levels of blood pressure; and induces diabetes.

This speech is going to make you think about how to change your eating habits, and how to motivate yourself on being physically active; because the number one cause of overweight and obesity is poor dietary habits and habitual low exercise.

A critical and in-depth study is done on the health consequences and cost of being overweight and obsess; how to eat healthier; and how to begin an exercise program. The three health consequences I am going to talk about are: Heart disease and stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

1. Heart Disease and Stroke

Atherosclerosis which is linked to the cardiovascular disease is precipitated by increased cholesterol, fatty substances, calcium and other waste products in the cells.  These substances are deposited on the walls of the arteries and widen the endothelium tissue lining. When the diameter of the artery shrinks, blood flow in the arteries decreases and impairs oxygen supplies. The plaques (clots) formed may rapture and cause a thrombus. This is lethal since it leads to a heart attack. If a blood vessel is blocked, then a stroke will occur (American Heart Association, 2009b). The cost of heart disease and stroke is staggering. In the United States alone, the cost associated with stroke and heart disease comprising of expenditures in health care and lost productivity and manpower resulting from disability and death is estimated to surpass $ 475 billion by the end of 2009. This cost is expected to be even greater on the population of United States. Currently about 1 in 3 Americans have at least one cardiovascular disease.  Startling still the number of heart attacks and strokes in a single year are estimated at 935,000 and 795,000 respectively (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009).

2. Type 2 Diabetes

Overweight people are twice more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, a major of early death, heart disease, stroke, and blindness. The condition is linked to exercise and weight especially obesity and poor dietary habits.  Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body us unable to produce insulin that is enough and/or the cells in the body ignore insulin. Insulin is responsible for the conversion of sugar into glucose that is then absorbed into the blood. Insulin is also transfers sugar from the blood into the body cells.  It therefore follows that if glucose does not reach the cells, then they will be starved and the accumulated glucose levels in the blood will affect the kidneys, eyes and heart. The estimated cost from Type 2 Diabetes in the United States is $ 98 billion (American Heart Association, 2009c)

3. Cancer

Cancer is a number two killer disease in the United States. Several types of cancer are associated with being overweight. They include Breast a, colon, uterus, cervix, ovary, gallbladder, prostrate. Cancer will result in devastating effects such as depression, loss of appetite, loss of interest in sex, pain, sorrow and sadness, panic attacks, sleep problems, fatigue, and emotional distress. According to the American Cancer Society (2009) a whopping third of 562,340 cancer deaths will be for reason of obesity or heavyweight, poor nutrition of physical inactivity. The National Institute of Health reported that the cost of cancer exceeded $ 228.1 billion in 2008 related to medical costs, morbidity costs, and indirect mortality costs. The cost of cancer in 2008 approximated at $500 billion.

Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories from food than he or she burns; so the second point I am going to talk about is how to eat healthier and how to consume less calories. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that American men and women are consuming 2, 618 and 1,877 calories per day which is becoming the lead contributors to obesity. More and more carbohydrates in the form of sugars, grains, sweeteners trans and animal fats are being consumed more than before. The sedentary behavior is growing among the population who are spending more time on computers and television screens than exercising. We will use my Step 7-Action plan handout to see how this will get accomplished.

Starting an exercise program

Before you begin your exercise, you need to consult your doctor or physician. An appropriate exercised plan will; be developed depending on one’s disease history, and if there are nay associated medical disorders that may affect the exercise program. Diagnostic tests for complications such as chest pain, arthritis, leg pains, palpitations, heartbeat, swelling or pain in the joints among others need to be done. Those with diabetes or cystic fibrosis if they exercise they are in danger of dehydration. Similarly, those with seizures should not engage in swimming and not to mention those with enlarged spleen.

Aerobic exercises demand a little more than normal oxygen amounts which typically implies that the lungs and the heart is overworked in this case. Aerobic exercise will be carried out by biking, skating, running, stair climbing, treadmill and machines for elliptical

Healthy fats and weight loss – Singapore Personal Trainer Explains

Being a weight loss bootcamp instructor and personal trainer in Singapore, many of the clients I have were afraid of dietary fat and were on “low-fat” diets. However, “low-fat” diets are not the healthiest or best diets for fat burning, weight loss, fitness, muscle gain or optimal health!

Adequate intake of healthy fats is VERY important for fat loss and fitness! Your body cannot make enough of the right kinds of fat on its own! Here are a just a few reasons why:

– Fats release energy slowly and help keep you feeling full and regulate blood sugar
– Some vitamins are only soluble in fat so they are needed for optimal health
– Needed to make cell membranes
– Contains antioxidants
– Increases testosterone (so we are LESS fat)!)
– Certain fats like fish and flax oil in particular help with brain function, have anti inflammatory properties, increases asal metabolic rate (you burn more calories overall, helping weight loss) and improves the ratio of fat burned when compared to carbs (you will lose body fat faster)

Fat is not the evil nutrient that it was made out to be in the 1980s and 90s. It all depends on what types of fat you eat (“bad” would be overconsumption of saturated fats, hydrogenated/partially-hydrogenated oils and trans fats). The list of proven benefits that fat provides is so long that it can hardly be considered “bad”.

So, what’s a good way of adding healthful fats to our diets besides eating nuts, healthy animals and fatty fish? Easy – use oils! These are some of the good oils that are delicious and filled with life-giving nutrients:

Almond oil: 61-65 percent of fat in almond oil is oleic acid, the same fat that makes olive oil so healthy and is associated with lower risks of heart disease. There’s a little bit of vitamin E and K too. Not just that, but almond oil is a great cooking (and massage oil!)oil, because it’s smoke point is quite high.

Coconut oil: This is another great cooking oil – has a high smoke point (450F) and does not undergo much oxidation (oxidation makes good oil into bad oil). Coconut oil contains tonnes of lauric acid, which is antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral. Lauric acid kills bad bacteria and bad fungi. Coconut oil also powerfully anti-oxidant. Don’t worry about the saturated fats in coconut oil – it has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol. (If you are having a sweet potato after your weight loss bootcamp or personal training workout, try smearing some coconut oil on it!)

Olive oil: Everyone knows how good olive oil is for you! Olive oil contains large amounts of heart-healthy oleic acid and contains very high amounts of phenols, with are anti-oxidant compounds. Olive oil also decreases risks of colon and bowel cancer. Olive oil (and almond oil too) makes for a great massage oil after your intense personal training or fitness boot camp session)

Flaxseed oil: Flaxseed oil contains essential fatty acids (“essential” because your body can’t make them), particularly omega-3s and lignans. These help to protect us from heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and other degenerative disease. Never cook flaxseed oil (and keep it in the fridge!) as omega-3s are very sensitive to temperature.

Hemp seed oil: Hemp seed oil contains omega-3s to omega 6s in a perfect ratio of 3:1 – very good at helping us maintain good health! It contains GLA (gamma-linoic acid) which is helpful for PMS. Hemp oil has been shown. (Remember, all oils high in omega-3s – flaxseed, hemp and fish oil – are highly unstable and form toxic by-products at high temperatures. Never cook with them!)

Macademia nut oil: macademia nut oil has even more monounsaturated fat than olive oil and most of this fat is oleic acid, which helps keep your cell membranes healthy and is very strongly associated with lower incidences of heart disease.

Red palm oil: Red palm oil contains high amounts of carotenes (hence its red color), 15 times more than carrots do and 300 times more than tomatoes. Also, palm oil contains plenty of potent antioxidants and heart-healthy compounds, particularly the vitamin E family. Both coconut oil and red palm oil are VERY delicious.

Sesame oil: sesame oil has a power antioxidant, sesamol, as well as sesamin and seasoning. Besides being antioxidants, these compounds cab help inhibit the manufacture of inflammatory compounds in the body, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and increases the ability of the lieer to “burn” fat.

Tips for enjoying all the health benefits of oils:

1. Choose organic, unrefined, cold-pressed oils, as far as you can. Oils should never be hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, and should have been processed without high heat and chemicals. Less refining/processing conserves the vitamins, essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants and other nutrients in the oils. Enjoy these oils as dressings – it’s the bet way: e.g. steam your vegetables then pick a tasty, healthful oil (macadamia etc) and drizzle a couple of tablespoons on top, so the oil is never heated.

2. Don’t reuse cooking oil and avoid foods cooked in the oil that’s been at high heat for a long period of time, such as fried chicken from the fast food joints. High amounts of a toxin called HNE (4-hydroxy-trans-2-none nal) that are associated with heart disease and brain disorders building up in vegetable based cooking oils when they are heated or reheated for hours at a time. In particular, the polyunsaturated vegatable oils – canola, corn, soybean and sunflower – form these toxins easily.

3. Use a wide variety of oils, and supplement your diet with fish oil (to help balance the ratio of omega-3s to -6s in your diet, etc) to get the full range of health benefits from oils.

Enjoy all these oils!

By Anonymous

The Silence of the Healthy Lambs

The aging process is going by each and everyday of our lives. Stopping the clock is impossible so we all need to stay healthy and take care of ourselves. There is no way you can turn around the process, as we grow older so except it and take care.

Over the hill Start working now to take care of yourself as you age. Taking care of yourself now will help slow down those aging diseases. A person can do many things, as they get older to take care of their health.

You can start out by taking your multivitamins and all other prescriptions your health care provider has prescribed to you. Taking vitamins is as important as anything else you can do is. Vitamins will provide your body with repair tools. Vitamins will lessen the dangers and the risk of you getting some of the chronic diseases that you can acquire as you age. Diet alone doesn’t normally give a person all the vitamins that they need. In fact, experts show that millions of people in the world suffer malnutrition despite the fact that they eat three healthy meals per day. People are known to eat too much fast food, go on fads or quick weight diets that harm the body. This builds stress, which causes loss of vitamins.

Maybe you’re a person who eats many processed foods because of your busy life style and there is just no time to cook the right meals. You could be one that stops off at a fast food place to eat three or four times a week before going to work or home from work because you are just to tired to fix supper. Remember eating all that fast food isn’t good for the digestive system and all that fat from them fries isn’t good. Take time to fix a meal and sit down to enjoy it; doing this will cut down on the calorie intake and it helps to relieve stress because your doing something good for you and or your family.

Older and better as in an aged, fine wine. Stop worrying about everyone else; take time out for you. Stress is bad for your heart, which affects your blood pressure, nervous system, and is hard in general on your body. Stress can cause many things, even causing a person to become obese. The world is turning at such a fast pace these days that there is never time to take care of us, so start now.

Try doing a little exercise to stay healthy as you age. Every little bit of exercise you do is better than not any at all. An average person should exercise at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. A person has many options when it comes to exercise. Walking is a great exercise, since it helps you keep those muscles more flexibly and stronger.

How happiness makes you live a longer life: Happiness is another way to stay healthy as you age. If you are not happy find out why and turn it around so you will be. Being happy and being with friends is always a good way to keep the stress away to. Don’t let yourself get depressed and down; it will make your aging come upon you sooner than you want and it can cause you to be a very sick person. Depression is a sickness and you want to stay away from all that.

Again, there is no way you can stop from aging so stay in good health and slow it down. Keep yourself happy, do those exercises and take those vitamins. Staying active helps keeps the stress down, keep you stronger and you’ll feel better for doing it.

Stewart Levison is an Anti-Aging practitioner and expert who constantly provide valuable anti-Aging guidelines and resources. Learn how to make your life healthier, younger, and energetic. To receive your Free resources visit:http://www.Anti-AgingSecrets.com