Do You Know These 6 Secret Health Benefits From The Leaves Of An Avocado?

Do You Know These 6 Secret Health Benefits From The Leaves Of An Avocado?

health-benefits-avocado-leafWe know that avocado is extremely health beneficial and nutritional, but did you know that the avocado’s leaves have some amazing health benefits as well? They’re rich in flavonol, quercetin, glycoside, polyphenol, estragole, alpha and beta pinene, cineol, limonene, serotonin, flavonoids – nutrients that are very useful for our body.

Let’s see some of their most important health benefits.

As we already said, they contain flavonol which protects our body from degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis. Hence, avocado leaves prevent early signs of aging as well. They’re rich in quercetin, which has diuretic properties. It helps you urinate and eliminate the waste product from your metabolism. Another thing that should be mentioned is that avocado leaves contain polyphenol and pinene, substances that can inhibit the growth of bacteria, meaning it’s useful against bacterial infections.Did You Know The Leaves From An Avocado Could Provide Some Amazing Health Benefits

You can use the avocado leaves for:

  • Headache relief.
  • Against constipation.
  • Calm your nerves with some boiled avocado leaves.
  • Toothache relief.
  • Against stomach problems.
  • It is very useful and beneficial for urinary tract infections.
  • Avocado leaf tea is used to treat hypertension.
  • In the treatment of diabetes.
  • It helps eliminate intestinal worms.
  • Regulate menstruation and menopause symptoms.
  • Eliminates kidney stones.
  • Soothe coughs and colds.
  • Relief nausea and vomiting.
  • Lower your cholesterol.
  • It has powerful diuretic properties.
  • They are useful against heartburn.

You can use the avocado leaves so prepare a healing tea which can help you in the treatment for colds, the flu, stomachaches, arthritis, kidney cleansing, antibiotic, detoxing, diuretic, good for gout, anti-inflammatory, lower back pain, high blood pressure, toothache, works well for diarrhea, and even helps regulate menstrual periods and for treating the symptoms of menopause. They’re used traditionally in the South American cuisine to add flavor to soups, stews, and for meat grilling (they wrap the meat in avocado leaves and grill it).

If you want to take advantage of the benefits of avocado leaves you should learn how to prepare the tea and we’ll show you the best way to do it. The preparation is quite simple so everyone can do it, you just need to acquire some fresh avocado leaves.

Avocado Leaf Tea

Ingredients:

3 or 4 fresh avocado leaves.
1 liter of water.

Directions:

Bring the water to boil and add the leaves! Let it simmer for 5 minutes and remove it from heat! Set it aside for 15 minutes so that it can cool down a bit and you can start consuming it. Drink one cup of this amazing tea a day and enjoy all the benefits!

Bone Health

If you don’t think that osteoporosis is a disease that you should be concerned about, think again. While most women are concerned about their risk for breast cancer and many men are concerned about prostate cancer, they really should be concerned about their risk for developing osteoporosis later in life. Why? Because the lifetime risk of hip fracture in white women is 15 percent as great as that of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer combined. For men, the lifetime risk of hip fracture (5 percent) is as great as the risk of developing prostate cancer. For men and women alike, promoting and maintaining optimal bone health is an important consideration at any age.

Osteoporosis, which literally means “porous bones,” occurs when the amount of mineral in the bones drops to a level low enough to permit fractures to occur after minimal trauma. The mineral content of the bones (called bone mineral density or BMD) drops gradually throughout life as a normal process of aging. In women, who are at a higher risk for osteoporosis, BMD begins to decline slowly around age thirty five. For three to five years before and three to five years after menopause (which occurs, on average, around age fifty) bone loss speeds up dramatically due to the loss of estrogen production by the ovaries. Bone continues to be lost at a slower rate after this rapid phase and continues to be lost slowly as we age. If the BMD drops too fast or gets too low, however, the risk for fractures is increased.

Although more than 25 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, the stereotypical osteoporotic patient is a postmenopausal white female, often with a history of low body weight, low calcium intake, and a sedentary lifestyle. Each of these factors (gender, age, hormonal status, nutritional intake, and physical activity) can influence the risk for developing osteoporosis. As such, osteoporosis is considered a multifactorial disease meaning that it is caused by a number of factors and cannot be “cured” by changing any single factor.

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Bone Health Nutrition
The primary role of adequate nutrition for skeletal health is that it allows development of the largest possible skeleton during growth, thus protecting against calcium loss in old age. Large population studies have shown that if we could ensure a fully adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D for every member of the North American and European populations, we could eradicate as much as 50 percent of the worldwide osteoporosis burden.

When calcium intake is restricted during growth, the body tries to spread the inadequate amount of calcium over as much of the skeleton as possible. The result is not stunted growth, but normal growth accompanied by a reduced amount of bone tissue overall. The bone is normal in every way, but it tends to be flimsy, thin, and weak. Such bone will not only not serve the structural needs under conditions of high mechanical stress, but will also not serve as much of a calcium reservoir in later years, when calcium stores are drawn upon with greater frequency.

Chronically low calcium intake results in a chronic drain on the body’s calcium reserve. There is an old analogy about your skeleton being a bank vault for calcium storage. When you are getting enough calcium in your diet, you are able to store some of it to make “deposits” in the vault. During times of low calcium intake, you can draw on these savings to pay your “bills” which in this case are the other functions for which the body uses calcium (electrolyte balance, nerve conduction, muscle contraction).

Bone Health Hormonal Status
Whenever women lose ovarian hormones (menopause), or men lose testosterone (andropause), the skeleton seems to sense that it has more bone than it needs. The result is an increase in bone resorption (breakdown) to get rid of what the body thinks it doesn’t need. A woman can expect to lose approximately 15 percent of her peak bone mass during menopause. No amount of increased calcium intake or increased exercise will substantially influence this change due to hormones.

Bone Health Exercise
Bones have the unique ability to adjust their mass in response to stress. Normal deformation of living bones is in the range of 0.1 percent to 0.15 percent. This means that when a force is applied to a bone say, by exercise the bone will bend slightly. When a bone encounters a force that causes a deformation greater than this range (more bending than it wants to do), the skeleton responds by depositing more bone to the area. When less deformation is “sensed” by the skeleton, bone is removed from the area. Thus, the more stress is delivered to the skeleton, the more bone is deposited to maintain a set level of deformation. The less exercise, the less strain, and the less bone that is needed, so the body gets rid of the excess bone by increasing the rate of bone resorption.

Body Weight
Body weight is a strong predictor of bone mass and density. Overweight women are known to have more bone and less bone loss at menopause and have been shown to absorb calcium with greater efficiency. Each of these factors may be due to somewhat higher estrogen levels in heavier women. Thin women tend to have a greater risk of osteoporotic fractures. This increased fracture risk in thin women is partly due to lower bone mass and also partly due to having less soft tissue around their bones to absorb the shock of a fall.

Two factors that interact to help determine body weight dietary intake and physical activity also have a strong influence on overall bone mass. For example, a thin woman may be at a higher risk for osteoporosis because of low body weight, but if her low weight was achieved through a program of rigorous exercise, then perhaps her risk is not as high as we would expect based on body weight alone. On the other hand, suppose another woman achieves her low body weight through chronic dietary restriction. Chances are that her diet is also lacking in important nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin K, boron, and zinc, which are needed to support proper bone health.

Bone Health – Other Factors
When most people think of bone health and nutrition, they immediately think of calcium. Although calcium intake is certainly a critical component of achieving and maintaining healthy bones, there is much more to the optimal nutrition of bones than just calcium. Many nutritional factors can interact to influence calcium absorption, bone breakdown, and bone formation. For example, high levels of both sodium and protein in the diet can increase the amount of calcium lost each day in the urine, while both fiber and caffeine slightly reduce the absorption of calcium from the diet. For example, because of dietary fiber content, the calcium in beans is only abo
available as the calcium found in milk, while calcium from spinach is almost totally unavailable to the body.

Major Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
• White or Asian ethnicity
• Family history (genetic causes)
• Small body frame/low body weight (less than 130 lb)
• Low dietary calcium intake
• Amenorrhea, irregular menstrual cycles, or early natural menopause
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Cigarette smoking
• Medications that increase bone loss (corticosteroids)

Bone Health Supplements
Calcium supplements are the king (queen) of the hill when it comes to bone health but it’s important to remember that bones are a lot more than just sticks of calcium (that’s what chalk is). Although calcium supplements have been clearly shown to help reduce bone loss and increase bone density at doses of 500 to 1,500 mg per day, a number of additional nutrients are crucial for the optimal utilization of calcium. For example, vitamin D is needed for optimal absorption of calcium from the intestines as well as for proper maintenance of calcium levels within the blood and bone tissue. Elderly people are most at risk for vitamin D deficiency because production is reduced as we age. Vitamin D supplements of 200 to 400 lU can help maintain calcium absorption. Vitamin K status has been linked to overall bone health in elderly subjects, with those having low vitamin K levels also showing reduced bone density. Because vitamin K functions in coordinating the proper deposition of calcium crystals in bone tissue, it works in conjunction with vitamin D to get calcium from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood and then into the bones in a coordinated fashion. Likewise, the absorption of calcium is also tied to adequate levels of magnesium and zinc in the diet. As with calcium, both minerals are found at high concentrations in bones and are thought to help maintain optimal bone metabolism. Supplemental intakes of 15 to 30 mg of zinc and 200 to 400 mg of magnesium are often combined with calcium preparations.

Occasionally, bone supplements also contain varying levels of trace minerals involved in bone metabolism. For example, copper is involved in the synthesis of a protein called collagen, which forms the major nonmineral structural portion of bones. Levels of copper up to 1 to 3 mg per day seem to be well tolerated and may help maintain bone health by supporting collagen production. Other minerals such as boron, silicon, and manganese may play a supporting role in bone metabolism, but isolated supplements are generally not needed as most are available in multivitamin/mineral supplements.

Last, but certainly not least, are dietary supplements containing isoflavones usually from soybeans, red clover, or another plant source (also called “phytoestrogens”). The chemical structure of isoflavone compounds is similar enough to estrogen to permit some of the good effects of estrogen (such as bone building) without many of the bad side effects (such as increased breast cancer risk). Most of the time, the isoflavones in dietary supplements area mixture of the primary soy extracts genistein and daidzein, but synthetic isoflavones, such as ipriflavone, are also available in many dietary supplements. The isoflavones appear to be safe and effective in reducing bone loss during menopause, so much so that they are frequently included in mainstream calcium supplements.

Ingredient Dose (per day) Primary claims
Boron 1 2 mg Builds bone
Calcium 500 1,500 mg Slows bone loss and builds bone
Isoflavones 25 50 mg Slows bone loss
Magnesium 250 750 mg Promotes calcium absorption
Vitamin D 200 500 IU Increases calcium absorption
Vitamin K 10 120 mcg Promotes bone formation

The Nutrional Value of Soy

Soybeans help you lose weight and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, in addition to other health benefits. Soy contains natural phytonutrients called isoflavones that break down the fat stored in your body’s fat cells. Several studies have confirmed that the consumption of s0y products on a regular basis helps dieters burn fat and lose weight wiithout any other alteration in their diets. These isoflavones have also been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease by breaking down saturated fat in your blood, and thus lowering the bad LDL cholesterol. Clinical trials showed a significantly lower incidence of coronary heart disease in patients with a high soy intake.

In a related study, soy supplements were shown to cut the risk of developing colon cancer in half. Soy supplements also decreased the relative risk of having a recurrence of colon cancer in high risk subjects. This study was reported at the annual conference of the American Ins1itute for Cancer Research. High soy intake may be able to delay the onset of colon cancer in those at risk, or may lead to more cancer free years in those whose initial cancer was surgically removed I The isoflavones in soy can offset some of the adverse effects of estrogen on the body. By decreasing meat, increasing soy intake, and increasing fiber, the body is less likely to develop estrogen related uterine and breast tumors.

Soybeans can be found in many different foods, including soy beverages, tofu, tempeh, soy based meat substitutes, soy yogurt, and some baked gods. However, such soy rich foods should contain at least 6.5 gram of soy protein and less than 3 grams of total fat per serving, with less than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving, to qualify as a heart healthy food. One half cup of edamame (cooked soybeans) contain, 4 grams of fiber. Soy products are good for the heart and great for yuur figure!

High Energy Foods To Fuel You

Here are some great go to foods for a nutritious burst of energy:

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is high in fiber, low in fat, and low in calories. Oatmeal helps to prevent heart disease by lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing your good cholesterol (HDL). Many studies have confirmed these findings, and oatmeal is an essential heartprotecting good food. Top your oatmeal off with bananas or berries to increase the flavor and to add extra nutrients and antioxidants to a delicious breakfast snack. Add nonfat milk to your oatmeal for the calcium that your body needs without the added fat present in whole or low fat milk.

Yogurt
Calcium rich yogurt keeps your bones strong and helps to fight off infection by boosting your immune system. The live bacilli in yogurt help to keep your intestinal tract in tip top shape. All of these benefits are afforded you with either nonfat or low fat yogurt. You don’t need the extra fat content of whole milk yogurt for it to do its magic. Add fruit to beef up the flavor, nutrition, and antioxidant value.

Spinach: The Health Powerhouse
If you’re looking for a vegetable with super healing powers, try spinach. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants including beta and alpha carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, and folic acid that will protect you from many diseases. Spinach is also a great way to increase your fiber and vitamin C intake. Recent studies have found that eating spinach may lower your risk of strokes, colon cancer, cataracts, heart disease, osteoporosis, hip fractures, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and even birth defects.

The disease fighting properties in spinach are better absorbed when spinach is cooked with a little olive oil. Sauteed with olive oil and a touch of garlic, spinach makes a great side dish. Fresh spinach can be used in salads or sandwiches instead of boring lettuce.

Canned Salmon, Tuna, or Sardines

These three fishes are a great way to increase your essential, heart healing, inflammation fighting omega 3 fatty acids. They also provide extra calcium and protein. Add any one to a whole wheat sandwich with onions, lettuce, tomato, and Dijon mustard, and you have a very tasty lunch. Or just add them to a big tossed salad. The ones packed in water are significantly lower in fat; however, if you like the taste of the oil, make sure you drain the can completely of oil and dry the fish off on a paper towel. You will still be getting the yummy taste of the oil and all of the wonderful benefits of the omega 3 fatty acids.

Why Not Add Some Color to Your Diet

In addition to being naturally low in calories and high in fiber, colorful fruits and vegetables contain cancer fighting substances and provide your body with nutritious, disease preventing vitamins and minerals. Each colored fruit or vegetable contains a different phytochemical, or plant based chemical, that can decrease the risk of certain types of cancer. For maximum health benefits, you should eat a variety of vegetables and fruits of different colors. Your goal should be to eat at least four or five servings of variously colored fruits or vegetables per day.

A Full Spectrum of Health Benefits

The following is a list of some of the phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables that can reduce your risks of cancer and heart disease:

Lycopene
A carotenoid, or plant pigment, in the same family as beta carotene, lycopene gives many fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, their deep red color. Lycopene has powerful antioxidant properties that have been shown to fight different forms of cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, fruits and vegetables that contain lycopene, particularly tomatoes, may help to prevent prostate cancer, as well as colon, stomach, lung, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers. Lycopene has also been linked with a lower risk of heart attacks secondary to coronary artery disease.

Beta carotene
This powerful antioxidant with cancer fighting properties is found in sweet potatoes, which are also high in dietary fiber, as well as vitamins C and E. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, bok choy, and other greens are great sources of beta carotene. Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables such as pumpkins, papaya, apricots, cantaloupe, mango, winter squash, and carrots also have considerable amounts of beta carotene.

Flavonoids
This group of phytochemicals is found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. For instance, grapes contain a substance called transresveratrol, which is found primarily in the grape’s skin. Resveratrol, which is also present in grape juice and red wine, has been shown to be instrumental in fighting cancer of the colon, liver, and breast. Resveratrol inhibits the growth of cancer by preventing the start of DNA damage in a cell and the transformation of a normal cell into a cancerous cell. It also helps to inhibit the growth and spread of tumor cells. Recent medical research indicates that resveratrol has cardio-protective properties as well.

Ellagic Acid
This acid, present in many types of fruits, vegetables, and grains, appears to reduce the DNA damage caused by carcinogens such as tobacco smoke and air pollution. Berries contain high amounts of ellagic acid, and as little as one cup of raspberries or blueberries slowed the growth of abnormal colon cells in humans and, in some cases, prevented or destroyed the development of cells that were infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer. This particular cancer fighting agent has also been demonstrated to have similar effects on the cancer cells of the breast and pancreas in animal testing.

Allyl Sulfides

Members of the allium family of plants contain compounds known as allyl sulfides that are instrumental in activating enzymes in the body that break down certain cancer causing substances and increase the body’s ability to excrete them. Examples of the allium family include garlic, onions, shallots, and leeks. Many studies have shown that people who eat lots of garlic have less cancer of the stomach and colon and that garlic inhibits the growth of new cancer cells.

Indoles

Cruciferous vegetables get their name from their four petaled flowers, which resemble crosses, and include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. Vegetables in this family contain indoles, phytonutrients that help to fight cancer. Studies have shown that people who eat an abundance of cruciferous vegetables, particularly broccoli, have a reduced incidence of many types of cancer, including cancer of the colon, bladder, prostate, esophagus, lung, breast, cervix, and larynx.

Anthocyanins
These are plant pigments present in cherries, purple grapes and purple grape juice, raspberries, and strawberries that help to protect against heart disease.

Carotenoids
These are antioxidant plant pigments that are converted to vitamin A by the body and include beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids reduce the risk of age related macular degeneration that leads to blindness. Green beans, collard, kale, mustard, turnip, Romaine and other dark lettuces, seaweed, spinach, and winter squash are important sources of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Isoflavones
The plant chemicals known as isoflavones act as weak estrogens (phytoestrogens). Eating approximately 100 milligrams of isoflavones daily can improve bone density. Good sources of isoflavones are soy milk, soy protein, tofu, and textured vegetable proteins.

Folic Acid
One of the B vitamins, folic acid helps prevent birth defects and lowers levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid related to folic acid that has been linked to heart disease. Excellent sources of folic acid include oranges, broccoli, Romaine and other dark lettuces, and spinach.

As you can see, phytochemicals are a rainbow of multiple colors, and each of these colorful fruits and vegetables offers a full spectrum of disease prevention.

Why Eat Five Fruits and Vegetables a Day?

We’ve all heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but the nutritional value and high fiber content in fruits and vegetables are better for you than you might think. Fruits and vegetables are low in fat, and they add flavor and variety to your diet. They contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and many beneficial compounds that prevent cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, or high cholesterol. The nutrients in fruits and vegetables have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and a lower risk of stroke.

Fruits are high in fiber and low in calories. They satisfy your hunger by taking longer to consume, and they promote good bowel health by providing adequate fiber, which in turn reduces your appetite. Fruits are not only low fat, low calorie foods, but they are especially rich in potassium, an essential element, which appears to have blood pressure lowering properties.

Fruits are also good sources of pectin, a soluble fiber found in many fruits and vegetables. This particular type of fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol. Many fruits also contain vitamin C, which helps the pectin lower cholesterol even more than pectin alone. Vitamin C also is important in boosting our immune system and has cancer inhibiting factors built into its structure.

Vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, contain no fat, and are great foods for weight loss and weight maintenance. Vegetables of the cabbage family such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, brussels sprouts, and squash are also high in both vitamin A and C and rich in cancer fighting phytonutrients. Many vegetables are good sources of potassium, including sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, beets, tomatoes, and green peppers. Boiling destroys 35 to 40 percent or more of the potassium in vegetables, however, so remember to eat more raw vegetables and steam or microwave vegetables rather than boil them in order to reduce potassium loss.

Carrots and dark green leafy vegetables contain beta carotene and other carotenes, which are chemical precursors to vitamin A. Vitamin A inhibits compounds in the body called free radicals, which may cause normal cells to turn cancerous. Vitamin A also maintains the integrity of the lungs and the intestinal tract.

12 Beta Carotene’s Cancer Protective Effect

Beta carotene appears to have a protective effect against both lung and colon cancer. A recent study conducted at the New York State University in Buffalo found that people with lung cancer had significantly lower blood levels of beta carotene than did people who were free of the disease. Similar studies have shown that patients with colon cancer also have lower levels of beta carotene than do healthy individuals.

Five a Day Help Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

The nutrients in fruits and vegetables, such as dietary fiber and antioxidants, are associated with a lower risk of heart disease; a recent study has shown that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day translates into a 35 percent reduction in stroke risk. This study, reported in the journal of the American Medical Association, also indicates that each increment of one serving of fruit or vegetables per day was associated with a 7 percent reduction for risk of ischemic stroke in women and men.

The consumption of a variety of vegetables and fruits, such as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, or vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables resulted in the largest decrease in risk (JAMA 282, no. 13; October 6, 1999). All the more reason to eat five fruits and vegetables a day!

Know The Liability Of Lipids

The term lipids is used to include all fats and fatlike substances that circulate in our bloodstreams. These lipids will not dissolve in water and are therefore called fat soluble substances. So how do these fats get absorbed into the bloodstream, since the blood is a water based solution? These lipids have to hook up with certain proteins in our blood so that they can dissolve in water (in this case the blood), and they now become known as lipoproteins, fat and protein combinations. The two main types of lipids in the blood that are combined with proteins are cholesterol and triglycerides. These lipoprotein combinations are classified on the basis of their density in the blood stream.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential element of all animal cell membranes and forms the structure of the body’s hormones and bile acids. However, when cholesterol levels get too high in our bloodstream they can become very dangerous. There are three important types of cholesterol that you have to consider for good health.

• Total cholesterol is the total amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood. This is determined by the total amount of cholesterol and fat you eat, combined with the amount of cholesterol manufactured by your liver.

• LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) is referred to as bad cholesterol. This is the type of cholesterol most likely to clog up your arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes. LDL cholesterol comes primarily from eating excess saturated fats and cholesterol laden foods. Following a low fat, high fiber diet combined with regular exercise can usually lower LDL cholesterol. In many people, however, a high LDL cholesterol level can be genetic and has little or nothing to do with your diet. In these particular cases, someone slipped you a bad cholesterol gene, and oftentimes the LDL can only be lowered by cholesterol lowering medications prescribed by your physician.

• HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) is called good cholesterol. HDL cholesterol acts opposite to bad cholesterol by
helping to prevent the formation of cholesterol deposits in your arteries. It accomplishes this by collecting excess bad cholesterol in the blood before it has a chance to clog up your arteries. It transports this bad cholesterol to the liver, where it is eliminated from the body. Recent medical reports have shown that the HDL cholesterol can actually shovel the bad cholesterol out of the cholesterol deposits (plaques) that have already formed in the arteries.

Well, how do we get some of this good cholesterol? As always, there’s got to be a catch. First and foremost, heredity plays an important role in the body’s production of this good cholesterol. Some people have more HDL than others simply because of good genes. Second, cutting saturated fats and cholesterol from our diets has little to do with raising HDL cholesterol. However, adding heart-healthy monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and nuts and the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon and tuna has been shown to raise the HDL cholesterol. Regular moderate intensity exercise, such as walking, can also help to raise the good cholesterol, whereas lack of exercise and smoking will considerably lower the good cholesterol. Individuals who cannot raise their good (HDL) cholesterol and can’t lower their bad (LDL) cholesterol by diet and exercise often have to take cholesterol lowering medications under a doctor’s supervision.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are the major lipids transported in the blood. The triglycerides are the least dense of the fat and protein combinations and are called very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). Triglycerides are important in transferring energy from the food we eat into our bodies’ cells, and consequently they help to regulate the cells’ metabolism.

Excess amounts of triglycerides in the blood often lead to diabetes, glucose intolerance, obesity, gout, and coronary artery disease. Some cases of high blood triglycerides are genetic, while many others are the result of eating too many refined carbohydrates, sugars, saturated fats, and alcohol. The most important way to control high triglycerides in the blood is to restrict the amount of refined carbohydrates, sugars, and saturated fats you eat and to limit the amount of alcoholic beverages you consume.

A high fiber diet consisting of whole grain cereals and breads, beans and other legumes, and fruits and vegetables has been shown to lower high serum triglycerides. A regular aerobic exercise program like walking has also been shown to lower blood triglycerides. However, as with blood cholesterol, there are some cases that cannot be lowered with diet and exercise and have to be treated with medication by a physician.

It’s Not Your Willpower, It’s Your Triglycerides

Several recent studies hive shown that it may actually be your triglycerides end not your willpower that ire to blame for your desire to overeat. People with high blood triglycerides were shown to hive difficulty in curbing their appetites. This appears to be because high blood levels of triglycerides block the formation of an appetite controlling hormone called leptln. This condition sets up a vicious cycle: The more refined sugars and saturated fats you eat, the higher your blood levels of triglycerides become. These high triglycerides shut down the production of the appetite controlling hormone leptin so you don’t feel full when in actuality you are really full. So what do you do next? Eat more refined sugars and saturated fats. The only way to break this overeating cycle is to severely restrict your refined sugars and saturated fats in the first place. Then your triglyeerides do not become abnormally elevated and your appetite controlling hormone leptin is not blocked. Once leptin is released into the blood stream, your appetite will be controlled and you will feel full and stop eating at the appropriate time. Reducing dietary saturated fats helps minimize triglycerides but not as much as reducing your refined sugars and Garbs will help with this problem. Cutting down on alcohol and increasing aerobic exercise will also help you reduce your serum triglycerides.

Can Fat Make You Fat?

While protein and carbohydrates supply your body with 4 calories per gram, one gram of dietary fat supplies your body with 9 calories, making it the most concentrated source of calories. Since fat is a concentrated source of calories, it is the most fattening type of food that we consume.

Weight gain occurs from taking in more calories in the form of dietary fats than are burned off as a fuel for energy. On a low fat diet, calories are removed from storage in fat cells and added to the fuel mixture of protein and carbohydrate for the production of energy, resulting in steady, permanent weight loss. The equation is simple: less fat taken in results in more stored fat being burned as fuel; more fat taken in results in more fat being stored and less fat being burned, which causes fatty deposits in the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and hips. In other words, it’s the fat in your diet that makes you fat!

Since one pound of body fat contains 3,500 calories, it stands to reason that the only way to lose one pound of body weight is to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. This can only be accomplished by cutting back on the total amount of fat calories in your diet and/or increasing your physical activity. Nothing else works!

Controlling your weight by reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet has a twofold benefit. First of all, it will help to control and maintain your weight. Second, it will have the beneficial effect of helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes, since these illnesses have been associated with high levels of blood cholesterol, which result from the consumption of saturated fats.

Shed More Pounds With Lean Protein

The addition of low fat protein to your diet short circuits the appetite control mechanism (appestat) in the brain, making you feel less hungry. Because it takes your body longer to digest protein than it does to digest fat or refined carbohydrates, protein causes a very gradual rise in the blood sugar, which in turn causes a very moderate rise in insulin levels and satisfies your hunger.

Adding healthy protein to your diet is easy. Good sources of healthy, lean protein include:

• Fish, skinless poultry, and very lean meats such as lamb and pork, as opposed to beef, which has an extremely high fat content
• Low fat dairy products, such as nonfat milk, low fat or nonfat cheese, and yogurt
• Egg whites
• Vegetable proteins such as nuts, beans, legumes, and tofu

When you are on a low calorie diet, your body needs more protein for energy production and cell maintenance. Have a small amount of lean protein with each meal to give the body the building blocks it needs for your metabolism. Protein can help to satisfy your hunger significantly longer than high fat or high refined carbohydrate meals because it takes the body considerably longer to digest and absorb protein than it does for the body to process carbohydrates and fats. Proteins like cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and bacon, however, are unhealthy, high fat proteins and should be eaten sparingly.

Burn More Calories with Fiber

Who says dieting has to be hard work? We know that dietary fiber helps you lose weight by blocking the absorption of fiat in your body. In addition to helping flush fat through your body, dietary fiber will actually help you burn extra calories. It sounds too good to be true, but it really works!

Fiber burns up calories by itself. This is accomplished because your intestinal tract works harder to digest fiber foods. The body’s metabolism therefore uses more energy for this time consuming digestion. and as a result can burn most of the calories that the fiber foods contain. Strange as it seems, some heavily fibered foods can even burn up more calories than they contain, thereby creating a deficit of calories. This causes the body to use stored body fat for the production of energy.

Each gram of fiber you consume can burn up approximately 9 calories, most of which come from fat. So if you eat 30 grams of fiber a day, you can burn up an additional 270 calories daily (30 grams fiber X 9 calories). You can subtract those 270 calories every day from your total daily calorie intake, without actually cutting those calories from your diet in order to lose weight.

In addition to blocking fat and burning calories, fiber foods bind with water in the intestinal tract and form bulk that makes you feel full early in the course of your meal. So you eat less, and therefore you consume fewer calories at each meal. Also, your appestat, or hunger mechanism, is satisfied for longer periods of time, since it takes longer to digest fiber foods, and therefore you will have less of a tendency to snack between meals.