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What are the 6 building blocks to a healthy diet?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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Talk about healthy living

2017 is a new year

I am absolutely going to achieve 3 things:

  • A healthier life – including losing weight (sound familiar this time of year?) Incredibly important. And never too late to start!
  • Master my time – to get the most out of what I am given
  • Meet my business goals – right up on the wall here to remind me

20 questions for the topics for these broadcasts. Check out the link to the personalized health assessment if you want to see all of the questions – and get your own results. See how you measure up going into 2017!

What are the 6 building blocks to a healthy diet?

Not surprisingly, diet is the most important foundation upon which to build your “healthy house.” But just what is a healthy diet? That question has been around for many years.

There is, however, good nutritional advice that everyone can follow.

We can sometimes go too high on calories and not enough on nutritional value.

Here’s where to focus:

  • Fruits and Vegetables: Most of us do not eat enough. They contain many of the nutrients (such as antioxidants) we need to combat aging and chronic diseases.Try to include colorful and, organic, and seasonal fruits and vegetables at every meal (including breakfast).
  • Whole Grains: Non-white grains (you know, oatmeal, whole wheat, brown rice). They provide not only fiber, but much-needed nutrients (including B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium).And many whole grain choices are non-GMO. If organically grown, are less likely to have pesticides than conventionally grown grains, so choose organic when possible.
  • Dairy: Adults need about 1000 mg of calcium per day. Older individuals should increase that total to at least 1200 mg per day.It takes 4 servings of dairy products, such as milk or yogurt, to reach 1200 mg of calcium per day.
  • Protein: This should include all three meals. Plant proteins are good too: such as beans, lentils and other legumes, and soy foods such as tofu. Choose lean protein options including fish, skinless poultry, lean red meats, eggs, and nuts.
  • Fats: Wait? Fats are good? Of course. In moderation. But use monounsaturated fats such as olive oil. Not saturated and trans fats.Most people’s diets are lacking in the omega-3 fatty acids ALA, EPA and DHA. You can include flaxseed oil, avocado, chia seeds, and walnuts in your diet. Eat fish 2-3 times a week and/or supplement with fish oil when you are not eating enough fish or if you are concerned about contaminants in fish.
  • Avoid processed foods and any food that is high in sugar, salt, and fat. Drink alcohol in moderation.

Our health and well-being requires the integration of nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices throughout our lives. Build healthy habits one day at a time.


I hope this made some sense for you


Check out the health assessment to see how you are doing!

See you next time.

The Truth About Fat In Foods

Fat has had a lot of bad press and for many people, just a mention of the word can evoke misery. You can try to lose it, try to hide it, try to avoid it, but your body still needs it! Did you know that fat helps to insulate our nerve cells, keeps us warm, balances our hormones, keeps skin and arteries supple, lubricates joints and is a component in every cell?

The Truth About Fat In Foods

The key issue here is recognizing which type of fat your body needs, how much your body The Truth About Fat In Foodsrequires and which type is your enemy. Armed with the right information, you can focus on getting more of the good fats and less of the bad fats into your daily diet.

There are two types of fat to be aware of. Saturated fats – let’s call them “the enemy” and unsaturated fats – “the good guys”! It is easy to tell the difference because saturated fats are hard at room temperature. Saturated fats are not essential to your health. They come from animals and are found in meat, eggs and cheese. They are harder to digest and full of cholesterol.

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and have been divided into two groups. Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, and polyunsaturated fats such as sunflower oil. Polyunsaturated fats are split into Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids. Monounsaturated fat (Omega 9) although not essential, is not harmful in moderation – a good quality (extra virgin first cold pressed) olive oil is a healthier alternative to the usual vegetable oil. Good sources of Omega 6: safflower oil, sunflower oil, evening primrose oil, walnut oil, pumpkin oil, sesame oil. Good sources of Omega 3 are mackerel, herring, salmon, pilchards, sardines, tuna and flax seed oil. Here are some important facts about fat in our diet.

1. Fat is the ‘energy reserve’ of animals, plants and humans.

2. The ideal body-fat ratio should be approximately 19-26% of a woman’s body weight, and 12-18% of a man’s body weight.

3. There are two different types of body fat – brown and yellow. Brown fat is situated inside the body and is ‘active’, containing mitochondria that produce heat (thermogenesis) and as a result burn energy. Yellow fat is found nearer the surface, is less active and more likely to accumulate. Women tend to have a higher ratio of yellow fat than men.

4. Women need higher levels of fat because it is essential for reproduction and so the body stores it ‘just in case’.

5. An average healthy intake of good fats in the diet should be approximately 30-40 grams a day. The fat content of diets in affluent populations can be nearly four times this amount!

6. Most foods containing fat combine saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat in varying quantities. For instance, butter’s fat content is almost 100%, of which 60% is saturated, 30% monounsaturated and 10% polyunsaturated, compared with sunflower seeds’ fat content of 73%, of which just 12% is saturated and 21% monounsaturated and 67% is polyunsaturated.

7. Heat, light and oxygen destroy essential fatty acids, which is why it is best to keep oils in dark containers.

8. Essential fats must come from the diet because your body cannot produce them. The essential healthy fats are Omega 3 and Omega 6 (known as essential fatty acids).

9. Weight for weight, fat provides more than twice the amount of usable energy than carbohydrates or protein (you’ll find 9 calories in every gram of fat).

10. Fat contributes to the palatability, texture and the smell of many foods, it also slows down the process of digestion providing an extended period of satiation after a meal.

When you know the good from the bad, fat is not as bad as you might think.

How To Avoid Common Diet Scams

As our country gains weight at an alarming rate, we are spending more each year on products that promise us easy, effortless weight loss. Each year in the United States, an estimated 35 billion dollars is spent each year on weight loss products. The problem is that in spite of headlines that feed our hopes that a new, secret, “better” weight loss formula has been discovered, the truth is there are no easy solutions to losing weight.

How To Avoid Common Diet Scams

Simply put, weight loss is a combination of lifestyle choices, and is the result of a firm commitment to making and maintaining them over a period of time. Any products that offer weight loss without reduced caloric intake and increasing activity levels are fraudulent- and a waste of money.

Why Do People Buy Products That Are Scams?

Denise Bruner, MD, MPH, FASBP is a specialist in weight loss, and a fellow in the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. She shares one of the major reasons that weight loss scams flourish today: “We live in a society today that wants immediate gratification. This is reflected in our willingness to buy from those that promise ‘instant results’”.

The increasing obesity in our society, and hopes that weight loss can be achieved without lifestyle changes fuels the growth of frauds. Bruner states, “In the U.S., currently 61% of the population is overweight, and the numbers are going up. There’s a huge market out there for weight loss products. After all, it appeals to us to find out that you can ‘Lose 30 pounds in 30 days.’ We don’t want to have to deprive ourselves of our favorite foods, and want something that will ‘magically’ absorb the calories.”

Jeannette Kopko, Senior Vice President of the Better Business BureaHow To Avoid Common Diet Scamsu for Dallas and Northeast Texas, agrees that illegitimate weight loss products feed on false promises: “People are fooled by these scams because they hope that they aren’t scams. They hope that they’re real, and are an easier, faster, painless way to lose weight.”

With the huge demand for weight loss products (and their revenues), companies are more than willing to become suppliers-whether or not their products work. Kopko states, “The number of companies hawking bogus supplements and weight loss products is increasing rapidly in recent years.”

How can you spot a weight loss scam?

Typically, weight loss scams make promises that aren’t realistic. Headlines that promise weight loss without dieting are always scams, since calorie reduction is the basis of any true weight loss program. There are no legitimate weight loss programs that allow you to “eat whatever you want” without limit. As Monica Revelle, public relations specialist at the FDA notes: “If it sounds too good to be true-it is!”

Other tips offs that the weight loss product is a scam include:

* Claims to be a “secret” formula: Products that claim to have secret formulas are scams. Dr. Bruner feels strongly on this issue, and states, “There are no ‘secrets to weight loss’ being held away from the public. In America alone, an estimated 100 people a day die from obesity; we could prevent 300,000 deaths annually if there was a real product that made weight loss simple and safe, and physicians would be the first to prescribe them.”

* There’s no physical address for the business. Legitimate products and services will have a physical address and phone number. Be wary of those that only offer a mailbox, or a toll-free number to call manned by “help center” personnel. Kopko shares, “While not all companies that have P.O. or private mail boxes (PMBs) are illegitimate, plenty are. Check to see if there are the letters ‘PMB’ after a physical address; this indicates that it’s really a private mail box, that can forward mail to anywhere in the world.” She adds that the Internet is also being used to promote frauds, and adds, “You can’t judge how good or legitimate a product is by how professional the web site looks. This only reflects how good their web designer was.”

* They promise rapid weight loss. Weight loss that is too rapid is not only unhealthy, but is normally quickly regained. The best plans advocate moderate goals, with slow, steady weight loss of about 6-8 pounds a month over a long period. Dr. Bruner states, “Any product that offer overnight or rapid changes is a fraud.”

* They state that they can help a person lose fat or cellulite in a specific part of the body. Body fat is lost overall, not in a spot, and ads that claim otherwise are frauds.

* They promise permanent weight loss. No product can do this, since permanent weight loss is maintained by lifestyle changes.

By avoiding products with the above “red flags” in their advertising, you can protect yourself from illegitimate products-and save money.

Types of Weight Loss Scams

Weight loss scams can range from the highly illegal (and even dangerous) to the mildly unethical. Kopko states, “There are degrees of fraud and misleading consumers. Some are scams where the person doesn’t receive anything at all when they send in their money. Another form of scam is when the customer sends in money, and they get a product that has no benefit, such as a sugar pill.”

Other weight loss scams use questionable practices, such as making claims for an ingredient-but without scientific studies to back them up. Kopko adds, “In yet other scams, the product has very low levels of active ingredients, so the person doesn’t get the desired result.”

Some products sell because their names are similar to real products-even though they don’t contain the same ingredients or quality. Dr. Bruner warns that these knockoffs are frauds: “The person thinks, ‘Oh, I can get this a lot cheaper here…’ but be careful, and check it out thoroughly first.”

Kopko has seen all types of weight loss scams during her years with the Better Business Bureau. She remembers, “Years ago, in our area, there was a business that sold ‘weight loss glasses’; one lens was blue, the other brown. Supposedly, the two colors ‘confused the brain’ and the person didn’t get hungry.” She adds, “Another fraud was weight loss “bath powder’ that a person pours into the tub, that promised weight loss.”

Today, popular scams are pills, powders, patches, and herbal teas that supposedly promote weight loss.

One recent scam was a powder taken a few hours before sleep. Kopko states, “It promised that the fat would “melt away” while you slept. The only benefit was that the person gave up their bedtime snack when they took it; there was nothing in the powder to help. And the person who bought the powder was then deluged with other products from the company that would ‘make the product work better.’ It was all a huge fraud.”

Dr. Bruner has also seen a variety of weight loss scams over the years. She states, “I’ve seen people wearing inserts in their shoes; the manufacturers claim that they hit pressure points to relieve hunger (it doesn’t work). Another scam is a ‘“chocolate patch’ designed to reduce cravings for chocolate, or wearing special clothing to spot reduce areas.” She notes that in Europe, another popular weight loss fad is getting attention: “In Europe, right now mesotherapy, injecting a drug into the muscle, is a very popular fraud.”

FTC’s sokesperson Shirley Rooker notes that the FTC recently stopped another popular weight loss scam-and the company was forced to pay back millions to consumers taken in by its fraudulent ads. She notes, “The Enforma System claimed that its products increase the body’s capacity to burn fat and would help the body burn more calories while just standing or sitting around doing nothing, even while sleeping. And the TV ads stated that consumers could enjoy fried chicken, pizza, and other high-calorie, high-fat products and still lose weight. The FTC complaint charged that there was no proof that Fat Trapper and Exercise in a Bottle really worked.”1

Why Aren’t They Stopped?

With the huge numbers of weight loss frauds out there (it only takes opening up a magazine, or surfing the Internet to view some), the question of why they are allowed to continue is raised.

Kopko says, “I get a lot of calls from people who ask, ‘Why isn’t something being done?’ about a scam. Basically, the answer is: until we receive complaints, a fraud can’t be investigated.” She adds that many times, people who are scammed don’t file reports. “They don’t want the bother, or they don’t know where to turn. The complaints we get are probably only a fraction of the problem that’s out there.”

She warns that not being shut down is not a guarantee of reliability. “Just because a business is out there, selling weight loss products doesn’t mean they’re legitimate; it may just be that they haven’t been caught yet. This is why it’s so important to be an aware consumer. “

Once complaints are made, law enforcement will step in and start investigating weight loss frauds. They often prosecute illegal businesses, and force them to make restitution to their victims. But Kopko shares that not every questionable weight loss product can be dealt with in this manner: “Some scams might not be illegal-just unethical. They market their products in a way that implies benefits, instead of stating them outright, and skirt the legal boundaries of false advertising.”

In some cases, stopping a fraud takes time because of the decision over who has jurisdiction, and the time needed to gather the data to begin prosecuting a company. For instance, the FDA’s Moica Revelle states that they only have jurisdiction over scams in which a product is proven to be unsafe. “We monitor the quality and safety of weight loss products; but we don’t have jurisdiction if there’s no evidence of harm done.”

In many cases of false advertising, the FTC steps in, and uses information gathered by other agencies to make their case against a company. Kopko states that the Better Business Bureau, while not having jurisdiction itself, make their task easier. “We keep information about businesses on file, including complaints against them, and share this with law enforcement and government agencies.”

How To Protect Yourself From Scams

One of the best methods of protecting yourself from weight loss scams is to seek medical advice from a qualified physician who specializes in weight loss (bariatric medicine). At times, this means first coming to terms with a realistic view of weight loss. Dr. Bruner states, “Losing weight isn’t simple or easy.

Basically, it means reducing calories and exercising, but it must be individualized to the person’s needs. For instance, the person with insulin resistance needs a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet so they won’t feel that they’re starving; and those with allergies (such as to wheat or yeast) will need a diet that avoids these items.”

To protect yourself from scams, check the product out first with your physician. And if possible, try to avoid “impulse buying”. First investigate the product and the company’s reliability with consumer organizations. This can save you needless expense and disappointment in the long run.

Another method of avoiding scams is to visit sites that investigate consumer frauds-and check out a company before buying. Kopko states, “The Better Business Bureau is a participant with the Sentinel Database (online at www.consumer.gov/sentinel ) which allows consumers and law enforcement to view trends and complaints against businesses. You can also go online to our national web site at www.bbb.org to check out a company nationally. Just click on the “consumer info” link, and look up diet fads and scams that have been reported.”

Weight loss scams are on the rise, and the numbers of companies using fraudulent advertising are multiplying. By taking the time to carefully investigate a company and its products, and choosing to work with a qualified physician on your weight loss goals, you can save yourself needless expense and disappointment. Best of all, you can get started on the road to real, achievable weight loss goals while maintaining good health.

Lose Weight App – Your Smartphone And Your Diet

Is there such a thing as a lose weight app? There are plenty. Pull out your phone right now and see.

Lose weight app

Now for the fun part. At least if you like tech things. And who doesn’t these days?

You will want to find some great tracking apps to keep track of what you eat. There are plenty out there. And many great ones are free.

Now the weight loss program you are with may have their own. But even so, check the app store and see what is new.

This is where losing weight can almost be like a game. Tracking what you eat is not only fun. But it is incredibly useful.

Not only will you see the calories you are taking in. But you will be able to measure it against your goals. You can see how many calories you have yet to eat today. Or maybe how many you need to shave off tomorrow.Lose Weight App

Now these apps are getting better and better all the time. That is why I don’t necessarily want to give a bunch of links here. Because something newer is always coming out. And that is what you want.

You will be amazed at the amount of detail they can provide. And how they can be used to track and motivate you on your weight loss journey.

One of my favorite features is scanning what I eat. That’s right, those little bar codes can used for all kinds of things. Like telling you if that is something you should be putting in your mouth in the first place. I am waiting to find the app that makes noise when I go over the limit. They are probably out there. Or should be.

So have some fun here and checking out the lose weight app. It isn’t like the olden days when the best you could do was get a food scale and weigh everything. We have come a long way since then. Tech is your friend when you decide to lose weight. And we can’t say that about many things.


Tips On Losing Weight

One of the best tips on losing weight: Don’t weigh yourself every day.

Tips on losing weight

Congratulations if you have decided to lose weight. I can tell you from experience that it can be one of the most important decisions you can make. For your own health. And for others in your life.

Now for tips on losing weight. The very first thing you should do is go to the scales. Grin and bear it. Find out the damage. And see the starting point. Not too hard, right?

Then slowly put the scales away. They are not your friend. You won’t be seeing them for a while.

One of the least productive activities can be to weigh yourself every day. There is a really good chance you won’t like what you see. And it will not be good for your motivation. No weight loss program works in a day. Or even a few days. You are in it for the long haul, right?Tips On Losing Weight

So make a promise that you will only weigh yourself every week, at the most. That way you will see real progress. And that will be amazing for your motivation. Trust me on this one. I know from experience how depressing it can be to feel like it just isn’t working.

Now if you aren’t weighing yourself constantly, how do you know if you are making progress? I have found two better measures.

First check your clothes. How do those jeans fit? Or that shirt collar? Or that belt? You will know if you are getting anywhere even without the scales just by keeping track of how your clothes fit. Make sense as tips on losing weight?

Second is that you will start to hear from others that you look like you are losing weight. How often do you mention to friends, family, co-workers, that it looks like maybe they have been gaining a bit of weight? NEVER, right? Of course not. Who wants to hear that? So that just goes unsaid.

But when someone is noticeably losing weight, people want to comment. That is a great thing to be able to say to someone. You have done it before. So if you are making progress, you will hear about it. Trust me on this one too.

And one other thing to make sure you do is to take a picture – the “before” shot – as you start your journey. Make it bad. Look sloppy. Like you need a bath even. Okay, this may not be a hard thing to do – it may come naturally if you have let yourself go for a while. But you will want that photo in the future. So you can see who you were. And honestly not many people take a lot of pictures when they weight the most.

Weight Loss By Drinking Water

Is there a ways you can weight loss by drinking water? Well, not just water alone. That isn’t going to work. But to help yourself stick to the program, drink lots of water.

Weight loss by drinking water

Water is going to be your friend. We are told a lot of the time that we should drink several glasses of water every day. Some say it should be 8 glasses. Some more. But the story is the same. Drink water.

The most obvious benefit is that it will keep you from feeling hungry. To a degree. So use that benefit to your advantage. When you get hungry, think about drinking water instead.

Now it has been my experience that this is a learned activity. Once you start to consistently drink water when you know that you would rather have a Krispy Crème donut, you will be training your body to like water.Weight loss by drinking water

Another suggestion is to switch out your current beverage selection with water. How often do you just drink water with a meal at a restaurant? Or with dinner at home? For me that was not usually the case. But after you start getting used it, it will be amazing how easy it is.

What about coffee? Is that a good substitute? Okay, to be honest I have no medical basis to give advice on this. But I have heard that coffee is not always the right thing to be turning to. Now coffee has its benefits.

I have to admit that I like seeing those stories on the internet about how good coffee is for you. But the best advice is to do it in moderation. (Don’t we hear that a lot? About a lot of things?) I can’t say that I have been good at cutting way back on coffee here. But it is up to you.

Water could still be a good alternative. Just remember weight loss by drinking water. Some of the time at least, right. Give it a try and see how it works out? It can’t hurt.

Get Others Involved In Your Diet

Get others involved. Your friends and family are on your side when you are wanting to lose weight.

Get others involved in your diet

Chances are there are many reasons why you have made the decision to lose weight. Of course it will make you healthier. And you will feel better about yourself. And you will be less prone to disease. Okay, you already know the reasons.

Motivations are key here. Honestly it all lands on you, right? But one of the best motivations is to lose weight is for others in your life. They have a vested interest in your health. Right? So get others involved in your diet.

It is very important that you let others know of your decision. That will help for a few different reasons.Get others involved in your diet

First they will be supportive. Knowing that you are watching what you eat, they won’t try to tease you by eating that Twinkie in front of you anymore. (Maybe they should join you on your weight loss plan?) And they will understand when you don’t want to order that appetizer when eating out.

Your temptations will diminish. When you have others keeping track of you, watching you, will you go for that desert tray like you used to? Chances are you won’t.

People are social animals. There are others in our lives that have tremendous impact. Most for the good. And when they see you trying to make improvements. They will want to be a part of it. And help you out. Get others involved in your diet.

Also when you slip – and we all do – they will be there to help you get back on track.

You know one of the best reasons to get others involved is that there is a good chance they could also use a reason for losing weight themselves. And if they see you making and effort and succeeding, they just might get on board. How amazing would that be? 

Eating The Same Thing Every Day

On your diet should you be eating the same thing every day?

A lot of people say that having variety is a key to healthy eating. That may be true. But it not going to be the best way to control what you eat. And that is important if losing weight is your goal.  This is how it works for me.

Eating the same thing every day.

Now this doesn’t mean that you should never vary your diet. But limit it. This way you can control what you eat.

Think of the last time you visited a new restaurant. Or decided to cook something you have always wanted to try. Did you eat light? Or did you go for it all? I know that I always want to try too much when it is a new experience. And this will not lead to eating theating the same thing every daye same thing every day.

One good thing about having the same thing for breakfast and lunch is that it will save you a ton of time. I know that is how it works for me. If I don’t have to made decisions on what to eat 3 times a day. But only 2.  Would that help out when you are trying to lose weight?

Check this out if you want to see the plan I am currently using to make my diet more simple.

It means that I can save that decision-making brain power for something more important. Some people say that we have the ability to make only so many decisions in a day. And then we get sloppy. Ever said yes to rust-proofing when buying a car just because you were too tired to think of a reason not to?

Some people wear the same thing every day for the same reason. No early morning decisions on what to wear. It can lead to less stress. So why not do the same for eating the same thing every day?

My recommendation is to try this out. Go for a week eating the same – sensible – things for breakfast and lunch. And you can see if it works for you just like it does for me.


Diet Variety – The Key To Sticking To a Diet

It has been said that variety is the spice of life, and that is certainly true when trying to eat a healthy diet. No one likes to eat the same thing day after day, and boredom is the enemy of a healthy diet.

Diet Variety

Fortunately for those trying to follow a healthy diet, there is plenty of variety to be had in healthy foods. In addition to the hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables available at the average grocery store, there is a wide variety of beans, lentils, nuts, meat, dairy products, fish and poultry. There is no need for boredom to set in when pursuing a healthier lifestyle. One of the best reasons to have diet variety.

The key to enjoying a variety of foods while eating healthy is to plan meals carefully and be sure to use the many varieties of foods that are available. Using a combination of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats and whole grains, it is possible to create a fresh, exciting and healthful meal every day of the week. How is that for diet variety?728x90 A Healthier Life Program

Nutritionists often stress the importance of a varied diet, both for nutritional and psychological reasons. A varied diet is essential for good health, since different types of foods contain different types of nutrients. And following a varied diet is important to your psychological well-being as well, since feeling deprived of your favorite foods can lead you to give up your healthy lifestyle.

It is much better to continue eating the foods you like, but to eat them in moderation. Instead of giving up that juicy bacon, for instance, have it as an occasional treat, perhaps pairing it with an egg white omelet instead of a plateful of scrambled eggs. As with everything else in life, good nutrition is a trade-off for diet variety.

It is important for everyone to eat foods from the five major food groups each and every day. The five food groups identified by the USDA include grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy and meat and beans. Each of these food groups contains specific nutrients, so it is important to eat a combination of these foods to ensure proper levels of nutrition. This will add to your diet variety.

Of course simply choosing foods from the five food groups is not enough. After all a meal from the five food groups could include cake, candied yams, avocados, ice cream and bacon. Although all five food groups are represented, no one would try to argue that this is a healthy day’s menu. Choosing the best foods from within each group, adding to your diet variety, and eating the less healthy foods in moderation, is the best way to ensure a healthy and varied diet.

For instance, choosing healthy, lean meats is a great way to get the protein you need without consuming unnecessary fat and calories. And removing fat and skin from chicken is a great way to eliminate extra fat and calories.

When choosing breads and cereals, it is usually best to choose those that carry the whole grain designation. Whole grains, those that have not been overly refined, contain greater nutritional qualities and fewer sugars.

In addition, diet variety includes the fact that many grains and cereals are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. While this vitamin fortification is important, it should be seen as a bonus, not as a substitute for a proper diet. Many foods are supplemented with important nutrients such as calcium (essential for strong bones and teeth) and folic acid (important in preventing birth defects).

Substituting healthier foods for less healthy ones is a cornerstone of a healthy diet. For instance, substituting lean cuts of meat for fattier ones, and substituting skinless chicken or turkey breast for less healthy drumsticks, is a great way to maximize nutrition without sacrificing good taste.

No matter what your reason for following a healthy diet, or what your ultimate fitness goals may be, you will find that a good understanding of nutrition will form the basis of your healthy diet. Understanding how the various food groups work together to form a healthy diet will go a long way toward helping you meet your ultimate fitness goals.

Whether your goal is to run a marathon, lose ten pounds or just feel better, knowledge is power, and nutritional knowledge will power your diet for the rest of your life with diet variety.

Want to hear my story on how I lost 40 lbs.? Click here for the details: http://bit.ly/1rLhW2c

Is Zinc An Important Mineral?

Zinc is a mineral that is found in almost every cell in the human body, Despite its importance, this mineral is often taken for granted. A lot of people tend to remember zinc when they have a Is Zinc An Important Mineralcold or sore throat. These people take zinc supplements and lozenges to treat colds or sore throats. However, these individuals should bear in mind that zinc won’t cure these ailments. The mineral, however, will help boost the immune system so the cold won’t develop into something more serious. In addition to these health benefits, zinc is found in many food groups and is important for nourishing the skin, boosting the functions of the reproductive system.

Is Zinc An Important Mineral?

Being a naturally occurring element, zinc is found in food such as oysters (one of the highest source of zinc), liver, chicken, turkey, dairy products, and many more. This mineral a significant element in today’s diet. However, too little or too high levels of zinc can be harmful. Zinc deficiency can lead to impairment of taste, poor immune system, and skin problems. Other symptoms may include diarrhea, hair loss, fatigue, slowed wound healing, infertility, and decreased growth in infants. High levels of zinc, on the other hand, may cause cramps, anemia, changes in cholesterol levels, loss of libido, impotence, and dizziness. The right levels of zinc may improve brain function and hasten the healing of wounds.

Other benefits of zinc may include:
• It functions as an antioxidant and is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and protein synthesis;
• It is important in the regulation of cell growth, energy metabolism, and regulation of gene transcription ; and
• May help protect the prostate from cancer.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of zinc in individuals is 15 milligrams a day, but recent medical studies show that people can take as much as 40 milligrams a day. Taking zinc supplement is important because medical studies show that this mineral is not stored in the body and people need to take the minimum dose every day. Men need more zinc than women because the male semen contains about 100 times more zinc than what is found in the blood. The more sexually active a man is, the more zinc he will require. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults is 1/3 higher than that of women. Recent health reports show that zinc is essential to helping couples address infertility. Zinc dosages of 50 mg a day may result in an increase in semen production and improve fertility. This supplementation is beneficial in conception by affecting the hormone levels in the body.

Despite the importance of zinc, individuals who want to include zinc in their food regimens should seek the advice of doctors and other health professionals before taking zinc supplements. Zinc supplements may help balance the supply of zinc and other important minerals that body may lack. It is important to take the right amounts of supplements and combine them with nutritious diets and exercise. A healthy lifestyle should always be the foundation of good health. Remember to read labels of multivitamins and supplements before taking them. It is important to know the ingredients and quality of medications one is taking. Understanding the benefits of zinc and other vitamins and minerals may lead to improved overall health and happier lives.

PS: Click here to learn more about the daily multi-vitamin that I take that includes zinc.