September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month. And while you should be aware of your cholesterol levels and what affects them every month, it doesn’t hurt to give it a little extra attention now and again.
First, it’s a good idea to know what constitutes healthy and unhealthy cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association has an established range for your daily cholesterol intake:
– Less than 200 mg/dL is considered healthy.
– 200 to 239 mg/dL is borderline high cholesterol.
– 240 mg/dL and above is an unhealthy cholesterol level.
Many foods can contribute to an increase in your unhealthy cholesterol levels, but what you may not know is that some foods actually have the opposite effect. Yes, instead of medications and supplements, sometimes actual natural nourishment is the solution. (more…)
By day, Maris Callahan is a publicist in New York City. In her spare time, she is a freelance writer and food blogger at In Good Taste, a blog about cooking and eating good healthy food when you’re busy or on-the-go (with a few indulgences, because everyone needs those!) When she isn’t cooking or writing she enjoys running, knitting, photography and a good latte.
Anyone who has been on a diet has probably heard the golden rule of weight reduction: burn more calories than you eat. Though there are a variety of diets that suit different lifestyles, taste buds and appetites, many health professionals would agree that a low-calorie diet combined with exercise is a reliable way to shed pounds.
So then why do they tell us to eat olive oil? By reading the nutrition label, one might think that olive oil should be considered an occasional indulgence and used sparingly. The good news is that dieters don’t need to pass on the heart-healthy antioxidant source in order to maintain or lose weight. (more…)
Any healthy diet should include a rich variety of foods from all groups to ensure you’re giving your body all of the nutrients it needs. Bob Greene, creator of the Best Life Diet, recommends these five Super Foods. He says while all foods provide vitamins and minerals, these little gems should appear on your plate as often as possible.
1. Olive Oil
Ditch your old cooking oil and switch to Olive Oil. It can raise the good cholesterol and lower the bad cholesterol, has a light and delicious flavor and can be used to cook nearly every meal you make. Request your food be cooked in olive oil at restaurants.
Countries like the U.S. who eat an animal-fat rich diet are more likely to have cancer. Soy is an ideal source of protein, is easy to prepare and can take on the flavor of anything you want. Best of all, it can decrease your chance of heart disease or cancer.
Grill them, bake them, put them in a soup, pasta, salad or kabob- any way you slice them, mushrooms are good to eat and good for you. They are packed with antioxidants, potassium and Vitamin B.
4. Walnuts, almonds and nut butters
While the calorie count might be high in nuts, they offer healthy fats, protein and fiber. Eat a handful of nuts as a snack or enjoy an almond butter sandwich for lunch. You’ll be amazed at all the nutrients such a small food can provide.
The egg is one of the most versatile foods and has been one of the most controversial. No longer is the egg our enemy. Eggs promote eye health, contain 6g protein, 9 amino acids and 5g of “good fat”, actually work to prevent stroke and heart disease and provide Vitamin D.
Learn more about Super Foods from the original Super Foods list from Dr. Steven Pratt.
You may have heard about the latest news that came out this past week regarding the fat content of our favorite non-stick cooking sprays. These sprays are made of oil, often vegetable oil, so they most certainly contain fat. In fact, one can of your favoring spray can contain more than 800 calories! The longer you spray, the more fat and calories you’re adding to your scrambled eggs or stir-fry. If this item is a dietary kitchen essential of yours, spray once and get your finger off the trigger quickly.
New varieties, made of olive and canola oils, are more frequently available at the grocery store.
According to new research, a Mediterranean diet may help Alzheimer’s patients live longer. For those of us on the younger side, it’s also great for your heart health.
So what’s all the fuss about the food eaten in this beautiful region of the world?
The Mediterranean diet is loaded with fruits, vegetables, grains and olive oil, and more fish than red meat. That’s not totally alien to what the rest of us think of as a healthy diet.
Another staple to the diet is moderate consumption of red wine, which is probably largely responsible for its trendiness.
Regardless of what your motivation may be, here is a rundown as to why it can be such a healthy diet choice:
The core to the healthfulness of the diet is how low it is in saturated fats. There is plenty of fat, but usually in the form of olive oil, nuts and fish, which has the much-touted omega-3 fatty acids.
Now to the wine… having a glass with your dinner has been shown to have health benefits. Red wine contains antioxidants, which can help fight heart disease. A glass (or up to two for men) can also lower cholesterol. New information is coming out that it may even be good for reducing your risk for diabetes.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to eat your way to great health. But if the idea of olive oil, moderate amounts of bread and pasta, with a little wine and lots of fruits and veggies sounds tantalizing to you, then you should explore your options further.