Tag Archives: Human nutrition

Abdominal fat or belly fat

As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection. At one time, we might have accepted this as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems. The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels.

Though the term  abdominal fat  or belly fat might sound dated, “middle-age spread” is a greater concern than ever. As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase — more so in women than men. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection.
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At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?…….CLICK & SEE….

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss. .

The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels. Subcutaneous fat located at the waist — the pinchable stuff — can be frustratingly difficult to budge, but in normal-weight people, it’s generally not considered as much of a health threat as visceral fat is.

Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It’s appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it’s becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones.

Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. These and other biochemicals are thought to have deleterious effects on cells’ sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.

Exercise and dieting can help you get rid of belly fat:

So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.

Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.

Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For example, studies of the weight-loss medication sibutramine (Meridia), have shown that the drug’s greatest effects are on visceral fat.

For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.
Source: Harvard Health Publication

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Healthy Eating Habits for Kids

With childhood obesity in North America tripling over the past 20 years, what kids are eating has become a major concern. Here are some ideas to help establish a pattern for a healthy lifestyle:

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Teach your children how to eat right.

1. Do set a good example for your child to copy. Share mealtimes and eat the same healthy foods.

2. Do discourage snacking on sweets and fatty foods. Keep plenty of healthy foods, such as fruits, raw vegetables, low-fat crackers, and yogurt, around for children to eat between meals.

3. Do allow children to follow their natural appetites when deciding how much to eat.

4. Do encourage
children to enjoy fruits and vegetables by giving them a variety from an early age.

5. Don’t give skim or 1-percent-fat milk to children under the age of 5 unless your doctor prescribes it; at this stage, children need the extra calories in whole milk.

6. Do ask children to help prepare meals. If parents rely mostly on convenience foods, children may not learn to enjoy cooking.

7. Don’t add unnecessary sugar to drinks and foods.

8. Don’t accustom children to extra salt by adding it to food or placing the shaker on the table.

9. Don’t give whole nuts to children under the age of 5
, who may choke on them. Peanut butter and chopped nuts are fine as long as the child is not allergic to them.

10. Don’t force children to eat more than they want.

11. Don’t use food as a bribe.

12. Don’t make children feel guilty about eating any type of food.

Easy, Healthful Snacks
Stock up on healthful snacks that children and teenagers can nibble on throughout the day.
Breads and crackers with spreads such as peanut butter, low-fat cheese, canned tuna or sardines, and lean cold cuts.

Rice cakes and whole-grain crackers or breadsticks.

Fresh and dried fruits.

Yogurt.

Sticks of carrot, celery, or other raw vegetables, and cherry tomatoes with nutritious dips.

Plain popcorn.

Breakfast cereals.

Water, milk, or fruit juice.

From:Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal

Fatigue

So many people In our modern society feel overwhelmingly tired. Low vitality seems to be the bane of our daily experience. Everything about our existence in today’s world is moving at such a fast pace that it just leaves us breathless. It seems as if there is never enough time to accomplish our goals. The rhythm of life should be a balance of activity and rest. But today’s world just does not seem to allow for that.

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No matter how tired we may be, we all have the ability to correct the situation through proper nutrition, supplementation, and exercise, combined with the proper balance of rest and activity. The first step is to discover the source of the tiredness.

Nutritional biochemistry, environmental toxins and allergies, stress, adrenal weakness, low thyroid, sleep disorders, hypoglycemia, gut toxicity, and food allergies are some of the causes that can propel us into an unbroken cycle of fatigue. In the following pages we shall go more deeply into the various causes of fatigue and their remedies and thereby hopefully discover the secret pathway to our own radiant health and vitality.

Usually it takes us quite a while to develop fatigue and likewise it will take us a while to build our energy reserves back up. We should be patient with ourselves and unravel the mystery of the cause of our state of fatigue and work consistently to restore our natural state of abundant energy.

Symptoms:

Fatigue refers to a feeling of tiredness or weariness. It can be temporary or chronic. This condition can be remedied by adequate rest. Chronic or continuous fatigue is ,however, a serious problem which requires a comprehensive plan of treatment.

Causes:
A specific character trait, compulsiveness, can lead to continuous fatigue. Many persons constantly feel that they cannot take rest until they finish everything that needs to be done at one time. Thease persons are usually tense and cannot relax unless they complete the whole job, no matter hotwired they may be .

The main cause of fatigue is lowered vitality or lack of energy due to wrong feeding habits. The habitual use of refined foods such as white sugar, refined cereals, white flour products and processed food have very bad effects on the process in general. Certain physical and mental condition also creates fatigue. These include anemia, intestinal worms, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar any kind of infection in the body , liver damage, allergy to foods and drugs, insomnia mental tension, and unresolved emotional problem.

Healing Options:

Herbs : The patient suffering from fatigue should eat nutritious foods, which supply energy to the body. Cereal seeds in their natural state relieve fatigue and provide energy. These cereal seeds are corn seeds, wheat seeds, rye seeds, maize seeds.

Vitamin B , Dates and Lemon balm ….very helpful for all kinds of fatigue.

Ayurvedic Supplements: 1. Keshari Kalp 2. Musli pak 3.Drakshasava (Special)

Diet : Nutritional measures are most vital in the treatment of fatigue. Studies reveal that people who eat snacks in between meals suffer less from fatigue and nervousness, think more clearly, and are more efficient than those who eat only three meal daily .These snacks should consists of fresh or dried fruits, fresh fruit or vegetable Juices, raw vegetables, or small sandwiches of whole gram bread. These snacks should be light and less food should be consumed at regular meals .The snacks should also be taken at specified timing such as 11 am, 4 p.m.

Lifestyle: Chronic fatigue caused by poor circulation can be remedied by daily physical exercise. It will help relieve tension, bring a degree of freshness, renew energy, and induce sleep. Massage cold applications increasing in degree gradually or alternate hot and cold baths, stimulate the muscles to renewed activity, thereby relieving fatigue.

Yoga Exercise: 1.Basic Breathing (Pranayama) 2.The Shoulder Stand (Sarvang Asana) 3.The Lotus (Padma Asana)

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Source:Allayurveda.com