Category: Blood Sugar

Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

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What Is Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is a natural oil, derived from the meat of the coconut. It is high in lauric acid, and anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It has been used successfully for centuries to combat various health ailments and improve the condition of skin and hair. It has many uses, including cooking, as well as for health. On the shelf, the oil has almost a lard type of appearance, but it quickly melts down when cooked over a low level of heat.

Six Weeks On Coconut Oil

For anyone looking to lose weight, coconut oil makes a great supplement to the diet. This oil is high in medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs. MCTs are broken down in the liver, and when that happens, they make the energy burning properties of the body more efficient. This means that the body can burn a greater number of calories in a shorter period of time, and that burning occurs with less effort. One scientific study tested this theory, offering approximately two tablespoons of coconut oil to women daily for a six week period of time. The study found that these women maintained a healthy weight and were even able to lose stubborn belly fat, leading to the recognition of this oil as a healthy dietary aid.

Cooking With Coconut Oil

If you want to add coconut oil to your diet, whether for weight loss or the other health benefits, you can use it in everyday cooking to enjoy both the taste and health benefits that it offers.  Many enjoy this oil as a replacement for butter or less healthy vegetable oils, using it to saute vegetables, cook eggs or in a favorite baking recipe. The flavor practically disappears in most recipes, making it ideal for individuals with a variety of taste palates.

In addition to utilizing virgin coconut oil in cooking, it can be enjoyed as a supplement on a day to day basis. A tablespoon of oil blends easily into a morning cup of coffee, favorite smoothie or over a warmed piece of toast. The oil can also be taken directly by mouth, right off a teaspoon, anytime one chooses.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Extra virgin coconut oil is the purest form of coconut oil. While it had previously been labeled as unhealthy by some, this label was an unfair one, based solely on the claims that this oil was full of saturated fats, and therefore, unhealthy for the heart. What was not considered in these studies and reports was that the oil used was not the original but had been hydrogenated, due to the addition of a hydrogen molecule which changed the composition of the coconut oil. While the hydrogenation process does increase the shelf life of many products, it also decreases the health benefits and increases trans-fats within the oil.

In comparison, virgin coconut oil contains only healthy fats that benefit the body. This oil is composed of about fifty percent lauric acid, which has been scientifically proven to benefit the heart and circulatory system. By consuming large quantities of this oil as part of their regular diet, many individuals have been able to successfully lower LDL cholesterol, while also increasing HDL, or “good”, cholesterol.

Coconut oil is also receiving an increased amount of attention when it comes to natural remedies to alleviate the symptoms of HIV and AIDS. Because this oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, it can assist in keeping infections away and the immune system strong, allowing for an increase in T-Cells throughout the body. While coconut oil is not a replacement for conventional AIDS medications and treatments, it works well as a complementary therapy, and many have found increased energy and health by using it.

Diabetics can also find benefits in consuming extra virgin coconut oil on a regular basis. This natural product has a positive effect on thyroid functioning and hormone balance, making it easier for the body to utilize and process sugars effectively. This has lead to a decrease in the amount of insulin used by some diabetics and an increase in their overall state of health. While no changes to medications for diabetes should be made without consulting a physician, adding coconut oil to the diet is a simple way to enhance any diabetic treatment plan.

Coconut oil is not only for internal health, but it is also used regularly by those looking for natural beauty products to replace paraben and sulfate filled store bought creams, lotions, soaps and pastes. This oil has wonderful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, making it an excellent remedy for everything from diaper rash to athletes foot to tooth decay. Many individuals use virgin coconut oil as a daily moisturizer or lip balm, and they often find that it increases the supple, healthy quality of their skin without many of the side effects associated with less healthy, chemically manufactured ingredients.

Virgin coconut oil is also a wonderful alternative to traditional, fluoride filled toothpastes, as many studies have shown that it effectively keeps tooth decay at bay and generally promotes healthier teeth and gums.

Because of coconut oil’s anti-bacterial properties, this product makes a wonderful replacement for many over the counter topical aids for cuts and scrapes. Coconut oil can help to fight infections on the skin, and it also decreases healing time. In addition, the moisture provided by this oil can help individuals to avoid scarring of the skin, making it an essential product to carry in every first aid kit.

Because this is a natural oil, it is very safe to use in children, and they will enjoy the health benefits as well. The oil is so safe that, in its virgin form, it is often added to baby formula recipes in order to increase the intake of healthy, and necessary, fats.

It is easy to see that there are many benefits to using extra virgin coconut oil on a regular basis. This tasty oil promotes internal health and is also an asset to any skin care or beauty routine. Just be sure to only choose virgin coconut oil, rather than hydrogenated oils, in order to reap the health benefits listed above.

Best Yogurt For Weight Loss

Yogurt Is Made From Milk

Often considered one of the most nutritious foods available, many people eat yogurt for its calcium-based factors, while others may use it as helpful for those who are lactose intolerant. However, did you know that certain yogurts are able to help you lose weight and belly fat as well? According to scientific research, yogurt is able to do more than strengthen bones; it can actually assist with burning fat, maintaining muscle strength, and protecting the metabolism. The only issue is to eat the types of yogurts that will help instead of just taste good. This article will provide information on the best yogurt for weight loss.

Why Should I Eat Only Certain Yogurts?

If evidence has found that yogurt can help with weight loss, then surely any yogurt should be able to assist with burning fat? This is good logic, but it is incorrect as not all types of yogurt are created equal – this is why there are full-fat and low-fat options. Depending on the diet you are following, you may wish to choose a high fat or a low or no-fat option. The full-fat yogurt option is more suited to those following a low carb diet; however, low-fat or non-fat versions may be more suitable for those on low calorie diets but check for sugar! It should be noted that all yogurts are filled with calcium and protein, so they are better breakfast options than sweetened cereals and just as quick to prepare and eat. Flavored yogurt options also tend to have more calories than the plain or unflavored counterparts. The most beneficial option is the Greek-style yogurt because this type is thicker, creamier, and filled with more protein. If you want flavor, try adding fruit to the plain yogurt but not too much or you will be defeating the removal of sugar.

What Are The Types Of Yogurts Available?

Of course, you can make your own yogurt and this may well  be your best option for yogurt that you will like and eat.

 

If making your own yogurt is not an option, then here are some commercial brands that you may wish to try.

1. Icelandic-Style Strained Non-Fat Yogurt

One of the most advantageous yogurt options to help with weight loss is the Icelandic-style non-fat yogurt, particularly the Siggi brand. This type of yogurt is similar to the Greek varieties increasing the protein content; therefore building up muscle and bone strength. The most popular option is the strained non-fat vanilla style which, contrary to popular belief, does not have any sugar and only 100 calories. The average price of one tub of Siggi’s non-fat yogurt is $1.50. Prices, of course can vary at different outlets and change over time.

2. Fage 2% Greek Yogurt

Not only is the Fage brand Greek yogurt creamier and more enjoyable than the non-fat or low-fat options, but the small amount of milk fat in the product allows the body to absorb any fat-soluble vitamins in the item. The 2% fat Greek yogurt variety presents with only 8 grams of sugar and 150 calories making it a good option for weight loss. Moreover, it is much purer than others offering milk, cream and proteins. The average price of one tub of Fage brand yogurt is $1.60. Prices, of course can vary at different outlets and change over time.

3. Organic Greek Plain Low-Fat Yogurt

Another Greek yogurt variety that is the best yogurt for weight loss is the Wallaby Greek yogurt brand. Not only is this brand the most widely accessible product, but it is a “middle of the road” alternative for individuals who enjoy the idea of extra milk fat in their yogurt while not committing to the calories of a full-fat product. The organic Greek low-fat option from Wallaby presents with 130 calories and only 4 grams of sugar. The average price of one tub of Wallaby brand yogurt is $1.60. Prices, of course can vary at different outlets and change over time.

4. Whole Milk Greek Plain Yogurt

It is well known that all Greek yogurt varieties present with low sugar content and high protein levels, so they are considered the best yogurt for weight loss while strengthening muscles. The Chobani brand whole milk Green yogurt is made with full fat milk, however, this yogurt product has only 130 calories and 4 grams of sugar making it a good option if you want creamy yogurt without sugar. The average cost of a Chobani yogurt tub is $1.40. Prices, of course can vary at different outlets and change over time.

5. Whole Milk Vanilla-Flavored Yogurt

Some individuals cannot bear the taste of plain yogurt and need some taste to it; therefore, there are yogurt varieties that allow sweetness while still helping to reduce your waistline. One of the creamier options is the Dannon brand whole milk yogurt with vanilla flavoring. Containing vitamin D, this product is a sweet yogurt helping bone strengthening and protection. Unfortunately, it has high sugar content with 15 grams of sugar and 140 calories are making it a “now and then” option. The average price of this yogurt is $2.00 per tub. Prices, of course can vary at different outlets and change over time.

6. Live bio culture yogurts

There is some research to say that live yogurts, that is yogurts containing bio cultures of beneficial gut bacteria, can be helpful in weight loss.

Yogurt is a healthy food, provided it does not contain much sugar and can help with weight loss, provided you choose the right kind to eat for the type of diet you use and your lifestyle.

High Fiber Low Calorie Foods

Getting Enough Fiber

If you are on a low calorie or low carb diet, it can be hard to get enough dietary fiber in your diet while remaining within your calorie allowance or on the allowed foods. Plenty of foods have high fiber contents but not all of them are low calorie or suitable for a ketogenic diet.

How Much Fiber Do I Need?

The current healthy recommendations are between 20 and 38 grams of fiber a day, depending on your gender (men need more than women), age (less as you get older) and the amount you normally eat. It also depends a lot on your own metabolism. Some people have very quick pass through in their digestive systems, others have much slower turn around times. According to WebMD, it is believed that most Americans get only about 15 grams of fiber each day and that includes those who are NOT on diets.

Just Eat More Veggies?

No, it’s not just as simple as that, though eating more veggies is part of the answer. It is difficult to get enough dietary fiber from low calorie vegetables without eating massive amounts of them. For instance, take celery, a lovely vegetable, I am very fond of it and it’s great for keeping hunger at bay and giving my mouth something to do. It has only 16 calories in 100 grams (about 3 ounces), but it also has only about 2 grams of dietary fiber in that same 100 grams (the actual amount depends on which source you consult), so to get 20 grams of fiber from celery, I would need to eat 1000 grams of celery, 2.2 pounds, every day. That probably equates to two whole heads of table celery every day. Much as I like celery, I don’t think I could manage two pounds or more of it every day and that would also use up 160 calories of my daily 800 calorie allowance on the 8 week, 800 calorie BSD diet. It’s the same for many other vegetables that are perfectly fine as part of a low calorie or low carb diet. They do not contain enough fiber to fill your daily needs without having to eat massive amounts of them and I MEAN massive amounts. It’s the same with broccoli, spinach and lettuce. Great foodstuff, fine for adding to your lunchbox to keep hunger at bay or for eating as part of your low calorie meal but by themselves, they are unlikely to add enough fiber to your diet.

High Fiber Low Calorie Soup

Some useful foodstuffs that contain high amounts of fiber include lentils, with 8 grams of fiber in 100 grams. These

High Fiber Soup

are much easier to eat (in soup for instance) and will keep you feeling full for a long time. I sometimes make my own bone broth (basically boil meat bones or chicken carcass with a bay leaf and some apple cider vinegar for a number of hours, or in a slow cooker overnight, then drain and store) and use this as the basis for a soup. Or you can use a stock cube or low sodium bouillon. I add some veggies, such as celery, half an onion and garlic to 500 millilitres (1 pint) of stock and simmer until the vegetables are almost cooked, then add 50 grams (about 2 ounces) of red lentils and continue simmering until the lentils are soft. Once finished, I divide the soup in half and save one half for the next day. Just before serving, I add about 25 grams (about 1 ounce) of oat bran or wheat bran to the soup. This thickens it and makes it very filling, so it keeps me filled for several hours. It also contains about 17 grams of fiber, almost a daily amount for some people. This makes a filling high fiber meal, which can be fitted into a low calorie diet.

Dietary Fiber Supplements

If you still cannot get enough fiber in your diet, you may need to take a high fiber, low calorie supplement such as psyllium husks or apple fiber. Both are available as powder or in capsule form. It is VITAL to take plenty of water with these, to make sure they flush your intestines, instead of clogging them up worse than ever. These may not be suitable for people who have difficulty swallowing or have a narrow food pipe – consult your doctor.

Benefits of Dietary Fiber

There are many benefits to making sure you get enough fiber in your diet. For instance, people who have lots of dietary fiber in their food intake appear to be much less likely to develop heart trouble, to get strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes or to become obese.

Increasing the amount of your fiber in your diet can reduce your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity for both diabetics and non-diabetics. Also, supplementing your fiber intake can help with weight loss in people who are obese and also help improve gastric and intestinal problems like diverticulitis, duodenal ulcers, hemorrhoids and gastric reflux.

And when that extra fiber gets into your large intestine, it appears to improve your natural immunity.

So What’s Not To Like About Dietary Fiber?

As with anything, use your commonsense about increasing the amount of fiber you take in. If you are sensitive to gluten, don’t use wheat bran. Don’t increase your fiber intake a huge amount in one go, it can lead to uncomfortable intestinal problems, including bloating and gas, if your body isn’t used to it. Increase your intake gradually and spread it out over the day. Take plenty of fluid, especially water and anyone who has difficulty swallowing, should be very cautious about taking supplements like psyllium husk and apple fiber, for instance. If in doubt, or if concerned about your bowel movements or intestines, consult your doctor or medical adviser.