HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
Do you know of a new diet or fitness routine that you'd like us to review? Or perhaps you want to write a review yourself and see it in print! Got a great recipe you want to share? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this Section....
- May Recipes
- Exercise Videos
- International Hummus Day
May Recipes - Click Here
Recipes that feature hummus.
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at email@example.com. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
Exercise Videos - Click Here
In previous issues we have featured simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment. You can view these videos on our Youtube channel.
May is International Hummus Day. Hummus is a paste made with chickpeas (garbanzo beans), olive oil and tahini (sesame paste). Popular in Middle Eastern this dish can be eaten as a dip or used as a sauce or even as a coating for chicken.
It's diverse uses are limited only by your imagination. You can add many different ingredients to customize hummus to your specific liking. If you choose to buy pre-made hummus, you can usually find a wide variety available in larger grocery stores or at local ethnic marketplaces.
Besides being tasty, hummus has other benefits on its side. These include:
- A high fiber content that can keep your digestive tract regular.
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and tahini contain calcium which is necessary for good bone health.
- Chickpeas are high in antioxidants.
- Hummus can help fight balance blood sugar levels due to the its high protein levels.
References: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/hummus-health-benefits_n_4834315.html; http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/12-surprising-health-benefits-hummus-that-make-even-more-irreplaceable.html; https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/health-benefits-of-hummus.html
All About Fats
Fats...good ones, bad ones and delicious ones! While trying to balance on the tightrope walk of fat-free, low-fat or high fat crazes how do you decide which ones to use? Let's look at certain types of fats and decided which ones will allow our muscles to bulge rather than our arteries.
Saturated Fats: Saturated fats occur naturally in many foods. The majority come mainly from animals, including meat and dairy products. Examples are fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, lard and cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk. These foods contain dietary cholesterol. In addition, many baked goods and fried foods can contain high levels of saturated fats. They include vegetable oils, including coconut oil, palm oil, kernel oil and the cocoa fat found in chocolate.
Trans-fats: These are consumed the most in American culture. They are linked to carcinogenicity and heart disease. These oils have been chemically induced by hydrogen saturation of the carbon bond. This chemical reaction alters the way our bodies absorb and metabolizes this fat. Read your labels. It's in almost every baked processed food on the market, cookies, crackers, and at the top of the list, our heart-friendly, cholesterol free, margarine.
Which brings us to one of the most controversial wars of modern day nutrition... Margarine (an unsaturated trans-fat) VS. Butter (an all natural saturated fat). So which is the best? With these fats, one should ask which the worst is! Early on, margarine was the golden child in friendly fat consumption due to the lower amount of saturated fat than its opponent, in addition to having no cholesterol. Eventually studies showed that the body can not absorb trans-fats into its membranes. Eating too much trans-fat can increase cancer risk, promote inflammation and put degenerative changes on our tissues. Recently, manufacturers have tried to lessen or omit trans-fatty acids in margarine, again putting margarine back on top with many consumers. My advice...trust a cow over a chemist and use butter... but use it sparingly. I also recommend avoiding all trans-fat products.
Unsaturated: These fats actually help lower blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is linked to strokes, hardening of the arteries, and heart attacks. There are two varieties of this friendly fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These are unstable at room temperature, and are sensitive to light, heat and oxygen. Which is why they are generally stored in dark containers. Polyunsaturated fats include soybean, safflower and cottonseed oil. Mono-unsaturated are olive canola and almond oil.
Olive oil is s favorite...it is 75% mono-unsaturated, making it superior to its fellow monos. Studies have proven olive oil (extra virgin) is helpful in lowering your blood pressure as well. This is due to a wonderful antioxidant in evoo called polyphenol. Mono-unsaturated fats along with fish oils, olives, and nuts, are great fats to incorporate into your diet on a daily basis.
Remember; fat is an important energy source, it insulates our cells, and is the only way fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K) can be absorbed and distributed throughout our bodies. In addition, fat also causes the release of a hormonal substance called cholecystoknin from our stomachs which goes directly to the brain to say "stop eating!" So if we get the fat-free mentality of the past decades out of our brains it will be our red light to successful weight management.