Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sweet & Sour Peanut Sauce - Weight Loss

Use this sauce to dress noodles or steamed vegetables.

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a small saucepan of boiling water, cook the garlic for 2 minutes to blanch. Drain.

2. Transfer the garlic to a blender or food processor. Add the peanut butter, cilantro, water, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, hot sauce and salt, and process until smooth. Store the sauce in the refrigerator.

Makes 1 1/4 cups

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons
calories 84 • total fat 6.6g (saturated 1g) • cholesterol 0mg • dietary fiber 1g • carbohydrate 5g • protein 3g • sodium 200mg • Good source of niacin, vitamin E

So that we have enough energy, also weight loss to have healthy life tomorrow.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Foods That Lower Blood Pressure - Healthy Diet

You probably already know that a diet low in sodium and rich in foods containing potassium, calcium and magnesium—referred to as the DASH diet—may help prevent or help normalize high blood pressure. But are there specific foods—not supplements or individual nutrients—that can have a helpful effect? Here's what the research says.


In a 2012 review and analysis of various studies published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, Australian researchers found a link between the consumption of low-fat dairy and a reduced risk of hypertension. This was seen most strongly with low-fat yogurt and milk (but not cheese). Though calcium may play a role, it's more likely other components of dairy that protect, including compounds such as peptides, released during digestion. Why high-fat dairy may not protect isn't yet clear, but the saturated fat could be to blame. People who consume low-fat dairy also simply may have a healthier overall lifestyle.


Consuming flaxseed in a variety of foods was linked to a reduction in both systolic blood pressure (when the heart contracts) and diastolic blood pressure (when the heart relaxes) over six months in people with hypertension, according to a 2013 study published in the journalHypertension. Even when study participants took blood pressure medication, they experienced a benefit from flaxseed. It's not clear what in flaxseed may be responsible for the blood pressure reduction, but it may be any or all of these four compounds: alpha linolenic acid, lignans, peptides and fiber.


Consuming dark chocolate or cocoa products rich in flavanols was linked with some reduction in systolic or diastolic blood pressure among people with hypertension or pre-hypertension (but not normal blood pressure), according to a 2010 meta-analysis in BMC Medicine. Other research has shown that polyphenols (especially flavanols) in cocoa products are associated with the formation of nitric oxide, a substance that widens blood vessels and eases blood flow—and thereby lowers blood pressure. According to the researchers, future studies should investigate whether genetics plays a role.

Olive Oil

A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension looked at how olive oil might affect blood pressure in young women with mild high blood pressure. Spanish researchers compared a diet of polyphenol-rich olive oil to a diet that didn't contain any polyphenols and their effects on blood pressure over a period of four months. The results: The polyphenol-rich olive oil was linked with drops in systolic and diastolic blood pressure—especially among women with higher blood pressure to start.


For a 2013 study in Nutrition Journal, Australian researchers looked at the effects of beet juice on blood pressure among healthy life both men and women. Participants drank either beet plus apple juice or plain apple juice, then had their blood pressure monitored over 24 hours. The results: The researchers observed a reduction in systolic blood pressure six hours after participants drank beet juice, especially among the men. Beets naturally contain nitrates, which ease blood pressure.


A 2013 study published in the journalHypertension looked at pistachio consumption and blood pressure. Participants, who had high LDL cholesterol, ate one or two servings of pistachio nuts daily for four weeks. In the end, the lower dose of nuts was better at reducing systolic blood pressure than the higher dose. An increase in the volume of blood pumped from the heart could account for the difference, but it's not entirely clear. Or, pistachio nuts may reduce constriction of peripheral blood vessels.


Researchers from the United Kingdom looked at the effect of pomegranate juice on blood pressure among young and middle-aged people. Consuming more than a cup of pomegranate juice every day for four weeks was linked to a drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, according to the study results, published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. It's not clear what might be causing these reductions, but it may be the potassium or polyphenols found in pomegranate juice.

Fatty Fish

Researchers from Spain, Portugal, Iceland and Ireland published a study in the journal Nutritionthat looked at the impact of a diet including fish on diastolic blood pressure among overweight or obese people on a weight loss diet. Eating fatty fish such as salmon (but not leaner fish, such as cod) three times a week was linked with a reduction in diastolic blood pressure over eight weeks. The researchers say that many previous studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids (found naturally in fish) have a blood pressure-lowering effect.

Whole Grains

A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at how eating whole grains affected blood pressure in middle-aged people. British researchers compared a diet of whole wheat (or whole wheat plus oats) to a diet of refined grains. They found that eating three servings of whole grains was linked with a reduction in systolic blood pressure. Exactly why isn't clear, athough other research has pointed to beneficial effects of whole grains on cholesterol.


For a 2010 study, researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University looked at how drinking three daily servings of hibiscus tea over the course of six weeks changed blood pressure in people with pre-hypertension or mild high blood pressure. They found reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, especially in people with higher systolic blood pressure to start. Hibiscus tea is loaded with antioxidants, including phenols and anthocyanins, which might explain the effect.

Diet Advice

These are all healthy foods that can be part of your healthy diet, healthy life. But whether any one food can lower your blood pressure isn't entirely clear and will likely depend on a host of variables including your current blood pressure, your genes, other components in your diet, how much of the food you consume and how often.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Power of a Heart-Healthy Diet

The Power of a Heart-Healthy Diet

Following a heart-healthy diet reduces cardiovascular risk factors enough to decrease the chance of having a heart attack or stroke by an estimated 30 percent,according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Half of the participants, ages 40 to 70, were instructed to follow basic British dietary guidelines (comparable to U.S. ones)—eat more produce, fatty fish, and whole grains, while cutting down on sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars.

The other half continued with a traditional British diet. After 12 weeks, the heart-healthy diet resulted in a 4-point lower systolic blood pressure, 10 percent lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycer­ides, ½-inch smaller waist, and other beneficial changes, compared to the control group.

6 Essential Foods for Heart Health

It’s hard to overstate the value of a smart, healthy diet in keeping your heart in good shape. In tandem with regular exercise and stress-reducing activities such as meditation, a healthy diet not only can help prevent heart disease, but can slow or even reverse its progression in people who already have it. Here are six foods that should be part of any heart-healthy diet, healthy life tomorrow

Fatty fish

A 2013 study in the Annals of Internal Medicineoffered powerful evidence for the heart-healthy benefits of eating fish. In the study, which included 2,700 healthy life Americans over age 65, researchers correlated participants’ blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (abundant in fatty fish) with their likelihood of dying over the next 16 years. People taking omega-3 supplements were excluded, so the blood levels were a marker for fish intake. Subjects with the highest initial omega-3 blood levels were 27 percent less likely to die during the 16 years than those with the lowest levels. The greatest reduction was seen in deaths from cardiovascular disease, notably those caused by abnormal heart rhythms. Make sure you choose low-mercury varieties of fish, such as sardines.


Beans, beans, they're good for your heart. Really. An analysis in the Canadian Medical Association Journal combined data from 26 randomized clinical trials, comparing diets with and without foods like beans, chickpeas, lentils, and split peas, and found that one daily serving of these legumes (about 2/3 cup cooked) reduced LDL levels by 5 percent, on average. Many observational studies have linked higher intakes of legumes with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.


Numerous studies have linked nuts to a markedly reduced risk of heart disease, largely because of their favorable effect on blood cholesterol—especially when substituted for foods high in saturated fat, such as meat and cheese. And a 2013 study in the journal Hypertension linked nut consumption (specifically pistachios) to lower blood pressure. In addition to beneficial unsaturated fat, nuts contain heart-healthy potassium, copper, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber, plant sterols, and other phytochemicals. But limit the serving size to a small handful; even though it’s the good kind, nuts contain a lot of fat and therefore a lot of calories.

Oats and barley (beta-glucan)

According to an analysis published in the December 2014 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which pooled data from 28 clinical trials, beta-glucan—the main soluble fiber in oats and barley—can significantly lower blood cholesterol. In fact, the analysis found that daily intakes of at least 3 grams of oat beta-glucan reduced LDL ("bad") cholesterol by 10 points. Most commercially available oat cereals provide 1 to 2 grams of beta-glucan per serving.

Olive oil

It’s a key component of the Mediterranean eating pattern that’s been linked in numerous studies to lower rates of heart attacks and strokes. While it turns out some of the glowing findings on that diet may have been overstated, there’s good evidence that oils rich in monounsaturated fats, including olive oil, have beneficial effects on LDL and HDL cholesterol. And a 2012 study in the American Journal of Hypertension found that the polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) in olive oil reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in young women with mild hypertension.


A small 2014 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that participants who ate around 3 cups of sliced strawberries a day for a month lowered their LDL cholesterol by 14 percent and their triglycerides by 21 percent. Participants also showed improvements in platelet function and other cardiovascular markers. It's worth noting that 3 cups of strawberries are more than most people would realistically consume in a day, and it's not clear whether smaller intakes would produce the same effects. But there are lots of other good reasons to eat strawberries: Like other berries, they're rich in flavonoids (notably anthocyanins), along with vitamin C and fiber, and they're very low in calories. Because strawberries tend to be sprayed heavily with pesticides, rinse them well and, if possible, buy organic.

Monday, October 5, 2015

How to Exercise for Weight Loss

How to Exercise for Weight Loss

Studies comparing the roles of calorie reduction and exercise in weight loss have generally found that the greater benefit comes from the dieting. But combining exercise and diet is usually best. Exercise not only burns calories and makes you trimmer and fitter, it also helps prevent the loss of muscle mass and the drop in metabolic rate that usually accompany dieting. And once you’re at your desired weight, exercise is an effective way to prevent or minimize future weight gain.

For overall good health, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise (such as 30 minutes, five days a week) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic exercise. To lose weight and maintain weight loss, aim higher: 300 minutes a week at moderate intensity or 150 minutes at high intensity. To meet the goals more easily, you can break up your exercise—even into periods as short as 10 minutes.

You should also aim to be more active all around—taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from your destination (or, better yet, walking instead of driving for shorter distances), and avoiding too much TV or other “couch potato” time. Find activities and sports you enjoy so you will be more likely to stick with them (working out shouldn’t feel like “work” after all). Using some type of fitness tracking device or smartphone app can be motivating.

Another perk of exercise: It can help ease snack cravings, some research has found. In a study in PLOS ONE, for example, overweight people reported reduced cravings for high-calorie sugary snacks after a brisk 15-minute walk. And in an earlier study in Appetite, people who walked and then did computer work ate half as much chocolate from a bowl at hand as those who rested before the task. Brief bouts of exercise may help elevate mood, similar to what chocolate and sugary foods do. Any kind of physical activity may do the trick.

Doesn’t exercise make you hungrier, though, so you may end up eating more calories than you’ve burned off? Most studies suggest that when people exercise moderately, they tend to eat only slightly more than when they don’t work out. But it’s hard to generalize, since appetite regulation is a complex process, involving blood sugar levels, a variety of hormones and other chemicals, and psychological factors. Exercise’s effect on your appetite may also depend on your gender, body weight, and fitness level, as well as on the frequency, duration, and intensity of your workouts. And the effect is likely to be different once exercise becomes habitual, because of the body’s adaptation processes during a long-term exercise regimen. However your appetite is affected by exercise, watch how much you eat afterwards, and don’t use food as a reward for your workout efforts.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Right Diet for You

The Right Diet for You

There’s no single diet that’s right for everyone. Where do you fit in?

Carbs vs. protein vs. fat? Various popular eating plans—such as the Zone, Dukan, Atkins, Pritikin, and Ornish—are based on wildly different ratios of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Some people lose weight more easily on low-carb/high-protein diets, while others do well by eating more carbs and less fat, partly due to genetic reasons. Experiment to find which balance works best for you. Whatever the fat/carb/protein ratio of your diet, opt for “good” carbs (in vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains), “good” fats (in fish, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils), and healthy life protein (in legumes, white-meat chicken, low-fat or nonfat dairy). And remember that the total number of calories you eat matters more for weight control than what proportion of them comes from each macronutrient.

Calorie-counting vs. mindful eating? Just as some people like to count calories or use some point system or portion-controlled foods, others will prefer a more mindful approach, which helps them naturally cut down on calories without having to keep track.

Solo vs. group? Many people do well by having a diet and exercise partner, joining a structured weight-loss program such as Weight Watchers, or consulting a dietitian who can set up an individualized lifestyle plan and monitor progress. Others may be more successful on their own.

Most important is to find an eating plan that you can stick with over the long term, since the relatively easy part is losing weight; more difficult is keeping the lost weight off.

Weight Control: Two Traps to Avoid

Weight Control: Two Traps to Avoid

If you’re trying to follow a healthy diet, perhaps even lose some weight, could hidden obstacles be preventing you from staying on track? Here’s a look at two traps not to fall into, based on studies published recently in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Don’t judge a food’s healthfulness by its name. In a study from the University of South Carolina in Columbia and Loyola University in Baltimore, dieters rated a dish as healthier and more nutritious when it was called a salad versus a pasta dish, even though the ingredients—diced vegetables, pasta, cheese, salami and dressing over a bed of lettuce—were identical. Dieters also ate more candies when they were called fruit chews instead of candy chews.

As the authors point out, the food industry does a good job of confusing people by altering the names of products to make them sound healthier (and lower in calories). Sugary drinks, for instance, are marketed as flavored waters, potato chips are called veggie chips and milkshakes have become smoothies.

Take-home lesson: “Focus on the ingredients of foods rather than their names, as many foods are healthy in name only,” says lead author Caglar Irmak. Pay attention to portion sizes, too, of course.

Beware of the influence of overweight people on your eating behavior.Contrary to what you may think, you are more likely to indulge in unhealthy foods if you see someone who is overweight, according to a study from the University of Colorado. Participants filled out questionnaires that included a photo of either an overweight or normal-weight woman. Afterwards, when given the chance to dip into a candy bowl, those who had seen the photo of the overweight person took significantly more, on average. Similarly, people ate more cookies after viewing an image of an overweight person. This study offers more support for the notion that obesity can be socially contagious. As shown in a study in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007, people are more likely to become obese if they have family and friends in their social network who have become obese.

Take-home lesson: “Reminding yourself of your personal health and weight goals can help you stay on track and avoid overeating, whoever you are with,” recommends lead author Margaret Campbell.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

14 Keys to a Healthy Diet

14 Keys to a Healthy Diet

1. Consume a Variety of Foods

Not all the nutrients and other substances in foods that contribute to good health have been identified, so eating a wide assortment of foods helps ensure that you get all of the disease-fighting potential that foods offer. In addition, this will limit your exposure to any pesticides or toxic substances that may be present in a particular food.

2. Keep an Eye on Portions

Sure, you can eat all the broccoli and spinach you want, but for higher-calorie foods, portion control is the key. In recent years, serving sizes have ballooned. In restaurants, choose an appetizer instead of an entree or split a dish with a friend. Don’t order anything that’s been “supersized.” When reading food labels, check serving sizes: some relatively small packages claim to contain more than one serving, so you have to double or triple the calories, grams of fat and milligrams of sodium if you’re planning to eat the whole thing.

3.Eat Plenty of Produce

Aim for 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day, for a 2,000-calorie diet. If you consume more calories, aim for more; if you eat fewer than 2,000 calories, you can eat less. Include green, orange, red, blue/purple and yellow produce. The nutrients, fiber and other compounds in these foods may help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases. Legumes, rich in fiber, count as vegetables, though are moderately high in calories. Choose whole fruits over juice for more fiber. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are good options.

4. Get More Whole Grains

At least half your grains should be whole grains, such as whole wheat, barley and oats. Whole grains retain the bran and germ and thus all (or nearly all) of the nutrients and fiber of the grain. Look for a product labeled “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain.” If it doesn’t say that, look for a whole grain listed as the first ingredient, though there still may be lots of refined wheat (also called “white” or “enriched” flour) and/or sugar. Another option is to look for the voluntary “Whole Grain Stamp” from the Whole Grains Council.

5. Limit Refined Grains, Added Sugar

The refined carbohydrates in white bread, regular pasta and most snack foods have little or no dietary fiber and have been stripped of many nutrients. On food labels, watch out for “wheat flour” (also called “white,” “refined” or “enriched” flour) on the ingredients list. Also, limit foods with added sugar, such as soda and candy. These are sources of empty calories that contribute to weight gain. Many sugary foods are also high in fat, so they’re even more calorie-dense.

6. Enjoy More Fish and Nuts

Nuts, fatty fish, avocados and vegetable oils supply healthy unsaturated fats. Recent research suggests these foods, though high in calories, tend not to promote weight gain because they are satisfying. Still, it’s best to eat them in place of other high-calorie foods. For instance, substitute olive or canola oil for butter. Fatty fish helps reduce heart disease risks and has other benefits, largely because of its omega-3 polyunsaturated fats.

7.Cut Down on Animal Fat

Saturated fats, especially from red meat and processed meat, boost LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. To limit your intake, choose lean meats, skinless poultry and nonfat or low-fat dairy products. It’s also a good idea to replace saturated fats with “good” fats, found in nuts, fish and vegetable oils, not with refined carbohydrates such as white bread and snack foods.

8. Shun Trans Fats

Trans fats are supplied by partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in many processed foods (such as commercial baked goods, snack foods and stick margarines) and fast foods (such as French fries). Trans fats raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and also reduce HDL (“good”) cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease. Since 2006, when a trans fat labeling law went into effect, many food makers have eliminated or greatly reduced these fats in their products.

9. Don't Worry About Cholesterol

Though a 300-milligram daily cap on cholesterol intake has long been advised, there's abundant evidence that cholesterol in food has little, if any, effect on blood cholesterol in most people. Thus, many experts no longer recommend limiting dietary cholesterol (found only in animal foods, notably eggs and shrimp). Rather, the best way for most people to lower their blood cholesterol is to reduce their intake of saturated fats (as in meats) and trans fats (from partially hydrogenated oils in processed foods).

10. Keep Sodium Down, Potassium Up

Excess sodium raises blood pressure in many people and has other harmful effects. People over 50, blacks and those with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease—that’s most adults—should limit sodium to 1,500 milligrams a day (about two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt). Everyone else should aim for less than 2,300 milligrams a day. At the same time, consume more potassium, which lowers blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods include citrus fruits, bananas, potatoes, beans and yogurt.

11. Watch Your Calcium and Vitamin D

These nutrients are vital for bone health. Get calcium from low-fat or nonfat dairy products and fortified foods such as some orange juices and soy drinks. If you can’t get 1,000 to 1,200 mg a day from foods, take a calcium supplement. It’s hard to consume enough vitamin D from foods, and getting it from sunlight is risky. Many people—especially those who are over 60, live at northern latitudes or have darker skin—may need a D supplement (800 to 1,000 IU a day).

12. Choose Food Over Supplements

Supplements cannot substitute for a healthy diet, which supplies countless other potentially beneficial compounds besides vitamins and minerals. Foods also provide the “synergy” that many nutrients require to be efficiently used in the body. Still, for many people a basic multivitamin/mineral pill can provide some of the nutrients they may fall short on. In addition, many people need calcium as well as vitamin D supplements to meet recommended intakes.

13. Be Aware of Liquid Calories

Beverages supply more than 20 percent of the calories in the average American’s diet. Some liquid calories come from healthy beverages, such as milk and 100 percent fruit juice. But most come from soda and other sweetened beverages and alcoholic drinks, which have lots of calories yet few, if any, nutrients. Soft drinks are a major source of sugar and calories for many Americans, especially children. Though juice is more nutritious than soft drinks, it’s also high in calories, so most people should drink no more than one cup a day.

13. Limit Alcohol

If you drink, do so in moderation. That means no more than one drink a day for women, two a day for men. Older people should drink even less. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of 80-proof spirits. While alcohol in moderation has heart benefits, higher intakes can lead to a wide range of health problems. Even moderate drinking impairs your ability to drive and may increase the risk of certain cancers. Some people, including pregnant women and those who have certain medical conditions, should avoid alcohol altogether.