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Nutrition

  • Does eating late at night cause weight gain?

    Many people have emailed me with the belief that eating late at night is causing them to gain weight. However, this is nothing more than a myth. This old wives' tale propagates that our metabolism slows down at night because we are inactive and there...
  • Best Vitamins and Supplements to Take For Mental Focus

    Written by guest author Brenan Quirante Peak nootropics Noopept Nootropic Supplements Some people search for supplements and vitamins to help them improve their memory, cognitive ability and focus. It's not easy focusing on tasks that don't seem i...
  • The Difference Between Water and Sports Beverages

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Working up a sweat can feel great, especially if you have trained really hard. However, it is also very important to keep hydrated before, during and after your workout. Dehydration during your workout can easi...
  • Ten Reasons to Eat More Avocado

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Smoothies, salads and dips… you can have it all with avocados. This green fruit's name is derived from the Nahuatl Indian language which ironically means "testicle". Avocado is considered a healthy fat which no...
  • Health Benefits of Salmon

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Delicious and nutritious Along with being incredibly tasty, salmon offers many health benefits you might not be aware of. Though salmon contains quite a lot of fat, you can indulge without feeling guilty as t...
  • Healthy Eating on a Budget

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Some readers have emailed the website saying that eating healthy is expensive and this makes it difficult for them to keep up a healthy lifestyle. Even though nutritious food can be very expensive, it is defini...
  • Leptin and How it Facilitates Fat Loss

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff There are countless diets available on the market. A current popular diet is the so called "leptin diet." In this article, I'll explain what leptin is and how you can make leptin work to your advantage. What i...
  • How Healthy is Sushi?

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Sushi is known to be one of the healthiest meals. Sushi contains some great nutrients like omega 3 from the fatty fish, vitamins from vegetables and minerals from seaweed. Does this mean you can binge on sushi ...
  • 10 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff 1. Olive oil/healthy oils Olive oil is a healthy fat and fits perfectly into a healthy diet. However, although it is a healthy fat, it is also high in calories and can slow down your weight loss if you consu...
  • The Truth About Diet Soda

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Regular sodas are loaded with sugar Regular sodas are known to contain a LOT of sugar. How much you may ask? Did you know that a can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of sugar? This is equivalent to 3 tables...
  • Glycemic Index Explained

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff I'm sure you've heard a buzz going around about the glycemic index. A lot of people are adjusting their food intake according to low Glycemic Index (GI) values. But what exactly is the glycemic index? Defin...
  • Natural Sugar Alternatives

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Luckily I am not a sweet tooth, but I know many of you are! The main ingredient to provide sweetness in foods and drinks is of course sugar. There are countless reasons why it would be better to cut out, or a...
  • Is Coconut Oil The New and Improved Olive Oil?

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff For years and years, the media and health gurus have educated us about the countless benefits of olive oil. Olive oil has become a staple in many households and for good reason; it is both healthy and tasty. ...
  • Guilt-free Healthy Snacks

    Snacks help to control our cravings, maintain our blood sugar levels and keep us energized throughout the day. It is recommended that people do not go more than four hours without eating and should always have snacks in-between meals. Many people go...
  • Habits of Successful Dieters

    When it comes to successful fat loss, your hard work will not end once you reach your goal. The next step is to successfully maintain your results with a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you maintain your weight and avoid relapsing. Lo...
  • How to Read Nutrition Labels

    Deciphering the information found on nutrition labels can be extremely confusing. Here is your quick and easy guide to understanding the basics Serving sizes The serving size always appears at the top of nutrition labels. Serving sizes can be misle...
  • How to suppress your appetite

    One of the hardest things about sticking to a diet is keeping a raging appetite under control. There is nothing more frustrating than being hungry and not being able to eat as much as you’d like. Here are some natural techniques to suppress your appe...
  • Top foods to eat daily

    Many people starting out with a body transformation program might not know the difference between clean food and the junk you should avoid, which means they risk eating food they believe to be healthy when in reality it is causing more harm. Familiar...
  • Low Calorie Diets

    One of the most frustrating aspects of starting a weight loss program is how long it takes to see actual results. Many infomercials try to sell you products and supplements promising fast results, but these are nothing but weight loss scams, or are b...
  • Healthy Fats Explained

    Many people view “fats” as unhealthy and best avoided. They link them to high levels of cholesterol, clogged arteries and major health problems. However, in reality healthy fats are essential for overall health and nutrition, provided you eat the rig...
  • Alcohol & Fat Loss

    One of the hardest things for people to give up during a fat loss program is alcohol. Some people find it impossible to go out and not enjoy a few drinks. The good news is drinking occasionally and in moderation will not likely affect your results; h...
  • How to dine out

    A healthy lifestyle means being healthy no matter where you go. Many people overeat, cheat on their diets or are not aware that they are making poor food choices in restaurants. Many people dine out regularly or eat out often for business meetings an...
  • Eat smarter

    Fat loss expert Tom Venuto proposed a fun and easy method for others to improve their food choices in a free special report he wrote. He suggested categorizing your food choices into grades. If you want to be healthier and leaner, you need to work on...
  • Calculate Calories

    What is a calorie? Calories can be defined as measures of heat energy stored in food. The higher the number of calories in a specific type of food, the more energy will be released to perform biological functions or sustain physical activity. When w...
  • The essentials about protein

    Protein is your body's preferred muscle building fuel and can help you reach super-human levels of leanness.  What is protein and what role does it play in your body? Protein is a combination of essential and nonessential amino acids in the body.  ...
  • Water & Liquid Calories

    Water in our bodies One of most important compounds in our body is water, which constitutes around 60 – 70% of our total bodyweight. Water excretes waste from our cells, aids in digestion and brain functions, transports nutrients around the body and...
  • Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates are our preferred source of energy and are used most efficiently by the human body. The brain utilizes carbohydrates to perform normal bodily functions, requiring a minimum of 100 grams of carbohydrate per day. Following a severely low ...
  • Repair a Damaged Metabolism

    If you’re someone who has a history of unsuccessful dieting, you may fear that you’ve damaged your metabolism permanently. One example of something that could cause this kind of damage is going on a low-calorie diet for a prolonged period of time, ex...
  • Your basic guide to supplements

    Nowadays we are constantly bombarded by supplements and products purporting to be from the fitness industry and promising quick fat loss and muscle building results. Although many of these products do have some nutritional value it can be hard to tel...
  • Create Your Own Meal Plan

    There’s nothing better than being in control of your diet, customizing it with the foods you like and tailoring it to fit your goals. It only takes one afternoon It might all seem exhausting and confusing at first, but all it really takes is one a...

Healthy fats explained

Many people view “fats” as unhealthy and best avoided. They link them to high levels of cholesterol, clogged arteries and major health problems. However, in reality healthy fats are essential for overall health and nutrition, provided you eat the right fats in the right amounts.

Healthy fats in the body

If you were to cut fat completely from your diet there would be less fiber in your bloodstream, and therefore a slower absorption of carbohydrates and glucose into your bloodstream. This would trigger an increase in insulin (the hormone that regulates glucose in your blood) and cause a blood sugar crash. Symptoms of a blood sugar crash may include irritability, lack of energy, dizziness, blurred vision, depression and headaches. High insulin levels promote the storage of fat in the body and also increase the risk of diabetes. Healthy fats slow down the release of carbs into the bloodstream, helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Keeping your blood sugar regulated is essential for fat loss and general health. The right path to a lean and fit physique is a diet with lean protein, healthy carbs and healthy, unprocessed fats.

Eating healthy fats also helps to control cravings and hunger, making a caloric deficit easy to follow and stick to in the long run. Healthy fats increase testosterone levels in the body, which is essential for maintaining and building lean muscle mass.

Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids are found in fats and are made up of amino acid chains (the smallest units of protein), which the body is unable to produce and which must therefore be ingested through our food. There are two types of essential fatty acids, known as Omega 3 and Omega 6. Eating lots of essential fatty acids builds stronger joints, fuels us with energy, decreases the production of cortisol and improves insulin sensitivity.

Trans fatty acids

These fatty acids are processed and are made up of chemically altered fats that are extremely unhealthy and high in calories. These fats should be avoided at much as possible and only eaten as cheat meals. Some examples include biscuits, cakes, pastries, doughnuts, margarine, croutons (the ones found in salads or soups - always have it without croutons!), pies, refined (processed) vegetable oils, cookies, tacos and similar food. Overconsumption can eventually lead to heart disease and increase the risk of cancer. The best way to identify foods containing trans fatty acids on nutrition labels is to steer clear of anything containing “hydrogenated oils”.

Types of fat

Saturated fats are comprised of animal and vegetable fats that lack essential fatty acids. This includes the fat in meat, dairy, egg yolks, chocolate, butter, coconut or palm oil. These fats can increase cholesterol levels in the blood and should be eaten in moderation.

Unsaturated fats are comprised of fats found in plant sources. Some examples include nuts, avocado, olive oil and fish oil. These are low in cholesterol and contain essential fatty acids, which help the body with biological functions. They can be categorized into polyunsatured or monounsatured fats (fats with single or double hydrogen bonds).

Fat intake

Fat loss guru Tom Venuto, in his program Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, recommends an overall fat intake of 15-20% of total calories. In order to calculate how many grams of fat you should be eating, divide this number by nine (there are nine calories in each gram of fat).  Here’s an example:

You’re eating 1800 calories a day for fat loss. If 20% of your total calories are from healthy fats, then you’ll eat a total of 360 calories of fat (1800 x 0.20) and 40 grams of fat (360/9).

Similarly, if you were eating 2000 calories for maintenance or 3500 calories to gain muscle size, let your total fat intake be equivalent to 20%. 

Your overall caloric intake may change depending on your goals. If you’re looking to bulk up you’ll be in a surplus, if you want to become leaner you’ll be in a deficit, and finally, if you want to maintain your weight, you’ll eat in accordance with your daily expenditure. However, regardless of your goals, always aim for your fat intake to make up between 15-20% of your calories. If you’re carb intolerant or are following a low carb diet then you can increase your fat intake to 25-30% of total calories.

Reading nutrition labels and determining calories from fat

In order to calculate the total number of calories from fat on nutrition labels, multiply the number of grams in fat by nine (there are nine calories of fat in every gram).

Here’s an example: a nutrition label reads 25 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbs and 6 grams of fat.

In order to calculate the calories of fat in this product, multiply 6 x 9 (nine calories of fat in every gram) = 54 calories from fat.

Fat free products elaborated

Nowadays, whenever you drive down the highway or walk down a supermarket aisle, you see “fat-free” products everywhere. Many people believe these products are low in calories and safe to eat, however, you might not be aware that the fat has simply been replaced with sugar. Fat-free does not mean sugar free, or that the product is low in calories. Always read nutrition labels and see how many grams of sugar are listed on fat-free products.

Click here to learn more about what types of fats you should be eating on a daily basis., 

 

 

Comments  

0
Sweety
2014-05-28 04:23
I have gone through certain links on the internet and have read that Canola oil is partially hydrogenated and the omega 3 fatty acids that it is highlighted for, is actually not really credible due to the refining process. Would you please confirm if Canola oil is still a healthy MUFA option?
0
Mario
2013-08-15 11:59
HI Maya, interesting article! Was wondering how those baking sprays work, like Pam. Is it safe to use those?

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