3 Diet Rules You Need To Break

woman drinking tea(BlackDoctor.org) — Over the years, many diet “rules” have come to be part of everyone’s thinking and habits, even though different aspects of these rules are based on old information that research has now proven to be obsolete.

Now it’s time to clear the air and get rid of some of those misconceptions! Here are a few of the most common diet rules that are truly meant to be broken (even reversed in some cases) to get us back to wholesome, healthy eating without all the constraints.

Eat More Meat than Carbs to Lose Weight.
Let’s think about this. Meat and carbohydrates have the same amount of calories per gram. Each contains 4 calories per gram. Therefore simple math would tell us that gram for gram they have the same amount of calories.  The difference comes in when you look at the fat and cholesterol content.  Most carbohydrates are made from plant sources, such as wheat, grain, vegetables that contain no fat or cholesterol naturally. Meat or anything that comes from an animal source contains cholesterol and fat which can contribute to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.  The key is balance. You can have both, in moderation, and live a healthy lifestyle while keeping weight under control.

Sugar-Free Foods Are Better Than Full-Sugar Foods.
When reading a nutrition facts label, it might be easy to think that this statement is true.  Yes overall, the amount of carbohydrates might be more in the regular version of the product.  On the other hand, looking at the sugar-free product, you may see less total carbohydrates, but you will also see sugar alcohols.  Sugar alcohols are a substitute and believe it or not, half of them do get transformed and absorbed as sugar in our bodies.  There are also side effects such as stomach discomfort that come along with eating more of products that contain these sugar alcohols.   Instead of going overboard on the sugar-free products, get satisfied with one or two bites of the real thing.  You will be more satisfied, eat less, and have fewer side effects to deal with.

Give Up Certain Foods – Like All of Your Favorites.
Most diets tell us that there are certain forbidden foods.  Living without your favorites might be difficult to do and may cause more harm than good.  All foods are acceptable as along as you are eating them in moderation.  We must realize that with an overall healthy lifestyle, including a wide variety of fresh foods and regular exercise, a splurge here and there is not going to be the demise of our health.   By having these foods on special occasions and in small amounts we are more satisfied and can be more in control of our daily meal planning and exercise choices.

The key here is to let go of all those diet myths and rules that we have picked up over the years.  Living a balanced and active lifestyle is the one, true answer to being healthy and managing weight.  There is no magic cure or secret that can fix it all.  Get back to basics and start enjoying healthy eating and living.

The Facts About Flax

ground flaxseed(BlackDoctor.org) — With the new attention being give to “good fats” versus “bad fats”, flaxseeds are now receiving the attention that they deserve after centuries of use by many cultures.

What Are Flaxseeds?

Flaxseeds are slightly bigger than sesame seeds, have a shiny shell and a nutty flavor. These seeds can be eaten whole, although some sources state that the nutrition contained in the seeds is more easily absorbed when eaten in a ground state.

Nutritional Content of Flax Seeds

Flaxseeds contain high levels of alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is an Omega-3 fatty acid that is converted by the body into eicosapentaeonic acid (EPA), the extremely healthy fatty acid found in fish oils. Due to absorption issues, if an individual chooses to use flax oil or flax seeds rather than fish oil, a higher amount of flax must be consumed in order to equal the nutritional benefits of fish oil.

Forms of Flax

Flaxseeds can be purchased whole or ground, and flaxseed oil can be purchased in the refrigerated section of most health food stores. The nutritional benefits of flaxseed oil are many, although the oil must be refrigerated or it will become rancid quickly. Some nutritionists recommend adding both ground flaxseeds, whole flaxseeds and flaxseed oil to the daily diet in order to absorb the optimal nutritional benefits of this amazing little seed.

Health Benefits

The Omega-3 fatty acids found in flax offer a multitude of documented benefits:

• Reduction of inflammation
• Reduction of bone loss
• Protection against heart disease, cancer and diabetes
• Prevent and control high blood pressure
• Lower cholesterol
• Dietary fiber
• Prevent or slow the growth of prostate tumors
• Breast cancer protection
• Reduction of hot flashes
• May reduce “dry eye syndrome”

What To Purchase?

Flaxseed oil should be purchased in the refrigerator section of your local health food store. It should have a nutty flavor, and should always be kept cold. Do not cook with flaxseed oil. Rather, sprinkle it on vegetables, salads and other foods.

Ground flaxseed should be purchased in vacuum-sealed packaging only, either on the shelf or refrigerated. Since ground flaxseeds can go rancid quickly, they should always be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Whole flaxseeds are usually sold in bulk or in pre-sealed packaging. Whole flaxseeds are more stable than ground flaxseeds or flaxseed oil and can be stored in a cool, dark place for several months as long as they are in a tightly sealed container. They may also be frozen or refrigerated.

Conclusion

Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are a very healthy and nutritious food that can be easily added to any diet. In whatever form it is purchased, flaxseed can be sprinkled on many foods with vast health benefits. If you are concerned about how much flax to add to your diet, consult your medical provider or nutritionist. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human health, so consider adding flax to your diet today!