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Nutrition

(Get in Shape and Help Dearborn’s Homeless Animals!)

shelter image

Dearborn, MI – January 9, 2013 Nick Lopez, CEO/Founder of Dearborn based Weapons 4 Weight Loss, a Dearborn fitness boot camp/personal training program, is going to donate $1000 to Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter in order to help local homeless animals. Lopez will accomplish this by donating $50 for every new client that joins his fun, high-energy boot camp program from January 15 to Febuary 15.

Claim your FREE week of boot camp ===> CLICK HERE

“I’m finally in a position to donate back to the community. The shelter does so many great things, with their help, I’m now able to help more people lose weight AND help all these animals find a loving home.”  Lopez said.

The Weapons 4 Weight Loss program is perfect for any fitness level and incorporates fun, fat-burning exercises in an addictive sweat-inducing workout. A full nutrition guide and personalized meal plans are also included to ensure maximum fat loss.

The mission of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter is to provide loving care and sanctuary to animals, encourage adoptions and reunions, and promote respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals.

The indoor fitness camp meets Mondays through Friday at 6:30am and Tuesdays through Fridays at 8pm at Sokol Cultural Gymnastic Center in Deaborn Heights. New times and locations will be added in the coming weeks.

Sessions include muscle strengthening and toning, cardiovascular conditioning, core stabilization, balance and flexibility training. Lopez guarantees twice the calorie burn in half the time of traditional health club workouts.

To get started with the Weapons 4 Weight Loss Bootcamp Program please contact Nick Lopez at (313) 686-1989
OR

Claim your FREE week of boot camp ===> CLICK HERE

 

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What you should know about plastic.

Everywhere you look, you see something made of plastic. But it wasn’t long ago that plastic began to get a bad rap. Drinking out of plastic containers, eating food packaged in plastic, microwaving food in plastic dishes, or heating plastic baby bottles all became another cause for concern. Maybe you were one of those who threw away all your plastic Tupperware, plates, cups, and utensils altogether for fear you were poisoning yourself and your family.

However, a new type of plastic is available that advertises itself as a safe alternative and is deemed BPA (bisphenol A) free. But is this really a safe type of plastic? What about the many other types of plastic that package or touch our food? If you’re one of the millions concerned about the safety of plastic, here’s what you should know.

The Plastic Leak

Teeny tiny amounts of plastic get into your body from the food you eat. When plastic touches your food through preparation, packaging, or contact with dishes or utensils, it leaks out trace amounts. When plastic is heated or comes in contact with salty, fatty, or acidic foods, it releases even more chemicals.

Unfortunately, the health dangers of this leached plastic haven’t been adequately studied. Scientists can’t tell for certain how safe plastic is because it hasn’t been proven completely unsafe. They have determined, however, that two types of plastics known as BPA and phthalates are possibly dangerous. Most food or drink products made with these chemicals should be taken off the market.

Behind BPA

Found in water bottles, baby bottles, and the lining of canned goods, BPA seeps into drinks, formula, and canned foods, and then into your body, and finally into your blood. Along with other plastic chemicals, BPA is harmful to your hormone levels—especially estrogen. Under investigation, this chemical may increase your risk for reproductive problems, heart disease, diabetes, and liver problems.

Limit your exposure to BPA by eating less canned goods and eating more fresh or frozen foods. Also, don’t feed your baby formula packaged cans or from a bottle containing BPA, and don’t drink out of plastic bottles made from polycarbonate. (They’ll be marked with a PC or a 7.) Instead, look for bottles labeled as BPA-free.

Phthalates Aren’t Preferred

Countless consumer products are made of phthalates and many foods are packaged in this type of chemical. (It is often used to cling-wrap deli meats, cheeses, and other foods.) Banned in Europe and nine other nations, phthalates are so common in the U.S. that particles are found in the air we breathe and trickle into the food we eat.

Similar to BPA, phthalates mess with your hormones, but phthalates affect testosterone. High levels of the chemical block testosterone from doing its job, lower sperm count, and cause genital abnormalities. Although officials say levels are too low to cause concern, you can make up your own mind.

The prevalence of phthalates makes it difficult to avoid, but you can limit your exposure by not buying products made of polyvinyl chloride that should be labeled PVC (think of the pipes in your house) or with a 3.

Other Dangers

The same harmful chemicals used in certain plastics are also used in nonstick cookware. When these pots and pans are under high heat, they can release toxic chemicals into your food. They can also kill a pet bird.
Keep the following tips in mind to avoid these poisonous chemicals:

  • Avoid preheating an empty nonstick pan on high heat. Cook your food at as low a temperature as possible.
  • Keep your exhaust fan on over the stove while cooking.
  • Use cast iron pots and pans if possible.
  • Avoid eating fast food or microwave popcorn.
  • Don’t put plastic wrap or plastic containers in the microwave.
  • Buy a dishwasher with a stainless steel interior.
  • Avoid plastics labeled with the numbers 3 or 7.
  • Store food in glass containers.>
  • Throw away any scratched plastic containers.
  • Wash plastic dishes and utensils by hand.

Many plastics are declared by experts to be safe for your family, but until recently, so were BPA and phthalates.

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The pros and cons of caffeine.

Let’s face it: You’re addicted to caffeine! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Millions around the globe are in the same boat. Without that cup (or cups) of coffee to get you going in the morning, that energy drink to get you through a night of studying, or that soda to give the boost you need in the afternoon, you’re practically worthless.

Caffeine seems to be a harmless drug, as far as drugs go. And you can probably think of a long list of benefits that come with that cup of coffee. But are there any downsides to consuming too much caffeine?

What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a bitter-tasting substance naturally found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and kola nuts, which is added to soda, energy drinks, some weight loss supplements, and certain medications. It is a stimulant drug that affects your metabolism and stimulates your central nervous system, increasing your alertness and energy level.

Most people who consume some form of caffeine on a regular basis could forgo it and be fine. Others, however, seem to be addicted. They are dependent on caffeine to function well, and if they don’t have those cups of coffee, they have withdrawal symptoms (headache, anxiety, fatigue, or depression for a few days). Addiction to caffeine is not nearly as serious as addiction to other drugs. It won’t put you in danger, damage relationships, or break your bank like other addictive drugs, but it may have its downsides.

The Pros

If you drink coffee in the morning, you know the benefits that come with caffeine. Perhaps you notice that your memory is improved; you feel awake, alert and energized; you’re more social; or you’re able to focus and get more accomplished.

Besides these well-known benefits of caffeine, there are other possible health benefits to moderate consumption. Your morning Joe may be doing more than waking you up. Research has shown that caffeine consumption may help reduce your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, colorectal cancer, liver disease, or liver cancer. Caffeine can also help to relieve headaches and asthma symptoms.

The Cons

A few cups of coffee a day won’t hurt you. However, there are dangers to consuming too much caffeine, and caffeine abuse is a growing problem—especially among teens and young adults. Compacting the problem is that more and more products are being marketed for high levels of caffeine. Sodas are now super-sized, energy drinks are chock full of the drug, and caffeine-infused diet pills are gaining in popularity.

While not as dangerous as other drugs, caffeine abuse can lead to insomnia, restlessness, irritability, nausea, vomiting, headaches, tremors, heart palpitations, and chest pains. Additionally, caffeine raises your blood pressure temporarily. Normally this isn’t reason for concern, but repeated high doses of caffeine may lead to heart problems. If you’ve already got high blood pressure, are young or elderly, the affect on your blood pressure may be dangerous.

How Much Is Too Much?

In general, you’re in the safe zone if you drink less than three or four cups of coffee a day or consume less than 400 mg of caffeine a day. However, some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others. One cup of coffee could energize you until lunch, while it takes four cups for someone else. Know your body and learn to recognize negative symptoms of too much caffeine. If you start noticing that you feel jittery or anxious after that third cup, it’s time to cut back. Pregnant or nursing mothers should also limit their caffeine consumption.

So go ahead and enjoy that cup of coffee each morning. Just beware of the dangers of abusing caffeine in its many delicious forms.

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Looking to shed a few pounds? Who isn’t? By making a few small changes in the types of food you eat, you can save your waistline from a lot of calories. Many foods have simple substitutes that taste similar, if not better. Take a close look at what you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then think of what you could swap for lower calorie options. You may be surprised.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Breakfast

What does the first meal of the day look like for you? Do you even eat breakfast? Well, if losing weight is on your to-do list, you should have breakfast each morning. If you typically grab a sweet roll, muffin, or donut, switch to an English muffin or whole grain bagel with light cream cheese.

Granola may sound healthy, but it can be high in calories. Go for some bran flakes or reduced fat granola in low fat yogurt. For something hot, grits and oatmeal are great options that you can prepare on the quick.

Rather than using one- or two-percent milk on your cereal, save on calories and go for skim. Better yet, try unsweetened almond milk, a tasty option that has 62 fewer calories than one-percent milk.

Eggs and bacon on the menu? Swap the real stuff for Canadian bacon or lean ham. Also, only use egg whites or egg substitutes.

In the event you can’t do without your morning coffee and you enjoy creamer or half and half, you’ll need to make yet another breakfast change. Swap your creamer and half and half for low-fat milk or fat-free dry milk powder.

Lunch

In today’s fast-paced world, eating out for lunch has become the norm. But you should know that it’s much easier to eat healthily and watch what you eat if you fix your own food. So pack up your lunch and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.

For sandwiches, choose low-fat cold cuts and reduced fat cheese. Rather than tuna packed in oil, buy the kind that’s packed in water, and then rinse to reduce the sodium content. Regular mayonnaise is hard to pass up, but you should recognize that it’s high in calories. Use light mayonnaise to reduce your calorie intake. Instead of using two slices of bread, use one piece of whole-wheat flatbread and reduce your calories by 120.

Salads are a great lunch option, but calories can add up even on a salad. Drizzle on reduced-calorie or fat-free dressing or make your own with lemon juice, herbs, and wine vinegar. Cheeses, nuts, and croutons are all yummy salad toppings, but like so many things, they’re high in calories. So pile on the veggies instead. Be picky about what you add to your salad.

Dinner

The last meal of the day is usually the biggest. Be on the lookout for ways to cut back. Here are some easy dinner swaps.

Fat from meat can pile on extra calories fast. Swap out regular ground beef for extra lean ground round or ground turkey, and eat chicken or turkey without the skin. Rather than a 4-ounce rib-eye steak, choose a lean pork chop that’s about the same size and save 182 calories. Save even more calories by changing your cooking technique. Rather than frying your meat, grill, bake, or broil it instead.

When it comes to sauces, always choose red sauce over white. Replace sour cream with low-fat yogurt. You can save an amazing 160 calories by eating one cup of tofu shirataki noodles rather than a cup of cooked pasta.

Snacks

When everything else seems to be right in place, snacking still has the power to cause your diet to fail. Calories pile on fast with mindless or frequent snacking. Stick to single servings or pre-portioned snacks to keep your snacking safe.
Also, swap out baked goods or candies for fresh fruit. Dried fruits are healthy, but they have up to four times as many calories as fresh fruit. Rather than going with the full-fat snack foods, choose low-fat options, such as cheese sticks yogurt, and crackers.

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The numerous health benefits of garlic might be worth the bad breath.

A rose may look beautiful, but what if it smelled awful? The same goes for garlic. Earning the nickname “stinking rose,” this herb may not be beautiful, its odor is anything but pleasant, but its health-promoting effects can’t be denied. Related to other allium vegetables such as onions and leeks, garlic contains a high amount of sulfur compounds. Sulfur may smell pungent, but the body uses it for optimal functioning. In addition to sulfur compounds, garlic is also high in essential vitamins and minerals including manganese, selenium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

Don’t let the fear of bad breath keep you from enjoying the flavor of garlic. You may be missing out on amazing health benefits.

Good for Your Heart

Garlic has been found effective in treating many conditions related to the cardiovascular system. From high blood pressure, heart attack, and high cholesterol to heart disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), garlic fights it all.

The sulfides in garlic work to dilate blood vessels and have the potential to reduce your blood pressure by seven to eight percent. Garlic can also lower your blood triglycerides and total cholesterol by five to 15 percent. And the compounds found in garlic protect your blood vessels from damage and inflammation, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and heart attack.

Decrease Your Risk of Cancer

The unique properties of garlic have been found effective in warding off certain types of gastrointestinal cancers, such as stomach, colon, esophageal, pancreatic, and rectal cancers. All these benefits, however, are experienced when individuals eat garlic—not when they take garlic supplements.

Garlic has also been used to treat prostate and bladder cancers. Currently, research is ongoing in garlic’s role in reducing one’s risk of breast and lung cancers.

What is it about garlic that lends such powerful effects? It may be its antibacterial properties, the way it limits cancer-causing substances, its ability to enhance and repair cells, or its power to induce cell death.

Treat Skin Infections

Many people have found garlic oil or gels containing garlic helpful in treating fungal infections such as jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot. In fact, garlic seems as effective as over-the-counter anti-fungal creams when it comes to the treatment of these common maladies.

Some folks promote garlic’s ability to treat corns and warts, but there’s insufficient evidence that garlic is truly helpful.

Other Possible Benefits

Garlic’s strengths don’t stop there. Many people eat extra garlic as treatment for colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis, coughs, fever, headache, stomachache, diabetes, hay fever, gout, rheumatism, stress, fatigue, snakebites, and as a natural tick repellent.

How Much?

To receive the full health benefits of garlic, the World Health Organization recommends adults eat approximately one clove of garlic, 300 to 1,000 milligrams of garlic extract, 0.4 to 1.2 grams of garlic powder, or 2 to 5 milligrams of garlic oil a day.

In order to get the goodness from garlic, you’ve got to eat it when the clove has been crushed or chopped. This method may release the unwanted, strong smell, but it also initiates the chemical reactions that produce the good sulfides. Wait 10 to 15 minutes after crushing or chopping before exposing the garlic to heat so the compounds have time to form.

Chopped garlic bought in jars and garlic stored in the freezer both still maintain their potent sulfur compounds. Aged garlic may not smell as strong and therefore be more appealing, but remember that this type of garlic loses its potency and is less effective than fresher garlic.

Final Tips

Before taking any supplements, including garlic, talk with your doctor. Garlic is known to interact with certain medications and may cause a dangerous reaction or cause the medication to lose its potency. If you decide to take a garlic supplement, find one that is coated so it will be able to pass through your stomach and into your intestines before dissolving. And to neutralize the sulfur compounds, wash down garlic with a glass of milk.

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The dangers of dehydration.

More than half of the adult human body is made of water. So it goes without saying that water is an essential part of life and health. When your body loses more fluid than it takes in, you’re in danger of dehydration.

Without a balance of fluids, your body parts can’t perform their normal functions. Minor dehydration can be easily remedied by drinking additional fluids, but severe dehydration is a dangerous condition that requires emergency medical attention.

All day long, your body loses fluid through sweat, vapor in your breath, urine, and stool. And all day long, you replenish lost fluid by drinking and eating. There are times, however, when fluid is lost at a faster rate than you can replenish. These include bouts of diarrhea or vomiting, sweating during hot weather or strenuous exercise, or during a fever. Anyone at any age can get dehydrated, but kids, the elderly, and those chronically ill are at increased risk.

What are the warning signs of dehydration and how can you keep yourself and your family adequately hydrated when at risk?

It is chronic water shortage in the body that causes most diseases of the human body.
- Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj

Mild to Moderate

You’re out cycling on a hot, humid day. The first clue that you could be getting low on fluids is thirst. Your mouth feels parched and sticky and you feel thirsty. Additional signs of dehydration include sluggishness, headache, and dizziness. As time goes by, you may notice you haven’t used the bathroom in a while. When you do, your urine is not a healthy, pale yellow color.

These are all signs of mild to moderate dehydration. If you’re a healthy adult, you’re still in the safe zone, but you should take these signs seriously. Hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water or sports drinks to replenish lost fluids. Call your doctor if these symptoms are noticed in a child or older adult.

Severe Danger Zone

When you’ve gone too long without adequate fluids or you just can’t keep fluids down, your body can reach the point of severe dehydration. If this happens, it’s time to get emergency help. Perhaps you have been sick with vomiting or have had a high fever for several days. Regardless of the cause, watch for these warning signs: extreme thirst; dry mouth, eyes, nose, and skin; no sweat or tears when crying; little to no urine output and if there is, it’s dark yellow; skin loses elasticity; blood pressure may be low; breathing may be fast; heart palpitations; fever; a sunken soft spot on a baby’s head; confusion or loss of consciousness.

If you notice any of the above signs of severe dehydration, get to your local emergency department as quickly as possible.

Drink, Drink, Drink

The best way to fend off dehydration is to drink it away. If you’ll be out in the heat, in high altitudes, or doing strenuous exercise, drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your activity to replace the fluid you lose through sweating. You should also avoid drinking much alcohol, as it increases your loss of fluid and decreases your ability to detect signs of dehydration.

In the event you’re sick or suffering a fever, remember that your body will be losing more fluids than usual. Therefore, begin sipping on water, sports drinks, or Pedialyte at the first sign of sickness. Start with tiny amounts of fluid, and as time passes, if the fluid stays down, slowly increase the amount of fluid. Another alternative is to suck on popsicles or ice chips. However, be careful to avoid sodas, milk, coffee, alcohol, or fruit juices, as these may actually worsen the problem. Finally, keep cool and take action if the signs of dehydration don’t pass or grow worse over time.

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Don’t let it keep you down.

For most folks, peanut butter is a delicious food that goes well with anything. For others, however, eating a little bit of peanut butter or a single peanut is a matter of life and death. A nut allergy is just one of many food allergies prevalent today. Chances are, you or someone you know is allergic to or intolerant of a specific type of food.

Over the last 15 years, food allergies have drastically increased. Scientists don’t know the exact reason for this, but they have their suspicions. What exactly is a food allergy, what’s the difference between an allergy and intolerance, and how can it be treated?

Putting You at Risk

The most common foods that cause allergic reactions in adults include peanuts, nuts, shellfish, eggs, and milk. For children, the most common offenders are peanuts, milk, soy, and eggs. But any food can cause an allergic reaction.

Fortunately, kids with food allergies have a chance to outgrow their allergies. On the downside, adults that develop food allergies are stuck with their allergies forever. The type of food you’re allergic to is usually one you eat a lot of, so food allergies differ around the world. As an example, rice is a common allergy in Japan, while codfish allergy is often seen in Scandinavia.

Why the increase in food allergies? Experts propose a few possibilities: the way food is now processed, the lack of bacteria in an overly clean environment, or a folate imbalance. Whatever the source, they’re always dangerous and frustrating.

A True Allergy?

Many people think they have an allergy when they’re just suffering a food intolerance. Allergies and intolerances often have similar symptoms, but a true allergy is an immune system response to a particular protein found in food.

When your body is exposed to the protein, it doesn’t recognize it as friendly and begins to fight it, resulting in an allergic response (hives, eczema, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, anaphylaxis, etc.) within an hour. Depending on the severity of your body’s reaction, an allergy can be minor or life threatening.

Food intolerance, on the other hand, occurs when the body isn’t able to properly digest a certain food. For example, those who are intolerant to milk lack the enzymes necessary to digest the lactose found in milk. Other items that cause intolerances include food dyes, monosodium glutamate, or sulfites.

Symptoms of a food intolerance include gastrointestinal problems such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea that occur within a few hours time of exposure. Frustrating and embarrassing as it may be, a food intolerance is not life threatening.
Through a variety of tests, your doctor can determine whether or not you have a true allergy or an intolerance.

Course of Treatment

The best way to avoid an allergic reaction to a particular food is to avoid the food. This means carefully reading ingredient labels. Some food proteins have a variety of names, and allergens are often found in foods you wouldn’t suspect, so if you’re allergic, do your homework and know what to look for!

While many food packages now list common food allergens included in the food, don’t depend on these lists. Read the entire ingredients list. Additionally, pay attention to things you put on your skin, as some food proteins can be found in unexpected places like makeup!

Individuals who are severely allergic or have an anaphylactic reaction must constantly be prepared for accidental exposure. If this is you, always wear a medical necklace or bracelet that alerts others of your condition and carry an adrenaline syringe in case of an emergency.

There’s no medication to prevent an allergic reaction, but medications are available to relieve minor allergy symptoms if you’re accidentally exposed. Allergy shots for food haven’t been shown effective, but new treatments are being developed, including oral immunotherapy (eating tiny portions of the food over time to develop intolerance) and allergy vaccines.

Regular Occurrence

It’s estimated that someone heads to the emergency department every three minutes in response to a food allergy.

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This dish is slightly spicy. It has a unique and awesome taste!

  • 1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat dry penne pasta
  • 3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente.
  3. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Saute chicken until firm and lightly browned; remove from pan.
  6. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet.
  7. Cook and stir garlic, asparagus, and red pepper flakes in oil until asparagus is tender.
  8. Stir in chicken, and cook for 2 minutes to blend the flavors.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Toss pasta with chicken and asparagus mixture.
  11. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Servings: 8, Calories: 318, Fat: 7.3g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 151mg, Carbohydrate: 43.3g, Protein: 21g

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Understanding what triglycerides have to do with your heart.

When you hear talk about triglycerides, you may cringe.

After all, it’s not the prettiest word around, and hearing it may make you think of something bad for you. However, triglycerides are a necessary part of good health, as it’s a type of fat that circulates in your blood and is used by your body for energy. However, when your triglycerides are too high, it can put you at risk for heart disease.

What causes high triglycerides and how can they harm your health? What steps can you take to lower them? You’re about to find out.

You Gotta Get Tested

A routine blood test called a lipid panel test measures your triglyceride level along with your total, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. Get a baseline measurement around age 20, and then have your levels checked every five years until age 40, when you’ll need your levels checked yearly. If you or a family member has a history of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, have a lipid panel test every two to three years until age 40. If you already have heart disease, you’ll probably need your levels checked every couple months.

Once you undergo your test, compare your results to what’s normal and what’s not.

Optimal: less than 100 mg/dL
Normal: less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high: 150–199 mg/dL
High: 200–499 mg/dL
Very high: 500+

Reasons for High Triglycerides

If your test results reveal a higher than normal level of triglycerides, it may be attributed to obesity, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, a regular consumption of too many calories (especially calories from carbs and fat), kidney disease, hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), or excessive alcohol consumption.

Certain prescription drugs can also affect your triglyceride levels. These medications include steroids, beta-blockers, Tamoxifen (a breast cancer drug), diuretics, birth control pills, and estrogen. Though rare, high triglycerides can be genetic. In this case, you may be suffering from fatty deposits located under the skin, a condition known as xanthomas.

Dangers of High Triglycerides

Unless results from a lipid panel test indicate high triglycerides, you probably wouldn’t know your levels are high. With that in mind, you may wonder what the big deal is when it comes to triglycerides. Think of it this way: A measure of your triglycerides is a good measure of the health of your heart. If you have high triglycerides, you may have other issues that put your heart at risk.

For some reason, too many triglycerides lead to the thickening or the hardening of the arteries. When this happens, your likelihood of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease increase dramatically.

High triglycerides are also an indication of other health conditions that contribute to heart disease and stroke such as obesity and metabolic syndrome (a combination of health conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, and excess fat around the waist). So paying attention to your triglycerides is vital to your most vital organ!

Lower Your Triglycerides

Have high triglycerides? Don’t ignore the issue or hope it resolves on its own. Instead, take the time to be proactive for the sake of your heart. The good news is that triglycerides respond very well to diet and lifestyle changes, so if you make changes now, you probably won’t have to be on medications the rest of your life.

To effectively lower your levels, lose weight. Shedding even 5 or 10 pounds can make a big difference. Once you’ve lost weight, strive to maintain a healthy weight. Since excess calories are converted into triglycerides and then stored as fat, reduce your calorie intake by limiting fats, sugars, and simple carbohydrates. Eliminate foods with trans fats and avoid the saturated fats found in meats by eating more fatty fish high in omega-3s. For cooking, use olive oil or canola oil. Eating fewer calories will lower your levels and boost your heart health!

No Eating, Please.

Interested in having your triglycerides measured? You’ll have to avoid eating for a bit. For the best test results, your physician will ask you to fast overnight before testing. Eat right before the test and expect to be sent home without undergoing the test. Yes, it’s that important.

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Feel full until your next meal with these sweet and savory, healthy snack ideas.

It’s only 10 in the morning, your stomach is growling, and you’re feeling sluggish. You’re trying to watch your weight and don’t want to overdo your calorie limit on a measly snack. But you don’t know if you can make it until lunch without something to nibble on.

It can be hard finding snacks that are both low in calories and filling at the same time. The trick is to find a snack that has both protein for energy and fiber to keep you satisfied. No matter if you’re in the mood for something sweet, savory, or a combination of the two, here are some great low-calorie ideas to satisfy your cravings. Each option is less than 100 calories.

Sweet Tooth Snacks

Depriving yourself of sweets is a recipe for diet failure. Give yourself a small break every now and then to enjoy in the foods you love. Otherwise you’ll reach a breaking point and overindulge.

If sweets are what you’re craving, try the following low-cal options:

  • a cup of frozen grapes
  • a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey
  • a cup of your favorite berries mixed with two tablespoons of whipped topping
  • a teaspoon of peanut butter spread on a fig bar
  •  three squares of dark chocolate
  • a six-ounce glass of skim milk mixed with two teaspoons of chocolate syrup
  • a cup of unsweetened applesauce with a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • a four-ounce container of chocolate pudding
  •  a small banana-and-nonfat-yogurt smoothie
  • two squares of cinnamon graham crackers with one teaspoon peanut butter
  • a scoop of lime sherbet with sliced fruit

Savory Snacks

Just as easily, you can go overboard when munching on salty snacks. It takes a lot of will power to eat only a few potato chips. It’s better to just keep them out of the house.

So when you’re in the mood for something savory or salty and low in calories, go with one of the following:

  • 10 baby carrots dipped in two tablespoons of hummus
  • 25 pistachios (about two handfuls)
  • five multigrain crackers and a stick of low-fat string cheese
  • one egg and a slice of whole-wheat toast
  • two cups of air-popped popcorn
  • two long pretzels dipped in one tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • eight boiled shrimp dipped in two tablespoons cocktail sauce
  • one ounce of low-sodium beef jerky
  • about 40 goldfish crackers
  • a cup of tomato soup sprinkled with one tablespoon of low-fat cheddar cheese
  • three cups of raw peppers dipped in two tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette
  • a roll of four slices of thin-sliced deli turkey dipped in two teaspoons of honey mustard
  • 10 baked tortilla chips dipped in salsa

Sweet + Savory Snacks

Perhaps you’re craving a combination of salty and sweet foods. Sound good to you? Get your appetite satiated without feeling guilty by indulging in the following snack ideas:

  • a non-fat cheese stick with half an apple sliced
  •  one tablespoon of peanut butter spread on a stalk of celery
  • a cup of chopped melon in a cup of non-fat cottage cheese
  • trail mix made of four chocolate chips, eight almonds, and one tablespoon of raisins
  • two teaspoons of almond butter spread on a rice cake
  • a whole apple sliced and dipped in one teaspoon of peanut butter
  • four wheat thin crackers with one teaspoon of Nutella

Green Light on Snacks

If you’re on a diet, you don’t have to outlaw snacks. Especially since starving yourself is another way to sabotage your dieting efforts.

If you’re overly hungry when mealtime comes, you’ll be more susceptible to overeating. None of these 32 snack ideas sound appealing to you? Then get creative and make your own.

Because contrary to what your past eating habits may indicate, wise snack choices can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.

 

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