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Blog posts of '2013' 'February'

Be Aware of the Hidden Fat Content in Your Diet

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Be Aware of the Hidden Fat Content in Your DietThere are some foods out there where all it takes is one glance to know they are bad for our health and full of saturated fats, carbs, and sugars. But there are also some foods that we consume on a consistent basis that are deceptively high in saturated and trans fats. The average daily calorie intake is around 2000 calories. The recommendation, if using 2000 calories as our base number, is that no more than 30% of our daily calories should come from fats. This comes out to about 65 grams of fat a day.

How Much Fat Is in Your Food?

To get an idea of what our daily intake of fat can look like, let's look at the fat content of some popular foods. The average fast-food cheeseburger contains 36 grams of fat, while 10 average fast-food french fries contain 8 grams of fat. A typical slice of pizza contains 8 grams of fat while an ounce of potato chips contain 10 grams of fat. It's easy to see how one meal can almost wipe out our daily fat intake! There are also some foods that can be deceptively high in fats. It should be noted that there are two types of fat. Trans-fats or saturated fats are the bad kind. They have been linked to bad heart health and can lead to weight problems. The “good” fats are unsaturated fats that can actually protect your body from these problems. Some meals and snacks can look like there's nothing to them, but because of the way they are processed and packaged their fat content soars. Some sneaky, bad, fatty foods include:

  • Movie theater popcorn
  • Packaged meals with added sauces, butter, or oil
  • Highly marbled red meats
  • Chicken and other poultry skins
  • Salad dressings

Some fatty foods containing the good fats are:

  • Olive and vegetable oils
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Fatty fish like salmon and tuna

It's always important to be aware of your meals' fat content when playing the good fat/bad fat game. However, with our sometimes busy and active lifestyles we can't always make the healthy choice or comb through each meal's ingredients to make sure we are consuming the right amount of the right fats. Supplementing our diets with vitamins and minerals can helps ensure that we are getting the right nutrition on a consistent basis. When it comes to fats, omega fatty acid supplements can ensure that you're getting the good fats you need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

References:

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Smaller Sized Snacks Can Give Equal Satisfaction

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Smaller Sized Snacks Can Give Equal SatisfactionMany people tend to overeat on a regular basis. The disconnect between body and mind allows you to think you are still hungry and need more to be satisfied. However, a recent study published in an issue of the journal, Food, Quality and Preference, has shown the amount it takes to satisfy your hunger can be considerably smaller than you think it is, allowing you to consume smaller portions of snack foods and still receive the same amount of satisfaction. The study consisted of more than 100 adults who were given either small or large portions of the same snack. Those adults who consumed the large portions consumed 77% more calories than those who were given small portions. Both groups, however, reported significantly lower snack cravings 15 minutes after eating.

Size Matters

This evidence shows that the pleasure you derive from eating is driven by the amount of food in front of you rather than the amount you actually need to feel satisfied. A simple tip to condition yourself with smaller portion sizes is to take a few bites when snacking and wait 15 minutes. This allows your stomach to catch up to your brain. Just a few snack bites can satisfy hunger and not magnify it.

Keep Your Mind and Stomach in Synch

Eating smaller portions can provide numerous benefits to overall health including weight management, a healthy metabolism, and increased vitality. Taking the steps to curb the size of your snacks and meals along with supplementing your diet with the right vitamins and minerals will promote overall better health. You can also choose healthier snack options such as fresh fruit and nuts to add more vitamins and minerals to your diet (though be wary that fruit, like avocados, and nuts contain a lot of fat). Choices abound for you to satisfy your snack cravings and still be healthy, so be choosier about what—and how much—you eat.

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Celebrate Heart Health Awareness Month by Making the Right Choices for Your Future

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Celebrate Heart Health Awareness Month by Making the Right Choices for Your FutureWe use the heart to symbolize the most important aspect of something, and with good reason. A healthy heart is the embodiment of good overall health. With February being National Heart Health Month now is a great time to take stock in your future by caring for your heart in the present. Heart health should always be a major concern for adults. It significantly shapes the well-being of our population and, consequently, neglecting the health of our hearts has become a significant financial burden on our health care system.

What Can You Do?

The road to a healthier heart begins with each individual taking the necessary steps towards improving their well-being. It starts and continues each day with healthy living and an active lifestyle. During this month of February, in honor of National Heart Health month, take the time to assess your heart and your overall health. It may seem daunting, but there are some simple tips to help get you started.

  • Maintain a balanced healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly, a minimum of 30 minutes per day
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Receive regular and necessary checkups

Let February Be Your Start

Let this February be the catalyst that helps you get on the road to a healthier heart. Implementing these 4 steps to your routine can seem like a lot, but taking it one day at a time and making the right healthy choices can set you on a path for better long-term health. In addition to the 4 steps above, you can also supplement your diet with additional heart health nutrients you may be lacking in your day-to-day meals. Many of us don’t have the time or the means to make the healthy choice in the moment every time. Taking a daily multivitamin can be the foundation in helping you live a healthy and nutritious life. Celebrate National Hearth Health Awareness Month by making sure you and your loved ones are getting the proper care and diet you need to keep not only your heart, but your whole body on track towards a healthy, happy future.

References:

  • Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2013; 127(1):e6-e245.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: February Heart Health Awareness Month

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How Vision Changes with Age

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How Vision Changes with AgeJust because we grow up, it doesn’t mean that our bodies stop changing. One aspect of health that continues to change throughout adulthood is vision health. Over the years, it’s quite common for people to experience eyestrain from staring at computer monitors, TV screens, or reading small print for too long. The lens of the eye also becomes less flexible with age, which makes it more difficult for the eyes to focus on objects that are too close or, conversely, far away. Poor circulation, clouding of the lenses, and degeneration of the macula are also more common with aging, and can affect healthy vision.

If you’ve been starting to experience some of these changes, it’s nothing to fret about too much because they’re fairly normal. However, you still need to do all you can to support your vision throughout your lifetime.

Eye Protection Is a Must

One way to protect your eyes is to keep them physically covered when doing activities that may expose them to harm. Too much direct UV light from sunlight can damage the macula, the region of the eye that allows you to focus on fine details. So if you’re going to be outdoors on a sunny day, put on some UV-protecting sunglasses. It should also be a no-brainer to wear protective eyewear if you play high-impact sports, work with machinery, or are exposed to chemicals.

Feed Your Eyes Through Diet & Supplements

In addition to physically protecting your eyes, you should also support them at the nutritional level through a healthy diet and supplements. Antioxidant vitamins—such as vitamin A, C, and E—help protect the eyes from free radicals that can damage eye tissue. Brightly colored fruits and leafy vegetables also contain beta-carotene, which supports pigment cells in the macula. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil also promote vision health and other health areas, so you’ll be giving your overall health an added boost. If you don’t get enough fish or vegetables in your regular diet (like most Americans these days), get the vitamins and minerals you need through supplements that you can take with every meal. You’ll not only be eating a more nutritious diet, but you’ll also be giving your vision a healthy boost as well.

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