low-fat-vs-no-fat-2Find out the no-fat diet dangers.      

In the 90's, there was a big movement to extremely limit fat in our diets or even eliminate it all together. Low-fat and no fat products started springing up all over the place (remember those olestra potato chips that were fat free?). Consumers were lead to believe that anything could be made healthy by eliminating fat, even cookies and other sweets. Of course, now we know better. It's important to understand low fat vs no fat diets.

Fatty Acid Minimum Requirements

One of the biggest problems with a no fat diet is failure to meet fatty acid minimum requirements. Fatty acids have been getting a lot of press lately. These heart-healthy fats are found in things like fish, flax seed, walnuts, olive oil and other healthy oils. The most commonly discussed types of fatty acids are Omega-3 and Omega-6. These acids cannot be created by the human body and must be supplied by diet. Fatty acids are essential to a healthy diet. They help the body process cholesterol and help keep cardiac arteries clear and fully functioning. Fatty acids also important to cell growth, organ function, oxygenation of the blood, skin health and may help prevent premature aging.

A no fat diet clearly can't meet the body's need for fatty acids. What's more, no fat diets are often very high in carbohydrates and sugars. Eating this way is counterproductive to weight loss and may even encourage the body to become diabetic by producing excess levels of insulin. Even whole grains, an excellent source of nutrition, can become troublesome if they are the bulk of a diet.

A much better alternative to a not fat diet is a balanced diet rich in good fat. Good fats are found in a wide variety of plant and animal sources and are vital to healthy body function. What's more, some good fats are better than others. The same is also true of bad fats; some are much more unhealthy than others.

Good Fats

Good fats include two types of unsaturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are responsible for lowering LDL (or bad) cholesterol  and boosting HDL (or good) cholesterol. You can find monounsaturated fats in a variety of food sources like avocados, nuts, legumes, and vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower, and olive are best).

Polyunsaturated fats are also important for fighting bad cholesterol and are also where you'll find Omega-3's. Good sources are fish, walnuts and other seeds, and flax. You can also find polyunsaturated fats in many vegetables oils and dairy products.

Bad Fats

The bad fats are saturated fats, though current research suggests that saturated fats may not be the villains we cast them as. Saturated fat comes from meat and dairy products and is solid at room temperature (think butter and cheese). The jury is still out on how saturated fats affect heart disease, but most health professionals agree it's best to eat it in moderate amounts. Saturated fat does contain nutrients that are beneficial to the body, so eliminating it entirely isn't essential to good health.

Last, we have the really bad fats. There is no debate about this: hydrogenated fats, or trans fats, are entirely unhealthy and should be totally eliminated from the diet. Trans fats are man-made fats created when a chemical process is used to make vegetable oils into a solid substance. Trans fats not only raise bad cholesterol, they lower good cholesterol. Trans fats are found in many packaged junk foods and fast foods.

Know which fats to incorporate into your diet is a great step towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember, fats are essential to good health, so eliminating fat altogether won't be good for you or help you lose weight. Any diet that asks you to cut out an entire source of nutrition isn't going to deliver.

basics-of-a-plant-based-dietIf you are looking to change your diet and start consuming more plant-based foods and less meat, get the facts!

We have broken down the plant-based diet basics to help you decide if it's right for you.

Often throughout the course of our life, we find ourselves wanting to adjust our diet. Whether it is for weight management, personal health issues, or just to feel better, in order to make a permanent diet change you need to learn about the basics first. If you know what you are going to partake in up front and like what you see, the chances of sticking with it are much stronger.

The plant-based diet is one that is making headlines as a new diet to try due to its positive effects. It focuses around eating mostly plant-based foods and less meat, which can lead to less disease and helps you to avoid factory farms. The diet encourages you to consume fruits, grains, seeds, basically anything that focuses around plants. Eating animal products is not included, so you will have to give up meat, eggs, and most dairy or animal by-products.

We broke down the facts for plant-based diet beginners to help you decide if it will work for you.

1. Effective Weight Loss

Since the diet consists of eating plant-based foods, you will be cutting out extra calories that you would normally be consuming eating sweets and processed foods. One of the best parts is that you will feel full because you can eat hearty servings, due to the calorie content in most plant-based foods being low.

Think of fresh salads with beans, legumes, peas and carrots, or your favorite veggies topped with balsamic vinaigrette or hummus.

If you have a sweet tooth you can eat bananas, blueberries, apples, or combine them all in to a refreshing smoothie. Part of the diet is getting creative with what you can eat to make the process enjoyable.

2. It’s Good for You

Mostly all diets come with the promise that they are good for your health, but this one actually is. Some studies have proven that eating this way can actually help to lower your blood pressure. If your diet revolves around plants, the chances of developing hypertension later in life are very low. The plant-based diet can also help to reduce heart disease and even reverse it. The best reason yet; plant based foods can help to reduce cancer. Studies have shown that consuming red meat can lead to cancer, therefore focusing on eating more plants can help to reduce this risk.

3. It’s Affordable

If you are thinking that this diet sounds right for you, but you are unsure if you can afford it, don’t stress. The plant-based diet is in fact very affordable. It heavily consists of beans and peas, which are very inexpensive and it encourages you to cook, which can greatly save you money since you won’t be eating out as much. It also allows you to cook large portions of foods, like soup and hummus, which you can freeze or store in the fridge and reheat later.

Whether you want to lose weight or just feel better overall, a diet is a lifestyle change. It’s easy to see how centering your diet around plants can contribute to a smaller waistline, better health, and a better you.