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The name 'fast food' comes from the fact that it can be prepared and served in a jiffy and not to mention, tastes delicious. Don't be fooled by the smell and the taste, they have such little to no nutritional value that they can hardly be called food. They are rich in calories, fat and sugar that lead to various kinds of health conditions. Popular junk foods include gums, sweets, carbonated drinks, desserts, dried foods; you probably love them now but after knowing their effects on your health you might want to eliminate them from your diet. Here are some of the conditions which can be caused by consumption of excessive fast food:
- Heart diseases: Fast food contains high amounts of trans or saturated fats that can clog your arteries and lead to high level of cholesterol later in life. People who have junk food more than four times a week increase their risk of dying by 80%.
- Obesity: Adolescents who have poor eating habits are at high risk of being obese. Gaining a lot of weight beyond a recommended proportion can cause many health problems. Junk foods have sugar and calories that lead to weight gain. It has also been noticed that people who are prone to eating more fast foods are less likely to consume fruits and vegetables and this further weakens their immune system.
- Peptic Ulcer: Peptic ulcer is a disease that occurs in the gastrointestinal tract; it is acidic in nature and causes extreme stomach ache. Spicy oily and salted food combined with stress and alcohol can lead to this condition.
- Diabetes: Busy work schedule prevents many people from cooking at home and they take resort in fast food but it is advisable not to let work get in the way of your health. Consuming regular fast food coupled with poor lifestyle and lack of exercise lead to obesity which in turn cause Type 2 diabetes.
Cut down on junk foods and incorporate fruits and vegetables and also make time to include a daily exercise routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist and ask a free question.
If you are experiencing skin problems or hair-related problems, olive oil can be used as an effective and natural remedy. Olive oil can be used in different forms for different purposes, which not only pertain to the skin and hair.
Here is a list of the most common ways olive oil may be used:
- Hair conditioner: If your hair are dry and brittle, you may use olive oil as a natural hair conditioner. You should apply heated olive oil to your hair, cover it with a plastic bag and wrap a towel around your head.
- Clearing acne: Olive oil can be effective in treating or improving several skin conditions. Acne may be cleared by applying a paste of olive oil and salt. You have to apply this paste to your face, leave it for some time and rinse it off with water. By continuing this process, you will be able to improve your acne condition. The salt helps in cleaning the pores via exfoliation and the olive oil helps in restoration of the skin’s natural moisture.
- Shaving cream: Olive oil can be used as an alternative or substitute to shaving cream. Applying it on your face before shaving makes the blade glide smoothly. Your skin gets moisturized as well.
- Cleaning greasy hands: Olive oil can be used to remove car grease or paint from your hands. You have to prepare a mixture of olive oil and salt or sugar. This mixture should be rubbed all over your hands and washed off with soap and water. As a result, your hands become clean and soft.
- Removing paint from hair: Olive oil can be used for effective removal of paint from your hair. You should put some olive oil to a moist cotton ball and rub it onto your hair. Mascara can also be removed using this method.
- Polishing furniture: Olive oil is very effective in polishing wooden furniture. You must mix olive oil with white vinegar or lemon juice and put it in a spray bottle. Apply this spray on your furniture, leave it applied for some time and wipe it with a cloth or paper towel. You can also apply olive oil directly on a paper towel and wipe off the excess oil. Polishing of your furniture can be carried out using this method. The lost luster and finish of old furniture get enhanced.
Olive oil is available in all stores, in bottles. Olive oil can also be used for softening old leather gloves and leather equipment. In case the leather gets cracked or becomes hard, an olive oil rubdown can improve its condition.
Proteins are extremely important for your health. Protein is present in every cell of your body, it generally makes up your hair and nails along with keratin. Your body needs various supplements to stay healthy, such as fats and carbohydrates. These are called macronutrients (you need to consume it in huge amounts to stay hale and hearty).
Where can you find protein?
- It is present in milk, fish, eggs and meat.
- If you happen to be a vegan you can consume soy, beans, legumes and nut butter.
- Protein bars, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, anchovies, peanut butter, tofu, wheat germ, quinoa and edamame also contain a high amount of protein.
Why should you consume protein?
- It can reduce the risk of diabetes by producing natural insulin and progesterone protein.
- The substance called hemoglobin carries oxygen to your blood cells. So without hemoglobin oxygen would not be supplied to your muscles.
- If you have a heat shock, proteins can help reduce the stress and rebuild your cells.
- If you have lack of protein in your diet, it will be difficult for you to move and can also result in paralysis.
- Since protein is present in your hair and nails, it also helps to make your skin taut and look younger since structural protein includes collagen. There are a lot of products available in the market like collagen creams; since collagen contains protein it is not possible that creams containing proteins applied on the skin can make your skin better. It is highly necessary to consume protein such that your blood flow contains proteins. This will make your skin seem youthful.
- After a surgery, it is important that you stack up on protein, because protein helps to close your wounds and make them heal faster.
- Protein shakes are also very useful when you want to attain a healthier physique after hitting the gym. During a workout, your body goes through a lot of micro-tears (wear and tear caused in your muscle due to contraction of your muscle). So taking protein shakes after a heavy workout helps your muscle tissues to be healed completely.
Dark Chocolate: Stress Buster and other Health benefits
Who doesn't love chocolate? It is one of the most popular guilty pleasures that people like to indulge in. But science has proven that you need not feel guilty while snacking on chocolates because it is actually quite healthy. Not just any kind of chocolate, dark chocolate has plenty of health benefits according to studies. Read on to find out how dark chocolate can improve your life.
- Acts as a stress reliever - In today's busy lifestyle, stress is your constant companion. It is important to keep your stress level under control, as it can lead to anxiety and other damaging conditions. Eating dark chocolate every day has proven to relieve stress to a great extent by lowering your stress hormone cortisol. So, look no further for your stress remedy, than your refrigerator.
- Loaded with antioxidants - There are free radicals everywhere that can cause diseases; antioxidants are such compounds that disarm these free radicals, so it is recommended to eat an antioxidant-rich diet. It has been found that dark chocolate and unprocessed cocoa are replete with antioxidants like flavanols, polyphenols, catechins and others.
- Reduces blood pressure - It has been proven that dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure. The flavanols present in dark chocolate lead to the production of nitric oxide which in turn signals the arteries to calm down and decrease the resistance to the blood flow which leads to a reduction in the blood pressure.
- Lowers the risk of heart diseases - Dark chocolates can reduce the risk of many cardiovascular diseases. Consuming dark chocolate lowers the possibility of cholesterol accumulation in the arteries over time. Experiments have been conducted to show that chocolate lovers have a lower risk of cardiac diseases.
- Enhances cognitive function - Cocoa can boost brain function in the elderly. It increases the flow of blood to the brain which enhances cognitive functions especially in people with mental deterioration.
To enjoy the health benefits of dark chocolate, be sure to invest in organic chocolate which has 70% or more cocoa content.
Related Tip: Stress and Hair loss. Are they related??
Detoxification is a process which helps in cleansing toxins. The toxins which are ingested may give rise to health problems such as insomnia, body aches, fatigue, distraction, and depression. If the chemicals present in your system are unwanted and affecting your well-being then you can opt for cleansing the toxins from your body by following a detox diet. Here are 5 things you need to know before you embark on a detox diet:
1. Not all healthy foods help in detoxification - All foods that help in detoxification are healthy but the reverse is not true. You need to have sound knowledge about anabolic and catabolic food before you start the process of detoxification. Anabolic foods belong to the 'body builder' variant, rich in protein and fat. Chicken breasts, eggs, and fish though otherwise fine to eat should be avoided during detoxification. Catabolic foods help in breaking down toxins in your body. This includes vegetables, fruits, and other complex carbohydrates.
2. You may have a bit of sickening feeling initially - Some people experience sickness when they start a detox diet. Cravings for usual food, nausea and headache can distract you for a while. But if you aim to eliminate the toxic substances from your body you need to have patience. Getting an adequate amount of rest and drinking filtered water and plenty of herbal tea can help you reduce the symptoms experienced. Gradually you will feel stable and energized.
3. Do not opt for a detox diet when you are sick - If your immune system is weak due to sickness then hold off the plan of switching to a detox diet until you regain the lost strength to prevent adverse effects. If you are sick then strengthen your body by eating a well-balanced diet, rich in protein and fat. Also, eat fruits and nutrient-dense vegetables. When you recover completely and feel healthy you can opt for a detox diet.
4. You will be back to putting on weight - A good and proper detox diet can eventually result in permanent weight loss and increased metabolism. However, if you start gulping down foods rich in protein and fat, you are bound to put on weight. This will not be a matter of concern if maintained up to a certain extent since the liver helps in opening up pathways to metabolize fat. But if you persistently splurge on cookies, pizza and beer then all the benefits of detoxification will get reversed.
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Red meat vs. White meat - what's better for you?
Meat forms an essential part of the daily diet of many people. But it often gets difficult to choose between white meat (chicken or fish) and red meat (beef or pork or mutton) due to the numerous health benefits offered by both. Moreover, both kinds of meat have some health risks as well, which should be kept in mind while consuming either of them.
Read on to find how each type of meat may affect your health, and, which will be more beneficial for your body.
People who are more conscious about their weight often tend to choose white meat over red meat because of its lower fat content. For example, fat content in chicken is only about 11%, whereas pork contains about 45% fat. Moreover, the saturated fat content of red meat is about 2.64 times that of white meat.
100 gm of chicken breast has about 29.80 gm of protein, whereas the same amount of lamb and pork contain 22.51 gm and 27.55 gm protein respectively. In this case, consumption of white meat will prove to be beneficial as your body can absorb only 74% of the protein in red meat and 80% of the protein in white meat.
Other nutrient content
Red meat is rich in niacin, vitamin b12, riboflavin and thiamine, iron and minerals like zinc and phosphorus. While vitamin b12 aids proper nerve health and ensures that the red blood cells function properly, zinc is responsible for strengthening your immune system.
White meat contains fewer nutrients in comparison to red meat. However, fish contains high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which help in improving lipid profiles and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Consumption of both types of meat has been long associated with increased risk of different diseases. The presence of myoglobin, a type of protein in red meat, is responsible for increasing the risk of certain types of cancer. Also, red meat has been often linked with increased chances of hypertension and heart diseases.
These days, feeding antibiotics to chicken for enlarging their size has become a common practise. So, consumption of this type of meat increases the amount of drug-resistant bacteria in your body and reduces the effect of useful drugs too.
White meat and red meat both have their own health benefits and risks, so including small amounts of both in your diet will prove to be beneficial for your body. Determine the amount of each type of meat you will consume depending on your body's specific requirements.
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