A recent survey conducted by the American Heart Association found that 61% of Americans think that sea salt is a healthier, lower-sodium alternative to regular salt. In fact, sea salt is the same sodium chloride as regular salt, just harvested from seawater rather than mined.
The American Heart Association recommends a daily maximum of 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily. (A teaspoon of salt is about 2,300 milligrams.)
The primary source of sodium on the American diet is not the salt shaker. It is processed foods.View Thread
Most people center their exercise program on aerobic exercise because of its cardiovascular benefit. But don't overlook the benefits of weight training. It can promote weight control and loss of body fat, improve bone density, reduce diabetes risk and improve cognitive function.
Here are a few tips to use when you are weight training:
Use good form. Learn to do each exercise correctly. Don't rush it. Move the weight in an unhurried, controlled fashion to isolate the muscles you want to exercise. If you are unable to maintain proper form, decrease the weight or number of repetitions.
Don't overdo it. Choose an appropriate weight, stop at the point of fatigue and use good form.
Don't work through the pain. If an exercise causes pain, stop. Perhaps try again in a few days with less weight or resistance.
Rest. Avoid exercising the same muscles two days in a row.
Get professional advice. Use a knowledgeable trainer to design a program specifically for your goals and to check your technique and form.
Remember, you don't need to strive for the look of a body-builder to reap weight training benefits. Strengthening your muscles provides better stamina, balance, and confidence.
Sustained exercise at a relatively constant intensity is best for endurance. However, if weight loss is one of your fitness goals, interval training may be more effective in boosting total calories burned because it increases metabolic rate. Instead of walking for 45 minutes at a steady pace, walk for 10 minutes at your normal pace, then walk or jog at a higher level of intensity for another 5 minutes. Follow this alternating pattern for an additional 30 - 40 minutes. This fluctuation in intensity is wonderful for boosting metabolic rate.
Frequent breaks to stretch and stand may lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes for desk workers, couch potatoes, and other people who sit for long amounts of time. A study found that workers who took regular short breaks (5 minutes or less) for some light activity had a drop in blood sugar and triglyceride levels. They even had a decrease in waist size and some weight loss!
Short stretch-breaks don't replace the recommended 30 minutes of exercise every day, but, since they also help ward off back pain and keep you flexible, they're good for everybody. And for many people, they are instrumental to helping handle stress effectively.View Thread
Traditional snack foods — chips, crackers and candy — can pose a problem. Many contain trans fat and are high in calories. You can consume 100 calories, for instance, in less than one-half of a normal-sized candy bar.
A good tip is to make fruit your snack of choice. Look at the amount of fruit you can get for 100 calories:
An apple, 5 apricots, a banana, half a cantaloupe, 20 cherries, one grapefruit, 29 grapes, 1 or 2 oranges, a nectarine, 2 peaches, a pear, 3 plums, a cup of raspberries, 2 cups of strawberries, 2 or 3 tangerines, 10 ounces of watermelon, and 1/5 of a honeydew melon.
Americans tend to think of soy foods as, well, not too good - either a gelatinous goo or dry and tasteless. We need to think again. Today the choices and varieties of soy foods are plentiful. It's not actually that hard, since you can find soy in soybeans, soy milk, tofu, sports bars, tempeh, soy nuts, veggie burgers, breakfast cereals, soy flour and textured vegetable protein (TVP.)
I've found that one of the easiest ways to add soy protein to your diet is to eat Japanese soybeans - edamame - as a snack food. These blanched soybeans come in little pods about the size of baby lima beans and have a sweet, nutty taste. You can use them in salads or stir-fries, but I eat them the Japanese way - just squeeze the pods with your fingers and pop the beans into your mouth. A half-cup serving has about 16 grams of protein.
Remember, soy is not a "magic bullet" for heart health. It should be eaten as part of a balanced diet, not in lieu of it. And bear in mind that soy foods are most effective for heart health when they are substituted for meat and other products containing animal protein. View Thread
Grapefruit & statin drugs can be a bad combination. Unlike other citrus fruits, grapefruit contains substances that disable certain enzymes in your body. Without these enzymes, a higher concentration of statin drugs can end up in the bloodstream, which can put you at risk for serious muscle problems. An occasional glass of grapefruit juice is OK, but don't drink it at the same time you take the medication.View Thread
Bill is right. "Ground turkey" can be higher in fat than ground round, while "ground turkey breast" is a low-fat food. How to tell the differenc? Read the label. A 3.5-ounce serving of "ground turkey" can be 12 - 15 grams of fat, while the same serving of "ground turkey breast" is often 3 grams or less.View Thread
I've tried to eat vegetarian for the sake of my heart, but from time to time nothing satisfies as well as meat. I've concluded that the trick is to modify the meat in my diet, not to eliminate it. After all, meat is a good supplier of protein, iron and B vitamins; it's particularly effective in repairing muscle tissue broken down by regular exercise. And not all meat is high in fat and calories. Ounce for ounce, a slice of apple pie has more than double the amount of fat contained in lean meat.
However, not all cuts of meat are the same. Some favorite meats - T-bone steak, prime rib, New York strip, rib eye, rib roast, brisket, pork spare ribs and lamb roast, for example - can have 20 to 30 grams of fat per 3.5-ounce serving. And few people limit themselves to such a small serving.
Fortunately, modern breeding and trimming methods have made leaner cuts available, many containing just 6 to 9 grams of fat and under 200 calories per 3.5-ounce serving. For beef, choose "Select" grade over "Choice" and "Prime." Look for cuts labeled round orloin, or any of these: tenderloin, London broil, flank steak, club steak, and round, eye of round and sirloin tips.
For pork, lamb and veal, the leanest cuts are labeled loin or leg. Smart choices include extra-lean canned ham, pork tenderloin, Canadian bacon, pork center loin, fresh ham, lamb loin chop, lamb leg, veal leg and veal loin. Also, most cuts of game - such as buffalo, elk and deer - are lower in fat than either beef or chicken.
Bottom line: I don't eat meat very often, but when I do, I choose a lower-fat cut and make sure the portion size is reasonable (about the size of a woman's palm or a deck of cards.) View Thread