Is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet the Best for You?

Tom Brady, Venus Williams, Penélope Cruz, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have something in common, aside from being unnaturally beautiful: They’ve all followed forms of anti-inflammatory (AI) diets at one time or another.

Tom has done it to boost his performance on the football field. Venus said she did it to help keep her autoimmune disorder in check. And Penélope and Rosie have followed an AI-style detox to keep their skin radiant.

What is inflammation, anyway?

Believe it or not, inflammation starts as a good thing. It happens when your immune system sends out white blood cells and “warrior” compounds like eicosanoids to attack invading viruses, bacteria, or toxins. A classic example of totally normal inflammation: pain, heat, redness, and swelling around a wound or injury (think of a tender sprained ankle).

But for more and more of us, the balance never happens. That’s because sugar, refined grains, and saturated fat can also trigger an inflammatory immune response, notes Sears, and the typical Western diet is packed with them, meaning we’re inflaming our bodies over and over, every time we eat.

Air pollution and environmental toxins also trigger your immune system this way, but “most of the chronic, extra inflammation in our bodies is diet-related,” says Sears. In arteries, chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease. In the brain, it’s linked to anxiety and depression. In your joints, it causes swelling and pain.

Read more at Health

Can the Right Kind of Canola Oil be a Health Food?

Do you know about the dangers of canola oil? Erucic acid levels, solvents, trans fats, and omega-6 fats – these are all some of the common concerns. But how much do you really know about canola oil, in general?

Why canola oil?

The main thing that I want you to keep in mind during this entire discussion is that I really do not have a vested interest no matter where you stand on the canola oil debate. I am a fan of science, and I am a fan of facts.

If we want to focus our efforts on both avoiding the things that can harm you, while focusing on the things that can help, I think it is dangerous to rule things out completely without considering every single aspect of an issue.

Erucic Acid

Erucic acid is made by other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower and is found in the chemical family of glucosinolates. If you have heard of the protective compounds in broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts, this is what we are talking about when we consider glucosinolates.

Read more at HuffingtonPost

Getting A Break From Your Diet May Help You Lose Weight

For most people, dieting isn’t a particularly enjoyable experience. Usually, because diets involve ignoring the advice of nutritionists who suggest ‘everything in moderation’ is the key to weight loss, and instead encourage you to cut out entire food groups (mainly the ones you love).

But if you’re someone who’s ever endured the torture of a diet, you’ll be over the moon at this latest scientific discovery: scrapping your diet for a couple of weeks could actually help you lose weight.

How could ditching your diet lead to more weight loss? But according to the recent study published in the International Journal for Obesity, that’s exactly what they found.

The study took a group of clinically obese participants and split them into two groups. Both groups were instructed to follow a 16-week diet which saw their usual calorie intake reduced by a third, however, the groups differed in how they carried out this diet.

Read more at Cosmopolitan

STUDY FINDS: Weight Loss May Come Down To What’s In Your Poop

Wondering why a diet’s not working for you? Stop watching your waistline and consider something a little deeper — like the feces lodged in your intestines.

A study this month in the International Journal of Obesity found that a specific diet’s success may come down to the bacteria mix in one’s gut, as observed in stool samples.

The study shows that only about half of the population will lose weight if they eat in accordance with the Danish national dietary recommendations and eat more fruit, vegetables, fibers and whole grains,” said Mads F. Hjorth, a co-author of the study and nutrition professor at the University of Copenhagen.

Read more at USA Today

The Alkaline Diet: Does it Really Work for Weight Loss?

Alkaline Diet, Alkaline Ash Diet, Alkaline Acid Diet and Acid Ash Diet are the various names of diets that come under the umbrella of alkaline diets. The premise these diets are based on is that certain foods can affect the acidity or pH of the body, helping prevent the onset of diseases and even treat them.

Healthy Ways to Love Your Body that added to the hype and interest for this style of eating. Adding to its health benefits of protection against cancer and arthritis, what shot it to fame was the universal pitch that never fails -weight loss!

According to the proponents of this diet, acidity causing foods lead to an increased risk of diseases and an alkaline diet cleanses and protects your body. An alkaline diet allows you to eat:

• Raw Foods
• Plant Proteins
• Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
• Alkaline water
• Green Drinks
• Foods that cause an acidic environment that must be avoided:
• Eggs
• Lentils
• High Sodium foods

Read more at Smart Cooky

What Is A Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet has been a hot topic of late. Depending on who you talk to, it is praised for its incredible weight loss results, criticized for being too restrictive, or condemned as dangerous, especially without medical supervision.

What is a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic eating pattern is very low in carbohydrates and moderates in protein, meaning a high percentage of total energy intake comes from fat found in dairy products and meat.

“A true ketogenic is one where carbohydrate intake is extremely low — usually less than 10 percent of your total energy intake,” Collins told HuffPost Australia.

How does a ketogenic diet work?

During times of severe energy restriction (such as during fasting or starvation), prolonged intense exercise, or when carbohydrate intake is reduced to around 50 grams per day or less, the body can enter ketosis.

This means that, rather than the body burning its primary fuel source, glycogen (a “complex carbohydrate, which in the human body is like petrol for a car”), the body must break down fats as its main source of fuel.

Read the full article at Huffingtonpost.com

Is Your Diet Making Your Liver Sick?

Many diets have been hailed as being able to improve your health, such as the Mediterranean diet. The typical Western diet is high in fat and sugar, and we already know these two components can wreak havoc on our health. The latest findings suggest that the Western diet can have detrimental effects on our liver as well.

Western diet increases risk of liver cancer

A new study was done where researchers fed mice a Western diet, which is high in fat and sugar. These mice were more likely to develop liver tumors compared to mice who did not consume the Western diet. When the Western diet-fed mice were treated with antibiotics, they did not respond to the treatment.

The researchers specifically looked at mice missing farnesoid x receptor (FXR), which is involved in bile synthesis, secretion, and transport. Bile is necessary for proper digestion. Low FXR levels are seen in patients with cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Lead author of the study Dr. Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan explained, “Gut and liver health are linked. Because the liver receives 70 percent of its blood supply from the intestine, it is important to understand how the gut contributes to liver disease development.”

There are many studies that attribute a Western diet to poor health and this is just another one that solidifies the point. Instead, we should opt for a diet low in fat and sugar. As mentioned earlier, the Mediterranean diet time and time again is hailed for its numerous benefits to health. It emphasizes a high intake of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and above all, low fat and sugar.

Bel Marra Health

Watching your Weight: 8 Ways to Keep Your Diet On Track

Being able to adhere to our diet is what will guarantee whether we see the weight loss results we want, and there are ways and means for us to improve the likelihood of successfully accomplishing that.

To save you time, and to eliminate the guesswork, here are my top eight tips for improving your diet adherence…

1. Make small changes

It’s easy to begin feeling overwhelmed by the amount of “new” things we have to direct our energy towards when making changes in our diet, and all too often will give up when we realize we can’t sustain it.

2. Build a support network

Surrounding yourself with others who support our goals and encourage positive behaviors can have a huge impact on motivating us to stay consistent with our efforts.

Spending more time with those who encourage our efforts, socializing with other gym members, or joining online fitness/coaching and communities can all be great ways of building up that positive support network.

Read more at Belfast Telegraph

Weight loss diet: Doing THIS Before Bed Could help you Lose the Love Handles

Casein is the main protein present in milk and milk products and is available to buy in powder form, similar to whey protein.

While many fitness fanatics take casein like protein powder to enhance their performance and to look leaner, researchers have found that incorporating it into a weight loss plan and taking it before you go to bed can help burn fat.

A study conducted in the Netherlands found that by multiplying casein intake by two and a half times, participants were able to have a higher metabolic rate while sleeping and a better overall fat balance.

The research, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also found that after taking casein before sleep, satiety levels were 25 per cent higher across the following day.

Weight loss teas are a popular shortcut to flatter stomachs, and the latest version can help with weight loss goals – according to experts.

Read more at Express

Coffee diet: Can you slurp your way to slim?

What’s better than the aroma of fresh coffee brewing in the morning? How about the notion that the deep dark elixir of the dawn may actually be the key to losing weight. Oh yeah.

“Caffeine can boost athletic performance, both in terms of measurable exercise outcomes such as speed, power, and endurance, as well as psychological benefits in terms of making exercise seem more achievable,” said nutritionist Kristen Beck. “Coffee can suppress appetite simply by providing a boost of energy, but (the trouble with) relying on coffee as a source of energy is that it is only short-term.”

Other health experts note that coffee has also been associated with reducing the risks of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, not to mention type 2 diabetes. It may even blunt the danger of several kinds of cancer.

Continue Reading at The Mercury News