Tagged with 'Weight Loss'

Eating Like a Caveman: Controlling Insulin

Summer is the perfect time to give your diet a reboot and start thinking about the kinds of fresh foods and meats that our forefathers from wayyyyyy back ate, which is more of a Paleo Diet, which is becoming quite popular again, for obvious reasons. There’s lots of evidence to suggest that a back-to-basics approach to diet is the way to go for each and every system in our bodies. Today’s diet has too much sugar and it’s making us store our fat. It’s time to reclaim it. Use summer as the stepstone toward better health, with expert Brad King’s advice! Insulin has an especially dramatic influence on enzymes called lipases. Lipases are like little Pac Men who run around your body, releasing body fat from its cushy containers so it can be shuttled into muscle cells to get burned off (yeah!). When insulin levels are high, it hits the “off” switch on lipases, putting them into a holding pattern until further notice. In fact, the most prominent lipase involved in fat burning is called Hormone Sensitive Lipase, or HSL for short.[1] HSL is the premiere key holder that unlocks those fat storage containers which make you leaner. Unfortunately, the more insulin that’s present, the less HSL is available to release fat for energy and the end result is you become fatter (not so yeah!). As insulin is blocking fat burning it’s also creating an internal environment that is ripe for fat storage. It accomplishes this act through the aid of another lipase enzyme—this one’s called Lipoprotein lipase, or LPL for short, and it is so effective at bloating fat cells that some obesity researchers even call it ‘the Gatekeeper of Fat Storage’. It’s next to impossible for the body to store fat without a certain amount of insulin floating around. As you can see, insulin is something we need, but we don’t want too much of it. Otherwise, we end up with a body that acts as a 24/7 fat-storing factory (as too many people already experience)! Controlling Insulin Almost any food—including the mere thought of food—can cause insulin release, but carbohydrates are the primary driver to a flood of insulin. High-carb foods—especially the highly processed and refined variety—cause glucose levels in your blood to shoot way up.[2] However, the body doesn’t work very well when glucose gets too high, so it sends out a stream of insulin to control the rising tide of glucose. Gobs of insulin will definitely drive glucose down, but it will also turn the vast majority of that glucose into newly formed fat. On the other hand, when insulin levels are under control, the body swiftly transitions into fat burning mode. Normal insulin levels cause lipases to spring into action. Also, a hormone often viewed as insulin’s opposite, glucagon, starts to rise. Glucagon travels around the body, ordering fat cells to relax and let go of the fat they’re clinging to. It’s accurate to view eating and lifestyle as a hormonal event. In a primitive dietary world made up of fresh—and local—produce (including roots, shoots, seeds and nuts) and wild game meat, our hormones were never a problem – in other words there weren’t many, if any, obese cavemen or ladies . If a caveman was lucky enough to stumble upon a beehive filled with honey or a bush sprouting plump berries, insulin was there to process the carbohydrates properly. But for the most part, the diet that our pancreas was designed for, only called insulin into action on a part-time basis. Our modern-day fast food/processed/high glycemic diets forces our pancreas to work double or triple shifts! Our body was simply not designed to metabolize all these carbs. The real kicker is that, because of our ravenous appetite for insulin-stimulating processed foods, the weight we’ve been accumulating over the last few decades is pure, unadulterated fat, which isn’t just unsightly but brings with it a whole host of health issues to boot![3] Magré, J., et al. (1998) Human hormone-sensitive lipase: genetic mapping, identification of a new dinucleotide repeat, and association with obesity and NIDDM. Diabetes. 47:284-286 Ludwig, D. S. (2000) Dietary glycemic index and obesity. J. Nutr. 130:280S-283S. Due A, Larsen TM, Mu H, Hermansen K, Stender S, Astrup A: Comparison of 3 ad libitum diets for weight-loss maintenance, risk of cardiovascular disease, and diabetes: a 6-mo randomized, controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2008, 88(5):1232-1241  http://www.pno.ca/?p=1336&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=201

Getting To Know Your Thyroid: Supporting Thyroid Health Naturally

What is the Thyroid Gland?The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It weighs only approximately 20 grams, but the hormones it secretes control growth and metabolism. The primary circulating thyroid hormones – thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) – are essential regulators of crucial body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Adequate level of T4, and its efficient conversion to T3, also ensures that we have energy and burn carbohydrates and fats at an optimal rate. How Prevalent are Thyroid Diseases?According to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, about 200 million people in the world have some form of thyroid disease. Thyroid disorders are found in 0.8-5% of the population and they are 4 to 7 times more common in women. What are the Types of Thyroid Diseases?There are many types of thyroid diseases. The main conditions present in most thyroid illnesses are hypothyroidism (the thyroid is under active) and hyperthyroidism (the thyroid is over active). The thyroid can also be affected by nodules and cancers. Are Thyroid Diseases Treatable?For the most part, thyroid disorders are treatable and if left untreated, thyroid diseases can produce serious consequences in other parts of the body. Hypothyroidism What is Hypothyroidism?Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland isn’t producing enough hormones, and the symptoms occur because all metabolic processes in the body “slow down” as a consequence. How Prevalent is it?By in large, hypothyroidism is the most common form of thyroid disorder, affecting approximately 2 individuals in 100. According to another source[2] and based on my clinical experience, as many as 10% of women may be suffering from some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency. Although the problem can usually be identified with a simple blood test, millions of women still remain undiagnosed. Signs & Symptoms of HypothyroidismIf you experience some of these symptoms, you need to discuss them with your clinician. Signs & symptoms of Hypothyroidism Fatigue Weakness Weight gain or difficulty losing weight Coarse, dry hair Dry, rough pale skin Hair loss Cold intolerance Muscle cramps and aches Constipation Depression Irritability Memory loss Abnormal menstrual cycles Decreased libido What are the Causes of Hypothyroidism?There are two main causes of hypothyroidism. The first one results from an inflammation of the thyroid gland, affecting its cells’ capacity to produce sufficient hormone. The most common form of thyroid inflammation – Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, with the resulting inflammation leading to an underactive thyroid gland. Grave’s disease is another type of auto-immune thyroid diseases (AITD) but in this case, the thyroid gland becomes overactive. What Can I do to Support My Thyroid’s Health?Even if you are currently taking thyroid medication such as Synthroid, you can bolster thyroid function with a well-balanced diet that includes lots of protein and healthy foods, certain supplements and a good lifestyle. Let’s explore some of these natural allies. Diet: The Gluten Connection Several studies have shown a strong connection between AITD and gluten intolerance. The explanation behind this process seems to be one of ‘mistaken identity’ in which the person’s antibodies to gliadin – the protein portion of gluten – cause the body to attack the thyroid tissue when gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut to enter the bloodstream. The confusion occurs due to gliadin’s molecular resemblance to the thyroid gland. Since standard lab tests aren’t very accurate in diagnosing gluten intolerance, it’s usually better to remove gluten from the diet. Cutting gluten off may appear scary at first due to its prevalence, but the truth is it usually results in a wider variety in our diet and there are no nutrients in gluten-containing foods that you can’t get from foods that don’t contain it. Certain clinicians even recommend eliminating all grains, soy and dairy as well in order to prevent cross-reactivity and reduce antibodies. On a side note, white bread often contains bromine which can cause iodine deficiency and interfere with thyroid gland function. The Stress Connection Whether we’re talking about the usual emotional stressors or the ones that disturb the body’s natural balance (homeostasis) such as food intolerances, gut dysfunction, chronic infections and inflammation or blood sugar swings, stress has a major impact on thyroid health. When we experience stress, our adrenals glands secrete the hormones cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine that regulate the stress response and play other key roles, some of which directly ...

5 TIPS TO START A MEATLESS DIET

All right foodies, it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room: we need to eat less meat. It’s no secret that adopting a vegetarian diet can have numerous benefits to your health (including lower cholesterol, decreased risk for heart disease and cancer AND better moods), but did you know that eating a plant-based diet is much better for our planet as well? In addition to causing mass deforestation, pollution and contamination of water sources, livestock farming also accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions (that’s more than transportation!). Growing fruits and vegetables is also a more efficient use of resources than livestock – it takes the same amount of land resources to feed 16-20 vegetarians as it does a single meat eater! What’s one of the easiest ways to cut down your carbon footprint? Go Veg!      We know that adopting changes to your diet can be a little intimidating, so we’ve put together these five helpful tips for you to keep in mind as you begin your plant-based journey.   STICK TO ORGANIC AND NON-GMO FOODS. While it’s well known that organic and non-GMO foods are better for our bodies, they have numerous environmental benefits as well. Organic farming enriches our soil, increases biodiversity, keeps toxic fertilizers and pesticides out of water sources and can even slow global warming by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.(8) BUY LOCAL PRODUCE! In addition to supporting your local farmers and economy, buying local also cuts down drastically on transportation costs! Find a farmer’s market (or small community grocery store) near you and purchase seasonal, organic produce. Buying straight from the source ensures that your fruits and veggies are fresh and haven’t been frozen. If you have the space, grow your own food! Can’t find a product grown locally in your area? Purchase fair trade and organic alternatives (like Alter Eco’s fair trade quinoa!)! While fair trade certified companies are typically known for their advocacy for fair wages and ethical working conditions, many are deeply committed to protecting the environment as well(7). Do some research and support companies that meet rigorous environmental standards. HAVE FUN COOKING! It’s great when you find a great meatless dish at your favorite restaurant, but the only way to fully know what’s going into your meal is to make it yourself. If you’re new to cooking and don’t know where to start sign up for a vegetarian cooking class with a friend or family member! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different foods and flavors and you might just find your new favorite go-to dish (check out our plant-based recipes below)! PLAN YOUR WEEKLY MEALS AHEAD OF TIME. This is an important part of adopting any new diet! Avoid last-minute decisions by creating a weekly meal schedule to make sure you’re diversifying your diet and getting all the protein that you need (the recommended dosage is 40-60 grams of protein per day, depending on your body size). ALWAYS READ THE INGREDIENTS AND NUTRITION FACTS! Some products like to sneak in hidden animal products that could compromise your diet. Other products compensate with an unhealthy dose of sugar. When in doubt, speak to a professional! Reference: http://www.alterecofoods.com/5-tips-for-meatless-diet/

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. Infertility is one of the most common PCOS symptoms. Because the symptoms of PCOS are seemingly unrelated to one another, the condition is often overlooked and undiagnosed. Overview Polycystic ovary syndrome causes irregular menstrual cycles, excessive body or facial hair and polycystic ovaries as its main symptoms. Polycystic means "many cysts," and PCOS often causes clusters of small, pearl-sized cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. Women with PCOS produce slightly higher amounts of male hormones known as androgens, which contribute to some of the symptoms of the condition. The cause of PCOS is not known. Some women with PCOS are less sensitive to insulin than other women, a condition known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can cause the ovaries to produce too many male hormones. The resulting hormonal imbalance can cause the symptoms of PCOS. The condition appears to run in families, and sisters of those with it are twice as likely to have it. Currently, PCOS has no cure, but a variety of PCOS treatments can help alleviate the symptoms of this disease, including infertility. PCOS Symptoms PCOS is a syndrome disease defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms of PCOS that one patient experiences can be very different from the symptoms of another patient. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, you need to have a thorough checkup to determine if you need PCOS treatment: Irregular or missing menstrual periods Infertility Excess or unwanted body or facial hair growth Thinning hair on the scalp Weight problems, often including weight gain around the waist Skin problems, including skin tags, darkening skin and acne Complications of PCOS The common PCOS symptoms are difficult enough for most women, but some will experience further complications, including: Diabetes, elevated insulin levels or insulin resistance Heart and blood vessel problems Uterine cancer Sleep apnea Each of these problems can be life threatening, which is why treatment for PCOS is so important. PCOS Treatments Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment starts with a proper diagnosis. Treatments are then chosen based on a woman's symptoms, age and future pregnancy plans. Treatment for PCOS may include: Birth control pills to regulate menstruation Insulin-sensitizing medications Ovulation induction to treat infertility Androgen-blocking medications Topical anti-hair-growth medications Other excess hair treatments Treatments for hair loss Acne treatments Removal of other skin problems Lifestyle and Prevention One of the best treatments for PCOS is a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, low in refined carbohydrates, is important, as this can help regulate blood sugar levels. Exercise can also help the body regulate insulin and keep excess weight off. Losing weight is challenging with PCOS, but doing so can help reduce the male hormone levels in the body, and some women will begin to ovulate naturally. With a proper diagnosis, lifestyle changes, and PCOS treatment, women can get relief from this condition and the overwhelming health problems it can cause. Editors: Cristina Meriggiola, MD, PhDUniversity of Bologna Musa Zamah, MD, PhDUniversity of California, San Francisco   Ref: http://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/womens-health/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

The Lowdown on Getting Up for Your Workout: 8 Keys to the Perfect Pre-Workout Drink

Pre-Workout supplementation has been one of the hottest categories in supplementation for more than a decade. and with good reason. Getting effectively motivated with the ideal nutrients before your workout can mean the difference between success and failure. Selecting a great pre-workout supplement can be a daunting task and isn’t for the faint of heart. There are literally dozens of selections out there, for every gym rat you ask you’re likely to get a different answer from each one. Here we’ll breakdown the elements that make up a great pre-workout supplement so you can make an informed decision. Caffeine Pre-workout supplements give you a pretty huge advantage in the gym for a few reasons. First and foremost, they work on motivation and energy. Typically, not unlike an energy drink, the main ingredient is tried and true caffeine (methylxanthine). Whether it comes from a coffee, a caffeine pill or in the form of a pre-workout supp, this ingredient is a potent one that provides a long list of benefits. Most importantly to your workout is its ability to stimulate your brain to get you motivated. Aside from waking you up and giving you mental energy, it has the effect of reducing your perception of exertion. Simply put, you’ll push harder because the weight actually feels less heavy than it normally would. The result – you’ll simply get more out of your workout, you’ll lift more, run harder and go longer. This is why (at least for a time) caffeine in elevated amounts was considered to be a banned performance-enhancing substance. 1-3, Dimethylamylamine or DMA In the last few years, there have been additional stimulants introduced to further enhance this effect. They, like caffeine, work on increasing the secretion of norepinephrine (NE) by the adrenal glands. One of the most contentious of these is called 1-3, Dimethylamylamine or DMA for short. This ingredient is a chemical that was said to have come from Geranium extract, but this has been scientifically challenged scientifically both for and against. It has since been declared illegal in many countries and banned by certain sports organizations like WADA. Hordenine, Synephrine and Octopamine There are other key ingredients that you can rely on to provide a very similar stimulant action, Hordenine, Synephrine and Octopamine. All of these exert very similar stimulant actions and complement caffeine very nicely. Naringin is an ideal addition, as it extends the action of the stimulants by reducing the rate at which your body breaks them down. This increases the activity time of the stimulant and improves their effect. Yohimbine The one stimulant that is unique to the others and highly effective is Yohimbine. Unfortunately, this ingredient in illegal in Canada, but is very popular in US formulations. The advantage with this ingredient is that it is known to increase blood flow and act on specific fat receptors in the buttocks and thighs, generally lowering body fat. In terms of pre-workout supplementation, it produces a strong stimulant effect that tends to work well in conjunction with caffeine. Aside from the stimulant effect so important to getting your head in the game, the elevation of norepinephrine also has a strong fat-burning effect. So, in addition to getting the mental focus and motivation critical to getting a good workout, you will simultaneously burn more fat. The mechanism of action is a liberation of stored fat in the form of long-chain fatty acids that can be burned by the body to produce energy. L-Carnitine The addition of L-Carnitine to your pre-workout supplement is an ideal complement to your pre-workout stack, but it should be taken between an hour and 30 minutes before you train (whereas your pre-workout absorbs very quickly and should be taken right before you train.) L-Carnitine in the body transports the long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) into the cell where the mitochondria burn the LCFA as energy. It is well known that mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, but less well known is how the supplementation of L-Carnitine supports this process. Arginine Arginine is a primary component of most of these pre-workout supplements, and for good reason. It has been a standard in medicine for increasing nitric oxide in cardiac patients for decades. Nitric oxide (NO) relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow. One of the keys to Arginine is uptake and absorption. This is why you will often see blends of varied forms of Arginine to ensure that your body actually uses the Arginine for NO production. Another key factor of Arginine that is lesser known is its ability to help stimulate the release of growth hormone. Arginine also happens to be one of the substrates that your body uses to endogenously make Creatine. Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng and Citrulline Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng and Citrulline are top favorites and worth having in any pre-workout supplement – Ginkg ...

The 5 Worst Pieces of Weight Management Advice I’ve Heard

By Sarah Skalzub, RHN It all sounds so good, the endless promises and guarantees that just by following a miracle diet you’ll lose weight fast, keep it off—and get that bikini body, instantly.  You’ve heard it all before, and seen many fad diets come and go, but one thing I’ve learned, whether I’ve tried them out, or sat back at watched, is that these fads never last. Here are the top five horrible pieces of weight management advice I’ve heard, that, well to put it bluntly, just don’t work long-term. 1. “Whatever you do, just don’t eat this.” Whenever a diet asks you to cut out a major macronutrient (that your body needs to function properly!), you know it’s not going to end pretty. Quick refresher: macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, all of which are essential for your body to function at its best. Carbohydrates are what your body uses as energy for your daily activities. Fats— good fats of course—are essential for many different functions in your body. And protein is the building block of muscle, and you need it to help your body repair and rebuild tissue daily. . While fat-free or no-carb diets may be beneficial to individuals with certain health concerns, if it’s weight loss you’re after, you might want to try an approach more sustainable that’s going to give you the energy and strength to take your full life head-on, day after day, not deplete it. Eating a well-balanced diet including all your good quality macronutrients is a great start for successful weight management. 2. “I found the magic pill.” It hurts to hear, but there’s no one little pill you can take to make the weight magically melt off your body for the rest of your life. Anyone who promises their magic pill (or bean) will solve everything you wish was different about your weight, is selling lies and making a lucrative profit off of your personal goals— which they have no ability or interest in helping you achieve. Let’s be real: long-term weight management is all about moderation, and eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients–that’s what will give you the energy you’ll need to live an active life. Exercise and a healthy diet go hand-in-hand when it comes to weight management.. 3. “You’ll lose 10 pounds in 10 days!” Doesn’t this sound fantastic?! While you might be able to achieve this, by fasting or drastically cutting your calories, this is not sustainable, and chances are as soon as you go back to your routine, the weight will find its way back to your waistline. Long-term sustainable weight management will happen when you develop a routine and slowly start to crowd the not-as-great stuff out by adding in more good-for-you foods. Keep in mind: this won’t happen overnight—this small-changes approach is one that can last a lifetime, and get better over time. Kind of like a fine wine. 4. “Count every calorie/macro” Not all calories are created equal, and when it comes to being ultimately healthy from the inside out, you want to ensure you’re providing your body with foods that are a great source of micronutrients—not just the right amount of calories. For example, say a bag of potato chips has the exact same amount of calories as a slice of whole grain bread with some avocado sliced on top, seasoned artfully with fresh dill and lemon juice. Which one of these is going to serve your body better? You’re going to eat that bag of potato chips, or eat avocado toast (that has whole grains, B vitamins and good fats). There are certainly some days that enjoying potato chips may be what you need. Most days you may decide to reach for the avocado toast. For long-term weight management, look at the nutrients a piece of food contains before the calories. Guess what? Many plant-based foods are naturally nutrient dense. Let’s hear it for nutrient dense fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds! 5. “It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you follow this workout routine” Don’t get me wrong, movement is definitely part of a healthy routine. But just because you went for a run in the morning or hit the gym, doesn’t mean you get a free-pass to eat whatever you want later on. Just like getting a workout in at sunrise doesn’t mean your body needs a whole cheesecake for a dessert, it also doesn’t mean that you need to track every calorie you burned in a spreadsheet. If you did a sweaty workout at the gym or in a group exercise class you’re going to want to supply your body with the right building blocks to replenish energy, repair and rebuild. What could help you achieve your goals while keeping you feeling good about your choices? Try whipping up a high-protein smoothie post-workout. Using your favorite Vega® protein product, toss in some ...

6 Ways To Elevate Your Smoothie Game

Smoothies have long been a part of my day. If I don’t blend one up for breakfast, I’m usually whipping one up to fight that 3PM slump. The smoothies I make typically need to be quick and easy.  Here are six things I’ve been doing lately to make my smoothie game strong. 1. One Glass Don’t dirty five cups to make one smoothie. Lately I’ve been drinking my smoothie right out of the glass I use to measure ingredients. Mason jars make great measuring cups, allowing you to precisely measure out liquids thanks to the measurement lines marked on the side. Or, use your blender for everything! Most blenders have cup measurements on the side and I find “handfuls” are pretty good measurements when trying to eyeball 1/2 cup berries or 1 cup baby spinach. Take it one step further by throwing a straw into the blender container and drinking straight from the source! 2. Waste Not Have some leftover coffee in the pot, two spoonfuls of pumpkin left in the can, or just three sips of almond milk left in the container? Pour or place leftover ingredients into ice cube trays or muffin tins. When you’ve got a hankering for a mocha smoothie (or whatever flavor is calling your name), grab your frozen cubes, add the rest of your ingredients and you’re good to go! 3. Make Smoothie Pops Do you ever have that annoying ½ cup smoothie left in the bottom of the blender that doesn’t fit into your to-go mug? You could take a big gulp before rushing out the door, BUT alternatively why not pour leftovers into ice pop molds? You’ll have a cool, sweet treat waiting for you (or your kids) for another time of day. 4. Make Smoothie Packs Carve out a few extra minutes of meal prep on Sundays to prepare some smoothie packs for the week. Measure out fruit and Vega® plant-based protein powder and place into single bags (or even the Mason jar you plan to drink the smoothie from!). In the morning, toss into the blender with your favorite liquid and Vega protein powder and blend. 5. Freeze Smoothie Ice Cubes If you love thick creamy smoothies, try shaking a scoop of Vega powder with non-dairy milk and pouring into ice cube molds. For an evening when you’re craving a thick chocolate shake (or any time of day) place cubes in a blender with frozen banana and some more non-dairy milk and blend until creamy. 6. Save Overripe Foods If you’re preparing to leave for a trip, or maybe you’ve just returned, or you just went overboard on your last grocery trip, don’t throw away fruits and vegetables that you just can’t finish before they wilt away. You can freeze everything from brown bananas, to wilting greens, to very soft avocados. Even steamed cauliflower! Stash all in freezer friendly containers to add to smoothies. PS. Avocados and steamed cauliflower take smoothie creaminess to the next level – trust me! On days that I feel just so busy even taking minutes to blend a smoothie—even with these hacks—feels impossible, I reach for Vega® Protein+ Shake* as I run out the door. What are some of your go-to tips and tricks for blending up the perfect smoothie every time? Reference: https://myvega.com/blog/smoothie-hacks/

Fish Oil For Weight Loss: An Introductory Guide

The addition of omega-3 to diets is an increasingly popular choice for everyone from professional athletes to those looking to manage a condition or simply live a healthier lifestyle. Whether your doctor spoke to you about the benefits of omega-3 fish oil for weight loss, or you heard about them in the news, you’re probably very curious about how it can help you achieve your goals. In this post, we’re going to talk to you about how omega-3 fish oil can help you maintain a healthy body weight, as well as the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight and body composition. Then, we’ll touch on what to look for in a fish oil supplement, so you’ll be sure to choose the one that is perfect for your weight loss goals. Fish Oil for Weight Loss: How Omega-3 Works The idea of fat fighting fat may seem contradictory, but studies have clearly indicated that omega-3 fatty acids may potentially reduce body fat percentage and belly fat as well as suppress appetites, leading to a lower caloric intake. It has also been found to increase metabolism and fat burning capacity. As a matter of fact, several recent trials have shown that participants who received 1.8 grams of omega-3 containing EPA & DHA (the fatty acids in omega-3 that are responsible for weight loss) daily over a three week period reported two pounds of fat loss. This is compared to the 0.66 pounds of fat loss reported by participants who received a placebo. This research suggests you can potentially increase the effectiveness of your weight loss efforts simply by adding omega-3 to your diet.  This information may raise some questions, most notably: if adding omega-3 to your diet can assist with weight loss, will pairing it with exercise boost its fat burning potential? Research seems to say yes! In a 3-week clinical trial, participants who combined daily supplementation of omega-3 with a healthy diet and regular exercise experienced more than three pounds of additional weight loss than those who combined a healthy diet and regular exercise with a placebo.  Building Muscle While research has suggested that fish oil can aid with weight loss, research has shown that omega-3 can help build muscle mass for those who are interested in building their bodies. Scientific literature related to omega-3 and muscle building capacity seems to conclude that combining omega-3 with physical activity can improve body mass function and quality. The Benefits of Choosing Fish Oil for Weight Loss Obesity represents a major health challenge across the world. In North America, we are seeing body weight skyrocket among children, teens, and adults of all ages. Perhaps even more troubling, we’re also seeing expanding waistlines, which can indicate that fat is surrounding and constricting vital organs. Because of this, it’s crucial to focus on managing weight, as well as body composition. Omega-3 found in fish oil could provide a safe, inexpensive, and most importantly, effective option for treating as well as preventing these health concerns.  What to Look for When Choosing a Fish Oil for Weight Loss When choosing the best omega-3 fish oil supplement for weight loss, there are a couple of key factors to keep in mind, including: Potency – This refers to how much EPA + DHA (the fatty acids we mentioned earlier) are in each serving. Potency translates into benefits, so it’s important to check and make sure that you’re getting the best amount for you.  Taste – If you’re going to be taking an omega-3 supplement daily, you should definitely enjoy the way it tastes otherwise you probably won’t take it! Ascenta offers their supplements in a wide variety of flavours, including mango, lemon, and even chocolate!  So now you know a few of the facts associated with choosing omega-3 fish oil for weight loss, and should feel confident in making the choice that’s right for you! If you’re interested in more information on the benefits of choosing omega-3 fish oil for weight loss, as well as a number of other conditions, download the FREE guide: Which Fish Oil Supplement Is Best? A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Omega-3. This article has been provided to you by Acenta website. 

Fibre for a Heart Healthy

For something that just passes through your digestive tract without actually being absorbed, dietary fibre contributes a lot to your health – including heart health. Fibre has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar in diabetics. It can also help reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity, which are risk factors for heart disease. Dietary fibre comes from vegetables, fruit, and grains and is often described as soluble or insoluble. While both forms of fibre support heart health, they act in different ways and come from different sources. Soluble fibre Soluble fibre becomes a viscous, gel-like substance when it is mixed with water during digestion. It slows the movement of food through your digestive tract, which keeps you feeling full longer, helps maintain steady blood sugar levels, and improves insulin sensitivity in diabetics. Soluble fibre is also believed to help lower LDL (also known as bad cholesterol) levels by preventing it from being absorbed during digestion. Great sources include beans, oat bran, apples, seeds, psyllium and PGX. Insoluble fibre Insoluble fibre does not change form when digested or mixed with water. It essentially passes through your digestive tract unchanged. This adds bulk to help push food through your intestines faster and can lower your calorie intake by making you feel full from smaller portions of food. Great sources include vegetables, fruit peels, seeds, nuts, lentils and whole grains such as brown rice. How much fibre do you need? Plan to eat 25 to 38 grams of fibre per day. Look for products with at least 2 grams of fibre listed on the Nutrition Facts panel and eat a variety of plant-based foods so that you get a good mix of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Both are needed for keeping your heart healthy. This article has been provided to you by Natural factors

What Weight Loss Supplements Actually Work?

Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the news regarding weight loss supplementation after a survey found that many consumers were misinformed regarding their effectiveness and safety. This has caused many to lose faith in supplements for weight loss. But let’s not be so hasty. In previous years, drnibber.com has outlined specific ingredients with a strong track record and scientific support for modest weight loss, while highlighting flaws in other less supported, yet highly marketed, products. It is unfair to paint all weight loss supplements with the same brush. The take home messages from this consumer report should be the following: 1. Weight loss cannot simply be solved by a pill per day. They must always be used in the context of a healthy diet, lifestyle and exercise.2. There is a wide variation in ingredient efficacy, brand quality and safety. Just as there is a wide variation in food quality and clothing quality, we cannot say that all supplements are good or that all are bad. Many reported side effects of weight loss supplements tend to be caused by nervous system stimulants like ephedrine and caffeine. But there are lots of safe and trusted ones, too.3. Every individual’s reason for weight gain is unique. In some cases, the cause is too many calories in and not enough out (i.e. eating too much and not exercising enough). But in many cases, there are hormone imbalances or stress or nutrient deficiencies or chemical exposure, etc. (see here for more details). In these circumstances, weight loss is more likely when a targeted supplement is used for the specific imbalance.4. Given the above points, it is highly recommended to speak with someone qualified to advise you about supplementation, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes. Be wary of a sales pitch because weight loss supplements are still a business. So what does work? Here are some of the supplements that may be worth considering in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle: – Green Tea Extract: increases your body’s metabolic rate– Triphala: especially indicated for those with occasional constipation– Green Coffee Bean Extract: decreases sugar absorption and also lowers blood pressure– Ashwagandha: used to offset weight gain seen with high stress– Whey Protein: shown to keep you full and helps preserve lean muscle tissue when dieting As aforementioned, be wary of supplements with high amounts of caffeine or ephedrine that are simply trying to stimulate your nervous system. Raspberry ketones are also commonly touted for weight loss but with very little science to back them up. These are the types of ingredients worth avoiding. Instead, start with the basics: remove processed foods, eat more vegetables, drink more water, get outside and get moving. Then add in a targeted supplement for your individual circumstance. What have you found to make the biggest difference in your weight loss journey? Have you tried any of the products mentioned above? Share your experiences with us below!