A recent article on the Harvard School of Public Health’s web page looked at the results of the change in America’s diet from the sixties to the present day. The article suggests that a low fat diet leading to better health has become a myth that needs to be debunked.
The facts are that in the sixties Americans received 45% of their calories in the form of fats and oils. During this time only 13% of Americans were obese and less than 1% had type 2 diabetes. After decades of eating foods lower in fats (only 33% of calories now taken in are from these sources) 34% of Americans are now diagnosed as obese and 11% have diabetes.
The article explains that sugars and refined carbohydrates are now being added to “fat-free” foods to make them more flavorful. It is the author’s contention that these ‘fast carbs” are more harmful to heart health than ingesting foods higher in fats. He also suggests that the lack of “good fats’ among other nutrients that is one of the culprits in our lack of better health from consuming foods that are lower in fat.
The good, healthy fats referenced in the article that are missing from many low fat diets are readily found in our favorite all natural snack, the almond. Visit our website today to order some delicious flavored almond snacks as a healthy alternative to those “low fat”, “fast carb” infused products.
A recent Science News Daily article reported on a study that tested whether eating fish high that were high in Omega 3 fatty acids would reduce the risk of stroke. The proven benefits of eating sardines, mackerel, salmon and other oily fish on heart health was the catalyst behind the idea that there may be other cardiovascular benefits to consuming these foods.
Researchers performed an in depth analysis of 38 different studies involving over 800,000 people who ate this kind of fish. Research showed that those who ate two to four fish meals a week had a 6% lower incidence of stroke than those who only had one or two meals of fish a week.
Those who only took fish oil supplements did not show any evidence of reduced risk. The researchers estimated that the differences could be due to the fact that eating the fish delivers other nutrients to the body that combine with the omega 3 oils to reduce the chance of having a stroke.
Eating more natural foods has long been suggested as a way to build a heart healthier diet. One of our favorite all-natural foods, the almond, also has benefits for the cardiovascular system. Almonds deliver healthy monounsaturated fats to your bloodstream and help to naturally reduce your “bad” cholesterol. Visit our website to order some delicious flavored almond snacks and get started on the course toward a more heart healthy diet today.
The Medical News Today has reviewed a study on mid-life habits and their influence on older heath. The researchers identified healthy behaviors that middle aged people followed such as not smoking, eating fruits and vegetables and getting exercise as those that helped them successfully age.
Successful aging was identified as being in overall good health with no chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and/or heart disease. Those who aged successfully also showed good mobility, respiratory function and cognitive skills at the end of the 16 year study.
The study included 5100 people from the UK and France that had none of the chronic diseases mentioned earlier. When they were reevaluated sixteen years later 549 people had died and 953 were classified as successfully aging. This portion of the group was a little younger than the overall group but the researchers still believe that the healthy behaviors had an impact on successful aging.
The important lesson to take from this study is that paying attention to simple healthy lifestyle habits now can have a positive impact on your health in the future. Start your journey to successful aging by making a concerted effort to get regular exercise and by replacing your favorite high fat, high sugar snacks with healthier, all natural snacks. Stop by our website to pick up some delicious flavored almond snacks that can satisfy cravings and that fit in well into a heart healthier diet.
The old adage “an apple a day keeps the Doctor away” has been given new credence in a recent study conducted by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Lead researcher Dr. Robert DiSilvestro, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University, was in charge of this study that looked at the effects of eating an apple everyday on the Low Density Lipids of 16 middle aged adults. The participants were compared to subjects who took the antioxidant polyphenol via a dietary supplement. Researchers found that those who ate the apples saw a greater degree of reduction of LDLs (bad cholesterol) than those taking the supplement.
According to Dr. DiSilvestro the polyphenol reduces the oxidizing of LDLs and therefore limits the damage to arteries that the LDLs can cause. The Doctor believes that “all antioxidants are not created equal” in this process and that the polyphenols from apples are the most effective in bringing about these positive results.
These powerful and highly beneficial antioxidants are not only found in apples. One of our very favorite all natural snacks, the almond, are rich in polyphenol as well. Apples might be the best source but they are not the only one – a delicious all-natural snack containing both flavored almonds and apple slices can certainly be a tasty part of a more heart healthy diet.
With all of the diet advice floating around on the internet it is fairly easy to get overwhelmed or confused about what moves to make to get healthier. The diets we like to talk about or review here at Awesome Natural Foods are of course those that promote health – not just weight loss at any cost.
It is good to know for instance that the heart healthy diets seem to dovetail with the brain healthy diets. These diets tend to recommend fish that is high in Omega 3 fats and they also rely on antioxidants for brain and heart health from natural foods like blueberries and other fruits and vegetables.
There are three foods beginning with the letter A (avocados, apples and almonds) that seem to be high on just about every healthy food list. Not only do all three contain antioxidants but avocados and almonds also contain healthy fats that promote good blood vessel maintenance.
Keeping arteries free of blockages by fatty deposits can help keep the heart and the brain both functioning at a higher level. Combining fresh apples with almonds and avocados in a salad can be a great way to get all three A’s in one all natural snack. Visit our website today to order some delicious flavored almonds to mix or stand alone for a snack that will serve as a perfect addition to a heart and brain healthy diet.
A recent article in the New York Times looks at the results of a Stanford University study that analyzed four decades of research on the advantages of organic foods over conventionally made foods. The study’s results, published in the September issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, were surprising to the researchers. According to the research, organically grown fruits and vegetables as well as organic meats were found to have no real evidence of being significantly better for people’s health.
The lead author of the study explained that researchers felt there would be some signs that the organic food would have fewer problems with things like E. coli contamination but it appears that they do not. There usually is more pesticide residue found in conventional foods but not above allowable levels established by the EPA. Many organic food purchasers were quick to point out that they buy these products to avoid pesticides and the antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in regular meat products and will continue to do so.
Despite the results of this particular research many people still feel more comfortable buying organic foods and all natural snacks for their families. Visit our website today to see our full line of all natural, vegan friendly and kosher certified flavored almond snacks.
There is a list that the Mayo Clinic has had on their website [www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-healthy-diet/NU00196] that can be used as a jumping off point for those who want to start a heart healthy diet. It’s important to note though that you should see your doctor before embarking on any change in diet no matter how beneficial you may think it is.
The Clinic recommends these 8 steps to improve heart healthy eating:
1. Control your portion size – calories need to be counted
2. Eat more vegetables and fruits as they are the basic components of heart healthy eating
3. Select whole Grains which have more fiber and fewer calories.
4. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol – Trans Fats and saturated fats should be avoided in favor of Monounsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds and olive oil.
5. Use low fat protein sources like chicken, fish, beans, and lean meats to avoid fats too
6. Reduce salt by paying attention to nutrition labels for sodium content.
7. Plan ahead – know what you need and plan meals accordingly
8. Have a treat – a few potato chips here and there aren’t bad if you don’t binge.
When planning ahead have some almonds from Awesome Natural Foods on hand to get some heart healthy fiber and monounsaturated fats from our all-natural snacks. Visit our website today to view all of our delicious varieties of flavored almond snacks.
There is an article on the Harvard School of Public Health [www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/index.html] that contains ten healthy eating tips. A few of them are very helpful in cutting through, what they explain as, the confusion that nutrition articles sometimes cause. For instance the first tip is to eat good carbs, not zero carbs. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans are listed as the good carbs that give you energy for another important health helper – exercise.
Beans are also a healthy source of protein along with nuts, fish and poultry. Avoiding red meat is recommended for heart health reasons and the risk of certain types of cancer. The article also recommends consuming healthy fats like those found in our favorite all-natural snack – the almond.
Delicious, all natural almonds are a good source of healthy fats, protein, fiber and other nutrients but it is important to note that they are not a panacea. A healthy diet requires a balance of natural foods to ensure that your body gets all of the nutrients it needs to function properly. Visit our website to get some delicious almond snacks to add to your diet but make sure to add a variety of other healthy foods and get adequate exercise as you work toward a healthier lifestyle.
The many articles about Omega- 3 fatty acids indicate that the Western diet is usually lacking in foods that have this valuable substance. The need to consume more oily fish such as salmon and mackerel to gain the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids don’t usually look at another beneficial Omega fatty acid group – Omega-6.
For the last decade nutritionists have described the need to keep these two fats in balance. The Omega-6 fatty acids that come to us from vegetable oils in spreads along with salad oils and shortening can throw this balance way off. This is especially true for those who are not getting enough Omega-3s.
One area that proves balance between these two is necessary is the immune responses of the body. Omega-6 helps the body to get blood to areas that needs it. The Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful to the anti-inflammatory processes the body also needs.
If you eat leafy green vegetables, lean meats and supplement your diet with nuts and seeds, including almonds, you will be getting enough Omega-6. Then you can balance this with the foods that are rich in Omega-3. The all-natural snack the almond is the one of the tastiest and healthiest ways to get this essential nutrient in a well-balanced diet. Visit our online store to grab some delicious flavored varieties of almond snacks today.
The primary reasons for dieting usually revolve around improving looks and health. Dieters tend to limit their calories for as long as it takes to lose the desired weight and that is where the goal of improved health may take a detour. The dieter sees that fats have a lot of calories and tend to cut fats and carbs in an effort to lose weight.
Your body does need a certain amount of fats to keep you healthy so elimination of all fats is not a good idea. Monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil and canola oil, can be used in cooking to help make food taste better while being heart healthy at the same time. Monounsaturated fats help reduce cholesterol and can also help lower blood pressure.
Trans fats and saturated fats, like those found in palm oil, margarines and other spreads are not heart healthy. Any dieter, whether trying to be heart healthy or not, should stay away from these.
Dieters looking for a heart healthy diet can often use some help in the snack area. That’s where our favorite all natural snack the almond comes in. Almonds contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats, have zero Trans fats and they taste delicious. Visit the Awesome Natural Foods store to order some of our delicious, all natural almond snacks today.