Lowering cholesterol is one of the best ways to protect yourself from heart attack and stroke. A low cholesterol diet is easily achieved, given the variety of healthy foods available. Discover how easy it is to avoid excess saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol while enjoying tasty heart-healthy meals. Below are tips for achieving this:
- Keep portions of meat, poultry, and fish modest (smaller than a deck of cards).
- Trim all visible fat from meat and poultry before cooking.
- Bake, broil, grill, microwave, or roast instead of frying.
- Before adding other ingredients, cook ground meat, drain fat, and rinse in strainer with hot water.
- Remove skin from poultry before cooking.
- Eat luncheon meats sparingly (even low fat) due to high sodium content.
- Drink skim or fat-free milk (gradually work your way from whole milk to 2% to 1% to skim).
- Use fat-free cheese in casseroles (melts better inside casserole instead of on top).
- In creamed soups or white sauces, use skim or fat-free milk or fat-free half & half.
- Use non-fat yogurt and skim or fat free milk in cooking
- Try non-fat sour cream or fat free cheese for spreads, toppings or when cheeses are called for.
- Try egg substitutes or substitute 2 egg whites for each whole egg in recipes.
- Have small servings of fruit as a dessert or snack.
- Keep cut up raw vegetables in the refrigerator for a quick snack.
- Season with herbs, spices, lemon juice, or light mayonnaise.
- Reduce meat intake by using small amounts of meat, poultry, or fish added to vegetables, pasta, or brown rice.
- Avoid frequent use of butter, lard, fatback and solid shortenings.
- Use vegetable cooking spray.
- Use non-fat yogurt to make dips; serve with cut up vegetables.
- Pop popcorn in an air popper.
Source: Nutrition Know-How from Medical Center Hospital
Eating More Means Weighing Less
Eating small snacks throughout the day in addition to a regular balanced meal will keep you full. This will help with the unhealthy cravings that creep up on you throughout the day. Just keep the food healthy with a strong focus on the nutrients. Some healthy snacks include peanut butter, cheese, and yogurt.
Slow Down When Running
Research shows that running at a pace your body recognizes helps you maintain your energy throughout the run, which allows for a more successful run. Lace up your shoes and run at a pace you are comfortable with!
Boost Your Energy with Water
Instead of drinking coffee, drink water. Scientists have discovered that water increases sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity. When under stress, SNS raises blood pressure, energy use, and alertness. Don’t forget water also improves oral health and promotes weight loss.
Sleeping For Long Periods May Reduce Benefits
As important as sleep is, researchers have found that sleeping more than 8 hours a day (including naps) increases metabolic syndrome compared to those who slept less. Metabolic syndrome are risk factors, linked to obesity, which increase your chance of heart disease and other health problems, including diabetes and stroke.
Use Music to Boost Brain Power
People go to the gym to work their bodies, but what do you do to work your brain? Studies have found that musical training, or any interaction with music including listening, improved the brain’s ability to handle communication. The research also shows that children with musical training have better-than-average vocabulary and reading ability.
Maintaining your health during the cold dark winter months is every Canadian’s challenge. Not only do we have to battle the cold but constant comfort food cravings and the mighty flu bug can often thwart even the best of intentions. While it may feel intuitive to stay inside, hibernating doesn’t keep us healthy. Being to inactive can actually weaken your immune system.
Luckily, there are a number of things we can do to combat an unhealthy winter lifestyle. Here are a few examples.
- Drink healthy fluidsSugary and caffeinated beverages can cause weight gain and dehydration. They also offer minimal nutrition which makes them worthless to your immune system. Drinking six to eight glasses a day of water or herbal tea can keep your digestive system healthy, your weight down and your energy up. You body needs this during the winter to help detoxify your system.
- Get enough SleepSleeping is one of the most effective ways to refuel after a stressful day. Make sure to sleep in a dark room to ensure your body properly secretes the hormone melatonin, which is believed to help repair the immune system.
- Avoid added sugarsRefined flours and sugars can also negatively impact your immune-system function. In other words, if there is a flu or cold circulating and you go a little crazy on the white sugar (cookies, pop, candy, etc.), you are more vulnerable to getting sick. Turn to naturally occurring sugars found in fruit or honey for some sweetness.
- Fruits and Veggies. Make sure you consume fruits and vegetables EVERYDAY. Whether it’s in a bowl of vegetable soup, a fruit smoothie or an afternoon orange or banana. The vitamins and minerals in fresh fruit and vegetables will keep that flu bug at bay. Make sure you are adding that “colour” to every meal of the day
- MOVE. Do not just sit on the couch. Yes, it is cold outside so a walk or run may not be realistic. You need to find an indoor activity that you enjoy and can do on a regular basis. Yoga, Spinning or even mall walking are great options. Staying active will help your physical and mental well-being.
January is a month of fresh starts and new beginnings. The commencement of a new year motivates many people to make positive changes in many aspects of their lives. Something that is often a priority at the beginning of the year is weight loss and improved fitness. It is for this reason the gym and exercise studios are the busiest this time of year. For people who are joining a gym for the first time, it can be an intimidating place. If you are one of the masses who will be hitting the gym for the first time this month, here are a few tips to staying motivated and maintaining your commitment to improved fitness.
- Take a tour of your gym and get familiarized with all the equipment and amenities. Ask the gym staff to show you around the facilities and demonstrate the correct way to use the equipment.
- Find out what you are paying for and use it. Many new gym memberships include free personal training or fitness assessment sessions. These sessions can help demystify how different types of exercise can help you reach your goals. Your membership could also include access to group fitness classes. Make the most of what is included in your package.
- Always warm up. If you are just starting integrate exercise in your life, don’t start with extreme activity. Start your workout with some light cardio and weightlifting and stretches to get your body primed for more intense exertion. This will help you prevent injuries and get the most out of your workout.
- Start small and then work your way up. At the beginning, an hour long workout may seem really intimidating. If this is the case, you can start with 20-30 workout sessions. Over the next few weeks and months, you can work your way up to a longer and more intense workout routine.
- Focus on yourself. Try not to compare yourself to the person working out next to you. Be mindful of your body and how you are feeling during your workout. Stay focused on your body and the unique set of goals that you have set for yourself.
While many people enjoy the holiday season, there are some downfalls to this time of year. The financial stress of buying gifts and seeing extended family along with end of year reflection can cause people to feel over whelmed and stressed. Overcrowded malls and high workloads can also contribute to the intensity of this time of year. Here are a few tips to keep your holiday season anxiety at bay.
- Get outdoors. In Canada, the shorter days can lead to seasonal affective disorder. Taking a walk outdoors may not be as inviting as during the warmer months but getting outside for just a little natural light can uplift you mood and relax your mind. Go for a walk even if it’s just a short one.
- Stay Active. Whether it is taking the dog for a walk or work out to some fitness dvds in your living room, participating in regular physical activity will help you generate serotonin and keep your mood up.
- Make a list. Keep track of what errands need to be done but prioritize the ones that are the most important. Determine which items are “a must” and if you can’t get to the others, leave them until tomorrow or the weekend. Seeing what needs to get done can help you feel more in control. Cross of one item at a time. You don’t have to finish everything at once. Don’t obsess about doing it all. Your list will help keep you realistic and organized.
- Unplug. Try and disconnect from your phone and email for a few hours in the evening. Or leave your phone at home when you leave the house to run a few errands. We have all become so accustomed to having to check our mobile devices, it’s impossible to escape from their constant pull. Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts contribute to mounting stress levels, especially in women. Take a time out from your mobile device if only for a few hours each day.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. During the month of December, it can be tempting to accept every invitation that you receive. While the holidays are a great time to party, you may find that if you overbook yourself, you might enjoy the festivities as much as you thought. Make sure you get enough downtime so you can recharge between holiday events.