|by Rick Moore|
|We Are What We Eat...Really!
It's great to be back again. I'm really over this winter what with the freezing temperatures, wind, snow, and ice. Can spring be far away?
I hope your holidays were jolly and nice. My Christmas and New Year were the most memorable, most fun, most romantic I've ever experienced. My times with my hubby, Nick, are just so wonderful. But enough about me tooting my horn. This is all about health and fitness, right? Of course.
For the most part, come January and February we are all thinking about getting back in shape. And for a change, instead of telling you to exercise as usual, let me tell you the most important aspect of losing weight. It's your diet. Nick and I are very strict about our diet. We believe in a high protein, lo-carb, lo-fat diet. It stretches out to 6 (six) meals spread out throughout the day. Nick is probably more strict because his cholesterol is over 200. So rather than give in and take drugs to lower it, he's doing it through diet. OK, you've seen my Nick, 240not an ounce of fat on him. His high 200 count is attributed to heredity. Three quarters of his direct family all have high cholesterol counts.
And my Nick is very choosy when it comes to the foods he consumes. Take yogurt for instance. He prefers to make his own at home. You just wouldn't believe how good homemade yogurt tastes. And yogurt is one terrific health food. Want proof? Well, how about this. Eating yogurt daily helps you lose weight. Researchers found that obese people who added three servings of lo-fat yogurt daily to their diets lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than did non-yogurt eaters. These same researchers credit yogurt's high calcium with melting fat while preserving lean tissue mass.
New data reveals that yogurt may be an anti-inflammatory and a treatment for arthritis. Rats fed yogurt before injections with arthritis-causing chemicals developed no arthritis, or only mild symptoms. The yogurt lessened symptoms, producing a remarkable curative effect, researchers concluded.
And the French did a study that showed that people who ate the most yogurt had half as many pre-cancerous colon polyps as those who ate none. It seems that yogurt blocked the progression of colon cancer. That's very interesting, oui?
Want more yogurt trivia? Yogurt may suppress H. pylori infections, a cause of peptic ulcers, chronic gastritis and possible stomach cancer. This research comes from Taiwan. After 59 infected people ate a cup of yogurt twice a day for six weeks, bacteria concentrations dropped more than 35% and the severity of infections significantly lessened.
And here is one that really affects me. Anyone with lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease or even food allergies probably could benefit from eating yogurt. And a new study states that giving children yogurt may reduce the duration of diarrhea, too.
Need some tips for buying yogurt? Well, make sure you check the labels for "live and active cultures." And buy just plain yogurtthe lo-fat kindand add your own fruit to it, whether it's preserves or real fruit. This is an old Martha Stewart tip (nonot from jail). This tip saves money and calories.
As fussy as my Nick is about yogurt, well, don't get him started on olive oil. It has to be olive oil and no other type of oilperiod. This is where I was totally confused and Nick had to educate me on this one. Whether it is virgin, extra virgin, pure, or extra lightI just dunno! So hubby starts by saying that the best type of olive oil is extra virgin. It is extracted without chemicals or heat. And it comes from the first pressing of ripe olives. It is the lowest in acid and strongest in flavor, and this is the one Nick insists on buying. Virgin olive oil, which is extracted very similarly to the first and second pressing, contains more acid. Pure olive oil is a mixture of virgin or extra virgin and refined oil (derived from later pressings) often using chemicals and heat.
Extra light is refined oil that has a light color and a milder flavor. OK, now here's a fact to know. Despite what it's name implies, extra light has the same number of calories (120) and total fat (about 14g) per tablespoon as other kinds of olive oil.
All types of olive oil contain relatively high levels of mono-saturated fat, which studies show may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration recently began allowing olive oil producers to make what are known as qualified claims to advertise the health benefits of olive oil.
And another big benefit of olive oil is that it contains valuable antioxidantsmany give extra virgin the health edge over the other varieties. Because it undergoes minimal processing, extra virgin retains the highest level of antioxidants known as polyphenols: compounds found in fruits, vegetables, tea and wine that may help to protect against heart disease.
So anything that helps my hubby's cholesterol count is OK in my book, and it can only lead to more enjoyable times for the both of us.
Ahh, it's great to be back.
Rick Moore is a personal trainer certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates. Visit him at www.ricksfitness.net.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 1February 11, 2005