5 Healthy Snacks

These snacks can easily be packed for the road. And since all of them are low in calories, you don’t have to feel guilty of eating one or two packs.

Strawberry Cherry Apple
PER 1 POUCH: 60 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 0 g protein.
No added sugars, fruit juices, purees, preservatives, or concentrates, every pouch is a full serving of real fruit.

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  • Contains 40 – 0.6oz KIND Fruit Bites Pouches
  • With only 3 fruit ingredients: strawberry, cherry and apple, these bite-sized snacks combine all our farmers’ market favorites
  • With no added sugar and a full serving of fruit in each pouch, it’s the perfect lunchbox snack.
  • 1 serving of fruit, Gluten free, No Genetically Modified Ingredients, No juice concentrates or purees, No preservatives, Kosher, Nut Free, Vegan
  • No sugar added, 0g Trans Fat, low sodium

Munk Pack Protein Cookie
PER 1 COOKIE (84 G): 320 calories, 14 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (6 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 18 g protein
This oatmeal raisin spice flavor is full of 18 grams of protein at just 320 calories.

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  • PACKED WITH PROTEIN & FLAVOR: Fuel your day with our delicious oatmeal raisin spice cookie made with real ingredients like gluten free oat flour, raisins, and cinnamon to give you 18 grams of protein per cookie
  • GREAT TASTE: Oatmeal Raisin Spice Protein Cookies are soft and chewy but not too sweet, making them a great snack for any time of day, whether you need a protein boost post workout or just for an anytime nutritious snack
  • REAL INGREDIENTS & ALLERGEN FRIENDLY: Our cookies are gluten free, Non-GMO,vegan and they contain no sugar alcohols, no trans fats, no dairy, no soy and no eggs
  • GOOD SOURCE OF FIBER: In addition to being packed with protein, our cookies are also a good source of fiber (6 grams per cookie) and other nutrients like iron and calcium
  • 6 PACK: Our deliciously soft-baked oatmeal raisin spice cookies come in a 6 pack so you can share with friends or keep them all to yourself

Tortilla Style Protein Chips
PER 1 Bag (32g) 140 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 340 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (1 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 18 g protein
The Quest Nutrition Tortilla Style Protein Chips is good alternative to nacho lovers. The pack contains 8 Count of protein chips bags.

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  • 18g of Protein and 4g of Net Carbs
  • Baked – never fried; Made with high-quality Whey and Milk Protein Isolates
  • No added soy ingredients
  • All natural, Gluten and Soy Free
  • Includes 8 bags of Quest Nacho Tortilla Protein Chips

Terra Exotic Harvest Vegetable Chips
PER 16 CHIPS (28 G): 130 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 145 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 2 g protein
This fun mix of carrots, blue potatoes, and kabocha squash boasts 40 percent less fat than potato chips and enough fiber to take the edge off your hunger. (Plus they look pretty on the chip ‘n’ dip platter.)
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  • One 6 oz. bag of Exotic Harvest Chips with Sea Salt
  • Blend of naturally blue potatoes, carrots and Japanese kabocha squash
  • Made with real vegetables
  • Gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO Project verified and Kosher
  • 0mg of cholesterol and 0g of trans fat and no artificial flavors or artificial preservatives

Skinnypop Popcorn
PER 1 PACKAGE (18 G): 100 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein
Volumetrics is an eating plan championed by Barbara Rolls of Penn State University, and it’s based on getting more mileage out of low-density foods. For example, a huge salad—or in this case, nearly 4 cups of popcorn—will leave you more satisfied than a square of chocolate, and for far fewer calories. If you’re someone who gets depressed by measly portions, reach for healthy snacks that have a high water content like fruits, veggies—or our favorite crunchy munchie: popcorn. For a pre-popped variety, we love SkinnyPop because it’s free of additives and tasty without being too salty.
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  • ORIGINAL FLAVORED POPCORN: Guilt-free snacking never tasted this delicious
  • POPCORN BAGS: Pack of 12, 4.4 ounce bags of SKINNYPOP Original Popped Popcorn. A delicious and smart food for snacking with only 39 calories per cup
  • GLUTEN FREE SNACK: SKINNYPOP POPCORN is a great-tasting, gluten free and non-GMO snack with no artificial ingredients
  • SKINNYPOP POPCORN: Delicious SKINNYPOP popcorn has zero trans fat and is dairy free, peanut free, tree nut free, preservative free and is a good source of fiber
  • SKINNYPOP: Our delicious popcorn is a great alternative to Popcorners Kettle Corn, Cracker Jack, vintage candy, Circus Peanuts, baseball candy, Smartfood white cheddar popcorn, individual popcorn snack bags, Lay’s kettle chips and cheddar popcorn


Baked Sweet Potato Chips

by Sommer Collier | I’m not a cheapskate by any stretch, but I hate to waste money on things I can easily make myself. Especially when my version is quick and just as good, if not better.

It’s a superfood for a reason – sweet potatoes are choc full of potassium, protein, and fiber. Bake them for a light, crispy treat.

Lately I’ve been buying bags of gourmet vegetable chips to serve with dips at cocktail parties and neighborhood gatherings. After all, they’re colorful, uniquely flavored, and seem to be appreciated by friends with certain food allergies.

After looking back at my grocery receipts over the last few weeks, it occurred to me that I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on fancy chips this month. Yikes!

I’m not a cheapskate by any stretch, but I hate to waste money on things I can easily make myself. Especially when my version is quick and just as good, if not better.

So today, I’m sharing my Baked Sweet Potato Chips Recipe. It’s super simple to make, requires only 3 ingredients, and tastes better than store bought chips, because they’re fresh! Plus, making sweet potato chips at home allows you full control of chip thickness, fat content, and seasoning.

Not. Too. Shabby.

Baked Sweet Potato Chips Recipe
This simple 3-ingredient recipe makes a fabulous healthy snack and side dish.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 8 Servings

How to Make Sweet Potato Chips

    • Slice sweet potatoes very thin on a mandolin slicer. You can use a standard chef’s knife to cut the sweet potatoes, but it’s much faster on a mandolin. You can also choose to slice your sweet potatoes thicker for sturdier chips, but they will take a little longer to bake.
    • I like mine super thin and crispy.

Sliced Sweet Potato Chips

  • Place the sweet potato slices in a large bowl and drizzle olive oil over the top. Toss the slices with your hands to make sure every single slice is kissed with olive oil on both sides.
  • Lay the sweet potato slices on baking sheets in a single layer.

    Diamond Crystal® Kosher Salt.

    Diamond Crystal® Kosher Salt.

  • Lightly sprinkle the unbaked chips with Diamond Crystal® Kosher Salt.
  • The kosher salt flakes are large and flat, so they hold tight to the oiled chips and offer great salty flavor that brings out each chip’s natural sweetness.

Once they are baked, the sweet potato chips are light and crispy with an intense salty-sweet flavor.

You can store them in an air-tight container for lunchbox snacks all week, pack them in spring picnic baskets, or serve them at parties.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Amount Per Serving (10 Chips)
Calories 152 Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 46mg 2%
Potassium 286mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 241.3%
Vitamin C 2.5%
Calcium 2.6%
Iron 3.2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
US Customary – Metric
Calories: 152 kcal
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American

 



11 Tips On How To Survive A Polar Vortex

by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia | Technically, to prepare for just a polar vortex, you only need to worry about the cold, but since it often coincides with a snow storm, we’re going to assume that the worst case scenario and prepare for both a polar vortex and a snow storm, (Cloud streets over the Great Lakes in this Jan. 27, 2019 image. NOAA, NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory).

The term “polar vortex” isn’t one that most people became familiar with until just recently. We had to face it last winter, and we have to face it again these days.

Now, however, it’s a serious concern and needs to be figured into your potential disaster events if you live in areas that may be affected.

Read the following article to find out what a polar vortex is, what it isn’t (if you haven’t been affected by one), and what you need to do to prepare!

What is a Polar Vortex?

We have two polar vortexes – one around each pole. It’s an area of low pressure that circulates counterclockwise in the stratosphere around the pole all the time, but weakens in the winter time.

Sometimes it wobbles a bit and throws a surge of bitter cold south into the US, and other countries in equivalent latitudes around the world.

When this happens, it can drop temperatures below zero. It’s a phenomenon that is always around, but we just don’t notice it until it puffs a blast of freezing air toward us.

Scientific American - A blast of freezing air

Scientific American – A blast of freezing air

It actually plays a big part in the weather worldwide throughout the year. Think about it – how often do you ever hear of cold fronts coming from the south?

Usually, polar vortexes force temperatures down into the single digits in areas of higher latitude such as the Dakotas and Michigan, but the temperatures go up farther down the map.

Still, even if temperatures drop into the teens or twenties, even a light wind will make that temperature seem exponentially colder.

What a Polar Vortex Isn’t

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about polar vortexes, so let’s clear some of them up. First, they’re not a sign or result of global warming. Though many weather anomalies of recent years are linked to the warming of the Earth, polar vortices aren’t. They’ve existed exactly as they are since we started tracking them and the frequency or intensity hasn’t changed.

Next, a polar vortex doesn’t bring snow with it. Weather events such as rain and snow occur in the lower level of the atmosphere and polar vortices occur right above that. They bring bitter cold that can make snowstorms much worse, but they don’t actually bring snow or freezing rain with them.

What you need to Know about a Polar Vortex

The first and most important thing that you need to know about a polar vortex is that it can be lethal.

Even if you’re in a warmer part of the area that’s affected by the vortex, temperatures combined with wind chill can easily drop to temperatures that can cause frostbite and hypothermia quickly if you’re not bundled up.

Polar vortexes also tend to set in fairly quickly and hang around for at least a few days. If you don’t have to go outside during one, don’t. Avoid driving anywhere if you can, because it’s a guarantee that the roads are going to be icy even if it does snow.

If snow or freezing rain is going to happen right before or during a polar vortex, that danger is going to be amplified because temperatures that low can cause several disasters including car crashes, hypothermia, collapsed rooves, limbs, and powerlines, and burst water pipes.

Obviously, even one of those can be horrible, but they may also occur in tandem. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that your roof can collapse while your power is out. That’s why you need to take precautions and be prepared.

How to Prepare for a Polar Vortex

There are relatively small steps that you can take in advance that will help keep you safe. Other steps will need to be taken during/after the snow, but they’re relatively minor.

Technically, to prepare for just a polar vortex, you only need to worry about the cold, but since it often coincides with a snow storm, we’re going to assume that the worst case scenario and prepare for both a polar vortex and a snow storm.

1. Stockpile Food and Water

You may have a tough time getting to the store because of ice or snow, so make sure that you have at least a week’s worth of food and water stored back.

Yes, you’ll have access to plenty of snow, but if you want to drink that, you’ll have to filter and purify it. Stockpile at least 2 gallons of water per person per day. You’ll need to drink more because, oddly enough, water needs increase with extremes in temperature.

Regarding food, figure on at around 2000 calories if you’re going to be outside for more than just a few minutes at a time because your body burns a lot of fuel just to keep warm when temperatures drop that low.

You typically have several days of warning, so there’s no excuse not to be prepared.

2. Stay Inside

Seriously. If you don’t have to be outside, don’t be. In temperatures in the single digits, it only takes 15 minutes or so for frostbite to become a possibility, and when the temperatures are below zero, that time decreases even more.

Hypothermia is also a problem and, like frostbite, increases the colder it gets. Wind plays a big factor in the onset of both conditions.

Also, it’s a guarantee that there’s ice on the road, so there’s no reason to risk it if you don’t have to. Be prepared in advance, because crashing your car for a gallon of milk is bad, but dying for it just isn’t worth it.

3. Wrap Your Pipes

If you can access them, wrap your pipes to protect them from freezing. This tape keeps your pipes warm enough that the water in your pipes won’t freeze.

This not only saves you a ton of money if your pipes burst, but also ensures that you have access to your water and heat as long as you have city water or a generator for your pump.

4. Trim your Trees

There’s nothing cozier than sitting around a tree limb that’s fallen through your roof and into your living room. Oh wait – yes there is.

Frozen Blossom

Frozen Blossom

This is a relatively easy disaster to avoid – simply keep your trees trimmed back from your house. There is very little you can do to protect plants that are already up and blooming than to build a wooden frame around them and cover them with a clear plastic.

5. Bundle Up

If you absolutely must go outside, bundle up. Make sure that your fingers, ears, nose, and toes are particularly protected because when you get cold, your body automatically pulls the blood flow to the center of your body to preserve heat. This leaves your extremities vulnerable to frostbite.

You also naturally lose more heat through the top of your head, the bottom of your feet, and your palms, so make sure they’re covered well to preserve that heat.

Gingerbread cookies with your hot cocoa while wearing your mittens

Gingerbread cookies with your hot cocoa while wearing your mittens

Mittens are actually better than gloves because they keep your fingers together and allow the heat that emanates from your palms to warm your entire hand.

6. Your Animals

Your animals are going to need some special attention depending upon what kind they are. Regardless of their species, they’re going to need to stay warm and they’re likely going to need extra food and water to meet the caloric needs required to stay warm.

Extremes in temperature can also cause animals such as milk cows and chickens to stop producing milk and eggs, so it’s especially important to keep them comfortable.

Winterize your barn and coop by sealing it up, but leave ventilation going through in order to keep the air fresh. Know your animals and adjust to meet their needs.

7. Check your Roof

Before winter even sets in, check your roof and rafters for damage and stability. This is one of the biggest risks you have in the case of a polar vortex and snow storm clashing.

If temperatures drop enough to make building materials brittle, then heavy snow is piled on top, the odds of your roof collapsing increases quite a bit.

8. Seal Windows and Doors

Your heating system is working hard enough to keep you warm even if your house is well insulated and sealed.

Cracks around windows and doors can really dampen that effort and make it nearly impossible to keep your house warm, so take care of that before winter sets in. It will also help save you money in the summer by keeping cold air in.

9. Winterize Your Car

This may not seem like a big deal, but it can save your life. You need good tires, but not as much for traction (nothing really sticks to ice though good tread does do much better in snow and mud) as to make sure that you don’t get a flat.

Chains for your tires, adequate anti-freeze, winter-grade thinner-viscosity oil, and just a general winterizing is important. Getting stranded in freezing weather is extremely dangerous.

On that note, make sure that you have a get-home bag in your car. You need a full change of clothes, extra socks and gloves, and even extra shoes. Also, have several bottles of water, hand warmers, several protein bars or MREs, and flares.

Blankets, at least emergency blankets, should be in there, too, and a fire-starter wouldn’t hurt. Besides these essentials, you just need to know your circumstances and build the rest of the bag around your needs.

10. Have Alternate Heat

If you rely on electricity for heat, you REALLY need to have an alternative heat source. Installing a wood burner is probably your best option, but a generator or wood for your fireplace (if you have one) are good, too.

Whatever you decide on, have plenty of fuel and the equipment to start it. Be realistic and base your heating needs on your house and your family, not some ideal version of them.

11. Include Games and Activities in your Stockpile

You’re going to get bored pretty quickly, especially if you lose cable and power. Make sure that you have several different games, books, or hobby supplies on hand to alleviate stress and boredom.

Being prepared for a polar vortex is extremely similar to preparing for a blizzard, except you need to make some modifications for the extreme temperatures that you may have to deal with.

Read the original article on Survivopedia.

Theresa Crouse is a full-time writer currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors.



Teaching Quality Health and Physical Education

by Dean Dudley, Amanda Telford, Claire | This practical new text will help pre- and in-service teachers to develop and implement quality health and physical education experiences in primary schools.

Teaching Quality Health and Physical Education
Ⓒ 2018ISBN 9780170387019Edition 1 344 Pages
AU / NZ
Published: 2017 by Cengage Learning Australia
Author/s: Dean Dudley / Charles Sturt University, Bathurst
Amanda Telford / RMIT University
Claire Stonehouse / Deakin University
Louisa Peralta / University of Western Sydney
Matthew Winslade / Charles Sturt University

 

Taught well, Health and Physical Education can provide purposeful, stimulating and challenging learning experiences. It can help children to develop sophisticated understanding, skill and capabilities through their bodies and to see greater meaning in not only what they are learning but also their wider lives; and it can enrich all other aspects of the curriculum.
This practical new text will help pre- and in-service teachers to develop and implement quality health and physical education experiences in primary schools. It introduces the general principles of teaching and learning in Health and Physical Education and explains why this learning area is an important part of the Australian Curriculum. Chapters then discuss considerations and practical implications for teaching both health and physical education using a strengths-based approach.
Packed with evidence-based and research-informed content, this valuable text also includes numerous examples and activities that help you bridge the gap from theory to real-world practice. Above all, it will give educators the confidence to teach primary health and physical education so that every child benefits.

 

Contents

Part 1: Introduction to the area
1. Introducing Health and Physical Education
2. Understanding quality Health and Physical Education
3. Overview of the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education
4. Authentic learning and assessment in primary Health and Physical Education.
Part 2: Understanding and teaching about personal, social and community health
5. Pedagogies and issues in teaching for health
6. Exploring identity, help-seeking behaviour and decision making
7. Communicating for healthy relationships and wellbeing
8. Whole-school approaches to promoting health.
Part 3: Understanding and teaching about movement and physical activity
9. Planning for developmentally appropriate learning
10. Moving for purpose: skills, knowledge and values
11. Moving for life: experience and expression.

 

About the author (2017)

Dr Dean Dudley is a former Health and Physical Education Head Teacher and Director of Sport and now works as a physical education academic at Macquarie University. He is Senior Lecturer and Researcher of Health and Physical Education at Macquarie University, as well as Vice President (Oceania) of the International Federation of Physical Education and Chief Examiner (Personal Development, Health, and Physical Education) for the NSW Board of Studies and Teacher Education Standards. Dean was Expert Consultant on the Quality Physical Education Guidelines for Policymakers published by UNESCO in 2015. His research is focused on the assessment and reporting of physical education and the development of observed learning outcomes pertaining to physical literacy.

Amanda Telford is Associate in the School of Education at RMIT University. In addition to experience as an academic and as a health and physical education teacher, Amanda has experience as a company director of an organisation consisting of a network of over five thousand health and physical educators. She has been an advisor for state and federal governments in the area of Health and Physical Education and was involved in the development of the 2004 National Physical Activity Guidelines for children and young people. Her research focuses on the influence of family, community and school environments on youth physical activity behaviour.Claire Stonehouse lectures at Deakin University in Health Education, Student Wellbeing and Sexuality Education in both primary and secondary pre-service education. Claire has worked in many sectors of the community, and has experience writing curricula and educating young people. Her areas of interest include: sexuality education; the educational impact that parents have on their children; and opening up conversations about mental health.

Louisa Peralta is Senior Lecturer of Health and Physical Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. As an academic, Louisa teaches in the areas of primary and secondary Health and Physical Education and professional practice studies. Her teaching, research and publications focus on school-based programs for improving students’ physical activity levels and motivation, improving adolescent health literacy through whole school approaches, and designing and delivering professional learning experiences for preservice and inservice Health and Physical Education teachers.

Matthew Winslade is Associate Head of the School of Teacher Education and Course Director for Health and Physical Education at Charles Sturt University. Prior to moving into the tertiary sector he was both a Head Teacher in the state system and a Director of Sport in the Association of Independent Schools. His current research activities include evaluating school- and university-based health and physical activity programs, and the development of intercultural competency in pre-service teachers. Matt currently divides his time between Australia and Samoa, working closely with community groups and sporting organisations at both school and university level.



On the Go Fun and Easy Workout

by Malia Frey | Reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD | You don’t have to kill yourself at the gym every day to slim down. There are easy exercises to lose weight that you can do at home or on the go. In fact, sometimes easy workouts work better (Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels).

Before you try CrossFit, join a hardcore boot camp class, or sign up for heavy duty HIIT program, find out how fast weight loss exercises can speed up weight loss and then incorporate one of these workout routines into your schedule.

To lose weight, you need to create a specific calorie deficit. For example, you might want to reach a 500-calorie deficit each day to lose one pound per week. Or you might set a goal to reach a 1000-calorie daily deficit to lose 2 pounds per week. Either way, you need to control the number of calories you eat and burn more calories with movement to reach your target.

Many dieters start an intense workout plan to slim down. But, sometimes it’s better to do easy exercises to lose weight fast. There are four ways that easy exercise can help you to slim down:

  • Improve daily non-exercise movement. Easy workouts are designed to increase your heart rate to burn calories, but they shouldn’t wear you down. So you don’t feel the need to take a nap or lay on the couch all day after doing a workout. This helps you to stay active throughout the day and boost the number of calories you burn from NEAT.
  • Exercise every day. When you do easy workouts, you can exercise every day. Hard exercise, on the other hand, requires a recovery day following the session. When you work out daily (instead of 2-3 days per week) you may be able to burn more calories from exercise.
  • Maintain a consistent exercise program. Even though intense exercise is effective for weight loss, hard workouts put your body at a higher risk for injury and burnout. And you’re not likely to burn enough calories for weight loss while you’re recovering on the couch. Easy workouts are usually safer for your body and may allow you to be more consistent, week to week and month to month.
  • Keep hunger levels steady. Hard workouts often increase hunger levels. And sometimes they even increase your sense of entitlement to food. For example, you might feel that you deserve a high-calorie meal or treat after hard exercise because you earned it with your effort. But easy workouts are less likely to leave you starving. The result is that you may eat less with an easy fitness program.

If you are healthy enough for vigorous activity, hard workouts are good for your body. High-intensity exercise helps to build muscle and burn fat. But easy workouts can speed up weight loss, too.

The Easy Workouts

There are two easy workout routines listed below. Choose a fitness plan based on your current level of fitness and health.

1. Easy Exercise Routine for Beginners

This plan works well for people who don’t exercise at all. The easy exercises will jolt your metabolism out of lazy mode and get it moving again. But to make this plan work, you need to keep your workouts short and manageable. That way, you never have an excuse to skip a session.

For this plan, you’ll exercise 1-3 times each day, but each workout won’t last long. You don’t need to change clothes, you probably won’t get too sweaty and you don’t need any extra equipment.

Easy beginner workout:

  • 7 minutes fast walk
  • 7 minutes of easy lunges and easy push ups
  • 7 minutes fast walk

You can do this workout at a local park, at your office, or in your home.Set reminders on your smartphone to remind yourself to complete your sessions. Or better yet, recruit a friend to hold you accountable.

Need more of a challenge? Swap brisk stair climbing for walking. If you are at work, climb the office stairs, do lunges on the landing and push-ups against the wall.

Why this easy fitness plan works: The duration of the workout makes it easier to tolerate and more likely that you’ll stick to the plan. And even though the workouts are short, you are still burning substantial calories in a short period of time. Done properly three times per day, you can burn up to 300 – 500 calories. If you do this easy workout around mealtime, you’ll probably also shorten the amount of time you spend eating which will help you to decrease the amount of food you want to consume.

2. Easy Exercise Routine for Regular Exercisers

This plan works for people who already exercise. The purpose of this plan is to bump your body out of its regular routine for faster weight loss. You’ll do this by adding more activity to your day, but you’ll keep the extra sessions easy so that your body and brain don’t get burned out.

Your easy workout will consist of adding 30-45 minutes of easy enjoyable activity at the opposite end of your day as your normal workout:

  • If you work out in the morning, add a brisk evening walk to your schedule.
  • If you exercise in the evening, consider biking or walking to work in the morning.

Why this easy fitness plan works: It’s common for people who exercise regularly to do the same routine week after week. If you do the same exercises at the same intensity all the time you’ll get the same results. Your body hits a plateau. This plan increases your activity level without added stress or strain to your joints. So you burn more calories without taxing your body.

Boost Your Easy Exercise Routine for Faster Weight Loss

Your new easy exercise routine will help you burn more calories. But you can lose weight faster by adding these challenges:

  • Skip dessert for a week. Grab a small serving of berries instead
  • Skip the drinks that cause weight gain and drink water instead. Not a fan of water? Learn to make flavored water to curb your cravings.
  • Dump starch. Instead of eating empty calorie white foods like bread, white rice or pasta, fill up on a variety of lean protein and good carbs.

Turn Fast Weight Loss into Long-Term Success

If you stick to your easy workout routine, you should see some change in the scale or in the way your clothes fit after a week or two. Then ask yourself this question: was it worth it?

If the answer is yes, then keep your easy fitness plan going. You may even want to make it more challenging by adding moderate exercise and high intensity sessions. Then start tracking your diet to make sure you eat the right amount of protein to lose weight and maintain muscle.

If the answer is no, don’t worry. Even an easy exercise plan requires a big commitment. You may not have been ready for the investment. But don’t give up entirely. Choose a few parts of the plan that seem manageable and try to incorporate them into your schedule. Your weight loss will happen more slowly, but at least it will happen.

Malia FreyMalia Frey is a certified weight management specialist, certified health coach, certified personal trainer, and certified fitness nutrition specialist. Malia has been helping people reach their fitness and weight loss goals for over 25 years. She has taught health, exercise, and wellness classes in colleges, universities, hospitals and fitness centers around the country. She is the weight loss expert at Verywell and provides expert diet and exercise advice to both print and online sources including About.com, Muscle & Fitness, Zliving, GetHealthyU, Examiner.com, Worldlifestyle.com, Diet.com, North Memorial Medical Center and many more.. Her passion for good health inspires her to stay active, eat well (most of the time) and encourage others to do the same. Connect with Malia on Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter, or visit her website The Daily Diet Tip for more weight loss support and tips.



Going the Mediterranean Eating Style for 2019

By Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Good Housekeeping Institute | What makes this “diet” so great is that it’s a lifestyle, not a traditional weight-loss plan that has you counting calories or measuring portions. It’s all about enjoying meals with friends and loved ones, savoring each flavor, indulging in delicious, quality items like flavorful cheeses and desserts, and making time for plenty of physical activity (ah, to be walking on the beaches of Greece right now!) (Image, Pixabay).

It’s the most popular time of the year to go on a diet. But in my book, better health and weight loss begin not with fad diets but with choices that, over time, become habits — supporting lifelong change through tangible, actionable strategies that you can adapt for any scenario. (Hint: You can start by setting boundaries.)

First, here are my basics for a healthy approach to better eating habits:

  • Pack on the produce: veggies and fruit
  • Prioritize good-for-you fats: plant-based oils and other unsaturated fats
  • Eat more seafood: fatty fish plus crustaceans and mollusks
  • Choose 100% whole grains: farro, buckwheat, bulgur, wheat, and oats
  • Enjoy conscious indulgences: chocolate, sweets, and baked goods in moderation
  • Think inclusive vs. exclusive: full-fat and low-fat dairy, prioritizing quality over quantity
  • Provide enrichment of multiple varieties: cooking with herbs and spices, enjoying favorite restaurants, and trying new flavors

What makes this “diet” so great is that it’s a lifestyle, not a traditional weight-loss plan that has you counting calories or measuring portions. It’s all about enjoying meals with friends and loved ones, savoring each flavor, indulging in delicious, quality items like flavorful cheeses and desserts, and making time for plenty of physical activity (ah, to be walking on the beaches of Greece right now!).

You’ll fill up on tons of veggies, fruit, 100% whole grains, pulses (like beans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils); choose lean protein like seafood, eggs, and some meat; and savor sweets and higher-in-saturated-fat choices (Prosciutto di Parma, anyone?!) in smaller amounts.

While there’s no “restriction” on this plan, the predominant foods in it promote both health and weight loss or management. The idea is to fill up on nutritious items in order to indulge, consciously. This approach naturally limits the amount of ultra-processed foods you’ll eat, which tend to have more sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar. Since the Mediterranean eating style prioritizes enjoyment of your whole dining experience, flavorful ingredients are at the forefront so you’ll never feel deprived.

The Bottom Line
The best diets promote inclusivity over exclusivity and rely heavily on produce. Highly restrictive diets depend on immediate weight loss to motivate you — but some may backfire entirely and others may leave you fully missing out on nutrients and experiences. Think about what works best for you before trying any new approach to eating, and use that as your framework for building healthier eating habits that stick.

For more ideas, tips, tricks, and healthier eating guides that’ll help you stick to your health-focused resolutions, check out our nutrition director’s new book: Dressing on the Side (and Other Diet Myths Debunked): 11 Science-Based Ways to Eat More, Stress Less, and Feel Great About Your Body

Jaclyn LondonJaclyn London is a registered dietitian with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University, Jaclyn “Jackie” London handles all of Good Housekeeping’s nutrition-related content, testing, and evaluation.



Spirit-Filled Counselor Offers Tip to Improve Your Emotional Health in 30 Days

by Dr. Doug Weiss | You can feel! Your body can feel! You can learn to feel, and you can learn as much as you want. To help you move more toward emotional fitness, carve out 15 minutes a day to do five mimes. In one month, your ability to feel emotions in your body will expand greatly (image: Pixabay).

In the ’70s, there was a media fad I remember fondly: Marcel Marceau. He became the rage for quite a while, making appearances on numerous talk shows and in big media events.

What Marcel Marceau did was quite simple, but he was simply amazing at doing what he did. He would captivate audiences everywhere with his ability to mime.

When he did his skits, you both saw and felt what he was doing. A mime does not talk, but instead uses the body and face to communicate and express emotion. I remember one skit where an event made the mime sad. His sadness was so well expressed it felt completely real. Decades later, I still remember that expression.

Mime has much to do with emotional fitness. Miming will become a critical tool in your tool kit as you accelerate in your emotional fitness. Miming allows your body to feel the emotion passively, but as in the last exercise, it also allows you to fully engage and expand your body’s ability to experience and express an emotion. Since this is something you need to experience in order to understand, I am going to ask you to do some miming.

Before we begin, honestly assess which one of the following two categories you are in:

The Wishers Category: These wish they could be emotionally fit. They wish they could feel or master their emotions but they are unwilling to do the work. A weight wisher is someone who wants to lose weight but does not change habits or do the work necessary to lose weight. Weight wishers will not lose weight. They want magic to change them instead of taking personal responsibility to make changes to get the real results.

The Wanters Category: These people make a plan, do the work and keep doing the work until the results arrive. Unlike the wishers, they take personal responsibility, refuse to make excuses, and so always get the results they want. I believe that if you are this far in the book, you must want emotional fitness.

When you mime, it is best for you to be alone so you can in no way be inhibited or self-conscious. Put your body in a position to express an emotion. For example, if you were expressing excitement, you might stand up with your arms raised while you let excitement run through your entire body.

You can sit, stand, lie down or put your body in any position to express an emotion. Remember, acting as a mime would, you will use your face to express the emotion. So much so that if someone were to look at you, they could probably guess the emotion you are experiencing.

It is important that when you actually feel the emotion in your body that you hold the feeling for 15 seconds (make sure to use a timer). Then take a five-second break. After the break, go back to that same emotion until you feel it in your body again. Repeat the miming process until you feel it in your body for 15 seconds. Then take your last break and stop miming the emotion.

For example, first we are miming the feeling of excitement. Excited (held for 15 seconds), break, excited (held for 15 seconds), break, excited (held for 15 seconds). As you do each mime, try to allow your body to express the emotion more each time.

This exercise is powerful for you and your body. Over time, you can go through every emotion on the Feelings list, and you will be extremely connected to your emotions—more connected than you ever imagined.

Find a place to be by yourself, locate a way to time yourself, and then practice miming the six emotions listed below. We will do the same six feelings you just completed in the feeling the emotion exercise.

Calm

Frustration

Boldness

Amusement

Creativity

Eagerness

You can feel! Your body can feel! You can learn to feel, and you can learn as much as you want. To help you move more toward emotional fitness, carve out 15 minutes a day to do five mimes. In one month, your ability to feel emotions in your body will expand greatly. You will no longer fear emotions; you will be able to actually feel them. You can become more emotionally confident and expressive in just 30 days

Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Amazon Best Seller including, Emotional Fitness. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at heart2heart@xc.org.



12 Tips for Holiday Eating

by Patrick J. Skerrett | By practicing a bit of defensive eating and cooking, you can come through the holidays without making “go on a diet” one of your New Year’s resolutions. (Images: Cooking Light, Chickpea Salad Boats.)

It’s easy to get swept up in the holiday season. This combination of religious and national celebrations can help keep the cold winter away. But the feasts and parties that mark it can tax the arteries and strain the waistline. By eating just 200 extra calories a day — a piece of pecan pie and a tumbler of eggnog here, a couple latkes and some butter cookies there — you could pack on two to three pounds over this five- to six-week period. That doesn’t sound like much, except few people shed that extra weight in the following months and years.

You don’t need to deprive yourself, eat only boring foods, or take your treats with a side order of guilt. Instead, by practicing a bit of defensive eating and cooking, you can come through the holidays without making “go on a diet” one of your New Year’s resolutions.

1. Budget wisely. Don’t eat everything at feasts and parties. Be choosy, and spend calories judiciously on the foods you love.

2. Take 10 before taking seconds. It takes a few minutes for your stomach’s “I’m getting full” signal to get to your brain. After finishing your first helping, take a 10-minute break. Make conversation. Drink some water. Then recheck your appetite. You might realize you are full, or want only a small portion of seconds.

3. Distance helps the heart stay healthy. At a party, don’t stand next to the food table. That makes it harder to mindlessly reach for food as you talk. If you know you are prone to recreational eating, pop a mint or a stick of gum so you won’t keep reaching for the chips.

4. Don’t go out with an empty tank. Before setting out for a party, eat something so you don’t arrive famished. Excellent pre-party snacks combine complex carbohydrates with protein and unsaturated fat, like apple slices with peanut butter or a slice of turkey and cheese on whole-wheat pita bread.

5. Drink to your health. A glass of eggnog can set you back 500 calories; wine, beer, and mixed drinks range from 150 to 225 calories. If you drink alcohol, have a glass of water or juice-flavored seltzer in between drinks.

6. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol increases your appetite and diminishes your ability to control what you eat.

7. Put on your dancing (or walking) shoes. Dancing is a great way to work off some holiday calories. If you are at a family gathering, suggest a walk before the feast or even between dinner and dessert.

8. Make room for veggies. At meals and parties, don’t ignore fruits and vegetables. They make great snacks and even better side or main dishes — unless they’re slathered with creamy sauces or butter.

9. Be buffet savvy. At a buffet, wander ’round the food table before putting anything on your plate. By checking out all of your options, you might be less inclined to pile on items one after another.

10. Don’t shop hungry. Eat before you go shopping so the scent of Cinnabons or caramel corn doesn’t tempt you to gobble treats you don’t need.

11. Cook from (and for) the heart. To show family and friends that you really care about them, be creative with recipes that use less butter, cream, lard, vegetable shortening, and other ingredients rich in saturated fats and cholesterol. Prepare turkey or fish instead of red meat.

12. Pay attention to what really matters. Although food is an integral part of the holidays, put the focus on family and friends, laughter and cheer. If balance and moderation are your usual guides, it’s okay to indulge or overeat once in a while.

Patrick J. Skerrett is former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of the Harvard Heart Letter for ten years. He is the co-author of Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Guide to Healthy Eating, The Fertility Diet, and several other books on health and science. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Popular Science magazine, Science magazine, the Boston Globe, and elsewhere. He earned a B.A. in biology from Northwestern University and an M.A. in biology from Washington University in St. Louis.
    

The Benefits and Harms of Screening Tests

National Institutes of Health (NIH) | Some screenings can reduce your risk of dying from the disease. But sometimes, experts say, a test may cause more harm than good (image: radiologyinfo.org).
Catching chronic health conditions early—even before you have symptoms—seems like a great idea. That’s what screening tests are designed to do. Some screenings can reduce your risk of dying from the disease. But sometimes, experts say, a test may cause more harm than good. Before you get a test, talk with your doctor about the possible benefits and harms to help you decide what’s best for your health.

Screening tests are given to people who seem healthy to try to find unnoticed problems. They’re done before you have any signs or symptoms of the disease. They come in many forms. Your doctor might take your health history and perform a physical exam to look for signs of health or disease. They can also include lab tests of blood, tissue, or urine samples or imaging procedures that look inside your body.

“I wouldn’t say that all people should just simply get screening tests,” says Dr. Barnett S. Kramer, a cancer prevention expert at NIH. “Patients should be aware of both the potential benefits and the harms when they’re choosing what screening tests to have and how often.”

Teams of experts regularly look at all the evidence about the balance of benefits and harms of different screening tests. They develop guidelines (link is external) for who should be screened and how often.

Choosing whether you should be screened for a health condition isn’t always easy. Screening suggestions are often based on your age, family health history, and other factors. You might be screened for many conditions, including diabetes, sexually transmitted infections, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, depression, pregnancy issues, and cancers.

Every screening test comes with its own risks. Some procedures can cause problems like bleeding or infection. A positive screening test can lead to further tests that come with their own risks.

“Most people who feel healthy are healthy,” says Kramer. “So a negative test to confirm that you’re healthy doesn’t add much new information.” But mistakenly being told that you do or don’t have a disease can be harmful. It’s called a misdiagnosis.

A false negative means that you’re told you don’t have the disease, but you do. This can cause problems if you don’t pay attention to symptoms that appear later on because you think you don’t have the disease. A false positive means that you’re told you may have the disease, but you don’t. This can lead to unnecessary worry and potentially harmful tests and treatments that you don’t need.

Even correctly finding a disease may not improve your health or help you live longer. You may learn you have an untreatable disease long before you would have. Or find a disease that never would have caused a problem. This is called overdiagnosis. Some cancers, for example, never cause symptoms or become life-threatening. But if found by a screening test, it’s likely to be treated. Cancer treatments can have harsh and long-lasting side effects. There’s no way to know if the treatment will help you live longer.

An effective screening test may decrease your chances of dying of the condition. Most have not been shown to lengthen your overall life expectancy, Kramer explains. Their usefulness varies and may depend on your risk factors, age, or treatment options.

If you’re at risk for certain health conditions—because of a family history or lifestyle exposures, like smoking—you may choose to have screenings more regularly. If you’re considering a screening, talk with your health care provider.



6 Strategies for Preventing Disease

National Institutes of Health (NIH) | Taking steps to protect your health is the best way to prevent disease and other conditions. Health screenings, vaccines, and guarding yourself from germs and bugs can help keep you feeling your best (image: Paul Bischoff).

1. Get screened for diseases
Some screenings can reduce your risk of dying from a disease. But sometimes, experts say, a test may cause more harm than good. Before you get a test, talk with your doctor about the possible benefits and harms to help you decide what’s best for your health.

To learn about screening tests, ask your doctor:

  • What’s my chance of dying of the condition if I do or don’t have the screening?
  • What are the harms of the test? How often do they occur?
  • How likely are false positive or false negative results?
  • What are possible harms of the diagnostic tests if I get a positive screening result?
  • What’s the chance of finding a disease that wouldn’t have caused a problem?
  • How effective are the treatment options?
  • Am I healthy enough to take the therapy if you discover a disease?
  • What are other ways to decrease my risk of dying of this condition? How effective are they?

2. Guard against germs
For nearly a century, bacteria-fighting drugs known as antibiotics have helped to control and destroy many of the harmful bacteria that can make us sick. But these drugs don’t work at all against viruses, such as those that cause colds or flu. Learn how to protect yourself against germs in the environment.

To block harmful germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • If you’re sick, make sure your doctor has a clear understanding of your symptoms. Discuss whether an antibiotic or a different type of treatment is appropriate for your illness.
  • If antibiotics are needed, take the full course exactly as directed. Don’t save the medicine for a future illness, and don’t share with others.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle—including proper diet, exercise, and good hygiene—to help prevent illness, thereby helping to prevent the overuse or misuse of medications.

3. Protect your body’s bacteria
Microscopic creatures—including bacteria, fungi, and viruses—can make you ill. But what you may not realize is that trillions of microbes are living in and on your body right now. Most don’t harm you at all. We tend to focus on destroying bad microbes. But taking care of good ones may be even more important.

To protect good microbes:

  • Don’t pressure your doctor to give you antibiotics. They may cause more harm than good.
  • Know when to wash your hands—for example, when preparing food and before eating.
  • Don’t use antibacterial products you don’t need. Antibacterial soaps have little or no health benefit. And antibacterial versions of household products have not been shown to reduce your risk of infection.
  • Don’t go overboard with hand sanitizers. They’re useful in health care settings, but hand washing is a better option in most situations.
  • Experiment with different skin moisturizers to see which work best for you.

4. Protect yourself and everyone else from disease
We share more than food and culture within our homes and communities. We can also spread disease. Luckily, we live in a time when vaccines can protect us from many of the most serious illnesses. Staying current on your shots helps you—and your neighbors—avoid getting and spreading disease.

To protect yourself and others from preventable diseases, stay up-to-date on shots for these 16 vaccine-preventable diseases:

  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Chickenpox
  • Diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B
  • Cervical & other cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia
  • Rotavirus diarrhea
  • Shingles
  • Tetanus

5. Prevent mosquito-borne illnesses
Most mosquito bites are relatively harmless. The itchy bumps often last for just a day or two after a mosquito has punctured your skin. But if the mosquito is carrying certain germs, like viruses or parasites, these pathogens might enter your blood during the bite and make you sick. But we can all take simple steps to avoid getting bit by those blood-sucking insects.

To avoid mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellents. Products containing DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or IR3535 can be applied to skin. Follow label instructions.
  • Cover up. When outside, wear long sleeves, pants, and socks. Mosquitoes may bite through thin fabric, so spray thin clothes with an EPA-registered repellent like permethrin. Don’t apply permethrin directly to skin.
  • Mosquito-proof your home. Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep insects out. Use air conditioning if you have it.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites. Empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

6. Block tick bites and Lyme disease
When warm weather arrives, you might get the urge to walk barefoot through the grass. But before you stroll through your lawn or head out on a hiking trail, you’ll want to protect yourself and your loved ones from ticks that often lurk in tall grass, thick brush, and wooded areas. Many ticks carry disease, so do what you can to keep ticks from taking a bite out of you.

To prevent tick bites and tick-borne diseases:

  • Help keep ticks off your skin by wearing long sleeves, long pants, and long socks.
  • Ward off ticks by using an insect repellant that contains at least 20% DEET (for the skin) or permethrin (for clothes).
  • Avoid ticks by walking in the center of trails and steer clear of tall vegetation.
  • If you’ve been in an area where ticks are common, bathe or shower as soon as possible, and wash or tumble your clothes in a dryer on high heat.
  • Check your body carefully for ticks. They dig and burrow into the skin before they bite and feed.
  • Removing ticks right away can help prevent disease.
  • If you develop a rash or fever after removing a tick, see your doctor.


Fats: Can they be healthful?

by Yvette Brazier | Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C | People often seek to avoid fats when they want to lose weight, but not all fats are bad, and we need some fats to stay healthy.
Plant-based fats such as olive oil, for example, are rich in antioxidants and may be powerful cancer fighters. Without fats, the body cannot absorb some necessary nutrients.

Healthful fats include plant oils like extra-virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, and fats from whole plant sources such as olives, nuts, seeds, and avocado.

Fast facts about fats

  • Different types of fat can be either healthful or bad for you.
  • Healthful fats can protect against cancer and help with the absorption of nutrients.
  • Unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids can be healthful, including omega 3, which is found in fish.
  • Trans fats should be avoided.
  • You can reduce your health risks by replacing good fats with bad fats in the diet.

Health benefits of fats

Oily fish, avocados, and certain types of nuts are vital sources of healthful fats.

Fat gets a bad rap, and we often try to avoid it. However, fats play a key role in the diet. They not only supply energy, but also help us absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and carotenoids. They also provide, or help the body to synthesize, essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. All body tissues need these to function normally.

A deficiency in these fatty acids can lead to a range of disorders, including:

  • liver and kidney problems
  • reduced growth rates
  • decreased immune function
  • depression
  • dry skin

Dietary guidelines recommend that an adult should get 20 to 35 percent of their energy intake from fat, and limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of total calories. A 2,000-calorie-a-day diet should aim for 44 to 78 grams of total fat and no more than 22 grams of saturated fat to be within these guidelines.

The average American adult gets around 33 percent of their calories from fat. Much of the fat in the American diet comes from animal fat.

An excess of animal fat has been linked to higher rates of heart and cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, and cancer, to name a few.

However, the right kinds of fats bring a range of health benefits, if consumed wisely. Olive oil, for example, appears to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-cancerous, anti-diabetic and anti-aging effects.

Fats keep people healthy in other ways, too.

Protection against cancer

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), walnuts, which are high in fat, may help to reduce the risk of breast cancer. They are also particularly high in omega 3s compared to any other nut. Omega 3s are important for brain and heart health.

There is also evidence that healthy fats can help people manage diagnosed colon, prostate, and breast cancer.

Absorbing nutrients

Healthy fats should be consumed with every meal, because many nutrients are fat-soluble. For example, the body cannot absorb beta carotene, or Vitamin A, D, E, or K without fats.

  • Beta carotene, which functions as vitamin A, is also one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants. It helps to minimize cell damage.
  • Vitamin D plays a role in hormone production and regulation, neuromuscular function, and immune function.
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is vital for immune function and gene expression, and it works to minimize heart disease risk.
  • Vitamin K is involved in your body’s natural ability to clot blood and is important for bone health and heart health.

Some antioxidants that are present in fruits and vegetables also need fat for metabolism. They can help promote cardiovascular health, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent obesity.

In one study, people who ate salads with fat-free salad dressing absorbed far less of the helpful phytonutrients and vitamins from spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots than those who ate their salads with a salad dressing containing fat.

Cutting out fat can lead to diabetes

People who avoid fats often eat a higher proportion of carbohydrates. Fats can be satiating and deter overeating of carbohydrates. Overeating carbohydrates, especially refined and processed carbs, can raise triglycerides and reduce healthy HDL cholesterol.

Not having a balance of healthy carbohydrates and fats can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. A diet that includes healthy fats, lean proteins, and fibrous, nutrient dense carbohydrates is best.

Maintaining nerves and cell membranes

Fat is needed in nerve transmission.

Myelin is a coating around nerves throughout the body that is composed primarily of insulating fatty tissue. Without proper fat intake, the myelin may be compromised. This can interfere with efficient nerve stimulation and function.

Fat also helps maintain cell membranes, because lipids, or fats, make up most of the cell wall structure.

Which fats are healthful?

The key is to choose the right kind of fat and in the right quantities.

Unhealthful fats
There are two main types of harmful dietary fat: saturated fats and trans fats.

Saturated fats are mainly of animal origin.

They increase levels of:

  • total blood cholesterol
  • low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol

Coconut is a plant-based saturated fat.

Trans fats occur naturally in small quantities, but most trans fats in our diet result from partial hydrogenation, a food processing method.

Trans fats can increase LDL cholesterol, and they can reduce “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Both saturated and trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, but trans fats much more so. It is recommended that saturated fat makes up less than 10 percent of your total calories, but there is no recommended amount of trans fat in the diet. It is best to avoid trans fat.

Healthful fats
Unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are healthful, in moderation.

They are thought to improve cholesterol levels and to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

They usually come from plants, but omega 3 is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid found in oily fish. It may be good for the heart.

Other good sources of omega 3 include flaxseed, walnuts, and soybeans.