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245 articles in health

Good Fats and Bad Fats - The Truth About Fats

Good Fats and Bad Fats - The Truth About Fats

We live in a world where fats—especially the saturated, animal-based variety—are falsely accused of being our greatest enemy. Meanwhile, the polyunsaturated fats, whose benefits are often celebrated, are not as good for our health as we have been led to believe. In fact, they can be very dangerous. Science has moved on since much of the erroneous “fat research” appeared some 40 years ago. But politically correct dietary advice and mainstream public consciousness has not. Health-supporting evidence has come to light. It’s vitally important you learn about it: A lot of saturated fats–which we have long been told are dangerous–are, in truth not dangerous at all. They do NOT cause heart disease as we have been taught. In truth they are GOOD for us. So are many other fats which our forefathers ate but which we have long been told to avoid. The trick is to choose the right kinds of these fats in your meals. When you do this, your body, health and looks will be revolutionized. THE BAD SCIENCE For generations, fats have been surrounded by all sorts of false beliefs. One of these is that “saturated fat is a prime cause of heart disease”. This theory is based on the 1950s ‘lipid hypothesis’, by the scientist Ancel Keys. This erroneous research greatly benefited the vegetable oil and food processing industries, who suppressed alternative views. Over sixty years later, many still believe it. Another myth: “The Western diet has increased in saturated fat over the last century”. This is absolutely wrong. In fact, the reverse is true. At the turn of the century, most people got their fatty acids from saturated or monounsaturated animal-based sources: Lard, butter, tallow, etc—and they were better off for it. But from 1910 to 1970 in the United States, the proportion of animal fats declined from 83 to 62%. Butter consumption went from 18 to 4 pounds per person per year, all because of the promotion of margarine manufacturers. What has increased is the amount of fats we’re taking in the form of refined vegetable oils, margarines and junk fats—by a whopping 400%—during the same period. And our health as a species continues to suffer. THE REAL CULPRITS Here’s something else that might shock you. Analysis of the fat in artery clogs reveals that only about 26% is saturated. The rest is mostly polyunsaturated! In actual fact, saturated fats are our heart’s preferred source of “food” to draw on under stress. They help our bodies perform many other functions too, building our cells, strengthening our bones and immune systems. As for polyunsaturated fats, most of which are in the form of omega-6 fatty acids, these tend to become rancid quickly when heated—such as during cooking or food processing. They then become a health-undermining source of free radicals, “marauders” inside our bodies. Polyunsaturates can do our body a great deal of harm, attacking our cells and damaging DNA. Little wonder that time after time, studies show a high link between consumption of these fats with cancer and heart disease. (Whether rancid or not, too much omega-6 in the diet is dangerous. This is just beginning to be discovered.) Yet most of the fats in modern diets come from these vegetable oils—with many diets consisting of up to 30% polyunsaturated fat. So don’t do yourself a disservice by believing what those P.C. diet gurus tell you. A good hard look at the evidence shows us quite the opposite is true. OUT OF WHACK - OMEGA 3 BENEFITS Omega-6 and omega 3 fatty acids, when in the right balance, help your body in all sorts of ways. They increase your cells’ sensitivity to insulin, helping your body regulate its blood sugar. They increase metabolic rate and fat metabolism, so more of your stored fat can be burnt as energy. Paleontologists have discovered that our ancestors consumed them in the ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 (omega-6 to omega 3 fatty acids). However today, in our Western diets, the balance between these two fatty acids has become all screwed up. Modern diets contain a ratio of about 22:1—far too high for optimal health. This excess can cause all sorts of problems, from weight gain to cancer. What can we do about it? For a start, you never have to worry about getting enough omega-6s. They’re everywhere. What you do need to do is increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids]. A great way of doing this is to start taking a good-quality fish oil supplement. Good Fats and Bad Fats - GET SAVVY Another vital way to address the imbalance of good and bad fats in our diets is to get savvy about what oils we are using daily—in our cooking, baking, dressings, and everything else: Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils are very high in omega-6—over 50%—and are badly processed, using all sorts of nasty chemicals. Avoid them completely. Canola Oil has been associated with fibrotic heart lesions; is high in sulfur and easily turns rancid. Steer clear of it at all costs. Olive Oil is monounsaturated rather than polyunsaturated, so is the safest vegetable oil you can use. It’s well-suited to dressings and can be heated at moderate temperatures. Make sure it’s cloudy (not filtered) and a golden-yellow color. Sesame Oil is reasonably stable and can be used on occasion for frying. But don’t overdo it, as it is still high in omega-6. Coconut, Palm, Palm Kernel and Red Palm Oils are much more highly saturated than the other vegetable oils, so are the safest, healthiest oils you can cook with. Coconut oil in particular is very good for you, containing antiviral and antibacterial properties and plenty of medium chain triglycerides which support weight loss. BUTTER ‘EM UP If you’re like millions of others, you buy margarine in the belief that it’s “better for you” than butter. Here’s an order: Avoid it like the plague. The process used to make margarine, known as hydrogenization, does horrendous things to the already-rancid vegetable oils it is made from. Not only does it contain all sorts of additives you should steer clear of. It’s linked to both cancer and heart disease, and can cause chronic high cholesterol. On the other hand, natural, good quality butter contains many essential nutrients. In fact, it may be the only good source of fat-soluble vitamins in the American diet! Experiments comparing the health of margarine eaters with butter eaters continually find in butter’s favor: In one such study, the risk of developing heart disease in butter users was half that of those using margarine. Infants and children especially benefit from butter for their normal growth and development. Use this delicious stuff liberally—and without guilt—in the knowledge that it will do you no harm, and your body will thank you for it.

Nature Ends Insomnia

Nature Ends Insomnia

“Insomnia? I know a great cure for it... get plenty of sleep” W.C. Fields Do you dread going to bed for fear for fear you won’t sleep? Do you wake in the night only to find that you can’t go back to sleep again? Well, you’re not alone. Over half of the population of both the UK and the United States—where Big Pharma collected $3.7 billion for selling drugs for sleep in 2012 alone—have problems with some form of “sleep disorder.” Many take hypnotic drugs despite the fact that at least two dozen published studies have examined mortality associated with these medications. Eighteen of these report significant connections between using these drugs and increased mortality. Taking sleep inducing drugs is also associated with a greater than three-fold increased risk of death, even when less than 18 pills a year have been taken. Bottom line: Hypnotics ain’t worth the risk. There are better ways of handling insomnia. DANGER WORRIES There’s no doubt about it, disrupted or poor quality sleep can be dangerous. I learned this myself first hand after taking a flight that crossed twelve time zones. I found— unusually for me—that my body never readjusted to the new time zone, and I was sleeping only an hour or two a night, and at very irregular times. This went on for almost two weeks, at the end of which I was in severe physical pain. I went to see my doctor, also a skilled acupuncturist, concerned that I may have contracted some fairly serious illness. He treated me with acupuncture and sorted out the pain within two treatments, as well as my inability to sleep. He also told me that he had seen this in patients of his who are pilots. Research studies show that when healthy male volunteers were deprived of four hours of sleep for a single night, the activity of the natural killer cells in their immune system fell by as much as 30 percent. That’s the bad news. The good news is that a single good night’s sleep brought normal functioning back to the cells. It has also long been known that shift workers, whose hours of sleep continually change, have increasing difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They also have more accidents, suffer more illness and die younger than people with normal sleep schedules. INSOMNIA TRIGGERS Anxiety Fear of insomnia Stimulants such as coffee or alcohol Eating too many high glycemic carbohydrate convenience foods which disturb blood sugar Low levels of melatonin Low levels of serotonin Drug use Depression A lot of so-called insomnia is nothing more than the result of worrying about getting to sleep. Many people who consider themselves insomniacs are really victims of the general propaganda about sleep, rather than true non-sleepers. Many people seek treatment because they can only sleep four or five hours a night, although that may be all they need. There is nothing more likely to cause sleeplessness than the worry that you won’t be able to drop off. Sometimes sleeplessness can be normal. After all, we all experience a sleepless night every now and then, particularly if we are over-tired, worried or excited about coming events. Real chronic insomnia is less frequent. There are many things that can cause it, from taking stimulants such as chocolate, soft drinks, coffee and tea, to not getting enough exercise. Nocturnal hypoglycemia is another major cause of insomnia in many people. BEWARE OF BOOZE Alcohol can severely interfere with sleep for a number of reasons. First, it brings about the release of adrenalin giving you a sense of excitement—a totally inappropriate condition for putting your head down on the pillow. It also interferes with the transport of tryptophan into the brain. And since the brain depends on a good supply of tryptophan in order to produce serotonin—the neurotransmitter that brings about sleep—drinking alcohol late in the evening severely disrupts serotonin levels. Alcohol, of course, also has a relaxing effect, which for many people will put them to sleep immediately, provided they have drunk enough of it. Then they find that, two or three hours later, they awake dehydrated and unable to sleep for the rest of the night. LOOK TO NATURE For my money, botanical sleep support wins the battle against insomnia better than almost anything else. There are several botanicals I turn to and recommend to others. Some of the most powerful helpers for insomnia have botanical origins. Many plants, from skullcap (Scutellaria laterifolia) to hops (Humulus lupulus), can be used to help promote sleep. I use them often. Here are some of the most effective. CALIFORNIA POPPY Eschscholzia californica This gentle but effective sedative is also an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer, and the seeds of the plant offer excellent natural relief for someone living with chronic pain. It appears to work by telling the brain to increase your opiate receptors, which automatically decreases pain and brings relaxation. California Poppy is also non-addictive. But it should not be taken during pregnancy as it might stimulate uterine contractions. VALERIAN Valeriana officinalis A natural sedative and anti-hypertensive, valerian has been used on both sides of the Atlantic for generations, not only to induce sleep but to help protect people from the negative effects of stress. A double blind study involving 128 people showed quite clearly that a water extract of valerian root significantly increased the quality of sleep. The study, which was quite thorough, measured night awakening, people’s own perceptions of the quality of their sleep, sleeplessness in the morning and sleep latency—that is, how quickly a person got to sleep. In another double blind insomnia study, 20 people were given either a combination of 160mg of valerian root extract and 80mg of Melissa officinalis extract, or menzodiazapine (Triazolam 0.125mg), or a placebo. (Melissa, by the way, belongs to the mint family and also has a powerful anti-viral activity.) Researchers discovered that the valerian-melissa preparation was comparable to the benzodiazepine drug in its ability to increase deep sleep. However, unlike the drug, it did not cause side-effects—diminished concentration, impairment of physical performance or daytime sleepiness. My only problem with valerian is that to me it smells like dirty socks. KAVA KAVA Piper methysticum From the pepper family, this plant is consumed in liquid by the cultures of Polynesia. It is both an effective sedative and hypnotic. It also acts as a muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, and anti-depressant. When you take it, it first stimulates then begins to sedate the central nervous system. Small doses can produce a euphoric sense of wellbeing. Larger doses or small doses repeated frequently produce deep relaxation, lethargy and induce sleep. Human studies where kava is given in therapeutic doses have failed to show any toxic effects. Nonetheless, kava should not be used by people who have or have had liver problems, who drink alcohol, or take drugs. Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women are not to take kava either. PASSIONFLOWER Passiflora incarnata This magnificent climbing plant, with its white flowers and extraordinary purple centers, is mildly narcotic and a wonderful sedative for the body. It’s an anti-spasmodic, sedative, hypnotic, hypotensive anti-depressant and nerve relaxant. It is particularly useful if you are someone who tends to suffer from nervous tension as well as insomnia. Not as strong as valerian in its action, it is more calming than sedating, and is therefore a superb alternative to tranquilizer drugs. Passionflower works particularly well for sleep when taken together with 5-HTP as an herb, a tincture, or fluid extract or in dried powered form in capsules. Passionflower was used by the Aztecs as an analgesic and sedative. One of its plant chemicals is called harmine, which has an interesting ability to bring about a contemplative state and a feeling of mild euphoria. It was even used during World War II as a “truth serum”. Harmine and other plant chemicals in passionflower, which work synergistically with it, prevent serotonin levels from falling and therefore works extremely well with 5-HTP against insomnia. HOPS Humulus lupulus The flowers from this common herb are often used together with other remedies to treat everything from indigestion to edgy nerves. Like valerian, hops have a pronounced sedative effect but it is much milder. You can use hops in the form of a tincture, but it can be particularly useful as a tea for people who awaken in the middle of the night. Prepare it before going to bed by steeping the flowers for 10 minutes in hot water and then straining and allowing to cool. Put the tea, sweetened with a little honey or preferably stevia (if you can get it), by the side of your bed so you can drink it if you awaken during the night. Some people also swear by small pillows stuffed with dried hops blossoms which you put under your neck when you go to bed or if you awaken. LET GO OF FEAR Experiment with these wonderful plants. Get to know them. Each has its own personality and its own soul. I have used them all over the years and come to love each one of them for their beauty and their effectiveness. Just as when you meet a new friend, it takes time to experience all their gifts. But you will, and it will be wonderful. Meanwhile, forget worry about sleep. Do what you need to do and then just let it happen. If it doesn’t happen tonight, so what? It will tomorrow night, or the next. Lack of sleep is not likely to kill you, but worrying about it for long enough just might. St. Patrick began each day with a prayer, regardless of how much or little sleep he had, or how he felt when he awakened. It is my favorite celebration of new beginnings and can wipe away worries following a sleepless night: I arise today Through the strength of heaven Light of sun, Radiance of moon, Splendour of fire Speed of lightning Swiftness of wind. Depth of sea Stability of earth, St. Patrick My favorite herbal company is Gaia Herbs who are fanatical in their methods of gathering and processing each and every product. I buy them from iHerb. Here are some of the Gaia products I especially like: Gaia Herbs, Kava Kava Root, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Many systems of the body can be negatively affected by stress. That is why achieving a state of calm and relaxation is so important for optimum wellness. Gaia Herbs' Kava Kava is a potent herbal extract which helps support emotional balance. Made from ecologically harvested Kava Kava from Vanuatu, it contains a guaranteed 225 mg of active Kavalactones per serving. Order Kava Kava Root from iherb Gaia Herbs, Valerian Root, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Valerian root has long been used to promote deep and restful sleep in those with occasional sleeplessness. Made from Valerian grown on Gaia's own certified organic farm, this extract delivers 1.8 mg of Valerenic acid derivatives per serving. By promoting a sense of calm and relaxation, Valerian Root supports the body in falling asleep naturally. Order Valerian Root from iherb Gaia Herbs, Sound Sleep, 60 Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps Getting a restful night's sleep is essential for optimal health. Sound Sleep is an all herbal formula with botanicals historically recognized to address difficulty with sleep. It works to normalize restlessness, physical tension, and worry sometimes associated with occasional sleeplessness. It may also be used when nervous excitement and/or stress affected normal sleep patterns. Order Sound Sleep from iherb Gaia Herbs, Serenity with Passionflower, 60 Veggie Liquid Phyto-Caps Occasional nervous stress and tension can interfere in the enjoyment of everyday life by disrupting the functioning of body and mind. Serenity provides the support you need to help restore a sense of calm and relaxation your life. Made with certified organic Passionflower and Skullcap, this formula gives your nervous system the nourishment it deserves. Order Serenity from iherb

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 13,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 18th of January 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.74 lb
for women
-1.25 lb
for men
-0.74 lb
for women
-1.25 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 18th of January 2021 (updated every 12 hours)

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