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Top 10 Popular No Carb Diet Recipes for Picky Eaters

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The diet we consume contains macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, while micronutrients consist of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. The no carb diet eliminates foods that contain carbohydrates, especially foods containing refined flour and sugar. A no carb diet is a boon for those looking to lose weight and manage certain health conditions such as diabetes.

Eliminating a macro-nutrient from your diet completely must always be discussed with your doctor, as this diet may not be suitable for everyone. Embracing the no carb diet requires a conviction, and staying true to it requires a lifestyle change. 

What Are Carbs?

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Carbohydrates are one of the essential macro-nutrients that the body requires for optimum functioning. Carbohydrates cannot be synthesized by the body on its own and need to be obtained from food sources. Carbohydrates are a source of energy for the body and include simple as well as complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates include sugars such as honey, table sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup. Complex carbs include starches found in bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes and dietary fiber obtained from fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.

Simple and complex carbohydrates provide quick energy for your body; simple carbs are digested quickly and absorbed more quickly than complex carbs. Simple carbs can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, causing frequent hunger pangs and cravings, while complex carbs keep you satiated for longer, providing sustained energy.

The Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet

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Healthy Weight Loss

A no carb diet is the most effective way to kick-start your weight loss journey. If you’re struggling to lose belly fat, this diet plan can help you trim inches from your abdominal area. Losing belly fat is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Reduced Triglyceride Levels

Excess triglycerides lead to clogged arteries and increase your risk of stroke. By cutting carbs, you will be able to reduce triglyceride levels, while elevating your good cholesterol or HDL levels.

Improved Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels

Cutting carbs is the best way to reduce insulin levels and manage type 2 diabetes. Following a no carb diet will prevent sugar spikes, reducing your body’s need to produce high levels of insulin to counter high blood sugar levels.

10 Popular No Carb Diet Recipes for Picky Eaters

Delicious no carb recipes will make the no carb diet a sustainable and long-term plan for you, helping you reap the best benefits of this no-carb diet such as weight loss, controlled blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and more. Below, we mentioned our 10 popular no carb recipes, which even picky eaters will love.

Meatball Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 2½ – 3 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if necessary)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon each minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups prepared marinara sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

Procedure

  1. Mix all ingredients and knead together in a large mixing bowl. Form into golf ball-sized meatballs and arrange on a greased baking tray.
  2. Pour marinara sauce over the meatballs and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Pizza Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 1 can pizza sauce
  • 5 links uncooked spicy Italian sausage
  • 4-5 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
  • 8-12 oz. fresh mushrooms washed and cut into thick slices
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 15 slices pepperoni, cut in half

Procedure

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, squeeze the sausage out of the casing and cook until it’s nicely browned, mashing it as it cooks. Arrange the cooked sausage on the bottom of a greased pan.
  2. Heat some more olive oil in a large pan, add the sliced mushrooms, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour half the pizza sauce over the cooked sausage layer. Top with the cooked mushrooms. Layer the sliced pepperoni over the mushroom layer and top with the remaining pizza sauce. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bruschetta Chicken

bruschetta
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Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts halved horizontally to make 4 fillets
  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 teaspoons balsamic glaze

Procedure

  1. Season chicken breasts with Italian seasoning, garlic, and salt.
  2. Heat oil in a grill pan, and sear chicken breasts until browned on both sides and cooked completely. Allow cooked chicken breasts to rest.
  3. In a bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, red onion, basil, olive oil, and salt in a bowl. Top each chicken breast with the tomato mixture and parmesan cheese.
  4. Pour a few spoons of balsamic glaze over the prepared chicken and serve immediately.

No-Carb Taco Casserole

taco
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 2-3 teaspoons oil
  • ½ red onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Procedure

  1. Heat oil in a skillet, saute the chopped onions and minced garlic, add the minced meat and cook through. Add the taco seasoning and mix well.
  2. Place the prepared meat mix at the bottom of a baking tray. Top with salsa and then add the grated cheddar cheese.
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes till the cheese melts.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 red onion chopped finely
  • 2 scallions chopped finely
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha

Procedure

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet, saute the onions until they turn translucent, add ground chicken and cook until browned.
  2. Add the minced garlic, chopped red onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and Sriracha.
  3. Garnish with chopped green onions.
  4. Spoon the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf and serve immediately, like a taco.

No-Carb Breakfast Burrito

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Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon chipotle mayonnaise
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 4 bacon strips, cooked crisp
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

Procedure

  1. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt butter in a pan and cover the base of the pan evenly with the egg mixture.
  3. Cover the pan and cook for about a minute.
  4. After a minute or two, move egg crepe and, flip it over with a spatula.
  5. Spread the chipotle mayonnaise on the prepared crepe. Top with lettuce, tomato, bacon, and avocado.
  6. Roll and enjoy your no-carb burrito.

Herb Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Chicken
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Crushed red chili flakes as per taste
  • 1-2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Procedure

  1. In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chicken. Add the chicken and allow it to marinate in the vinegar mix for 30 minutes.
  2. Grill chicken in preheated oven for 20 minutes and broil on each side for 2-3 minutes until the chicken turns brown on both sides.

Shrimp Avocado Salad

shrimps avocado
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon taco or Mexican seasoning
  • 3 ripe avocados, peeled and cubed

Procedure

  1. Place the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Prepare the dressing for the salad by mixing lime juice, olive oil, Mexican seasoning, and salt.
  2. Pour the seasoning over the shrimp mix and refrigerate for an hour. Top with cubed avocados when serving.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Lime Shrimp
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

Procedure

  1. Mix all the herbs and seasonings in a bowl, add the shrimp, and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Thread shrimp onto metal or soaked wooden skewers. Grill on a grill pan over medium heat until shrimps turn pink, 2-4 minutes per side.

Delicious Egg Salad

Egg Salad
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Ingredients

  • 10 hard-boiled large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Place eggs in a large bowl; mash with a fork. Mix in all other ingredients and refrigerate until serving.


Conclusion

The no carb diet has many health benefits and is great for those looking to lose weight without depriving themselves of optimum nutrition. Deliciously crafted no carb recipes will help you stick to this diet for the long-term. 

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Ketogenic Diet: How Does It Work and Is It Effective?

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The keto diet has been around since 1921 and was originally used by Russell Wilder to treat epilepsy. It was used frequently until 1940 when an antiepileptic drug treatment became regularly available. However, in 1998, it exploded in popularity again, this time for weight loss. 

The keto diet starts with measuring your macros, or macronutrients. These are fat, protein and carbohydrates. There are nine calories per gram of fat and four calories per gram of protein and carbohydrates. Start with a 4:1 ratio of fat to combined protein and carbohydrates to keep you satiated and reduce cravings, improve your self-control, increase your physical activity and decrease your caloric intake.

What Is a Ketogenic Diet?

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The ketogenic, or keto diet, is a high-fat, low-carb diet which decreases blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity. Over a period of time, this trains the body to consume fat and ketones for fuel rather than carbohydrates. There are four types of ways to practice the ketogenic diet. They are the standard ketogenic diet, the cyclical ketogenic diet, the targeted ketogenic diet and the high-protein ketogenic diet.    The standard keto diet has macronutrient ratios of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. The cyclical ketogenic diet involves five ketogenic days and two high-carb days which allow you to maintain this lifestyle, if you have trouble giving up carbs. The targeted ketogenic diet allows you to eat higher levels of carbs on days which contain strenuous workouts. Finally, the high-protein ketogenic diet involves 60% of your calories coming from fat, 35% of your calories coming from protein and 5% of your calories coming from carbohydrates. This is useful because protein keeps you more satiated than fat. The cyclical and targeted ketogenic diets are useful for athletes, such as bodybuilders who lift very heavy weights. 

Keto-Friendly Foods

The hardest part of the keto diet is determining which foods to eat. The majority of your meals should be centered around: 

  • Meat
  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Butter and cream
  • Cheese
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy oils
  • Avocados
  • Low-carb veggies
  • Condiments

Meat includes red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey legs. Good fish includes tuna, trout, mackerel and salmon, although tuna is much leaner than salmon. Look for omega-3 or pastured whole eggs and grass-fed butter and cream. Cheese should be unprocessed, such as cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella. Nuts and seeds include chia, pumpkin and flax seeds and walnuts and almonds.

Search for healthy oils, such as avocado, coconut and extra virgin olive oil. Make fresh guacamole out of avocado, or slice one on top of your toast for breakfast, in your oatmeal or on an open-faced grilled chicken sandwich. Low-carb veggies include most green veggies, tomatoes, onions and peppers. Keto-friendly condiments include salt, pepper and healthy herbs and spices.

Food to Avoid

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Here is a list of food types to reduce or eliminate from your keto diet: 

  • Sugary foods
  • Grains or starches
  • Fruit
  • Beans or legumes
  • Root vegetables and tubers
  • Low-fat or diet products
  • Some condiments and sauces
  • Unhealthy fats
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar-free diet foods

Sugary foods include candy, ice cream, cake, smoothies, fruit juice and soda. Grains and starches include cereal, pasta, rice and wheat-based products. Fruits include all fruits except for small portions of high-fiber, low-carb fruits, like blackberries and raspberries. Beans and legumes include chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and peas. Root vegetables and tubers include parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes and red potatoes.

Low-fat and diet products are frequently very processed and high in carbohydrates. Aim for unprocessed, whole natural food whenever possible. Avoid condiments and sauces which are high in unhealthy fat and sugar. Minimize processed, unhealthy fats in your diet, such as mayonnaise and vegetable oils.

Minimize alcohol containing carbohydrates, such as beer, wine and cocktails, as they may throw you out of ketosis. Look for carb-free alcohol, such as whiskey, but remember to keep it within your daily caloric allowance. Alcohol has seven calories per gram, so a shot of whiskey will have 96 calories. Alcohol also reduces your inhibitions, so you may binge on foods which are not keto diet-friendly. Avoid sugar-free diet foods and gum as these can affect ketone levels with their high-sugar alcohol content. They are also often highly-processed.

Healthy Keto Snacks

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Great snacks for between meals on the keto diet include:

  • Small portions of leftover meals
  • Celery with salsa and guacamole
  • Strawberries and cream
  • Full-fat yogurt mixed with nut butter and cocoa powder
  • A low-carb milkshake with nut butter, cocoa powder and almond milk
  • 90% dark chocolate
  • 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • Cheese with olives
  • A handful of seeds or nuts
  • Cheese 
  • Fatty meat or fish

Eating Out

If your friends invite you to a restaurant while you’re on the keto diet, it is easy to find a keto-friendly meal. At Mexican restaurants, enjoy any type of meat with extra cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Just skip the tortilla. At your local burger joint, opt for a bunless burger with avocado and nut butter, eggs, bacon or extra cheese. Swap out french fries for low-carb vegetables. At breakfast restaurants, get an omelet with avocado, bacon and sausage. At a steakhouse or seafood restaurant, you can get a meat or fish-based dish with high-carb food replaced with extra vegetables. For dessert, you can get berries and cream or a mixed cheese board.

How the Keto Diet Works

The keto diet works by getting your body to burn fat for fuel rather than carbs. Normally, we eat a high-carb meal, and our body converts those carbs into glucose for fuel. We then make insulin to move that glucose into the bloodstream. Our body then uses that glucose as its primary fuel source. When there is a minimal presence of carbs, our body must use another fuel source. Our liver takes fatty acids and converts them into ketone bodies called ketones. The process is called ketosis, and the goal of the ketogenic diet is to keep your body in a state of ketosis. When your liver breaks down fatty acids, three ketones are created: 

  • Acetoacetate (AcAc) – created first during ketosis
  • Beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) – formed from acetoacetate
  • Acetone – created spontaneously as a byproduct of acetoacetate

Testing Ketosis

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There are a few methods to test the ketone levels in your body. These are blood, breath and urine testing. Testing is important in the beginning to ensure you have entered and are staying in ketosis so you can reap the full benefits. Urine test strips may be purchased at your local pharmacy at a very low cost and indicate your ketone level by color. When you first start testing your ketones, use the urine sample method with the blood testing method to confirm the accuracy of your urine tests. When you have been in ketosis for a while, your body is more efficient at using ketones so this may show up as lower ketone levels in your urine test. Levels of hydration and electrolytes in your body also affect test results.

Using a breath meter, you can test the levels of acetone in your breath. The benefit of this testing method is it only consists of one upfront cost. The disadvantage is it is not as reliable as blood testing. If you can afford it, use a blood glucose meter to test your ketone levels with a blood strip. This method can get a little pricey, if you use it frequently, but it is your best bet while you are still learning what portion of carbohydrates you can eat to keep your body in ketosis. After 21 days, your new way of eating will become a habit, and you will not need to test anymore.

Is It Effective?

The keto diet is effective for weight loss, but it is also used to improve a variety of other health conditions. These include: 

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Brain injuries, like concussions
  • Acne 
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Excess triglycerides
  • High cholesterol

Excess carbohydrates, particularly fructose, increase your triglyceride levels, so reducing these easy-to-store carbs in your diet decreases the fat in your bloodstream. It also lowers blood pressure and eliminates Type 2 diabetes. If you have hypotension, talk to your general health practitioner about adding salt to your diet to keep your blood pressure high enough. The keto diet also increases the levels of good cholesterol and lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in your bloodstream.

This diet is effective in reducing inflammation which eliminates pain and reduces the frequency of skin conditions, such as eczema and acne. By increasing the amount of BHB in your bloodstream, you also fight inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, arthritis and irritable bowel disease. There are over 43 health conditions the keto diet is effective in treating, and all it takes to reap the benefits is a simple change in diet.

Conclusion

healthy salad
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The keto diet is the best diet you can go on if you suffer from inflammatory diseases or health conditions compounded by excess weight. It is effective for weight loss, improves your mood, increases your energy levels and improves many markers of good health. The macronutrient ratios are different depending on your needs, and you can have a registered dietician help you make meal plans while you start this transition. As long as your breath, blood or urine tests indicate an adequate level of ketones in your body, you will reap the benefits of this highly-effective, healthy diet. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new diet.       

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GERD Diet: Benefits, Side Effects, and More

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GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition commonly associated with acid reflux. And, just as the name implies, it is caused by an excess of acid in your stomach, which leads to acid indigestion or heartburn (pyrosis.) Acid reflux happens when some of that stomach acid goes back into your esophagus, creating a burning sensation in your lower chest area.

GERD is diagnosed when acid reflux occurs more than twice a week. GERD and acid reflux are the most common gut complaints in hospital departments in the United States. To mitigate the condition, your doctor may recommend pills or a GERD diet.

A GERD diet works best, and many healthcare experts now recommend it among other lifestyle solutions. So, what is a GERD diet? This article highlights what the GERD diet is, talks about its accompanying benefits and discusses some side effects linked to GERD medications.

What Is GERD?

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease is caused by persistent acid reflux. Acid reflux is a common ailment. An estimated 15 million people in America experience daily heartburn symptoms. Regular heartburns cause GERD. While it is commonly referred to as acid reflux, GERD is a more chronic condition that requires medical treatment to reduce esophageal damage.

GERD is a chronic condition and can be unpleasant as it causes symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing, dry sore throat, hoarseness, coughing and heartburn. Depending on its severity, GERD’s symptoms can impair your daily routine and your quality of life. As if that weren’t enough, GERD can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as esophageal ulcers, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.

Contrary to what the name implies, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. Instead, the name likely refers to the burning sensations that occur around heartburn sufferers’ chests and upper gastrointestinal tracts. The burning sensations are caused by stomach acids as they leak back into your food pipe. The discomfort can last for up to two hours at a time.

Most people experience heartburn occasionally. GERD sufferers, however, experience at least twice a week the symptoms of acid reflux, including: 

  • Wheezing
  • Flatulence
  • Sore throat
  • Excessive belching
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A bitter taste

If you have excessive weight and suffer from GERD, that weight could be exacerbating any of the above ill effects.

GERD and Weight

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Being overweight is one cause of GERD. According to the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, obesity is the leading cause of frequent heartburn. Why? It’s because excessive weight increases abdominal pressure, causing stomach acid to leak or flow back into the esophagus.

Also, tight clothing can also make GERD symptoms grow worse. This implies that wearing loose clothing and losing weight can help ease acid reflux and the chronic condition of GERD.

Weight Gain and Risk Factors

Becoming overweight is the biggest risk factor associated with GERD. In fact, temporary weight gain such as that during pregnancy, can cause heartburn. In such cases, the symptoms typically clear up once you get back to your normal weight.  

No matter the cause, acid reflux is bad enough, but it also aggravates these other health conditions:

  • Chest pain
  • Asthma
  • Vocal cord tumors
  • Sore throats
  • Chronic coughing

What Is the GERD Diet?

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The GERD Diet incorporates foods proven to reduce the symptoms and frequency of acid reflux. The GERD Diet entails healthy living, meaning you eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and reduce your levels of stress.

All this can prevent acid reflux issues, cardiovascular-related diseases and more. In fact, the GERD Diet provides a solution to a myriad of other health issues simply because it reduces acid reflux. But, you don’t have to suffer already from acid reflux to benefit from the GERD diet. It emphasizes a healthier way of life, which could probably benefit most of us.

The GERD Diet entails a commitment to reducing the consumption of foods with non-nutritive ingredients, such as sugar, and with high-fat content, including even those in packaged foods. This emphasis not only helps you reduce your intake of calories for weight loss, but it also decreases your risk of developing heartburn.

Weight Loss and Eating Habits

First off, since excessive weight generates GERD symptoms, you should focus on slimming down immediately. When obesity is severe and does not decline through diet and exercise, you may require weight loss surgery, such as liposuction or gastric bypass. Due to the surgery, heartburn may be a common side effect. You can manage this the same way as other heartburn remedies, which include:

  • Eating more slowly
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Avoiding trigger foods (spicy and high-fat foods)
  • Avoiding eating within two hours before bedtime
  • Elevating the head of your bed from 6 to 10 inches

Foods to Consider Eating

pancake omelette
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In the battle to beat acid reflux, you should include the following foods in your GERD diet:

  • Low-fat milk products, such as ice cream, cheese and yogurt (avoid full-fat milk products)
  • Baked goods such as croissants, biscuits, pancakes, muffins, waffles and doughnuts
  • Meats and other proteins, including eggs, tofu, fish, skinless poultry, lean meat, fried meat, lunch meat and sausages (avoid fatty meat)
  • Fruits that are fresh, frozen or canned and fruit juice (avoid citruses like lemons, oranges, grapefruit and limes)
  • Vegetables, including those that are fresh, frozen or canned without added fat (avoid fried or creamed vegetables, as well as tomatoes, tomato products and onions)

Foods to Avoid

The GERD diet also requires you to avoid certain dietary habits that have been linked to acid reflux. These include:

  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Garlic
  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Tomatoes and related products
  • Citrus foods (including fruit juices)
  • Mints (especially peppermint)
  • Packaged/processed foods

Benefits, Side Effects, More

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Benefits of the GERD Diet

It’s easy to see how the diet helps with weight loss. In fact, dropping pounds is one of the best ways to beat GERD. Therefore, start by reducing your daily caloric intake. When you adopt a GERD diet, there is a high likelihood you will lose weight.

Besides watching what you eat (and what you don’t,) the diet means you’ll be exercising more — another strategy for losing weight to help with heartburn. Taking a walk after a meal will help burn the calories you consumed and aid in digestion. This way, there is little chance you will lie down after a meal and risk further stomach acid leakage.

Moreover, the GERD diet will mitigate any development of esophageal cancer. Additionally, eating healthy and exercise correlates with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Side Effects of Alternative Treatments

Those who simply don’t want to put in the work involved with a GERD Diet, often opt instead for popping those pills the commercials tout. These medications are either reactive by neutralizing stomach acid already there or are proactive by restricting the production of future stomach acid.

The problem with this is that the drugs aren’t meant as a continuing or long-term solution. Over time, they actually can have adverse effects due to their continual use. For example, proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec and Prevacid, which are taken to reduce stomach acid, have been correlated with an increased risk of developing osteoporosis or pneumonia, and also have negative interactions with other drugs.

Unfortunately, many over-the-counter pills are readily available to treat acid reflux. Still, they have played little in curtailing GERD incidence.

In the U.S., it’s estimated that four percent of adults suffer from acid reflux. Rates of esophageal cancer have also surged by 500 percent since the 1970s. A study from Denmark that tracked over 9,800 GERD sufferers linked proton pump inhibitors with the increase of esophageal cancer. This implies that medications and pills used in treating GERD are ineffective and potentially cause more harm than good. If patients adopted the GERD diet instead, they’d be much better off.

Conclusion

cold headaches influence
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GERD is caused by persistent acid reflux. It is a chronic condition that could lead to difficulty in swallowing, sore throat, hoarseness, coughing and heartburn. Severe GERD interrupts your routine and impairs your quality of life. GERD also can cause wheezing, flatulence, excessive belching among other issues related to the esophagus.

According to the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, obesity is the leading cause of frequent heartburn, a symptom of GERD, while tight clothing can also worsen acid reflux. Loose clothing and losing weight can help ease acid reflux.

Following a GERD Diet means you eat healthier, avoiding high-fat content foods and non-nutritive sugars, you exercise regularly and you reduce your stress. Most people on the GERD Diet lose weight, which may reduce the acid reflux and greatly reduce the risks of developing esophageal cancer, cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes.

While it may seem easier to take GERD medications to eliminate excessive stomach acid or restrict the production of stomach acid in the future, the problem is that long-term use of drugs has negative effects. For example, proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec and Prevacid can lead to osteoporosis and pneumonia, plus negative interactions with other medications.

Taking all this into consideration, it is very clear that the GERD diet is the best, safest and our top choice for a recommended solution to your acid reflux woes.

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PCOS Diet: Manage the Disease and Symptoms Better

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Do you suffer from PCOS? Are you struggling to manage this condition but are not sure which foods could ease your discomfort and which will make things worse? If you have PCOS, you know symptoms are often varied and acute, making it difficult to pinpoint the source of your distress. There is an unbreakable link between your diet and overall health. Eating the wrong foods will obstruct your efforts to soothe your PCOS, making life considerably more difficult. If you are frustrated from trying to manage your symptoms to no avail, this is the time to learn about the best PCOS diet options to help you achieve revitalized health.

Table Of Contents

How Diet Impacts PCOS

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PCOS Facts

The term PCOS is short for polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition affecting women with an excess production of the hormones known as androgens. PCOS is usually characterized by erratic or nonexistent periods, along with highly cystic ovaries and fluctuating weight. In fact, about half of women who suffer from PCOS struggle with obesity, partially due to the hormone imbalance caused by the condition. Additional symptoms experienced by women with PCOS include excess body hair, acne, and balding. If not managed properly with the right diet, this disorder can lead to a host of other serious illnesses, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and endometrial cancer.

Key Considerations

If you have PCOS, it is highly likely that you are experiencing imbalanced insulin levels responsible for dictating how your body processes sugars. When your pancreas is not making enough insulin, your blood sugar levels can spike rapidly. Alternatively, if your body is not properly handling the insulin it is producing, you may develop insulin resistance, leading to your ovaries releasing higher amounts of androgens. Your ability to manage your insulin and blood sugar levels correlates directly with your PCOS diet. If your body is not releasing and processing insulin correctly, foods high in unhealthy carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar levels, leading to an increase in symptoms and ultimately weight gain.

Foods to Eliminate

Foods to avoid
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To follow an effective PCOS diet, there are key foods that need to be removed from your diet in total. If you eat foods containing high amounts of processed carbohydrates, like muffins or white bread, these need to go. Stay away from sugar-filled drinks, snacks, or desserts. The starch in white flour and white potatoes will hit your bloodstream and turn straight to sugar, so these foods should be avoided. Highly processed red meats, fast food, and fried foods increase your inflammation and should be eliminated. Pay close attention to labels on the food you buy, looking out for hidden sources of sugar like dextrose or sucrose.

Foods to Focus On

An anti-inflammatory PCOS diet replaces starchy and unhealthy carbohydrate food sources with complex starches like fibrous vegetables, low-fat protein sources, and foods rich with antioxidants such as tomatoes. Increasing your fiber intake may improve your insulin resistance, as foods high in these nutrients take longer to digest, hitting your blood sugar far more slowly and keeping insulin levels even. Fibrous vegetables like peppers, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are fantastic options. Focus on protein-rich sources like beans, lentils, fish, and nuts. You can enjoy a bounty of other plant foods on the PCOS diet, including berries, winter squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. These foods work to fight inflammation, which is the key factor in controlling your PCOS.

PCOS Diets to Consider

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The Protein-Packed Diet

Several PCOS diets focus specifically on protein sources to reduce inflammation, balance insulin levels, and achieve a healthy weight loss. Rather than limiting your caloric intake, the protein-packed PCOS diet allows you to eat more protein, causing you to become fuller faster. This not only fuels weight loss efforts but provides you with energy sources that hit your digestion slowly and do not spike blood sugar levels.

The Low Glycemic Index Diet

Another popular approach to the PCOS diet is to focus on foods low on the glycemic index. In removing unhealthy starches and foods high in processed carbohydrates from your diet, you instead make selections that have the least impact on your insulin levels and pack the most fiber in each serving. The higher food rates on the glycemic index, the greater its negative effect on your blood sugar will be. Selecting low glycemic index foods not only impacts your insulin and blood sugar imbalance for the better but can help you achieve a more regulated menstrual cycle and a loss of excess body fat.

The Inflammation-Fighting Diet

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Some doctors recommend a PCOS diet focused solely on fighting inflammation, to reduce the condition’s associated symptoms, enjoy weight loss, lower blood pressure, and achieve improved cholesterol. Inflammation-fighting foods can also balance out your metabolism and reproductive function. The anti-inflammatory PCOS diet focuses on foods low on the glycemic index rich with antioxidant properties, along with a healthy balance of essential fats, quality protein sources, and complex carbohydrates.

Best Foods for PCOS

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Root Vegetables

While we already discussed key food sources that will help you manage your symptoms, there are some that stand out above the rest and should be incorporated into any balanced PCOS diet. Root vegetables like carrots and beets pack far more nutrients per serving than plants that grow above the ground as they absorb the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals while developing under the soil. Carrots and beets fight inflammation and fungal overgrowth, two conditions which will worsen your symptoms considerably. The compounds contained within these vegetables instigate healing within the liver, restore damaged cells, and promulgate new tissue production.

Garlic

A staple of any well rounded PCOS diet, garlic is renowned for its exceptional healing and anti-inflammatory properties. It is useful for restoring circulatory function and negating the risk of heart issues that may develop from PCOS. Garlic contains significant amounts of the protein allicin along with nutrient-rich selenium. In fact, garlic improves the ability of your kidneys and liver to process toxins, enabling your body to release these elements and not let them build up in your system. One root of inflammation is your liver’s inability to process environmental toxins and fatty buildup effectively. Garlic stimulates liver enzyme production, which helps your body to ward off disease, eliminating toxins through waste production.

Apples and Avocados

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Fruits like apples and avocados will prove essential additions to your PCOS diet, as they detoxify your body and release harmful elements, strengthening your GI tract and immune system. The fiber content in apples makes them an ideal dietary staple to enjoy a hint of sweetness that will digest slowly and not impact your blood sugar levels negatively. Fiber is necessary to reduce fatty buildup, which can lead to circulation issues and heart disease. Not only are avocados tasty and nutritious, but they also contain considerable amounts of key vitamins and minerals that help your body achieve optimal function.  Avocados contain a nutrient-rich compound known as glutathione, which protects you from outside toxins, inhibits fat production causing damage to your ovaries, and reduces cancerous carcinogens.

Leafy Greens

No PCOS diet would be complete without plenty of leafy green vegetables. Foods like kale, cabbage, and lettuce work to soak up toxic elements in your body which are inflaming your ovaries and causing insulin upset. They are strong detoxifying agents, enabling your body to release and eliminate the fatty and harmful buildups damaging your system and worsening your condition.

Cold-Pressed Oils

It is crucial to incorporate quality fat sources into your PCOS diet, through cold-pressed oils like olive, flaxseed, or hemp oil. These oils also work to detox your body, reducing inflammation which is impeding your ability to manage your PCOS. These oils should not be consumed in excess, however, as even high amounts of good fat can cause liver buildup and prevent proper drainage. Exercise in moderation, and you will enjoy these rich oils in a variety of tasty PCOS-friendly dishes.

Citrus Fruits

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One of the best categories of fruits to incorporate into your PCOS diet are those in the citrus family. Citrus fruits serve as a detoxifier and diuretic, helping your body to purge and process toxins effectively. Your immune system may suffer considerably as the result of PCOS. The high levels of Vitamin C contained in citrus fruits will go far to improve your overall health and fight the infections that often cause ovarian cysts to develop.

Green Tea

If you love nothing better than a soothing cup of hot tea, choose a green tea to add into your PCOS diet. Green tea detoxes your body, using antioxidants to eliminate the effects of harmful free radicals which are causing tissue damage and worsening your symptoms. In addition, the catechins in green tea help your liver achieve healthy function and support the elimination of toxins posing a threat to your ovarian health.

Gluten-Free Foods

Finally, when selecting foods to incorporate into your PCOS diet, you may wish to consider choosing gluten-free grains. Going gluten-free is unnecessary for some, but many individuals have an inability to digest gluten, which can increase inflammation and worsen PCOS symptoms. If this is the case for you, maintaining a gluten-free diet will be essential to achieving a strong and healthy liver that can process and release toxins. Rather than gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, rye, and triticale, choose alternatives like quinoa, buckwheat, and millet. These fibrous options will have a minimal impact on your blood sugar levels and enable your liver to get rid of environmental toxins that are worsening your PCOS.

Conclusion

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A balanced PCOS diet includes the elimination of unhealthy starches, inflammatory food sources, and toxic fatty elements. Instead, incorporate foods high in fiber, low in simple starches, rich in lean protein, and packed with antioxidants and advanced nutritional profiles. Speak with your doctor regarding the PCOS diet that is best for you, so you can tailor a food plan that meets your health needs, eases your symptoms and reduces overall inflammation.

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Diverticulitis Diet: A Simple Guide

Do you suffer from diverticulitis? Are you tired of trying to figure out the right foods to manage your condition, only to find yourself in terrible distress and pain?

Diverticulitis is a severe case of an inflamed colon that requires immediate attention and a doctor’s care if present. Your doctor may recommend certain types of medications and dietary changes to keep the inflammation at bay and allow your gut to heal. The diverticulitis diet is one of the most important alterations you’ll make to your overall routine to manage the condition effectively and improve your daily quality of life.

Table Of Contents

What Is Diverticulitis?

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Overview

Diverticulitis occurs when tiny pouches shaped like sacs develop in the outer layer of your colon, known as diverticulosis. These sacs then become overwhelmed with infection and inflammation. The condition is appearing increasingly throughout the Western world and developing countries.

Therefore, it’s important to know what typically leads to diverticulitis and how a diverticulitis diet can help you manage it. If the condition is not treated properly and swiftly, the infection can worsen and eventually lead to hospitalization.

Contributing Factors

Some of the greatest contributing factors to the onset of diverticulitis are constipation issues, age, weight, inactivity, and especially, insufficient fiber intake. If you have a history of weight issues and are overweight, or do not engage in enough physical activity, this can put a strain on your immune system and gut. Staying active and consuming a diverticulitis diet can help to ease these factors and allow you to achieve a healthy weight loss.

Fiber is the double-edged sword to the condition and the diverticulitis diet. When your gut is severely inflamed due to diverticulitis, especially when you’re first treating the condition, you’ll probably eat a low-fiber diet to soothe your gut and avoid digestive upset. However, the fact remains that insufficient fiber is one of the leading causes of diverticulitis. So, you may ask, where do you find the balance?

Well, once your gut has experienced initial healing from a low-fiber diet, it’s usually recommended that you incorporate healthy fiber sources into your diverticulitis diet. In fact, countries where fiber consumption is high like Africa and Asia have some of the lowest incidents of diverticulitis. Western countries with an older population and low-fiber diets are increasingly seeing the condition popping up.

Fiber plays a crucial part in promoting a healthy digestive tract and helping your system eliminate toxic waste. Fiber enables you to avoid constipation, by making your stool softer so it can pass through your colon and be released from the body. Insufficient fiber will lead to constipation, often making it a painful struggle to eliminate waste. This can cause significant strain on your colon muscles.

Weakened colon muscles are very vulnerable to the development of diverticulitis. In addition, failing to eliminate waste will increase your gut inflammation and put you at risk for infection of the diverticula naturally occurring in your colon. It’s imperative to find a balance between foods that soothe your gut and allow it to rest from strenuous digestion while still incorporating some fibrous foods that can help to avoid the condition worsening in the long run.

Benefits of the Diverticulitis Diet

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Improved Digestive Health

The primary benefit of the diverticulitis diet is to allow your digestive tract to rest from unsuccessful, strenuous attempts to process foods too tough for your system to digest. When your colon becomes inflamed and develops diverticulitis, the first order of the day is to tamp down the infection and allow your system to take a break from the foods that have been overwhelming it and causing the upset.

Next, most doctors will recommend you slowly increase your fiber intake from highly nutritious food sources. This allows you to avoid constipation and release toxic buildup. As a lack of fiber is the primary contributing factor for diverticulitis, eating quality sources of this nutrient are essential. The catch is to find a balance between too little fiber and too much fiber.

Eating more than 50 grams of fiber each day is not recommended. Consistently consuming quantities of fiber beyond that amount can cause constipation, leading to diverticulitis and worsened symptoms. Fiber makes your stool more voluminous, which can allow it to pass through your system easier if coupled with sufficient water intake. Yet, stool that is too bulky will not pass through properly. It’s important to keep your fiber intake at healthy levels when following the diverticulitis diet, so as not to irritate your gut.

Speak with your doctor regarding the recommendations right for you. Depending on your situation, your doctor may not advise that you incorporate many fiber sources into your diverticulitis diet, at least initially. The daily recommended amount of fiber falls around 20 to 25 grams per day. Your intake should include a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber food sources.

Soluble fiber is water soluble, causing it to form a substance like gel that softens and bulks your stools, making it easier to eliminate without incident. Insoluble fiber soaks up some of that water, transitioning through your digestive tract and adding volume to your stools. A healthy diverticulitis diet contains key plant nutrients that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber for optimal bowel function.

Increased Nutrient Intake

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The diverticulitis diet focuses on nutrient-rich food sources like plant foods to heal and restore your gut health. It also incorporates some solid proteins and fibers into the mix. These elements are the foundation of any healthy diet, so following this pattern of eating can revitalize your food habits considerably.

Eating protein-rich foods like fish and lean poultry, along with small quantities of greens and other plant foods can not only ease your symptoms tremendously, but give your system the nutrition needed to function properly.

Diverticulitis Diet: A Simple Guide

Clear Liquids

When first treating the condition, your diverticulitis diet will probably comprise a clear liquid regimen to allow your gut a few days to rest. When your digestive tract is not absorbing and processing foods properly, incorporating solid food sources, fibrous or not, into your diet can make things worse. Do not maintain a clear liquid diet for more than a few days as this could cause you to become excessively weak and malnourished. Speak with your doctor regarding questions or concerns.

The idea behind a clear liquid diet is to soothe your system with easy-to-digest food sources for a few days until your body can handle normal foods. You’ll need to consume things like broth, fruit juices not containing any pulp, ice chips, and ice pops. Gelatin is also a good choice when on the liquid diet. Stay hydrated with water and drink tea or plain coffee if you desire alternative drink options.

Low-Fiber Choices

Once your system has rested and recovered from the foods you were finding it so difficult to process before, the diverticulitis diet requires you to incorporate low-fiber food choices into the mix. You can enjoy canned or cooked fruits as long as they do not contain skins or seeds. Canned or cooked vegetables are also fine as long as they do not have high amounts of fiber or skins on them. For example, green beans, carrots, and peeled potatoes are great options.

You will need to make sure you are getting sufficient protein on the diverticulitis diet, so be sure to eat more easily digestible foods like eggs, poultry, and fish. Low fiber cereals and breads are fine, as are white rice, noodles, and pasta. To increase your plant source intake, try drinking vegetable and fruit juices without pulp. Incorporate some extra calcium and protein into your diverticulitis diet with foods like cheese, milk, and yogurt.

Fermented Foods

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Fermented foods are an essential part of the diverticulitis diet, as they help restore bacteria levels in your gut, reducing inflammation and infection. They also enhance your digestive capabilities and can help you avoid constipation that leads to the condition. Try fermented food sources like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi. You might also enjoy miso and kombucha.

Fibrous Foods To Incorporate

Once your system starts healing from inflammation, your doctor will probably recommend adding in some healthy fiber sources to avoid constipation, keep bad bacteria at bay, and promote your overall digestive health. Certain fibrous fruits like apples, dates, blackberries, raspberries, or pears are fine if eaten slowly and in moderation.

You can incorporate legumes into your diet although it’s recommended you keep your serving size to around half a cup. Black beans, lentils, chickpeas, baked beans, and kidney beans are all solid options. Eat other excellent sources of plant fiber like mixed vegetables, sweet potatoes, and spinach. If eaten in small quantities, you can enjoy foods such as bran or bulgur wheat in moderation.  

If you find that some of these healthy fiber sources are just too difficult for your system to handle, your doctor may advise that you get your fiber in supplement form. Psyllium, methylcellulose, and chicory root fiber supplements are some common options.

Conclusion

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Following a strict diverticulitis diet is the most important way to manage your condition. The foods you’re eating are ultimately causing your digestive problems, so eating the right foods will be the source of healing. Consult with your doctor regarding food combinations and a dietary plan that’s right for you.

If you’re in an acute stage of diverticulitis, you’ll probably need to start with a clear liquid diet to allow your system to rest for a few days. Afterwards, incorporating lean proteins and low-fiber foods sources into your diet will set you on a maintenance regimen. Eventually, you will need to eat fiber again to keep your bowels regular and avoid further irritation and infection of the diverticula in your colon. Keep your fiber quantities monitored closely and eat small portions of fibrous foods to maintain a balance between overexertion and healthy colon function.

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How to Get the Best Results from a Vegan Diet

The vegan diet has become an increasingly popular cultural trend as society has become more informed about the many negative effects of eating animal products. However, despite its increasing popularity, many consumers are overwhelmed and intimidated by the prospect of drastically changing their eating habits. Especially in meat-centric cultures, proclaiming your veganism can elicit offense and confusion. Many a vegan has experienced awkward social situations in restaurants and friends’ homes.

Fortunately, veganism is not the impossible and unappetizing experience its reputation might suggest. In fact, it can be enjoyable and simple if those who attempt it are well informed. To get the best results from a vegan diet, you must ensure that you still receive the nutrients and proteins that you previously obtained from meat and dairy products. Also, using variety and creativity in your cooking will guarantee that your meals are delicious and satisfying along with good for the body and the planet.

Table Of Contents

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What Is a Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet excludes all meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products along with all foods that contain these. Veganism is a type of vegetarianism, a diet in which no meat, poultry, or fish is eaten. Many vegans have found substitutes for their favorite animal products (such as almond milk and nutritional yeast) which makes committing to this lifestyle change much easier. The most dedicated vegans also moderate their clothing and material choices, eliminating all leather products from their closets.

The Benefits of a Vegan Diet

There are many benefits of a vegan diet, ranging from personal health effects to worldwide benefits. Cutting out meat and dairy products often eliminates unhealthy fats and carcinogens that negatively affect the body. Also, those who care about the environment or animal rights will readily agree that mass farming techniques are inhumane and harmful, which is another compelling reason to convert to veganism. Becoming vegan is a simple way to live by your ideals and increase your physical health.

Health Benefits

Choosing a vegan diet reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes while also reducing the consumption of some carcinogens. Meat and dairy products are often overly high in unhealthy saturated fat, so a vegan diet can also help in shedding excess weight, reducing blood sugar levels, and improving overall health. Along with these benefits, a vegan diet usually includes a higher percentage of fruits and vegetables than a meat-filled diet, which causes it to be richer in certain nutrients.

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Environmental Effect

The vegan diet is also incredibly beneficial for the environment and is cited as the most effective way to reduce your impact on the earth. By removing dairy and meat from your diet, you can decrease your footprint by around 70 percent. The meat and dairy industries are responsible for a large amount of greenhouse gas emission, water pollution, and air pollution. By becoming a vegan, you can do your part in slowing climate change and reducing your footprint.

Animal Rights

Another reason for the increased popularity of the vegan diet is the extreme harm done to animals in the meat and dairy industries. Animals must survive inhumane conditions in these industries, from overly packed cages to exposure to disease. The typical life of a cow in the farming industry involves painful separation from its mother, forced impregnation, and an unceremonious death when its production declines after a few years. If consumers want to make choices in their daily life to help animals, veganism is the simplest and most effective way.

How to Get the Best Results

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Although veganism is a great alternative to a normal diet because of its health benefits and effect on the natural world, it can be difficult for a beginner to succeed. Some vegans focus too much on processed foods while others fail to create balanced meals for themselves. Someone who has been eating animal products for a lifetime might struggle to imagine a meal that is both vegan and appetizing. To get the best results out of a vegan diet, you must eat a variety of foods and ensure that you are still receiving enough protein and nutrients.

Gradual Change

A common mistake that can result in a “crash and burn” and send one running back to the world of meat is transitioning too quickly to veganism. The vegan diet is a drastic change for those who habitually eat animal products, so evolving your diet gradually over weeks or months is an effective way to accustom your body and mind to your new lifestyle. One way to do this is by gradually increasing your vegan meal consumption per week until you eventually cut out animal products entirely. Another strategy is recreating your customary meals in vegan form by using substitutions for the meat or dairy typically involved.

Variety

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One of the best ways to ensure that your vegan diet is healthy and delicious is to diversify your food products. Select produce in a variety of colors to ensure that you receive the right nutrients and choose leafy greens for vitamins A, C, and K. You can use beans to get your daily dose of protein and fiber, and eating orange sweet potatoes will give you a burst of vitamin A. By creating well-balanced meals full of different products, you guarantee that your diet stays interesting and provides you with what you need.

Choose Whole Grains

Another staple of a successful vegan diet is whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa. These are the perfect alternatives to white pasta and white bread since they are full of the iron and B vitamins that are stripped out of refined grains. In addition to this, whole grains have extra fiber which makes them more filling than processed grains. This is perfect for new vegans who are worried about satisfying their hunger with this new diet, and it also helps in losing weight.

Plant-based Proteins

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One of the biggest worries for a new vegan is the lack of protein — how can you possibly replace all the protein you used to receive from meat? Fortunately, the answer is simple — plant-based proteins. Some popular and tasty examples of these are tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentils, chickpeas, and beans. If a vegan eats a balanced and varied diet, getting an adequate amount of protein should be easy. Protein is plentiful in non-meat products and it helps make a vegan meal filling and satisfying as well.

Don’t Forget Your Omega-3’s

Despite the many health benefits of increasing vegetables and decreasing animal products, some nutrients will be difficult to obtain from a vegan diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of these since they are typically found in fatty fish such as salmon. To incorporate Omega-3 fatty acids into your new diet, eat plants that contain them such as flax seed, walnuts, and soy. Also look for foods that are fortified with Omega-3’s such as soymilk and breakfast bars.

Keep Up The Vitamin D

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Another vitamin to keep in mind is Vitamin D as it is usually found in canned fish or dairy products. To prevent vitamin D deficiency, you can find fortified nondairy products such as soy milk, almond milk, and orange juice. If this doesn’t appeal to you, there is a species of mushroom that contains vitamin D because of its exposure to UV light. Along with additions to your diet, a vitamin supplement is never a bad idea to ensure that your body receives the vitamins it needs.

Don’t Forget The Iron

To successfully transition to veganism, you must be mindful of the nutrients you previously obtained from meat and dairy products in order to fully replace them in other ways. One crucial nutrient is iron, which is best found in animal proteins like meat and chicken. To compensate for the loss of these options, vegans can consume iron by eating beans, leafy greens, and legumes. The best way to fully absorb iron from plant sources is to eat it alongside vitamin-C-rich foods such as oranges.

Be Mindful Of Vitamin B-12

A less-known vitamin that is often neglected by inexperienced vegans is vitamin B-12, which aids in converting food into energy and helps brain function. It is mostly found in animal products such as fish, poultry, meat, and dairy. To maintain a sufficient amount of vitamin B-12 in your vegan diet, search for fortified cereals or energy bars. Another option is to use a supplement which can easily be obtained from a doctor.

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Conclusion

Despite the seemingly difficult lifestyle changes that converting to veganism involves, there are many ways to seamlessly make the change. By educating yourself about the nutrients and proteins in vegan foods, you can easily replace your meat and dairy products with their healthier and more ethical counterparts. If you consider yourself to be health-conscious and environment-conscious, veganism is the perfect way to live by your ideals. Using our advice on how to get the best results from a vegan diet, your fridge can be free of meat and dairy in no time, allowing you to be your best self inside and out.

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Renal Diet: How to Make It Work for You

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Our body needs different nutrients in varying amounts to carry out daily internal functions. Our health is almost entirely dependent on what we consume each day in the form of food and drinks. Often, people consume anything and everything – disregarding whether an ingredient is suitable to their body – thus causing a lot of health problems. As everyone’s body is different, so are nutritional requirements. Our diet must be customized to suit any food allergies, deficiencies, or chronic ailments we may have. A renal diet is one which ensures optimal kidney functioning and reduces further damage in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Table Of Contents

What Is a Renal Diet?

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People who suffer from various health conditions require a specific diet that does not allow the condition to worsen and even helps reverse some health risks. Similar to how patients with heart conditions are asked to consume a low-cholesterol diet, people diagnosed with reduced kidney functioning need to increase their intake of certain nutrients and reduce the amount of some others. A renal diet provides patients with the required nutrition and keeps low the number of nutrients that may further create problems in smooth kidney functioning.

Types of Kidney Ailments

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Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a health condition in which there is a gradual loss of kidney function over a period of many months or years. Chronic kidney disease is hard to detect as there are hardly any symptoms in the beginning, and those present later are common to other illnesses too, making it difficult to link them to CKD. Common symptoms, when observed, are itching, muscle cramps, swelling in limbs, nausea, and over or under-urination. People suffering from health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease are more prone to CKD. 

End Stage Renal Failure

An extreme case of chronic kidney disease can result in ESRD or end-stage renal failure. This means that your kidneys have completely stopped functioning and that you need dialysis (artificial filtration) or kidney transplant immediately.

Functions of the Kidney

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When you consume any food or liquid, the body absorbs the nutrition. Any waste in the blood is filtered by the kidneys and then flushed out of the body in the form of urine. If the kidney cannot function properly, waste will remain in the blood which will cause the person to fall ill. A renal diet helps patients keep to the minimum amount of waste in their body and thus avoiding potential kidney failure. There is no standard renal diet. Doctors and dieticians tend to customize a renal diet depending on various factors related to the patient’s condition.

Factors a Renal Diet Depends On

A renal diet will be different for different patients depending on the stage of kidney disease, age, dietary needs, and history of past illnesses. The objective of a renal diet is to lower the number of toxins in your body so there is less stress on the kidneys while at the same time providing your body with the required nutrition to function optimally. This is a complicated, yet realistic, balance to achieve.

Foods to Eat

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The human body needs certain amounts of fats, proteins, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and other nutrients for its various functions. A renal diet ensures that the dietary requirements for CKD do not deprive you of any necessary minerals.

Irrespective of your health conditions, the body needs a good amount of protein and less of fats and sodium. Protein aids in the growth and maintenance of body tissue. It also provides energy, heals wounds, and fights infections. Meat and eggs are the highest stores of protein and must be included in your daily diet. However, protein is difficult for faulty kidneys to process. Hence, a dietician must be consulted to understand the exact amount of protein required and the foods that one may consume.

You will want to pick steamed, boiled, or grilled food items over deep fried ones. Removing the skin of certain fried foods like potatoes can also aid in lowering sodium intake (very important for people suffering from CKD).
You may consume fruits and vegetables high in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and fiber.

Nutrients to Avoid

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There are three main nutrients that patients suffering from kidney ailments must avoid or at least try to keep to a minimum – sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.

Sodium

Sodium is the most common and widely present mineral in the foods we consume. It is found in regular table salt (as sodium chloride) that is used in cooking. It is also present in other forms in many processed foods. Along with potassium and chloride, sodium is one of the body’s main electrolytes. 
 
Electrolytes control the fluids entering and exiting the body’s cells and tissues. High amounts of sodium are harmful for people with kidney ailments as the kidneys do not function well enough to be able to flush out the extra fluids and waste that the body does not require. If sodium and other fluids keep accumulating in the body, they cause high blood pressure, shortness of breath, increased thirst, or even heart failure. Hence, patients having CKD are advised to avoid sodium by choosing fresh foods, avoiding salt in their diet, and staying away from processed foods.

Potassium

Potassium, the second electrolyte in the body, regulates the heartbeats and muscles. Healthy kidneys use the required amount and flush out the extra potassium from the body in the form of urine. Kidneys that do not function correctly are unable to do so. High potassium levels in the blood is known as hyperkalemia. This can result in muscle weakness, a slow pulse, irregular heartbeats, or heart attacks. Patients following a renal diet can restrict their potassium intake by limiting consumption of milk and dairy products, avoiding salt, and eating fresh foods.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is critical for bone development. Small intestines absorb phosphorus from foods consumed and store it in the bones. Weak kidneys do not remove extra phosphorus from the body which results in lower calcium in the bones, making them weaker. Calcium depositing in blood vessels, lungs, and heart can also occur. Foods like meat, cheese, milk, and fish are high in phosphorus, so consumption of these must be kept low.

Fluid Intake

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We have often heard that drinking a lot of water is essential for a healthy body. Although this is quite true, it can also cause harm to your kidneys if you drink more fluids than what the kidneys can process – especially for patients who have kidney disorders. These patients with lower urine output and a high fluid intake will put unnecessary pressure on the kidneys. This must be avoided, especially if the patient is undergoing dialysis. Amount of fluids consumed in a day should be based on the advice of a doctor. Fluids do not mean only water, soft drinks, or beverages, but even foods that melt at room temperature such as popsicles.

Slowing Down the Progression of Kidney Disease

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Kidney disease is not detected very easily. But once diagnosed, you can take precautions to slow down the rate of kidney damage. A renal diet is one of the main steps to be taken in order to reduce the intake of all the substances that are harmful to your kidneys. Apart from this, regular exercise, avoiding alcohol, avoiding smoking, and controlling body weight is very important. If you are diabetic, maintain your blood glucose levels, take all prescribed medication regularly, go for timely health check-ups, and monitor blood pressure.

Patients following a renal diet must adhere to the prescribed foods recommended by their dietician. They must also read food labels and nutrition charts carefully before consuming anything. Fresh, home-cooked food must always be preferred over processed or frozen varieties. Consult a doctor and a dietician in case you need or wish to take any dietary supplements, artificial sweeteners, or alternative medicine and therapies. These steps will help your kidneys function better for more years and avoid the renal failure stage.

Conclusion

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The importance of kidneys in the smooth functioning of bodily processes goes highly unnoticed. But they perform the most important function of flushing out waste from our bodies that can otherwise cause us a lot of harm. A proper diet and an active lifestyle can help avoid any kidney problems. But in case you are diagnosed with a kidney disorder, consult your doctor and undergo all the tests. Your treatment options, medication and renal diet depend on the stage of kidney disease you are at.

A renal diet is important not just for those suffering from CKD or those undergoing dialysis but also those who may have had a kidney transplant. Protein requirements are higher after a transplant to hasten the healing process. Steroid and blood sugar levels might be high in the body. A certified dietician is the best person to guide you towards healthy kidneys, no matter what problem you have.

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How to Lose Belly Fat for Beginners

While it’s easy to shred the fat that accumulates around your triceps and your calves, belly fat, despite being easy to pile on, is often the hardest to lose. Even if you’re otherwise thin, having abdominal fat can put you at risk for several life-threatening diseases. So, it’s important to learn what causes the buildup of fat around your abdomen and to figure out how to lose belly fat. In this article, you’ll learn about the reasons behind excess belly fat, the potential health risks it poses, and how to lose this stubborn flab.

Why Is It Important to Know How to Lose Belly Fat?

The most experienced fitness experts will tell you that targeted weight loss is a myth. While it’s certainly possible to train and build a specific set of muscles, it’s quite impossible to lose fat in one area of the body alone. So, knowing how to lose belly fat in the right manner is important. Your exercise regimen is only a small part of the lifestyle changes that you need to make in order to shed the flab around your abdomen, as you’ll find out in the later part of this guide.

What Causes Excess Belly Fat

Before we go on to discuss how to lose belly fat, let’s take a look at some of the possible causes of abdominal flab.

Diet and Nutrition

Your diet plays a major role in determining the levels of belly fat in your body. For starters, consuming foods and beverages that contain high levels of sugar can result in excess abdominal fat. Alcohol is another major contributing factor to belly fat. Eating foods that contain trans fats, such as crackers, muffins, and packaged and processed foods can also make you put on weight in the abdominal region.

Inactivity

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Leading a sedentary life, where you spend most of your day in one position, with little to no activity, can also make you gain weight. Several studies have shown that there is a direct link between the level of inactivity and the level of abdominal fat. In fact, being sedentary can also make you regain the belly fat you lost. In order to work around this roadblock, incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine.

Gut Health

Your gut is home to many kinds of bacteria, most of which help your digestive organs stay healthy. However, some of the bacteria in your gut can cause problems. Having the wrong kind of gut bacteria is not only detrimental to your digestive health, but it can also promote weight gain and cause you to pile on belly fat. In fact, research has revealed that overweight and obese people have higher levels of Firmicutes bacteria than people in the ideal weight range.

Stress and Anxiety

Cortisol, which is a hormone released by the adrenal glands, is also known as the stress hormone because it is released when your body is under stress. Unfortunately, excess levels of cortisol can promote weight gain in the abdominal region. So, if you’re stressed out often, you could put yourself at risk for gaining belly fat. Stress can also lead to overeating, which isn’t very helpful if you already have excess fat around your abdomen.

Sleep Habits

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In a study that tracked around 68,000 women over the course of 16 years, it was revealed that women who slept for 5 or fewer hours during the night were 32 percent more likely to put on around 15 kilograms (32 pounds) of weight than women who got at least 7 hours of sleep. Getting adequate sleep can keep you from gaining weight, and not sleeping for the required number of hours can increase your chances of accumulating belly fat.

Potential Health Risks

Belly fat is more than a mere nuisance that can mess with the way you look; it can have several adverse effects on the body and can increase your risk for several diseases and health issues as explained below.

Sleep Troubles

While inadequate sleep can result in a buildup of belly fat, the converse also holds true. Excess abdominal fat can cause sleep apnea, which is a condition where your breathing repeatedly stops and then starts again. It can disturb your sleep and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Losing weight, particularly belly fat, can help tackle this issue and can even cure sleep apnea.

Heart Disease

Several studies have revealed that visceral fat around the abdominal region is directly linked to various kinds of heart troubles. The fat cells in the flab stored around your stomach and abdominal region pump out cytokines into the body. These cytokines affect the ability of your body’s cells to regulate blood pressure and respond to insulin. These factors together build up to heart disease.

Diabetes

It’s common knowledge that excess fat in the body puts a person at a high risk of developing diabetes. Being obese or overweight can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Belly fat, in particular, affects the functioning of the internal organs and changes the way in which the body’s cells react to insulin, thus increasing your chances of developing insulin resistance, and eventually, diabetes.

Cancer

Accumulation of belly fat can also increase your risk of developing various kinds of cancer. According to the World Health Organization, around a third of the cancers in the kidney, colon, and other organs in the digestive tract are linked to being overweight. Visceral fat only increases the risk further. Excess fat triggers the body to produce the hormones that support cell division and multiplication, thus creating more chances for cancer to form and grow.

Beginner’s Guide to Losing Belly Fat

It may not be possible to shed all the fat overnight, but it’s certainly possible to lose all the abdominal flab if you incorporate a few practices into your everyday lifestyle. Some such tips on how to lose belly fat are discussed here.

Eat a Diet Rich in Proteins

high protein diet

It’s imperative to include more proteins in your diet when you’re on the journey of discovering how to lose belly fat. Eating more proteins increases the release of PYY, which is the fullness hormone that is responsible for the feeling of satiety that you feel after a meal. More PYY means that you feel full faster and for longer periods, thus minimizing the instances of snacking on unhealthy foods and gaining belly fat.

Do Cardiovascular Exercises

Performing aerobic exercises and incorporating them into your everyday workout routines are other effective practices to follow if you’re intent on exploring how to lose belly fat. These exercises, also known as cardiovascular exercises, help burn more calories when performed at moderate to high-intensity levels. Some examples of cardiovascular exercises include swimming, dancing, running, brisk walking, and sports like racquetball, tennis, and soccer.

Cut Back on Refined Carbs

drinking water

Much like how increasing your protein intake is important, it’s also necessary to cut back on refined carbs. In fact, diets with less than 50 grams of carbs per day can help overweight people lose their belly fat quickly. While reducing your overall carb intake may be more effective, it’s essential to at least reduce your intake of refined carbs as the first step toward a healthy body.

Get Adequate Sleep

If you’re keen on knowing more about how to lose belly fat, you need to understand that getting around seven hours of sleep each night is of paramount importance. Restful sleep helps the body relax and rejuvenate itself, thus reducing the stress on your internal organs. If you have trouble sleeping for prolonged periods, consult a doctor and get your problem resolved.

Try Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent fasting is another workable solution if you’re interested in learning about how to lose belly fat. Essentially, it’s an eating pattern that involves periods of eating followed by periods of fasting. One way to do it is to eat all your meals within an 8-hour period and fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day (including the time you sleep). Another way to do it is to fast for an entire day once or twice a week.

Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption

While it’s true that alcohol can have a few beneficial effects on the body when consumed in small amounts, it can be truly disastrous for your health if you don’t regulate your alcohol consumption. Observational studies have revealed that high levels of alcohol consumption are linked to central obesity, which is the storage of excess fat around the abdomen. Cutting back on alcohol can help you lose some of your belly fat.

Conclusion

While these tips may all give you a clearer idea about how to lose belly fat, you need to understand that there’s no quick-fix solution to burning your abdominal flab. It’s a process that takes considerable time. You need to be consistent in your efforts, whether they involve doing aerobic exercises, cutting back on alcohol, restructuring your diet, or changing your sleeping habits. Although it can be hard to go on if you don’t see immediate results, you need to remember that consistency is the vital element that can help you see the results you’re working toward.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

For thousands of years, the apple cider vinegar diet has been used for healing in folk medicine practices. In fact, there is evidence to support that apple cider vinegar was used in ancient cultures all over the world.

Vinegar, or “sour wine” in Latin, is a great source of acetic acid and vitamins C and B. It has been prescribed for a variety of bodily conditions, ranging from skin eruptions to cancer prevention.

Even though this highly acidic liquid has been around for ages, science still hasn’t provided significant evidence either for, or against, its use. Proponents of apple cider vinegar laud its many health benefits, but critics emphasize potential side-effects.

Here, we discuss the full scope of the apple cider vinegar diet and whether it might be right for you.

What Is the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet?

The apple cider vinegar diet is the process of integrating apple cider vinegar (ACV) into your food or drinks in order to reap its potential health benefits. Some people use ACV mixed with food, such as in a vinaigrette. Others drink ACV in tonics or detox drinks.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Before we focus on the apple cider vinegar diet, let’s first discuss what apple cider vinegar is. In the simplest terms, ACV is a liquid made from fermented apples.

The process of turning apples into vinegar requires the addition of yeast. This added yeast coverts the sugar naturally found in apples into alcohol. Bacteria is mixed with this alcohol to create a substance called acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar contains roughly 5% acetic acid.

Acetic acid is used to treat bacterial infections. Some studies suggest that the acetic acid content in ACV promotes an array of health benefits. Yet there are also potential side effects. It’s important to learn about the apple cider vinegar diet and consult with your physician before adopting it.

How to Do the Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

Proponents of the apple cider vinegar diet agree that it is best to use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar containing “mother.” Mother refers to the added good bacteria, enzymes and probiotics. Supplementing good bacteria into the diet has been shown to improve your overall health.

ACV brands with mother will list this on the product labeling. You can often see if your product is mother-containing ACV, because it appears murky rather than clear.

One way to do the apple cider vinegar diet is to incorporate ACV into your foods. There are many ways to add ACV into your diet. Some ideas for accomplishing this include:

  • Use it as a dip
  • Drizzle it on salads
  • Hide a tablespoon in a smoothie
  • Make your own salad dressing by combining it with oil and spices
  • Marinade your foods
  • Mix it into savory soups
  • Spray it onto popcorn

Create Your Own ACV Drink

Another way to approach the apple cider vinegar diet is to create an ACV tonic or drink. Many recipes for ACV tonic exist and you can easily come up with your own favorite recipes. Some ready-made ACV tonics are available in health food stores. Creating an ACV tonic yourself is one way to create a tonic you know you will enjoy drinking.

What you’ll need to build the foundational recipe for all ACV tonics:

  • 1-2 tablespoons of ACV
  • 8 ounces of water

Beyond these two ingredients, you are free to build the perfect ACV drink for you. Some ingredients that pair well with diluted ACV are:

  • Citrus juice, freshly squeezed (lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit)
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup, grade B
  • Cranberry juice
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Turmeric/curcumin
  • Horseradish
  • Spicy peppers

When creating your ACV detox drink, experiment with flavors. ACV pairs well with both sweet and savory ingredients. Another consideration to make is what nutritional or health benefits you’d like to add to your diet. Creating an ACV drink filled with ingredients that provide the nutrition you want and need to put into your body is an excellent way to decide on which recipe you’ll use.

The Many Benefits

There isn’t a lot of scientific substantiation available on the health benefits of the apple cider vinegar diet. Advocates who regularly consume ACV claim they experience many health benefits. Here’s the skinny on how the apple cider vinegar diet might help you.

Appetite Suppression and Weight Loss

In a 2007 study, apple cider vinegar was shown to slow gastric emptying or delay digestion. The benefit of delayed digestion is appetite suppression. Hunger is kept at bay when the stomach is full. As a result, we tend to eat less. Eating less, naturally, leads to weight loss.

In 2009, a Japanese study concluded that ACV promotes weight loss in animals. ACV might also reduce abdominal fat when taken consistently.

Infuses Good Bacteria into Your System

ACV is infused with lots of good bacteria. Vinegar, and the acetic acid in it, is known to kill harmful bacteria in the digestive track. ACV is considered a natural antibacterial substance.

Immune System Support

The human gut is filled with bacteria. When your body’s bad bacteria outnumber your good bacteria, your immune system becomes compromised and you can suffer discomfort or irregular bowel movements. As a fermented product, ACV can help re-establish bacterial order in the digestive track, thus improving immune function.

Skin Treatment

Some ACV advocates tout its use in the treatment of acne, because acne is caused by harmful bacteria. ACV is both ingested and used topically to treat skin conditions. It’s very important to dilute ACV before using. Do not apply pure ACV to your skin as it may burn your skin.

Balancing pH Levels

Although ACV is acidic, it may create an alkaline environment in the digestive tract and balance your pH levels in your body. Scientists are divided on the benefits of alkaline environments and ACV for its ability to balance pH levels.

Regulates Blood Sugar

The most successful scientific results for the apple cider vinegar diet are in relation to insulin regulation. Blood sugar regulation is relevant, in particular, to those who have diabetes or who are diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Everyone, however, should strive to regulate blood sugar levels.

ACV has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity and improve insulin’s function. Consult your physician before introducing ACV to your diet.

Improves Heart Health and Blood-Pressure

Heart health is a big topic in modern times. Heart disease routinely tops lists as a leading cause of mortality in western countries.

Harvard researchers found a decreased risk of heart disease in women who consumed ACV on salads. This was only one study, so many claim its findings to be inconclusive.

Also, there is the potential for ACV to lower blood-pressure levels. Regulating blood pressure contributes to the overall health of your heart.

Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides

The apple cider vinegar diet might help lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Some small studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of ACV on cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but more research is needed to validate these claims conclusively.

Cancer Protection

ACV may have protective qualities against cancer. Studies have shown ACV to shrink tumors and kill cancerous cells in animals or in lab settings. No studies to date, however, have experimented with the cancer-fighting properties of ACV in humans. We feel the potential for ACV to fight cancerous cells is promising, but more research needs to be done. With the life and death literally in the balance, it would be great to see future research on these possible implications.

Potential Side Effects

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The scientific community has a long way to go in investigating the apple cider vinegar diet sufficiently. We need scientists to conduct more studies that will either confirm or negate many of the health claims of the apple cider vinegar diet.

Indisputably, there are well-known potential side effects associated with the consumption of ACV.

Contraindications for Some Medical Conditions

It’s always advisable to consult with your doctor before starting a new diet. If you have one or more of the following conditions, then it’s absolutely necessary that you speak to your doctor before partaking in the apple cider vinegar diet:

  • Diabetes
  • High-blood pressure (treated with medication)
  • Water gain (treated with diuretics)
  • Potassium deficiency
  • High potassium (treated with medicines to lower potassium levels, such as Lanoxin)

Erosion of Tooth Enamel

ACV is extremely acidic and can erode tooth enamel. The best ways to avoid ACV-caused tooth damage are:

  • Dilute ACV with water
  • Use a straw to drink ACV drinks
  • Thoroughly rinse your mouth out after consuming ACV

Digestive Disturbances

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Gastroparesis, or partial paralysis of the stomach, is a condition that causes food to linger in the stomach longer than it should. This inability to mobilize food efficiently creates symptoms such as bloating, nausea and heartburn. Some evidence suggests that drinking ACV delays food digestion, which could only exacerbate the above symptoms.

Opinions are split on this claim. ACV advocates claim it improves digestion. If you notice unpleasant digestive disturbances after drinking ACV, then you should stop drinking it.

Lowered Potassium Levels and Bone Loss

Critics of the apple cider vinegar diet note that ACV might lower potassium levels in the body. Over time, a low potassium level could lead to bone loss.

Burning of the Throat and Skin

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Again, ACV is extremely acidic. Because of this, it might burn your throat or any skin upon contact. Avoid drinking ACV straight and dilute it with plenty of water to prevent burning.

Conclusion

Apple cider vinegar has a long history of being used by humans. Further scientific research could help decide if ACV is the stuff of legends and folklore of if it indeed has a place in modern medicine.

According to current evidence, the apple cider vinegar diet has the potential to improve one’s health. For safety, always speak with your doctor before adding ACV to your diet.

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How to Do a Clear Liquid Diet

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Has your doctor recently instructed you to go on a clear liquid diet? After the initial frustration wears off at the simple eating plan that awaits you, you may find yourself wondering what you can even eat on this liquid diet.

Contrary to how it might sound, a clear liquid diet allows you more than water or juice. However, it is fairly restrictive and is only recommended for short periods of time in very specific situations. If you have just discovered that you will need to go on a clear liquid diet, but do not understand where to start or what you can eat, you have come to the right place.

What Is a Clear Liquid Diet?

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Defined

A clear liquid diet is a temporary diet comprising clear liquid food sources. Liquids like water, juices free from pulp, gelatin, and broth are staples of the diet. The term clear liquid diet is slightly prone to individual interpretation as food is considered acceptable as long as you can see through it.

This means you can incorporate liquid foods with coloring into the diet and foods that maintain a partial or fully liquid state at room temperature. The most important component of the clear liquid diet is that you are barred from eating any solid foods.

Key Considerations

It cannot be stressed enough that the clear liquid diet must never be undertaken without the careful supervision and guidance of a physician. Do not follow this way of eating without prior instruction from a doctor and do not maintain the clear liquid diet for over 3 or 4 days at the most.

If you are diabetic or have issues with your blood sugar and insulin levels, you will want to use special care before embarking on this diet. The diet itself does not contain much by way of protein and could be hard on your blood sugar levels if done in excess. Be sure to speak with your family doctor before making this drastic change and do not consume a fully liquid diet for more than a few days.

When Should You Go on a Clear Liquid Diet?

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Preparing for a Surgery or Other Procedure

Doctors typically order you to go on a clear liquid diet if you are preparing for an upcoming surgery or procedure. For example, tests like a colonoscopy, that require your gut to be fully cleaned out before undertaking, might require a liquid diet. Since you are not eating solid foods, your digestion need not do much work to process the clear liquids, which will soothe and cleanse your digestive tract.

Surgeries on your stomach or a nearby organ could also necessitate your going on this diet for a few days. When performing highly sensitive surgeries, it is often important to have your system cleared out and not digesting any solid foods. A clear liquid diet accomplishes this effectively, but must only be followed for a short time before or after the procedure as instructed by your physician.

Digestive Problems

If you have digestive difficulties like Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis, your doctor may advise you to go on a clear liquid diet. These kinds of digestive problems are caused by acute inflammation and infection, with your body finding it difficult to break down, absorb, and eliminate solid foods properly. The longer this process continues, the more inflamed your gut will become.

Going on a diet of clear liquids for a few days gives your digestion system a rest from its intensive labors, allowing it to recalibrate before you try to reintroduce solid food again. If you start a special diet to manage an intestinal condition like diverticulitis, a diet of only clear liquids can be an effective precursor to clear out your system, allow it to heal, and prepare it for a new, healthier way of eating.

Acute Illness

Sometimes your doctor may recommend a clear liquid diet if you are dealing with an acute illness or a stomach virus where solid food poses a threat. If you have continuous diarrhea and are throwing up, it is unlikely you will process or keep solid food down.

Excessive diarrhea and vomiting can leave you dehydrated and malnourished and imbalance your electrolytes. A diet composed solely of clear liquids gives your body a chance to rest and provides you nutrients that your body can absorb much more easily while keeping you hydrated and nourished with some essential vitamins and minerals.

How Do You Do a Clear Liquid Diet?

drink water

What to Eat

You are likely wondering what exactly it is you can eat on a clear liquid diet, and if it will bore your taste buds to death. There is more variety on this diet than you might imagine, but it is lacking in many key food groups and nutrient compounds. This the main reason why a diet comprising only clear liquids should not be followed for longer than a short time.

For certain types of tests or surgical procedures, your doctor may advise you to stay away from any types of liquids using purple or red coloring. Speak with your doctor regarding any special instructions that could be relevant in your particular situation. Clear nutritional beverages such as Enlive or Ensure Clear, clear sodas, juices free from pulp, lemonade free from pulp, and sports drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, and Vitamin water are all allowed on this diet.

You may also enjoy clear soups and clear broth that do not contain any fat. You can still drink your favorite tea or coffee, but they will need to be consumed without cream or milk. Honey and plain gelatin are also allowed. For some variety, you might enjoy clear, hard candies such as lemon drops or peppermint rounds, clear popsicles, and strained vegetable or tomato juice. Of course, water is allowed on the clear liquid diet.

Stay away from any light or liquid foods like milk, yogurt, or juice with pulp. It may seem that they would be easily digestible, but they are not good choices to give your digestive tract a rest and are strictly and forbidden on this type of diet.

Typical Daily Menu

The limited nature of the clear liquid diet is one of the primary reasons it is not sustainable for more than a few days. You may find your taste buds crying out for variety after the initial period has passed. However, you can still make the most of your time on this diet by changing things up, using variety, and pairing different liquid types on different days.

There are many ways you could format your typical daily menu when on this diet, so remember that the following is just an example for easy reference. For breakfast, you might have a bowl of Jell-O, paired with a glass of juice without pulp. Enjoy your coffee or tea on the side without cream or milk, but add in some honey or sugar if so desired.

Since you are not consuming many calories on the clear liquid diet, it is important to eat frequently throughout the day to keep your energy levels up and prevent your blood sugar from dropping. Mid-morning, you might wish to have a snack of Jell-O and more juice without pulp.

For lunch, have pulp-free juice and a glass of water as your beverages. Try to incorporate hearty broth into your meal, paired with another bowl of Jell-O or some other type of gelatin.

Mid-afternoon, grab another snack to keep you going. Try a clear popsicle this time for some tasty variety and flavor, to enjoy with your favorite coffee or tea. You could also drink a clear soda if you wish. Just be sure to keep your coffee or tea plain with no milk or cream, but add in sugar or honey if you need some extra sweetness.

For your final meal of the day, you will want to incorporate most of the key elements of your liquid intake that day to pack a punch before allowing your system to rest overnight. Drink another glass of juice free from pulp, a glass of water, and your coffee or tea. Have another bowl of Jell-O and a cup of broth to finish your liquid diet regimen for the day.

Conclusion

The clear liquid diet is simple because it is easy to adhere to and does not cost much money to follow. However, it may leave you with low energy levels and excessive hunger before long due to its lack of solid food components.

If you are about to have a surgery or invasive medical test performed, a clear liquid diet might be your only option to prepare for the event. Alternatively, if you have an ongoing illness or digestive difficulties, a clear liquid diet might be the best way to recalibrate your system for a few days to let things settle down. Be sure to speak with your doctor regarding any associated risks for your personal health situation and any recommendations for you to adhere to when following the clear liquid diet.

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