The South Beach Diet - Is It For You?

Ever wonder what all the hype was about with the South Beach Diet? This diet is fairly simple to use and the weight loss has been shown in many studies! The diet originally started as a healthy way for heart patients of Miami cardiologist, Arthur Agatston, who needed to lose weight.

Tips for Eating a Plant Based Diet

The time has come. You’ve finally decided that getting healthy and staying that way is in your best interests. Eating right and exercising is the accepted way to accomplish that. The exercise part will take will power, but you can get started by making a change in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are proven to be healthy, nutritious foods, and your new lifestyle should include as much of these as possible, but choosing the right kinds of fruits and vegetables in the right amounts is important. Here are some tips for eating a plant based diet.

What Is a Plant Based Diet?

Eating a plant based diet means the majority of your daily intake of calories comes from plants. It doesn’t mean a strictly vegetarian diet--there is no need to cut out meat completely--simply increase the proportion of fruits and vegetables to meat.


If you begin eating a lot of fruits and vegetables in place of junk food, you’ll more than likely see a tremendous increase in energy. Bulky, fat-filled junk food diets are loaded with saturated fats that literally weigh you down. As you replace those foods with the much healthier fruits and vegetables, your body will begin to rebuild itself. It won’t take long before you notice significant changes in how you feel, and the increased energy level will make exercising easier. Eating a plant based diet will help in other ways, too. There are studies that point to the fact that eating more fruits and vegetables may actually help reduce the risk of cancer.

Limit Processed Food

In order for your plant based diet to be as effective as possible, you should cut back on processed foods as much as you can. The additives and preservatives included in a lot of processed foods are counterproductive to the benefits of eating a plant based diet. Another reason to substitute fresh fruits and vegetables for processed foods is that a lot of the nutrients in those fruits and vegetables that make them a healthy choice in the first place are removed by processing them.

Small Changes

There is no need to make a sudden, complete changeover from your previous way of eating to a plant based diet. It may be better to ease into it by cutting the portion size of the meat you consume and taking an extra helping of beans or having a slice of whole wheat bread instead. Adding a few strawberries, blueberries or sliced bananas, to your breakfast cereal is also a good starting point. A couple of times a week you can replace the high sugar content cereal you’re probably eating now with a whole grain cereal. After a while make the transition complete by eating whole grain cereal every day. Once in a while substitute a nutrition bar for your present mid-day snack, and then gradually replace it altogether with carrots, an apple or some sort of trail mix. Every so often make an entire meal of plant based foods. Going without meat altogether isn’t really necessary, but as the old saying goes, "everything in moderation." After a while you won’t even notice that you’re eating less meat.

Bigger Changes

By starting small and increasing the amount of plant based foods in your diet, your body won’t complain as much and the transition to a healthier diet will be easier. As you increase the amount of plant based foods, your body will adapt and you can begin to make an even bigger changeover. The result will be a healthier body. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and be able to exercise frequently and more vigorously, which will speed up the process of becoming healthy ever more. The hardest part may be taking that first step, which is making the decision to become healthier, and choosing a plant based diet is a proven method of doing that.

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10 Healthy Snacks That Won't Blow Your Diet

When you are dieting, it is important to eat something every three to four hours. This will help keep your metabolism working efficiently. Of course, you want to make an effort to eat something healthy. Snacking on chips or other junk food can compromise any low-calorie or low-fat diet. Fortunately, there are a lot of good, healthy snacks that can help you fill the gap between larger meals.


Popcorn, especially whole grain, can be a very healthy snack. Air popped popcorn has about thirty calories in a one cup serving. Popcorn is healthiest without the added butter and salt. If plain popcorn gets a little too boring for you, try to add one teaspoon of cinnamon or ranch dressing mix. This will give you a little flavor without adding a lot of calories.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are great snacks because they can be very filling and are low in calories. Fruit has a natural sweetness to it so it works well to satisfy a sweet tooth. Fruits and vegetables are also a good snack because they are full of vitamins, antioxidants, and are a great source of fiber.


Nuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and omega 3 fats. It has also been suggested that eating certain nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease. When snacking on nuts, remember that moderation is the key to maintain a healthy diet. It is also best to eat unsalted nuts.


Yogurt with "live" or "active" cultures has probiotics that can improve your digestive health and strengthen your immune system. Yogurt is also a good source of protein and calcium. Yogurt can be eaten many ways-you can eat it plain, use it as a dip for fruit, or make a fruit smoothie with it.

Cottage Cheese

Low-fat cottage cheese is a great source of calcium and protein. It is also a versatile food; it can be eaten plain, used as a dip for vegetables, or as a cheese substitute in many meals.

Tuna Fish

Tuna fish is a healthy snack option because it is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. When purchasing tuna fish, make sure you buy albacore packed in water not oil. When it is packed in oil some of the benefits of the omega 3 fats can be lost.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs can have many nutritional benefits. They are a great source of protein and also contain a high amount of choline. Choline promotes healthy brain function. In order to benefit from the choline you have to eat the yolk, which can be high in cholesterol, so eat them in moderation.


Oatmeal can be a very healthy snack option. Oatmeal is full of fiber and protein and can help lower your cholesterol. If plain oatmeal is a little too bland for you, try adding fresh fruit, raisins, cinnamon, or yogurt.

Peanut Butter

When choosing peanut butter for a snack, it should be all natural with no added sugar. Although peanut butter is high in calories, it is still a healthy snack in moderation. Peanut butter also makes a great addition to apple slices or celery sticks.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and fiber. Having about a two ounce serving in the middle of the day will give you a boost of energy while helping you lose those extra pounds. Remember moderation is the key to success.

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10 Worst Foods for Belly Fat

10 Worst Foods for Belly Fat

Do you like to eat? Does the sight of all those sugary and fat filled delicacies make your mouth water? If your answer is yes, then it probably means that there is a good chance you might be sporting body fat in the shape of a pot belly. The extra flab hanging from the waistband of your jeans is not only not attractive but is unhealthy as well. Well, you can avoid all that embarrassment by steering clear of following foods which only serve to pack on pounds.

Quick Healthy Dinner Ideas - 4 Key Ingredients a Healthy Sandwich Must Have

If you already had a cooked meal for lunch, you will most likely not feel like cooking again for supper. After all, you've been working hard whole day. Now, you just want to get some food on the table quickly and then go enjoy your evening. It's anyways better to rather have a light meal instead of another big one.

Reduce Your Sugar Intake For Better Health

Typical American consumer on the average eats about 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. That's almost double the recommended amount. The sugar can be found not just in our coffee or even candies and sweets we eat, but in all kinds of products we don't typically associate with sugary foods.

Is Low Fat Really Healthy? Or is a little bit of whole fat better for you?

So here we are with all the health gurus telling us that we should be eating all our foods in their natural forms aka un-processed. And yet when most of them talk about dairy, the majority of these people talk about drinking and consuming low fat milk, yogurt and cheeses. And of course, the same people talk about not using things like coconut milk or eating egg yolks.

In fact I have seen articles talking about the Mediterranean diet and talking about how low fat dairy is part of that diet.  This is strange to this daughter of Italian immigrants who on her travels from her teenage yrs to the present (59 yrs old) never saw her grandparents who lived into their uppers 90’s & low 100′s (nonno & nonna – the latter) or the present healthy 80 something’s in her father’ hometown eat anything low fat.

We have been so obsessed with the concept of low fat/saturated fat/no fat that for over 30 years we have poisoned ourselves by eating margarine and substituting trans fats for saturated fats and have added refined sugars (or worse high fructose corn syrup) to products like yogurt and ice cream. And yet we are fatter and much more important less healthy than we were thirty years ago.


One of our current epidemics is the low levels of Vitamin D in the general population.  Could the fact that we are not consuming enough fat to help absorb the fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin D(the fat soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E and K) and Omega 3′s be playing a part in this besides not getting enough sun?  Fat also help us absorb proteins and calcium.

Our brains also need fat; in fact our brains are mainly fat: Could this obsession with low fat and 30 yrs of substituting trans fats be a factor in the rise of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s??

How might a low fat diet affect our dopamine receptors and our fat receptors in our tonque and brain?  Click here: Discovery of ‘fat’ taste could hold the key to reducing obesity

Are you taking turmeric as a natural inflammatory supplement; talk to an Ayurvedic healer and they will tell you that cooking turmeric in butter (ghee) or coconut oil or milk potentates the effect of the turmeric.

We also know that whole fat dairy products (esp. from grass fed ruminants) contain more conjugated linoleic acid and has been shown to be possibly effective for preventing colon & rectal cancer, weight loss and atherosclerosis.

 And to be fair, some of the health gurus either do not demonize saturated fat or are starting to understand that it’s not fat but inflammation and the role that refined carbohydrates have in increasing the inflammation that has a bad effect on your heath.

Please read:


So what am I saying?

If you can tolerate dairy products and enjoy them, try switching to quality whole milk products (organic, growth hormone & antibiotic free, non-homogenized, grass fed, etc.) and eat them in moderation; maybe a few spoonfuls of yogurt a day or one pound of cheese consumed over 1-2 weeks.

If you eat meat, again eat them in moderation…try lean cuts from animals that have been grass-fed & raised in a sustainable manner. Eat no more than 4 ozs. a day and try to limit it to 4 times a week.

Enjoy your eggs as nature intended w/ the yolks but limit yourself to 3-4 a week. And either cook them w/ olive oil instead of butter or poach them.

Eat lots of sources of mono-unsaturated fats in addition, incorporate some nuts and seeds into your diet, eat lots of veggies, some fresh fruit and stay away from refined sugars and fake or trans fats.

In other words,  enjoy your food in all its unprocessed whole glory, just be moderate in your intake.

 Here are some studies comparing low fat milk to whole fat milk:

 In a study in American Journal of Epidemiology 2007;166(11):1259-1269 entitled Calcium, Vitamin D, and Dairy Product Intake and Prostate Cancer Risk: The Multiethnic Cohort Study, no association of calcium or vitamin D intake was seen across racial/ethnic groups. In analyses of food groups, dairy product and total milk consumption were not associated with prostate cancer risk. However, low-/nonfat milk was related to an increased risk and whole milk to a decreased risk of total prostate cancer

Eight-year-old children who drink full-fat milk every day have a lower BMI than those who seldom drink milk. This is not the case for children who often drink medium-fat or low-fat milk.

University of Gothenburg (2009, November 4). Children Who Often Drink Full-Fat Milk Weigh Less, Swedish Research Finds. ScienceDaily.

In a study of Effect of consumption of whole milk and skim milk on blood lipid profiles in healthy men, the drinkers of whole milk had low lipid profiles

In a 16 yr. study of Dairy consumption and patterns of mortality of Australian adults: there was no consistent and significant association between total dairy intake and total or cause-specific mortality. However, compared with those with the lowest intake of full-fat dairy, participants with the highest intake (median intake 339 g/day) had reduced death due to CVD (HR: 0.31; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.12–0.79; P for trend=0.04) after adjustment for calcium intake and other confounders. Intakes of low-fat dairy, specific dairy foods, calcium and vitamin D showed no consistent associations.

 A reduction in dietary saturated fat has generally been thought to improve cardiovascular health.  The objective of this meta-analysis was to summarize the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic studies.

Design: Twenty-one studies identified by searching MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and secondary referencing qualified for inclusion in this study. A random-effects model was used to derive composite relative risk estimates for CHD, stroke, and CVD.

Results: During 5–23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.

Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.

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