Fats and cholesterol

Fats are just like sugars, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, an essential nutrient for the body. This means the body cannot function properly without them. Fats are mainly a source of energy and help the body absorb several vitamins, like vitamin A, D and E. Under normal, healthy circumstances we get 20-40% of our energy from fats. There is a distinction between unsaturated and saturated fats, and we often find those two to be combined in our food.

The presence and the amount of fat(s) in our blood is what determines our cholesterol levels. We know that saturated fats are one of the main causes for high cholesterol. Having high cholesterol levels increase the risk at cardiovascular diseases.

Nutrition experts have determined that the amount of energy we need to burn these fats is approximately 40%. So if the average person requires 2000kcal a day, you will have to consume at least 800kcal of fats. Of course this amount will be different if you perform heavy manual labor, or are an athlete as an example. It‘s a guideline.

To counter the main cause of high cholesterol values, the saturated fat, you are advised to:

  • Consume products like skimmed milk, low-fat yoghurt and lean meat, such as chicken.
  • Use soft or fluid fats for roasting and frying, instead of solid fat.
  • Or the most logical approach… eat less products that consist mainly of saturated fats, like snacks, pastries, cookies and chocolate

It’s a fairly routine process these days to have your cholesterol levels tested by your doctor, so if you have an opportunity to have these levels checked on a regular basis, that would be the best way to keep track of your health and to continue your road to a healthier lifestyle.

Sugar, tastes better than what is good for you

One of the most intense senses of the four is TASTE, and eating something sweet is often very pleasurable to us.  The main ingredient in “sweet” tasting foods is sugar which is also considered a nutrient.

Sugar is a crystal-like substance that is mainly derived from sugar cane and sugar beets. After the refining process, where the raw sugar is dissolved in hot water, then put through a re-crystallization and filtration process… it becomes pure sugar. There are many kinds of sugar on the market, of which granulated white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar and liquid sugar are the most common.

What do we use sugar for:

Confectionery tray close-up

  • As sweetener in coffee, tea, pastry, candy, drinks and many more products
  • As means to change the texture of a dish
  • As a preservative in jams and other canned goods.

What does sugar actually do for your body?

  • It’s a source of energy
  • It has a role in the structure of your DNA
  • It plays a role in the communication between cells
  • It provides stability for connective tissue that holds our body together.
  • It also has protective properties.

Of course for everything good, there is also a downside.

The damage that excessive sugar intake can cause is greater than most people imagine. To name a few: obesity, diabetes and dental problems. So although sugar is an essential nutrient for our bodies, we must be careful not to consume too much of it. Especially in todays world where manufacturers put sugar into nearly all of our food choices, even in the ones of which we do not expect to find it.

Now the big question: what can we do about it? Well like so many other answers to health problems, the answer is: EAT RESPONSIBLY! Choose your products with care check how much sugar it contains on the packaging and maybe limit yourself to one cookie…not two. Avoid the obvious and known sugar saturated products because your body has already gotten enough sugar from your regular meals.

But the basic rule remains: Use common sense and eat responsibly!

Why do people smoke?

Complaints and problems are often a reason for people to start smoking, but a cigarette is not a problem solver. It only causes more problems. Smoking will only increase the risk of depression, anxiety disorders and panic attacks. So why do people start smoking?

Adolescent smoking

Youngsters like to explore their world, which is why they tend to experiment. 11% of all ten year-olds have admitted to experimenting with smoking cigarettes. smokers Among sixteen year-olds this is as high as 50%, of which 1 out of 3 has become a daily habit. For six out of ten smoking teenagers, it WILL become an addiction. It is no wonder young people try smoking cigarettes, because most of them go through an experimental phase. But, with over 60% of smoking teenagers in danger of becoming addicted to it, it is important to keep a close eye on this development.

Image

The image of smoking being cool and sexy has played a key part in this development. Smoking used to be seen as manly, but girls have also started smoking at an increasingly younger age. Among teenagers, Smoking is seen as cool and is considered to be socially accepted behavior in their peer groups. All teenagers have a strong desire to fit in, so when their friends do it, they will do it as well. This is what many high school kids think. They also encounter many smoking adults throughout their day,…on the street, at the station or bus stop, they always see adults smoking. So why would they see smoking as a danger?

Conclusion

Some people get more easily addicted than others. Genes are partially to blame for this. Other factors include the combination of marketing strategies and the addictive substances they use and even the environment they live in can play a role in this.

In the USA, 1178 people die each day from the effects of smoking, mostly from lung diseases and cardiovascular disease.

Since most people tend to start smoking at an early age, the European Health Foundation has made a very informative DVD, which will help educate them from an early age (through visuals and animation) of the dangers and health risk associated with smoking.

 

exercise to lose weight

Is it possible to lose weight without exercising? 

Many people wonder whether it is really necessary to exercise if they want to lose weight. The answer to this question varies per person. For most people, it will be necessary to start exercising if they permanently want to lose weighty.

sport girl

Why is exercising necessary?

It is hard to understand the impact of fat burning through exercise if you don’t know how your body uses its daily calorie intake. Sixty to seventy percent of the energy we get through our food, is used to make our heart beat and to let our brain and other organs function. This means the biggest part of energy is used without putting in any effort. Ten to fifteen percent is used for digestion. Only fifteen to twenty percent is used for all physical activities, such as standing up straight, walking, moving around and exercising.

 

People who don’t exercise will use only about eight percent of their energy for muscular activity. When you don’t get enough exercise, you will consume a surplus of energy, which is often converted into fat. To reduce this surplus, you can decide to go on a diet (to eat less), or you can start exercising. The biggest problem with diets is that you gain pounds quickly afterwards, the so-called yo-yo effect. It is not a good idea to lose weight with a diet intended to attain a short-term weight loss. The best way to burn more calories than you eat is through exercise.


Which sports are suitable for losing weight?
Sports can be divided into two categories: cardio (running, cycling, swimming) and athletics (mostly muscle training). It is best to employ both categories. A short workout (15 minutes to half an hour) works well when training 3 to 5 times per week. If you work out 2 times per week, it is best to train for half an hour to an hour every time.

 

Sports that require physical activity are the most suitable if you want to lose weight permanently. A higher brain activity also increases the energy consumption of your body. So even chess will help you lose weight, if slightly. There are of course differences in the amount of energy you burn with each sport. A short overview can be found below. Do keep in mind that it you should not focus solely on the calories, but also pick a sport you enjoy. This will make it easier to stick to it.


Amount of calories per hour (calculated for a person of 70kg – if you weigh more, you will also burn more calories).

  • Running – 300 to 450 Kcal p. hour
  • Walking – up to 300 Kcal p. hour
  • Swimming –up to 600 Kcal p. hour
  • Cycling – 300 to 400 Kcal p. hour
  • Boxing – up to 700 Kcal p. hour
  • Squash – up to 600 kcal p. hour
  • Tennis – up to 500 kcal p. hour
  • Rowing – up to 550 kcal p. hour
  • Dancing – up to 400 kcal p. hour

100 health tips: 1/10

1.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps your body restart and replenisches your energy supply after having been at rest while you were asleep. The ideal breakfast contains fats, carbohydrates and protein, such as a combination of fruit, bread, fibers and milk.

2.  It is important to have a balanced diet if you want to live a healthy life. This means you will have to make sure you get all essential nutrients in the right amounts. It will boost your energy and you will feel better. Be careful with vitamins and minerals; too much or too little of a vitamin or mineral ,may cause undesirable side effects!

3.  Be aware of the amount of salt you take in with your snacks and meals. Table salt (or sodium chloride) is used worldwide as flavor enhancer. But too much salt can be a risk factor for diseases as high blood pressure, heartburn, osteoporosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The simplest way to avoid getting these diseases is decreasing your salty product consumption and using salt as flavor enhancer as little as possible. Try using herbs instead.

4.  Stay away from buffets and other all-you-can-eat meals. These will stimulate you to eat more than necessary, because you don’t want to waste money. If you do get tempted, it would be wise to pick food that is full of nutrients, like fresh fruit, vegetable salads and low-fat food. Try not to get a second serving.

5.  Limit your consumption of processed food, such as canned, frozen and dried products. These processes change the natural components of the food, which makes it less useful to our body. Especially the usage of chemicals to prolong the shelf life of products or as flavor enhancer can be harmful to many of our bodily functions.

6.  Focus on eating wholesome food. This means eating unprocessed, natural and fresh foods. These foods contain components in their purest form and because they don’t have any chemicals to make them more appetizing, have the best effect on our body. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables will make wholesome food more appetizing.

7.  Removing all visible skin and fat from poultry and other birds before cooking or baking them is the best and healthiest way to prepare them. Grill or cook poultry, instead of frying it up, where it will absorb grease or oil.  A chicken’s breast is the best part of a chicken, because it contains a lot of protein and relatively little fat.

8.  Water is essential if you want to live a healthy life. It is advised to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, which comes down to about 1,5 to 2 liters. It enables cells, tissue and organs to do their work. A deficit of bodily fluids or dehydration can be bad for your kidneys and other organs and can lead to mental confusion, a coma or even death if it isn’t taken care of right away.

9.  Try to limit the amount of fats in your diet. Foods that have a naturally low percentage of fats are fruit, vegetables, beans and grains. The packing shows the amount of fats a product contains. Products with more than 2 or 3 grams of fat per 100 calories are best left on the shelves. Try to select products with no more than 1 gram of fat per 100 calories.

10.Iron is an important nutrient to our body and can be found in red meat, fish, chicken, fibers, leafy vegetables and raisins. It serves as fuel for your body by helping to produce red blood cells. Iron will be best absorbed by your body if it is combined with vitamin C.

100 health tips: 1/10

1.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps your body restart and replenishes your energy supply after having been at rest while you were asleep. The ideal breakfast contains fats, carbohydrates and protein, such as a combination of fruit, bread, fibers and milk.

2.  It is important to have a balanced diet if you want to live a healthy life. This means you will have to make sure you get all essential nutrients in the right amounts. It will boost your energy and you will feel better. Be careful with vitamins and minerals; too much or too little of a vitamin or mineral ,may cause undesirable side effects!

3.  Be aware of the amount of salt you take in with your snacks and meals. Table salt (or sodium chloride) is used worldwide as flavor enhancer. But too much salt can be a risk factor for diseases as high blood pressure, heartburn, osteoporosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The simplest way to avoid getting these diseases is decreasing your salty product consumption and using salt as flavor enhancer as little as possible. Try using herbs instead.

4.  Stay away from buffets and other all-you-can-eat meals. These will stimulate you to eat more than necessary, because you don’t want to waste money. If you do get tempted, it would be wise to pick food that is full of nutrients, like fresh fruit, vegetable salads and low-fat food. Try not to get a second serving.

5.  Limit your consumption of processed food, such as canned, frozen and dried products. These processes change the natural components of the food, which makes it less useful to our body. Especially the usage of chemicals to prolong the shelf life of products or as flavor enhancer can be harmful to many of our bodily functions.

Healthy vegetables..

6. Focus on eating wholesome food. This means eating unprocessed, natural and fresh foods. These foods contain components in their purest form and because they don’t have any chemicals to make them more appetizing, have the best effect on our body. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables will make wholesome food more appetizing.

7.  Removing all visible skin and fat from poultry and other birds before cooking or baking them is the best and healthiest way to prepare them. Grill or cook poultry, instead of frying it up, where it will absorb grease or oil.  A chicken’s breast is the best part of a chicken, because it contains a lot of protein and relatively little fat.

8.  Water is essential if you want to live a healthy life. It is advised to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, which comes down to about 1,5 to 2 liters. It enables cells, tissue and organs to do their work. A deficit of bodily fluids or dehydration can be bad for your kidneys and other organs and can lead to mental confusion, a coma or even death if it isn’t taken care of right away.

9.  Try to limit the amount of fats in your diet. Foods that have a naturally low percentage of fats are fruit, vegetables, beans and grains. The packing shows the amount of fats a product contains. Products with more than 2 or 3 grams of fat per 100 calories are best left on the shelves. Try to select products with no more than 1 gram of fat per 100 calories.

10.Iron is an important nutrient to our body and can be found in red meat, fish, chicken, fibers, leafy vegetables and raisins. It serves as fuel for your body by helping to produce red blood cells. Iron will be best absorbed by your body if it is combined with vitamin C.

 

 

What do diet pills do?

Diet pills are said to help you lose weight <https://europeanhealthfoundation.com/lose-weight/> as easily as changes in your diet do. Just like diets, there is a broad range of diet pills and manufacturers often promise great results based on the characteristics and ingredients of a diet pill.

What are the ingredients in diet pills?  

Weight loss

Diet pills contain many ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, extract of green tea, citric acid and caffeine. While these compounds stimulate the fat burning process in your body, they can be an addition to the process of losing weight at most. The ingredients cannot create miracles like the manufacturers love to claim.

Scientifically proven effect?

Of the many diet pills on the market, only a few have been proven to be effective through scientific methods. Among these are Acomplia, Reductil and Alli.

Acomplia reduces the amount of nutrients that pass into your body, while Reductil makes you feel saturated. Alli contains the ingredient Orlistat, which stops your body from absorbing a quarter of the fat you eat. Alli has proven to be the only over-the-counter diet pill.

 Be careful when ordering diet pills over the internet. Over 60% of the internet diet pills have been proven to be fake. This means that there are no active ingredients in these pills. You might as well eat a mint to get the same placebo effect.

There is also a group of dangerous pills you can get over the internet, of which the effect have not been proven. More often than not, these pills have not been sufficiently tested. Nevertheless they circulate on the internet. Using these pills is advised against, because they can be a danger to your health.

Appetite suppressants and fat burners

There are roughly two categories of diet pills on the market: appetite suppressants and fat burners.

Appetite suppressants make you feel less hungry and make you feel saturated faster. This helps you eat less.

Fat burners give your metabolism a boost, which helps you prevent weight gain and makes it easier to lose weight during a weight loss diet.

Next to these two main categories there are also pills that reduce the absorption of fat and carbohydrates in your body. An example of this is Alli.

There is a big difference between a prescribed medical diet pill and over-the-counter pills.

Over-the-counter pills often contain natural ingredients, such as apple cider vinegar. These ingredients support your lipid metabolism. It is easier to lose weight when combining both a weight decreasing diet and a diet pill. However, the concentration of active ingredients in these compounds are not high enough to make you lose weight on its own. It can even be harmful in high dosages.

Diet pills and weight loss shakes from Modifast, Bional and Proactol Plus are examples of products available in the supermarket. These pills have been tested and proven to be harmless. However it will be good to keep in mind these pill and shakes will not create miracles and can only be an addition in your attempt to lose weight.

A doctor will only prescribe you diet pills if you are morbidly obese or when you have severe health issues related to your weight. In these cases your health will be in danger, which makes medical intervention necessary.

Side effects

Especially the medical diet pills can cause a lot of side effects. These vary from palpitations, insomnia and headache to a high blood pressure and nausea.
Other unpleasant side effect cans be diarrhea, flatulence or a greasy stool. Alli is one of the pills that can give you these side effect. Luckily these effects are often temporary.

Do you have any experience with diet pills? Let us know below what you think of them in a comment!

Do you want to know more about this subject? It is all on the DVD ‘Losing Weight’! <https://europeanhealthfoundation.com/lose-weight/>