Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Easy Ways to Reduce Unhealthy Salt Intake

Most people on the Standard American Diet take in too much salt on a daily basis. This eventually leads to health problems such as high blood pressure, weight gain, arthritis, fluid retention and kidney and bladder problems.

Therefore it is important that you reduce your salt intake. But in order to do so you need to know where your salt is coming from. It not only comes from your salt shaker, but most foods that you can buy at your grocery store contain at least some amount of salt as well.

Fast and Processed Foods

A lot of the excess salt that you consume comes from fast and processed foods, and thus they should be avoided if you are trying to reduce your intake. It is used in those foods for flavoring as well as to help preserve the foods, and thus they are often loaded with extremely high amounts of salt.

Fast foods, cold cut meats, dry soups and soup packets, canned foods, sauces and salad dressings are some of the worst foods for salt. And even foods that are promoted as being healthy often contain high amounts of salt as well. These foods include breads and cereals, canned fruits and vegetables and dried fruits, as well as many fruit and vegetable juices.

Read Labels

When buying anything processed, make sure to read the labels so that you can avoid at least the worst offenders for salt. Look for low or reduced sodium, or sodium free labels and compare brands if more than one brand is available, so that you can choose the one lowest in salt.

Use Sea Salt

Instead of using regular old table salt, switch to sea salt, which has lower amounts of sodium. The taste however, may not be as salty, but when you add it consciously it will help you to lower your intake.

Remove the Shaker From the Table

If you are used to having a salt shaker at the table, then you should remove it, as you are less likely to make a trip to the cupboards to get the shaker, than you are to reach over.

Avoid Salted Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are very good for you, especially sunflower seeds. But because they are so good with salt, they often come coated with it. Avoid those whenever possible or at least wipe some of the salt off of them with a paper towel, and mix them in with other raw nuts and seeds.

Never eliminate all salt from your diet, as salt is an essential mineral for good health.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Helpful Tips for Eating on the Raw Food Diet

The raw food diet is one of the healthiest diets, as it can help you to avoid common illnesses and serious life-threatening diseases. The diet requires that you consume most of your foods in their raw state, and that you avoid processed and fast foods.

It is a difficult diet to stay on, as society does not support the raw food diet. As a result, when hunger strikes there usually are no healthy snacks available at the vending machine, nor are there any raw food places that you can go to and eat. And so you often end up settling for fast foods or other junk foods.

But despite of that, there are many things that you can do to help you to avoid junk foods.

Never Allow Hunger

The best thing that you can do for yourself, especially when you first start on the diet, is to never allow hunger. Once you are used to the diet, then you will be able to handle hunger better as your food withdrawal symptoms will not be as severe. But when you first start you should avoid hunger whenever possible.

The best way that you can avoid hunger is to eat lots of healthy high calorie foods such as nuts and seeds, avocados and coconuts. These healthy calories will not only fill you up, but they will satisfy your cravings so that you can avoid other high calorie junk foods.

A good practice is to make yourself a trail mix of your favorite nuts and seeds, as well as dried fruits and take them along with you where ever you go. Then when hunger strikes you are prepared, and thus you will be able to avoid the vending machine.

Eat a Variety of Foods

High calorie foods are essential in helping to satisfy food cravings, but you also need a variety of other foods such as leaf vegetables, root vegetables, sprouts, fresh fruits and berries, as well as many superfoods that you can only obtain at the health food store such as raw cacao, maca powder, goji berries, spirulina and many others.

Buy New Appliances

Just because you are on a raw food diet does not mean that you cannot enjoy a variety of foods. All the tastes and textures that you are used to on the conventional diet, can be mimicked with raw recipes, but you will have to get some new appliances.

The new appliances will allow you to make your own juices, milks, flours, and breads and cookies. Yes you can still have cookies and other delicious deserts.

Some of the most popular appliances include a juicer, blender, magic bullet, sprouter, grain mill, dehydrator, nut milk bags, spiral veggie cutter, and others.
L'Equip 306200 550-Watt 6-Tray Food Dehydrator, GrayMary Bell's Complete Dehydrator CookbookKTEC Kitchen Mill - Grain and Flour Mill (K-Tec)Tribest Soyabella Soymilk Maker

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 Easy Ways To Prevent Obesity

More and more people are affected by obesity everyday. This is mainly due to all the unhealthy foods that are available on the market. Vending machines will do you no favor, and driving down a busy city street is also of no help, especially around mealtimes. However, despite of all that, there are many things that you can do to prevent obesity and even reverse it. Here are 5 sure ways to get you started.

Avoid Temptations

The best thing that you can do for yourself is to avoid food temptations whenever possible. That means if you have to drive on the outskirts of town to get to the other side to avoid all the fast food places, then do so.

To avoid vending machines, bring your own snacks such as nuts and seeds. And when filling up at the gas station, pay at the pump, as this will keep you away from the rows and rows of chips and candy bars inside.

Eat Healthy Foods

Eating healthy is also extremely important as that will not only provide you with the proper nutrients, but it will also help you to avoid fast foods and other junk foods.

Some of the best foods to add into your diet are nuts and seeds, avocados, leaf vegetables, sprouts, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. You may also add in plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables juices, or even go on a juice fast.

Avoid Animal Products

Animal products such as milk and milk products, meat, especially red meat, as well as eggs are high in saturated fats that will cause you to gain weight. Thus if you eliminate them, or at least reduce them, then you will be able to better manage your weight.

Plenty of Fluids

Once you start adding in more fruits and vegetables into your diet, then you will also need to drink more fluids. This is due to the high amount of fiber that is contained in fruits and vegetables. The fiber absorbs the water in the digestive tract, and thus the more water is absorbed, the more you need to drink.

Some of the best fluids to add into your diet are water, fresh juices and herbal tea such as ginger tea, and a combination of other herbs and spices including cilantro, parsley, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, cinnamon and nutmeg.


Last but not least, exercise can help you to stay in shape and retain your muscle mass. Muscle mass weighs more, but it also helps you to burn more fat cells. Several 30 minute sessions of cardio and strength training per week is really all you need to maintain your muscle mass.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is There a Difference Between Table Salt and Unrefined Sea Salt

There is not much of a difference between table salt and unrefined sea salt. However, the small difference that is found between the two is enough to make people switch to sea salt. The main reason why people make the switch is for health reasons, as sea salt is healthier for you. Not only is it healthier because it contains more minerals, but it also does not contain any unnatural ingredients.

Here are some of the main differences:

More Minerals

Sea salt is obtained naturally from sea water by allowing it to evaporate naturally from the sun and wind. As the water evaporates the salt crystals are left behind and then are raked into piles of sand. The salt is purified, but all the minerals are left within the salt.

But table salt on the other is stripped of all the essential minerals during the processing. Then iodine is added back into the salt. But it is added in such large quantities, that you will overdose on the iodine if you want to obtain the recommended daily dosage of sodium from your salt. Thus you are better off to obtain your iodine from the sea salt in small quantities. Click here for more information on the recommended daily dosages of sodium and iodine.

Unnatural Ingredients

Table salt contains several unnatural ingredients that are harmful to the body. These are anti-clumping agents such as alumino-silicate or alumino-calcium silicate which help to keep the salt dry in the shaker so that it does not clump up. However, these anti-clumping agents contain aluminum, which not only is bad for your health, but it adds a bitter taste to the salt. Thus a form of sugar (which is also bad for your health), is added to the salt to help eliminate the bitterness of it.

Unrefined sea salt does not contain any of those harmful ingredients, which is why it will clump in your salt shaker. However, there are brands of unrefined sea salt that are fairly dry and will not clump up much. The salt may stick from time to time, but a light tap on the shaker will break it loose.

My personal favorite salt to use in a salt shaker is Redmond RealSalt. It is a gourmet, all natural sea salt with a sweet taste. And once you try it, you will never want to go back to regular table salt again.

The Color

Another major difference between sea salt and table salt is the color of it. Table salt is white, but unrefined sea salt comes in different colors. At first you may be turned off by the gray or pinkish colors of the sea salt, but after a while you will appreciate the rich colors. Because the richer the color of the salt, the more minerals it contains.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Three Variations of the Raw Food Diet

Raw Foodists do not believe in heating their foods above 115 degrees Fahrenheit because that destroys the enzymes as well as many of the vitamins and minerals. Hence the main source of their food is plant-based.

However, there are several different variations of the raw food diet, which do allow you to incorporate raw animal proteins as well. These include raw meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as dairy and dairy products such as raw cheese, butter or yogurt.

To avoid harmful bacteria, the raw foodists choose their animal products from grass-fed animals whenever possible. Studies do reveal that those animals which are grass-fed have far less harmful bacteria, and contain more nutrients than those that are raised on conventional methods. Hence the risks of getting sick from grass-fed animal proteins are greatly reduced.

Here are the Three Main Variations of the Raw Food Diet:

Raw Vegan Diet. The raw vegan diet is the strictest and most popular diet when it comes to raw foodism. It does not allow you to eat any meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy and dairy products, or any other animal substance.

You can have any food that is plant-based and not poisonous to your body such as lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds as well as sea vegetables and protein powders. These foods provide you with all the nutrients that your body needs, thus they eliminate the need to consume any animal products such as meats, dairy and eggs.

Within the raw vegan diet are three other groups of dieters, which include fruitarians, juicearians and sproutarians. And you can probably guess what the main type of food is for each group just by looking at the name.

Raw Vegetarian Diet. The raw vegetarian diet also promotes a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, and other plant-based foods, but it also allows you to consume eggs, dairy and dairy products.

Within this group there are also several different groups: Some enjoy both eggs and dairy; while some do not consume eggs, but will consume dairy and dairy products; and others refuse dairy and dairy products, but will eat eggs.

Raw Omnivorous Diet. The raw omnivorous diet is fairly relaxed and laid back, as you are allowed to eat just about anything on the plate including all types of raw meats, eggs, and dairy and dairy products. However, you should still aim to eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables as they are by far the healthiest choice.