Fat burning foods - which proteins, carbohydrates and fats to eat
The latest research shows that 30 percent lean protein, 40 percent low glycemic carbohydrates, and 30 percent acceptable fats work best for metabolic efficiency. These percentages have been tremendously effective for athletes who want to lose fat, build more lean muscle, and improve performance, and for people who are over-fat and often suffering from either elevated triglycerides or high glucose levels. A recent article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition makes a convincing argument for this ratio in people suffering from type 2 diabetes, stating that eating 30 percent dietary protein and 40 percent carbohydrates appears to improve glycemic control without increasing the risk of heart disease. In as little as five weeks, the glucose levels of the study participants dropped an astonishing 40 percent, and blood lipids, especially triglycerides, were significantly lowered.
Here you can find the best fat burning foods, which guarantee great weight loss results:
A daily intake of 30 percent lean protein is optimal. Good sources of protein are chicken breasts, all types of fish, beef with a low fat content (in moderation), soy products, and whey products. Protein is a stabilizing food that assists in insulin management, the building of lean muscle, and immune function. For men, ingesting adequate amounts of protein daily helps stop the decrease in testosterone levels that they experience as they age. An article in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism states that "diets low in protein lead to increases in sex hormone-binding globulin in older men, potentially reducing the availability of testosterone and causing loss of muscle mass, red cell mass and bone density". Getting adequate protein also helps avoid or slow bone loss in women, especially after menopause.
Because protein is not stored, three balanced meals and two or three snacks per day that include protein are required to suppress hunger and burn body fat during physical exercise. When choosing protein sources, always choose lean meats and low-fat dairy. First-choice protein sources include skim milk; fat-free cheese and cottage cheese; yogurt made from skim milk; 95 percent lean ground beef, turkey, or encased meats (sausage, bologna, etc.); skinless chicken breasts; white-meat tuna in water; egg whites; and non-fried fish and seafood.
It's good to eat cold-water fish such as salmon and halibut at least twice a week, or even once daily if they really love fish. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating fish daily decreases insulin levels, increases glucose production, lowers triglyceride (bad fat) production, and increases the level of HDL (good) cholesterol, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Many people are concerned about the dangers of mercury in fish. This is something you should pay heed to, especially if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you have children in your family. Generally, you should avoid eating swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel more than once a week, since these larger oceangoing fish have accumulated larger concentrations of mercury in their bodies. When it comes to tuna, the type that has the highest level of mercury is albacore. Therefore, if you want to give your family a tuna fish sandwich, choose light tuna, which has very low mercury concentrations. Freshwater mackerel, cod, and sardines are also safe bets.
Another tip that can help lessen your risk of mercury exposure is to eat several tropical fruits every week. Mangoes, bananas, pineapples, and papayas may help to reduce the amount of mercury that your body absorbs. When a study was made of a group of women from a predominantly fish-eating community, it was discovered that those who ate the largest amount of tropical fruits had the lowest mercury levels.
Soy products have always been a part of all nutritional programs because of their many benefits. Research studies have shown that an overabundance of the amino acid lysine increases the level of bad cholesterol in the body, while the amino acid arginine decreases it. Compared to animal protein, soy has a more favorable ratio of arginine to lysine. This lower ratio decreases the body's production of insulin and increases its production of glucagon. So, eating soy frequently helps you shift your metabolism from fat storage to fat mobilization.
Soy products may also lower the risk of coronary disease. And when used in conjunction with a properly balanced nutrition and aerobic exercise program, they are an important tool for lowering your body fat and cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that soy foods also lower the risk of hormone-related cancers.
Besides soy-based powders, there are many delicious soy food products available, including soy burgers and hot dogs, as well as many varieties of tofu, soy cheeses, and soy milk. Since one of the challenges faced by vegetarians is getting sufficient protein in their daily diet, soy products can be a nutritional mainstay.
Whey protein powder
Every professional athlete drinks a whey protein shake as a snack between meals. Also, it's always good to have a whey protein drink immediately before doing resistance exercise. The reason is twofold: to decrease the amount of muscle tissue broken down during an exercise session and to aid in the synthesis of protein as muscles are being rebuilt and strengthened.
A recent article in the Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews states that ingesting foods (such as whey powder) that contain both carbohydrates and amino acid-rich proteins causes "a substantial increase in muscle protein synthesis and a lesser inhibition of muscle protein breakdown, the net result being an increase in muscle protein accretion".
A wide range of excellent whey powders is available in health food stores. Rich in glutamine and essential amino acids, whey protein is a superior protein choice for many reasons.
40 percent low-glycemic, complex carbohydrates is optimal. Some people find that amount of carbs intimidating because many popular diet books have caused people to shift their dietary fears from fats to carbohydrates.
The key is to learn how to manage your intake of carbs relative to your activity level. While people can lose pounds of scale weight on a low-carbohydrate diet, it's a sure thing that they will feel irritable, headachy, and fatigued. To maintain the brain and central nervous system, the body needs a certain amount of glucose, which it gets from sugars and starches, the by-products of carbohydrates after digestion. This glucose is stored in the liver and in the muscles. When you do not eat a sufficient amount of carbohydrates daily, your body has to get its supply from somewhere. At that point, it will begin breaking down its own muscle protein to synthesize glucose to adequately supply vital organs. So, the weight you are losing on a low-carbohydrate diet will be muscle tissue, not fat, because your body cannot break down its fat stores into glucogen.
The goal of any good weight loss program should always be to lose as little muscle as possible. For every gram of muscle tissue you lose, you lose 4 grams of water; but for every gram of fat, you lose only 1 gram of water. Water weight is not true long-term weight loss because water is the easiest thing in the world to gain back. After losing weight on a diet, if you begin eating a normal amount of carbohydrates - or, if you are the average American, an excessive amount of carbohydrates - your body will quickly regain its lost muscle tissue and its associated water weight.
An important criterion to keep in mind when choosing appropriate carbohydrates is their rating on the glycemic index (GI). Foods with a high glycemic rating stimulate a higher than normal production of insulin and tend to stimulate fat storage. Foods that have a low glycemic rating do not significantly elevate insulin or stimulate fat storage. High-glycemic foods should be avoided or eaten in moderation.
Eating low-glycemic foods is especially important if you suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A recent study conducted by the University of Sydney in Australia, and published in Diabetes Care analyzed the results of fourteen different studies around the world to see if eating low-glycemic foods really benefited diabetics. When the results were compiled, they showed a clear improvement in levels of glucose in the study participants.
All foods have a glycemic index, but when it comes to carbohydrates, you can think of them in terms of simple (high-glycemic carbs) and complex (low-glycemic carbs). Examples of simple carbohydrates are potatoes, white bread, bananas, white rice, pancakes, desserts, sugary soft drinks, pizza, french fries, and candy. Examples of complex carbohydrates include yams, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole-grain cereals, bran or flaxseed muffins, apples, and oatmeal.
Fruits and vegetables
Many people have heard of the U.S. Department of Health's Five-a-Day Campaign that is aimed at helping Americans to be healthier. Fruits and vegetables - low in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber - are vital to a healthy diet. The DOH has shown that increasing your daily consumption of vegetables and fruits in a rainbow assortment of colors could decrease early deaths from our nation's two biggest killers, cancer and coronary heart disease, by 20 percent and 40 percent, respectively.
Blue or purple fruits and vegetables, which contain varying amounts of health-promoting phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and phenolics, have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits, promote memory function, and lower the risk for certain types of cancers. Foods in the blue/purple category include blackberries, blueberries, plums, purple figs, purple grapes, purple cabbage, eggplant, and purple-fleshed potatoes.
Green fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of potent phytochemicals such as lutein and indoles, which have antioxidant and other health-promoting benefits such as creating stronger bones, promoting keener vision, and helping to prevent cancer. Foods in the green category include avocados, green apples, green grapes, honeydew, kiwifruit, limes, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, green cabbage, celery, cucumbers, endive, leafy greens, lettuce, green onions, peas, and spinach.
White, tan, and brown fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of phytochemicals that help to maintain good levels of cholesterol, promote heart health, and prevent some kinds of cancers such as breast cancer. This category includes brown pears, white nectarines, white peaches, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, onions, white-fleshed potatoes, shallots, and turnips.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of antioxidants such as vitamin C, as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, two classes of phytochemicals that promote health. Eating these kinds of foods will contribute to your having a healthy heart, healthy vision, strong immune function, and lowered risk of some types of cancers. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables include yellow apples, apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, yellow pears, tangerines, yellow beets, butternut squash, carrots, yellow peppers, yellow potatoes, yellow summer squash, yellow winter squash, sweet potatoes, and yellow tomatoes.
Red fruits and vegetables promote a healthy urinary tract, heart health, and good memory function and protect against certain types of cancers. These foods include red apples, blood oranges, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, pink/red grapefruit, red pears, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, beets, red peppers, radishes, radicchio, red onions, red potatoes, rhubarb, and tomatoes.
Many people avoid eating fats in order to not get fat. Most people do not realize that fats are a wonderful source of energy, and many fats, like fish or fish oils containing omega-3, can lower cholesterol, improve joint health, and help protect against cancer. Ingesting a daily diet of 30 percent of the right kinds of fats actually enables you to utilize dietary fat to help burn body fat. The reason is that all fats produce 9 calories of energy per gram, and the body uses fats mostly as an energy source, along with glucose broken down from the digestion of carbohydrates.
There are three different groups of fats: saturated fats, trans fatty acids, and monounsaturated fats.
Saturated fats should only be eaten in limited amounts because they can raise your cholesterol, increasing your chances of heart disease. People who eat diets high in saturated fats also run a greater risk of developing diabetes and some kinds of cancers. These types of fats are found in meat and dairy products such as beef, pork, cheese, and butter.
Trans fatty acids pose an even greater threat to your cholesterol and heart health. Studies have shown that eating too much of them increases your risk of developing diabetes even more than eating saturated fats. Trans fatty acids are formed when either vegetables or fish oils are hydrogenated. French fries, donuts, cookies, chips, and other snack foods are all high in trans fatty acids. In fact, nearly all fried or baked goods have some trans fat content.
The best kind of fat to include in your daily diet is monounsaturated fat, which is found in plant products such as vegetable oils, nuts, and avocados. Your body uses this type of fat to strengthen cell membranes, support nerve and hormone function, and produce hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which have been linked to the prevention of heart disease and cancers.
There are many benefits to eating the proper amounts of unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids:
- They decrease free radicals in the body
- They lower total cholesterol levels by preventing platelet aggregation and vasoconstriction
- Good fats lower triglycerides
- They raise levels of HDL
- Good fats lower blood pressure
- They decrease symptoms of heart palpitations, also known as angina
- They lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes
- They decrease the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis
- Good fats lower the risk for many types of cancers including breast cancer
Fiber is simply plant food that passes undigested through the small intestine. There are two basic types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber holds less water and includes vegetables, most bran products, and whole grains. These food types provide bulk and help to normalize bowel movements. Soluble fibers hold up to forty times their weight in water and include oats, any type of legume, beans, and psyllium. Citrus and apples, the most soluble fibers, hold one hundred times their weight in water.
These items provide the primary food source for friendly bacteria in the intestinal track. When you do not get enough soluble fiber in your daily diet, this can lead to reduced growth of friendly bacteria, increased growth of unfriendly bacteria, constipation, and increased risk for colorectal cancer. The National Cancer Institute and the American Heart Association recommend eating an average of 25 to 30 grams daily. A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that a high intake of dietary fiber, especially water-soluble fiber, is associated with a reduction of coronary heart disease.
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, eating twice the recommended amount of fiber can have a significant effect on your blood sugar levels. A study by the American Diabetes Association indicates that diabetics could significantly reduce their blood sugar by eating up to 50 grams of fiber per day. This study also showed that a high-fiber diet improved cholesterol levels and lowered the participants' risk of heart disease, which is a major cause of death among people with diabetes.
A long-term study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that eating a high-fiber diet also helps to take off the fat and keep it off. Young adults who ate at least 21 grams of fiber per day gained an average of 8 pounds less over a ten-year period than those who ate the least amount of fiber. When you consider that a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal can contain up to 25 grams of fiber, it is not difficult to get sufficient fiber in your daily diet.
High-fiber foods include the following:
- Raw or lightly cooked vegetables
- Cereals, rolls, and bread made from whole-grain flour
- Nuts, beans, peas, lentils, potatoes, and yams (with the skins on)
- Whole grains, such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole or rolled oats, buckwheat, amaranth, and brown rice
- Raw fruits such as apples (with the skins on) and oranges
- Organic dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, dates, and prunes
When you increase your daily intake of fiber, do it slowly at first to avoid discomfort and flatulence. Make sure to take a multivitamin, since fiber speeds digestion and might deplete the body of certain vitamins.