What Are Complex Carbs And Why Do You Need Them

  • By Maxine Dean
  • 21 Apr, 2017

What are the benefits of eating complex carbohydrates

What Are Complex Carbs and Why Do We Need Them?

Have you heard someone mention "complex carbs", and you wondered what they were talking about? Basically, carbohydrates are either simple or complex. At first glance, you may think that simple carbohydrates are better for your body. They are broken down simply, so doesn't it make sense that these would be healthy for you? Actually, the opposite is true.


The Difference Between Complex (Good) and Simple (Bad) Carbohydrates

Complex and simple carbohydrates very differ in how they are absorbed into your body. They are also digested differently. Think of simple carbohydrates as simple sugars. Simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly, and deliver no nutrition, just energy. Complex carbohydrates deliver lots of nutrients and minerals, as well as energy.

Complex carbohydrates have longer molecular chains. So it takes your body a long time to break them down and absorb them. This leads to an even distribution of energy over a longer period of time, and a much longer feeling of fullness. Simple carbohydrates, like those delivered by refined sugar, enter your bloodstream immediately. They are processed quickly, have little nutritional value, and lead to fat storage, short spikes in energy and an energy crash.

 

Why Your Body Needs Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are important for a few reasons. As mentioned above, they are nutrient and mineral rich. They have all of the vitamins, phytonutrients and healthy, natural goodness your body needs to function properly.

They are usually also very high in dietary fiber. Fiber keeps your digestive system working properly, and helps you regulate a naturally healthy body weight. Complex carbs are energy rich, and deliver that energy consistently over a long period of time.

"Good" carbs promote proper sleep, boosted brain function and a healthy nervous system. In many cases, they are also low in calories, as opposed to unhealthy simple carbohydrates. Simply put, complex carbohydrates deliver much-needed benefits that promote inner and outer overall health.

Some Examples of Complex Carbohydrates

The following list includes some healthy complex carbohydrates you definitely should be eating more of.

·        Quinoa

·        Oats

·        Broccoli

·        Oatmeal

·        Spinach

·        Brown rice

·        Cucumbers

·        Peas

·        Asparagus

·        Beans

·        Soy Milk

·        Whole grain breads

 

Simple Carbohydrates to Avoid

Avoid or limit the following simple carbs. Your health and waistline will thank you.

·        Sugar

·        White carbohydrates – rice, bread, pasta

·        Potatoes - technically a complex carbohydrate, they are treated like simple carbs in your body

·        Desserts, pastries

·        Artificial syrups

·        Candy and cookies

·        Soda and energy drinks

Complex carbs also have great benefits for the skin due to the anti inflammatory properties they posess.

Eat more healthy complex carbs and watch your skin improve

For more information and skin care tips email us @ maxaesthetics@maxaesthetics.com

Visit Us For More Healty Tips Or A Free Healthy skin consultation 

Philadelphia Skin Care And Beauty Blog | Best Skin Care Advice

By Maxine Dean 27 May, 2017
This delicious smoothie is packed full healthy foods to clear your skin and nourish your whole body!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Small Roasted Beet
  • 1 Cup Frozen or Fresh Strawberries
  • ½ a Fresh or Frozen Banana
  • 1 Kale Leaf (torn into small pieces)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Almond Butter
  • ½ Tbsp. Hemp Hearts
  • ½ cup Water
Directions: Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. 

Beets  are a wonderful source  of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, folic acid, Vitamin C, zinc, copper, and iron. Beets also contain the antioxidants  polyphenols and betalains. They are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that protects cells from environmental stress and reducing inflammation. Zinc and folic acid are known to help clear acne. 

Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and Ellagic Acid. Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant known for strengthening your immune systems and anti-aging benefits.  Ellagic acid acts as an antibacterial and an antioxidant. Studies show that ellagic acid helps to negate skin damage caused by UV Radiation such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, the breakdown of collagen and inflammation. 

Kale contains many vitamins and nutrients that are good for skin and whole body, like beta carotene, vitamin k and lutein. Our bodies convert beta carotene into Vitamin A, an antioxidant that increases the rate cellular turnover which can help reduce clogged pores, acne, wrinkles, discoloration and dryness. Vitamin K improves circulation, helps to reduce dark under eye circles, and improves skin elasticity. Lutein, a carotenoid like beta carotene, can provide a bronzed glow to skin when consumed in large quantities. 

Hemp Hearts  are rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) that maintain healthy cells, keeping you skin looking hydrated, plump and youthful. These fatty acids strengthen the skin barrier function to protect the skin from free radical, and  can help soothe inflammation and dryness from a variety of skin concerns.  

Almond Butter is loaded with Vitamin E and fatty acids that help keep skin supple and hydrated. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, strengthens capillary walls, improves moisture, reduces inflammation and aids in the healing of skin. By reducing inflammation and speeding up skin regeneration, Vitamin E is a great help to resolving acne. Vitamin E also helps your body create stores of other vitamins, making them work better. 

By Maxine Dean 25 May, 2017

Quality of life means different things to different people. Happiness also takes a variety of forms. According to a Harris Poll conducted in 2013, only 33 percent or one in three Americans are very happy. However, quality of life and happiness share some common components, good health, financial security and a sense of well-being. While no one experiences a perfect life, it is possible to build a better one by bringing these three components into balance.

 

Health

Keep It Moving

In order to optimize your years and your health, include daily physical activity in your life. This does not necessarily require you to have a gym membership or a regular workout routine. It simply means you spend at least 30 minutes of your day doing some moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. You may choose to engage in dancing, a brisk 30-minute walk, gardening, play intramural sports and more. You can even break your activity into short increments throughout your day as long as it adds up to 30 minutes or more of activity.

When you choose your physical activity, focus on functional fitness. Choose activities which support daily movements, standing from sitting, walking, driving, using stairs, lifting 10 to 15 pounds and actions which require balance. Many accidents and physical restrictions in the elderly are tied to their level of functional fitness.

 

Eat Well

Along with functional fitness, good nutrition sets a strong foundation for good health and a better life. Follow a balanced and varied diet of nutritionally dense foods, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. These food choices give the body the materials it needs to build and maintain healthy cells.

 

Get Some Rest

Sleep deprivation affects approximately 30 million Americans. About 20 percent of Americans average 6 hours of sleep per night. Most people require seven to eight hours of sleep to be at their best physically and cognitively. Aside from causing deficits in attention and thinking capacity, sleep deprivation places people at higher risk for diabetes, accidental injury, high blood pressure and stroke.

Sleep is more important than many people realize. The brain and body do important maintenance work while we sleep. The brain consolidates the day’s learning while the body completes maintenance to its tissues and systems.

 

Pursue A Work-Life Balance To Suit Your Needs

Many people cite quality of life issues as one of the key reasons for their unhappiness. We all need to earn a living wage; how well we balance earning our wage, making time for relationships and pursuing recreational activities greatly impacts our perceived quality of life. The better the balance, the greater a person's perceived quality of life.


 Wealth

Build Your Financial Health

Wealth is more than money. Money is a tool to keep a person in the lifestyle they desire. It is not an end in itself. So, maybe the ultimate goal when it comes to money is not being "rich." Perhaps the goal is to live without exorbitant debt and with the ability to make emergency and "fun money" purchases without decimating your household budget.

Resources to assist people with little financial knowledge are widely available. Financial consultants and literature can guide you through managing and repairing your credit, making a major purchase like a car and creating savings for retirement and vacations. Financial health supports peace of mind.

 

Mood

Act Happy - Be Happy

When things get difficult, the quickest way to happiness is to act happy. Smile when you greet people and when you say goodbye. Go about your day as you would if you were in a good mood. Your actions will coax your head and heart into a happier state.

 

Practice Gratitude

Take a moment every day to note the things, people, circumstances and relationships for which you are grateful. Practicing gratitude allows you to acknowledge what is going well in your life and takes your focus off of the negative. Some people keep a daily gratitude list of five to ten things for which they are grateful. Other people keep an entire journal. A mental note, a list or a journal describing your sources of gratitude in detail--any of these approaches will serve--as long as they allow you to intentionally practice gratitude.

Practicing gratitude fosters a sense of abundance. It creates the expectation of more positive experiences and outcomes. The expectation of positive experiences cultivates actions which create more abundance--more sources of gratitude and a better life.

More Posts

Philadelphia Skin Care And Beauty Blog | Best Skin Care Advice

By Maxine Dean 27 May, 2017
This delicious smoothie is packed full healthy foods to clear your skin and nourish your whole body!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Small Roasted Beet
  • 1 Cup Frozen or Fresh Strawberries
  • ½ a Fresh or Frozen Banana
  • 1 Kale Leaf (torn into small pieces)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Almond Butter
  • ½ Tbsp. Hemp Hearts
  • ½ cup Water
Directions: Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. 

Beets  are a wonderful source  of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, folic acid, Vitamin C, zinc, copper, and iron. Beets also contain the antioxidants  polyphenols and betalains. They are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that protects cells from environmental stress and reducing inflammation. Zinc and folic acid are known to help clear acne. 

Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and Ellagic Acid. Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant known for strengthening your immune systems and anti-aging benefits.  Ellagic acid acts as an antibacterial and an antioxidant. Studies show that ellagic acid helps to negate skin damage caused by UV Radiation such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, the breakdown of collagen and inflammation. 

Kale contains many vitamins and nutrients that are good for skin and whole body, like beta carotene, vitamin k and lutein. Our bodies convert beta carotene into Vitamin A, an antioxidant that increases the rate cellular turnover which can help reduce clogged pores, acne, wrinkles, discoloration and dryness. Vitamin K improves circulation, helps to reduce dark under eye circles, and improves skin elasticity. Lutein, a carotenoid like beta carotene, can provide a bronzed glow to skin when consumed in large quantities. 

Hemp Hearts  are rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) that maintain healthy cells, keeping you skin looking hydrated, plump and youthful. These fatty acids strengthen the skin barrier function to protect the skin from free radical, and  can help soothe inflammation and dryness from a variety of skin concerns.  

Almond Butter is loaded with Vitamin E and fatty acids that help keep skin supple and hydrated. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, strengthens capillary walls, improves moisture, reduces inflammation and aids in the healing of skin. By reducing inflammation and speeding up skin regeneration, Vitamin E is a great help to resolving acne. Vitamin E also helps your body create stores of other vitamins, making them work better. 

By Maxine Dean 25 May, 2017

Quality of life means different things to different people. Happiness also takes a variety of forms. According to a Harris Poll conducted in 2013, only 33 percent or one in three Americans are very happy. However, quality of life and happiness share some common components, good health, financial security and a sense of well-being. While no one experiences a perfect life, it is possible to build a better one by bringing these three components into balance.

 

Health

Keep It Moving

In order to optimize your years and your health, include daily physical activity in your life. This does not necessarily require you to have a gym membership or a regular workout routine. It simply means you spend at least 30 minutes of your day doing some moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. You may choose to engage in dancing, a brisk 30-minute walk, gardening, play intramural sports and more. You can even break your activity into short increments throughout your day as long as it adds up to 30 minutes or more of activity.

When you choose your physical activity, focus on functional fitness. Choose activities which support daily movements, standing from sitting, walking, driving, using stairs, lifting 10 to 15 pounds and actions which require balance. Many accidents and physical restrictions in the elderly are tied to their level of functional fitness.

 

Eat Well

Along with functional fitness, good nutrition sets a strong foundation for good health and a better life. Follow a balanced and varied diet of nutritionally dense foods, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. These food choices give the body the materials it needs to build and maintain healthy cells.

 

Get Some Rest

Sleep deprivation affects approximately 30 million Americans. About 20 percent of Americans average 6 hours of sleep per night. Most people require seven to eight hours of sleep to be at their best physically and cognitively. Aside from causing deficits in attention and thinking capacity, sleep deprivation places people at higher risk for diabetes, accidental injury, high blood pressure and stroke.

Sleep is more important than many people realize. The brain and body do important maintenance work while we sleep. The brain consolidates the day’s learning while the body completes maintenance to its tissues and systems.

 

Pursue A Work-Life Balance To Suit Your Needs

Many people cite quality of life issues as one of the key reasons for their unhappiness. We all need to earn a living wage; how well we balance earning our wage, making time for relationships and pursuing recreational activities greatly impacts our perceived quality of life. The better the balance, the greater a person's perceived quality of life.


 Wealth

Build Your Financial Health

Wealth is more than money. Money is a tool to keep a person in the lifestyle they desire. It is not an end in itself. So, maybe the ultimate goal when it comes to money is not being "rich." Perhaps the goal is to live without exorbitant debt and with the ability to make emergency and "fun money" purchases without decimating your household budget.

Resources to assist people with little financial knowledge are widely available. Financial consultants and literature can guide you through managing and repairing your credit, making a major purchase like a car and creating savings for retirement and vacations. Financial health supports peace of mind.

 

Mood

Act Happy - Be Happy

When things get difficult, the quickest way to happiness is to act happy. Smile when you greet people and when you say goodbye. Go about your day as you would if you were in a good mood. Your actions will coax your head and heart into a happier state.

 

Practice Gratitude

Take a moment every day to note the things, people, circumstances and relationships for which you are grateful. Practicing gratitude allows you to acknowledge what is going well in your life and takes your focus off of the negative. Some people keep a daily gratitude list of five to ten things for which they are grateful. Other people keep an entire journal. A mental note, a list or a journal describing your sources of gratitude in detail--any of these approaches will serve--as long as they allow you to intentionally practice gratitude.

Practicing gratitude fosters a sense of abundance. It creates the expectation of more positive experiences and outcomes. The expectation of positive experiences cultivates actions which create more abundance--more sources of gratitude and a better life.

By Maxine Dean 25 May, 2017

Stress affects just about everyone’s daily lives. Unfortunately, stress is not a benign thing. It can affect your body in ways that canhave a long lasting impact on your health. Here are some ways stress can affect your health:

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Brain - Stress can cause you to lose your concentration and memory abilities. Whether this is psychological or physiological is not completely clear. When you are under stress, parts of your brain associated with memory, such as the hippocampus, do not work well and you cannot turn short-term memory into long-term memory. You can also fail to concentrate on things you hear or things you are reading. It isn’t clear whether this is a long-term effect or short-term effect; however, things like stress reduction techniques seem to be able to restore your ability to think.

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Gastrointestinal Tract - Stress triggers the body’s fight or flight response so that epinephrine and norepinephrine are released from your adrenal glands. This has multiple effects on the body. One thing this phenomenon does is shunt blood away from the gastrointestinal tract and toward the muscles of the body as a way of gearing up to “fight or flee” from a real or imagined opponent. This can lead to a decreased blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract, which translates into indigestion and poor uptake of nutrients. Fortunately, this can be short-lived unless you live under situations of chronic stress. Then the GI system will be more permanently affected.

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Cardiovascular System - Stress causes the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which automatically raises your blood pressure and heart rate. This puts more stress on your heart and puts you at higher risk of suffering from hypertension-related diseases like heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. These kinds of things do not happen overnight but if you suffer from chronic stress, the long lasting implications of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, and stroke are real possibilities, especially if you do not eat well or have a strong family history of heart disease.  

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Immune System - Excess stress also causes the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex. Cortisol has many effects on the body but one of the main ones is that it suppresses the immune system. High levels of cortisol mean that you are at greater risk of getting colds and the flu and have a harder time healing from open sores, cuts, or wounds. Cortisol can suppress several aspects of the immune system so you will find yourself sicker more often when under stress than you would be if you were under less stress.  

Things You Can Do To Reduce Stress

Because stress can wreak havoc on your body, you need to do what you can to lessen the stress on your life so you can remain healthy. Sometimes it is just a matter of reducing the things in your life that are major sources of stress. It might mean getting out of a stressful relationship, getting your finances in order or changing your job situation so you don’t go to work each day with stressful feelings.

If you can’t change your circumstances, you may want to practice stress-relieving techniques. These include things like meditation, Tai chi, yoga, and Qi gong.

These activities can be easily learned through attending classes at a local health club or buy purchasing a DVD that will teach you ways to reduce the amount of stress you perceive in your life so you can live a healthier life.  

Another great way to reduce stress is to take a vacation, or spend time in nature that naturally calms the mind, body, and spirit.





By Maxine Dean 17 May, 2017
This tropical smoothie is packed with vitamins and nutrients for glowing skin and a healthy body.
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Mango
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 Cup Frozen Pineapple
  • 1 Cup Kombucha (any flavor desired)
Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Use all frozen fruit for an frosty, refreshing treat!  

Kombucha is fermented tea drink loaded with naturally occurring probiotics, vinegar, vitamins, enzymes,   and acetic, gluconic and lactic acid. Kombucha tea helps with digestions, relieves inflammation, provides antioxidant support to prevent free radical damage, and supports collagen production for the prevention of fine lines and wrinkle and joint damage! 
 
The fruit in this smoothie are all antioxidant powerhouses that are sure to give your skin an extra boost!

Pineapples  are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Manganese, the enzyme Bromelain, and dietary fiber.  Eating pineapple provides antioxidant and immune support, and is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce signs of aging and breakouts.

Strawberries are extremely high in vitamin C,  folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, magnesium biotin, and ellagic acid. Biotin is essential for strong, healthy skin, hair and nails, and ellagic acid protects elastin fibers from sagging, for firmer skin!  

Mangoes are high in vitamin A which supports health skin function and cellular turn over, for clear and bright looking skin. Mango is a natural source of quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, and enzymes that have been found to protect the body against certain cancers. 


By Maxine Dean 12 May, 2017


It's hard to think of skin as being an organ much less the largest one of the human body. Skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system of human beings. It is our protective barrier against the environment as well as the protective covering for our internal organs and body parts. It helps keep germs and other organism from entering our systems. It serves as our first line of defense against dehydration, extreme temperatures and injury. The skin actually detoxifies harmful substances and germs much like our liver does for us internally.


The average adult has from 18 to 20 square feet of skin covering their entire body which weighs approximately 6 pounds. Skin is one unbroken piece of tissue that covers the whole person. It's amazing to think that just one square inch of skin has 6 million cells. The human skin consists of 3 layers. The top layer which is what we see is called the Epidermis. The middle layer is called the dermis and also contains connective tissue. The third layer is called the Hypodermis or the subcutaneous layer. This layer contains adipose (fat) tissue and blood vessels. Skin has 5,000 sensory points throughout the body. It has 100 glands throughout the skin system as well as 15 sweat glands. Human skin is 00.7 or 2mm in thickness.

The outer most layer or the Epidermis is where melanin is produced. Melanin is the substance that gives us our skin colors as well as helps to protect us against sun rays. The darker a person is the more melanin their skin contains. In the second layer or dermis we find nerve endings sweat and oil glands as well as hair follicles. It is in this layer when the sebum which is the oil produced by the oil glands is produced. The sebum travels to the first layer and gets trapped in the pores creating skin conditions like acne because of this.

Another interesting fact about skin is that skin cells constantly regenerate themselves. This means human skin is always regenerating. The process of skin cellular regeneration begins in the dermis. A skin cell is generated in the dermis first. The same cell travels to the epidermis outer layer over a 14 day period. By the end of 14 days it finally reaches the bottom of the epidermis layer. Once it reaches there it continues to travel upward until it reaches the outermost layer or top of the Epidermis. After it reaches our outermost skin layer it takes two more weeks flattening out there and then it eventually dies. When it dies the cell sheds and then the process starts all over again. So this is how our skins constantly renew its self. We have billions of skin cells that shed daily.

This same idea of shedding the old cells and rejuvenating our skin is used in products to keep us youthful and our skins looking healthy.

The premise is that the old skin needs to constantly be shed so the young skin can remain exposed. That's why there are exfoliating products available for all skin types. These type of skin products do just that it helps with the shedding process. It is important that our bodies do this naturally to keep our skin looking young and remaining healthy.


By Maxine Dean 05 May, 2017
Start a food fight with your acne! Learn what foods can help your body's defense against acne. Anti-inflammatory foods heal the body and the skin by preventing skin issues such as acne, eczema and more. By reducing inflammation in the body in general, we can prevent skin disorders.
By Maxine Dean 21 Apr, 2017

What Are Complex Carbs and Why Do We Need Them?

Have you heard someone mention "complex carbs", and you wondered what they were talking about? Basically, carbohydrates are either simple or complex. At first glance, you may think that simple carbohydrates are better for your body. They are broken down simply, so doesn't it make sense that these would be healthy for you? Actually, the opposite is true.


The Difference Between Complex (Good) and Simple (Bad) Carbohydrates

Complex and simple carbohydrates very differ in how they are absorbed into your body. They are also digested differently. Think of simple carbohydrates as simple sugars. Simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly, and deliver no nutrition, just energy. Complex carbohydrates deliver lots of nutrients and minerals, as well as energy.

Complex carbohydrates have longer molecular chains. So it takes your body a long time to break them down and absorb them. This leads to an even distribution of energy over a longer period of time, and a much longer feeling of fullness. Simple carbohydrates, like those delivered by refined sugar, enter your bloodstream immediately. They are processed quickly, have little nutritional value, and lead to fat storage, short spikes in energy and an energy crash.

 

Why Your Body Needs Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are important for a few reasons. As mentioned above, they are nutrient and mineral rich. They have all of the vitamins, phytonutrients and healthy, natural goodness your body needs to function properly.

They are usually also very high in dietary fiber. Fiber keeps your digestive system working properly, and helps you regulate a naturally healthy body weight. Complex carbs are energy rich, and deliver that energy consistently over a long period of time.

"Good" carbs promote proper sleep, boosted brain function and a healthy nervous system. In many cases, they are also low in calories, as opposed to unhealthy simple carbohydrates. Simply put, complex carbohydrates deliver much-needed benefits that promote inner and outer overall health.

Some Examples of Complex Carbohydrates

The following list includes some healthy complex carbohydrates you definitely should be eating more of.

·        Quinoa

·        Oats

·        Broccoli

·        Oatmeal

·        Spinach

·        Brown rice

·        Cucumbers

·        Peas

·        Asparagus

·        Beans

·        Soy Milk

·        Whole grain breads

 

Simple Carbohydrates to Avoid

Avoid or limit the following simple carbs. Your health and waistline will thank you.

·        Sugar

·        White carbohydrates – rice, bread, pasta

·        Potatoes - technically a complex carbohydrate, they are treated like simple carbs in your body

·        Desserts, pastries

·        Artificial syrups

·        Candy and cookies

·        Soda and energy drinks

Complex carbs also have great benefits for the skin due to the anti inflammatory properties they posess.

Eat more healthy complex carbs and watch your skin improve

For more information and skin care tips email us @ maxaesthetics@maxaesthetics.com

Visit Us For More Healty Tips Or A Free Healthy skin consultation 

By Maxine Dean 06 Jan, 2017

If you look up a definition of unrefined, you will be presented with something that roughly says “not processed to remove impurities”. In essence, that is what unrefined food refers to. However, this could lead to some confusion. In general parlance, we tend to think of refined as being superior to unrefined. When it comes to foods, the opposite is often true. Refined foods tend to be heavily processed, altered or ‘enriched’ foods, whereas unrefined foods are those foods occurring naturally and unaltered. The development of refined foods has grown exponentially in recent years, as society has become busier and more reliant on these convenience foods. 

 In modern society, refined foods serve an important purpose. Unfortunately, their role has grown in stature in the average person’s daily diet. This is not a welcome development. Store bread, packaged pasta, breakfast cereals, flavoured chips, candy bars and soft drinks all hold a strong place in many people's diets, and yet none of these foods are naturally occurring. On the contrary, they are full of artificial preservatives and lacking in many of the necessary and fundamental nutrients and minerals that our bodies thrive on.

 We are a society that demands instant gratification, and that attitude has filtered down to our food. We want quick cook pasta, instant rice and frozen ready meals that can be easily heated up for convenience. From a health perspective, this is incredibly worrying. We are becoming increasingly dependent on these refined foods and moving away from the basic unrefined foods that are so critical to our health. Fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, nuts and seeds and unrefined whole grains are all excellent sources of the fuel that our body craves, but their perceived lack of convenience means they are increasingly shunted to the side. 

 The benefits of adopting a diet more weighted towards unrefined foods cannot be overstated. As with any diet plan, balance is important, but when there exists a choice between unrefined and refined, unrefined should always be the victor. Choosing fresh vegetables and fruit over frozen and canned alternatives is an easy switch to make, but one that all too few people make. Similarly, the difference between making your own home style French fries and cooking frozen ones might be only ten minutes, so why do so few people choose to make their own? To truly overcome our reliance on refined foods, we must first change our convenience approach to diet.

By Maxine Dean 06 Jan, 2017

 Most of us have grown up eating 3 square meals a day; breakfast lunch and dinner. However, the wisdom of this convention has been challenged with increasing regularity in recent years. There are those who insist that eating 5 - 6 times per day, but reducing the amount of food per meal, is a more efficient way of monitoring your intake, is healthier for your body and can lead to weight loss. So just how accurate are these claims? Let’s look at them in more detail.

 Claim 1: More Regular Meals Increase Your Metabolism 

 The most common claim by those who recommend eating more often during the day is that the process of eating a meal raises your metabolism, so by eating several smaller meals every day you are increasing your metabolism more regularly. This, in turn, should lead to more fat being burned by your body. While the statement that eating does increase your metabolism, it’s not quite right to suggest that by digesting more often, you are expending more energy. The truth is that the amount of energy you use when digesting food is directly related to the quantity of food to be digested. The net benefit of more regular meals in this instance is little. 

 Claim 2: Eating More Frequently Helps to Control Cravings  

 This is a far more practical claim, and one that is more readily accepted by many health experts. No matter how big a meal we eat, there always seems to be room for a snack in between meals. This tends to be true regardless of the size of the meals consumed. However, by eating twice as often, you can remove the cravings for snacks, simply because they don’t have time to present themselves. By the time you start to crave a snack, it’s time for your next meal! For this reason, eating several smaller meals per day can be hugely beneficial in monitoring calorific intake.

  Claim 3: Eating More Frequently Helps to Maintain Stable Blood Sugar Levels  

 Unfortunately, this claim stops dead in its tracks when compared against actual evidence. The theory that blood sugar levels can be more accurately maintained by regular meals makes sense, but in practice it has little impact on most people. For this reason, it really shouldn’t be considered a benefit of eating more frequently. The science simply isn’t there to back it up. 

 Conclusion 

Eating more frequently every day might work for some people, but it should not be pitched as a scientific solution to fat loss. Are there benefits? For some people, absolutely. Eating more regularly can be an effective tool in controlling cravings and thus lead to a more managed diet. However, from a strictly biological point of view, the differences between strategies are negligible. Ultimately, if it works for you, stick to it. If it doesn’t, stick to what does work. It’s that simple!

By Maxine Dean 06 Jan, 2017

 While canned food used to be limited to simple vegetables, fishes and beans, the increase in modern demand for long lasting preserved foods has resulted in all manner of food types ending up in canned forms. Canned potatoes, canned burgers and canned whole chickens are just some of the strange offerings that have made their way to shelves in recent years. For many people, canned foods can never or will never be as good as the fresh alternative. However, the reality is not as clear cut as you might think. While some canned produce is undoubtedly less healthy than the fresh alternative, there are some anomalies.

 Beans are one of the most commonly canned goods. From baked beans to kidney beans, the vast majority of beans are sold canned. And are they unhealthier as a result? Not quite. Although being canned does rid beans of some of their folic acid, they retain much the same levels of iron and calcium as with fresh beans. Similarly, canned beans are also a superb source of fibre. When comparing canned to fresh, the argument against canned beans is weak. 

 Corn, or sweetcorn, is also one of the most heavily canned vegetables on our shelves. While there are a number of varieties with canned corn, there remains one fairly inarguable truth; canned corn gives just as much fibre as fresh corn, and does so at a cheaper cost. You do sacrifice some vitamin C along the way, but few people are eating corn because they are looking to get the vitamin C for the day. Much like the beans, canned corn stands up pretty well to scrutiny. 

 Tinned tomatoes are a life-saver. The variety of chopped, peeled, diced or whole tomatoes allow even the laziest of shoppers to find exactly what they want at very affordable prices. That may be all well and good, but what about the nutritional content of tinned tomatoes? The canning process for tomatoes involves preserving them with heat. This process releases a certain carotenoid which has been linked with reducing the risk of certain types of cancers.

 So as you can see, there are huge benefits from some canned goods. This is not to say that you should soon be going out to buy a whole chicken in a can - far from it. However, you also know that not everything in a can is to be avoided. Do your research, and you’ll find that there are some cans worth picking up.

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