When people think of low fat diets, they generally think of weight loss. While limiting daily fat intake will typically result in some weight loss, there are many other health benefits that make following a low fat diet a good option for anyone.Before you get started on your own diet plan, it’s important to understand that there are different types of fat. Your body needs some fat in order to function properly. The “good” fats are called unsaturated fats and are in oils that are typically found in plants. These fats are in things like olive, vegetable, corn and coconut oils. Saturated fats, in moderation, are actually good for you. The fats that you want to try to limit are called saturated fats and they come from dairy, meat and animal products. Things like bacon, hamburgers, ice cream and cheese are loaded with saturated fats and are more difficult for your body to break down. They can cause damage to your arteries and they also raise your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. The last type of fats is called Trans fats. Trans fats are found in products like cookies, cakes and potato chips. There is no health benefit to Trans fats and if possible, they should be avoided altogether.Understanding the different types of fat will help you to begin to follow a diet which will improve your overall health. Diets that are low in fat have been proven to help reduce your risk for serious medical conditions. In addition to weight loss, some of the long term health benefits of a low fat diet are:Lower cholesterol: High cholesterol contributes to a whole host of cardiovascular problems including stroke, coronary disease and vascular disease. Having high cholesterol causes plaque to build up in your arteries, narrowing the passage and limiting the blood flow to your heart. Lowering your cholesterol by managing your fat intake therefore reduces your risk of developing heart disease.Reduced risk of heart disease: Because of the lowering of your cholesterol, a diet low in fat contributes to better overall heart health and reduced risk of heart and vascular diseases, stroke and heart attacks. A best diet plan combined with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise is the best way to ward off heart problems.Reduced chance of developing diabetes: Being overweight is the biggest risk factor for developing diabetes. Since following a low fat diet helps to control weight, it also reduces your risk of having weight related diabetes later in life.In addition to these medical benefits, there is also the benefit of just plain old feeling better! Diets that are high in fat can often make you feel sluggish and tired. When you incorporate a healthy diet plan into your lifestyle, you will undoubtedly notice an increase in energy and experience less daytime fatigue. Studies have shown that a diet low in fats contributed to better sleep and fewer cases of sleep apnea and snoring.While following a diet alone won’t solve or prevent all health problems, there are definitely enough health benefits to make it worthwhile. And combining a healthy diet with regular exercise will put you on your way to improved health, weight loss and a healthier life.
When it comes to summer health care we often hear about the need to apply sunscreen, wear sunglasses to protect our eyes, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. But the longer days of sun light and warm weather create an opportunity to buoy our health in ways that impact our lives well beyond Labor Day. Check out these summer health tips to deepen and expand the health of your body, mind and spirit.Summer Health Tips: 9 Ways To Boost Your Health Beyond Sunscreen1. Deepen The Spiritual Awakening of Spring — We commonly “Spring Clean” our lives, cleaning out the cobwebs physically, mentally and spiritually with greater attention toward renewal. Deepen this “awakening.” For instance, did you de-clutter any part of your home? Think about emotional and mental impact this had and delve into how incorporating a “no-clutter” attitude, replete with loving every item in your home, amplifies your overall wellbeing. Or, did you perhaps “Spring Clean” your body? Think about how well you felt after the cleanse and consider adapting a cleanse-like mentality to your everyday nutrition.2. Slow Down — Summer is chock full of delights for the senses. Meander through a botanical garden, plant an herb garden (even on your window sill!), or enjoy your local farmer’s market or take a sunrise walk before the hustle bustle of the day starts. See, smell, taste and the joys of summer. Take the time to notice the seasonal changes from day-to-day.3. Experience Nature — Walking in green spaces reduces stress and increases calm, creativity and productivity. But beyond these health benefits connecting with nature allows us to connect with the Earth. It serves as a reminder of our joined destiny, our interdependence, that we are connected to the trees, the plants and all the little creatures big and small that share it with us.4. Relax and Breathe — Create the time to hang out in a hammock, sit on a beach, find a shady spot under a tree in your favorite park and mindfully breathe. There’s something about summer that makes it particularly easy to cultivate a breathing practice. Breathe, stretch, read, write — all great ways to spread your wings, find your voice and connect to your source.5. Take Advantage of the Weather — In other words… be outside every moment you can! Don’t sleep away your weekends. Get up, get active, and enjoy every moment of the gift of long warm days.6. Visit A Farm — Farms are aflutter with life! Baby animals, growing plants, visiting a farm gives us an opportunity to connect with our life source! We are accustomed to food arriving on our plate without giving thought (or thanks) to where its origin. When we become aware on a conscious level, our relationship to the food we eat changes. We slow down and appreciate all the work that went into the food we are about to consumer.7. Enjoy Summer’s Seasonal Bounty — Oh, the ecstasy of summer foods! Cherries, watermelon, peaches, tomatoes, corn, arugula, rhubarb, melon, berries — it is a feasting bonanza. Take a walk through any farmer’s market and delight in all the produce summer has to offer. Get it while you can!8. Volunteer — With so many hours of daylight it’s a great time of the year to volunteer outdoors. Walking trails, nature trails, community gardens, farms, and conservancy organizations would all welcome your help. Meet other like-minded people, give back to your community and experience the boost in mood and wellbeing that service provides.9. Try Something New — It’s a great time of the year to try out an abundance of activities. Landscape painting, trapeze school, any number of outdoor sports (have you always wanted to know how to play lacrosse? Join a summer beginners league.), surfing, bicycle touring, or whale watching. Make a list and go!What summer health tips would you add to this list? Jot an email and let me know!Happy Summer!