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8 High-Fat Foods You Should Eat More For Better Health

8 High-Fat Foods You Should Eat More For Better Health

If you are of a certain age, you probably remember the “fat scare” of the 1980’s and 1990’s, when America looked at its growing waistline and decided that the fat in its diet was to blame for its increasing problem with obesity.  Americans were warned about eating high-fat foods and instead were directed towards a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. The result? The national average weight actually grew and now, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), two out of three Americans are overweight or obese.

Believe it or not, adding healthy fats to the diet can actually turn around disturbing trends like these.

Greek Yogurt

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    The recent craze for Greek yogurt is not just because it is so delicious. It is incredibly healthy, too! Although this thick, tangy yogurt is high in fat, it contains a special fatty acid called CLA which in many studies has shown to actually help those who are overweight reduce their waistlines and achieve their weight loss goals.  It has also been linked to a reduction in diabetes and heart disease.

    The great news is that Greek yogurt doesn’t just bring you healthy fats, it is also a rich source of probiotic bacteria for gut health and calcium to keep your bones healthy and strong and prevent osteoporosis.

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    Yogurt can be eaten in parfaits or added to smoothies for a delicious and nutritious treat.

    Fatty Fish

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      Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, or trout are another great choice if your aim is to get healthy fats into your diet. These fish are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as other healthy acids like EPA and DHA. In many clinical studies, these have all shown to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Reducing inflammation reduces your risk of serious diseases like diabetes and cancer.  It also provides you with high-quality protein that you need to build lean muscle mass.

      Fish can be eaten baked, pan-seared, or added to dishes like salmon loaf for a quick, easy, and delicious meal.

      Olive Oil

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        Many dieticians believe that the so-called “Mediterranean” diet is so healthy because of its emphasis on olive oil, among other healthy foods.  Studies have linked this kind of diet which emphasizes olive oil, fish, and fruits and vegetables to lower rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. In one study published in the journal Molecule, it was found that several compounds in olive oil such as the oleic acid have anti-aging properties as well.

        Olive oil can be used for making stir-fried vegetables, pasta sauce, or mixed with lemon juice for a healthy salad dressing.

        Avocados

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          Avocados were also once avoided by dieters because of the fact that they are high in calories and fats. However, the healthy monounsaturated fats that these fruits contain are actually of great benefit to your health.  In a 2014 study, researchers found that when avocados were fed to obese rats their LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels (both major risk factors for heart disease) actually dropped significantly.

          Avocados can be made into classic dishes like guacamole, sliced fresh into salads, or added to smoothies.

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          Eggs

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            Many health organizations warned consumers against eating more than one to two eggs a week because of the fact that they are high in cholesterol. However, the link between cholesterol in the diet and cholesterol that builds up in the arteries is not as strong as people once thought, and the fact that eggs are so rich in omega-3 fatty acids makes them a health food. This is especially true if you can get organic eggs from pastured, vegetarian-fed hens. They are also a great source of high-quality proteins for those following a vegetarian diet. Eggs are incredibly versatile and can be made into omelets, quiche, and egg salads.

            Nuts

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              Tree nuts such as cashews, almonds, and walnuts are a wonderful source of healthy, unsaturated fats as well as plant-based proteins (making them a great choice for vegan and vegetarians), antioxidants like vitamin E, and dietary fiber to help maintain a healthy digestive system.

              One study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a diet rich in unsaturated fats like those in nuts can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 30%, diabetes by 50%, and the incidence of strokes by 50%.

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              Nuts can be made into nut butters or nut milks (like almond or cashew milk) or added to stir-fries and pasta dishes.

              Coconut Oil

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                People used to skip out on coconut oil especially if they were dieting since it had one of the highest concentrations of saturated fats that you can eat! Nearly 90% of this food is made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s), and a fatty acid called lauric acid.  In multiple studies, these MCFAs have been found to reduce inflammation throughout the body (which also reduces the risk of serious conditions like heart disease and cancer) and to provide important antimicrobial properties to reduce the risk of infection as well.  With a rich taste like coconut oil, what’s not to love?

                Coconut oil can be used for stir-fries and other frying needs to make dishes both more delicious and healthier.

                Dark Chocolate

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                  What woman isn’t excited about the fact that, far from being unhealthy, a moderate amount of dark chocolate in the diet can actually be good for you? It’s true! A study from Louisiana State University found that people who included dark chocolate in their diet at least five times a week (in other words, almost daily), were several points lower on the body mass index (BMI) than those who did not. Dark chocolate not only gives you healthy fats but anti-aging properties from antioxidants as well! Dark chocolate can be eaten as is or added to smoothies or oatmeal to increase the healthy benefits of these dishes.

                  All fats were not created equal! The healthy high-fat foods mentioned above can not only add flavor and goodness to your diet, but can also help lower your chances of many serious chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes and are a necessary part of a truly healthy and balanced diet.

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                  Brian Wu

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                  Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                  Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                  Video Summary

                  Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                  There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                  This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                  Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                  In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                  One Exercise, multiple benefits

                  There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                  By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                  When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                  Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                  In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                  What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                  What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                          5. You’ll improve overall balance

                            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                How to hold a plank position

                                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                  • Prolapse
                                  • After prolapse surgery
                                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                  • Previous childbirth
                                  • Overweight

                                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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