Tag Archives: fat

Powerful Punchy Pumpkin Seeds

Maintaining a healthy diet is just as important as exercise when it comes to practicing a healthy lifestyle. Many of us are looking at new ways of introducing healthy super foods into our diets, but as our days become busier and schedules become booked up, it’s easy to pick up the wrong kind of snack foods. Say no to doughnuts and crisps and grab yourself a handful of powerful punchy Pumpkin seeds.

Not only are they deliciously more-ish, they’re easy to transport around with you during a busy working day, whilst being widely available in ready to eat packaging. Be wary that they are high in calorific content, so moderation is the key (as is the case with everything). Here are the top 4 pumpkin seed benefits which demonstrate why the pumpkin is the pumpking!

Help control stress

The naturally high level of L-trytophan found in pumpkin seeds have been shown to calm the nerves and maintain a “calm mood”. Ease your stress levels by munching on a handful of the “pumpking” seeds and taking a 5 minute break from your desk!

Glowing Skin

Pumpkin seeds contain a high level of vitamin E, preventing the early breakdown of skin cells. This helps to maintain a youthful looking glow whilst combating high levels of UV found in the sun. Perfect accompaniment for those in a warmer climate.

Lower cholesterol

Packed with phytosterol, which help to reduce cholesterol levels, toasted seeds contain healthy compounds that help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. This increases your immune response whilst helping to decrease the risk of certain cancers.

They fill you up!

Packed with high levels of protein and fibre, the pumpkin seed is great snack to turn to for a quick fill me up. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds, seasoned with a dash of salt!

Februarys Hearty Seasonal Offerings

The start of a New Year can mean new beginnings for many people in their own different ways. A common NY resolution involves some sort of “naughty” food being banished from the cupboards for as long as you can mentally bear it. Others include squeezing in more exercise, cutting down on drinking, and of course the classic – losing weight. Healthy targets such as these are great for your well-being short-term, but it’s the long term changes that really make the difference.

February brings more than just another month – Seasonal produce that you’ll see in most supermarkets will begin to offer some of the best nourishment the winter month has to offer. Below are our top four foods that are guaranteed to add a seasonal flavour to any dish:

Artichokes

Often overlooked by many, the humble artichoke is often left behind due to the daunting preparation methods required. Don’t be put off – once you start peeling back the layers, you’ll realise it’s a lot easier than you think. This vegetable is high in nutritional value, and can be very tasty when prepared properly. Artichoke is packed with antioxidants to help defend against illness, whilst providing cyanic properties to help ward off cholesterol. Serve as a side salad mixed with pesto and a generous squeeze of lemon – delicious!

Cockles

Bare with us on this one – the typical British seaside snack really doesn’t appeal to the majority. The truth is the pocket-sized cockle is rich in Omega 3 which has been proven to help protect the heart. They’re naturally low in calories, whilst being rich in vitamin B12 which literally translates to “brain food” to you and me. Steam them mixed into pasta or use them liberally in your next fish pie.

Kale

The rich deep greens of Kale play into the often spoken rule “if it’s green then it’s good for you.” Kale is a perfect example of a winter super food  sprouting from the cabbage family with an endlist list of benefits. Packed with natural sources of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, Kale is great for your hair, teeth, skin and bones. Serve steamed as a side dish or drop into soups & stews for added nutrients.

Grapefruit

Certainly not a typical addition to a winter list of super foods  the grapefruit isn’t just for those looking to cut out unwanted calories. This juicy fleshed fruit can be found in a variety of colours, naturally low in calories making it a perfect kick starter for your metabolism. Eat it on it’s own or get creative – it works great with a leafy nutty salad!

What superfoods do you look forward to you in the fall of Winter / Sprout of Spring? Tweet us or get in touch! @healthyhideout

 

The 3 Main Principles of Losing Weight!

Losing weight has been touched upon by countless articles, blogs, newspapers and magazines detailing how you can do lots of different things in order to shift the excess fat around your midrift. At the Healthy Hideout we believe there is no miracle cure or magic serum that you take one morning, to find yourself waking up a pound lighter the next day.

Losing weight requires serious dedication from you and you only – that’s the only way you’re going to see serious changes. If you change your attitude towards wanting to lose weight, and actually believing that you can, you’ve got a higher chance of seeing some changes. Easier said than done right? It’s probably why a lot of people invest into personal trainers who shout nothing but confidence boosting (or breaking) statements in your general direction for 60 minutes. It doesn’t work for everyone though.

There are many programs that work for people out there, such as the “Burn the Fat” program at http://www.burnthefat.com. These guys have a proven track record with thousands of satisfied customers who’ve seen the program reap huge results for them personally.

But when it comes to losing weight, you can often find solid results come from sticking to the 3 Main Principles of Losing Weight. It doesn’t get much simpler than this:

  • Decrease calorie intake – If you’re eating more than 2000 calories a day (2500 calories for men) then you’re eating more than the recommended daily intake or RDA. By eating more than your body needs, your body will look to store the excess energy as fat.
  • Increase calorie burn – After maintaining your calorie intake, it’s important to increase your amount of calorie. This is done through exercise, and unfortunately there’s really no other way. Try to commit yourself to at least 30 minutes a day for the best results.
  • Cut down on the bad stuff – This is the most obvious of the three, but it’s important to make extra effort to cut out all the bad stuff from your diet. This includes fizzy sugary drinks, confectionery, chocolate, pastries,baked goods, fast food – the list can go out. Cut out the bad stuff and you’ll see some serious results. You’ll feel better too!

Are you currently losing weight or participating in a weight loss program? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or follow us on twitter: @healthyhideout

 

5 Top Foods for a Flat Stomach

OK – So the summer season is quickly coming to close, with the doors to Autumn & Winter swinging wide open. But that doesn’t mean that your fitness and looking good need to go out of the window. The heavy jumpers and trousers may hide your figure from the public, but you’ll still know inside you what’s going on underneath those layers!

Not many people know that achieving a flat stomach can be easier than getting rid of the dreaded “love handles” – Your stomach is more about what you eat and how much of it you eat. Chewing your food throughly for example, triggers the stomach to create more stomach acid which helps to maintain a smooth digestive process. Not chewing food properly can cause food to ferment in the gut, leaving your feeling overly full and bloated.

The following top five foods are great ways to help achieve a flat stomach:

  • Oats – A easy balanced breakfast that’s guaranteed to fill you up. It makes a great alternative to the wheat based cereals that are laced in salts & sugars which don’t even keep you alert a few hours later. Don’t take our word for it either – The benefits over oats compared to these cereals is well documented.  As written in You Can be Thin by Marisa Peer, oats help to feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, helping you feel fuller for longer. Getting the right start to the day is the first step to a flat stomach – It’s a great way to cut out all the cravings for sugary snacks during the day.
  • Yoghurt – According to the The Food Doctor by Ian Marber eating a pot of plain yoghurt each day can be a great way of trimming the abdominal area.  Packed with gut friendly bacteria, yoghurt can help to reduce that bloated feeling that you may get after eating. If plain yoghurt doesn’t sound too appetising, try adding some honey, seeds or sliced fruit for flavour. Contrary to popular belief, it’s important to avoid fat free yoghurt. You’ll find it contains more sugar than the standard stuff!
  • Berries – If you’re concerned about looking too bloated, it may be worth looking at cutting out any fruit juices you may have in your diet. Ian Marber author of How Not To Get Fat demonstrates how the fructose in fruit juices can create carbon dioxide in the gut which causes the digestive process to slow down. Replace these fruit juices with fresh berries which are available in abundance this time of year. Mix it up with a spoonful of almonds and a drop of agave nectar for a guilt-free treat.
  • Papaya – An exotic fruit not often explored by many, the papaya is a delicate and juicy fruit similiar to the mango in some aspects. A staple food in Miami, where a flat stomach is almost compulsory! Papaya contains a soluble fibre which helps to aid the digestive system, keeping you feeling less bloated and getting you closer to that flat stomach.  Make sure to not eat too much however – excessive papaya can actually trigger bloating!
  • Herbal Teas – One of the easiest changes to make in your diet and quest towards a flat stomach – Cut out all of the fizzy drinks and energy booster liquids! The carbon dioxide used to create the bubbles in these drinks can get into the gut and cause problems. Instead, get yourself involved in the world of herbal tea drinking. The Healthy Hideout offers a great guide on herbal teas which can be found here: 6 Top Teas – The Real Wonder Drink.

Totally Nut-tastic!

Not many of us know this, but a nut is down in the Oxford dictionary as, and I quote “a fruit consisting of a hard shell around an edible kernel.” The nut is in fact part of the fruit family, and contrary to popular belief, nuts are actually good for you when eaten in the correct way.

The following short list provided by the Healthy Hideout gives a quick insight into some of the best nuts available from most grocery stores. Why not look into getting some of these nuts into your diet as soon as possible:

Brazil Nuts – In addition to the usual nut health properties, the brazil nut is unique due to the high selenium content, a mineral proven to help protect against cancer, heart disease and even premature ageing. Limit yourself to a handful a day, as too much selenium can be dangerous. An easy way to incorporate Brazil nuts into your diet is to sprinkle them over rice and vegetable dishes. For a sweet treat, why not try them chocolate? Tasty!

Almonds – There are many arguments both for and against the almonds, as they’ve been derided as a calorific “easy to eat” party snack both high in fat and salt. However, take raw almonds without salt eaten in the correct quantities and you have yourself a great source of protein, fibre and antioxidants – all of which have been proven to help lower cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart of disease.

Cashew Nuts – This common bean shaped nut grows on the stalk of the cashew pear, used frequently in sweet and savoury Asian dishes. Cashews are a great source of magnesium, helping support healthy muscle & bone growth. The high-fibre properties of the cashew nut are also used in effective weight management when eaten in moderation.

Pistachio Nuts – Unsalted pistachios are a nutrient packed food dense with a considerable amount of vitamins and minerals, making them quite  a perfect snack. A single one ounce serving of around 30 nuts contains up to 10% of your daily requirements of fibre, magnesium and B vitamins. Perfect for keeping your immunity system strong and healthy.

Walnuts – These hard shelled nuts contain an impressive level of mono unsaturated fats, with more omega 3 than any other nut. Some studies have shown how walnuts can help fight against depression, whilst helping to maintain a healthy heart. Tests have shown how eating 8 walnuts a day can help lower cholesterol by up to 10%.

Lethal fats in your weekly shopping

When you get home from your weekly shop at a major supermarket you may be surprised to find many of your items filled with a scary little fat that is known to contribute towards coronary heart disease. The ingredient to look for on your shopping labels is ‘hydrogenated vegetable oil’ or ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oil’, as these foods can often contain trans fats.  Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen to liquid oils to transform them into a solid or semi-solid state. The problem with trans fats is that they are high in LDL cholesterol, which is the bad type that you should try to reduce.

The benefits to the food industry don’t seem to come from extra flavour or nutritional benefits but due to cost and to make the food last longer on the supermarket shelves. It seems that the problem stems from the body’s inability to easily metabolise trans fats. The human enzyme lipase is ineffective against the hydrogenated vegetable oil trans fat. Alex Renton from the Daily Mail likens it to eating candle wax where the fats stay in your blood for longer and are more likely to form deposits on your artery walls. Nutrition experts even say they are more dangerous than the butter they replaced.

Cooking French Fries

Be careful what oils are used when cooking french fries

After many campaigns to eradicate trans fats from foods the food industry started to listen but it seems that trans fats still remain in a host of products. Foods that are more likely to contain trans fats include commercially baked goods such as crackers and cookies as well as fried foods like doughnuts and fries. Other foods to be careful about include: muffins, pizza, pastries, meats, cheeses, cakes and pies.

The problem with trans fats is that we are often unaware of the health risks. Unlike the risks with consuming alcohol or cigarettes that have been well documented, trans fats are often a hidden danger that leaves the consumer in the dark. Be careful what you put into your body and try to minimise your intake of both saturated and trans fat foods.