Our society is set up to regard meat eating as the 'norm'. Those people who choose a vegetarian diet are often thought of as difficut, 'trying to be different' or just odd. A common nutritional fallacy is that meat and animal products must be consumed in order to maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet. Many people these days are finding out the many health benefits of a "vegetarian diet" . Additionally, many physicians and nutritionalists are prescribing and endorsing plant-based meals in order to promote health, prevent and treat certain diseases, and even to reduce weight. There are many products now becoming available in shops and supermarkets that contain health enhancing plant extracts.These are mixed in yoghurts,spreads and cheeses, to specifically lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, enhance energy levels and boost immune systems. Who knows what other benefits are just around the corner in plant extracts.Although vegetarianism may seem like a modern idea, in reality, its health benefits have been known for many years in cultures around the world. India and the far east make up the largest percentage of the world's vegetarians, both for health and spiritual reasons. One group of people, the Hunza, who live near the Himalaya's have a diet which is exclusively vegetarian. Members of their community reportedly often live to be over 100 years of age.The American Dietetic Association say that the benefits of a vegetarian diet can include;Lower cholesterol levelsLower levels of saturated fatsLower body fatReduced rates of heart diseaseLower blood pressureLower incidence of type-2 diabetesLower instances of certain cancersHigher levels of important minerals and antioxidant vitaminsObesity is one of the major health concerns in the western world. It can be addressed with a vegetarian diet, one that eliminates excess protein and animal fat consumption, and increases fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Those who consume a vegetarian diet tend to maintain a lower body mass index (BMI), which significantly aids in the treatment and management of other chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. A lower BMI is an aim of anyone looking to improve their general health, whether by diet, exercise, or preferably both.One question often asked by those considering a vegetarian diet is; "Will I get enough protein? This is certainly a valid question, as protein is necessary for the building, maintenance and function of all body cells. In fact, a varied and well-balanced vegetarian diet actually provides all the protein the body needs, obtained by eating such things as whole grains, beans, nuts and soy products. In fact, meat-based diets typically provide an excess of protein, which may actually be harmful. High protein levels can put more strain on the kidneys. A leading gerontological journal reports that too much protein can cause a person to lose about 30% of their kidney function by the time they reach old age. It can also cause systemic acidity, which the body attempts to counter by leeching calcium out of the bones, which can lead to osteoporosis. Becoming a vegetarian does not mean you are limited to eating carrots, fruit and nuts. There are many types of vegetarians that eat meatless diets in a variety of combinations. Some of the more common types include;Lacto vegetarians, who do not eat meat or eggs, but do eat dairy products such as milk and cheese. Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat meat, but will eat dairy products and eggs. Ovo vegetarians do not eat meat or dairy products, but will eat eggs. Vegans do not eat meat, dairy products, eggs, or any animal products at all. There are many medical and health organizations that promote, endorse, and support people on a path toward changing their dietary lifestyle to one that includes more plant-based foods. There is a lot of information on the internet, as well as through medical providers and vegetarian organizations. Numerous books and articles are easily found.Many restaurants, grocery stores and supermarkets now provide meals and products to vegetarians, making it simpler to choose this healthy lifestyle. Remember that at the end of the day it is your decision. If you want to simply keep eating a little meat, while exploring deeper into the vegetarian side, then do that. Don't worry about the 'purists'. There is no law to say you cannot eat a little meat, fish or chicken along the way - it's your life and your choice. Once you start eating more vegetarian food though, many people find they start to lose their taste for meat. The main thing is to enjoy the food and feel healthier by doing so.On a final note, consider using either all organic vegetables and fruit, or at least as much as you can source. Organic produce really makes a great deal of difference to the taste and texture, and you have the security of mind that what you are eating is free of pesticides and other chemicals. More information on this will be found in the next article, or on our web site.
Bariatric surgery for weight loss may be a life-saving procedure, but it is not cheap. Although a number of insurance companies cover the procedure, many individuals find that their medical insurance providers balk at the cost. Most insurance companies require a letter outlining a patients weigh-loss history and the medical necessity for the surgery before they will even consider financing the procedure. Even with a carefully crafted letter, many insurance companies will refuse to authorize the surgery.If this happens, the patient should not give up hope, since most insurance providers give patients an opportunity to appeal a denial. Most insurance companies require that patients appeal within 30-60 days after receiving a denial of coverage. The bariatric surgery insurance Appeal Letter should include information disputing the insurance providers reason for denial. As a last result, patients may need an attorney to help prove the medical necessity of the procedure.For patients with no insurance, there are financial alternatives available. A number of financial institutions offer financing specifically for healthcare expenses such as co-payments, deductibles, and procedures not covered by insurance, including bariatric surgery. Some offer no-interest, same-as-cash plans as well as extended payment plans. Some bariatric surgery centers contract with finance companies to offer financial assistance to patients who are interested in this type of surgery but do not have the insurance to pay for it. Finally, a patient can take out a home equity loan to finance the procedure. Those patients who do elected to pay for bariatric surgery themselves should keep in mind that it may be tax deductible, since it is considered a major medical expense. A consultation with an accountant may e in order.
Copyright 2006 Donovan BaldwinMany people in America today try all sorts of things in pursuit of healthy, permanent weight loss. Unfortunately, they mainly seem to try fad diets, diet pills, celebrity diets, the grapefruit diet...you name it. In fact, stick an adjective or noun in front of the word "diet", and you might be the creator of the next diet craze.While someone might temporarily lose a few pounds with a "diet", diets are not successful when it comes to permanent "weight loss" and healthy weight loss.As they say, I have some good news and some bad news.The good news is that there IS a known and proven way to achieve significant, healthy, permanent weight loss. More good news is that, although some modification to what you presently like to eat will be necessary, extremely drastic changes are seldom required. Oh, yes, you might have to learn to substitute something you don't like that much right now for something you do like, but, in time, you can get accustomed to this, and even learn to like the new flavors and foods. I know. I've been there.The bad news is that, along with modifications to your eating habits, you are going to have to become more active. Dare I say it....?You will have to exercise!The benefits of exercise is an article in itself, and I have written elsewhere about how exercise can take many forms, so there is no need to lock yourself into an unpleasant or painful exercise regimen. What I really want to do here is give a small pitch for the practice of yoga as my exercise program of choice. Remember, however, my exercise program of choice might not be yours. As much as I like yoga, you will have to decide if yoga is right for you.Before I speak specifically about yoga, let's just list some of the known benefits of regular exercise in general. Exercise...>Reduces the risk or affects of many illnesses and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis to name a few. Some studies even show possible reductions in the risk for some cancers.>Elevates mood and reduces depression.>Helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, joints, and nervous system.>Delays affects of ageing, making seniors more mobile and self sufficient and less likely to fall prey to injury or illness.>Reduces risk of premature death (sounds like a big one to me).>Helps maintain a healthy weight.Okay, since any good exercise program can provide these benefits, what does yoga have to offer that makes it special?In addition to providing the basic benefits of exercise in general, yoga does have a few specific things going for it.1. Despite the apparently agonizing contortions seen in every yoga book, the benefit is in the attempt to achieve the position. The models in the books arrived at their present level of ability over time, and many a skilled practitioner of yoga today began in the same shape you're in right now. It is okay to modify a position or to come out of it a little early if your body is not ready yet. The regular practice of your best version of the movement or position (asana), combined with yoga breathing techniques (easily learned) will produce progress over time.2. No personal trainer or special equipment is needed, nor is it necessary to go to the gym or even out in public at all. You can do yoga naked if you don't have a pair of gym shorts, and a carpet is just as good as a yoga mat...at least at first. Yoga is actually so simple that it CAN be learned from a book, although it certainly wouldn't hurt to get guidance or training from a certified instructor.3. Yoga is relaxing and relieves stress. Not only is this of great personal value in today's world, but if any part of your weight loss problem is stress related, and I can almost guarantee some relationship, the stress relief offered by yoga can ease that portion of your weight loss journey.4. In addition to being good for your health for several reasons, simply learning yoga breathing and practicing it regularly can help you burn fat.5. As you begin to progress in your ability to better perform yoga poses (asanas) you will notice a sense of control, of mastery of life and self, which will become more evident. This new inner strength will aid you in facing difficulties, including temptations concerning eating and your new eating behaviors. You will also find yourself more forgiving, not only of others, but of yourself as well, and when you slide a little, you will be better able to shrug it off and get back on your path to success.6. With more progress in your yoga practice, you will begin to experience new feelings of health, strength, and well-being. These feelings will in turn motivate you to take even more control of your life so that you can continue your progress with no desire or temptation to return to the way things used to be.Nothing is perfect for everyone, but, as you can see, the practice of yoga does have some benefits to offer which may make it valuable in the pursuit of healthy, permanent weight loss.
There are many people who attempting to lose weight, some will succeed and others will fail, however the biggest battle for people who are able to reduce their weight, is often to keep to their ideal weight. Many people will find that they have soon returned to the weight that they were before they went on their diet or even that they are actually fatter. This can of course be very depressive and can result in them losing a lot of their self-esteem. What is needed is for a permanent solution to their weight problems.There are some obvious routes to take in the battle to "lose weight" . They would include increasing the amount in which we exercise and reducing the amount we eat. It is this eating issue that can be the hardest to control and to reduce as our temptations often get the better of us.In my opinion what we need to do is to make our house a fat free zone. If we become hungry and start looking through the cupboards and notice for example a packet of crisps, it can often be very difficult not to eat them. Our desire for instant food can become too great and our inner demons try and convince us that one packet will not hurt. If that packet of crisps had not been in the cupboard we would have not been put into that position of temptation and would of course not have been able to eat them.A number of years ago, when I went about losing my own excess weight, I decided to remove all of the foods from all of the cupboards which I was aware that I needed to stop eating. I also removed certain drinks such as alcoholic drinks which were also something which contributed to my weight problems. I put into the dustbin all of the takeaway menus that I had and basically attempted to make it as hard as possible for me to eat or drink anything that I shouldn't have been.When out and about I had to be determined to keep to my diet and to not be tempted to buy any of these items from the shops etc. This was not easy to do as I am somebody who loves all of these fatty type foods. In my weekly food shop I bought far more fruit and vegetables and was surprised at how quickly my taste buds started to change. I soon looked forward to eating an apple as an example and the weight slowly but surely started to reduce.After a number of months I reached a weight that I was happy with. My wife stated that I was now able to start eating items such as dry roasted peanuts, this was a particular favourite of mine. This was possibly true but could easily result in a return to my old bad habits and of course weight problems. I decided to stick with the fruit and my cupboards are still free of those foods which I love to eat but which are not good for my weight.
What is the best fat burner?This article will tell you but my approach is a little different. I am not going to tell you the "best fat burner" by discussing certain ingredients or chemicals or telling you some particular brand name is the greatest.No. I am going to let the average person decide by casting a vote. I used an internet tool that let me determine how many searches were performed for a particular word or phrase at a certain search engine.The results were for the month of May, 2006. I selected well known weight loss pills, brand names or an ingredient and then entered that word or phrase to get my numerical result.The top vote getter, the most searched term for an herbal diet pill or what the people think is the best fat burner is "ephedra".Here are the results:Ephedra 86,507Hydroxycut 52,524Xenadrine 32,650Stacker 2 19,031Metabolife 9,819Ephedrine 42,575Green Tea 40,856Chromium 8,754Let me note a few things of interest.More people searched for the term "ephedra" during the month of May, 2006 while searching for information on a weight loss pill or "diet pill" than any other well known brand or ingredient.But what's interesting is, most people think ephedra is illegal or no longer available. Plus, ephedra is just one herbal ingredient in many fat burners.Green tea, while it has many other benefits was not searched as often as ephedra which is considered illegal by many people.This is also curious. The brand name Metabolife is a brand that is no longer around. The company has gone bankrupt from lawsuits yet almost 10,000 people a month search for this once great weight loss product.Another interesting point is that the word "ephedrine" is actually a chemical within the herbal ephedra plant, but a large number of people are searching for this chemical.Ephedrine is the major reason the herbal plant, ephedra, works so well and is considered the best fat burner, certainly among the general population of people searching the internet for weight loss pills or diet pills.