nutritional label

Fat The Good and Bad Guide For Optimal Health

There is a lot of bad information about dietary fat. Many believe it’s awful and only increases the waistline. As a matter of fact, it’s essential for health. Good fat keeps skin, organs, blood and muscles functioning properly. Most importantly, nerves have a fatty protective layer to ensure proper function. It’s similar to the covering of wires to a bulb. 

close nutritional label with fat and carbohydrates

Of course, not all fat is the same.  Differences exist. Some are far more beneficial for your body than others. Thus, learning the difference between good and bad fat is important for optimal health. 

Trans Fat Is Bad

By far, the most dangerous is trans fat which is a byproduct of hydrogenation. The process turns liquid oils into solids to improve shelf life of packaged foods. On labels, you’ll see them as “partially hydrogenated oil.” Found primarily in processed foods, even small amounts can increase your risk of chronic disease. 

Eating foods with trans fat directly increases the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your bloodstream. Increases in LDL can lead to inflammation, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions. Research shows every 2% of calories from trans fat increases risk of heart disease by 23%. Link here

Good Fat Equals Optimal Health

Foods like nuts, seeds, and some vegetables contain good fats. Monounsaturated fat includes common oils like olive, peanut, and canola while polyunsaturated fats are known as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 and 6  can be found in eggs, fish, organ meats, and nuts. Keep in mind that omega-3 is the best type. 

Your body can not make mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thus, you must obtain them from your diet. When eaten in moderation, both mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids help optimize health. 

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cheeses in foreground

Probiotics Could Improve Overall Health

Boost your probiotic levels from beverages, food, or a natural supplement. The use of probiotic capsules, tablets, and powders contain a variety of bacterial strains. Subsequently, a product with an extensive bacterial strain is best for health. 

cheeses probiotics

Not All Products Are The Same

There is large body of evidence that show various benefits of supplementation. Link here. With so many choices, follow these general rules.    

    • Check the CFU (Colony Forming Units). This number will be on the front of the box and usually ranges from 3-50 billion CFU. The larger the number, the more potent the product 
    • What strains are present? Everyone’s body reacts differently to bacterial strains. Therefore, a supplement with a wide variety of bacteria is more likely impact health
    • What is the shelf life? Probiotic supplements contain live bacterial colonies. Thus, buying supplements directly from the manufacturer is ideal. Furthermore, products bought from a big box store has the chance to be stuck on a shelf closer to expiration.  

Natural Forms Of Probiotics

Fermentation is the result of the food breakdown and bacterial growth. Kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, some cheeses, and yogurt use fermentation to produce the final product. Similarly, kombucha is a popular drink with live bacteria.

How Long Does This Take?

Most noteworthy,  products will use the terms raw or unpasteurized to denote live bacteria. In conclusion, the use of probiotics takes time and consistency to build good bacteria. Consequently, 4-6 months is a fair amount of time for colonization to take place. 

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cinnamon sticks spices

Cinnamon Powerful Health Punch

Cinnamon’s potent health benefits derive from the Cinnamomum tree. The bark, specifically, contains several compounds responsible for its health-promoting properties. The compounds include cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate. Together, these compounds make cinnamon one of the most beneficial spices. Therefore, it’s rich with antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, and immunity-boosting abilities.  

cinnamon sticks spices

 How Much Can I Use?

The best part? Even a little goes a long way. Just a half teaspoon can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, and immunity, among other benefits. Stronger doses can improve heart disease while curbing users’ risk for diabetes, cancer, and degenerative diseases.

Use and Find Cinnamon

What are some simple ways to get cinnamon in your diet?  For instance, sprinkle cinnamon on top of oatmeal, cereal, or toast in the morning. Also, add a teaspoon to your protein shake or smoothie. Lastly, stir in a teaspoon into a glass of herbal tea. Alternatively, cinnamon is available in supplement form. It can be picked up at any pharmacy or drugstore. It’s commonly packaged as a solo supplement or as a component in blood sugar support supplements.  Most importantly a balanced diet with healthy fats and proteins goes a long way to optimal health. 

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