Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fit FactorY: Foods to Combat Aging

Aging is something us Generation Y people must think about as early as now, especially when you're as vain as I am ;) The general idea is to pack your diet with as many fruits and vegetables, and whole foods as possible. You should also think about regularly taking natural antioxidants.

The easiest rule to live by when purchasing your fruits and vegetables is to think of your diet as a color palette! When going to the grocery, get reds (tomatoes, apples, etc), purples (beets, eggplants, etc), greens (spinach, broccoli, etc), yellows (yellow peppers, etc), the list goes on.

For your whole foods, you may choose from a list of cereals, whole-grain products, and whole-wheat products. Basically, you need to buy products that have been least refined/processed.

Here is a list of munchies and drinks that are high in antioxidants:
Green / Black Tea
Spices like Cinnamon, Oregano, Cloves
Dry Fruits like Apricots, Prunes, and Dates

You should also get your daily dosage of protein, of course, from fish products like salmon and tuna. Salmon has an additional benefit of providing calcium.

The good thing about this diet is that you keep fit, without letting go of the comforts of variety!

To view the actual menu plan, head on over to the Yahoo Health article:
Yahoo Health Article Anti-Aging Menu Plan

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fit Sandwiches FactorY

The sandwich is the quintessential lunch for the Generation Y person. It's easy to purchase from any nearby cafe/deli/etc., you can eat it on the go, and it's healthy too.

Whoops, take 1 step back there. Sandwiches may not always be as healthy as we think. Take for example Romano’s Macaroni Grill Grilled Chicken and Artichoke Sandwich. Sounds healthy, right? Chicken's grilled, so there's less oil in the picture, it has artichokes. It must be good for you! Not really. I was shocked to find out that studies show this sandwich is loaded with 1,260 yucky calories (That's like eating more than 20 Chicken McNuggets!), and 2,990 mg sodium.

Another stereotype to bust is the idea that vegetarian is always equal to healthy and keeping fit. It may be true most of the time, but condiments and portion size are very important to consider as well. The 12-inch Blimpie Special Vegetarian sandwich is packed with almost as much calories as the Grilled Chicken number (1,186 calories), mainly because it is 12 inches long, and because of all the oils and yummy condiments they add on to the sandwich.

I guess this means that we can't always tell something is healthy and fit at face value. In general though, I think if we have the sandwich maker hold the condiments (or cut down on them), and if we mind the serving size of the sandwich we eat, we can avoid being fooled by these unhealthy "health sandwiches".

~ Fit FactorY

Sunday, April 5, 2009

L-Carnatine for a More Fit You - Does it Work? Is it Safe?

You've probably seen these bottles in your average grocery or convenience store - Colored flavorful drinks that claim to keep you fit, factory packaged in average labels.

Too good to be true? The advertisements try to say otherwise, claiming that these tasty drinks (sometimes they come in pills) really are effective. But let's see what the doctors and researchers say about them.

The drink's main component is called L-Carnatine, which is a naturally occurring amino acid that metabolizes fat, by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria, the powerhouse of our body's cells. This amino acid is also responsible for increasing our energy as we go through our aerobic activities.

Basically, L-Carnatine gives you that slim, fit body by burning tryglycerides instead of glycogen for our fuel as we exercise. By saving more glycogen, you are able to sustain more energy, and spend more time burning more fat.

What do the studies show?

A study made by M. H. Williams in 1992, showed that L-carnitine didn't help among endurance athletes. In 1995, McCarty said it did help people lose weight.

I've scoured forums, and the comments of people were as varied. Some said they didn't lose a single pound. Some said they lost a bit, but are unsure if it had anything to do with L-Carnitine. Then there are the miracle stories that said L-Carnatine really did help them trim their body, combined with an exercise regimen

How much do you need to take?
Some say that we get enough L-carnitine from meat and dairy products. The good thing is that if we take in more L-carnitine than we need, we just excrete them out. There have not been any serious side effects to taking it.

If you are taking L-Carnitine, please leave a comment and tell us its effect on you.

~ Fit FactorY