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Healthy Grocery List: What You Need in Your Cart

Eating healthy sounds like a daunting task, especially when you’re at the grocery store. With aisle upon aisle of food (including a lot of temptations), you might be confused as to what to stock up on, and what to skip. Assembling a healthy grocery list doesn’t have to be hard, though. While you might not be able to get everything in one trip, stocking up your cart with good, healthy foods and avoiding picking up too many high calorie snacks is a great way to eat healthy.

When your kitchen is stocked with healthy food, you’re much less likely to eat out, saving yourself a lot of money and calories. So what exactly does a healthy grocery list look like? It will make your trip to the store much easier if you plan ahead of time, and focus on fulfilling each food group at once. We’ve broken down what experts say is the perfect shopping list so that you know what to get before you even pull into the store, making your life much easier and much healthier!



The first stop you’ll want to make on your grocery visit is straight to the produce section. In most cases, vegetables are right at the entrance of a grocery store, meaning that you literally have to pass vegetables on your way in and out to avoid them. These are the most essential items to get into your shopping cart. If you’re shopping for one person in your home, you can make it easier by getting smaller amounts of the following veggies:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Artichokes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower



Right next to the vegetables (and sometimes they just blend them in together depending on the supermarket) is the fruit. Fruit is also an essential part of any diet, and more people tend to stock up on fruit more than vegetables. Like veggies, however, fruits tend to have a pretty short shelf life. Thankfully, most fruits are ones where you pay by the pound, meaning that you can take just a little bit instead of having to worry about large packaging sitting around like some unhealthier snacks out there. Here are the most important fruits to pick up:

  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Melon (Cantaloupe or Watermelon)
  • Apples
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Mangoes



Take the first corner around the produce section, and you’re likely to run into the deli and meat department. While meat not might be for everybody, it’s still a common staple in most households around the world. Instead of going for the fatty beefs that are usually much cheaper, try and splurge a little to get some of the healthier types of meat. Some meats, including chicken, are actually much cheaper than most types because of how common it is. Here are the meats to key in on when shopping:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Tuna
  • Turkey (Breast and Ground)
  • Bison
  • Salmon
  • Sirloin Beef
  • Pork Tenderloin



Most people know what the word grains means, but it can be a little confusing to know how to fill your grains quota when shopping. Basically, a grain is anything where the main component is wheat, oats, barley or rice. There are other types of grains, but the ones you should specifically be looking for are whole-grains. These are going to be much more beneficial for your health overall. To make it a little less confusing in the grocery aisles, here are the whole-grains to look out for:

  • Whole-Grain Pasta
  • Whole-Grain Bread
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Oatmeal (or Rolled Oats)
  • Whole-Grain Cereal (or Granola)



The dairy section is pretty easy to manage as it’s all in one department, but some people tend to load up on too much dairy. Getting the right types for your home will make for better health. It’s suggested that you receive two to three servings of dairy per day. Compared to the four to five servings of fruits and vegetables or the six to eight servings of grains, and dairy won’t take up much room in your cart. Here are the essential dairy products that you probably pick up when you go shopping as it is:

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Almond Milk (or Skim Milk)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • String Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Butter

Oils, Condiments and Sauces


You never really want to load up on too many oils in one day, as doctors suggest you stick to no more than three servings. That’s because the same category also contains fats, so you might be able to get away with an extra serving by sticking to healthier oils instead. Some condiments are surprisingly healthy because of their ingredients, even if they don’t seem that way at first glance. You’ll have to skip the sugary barbecue sauce, but here are some great condiments and oils to take its place:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Honey
  • Hot Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Low-Fat Mayonnaise (Such as Olive Oil Mayo)
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Sugar Free Jam
  • Olives



If you’re trying to stick to 1,600 calories per day, you should be eating three to four servings from the nuts, seeds and legumes department. We’ll get to nuts in just a moment, but you want to make sure you have enough legumes, first. For those sticking to a 2,000 calorie per day plan, you’ll need four to five servings from this group. Legumes are easy to fit into your healthy eating plan, and they also happen to be among the cheapest foods that you’ll find in the supermarket. Here are the legumes to add to your healthy grocery list:

  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame
  • Lentils
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Kidney Beans



We all love our snacks, but the ones that we usually pick up from the grocery store can be terrible for us. Between potato chips, cookies and a bunch of other processed junk, try to snack on more natural foods. Even though you might be groaning at the thought of leaving the Oreos on the shelf already, there are still plenty of nutritious snacks that taste great. Don’t believe us? Have a glance at some of the snacks that experts suggest, and you’ll realize that snacking healthy isn’t the bad after all:

  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pickles
  • Raisins
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Hummus
  • Trail Mix
  • Whole-Grain Crackers or Chips

Frozen Foods


If you can’t get to all of the meat you stocked up on from earlier in the list, then using your freezer is a great way to prevent wasting money at the grocery store. Thankfully, there aren’t many other frozen foods that we suggest you pick up, leaving plenty of room for all of the perishables that you want to save. Many of the frozen foods we suggest are actually just frozen versions of healthy foods that we’ve already listed! Take a look:

  • Frozen Berries
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Low-Fat Yogurt
  • Whole-Grain Waffles
  • Frozen Seafood (Such as Shrimp)



If you’re trying to stay healthy, you want to walk completely past the soda section. We didn’t even include diet sodas on this list, even though they don’t contain calories. For a better low calorie option, water is always the way to go, and any health expert will tell you the same. The beverage list is pretty short (especially considering you likely have good drinking water at home), so here’s the small amount of beverages you need to pick up on your list:

  • Pure Fruit Juice
  • Bottled Water (Sparkling or Non)
  • Tea Bags
  • Coffee
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High Calorie Foods: Surprising Snacks That Can Derail Your Diet

When you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy, the primary number that you need to focus on is the amount of calories you’re taking in against how many you’re using in a day. At the same time, you want to make sure that you’re also getting enough nutrition to help your body function more efficiently. It can be tough to find the right balance, though sticking mainly with fruits and vegetables is a great way of being able to lose weight and build health.

Some of those foods that are good for your overall health, however, might be hiding a lot more calories than you think. These are foods we traditionally think of as being good for us, and many people have made them part of their weight loss plans without knowing how many calories were within. If you’re having trouble losing weight, you might be eating the right foods, but not the right portion sizes. To show you which ones you should cut back on, here are some high calorie foods that might surprise you.



One of the trendier food options, quinoa has become a dietary staple for vegetarians and vegans alike, while also gathering steam in the gluten-free community. Those that are actively avoiding meat love quinoa because of the high amount of protein at 8.1 grams per cup (cooked), but that same portion size has 222 calories. It can be easy to lose track of how much you’re eating since it’s so dense, and tucking away 400 calories as a side dish can be an unpleasant surprise.



We love avocados because of all of the healthy fats that can boost your heart health, as well as the whopping 9.2 grams of fiber. Avocados are also incredibly high in nutrition with more than 20 percent of a half dozen essential vitamins and minerals, but it’s one of the highest calorie fruits you can find. One avocado without the skin and seeds (136 grams) contains 227 calories. For those that eat a cup of pureed avocado (which has become quite common), you’re looking at 384 calories from this fruit…but at least you’re getting great nutritional value that junk foods can’t provide for the same calorie count.



Granola is often touted as one of those healthier breakfast options, and typically consists of oats, honey and nuts. Even the unsweetened varieties, however, can be packed with calories, which is surprising due to how it’s marketed. In fact, granola actually became popular for being high calorie as hikers would often bring it (or trail mix) as fuel for long trips. Your standard granola that you get from the store contains nearly 400 calories in one cup. For reference, the same serving size of Wheaties in the morning is just 106 calories.



When it comes to dieting, not all vegetables are created equal. Corn does have a lot of nutritional value and helpful antioxidants that help you in many ways, but it’s not great for your diet. Even without the butter, sweet yellow corn contains more than 130 calories in a one cup serving. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, think back to the last time you ate corn. There’s a good chance that you ate well over one cup, making this a sneaky food. While you can certainly work it into your diet, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.

Macadamia Nuts


Most of us already know that nuts, for the most part, are incredibly high in calories but have plenty of other benefits to provide. If you’re trying to lose weight, try to stick to a lower calorie nut in small portions such as the almond or cashew. These can typically come in 100 calorie packs, which is a huge life saver. If you want to avoid the big calories, stay away from macadamia nuts. Just one ounce contains a touch over 200 calories, while eating an entire cup (132 grams) is nearly 950 calories! For the lowest calorie nut or seed, you’ll want to look for the chia seed.

Dried Fruits


Fruits are a great part of any diet, really, but you’ll want to steer clear of any dried fruits if you’re cutting calories. Dried fruits typically contain much higher amounts of sugar, which means a lot more calories per serving. For example, dried cherries and blueberries contain more than 250 calories per each half cup serving. Raisins and prunes aren’t too far behind at 217 and 224 calories, respectively. Fruit juice can also be sneaky, especially if you’re drinking more than a few ounces at a time.

Whole-Wheat Bread

Shot Code C
Shot Code C

White bread has gotten a rotten reputation in the health community, as many people like to point out the problems with eating too much of it. Whole-wheat bread, on the other hand, gets a good reputation for having more natural ingredients. However, that doesn’t necessarily translate to fewer calories. In fact, whole-wheat bread contains more calories than white bread on average, clocking in at 70 calories per slice. Since many of us eat two at a time, that’s 140 calories right there. There are some lower calorie alternatives, thankfully, as some brands have whittled it down to 30 to 35 calories per slice.


If you’re trying to lose weight, seafood is usually a good way to go. Certain types of fish, though, are much lower in calories than others. Out of all the common types of fish we eat, it’s the mackerel that has the most calories at 231 per three ounce fillet (cooked on dry heat). In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a bad way to eat a meal, but three ounces is a fairly small portion compared to how much fish people can eat in one meal. Taking one fillet and combining it with healthy vegetables is a great 400 calorie meal, just make sure not to go overboard.



Just like quinoa, hummus has become trendier in some parts of the world despite being a very old recipe. Normally made with chickpeas and other ingredients that would be considered healthy on their own, hummus combines them all for a high calorie snack. Just one cup of hummus is more than 400 calories, though you are getting quite a bit of fiber and protein. Since you usually snack on hummus with pita chips, you can expect to add a lot more calories and end up taking in more than 700 for just one snack that you might have thought was much lower in calories.



Smoothies can be a great way to cool off in the summer or even get a quick start to your day, but you want to make sure that you’re preparing them at home. If you want a low calorie smoothie, be prepared to sacrifice some of the taste, using just one type of fruit and a small amount of milk or yogurt. The types of smoothies that you find at chain restaurants (such as McDonald’s or Jamba Juice) are packed with calories because of added sugars. For reference, a Peach Pleasure smoothie from Jamba Juice is 280 calories in just a small cup, and goes to nearly 500 calories for a large!

What to Consider


Finding low calorie foods that also provide you with the nutrition your body needs can be tough when you’re trying to lose weight. Even though the foods we listed are higher in calories than you might have thought, you can still work them into your diet. Being able to cut the portion sizes will still provide you with many of the great nutrients, while also helping you meet your calorie goals. Remember, you have to burn off 3,500 calories more than you eat just to burn one pound of body fat. That can be a tough goal to achieve, so remember to take your time and make sure you’re counting the calories you take in so that you meet your goals!

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Calories Burned Calculator: Which Activities Burn The Most Calories?

When it comes to losing weight, the most important number you need to look at is the amount of calories you’re expending versus the number of calories you’re consuming. Some people might think that they only burn calories when they’re exercising, but your body is actively burning calories throughout the day, and even when you sleep. The average person burns between 1,600 to 1,800 calories if you live a sedentary lifestyle. This means if you’re eating 200 calories per day, you’ll end up gaining anywhere between 20 to 40 pounds in just one year.

It seems pretty rough to stick below that number, which is why people add exercise to their routines to lose weight. No matter what type of activity you’re doing, your body burns through extra calories to use as energy, as long as you’re not sitting at the desk or on the couch. So which activities are going to help you burn the most calories? Let’s take a look at some of the best calorie burners, showing you what the average 140 pound female would go through in a given time period.



Just going around on a bicycle while putting in some moderate effort can burn an average of 445 calories per hour. Of course, the faster you crank up the speed, the more calories you’re going to be using. Even going slowly (under 10 miles per hour) is a good time consumer that burns around 200 calories in an hour. The 445 calories per hour comes between 12 to 14 miles per hour, making it comfortable, yet still a calorie burning challenge. Competitive racers that are going over 20 miles per hour can burn nearly 1,000 calories in a single hour, though you’ll have to work your way up to that level.



Running, the oldest exercise in the book, has been one of the most effective calorie burners for longer than time can even tell. The good news is that you don’t have to be a marathon runner to burn a lot of calories while hitting the pavement (or treadmill). Running at a modest pace of 10 minutes per mile will let you travel six miles in one hour, burning an estimated 572 calories. If you can cut your mile time down to an average of eight minutes per mile, you’ll be burning through an incredible 730 calories. So it doesn’t matter what speed you’re going, as long as you’re going!



Not only is swimming a great calorie burner, but it’s also great for building muscle in all parts of your body. It takes a lot of energy to get a good swimming pace going, so it can be difficult to get into at first. Once you get into better swimming shape, you’ll notice that it gets easier and the effects on your body are tremendous. Swimming laps, no matter the style that you use, can burn more than 375 calories in an hour. Even something simple as treading water can burn around 200 calories, while the most effective style is the butterfly, burning 635 calories in a single hour.

Jumping Rope


The workout that’s used by boxers to improve cardio and agility is a calorie burning machine, and one of the workouts that’s withstood the test of time. Jumping rope for an hour at even a very slow pace is very effective, burning around 450 calories in an hour. If you work up to a moderate pace, you can burn about 575 calories, while keeping the tempo to your peak performance will torch an insane 700 calories per hour. This is another one of those workouts that you’ll have to build up stamina to get the most efficient calorie burn, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.



One of the older sports that’s popular around the world, tennis is incredibly easy to pick up and play, especially if you have a partner to go one-on-one with. Tennis requires a lot of quick movement, with stopping and starting becoming very common, breaking you out into short sprints. In a singles game of tennis, it’s estimated that you can burn around 445 calories after an hour of competition. Adding a partner to your team for a doubles match knocks it down to 254 calories per hour, which still makes for a good, fun and easy exercise.



Just like tennis, basketball is a sport where it’s easy to find other people to play with, especially at your local recreational center. Getting into a competitive basketball game requires a lot of running from end to end, making it a great cardio exercise. Playing a one hour game can burn 445 calories, just like tennis. Even if you decide that you just want to work on your skills by dribbling around and shooting, you can still burn around 320 calories, as long as you grab your own rebounds instead of just taking jumpers while someone else corrals the ball for you. If you want to be a basketball referee, you can even burn 380 calories per hour.



Some of the biggest fitness enthusiasts around swear by hiking and backpacking as ways to burn calories. The heavier the load is on your back and the steeper the uphill climb, the more calories you’ll burn. The average backpacker will go through about 380 calories in just one hour, while you can burn more than 500 in an hour if your backpack weighs around 40 pounds. Obviously, you’ll want to lighten the load unless you’re big enough to carry that much weight, as it can definitely hurt your back. Even just hiking through the countryside will burn more than 300 calories per hour without a backpack on!



Dance classes that teach aerobics have been in style for a long time now, with fun new ways to get people into the gym. They’ve also been very effective in calorie burning, especially in aerobic dances such as Zumba. The average high impact aerobic exercise burns nearly 400 calories per hour, while the lower impact versions can still burn more than 250 calories in the same time. Most forms of dancing are great for cardio and calorie burning, especially when you add steps to the mix.



While most people think of golf as a relaxing recreation, playing 18 holes can use up a lot of energy. As long as you’re carrying your own clubs, you’ll plow through calories in no time during your next round. Walking with your clubs burns an estimated 225 calories per hour, and the average 18 hole round lasts for about four hours, making it a 900 calorie exercise. Pulling your cart takes away some of the calories burned, but still comes out to about 840 calories burned during a round. Even if it’s one of those days where you feel like taking the cart, you’ll burn around 160 calories per hour.

Things to Consider


If the numbers do seem a bit low for the amount of calories burned, just keep in mind that we used a 140 pound female for the examples. A 200 pound male will go through calories much faster, with many of these exercises burning off more than 1,000 calories per hour. Also keep in mind that you don’t have to do endless hours of exercise to lose weight, as your body will be burning calories. Simply standing will burn a few extra calories throughout the day, so the main thing to look for is what you’re eating.

For example, let’s say that a 5’4” and 30 year old woman weighs 150 pounds, but doesn’t get much exercise at all. To lose two pounds each week, she’d only be able to eat 662 calories in a day, which is well below what doctors recommend. Adding in an hour of exercise can increase that number to a much more manageable 1,000 to 1,200 calories, while that same person would need 1,662 calories in a day to maintain weight without exercise. Just make sure you’re tracking the numbers of what you’re eating and how much you’re burning while exercising, and losing weight becomes much simpler!

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Healthiest Fast Food: What To Eat When You’re On the Go

It’s estimated that in the United States alone, there are more than 200,000 fast food restaurants, with nearly one million around the world. We know that fast food isn’t great for our health for the most part, with many warnings coming out on an almost daily basis. Despite some of those warnings, most of us find ourselves at fast food restaurants quite frequently. One poll showed that 80 percent of Americans eat fast food at least once per month, while nearly half stopped at a fast food restaurant at least once per week.

If you’re one of the many people that’s seemingly living life on the go and don’t have time to prepare good meals for yourself, there’s still some hope. These days, fast food restaurants are starting to cater to people that want to eat more healthily, presenting new options. So if you find yourself at a drive thru in the near future, take a look at some of the healthiest fast food options that you can find from the big chains.



McDonald’s is usually the first restaurant that we think about when it comes to fast food, as there are nearly 70 million customers on a daily basis with nearly 40,000 stores. It can be hard to find something healthy from McDonald’s, but it’s possible. McDonald’s salads have gotten a bad reputation for sneaking in a lot of calories, but the Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad is a decent option at 320 calories and just nine grams of carbohydrates. Eating it without the cheese knocks it down to just 260 calories, leaving enough room for some of their lighter dressings instead of the ranch.

Burger King


McDonald’s biggest competitor, Burger King, is also trying to enter the healthy market with some friendlier food options. Going with the Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich is usually a decent choice here, as long as you skip the mayo. By doing so, you save yourself 100 calories, knocking down the total to 370. There’s also very little fat at just seven grams (only two grams of saturated fat), with plenty of protein at 36 grams to help fuel muscle. The sodium count is still a bit high, but relatively low compared to other sandwiches.

Taco Bell


It might be surprising to some that many of Taco Bell’s items are actually fairly low in calories, but high on taste. Stick to the taco portion in the restaurant’s namesake, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. For instance, the Shredded Chicken Soft Taco has just 160 calories with five grams of fat and 12 grams of protein. The Crunchy Taco is also similar at 170 calories, but doesn’t have quite the protein punch. Getting these options without cheese is, again, a great way to save a bit on your nutrition.



Subway is the largest fast food chain in the entire world in terms of stores open around the globe, and their growth has been possible due to marketing healthier options. However, Subway can be a lot sneakier than you might think with calories. Eating a footlong anything is going to have a lot of calories and carbs, so stick with the six inch sandwiches. With that said, the carved turkey is their best option at 330 calories (with standard toppings such as tomatoes and lettuce), with 25 grams of protein and just five grams of fat.



The fourth largest fast food chain in the world is the highest on the list that focuses on fried chicken. The options can be pretty limited since fried chicken is the main focus at KFC, but can be found. Most KFC locations offer grilled chicken now (Kentucky Grilled Chicken) that actually tastes pretty good. One drumstick comes out to just 90 calories, meaning you can have a couple of pieces with a healthier side dish such as corn or green beans instead of the mashed potatoes and gravy.



While it’s considered more of a coffee joint than anything, millions of people stop at Starbucks each morning and decide to grab something to eat while they’re there. Starbucks introduced a large menu of foods under 350 calories, including some surprisingly filling options. Nutritionists have said that if you find yourself at Starbucks for breakfast, try for the Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal. It contains just 22 calories with some solid fiber and very little fat. If you’re looking for a little more in the protein department, the Egg White Breakfast Wrap isn’t a bad way to go. Just make sure to skip the sugary coffees Starbucks offers.



Wendy’s might not be as globally recognized as some of the other burger joints that we’ve looked at, but the chain has a huge presence here in the United States. Wendy’s was one of the first burger chains to expand their menu beyond burgers and fries, adding salads and other items. One of the old staples of Wendy’s that dieticians have approves is the baked (or sweet) potato and chili combo (without the cheese sauce). Even keeping the sour cream that Wendy’s offers makes this a 500 calorie meal that’s fairly low in fat, while balancing carbs and proteins.

Pizza Hut


Eating pizza can be damaging to just about any diet, as it can be hard to stick with just one piece. The largest pizza chain in the world, Pizza Hut, has tried to come out with some options that are more diet friendly. If you’re looking to cut calories, stick with the Thin ‘N Crispy pizzas they offer. Many of their slices are 180 calories, including the pepperoni and mushroom, veggie lover’s and ham and pineapple. Once again, you could lose the cheese to really save a lot of calories on your pizza, but that’s usually sacrilegious to do to pizza unless you’re lactose intolerant.



Eating sliced roast beef from a deli usually isn’t that bad for a diet, but Arby’s tends to really pile up the meat in between a thick bun. Not only that, but the smell of curly fries alone is too much temptation for one person to handle. You’ll have to skip the sides at Arby’s if you want to eat healthy, which is easier said than done. The Roast Turkey and Swiss Wrap isn’t a bad option here without the mayonnaise. Each one of these is rather filling, and offers up 410 calories and 30 grams of protein. Arby’s isn’t exactly shy about touting their high calorie menu, which is why it’s harder to find a healthier option here.



Whether you’re in the western part of the United States where it’s known as Carl’s Jr. or everywhere else where it’s known as Hardee’s, this chain is one of the 15 largest in the world. Hardee’s loves showing off their massive burgers that add options like baby back ribs, but they do have some healthier options, as well. Hardee’s introduced a low carb menu that includes the Charbroiled Chicken Club. This bunless option without mayo still has bacon and cheese, delivering just 340 calories and 24 grams of protein. Though it’s a little high in the fat content at 22 grams, it’s still much better than most of the burgers offered.

Panda Express


The largest of the Chinese fast food diners, Panda Express orders typically include two entrees and a side. You can still go with this standard option and save on calories, especially if your side is the steamed vegetables at just 80 calories. If you add in the Broccoli Beef and the Black Pepper Chicken, you get a full meal at just 510 calories with 26 grams of protein. While options like the Orange Chicken and Beijing Beef might be sweeter, they’re also packed with calories. Adding those two items with the chow mein as your side combines for 1,360 calories and 170 grams of carbohydrates.

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8 Foods That Lower Cholesterol

It’s estimated that more than 600,000 people in the United States alone die from heart disease. That’s one out of every four deaths, making heart disease the biggest killer in the nation. The most common form of deadly heart disease is CHD, or coronary heart disease with over 370,000 deaths. Meanwhile, nearly three quarter of a million Americans will suffer a heart attack in a given year. One of the biggest reasons these numbers are so high is because of too many people with high cholesterol.

More than 100 million adults in the United States suffer from high cholesterol currently. It’s not genetics or tough luck that that plays into high cholesterol for most people. Instead, it’s a poor diet that contains a lot of artery clogging food. If you want to lower your cholesterol naturally before it’s too late, there are certain foods you should be eating. Even if you’ve already suffered from heart disease, adding these foods to your diet can improve your heart health, and some people have been able to naturally remedy their heart disease, getting away from medications.

Fatty Fish


A group of foods that has “fatty” in the name doesn’t really sound like it would be good for your cholesterol, but you might be surprised. Fatty fish, which includes salmon, trout and others, are great since they contain omega-3 fatty acids. These are the fats that you want in your system because they have the opposite effect of saturated fats. Omega-3 acids can eliminate triglycerides and slow down plaque growth, improving the LDL (bad cholesterol) along the way. Even if you’re just taking fish oil supplements, you’re still doing yourself a service.

Red Wine


You can probably assume that drinking too much doesn’t bode well for your heart health (and we’ll remind you a little later), but drinking certain types of alcohol in moderation can actually be beneficial. Of all alcohols, red wine has the biggest benefit for your heart as it’s able to lower cholesterol naturally. Studies showed that people with high cholesterol that drank 13.5 ounces of red wine each day for six weeks were able to lower their LDL by nearly 10 percent, while increasing their HDL (good cholesterol) by 17 percent. Just don’t drink the entire bottle!



Peas not only taste delicious, but they’re also a huge source of soluble fiber. When you eat more soluble fiber, your body doesn’t absorb nearly as much cholesterol into your system. This makes peas a great choice, as long as you’re not buttering them up too much. Studies showed that over the course of six weeks, you can lower your LDL levels by more than percent by eating 4.5 ounces of peas or other similar legumes. The research also said people are only eating around one quarter of that amount on a daily basis.



Because of the nutritional value, just about any fruit is going to be beneficial for your cholesterol levels. However, it’s the most common one in the United States, the apple, that has one of the biggest benefits. A study of more than 150 women had one group eating apples while the others ate prunes, with no other differences in the diets. It was found that the women who ate apples lowered their LDL by an incredible 23 percent, while slightly boosting their HDL levels.



Nuts really are a fantastic thing, and if it weren’t for their high calorie content and price, most of us would live off of the many varieties. Almonds performed well in studies by slightly dropping LDL and raising HDL, while walnuts took it even further. It was pecans that came out on top, though. One study showed that people who ate 20 percent of their calories from pecans lowered their LDL and triglyceride levels by more than 10 percent, with a more than five percent increase in HDL.



No matter how you say tomato, just know that this fruit (yes, it’s not a vegetable) is great for your cholesterol. One study split a group of people that ate no products containing tomatoes, while the other gave people 30 mg of ketchup and 400 mg of tomato juice. The LDL levels of the people who were getting more tomatoes dropped by 12.9 points, which researchers credited to the high amounts of lycopene and beta-carotene. It even made the bodies more resistant to further LDL development in the future, ensuring long term heart health.



Avocados are very trendy these days, and you tend to see them used in just about every restaurant now. One study had people eating an entire avocado each day, and it was able to lower their LDL levels by 13.5 points. Doctors suggested that you don’t eat an entire avocado on a daily basis, but said that working them into your diet is sure to have some tremendous benefits, with fiber playing a large role.

Dark Chocolate


We all like to indulge on chocolate from time to time, but if you’re able to contain yourself to a small amount of dark chocolate in favor of your standard candy bar, you’ll see a drop in your LDL levels. Studies that had participants eat a modest amount of dark chocolate over the course of four weeks saw an eight percent drop in their LDL levels, while also increasing HDL levels by four percent. Researchers said it was the high amount of antioxidants that played a big role, so dessert isn’t necessarily off the table if you want to lower cholesterol!

Foods to Avoid


If you feel (or even know) that you’re at risk for high cholesterol, there are certain foods you’ll want to cut out of your diet immediately. Eggs seem to come and go from the list of foods that are either bad or good for your cholesterol, but more recent studies say that they’re good in moderation. Doctors suggest a balance between foods such as eggs and other foods, saying that if you eat eggs, try to eat more vegetables throughout the day.

Red meat is one food that never leaves the list of foods that can raise your cholesterol, however. The saturated fat content in most fast food chains is quite high, so avoid those at all costs. Sadly, you’ll also have to give up some treats you love, with ice cream being the biggest culprit. The standard ice cream is packed with saturated fat and calories that can lead to poor cholesterol and weight gain in no time.

Other Ways to Lower Cholesterol


Eating all of these types of foods as the base of your diet will result in lower cholesterol and better heart health, but you can even take it a step further…literally. Exercise is the other big key for lower cholesterol, and doctors suggest that you get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. This can be something as simple as walking, as long as you’re getting up and around for a half hour. This ends up helping you burn more calories as a result, and lowering your weight by just five percent tremendously improves your cholesterol.

While food is the biggest vice for many of us, the age old ones of alcohol and tobacco are still very prevalent today. If you smoke or drink beyond moderation, consider cutting these out of your diet immediately. Studies have showed that within just mere hours of getting away from these vices, you’ll start showing better signs of heart health. Follow all of these steps, and you’re on your way to better cholesterol, and a reduction in your chance of potentially deadly heart disease!

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8 Foods That Burn Belly Fat

For many of us, it seems that the first place that any ounce of fat on your body goes to is the belly. Even those of us that have successfully lost weight might find that it’s gone away from all other parts of the body, but yet still clings to the waistline. One of the reasons that people have belly fat is because of hormones. When your body isn’t producing as much testosterone or estrogen as it used to, this can cause fat to redistribute in the body, storing in the belly.

Belly fat is the most dangerous in your body, because it’s typically visceral fat. Whereas fat that accumulates in other areas like the hips and thighs (known as less dangerous subcutaneous fat), visceral fat surrounds your organs and can be very dangerous if you have too much. The other big reasons why some people store more belly fat than others is because of poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. If you want to know how to trim your waistline to ensure better health, here is what your diet should consist of.



You might notice that the fat content in avocados is quite high when looking at the nutritional information, so how could they possibly burn your belly fat? Avocados are helpful because they contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats, which don’t store around the stomach and actually help your body shrink fat cells, even around your stomach. This makes guacamole a good condiment to help burn belly fat, but just make sure you’re not eating a bunch of chips with it, or else it’s going to negate the benefits.



Just like avocados, almonds are incredibly high in the healthy fats department. A study by the American Heart Association showed that people who ate 1.5 ounces of almonds per day were able to lower their cholesterol overall thanks to the healthy fats. Not only that, but their waistlines also decreased considerably, even if they didn’t lose any weight or body fat. For those looking for thinner legs, almonds were also found to trim your thighs, too.



If you’re looking to get your day started off on the right foot, try eating oatmeal or a cereal containing whole-grain oats, but stay away from the brands that are packed with sugar. Oats, when eaten on a daily basis, were able to shrink waistlines more effectively than other types of cereals that contained the same amount of calories. The weight loss overall was about the same, but trimmer waistlines in the oat eaters also produced better heart health readouts than the people who ate other types of cereals.

Cayenne Peppers


We talk at length about burning belly fat, but some spicier foods can literally help you melt the pounds away. Cayenne peppers are notorious for having a burning sensation due to the high amount of capsaicin within. Interestingly enough, the same thing that happens to your body when your cold is what happens when you eat capsaicin. It’s called thermogenesis, and it allows your body to increase the amount of fat burned as fuel to regulate temperature. Studies showed that cayenne peppers were beneficial not only in burning belly fat, but promoting overall weight loss.

Whole Grains


An increase in belly fat is commonly associated with a higher risk of heart disease. If you want to cut both of those down, you should be focusing on eating whole grains. Whole grains work as an anti-inflammatory in your body, lowering your risk of heart disease and getting the blood pumping. In one study, people were given the same amount of calories, with one group avoiding whole grains while the others ate more than they ever had. While the non-whole grain eaters lost an average of three more pounds, they actually had larger waistlines than those that did eat more whole grains.



Blueberries have a long list of benefits because they’re so nutritional, including being packed with disease preventing antioxidants. Research was conducted on the blueberry’s effect on body fat, and it was found that blueberries had a positive impact on how your body stored and processed glucose and sugars. The result was a massive reduction in body fat over a 90 day period, with lower cholesterol numbers and better blood sugar levels, reducing the chances of diabetes.



A lot of experts will tell you that if you want to cut down on belly fat, you need to focus on foods that are high in protein and fiber. Just about any type of bean will do the trick, while also reducing your chances of diabetes. The protein that’s slowly digested from beans allows for better lean muscle growth, while also getting rid of omentum fat that accumulates on your stomach, flushing out toxins in the process.



Yes, it’s not a food, but one of the reasons your stomach might not be as flat as you’d like it to be is because you’re not drinking enough water. Drinking too much water in one sitting can have you feeling bloated and leaving your stomach looking bigger than ever, but drinking the right amount of water per day tends to lead to fewer calories and fat consumed throughout the day. Water also helps your digestive system to prevent bloating overall, so you’re getting rid of fat while also alleviating stomach problems!

Foods to Avoid


You’re probably able to guess some of the foods that can cause you to store belly fat. After all, we typically refer to people that have larger stomachs but tend to be thin in other areas as having a “beer belly.” With that said, cut down on the alcohol if you really want to flatten out your stomach, as this is the biggest cause of belly fat storage. The other obvious ones include fried foods and processed snacks like potato chips.

Some studies have surprisingly found that drinking diet soda might cause you to store belly fat more than others. It’s not the soda itself that causes belly fat, though, it’s because people tend to eat more calories thinking that they’re saving themselves in the soda department. This leads to more pizza and burger binges. Most types of lean meat and fruits are going to be good for your waistline, but researchers say that you should avoid cuts of meat like rib eye, T-bone and New York Strip beef, as these are fatty and can cause you to store belly fat. As for fruit? Experts say that fruit juice is actually the big culprit here, as even natural juices cause you to take in a lot of fructose sugar.

Other Ways to Trim Belly Fat


You could eat all of the healthy foods in the world to try and burn belly fat, but it’s not going to mean much if you’re still spending most of your time simply sitting on the couch or at your desk. Experts say that you should be getting 2.5 hours of exercise per week at a minimum to help shrink fat cells in the stomach. Obviously, the more you do, the less likely you are to store belly fat. It doesn’t matter which type of exercise you do, as long as you get up and moving.

Another key component of losing belly fat is getting the right amount of sleep. Those that sleep for five to eight hours per night are shown to have slimmer waistlines and carry less belly fat. That’s because this amount of time spent sleeping prevents your body from producing cortisol, a hormone that causes you to store visceral fat on your waistline. So remember to just relax, get some exercise, eat right and you’ll be burning belly fat in no time!

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9 Foods That Help You Sleep

Struggling with a lack of sleep is one of the most common problems among people in the United States. It’s estimated that around one in every three people has at least a mild problem with falling and staying asleep, while some find themselves in a constant battle just a get a couple of hours every night. The industry of finding ways to get people to get more sleep is massive, with supplements, clinics and mattress stores all promoting the cure-all for insomniacs.

You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to help you get more hours of sleep at night, however. Studies have showed that changing your diet can help promote sleep, knowing which foods to eat and which to avoid. So if you’re one of the 60 million Americans that isn’t getting the recommended six to eight hours of sleep each night, take a look at what you’re eating. See the natural remedies for insomnia with these foods that help you sleep.

Tart Cherries


Whether you’re eating tart cherries or drinking juice from this fine fruit, you’re on your way to a better night’s sleep. Studies showed that people with insomnia who drank tart cherry juice twice per day were able to get more than an extra hour of sleep per night. It was a quick benefit, too, as the participants found these improvements in just two weeks. The quality of sleep even improved for these people, allowing them to stay asleep for a longer duration throughout the night without having to wake up.



Another fruit that could give a big boost to your sleeping habits is the kiwi. One of the reasons is the high amount of vitamin C and other antioxidants that boost your immune system, while also repairing cells while you sleep. One study showed that people who ate two kiwis an hour before heading to bed were able to decrease the amount of time it took to fall asleep by more than 30 percent. Sleep quality also improved by more than 40 percent, and the total time staying asleep raised by higher than 13 percent. The high levels of serotonin in the kiwi were to thank, as this hormone puts your mind at ease at night.



A lot of studies have looked into how certain types of nuts can help you sleep. Most of them were found to be beneficial, but two of them really stood out, and these were walnuts and Brazil nuts. Walnuts got high grades in promoting sleep because one serving has more than 300 milligrams of tryptophan, an amino acid that can make you feel sleepier. As for Brazil nuts, their high selenium concentration made the thyroid more efficient. When your thyroid is functioning at a high level, you’ll achieve a better chemical balance to fall asleep.



It’s not quite as enticing to gnaw on some lettuce before heading to bed compared to a glass of warm milk, but research shows that it’s beneficial. Even more than other green vegetables, lettuce contains a compound known as lactucarium. This compound has been shown to sedate your nervous system, making it more relaxed to give you a more comfortable and restful feeling. Making sure you get a lot of lettuce during your last meal of the day is the best way of getting this sleep booster’s benefits in your diet.



In terms of vitamins and minerals, bananas are among the most well rounded in the fruit world. Bananas contain important nutrients such as potassium and magnesium that help your nervous system and muscles so that you can get settled in to sleep. It’s also perfect in terms of calories since you want a little extra before bed to sleep better, but not too much. A calorie deficiency causes your body to use muscle as fuel, so getting calories to use as fuel and nutrients to protect your muscles make bananas great for a pre-bed snack.

Chamomile Tea


You want to make sure that you aren’t getting sugar or caffeine before bed (more on that in a bit), but there are certain drinks that can promote sleep. Chamomile tea is one of these drinks, which has been shown to have benefits if you drink it around 30 minutes before trying to sleep. Chamomile acts as a sedative that stimulates your brain, having a bit of a tranquilizing effect. While some have disputed just how helpful chamomile tea is, many swear by this drink to turn their brain off at night.

Cottage Cheese


Having a little bit of cottage cheese before bed can get you the protein that you need to repair muscles to make them more relaxed and also fuel your body. Cottage cheese helps your body produce tryptophan through casein protein. Casein is different in the fact that it’s slow to digest, so while you’re body is sleeping, it will be using this protein for long term energy. Experts say combining cottage cheese with a graham cracker is a great way to go.



Though we don’t normally suggest foods that are higher on the glycemic index, eating rice is one of the better overall foods that you can eat in terms of health benefits in this regard, including sleep. When you’re eating high glycemic index foods, your body will spike in blood sugar levels, leading to an increase in tryptophan production. Those that a diet that consisted of more rice without changing calories were found to have better sleep overall. However, other high GI foods that include pasta turned out to have a negative effect.



Normally eating cereal is the first thing you do after waking up to eat breakfast, but you should actually change it around to eat cereal before bed, instead. Certain types of cereals can make you a lot sleepier, especially ones that are made with steel-cut oats and millet. This includes shredded wheat cereal, while steering clear of sugary types. This makes oatmeal a desirable choice to induce sleep, as well, which is another breakfast food that should be treated as more of a dessert for better sleep.

Foods to Avoid


With as many foods that help you sleep, there are plenty that can really disrupt a normal sleeping pattern. You’ll obviously want to stay away from caffeine, especially later in the day. Other things might not be so obvious, however. Spicy foods can keep you up at night, with hot peppers being a big culprit. Though these peppers have a lot of health benefits, they make your body temperature rise, which is the opposite of what’s supposed to happen when you’re trying to sleep.

Foods that are high in fat or fiber (without being high in water) can also keep you up at night as your body is working to digest these foods, focusing more on that than helping get you to sleep. Any foods that can cause heartburn also negatively affect your digestive system, making it much harder to sleep. Most of the foods you should avoid might seem pretty obvious. Stay away from processed junk and try not to drink too much of anything the closer you get to bed time. This even includes water, which can cause you to wake up and make a trip to the bathroom. Knowing what all of these foods can do for you, stick to the plan and you’ll find yourself getting more sleep at night!

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9 Foods That Increase Testosterone

Acting as a natural steroid, testosterone is the hormone that’s found in the body and plays many different roles. The average male has a lot more testosterone than the average woman, though both need healthy levels. The average adult female has about 15 to 70 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) of testosterone, while adult men have 270 to 1,070 ng/dL. After we turn 30 years old, however, men expect to lose about one percent of their total testosterone on a yearly basis.

Decreased testosterone in men can result in common symptoms that many are desperate to reverse. This includes a reduction in muscle mass, increase in fat and change in distribution, lower sex drive and sperm production, and even a loss in bone density. Testosterone has gotten a lot of attention, with many supplements and injections promising to increase testosterone. However, eating a proper diet can also help you naturally increase your testosterone so you can avoid certain methods. Here are foods that increase testosterone naturally to help you feeling younger and more energetic sooner rather than later!



There are quite a few fish out there (including sardines and salmon) that are great for testosterone production, but it’s tuna that gets the best reputation. With a low concentration of calories and fat with high protein and nutrients, tuna is an ideal food to eat for men. One of the more important nutrients found in tuna is vitamin D, with around 100 percent of your daily recommended value. Eating vitamin D boosts your short and long term testosterone because of the vitamin D and has also been shown to boost overall sex drive.



Tuna and garlic certainly aren’t going to make your breath smell great, but sometimes you have to suck it up if you want some helpful testosterone. One study set out to see if garlic had an effect on testosterone, and found that after four weeks, testosterone levels were boosted by eating more garlic powder. Part of the reason was the amount of allicin within garlic, which allows testosterone to work more efficiently, fueling muscle growth. Since loss of muscle mass is common with loss of testosterone, this makes garlic a key food.

Cruciferous Vegetables


Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, you can take your pick from any of these vegetables to help boost your testosterone. When you eat these types of vegetables, you introduce more indoles into your diet. These work to break down any excess estrogen in your body, expelling it naturally through urine. Studies showed that within just one week of eating cruciferous vegetables on a daily basis were able to cut estrogen levels in men by half, slowing down the signs of aging dramatically.



There are some good sources of zinc out there, but perhaps none better than beans (especially kidney beans). While red meat also provides zinc, you want to avoid eating too much in your diet, as it can actually lower your testosterone and cause heart disease. Beans, on the other hand, a low in fat but high in zinc, fiber and vitamin D. The fiber is much better for your digestive system than red meat, too, which means that you’ll be reducing your chances of colon cancer.



Fruits make for a great part of any diet, really, but pomegranate has been shown specifically to have a huge effect on testosterone, especially the juice. Recent studies have shown that drinking a glass of pomegranate juice on a daily basis was able to raise the average testosterone level in patients by more than 20 percent. Not only that, but participants in the study also had lower blood pressure with increased mood and libido thanks to the wide range of nutrients.



While we know that most types of nuts are great for muscle building and low in carbohydrates, there are certain ones to target to build testosterone levels. Brazil nuts, tiger nuts and macadamia nuts have been found to be the best for testosterone, thanks in part to their high amounts of monounsaturated fats and low polyunsaturated fats. These nuts also contain helpful nutrients like zinc, magnesium and more with tiger nuts even having a link to boosting testosterone that still has many researchers baffled about the link. Nuts you’ll want to avoid include walnuts, almonds, peanuts and pistachios according to studies.



Grapes (red grapes in particular) are great for men since they block estrogen from being produced in the body. Grape skin contains resveratrol, while the seeds have proanthocyanidin. Both of these prevent estrogen while the extract from grape seed has been shown to protect testosterone molecules in your body naturally. There’s been plenty of research conducted on grapes, and the amount of benefits for testosterone has been wonderful, making grapes one of the finest foods to eat. With how easy they are to find and eat, it just makes things even better.



Eggs have a high amount of cholesterol per serving, but not everything is always what it seems. The cholesterol in egg yolks will actually help you boost the levels of cholesterol in your body. This includes raising your HDL cholesterol levels, while also introducing a lot of protein and healthy fat. Boosting your HDL levels can increase the efficiency of testosterone, while key nutrients like vitamins A, K2 and others all increase testosterone production and lower cortisol in the body.



While it doesn’t seem like it would have a big impact on testosterone, watermelon has actually been found to increase libido by a significant amount. That’s because watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid that works the same way as certain drugs that are used to treat erectile dysfunction by relaxing blood vessels. Citrulline is also able to increase arginine in your body, leading to more testosterone production. Some have disputed arginine’s ability to help testosterone, but certain studies have found there’s a positive benefit.

Foods That Lower Testosterone


Even simply cutting certain foods and drinks from your diet can help you prevent losing testosterone. The first thing you want to avoid if you’re looking to increase testosterone is alcohol. Drinking heavily can quickly lower testosterone levels while increasing estrogen, which isn’t exactly a desired result for men. Drinking in moderation can actually raise your testosterone level, however, as some studies showed having half of a drink can cause a boost.

Flaxseed, while having many other health benefits, can be a hindrance on testosterone. The same can be said for soy, mint and vegetable oils can all be part of healthy diets, but not if you want to boost testosterone. Overall, cutting out high calorie junk foods (such as fried foods, ice cream, pasta and others) that can raise your blood pressure is a good way to make sure you don’t lower your testosterone. Just stick to the diet listed above and your testosterone will be back on track, leaving you feeling and looking much better in no time!

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Low Carb Diet Foods: What to Eat and What to Avoid

It seems that certain nutrients that we find in food come and go as being high in popularity and then completely demonized by dieters. Right now, cutting out carbohydrates from your diet is all the rage, as people have found a lot of success on diets such as Paleo and Keto by almost completely cutting carbs out. This can result in some shockingly fast weight loss, though limiting carbs is easier said than done. This is especially true because some people don’t realize just how many carbs some foods have.

If you’re looking to get into a low carb diet, there are still plenty of great foods that you can eat on a daily basis. From breakfast to dessert, we have you covered so that you know what you can and cannot have. So for those that find themselves in a pinch, just take a look at our guide of low carb diet foods so you’ll always be prepared no matter the situation!

Meats, Seafood and Poultry


Basically any meat that you eat is either going to have no carbohydrates, or a very small amount (depending on what other ingredients you use). Many people on a low carb plan stick with eating a lot of lean meat that’s low in calories, fat and carbs while also being high in protein. This makes turkey, chicken, bacon, beef and all fish great low carb diet foods. One of the more popular lean meats that we’ve looked at that’s growing in popularity because of its nutrition is bison, now a staple of a low carb diet.



Like meat, eggs have a high concentration of protein, and is even ranked higher in quality in terms of protein produced. One cup of raw egg whites contains just 1.8 grams of carbohydrates and more than 26.5 grams of protein with 0.4 grams of fat. Though you’ll need to get more fat into your diet on most low carb plans, eggs are one of those ideal foods you want to have around. The nutrients in eggs that include a lot of selenium and riboflavin (along with many antioxidants) are just an icing on the cake.



Not all vegetables are low carb diet foods (more on that later), but plenty of them will be low in carbohydrates. The rule of thumb for low carb vegetables is that they’re going to be good for your diet if they’re green and grow above ground. This includes lettuce, green beans, zucchini, avocado, broccoli and more. Peppers and tomatoes are also great for low carb diets, as well, even if they don’t fit into the green category. Cauliflower tends to be the most utilized in low carb plans, containing just four net grams of carbs per 100 gram serving.



Like vegetables, there are certain fruits that you’ll want to eat on a low carb plan and others to avoid. Fruits can be a bit of a mixed bag as some fruits in the same family contain a wide range of carbs. For instance, raspberries are much lower in carbs than blueberries at a ratio of five net grams to 12. However, blueberries are still a much better option than certain fruits like grapes or bananas, especially when adjusting the serving size. Other fruits that are suggested for low carb diets include plums, kiwis, cherries and cantaloupe.



If you’ve ever seen anyone trying to eat more low carb diet foods, you might have noticed that they usually have certain nuts around. Nuts have high amounts of fiber and healthy fats with a lower amount of carbohydrates. This makes nuts very filling, and can help you get up to the minimum amount of calories that you’ll need for energy. There are certain nuts that standout as being better for low carb dieters than others, with pecans and Brazil nuts being the best with four net grams of carbs per 100 grams. Most nuts score well in terms of carbs, though cashews tend to have the highest of the more popular nuts.



It’s suggested that if you’re going on a low carb diet that you limit yourself to fewer than four ounces of cheese on a daily basis. Most cheeses are incredibly low in carbs when contained to under this amount, including the more popular. Per serving, cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan and cream cheese are all under one net gram. Even Swiss and feta cheese are barely over the one net gram carb per serving. Most dairy as a whole, including butter, are going to be low in carbohydrates, but you don’t want to base your entire diet around them.

Added Ingredients


When you’re trying to spice up your other low carb diet foods, you want to make sure you’re not accidentally sneaking in a lot of carbs with certain ingredients. Toppings like jam and maple syrup are all incredibly high in net carbs, while your standard barbecue sauce and ketchup also have a sneaky amount of carbs. This can make your options feel limited, but there are plenty of good ones out there. Olive oil and coconut oil don’t have any net carbs, while others such as mayonnaise, mustard, guacamole, soy sauce and salsa are all suggested low carb ingredients. If you’re going for a salad, most dressings are good, including Caesar and Ranch.

Dessert Menu


Many people want to take the time out to treat themselves once in a while later in the day to satisfy their sweet tooth. While many of the desserts will typically be off limits, there are a few desserts that are better, including yogurt. These days, there are a lot of mass produced desserts from companies like Atkins that cut carbs out of traditional diet foods, including chocolate and ice cream. In its nature, heavy whipping cream is low in carbs, so you can get the full taste, topping off fruit with cream for a quick dessert.

Knowing Your Drinks


Most of the drinks that you can have while going on a low carb diet shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The drinks that we tend to think of being high in calories and sugars are usually higher in carbs, too. Milkshakes, ice coffees packed with sugar and sodas are ones that you want to avoid. Drinks that might surprise you in being higher in carbs include most smoothies and Vitamin Water. Drinking regular water, tea, coffee or diet sodas don’t contain any carbs. Others that you can have to meet your low carb goals include wine, coconut water and vegetable juice.

Foods to Avoid


When you’re looking to cut carbs, there are still some foods that you normally consider healthy that you’ll want to avoid. Most bread (especially white and whole wheat) are off limits, but more surprisingly is the amount of fruit and vegetables. Bananas, pears, mangos, corn and potatoes all contain more carbohydrates than fiber. Then, of course, you have the standard cereals and pastas that are always banned from low carb plans.

Just know that if you decide to go on a low carb diet, it can be a difficult lifestyle to stick with as your options for low carb diet foods are limited. While weight loss can come quickly, it can also be easy to regain once you start getting more carbs back into your diet. It’s best to eliminate most carbs from your diet, but make sure that you’re still getting some in your diet to make your plan much easier!

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Arthritis Diet: 7 Foods You Should Be Eating and What to Avoid

If you’ve ever woken up with achy and stiff joints, it can really make your morning much longer. Now just imagine that you spend all day with that feeling, except it’s much more painful. This is what’s known as arthritis, which affects your joints through inflammation, causing pain, swelling and many other symptoms. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid being the most common of the bunch.

There are plenty of ways that you can treat arthritis, although there is no known cure. The best way that you can relieve joint pain caused by arthritis is sticking to a specific diet. Even if you don’t have arthritis, eating a proper diet is helpful in preventing this disorder from ever happening to you. Let’s take a look at some of the foods that you should be eating on a weekly basis, and ones that you want to cut out from your diet completely to relieve arthritis.



Sweet cherries, tart cherries, it doesn’t matter what types of cherries you’re eating, as they’re all helpful for arthritis. The benefits of cherries have been known for generations, and have withstood the test of time. Simply drinking cherry juice was also shown to have benefits, as studies concluded that people who drank 16 ounces of cherry juice for six weeks showed large reduction in pain and stiffness in their joints.

Even taking a small amount in a separate study showed that more than half of the patients reduced their pain significantly. Cherries are also fantastic for those that suffer from gout pain, as they reduce flare ups by around 50 percent within just two days. Many of the participants in these studies were given cherry juice or pills, but simply eating cherries was also effective for pain reduction.



Pretty much all vegetables are going to be good at relieving arthritis symptoms, especially the green ones. Among the vegetables that help the most, though, is broccoli. Broccoli contains a chemical called sulforaphane that isn’t found too commonly in other foods. This chemical blocks inflammation and can even further damage, which also means that it’s great for preventing arthritis in the first place.

Even though broccoli does contain sulforaphane, you can take supplements that equal a larger amount that will give you the maximum benefits. Doctors have said that the ideal amount of sulforaphane would mean that you have to eat more than five pounds of broccoli. You don’t have to eat that much to get this helpful chemical, and any little bit certainly helps more than avoiding broccoli altogether!



Cantaloupe is one of the sweetest and most delicious fruits that you can find, and it just happens to be incredibly good for you in a lot of different ways. Cantaloupe has been shown to help boost your skin and immune system, while also being able to help prevent cancer! The cancer preventing phytochemicals within cantaloupe will also help your joints and ease arthritis symptoms.

These phytochemicals are anti-inflammatory by nature, which reduces the oxidative stress in your bones. People say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and cantaloupe is a fantastic way to get your day started. It’s also easy to eat cantaloupe as a snack or even dessert, making this a versatile food both in terms of health benefits and culinary wise.



Just like cantaloupe, eating fish has many benefits outside of arthritis relief that includes reducing your chances of cancer and boosting your brain to prevent neurological diseases. Most fish, including salmon and trout, contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. While the name not might suggest healthiness, it’s actually one of the best things that you can add to your diet. In terms of helping arthritis pain, omega-3 fatty acids prevent inflammation by blocking leukocytes and cytokines in your body.

This means that not only can you reduce your arthritis symptoms after they’ve already started, but you can prevent them from happening in the first place. Doctors say that omega-3 works as an anti-inflammatory on a cellular level, and is one of the more potent anti-inflammatories known to man. Doctors say that you should be eating smaller fish to get the maximum benefit since they’re known to contain less mercury, which keeps your brain and nervous system in check. Mackerel, trout, salmon and herring are all fine examples of fish that bring the most benefits with the fewest risks.

Kidney Beans


Professionals say that people with arthritis that want to relieve their symptoms should aim at eating one cup of beans, twice each week. Beans contain many of the phytonutrients that we talked about earlier, as well as a high amount of fiber that can help just about any aspect of your health. Protein in beans also supports your muscles, further relieving pain that you might be feeling, especially in your legs.

There of course are many different types of beans, and doctors say that red kidney beans are the best that you can get. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, kidney beans contain more antioxidants and have more anti-inflammatory properties than other beans. If you don’t have access to kidney beans, don’t worry, as there are still plenty of benefits for relieving arthritis by eating other types of beans.

Olive Oil


While more of an ingredient than a food, there’s a chance that you’re getting more olive oil in your diet than you realize. If you’re not getting much, consider adding more since it’s great for arthritis, even when just swallowing a spoonful. Olive oil contains oleocanthal that prevents two major inflammatory enzymes from producing in your body. Researchers have said that olive oil has the same characteristics of ibuprofen, but works even faster!

Olive oil was shown to have a significant improvement for patients that had both chronic inflammation and acute inflammation. The amount that was used for patients was 3.5 teaspoons, which is actually quite a bit, especially in terms of calories. You don’t have to take that much at a time, and make sure not to heat olive oil so that it maintains its ability to prevent inflammation.



Like olive oil, garlic is another ingredient that you don’t need to eat a lot of at once to see an improvement to your arthritis symptoms. Garlic is shown to reduce swelling in people of any form of arthritis no matter how you’re eating it. Garlic prevents inflammation, while also blocking microbes and oxidants from attacking your body. Garlic certainly has an overall benefit for your health, and studies showed that nearly 90 percent of patients with arthritis that took garlic saw an improvement to their symptoms.

Foods to Avoid


While all of these foods we mentioned are going to improve your quality of life if you have arthritis, there are certain ones that you want to steer clear of, as they can trigger flare ups. These foods cause inflammation in your body, and don’t have much nutritional value in terms of vitamins and minerals that can counteract some of the symptoms. Foods to avoid include:

  • Sugary Foods (Such as Candy and Soda)
  • Any Fried Foods (Such as Chicken and Frozen Dinners)
  • Foods with High Sodium (And Preservatives)
  • Most Dairy Products (Except Low or Non-Fat Dairy)
  • Grilled Meats
  • Corn Oil
  • Alcohol

As long as you’re sticking to the foods we listed earlier and avoiding these ones, you should enjoy the benefits of being free from arthritis pain. If you suffer from arthritis, you certainly know how much it can affect your life. Even if you don’t have arthritis, sticking to this diet can make sure that you never have to know what it’s like!