My name is Charles. I'm originally from New Orleans, but now live in southeastern Ohio.
The reasons that I have become interested in promoting good health through exercise and diet is that
arteriosclerosis, prostate cancer and Alzheimer's Disease are some of the health concerns of my family gene pool. I
have created websites like burn-tummy-fat.com and exercise-to-a-healthier-life.com to share with others the things
that I have found in my research to stay healthy as I age.
I was raised on a diet that was high in saturated fats. That is probably the main reason why most of the men in
my family have suffered heart attacks at relatively young ages. Many of my childhood friends have also passed away
near the age of 50 due to heart problems. That is why I have followed new research, and have made the necessary
changes in my life to try to avoid many of the health problems that affect family and friends.
Here are some of the things that I have learned.
Bad Fats And Good Fats
Saturated fat is an enemy to good health. However, not all fat is bad. We need fats to:
- Provide energy
- Build healthy cells
- Build good brain structure
- Provide our bodies with vitamins A, D, E and K
- Make hormones
- Build healthy skin
Typically, saturated fats (solid at room temperature like lard) are bad, while unsaturated fats (liquids at room
temperature like canola oil) are good fats. We need the good fats, which are called essential fatty acids or essential fats. Our bodies need about 20 fatty acids. It can make
all except two of these twenty, which are called linolenic acid or omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid or
omega-6 fatty acid.
In the typical American diet, we get a lot of omega-6 but not enough omega-3 fats. Omega-6 can be found in most
of the vegetable oils and seeds, while omega-3 is found in canola oil, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cold
water fish like salmon and tuna, and in some vegetables like Brussels sprouts, kale and spinach.
Other fats that are bad and you should stay away from are hydrogenated fats and trans fats. There is nothing
good to say about these fats. Unfortunately, many of the American processed foods contain these very bad fats. For
good health, it is best to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, wild fish and meat raised on grass rather than grains
and animal parts.
Why Belly Fat Is Bad
Belly fat is also called visceral fat. This fat is located below the muscle layers and
surrounds our organs in our abdominal cavity. These fat cells are more than stored energy. They are biologically
active by producing hormones that can have negative effects on our health. Visceral fat has been linked to heart
disease, breast cancer, gall bladder problems and type 2 diabetes and other cancers.
The good news is that visceral fat can be removed with diet and proper exercises. A Mediterranean type of diet
and whole body exercises have been shown to help remove belly fat and build lean muscle. The only consequence of a
good diet and whole body exercises is improved health and a longer life.
Mediterranean Style Diet
Basically, it is a diet rich in
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and Seeds
- Whole Grains
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Canola Oil
- And cold water fish
Whole body exercises are more effective at removing belly fat and building lean muscles than single muscle
exercises. A whole body workout involves multiple joints and large muscle groups. Examples of whole body exercises
are lunges, squats and the bicycle maneuver abdominal exercise. Whole body workouts work by changing our hormonal
responses to build lean muscle and increase our metabolic rates for longer periods of time compared to single
Interval Training Routines are also more effective at burning belly fat than normal aerobic
exercises. Interval training involves exposing our bodies to intervals of rest and short burst of intense
workouts. These intervals of rest and burst of energy is more typical of what our bodies are designed to do
rather than long periods of intense workouts. Research is showing that interval training workouts actually gets
us into shape faster, more safely and more effectively than exercising at a single pace for long periods.
Mike Geary's book on the truth about six pack abs has helped me to better understand how to keep myself in good
physical condition as I age. Hopefully, you too will join me in our journey towards optimal health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Harvard School of Public Health
Facts About Fats - Ask Dr. Sears
Abdominal Fat And What To Do About It - Harvard Medical School
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