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The Truth About Abs - And Food That Builds Muscles.

Can foods really build muscles well i have just come across this article on MSN which certainly suggests so.

It discusses the properties of the following foods and makes some interesting claims.

Cashew Nuts

For the full article visit the site at MSN

Try them out and leave you comments, good and not so good. Many thanks.

The Benefits Of Aerobics

There are more benefits of aerobics for your body that you could possibly count. All over the world today, people are talking about new and better ways to work out, because all over the world the health rates of people are falling into very dangerous territories. That means that doctors and other health care professionals have been talking about the benefits of aerobics for some time. You too can cash in on this get kind of exercise.

There are simply too many benefits of aerobics to mention quickly. However, there are a few that stick out as very important. For instance, the best way that you can make sure you are living a healthy life is to get your heart rate pumping, and the absolute best way to get your heart rate going is to find something that you can do like aerobics, that requires constant movement without any resting In order to be really and truly healthy, you have to be able to have a constant movement and to get your heart rate going for a length of time. Allowing your hear to keep going a higher rate than resting for a set amount of time is one of the best ways to get healthy, because this delivers blood and oxygen to each part of your body at an even faster rate.

There are also many more benefits of aerobics that you might not have even realized. Besides for making your heart and lungs strong, aerobics makes all of your muscles stronger because you have to keep them moving for longer periods of time without stopping. This means that no matter what part of your body you are concentrating your aerobics on working, you're going to find that you are getting stronger and stronger as time goes on.

You should talk to a doctor if you are interested in getting a full list of the benefits of aerobics, but know right away that there are many. Before you begin an aerobics routine, however, you should be sure that you are talking to your doctor, because there are some people who need to work their way up to a fully fledged routine because of other health issues. Be sure that you have the green light from your doctor so you can get started on getting the benefits of aerobics straight to yourself! You will never feel so healthy as when you are working out and taking care of yourself, and getting into an aerobics routine is the best way for you to accomplish this.

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The Best Stomach Exercises

It is only natural, most people want to look their best, and exercising their stomach muscles is usually a huge part of most fitness programs. If so much time and energy is going to be focused on this muscle group, it is a good idea to know what the best stomach exercises are. There are many resources available for finding the best stomach exercises, and plenty of people to say what they consider the best, so how can a person decide for themselves which truly are the best exercises for working their stomach muscles?

First of all it is important to note that the best stomach exercises are those that a person is willing to do. No matter how effective the exercise is, if a person isn't going to do them consistently the exercise will not benefit that particular individual. It is also important to note that the best stomach exercises do not necessarily require equipment to perform them, although some machines and equipment may work quite well for some people.

When a person decides on a fitness program that includes stomach exercises, it is best to include stomach exercises that work the different parts of the stomach. If a person simply concentrates on one area of their stomach, there workout will not be as effective. The best stomach exercises, combine working the oblique, which are the side muscles, the lower abdominals, the mid section and also the upper section.

Some of the most popular stomach exercises are crunches. These are a very effective exercise and very convenient since they can be performed anywhere without any equipment. The next stomach exercise that is also very popular and goes along with the basic crunch is the side crunch, which works out the oblique.

Some people consider the best stomach exercises to be included in a Pilate's workout. The reason for this is because in Pilates, the whole focus is on the core of the body which is the abdominal, or stomach muscles. Every movement in a Pilate's workout will work the stomach muscles either directly or indirectly. These exercises can be found on the internet, either the exercise itself or video's that can be purchased.

Another good exercise that some fitness experts considers to be one of the best stomach exercises involves laying flat on your stomach, leg straight and then raising your body up using your arms as your hands are clasped together and keeping your body straight as if doing a pushup. Hold this position as long as you can stand. This is an excellent movement to strengthen the whole stomach.

Remember again though that just because one person may consider a specific exercise to be the best stomach exercise that does not necessarily mean it is the best for everyone. Each person's body is different and will respond differently to certain movements. Any one serious about working on the abdominal muscles will find it most helpful to try several different stomach exercises and then determine which one they can both feel and see results with. If one exercise is simply too hard to do correctly, or does not feel like it has done anything for the muscle group worked, that exercise is clearly not the best and the person should find what works best for them.

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Cardio Exercise

Everyone has wondered at some point in time which cardio exercise is better. To put it in simple terms, both low and high intensity exercises will help you to burn off body fat. The question here is which is the most effective to burn off more body fat.

When scientists first discovered that during intensive exercises, your body burns glycogen, which is a form of stored carbohydrates that are stored in your liver and muscles for energy. During low intensity exercises, your body will burn a lot of fat.

If your wondering whether or not it works, the answer is no because there are so many obese people still around. Even though they are working out with low intensity routines, it still makes you wonder how it can be.

The scientists were right when they said the human body burns more body fat during low intensity exercises like walking or swimming. During a high intensity exercise such as running, the body will burn a lot more calories. Even if some of the calories burnt are from glycogen, there are still many fat calories burned as well.

To put the icing on the cake, when your store of glycogen gets low, the carbohydrates from your food you eat will later get converted into glycogen to fill up the store and won't be converted to body fat when they are left unused for energy.

High intensity cardio exercise will juice up your metabolism even after you have completed your workout. What this means, is that your body will continue to burn body fat hours after you have left the gym. This effect is nearly non existent in low intensity cardio or aerobic workout.

Accumulatively, your body will burn up more and more calories during and after you have finished a high intensity cardio exercise that it will with low intensity.

You can inject high intensity exercises into your cardio workout by introducing some interval training. You can walk for 5 minutes or so, then break into some jogging for another 5 minutes or so. Then, walk briskly again until you have caught your breath and then sprint for a minute before you walk again. From this point, simply alternate your running and walking for the next 15 minutes until you are finished.

One of the best things about cardio is the more you do it, the more energy you'll have. Cardio will help you to burn calories, although its more useful for keeping your energy levels high.

If you've never tried cardio before, you should give it a shot. If you like to exercise, you'll find cardio the best way to boost your energy and keep in top shape. If you are just starting out, you'll want to go slow and keep your cardio exercise in track - as it is very easy to over exert yourself.

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Tips For Six Pack Abs

Have you ever seen people with rock hard six pack abs and wish that was you? There are people who would like to have a great body without spending too much time in the gym. With the fast paced kind of lifestyle that most people have, would there be easy ways to get the body that you want?

Actually there are some easy and simple tips that would help you get the six pack stomach that you want. Avoid eating while watching the television. Since your mind and focus will be on the movie and television show that you are watching, you would not be able to watch the amount of food that you are eating. You may tend to overeat while watching television.

Do not skip breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. Upon waking up, the metabolism is accelerated and fat starts to burn. You would need enough food to cope to cope up with the day. Calories would burn while you perform your daily tasks. By avoiding a meal, you tend to over eat the next meal.

Incorporate good eating habits to your daily routine. Aside from making sure you eat regularly and not in front of the television, you need to make sure that good fats are incorporated to your diet. Some people shudder in the word fats, well, there are fats that are good for your. Fish oil, flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil are the healthy fats.

Water is good for you. The more water you drink, the better. You don't have to stick just drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water when you can drink more. But we are required to drink that much water everyday to keep hydrated. This would regulate fat burning and body metabolic process.

If drinking milk, the choose skim milk. There are healthier alternatives; all you need to do is make sure that whenever you go to the store to buy groceries, you choose the healthier alternative.

Diet is incomplete if you don't put some mobility into your routine. So still incorporate exercise routine into your lives. Doing a hundreds of sit-ups a day is not good enough. Think about your whole body and not only about your abdomen. When aiming for six pack abs, cardiovascular exercises are a must. This kind of exercise increase stamina and heart condition, it burn fat in a quick way. Cardiovascular exercises can be done 5 minutes a day, and can increase it to 45 minutes. Aside from cardiovascular exercises you can also do some weight training to get the body that you want.

Not all exercises can be done inside the gym, take your exercise outside. Take a walk, stand straight in a cocktail party, you can even do some exercises during your break time while you are sitting down on your chair.

Aside from proper diet and exercise, getting the minimum seven to eight hours of sleep every night is very important. Sleeping rejuvenates your body. It repairs muscular system by decreasing the stress hormone levels.

And last, you need to be consistent. You may plan or devise your own exercise regimen, but getting your six pack abs just does not stay there. You must be consistent with the plan or regimen you devised. That is why diet or exercise do not work, because we lack consistency in doing things. Six pack abs are easy, as long as you put yourself into it.

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The Shocking Truth about Dietary Fats and Saturated Fats

I’ll preface this article by saying that it will help if you have an open mind and accept that some of these facts are a slap in the face to politically correct nutrition in this day and age where fats are admonished by many doctors, health "experts", and the mass media.

To start, eating an adequate supply of healthy dietary fats is vitally important to your overall health. Fats are one of the main components in all of the cell membranes throughout your entire body. If you eat enough healthy natural fats, your cellular processes will proceed normally.

On the other hand, if you eat man-made, heavily processed, chemically altered fats (damaged fats) that are found in most processed foods, your cellular function will be impaired as these damaged fats become part of your cell membranes, the body will have to work harder to operate correctly, and de-generative diseases can develop.

In addition, healthy dietary fats are necessary for optimal hormone production and balance within the body and are therefore essential for the muscle building and fat burning processes. Other important functions that dietary fats play in a healthy body are aiding vitamin and mineral utilization, enzyme regulation, energy, etc.

I cringe every time I hear so called "health experts" recommend restriction of dietary fat, claiming that a low-fat diet is the key to good health, weight loss, and prevention of degenerative diseases. Restriction of any one macronutrient (protein, carbs, or fat) in your diet works against what your body needs and can only lead to problems.

All three basic macronutrients serve important functions for a lean, healthy, and disease-free body. As Dr. Mary Enig, Ph.D, and one of the leading fats researchers in the world, notes in several of her books and articles, there is very little true scientific evidence supporting the assertion that a high fat diet is bad for us.

For example, if these so called "health experts" that admonish fat are correct, and a low-fat diet is the solution to good health, then why did traditional Pacific Islanders who typically obtained 2/3 to 3/4 of their total daily calories from fat (mostly from coconut fat), remain virtually free from heart disease, obesity, and other modern degenerative diseases (that is, until Western dietary influences invaded)?

Also, why did traditional Eskimo populations, consuming up to 75% of their total caloric intake from fat (mostly from whale blubber, seal fat, organ meats, and cold water fish), display superior health and longevity without heart disease or obesity?

Why did members of the Masai tribe in Africa remain free from degenerative diseases and maintain low body fat percentages on diets consisting of large quantities of raw whole milk, blood, and meat? What about the Samburu tribe of Africa, which eats an average of 5 times the quantity of dietary fat (mostly from raw whole milk and meat) as overweight, disease-ridden Americans, yet Samburu members are lean, healthy, and free of degenerative diseases?

What about traditional Mediterranean diets, which are known to be very high in fat in some cases (sometimes up to 50-70% fat), and are also well known to be very healthy?

These examples of high fat diets and the associated excellent health of traditional populations around the world go on and on, yet it seems that many doctors, nutritionists, and media outlets still ignore these facts and continue to promote a diet that restricts dietary fat intake.

Well, the problem is that the good fats (the natural unprocessed health promoting fats) have gotten mistakenly lumped together in nutritional advice with the deadly processed fats and oils that make up a large percentage of almost all processed food that is sold at your local grocery store, restaurant, deli, fast food joint, etc. These deadly processed fats are literally everywhere and almost impossible to avoid unless you know what to look for and make smart choices in what you feed your body with.

Take note that I’m not recommending following a super high fat diet (although technically this can be more healthy than a high carb diet as long as you choose healthy fats).

However, in most cases, active individuals that exercise on a regular basis certainly also need adequate supplies of healthy carbohydrates for energy and muscle glycogen replenishment as well as good sources of protein for muscle repair. The above examples of the high fat diets of traditional populations and their corresponding excellent health were simply to prove the point that you don't need to be afraid of dietary fats as long as you make healthy natural choices and stay within your daily caloric range to maintain or lose body fat (depending on your goals).

Following is a list of some of the healthiest fatty foods (some will surprise you!) as well as some of the deadliest fatty foods to try to avoid at all costs:

The Healthy Fatty Food Choices:

* Coconut fat: Coconut fat is approximately 92% saturated fat, yet surprisingly to most people, is considered a very healthy natural fat. The health benefits of coconut fat lie in its composition of approximately 65% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Specifically, about 50% of coconut fat is a MCT called lauric acid, which has very potent anti-microbial properties helping to enhance the immune system. Also, MCTs are more easily utilized for immediate energy instead of being stored as body fat. Coconut oil is also an excellent cooking oil for stir-frying, etc. since saturated fats are much more stable and do not oxidize like polyunsaturated oils when exposed to heat and light, which creates damaging free radicals. The best sources of healthy coconut fat are organic coconut milk, virgin coconut oil (available at, or fresh coconut.
* Extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil is approximately 71% monounsaturated, 16% saturated, and 13% polyunsaturated. Choose “extra virgin” olive oil, which comes from the first pressing of the olives and has higher quantities of antioxidants. Unlike most other oils on supermarket shelves, extra virgin olive oil is not extracted with the use of harmful industrial solvents and is one of your healthiest choices for liquid oils. Try making your own salad dressing by mixing a small amount of olive oil with vinegar. This is healthier than most store bought salad dressings, which are usually made with highly processed and refined (chemically damaged) soybean oil extracted with industrial solvents.
* Dark, bittersweet chocolate (>70% cocoa): The cocoa bean is a very concentrated source of antioxidants and responsible for part of the health benefit of dark chocolate. The fat portion of the cocoa bean (cocoa butter) is a healthy natural fat, composed of approximately 59% saturated fat (mostly healthy stearic acid), 38% monounsaturated fat, and 3% polyunsaturated fat. I’ll limit the description of healthy chocolate to ONLY dark bittersweet chocolate with >70% cocoa content. Most milk chocolates are only about 30% cocoa, and even most dark chocolates are only about 55% cocoa, leaving the remainder of those products composed of high amounts of sugar, milk fat, corn sweeteners, etc. Look for a quality dark chocolate that lists its cocoa content like Chocolove Extra Dark (77%) or Dagoba New Moon (74%), which contain mostly cocoa and very little sugar. Keep in mind that although dark chocolate can be a healthy treat, it is still calorie dense, so keeping it to just a square or two is a good idea.
* Avocados or guacamole: The fat in avocados (depending on where they’re grown) is approximately 60% mono unsaturated, 25% saturated, and 15% polyunsaturated. Avocados are a very healthy natural food that provides many nutrients, fiber, and healthful fats, while adding a rich flavor to any meal. Try sliced avocado on sandwiches or in salads or use guacamole in wraps, sandwiches, or quesadillas.
* High fat fish such as wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout, etc.: Just about any fish or seafood are good sources of natural omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, but the higher fat fish listed above are the best sources of omega-3’s. Due to the radical switch to a higher proportion of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats like soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, etc. in our food supply during the middle of the 20th century, the average western diet is currently way too high in omega-6’s compared to omega-3’s, which wreaks havoc in your body. This is where good omega-3 sources like high fat fish, walnuts, and flax seeds can help bring you back to a better ratio of omega-6/omega-3. I also recommend Krill Oil, which has been shown to possibly have even more health benefits than standard fish oil
* Nuts (any and all - walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, macadamias, etc.): Nuts are great sources of healthy unprocessed fats as well as minerals and other trace nutrients. Macadamias, almonds, and cashews are great sources of mono unsaturated fats, while walnuts are a good source of unprocessed polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3’s). Try to avoid nuts that are cooked in oil. Instead, choose raw or dry roasted nuts.
* Seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds): All of these seeds are great sources of natural unprocessed healthy fats. In particular, flax seeds have received a lot of attention lately due to their high omega-3 content. However, keep in mind that omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are highly reactive to heat and light, and prone to oxidation and free radical production. Therefore, freshly ground flax seed is the only way to go. Instead of using the store bought ground flax seed, you can buy whole flax seed and use one of those miniature coffee grinders to grind your own flax seed. Try grinding fresh flax seed into your yogurt, cereal, or even your salad. If you’re using a flax oil, make sure it’s a cold-pressed oil in a light-proof refrigerated container, and use it up within a few weeks to prevent it from going rancid. NEVER cook with flax oil!
* The fat in organically raised, free-range animals: This is where most people have been misinformed by the mass media. Animal fat is inherently good for us, that is, if it came from a healthy animal. Human beings have thrived on animal fats for thousands of years. The problem is, most mass produced animal products today do not come from healthy animals. They come from animals given loads of antibiotics and fattened up with hormones and fed un-natural feed. The solution is to choose organically raised, free-range meats, eggs, and dairy. At this time, the price is still a little higher, but as demand grows, the prices will come down. I've found an incredible website that actually offers free-range grass-fed meats delivered right to your doorstep at very reasonable prices. Believe me, it's very hard to find grass fed meats at any grocery stores, so I was pleased to find this site.

The Deadly Fatty Foods:

* Hydrogenated oils (trans fats): These are industrially produced chemically altered oils subjected to extremely high pressure and temperature, with added industrial solvents such as hexane for extraction, and have a metal catalyst added to promote the artificial hydrogenation, followed by bleaching and deodorizing agents…..and somehow the FDA still allows this crap to pass as food. These oils aren’t even worthy of your lawnmower, much less your body! They’ve been linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. Even small quantities have been shown in studies to be dangerous. If you care about your health, check the ingredients of everything you buy, and if you see partially hydrogenated oils of any kind, margarine, or shortening, protect yourself and your family by choosing something else.
* Refined oils: Even if the oils are not hydrogenated, most oils on your supermarket shelves are refined, even most of the so called “healthy” canola oils. Most refined oils still undergo the high temperature, high pressure, solvent extraction, bleaching, and deodorizing processes. Anything labeled vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, and even many canola oils have been damaged by this refining process (unless they say "virgin" or "cold expeller pressed"). This damages the natural structure of the fats, destroys natural antioxidants, creates free radicals, and produces a generally unhealthy product. Take note that the explosion of heart disease in the middle of the 20th century coincides quite nicely with the rapid increase in the use of hydrogenated and refined oils in the food supply.
* Anything deep fried: including tortilla chips, potato chips, French fries, donuts, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, etc. All of this crap shouldn't even pass as real food in my opinion!
* Homogenized milk fat - Milk fat is a very healthy fat in its natural raw state. Milk and beef from grass fed organically raised cows is known to have higher quantities of healthy fats like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids compared with grain fed cows. Traditional populations around the world have thrived in perfect health while consuming huge quantities of raw, non-pasteurized, non-homogenized, full fat dairy products. Once again, food processing ruins a good thing by pasteurizing and homogenizing milk fat, rendering it potentially dangerous inside the human body. Unfortunately, you will find it almost impossible to find raw milk in the US unless you personally know a farmer. Check out for more info on the benefits of raw milk and to find out if it’s available near you. As an alternative, cultured dairy products like yogurt have at least had beneficial microorganisms added back to them making them better for you. Realistically, since you probably won’t find raw milk, sticking to skim milk is the best option to avoid the homogenized milk fat. If you use butter for cooking, your best option is grass-fed butter.

I hope this article has shed some light on the truth about dietary fats and made you realize their importance in a healthy diet.

A fully comprehensive analysis on dietary protein, carbohydrates, and fat, and how to compile all of this information into a diet that promotes a lean healthy body with a low body fat percentage is provided in “The Truth About Six Pack Abs”. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed!