Coffee diet

Coffee in the Diet – The Pros and Cons of a Cup a Day

This morning I woke up and, like most mornings, one of the first things I did was head into my kitchen and make myself a cup of coffee. I’d like to think I’m not reliant on my daily cup of joe, but while it is not a necessity that I drink a cup every morning, it is an enjoyable part of my morning experience.

Today as I sat down to enjoy my morning caffeine, I started to think about what exactly were the health benefits and risks of including coffee in the diet. Is my daily cup (or two) something that I should continue to enjoy without worry of what it is doing to my health, or is it an indulgence that I should try to stop?

What is coffee?

Before beginning a discussion on why you should include or remove coffee from your daily diet, let’s take a brief moment to discuss what is coffee. Most people (certainly coffee drinkers) will recognize a roasted coffee bean. This is the finished product though and in order to get to this recognizable state, coffee beans go through a couple steps.

Coffee cherries on the treeDespite the name, a coffee bean is actually the seed of the coffee fruit, which is sometimes called a cherry. These fruit grow on coffee trees. Coffee trees prefer to grow in areas with rich soil, mild temperatures and frequent rain. For this reason,most coffee trees are grown in an area of the world called the “Coffee Belt” which is located around the Equator.

Coffee fruit start as a flower on the tree. After flowering, it takes the plant almost a year (!) to mature into a fruit that is ready for harvest. After harvesting the fruit is picked (usually by hand), and then the beans are removed from the fruit and dried.

Then these green coffee beans are polished and sorted by weight and size before they are ready to be exported and roasted. During roasting the beans are heated until they reach an internal temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The beans are now ready to be ground, brewed and consumed. Yum!

The Health Benefits of Coffee

There are a multitude of studies around the internet that have looked into what exactly coffee does to the body. There are ones praising coffee and it’s many benefits to the body, and there are others warning of over consumption and the risks that coffee drinkers take everyday.

Here is my take-away on these studies. Keep in mind I am a coffee drinker, and so my views on this might be skewed because I don’t want to have to give up my morning habit.

Coffee Helps to Reduce the Risk of Some Diseases

One of the key benefits of drinking coffee is that moderate consumption of coffee may help to decrease the risk of developing some diseases. Recent research into coffee has shown that there seems to be links between coffee consumption and lowered risks of liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular diseases.

Currently it is not known why coffee seems to help prevent some of these diseases. Some researchers and scientists believe it may be because of the caffeine content of coffee (although some studies show the same benefits from drinking decaffeinated coffee), others believe it is because of the high level of antioxidants in coffee, and others still think it may be due to some unknown quality of coffee that we have yet to discover.

Antioxidants

One of the reasons for coffee’s many health benefits is due to its high concentration of antioxidants. In fact, for most Americans coffee is the single largest source of antioxidants in the diet!

I’ve talked about antioxidants before when talking about the benefits of including beans in your diet. To review: antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals, which occur naturally in the body.

Having too many free radicals in the body though leads to increased risks of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer. Because coffee contains antioxidants, coffee can help prevent these diseases.

What about drinking coffee for weight loss?

Aside from the claims that coffee can help reduce the risk of certain diseases, I’ve also seen a lot of reports recently claiming that coffee can also aid in weight loss. The main support for this argument is the caffeine that is found in coffee.

Some research has shown that consuming caffeine can help to speed up metabolism and help to suppress appetite. As of now though, most research showing this correlation is preliminary and not consistent. In fact, some research even shows that using caffeine too often causes your body to build up a resistance to it, which means that if you want to get these weight loss benefits you need to practice drinking coffee for short periods of time and then abstaining (for example two weeks on, two weeks off).

Despite the possible benefits of caffeine on weight loss and weight maintenance, coffee consumption can be bad for the diet depending on the way you drink it. Regular black coffee for instance is a very low calorie drink that contains only 2 calories a cup and is therefore a great addition to your diet if you are watching your weight.

Unfortunately though, most people don’t drink their coffee black. Adding sugar and cream or milk to coffee can significantly increase the calories in your cup, and don’t even get me started on the fancy frappuchinos and other specialty drinks that some people consume. The added calories in these type of coffee drinks might actually cause someone to gain weight – yikes!

The takeaway – pros vs. cons

Overall, coffee can be included in a healthy diet, but as always one needs to practice moderation. So far there have been no studies that definitively link coffee to increased mortality rates or other negative consequences. In fact it has been shown that coffee decreases the risk of developing certain types of diseases!

Another thing to consider is that most of these benefits are found from drinking straight black coffee in moderation (up to 6 cups a day). Try to drink coffee black, but if you have to have sweeteners or milk, try to stick to fat free milk and try only a small amount of sugar or honey.

Also, pay attention to when you drink your coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant, so if you drink it too late in the day you might find yourself unable to get to sleep at night.

So, should you drink coffee?

Well ultimately this is up to you! What do you think? Do you think coffee can be a healthy part of the diet? Or do you think it should be removed? Let me know in the comments below!


Creatinine diet

How to Lower Creatinine Levels

Creatinine is the waste of creatine, a common nutrient in many meats and exercise supplements. Creatinine is always available in some level in the body, but if the body also struggles to break down creatinine it could cause damage to the kidneys and the rest of the body.

Interestingly, creatinine is actually used to test the function of healthy kidneys, because the kidneys generally do a great job of filtering creatinine out from the blood. Poorly functioning kidneys are more prone to creatinine spikes. Diabetes and exercise supplements can also increase the amount of creatinine in the body. It’s important to look at this from two perspectives:

  • Lowering Creatinine
  • Improving Kidney Health

Because healthy kidneys can generally remove most creatinine, the idea of maintaining “healthy” levels not only requires potential natural ways to stop the creation of creatinine, but also ensure that the kidneys are working effectively and efficiently.

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Step 1 is to always make sure that you’re cutting out any creatine supplements from your diet. These supplements will always provide an unnatural amount of creatine in the body, and could create dangerous levels of creatinine. Talk to your doctor about your diet and supplement plan.

Other Ways to Lower Creatinine

Drink Water

Urine is necessary for a reduction in creatinine. Your kidneys require a healthy amount of water to remove some of these elements, so make sure that you are always drinking enough water throughout the day to give your kidneys the support they need.

Consider a Vegetarian Diet

Creatine is found in a variety of meats, but is fairly uncommon in vegetarian diets. So if you’re trying to lower creatine/creatinine levels, you should strongly consider trying a vegetarian diet, or at least cutting back on the amount of meat you consume dramatically. It’s unclear how much of a role dietary changes will make in your ability to control creatinine, but many people argue that a vegetarian diet is actually creatine deficient, so presumably the low creatine levels will be helpful. Remember to talk to your doctor first before making any dietary changes.

Talk to Your Doctor About Avoiding Exercise

Exercise is actually incredibly important for both mental and physical health, and ideally not something you should ever skip. But at the same time, exercise is known to cause a temporary increase in creatinine levels. You may want to discuss the idea of avoiding intense exercise. However, make sure you continue to stay active as best you can, taking walks and doing less intense exercises as needed.

Herbs for Kidney Health

After you’ve ruled out kidney disease (which can be very serious and may require a visit to the emergency room) you should consider herbs for improving kidney health. Some of the most popular herbal remedies include: green tea, uva ursi, and stonebreaker.

Chitosan

Chitosan is another type of supplement that studies have shown may reduce creatinine levels naturally. It was used on patients with renal failure in a study at the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan, and did not appear to have any side effects in the study.

Creatinine treatments are tricky, because it’s important to first differentiate between kidney damage (which requires immediate treatment and could be deadly) and simply elevated creatinine levels. You’ll need to discuss these issues with your doctor, and make sure that you strongly consider cutting out creatine from your diet.


weight loss plan

5 Points To Choose The Perfect Weight Loss Plan For You

Thanks to a sedentary lifestyle and junk foods, there has been a considerable rise in obesity in the recent decade. Being overweight not only makes you look bad, but also is one of the main causes of various health problems which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. With thousands of tips on how to lose weight, it becomes hard to choose and follow the right one for you.

Also a better option to lose weight is going systematically and following tested plans to shed that extra weight. However choosing just any random plan does not guarantee weight loss and one must carefully analyze the type of weight loss plan before selecting one.

Losing weight with Phenq pilules is based on the fact that you need to spend more calories than you actually consume. Hence weight loss plans mainly concentrate on diet as well as exercise. You must consider the following points while selecting the perfect weight loss program for you.

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  1. Does It Suit Your Food Habits?

Choose the weight loss plan which suits your food habits. For instance it is not feasible for an Italian to go for a weight loss program which is based on Chinese food. There are lots of advantages of choosing a weight loss program based on your staple food. Firstly, the ingredients will be easily available in your locality. Some weight loss plans may ask you to eat different exotic food items and you may have a hard time looking for the ingredients. Secondly there is a good chance that you know how to cook the food if it is based on your staple diet and hence will be easier to cook rather than going through cooking manuals and ending up with something which does not look remotely close to the one in the picture. And finally, your body will easily accept the diet which you regularly eat rather than something which is completely alien.

  1. Does The Exercise Suit You?

Some people are more fit as compared to others while there are some who have never done any physical work in their entire life. Hence it is a good idea to check out the exercise plan to check if it is easy or hard to perform. You can select the plan which will suit your level. Also consider the time which you will be able to devote to the exercises.

  1. How Quickly You Will Lose Weight?

Some weight loss plans take more time and some take less time to show signs of weight loss. Choose the one according to your requirements. Both plans which take long time or less time to show results have their own merits and demerits and you must consider them properly before going for the plan. Plans which take long time usually are efficient in preventing weight gain later on but can get quite boring or de-motivating because of lack of fast results. On the other hand, if you follow plans which help you lose weight quickly, there are more chances of gaining weight again once you quit but they do provide you good motivation to stick to the plan.

  1. What Is Your Past?

Have you been through weight loss plans before? If yes, you must carefully analyze what things went wrong in the plan which compelled you to lose the plan in the first place. For instance- If you didn’t have much time for the plans, then it is better to go for a plan which doesn’t require you to exercise for 1 hour or more every day.

  1. Any Allergies and Health Condition?

If you have a medical condition, (for instance diabetes or blood pressure) make sure that the food included in the diet don’t contain the ingredients which are prohibited for you. Also if you have allergy with some food items (for instance milk), make sure that there are no dairy products in the diet plan you are going to follow.