Best Foods For Healthy Skin

Best Foods For Healthy Skin

Food can improve your health or cause health issues. A healthy diet positively affects all of the body, including the skin. While many fitness centers only offer an exercise program, we offer a personalized diet and exercise program at VIP Fitness in Fort Lee, NJ. You’ll be amazed at the difference eating healthy can make. It can make weight loss easier, improve health issues, and even make your skin look its best. Good nutrition builds strong cells and improves your complexion from the inside. It can improve your skin far better than any expensive cream or lotion.

Knowing your skin type can guide you to the best diet.

Most people know whether they have dry or oily skin. It’s as simple as washing and drying your face, waiting a few hours, and then examining it. If your cheeks look dry and flaky, it’s dry. If it’s oily around the nose and above the brow—the T-zone—but the cheeks are dry, it’s a combination skin. If you place a tissue on your skin after two hours and the tissue sticks due to grease and oil, it’s oily. A healthy diet can deal with each type of skin and help troubled skin that is prone to breaking out.

Include a wide assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Plant phytonutrients can determine the color of the produce. For instance, a deep red, purple, or blue color indicates anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that also makes blueberries blue. It’s anti-inflammatory and can help reduce skin irritation that causes breakouts. Orange fruits and vegetables contain beta carotene that converts to vitamin A and is a natural sunscreen.

You need fat in your diet, but it needs to be healthy fat.

Most people get upset when they hear the word fat but you need healthy fat. Healthy fat is necessary for burning body fat and plays a vital role in attractive skin. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce or eliminate inflammation. That can reduce the risk of acne and keep skin clearer. Zinc, vitamin E, and protein are also necessary for healthy skin. Walnuts and fatty fish provide these nutrients. Avocados provide healthy fat that protects the skin by keeping it supple and moist.

  • A study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics noted that food high in sugar, including highly processed food, increased the potential for breakouts and complexion issues. Consuming food lower on the glycemic scale improved skin.
  • The older you are, the more water you need to drink to plump skin. Seniors tend to dehydrate faster and that shows by creating lines and wrinkles. Adequate hydration can plump skin. Including juicy fruit and vegetables in your diet also helps hydrate skin.
  • Red and purple grapes contain resveratrol that’s an antioxidant. It’s an antioxidant that can slow skin aging. Eating probiotic foods such as yogurt or kimchi helps balance the body’s microbiome to prevent damaging bacterial growth.
  • Don’t forget to include foods high in vitamin C, like broccoli. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production. Collagen improves skin hydration and elasticity. Bone broth is another collagen source.

For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center

Trans Fat Vs Saturated Fat

Trans Fat Vs Saturated Fat

Both trans-fat and saturated fat occur naturally. Only small amounts of natural trans fats exist in the meat and dairy products of cows and other ruminant animals. The trans fats that are the troublemakers are man-made and come from hydrogenating oils. Saturated fat is natural. It’s solid at room temperature. The biggest difference between saturated fat and trans fats is that your body needs saturated fat, but man-made trans fats can harm it.

The trans-fat in most people’s diet isn’t natural, but man-made.

A German Chemist named Wilhelm Normann treated liquid vegetable oil and fish oils with hydrogen. In 1911 Proctor & Gamble hydrogenated cottonseed oil and Crisco entered the market. It wasn’t until the Depression and WWII that the shortage of butter increased the demand for hydrogenated oil, such as margarine. It had a longer shelf life, was cheaper, and was easier to access so the public loved it. It took over 100 years for the FDA to ban trans fats, but they did it in 2018.

Just because it’s banned, it doesn’t mean it still isn’t in food.

You would think a ban would mean that it couldn’t be in food, but that’s not true. It’s the processing method that creates that issue. It’s hard to tell when you read the label. The FDA allows manufacturers to list the trans fats in food as 0 on the label if it has less than 0 grams per serving. If the serving size is smaller than you consume, you could be eating more than you think. Eating food from other countries, where trans fats aren’t banned, is also a problem. Trans fats are in many snack foods and fast foods. Heating oil at high temperatures naturally creates trans fats, so foods fried in oil repeatedly heated probably are high in trans fats.

We know that trans fats are bad, but why are saturated fats bad?

While there are few studies on the effects of natural trans fats on the body, the evidence is pretty solid that man-made trans fats are unhealthy and have no redeeming qualities. It’s different when you’re speaking of saturated fats. Recent studies show that decreasing saturated fat showed no health benefits. Your body needs saturated fat to build cell membranes. Some saturated fats boost the immune system and aid in fighting tumors. Others help reduce body fat and aid in fat-soluble vitamin absorption.

  • Fat can aid in burning body fat. Your body needs fat. It’s all about the amount and type of fat. Between 20 and 35% of your calories should come from fat. 10% should come from saturated fat and 0% from trans fats.
  • If you’re trying to lower your intake of saturated fats, don’t choose fat-free options. Choose monounsaturated or polyunsaturated as a substitute.
  • Trans fats cause inflammation, which can lead to diabetes, some forms of cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. While butter contains natural trans fats and margarine contains artificially created trans fats, only margarine increases inflammatory markers.
  • The food source of saturated fat makes a difference. Saturated fat from red meat and butter increased the risk of heart disease, while saturated fat from yogurt or cheese reduced the risk.

For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center

Healthy Snacks To Always Have Handy

Healthy Snacks To Always Have Handy

Many people in Fort Lee, NJ, make healthy snacks ahead, so they’re ready when hunger hits. It can happen when you’re driving, at work, or home. Having them ready allows you to snack while sticking with a good nutrition program. Some people may think snacking is bad, but that’s not true. It’s an important part of any weight loss program. It helps you feel satisfied throughout the day so you aren’t tempted to eat junk food and won’t overeat at the next meal.

Have easy options in your refrigerator.

Fruit is an easy option that can be refrigerated or stored outside the refrigerator. Watermelon and cantaloupe are two examples of fruit you can prepare ahead and have ready. Just cube them and store them in the fridge for a cool treat that will satisfy both your need for a snack and your sweet tooth. Keeping berries, cherries, and grapes ready to eat is another option. You can even layer small mason jars in a parfait style with Greek yogurt, berries, bananas, and nuts. When you’re ready for a snack, they’re ready for you.

Of course, you can’t forget veggies and dip or popcorn.

You can make microwave popcorn from scratch. A microwave container with a lid you put on loosely and a bag of popcorn kernels are all you need. It’s healthier than the commercial microwave and far less expensive. Air-popped corn is the best option. Add flavor with seasonings. Having fresh veggies ready to eat can help provide snacks and ingredients ready for meal preparation. Use hummus or seasoned Greek yogurt for the dip.

Make trail mix and control ingredients while lowering the cost.

Trail mix can contain almost anything from nuts to M&Ms. Most of the trail mix you purchase contain lower-cost ingredients or ones that aren’t healthy. Create your own style of trail mix with nuts as the primary ingredient. Add in seeds, like shelled sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and dried fruit. You can add small amounts of dark chocolate, popcorn, peanut butter chips, or a few pretzels. If you want to add a little spice, salt, nutmeg, or cinnamon.

  • Peanut butter is a delicious topping for fruit. Slice apples and put on some peanut butter. You can also combine sliced cheese with fruit for another easy-to-make snack.
  • Cottage cheese and unsweetened applesauce make a good go-to snack. You can also top the cottage cheese with fresh fruit like berries, pineapple, or strawberries.
  • Having a cold treat ready in the summer is important. Frozen grapes are a delight. You can also blend fruit and pour it into ice pop molds. Just blend, freeze, and when you’re ready for a cold treat, eat.
  • If you need more fiber in your diet, make overnight oats and have them ready for those snacking emergencies. Top it with fruit or flavoring as a filling, but delicious snack.

For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center

Do Carbs Make You Fat?

Do Carbs Make You Fat?

Low carbohydrate diets play an important role in weight loss. While healthy low-carbohydrate diets are effective and nutritious when based on scientific principles, cutting out all carbs doesn’t follow the rules of good nutrition and can be dangerous. Not all carbs make you fat. Some carbs can help you lose weight while providing important nutrients.

There are good carbs, and there are bad carbs.

Carbohydrates are macronutrients and are primarily considered a source of energy. There are three categories of carbohydrates, simple, complex, and fiber. Simple carbs include sugar. They digest quickly and cause blood sugar levels to spike. Complex carbs are starchy carbs. They are harder to digest and include most vegetables, legumes, and grains. Fiber is the third type of carbohydrate. It slows the absorption of sugar, adds bulk, and feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Sugar, simple carbs, provide little nutrition.

Simple carbs tend to be bad carbs. Simple carbs deliver an energy high quickly, but just as quickly as it spikes, it also drops because of a big increase in insulin levels. That can lead to insulin resistance, and ultimately to weight gain, and if left untreated, type 2 diabetes. Most simple carbs have little or no nutritional value, but plenty of calories that increase weight. These are the bad carbs and include highly processed foods, sugar, and food with added sugar.

Healthy carbs get a bad rap.

Complex carbs and fiber are often clumped with bad sources of carbs. That’s a mistake. You need these for both a healthy body and weight loss management. Complex carbs are loaded with nutrients, which include vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They slow digestion so you’ll feel fuller longer. The fiber in good carbs slows the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber mixes with water to create a gel that softens stools and feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut. Insoluble fiber isn’t digested but adds bulk to the stool to make it easier to pass. Studies show a diet high in soluble fiber can promote heart health and lower the risk of developing high cholesterol.

  • Good carbs are found in the produce section since fruits and vegetables contain them and are in whole-grain products. Bad carbs are located in areas that sell baked goods, cookies, refined wheat products, and white rice.
  • Eating healthy doesn’t mean eliminating any of the macronutrients, protein, fats, or carbohydrates. It means choosing the healthiest option in each category.
  • If you’re trying to reduce the bad carbs in your diet, start by cutting out food with added sugar. It’s hard to do since sugar is addictive. It stimulates the opioid receptors in the brain that bring pleasure, similar to addictive drugs.
  • Healthy carbs can become unhealthy if they’re highly processed or cooked in an unhealthy manner. While onions, cauliflower, eggplant, broccoli, and peppers are healthy, the deep-fried counterparts of these vegetables aren’t.

For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Eating healthy is important. Healthy eating is about avoiding food that harms the body and consuming more food that offers benefits. Is apple cider vinegar—ACV—one of those? Many people in Fort Lee, NJ, believe it is. You can use it as a skin toner, hair rinse, acne treatment, and natural deodorant, but the real power is the flavor it adds to food and the health benefits it provides. ACV can even boost weight loss.

ACV is a fermented liquid.

ACV starts out with apples. The apples are chopped and put in water with sugar, which allows yeast to ferment it and turn it into hard cider, which is alcohol. The process doesn’t stop there. A second fermentation process turns the alcohol into acetic acid. The acetic acid gives it a sour flavor and strong smell. It’s also why ACV has health benefits. It’s a probiotic that boosts beneficial microbes and improves gut health and improves the immune system.

ACV may be beneficial for weight loss.

Both animal studies and human studies show benefits from ACV for weight loss. Rat studies show that acetic acid increases the metabolism of rats and prevents fat from being deposited. The reduction in fat deposits may have occurred because the rats given ACV were more active. Human studies came to similar conclusions. Compared to individuals that drank plain water, a group taking a tablespoon or two of ACV in water showed increased weight loss and better cholesterol levels. Other studies show consuming it in water increases the feeling of fullness, so people ate less.

Diabetics and those with insulin resistance may benefit from using ACV.

Insulin resistance occurs when insulin doesn’t cause cells to open to and uptake glucose from the blood. The high glucose levels trigger the production of more insulin. Eventually, the constant production of insulin can affect the body’s ability to create it, leading to type 2 diabetes. Several smaller studies show that ACV can improve insulin sensitivity and cause fasting blood sugar levels to be lower.

  • High blood sugar levels not only affect diabetes. It can result in chronic disease or early aging. ACV can lower blood glucose levels.
  • While ACV has many beneficial properties, it’s not a substitute for medical treatment or a healthy diet and regular exercise. Always consult your healthcare provider before making dramatic changes to your diet.
  • The acetic acid in ACV can create problems for anyone with stomach issues. Never take it without diluting it. Mix ACV with water if you’re using it as mouthwash or for a sore throat. Limit use as a tooth whitener.
  • Rubbing ACV into the scalp is beneficial as a dandruff treatment. Mix it with water and spray it on pets in the summer to help reduce flea problems. Fleas don’t like the slightly acidic conditions it creates.

For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center


Can I Really Boost My Immunity With Veggies?

Can I Really Boost My Immunity With Veggies?

Who doesn’t want a healthy, powerful immune system that helps protect you from illness and serious conditions? Nobody, that’s who. One way to give your immunity a boost is to consume more fruits and veggies. Clients who come to VIP Fitness in Fort Lee, NJ get nutritional counseling. It includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Some help lower blood pressure, others help lose weight and still others can help boost your immunity. So which vegetables are the best if you want a strong immune system to prevent colds, flu, and other illnesses?

You don’t have to eat citrus to get the benefits of vitamin C.

Vitamin C plays a role in many of your bodily functions, including immune function. It boosts the immune system. When most people think of vitamin C, they think of oranges and lemons, but many other fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C besides citrus fruits. For instance, red or yellow sweet bell peppers are high in vitamin C, just as green chili peppers are. One green chili pepper provides 121% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. Kale and broccoli also provide high amounts of vitamin C.

It takes more than just vitamin C to keep your immune system healthy.

Your body needs zinc, iron, and vitamins A, D and E to maintain a healthy immune system. You also need phytonutrients. Legumes, nuts, and seeds are good vegetarian iron sources. Focus on orange and yellow vegetables like sweet potatoes or squash for vitamin A. Spinach is another good source. The sun and animal products like egg yolk and oily fish provide most vitamin D, but certain mushrooms also contain it. Scientists classify mushrooms as fungus but for nutritional purposes, they’re a vegetable. Vitamin E is in many plants. Green leafy ones, like spinach, are a good source. So are asparagus, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.

Phytonutrients play a significant role in immune health.

Phytonutrients are part of the plant’s defense system. They’re natural chemicals in plants that protect them from fungi, bugs, germs, and other threats. Some phytonutrients give plants their color. Anthocyanins, for instance, make purple, blue, and deep red veggies that color. Other phytonutrients include polyphenols, flavonoids, resveratrol, carotenoids, and limonoids. A good example of how well they boost your immune system was the study that found elderberries as effective as Tamiflu for preventing the flu.

  • Any food that improves the gut microbiome can boost your immune system. Sauerkraut and Kimchi, both fermented vegetables, are excellent choices. Vegetables with soluble fiber, like broccoli, are other good choices.
  • Herbs and spices, such as garlic, cayenne pepper, saffron, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric won’t make a meal, but they come from plants and boost your immune system. It’s the curcumin in turmeric and allicin in garlic that helps.
  • Folate is another nutrient to improve immune health. It’s made of leafy greens, lentils, and beans.
  • While eating food that boosts your immune system is beneficial, it’s just as important to avoid food that interferes with it, like sugar. To be your healthiest, remove food with added sugar from your diet.

For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center