Bikram Yoga Classes that Make You Sweat

A Guide to Bikram Yoga Classes and Gear for Monterey

Category: Benefits of Bikram

Performing Flexibility Training Improves Our Range

Flexibility and Balance

As you get older, you will realize how important it is to stay flexible. Performing flexibility training improves our range of motion for our daily activities and protects us against pain or injury. In getting old, some of the physical changes that is attributed to aging would include an increased amount of calcium deposits, adhesion’s, as well as cross-links in the body

. There will also be an increase in the level of fragmentation and dehydration and changes in the chemical structure of the tissues. Also, there is a loss of suppleness due to the replacement of muscle fibers with fatty and collage nous fibers. All of these are one way or another, related to flexibility.

Therefore, you must plan for stretching after your workouts or start doing yoga or Pilates to increase your flexibility. To help you, be sure that your muscles are warm when you stretch. You can get this either from working out or after getting out of a hot bath or shower.

Flexibility and Age

Flexibility is really an important component of fitness particularly at advanced ages when there is a decline in joint flexibility. These are often associated with declines in physical health as well as functional status. For example, after men achieve their peak range of motion in their mid-twenties and for the women in their late twenties, flexibility declines significantly then with age in both sexes. However, the range of motion depends on a lot of factors.

This includes the bone, muscle, and connective tissue within the joint. With aging comes the effects to these structures so that range of motion is reduced. In addition to that, pain is also sometimes encountered when moving the joints which only inhibits further joint movement.

To let you see how important this is, imagine for example how you’re your shoulder flexibility is reduced, then reaching for objects or combing your hair becomes more challenging. Add up to that the walking, navigating stairs, and rising from a chair which are movement that we so often take for granted while we were younger.

 However, factors influencing flexibility are not only internal to us, external influences are also powerful and this knowledge might help you in flexing your own muscles. For starters, the temperature of the place where you are training can help you for a warmer temperature is more conducive to increased flexibility.

Flexibility in Morning or Afternoon

This also includes the time of day for as studies show, most people are more flexible in the afternoon than in the morning, that is from about 2:30pm-4pm. Also keep in mind that the stage in the recovery process of a joint or muscle after injury is important for injured muscles will usually offer a lesser degree of flexibility.

Pay heed also to the restrictions of any clothing or equipment that might impede you.With all of these to consider, you must then follow what current evidence suggests, and that is to attend a regular stretching program which can improve your flexibility, reduce joint pain, and enhance your muscle performance.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that older adults must participate in exercises that have been shown to increase range of motion including walking, aerobic dance, and stretching. Studies report that improvements of range of motion helps the neck, wrist, hip, knee, shoulder and ankle joints.

Difference Between Strength and Toning

Strength and Toning

Let’s set things straight between the difference of strengthening and toning because these these two terms often get mixed up in the universe of fitness gurus. Physiologically, there’s really no difference between the two. As muscle is strengthened, so is it muscle more toned. 

Actually, I would rather refer to it as “The Myth Of Toning” since more or less, the word “tone” is a misnomer for me. The firming-up or toning happens when there is an increase in muscle tissue as well as a decrease in body fat percentage such that you will be able to see the definition and shape of the muscles and get rid of the detestable “jiggle“. The thing is, muscles do not go from soft to hard or from hard to soft, they just either shrink or grow in size. In such way, muscles themselves do not really “firm-up” or “tone”, they just changed size.

So, the word tone actually was adopted to describe what happens when your muscles get stronger, thus look leaner, and that is, toned. In this state, because they get denser and take up less space, then they are definitely set apart from the weaker muscle fibers or fat.

Well Toned Body

On the other hand, when it comes to the world of “toning”, the reason why some people really get bigger and not just leaner is because of genetics. Some of us just really got lucky, if you are part of this chosen specie then you have a lot to owe to your ancestors. Some of us are predisposed to being able to lose a lot of fat that is why it is so easy for us to slip into that state where we are able to show off the muscles beneath. And also, because of hormonal differences, men tend to develop much bigger muscles than women.

Therefore, in a nutshell, there are two ways about getting yourself that buff look and there’s simply no way of getting around it. In order to achieve the look of muscle tone or a well-toned body, you either need to engage in strength training or/and at the same time, shed the layer of fat that is covering those gorgeous muscles.

Body Muscles

But let’s make it clear that traditional resistance training alone doesn’t produce the toned look that you so desired. This is especially true when you do individual resistance training’s in a haphazard fashion where there are unnecessarily high repetitions, little resistance, and little if any stress applied on the muscle. Apart from this, a calorie deficit is also needed in order for you to simply shed some of the subcutaneous body fat or the fat that is under the skin.Now you might ask, what’s so wrong about doing high repetitions to get toned. After all, you are that strong to last that long right?

Wrong. In sheer strength, we mean business honey. And that is strength by the number of how heavy you take on you. Just because you are not looking forward to add muscle mass in you doesn’t mean that you should back away from stressing your muscles with relatively heavy weight. And this goes for both women and men. You really need to work ‘em right to make ‘em look right since effort needs to be given and your muscles need to be stressed for them to change and grow.

There’s no way around it and if you are just going through the motions of doing it then you will only produce little, if any results at all. So bottom line is, if the muscle is not being stressed enough then you’re not giving it enough reason to adapt and change its current condition. Show some muscle to your muscles. I know that due to the media many people, especially women, think that in order to “get toned” all they need to do is very high repetitions and very little resistance. Add up to this they make moderate to long rests which only slows down the process.

They also get lazy and don’t take into account the much needed cardiovascular activity or diet that is so necessary in order to get “toned”. So if you want to do something about it, use large body movements and keep rest periods short to elevate your heart rate and get immediate calorie and fat burning benefits as traditional cardiovascular exercise.

Cardio and Yoga

Cardio

Sometimes, it is gross how some people simply say, “this exercise burns muscle” or “if you exercise on an empty stomach your body is forced to burn fat”. They really don’t know a thing about cardio, let me cut the bull out of it and tell you what.

Cardio is short for cardiovascular exercise, which encompasses any exercise that benefits the heart. This was used mainly to refer to aerobic training but research suggests that weight lifting also benefits the heart so it’s not isolated in those colorful dances anymore of bygone years. To put is simply, Cardiovascular exercise means that you’re involved in an activity that raises your heart rate to a level where you’re working, but can still manage to talk.

The reason why cardio is so important is because it’s one way to burn calories and help you lose weight as wells. At the same time, it makes your heart strong as well as increases your lung capacity. In line with this, you are bale to reduce risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes and it will also make you feel good. On the side, this type of exercise will help you sleep better and reduce stress, and so on, I could go on all day.

Aerobic Exercise

Now, let me go to technicalities here. An Aerobic exercise is any sustainable activity that utilizes oxygen and thus the burning of fat. Now, this definition is a little ambiguous because you can have weight training which more aerobic especially when people aren’t using a heavy load but have longer sets that actually use more oxygen.

To contrast it with cardio, think just think about the rests in between and any activity can be potentially one. If your heart rate is allowed to lower between the intervals followed by maximum output then you are more in the anaerobic range. However, if you are only doing intervals but the heart does not really drop substantially then you are going to be in more of a cardio range. Clear?

In a nutshell, anything lasting just a few seconds is going to be primarily anaerobic which includes maximal bouts of output and active rest between repetitions with actual rest between the sets. Examples of this are 50 yard-dash, weight lifting, Olympic lifting, and power-lifting. Meanwhile, anything lasting a few minutes is primarily the glycolytic system where there are prolonged bouts such as Basketball and Soccer. Now, anything beyond that first few minutes and you are in the aerobic zone.

Outside Exercise

This would include longer runs, rowing, and hiking. Its all about how your heart rate drops somewhat but doesn’t drop a lot and is still elevated in its output so that oxygen must fuel the process.Bottom line is, when it comes to cardio exercise, anything that gets your heart rate up minus long rests, fits the description. It’s not really what you do, but how hard you work cause any exercise can be challenging if you make it.

So while you’re at it, do something you enjoy where you can see yourself doing at least 3 days a week. Also, be flexible and don’t do the same thing all the time because it’s boring. More importantly, really make the time for it for people who workout don’t have more time than people who don’t, they’re just better at it. If you have to, pay someone to make you exercise, like a good personal trainer to take care of all the stuff on motivation, goal-reaching, etc.

If you are compressed for time, do high intensity which will burn more calories in a shorter period of time and will also continue to burn calories afterwards. On the other hand, this high impact and places more stress on your joints and musculature than moderate cardio so just be careful.

How to Get More Energy: Boost Your Energy With These 4 Simple Steps

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to have a full and busy schedule from morning til night.

Most people have a hard time doing all the things they have to do in a day. They typically wish a day lasts for 36 instead of 24 hours. Some of them get through the entire to-do list to find themselves extremely tired and run down at the end of it.

But then there are some whose lack of energy begins before they even start doing their tasks for the day. Most wake up feeling lethargic even when they’ve had 8 or more hours of sleep.

This leads to problems with productivity, even when they force themselves to work, they end up becoming more tired. This also tends to take a toll on family and social life, as these tend to be neglected.

There are some things that can increase energy, these include certain lifestyle changes and help from supplements and vitamins.

How to Boost Energy Levels

1) Enough Rest

Getting the proper amount of sleep is important in maintaining a high energy level throughout the day. Daily chores and work load takes its toll on the mind and body, and getting fitful sleep helps restore depleted.

However, several people have difficulty getting to bed. One of the leading causes of insomnia is stress; if the mind and body are tired, it’s still hard to let go of problems and relax. A bedtime routine can help curb this. Creating a relaxing bedroom environment and avoiding stimulants before bedtime also helps.

2) Diet and Exercise

Certain foods tend to deplete energy more than others. It is not a secret that heavy meals make the body more sluggish.

Carbohydrates are one famous culprit. Athletes tend to carbo-load before big games so that they have a huge burst of energy. However, if the carbohydrates don’t get burned right away with frenetic activity, they tend to make people sleepy.

Choosing junk foods is another way to sabotage energy levels. These have no real nutrients, and are unable to fuel the body for long. Eating a well-balanced diet with fruits and vegetables will bring a marked improvement.

Exercising also leads to having more energy. Proper exercise increases heart rate, improves blood flow, and boosts endorphin production. This makes you more alert and more ready for action. Working out often results in a clearer mind and an overall feeling of well being.

3) Weight Loss

Low activity level leads to weight gain, which contributes to low energy levels.

It is often hard for obese or overweight people to lose weight, because their bodies are already used to not burning calories. This is ironic because the best way to lose weight is by increasing metabolism with activity while limiting food intake to healthy alternatives.

Natural weight-loss products such as Guarana Blast can help. Made of Guarana fruit from Brazil, this product increases energy and suppresses the appetite. It also removes toxins to improve circulation and digestion.

Since the product helps people lose weight faster and easier, it gives extra confidence. This helps motivate dieters to lose more weight in the long run.

4) Supplements

Several supplements and over-the-counter drugs are marketed to improve energy levels. These can help improve energy, but some may have harmful side effects. Some may even have ingredients such as ephedrine, which can be used to create metamphetamines.

Conclusion

While these can increase awareness, they typically have a natural “crash”, wherein the energy level suddenly drops. People taking this can also build up immunity, such that they require larger doses to get the desired effect. Caffeine also has a similar effect.

There are natural products that can give an energy boost without side effects. Cylapril is made from Acai Berries. It helps revitalize the body’s Adrenal system. It cleans and removes toxins and increases the production of adrenaline, a naturally-produced hormone that increases energy.

Lack of energy can also be a symptom of an underlying medical problem. If you have explored every avenue without success, the problem could lie deeper. Diabetes is one illness that leaves people tired. It is recommended to consult a doctor regarding unexplained low energy levels.

Benefits of Bikram Yoga

The postures in the series work synergistically and cumulatively to align and balance the body. Bikram yoga builds energy, stamina, and finesse.

Postures gently stretch, squeeze and massage the internal organs, flushing out the cardiovascular system, and stimulating the endocrine and nervous systems. Out of balance hormones and enzymes get released or inhibited as necessary. (The body is self-regulating and self-adjusting. It knows what and how much it needs.)

Heart Benefits of Bikram Yoga

Cholesterol in the blood gets regulated, and also gets blasted out of the arteries and veins; oxygen and nutrients are supplied to parts of the body that have been in “cold storage”; toxins are eliminated; the central nervous system is both energized and soothed.

The lymphatic nervous system is also flushed out and the immune system is boosted. Sexual vitality and fertility are improved.

The internal organs and endocrine glands are brought back into balance and peak efficiency. The body’s nerve channels and energy meridians are reopened and strengthened.

Lung capacity is expanded, leading to greater vitality. Bones are strengthened. The joints are opened and lubricated. The muscles are strengthened, toned, and made more flexible.

Deep stretching helps pregnant women lose weight by reorganizing cells’ lipids and proteins, so that calories can be more effectively burned. This reorganization on the cellular level helps the body to operate at peak efficiency, which also leads to greater energy.

Visit our boutique

Choose from the peninsula’s best selection of yoga lifestyle clothing – Lulu-lemon, Prana, Shakti, Breathe, Karma, Belisama, and more. We carry sizes XS through XL. Or choose a new mat, yoga bag, or Yogi-toes. 

The Boutique is open 7 days a week 30 minutes before and after each class, or by appointment. See our class schedule here

Healthy Oils And Fats for Yoga

Types of Edible Oils

Canola Oil

Canola is the market name for oil that is acquired from rapeseed’s. It is also known as LEAR (Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed) oil.

  • has the lowest level of saturated fat of any edible oil
  • has one of the highest levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat
  • contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids that helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and brings down blood pressure.
  • mildly flavored and reasonably priced
  • a superb choice for frying, cooking or baking, or as an ingredient for salad dressings.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is extracted from dried coconut meat. It is extremely popular in India and Southeast Asia. In the U.S., its is most frequently used in commercially prepared products such as candies, cookies, whipped toppings, ice cream, and nondairy coffee creamers.

Though high in saturated fat (92%), some studies indicate that adding coconut oil to the diet may play a part in weight loss because it fills hunger and diminishes the appetite.

Corn Oil

Corn oil is produced from the germ of corn kernels. It is very high in polyunsaturated fat. One of the best oils for frying is refined corn oil because it has a high smoke point. Corn oil is often used in the production of margarine. Other common uses: salad dressings, frying, baking, and shortening production.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is typically made up of a highly refined mix of various oils such as corn, soybean, and sunflower or it may consist of only one kind of oil. Vegetable oil is a fine all-purpose oil for frying, sautéing, and baking.

Choosing Healthy Fats

Fats don’t have to be completely eliminated from one’s diet. Fats are also essential nutrients that the body needs to function well. It is a source of energy and utilized in cell membrane production. Still, it is important to pick the best kinds of fat and enjoy them in moderation.

Healthy fats include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These can actually lower the risk of heart disease by decreasing the total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood. Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat may be particularly beneficial to the heart. Omega-3s seem to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure levels.

Monounsaturated fat

  1. olive
  2. peanut
  3. canola oils
  4. avocados
  5. most nuts

Polyunsaturated fat

  1. vegetable oil
  2. safflower oil
  3. corn oil
  4. sunflower oil
  5. soy oil
  6. cottonseed oil

Omega-3 fatty acids

  1. salmon
  2. mackerel
  3. herring
  4. flax seeds
  5. flax oil
  6. walnuts

What is Health ?

THE PRINCIPLES OF OPTIMAL HEALTH

1. A Positive Self-Image .
2. A Diet Free of Toxic Foods That Supplies Optimal Levels
of All Beneficial Nutrients
3. Clean Air and Living Environment, Pure Water, and
Adequate Sunshine .
4. Adequate Exercise and Rest

Positive Mental Outlook

You cannot be healthy on any level until you are healthy on every level. The key to it all is a positive self-image.

Until you have adequate self esteem, all of the information you amass about getting healthy will do you no good, for you will not think highly enough of yourself to use it.

Along with self-esteem, we need to cultivate personal responsibility. No one keeps you healthy. Nutritionists, nutritionally oriented physicians, naturopaths, osteopaths, chiropractors coach. It is up to you to keep yourself healthy..

Optimal Intake of All Beneficial Nutrients

Adequate amounts of essential nutrients will eliminate deficiencies, but will not prevent cancer or heart disease.

Even a high-potency multivitamin, while a good start, is only the beginning. You need to get all forty-five nutrients in optimal amounts.

These amounts will differ for each person and his or her unique metabolism and lifestyle.

We need, however,more than just the ones that are essential: We need all that are beneficial..We need to examine so called nonessential nutrients such as CoQ10,carnitine, GLA ,taurine, and N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC).

While these nutrients are made by the body in’ small amounts, the only way to get them in optimal amounts is through supplements.

Other nonessential protective substances include polyphenols from plants that have tremendous protective and therapeutic ability.2.3Investigate all nutrients and take those you find most helpful.

All beneficial nutrients are essential for those who want health at the highest level.

Avoid Toxic Foods and Contaminants

  • Margarine, vegetable shortenings, and baked goods containing “partially hydrogenated oil”
  • Fried foods of all kinds, including fried ,chips from the health food store. Stir-frying is okay.
  • Supermarket vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower, and canola oils that have had all of the nutrients refined out of them. These nutritionally naked junk oils contain toxic trans fats, are often rancid, and cause disease.
  • Consume only virgin flax, canola, and olive oils that are stored in opaque containers and pressed at low temperatures from organic sources.
  • White flour, bleached flour, bromated flour, even “wheat flour.” It has to say “whole wheat flour.” If it does not say “whole wheat” or “wholegrain,” avoid it.
  • Unless you are a menstruating woman, avoid Product 19, Total, and all cereals and foods that have the full RDA for iron added to them. The overconsumption of iron poses a serious health threat for men and postmenopausal women.
  • Sugar in all forms: high-fructose corn syrup, barley malt, fruit juice concentrate, honey, molasses, maple syrup, invert sugar,etc.
  • Avoid baking powder that contains aluminum, aluminum foil, and aluminum pots and pans. Aluminum is implicated in causing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Coffee, caffeinated or not. It is loaded with pesticides and free-radical-producing hydrocarbons, and stains your spleen and liver the color of the bottom of a coffee cup. . Additives: Buy food that does not have chemical preservatives, artificial .colors, emulsifiers, or other synthetic agents. Americans eat many pounds of these chemicals per year and have the toxic bodies to prove it.
  • Foods that you may be sensitive to. Wheat, gluten-containing grains, dairy products, and yeast-containing foods are common offenders. Your nutritionist or holistic M.D. can help you pinpoint foods that may be troublesome for you.
  • Produce grown with pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Eat vegetables no’ matter what kind you buy, but organic produce is best. Organic foods are those grown without harmful chemicals. Pesticides have been implicated in causing a wide range of diseases including cancer and impaired brain function in the elderly.
  • Avoid peanuts and peanut butter unless the manufacturer certifies them aflatoxin-free. Afiatoxin is a powerfully carcinogenic mold that grows easily on these legumes as well as corn and is believed to cause thousands of cases of liver cancer per year.
  • Chicken, meat, and eggs from animals fed hormones and antibiotics. Free-range animals have more essential fatty acids, less total fat, and make healthier meat and eggs.
  • Avoid fish from polluted waters. Raw or undercooked fish should also be avoided as it can harbor parasites. . Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum, and make organic red wine your drink of choice if you drink.

A Clean Environment

Pure water that is free of fluoride (once used as a rat poison), chlorine, and other toxins is essential to good health.

Buy ~pring or distilled water or invest in a high-quality water filter system. Filters for the shower-head are also very important.

Clean air and adequate sunshine are also important for adequate immune function and disease prevention. Air filters may be necessities for city dwellers.

Adequate Exercise

American extremes in exercise are like a college football game: twenty-two people ~eating their brains out on the field with eighty-thousand people sitting around watching.

Some overdo it and many do nothing at all. walking, swimming, cross- country machines, or mini trampolines may offer the most overall benefits. Any exercise you like to do is better than none.

Dancing, racquetball, and other participatory sports are increasingly popular for the fun they add to movement.

Remember: Even five to ten minutes of walking or any exercise is a fine beginning. Bowling, touch football, walking the dog more frequently-anything that gets you moving is worthwhile.

Don’t let an all-or-nothing approach stop you before you start.

Get Enough Rest

Sleep adequately. If you need an alarm to wake you, you, are not getting enough rest.

Go to bed as early as possible and sleep until you wake refreshed. Exercise and good nutrition help the body sleep more deeply.

Eat According to Individual Needs

We all have unique biochemistries. When the media tells you to eat a low-fat diet, take calcium, or eat a lot of carbohydrates, its prescriptions may run counter to your body’s nutritional needs.

Everything in your diet. must be customized. That usually requires the guidance of a nutritionist or nutritionally oriented doctor, but is well worth the visit or two it takes to get you on the right track.

Nutrition Is Celebratory

Optimal health is not the result of deprivation. It celebrates the benefits of many foods and nutrients, allowing us more of life and health. It is the marriage of science and pleasure.

Balance the information to your own best advantage. Discard that which is too difficult and use that which suits you. Don’t try to be perfect or avoid all of your favorite foods, even if some of .

them are “bad.” Improve your diet and lifestyle at whatever pace is best for you. Improving your health this way will only add to your enyoyment of life.

What Is a Healthy Diet?

WE WALK THROUGH THE SUPER MARKET as if it were a minefield. Food has become the enemy.

We have our list of subversive food elements, and do our best to avoid them. We do everything to avoid fat, cholesterol, and the dangerous food of the day.

Eating less fat and food additives is not a bad idea. A healthy diet, however, is not arrived at by process of elimination.

It is assembled from the foods with the most beneficial substances. More often than not, it is what we fail to eat that causes health problems, not merely what we do eat.

Before we can get a grasp of the elements of a healthy diet, the food industry takes advantage of our confusion.

Foods are marketed not on the basis of what they have, but of what they lack. Sugar and white flour are mixed together with toxic additives to create cakes that are “fat-free.”

Margarine-a destructive food if ever there was one – is sold to you under the guise of being “cholesterol-free.“And fried corn chips are celebrated for having “one-third less salt.”

THE NEW APPROACH: EATING FOOD FOR WHAT IT HAS

While eating less fat is good, getting the full range of nutrients needed to handle fat is better.

Eating less sugar is beneficial, but get the fiber, B vitamins, and minerals like zinc and chromium needed to metabolize the small amounts of sugar you do eat.

Avoid cholesterol only if it is oxidized. Oxidized cholesterol is found in processed foods or results in the body when there is a lack of antioxidant nutrients.

Oxidized cholesterol is found in powdered milk, scrambled or powdered eggs, mass-produced cakes and cake mixes, aged cheese, and aged meats such as sausages and aged steaks.

Cholesterol in boiled eggs, fresh meat, and seafood is harmless when accompanied by vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, and a healthy diet.

The end of confusion in nutrition comes only when we understand the basic principles of healthy eating.

Adopting these principles, we will find that everything-even a lot of the so-called conflicting information – falls into place.

THE PRINCIPLES OF HEALTHY EATING

  • Eat whole, unrefined foods high in nutrient density and as close to their natural state as possible.
  • Eat as wide a variety of foods as possible. .
  • Eat a diet that promoted longevity in your ancestors.
  • Eat according to the needs of your own unique bi9- chemistry and lifestyle.

You may be more surprised by what is not on this list than what is on it. Shouldn’t we lower our fat intake?

Eating foods close to their natural state will do that to the degree that it is necessary. What about decreasing sugar intake?

Whole, unrefined foods are low sugar. How much protein? You rancestors’ diet and the requirements of your own biochemistry dictate more about your protein needs than the current nutrition fad of the day.

Healthy eating principles don’t lead to a restrictive, boring diet. Bland food is not necessarily health-promoting. Herbs, spices, condiments, and interesting ways of preparing foods are often beneficial.

Many herbs we use to flavor foods are actually important- sources of trace minerals and immune-boosting pigments known as bioflavonoids.

What is Carbohydarete ?

CARBOHYDRATES ARE FOODS That are rich in sugars or complexes of sugars. How the sugars are arranged will determine whether we call a food a source of simple or complex carbohydrates.

Fruits and sugars are simple carbohydrates because they contain easily digested sugars.

When sugars are bound into rows, as they are in starches such as whole grains and legumes, they are called complex carbohydrates.

Just as it takes you much longer to know a complicated person, it takes the body much longer to digest the sugar from a complex carbohydrate.

Most of the benefits attributed to carbohydrate foods come from the slower-digesting, complex variety. Complex carbohydrates are, in general, better because they take longer to digest.

The sugars in these foods enter the body more slowly. They do not cause the sharp increase in blood sugar that can be caused by simple.

carbohydrates, especially sugars such as white sugar, honey, and other concentrated sweeteners.

Even fruit, as bountiful as it is in vitamins and minerals and fiber, should not be viewed as a food that can be eaten with abandon.

More than three servings of fruit per day has been found to raise triglyceride levels in sedentary people. A higher intake of fruit is only appropriate for the very active.

Carbohydrate foods in their natural state have many benefits: They are high in fiber, low in fat, and a good source of vitamins.

They can also be a good source of minerals, depending on the mineral content of the soil they were grown in. Carbohydrates, like any food or nutrient, however, are only beneficial in the right amount.

If you want to derive all the benefits of carbohydrates, you need to eat them in the amount that is right for you.

Americans need to eat more of the complex variety. More than three quarters of the carbohydrates we consume come from refined sugars and flours.

When sugars or starches become a larger percentage of our diet than best suits our individual biochemistry, carbohydrate toxicity occurs.

Carbohydrate toxicity is increasingly widespread due to the following misconceptions circulated by the media:

  • The more carbohydrates you eat, the better.
  • All carbohydrates are created equal.
  • All fat is bad and should be avoided as much as possible.
  • We eat too much protein and need to eat less.
  • None of the preceding is true. The problem with this erroneous nutritional belief system is that it leads one to overload the body with carbohydrates, and the following problems result:
  • Excess carbohydrate intake displaces protein, which is needed for energy, tissue repair, blood sugar balance, and immune function.
  • Excessive carbohydrate intake will lead to excessive levels of insulin, which can cause weight gain, bloating, fatigue, food cravings, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Faddish high-carbohydrate, ultra-low-fat diets do not provide enough essential fatty acids.
  • Too many carbohydrates, especially concentrated sweeteners, can stress the adrenal glands into a state of exhaustion.
  • Diets too high in carbohydrates upset prostaglandins. a family of hormone-like compounds that must be in balance for health to exist.
  • A diet too high in carbohydrates and too low in protein can cause liver damage.

The right amount of carbohydrates for most people is about 40% of their diet, with emphasis on the complex variety.

More than 50% of the diet as carbohydrates or too many refined carbohydrates causes problems. Complex carbohydrates in the right amount are beneficial.

Those who refine and overeat them bring out their bad side. Too much of anything is bad for the body, and low-fat starchy foods are no exception.

While the preceding percentages are a helpful guide, the optimal intake of carbohydrates will differ for each person.

Some may thrive on a diet that consists mostly of carbohydrates. Most, however, will not. Many women over age thirty will feel-bloated and tired on a diet that is 60% carbohydrates or more.

We are all different, and need to examine our own unique metabolism to determine our optimal range for carbohydrate intake.

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