"And He feeds me and quenches my thirst and when I fall sick then He (Allah) cures me" [Soorah Shu'araa: 80]


Know your enemy: 10 facts about fat

Here are 10 facts that will help you understand fat better.

1- Some cells are designated "fat cells."

If you overeat consistently, fat cells expand. When they reach a certain point, they recruit other cells that aren't designed to hold fat. Thus, fat spills over into parts of the body such as the heart, liver and pancreas. That's when disease occurs.

2- We need some dietary fat. It helps satisfy us when we eat and is important for basic body metabolism and disease prevention

3- Fat-free or reduced-fat may not be best. Take peanut butter, for instance. It's an excellent source of healthy fat. When you buy reduced-fat peanut butter, fat often is replaced with sugar or other unhealthy fillers.

4- The good news: 10 percent of our fat cells die every year.

And the bad? They're replaced by new fat cells. The cycle of dying and regenerating is based on fat cells we have accumulated through puberty. After that, the number remains the same. That makes it especially important to keep our children's diets healthy; what they eat affects their predisposition to disease later in life

5-Our bodies need 20 percent to 30 percent of daily calories to come from fat. The key is what kind of fat?.

Unsaturated fats -healthier option: Olive and canola oils; olives, nuts, avocados, salmon, tuna, sardines, some shellfish.

A caveat: "Healthy fats are great to choose,"but you need to do so in moderation. Many people think because they're healthy, they can have unlimited amounts." Big N-O.

Saturated fats -limit: Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil; high-fat dairy products; fatty meats. Keep these to less than 20 grams per day

Trans fats- avoid: Man-made hydrogenated oils. Many restaurants no longer use them. But that's not permission to order extra french fries!

6-Paying attention to labels can help make you healthy.

--When label-reading, keep saturated fat at 2 grams or less per serving.

--Avoid trans-fats.

7-Cardio + resistance training fat taming

"When you start doing cardio, your body releases hormones and enzymes to send fat to the bloodstream to be used as energy,"

"People who come in and do 5 or 10 minutes of cardio aren't burning fat; they're burning simple sugars. Your body may not get into the fat-burning system for 25 minutes."

Additionally, studies show that the more toned your muscles, the better you can control your weight. That's because the more muscle weight you have, the more calories you burn.

8- Liposuction is not a cure for obesity. "It's a cosmetic thing"

9- Fat doesn't make us fat. "The bottom line is, when we take in too many calories, whether they're fat or carbohydrates or protein, we will gain weight,"

10-Belly fat: Not pretty, not good for you, not easy to lose.

Belly fat, especially in women, isn't just uncomfortable and unsightly, it's also unhealthy. It has been linked to higher risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Its secretions narrow blood vessels and promote inflammation, according to the journal Neurology.

For women, a belly-button circumference of 35 inches or more means you have an unhealthy concentration of belly fat. For men, that number is 40 inches.

What to do to keep fat under control?

--Eat fiber-filled foods to help lower risk of heart disease.

--Do aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.

--Have blood sugar and blood fats tested. The sooner you know about abnormalities, the sooner they can be treated.

-from Daily News, Life Extension, 05-22-08

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