Health & Wellness Blog

    

Fried Foods Can Be Healthy?

When people normally think about fried foods, they think of food that is delicious, satisfying, and also dangerous to one's health. In a manner of speaking, fried foods are generally unhealthy. They contain larger amounts of fat and are often linked to cardiovascular disease and unhealthy arteries.

While fats like saturated and trans fats are unhealthy and will elevate cholesterol as well as raise the risk of heart disease, not all oils and fats are bad for health.

In a recent study released by the BMJ, a British medical journal, researchers found that foods fried in olive or sunflower oil were not directly correlated to heart disease. The study took place in Spain, a country where the majority of fried foods were fried in sunflower or olive oil, which is not commonly used in restaurants that prepare fried food in the U.S.

Researchers ensured that the fried food intake was from food that had been immersed in oil rather than meals that had been sautéed or cooked in a small amount of oil. While fried foods tend to be dangerous because they absorb the oil, the study did not find that the oils had caused cardiovascular disease among the participants.

One of the primary reasons why there was not a negative health effect was that sunflower and olive oil are high in unsaturated fats. These fats are much easier to break down and also have health benefits in moderation. While surprised by the study, researchers did caution moderation.

Eating fried foods every day even with healthier oil sources would probably cause an excess of calories and these foods should probably be enjoyed less frequently. However, for those with high cholesterol or people who are concerned about cardiovascular disease, eating foods fried in sunflower and olive oils have not been found to pose a health risk.

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How Meditation Influences The Brain And How We Feel

Meditation BrainContrary to popular belief, mindful meditation is significantly more popular than many people may currently assume. Statistics that were gathered by the National Institute of Health, demonstrates that roughly 8% of people who live within the US or 18 million people have meditated at some point or another.

When you look at the fact that studies suggest that meditation can provide a wide range of benefits such as, enhanced memory retention rate and stress reduction, it comes as no surprise. Let's take a looked at some promising science supported data that highlights the ways in which meditation changes the brain.

 

While it may be true that an insurmountable amount of academic research have proven that mindful mediation has a profound effect on our emotional well-being, scientists have not been able to figure out precisely, what actually goes on, whenever people meditate and the effects it has on the brain. However, a Harvard neuroscientist by the name of Sara Lazar, has been categorized as being one of the leading researchers within this field. She is also the first individual to demonstrate that mediation leads to a variety of structural changes within the brain.

Cortical Thickening In The Brain

In 2005, her team was the first to demonstrate that long term meditation, facilitates cortical thicken within the areas of the brain that are associated with: interoception "awareness of the body's physiological state, sensory processing and attention as well."

Increased Gray Matter Concentration

In 2011, during a study that her team conducted which consisted of a variety of individuals who had no prior experience with mindful mediation, her team found that, after an 8 week period of practicing meditation, there was an increase in gray matter concentration within the portions of the brain, that were associated with: emotion regulation, perspective talking, self-referential processing and memory and learning processes as well.

Conclusion on Study

What her research suggests is that, the reason why meditation practitioners feel a higher sense of euphoria and tranquility, isn't based on the fact that they are taking the time to relax, during their mediation routine, the reason for their higher state of tranquility is due to the fact that a variety of changes in their brain structure occur, that facilitate the improvements of their lives that many meditation practitioners have always proclaimed.

Lazar proclaims that it's these changes in brain structure, that leads to changes in mental activity. To put things in retrospect, let's take a look at two prime examples of how changes in brain structure can lead to big changes in mental activity.

Emotional Strength

As mentioned before, in 2011 her team found that mediation lead to increased gray matter concentration in the areas of the brain that's responsible for emotion regulation. Said in simple terms, this change in brain structure will leave the individual more capable of regulating their emotions. Therefore, whenever a negative emotion manifest itself, the individual will be more capable of accepting and allowing that emotion to fade away as opposed to acting upon said emotion via impulsive behavior, self medication or stressful thoughts for example.

Self Awareness

As mentioned before, her team demonstrated back in 2005 that, long term mediation facilities cortical thickening in brain areas, that are associated with interception or awareness of the body's physiological state. This in essence means that mediation helps you to become more aware of the subtle emotions you may be experiencing as well as the subtle emotions of others.

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