Eating healthy meals, squeezing in workouts, and staying up on health and fitness news can be a real challenge. That’s why we’ve condensed some of the latest health research and trends to help you be your best you. This week starts off with a diet smackdown between the newer Nordic diet and the classic Mediterranean—which is truly the healthiest? Did you know the magic of HIIT (high intensity interval training) has made its way into the weight room, where shorter workouts can help you build muscle fast? And with summer’s heat coming on strong, we’ve got the latest in tasty—and healthy—raw desserts to curb your sweet tooth.
Is the Nordic diet the new Mediterranean?
The Mediterranean Diet has long been considered one of the healthiest options for the heart, but is the Nordic Diet even better? Both diets score points for being mostly plant-based and replacing added sugars, saturated fats, and processed foods with whole, fresh food options like fruits, vegetables, legumes, seafood, and plant oils. However, the Nordic diet may have an edge over the Mediterranean with its use of seasonal leafy greens as a fiber and nutrient-rich base instead of whole grains. The Nordic Diet also has a greater variety of berries and seafood. Both diets use healthier oils, but the primary oil for the Nordic Diet is canola rather than olive, which has a better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. The Nordic diet is already associated with weight loss in research, and may be a great fit for eco-friendly folks due to its emphasis on purchasing local, seasonal ingredients.
Strength: Bringing HIIT Into the weight room
There are many studies showing that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be boost cardio fitness and improve metabolic health in less time than traditional workouts. But did you know that HIIT can also be used in the weight room? New research shows that using a HIIT approach in the weight room can help people build greater strength with shorter, more efficient workouts. To transform a traditional strength training workout into a muscle-building HIIT fest, increase weights and reduce reps/sets. For example, instead of doing 3 sets of 10 bicep curls with a moderate weight, try 1 or 2 sets of 3 reps with the heaviest weight you can safely manage. The goal is to increase intensity while reducing volume. Try doing 6 weeks of HIIT strength training to blast through plateaus or throw in a HIIT workout once a week for variety. What are you going to do with all the time you save?
Have you tried raw desserts to curb your summer sweet tooth?
Summer vacation is finally here—and while you might be tempted to reach for the high-cal ice cream, we’re here to share some of our favorite nutritious raw desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth. While chocolate is always a favorite, some people are negatively affected by the caffeine buzz. Try carob powder in your next raw dessert instead—which has a flavor similar to chocolate and none of the jitters. Try blending carob powder with avocado (yes you read that right) and banana for a creamy raw mousse with no added sugar. And if you’re making a raw pie, blend together omega 3-rich walnuts with fiber-rich dates for a satisfying pie crust. With these raw dessert tips, summer will taste sweeter (and healthier) than ever!
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