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Category Archives: essential fat

Five Reasons To Eat Foods With Fat (2)

English: Healthy Food For Life logo

English: Healthy Food For Life logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I listed the nutrients (arachiodonic acid, MCT and choline) found in high fat foods, and that are void in low-fat diets and explained why they are important for helping the body look its best and to run efficiently, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/the-low-fat-nutrient-less-diet-cannot-fully-nourish-the-body/,  That is the first reason to eat foods with fat.

The second reason to eat foods with fat is because lower consumption of naturally occurring fat from natural food makes it difficult to absorb fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A,D,E,K) and minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium).

For example, Dr. Frank Lipman discusses vitamin D deficiency in-depth, http://www.drfranklipman.com/symptoms-diseases-associated-with-vitamin-d-deficiency/ and believes that it is more than just lack of sunlight that is contributing to this problem. I second that idea and believe that it has to do with the Food Guide Pyramid and the push towards lowering fat and eating more grains.

And, let’s not forget that there are more fat soluble nutrients that play important roles in the delicate balance of good health that are often forgotten when the focus is on fat reduction by lowering or omitting meat:

Zinc, it is found in plant foods but compounds in plants compete for its absorption so you may be eating foods that contain zinc while trying to lower fat but the zinc my not be absorbed so it’s like you never consumed it in the first place. It is important for the immune system, bones and skin.

B vitamins: Water-soluble but found in and best absorbed from red meat.

Coenzyme Q 10: Important in heart health, energy production and acts as an antioxidant.

Acetyl-L-carnitine: metabolism of fat, anti-aging for the liver and brain.

And essential amino acids: carnitine (assists in fatty acid metabolism), taurine (supports a healthy heart and helps lower blood pressure)  and carnosine (a neurotransmitter involved in the anti-aging process associated with advanced glycation end products, AGEs).

If you want to read the details, Chris Masterjohn describes it well in ” Vegetarianism and Nutrient Deficiencies”, http://www.westonaprice.org/vegetarianism-and-plant-foods/vegetarianism-and-nutrient-deficiencies. This is enlightening to say the least and mind-blowing to give it the credit he deserves.

The third reason is just as important so stay tuned.

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Eat Saturated Fat For Good Health

For those of you who think eating low carb is a litttle edgey, I’m gonna take you one step further. It’s now time to open your mind to the fact that saturated fat IS NOT evil lurking in animal sources if food. I’m talking about the saturated fat from natural animal and fruit products. Trans fats, hydrogenated oils, other commercially man-made fats and sugars are deadly. 

Saturated fat just like other natural fats makes its own positive contributions to health. Specifically saturated fats help support your immune system, gut, bones, liver, heart and risk factors for heart disease. If you want to understand fats visit: http://www.health-report.co.uk/saturated_fats_health_benefits.htm, you will be amazed at the  information provided and at the lack of information provided by health and governmental agenices who are supposed to guide us on healthy eating .

Quite simply, you need fat to absorb fat soluble vitamins and minerals:

Vitamins: A,D,E,K

Minerals: iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc

Foods that naturally contain saturated fat like red meat, butter, coconut also contain these vitamins and minerals.

Only consuming plant based fats is a mistake and can even lead to heart disease.  Read the article at Natural News where Professor J. Bruce German, Ph.D., at the University of California at Davis says, “Assuming that saturated fat at any intake level is harmful is an over-simplification and not supported by scientific evidence”, http://www.naturalnews.com/029930_saturated_fat_health.htm.

Men’s Health Magazine  is always up on the latest, here’s what they have to say, http://www.menshealth.com/men/nutrition/food-for-fitness/saturated-fat/article/4eeddfd87d4a5110vgnvcm10000013281eac, http://www.menshealth.com/men/health/heart-disease/saturated-fat/article/a03ddd2eaab85110vgnvcm10000013281eac, http://www.menshealth.com/men/nutrition/food-for-fitness/saturated-fat/article/b675909829731110vgnvcm10000013281eac

So think twice before giving into “conventional wisdom” and eliminating all saturated fats from your diet. Eat small amounts of a variety of foods to get the variety of nutrients you need. Eating saturated fat can be good for your health.

 

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Fats: Essential Nutrients For You

Many of us have been brainwashed into thinking that eating fat automatically translates into a fat body. This is not true. And there are too many people who cut fat out of their diet and suffer consequences that they may not attribute to cutting fat from their diet.

1. Loss of motivation to lose weight because eating too many calories from carbohydrates can interfere with weight loss.

2. Inability to lose weight because fat helps keep you full. Cutting out fats and eating more carbohydrates can cause people to experience an increase in cravings/appetite.

3. Contribute to hormonal imbalances associated with a lack of fat and excess insulin production due to eating more carbohydrates(infertility, PCOS, yeast overgrowth).

4. Increase health concerns that have been associated with high triglycerides (heart disease), high insulin (diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome and many more).

5. Lower stores of fat soluble vitamins and minerals that contribute to healthy skin, hair and nails. 

Fats are essential nutrients that enable our bodies to work efficiently. Here are just some of the benefits fat provides, healthnews.ediets.com/diet-weight-loss/the-facts-on-fat.html

So enjoy real food that provides healthy fat for a healthy you! My book , “The Stubborn Fat Fix” can guide you to make better food choices and help you bring balance to your way of eating.

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Dr. Atkins: A Common Thread Amongst Very Insightful People (Part II)

So as I was saying on my last blog, Jonny Bowden and I seem to be pretty much in the same place. No matter what “diet” you wish to live for the rest of your life, find a nourishing well balanced plan that you are excited about, enjoy the foods and steer clear of too many processed packaged foods whether its low carb or low fat.

Jonny’s book, Living Low Carb, is a handy and E-Z guide to almost 40 diet and exercise programs, www.jonnybowden.com/. Yes, most of them are low carb but he includes YOU: On a Diet by Dr. Oz, The Ultra Simple Diet by Mark Hyman and a few others. I know many may of you may pick up the book and head straight to the specific diet section(s) you are interested in. However, I would encourage you to check out the following chapters so you better understand the complete nutrition picture versus a one-sided view of why low fat diets are the only way to go:

Why Low-Carb Diets Work
Fat, Cholesterol, and Health: Have We Been Misled?
Is there Such Thing As The “Metabolic Advantage” of Low-Carb Diets?
The Biggest Myths About Low-Carb Diets

And while this book seems to have it all (and it almost does), it cannot include diets that were released after the publishing deadline. Therefore, unfortunately I will not know how Jonny rates my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix. So Jonny please do not forget the “Fat Fix” on your next round! www.amazon.com/Stubborn-Fat-Fix-Metabolic-Exercise/dp/159486828X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270206478&sr=8-1. I am proud to say the reviews on Amazon are excellent and the main message is to eat real foods while making eating a pleasurable experience.

Another book, The New Atkins For a New You also just came out, www.amazon.com/New-Atkins-You-Ultimate-Shedding/dp/1439190275 . I’m impressed with the authors. Dr.’s Phinney, Volek and Westman are reputable clinicians who know their stuff. FYI, Dr. Volek is a registered dietitian too! From reading the book I learned a thing or two about another way to treat common symptoms people may experience on low carb diets, “fatigue, weakness, light headedness, constipation, leg cramps and headaches.” I knew the Atkins diet can minimize the need for taking blood pressure meds (as is true for many low carb diets) due to its diuretic effect. I have used natural remedies to help alleviate these symptoms. But according to the doctors, you can also add “a pinch of salt” to your diet. I do not typically advise people to add salt to food but will include this in my diet bag of tricks. There are lots of helpful tidbits in this book that were not included in Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution (my first experience with “birthing” a book). You may also want to consider reading this book for the practical information, the testimonials and do not miss “Part IV: A diet For Life: The Science of Good Health”.

I hope this helps those who are on the fence about what diet might fit their lifestyle best. If not let me know and I’ll answer whatever questions I can.

 

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Diabetes Care: A Common Sense Approach

My last three blogs have been dedicated to diabetes and helping you get a practical perspective on how best to manage blood sugar based on what you can control. I’d like to explain how I came to these suggestions and describe how this all fits together. It is quite simple and centers around the 5 stages of diabetes, http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/53/suppl_3/S16.full. It is seldom mentioned that there are five stages. People typically talk about diabetes and do not realize that there are stages to this condition.

Stage 1, insulin resistance: Blood sugar levels seem normal because the pancreas balances high blood sugar by releasing higher amounts of insulin.

Stage 2, blood sugar levels rise: The pancreas has difficulty keeping up with the demand of producing more insulin to maintain normal levels of blood sugar. The pancreas becomes fatigued from overworking and it puts out less insulin, blood sugar levels begin to rise.

Stage 3, high blood sugar: Damage to the pancreas begins, insulin output does not match blood sugar so blood sugar levels rise more quickly

Stage 4, Damage to the pancreas is established and it is difficult to lower blood sugar without medication

Stage 5, the pancreas produces too little or no insulin and you will likely need to use insulin to survive

Current diabetes test standards do not include measuring insulin levels, despite the fact that high insulin levels would detect diabetes in the first stage. My suggestions are aimed at identifying diabetes as early as possible, stage 1. So, you can start changing your lifestyle and food habits early enough to stay healthy and control blood sugar forever. You have the power to reverse diabetes at least throughout the first four stages.

It is important to know that (stage 1) when insulin levels are high, maintaining weight and blood sugar can be difficult. Insulin is a fat storing and blood sugar regulating hormone. If someone has high insulin levels, it is much more difficult to lose weight than for those who do not have high insulin levels. High insulin levels can affect appetite, http://thyroid.about.com/library/news/blhormonediet.htm. If you are hungry you are likely to eat more. Eating more affects both weight and blood sugar.

As soon as you eat a food that is categorized as a starch, carbohydrate or sugar, your body responds by releasing insulin. If you choose to minimize these foods you can support your pancreas by giving it time to rest. This rest will be a big pay-off to you because your blood sugar will remain within normal range.

Here’s my problem with eating a diet containing 60% of calories from white rice, bread, potato, cold cereal, non-fat yogurt, pasta… your blood sugar will spike and remain high at least 60% of the day. A balanced diet for diabetes, in my opinion, is balancing foods so that you eat less carbohydrates to rest your pancreas and keep insulin levels down so you can reach your weight and health goals:

• 15-20% carbohydrate (non-starchy vegetables*, low carb dairy-cottage cheese, greek-yogurt, high cocoa chocolate, low carb fruits avocados, lemon, coconut, peach…, steel-cut oatmeal)
• 30% protein
• 50% healthy fats (nuts/seeds, olives, olive, coconut and other healthy oils) this also accounts for the fat from the protein you eat.

*The reason carbohydrates are low is because non-starchy vegetables are low in calories and do not contribute to a significant portion of total calories even though you can eat 7-10 servings, a lot of veggies that provide fiber, antioxidants…without a lot of blood sugar impacting carbohydrates.

You can get a detailed description of healthy food suggestions in my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix: http://www.amazon.com/Stubborn-Fat-Fix-Metabolic-Exercise/dp/159486828X

Once your diet and health is on track, you may find you can eat a balanced diet that divides carbs, fat and protein equally. You decide what you eat, how much, if you are active or whether you allow stress to get to you. If your hard efforts are not getting you the results you think you should get, medication is an option, however, it should NOT be a drug that makes the pancreas work harder by producing more insulin. In order to preserve the function of your pancreas, speak with your doctor about insulin sensitizing medications.

The key to good health is almost entirely up to you. You must make responsible food, exercise and lifestyle choices. Your doctor and health care professionals can only do so much. Be good to your body and your body will be good to you.

 

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To Supplement or Not To Supplement?

Should you take supplements? A simple question, deserves a simple answer, yes. Supplements should be taken daily to ensure good health. Everyone should take a multi-vitamin/mineral, Omega-3, calcium (containing magnesium, boron, vitamins D& K). There are benefits to taking additional supplements like Ester-C, CoQ10 and L-carnitine too.

Most doctors do not know enough about supplements to actively use them. However, you can ensure your safety and promote good health by communicating what supplements you take with your doctor. Supplements work like medication and you need to understand that there can be serious consequences to self prescribing supplements. Despite their potency and affects on wellness, supplements are not regulated like drugs. Supplements are not drugs, and thus are not pre-approved like drugs. But they can interact with medications or other supplements that you are already taking. Working with a doctor or practitioner who can communicate with your physician about any supplements you take is ideal.

Things you should know if you are using supplements for a medical condition:

1. Supplements or natural medicines are enablers that work to facilitate a natural physiological process and support the natural function of a physiological process which in turn helps the body to function better. The impact is not immediate (typically takes 4-6 weeks to build up a therapeutic amount in the blood) and best when taken over the long term.

2. When you use supplements to support your body supplements should not be seen as a solution you’ll need to lean on forever: unlike pharmaceutical drugs, the best supplements are designed to “supplement” a need and teach your body to support itself. Good supplements will not build dependency, but will allow you to grow into a place of better health where you don’t need to use them any more.

3. Make sure you select supplements that are labeled Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). GMP is a term that is recognized worldwide for the control and management of manufacturing and quality control of foods, pharmaceutical products, and medical devices. By doing this you can avoid supplements that may be and that may be improperly packaged or labeled or contain:

• the wrong ingredients
• too much or too little of a dietary ingredient
• contamination problems due to natural toxins, bacteria, pesticides, glass, lead, or other substances

If you need a reliable source of information to help communicate with your doctor here is a list.

1. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): Toll-free: 1-888-644-6226; E-mail: info@nccam.nih.gov Web site: nccam.nih.gov

2. American Botanical Council, http://abc.herbalgram.org

3. The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, www.sran.org

4. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, www.naturaldatabase.com, phone: 209.472.2244

5. Endocrine Practice, “American Association of Clinical American Association Of Clinical Endocrinologists Medical Guidelines For The Clinical Use Of Dietary Supplements And Nutraceuticals, volume 9, number 5 / September / October 2003, pages 417 – 470.

6. The German Commission E Monographs (Translated to English by the American Botanical Council 380 monographs evaluating the safety and efficacy of herbs)

 

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Top 5 Forgotten Superfoods (Four)

Can you say Ch, Ch, Ch, Chia? The 4th forgotten Super food is chia seed. What is Chia seed? It is the seed from the desert plant Salvia hispanica and a member of the mint family. The word chia is derived from the Aztec word chian, meaning oily (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chia_seed). Chia is grown in South and Central America and has been around for over 3000 years. Chia seeds can be stored for
several years without ever going rancid or losing potency. My friend David Mendosa has already written about this, http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17/17801/chia-seeds/.

Chia is on the list because of its wide array nutritional value. A one ounce serving size provides:

137 calories
12 grams of carbohydrates (11 grams of which are fiber and there is almost no starch or sugar)
9 grams of polyunsaturated fat (4915 milligrams of omega three); the balanced fat ratio (3:1 Omega 3 vs. Omega 6) makes it the best whole food source of Omega 3
4 grams of protein

Chia seeds contain significant levels of antioxidants (chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol flavonols) and is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.

Greens plus, http://greensplus.com, is a company that has its priorities in the right place…good health and a growing list of products that help people make better food choices! I highly recommend the green drinks (original, berry burst, orange-greensicle-be creative use a blender to mix the powder with cream and low-glycemic fruit, ice and water) and protein bars. They now have a Chia drink, “Omega 3 Chia”, http://greensplus.com/index.php/cPath/84_21_86. If you happen to check out the website, you do not want to miss the story of Lani Deauville, and her blog http://lanideauville.blogspot.com/. She has an amazing life and is an inspiration to us all. I hope to one day meet her in person.

Above and beyond the nutrients, claims for Chia seed include:

The high amount of fiber helps to reduce cravings and keep you full while maintaining steady states of blood sugar. Despite its high fiber content chia seeds seem to be more easily digestible.

Research on Chia has shown benefits for improving cardiac risk factors by increasing HDL, lowering Triglycerides(1) especially for diabetics (blood pressure, hemoglobin A1c (if you are diabetic and do not know what this is do a Google search now and speak with your healthcare professional to get it done immediately…actually that goes for any of the clinical terms I mention), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein)(2), Dietary chia seed reduced fat found around the stomach of rats that had insulin resistance. This study may provide hope for humans that have similiar symptoms. (3)

1. Ricardo Ayerza, Jr., Wayne Coates Ann Nutr Metab 2007;51:27-34 Effect of Dietary -Linolenic Fatty Acid Derived from Chia when Fed as Ground Seed, Whole Seed and Oil on Lipid Content and Fatty Acid Composition of Rat Plasma
2. Vladimir Vuksan et al., “Supplementation of Conventional Therapy With the Novel Grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) Improves Major and Emerging Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes, http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2007/08/08/dc07-1144
3. Adriana G. Chicco et al., Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in α-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=2802408

You can easily add chia seeds to your diet, just like flaxseeds, Greek Yogurt, smoothies and shakes, salads, cottage cheese, soup, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches or oatmeal.

Chia is a super food with lot of health benefits. I’m not sure how it is so easily forgotten especially because I can’t get CH, CH, CH Chia out of my head!

 

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Top 5 Forgotten Superfoods (Two)

2. Coconut, Palm & Red Palm Oil (Tropical Oils) & Ghee (India, Egypt, throughout the Middle East, and North Africa)
Lose your fear of fat, not all fats are bad for you and this is true for saturated fats too. Fats are essential for your good health. Saturated fats have been given a bad wrap and unfortunately many people suffer because of this. Most people eat too much corn and soy oil, these are omega 6 fats, and not enough omega 3 and healthy saturated fats. It is important to balance the fats you consume. Saturated fats have higher smoke points, over vegetable and olive oil, making them healthier options when cooking because they are less likely to form dangerous free radicals or advanced glycation endproducts (AGE’s).

Coconut and palm oil are saturated (medium chain, not long chain)fats that contain lauric acid (anitviral and antimicribial) is found in mother’s milk and baby formulas, and caprylic acid is an anti-fungal. The tropical oils provide more than healthy fatty acids when you eat them. They promote good health with the nutrients they contain:

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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