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Category Archives: FAT

When It Comes to Saturated Fat Use Your Noggin’

 

“Follow The Nutrition Guidelines or Follow Your Heart, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/follow-the-nutrition-guidelines-or-follow-your-heart/” came to be because it is important to understand that following mainstream advice without using your noggin’ is not always the right way. Cutting fat from your diet is a theme that has been used to brainwash people for way too long. Know that saturated fat is healthy for more than just your heart (60% of the hearts energy comes from burning fat) and there are healthcare professionals and research that supports this way of thinking.

Data relating saturated fat as supporting body organs and vital body functions exists and the next few blogs will hopefully open more discussions on this topic.

After last weeks blog on the heart, the brain tops this list as an organ that depends on monounsaturated and saturated fats and cholesterol for proper functioning. Fats compose 60% of the brain and is especially important for fetal brain development. This may be why human breast milk is one of the best sources of saturated fat. The brain also houses twenty-five percent of total body cholesterol.

Monounsaturated fats can help boost moods and help improve psychological health related disorders but these fats may be especially important for aging brains and the elderly, specifically in regards to memory and visual-spatial recognition (important for driving).

Saturated fats and cholesterol are just as important as monounsaturated fats in regards to brain health. In this interview for Psychology Today, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-optimalist/201310/your-healthy-diet-could-be-quietly-killing-your-brain, David Perlmutter (Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of The American Board of Nutrition) describes the benefits of both these nutrients. He says that saturated fats “are “building blocks for brain cells” and cholesterol is a “brain protective” antioxidant that is a precursor to vitamin D too, which also plays a role in brain health and indirectly is a precursor to the sex hormones.

He cites two examples that measured saturated fat and cholesterol intake in elderly volunteers. The results are not those you will likely hear from a typical doctor. One is a study that found a 36% lowered risk for developing dementia in individuals who ate the most saturated fat; the other study, resulted in a 70% risk reduction for dementia in volunteers with the highest cholesterol levels. He mentions this phenomena as a possible issue with medicine intended to lower cholesterol. Even the FDA acknowledges this, as they now require “memory decline and cognitive health concern” warnings on the labels of cholesterol lowering medicine. In another study, results showed an 89% increase in dementia risk in those who ate more carbohydrates.

The lungs need saturated fat too. Lung surfactantis a fluid made of fats and protein. It works to prevent the lungs from collapsing and helps protect the lungs from bacteria and viruses. Studies on animals with poor lung function were tested using three diets, (unsaturated, monounsaturated and palmitic saturated fat). Unsaturated fat made lung function worse.*

* The study appeared in Nutrition,2002 Jul-Aug;18(7-8):647-53 and the author and title: Wolfe et al., Dietary fat composition alters pulmonary function in pigs.”

This may be due to the fact that 68% of surfactant in the lungs is saturated palmitic fatty acid. Palmitic acid is one of the most common saturated fats found in the food supply, 14% in olive oil and 25% in beef, lamb and butter, http://dietheartnews.com/2012/01/you-cant-fool-the-body-saturated-fats-are-converted-into-unsaturated-fats-and-as-needed-unsaturated-fats-are-converted-back-into-saturated-fats/.

I’m not here trying to bring down unsaturated fats, I’m trying to shed light on the health importance of saturated fats to even the playing field in regards to your thoughts on saturated fats and optimizing your diet with a variety of all types of foods and fats. Next week I will continue to describe the helpful role saturated fats play in good health.  

 
 

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Do Not Throw In The Weight Loss Towel

My last 3 blogs were dedicated to ways to strip down for the summer. I have one more trick up my sleeve for those who may be ready to throw in the “weight loss” towel.  One  reason that weight loss is practically impossible for you is because you are in metabolic limbo. So have I got a diet for you!

It is a diet that was used somewhat regularly at The Atkins Center for clients who were dedicated to sticking to their weight loss plan but there was a disconnect with weight loss results. If this is happening to you, DO NOT THROW IN THE WEIGHT LOSS TOWEL. It is likely your body needs a rest. If you are pumping out too many hormones or organs are not working they way they should, give ‘em a rest.

Try something that will rock your world and shock your system into submission. Try something completely contrary to the imagination…try a fat fast.

A fat fast will trick your body into thinking it is fasting when in truth you are eating 1000 calories. Some people may get away with eating up to 200 calories more. In order to help reset your system, you must consume mostly fat, 75-90% of your calories from fat (not man-made unhealthy trans fats), because fat is the nutrient that has the least effect on your hormones. If hormones are blocking your weight loss, they will no longer be present to stop weight loss progress. If this works, you will have found the answer to your weight loss problem…Metabolic Resistance.

Now this is a complete mental adjustment for those who are low-fat connoisseurs but for you low carbers, its only a stone’s throw away.  As most low carbers typically consume 60-75% fat. You must eat mostly fat.

It has worked for Dana Carpendar and now thanks to her it is a much easier task for you. Why? Because she wrote a cookbook! This makes eating mostly one nutrient, fat,  much easier and certainly much more palatable.

Here is Dana’s story, http://holdthetoast.com/content/so-what-happened-me. Here is her cookbook,  “Fat Fast Cookbook: 50 Easy Recipes to Jump Start Your Low Carb Weight Loss, http://www.carbsmart.com/fat-fast-cookbook.html.

I had a chance to interview Dana to get  a more personal perspective and better insight into her latest masterpiece.

Interview

Valerie:  What are your favorite recipes in the book?

Dana: I really like the shirataki recipes, especially the Asian noodles and the fettuccine with pancetta cream sauce. And the pepperoni chips are crazy-good, though I try not to eat processed meats too regularly.

Valerie:  Have you had any feedback on hunger or negative side effects? Positive side effects?

Dana: Nope, except people telling me they’ve broken months-long plateaus, and lost 3-5 pounds in a few days.

Valerie:  How long can someone follow the fat fast safely?

Dana: I don’t think anyone really knows for sure. The longest I’m aware of that it’s been used in clinical research is 10 days. Jackie Eberstein, who worked with Dr. Atkins for thirty years, puts those who are seriously metabolically resistant on a rotating schedule of 5 days of Fat Fasting, 2 days of Induction. She has people follow this for as long as they can handle it, or until they’ve lost all their weight, whichever comes first. I trust Jackie’s judgment and years of experience.

Valerie: Yes I worked with Jackie for many years at the Atkins Center and I second that opinion.

Valerie:  What are the ranges of calories and macronutrient breakdown in your fat fast and recipes?

Dana: We kept the recipes in the neighborhood of 200-250 calories each. They range from just under 80% of calories from fat to at least 96% calories from fat. I’ve arranged them in groups by fat content, so that it’s easy to figure that if you eat something in the 80% range earlier in the day, you need to choose something in the 90%-and-above range later in the day to balance it out.

Valerie:  What is the average amount of time to complete the recipes?

Dana: Varies quite a bit. You can make pepperoni chips or Keto Coffee in just a few minutes, but the Coconut Flax Bread will take over an hour. However, once you have that bread in your fridge, all it takes is cutting a slice and spreading it with butter or cream cheese, and you’ve got a quick Fat Fast “feeding.”

Valerie:  Any important aspects of the book that we have not discussed and that may be important?

Dana: It’s useful for more than Fat Fasting. Anyone who is trying to stay in a good, deep ketosis will find it helpful, whether they’re doing it for weight loss, or to fight cancer, or to treat dementia. It should also be very helpful for parents with kids who are on a keto diet for seizure control.

Considering a fat fast?

Speak with a knowledgeable physician before trying this and keep in mind, I absolutely do not recommend this for anyone who can lose weight on any standard diet. It should only be used for those who need to pull hormonal influence out of the weight loss equation.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in diet, FAT, weight loss

 

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5 Secrets To Omega 6:Omega 3 Balance

Why should you make changes to your daily eating plan to include a variety of different fats? Check out last weeks blog, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/eat-foods-with-fat-5-balance-foods-with-fat/ and Dr. Weil’s blog, http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400149/balancing-omega-3-and-omega-6.html

Now that you know why it is healthier to eat a variety of fats, you should know that it is not that difficult. A few  small changes and your Omega ratio should shift quickly towards the ideal 1:1 Omega 6, Omega 3 fat ratio.

TIPS

1. Read the ingredient section on labels. Look for vegetable, corn and soy oil.

2. Eat less commercially prepared foods that contain vegetable, corn and soy oils.

3. Eat low mercury and low PCB containing fatty fish

4. Eat more omega 3 plant foods along with saturated fat (to help the plant Omega 3 convert to the fish form of Omega 3).

5. Add Omega 3 fish oil supplements

More specific tips include:

You might find it interesting that these foods contain both saturated fat and omega 3:

Lamb

Beef, short ribs

Pork

Dairy: cheese, sheep milk, butter, sour cream, heavy whipping cream

Unsweetened baking chocolate

Non-meat sources high in Omega 3

Walnuts

Grape leaves

Flaxseeds

Chia seeds
Herbs/Spices high in Omega 3

Cloves

Oregano

Rosemary

Sage

Tarragon

If you fell into the fat trap, “all fats are bad” and just now realize that “some fats are good”,  DO NOT fall into the same trap again. Natural fats that are saturated and unsaturated provide nutrients that work to keep us healthy.

My goal is to get everyone to eat healthy natural fats and improve Omega 6 to Omega 3 consumption ratio.

 
 

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Eat Foods With Fat (5): Balance Foods With Fat

Oil3

Oil3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Healthy foods with fat are natural foods:

Red meat

Seafood

Poultry

Eggs

Coconut

Olives

Nuts

Seeds

Avocado

Butter

When I say eat foods with fat, I do not mean eating only fish or olive oil. Saturated fats need to be part of the balance. Why?

A healthy omega 6 to omega 3 balance should be in a 1:1 ratio but no more than 6:1. Twenty to one is what most people eat today. How?

1. Omega 6 foods are cheap (soy, corn, vegetable oil) and are used in many commercially prepared foods.

2. Consumers have bought into the idea that unsaturated fats are healthy.

3. As consumers buy into conventional dogma and avoid meat/ saturated fat they eat more unsaturated fat.

So I’m here to open your mind to adding saturated fat as part of a variety of foods that should be added to your shopping list. The omega 6/omega 3 ratio is too high. Eating less omega 6 foods and adding back saturated fats can help improve this ratio and keep you healthy.

Here’s why, here’s how:

  • Excess Omega 6 is linked to  inflammation on the cellular level that can lead to  many health issues (heart disease, arthritis, obesity and diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stomach issues, cancer, asthma, mental health issues).
  • When you use vegetable oils at high heat to microwave,  bake, sauté or fry, the high temperature oxidizes the oil and unsaturated “good” fat changes to bad cholesterol leading to heart disease,
  • Omega 6 also can compete with Omega 3 and reduce the body’s ability to use Omega 3.

Saturated fat is more stable at high heat cooking temperatures. Use olive oil as a salad dressing but cook with natural sources of saturated fats that are not hydrogenated to avoid oxidation,  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/10/15/cooking-oil.aspx.

Fats can oxidize over time and saturated fats are more shelf stable than unsaturated fats,  http://www.fromnaturewithlove.com/library/storagevegetableoils.asp.

Plant sources of Omega 3 ,like flax and chia seed, cannot be converted to the essential type of Omega 3 we need to utilize unless saturated fat is present.

Research supports saturated fats:

help prevent essential fats and skin cells from oxidation;

promote utilization of essential fats;

help balance the good bacteria in the gut and boost the immune system;

help in the process of calcium absorption and bone development;

lower  lipoprotein(a) ,  a risk factor for heart disease;

protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins created by medication metabolism.

There are a few simple ways to balance the foods you eat with fat.

Will let you know…next blog :)

But maybe you have some of your own ideas. I’d love to hear one or some?

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in diet, FAT

 

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Eat Foods With Fat (4) : Don’t Fall Into The “Non-Fat” Trap!

Reason # 4 when you eat foods they way G-d intended (real eggs, dairy with fat, natural peanut butter…) with natural fat, you are eating real food.  Fat adds flavor and texture to food. When you manipulate the food to eliminate fat, you make an originally healthy food, like yogurt, a science project that looks and tastes (not really) like yogurt but is really anything but yogurt. Many people do not focus on the ingredients but only have concern that there is NO fat in the food.

For example, this label (at the top of the page) is from a non-fat yogurt. Modified food starch, fructose, gelatin, water, more fructose and starch “natural flavor” (dunno what the natural flavor is?) aspartame, red 40, blue #1, sodium….Last time I checked the definition of yogurt, it said nothing about these ingredients, http://mw1.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yogurt.

When the consumer demand is to avoid fat, food companies must create a food to meet the demand but also to make the food taste good. This is true for Non-fat yogurt but many other non-fat foods as well.

Before you grab one these “healthy” snacks, read the label.

frozen yogurt

100 calorie snack packs

pretzels

non-fat yogurt (fruited), or should I say (jelly yogurt)

fruit roll-ups -Really? Do you really think this is rolled up fruit?

gummy bears or any candy that has no fat but loaded with sugar

granola (high in carbs and fat)

cold cereal

rice cakes

whole grain chips or crackers

grapes-If you choose to eat grapes, I never recommend more than 10/day most people eat them mindlessly by the pound not realizing that they are high in sugar/calories or any fruit by the piece.

Non-fat foods can end up being  MORE fattening than foods with fat. My suggestion, eat foods that contain fat in its natural state.

Eat nutritious packed balanced foods to help keep your engine running and give you the energy and optimal health you desire. Choose these foods instead on the non-fat items mentioned above and see the difference for yourself.

1/2 a small apple sliced with peanut butter, better yet cut the cals by cutting sugar and use a celery boat

1/2 a pear sliced with melted crumbled blue cheese

seasoned kale chips

hard boiled eggs

2% fat Greek yogurt with your own freshly added berries, check out the label to compare it with the one above, http://www.fageusa.com/products/fage-total-2-percent/

sliced tomato and mozzarella drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar

avocado with chicken strips or guacamole with peppers

baked shrimp with shredded coconut

a handful of nuts or seeds

You will get more fat, nutrients, good taste and satisfaction from foods containing natural fats.

Read labels, what are you actually fueling yourself with? If you do not understand what an ingredient is, take 2 seconds and look it up. It will blow your mind.If you would like to re-educate yourself on how to read a label properly, I suggest you get my book, http://www.amazon.com/The-Stubborn-Fat-Fix-Metabolic/dp/159486828X, learn how to read labels correctly and make better food choices that contain healthy fats.

 
 

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Eat Foods With Fat: What is your response to carb overload? (3)

NutriSystem chocolate chip pancakes (with adde...

Bet you are waiting for reason #3 and so here you have it, the three reasons why you should eat food with fat:

1. When you eat real “fat” foods, that provide nutrients NOT available in low-fat foods, they serve as part of your “variety” of foods that contribute to a “balanced” diet.

2. As you consume fat soluble nutrients (through eating “fat” foods), they are readily absorbed and your body gets the broad spectrum of nutrition it needs to be healthy and function.

3. The third reason is the response to carbohydrate overload (100% of carbohydrates turns to sugar), hormones (insulin/cortisol…) and organs (liver/pancreas…) work overtime chasing high and low blood sugar levels and trying to maintain balance. This affects health and contributes to:

Overweight and obesity: Cravings and hunger are communication signals from your body telling you to feed it the nutrients you are lacking, not necessarily more empty (low/non-fat foods providing calories and little nutrients) calories but the lacking nutrients from the lack of healthy fats. Also, the more carbs you consume, the more insulin your body produces making it more difficult to lose weight, no matter how many calories you do or DO NOT eat. When blood sugar is lowered by insulin, you get hungry.

Blood sugar issues:

Diabetes (high blood sugar): As fat is vilified, you eat more carbs/sugar, your blood sugar spikes

Low blood sugar and mood changes: then like all things that go up blood sugar falls or maybe it even crashes leaving you hungry, irritable and mean. The real focus should not be on calories but the removal of the cause of the roller coaster ride your blood and organs are on trying to bring the body back into balance.

Irritability is not the only emotionally related issue linked to a “fat-free, higher
carb” diet. I’ll keep you hangin’ ’til next week on this one. As I have too many health issues to mention in this weeks blog.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in FAT, Food

 

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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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Have We Created Our Own Health Crises? High Fat “Must Have” Foods For Good Health

Butter and a butter knife

Butter and a butter knife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you educate yourself on the health value of the foods you eat, you may come to realize that the Nations health crises has a lot to do with the focus on cutting  fat. Or maybe I should say avoiding natural fat containing foods from the U.S. dietary recommendations and replacing them with low-fat foods has stripped away nutrients that helped keep us healthy.

We know that fat is involved in brain, eye and nerve health. Fat has been linked to improvements in

  • Triglycerides
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Depression
  • Prenatal health
  • Asthma
  • ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

And the list goes on and on… Here are a list of high fat foods that provide more nutrition than you thought:

  • Butter: vitamin A &D,lecithin,and vitamin E and  selenium, iodine
  • Coconut: minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, iron, zinc and copper, selenium as well as vitamins: B1 and 6, C E, K and riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate
  • Avocado: (20 essential nutrients) monounsaturated fat, fiber, potassium, magnesium Vitamin E,K, B & C vitamins and folic acid
  • Chocolate:(72% or higher cocoa) flavonols, antioxidants and helps stimulate serotonin, theobromine (a mild stimulant and diuretic action), caffeine, phenylethylamine, minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese and vitamins such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.
  • Nuts & seeds, vitamins: B1, 2, 6, C, E, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate and minerals:potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, copper

So eat for your health and strip those negative thoughts about fat. You will get to your health and weight goals much easier while supplying your body with the nutrients it needs.

More interesting “reads”:

http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/saturated_fat/

http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/why-butter-is-better

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/coconut-oil-benefits_b_821453.html

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in FAT, Food, health

 

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Trans Fats Are On The Out, What’s In?

Now that food manufacturers are removing trans fats, otherwise known as hydrogenated oil from their products you might think the replacement would be a natural fat instead of going through an extra processing step and messing with mother nature.  But NOOOO, fractionated oils (http://nutrition.about.com/od/askyournutritionist/f/fractionatedoil.htm) are replacing hydrogenated oils.

Hydrogenation of an unsaturated fat, such as vegetable oil, converts it into a spreadable tub or stick of margarine.  Hydrogenated fats were  supposed to create a “healthier” alternative to butter but in actuality it is converted into saturated fat . This hydrogenation process was popular replacing the natural “unhealthy” butter for health reasons. I do not believe butter is as evil as many believe; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfsM_6zA95g, and also to extend the shelf life of processed foods.

Bottom line is processed foods are not healthy even when they are “fat-free or low-fat”. We now know after all these years of guinea pigs that this hydrogenated oil added as a “health promoting” ingredient in our food supply is associated with clogging arteries and whole host of other poor health outcomes.

Now instead of supporting real food and natural healthy fat snacks like nuts and seeds. The food companies continue to protect their bottom line by introducing another processed fat called fractionated oil into the food supply. Maybe it is healthier but how do you know without making everyone into guinea pigs again.

Why can’t we learn from our past mistakes, let’s not repeat this history, I’d prefer not to be a guinea pig so I’m gonna protect my bottom line (my health) and use my purchasing dollar for real foods that are not processed. 

Dean Ornish and I do not have much in common but, if you read this, http://www.cyberparent.com/nutrition/hydrogenated.htm, you’ll see that we do agree that, “Unfortunately, a longer life for the product may mean a shorter life for you.”  

Stay away from the new fat (fractionated oil) that is “IN”! Use real natural butter and healthy fats from olives, coconut and other natural sources while avoiding fake fats that support the next fad.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2011 in FAT, OIL

 

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