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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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Follow The Nutrition Guidelines or Follow Your Heart?

Well until I “fell” into a low carbohydrate lifestyle, I would have told you that fat functions to make you fat and that too much fat will negatively impact health leading to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and a whole slew of horrible diseases that in the end result in an early death. Now that my focus on attaining health and weight goals for myself and my clients  are through nourishing the body, I sing a much different tune. Many people live healthy lives eating fat. All kinds of fat, not just unsaturated fat but saturated fat too.

Just recently (March 18, 2014) evidence of the benign nature of saturated fat on heart disease was presented in the scientific journal of the Annals of Internal Medicine (1. http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1846638). Rajiv Chowdhury, MD, PhD and his colleagues reviewed almost 80 studies that included half a million people and focused on the risk of heart disease and fat intake.

An important specific risk factor for heart disease is a small dense LDL (pattern B) and not necessarily larger more buoyant LDL (pattern A). These subfractions of LDL can be identified by your doctor so make sure to request  that this test be done when getting your cholesterol checked. The test is The NMR LipoProfile® test. You can learn more here, http://www.liposcience.com/. If you are trying to get a better understanding about this, the information here will be helpful, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/28/nmr-lipoprofile.aspx.

Here are the findings from the study:

·         NO evidence that eating saturated fat increases heart attacks and other cardiac events.

·         The unsaturated fats such as soy or corn oil and the “trans” saturated fats found in commercially prepared foods can increase heart disease risk.

·         Fatty acids in saturated or unsaturated fats may be helpful or harmful to health based on unique characteristics of each fat.  For example the saturated             fat in dairy products was not harmful to heart health. In other studies full fat dairy helped lower the incidence of infertility.

Dr. Chowdhury discusses the need to change focus of the dietary guidelines to keep up with the science. “The smaller, more artery-clogging particles are increased not by saturated fat, but by sugary foods and an excess of carbohydrates. It’s the high carbohydrate or sugary diet that should be the focus of dietary guidelines. If anything is driving your low-density lipoproteins in a more adverse way, it’s carbohydrates.” (2. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/study-questions-fat-and-heart-disease-link/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0)

He also clarifies that saturated fat may increase LDL cholesterol but it is not the small dense dangerous type, it is the larger less dangerous floating type) and it also raises HDL (good) cholesterol.  In essence, it may be possible that eating saturated fat has a neutral effect on cholesterol for this reason.

Over the years, the mantra has been to stay away from fat to avoid heart disease. Despite the lack of attention and support from health care agencies and experts, the current research is here supporting the benefits of all types of fats including saturated fat as part of diet that is healthy.

Two evils to avoid as best as possible when trying to eat healthy is:

·         commercially used unsaturated and trans fat  (soy, corn, hydrogenated oils and trans fat)

·         sugar and excess low or non-fat, high carbohydrates (even “healthy” carbohydrates turn into unhealthy LDL if you eat too much)

Your heart health is in your hands. Follow the nutritional guidelines or follow your heart?

 

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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 (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) Continued

Age 33 - Completely Naked

Irritability is not the only emotionally related issue linked to a “fat free, higher carb” diet, depression, is another factor tied into not eating enough or the right balance of fat.

This is true especially if you are a convenience food consumer.  Why? Because, trans fat (the ingredient used to replace real fat in real foods so you are not deprived of foods that taste good) has also been linked to depression, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/215021.php.  Here are some links if you want to find out where trans fats are lurking, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/06/trans-fat-foods_n_1130573.html and http://www.acaloriecounter.com/trans-fat-foods.phphttp://www.acaloriecounter.com/fast-food-trans-fat.php

Fat is involved in nerve impulses, the production of brain chemicals and hormones (for both men and women). So when you avoid fat, risks for ADHD and many other brain health issues as well as eating disorders because the nerves, hormones and brain chemicals may not function correctly.

Fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K, along with vitamin B6 and B12 (abundant in red meat and fish) are important for  growth, immunity, cell repair and blood clotting and so much more. If you’re not eating enough fat to for these fat soluble vitamins into your body, they will be excreted, and you may be at risk for a vitamin deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency alone has been linked to:

  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Severe asthma in children
  • Cancer

In fact, research suggests that vitamin D may play a role in the prevention and treatment of type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.

Additional health conditions that are catapulted by high carbohydrate foods that directly impact insulin and blood sugar spikes are:

Metabolic syndrome

Heart disease

PCOS

Cancer (Colon, breast, and prostate) are associated with low intakes of essential fatty acids

Yeast overgrowth

Dental caries

Advanced glycaction endproducts (AGE’s), contribute to the aging process as a result of excess sugar (again I remind you, 100% of carbs converts to sugar) http://www.prevention.com/node/23567#ixzz24u7nJ8SU

Adrenal dysfunction and defects with cortisol release

As I realize that there is just so many reasons to limit carbs, I am going to ask that you read the information that was written in 2004 by Kent Rieske entitled, “Scientific Proof Carbohydrates Cause Disease” posted on Dr. Mercola’s website, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/01/03/carbohydrates-age.aspx.

 And now I am off to write more on this and will move on to reasons # 4 and 5 to “Eat Foods With Fat”.

 Related articles

How Fructose Turns on your Fat Switch, http://lewrockwell.com/mercola/mercola220.html.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in health, Uncategorized

 

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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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Eating Less Calories May Not result in Weight Loss-Part 2

English: Diagram shows insulin release from th...

English: Diagram shows insulin release from the Pancreas and how this lowers blood sugar leves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well you might think, eating less carbs and adding fat is a suicide mission and that people making claims of increasing fat to lose weight are just not realizing what they are actually eating.

But just for one moment, stop focusing on calories and start thinking about the effects of carbohydrates on the body after they are consumed. Let me help you, you will see that eating carbohydrates triggers a domino effect on appetite, energy levels, health and weight.

The Domino Effect: Eating Carbohydrates Does More Than Just Provide Calories

Aside from vegetables and low carbohydrate/low glycemic fruits (avocado, olives, grapefruit, apple, pear, plum, peach), eating a low-fat high carbohydrate diet (55-60% carbohydrates) may result in increased appetite, stubborn fat that won’t come off, less energy and undesirable health issues.

One hundred percent of high carbohydrate foods (yogurt, banana,

bread, cereal, rice, potato) raise blood sugar ► Blood sugar goes

up ► The pancreas releases insulin to lower blood sugar ► Eating

more carbohydrates means more insulin produced.

APPETITE/WEIGHT

Insulin is a fat storing hormone, it is difficult to lose weight when insulin levels are high

Insulin lowers blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar makes you feel hungry

High insulin levels affect other hormones that may support weight loss and appetite

ENERGY LEVELS

After eating carbohydrates you get a quick burst of energy, insulin is released blood sugar drops and energy levels fall too.

HEALTH

85% of excess carbohydrate converts to triglycerides

Research associates insulin with poor health including:

Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, PCOS, cancer, metabolic syndrome

I’m not saying that this happens to everyone.

Different foods affect different people in different ways. This is why one way of eating will not work for everyone. For example, have you ever eaten something and it did not agree with you? The person next to you eats the same thing without a problem.

There are many people who eat more carbohydrates and are not affected by cravings, increased weight or any health issues. But, for people who are affected by eating high carbs, eating less carbs while maintaining adequate calories (adding fat and protein) can help them gain back control of their appetite, weight and health.

So for the people who “really feel upping the fats has been the biggest help” for weight loss as long as the carbohydrates are reduced, they may have something important to share with others who are fighting the same uphill battle.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Eating Less Calories May Not result in Weight Loss-Part 1

Green coconuts

“I bumped up my total fat intake last Wednesday and I have already lost 4 pounds”.

“If I log my meals, I get anywhere from 80-100g protein (including the plant proteins), less than 50g carbs, and 175-250g fat”.

 

Clients and low carb followers boast of weight loss after eating more calories. They start on low carb diets but also try keeping fat low. Frustrated by less than satisfactory results, they seek an alternative that would not have been considered before.

This may sound inconceivable but calories are added with the inclusion of healthy fats into their plan (stir frying veggies, including coconut, ghee, avocado, butter). Adding fats without changing any other food would automatically result in increased calories (fat will add an extra 9 calories/gram of fat added).

If this is true it goes against the laws of thermodynamics, many low-calorie research studies and what most healthcare professionals believe to be true.

How can this be true? Anyone want to share thoughts?

 

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All Calories Are Not Equal – The Controversy Continues

This image is public domain, and comes from: :...

Photo Credits: Wikipedia

“Many people believe by eating less and exercising more, they’ll be assured of losing body fat. But it doesn’t work that way,” says Tom Nikkola. He explains this very complex system very simply. Tom Nikkola is the Director of Nutrition & Weight Management at LifetimeFitness.

Did this pique your interest? Read more of his blog entitled, “The Futility of Low-Calorie Diets“, and read through my blog from last month:  http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/60-minutes-confirms-all-calories-are-not-equal/

Better yet, check out Tim Feriss. He is on the bandwagon too, http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/02/25/the-science-of-fat-loss-why-a-calorie-isnt-always-a-calorie/!

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when engaging in a nutritional approach that will assist you in weight loss is understanding that if you are following a plan and not getting the results that you deserve, you need to make adjustments accordingly. For some, lowering carbs within a 25-50 gram range is all it takes to get the results that are impossible to attain otherwise.

If you are literally killing yourself by restricting calories to an extreme, exercising ’til the cows come home and beating your head against the wall because you feel that you have no other alternative, S-T-O-P. Stop, depriving yourself, stop wasting your time.

Try another option that will work for you. Try using your own fat for energy, use a low carb diet.

If you find that you have more time because you are losing weight and not having to focus all your energy on eating less and exercising more, try reading these mystery books. They will surely help keep your mind off eating because you’ll be so entrenched in these books!

ADVERTISING MURDER: http://tinyurl.com/7rbbcoq

LOST YOUTH: http://tinyurl.com/7bgbgdc

MURDER EXPRESS: http://tinyurl.com/863ntls

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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