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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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The Low Fat Nutrient-Less Diet Cannot Fully Nourish The Body

English: A photo of ribeye steaks

English: A photo of ribeye steaks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What do foods with fat have that low or non-fat foods don’t? Aside from the obvious more fat and calories, they contain many more nutrients that can help keep waistlines slim, skin, hair and nails looking young, the immune system strong and the heart healthy. And this does not even scratch the surface of what the benefits are.

If you can look beyond calories and fat to focus on nutrient rich foods like, eggs, coconuts, beef and other healthy higher fat foods you will find better health. Last week I posed the question, “Have we created our own health crises?”,http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/have-we-created-our-own-health-crises-high-fat-must-have-foods-for-good-health/.

This week will shed some light on the answer. You will get the “low-down” on the low-fat nutrient-less diet and the nutrients that are not provided when following it.

Five reasons to eat fat and get many more nutrients that will stave off health problems:

  1. Real food sources of saturated fat (meat, coconut) and cholesterol (eggs) have nutrients that are essential to good health. These are nutrients that are not found in low-fat foods include:

Arachidonic acid (AA) is a polyunsaturated fat but is mostly found in red meats, egg yolks, organ meats and breast milk. AA is a key factor for brain development, nerve function and keeping cells flexible. But many may be familiar with AA because of its involvement in muscle growth and repair. AA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, fish oil) are often talked about together because they make up a large component of the brain, http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Egg_Yolk.html.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) also found in saturated fats: whole milk, butter, palm oil and coconut. MCT’s have metabolic benefits that aids weight loss, digestion, lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease by increasing HDL cholesterol, supports thyroid function and boosts the immune system. Coconut also contains lauric and capryllic acid which helps fight bacteria and infections.

Choline is found in the membrane of the cell good sources ground beef, whole eggs (yes, especially the yolk) and peanut butter. Choline functions to protect the liver from fat  accumulation (check out the recent spike in fatty liver disease, http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/diabetes/articles/2009/04/10/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease-5-tips-for-treatment-prevention) , helps prevent advanced age memory loss and may help lower cholesterol and homocysteine levels and may also assist in protecting against some types of cancers.

But you do not hear too much about these nutrients when the focus on cutting fat trumps all else.

Over the next few weeks, you will learn much more about the nutrient density and importance of health promoting fatty foods. Look for the next 4 points over the next few weeks.

There are many sources you can read to get a more detailed picture. Here are some:

http://thirdplanetfood.com/tidbits/?p=392

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/132/3/329.full

http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article10612.htm

http://www.naturalnews.com/027865_saturated_fat_health.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/vegetarianism-and-plant-foods/vegetarianism-and-nutrient-deficiencies

http://www.health-report.co.uk/saturated_fats_health_benefits.htm

http://www.diabetes-book.com/cms/articles/3-advice-a-commentary/7414-the-truth-about-saturated-fat2

 

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2012 in eggs, good health, Healthy Eating

 

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Low Fat Diets Trigger Heart Disease

Roast beef cooked under high heat

According to Ron Krauss, “Carbohydrate intake not fat emerged as the main risk factor for heart disease,”    http://www.nxtbook.com/tristar/ada/day3_2012/index.php#/8. “Other studies using beef as the food source had similar results.”

So Happy Father’s Day!!! Enjoy steaks and burgers on the BBQ forever more.

Can’t wait to write more next week :)

 

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60 Minutes And The War Against Carbohydrates

60 Minutes

Low carb heaven, now where was I? Here’s a link: http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/60-minutes-confirms-all-calories-are-not-equal/, to last weeks blog if you are interested in how 60 minutes started all this :).

Let me continue summing up from last week:

REFINED carbs and sugar, most REFINED foods created by food companies to reduce food cost and incresae profit coupled with the “best of intentions”  message from science research, “cut out fat to improve your health” has created huge health concerns for all of us. We eat 130 pounds of sugar/person/year and this has led to;

1. Cancer

2. Food addiction

3. Diabetes

4. Heart disease

5. Obesity

6. Fatty liver disease

7. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are created from carbohydrates, both simple and complex.  Carbs are absorbed by your body to  affect your blood sugar levels.  Blood sugar is then glycated to form AGEs.

8. Kidney disease

9. Alzheimer’s disease

10. Skin, nerve and eye diseases

Now people are getting paid to figure out how to reduce all this damage, for what? It really is not rocket science.

Wanna cut off glucose supply to cancer, wanna reduce your cocaine-like addiction to sugar, wanna reduce your risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease… just don’t eat sugar and foods that are made up mostly of carbohydrate containing foods.

It really seems prudent to eat balanced low carb whole food, paleo diets to help you live a long healthy life!

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Carbohydrates Are Worse Than Saturated Fat

The Healthy Eating Pyramid, from the Harvard S...

The Healthy Eating Pyramid, from the Harvard School of Public Health (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Healthy” complex carbohydrates like potatoes (starchy unprocessed vegetable) and bread (processed), non-fat fruited yogurt and many fat-free or low fat food options  may put you at higher risk for heart disease. Frank Hu from Harvard explains that by following the directions of National diet guidelines and using high carbohydrate  low fat foods that are especially low in saturated fat may actually increase your risk for heart disease and be a fundamental cause of obesity and diabetes.

The basis is logical for:

Heart disease:  carbohydrates can raise triglycerides, reduce HDL (good cholesterol) and raise small dense LDL

Diabetes: carbohydrates raise blood sugar and insulin levels

Obesity: Carbohydrates are perceived to be “non-fattening” so many people over eat them. Vegetables that contain 25 calories/serving contain fiber and nutrients that prevent disease yet are typically not consumed. Many low fat snack choices (100 calorie snack packs,  baked potato chips, pretzels) only provide excess calories and are not filling.

You can read, “Are refined carbohydrates worse than saturated fat?” in AJCN, April 21, 2010. Interesting title since both “refined” and “complex” carbs were described to have similar health effects. OK, I’m headed off topic :).

Hu discusses the results that show no relation between saturated fat and a heart attack. A significant increased risk for heart attack was seen when carbohydrate foods that had a high impact on blood sugar were consumed. When eating carbohydrate foods that had minimal impact on blood sugar, such as green and other colorful non-starchy vegetables, the risk for heart disease was lowered.

So, what will it be for lunch tomorrow, a green salad topped with salmon or a baked potato topped with non-fat yogurt?

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Trying to Eat Healthy? Be Careful!

Everyone knows the risks associated with eating junk but what are the risks for eating blueberries and broccoli?

When we eat healthy fruits and vegetables we are not supposed to worry about overdosing on vitamins and minerals. Yet, it can happen. Too much of a good thing is NOT good for you.

However, it has not stopped scientists in England from genetically engineering our food supply. Check out this label, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20125868-10391704/super-broccoli-debuts-but-whats-so-super-about-it/?tag=mncol;lst;4.

“Super Broccoli” “Naturally higher in glucosinolates” What’s a glucosinolate? Glucosinolate is “a plant nutrient THOUGHT to prevent heart disease by breaking down fat in the
body.” The BIG word is “thought”.  Eating more “super broccoli” will not “prevent heart disease” if you continue to over consume trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and excess calories.

So now our “healthy foods” are being sabotaged by big business and at risk of becoming endangered or even extinct.

Think twice before purchasing these types of Genetically Modified (GM) foods. If you want an eye-opening education, check this out,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdwaEg6HLVU and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvU2yH4IpBo.

It’s your choice, how are you going to exercise your consumer dollar? Organic foods are a safe bet.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in GMO, Natural, natural foods, organic

 

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Sitting On The Low Carb Fence: A Comparison of Low Fat & Low Carb Diets

I am thrilled to share some exciting news. Nutrition in Clinical Practice just published a diet review paper that I co-authored, http://ncp.sagepub.com/content/26/3/300, entitled “Low-Carbohydrate Diet Review : Shifting the Paradigm”.  This paper brings attention to the results of both low-fat and low carb diet studies and compares their safety and effectiveness.

When comparing the results of low-fat and low carb diets, low -carbohydrate diets performed, as well as, or better than low-fat diets with regard to:

1. weight loss

2. cholesterol

3. blood sugar and insulin response

4. blood pressure

5. other markers for cardiovascular risk

These results were true for healthy participants and those who had metabolic and other health-related disorders.

Lowering carbohydrate consumption has been shown to support metabolic and hormonal balance and increase feelings of satiety.

There is more than enough research on low-carbohydrate diets to make it a viable option for practitioners to utilize to help patients and clients address weight and health goals without having to turn to risky medications and surgery.

Despite this, the government did not include any of these low carbohydrate studies prior to making their recommendations to the public in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans . REALLY?! Yeah, it’s true. Check this out,  The Metabolism Society has an article appearing in the journal, Nutrition, “calling the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to task for failing to consider recent scientific evidence in support of low carbohydrate diets,”  http://www.nmsociety.org/Default.aspx.

 It is time to embrace low-carbohydrate diets as a viable option to aid in reversing diabetes mellitus, risk factors for heart disease, and the epidemic of obesity.

Would greatly appreciate any feedback on this topic. Thank you!

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Andrew Weil:”Saturated Fat IS NOT associated with an Increased Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke or Vascular Disease.”

For many years I’ve been trying to educate people on the importance of fat in our diets. I try to explain that, one, fat is not the devil and , two, not all low fat-high carbohydrate (sugar) foods are good for you.

I admit, I’m not pushing the right buttons to be seen by the big guys but now Andrew Weil, one of the big guys, has spoken and I am sooooo happy to see that saturated fat is not being vilified as usual.

Here’s what Dr. Weil has to say, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/healthy-eating_b_629422.html.

Two points that stick out and should be considered:

He is not promoting meat consumption and that’s fine be me. Hey, I’m all with eating meat that are grass-fed and natural vs. those pumped with antibiotics. Read my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix and you’ll understand how the food supply affects our health, http://www.amazon.com/Stubborn-Fat-Fix-Metabolic-ebook/dp/B002E6IJWY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1292253814&sr=8-2 . However the reason most people avoid meat is to cut saturated fat from their diet. If there is no link between eating red meat and heart disease then we can start eating meat to help supply our bodies with important vitamins and minerals like iron and B12 that we are not nourishing our bodies with when we omit red meat from our diet.

The other point worth paying attention to is that he underscores the fact that carboydrates can upset hormonal balance, fructose and glucose can overload the liver and raise insulin levels and “refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes.”

Now that you know that saturated fat is not a one way ticket to death and that sweets/added sugars and sweeteners are at the top of the evil food list, what foods will you choose to consume?

 

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Vitamin Water: Another “UN”Healthy Food in Disguise

In my efforts to avoid high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), I started drinking Vitamin Water. I divide the bottle into thirds and add water so the amount of sugar is not high and the HFCS is replaced with crystalline fructose (CF). The name Vitamin Water implies that this beverage is healthy but really there are less than 5% of minerals. So, in essence vitamin water is really sugar water worse yet, fructose water.

It seems I have been seeing CF in more products lately and did a little research on this new ingredient that is seemingly popping up in “healthier” foods. Here’s what I found:

Crystalline fructose is worse than HFCS! Why? Because it is composed entirely of processed fructose vs. 55% processed fructose in HFCS. Do not get my message confused. I am not suggesting you stick with HFCS. I am saying stay away from both!

Processed fructose has been linked to numerous unhealthy risk factors (high triglycerides, high blood sugar and insulin levels) and poor health conditions including: fatty liver, diabetes, heart disease and cancer;

I guess on a more positive note, CF is 20% sweeter than sugar so if you are looking to cut calories you may be inclined to use it so that you can cut calories.

But I will keep reminding you, it is not about calories. It’s about the type of metabolic activity that the calories produce. If the calories follow healthy metabolic pathways, you will avoid ill health. If your calories are metabolized and trigger unhealthy responses and increase hunger signals, you will pay with your weight and health. Vitamin Water and crystalline fructose are two perfect examples of this.

My message is to always read the labels for ingredients while you focus on eating healthy products while lessening your attentiveness on just the calories and fat. It is more important to know which ingredients your calories come from than to obsess with a 100 calorie marketing seal of approval.

 

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My Rebirth as a Nutritionist

I took the week off after giving birth to my son. So I thought it was time to talk about my rebirth or reincarnation from my previous life as a low fat fanatic to a balanced health guru.

It has been an evolving process but it started with my work as a nutritionist for Dr. Atkins. I kept it quiet because Dr. Atkins was, and maybe still is, every dietitian’s worst nightmare. At least this is what I always believed until I was able to allow myself to think beyond what I was taught in the classroom and beyond conventional wisdom.

If I had not seen it myself I would likely still believe that low fat diets are optimal nutrition plans and fighting against low carb today. Working as a clinical nutritionist in Dr. Atkins medical practice was the beginning of my rebirth. It helped prepare me to use the low carb diet approach and the use of natural supplements in addition to what I had already learned from other dietitians.

It is quite possible to benefit from a low carb diet. I have helped thousands of people lose weight and improve quality of life with this approach especially those with diabetes, heart disease and a number of other health conditions. Almost none of my colleagues will even attempt to discuss this with me. Experts claim there is little or insufficient evidence but I did my own research and it was just sitting there waiting to be read and used in practice. Besides, before there were grocery stores, ovens etc…what did humans eat?  Pretzels? Bread? Cereal? Probably not. 

At first I was skeptical, people eating fat and meat without counting calories was preposterous. But I learned fast, for many it was the only way to sustain their weight and improve their health. For those who committed, clinical health parameters improved and clients were passionate about how they felt: increases in energy levels, controlled cravings, less of an appetite just because they cut carbs to a minimum.  Who could deny what seemed to be a miracle? Not me! At that point I was a believer and was not going to keep quiet anymore.

I certainly understand the concerns about many of the philosophies that make low carb diets controversial but the fears quickly diminish once you trust your abilities as a clinician to monitor health parameters and make changes as needed.

There is no controversy with recommending real foods that are low carb such as green leafy and salad vegetables, balancing fats and cutting out concentrated sweets and excess amounts of commercially prepared foods to include healthier fats (olive oil, nuts/seeds, and avocado).

There is nothing wrong with making simple shifts in the types of food you consume. Many of the people who speak out against low carb diets have very little if any experience with using them. Maybe afraid of the unknown, maybe misinformed or just righteous in their own mind, very likely political and monetary factors are underlying factors but clients who would benefit most suffer because conventional wisdom is stubborn and it may just be too difficult to realize that for all these years there may be more than meets the eye when it comes to nutrition.

 

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