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Why Eat Fat? 15 Undeniable Reasons

I am sure you have all heard the reasons as to why you should not eat fat. So I have gathered information and am providing reasons why you should eat fat, and saturated fat at that.

For those who manage eating between 5-20% of calories from healthy veggie, cheese, fruit (avocado)…carbs, eating fat will help catapult anti-aging (via the limitation of advanced gylcated end-products), lower heart disease risk, annihilate diabetes and its complications as well as balance any blood sugar or  hormone issue and burn fat faster. If you elect to eat a lot of carbs for example 60-80% calories as carbs, you should minimize fat and may want to reconsider.

Fat nourishes the body and optimizes many body functions. The benefits of eating healthy natural fats from meat, nuts/seeds, butter, olives etc… include assisting cells, organs, hormones and body systems.

Here’s a quick list of 14 health reasons to eat fat:

  1. The Brain– Fats compose 60% of the brain and are essential to brain function, including learning abilities, memory retention and moods. Fats are especially important for pregnant women, since they are integral to fetal brain development.
  2. Cells– Fatty acids help your cells stay flexible and are responsible for building cell membranes.
  3. The Heart– 60% of your heart’s energy comes from burning fats. Specific fats are also used to help keep the heart beating in a regular rhythm.
  4. Nerves– Fats compose the material that insulates and protects the nerves, isolating electrical impulses and helping to send communication signals.
  5. Lungs– Lung surfactant, which requires a high concentration of saturated fats, enables the lungs to work and keeps them from collapsing.
  6. The Eyes– Fat soluble vitamins are essential to eye function.
  7. Digestion– Fats in a meal slow down the digestion process so the body has more time to absorb nutrients.
  8. Organs– Fats cushion and protect all your internal organs.
  9. Immune System– Fats can aid in reducing inflammation so the immune system remains healthy and functions.
  10. The skin- daily fat consumption can help keep skin moist and prevent wrinkles.
  11. Sex and steroid hormones- are manufactured from fat.
  12. Metabolic hormones-fat will not trigger the release of insulin or counter-regulatory hormonal backlash like carbohydrates and therefore can also help give relief to over- worked organs like the pancreas or liver when large amounts of carbs are consumed.
  13. Satiety-fats keep you full longer by providing a constant level of energy, no need to be hungry.
  14. Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K)- absorption cannot happen or may be limited without fat:
  • Vitamin A keeps your eyes and skin  healthy
  • Vitamin D works to strengthen the immune system, helps in muscle function and involved in strengthening bones
  • Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals
  • Vitamin K is involved in blood clotting

The health benefits are undeniable but you cannot ignore the fact that taste (reason #15)  is another important reason to eat fat; sautéed veggies, a rib-eye steak, coconut or the taste of lobster dipped in real butter are reasons enough to eat fat. The other 14 health reasons mentioned above might just be considered an added bonus.

Why eat fat? Because it is healthy and tastes good, why else?

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Get The” F” Into Your Workout: Flexibility Strategies to Keep You Strong

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

Image result for image flexibility

Move it or lose it. Whether you  “exercise” or not,  don’t forget  incorporating the “F”  into your day. “F” is for flexibility. One big problem is that the “F” (flexibility) is often left out of the daily activity or work out equation, this mistake could cost you.

In order to do any movement, activity (low or high intensity) or sport, joints and muscles need to be in well working order. Alignment and “F” are important for range of motion (ROM) and mobility, without them life can get pretty boring because moving at all would be challenging.

Think about it.  If you can’t move, you can’t do even the most simple things like getting in or out of bed (or whatever else you might do while in bed), bend or sit down, pick up, get up or any more complex task you do on a daily basis.

Just like the alignment in…

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Posted by on August 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The Brains Role in “Frying” Fat : Brown Fat Burns Calories and Benefits Health

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

While most people  are trying to lose fat, they may not realize the brain may be an important focus. The scientific journal “Cell” just published an animal study that describes the brain’s role in regulating the conversion (browning/”fat frying”) of inactive white storing fat (WAT) to metabolically active brown fat (BAT).

It seems that neurons (in the hypothalamus) work to burn calories and then actually changing inactive WAT fat to more active BAT burning fat. The whole process includes neurons, hormones and enzymes.

There are 3 types of body fat that are distinguished by color.  White fat (WAT) is stored and not active, it comprises 90% of the body’s fat. Brown fat (BAT, but should be termed BRAT LOL) actually works to burn calories, maintain blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140723123944.htm. BAT can burn as much as 5 times more fat than beige fat. Beige fat is…

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Posted by on August 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

7 High Fat, Fat Fighting Foods

Image result for fat

Despite being an essential nutrient and active in brain, nerve, bowel and heart  health just to name a few, fat is unfortunately feared.

Fat is found naturally in vegetable, dairy and protein foods and provides many nutritional benefits. These foods should be consumed daily:

  1. Avocado– You may know avocados contain fat and fiber which help keep you full, but did you know Avocado contains mannoheptulose, a sugar that has been linked to lowering insulin release and enhances calcium absorption, both calcium and lower insulin levels can contribute to fat loss.
  2. Coconut-Coconut contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which speed up metabolism. In a study published in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326600, coconut oil seems to promote more weight and fat loss than olive oil. Yes, saturated fat coconut oil produced better weight loss than “healthy”olive oil.
  3. Greek yogurt-contains more protein than regular yogurt so it is a more balanced food that has less appetite stimulating sugar than regular yogurt. Regardless of this, weight loss studies link its calcium content to fueling fat loss. Results from a University of Tennessee study shows that dieters who ate three servings of yogurt a day lost 22% more weight, 61% more body fat and maintained lean muscle than dieters who ate less calcium.
  4. Eggs- The real truth is that eggs are “eggs”ellent foods. Are you egg phobic? You should know in a study entitled, ” Egg Breakfast Enhances Weight Loss”. Participants eating eggs had a 61% greater reduction in body mass index (BMI), a 65% greater weight loss, a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference and a 16% greater reduction in percent body fat over those who ate fat-free bagels.
  5. Chocolate- What more do I have to say? There is research (“Chocolate Association Between More Frequent Chocolate Consumption and Lower Body Mass Index” Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD; Sabrina Koperski, BS; Halbert L. White, PhD Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(6):519-521) suggesting that people who ate chocolate twice a week and exercised an average of 3 times a week tended to have a lower BMI. Warning: Do not eat milk or dark chocolate that contains tons of sugar. I suggest 85-90% dark cocoa chocolate that has minimal carbs and sugar.
  6. Grass Fed Beef (contains twice as much omega 3 and 3-5 times as much conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than regular beef)– CLA is a fatty acid linked to improved insulin function, fat loss and lean muscle preservation according to this study:  Eyjolfson V, Spriet LL, Dyck DJ. “Conjugated linoleic acid improves insulin sensitivity in young, sedentary humans.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36:814-20. There is even a study from University of Wisconsin that shows beef helps to prevent weight re-gain after losing weight. Additional sources of CLA include turkey, lamb, buffalo, egg yolks and cottage cheese.
  7. Butter-Saturated fat is not as detrimental to health as once thought. It is so much healthier than man-made margarine. The CLA, short- and medium-chain fatty acids in butter can contribute to weight loss. Real butter is loaded with vitamins (vitamin A, D, E, K2) and minerals (selenium, iodine, manganese, chromium, zinc, copper).

Eat foods that naturally contain fat and cut fat free commercially prepared foods from your diet. Focus on nutrients. More healthy fat means more nutrition, more taste and better health.

 

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Kick Carbs to the Curb: 3 Undeniable Benefits

credit: picture and recipe from, http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/zucchini-chips/

Carbohydrates are not evil! Most sources of carbohydrates that most people eat are processed (cereal, bagels/bread, yogurt, pasta), add calories and stimulate appetite without providing much benefit. Kick unhealthy carbohydrates to the curb but swap them for healthier versions of carbohydrates. Get “nutritional bang for your calorie buck”!

Carbohydrates from low-calorie veggies, low glycemic fruits, nuts and seeds are filled with nutrients that keep you healthy and looking good.

The 3 strongest arguments for cutting unhealthy carbohydrates and substituting healthy carbs are:

  1. Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are nutrients provided by a plant through its color or pigment,  http://health.mo.gov/living/families/wic/wiclwp/pdf/phytonutrientsposter.pdf,  and they have been found to stave off disease (cancer, heart disease…), slow aging, lower inflammation and support good health. More than 100,000 phytonutrients are found in colorful fruits and vegetables. Some phytonutrients in plants are fat soluble and need fat for nutrient absorption.

When you swap commercially prepared carbohydrates like bread, pretzels, processed rice… for plant foods you fuel your body with an artillery of phytonutrients that boost body systems to function at peak performance reducing the chance of health issues. Healthy carbohydrates with phytonutrients and their colors are:

  • Lycopenes, ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin, anthocyanidins are red so eating tomatoes, red onion, watermelon, pink grapefruit or promote heart health, urinary tract health and can protect memory.
  • Carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene), beta cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, hesperidin are orange/yellow and help maintain healthy eyes and skin and protect against cancer and heart disease use these substitutes: carrots, winter squash, yellow & orange bell peppers, pumpkin, cantaloupe and tumeric/curry.
  • EGCG, allicin, quercetin, indoles, glucosinolates compounds are white/tan eat onions, cauliflower, tea, turnips and garlic to help boost the immune system and support heart health.
  • Lutein/zeaxanthin, isoflavones, EGCG, indoles, isothiocyanates, sulphoraphane from greens like spinach, kale, collards Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy all work to detox the body and slow cell damage, lower oxidative stress and inflammation. Eating these green carbohydrates can help ward off cancer and all types of illnesses.
  • Anthocyanidins, resveratrol, phenolics, flavonoids  are antioxidant powerhouses that help neutralize free radicals which contribute to aging and many disease conditions. Choose these carbohydrate foods from the blue and purple group: berries, eggplant and plums.
  1. Slashing calories

Replacing unhealthy carbs with non-starchy veggies is calorically economical and can help in weight management.

A serving of bread or starch contains 80-100 calories and 12-15 grams of carbohydrate, (if you read the label, any given product may contain more). In comparison a serving of non-starchy vegetables is  < 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates.

Simple math gives you the answer. Reduce the starch and bread and cut calories by 75% and lower carbs by two thirds.

  1. Taste

Tantalize your tongue with these unhealthy carbohydrate replacement recipes. When you are happy and satisfied with your meals nothing else matters!

  • Paleo Zucchini Tortillas:

http://beautyandthefoodie.com/paleo-zucchini-tortillas/

  • Cauliflower fried rice:

http://www.paleocupboard.com/cauliflower-fried-rice.html

  • Zucchini chips:
Zucchini Chips

  • Don’t feel like cooking? try spicy pumpkin seeds:

http://www.amazon.com/Eden-Organic-Pumpkin-Roasted-Pocket/dp/B00HZO4X1G/ref=sr_1_4?                i.e.=UTF8&qid=1439868333&sr=8-4&keywords=eden+foods+pumpkin+seeds

  • Desserts? Try these:

http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/low-carb-dessert-recipes.html

So now, what is stopping you from optimal nutrition and kicking unnecessary carbs to the curb?

 

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You’re So Vain; But Ketones Trigger An Anti-Aging Brain

Elderly woman with granddaughter

Diet and exercise are tools used to achieve a physical or weight goal in order to improve appearance. You might say some people diet and exercise in vain.

Yet new research supports a deeper more important biochemical connection between diet and exercise that goes beyond the vanity of physical appearance and protects against an aging brain.

Dr. Moses Chao, a professor of cell biology, physiology and neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine and his colleagues published their study of mice and how “strenuous exercise seems to beneficially change how certain genes work inside the brain,” https://elifesciences.org/content/5/e15092.

It seems as though exercise “triggers” the production of a protein involved in nerve cell growth and helps improve memory. This protein is called “brain-derived neurotrophic factor”, or BDNF. 

A low level of BDNF is linked to diseases of aging such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The more BDNF, the lower the neuro-degenerative mental health risk. What the scientists found was that mice who strenuously exercised for one month had higher BDNF levels when compared to those that didn’t exercise at all.

What is the exercise “trigger” that increases BDNF? Ketone bodies, also known as β-hydroxybutyrate, are simply defined as by-products of burning fat for energy. Ketones were found to be the underlying reason for higher BDNF levels. So ketones helped improve memory and lower mental/neurological health risks.

Chao says, “increased BDNF levels are associated with lower rates of dementia and that studies have shown that BDNF levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease are, on average, half that of people without either brain-damaging disease.”

Experiments also showed that exercise inhibits an enzyme, histone deacetylase or  HDACs. HDACs work to lower BDNF and influence the genetic expression of mental health conditions that occur as we age.  Currently mood stabilizing and seizure preventive pharmaceutical drugs are used to act on lowering HDACs to treat these diseases.

How can you increase BDNF and keep HDACs at bay without taking prescription drugs? There are two ways to naturally elevate ketone bodies:

  1. Eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day (based on your personal goals with calorie consumption being equal or less than your body needs). This can be done by eating fat and protein from meat, chicken, eggs, fish, oils, olives, coconut consuming 2-3 cups of green leafy veggies. KetoDiet, https://ketodietapp.com/, is an example of one tool that can be used to help target your calorie needs and guide your nutritional choices.
  2. Exercise helps burn more ketone bodies. Once glycogen stores are depleted more fat is used to provide calories for energy; It takes 20-30 minutes of moderately intense exercise, or, immediately if you are following a ketogenic diet to start burning fat as a primary fuel.

Your vanity may help maintain your quality of life. A ketogenic diet and moderate to high intensive activity can act as powerful tools in the genetic response to aging, mental/neurological health and as substitutes for more risky pharmaceutical drugs that work by blocking natural body processes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Drinking Skim Milk: The Diabetes Obesity Connection

Image result for skim milk

When you are diagnosed with a medical condition such as diabetes. You might seek to get what you think is invaluable information from a well established diabetes organization like the American Diabetes Association.

When you visit The American Diabetes Association website for diet advice,  http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/dairy.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/, you will read about the best choices for dairy products:

“What are the Best Choices?”

“The best choices of dairy products are:

Fat-free or low-fat (1% milk)

Plain non-fat yogurt (regular or Greek yogurt)

Non-fat light yogurt (regular or Greek yogurt)”

Yet, low-fat dairy products have more carbohydrates that influence blood sugar, insulin and appetite than natural high fat dairy products.

Current research, “Circulating Biomarkers of Dairy Fat and Risk of Incident Diabetes Mellitus Among US Men and Women in Two Large Prospective Cohorts“, July 5, 2016, Volume 134, Issue 1, http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2016/03/22/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018410.abstract, suggests full fat (NOT low-fat) dairy may help lower diabetes risk and assist in weight maintenance. The twenty year study followed over 3,000 participants ages 30 to 75.  Those who consumed the higher percent fat dairy “had about a 50 percent lower risk of diabetes.”

Low and non fat dairy may not just be a culprit in elevating diabetes risk, additional research has shown an association between skim milk and weight gain especially in children, http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/20/health/skim-milk-obesity/.

Dr. Mark DeBoer, an associate professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine authored a study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. They found children who drank 2% fat milk showed lower BMI scores than those drinking the 1% fat milk. Over time, he found that children who were normal weight at the start of the study and consistently drank the 1% milk showed a 57% increased chance of becoming overweight or obese by the time they were 4 years old.”

Despite these findings from 3 years ago, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) continue to recommend that children older than 2 years drink skim or low-fat milk.

Hmmm…if the science is finding skim milk is not healthy, why not scrap the recommendations that are given by most experts, and at least give full fat dairy equal billing to help fight the diabesity battle, and in doing so, re-think the skim milk offerings within the school lunch programs.

There is no essential need to drink milk. Good sources of calcium containing foods (kale, collard greens, broccoli, edamame, bok choy, sardines, oranges, tofu, almonds),  foods that contain vitamin D (salmon, tuna, pasteurized eggs, sardines) and supplements are viable options.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and calcium acts similarly in that it requires a carrier for absorption.  So if you drink milk for the purpose of attaining these nutrients, drink milk with more fat and avoid 1% or skim milk to help vitamin absorption and to reduce the risk of weight gain and diabetes.

 

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