RSS

Category Archives: FAT

5 Dirty Little Cellulite Secrets

Image result for image cellulite

Cellulite is a term used to describe fat deposits under the skin that look like cottage cheese, hail damage or an orange peel but no matter what the name is it is not pretty! Cottage cheese thighs affects ninety percent of women (heavy and thin) and only 10% of men.  You can thank the process and amount of fat storage and hormones for the difference.

5 Dirty Little Secrets That Cause Cellulite:

  1. Diet: Excess intake of calories, carbohydrates and fat, salt, and estrogen antagonists like soy and bisphenol-A and not drinking enough water.
  2. Lack of circulation: Exercise gets blood to body parts by keeping blood vessels open, this is important because oxygen and nutrients are delivered to body tissue to keep it strong. Constricted blood vessels tend to lose its function leading to spider veins and cellulite.
  3. Unbalanced estrogen: Excess estrogen stores fat but too little estrogen constricts blood vessels that decrease circulation making fat cells get bigger. So estrogen and hormonal balance is the key.
  4. Lack of collagen: “After age 30 we start to lose 1.5% of our natural collagen stores each year. By age 40 when most people start to notice hormonal and body changes, the body has already lost approximately 15% of its natural collagen stores,” http://www.drvenessa.com/dr-venessa-difference/collagen/. Less skin collagen (A natural type of protein in the body that forms the connective tissues holding the skin together giving it a smooth firm appearance.) allows fat to poke outwards towards the skin making it uneven and dimple.
  5. Genetics and fat storage: You should have picked different parents, lol but you can’t    do anything about this so why not laugh? There are certain body areas that have more layers of fat (women are wired to carry more fat on the hips and thighs for child  bearing and triceps, hips, buttocks, thighs). The more fat, the more fat receptors.         There are alpha adrenergic receptors (stimulate fat) and beta receptors (break down   fat). Unfortunately for women, “for every one beta receptor, there are nine alpha         receptors,” http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-cellulite-forever/.

Lotions, creams, snake oils don’t work and neither do the lasers, injections and whatever other magic concoctions are out there. If you are absolutely obsessed with your dimples give this a read, “Why Do I Have Cellulite?, https://www.girlsgonestrong.com/why-do-i-have-cellulite/,” written by a colleague, Cassandra Forsythe, PhD, RD. She is the author of two popular nationally publicized books for women, “The New Rules of Lifting for Women”, and “Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet”.

“Treat” Cellulite with:

  1. Good food and drink: Nourish skin on the inside with water and avoid the items mentioned in diet above. Use a collagen supplement, see above link, and Hyaluronic acid
  2. Microneedling: Helps stimulate natural collagen production, http://www.smartskincare.com/treatments/noninvasive/skin-needling.html
  3. Weight training and being active
  4. Hormone balance

Cottage cheese thighs are nobody’s friend. While it may be near impossible to completely get rid of cellulite, it certainly is not a waste of time to try these skin supporting tips. You can make improvements in your skin’s health and appearance.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Food Politics Victimize Natural Trans Fats: Vaccenic acid (VA) and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA )

Conjugated linoleic acid - Dr. Axe

Photo from: http://draxe.com/conjugated-linoleic-acid/. Read what Dr. Axe says about   CLA,  “reducing body fat in obese patients, a dose of 1.8 to 7 grams per day has been used successfully. But amounts on the smaller side of that range might be plenty, since some research shows that greater than 3.4 grams per day doesn’t seem to offer any additional benefits”.

You should care. You should care about food politics and its effects on how you fuel your body. What you eat is your choice. Be an educated food consumer, not a victim.

GMO, BPA, pesticides, hormones, whether you are involved in food politics (The political side of food production, control, regulation, inspection, distribution and consumption. Food politics can be affected by the ethical, cultural, medical and environmental disputes concerning proper farming, agricultural and retailing methods and regulations.) or not, food politics boils down to big business and big money, not healthy eating, http://www.humansarenotbroken.com/the-sleazy-story-of-cereals-success/. Here is a list and description of the larger agribusiness companies: Monsanto, Cargill, Dupont, Land O lakes and Bayer crop, http://www.nationofchange.org/10-companies-controlling-world-s-seed-supply-1382363748.

These companies have the power to influence health messages. Messages like “eggs raise cholesterol” and “fat is bad for you”, are important. If you hear them often enough you believe them,  so you buy what you believe is healthy and agribusinesses rake in the profits. These loaded health claims that spread misinformation paved the way for the diabesity (Diabetes caused by overweight or obesity) epidemic  by shifting eating bahaviors towards no fat and more grains and convenience foods.

Let’s not make the same mistake continuously.

Read these two examples of information about grains and breakfast cereals:

Which do you believe? How do you make food choices? If you read more of the first message you may believe it or maybe you would just be confused and ignore it and do what is convenient.

Why am I bringing this to your attention? Let’s not make the same mistake of getting caught up in a continuous web of food politics. Food politicking and using general nutrition messages across the board is never in your best interest.

The latest example of this “messaging” is that ALL trans fats are bad. This is not true.

ALL TRANS FATS ARE NOT BAD!  

According to an article published back in 2002 entitled, “Not All trans-Fatty Acids Are Alike: What Consumers May Lose When We Oversimplify Nutrition Facts”, written by  Martha Belury, PhD, RD, there are trans fats that fuel good health and weight loss, http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S0002-8223(02)90341-X/references; yet it is likely you have not heard the message about the health benefits of some trans fats.

Two Healthy Trans Fats are:

  1. Vaccenic Acid (VA): increases the availability of CLA , acts as an anti cancer agent and may help lower heart disease risk. VA makes up about 4 percent of the fatty acids in butter and may “lower total cholesterol by approximately 30 percent, LDL cholesterol by 25 percent, and triglyceride levels by more than 50 percent”, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080402152140.htm, and actually increased HDL in rats, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25534067.
  2. Conjugated Linoleic Acid: may help regulate fat and improve insulin sensitivity (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1307498), blood sugar regulation, the immune system and it may protect against cancer, especially breast cancer, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942722/.

The major dietary sources of CLA are foods from ruminant animal sources, with about 70% from dairy products and 25% from red meat (i.e. beef, lamb and veal).  These foods generally have CLA levels in the range of 3-7mg/g, http://www.beefnutrition.org/CMDocs/BeefNutrition/Updated%20Materials/Beef%20and%20Health/TransFattyAcids.pdf.

There is no place for natural trans fats, CLA and VA,  in the political trans fat foods are “bad” for you conversation. Do not let a few spoiled commercially created “bad” trans fats steer you away from eating natural foods containing healthy trans fats. Include healthy trans fat foods like beef, lamb, veal, butter and other dairy products into your diet to help improve health and weight loss.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Just Eat It: You (and Mary) Should Have A Little Lamb

 

AmericanLambArugulaSalad

Photo: http://www.americanlamb.com/consumer/american-lamb-arugula-salad-with-blackberry-vinaigrette/#sthash.Pls88TPC.dpuf

When I ask clients to provide me with a diet history, it typically includes beef, poultry, pork or fish. Rarely is lamb on the list. Why?  Lamb is affordable. The shoulder is about $6.00 a pound at the grocery store or you may find owning your own livestock share more enticing; Over the grass farm, a 420 acre preserve for native plants and animals and a farm producing grass-fed and finished beef, lamb, and dairy cows, offers livestock sharing so you can buy your own right off the farm, http://www.overthegrassfarm.net/grass-fed-finished-beef-lamb-and-poultry.

Lamb can be grilled, broiled, sautéed or stewed in a slow cooker. Here are some recipes:

Truth is, it does not matter how you eat lamb, just EAT IT.

Lamb tastes delicious and provides:

  • Healthy fats: Healthy fats help to lower body fat, regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system like monounsaturated, omega-3 and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, may also have anti-cancer) fatty acids; and saturated fat supporting the heart, brain, lungs and body cells.

 

  •  Minerals: Zinc (healthy immune system, hair, nails skim) and iron (helps form red blood cells) from lamb is more easily absorbed by the body than from other sources. Copper (helps form collagen, an important nutrient for anti-aging supports nerve function),  manganese (brain, bone and nerve support, blood, sex hormones, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation),  selenium (antioxidant and thyroid function), thiamine( helps metabolize fats and protein), niacin (helps control cholesterol and supports good heart health.

 

With all the health benefits of lamb, there are situations where one should avoid it because it contains purines. If you are having an acute gout attack or have kidney stones, you may want to avoid it.

Otherwise, enjoy the added bonus of knowing that lamb is raised without using antibiotics in the United States, http://www.americanlamb.com/lamb-101/nutrition/. So you at least know you are safe when it comes to that “poison”.

Despite the fact that Americans are not eating enough lamb, it has been a delicacy consumed by the Romans, Greeks and Chinese for thousands of years. According to Chinese medicine (TCM), lamb is a “warm” food. Warm referring to heat in the body not the actual temperature of the food.  Lamb is considered a yang food that helps promote wellness  by supporting memory, the immune system, hormone balance, low sex drive and fertility (sperm count too), warming the blood and body (i.e. cold hands and feet) especially in the winter, pain in the lower back, knee and pain and increasing energy.

Build good health by adding lamb to your weekly nutrition plan. Eat it! Bring in new and exotic flavors and even more nutrients to your typical eating regimen.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 25, 2016 in FAT, Food, health, minerals, Uncategorized, vitamins

 

Tags: , , , , ,

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

www.generalludd.com

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).

This research adds to others like my blog on the brain and gut connection, https://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/listen-to-your-gut/)  associating the brain’s role with physical health.

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 a mixture of WAT and BAT.

2 neurons found in the brain work synergistically with enzymes, leptin and insulin:

Agouti-related protein expressing (AgRP) neurons encourage white fat storage otherwise known as “hunger” neurons that lend itself to storing white fat.

Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) are satiety signaling neurons that stimulate white fat “frying” or changing it to beige fat help to protect against fat storage and promote obesity. POMC neurons were found to be involved with insulin and leptin (produced by WAT) resistance that contribute to obesity blood sugar control and satiety.

Researchers from Monash University in Australia completed a study, http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41912/title/Brain-s-Role-in-Browning-White-Fat/, where enzymes (phosphatases also found in POMC neurons) were removed from the signaling reactions of insulin and leptin.

When the communication signals for insulin and leptin increased so did beige fat, BAT became more active while WAT decreased signifying the relationship between the brain and body weight and metabolism.

There have also been findings on fat color and environmental influences. Exercise can “fry” white fat so that it acts like BAT via a hormone called irisin and increases UCP1 making brown fat more active.

Cold temperatures have been found to increase beige fat activity. In a Japanese study male volunteers burned almost 300 more calories while sitting in a room at 63 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. PET-CT scan showed an increase in beige fat activity.

There is even talk over brown seaweed, licorice root and hot peppers having similar capabilities.

The bad news for those who are overweight, they may not be able to convert white fat to brown fat as easily as their thin peers.

As science tries to get a better grip on understanding the brains role in activating calorie burning brown fat and putting the pieces of the puzzle together in order to understand BAT’s role in health, there is one thing for sure the darker the body fat the better.

On a side note, I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. on this day. Thank you, sir.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 19, 2015 in FAT, insulin, weight loss

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 Ways Eating Fat Increases Longevity

 

Clear your mind of fat-free eating and you will live a long healthy life. There are so many reasons why the concept of eliminating fat (or lowering fat) makes us fat, ruins health and messes with moods, http://www.naturalnews.com/035069_low_fat_diet_myths_weight_loss.html#, http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/unhealthy-fat-free-foods#slide-1, http://www.sentinelsource.com/contributed_news/is-your-health-conscious-low-fat-diet-making-you-fat/article_bd881fd2-7728-11e0-b834-001cc4c002e0.html, http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/23/everything-you-know-about-unhealthy-foods-is-wrong.  It is not easy to overcome the low-fat brainwashing we have endured over all these years but it is a necessity for optimal weight, wellness and longevity.

Understanding the link between insulin and aging, metabolic health risk factors and weight and its connection with carbohydrates is a much more solid philosophy than the eat less fat and calories for better health theory.  While applying a simple math equation on paper, weight loss equals fewer calories consumed and more calories burned, seems logical. It is too simplistic for it to hold much value in a complex body system.

Realizing that food is in fact a fuel that has so much more value than just providing calories. Food is essential to life; what you put in your mouth has a profound effect on muscle, appetite, digestion, hormones, mental focus and so much more throughout its metabolism and absorption.

Dr. Joseph Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/02/ketogenic-diet-health-benefits.aspx, writes about how eating more fat can increase longevity through:

1. Genetics: ” In a report published in the August 2013 issue of Cell Reports, scientists discovered that the “mTOR gene” is a significant regulator of the aging process that includes insulin signaling, cellular metabolism and energy balance —in mice.”

2. Clinical parameters: Clinical markers for aging, heart health, appetite regulation and weight improve.

 A 2010 study examined the effects of a high-fat diet on typical markers of aging. Study participants were given a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet with adequate protein, and the results were health improvements across the board. Serum leptin decreased by an average of eight percent, insulin by 48 percent, fasting glucose by 40 percent, triglycerides by nearly eight percent, and free T3 (thyroid hormone) by almost six percent.”

“In fact, Dr. Peter Attia (a Stanford University trained physician) used a ketogenic diet to help improve his own health despite a healthy lifestyle (what he thought was “eating healthy” and consistent physical activity). For 10 years, Attia followed an extreme ketogenic diet,  80 percent of his calories came from fat which included lots of coconut oil, grass-pastured butter, organic pastured eggs, avocado, and raw nuts; moderate amounts of protein and only 5 grams of sugar a day.  His approach, proved that a ketogenic diet can make profound improvements in health risk factors, see the chart below.”  An MRI also confirmed that he had lost both body fat and visceral fat (fat found around internal organs).”

BEFORE AFTER
Fasting blood sugar 100 75-95
Percentage body fat 25 10
Waist circumference in inches 40 31
Blood pressure 130/85 110/70
LDL 113 88
HDL 31 67
Triglycerides 152 22
Insulin sensitivity Increased by more than 400 percent

 

3. Calorie Reduction:

Research has shown that calorie restricted starvation diets can act as an anti-aging strategy by lowering oxidative stress, and insulin levels. High insulin levels contribute to health conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and accelerate aging. The problem is that there is no fuel to nourish your body and it is difficult to function when all you can think about is the food you cannot eat.

Interestingly enough, high fat ketogenic diets can result in the same benefits without having to starve. Lowering carbs to 30-50 grams (fakes the body into thinking it is starving when in fact it is being nourished with nutrient dense foods) will lower insulin and produce similar effects on health markers to help slow down the aging process and improve health.

Afraid to eat fat? I hope not after all this information. Do you want to improve your quality of life? Eat fat because it does not affect hormones in a negative way that will impact your health and make you old. Eat fat, like avocado, butter, coconut etc…because it tastes good, helps to lower insulin and will help provide greater longevity.

 

Tags: , , , ,

3 Anti-Aging Nutrients Missing From Low Fat Foods

Eat real foods that contain fat because they contain nutrients that low or non-fat foods DO NOT have. Expanding your eating choices to include a variety of foods that contain all types of fat can reap many anti-aging benefits like keeping waistlines slim, skin, hair and nails looking young, the immune system strong and the heart healthy.

Have you heard of Arachidonic acid (AA)? How about choline or medium chain triglycerides (MCT)? These nutrients are not commonly found on a low-fat food label but are just as important to understand as any nutrient listed on a package. Natural high fat, high cholesterol foods such as coconut, eggs, red meat contain AA, MCT and choline.

Arachidonic acid (AA) is a polyunsaturated fat but it is mostly found in saturated fats (red meat and organ meat), egg yolks and breast milk. AA is a key factor for brain development, nerve function and keeping cells flexible. It is also involved with muscle growth and repair. AA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are often talked about together because they make up a large component of the human brain, http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Egg_Yolk.html.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are also found in saturated fats: whole milk, butter, palm oil and coconut. MCT’s have a few metabolic benefits that include aiding in weight loss, promoting digestion, lowering the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease by increasing HDL cholesterol, supporting thyroid function and boosting the immune system. MCT may also help to prevent muscle breakdown and promote muscle repair after exercise. Coconut, specifically, contains lauric and caprylic acid which are known anti yeast and anti bacterial agents.

Choline is an essential (not produced by the body but required for normal body function) nutrient found in the membrane of the cell. Good sources of choline are: ground beef, whole eggs (yes, especially the yolk) and peanut butter. Choline functions to protect the liver from fat accumulation (non-alcoholic  fatty liver disease is a somewhat new medical condition associated with the consumption of fructose-a sugar ingredient used by food companies to increase shelf life add, flavor and enable a non-fat claim on food labels, http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/diabetes/articles/2009/04/10/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease-5-tips-for-treatment-prevention) , helps to prevent advanced age memory loss and may help to lower cholesterol and homocysteine levels (an amino acid associated with heart disease, strokes, and Alzheimer’s’ disease). There is also reason to believe choline may be protective against some types of cancers.

When low-fat foods replace fat or fat in the diet is minimized, the benefits of AA, MCT and choline are lost and fat soluble nutrient absorption (Vitamins, A, D, E,K) suffers leading to health issues. These are just 3 examples of the many nutrients that may not be on your radar when you are obsessed with cutting fat.

Fuel your body to ignite better sports performance, better health, weight loss and defy aging, eat fat!

Here are sources that provide more details about the benefits of nutrients from real fat foods:

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

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

http://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts/

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

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 5, 2014 in FAT, health, Nutrition, vitamins, weight loss

 

When It Comes to Saturated Fat Use Your Noggin’

 

“Follow The Nutrition Guidelines or Follow Your Heart, https://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.  

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,892 other followers