Life On Purpose

Day 20 : Fat ‘n’ Happy Happy Happy July 18, 2013

As I’ve said before: Fat isn’t making you fat (well, mostly). Today I want to dig deeper and help you understand what good fat is and why it helps you burn fat.

Saturated Fats:

“Provide building blocks for cell membranes, hormones, and hormone-like substances

Act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K

Are required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, and for mineral absorption

Act as antiviral agents (caprylic acid) Help lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids)

Modulate genetic regulation and help prevent cancer (butyric acid)”

They actually do NOT cause heart disease and will help satiety keeping you more full and reducing your calorie intake.

I know we have discussed this before, but choosing healthy fats and recognizing dangerous fats are one of the biggest steps to preventing disease and losing weight. It is also worth noting that your fat intake directly affects your HDL cholesterol level, which, if too low is linked to depression.

Processed food usually contains the oils and fats that are not good for your health. Eating a whole food (real food) diet will deliver the fats your body needs. Cook with coconut oil and pastured butter (again, Organic Valley brand is widely available). Don’t be afraid of “fatty” meats that were pasture raised. Their fat profiles contain CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which has been linked to better fat burn, steady glucose levels, muscle preservation and increased metabolism. They key to getting the CLAs in your diet is pastured meats and eggs. You will remember from prior posts that this means the animal was raised to roam freely and happily. I jokingly tell my children we have “happy milk” and “happy beef” from “happy cows.” But in all seriousness: it’s true! If you are what you eat, most Americans are fat and depressed….sound familiar? Why? Because the meat they are eating is from animals raised in terrible, cramped conditions too depressing to talk about right now! Also, use avocados as a salad topping, side dish, in guacamole, in sauces…oh I could go on and on about my favorite food! Avocados are truly a superfood and on the clean list too! So organic is not a necessity. Make your dressings with cold pressed EVOO . Season your veggies with pastured butter and sea salt. Your palate and your tummy will thank you!

Today’s challenge: buy EVOO, coconut oil and organic, pastured butter. Also, buy pasture raised, grass fed meats. Throw away the canola and vegetable oil. Stop worrying about your fat intake. Notice your new-found satiety as you consume a higher fat diet.

Healthy Fats:

Olives and Olive oil
Coconuts and coconut oil
Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw nuts, such as, almonds or pecans Organic pastured egg yolks
Avocados
Grass fed meats
Palm oil
Unheated organic nut oils

Unhealthy fats:

Corn-avoid/mostly genetically engineered (more later)

Canola-avoid/mostly genetically engineered

Cottonseed- usually contaminated by pesticides (more later)

Palm kernel-avoid

Soybean-avoid/mostly genetically engineered & contains pesticides

Vegetable-avoid/mostly genetically engineered & contains pesticides

Peanut-okay in moderation/not good for cooking but organic to avoid pesticides & GMO

Margarine-NEVER eat.

Sources:
http://products.mercola.com/cla-supplement/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/01/enjoy-saturated-fats-theyre-good-for-you.aspx

http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/beginner_fats.htm

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Day 10 : What Makes You Fat June 26, 2013

Fat isn’t making you fat. What? That’s right: fat isn’t making you fat. (More on fats later).

Sugar is making you fat. But it doesn’t appear how you think it does. It is a sneaky little thing that you will only catch by label reading. Glance over the labels in your fridge and pantry. Look at items from this list:

Drinks other than water
Milk
Yogurt
Granola bars
Cereal
Prepackaged, flavored oatmeal
Cookies
Rice cakes
Pudding mix
Jello mix
Peanut butter
Trail mix
Muffin mix
Pancake mix
Pasta sauce
Ketchup
Barbeque sauce
Dressings
Marinades

As you begin to look over all the added sugar and high fructose corn syrup in your pantry, you are seeing the silent killer that you never think about.

Think about it this way: God designed our bodies to process sugar with an organ called the pancreas. It releases insulin to process sugar according to the amount of sugar in your blood stream. The pancreas, just like the heart, liver, kidneys and brain, is aging. When a person drinks alcohol in excess on a regular basis, it ages and damages the liver, making it difficult for the organ to function properly. When you consume sugar too often, your pancreas works overtime in the same manner. It doesn’t come with a lifetime warranty. It will give out before you die if you overuse it: this is called Diabetes Type 2 in the medical world. Now don’t get me wrong-it isn’t that simple. Diabetes is a multi-factorial disease and there are other risk factors beside your diet. I’m just going to focus on what you CAN control.

Sugar and Chronic Disease

It’s not just you.

Start by reading labels for specific criteria:

1. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)-it causes blood sugar spikes and it is usually made from GMO/nonorganic corn. It is poison if you ask me. Just don’t buy stuff made with this.

2. Corn syrup- only one notch less dangerous than HFCS. Avoid it.

3. Sugar-this one is inevitable sometimes. Be conscious of how much you consume. Look for these names:

Agave nectar
Brown sugar
Cane crystals
Cane sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup
Crystalline fructose
Dextrose
Evaporated cane juice
Fructose
Fruit juice concentrates
Glucose
High-fructose corn syrup
Honey
Invert sugar
Lactose
Maltose
Malt syrup
Molasses
Raw sugar
Sucrose
Sugar
Syrup

4. Compare brands of like items for the least sugar grams. BUT always choose sugar or fruit juice concentrate sweetened over HFCS (This is now completely off limits. It is killing you. I know the truth hurts.)

5. Sweeteners for your cooking and baking should be whole foods:

Bananas
Raw honey
100% maple syrup
Stevia

As a side note, one thing that I do to reduce added sugar in my diet is to buy unsweetened items and sweeten them myself. For example, you can make a bowl of oatmeal, cook with unsweetened almond milk, add protein powder and a tad bit of pure maple syrup, cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Fast, easy and WAY less sugar! Another example is yogurt: I buy plain nonfat Greek yogurt, sweeten with a little honey or maple syrup, add chopped fruit or blueberries, nuts, vanilla and cinnamon. It may take time to gradually reduce how much sweetener you add. Experts say quitting sugar cold turkey is best, but I can honestly say I have had success with reduction in cravings and a palate change by gradually cutting back. Either way: make it happen!

Lets talk starch. The standard American diet (SAD) is full of it. Burgers need buns, the chicken needs a sandwich, meat always goes with potatoes, blah blah blah. How can you eliminate that?

1. My favorite go-to lunch is to make a protein salad. I use leftover meat from dinner or eggs and mix them up with greens and tomatoes and avocados. You can vary this easily according to what you have on hand and what your tastes are. You can even do bean salad or tuna salad (use plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo).

2. If you get high quality meat and season it with herbs and some sea salt, you will discover flavor you haven’t ever experienced. I’m talking about a burger that can sit on a big bed of greens and be absolutely mouth-watering! Don’t knock it till you try it!

3. You might want to give the 21 Day Sugar Detox a go:

21DSD

4. Put more veggies on your plate: they nourish and satisfy. More on basics of real food prep coming soon.

5. Stop buying bread, bagels, crackers, etc. Just don’t bring it in your house and, guess what? You won’t eat it! The upside to this: when you go out to eat (hopefully not more than once a week, otherwise you’ll need to implement these principles when you eat out too) you can really enjoy the high carb treats without guilt knowing how hard you’ve worked at home.

Your meals should be based upon high quality protein, veggies and high quality (truly-label must say “whole grain” before each grain ingredient) whole grains (that’s still debatable). Sugar is killing you and making you fat. Time to go back to your picture, measurements and goals. This is where the rubber meets the road and you will maximize your potential: quit the sugar!