Many health conscious people strive for a low-fat diet. But you could be missing out on many health benefits such weight loss and a strong cardiovascular system if you miss the essential fats.
The no fat and low fat diet way of thinking came from the fact that so many people were – well – fat. It was logical to assume that it was because we were eating too much of it. Now we’re learning more.
We now know that the harmful fats are the trans-fatty, oxidized and heat-processed fats like those found in margarine, fried foods and even grain-fed cattle.
In the daily strive for health we attempted to cut out all fats only to learn we are hurting ourselves.
Fortunately it is a new era and we now know which fats to not only cut out – but what we need to include in our diets for better health. For free of premature aging and degenerative disease.
These good fats are called the Essential Fatty Acids.
They fall into two categories of Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s. Both types of fats are essential and it is important to get them from a variety of sources. The essential fats are the most popular because they are the most researched. There is one more category of fat, however, that you should be aware of – the Omega 9’s, although not classified as an Essential Fat, it is well known that they are necessary for good health.
Let’s look at the effects of these fats.
Deficiencies in these fatty acids can result in heart disease, depression, fatigue, and inflammation, which can lead to arthritis and even cancer.
Benefits of including the good fats include weight loss, a stronger immune system, anti-inflammatory abilities, balanced hormones, thicker hair, and healthier, supple skin.
How Popular are Sodas
Today, in the United States, sugary sodas are taking the place of healthier drinks like milk. There are lots of television and radio ads about sodas trying to get your attention to buy their sodas, but what they don’t tell you is how bad they are for you.
These sodas, filled with sugar, cause not only weight gain, but type 2 diabetes as well. People who consume 1-2 cans per day of sugar, sodas have a 26% higher risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease along with obesity according to Harvard University.
How Much Sugar in Sodas
In a 20 ounce bottle of one sugar, soda it has 16-20 teaspoons of sugar. However, millions of Americans drink more than one 20 ounce bottle of soda per day. The more cans or bottles you drink, the more sugar you consume, which leads to weight gain.
Some people believe that sodas fill you up, but they don’t. In fact, sugar increases hunger that leads to obesity. Suppose you had a high-calorie meal at McDonald’s with a sugar drink, you increased your calorie intake even more, up to over a 1000 calories.
Obesity is on The Increase
There’s quite a bit of buzz around phytochemicals in food. Phytochemicals, also known as phytonutrients, are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants (hence the phyto-).
They are the compounds that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant variety of colors, smells, and tastes. With the rainbow of vegetables, you see regularly, you can imagine how many types of phytochemicals there are!
There are literally thousands of phytochemicals out there. Scientists are busy studying their potential benefits. Since you aren’t a plant, the only way to reap the benefits of phytochemicals is to eat a diet full of a variety of types of fruits and vegetables.
There are 6 phytochemicals scientists have spent the most effort researching:
1. BETA CAROTENE is found in orange-colored and dark green leafy vegetables. Beta-carotene is critical for eye health and also plays a key role in maintaining a healthy and strong immune system.
2. LYCOPENE is the red pigment found in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, raspberries, and strawberries. It’s a powerful antioxidant and is linked to reduced prostate cancer risk. Lycopene is better absorbed after it’s been cooked, such as in tomato sauce.
3. LUTEIN is found in green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, as well as in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts and broccoli. Like beta-carotene, lutein is critical for eye health and may help prevent macular degeneration.
Inflammation is a biological response of the body to protect itself. It responds from harmful internal and external stimuli and starts healing. It is a part of the body’s immune system and protects us from infections, wounds and tissue damage.
Inflammation can be acute where it can start quickly and become severe quickly. For example, acute inflammation can cause diseases and conditions like sinusitis, a sore throat from cold, acute bronchitis, etc.
It can be chronic in response to unwanted toxins in the body like cigarette smoke or excess body fat. This may extend from months to years that may lead to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and non-infectious conditions like tuberculosis, peptic ulcer, hepatitis, etc.
What causes chronic inflammation?
- Stress: Stress causes activity in the brain that can lead to physical pain which may lead to an inflammatory response in the body. Hence, people suffering from stress may experience inflammation.
- Poor diet: Some foods like simple sugars, high fructose corn syrup, refined flours, trans-fat-rich foods, processed meat, fried foods, etc. can trigger the inflammatory response in the body. So the consumption of these food items should be restricted.
- Unhealthy lifestyle: Consumption of alcohol, smoking, leading a sedentary life and being overweight creates a stress in the body that triggers an inflammatory response.
- Pollution: Pollution causes damage to the cells which may cause inflammation.
Many people think about clean eating and get confused. They think that its just eating a salad or a juice, and eating simple and with no taste. But that is far from the truth. Clean eating means eating whole foods, the natural way and the foods that make us feel good.
There’s only one rule: If its grown from a plant, eat it; if it’s made in a plant, don’t.
Believe me, eating clean can be easy, fun and totally delicious. Plus you get to really feel healthy from the inside out (literally)
So today I wanted to give you an example of how a clean eating menu could be.
Prepare to detoxify, boost your energy, feel and look your best! It all starts with the daily choice to take action.
IN THE MORNING
Drink warm water with lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper to get your circulation going.
SPINACH & PUMPKIN SEED POWER SMOOTHIE
Avocado oil is a nutrient-dense oil that should be in everyone’s kitchen. It’s great for cooking, skin care, and digestive health and offers more benefits than I can list. It might just be the next coconut oil… maybe.
So what’s so great about avocado oil?
Oleic acid – The same fatty acid that makes olive oil so amazing, oleic acid is good for the immune system and can withstand oxidation much better than most oils. This makes it last longer without going rancid and better at withstanding high temperatures.
Avocado oil is rich in fatty acids and it works to lower bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol. Avocado oil is just as effective as extra virgin olive oil.
Vitamin E – An essential vitamin for healthy skin, hair and nails, vitamin E helps prevent against the oxidative damage caused by free-radicals.
The oleic acid in avocado oil along with the carotenoids and vitamin E can reduce the growth of precancerous and cancer cells and even cause cell death in abnormal cells. The carotenoids also decrease the side effects of chemotherapy.
Digestion – Avocado oil is great for gut health for similar reasons as avocado itself. Cold pressed avocado oil is rich in enzymes and healthy fats that help stimulate your body to repair itself. The avocado oil’s vitamin E can help strengthen the skin and the immune system when you eat it.
If you experience frequent heartburn or feel an abnormally high amount of gas and bloating on a regular basis, or if you feel tired all the time, poor digestion may be the cause.
The vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fatty acids in avocado oil all help the digestive tract to process food more efficiently. This won’t fix it overnight, of course, but you will be surprised at how quickly you will start to feel better, have more energy and may even start to lose weight as a result!
A special note: you want to make sure you always buy the unrefined, cold-pressed, extra virgin version whether you want to cook with avocado oil or use it for your skin and hair.
Chia seeds are tiny yet powerful in their nutritional benefits. They swell to 10 times their original size when placed in a liquid, making them ideal for thickening puddings and smoothies.
Just a few of the tricks up the sleeves of chia seeds include…
- High in omega-3 fatty acids
- Great source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Almost all carbs are fiber
- More calcium than milk per serving
- Higher in antioxidants than blueberries
- High in vitamins A, B, D, and E
- Loaded with magnesium
- Good source of quality protein
- Easy to digest and assimilate (low in phytates)
- Help balance blood sugar levels and get rid of sugar cravings
- Provide lost of nutrients with very few calories
- May lower risk of heart disease
Chia is a true superfood. The direct translation of chia means STRENGTH in the Mayan language and was a valuable food of traditional Mayan, Inca and Aztec people. Apparently, they used to trade chia seeds for gold as they were such a valuable source of energy.Did you know Chia means STRENGTH in the Mayan language? It was a valuable food of traditional Mayan, Inca and Aztec people. Click To Tweet
Some of my favorite ways to eat chia include soaking them for an hour in coconut milk and a bit of maple syrup and eating that for dessert or breakfast with fresh berries, sprinkling them on salads or soups, adding them to homemade crackers, blending them into my smoothies and of course, delectable chia puddings.
Elimination diets don’t exactly sound like the most fun thing in the world, but if you’re struggling with digestive issues, they can change your life. How do you get to the root of an issue if you can never pinpoint the cause? You don’t. That’s why millions of people live with illness unnecessarily every day. Because they never took the time to discover that perhaps their thyroid problems would improve by removing gluten from their diet. Or their IBS might get significantly better with a dairy-free diet.
It’s important to take responsibility for your own health if you want to feel good, and the elimination diet is the foundational journey you must take to decipher what works and what doesn’t.
How to do an Elimination Diet?
Certain foods trigger more negative reactions than others. The elimination diet gets rid of common food allergens for a month. Typically the foods you don’t eat for that time frame include…
- Sugar and sweeteners (except stevia)
- Processed foods
- Citrus fruits
- Nightshade vegetables (tomato, peppers, and eggplant)
- Nuts and seeds
- Meat with nitrites