All posts filed under: Nutrition Choices

Fats Simplified

Since I first posted this in 2013, we’ve had access to even more research, especially about saturated fats, and the news is good: they help decrease heart disease and they truly help inflammation. I updated this in ’17, ’19 and now for 2020. This is the post where I get into the most research. (You can also click on shorter posts at the bottom of this page.)Here is the latest: You need fats. Do NOT try and lose weight by turning to low fat options. Guess what they trade for fat so that the product tastes ok? SUGAR = CARBS. The trade off is that you’re hungry in an hour! Why? Your insulin just spiked.   How many times have you eaten a meal only to feel hungry in an hour or two? Fat gives us satiety, the feeling of “I’ve had enough to eat”. So, fat is your FRIEND, especially if you want to lose weight and lower your inflammatory load. Here’s simple guidelines for fat consumption. List of “Good” Fats: Vary where they …

How prepared food is sabotaging our health…

I was in the store recently in a large city. It was a very nice grocery store, and most people who go there think highly of their merchandise. I do a lot of flipping packages around and REALLY looking at nutrition information. Because most of the time it just makes my blood boil. THE PREPARED FOOD INDUSTRY IS KILLING US!! Here’s a perfect example! Frozen Entree, ready to eat, just warm it up. Says “Clean Planet” on the label. Can’t be all bad, right? WRONG. So, let’s break this down. 17 g of fat isn’t a big deal, but it depends on what oil source it is coming from. Looking at the ingredients, I have trouble figuring out where the saturated fat comes from since Chicken breast, Olive Oil and seasonings don’t have much. So that is perplexing. Next is the carbs, and that is where they get you. 71 carbs in one 12 oz. serving, including 21 grams of added sugars? Woah! For comparison, A SNICKERS BAR has 33 gm of carbs… (and no, …

Snack “not so well”…

This is going to be a short post. I’ve written before about processed food. And we continue to get hood-winked into thinking processed food is ok, EVEN HEALTHY. It hardly EVER is. Let’s take Snackwell Cookies. Or as I call them “diet sabotage” cookies. First, they STILL are selling these. You can’t find them a lot, but they are out there. And let’s examine the nutrition. They used to have zero fat, but now they have 2.5 G of saturated fat, but 3 total Gm fat. Where’s the other .5 G? Read my ingredient evaluation below. And please, don’t buy them. So, what jumps out? There is minimal fat. Fat gives you satiety. What happens when you eat these? Your blood sugar goes up >>>your insulin levels rise to use the sugar>>>and you stay hungry because there is NO fat or protein to offset and slow the digestion. You’ve just eaten a “healthy” cookie with nothing but an immediate sugar load. No whole food has this. Because it is BAD for your body. Not to …

Healthy Recipe? …NOT!

Yesterday, I got the above in a newsletter from our health insurance company, and I was intrigued… Until I read the fine print, and I realized that they basically just sabotaged their clients with REALLY bad information. This is what I think of this “healthy recipe advice”. First rule: Don’t be fooled by “sugar free”. So, several things jump out at me here: It uses sucralose, which is NOT HEALTHY OR OK. Sucralose has been associated with all kinds of issues, from decreasing gut flora (the good bugs that help you), to breaking down into harmful chemicals when heated, to causing brain fog, to increasing insulin and glucose levels in already obese people. (Yes, obese people using Splenda have a blood sugar and insulin increase despite it being “no calorie”. Study here) At this point, in 2019, the only artificial sweeteners I personally use are monkfruit (100%, no other ingredients) or stevia leaf (again 100%, no other ingredients). Both made from natural plants. This cake has 3 ¾ cups of ALL PURPOSE WHITE FLOUR! WTH? …

What hunger REALLY means.

One of the things I teach when I do my Food As Medicine Classes is that hunger doesn’t just mean you’re hungry, it means MUCH more. Your body is giving you a signal it wants MACRO and MICRONUTRIENTS! In fact, I use this slide: An article in a recent Huffington Post was so well written, I’m going to link it below. Please read it. It hopefully will change the way you look at junk food. And it explains why you can eat a large meal of junk and still be hungry! Here’s Why You Don’t Feel Full After Eating Junk Food You can eat an entire sleeve of Oreos or a bag of Hot Cheetos and still not feel satiated. It’s because your body knows things your brain doesn’t. By Katy Severson 03/05/2019 09:25am ET You’ve just eaten 10 Taco Bell tacos and a frozen Mountain Dew and you feel… suspiciously still hungry. You’ve consumed about 1,880 calories, but your body isn’t satisfied. What’s happening? Studies show that satiety, the mechanism that stops us from …

Low Carb Confusion

There is so much confusion about low carb diets. The choice is individual. See how they compare, without the hype.

The Skinny on Oils

There is so much information on cooking oil out there, and so much confusion! On my coaching boards we discuss this a LOT, mostly because restaurants STILL think they are smart cooking with VEGETABLE oil. NO! Do NOT use canola, corn or soy! They are: not heart healthy they do NOT help your cholesterol they CAUSE inflammation they are NOT good for high heat cooking! So, with that in mind, what oils SHOULD you use? Here’s the lowdown, and it is pretty simple. The first question you should ask yourself is what are you using it for? If you are heating it to saute or roast, then only certain oils are safe. Many “good oils” degrade when heated, so you need to stay away from them. When I teach my “Food as First Medicine” class, I use this great graphic from The Academy of Culinary Nutrition: One caveat I would add: if you use butter or ghee, use only organic PASTURE RAISED butter or ghee. It is much healthier nutrition wise. For our family, we …

Protein Labels 101

Organic vs. Natural vs. Free Range vs. Grass Fed: Making sense of labels on your protein choices. Natural“Natural” can be very misleading. The USDA defines a natural product as one that contains “no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed.” Processing must not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a specific explanation such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed.” So, based on this definition, ALL fresh, raw meat qualifies as natural. Confusing? Absolutely. This term does not require that animals be raised in sufficient open space or indicate that antibiotics have been used prudently. It does not bar growth hormones. It does not mean organic. The term can mislead consumers to believe that a product is healthier and more humane than it is. OrganicFood labeled organic must be third-party certified to meet the USDA’s criteria. Organic foods cannot be irradiated, genetically modified or grown using synthetic fertilizers, chemicals or sewage sludge. Organic meat and poultry cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics (sick animals must be treated, but cannot be …

Bad-Better-Best: Coffee Creamer

Here is something that confuses a lot of people.  What to put in coffee?  We were taught dairy was bad, and non-dairy creamer was glorified as “heart healthy”.  Guess what?  The last five – ten years of research has proven that the OPPOSITE is true.  Coffee-mate like beverages are the WORST thing you can put in coffee, and they contribute to obesity and heart disease, among other things.  They are full of partially hydrogenated oils/sugars/flavorings/stabilizers and chemicals.  THEY ARE POISON.   So, what’s better?  You’d be surprised. The best thing is black coffee, but if you’re like me, black coffee isn’t a taste that I love.  If you need a creamer, GRASS FED (aka “pasture raised”) organic heavy cream is best.  Why?  Well, first let’s undo the “saturated fat is bad” mindset we all got from years and years of hearing that it contributed to heart disease.  The enemy for heart disease, weight gain, metabolic syndrome and diabetes is CARB content, and guess what?  Heavy cream has ZERO carbs.  Next are flavored creamers that use dairy …