Chocolate, Butter & Coconut Oil Healthy & Anti-Ageing!

3 SATURATED Fats that Actually SLOW Aging in Your Body
Yes, ALL three of these foods have a high ratio saturated fats, but studies are showing that they actually improve your heart health and fight aging. Read on…
The majority of the population these days still seem to “fear” fats in the diet because of all of the fat-free and low-fat propaganda of the 80’s and 90’s that falsely made people think that all fats are bad for us. Nothing could be further from the truth!
As a health blogger, fitness coach and Nutritionist, I observe people’s eating habits all the time… and I constantly see well-intentioned, but misinformed people choosing egg whites instead of whole eggs, even though studies show that the “fatty” yolks contain almost all of the anti-aging benefits, heart-health benefits, and 90% of the valuable antioxidants and vitamins/minerals in an egg, whereas the whites contain very little nutrition at all. Not only that, but egg yolks have been proven to raise your GOOD cholesterol, and improve the good to bad ratios.
I also see people constantly choosing “low-fat” and “fat-free” options of various foods in the supermarket despite the fact that most of these options contain a LOT more carbs and sugars to replace the fats that are taken out, which actually leads to FASTER AGING by increasing the amount of Advanced Glycation End Products(AGEs) that your body produces. These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.
Plus, it’s high blood sugar from all of those extra sugars and carbs in “low-fat” and “fat-free” choices that increase AGEs in your body on a daily basis leading to faster aging. On the other hand, all of those FATS that people have been avoiding for years can actually SLOW the aging process by keeping your blood sugar lower and more stable, hormones balanced, and for other reasons too.
In fact, it’s absolutely imperative to get enough healthy fats in your diet to keep your hormones balanced, blood sugar under control, prevent cravings, and to SLOW the aging process in your organs, skin, and joints. 
And I’m NOT just talking about the obvious healthy fats that you hear about in the news all the time, such as almonds, walnuts, avocados, fish oil, and our beloved olive oil… all of those examples ARE definitely healthy and contain loads of beneficial nutrients that can help you to live longer, healthier, and leaner…
BUT…
Here are THREE more examples of “fatty” foods that most people falsely think are “unhealthy” simply because they do contain certain ratios of saturated fat… But in reality, these foods are shown in studies to protect our bodies from the ravages of aging and even help us to stay lean…
1. Grass-fed (outdoor reared) butter & cream
Yes, delicious smooth and rich BUTTER (real butter, NOT deadly margarine!)… It’s delicious, contains loads of healthy nutritional factors, and does NOT have to be avoided in order to stay healthy and get lean. In fact, I often use grass-fed butter whenever a spread is called for, like on a juicy treat slice or three of fruit bread. 
There’s a lot of confusion about this topic… in fact, I attended a Science Festival lecture that was talking about fat and one of the first things a nutritionist ‘banned’ was saturated fat. It just shows that the majority of the population still doesn’t fully understand that butter (grass-fed only!) can actually be a healthy part of your diet.
In fact, there’s even ample evidence that REAL butter can even fight aging and help you to lose body fat for a couple of main reasons:
   a. Grass-fed butter is known to have high levels of a healthy fat called CLA, which has been shown in numerous studies to have anti-cancer properties, and also has been shown to help burn abdominal fat and build lean muscle. I use a powdered CLA supplement in my recovery shakes. 
   b. Grass-fed butter also has an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (unlike conventional grain-fed butter) which helps fight inflammation in your body, and can help balance hormones, thereby helping to slow the aging process, and keep your body lean.
   c. The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also contain MCTs (similar to the MCTs in coconut oil), which help to boost your immune system and are readily burned by the body for energy. The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also help to satisfy your appetite and control blood sugar levels, both of which help you to stay lean!
If you have a hard time finding a grass-fed butter at your grocery store, Kerrygold Irish butter is one of my favorites, and the cows are 100% grass-fed on lush green pastures in Ireland. It’s one of the richest butters in colour that I’ve seen, which indicates high levels of carotenoids, powerful antioxidants that help fight ageing. 
Note for people who are dairy sensitive or think they might be:  
People that are dairy sensitive or intolerant are generally NOT sensitive to butter or cream. This is something that’s highly misunderstood in the nutrition industry, even by most authors and doctors. The truth is that it’s almost always either the lactose or the casein that people are sensitive to, and butter or cream has nothing more than traces of either since butter and cream is solely the fat portion of dairy while the lactose and casein have mostly been removed when the fat is skimmed off the milk. The amount of casein in butter or cream is negligible compared to milk.
Also, fermented dairy generally doesn’t give people any problems either (kefir or plain yogurt) because the lactose has been digested by the microbes, making kefir 99% lactose free usually. Plus, even the casein in kefir and yogurt is MUCH more highly digestible because the microbes have already performed a little pre-digestion on it.

2. Super Dark Chocolate (72% cacao content or higher) 
It might not be a secret anymore, but yes, dark chocolate (NOT milk chocolate) can be a very healthy food, even though it is technically calorie dense. 
However, I would contend that dark chocolate can actually HELP you to burn off more body fat if you’re the type of person that has a sweet tooth and likes to eat a lot of desserts. In this case, just 1 or 2 small squares of dark chocolate can many times satisfy your sweet tooth for only 30 or 40 calories as opposed to 500 calories for a piece of chocolate cake or a piece of pie. 
Also some brands of dark chocolate that are in the mid 70’s in % cacao content or higher, can have a fairly high ratio of fibre content (I’ve seen some brands have 5-7 grams of fibre out of 15 grams of total carbs per serving), and relatively low sugar content compared to the amount of healthy fats. In fact, that’s one of the “tricks” I use to select a good quality chocolate… I look for more total fat than total carbs (or about the same number of grams of each).
The importance of that fact is that it means many dark chocolates will not greatly affect your blood sugar and will have a fairly blunted blood sugar response compared to other “sweets”.
In addition, dark chocolate is also very rich in healthful antioxidants, including a powerful compound called theobromine which has been shown to help lower your blood pressure and have other health benefits. 
Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants called flavanols with dozens of health benefits… One study found that eating as little as 6.7 grams of chocolate per day has a protective effect on your heart. Other studies show benefits to your digestive system by improving the ratios of good to bad bacteria in your gut, possibly due to the catechins and polyphenols in cocoa.
The reason I say to choose dark chocolates with at least 72% cacao content is that the higher the % of cacao, the lower the % of sugar. However, this does mean that any chocolate over 80% cacao content will generally start to get a more bitter taste and have very little sweetness. If you like this type of taste, then the higher % cocao, the better. Otherwise, a good 75% dark chocolate is in my opinion an almost perfect combination of lightly sweet with a rich velvety chocolate taste. 
You can also reap the benefits of the antioxidants and fibre without all of the calories by using organic unsweetened cocoa powder in your smoothies or other recipes.
The bottom line is that you can enjoy small to moderate amounts of dark chocolate and also cocoa powder daily, and it only helps you to stay lean and fight the aging process in your body.


3. Coconut oil, coconut meat, coconut flour, and coconut milk
Coconut milk and oil are great sources of a super healthy type of saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), including a component called lauric acid, which is a powerful nutrient for your immune system, and is lacking in most western diets. In addition, MCTs are readily used for energy by the body and less likely to be stored as body fat compared to other types of fats.
Eating coconut oil can help improve the health of your skin from the inside out… But in addition to being healthy internally, coconut oil is also known to be great for the health of your skin externally as a skin moisturizer that’s healthier for you than most lotions since natural coconut oil allows you to avoid the harmful chemicals found in many lotions. 
Coconut oil is even shown to help improve your thyroid function as well as helping to protect your brain from Alzheimers.
There are even direct studies that show that coconut oil can help you burn off abdominal fat more efficiently.
Along with coconut milk and coconut oil as healthy fat choices, we’ve also got coconut flour as a healthier flour option for baking. Coconut flour is an extremely high fibre flour alternative (almost ALL of the carbs in this flour are fiber and not starch!). Coconut flour is also VERY high in protein compared to most flours and is also gluten free! 
Just beware that if you’re going to use coconut flour for baking, it absolutely NEEDS to be mixed with other flours as it sucks up moisture like crazy…make delicious baked goods by mixing coconut flour with almond flour and quinoa flour in equal parts, and adding slightly more liquid ingredients than the recipe calls for.

 
Enjoy your fats and NEVERTHELESS feel on a ‘diet’
Jax 

 

Strong Legs = Brain Health!

This one of the reasons we have leg week!  
Long legs could be easy on the eye, but how trim a woman’s legs are, in terms of power, could indicate how healthy her brain will be at old age says a study. (The picture above shows Svetlana Pankratova, Guiness World Records holder for the ‘World’s longest female legs’.)Guinness World Records Site

Puzzling as it may seem, fit legs, could mean a healthy brain for older women. According to a study, legs are better brain health indicators than the heart. The study adds to growing evidence that physical activity benefits both body and mind.

The research, spanning a decade, studied 300 twins to arrive at its initial conclusion. The link lay between the exercise a healthy mind gets, according to the King’s College London team. Leg power is an indicator of sufficient exercise that in turn releases brain boosting chemicals in the body of elders.

Leg power in the 150 pairs of twin sisters aged between 43 and 73 years, was measured across the period by both speed and power of leg extension. Brain power was tested by looking at memory and mental processing skills, reports the BBC.

The twin with more leg power at the start of the study showed better cognition and fewer brain changes associated with ageing after 10 years. This was so, even when other risk factors for dementia, were included.

Lead researcher Dr Claire Steves said: “When it came to cognitive ageing, leg strength was the strongest factor that had an impact in our study. Other factors such as heart health were also important, but the link with leg strength remained even after we accounted for these.”

The reason behind the body-brain physical activity is not well understood. It is also to be determined if memory improvements lead to reduced dementia risk. Every four seconds a new case of dementia is detected globally and by 2050 more than 115 million will suffer dementia.

The benefits of exercise to the brain could come from various factors like reduced insulin resistance and inflammation, and brain growth factor stimulation that release chemicals that keep brain cells healthy, help grow new blood vessels in the brain. A UCLA work in fact proved this link between exercise and growth factors enhancing new neuronal connections in the brain.

Meanwhile, a University of British Columbia study found that regular aerobic exercise like walking seems to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain centre for memory and learning. Another Georgia University study claimed that 20 minutes of exercise improves brain information processing and memory. Researchers say an hour of walking twice a week is sufficient to keep the grey cells ticking away.

Cheeseburger Better Than Cardio for Burning Fat Shock!

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Cardio Makes Your Entire Body Age Faster

You’ve seen how cardio makes you fat. You’ve seen how cardio ruins your heart and cripples your joints. But cardio also ages your entire body…

A recent article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that:
Cardio causes immense oxidative damage and a flood of free radicals to the body.

(Cakir-Atabek, H., Demir, S., Pinarbassili, R., Bunduz, N. Effects of Different Resistance Training Intensity on Indices of Oxidative Stress. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. September 2010. 24(9), 2491-2498.)

Free radicals are molecules that cause rapid aging in your body. During cardio, your body is filled with free radicals they wander around your bloodstream and attack your cells like a street thug. (They are the reason we all try to eat so many anti-oxidant rich foods)

Not only do free radicals cause damage to all your organs…doing cardio also damages your skin and makes you look older.

Dr. Laurence Kirwan, a plastic surgeon, claims that cardio can damage facial tissue and cause skin to sag. You see, cardio actually ages your skin and gives you that leathery, unattractive wrinkled look before your time.

That’s why you see runners who are in their forties with a wrinkled face like a 60-year old sun-worshipper. Their skin sags down and their face is a wrinkled mess.

I think it could be they spend their run grimacing- I’ve never seen a ‘Happy Jogger’ yet!

It’s a Fact, Cardio Makes You Fat, Tired, Unhappy and OLD

That’s exactly why cheeseburgers are better than treadmills for fat loss. You see, cheeseburgers aren’t the healthiest food choice…but they don’t do all the horrible things to your body that cardio does.

They don’t age you prematurely.

They don’t destroy your joints.

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And if you eat cheeseburgers, in moderation, they certainly don’t destroy your body’s natural ability to burn fat and build muscle.

That’s probably why the Wall Street Journal claimed that cardio is as bad as cheeseburgers. But in reality, cardio is WORSE.

“If Long, Slow and Boring Cardio is So Bad for Me, What Should I Do Instead?”

I’m glad you asked.
I’m going to explain what you should be doing instead of cardio.
It is completely possible, in only 90 minutes PER WEEK and get an amazing body.

This kind of training reverses the aging process, turns your body into a fat burning machine and you can do it in just 3 short 30-minute sessions per week. Or – you can do it in the comfort of your own home in 10 minute express workouts by following my online video workouts- but more about that later.

WARNING: This Isn’t For Everyone

I’m not going to lie to you: this kind of training isn’t for everyone.

– If you enjoy slaving away on a treadmill for hours and flooding your body with dangerous fat storing hormone, this is NOT for you.
– If you think that your joints are immune to damage and your heart won’t be damaged by excessive cardio, this is NOT for you.
– if you are not prepared to work hard in very short bursts, this is NOT for you.

Bottom line
– don’t run – walk…. Just make sure you walk FAST!
Or exercise hard, train fast, and FEEL FAB!

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Foods that AGE you

These 4 Foods Accelerate AGING and Make
Your Skin Feel Dry, Wrinkly and Old (beware!)

Do you eat these harmful foods that AGE you faster? Some are even deceptively marketed to you as “healthy” by giant food corporations. Avoid or minimize these and look 5-10 years YOUNGER than your real age.

by Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist & Catherine Ebeling – RN, BSN
Authors of the best seller: The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging

Due to biochemical reactions in your body that occur with every type of food you eat on a daily basis, some foods age you FASTER than your real age, while other foods help to FIGHT aging.

Eat the wrong foods regularly, and you can look and feel 10 or more years OLDER than your real age (not fun!) … but eat the right foods, and over time, you can start to look 5-10 years YOUNGER than your real age.

Three of the processes that go on inside your body that have a MAJOR impact on your rate of aging are called “glycation”, “inflammation”, and “oxidation”. When we talk about aging, we’re not just talking about wrinkles on your skin or how thick your hair is… we’re also talking about factors that you can’t see, such as how well your organs function, and whether your joints are degrading.

Yes, I’m sure you’ll agree this is much more important than just how you look on the surface (although we’ll show you how to improve BOTH!)

So let’s dig right in and I’ll show you how your rate of aging can be directly related to the foods you might eat every day, and how to protect yourself…

Food #1 that ages you faster: Wheat (yes, even “whole wheat”)

Before I tell you why wheat can actually speed up the aging process in your body, let’s clarify some simple biochemistry in your body…

This deals with “glycation” in your body, and substances called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.

So with that said, what is one of the biggest factors that increase production of AGEs inside your body? This may surprise you, but high blood sugar levels over time dramatically increase age-accelerating AGEs in your body. This is why type 2 diabetics many times appear that they have not aged well and look older than their real age. But this age-increasing effect is not just limited to diabetics. It can affect everyone.

So, let’s get back to how “whole wheat” relates to this…

Here is a little-known fact that’s often covered up by the massive marketing campaigns by giant food companies that want you to believe that “whole wheat” is healthy for you… but the fact is that wheat contains a very unique type of carbohydrate (not found in other foods) called Amylopectin-A, which has been found in some tests to spike your blood sugar higher than even pure table sugar.

In fact, amylopectin-A (from wheat) raises your blood sugar more than almost any other carbohydrate source on earth based on blood sugar response testing.

This means that wheat-based foods such as breads, bagels, cereals, muffins, and other baked goods often cause much higher blood sugar levels than most other carbohydrate sources. As you know now, the higher your average blood sugar levels are over time, the more AGEs are formed inside your body, which makes you age FASTER.

You’ve probably heard about the potential health-damaging effects of gluten (also found in wheat) in the news recently, but this blood sugar aspect we just covered is not talked about that often, and is yet another reason to reduce or eliminate wheat-based foods in your diet. Your body will thank you by aging slower and looking YOUNGER!

In fact, my own dad, who is in his mid 60’s now, just removed 95% of the wheat from his diet about 3 months ago (aside from a little bit on 1 cheat day per week), and he’s noticed that his chronic joint pain has completely disappeared! Not only that, he also commented that he’s finally lost those “love handles” on his sides that have been plaguing him his entire adult life…All by reducing his wheat intake!

Another problem with wheat-based foods and aging…

As it turns out, baked wheat products contain carcinogenic chemicals called acrylamides that form in the browned portion of breads, cereals, muffins, etc. These carcinogenic acrylamides have been linked in studies to possible increased risk of cancer and accelerated aging. Note that acrylamides are also found in high levels in other browned carbohydrate sources such as french fries or any other browned starchy foods.

Don’t worry though… There’s a trick that you can use to protect yourself from these carcinogenic acrylamides, and it has to do with eating the RIGHT foods that COUNTERACT damage from these nasty chemicals. I’ll show you how to find the EXACT foods that protect your body on the next page!

Food #2 that ages you faster: Corn-based foods — corn syrup, corn cereal, corn chips, corn oil

This is quite a variety of stuff that you might eat every day… we’re talking corn chips, corn cereals, corn oil, and also the biggest health-damaging villain that gets most of the media attention, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

We already talked in detail in the last section about wheat regarding the blood sugar process and it’s relation to age-accelerating formation of nasty “AGEs” in your body.

Well, corn-based starchy foods such as corn cereals, corn chips, etc also have a big impact on blood sugar levels and therefore can increase AGEs in your body and accelerate aging.

But here’s another nail in the coffin for corn… it turns out that scientists have found out that the fructose in HFCS causes 10x more formation of AGEs in your body than glucose! Yes, that’s right… that means the HFCS you consume daily in sweetened drinks, and most other processed foods (yes, even salad dressings and ketchup) contribute to faster aging in your body… as if you needed yet another reason to avoid or minimize HFCS!

We’re not done yet with corn… it gets even worse…

Another major issue with corn-based foods and corn oils is that these foods contribute excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids to your diet, which causes an imbalance in your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and leads to inflammation and oxidation within your body.

Once again… another example of corn-based foods aging you FASTER.

My advice: Avoid or reduce corn-based foods like corn chips and corn cereal as much as possible. These aren’t as bad as wheat in relation to blood sugar, and they don’t contain gut-damaging gluten like wheat does, but they are still bad for you. When it comes to corn syrup or corn oil, avoid as much as you can if you want to stay lean and young looking.

Food #3 that ages you faster: Sugar, sugary foods, certain starchy foods

Again, we get back to the relationship between your average blood sugar levels and blood sugar spikes over time, and how that can increase those age-accelerating compounds called AGEs in your body.

Sugar is an obvious one to avoid. You’ve heard how bad it is for you 1000 times before for many other reasons, including your waistline and developing type 2 diabetes. But now you also understand the aging effect of sugar.

Instead of sugar, consider using a natural non-caloric sweetener like Stevia in your daily coffee, tea, in baking, or other sweetening needs. This dramatically helps you control your blood sugar response and thereby help slow aging.

So this also means to think twice about sugary desserts, sugary cereals, candy, and other sweets that are contributing to aging you faster.

My personal trick to satisfy my sweet tooth is to only have 1-2 squares of dark chocolate after dinner instead of a normal full dessert that most people choose. You only get about 2 grams of sugar in 1-2 squares of dark chocolate as opposed to 40-80 grams of age-accelerating sugar in a typical cake, ice cream, or brownie type of dessert.

Keep in mind that some starchy foods like white rice, oatmeal, and white potatoes can also have significant impacts on your blood sugar and thereby can increase formation of AGEs in your body. These foods are best kept in smaller portions if you decide to eat them, and balanced with healthy fats and protein to slow the blood sugar response.

Food #4 that ages you faster: Soybean oil, canola oil, or other “vegetable oils”

I know these have been marketed to you over the years by giant food companies as “healthy”, but if you understand a little biochemistry about how these highly-processed oils react inside your body, you would quickly see how false that is.

First, anything labeled soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, or cottonseed oil (these are in a LOT of processed foods you probably eat) most times have undergone a refining process under extremely high heat and use of chemical solvents such as hexane.

This leaves you with an oil where the polyunsaturated fats have undergone a lot of oxidation and are therefore VERY inflammatory inside your body, producing free radicals, damaging your cell membranes, contributing to faster aging, heart disease, and other possible health problems.

If you want to avoid the health-damaging effects of soybean, canola, corn and other “vegetable oils”, make sure to avoid them as much as you can, and instead opt for truly healthy oils and fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, virgin coconut oil (a healthy source of MCT fats), and grass-fed butter (a great source of healthy CLA fats).

Do Pilates and Bring Your Grand Mother….

Joan chooses Pilates for her Well being.

Joan chooses Pilates for her Well being.

Get Moving and Bring Your Grand Mother…..

‘Pilates Past 50’ sessions from JaxAllenFitness.com

“I have some older clients who can articulate their spine better than someone 20 years younger, and their fluidity of movement is expressed in a balanced body that moves confidently through space.”

To reverse the effects of aging in seniors Jax stressed that a, flexible spine, focused mind, strong core, legs and feet were essential to balance any body that is to move gracefully and youthfully.

Pilates focus on balance, flexibility, breathing and strength are some of the methods’ key concepts that help oil the joints and condition the body and mind to reverse the effects of ageing.

British journalist, broadcaster and politician Joan Bakewell is now in her seventies and has been doing Pilates for over a decade. Pilates, she says ‘ I want stability.’

Bakewells senior Pilates workouts gives her “a tremendous sense of well-being.” Pilates addresses almost all of her functional needs at this stage in her life. “I didn’t want exercises that left me puffing and red in the face, nor did I want to pound machines.’

‘What I wanted was Subtlety, thoughtfulness and at my own place in a quiet and peaceful setting.”

Jax Allen offers Pilates and other fitness training to combat the effects of ageing, stress and improve well-being in Cheltenham and Gloucester for everyone no matter what age or ability level.

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