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 

 

Crazy Diet Is Just Wrong!

We all want to feel fabulous, every day- not just when we’ve had a holiday or after a day or two at the spa!

Who should we trust for reliable, real life, do-able advise? All we want is to feel energetic pain free, and not fall apart before our time!

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Problem, there’s so much conflicting information out there, we feel overloaded, confused and overwhelmed. What do we do? We decide to do NOTHING!

I was talking to one of my heart group today… He has, as many older adults have, more than one condition to manage. Diabetes, Heart Disease and Asthma.

While exercising we were discussing food choices and fat loss. I found myself trying to help him and the others in the group to calm their confusion, and make them feel enthusiastic about food again.

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Conflicting advise only makes us restrict everything, feel deprived, give up and then binge.
Sound familiar!?

Diabetes Nurse –
” restrict fruit and sweet foods – eat more carbs”
Heart Nurse –
” restrict fats and carbs – eat more fruit and veg”
Fitness Instructor –
” restrict sugars and starchy carbs – eat more fruit & veg, protein and healthy fats”

Which advise you you follow?
I’m biased!

Over the next few days I’ll explain what happens when you follow each version of these ‘Ideal’ diets and why you need to abandon food fads ‘Sold’ to you in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. I can hear you saying, so it’ll all change again in 5 minutes, yes it will. I want it to, not to confuse and make you even more worried about what you eat- but as good scientific studies are completed we will understand why Diabetes, Obesity and Heart Disease are modern plagues.

You will see that by swapping foods, moderating portion sizes and staying active (not exercising to exhaustion) you can make real changes to your health status. So if you’re trying really hard, avoiding every food you like to eat and still cannot shift a pound, or you have less than 10lbs to lose and are getting no-where or maybe you are training hard and can’t send any change fir your effort…. Watch out for the next few posts.

Take Aways- think about what type of foods and when you crave them. (We’ll discuss your answers)

Your body is an intelligent, complex and intricate machine – we need to listen to it more and look after it better. It’s the ONLY place you have to live!

Please subscribe to my blog Thanks Jax.

Beat Ageing #1

1 Beat ageing

Step 1: Forget Low-Fat Diets

Low fat everything has been the craze now for decades and look around. What has that wonderful bit of advice done for the bodies you see? We’re fatter, sicker, and more addicted to sugar and carbs than any other time in history. And, we’re passing these habits to our kids.

Fats are not to be feared – they’re to be embraced. They do not make you fat; rather, they help your body regenerate your power hormones. Testosterone, the ‘strength’ hormone, for example, is the direct result of cholesterol and dietary fat intake. That’s right: “Cholesterol” isn’t a dirty word! Your body needs dietary fat and cholesterol in order to produce ANY AND ALL vital hormones.

People on low fat diets look drawn, gaunt, and weak. They are often sick, sometimes to the point of literally breaking down. And, they never enjoy eating out. Every meal and every gram must be accounted for. Do you really think this will make you younger? Of course not… it will worry you to death if it doesn’t kill you first!

Choose healthy fats to add into your youthful diet.
Fats help reduce cravings, prevent binging and fill you up.

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Jax Allen

What the food industry doesn’t want you to know about fat!

What They NEVER Want You To Know About Olive Oil

This is very interesting – especially if you still think fat is bad! Remember there are Essential Fats- essential because your body can’t produce them and they are critical to healthy, fully functioning body. Read on…

By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES

Weight loss seekers are constantly on the lookout for the right foods to eat to lose weight.

So what do big FOOD companies do?

They come out with “light,” “fat-free,” and “reduced-fat” alternatives, geared towards people looking to lose weight.

And, if you’re one of the countless people looking to lose weight, you probably have picked up one (or more) of these products.

But you may have been duped by smooth advertising or deceptive marketing practices.

Why?

FAT is not what you need to worry about, it’s the white stuff – sugar – that may be the NUMBER ONE enemy to weight loss.

And fat, well, let’s just say fat has a LOT to do with how your body functions on a day-to-day basis, and is an integral part in the weight-loss process.

Fats, Olive Oil, and Your Weight

You see, big food manufacturers know your fears. They know that you believe that if you eat FAT, then you will gain weight.

So what do they do? They come out with products that are lower in FAT, but higher in sugar and other additives and fillers to bulk up the product.

If you were to compare a fat-free, light, or reduced-fat product label, you may be surprised to find out that the calories may be essentially the same – just LOWER in fat.

But they know that people don’t bother to read the labels – all they see are the words “light,” “reduced fat,” or “fat free.”
And that’s when they know you’re hooked!

But, as an educated consumer, you know better…

You know that fat is integral for not only weight loss, but for the health of ALL the cells in your body.

And you also know that too much fat – just like everything else – may lead to weight gain.

Now, the recommendations for fat: 30 percent of your daily caloric intake should be from fat. Most should come from poly and monounsaturated fats, and a small – but integral amount – should come from saturated fats.

Now, besides fat being integral to weight loss, it is also integral for filling you up – or leaving you feeling satisfied.

How?

Studies suggest fat – like the kind found in olive oil – may increase serotonin levels, which is the main satiety hormone in the body.

One study showed that people who ate yogurt infused with olive oil, ate less and felt fuller after consuming the yogurt than the control group – which ended up eating – on average – 176 MORE calories.

And, the control group had lower serotonin levels than the yogurt consuming group.

Another thing that adds to the feeling of hunger, according to studies, is when your body uses the nutrients from food and your blood sugar starts to decline.

Now, when you include fat with every meal, it may slow the absorption of sugar from the blood, therefore maintaining blood sugar levels.

Another study showed that in some olive oil, there are two compounds that may be able to slow the absorption of sugar from the blood, therefore preventing a fast decrease in blood sugar, and the onset of the hunger feeling.

Take Home Message

Don’t be fooled by the labels “low-fat,” “reduced fat,” or “fat-free.”

Most of the time, these products have the same amount of calories – or more – and contain fillers and sugar. And worst of all, these products may not fill you up, leading you to eat more or something else, leading to an intake of extra calories.

However, including healthy fats, like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados, for example, may provide your body with healthy fats your body needs for many processes in your body.

And in the case of olive oil, you may find yourself more satisfied after using olive oil than other products alone.

If you want a healthy fat – besides olive oil – that is both good for you and may provide heart health benefits, then a good high quality omega-3 fatty acids supplement may be for you!

References:

Schieberle P, Somoza V, Rubach M, Scholl L, Balzer M; Identifying substances that regulate satiety in oils and fats and improving low-fat foodstuffs by adding lipid compounds with a high satiety effect; Key findings of the DFG/AiF cluster project “Perception of fat content and regulating satiety: an approach to developing low-fat foodstuffs”, 2009-2012.