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Posts Tagged ‘foods for weight loss’

 

Foods For Weight Loss – Part 4

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Part 4 is here and we are going to talk about meat. Yeah, now we are getting to the meat of it. I did talk a little bit about meat in Part 1 when referencing fats. Remember how we talked about omega-3 fatty acids being very important in weight loss?

Meat is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. Now wait wait… I am sure you are thinking “No, Tim, flaxseeds and walnuts are better sources”. Actually plant and nut sources contain omega-3’s in the form of alpa linoleic acid or ALA which then must be converted in the body to EPA and DHA. The conversion rate is not that great mind you… I have seen numbers all over the board from 1% to 35%… either way the omega-3’s found in fish are not only in high amounts but are also more readily available to the body as EPA and DHA.

Most people have an aversion to eating meat often and say “everything in moderation”. While it is true that we need to have things in balance in life and with moderation (everything can be overdone), with healthy meat this saying makes it seem as unhealthy. In fact, most people would be healthier if they had meat everyday and more than once a day… it all depends on the meat and the quality… which most people cannot get at the grocery anymore.

Overall the best foods are vegetables and animals that eat vegetables and fish. Having access to meat from grass-fed animals (cows, bison, lamb, chickens, turkey, etc) and wild caught fish will do wonders for the health of the body. Meat from grass-fed animals has over four times the amount of Vitamin E, two to four times more omega-3’s, and three to five times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than meat from modern day grain-fed diets. Remember the discussion in Part 1 about CLA and omega-3’s? Good. All products from animals that are grass-fed are better for it… eggs, cheese, milk, butter, and meat.

There are numerous examples of people and farms that are going back to traditional methods and raising grass-fed animals. At the end of the series I will provide some examples of where you can get each type of food in the series (if you have trouble). One example that I would like to note for those in the Nashville area is: www.gourmetpasturebeef.com. There are places like this all over the country now. One key thing to look for is to make sure that the meat is truly grass-fed and “grass-finished”. Some farms say grass-fed as a marketing tool but they finish (prepare for butchering) with grain and it is the “finishing” period that is among the most important for the quality of meat.

Eating high quality grass-fed meats and fish will provide excellent nutrition as well as tremendous weight loss potential as they are packed with CLA, omega-3’s, and equally important, they will not cause massive insulin swings and raise your blood sugar and thereby cause weight gain that way.

Look for:

–Grass-fed (and grass-finished) Beef, Bison, Lamb, Goat, Dairy (raw)

–Pastured Chicken & Turkey (not just “free-range”, pastured chicked will eat grass, bugs which eat grass, and also be given some grain). Eggs from cage free hens are much better (these are an easy find in most groceries now, although eggs from pastured chicken and turkey will be better).

–Wild Caught Fish (preferably Pacific side and smaller fish because they have less mercury contamination) Examples are Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon, Wild Caught Sardines, Herring, some Halibut. ¬†

Avoid:

–Pork, Ostrich, and I don’t have to say cat, dog, and all that stuff do i?

–Shellfish, Shrimp, Catfish, Shark, Lobster

Stay tuned… next week we are going to talk about water. And you thought water was water.

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Foods For Weight Loss – Part 1
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 2
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 3
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 5
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 6





Foods For Weight Loss – Part 2

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

If you haven’t read part 1, you can read it here.

Now, moving on. Let’s talk about vegetables. Of course whenever you are writing about foods for weight loss you should be writing about vegetables as well. Surely by now you have grown up all of your life either having someone tell you to eat your vegetables or hearing all over the place how vegetables are sooo good for you. So, I will spare you… considering that it is common knowledge that vegetables are good for you.

In general, vegetables are great for weight loss because they contain so many different vitamins and minerals which support a healthy functioning body in every way. Many vitamins and minerals aid in detoxification by binding to toxins in the body and then in turn being eliminated. Also, many vegetables burn more calories in digesting them than there are calories in the vegetable itself (aka negative caloric foods).

I just want to highlight some specific vegetables that are great for weight loss:

Asparagus, Broccoli, Garlic, Green Beans, Celery, Carrot, Cucumber, Lettuce, Spinach, Onion, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Zucchini.

There are mucho more. Much of the information talking about negative caloric foods have incorrect views on fat. As discussed in part 1, you need fat and it is best to eat fat to lose fat, so you can and should use ¬†olive oil, butter, or coconut oil with your vegetables. Using a good fat also helps the body to digest and assimilate the vitamins and minerals in the vegetable. People say to eat carrots for vitamin A, when really they are high in beta-carotene a precursor to vitamin A. So the body has to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A and the conversion is not 1 to 1… more like 4 to 1… and what helps the process? Bile salts and enzymes… something that butterfat and saturated fats can help with.

So with vegetables you have something packed with enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, that will make you feel full of vitality… vigorous… you will feel very, very vigorous. Then after you feel vigorous it will help to be more active and exercise and lose even more weight.

One thing I highly recommend is to examine a vegetable every now and then so that you know the vitamins and minerals it contains and why it is good for you. For example, a while back I looked up celery and found that it is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K. I had no idea that it was a good source of either of those previously… sometimes celery just seems like… well, nothing. But it is not nothing… it is something.. ha.

Most people simply do not care for vegetables, most likely they have limited tastes and do not enjoy a wide variety of foods (or cannot). Some people have only had canned vegetables their whole life… which taste like… um… aluminum.¬†

So if you are trying to lose weight, get creative with your vegetables, have a wide variety, and use as fresh of vegetables as you can that have not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides (most likely organic or locally grown).

Also, if you are trying to lose weight, avoid vegetables that are high in starch… so even though you may love potatoes and corn… when they are cooked they are high in complex carbs that will not aid your weight loss like the vegetables mentioned above. Again, use a wide variety: greens, reds, purples, and whites (cauliflower, cabbage).

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Foods For Weight Loss – Part 1
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 3
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 4
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 5
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 6





Foods For Weight Loss – Part 1

Monday, February 9th, 2009

A couple of blogs ago I mentioned that I was going to start a series with regard to foods for weight loss. Well here it is. I have given it some thought and decided that 1. I want to start with some foods that you SHOULD be eating if you are serious about eating the right foods for weight loss and 2. I didn’t want to limit any post to a certain format but would just keep adding parts… after all this is not a book, it’s a blog. I will provide links though to all of the parts. Also, I wanted to mention that the series will not only be about losing weight… but more about losing weight from fat, since you can gain good weight from muscle. Now, on we go with part 1.

One of the first things I want to touch on is something I mentioned in that earlier post, and that is CLA. CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid. After seeing “linoleic” many of you may realize that CLA is a fatty acid. It is found mainly in meat and dairy products from animals that graze. So if the animals do not graze then the amounts are greatly diminished.

CLA is not only an anti-carcinogen (cancer fighting compound) but it also reduces body-fat. I believe it reduces body fat by accelerating the metabolism as well as slowing the body’s conversion of dietary fats into body fat. Animals that graze on grass are leaner and healthier than animals that are grain-fed. The effect is the same on your body when you eat from grass-fed sources. You become leaner and healthier.¬†

It is most important to note that you should not take a CLA supplement. You should obtain it in whole food form from grass-fed meat and dairy products. As I mentioned in an earlier post, grass-fed lamb is an excellent source of CLA. Also, there are non meat sources like whole raw milk from grass-fed cows or goats. Raw milk cheeses like parmesan and eggs can also be good sources of CLA.

Before I move on, I want to first point out one of the keys to losing weight from fat: You need to eat good fat to lose fat. Do not subscribe to the unhealthy lowfat diet. Certain fats are excellent for you and your body needs fat to survive. All fats are not created equal. Just the fact that I am even discussing it shows how far astray our culture has gone in the United States with regard to food.

One of the healthiest fats that you can consume is unrefined extra virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil is a saturated fat that is stable even when cooked with high heat. It does not go rancid easily like so many vegetable oils and has an excellent shelf life. It also is burned very easily by the body due to its medium chain fatty acid makeup. It also contains lauric acid which is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial. Do I need to repeat that? It is anti-viral! You know how you get sick from the common cold and it is cause by a virus (most of the time). Well, ahem, coconut oil is anti-viral. Point made. It also speeds up the metabolism and is good for digestion. So you can look around but it doesn’t matter if you look at avacodo oil, grapeseed, walnut, olive, palm, peanut, sesame, flax, or any other oil… none of them pack as many benefits into one as does coconut oil.

Having said the above, certainly there are other good cooking oils and fats you can use. Butter from grass-fed cows is not only a great source of CLA but is also an excellent fat that is easily metabolised. If the butter is clarified (the milk solids taken out) it is even better for high heat cooking (since the milk burns at lower temperatures). This is also called ghee.

 Olive oil is another excellent oil. It is a classic oil, used by mediterranean cultures for thousands of years, that has excellent health benefits. One may be more prone to gain weight with excessive use, however it is extremely healthy for the heart and has a high concentration of antioxidants.

Now I am going to tell you one of the most powerful fats for losing fat. Are you ready? Ok, here it is: Omega-3 fatty acids. Most people do not get near enough omega-3 fatty acids and get far too much omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3’s help your blood circulate and decreases the blood insulin level. High insulin levels not only promotes the storing of excess fat but also negatively affects the lipase enzyme in your blood (lipase is the enzyme that helps to metabolize fat).

By adding these fats to your weight loss plan you will see tremendous differences over time. They must be a part of the rest of your plan though. So to summarize:

INCLUDE:

1. Omega-3’s (naturally occurring, one of the best sources is sardines, then salmon, then other fish)

2. CLA (naturally occuring from animals that graze on grass, minimally processed meat and dairy products)

3. Cooking with coconut oil, olive oil, and butter. Occasionally using avacado oil, sesame seed, flax, walnut, etc.

AVOID:

Vegetable oils like:

1. Canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and rapeseed oil.

2. Heavily processed, refined, deodorized, bleached oils (they will not say but you can tell if you know what to look for, also, the ones that are not refined will say “unrefined” and “extra-virgin” and “unbleached”, etc)

Lastly, I want to mention that when oils are oxidized they become dangerous for plaque buildup Рarterial build-up that can cause heart-attacks and heart disease. Remember that Рoxidized. So many oils oxidize with heat, oxygen, and light. Such is the case with vegetable oils and even good oils like avacado oil can rapidly oxidize when too high of heat is used in cooking with it. Olive oil even goes bad over time or when used with too high of heat. 

Just look at the trend of heart attacks and heart disease over the last fifty years and see how drastically it has increased right along with recommendations to switch to margarine and crap like that. At the same time Mediterranean cultures are using olive oil and butter and are not having near the rates of heart attacks and heart disease.

Sorry this was so long… once I get going… shoot. I will be surprised if you actually made it this far. And this is only part 1…. haha. Later this week I will start part two on more foods for weight loss and sooner than you know it you will be a lean, mean, uhuh.

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Foods For Weight Loss – Part 2
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 3
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 4
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 5
Foods For Weight Loss – Part 6