September 19, 2008

Fats, Protein and Sugar: the basics

Research has found that 70-98% of your health depends on your lifestyle! (Nutrition, exercise, stress)

What inspires you?  Stick it on your mirror, make it your computer background, remind yourself everyday of your inspiration

Fats: There are healthy fats, and they are a very important part of your diet.
• We now eat more than 60 lbs. of oils a year compared to 11 lbs. in the mid to early 1900’s
• Olive oil = for salads

• Coconut oil = for cooking
• Vegetable oil = bad

Protein: Eat lean meat, not grain fed sources of protein.
• Grass fed meat (wild game)
• USDA Organic Eggs
• Fresh Fish

Sugar: White Bread, white flour, white rice, cereal

• We consume 160 lbs. of sugar a year now, compared to 15 lbs. of sugar before the industrial revolution.
• Excess sugar is known to cause many diseases (i.e. obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, etc.)
• If you have too much sugar in your diet you will not be able to burn fat.
• Too much sugar wears out your cells and brings your energy level down. Want to know the best anti-aging tip? Cut back on sugar.
• Step by step, phase sugar out. Don’t do it too fast or you will crash.

Different kinds of sugar: high fructose corn syrup, anything that ends in –ose (i.e. glucose, sucrose, fructose, dextrose). Also, aspartame, maldextrin, Splenda. No matter what form of sugar (or sweeteners) you take in, it all does the same thing.

Look at cereal, fruit yogurt, bread, crackers, ketchup, etc. . . . everything for grams of sugar per serving and look at the ingredient list.

Processed grains also break down into sugar. For example, white bread, white flour, white rice, pasta – any grains that are not whole, sprouted, steel cut or stone ground are unhealthy for you. Foods can have the label “whole grain” but still be made of enriched, bleached flour (which is white flour).

Rules to remember:
Find something that inspires you
The farther it is from nature (the more processed), the worse it is for you
Avoid foods that have high fructose corn syrup or other sugars in the top five ingredients
Avoid foods that have ingredients you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce
Eat lots of vegetables!


  1. 1. Coconut oil for cooking!!! I have NEVER heard that -- I thought that would be bad like palm oil or something similar to that.

    2. Explain again why cooking w/olive oil is not good -- something about the overly high temps? What if the temp is not overly high?

    3. Where does canola oil factor in? Another no-no?

  2. @ Fran
    1. Contrary to popular belief there is no proof that coconut oil is bad for you and in fact it's one of the only fats that they know of that does not get denatured when it is heated. When you heat most fats it denatures them and makes them harmful to your body. So coconut oil is very good for you! I use coconut oil when I am frying something or when I am baking something in the oven. If I am going to lightly sauté something or make a salad I use olive oil. When buying coconut oil if you can find organic or extra virgin this is best, it actually smells like coconuts, where as the others typically just smell like lard.

    2. Olive oil is an awesome oil for you but when you heat it over 110 degrees and it starts to smoke you devalue it and make it unhealthy. Use olive oil if you are going to be lightly cooking something or for a dressing on salads.

    3. Canola has mostly mixed research, I have seen more bad than good for canola oil, a lot of people still say it's OK but if you have the opportunity just choose olive oil over canola oil. Canola Oil is known to be inflammatory (bad) which is another issue in itself.

  3. Does the coconut oil give your food any coconut flavor at all? My husband absolutely hates coconut.

  4. @Does coconut oil have a flavor?

    There are many different types of coconut oil. I have tried a variety of different kinds, many of them don't taste anything like coconut, whereas some do have a little bit of a coconut flavor. If the oil smells very strongly like coconut, odds are it is going to have a more noticeable flavor – but even then it is still very mild.

    You will find a greater selection of coconut oils at a health food store versus a big grocery store, so I would try a few different brands to find one you like. Also, you can ask the clerk at the health food store, they are typically pretty knowledgeable about many different products there. The kind I use is Source Naturals extra virgin coconut oil that I buy from the local health food store. It costs about $10 for 16 oz., but it lasts for a long time because you only need a small amount while cooking. It has a very faint coconut taste.

  5. I'm a chocoaholic, is there such thing as healthy chocolate? :)

  6. @Beth
    You're just in luck! Chocolate that has 70% cacao or higher is healthy for you in moderation. Chocolate with 100% cacao actually has no sugar in it, but it's very bitter.

    These types of chocolate contain flavenoids which are known for their antioxidant abilities. And now more research is coming out, showing that chocolate actually helps protect us against heart disease and cancer!

    p.s. I have learned the lesson of trying to get in between a woman and her chocolate.

  7. I heard that it is good to have whole grain or whole wheat bread dipped in olive oil before dinner. It helps decrease your appetite. True?

  8. @Beth
    If you are using breads that are true whole grains and say: whole, sprouted, steel, or stone ground in the ingredients list, then this can be a very healthy snack as long as it is in moderation. If you are eating an unhealthy dinner this would be a good idea to have as an appetizer, but if you are eating a healthy dinner there is no reason to do this.

    Typically these types of breads are found in the freezer section of health food stores because if bread sits on the shelf of a store the oils in it will turn rancid at room temperature, which is never a good thing. For added health benefits add some fresh garlic, oregano, and balsamic vinegar to the dipping oil.

  9. How do you feel about wine?

  10. @ Al
    Wine can actually be very healthy for you when consumed in moderation. One glass of wine a day has been shown to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 32%. Red wine is the best, specifically Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Noir. They contain bioflavenoids and polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants.

    If you are a beer person, Guinness is your best option. And no, this isn't a case where the more the merrier, moderation is the key.

  11. When you say grass fed protein, how will I know if it is or isn't?

  12. @anonymous
    Many local grocery stores have grass fed meats and will be marked on the labels as grass fed. This can include beef, pork, chicken, buffalo and other meats. It is also good to look for antibiotic free, hormone free and/or organic protein.

    Unfortunately, grass fed meats are typically more expensive but the health benefits outweigh the costs. If grass fed protein is out of your budget, look at the nutrition label for the lowest amount of fat. The leaner the meat, the better. Just remember, grain fed meat is very inflammatory (unhealthy) and should be avoided whenever possible.

    If you know someone who hunts or has access to wild game, then this is by far the best way to go!

  13. Coconut oil for your health is really good and it will increase your immune level in your body.It will increase the nutrition in your body.