How a Low Fat Diet Can Harm your Weight and Overall Health

Fats are an essential nutrient and one of the primary energy sources for the body. They also play a big role in weight management, absorbing nutrients, maintaining healthy skin and hair, supporting immune function, and hormonal balance.

While a balanced diet that includes plenty of plant foods is key for long-term health, fats are actually needed to properly absorb the fat-soluble vitamins found in many plants — including vitamin A, D, E and K.

Most healthy sources of fat are also fat-burning foods. Their ability to make our food taste good, turn off hunger and stop overeating by making us feel satisfied, has a lot to do with zerofatweight management.

Fats Get a Bad Rap

For decades, we’ve been told to avoid fatty foods like coconuts, eggs, fatty cuts of meat and full-fat dairy. Since the government’s 1980 Dietary Guidelines were established over 30 years ago, dietary policy has focused on reducing total fat in the American diet to no more than 30 percent of a person’s daily calories. And many of the most popular “diet plans” over the years have reduced fat to much lower levels than this.

Not all fats are created equally and not all affect the body in the same way. While processed and refined fats found in boxed foods and most restaurant fare can be harmful, other types of natural fats have beneficial, life-extending properties. When we miss out on fats in our diets, we can quickly find ourselves feeling tired, moody, constantly hungry, unable to kick cravings and resentful over our restrictive diets.

Low Fat Diet Risks That May Surprise You

We hear much more about healthy fats in the mainstream media today but low-fat, diet and light products of all sorts continue to pack grocery store shelves — what are the real risks of consuming these foods over the full-fat varieties?

1. Poor Brain Function

The brain is largely made up of fat and requires a steady stream of fatty acids to perform optimally. Cholesterol has an important role as a critical brain nutrient, so despite what most people think, low cholesterol levels can be worse than high. This means that a major low-fat diet risk includes poor job performance, low energy, changes in your mood, “brain fog” and so on.

2. Compromised Heart Health

While we’ve been led to believe the opposite for many years, research continues to confirm that heart disease (including coronary artery disease, the leading cause of heart attacks) likely has much more do with inflammation — which is at the root of most diseases — than from high fat or cholesterol intake. This means that an inflammatory diet including lots of sugar, refined carbs, low-quality proteins and processed vegetable oils is actually more threatening to your heart that a diet high in fat — even saturated fat.

3. Weight Gain and Overeating

Recent research involving weight gain (or loss) and fat intake points to an established relationship between fat intake, your hormones and weight fluctuations. We know that many people who go on “diets” tend to gain back all of the weight shortly after. Why does this happen?

One explanation is that weight loss elicits biological adaptations that result in a decline in energy expenditure (adaptive thermogenesis) and an increase in hunger, both of which promote weight regain. But certain studies have found that a higher-fat diet with lower carbs can help prevent this from happening. In addition, most people find that diets higher in fat are more satiating and turn off hunger signals and appetite much more so than lower-fat diets do. This is because fats turn on your fat-burning switch by impacting ghrelin hormone levels.

4. Higher Risk of Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

Clinical studies have shown us that excess weight gain and insulin (or blood sugar control) are highly connected.  Lower-fat, higher-carb diets might pose a higher risk for insulin resistance (and weight gain). But we know that eating plenty of healthy fats is one of the keys to controlling insulin. We also know that diets that are higher in fat tend to be lower in carbohydrates and sugar, which is beneficial for diabetes prevention.

5. Hormone Imbalances (Including Sex Hormones Testosterone and Estrogen)

Eating enough fats is one of the most important things you can do to balance hormones naturally. Cholesterol and other fats play a fundamental part in building cellular membranes and hormones. Certain kinds of fats, including cholesterol, also act like antioxidants and precursors to some important brain-supporting molecules and neurotransmitters. These include vitamin D (which actually acts more like a hormone in the body more so than a vitamin) along with other hormones like testosterone and estrogen.

One low-fat diet risk is an increased risk for infertility and other hormonal issues in women. Some studies have found that low-fat diets raise the risk of menstrual problems and difficulty getting pregnant. For example, a 2007 study conducted by the Department of Nutrition and Harvard School of Public Health found that high intake of low-fat dairy foods may increase the risk of infertility whereas intake of high-fat dairy foods may decrease this risk.

 

If you’d like to incorporate healthy fats and nutrition into your weight loss plan, schedule a free 20 minute strategy session and start working on your weight loss goals now.

 

3 Myths That Keep Us Fat

MP900409011-scaleMyth # 1 – You must count calories to lose weight

This myth has been busted by science time and time again. Here are the results from one study:

Over 12 weeks people on a low-carb diet lost 223% more weight than people on a low-fat diet.

Here’s the kicker… The low-carb group ate 63% MORE CALORIES than the low-fat group!

 

Myth # 2 – Exercise is the best way to lose weight

When it comes to losing weight, diet trumps exercise every time.

 

Now does this mean you shouldn’t exercise? Hardly. There are a zillion reasons to exercise,
starting with heart health and extending to a
reduction in the risk for diabetes, depression and
even cancer.

 

But if you’re looking to those 20 minutes three
times a week on the treadmill to help shed
pounds, forget about it. It’s not going to happen.

 

Myth # 3 – Fat makes you fat

Walter Willet, MD, PhD, is the head of nutrition
at the Harvard School of Public Health and
arguably the most respected nutrition researcher
in the country. Here’s what he says…

“The relationship of fat intake to health is one of the areas that we have examined in detail over the last 20 years. We have found virtually no relationship between the percentage of calories from fat and any important health outcome.”

Did you hear that? Percentage of fat in the diet is related to… exactly nothing. Not the risk for diabetes, not the risk for cancer, not the risk for heart disease and not even the risk for obesity!

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Roasted Root Veggies with Turkey

 

 Ingredients

 

Instructions

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. Place in a baking dish and cover. Bake for 20 minutes, then bake uncovered for another 10 minutes to crisp vegetables.

 

Raw Kale Salad

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the kale in a large salad bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Massage the mixture with your hands for 1–2 minutes to soften the kale.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
  3. Allow the salad to rest and soften for about 15 minutes before serving. Kale salad is best if eaten the same day but can be stored overnight in the refrigerator.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Slivered Almonds

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the almonds on a baking tray and bake for 6–7 minutes, until lightly toasted.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the Swiss chard and salt and continue to sauté until the chard is tender. Add the almonds and serve.

Chocolate Drizzled Winter Fruit

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Wash and pat dry pears.
  2. Quarter each pear
  3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler
  4. Take a spoon and lightly drizzle melted chocolate over each slice.
  5. Refrigerate for later or serve immediately

 From The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

 

7 Weight Loss “AHA’S”

1. Attempting to lose weight by eating less and exercising more only works well if your metabolism is healthy and you have good adrenal function.

2. If you have a damaged metabolism (which most have from constant dieting) then caloric restriction and excessive cardiovascular exercise can lead to weight loss resistance.

3. High cortisol leads to problems with fat burning and low cortisol compounds the problem. Cortisol needs to be balanced in order to burn fat at an optimal level.

4. Missing even a few nights of good sleep can cause you to gain weight-lack of sleep changes the biology of fat cells. This is a great example of why it’s not all about calories. Even those eating a good diet but struggle with sleep and only get 5-6 hours will have a tougher time losing weight.

5. Women who crave sweets, chocolate and carbs just before their period are usually in adrenal exhaustion. When you crave it’s also a sign your blood sugar levels are not balanced. If you’re not balancing your blood sugar throughout the day you’ll have a harder time losing weight. Eating protein with each meal can help to diminish cravings.

6. High cortisol levels lower serotonin the feel good neurotransmitter and leads to over eating of carbs which can be reversed with amino acid therapy or adrenal programs. Low serotonin levels also impacts mood and how well you sleep.

7. Food intolerances play a major role in why many struggle to lose weight. Gluten and dairy are the top two culprits that cause gi issues like bloating, gas and inflammation in the gut. This leads to poor digestion and metabolic function.

 

Cleansing and Weight Loss

Cleansing and Weight Loss

You’ve likely heard of many types of cleansing programs and wonder are they good for me and will it help me lose weight. Cleansing and detoxification is a confusing subject for many and with good reason. You can look online and in stores and find many different ways to cleanse. Are they all good, can they be harmful, what will I eat, will I be in the bathroom all day? These are the typical questions that come to mind for many.

Cleansing has been around for centuries and is utilized by many cultures as a way to help strengthen the body and prevent chronic conditions. How? By removing toxins from the body and assisting organs that are often over-burdened. The goal of detoxification is to reduce toxicity which has been linked to chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The body removes toxins through 5 major channels which include:

Liver, Lungs, Kidneys, Colon and Skin

A carefully designed program takes into account all of these major channels and gently assists in removing toxins thereby decreasing the toxic load of the body. When you decrease the toxin load you will often feel better and see a reduction in many kinds of symptoms including headaches, joint pain, fatigue, stubborn weight loss and more.

Cleansing and Weight Loss

How can cleansing the body help to lose weight? First understand that on a cleanse you remove all allergenic foods such as gluten and dairy. There is a connection between food intolerances and weight gain and when you remove foods that you are intolerant to you will often lose weight. Many are eating foods they do not realize they are intolerant to because they do not provoke immediate and severe reactions. Secondly when you remove these foods you are are decreasing inflammation in your body. One very well known doctor states an inflamed body is an overweight body. Simply by reducing inflammation you can effectively lose weight. Some of you may have heard of JJ Virgin and her book called The Virgin Diet. She points out that by removing 7 foods (which are allergenic) you can lose 7 pounds in 7 days. More and more research is pointing to allergenic foods and inflammation as to why so many struggle to take the pounds off.

Science is now also showing a link between toxicity and weight gain. Toxins affect our ability to lose weight because we store most of the toxins in our body in our fat. This affects metabolism and makes it harder to lose weight. Consider this study: In a 2003 researchers reviewed 63 scientific studies on the link between chemical toxins and obesity, and what they concluded was that pesticides and PCBs (from industrial pollution) are released from the fat tissue, where they are typically stored and poison our metabolism, preventing us from losing weight. This means people with a higher BMI store more toxins because they generally have more fat.

In another study the Environmental Protection Agency evaluated the levels of various toxins in fat tissue and found five of the most toxic chemicals humans have created were in 100% of all samples.

It’s clear toxicity is a factor that affects metabolism and weight loss. It is one reason many struggle to lose in spite of a good diet. It is also something everyone can benefit from even if you’re not trying to lose weight.

Click on the testimonials tab to read what others say.

5 Keys To Successful Weight Loss

Key # 1 – Regulate Your Insulin Levels

Insulin is your body’s fat storing hormone and when you eat high glycemic carbs like pasta, rice, potatoes, breads, cereals and sugar you are raising insulin levels. Too much insulin locks the doors to the fat cells, making fat burning next-to-impossible.You can regulate insulin by eliminating sugar and processed carbs, and eating quality protein, fat and vegetables.

Key # 2 – Lower Your Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. Those that are in a state of chronic stress will have elevated cortisol levels which make losing weight very difficult. High cortisol levels cause abdominal weight gain, cravings, mood imbalances and break down muscle tissue. Manage stress with deep breathing, yoga, exercise, adrenal supplements and proper sleep. Not sure what you’re cortisol levels are, get tested with a simple saliva test.

Key # 3 – DON’T Eat After 8 PM!

Most have heard of this before. Eating later at night affects digestion and metabolism as the body is trying to wind down and prepare for sleep. Satchin Panda, associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Lab at the Salk Institute told Fox News to burn the most fat try going 12 hours without food, like between 8 PM and 8 AM. “That should give your body enough time to burn all of the stored glycogen plus some fat every night”, says Panda. 

Key # 4 – Limit Snacks, Don’t Graze All Day

You’ve probably heard that it’s best to eat like a grazer, snacking every two to three hours, eating the equivalent of five to six “mini-meals” a day. The problem with this is that it affects insulin levels. “If you snack just as your insulin blood level is decreasing, it will promptly rise, even if you have a good snack such as fruit and nuts”, says Eduardo Castro, MD, a specialist in fat loss resistance syndrome (FLRS). Only snack if absolutely neccessary to get you to the next meal. Instead try drinking water or doing a stress management technique.

Key # 5 – Do a Detox

There’s been increasing concern in the health press about the ability of chemicals in the environment to trigger weight gain. Chemicals like DDE creates extra fat cells even when a baby is still in the womb. Bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates (from plastics) atrazine (a pesticide), tributyltin (a fungicide) and thiocyanate (found in cigarette smoke) all have been implicated in fat gain. Doing a detox is a great way to lose weight and improve your overall health at the same time.

Weight Loss Success

It’s late December and you know what that means. Millions will once again make resolutions and attempt to lose weight. What weight loss mantra will you follow this year? Does this sound familiar to you? All you have to do in order to lose weight is create a calorie deficit-burn more through exercise and consume less from food. Sounds so simple doesn’t it. Did you know that science is now showing there is much more to weight loss than simply playing the calorie game? What else affects your weight loss? Lots! Take a look at the following which all impact your ability to lose weight and keep it off:

* Sleep patterns-scientific research now shows those who have trouble sleeping, especially those who only sleep 5 hours per night have more trouble losing weight than those who get sufficient sleep.

* High stress levels-the stress hormone cortisol is proven to cause weight in the mid section. Cortisol also causes the break down of muscle tissue which is exactly what you don’t want and leads to cravings and poor moods.

* Food intolerances-these cause inflammation in your system and cause poor digestive function leading to bloating, gas and more. Gluten is the number one culprit in this category.

* Toxicity-not being able to clear toxins from your system also impacts your metabolism and how well you will lose weight. Toxins lodge in fat cells and slow down your metabolism by as much as 30%. These toxins are considered endocrine disruptors which play havoc with weight loss including thyroid function.

* Hormone imbalances-this includes insulin which is a fat storage hormone as well as grhelin- a stomach emptying hormone which fiber suppresses, thyroid hormones and estrogen and progesterone levels. In short, weight loss becomes much more difficult with unbalanced hormones.

It’s been proven that if we take a group of people and they eat the same thing, they exercise the same way-some will lose weight, some will stay the same, and some will gain weight. So you see simply looking at calories is just one piece of the puzzle.

My approach to weight loss is to never count calories, points or weigh food. Teaching whole foods with high nutrient density, getting rid of processed foods and looking at metabolic disruptors which stall weight loss are some of the major factors I teach along with education on the most efficient ways to exercise and the importance of putting on lean muscle tissue.

The weight loss world is filled with gimmicks, so called quick fixes and downright lies. The Crossroads To Health approach is backed by science, personalized to you as an individual and works not only on weight loss but also on improving your overall health.

Make 2013 your year to lose weight and keep it off for good!

The Evils of Sugar

Sugar-the average American takes in 120 pounds of sugar per year. There is no doubt sugar is addictive and causes numerous health problems but did you know sugar even boosts heart disease risk? It’s true-adults who consume high levels of sugar have significantly elevated levels of several risk factors for heart disease, according to a new study by a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis and in Japan. The American Heart Association recommends that people consume only five percent of their daily calories as added sugar, but the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010 suggest an upper limit of 25 percent or less.

Aside from heart problems, there are now 79 million Americans with pre-diabetes and epidemic numbers with diabetes. Poor glucose regulation in many cases is to blame. If there is one food that should be limited in the diet, it’s sugar.

There are many names for sugar such as maltose, galactose, sucrose, corn syrup to name a few. The best natural alternatives for sugar include stevia, xylitol and honey.

Eating for Energy


When it comes to Eating for Energy let’s first look at what we want to leave out. The big 4 that will negatively impact your energy levels are:

1. Sugar

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

3. Enriched Products

4. Hydrogenated Oil

 

Simply removing or severely limiting these ingredients is one big step in the right direction. Now for what to eat that will assist with energy. High on the list is leafy greens because of their nutrient density. Spinach, arugula, kale, romaine lettuce, and chard are examples. These greens are high in vitamin and mineral content as well as supplying chlorophyll and fiber. If you’re not getting a lot of leafy greens consider a powdered green drink that mixes with water. Simple to take and will help improve your energy.

Protein and balancing blood sugar levels throughout the day is crucial for good energy levels. Look to include protein in each meal in the form of eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, grass fed beef, beans or lentils. Many who are deficient in quality protein sources have low energy levels. Utilizing whey, pea or rice protein drinks is another easy way to includes quality protein by making smoothie drinks.

Quality fat is a source of energy and often overlooked. Coconut oil, flax oil and nuts and seeds are all good sources of fat and will help to keep one full and support good energy at the same time.

These are just a few examples of how to eat for energy.