Thursday, June 10, 2010

Best kinds of foods for fat loss & good health....

Today's Post: Thursday, 6-10-2010

Last Tuesday, 6-8, the email from Total Health Breakthroughs repeats Dr Al Sears’ persuasive case for eating the foods that humans evolved to eat for hundreds of thousands of years and did eat until people began eating grain about 10,000 years ago.

The article calls eating the way humans evolved to eat a caveman diet.

To the extent that this has been tested, there is strong support that Dr
Sears and Total Health Breakthroughs article are mostly correct.

The article then lists the foods you should eat based on this and those you are better off avoiding.

My take on it is that the two of more modern diets that seem to deliver the best health results are the Mediterranean diet and the DASH II diet.

A. To me, that means that the foods to emphasize most are either those that are on all three of these health OK foods lists or there is reason to believe are those outside Dr Sears’ & Total Health Breakthroughs’ list that deliver the most health benefits in the other two more modern diets that deliver good health results.

1. Nonstarchy vegetables and those that are low in glycemic load are clearly the A number one food. They are emphasized on all three lists and for the Mediterranean diet are one of the components that have been identified as delivering the most health benefits.

Because they are very high in nutrition and fiber, these vegetables turn off hunger and help you eat far less of more fattening foods without much effort. And they have few calories and deliver blood sugar quite slowly – almost like a time release sugar pill.

Cruciferous vegetables have the extra health benefit that they help prevent cancer and the most dangerous forms of cancer when you eat them raw.

Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes, water cress, and more are all in this group.

Vegetables high in carotenes also tend to prevent cancer. Some are orange or yellow while others hide their orange color behind their primary green.

These include carrots, squash, sweet potatoes in moderation & eaten with some extra virgin olive oil to lower their higher glycemic load, and tomatoes.

Broccoli and other greens also are in this group.

Interestingly, eating these vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and or by cooking them makes their carotenes more bioavailable. Your body intakes more of their carotenes in other words. This is particularly true of cooked tomatoes and tomato sauce and their carotene, lycopene.

In fact, eating mixed carotenes in food is dramatically better for your health than taking more than a bit of beta carotene as a supplement.

All these vegetables have more traditional nutrition, vitamins and minerals, and more of the most protective micronutrients if they are organically grown. Even the conventional ones are good for you though, if you cannot afford or find organic ones.

2. Nuts, for those who aren’t allergic to them, and that are eaten only raw or sometimes dry roasted are remarkably good for your health.

3. Whole fresh fruit in moderation and mostly eating the fruits that are lower glycemic or higher in nutrition also works.

Organic fruits are more nutritious in the same way that organic vegetables are.

Low glycemic ones include apples, pears, and to some degree peaches and plums and nectarines.

Super high nutrition fruits include virtually all berries, particularly blueberries; and they include bananas which are higher glycemic but only in moderation.

4. Protein foods include meat but ONLY from animals fed only grass. So far beef, buffalo, and lamb are most available. Goat meat also works for some people.

Eggs and wild caught fish that are low in pollutants also work.

Poultry from birds that are only pasture fed work well. Skinless and fat trimmed poultry from grain fed birds are OK but only if not eaten often.

Very lowfat and nonfat dairy and cheese in moderation from cattle fed only grass and organically raised are OK for some people and have a good track record in the DASH II diet. They are NOT foods that cavemen ate; & some people do not digest them well. So they are best eaten in moderation if at all.

5. Lentils and beans in moderation and eaten with some extra virgin olive oil to reduce their net glycemic effect are not quite “caveman” foods. But when eaten that way in the Mediterranean or DASH II diets have an excellent track record. And they deliver a lot of nutrition, protein, and fiber. Lentils are best as they are lowest in glycemic index and high in protein but pinto beans and others are almost as good. Soybeans are not good for you eaten unprocessed and are often now raised from genetically modified seed on top of that. But the traditional soy foods that have been fermented or processed in traditional ways from non GMO soy can be eaten in moderation.

6. Extra virgin olive oil has health supporting micronutrients and safe to eat monosaturated fat and hardly any of the inflammation inducing omega 6 oils most people get dramatically too much of. It is NOT a caveman food. But in moderation extra virgin olive oil helps make nutrients in vegetables more bioavailable for your body; it adds good taste to your food & is satisfying to eat; and unlike omega 6 oils that LOWER your protective HDL extra virgin olive oil increases them or leaves them high.

By itself, extra virgin olive oil is clearly one of the reasons the Mediterranean diet delivers the health benefits it does.

7. Spices and related vegetables are often dramatically good for you and the plants involved were often available to early men.

These include garlic, onions, basil, peppers, curry, and turmeric and more. Garlic in particular has strong and protective action for the health of your heart and blood vessels and is one of the reasons by itself that the Mediterranean diet is good for you. These also help traditional cuisines make vegetable and protein foods taste good without adding much if any salt.

B. Grains are NOT foods that cavemen ate.

And, as Dr Al Sears & others have reported even 100% whole grain foods are high or moderately high glycemic foods.

For people who have little excess fat to lose and who do vigorous exercise several times a week and normal blood sugar readings, 100% whole grain foods in moderation are likely OK.

They are most certainly dramatically better for you than refined grain foods.

Everyone else should eat very little or none of these otherwise health OK foods, however.

C. Foods to flee in terror from and to 100 % avoid if you want to be trim and if you value your health include.:
1. Refined grains are so bad for you they should be banned from human consumption however.

They are uniformly high glycemic, have hardly any fiber, & have had most of the other nutrition stripped from them.

Worse, the cereals, breads, snacks, and packaged desserts they are used in quite often to usually have hydrogenated oils, omega 6 oils, high fructose corn syrup, &/or excessive amounts of sugar added to them.

It is extremely unfortunate that most Americans eat LOTS of these foods. And, since they often have been made to taste good and are dirt cheap to prepare, they are heavily advertised on TV. Today, most people think they are normal and harmless foods. They are neither.

Do your health and your waistline a favor and never ingest any of these foods to the best of your ability. If you must have some, avoid the ones with the added ingredients we just listed and have the tiniest possible amounts and then only on rare occasions.

(Since I know this, if I must eat sandwiches out, I eat the meat and vegetables and leave the bread. I know better than to eat it.)

2. Mostly avoid potatoes as they are as high glycemic as the refined grains. Only eat small servings and then with extra virgin olive oil to cut the overall glycemic index of your meal.

3. Completely avoid regular and diet soft drinks.

Americans would be far healthier and MUCH less fat if these drinks were simply removed from the market. That likely is not going to happen. But it would be very helpful if they WERE very heavily taxed as cigarettes are. That may well happen and would sharply lower consumption.

The regular ones add calories without reducing your hunger and then create rebound hunger later! Yikes !!
The artificial sweeteners in diet soft drinks may not be safe or not safe for some people. But worse is that they tend to result in double strength rebound hunger in most people.

The result is that almost everyone who drinks more than one every other week or so of regular or diet soft drinks is fat as a result of these effects.

Drinking 3 a day as many people still do one source estimates adds an extra 45 pounds of fat if people keep doing it.

Like refined grain foods soft drinks are tasty and dirt cheap to make.
So they are heavily advertised on TV and most Americans still think they are normal and safe to drink. They are neither.

If you drink any now and are fatter than you’d like simply stop drinking soft drinks. You may find you are far LESS hungry and for sure won’t be hungrier and you will gradually be far less fat.

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