Month: February 2018

5 Diet Myths Debunked

5 Diet Myths Debunked

Let’s face it, there’s a heck of a lot of diet advice available everywhere. From Oprah to Marie, everyone has something to say about what works when it comes to losing weight. Aside from paid spokespeople, the real experts in the field of nutrition and health are beginning to say something very different.

Have you tried and tried to lose weight without success? Maybe you’ve cut your calories drastically, lost weight but gained it all back, so you tried the same method but it didn’t work this time…you blamed it on lack of willpower and felt like a failure…but what if its not you, but the advice that you’ve been getting that’s failing?

Now more and more doctors are starting to speak out about what’s really making us fat and it may not be what you think. In fact, the 5 diet myths debunked here may actually surprise you.

Diet Myth 1 – Eating Fat Makes You Fat

For over 40 years now, mainstream health, the media, and even the government have been recommending a low fat diet promising it to be healthier and that if we ate this way long enough, we’d lose weight. Instead, obesity rates have skyrocketed. Before the USDA food pyramid, Americans ate plenty of red meat, eggs and dairy and in 1975, only about 14% of us were obese. Fast forward to now, and over 70% of us are officially overweight or obese. What happened?

We followed their advice! But when we cut our fat, we increased consumption of starchy foods like potatoes, rice and wheat, thinking they were healthier. Now, not only is there an obesity epidemic, but life threatening diseases like diabetes are at record levels.

The root cause of our weight gain is that too many starchy carbs cause blood sugar to rise too fast, causing the hormone insulin to spike in an attempt to control it. Over time, this can lead to weight gain (especially belly fat), insulin resistance, and diabetes. Many people are cutting the starch and losing weight almost without effort.

Several years ago, doctors found that some fats are healthier than others, especially when it comes to controlling high cholesterol and heart disease and the FDA no longer even recommends a low fat diet. But many diet programs still cling to the old way and continue to push low fat…it not only doesn’t work, but judging by the obesity statistics, its dangerous advice.

If you want to be free from yo-yo dieting, feeling deprived on a low calorie diet, and worrying about gaining it back, then its time to ditch that tired, old advice and cut starchy carbs from your diet.

Diet Myth 2 – Eating Cholesterol Causes High Cholesterol

Like I mentioned above, cardiologists know that some monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados and nuts can actually lower cholesterol levels. But what about eating red meat, that’s saturated fat, doesn’t it cause high cholesterol?

In reality, reducing cholesterol in your food does very little to help your body reduce it in your bloodstream. That’s because the liver is the manufacturer of cholesterol, producing about three times more of it than what you eat. Eating less of it just causes the liver to produce more.

Unfortunately, genetic deficiencies in the cell receptors responsible for cholesterol removal are what cause high cholesterol, its all about how efficient your system is in removing it.

Transfats – Transfats are vegetable oils that have been altered by partial hydrogenation in order to extend shelf life of some processed foods. Transfats have been shown to increase cholesterol levels and are suspected in the risk of heart disease.

The good news is that if you cut starchy carbs from your diet, and use butter instead of margarine, you eliminate the majority of foods that contain the most trans fats, like bread, crackers, biscuits, etc.

Diet Myth 3 – Whole Grains are Healthy

While scientists were trying to figure out why eating cholesterol didn’t increase bad cholesterol in the body, they found that when people cut their consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy, they replaced those foods with more and more starchy carbs.

Although starchy carbs make you feel full, the effects don’t last long and you’re soon hungry again. This is because the high level of glucose in starch causes your blood sugar to spike. Your insulin responds with its own spike in an effort to control the blood sugar. This in turn triggers the blood sugar to drop rapidly, causing you to feel tired. The brain senses the rapid drop and tells you to eat something to bring it back up. This is when the hunger hormones are released and you feel hungry, starting the whole vicious cycle over again. Do this day after day and over time, you increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Scientists then zeroed in on refined flour and sugar and started recommending whole grains instead thinking the fiber in it would slow the insulin spikes. Fiber is important, it does indeed slow digestion, but the problem is that most starchy carbs just don’t have enough fiber to actually slow insulin spikes.

Let’s compare the Glycemic Load of white bread (the standard on the scale) versus whole wheat:

White bread (1 slice) – 107

Whole wheat bread (1 slice) – 129

The goal of a low glycemic diet is to eat foods that do not cause glucose (blood sugar) spikes. Anything under 100 on the scale is not likely to do so. We can see that a conventional slice of whole wheat (1-3 grams of fiber), is actually worse than white bread. Why? In most cases the added sugar necessary to make it palatable, pushes it over the edge.

Bottom line, unless you eat low carb breads or tortillas that have a significant amount of fiber added, you need to cut this crap out of your diet. Try Mission brand’s Carb Balance tortillas, they’ve found a way to add a boat load of fiber while still making these tortillas light and fluffy. I promise you love them.

Diet Myth 4 – Sugar is Poison

Is sugar actually bad for you? Sure, if you eat too much of it, especially in liquid form. But its not as bad as starchy carbs.

Starch has 3 times the glucose molecules as table sugar. The glycemic load of a teaspoon of sugar is only 28, less than 1/3 of that of white bread. If you add a teaspoon to your morning coffee, you aren’t getting enough to spike your blood sugar…remember, the lab standard load is 100.

However, if you drink sugary sodas or fruit juices, you’ll get too much. Sodas are obvious, there’s just too much sugar in them, but why are fruit juices a problem? That takes us to the next myth…

Diet Myth 5 – Juicing is Healthy

When you break down the cellular walls of plants, this causes them to digest much faster…there’s no fiber to slow it down. This leads to blood sugar and insulin spikes and because liquid food isn’t as filling as whole food, you may end up consuming more fruits and vegetables in one glass than you would if you ate them whole.

For instance, 1 apple has a glycemic load of about 78, a carrot, about 21. No problem, but when you combine them in the popular carrot-apple juice recipe, you’re now hitting 99 on the glycemic load scale, plus, you broke down the fiber so it digests super fast..that’s right, except for the vitamins and minerals, you may as well have had a slice of white bread, your blood sugar and insulin will spike.

Look, if the only way you’re going to get your fruit and veggies is by drinking them, than you can at least slow down the negative effects:

  • Make smoothies with full fat dairy products like half & half or heavy cream (fats are the best way to slow digestion)
  • Add low carb protein powders (no sugar added) Try ViShape by ViSalus
  • Use nut butters to increase the fat level
  • Try tossing an avocado into your green smoothie, making it creamier and healthier than ever

You can also slow down the effects by simply drinking the smoothie after you’ve eaten solid, no carbs foods like meat, eggs or whole veggies.

Now that you know the truth about of what really causes weight gain, you can begin to eat healthy, satisfying food without feeling deprived. Once you’ve experienced the almost effortless weight loss that I and others who have cut starchy carbs have experienced, you will know for sure that you have found the secret to “dieting freedom”…the freedom in knowing that you ‘ll NEVER have to worry about your weight ever again.

Find out more about Glycemic Load here 

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

 Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The Best Carb Blockers and How They Work

The Best Carb Blockers and How They Work

In previous posts, we’ve learned about Glycemic Load and that some foods release glucose into the bloodstream slower than others. There are various reasons for this like the fiber in plants, which “soaks up” digestive juices, keeping glucose from being absorbed into the intestinal lining too quickly.

There are other substances that can affect the speed at which food is digested. These “Carb Blockers” may allow us to enjoy forbidden foods occasionally without worrying about spiking our blood sugar or inhibiting weight loss. In this post, I’ll dig deeper on the subject .

You’ll learn about the best carb blockers and how they work, plus the easiest way to use them. I hope you’ll find this info as enlightening as I did when I first learned about them.

The Truth about Carb Blocking Supplements

If you surf the web for carb blockers, you’ll probably find a host of supplements promising to block carbs. Let me be clear: nothing will totally block carbs from being digested, so when you see a supplement company making this claim, please avoid wasting your money…their claims are nothing more than a marketing exaggeration.

In fact, of all the supplements that I found advertised, none seemed to contain any substances that have actually been proven to slow digestion.

One common claim is that of white kidney bean extract. White beans contain a substance called phaseolamin that did slow digestion of starch in the lab, but failed when tested on humans. Scientists found that stomach acid deactivates the process. Unfortunately, it’s still being promoted even though it’s not effective.

Fake carb blockers must be profitable, you’ll find them everywhere on line – from white bean extract to green tea and chromium, none of which actually work (not harmful, but a waste of money).

Carb Blocking Drugs

There are however, carb blocking drugs that are effective at slowing the digestion of starch. Acarbose is used in the treatment of diabetes and works by blocking amylase, the intestinal enzyme responsible for breaking down starch into glucose. Acarbose is a natural substance produced by bacteria in soil and can make higher glycemic foods act more like lower glycemic foods. In addition to diabetes, it’s also being used in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

The most commonly used medication used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes is Metformin. Metformin works in the liver to help control blood sugar levels as is generally tolerable and effective for most people. As with any drug, there are side effects and require a prescription.  For more info click here

The Natural Way to Block Carbs

Like acarbose, certain foods eaten with or before carbs can slow the absorption of glucose and prevent the insulin spikes that we know eventually can cause diabetes as well as being the major cause of weight gain over time.

Some fruits and vegetables contain plant cellulose and fiber, which act as physical barriers in slowing digestion. Others trigger hormones that slow digestion, while still others act like acarbose and inhibit digestive enzymes.The Best Carb Blockers and How They Work

Digestion 101

There are 4 main processes involved in digestion:

Chewing – we’ve always been told to chew our food well to aid in digestion and this is true, small food particles digest faster. In the event you must eat a high glycemic food like pasta, you definitely do not want it to digest quickly. Experts recommend serving larger pasta types such as lasagna and serving it al dente as the larger particles will take longer to digest.

Another thing to think about is eating whole fruits versus juicing them as the mastication process in blending breaks down the plant cell walls and fiber that help slow the digestion of the fructose contained in them.

The Stomach – the stomach doesn’t do any digesting, but rather is a storage hopper for foods until they can enter the intestines. Stomach acid tries to liquefy food, making it easier to pass. When you eat foods that resist liquefaction, like meats and vegetables, they will slow down the process of digestion, so never eat high glycemic foods like starchy carbs on an empty stomach.

The Pyloric Sphincter – (what a lovely name). This is the valve that allows food to enter your intestines and regulates the speed that it does. There are hormones and nerves in the intestines that activate it so when they sense enough food is present, they cause it to close.

You can actually control this to some degree. It turns out that one of the most potent foods in controlling the pyloric valve is fat. As soon as the body senses fat is present in the intestines, it closes the valve, stopping more food from entering. Some scientists have found that a mere 2 tablespoons of fat eaten a few minutes before a high glycemic food can slow it’s digestion by over 30%!

The Final Step – before entering the bloodstream, food has to be broken down to it’s basic building blocks: glucose, amino acids and fatty acids. Enter amylase, which breaks it all down into glucose so it can be absorbed by the intestinal lining. Vinegar inhibits amylase, slowing the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.

Another powerful weapon in slowing glucose absorption is fiber. In order for glucose molecules to enter the bloodstream, they have to come in contact with the intestinal lining…otherwise, they just float around in digestive juices. The fiber from plants can greatly slow this process, so eating high fiber foods or even adding a supplement, such as psyllium to a meal can make a big difference in after meal insulin spikes.

Fiber soaks up digestive juices preventing glucose from coming in contact with the intestinal lining quickly. It takes about 10 grams of fiber to reduce after meal glucose levels by up to 20%

Blocking Carbs is as Easy as Eating a “Regular” Meal

Although the process of digestion is complicated, your eating program doesn’t have to be. Most of our regular meals are already set up for slowing the digestion of glucose:

  • Eat a salad with vinegar & oil before the main meal or eat a handful of nuts, seeds, olives, pickles, or cheese
  • Do not eat starchy carbs on an empty stomach, eat mostly vegetables and/or meat first
  • Eat fruits in whole form, not sugary juices or smoothies

One last way to counteract the effect of glucose on the bloodstream is to exercise after a meal. This is a very common practice in other countries such Italy where it’s a nightly practice to take a stroll about town after the evening meal. Activating your slow-twitch muscles uses glucose before it can enter the bloodstream and a 30-minute walk is the perfect way to do it.

As you can see, you don’t need to buy expensive (fake) supplements or take drugs to slow the effect of starchy carbs on your blood sugar levels. You can still lose weight while eating delicious “regular” meals by following this commonsense advice. It really can be that simple.

Find out more about the Glycemic Load here.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have any questions, or would like to add a comment, I’d love to hear from you below.

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low & Slow Creamy White Chicken Chili

This creamy, low carb chicken chili couldn’t be easier! Toss the simple ingredients in your slow cooker and enjoy this slightly spicy chili on a cold winter night!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours (low setting), 4 hours (high setting)

Total Time: 4 hrs, 5 min – 8 hrs, 5 min depending on the setting

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24 oz. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1-15 oz. can Great Northern beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1-15 oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 8 oz. diced green chiles hot, mild, or combo of choice
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (full fat)
  • 1/4 c. Half & Half
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Toppings

  • Shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese blend
  • Sliced jalepenos
  • Sliced avocado
  • Dollop of sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Low carb tortilla strips

Instructions

 

  1. Add chicken breasts to bottom of slow cooker, top with cumin, oregano, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Top with diced onion, minced garlic, beans, green chiles, chicken broth & cilantro.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  4. Remove chicken to large mixing bowl & shred, then return to slow cooker.
  5. Add cream cheese and Half and Half, stir. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes, or until chili is creamy and slightly thickened.
  6. Season with optional salt & pepper to taste
  7. Stir well and serve with desired toppings

**Recipe inspired from The Chunky Chef

The Best (and Simplest) Low Carb Snack Ideas

The Best (and Simplest) Low Carb Snack Ideas

In previous posts I’ve mentioned how important it is to always have healthy, low carb snacks available. This will help you avoid the starchy, sugary snacks that make up 99% of what you’ll find in snack machines at work or in the snack isle of the grocery or convenience store.

In this post, I’ve put together some of the best and simplest low carb snack ideas so you’re always prepared when hunger strikes.

Nuts, Seeds, and Creamy Butters

Without a doubt, some of the best low carb snacks are nuts and seeds. Although they do contain some carbs and will be limited if you’re on a very low carb diet such as Keto, you should be assured that the healthy dose of fat that you get with nuts and seeds will actually slow down the release of glucose into your bloodstream making it a fantastic appetizer when you can’t avoid starchy carbs in your meal, or when you would like to have a sweet dessert.

Any nuts will do, you can use them as a substitute for chips or other starchy, salty snacks:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts (I know, not really a nut, a legume)
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

Cheese and Dairy

When you’re on a low carb diet plan, you need to ensure you’re getting enough fat for your body to utilize for energy. Although you’ll want to ensure you get most of the additional fat from healthy plant based nuts, seeds and oils, you will also get to enjoy plenty of dairy products as well.

Note – You want to make sure you’re eating only FULL FAT dairy as low fat or skim versions have way too much sugar in them. Take a look at the difference between the Glycemic Loads of full and low fat vanilla ice cream as an example:

Vanilla High Fat Ice Cream (1/2 c) – 68

Vanilla Low Fat Ice Cream (1/2 c) – 114

Wow, what a difference! Oh, and you’ll enjoy the high fat version so much more – this kind of treat was never meant to be butchered to low fat anyway…what’s the point?

This works the same way with other dairy snacks, you’ll always go for the full fat choice. Sometimes you my have to search a little harder for them, though as there are so many versions of low fat yogurts and cream cheeses than full fat.

Always check for added sugar and avoid it, you can always sweeten by hand or use sugar subs instead.

Go for:

  • All kinds of full fat cheeses and cream cheese
  • Ricotta
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt (I prefer Fage brand since it’s Greek, it has less water and is thicker and more satisfying)

Chips and Popcorn

This is my particular area of weakness – or used to be before I went low carb. I can remember many nights when a craving for potato chips would send me to the pantry, only to trip over the empty bag when getting out of bed the next morning (party size).

And I was never satisfied with a handful or small bag, I had to grab the big bag, so I could eat to my hearts content. A funny thing happened about 2 days into my low carb life – I stopped having these cravings!

I did however read somewhere that popcorn was better since it has more fiber and it takes less of it to satisfy the carb craving, so I switched.

Instead of eating the entire bag, I either share it or break it up into serving sizes of no more than 2 cups each. This works like a charm, especially since eating it can turn into mindless mouth stuffing if not planned for and contained.

Here’s the Glycemic Load scoop on popcorn versus chips:The Best and Simplest Low Carb Snack Ideas

  • Potato chips (1 small bag or 1 oz) – 62
  • Corn chips (1 small bag or 1 oz) – 97
  • Popcorn (2 cups) – 57

Now compare those to these other starchy snacks:

  • Wheat Thins (4 small) – 136
  • Pretzels (1 small bag or 1 oz) – 151
  • Rye crisps (1 rectangle) – 125

Quite a difference. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be way more satisfied with 2 cups of popcorn than 4 tiny crackers. It totally tastes better, too. But, I can still have a small bag of Lay’s when I get a hankering’… I prefer munching on some cheese at the same time 🙂 See my fave here

Sweet Low Carb Snacks

Awe, I saved the best for last…although most of the sweets we’ll discuss will also fall in the desserts’ category, you can certainly have sweet snacks as long as you have the with fat and there are no starches in them:

  • Peanut M&Ms; (1 snack size pkg or 3/4 oz) – 43
  • White Chocolate (2-1″ squares or 2/3 oz) – 49
  • Chocolate (2-1″ squares or 1 oz) – 68
  • Snickers (2 oz bar) – 218
  • Jelly beans (1/3 c or 1-1/2 oz) – 312

Notice that you can have a larger serving of dark chocolate than white (less sugar), and the extra sugar in Snickers (and other comparable candy bars) and jelly beans will totally cause blood sugar spikes since the Glycemic Load is so high.

Remember These Basic Truths and You’ll be Okay

Stick with no or low carb snacks for the most part – nuts, seeds, cheeses, olives and of course, veggies with creamy dips (which I forgot to mention above)

Enjoy occasional starchy snacks like popcorn, potato and corn chips as long as the portions still keep you under 100 on the Glycemic Load Chart.

Enjoy high fat dairy and keep your sweet tooth happy with reasonable amounts of dark chocolate, chocolaty nuts or Peanut M&Ms;

Sticking with these low carb snack ideas should go along way in helping you reach your weight loss goal successfully, without feeling deprived or having to resort to unhealthy starchy snacks.

I hope you found this post helpful. I’d love to hear from you! If you have a question or would like to leave a comment below, that would be awesome!

To Your Success,

Karyn

 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.