Healthy or Unhealthy? Foods You Should Add or Delete from your Diet
Article from Dave Scott, 6x Ironman World Champion.
I've written numerous articles about optimal eating and the most nutrient dense foods that should be included in our weekly diets. This article focuses on six foods, three that have been battered by the media and are truly healthy food choices. The other three are touted as super healthy choices and they are far from it. So here we go.
1. Butter - good choice! Loaded with a large percentage of short and medium chain fatty acids which actually enhance the immune system. One primary fat in butter is arachadonic acid which has been shunned by the public and medical community. However it is actually a healthy fat for the brain and skin. Butter is nutrient dense - contains: selenium, zinc, copper and chromium and Vitamins A,D,E and K2. K2 is a must with Vitamin D to help manage bone density. The converse of butter are the nasty margarines that have been elevated to king like stature.
2. Margarine - dreadful food! The hydrogenated fat (overly heated) is the worst form of fat. These trans fats or trans fatty acids are heated which causes the chemical structure to dramatically wreck havoc on your health. Margarines or Trans Fats are also masked with artificial flavors, fake food coloring, added sterols that are estrogen compounds which can cause endocrine issues. Unlike butter, margarine can elevate the low density lipoproteins (LDL's). The LDL's are not all bad but margarine (trans fats) increase the percentage of heart jamming bad LDL's!
3. Soy products - not so good. However the healthy soy that have been fermented are very healthy: tempeh, miso, soy sauce and Natto (very common in Japan). I tried it and oh boy, this taste must be acquired - but it's healthy! The bad side of soy is the propaganda stream and the unfortunate health issues related to consuming soy products. Here's a partial list: 1) 99% of soy is genetically modified 2) Soy is on the "dirty" list with one of the most heavily pesticide laden foods 3) Soybeans have a very high percentage of phytic acid which inhibits the absorbtion of some key minerals: calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium. So when folks tell me that soy based products are good for bone density, this is just not true. Like most grains, the phytates are unhealthy unless they are fermented - as mentioned above. 4) The processing of soy to obtain soy protein isolate (which I'm against as a protein powder substitute) is a lengthy process and compromises any nutritional value. The heating process along with preservatives and sweeteners is then marketed to the consumer. Whey protein concentrate from grass fed cows is a much better option.
4. Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) from grass fed cows - Very good nutrient dense choice to supplement your daily healthy intake. I've written about my super shake that contains WPC and I'll share it with you:
· 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
· 1 organic banana
· 3/4 cup frozen organic blueberries
· 1/3 cup walnuts or almonds
· ½ cup organic low fat Greek yogurt
· 2 scoops of WPC
· 2 ice cubes
So why whey from grass fed cows?
1. Contains three muscle building branched chained amino acids (BCAA): Valine, isoleucine and leucine. The BCAA's effectively elevate and expedite the muscle building and repair of muscle breakdown (anabolic pathway). The necessary anabolic volume is approximately 8-10 grams/day. Two scoops in your shake provides 20-24 grams. Looking at another great source like salmon it contains only 16 grams/100g of BCAA's. So the "shake" is a great source of muscle building protein before and after your workouts.
2. The grass fed WPC also contains the magical fat called conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) which enhances hormone and antibody health. Conversely the inferior whey protein isolate has been overheated. Consequently this protein quite often causes bloating and GI distress. Additionally, grain fed WPC has zero CLA.
3. The super shake is an easy way to cover your daily fruit intake; walnuts are a healthy fat and the WPC also affects a hormone called Leptin which tells your brain that you're satiated or "full"-thus reducing the urge to overeat.
5. Fruit juice - Not great! This includes orange, apple, pear, cranberry and all of the pseudo health sweetened drinks like Vitamin Water and sugary canned teas. Why is fruit juice on the questionable food list?
· The pulp has been removed and losing the fiber and nutrients just accelerates digestion and absorption. The quick dose of sugar causes a huge insulin spike.
· The concentrated juice is a big dosage of calories.
· Fructose absorbs differently than the other sugars. Even a seemingly healthy 10 ounce glass of orange juice has over 50% of the sugar as fructose or about 100 calories of fructose.
· Fructose is digested through the liver and nearly 40% of it is converted to visceral fat (fat around the organs). The other types of sugar are not great, but average about 10% conversion to visceral fat. Fructose expedites new fat cells around your organs! Particularly bad is the added stress on the liver. Overload on the liver heightens the potential to increase body fat. Our national overweight and obese epidemic is fueled by the over consumption of refined juices. In combination with other refined simple carbohydrates, the U.S. unfortunately leads all nations with this growing epidemic. Lastly, I'm a big fan of "juicing" providing that the primary juice is from vegetables. Adding two to three servings of fruit is perfect as a "supplement" to your vegetables.
6. Eggs - Great food! Clouded with the myth of elevating cholesterol. First off your body needs cholesterol for
production of Vitamin D and hormone production. These hormones including testosterone and estrogen must have cholesterol for optimal body function. I have three eggs a day - every day! Organic and raw eggs are best! Cage free and lightly soft boiled are second in line. Include eggs - the protein content is at the top of the nutrient dense foods.
Final comment-You have a choice in food selection. Review my comments of these six foods and start today with a new revamped diet.