Weight Loss

Nuts About Coconuts (Oil)

What makes coconut oil unique? At a temperature of 76 degrees or higher, it is liquid and the high saturated fatty acid content causes it to turn solid when it is colder.

Are saturated fats dangerous for your arteries? Consider the fact that our body temperatures are about 98.6. This means that coconut oil is liquid at that temperature so could not clog arteries. This is beside the fact that all fats are broken down into small bits before they are absorbed from the digestive tract. So, you don’t need to worry about natural fats, only processed or fried fats.

Coconut oil is healthy for the gut, the brain, and the skin. It will help arrest and prevent Alzheimer’s and it improves cholesterol and assists with loss of belly fat and weight.

Can you think of any other oil or fat that has the same benefits? Although there are many healthy fats, such as flax oil, olive oil, and butter, coconut oil may be one of the smartest choices.

We are learning more about the needs of a healthy brain. Alzheimer’s is considered to be Diabetes Type 3. The good news is that this gives us a prevention and treatment path. Keep blood sugar in balance, limit the various forms of sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, alcohol, and refined sugar, and protect your brain function. The brain operates well using ketones, instead of sugar, for fuel. Ketones are produced in the liver from fats, only when sugar consumption is low. http://healthimpactnews.com/2016/study-how-ketones-as-brain-fuel-can-prevent-alzheimers-disease/

Many people have mentioned that their memory seems to be getting worse, or they feel foggy. Decreasing sugar and starchy carbs, and increasing good fats like coconut oil would be worth trying as a remedy.

Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids. There are four different types of fat in coconut oil, and each has benefits. Lauric acid is a fat that may help balance hormones, with benefits for men and women.

The medium chain fatty acids seem to be processed differently in the body, so they encourage lean muscle and fat loss. Belly fat may be reduced with long-term consumption. Keep in mind that you have to reduce sugar and starches to enjoy this benefit.  http://dailyhealthlifestyles.com/20-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/4/

MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides) has been making the news in the Paleo world for making bullet-proof coffee. MCT is processed coconut oil, so it is missing some of the all-around benefits of raw unrefined coconut oil. Is MCT better for lean muscle? Check out the bullet-proof website to see what they have to say, but be sure to use high quality no matter if you want to try it. https://www.bulletproofexec.com/what-is-mct-oil-vs-coconut-oil/

A high-fat low-carb diet was used at Johns Hopkins Hospital to treat epilepsy in children with dramatic results. High-fat low-carb has been used to starve cancer cells, and may be an exciting alternative for treating brain tumors. https://healthimpactnews.com/2013/using-the-ketogenic-diet-to-heal-brain-tumors/

Bacteria does not seem to like the fats in coconut oil, so it is good for the immune system and for gut healing if you have already taken too many antibiotics, or suffer from gastric distress. Inflammation is naturally reduced with the fats in coconut oil. Again, reducing sugar consumption is key. Also, experiment with reducing dairy and wheat/grains, which seem to be inflammatory for many people.

As you can see the list goes on and on. Adding coconut oil to your morning smoothie, spreading it on veggies, or using it for cooking, has internal benefits. As a hair and skin conditioner, coconut oil is healing and moisturizing for every member of the family from a babe in diapers to acne-prone teens, and age-conscious adults.

Coconut water and cream can also be a healthy addition to your diet. I use grass-fed butter and coconut cream in my tea and coffee for a delicious alternative to dairy. I learned to drink tea with milk when I lived in England and none of the milk alternatives did the trick for me. But coconut creamer and butter make the tea taste just right.

If you have been using canola oil, or other vegetable oils, it is time for an oil change. Coconut oil is better than butter or olive oil for higher temperature cooking.

But the real benefits come from using raw, organic coconut oil. Enjoy it on skin and hair for its beauty benefits, or add it to your diet for its health benefits. Inside or outside, you can go nuts for coconuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Eating Gluten-free Bread?

With all the concerns about wheat these days, many people are turning to gluten-free bread. Gluten is one of the proteins in wheat. It helps make bread dough elastic, and gives bread a light soft texture, instead of the heavy, chewier texture of whole grain breads.

What is it about bread that is so hard to give up? Toasted, snuggling up to sandwich ingredients, or slathered with butter, bread is a comfort food for many of us.

Modern commercial wheat has been genetically modified, laced with pesticides and stripped of nutrients. Even people who are not allergic to gluten, or to wheat, are turning to other flour choices for bread and crackers.

It is also possible to have sensitivity to other grains, or to grains in general. If eating grains in the form of bread, pasta, or crackers causes bloating, gas, constipation, indigestion, or changes in your stool, consider that your body may not do well on grains. Buckwheat, wild rice, and quinoa are not grains, and are good substitutes. One cup of quinoa contains 222 calories, 39 grams carb, 8 grams protein and 3 grams fat. It also has some vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy food. But the carb content means you should limit serving size. It is a better choice than rice for carbs and protein. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2

In order to mimic the light soft texture of standard American bread, manufacturers have turned to ingredients like tapioca starch and potato starch. Tapioca is a root and was often used to make a pudding in the past. It is the high starch content of gluten-free breads which can sabotage blood sugar and cause weight gain. Starch is metabolized like sugar, so can spike and drop blood sugar just like cake. Udi’s Gluten-free Bread has tapioca and potato starch as the first ingredients. For 140 calories (2 slices) you get 22 grams of carbohydrate. My personal favorite is Food for Life Gluten-free Bread. The first ingredient is rice flour, and it has safflower oil instead of canola oil. Two slices are 110 calories.

There are other healthy choices, especially if you bake at home. Gluten-free flours from Bob’s Red Mill or Pamela’s, coconut flour and nut flours have less starch and higher protein generally. They will not mimic soft white bread, but they can be used for cookies, baked goods and crackers. Here is an easy recipe to try. http://theprettybee.com/2013/10/easy-gluten-free-cracker-recipe.html

If you are trying to lose weight, the best thing is to break the bread habit completely, and that can take some time. It really calls for some creative solutions to drop out the sandwich and toast habit. Bread and flour products are very filling, so your body may try to tell you that you are hungry, even if you have had plenty of calories. Add some more healthy fat to your diet, and that will help satisfy your appetite. You can also eat veggies in bulk, maybe with some healthy dip, like guacamole or hummus. Sliced jicama, celery, and cucumber can be used as dippers or carriers for things normally eaten with bread, such as tuna salad or nut butters.

How to know how much bread, pasta and starchy carbs you can eat? If you can eat starches without gaining inches or weight, your activity level and metabolism can handle the starch. If you are at all over-weight, you are eating beyond your body’s metabolic needs. Even if you are eating “whole grain” wheat and bread, you may be getting too much starch that turns to sugar. Ezekiel bread is still too high in carb content for many, if not most. Our activity levels just do not support high grain diets these days. The nutrition benefits are not balanced by any weight-gain that signifies a sugar metabolism problem.

If you are concerned about your gluten tolerance, come in for a blood spot test that will identify your true food sensitivities. You may be surprised by the foods that your body can’t tolerate that you may not have suspected.

For a detox or blood sugar program that helps break the bread/starch habit, come see us or call the office. 818-562-1400.

It has been said that man does not live by bread alone, and you can prove it to yourself by breaking the bread habit.

 

 

 

 

 

Staying Strong For Men

When women age, we can talk about it freely because women are allowed to be concerned about their hormonal changes, their faces, and figures.  For men, the problems of aging may be just as concerning, but not so easily discussed.

Just like women, men have a need for hormone balance. The adrenal glands (those tiny but mighty glands sitting above the kidneys) make the steroid hormones that allow us to run faster in danger, monitor libido, and determine energy levels. Men and women both make hormones out of cholesterol. Then the cascade of hormones proceeds into progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen is lowest on the hormone chain, and estrogen is formed from testosterone.

An enzyme called aromatase causes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Aromatase can surge when too much sugar, alcohol or refined carbohydrate is consumed, spiking blood sugar. As more fat accumulates around breasts (man boobs) and belly, the fat can also produce estrogen, adding to the problem. http://blogs.christianpost.com/health/is-your-testosterone-turning-into-estrogen-5890/

All cells in the body have hormone receptors on them. For men, testosterone should be more dominantly parked in the cells. If there is too much estrogen, then the male sexual characteristics diminish. Muscles turn to fat and the prostate can enlarge. Too much circulating estrogen is a risk for prostate cancer. http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/docking-receptor-binding.html

Higher amounts of circulating estrogen increase risk of stroke.  Estrogen dominance, which is the ratio of estrogen to testosterone, is a risk for heart attack and thicker arteries. Low testosterone levels can be associated with depression and anxiety. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/low-testosterone-8/default.htm

Statin drugs decrease cholesterol, which in turn can decrease testosterone levels. This may lead to Erectile Dysfunction caused by low testosterone. Statin drugs have also been associated with higher risk of Diabetes Type II. Sufficient healthy fats in the blood keep blood sugar levels more balanced.

You can monitor your testosterone levels through blood or Salvia hormone testing. Another simple way is to have a zinc taste test. Adequate zinc is needed for testosterone. We offer all of these tests at Well Body Clinic.

We also have herbal DHEA and testosterone boosters, in cream and tablet form that will encourage the body to make more testosterone. A detox program for weight loss, or a Blood Sugar balance program, will help you kick the carb habit, stop the snack cravings, drop weight and lose the excess belly fat.

Lifestyle choices may influence your testosterone levels. Avoid excess alcohol, sugar and grains. Eat sufficient protein, but make sure it is digested well; so digestive enzymes can be used. Get plenty of cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts to help the liver metabolize excess estrogen. Get moderate exercise and sufficient sleep. (Maybe Mom was right all along.)

No matter what kind of a job you have, life itself is an Olympic event and those who train for it usually come out ahead of the crowd. Breaking old habits is never easy until the new habits have replaced them.

For Father’s Day, and every day, stay strong and ready for the next event. Healthy guys are sexier. And out-running your kids is always satisfying.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great men in our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Shouldn’t Exercise

Imagine a health practitioner telling you not to exercise!  I cannot count the number of patients who tell me that they know they should be exercising more, but they just don’t make the time, don’t like it or have a health concern about the exertion. So, exercise becomes another stressor in their lives. They know they should exercise, and they may feel guilty because they don’t.

About half of adult Americans over age 18 exercise three or more times per week. http://www.statisticbrain.com/percent-of-americans-who-exercise-regularly/  In cold weather locations that statistic may drop lower as the temperature drops.  60% of Americans have jobs that require them to sit most of the day.

Some good news is that many people in sedentary jobs are getting more exercise. http://www.askmen.com/news/sports/people-with-sedentary-jobs-get-more-exercise-says-study.html  But if you are hitting the gym after work, you may not be helping your self as much as you think.

Working out, by weight lifting, cardio, biking or other specific types of exercise is only part of the picture. Men, in particular, may be able to lose weight by increasing exercise. But women and older men will find their weight climbing if they rely on exercise alone. Considering the amount of obesity these days, more exercise is not the answer.

Instead of trying to carve out time to fit in a trip to the gym, consider just getting more movement throughout the day. There are a number of movements you can incorporate at your desk. Check these out http://greatist.com/fitness/deskercise-33-ways-exercise-work The point is to get your body moving.

Good health is about blood and nutrients moving through the systems and reaching every cell. Then waste products need to be transferred through the detoxification channels for elimination. Think of your body like a city. Food has to reach distribution locations and garbage must be picked up and disposed of. Stop or inhibit either inflow or outflow channel and protest, riots, revolutions, and deaths will occur.

Symptoms in the body that you may be ignoring daily are protests from your internal “citizens”. Ignore them and they become riots, which is the first line of illness or disability. Revolution occurs when serious disease sets in and will lead to cellular deaths, and eventually may bring down an entire organ, system or the body itself.

So, next time you grab a coffee and head to the gym, stop for fast food, or have a few drinks with friends, think about the needs of your citizen cells. Exercise does provide much-needed training of muscles and improves circulation of blood and lymph (the white blood cell/immune protection system). But if you are not eating enough healthy nutrients, you are placing a greater demand on the body, which may deepen deficiencies. Every single thing your body inhales, digests, or absorbs through the skin is either beneficial, neutral or toxic.

Life is a marathon event, and training for it does involve keeping muscles strong and keeping joints flexible. But concentrate on your daily food first, get up and get moving throughout the day second. Add specific exercises third. Achieve an ideal weight for your body, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do that by working out alone. The number of calories burned with exercise is usually not enough to cause significant burning of excess body fat.

What is your ideal weight? The goal to reach for is not numbers on a scale, but a waistline smaller than your hips. If you are holding excess weight at your waist, consider a blood sugar stabilizing program, and adrenal/hormone supplements. The Japanese government has imposed new laws that penalize people who do not meet the guidelines for waist to hip ratio determined to minimize risk for Diabetes Type 2. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/13/world/asia/13fat.html?_r=0  Sugar dis-metabolism in diabetics is also a risk factor for cancer and heart disease and is the real cause of obesity

My dad was often asked what kind of exercise he did to maintain his trim figure throughout his elderly years. His answer, “I push myself away from the table.” Great training advice for all of us.