There are a surprising number of foods that have been demonized over the years because they were perceived to be 'fattening'. Many of these make it to the list because of their fat content but as science is now showing us, not all fats are created equal. We have also started to a look at our perception of carbohydrates and how they are burned in the body.
1. Dates Are An Excellent Sweetener
Did you know that dates contain a blood pressure remedy? Five small dates provide about 80 milligrams of magnesium, an essential mineral that helps dilate blood vessels. Research shows that supplementing with 370 milligrams of magnesium can reduce blood pressure.
The May 2011, issue of Nutrition Journal reports a study in which date consumption was tested on diabetics. The study shows that while dates contain high amounts of natural sugars, they are actually a low-glycemic index food and did not significantly raise blood sugar levels after they were eaten. This means they can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar and satisfy their sweet tooth at the same time!
Artificial Sweeteners Can Make You Fat
Marketed to the world as providing the body with a sweet taste, minus the calories, it’s no surprise artificial sweeteners are widely used in diet and low-calorie food. But while these sweeteners may trick the body into experiencing sweetness, they brain cannot be tricked! In the natural world, our bodies have been programmed to expect calories when sweetness is present, and if there are none, the brain goes on a calorie hunt. This is why when you consume an artificially sweetened beverage you still feel like eating other sweets after. Cravings increase and you may find yourself consuming more junk food to satisfy them. Indeed, some studies have shown that consuming such sweeteners is more likely to make people pile on weight, rather than reduce it.
2. Whole Eggs Verses Egg Whites
Eggs offer high-quality protein and are an exceptional source of vitamins, providing all the key vitamins except for vitamin C. Overall, eggs are highly nutritious, so they can be eaten freely. As a breakfast food, they offer vastly superior nutrition to cereals. So if you feel like eating an egg a day, don’t worry about it! Eggs have had a bad press in the past because yolks contain cholesterol, but it’s increasingly accepted that eating cholesterol in food such as eggs does not lead to clogged arteries and heart disease. In one review of 17 studies with a total of 263,938 participants, no association was found between egg consumption and heart disease or stroke.
Eggs help keep your appetite in check. Eggs are high in the amino acid tryptophan, which is used to synthesize serotonin (the feel-good hormone) in the brain and induce the feeling of satiety, leading to lower calorie consumption.
I recommend that you buy organic Omega 3 eggs as the chickens that these eggs come from are fed a higher omega-3 diet. Some omega-3 eggs (depending on the brand) contain up to 150 mg of the omega-3 fat DHA. This is the same healthy fat found in fish oil supplements that is essential for proper brain function and research shows may also help you lose weight.
3. Eating Nuts May Help You Achieve Your Ideal Weight
Raw macadamia nuts are a powerhouse of a nut, containing a wide variety of critical nutrients including high amounts of vitamin B1, magnesium, manganese and healthful monounsaturated fat, just to name a few. Macademia nuts are relatively low in carbs and protein and high in olieic acid, omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid, which is the same fatty acid found in olive oil.
A review of diets that included nuts found that people can lose weight simply by increasing the amount of nuts they ate or by eating nuts over other foods. For example, choosing to eat a handful of macademia nuts over snacking on banana loaf, which is full of complex carbohydrates. In one study comparing those who ate a low-calorie diet that included either almonds or complex carbs, the almond group had a:
• 62 percent greater reduction in their weight/BMI
• 50 percent greater reduction in waist circumference
• 56 percent greater reduction in body fat
What research seems to show time and time again is that adding healthful amounts of nuts to your diet can help you to maintain your ideal weight over time. So don't shy away from those tasty macademia’s any longer. Enjoy them as part of a healthy eating lifestyle!
4. Turns Out That Coconut Oil Can Actually Help You Lose Weight
Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap: it’s a saturated fat, and we all know that saturated fats are bad for us, right? Think again. It turns out that coconut oil can actually help you lose weight, especially those pesky (and particularly unhealthy) pounds around your belly. Eating coconut oil provides the body with energy without fat accumulation. The medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are used by the body to produce energy rather than being stored as fat. Traditional sources of fat in the diet are broken down into individual fatty acids and then regrouped into bundles of fat and protein called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are sent into the bloodstream so that the fatty acids can be deposited into our fat cells.
Medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are used differently in the body. Instead of being packaged into lipoproteins and circulated in the bloodstream, they’re sent directly to the liver where they are converted into energy much like a carbohydrate. These energy producing fats do not raise blood sugar like carbohydrates so they’re good option for diabetics.
Coconut oil can boost the metabolism. Coconut oil has a thermogenic or calorie burning effect. This is because the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are easily absorbed by the energy producing organelles of the cells. Studies have shown that after eating a meal containing medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil, the metabolism stays elevated for at least 24 hours! Not only will you be burning calories at a faster rate, you will have more energy.
5. Avocado Is An Excellent Weight Loss Tool!
When your stomach is empty it produces a hormone called ghrelin that causes hunger. Think of ghrelin like the gremlin that is sabotaging your weight loss efforts. If you let yourself go hungry, your cravings will be too intense to resist. The trick is to maintain a sense of fullness. The way to get rid of the “ghrelin gremlin” is to eat specific foods that suppress your appetite. No gimmicks, no crash diets, just consistent tools to help you stay full and satisfied.
Ghrelin heightens the appeal of high calorie foods, and is the reason we gravitate toward carbohydrate-rich comfort foods like cereal, bagels, bread, or pasta. When you’re feeling stressed out, opt instead for a creamy avocado sprinkled with sea salt – something that is not going to spike your blood sugar. Not only do the healthy oleic acids (a type of monosaturated fat) in the avocado support healthy hair, skin, and nails, but they will suppress appetite because they take longer to digest. Avocados are also a great source of soluble fiber.
Further, avocados can decrease leptin resistance. It was first believed that leptin should be lowered because high levels of leptin in the bloodstream are associated with obesity, but it turns out that levels increase when the body becomes less sensitive to leptin, requiring it to produce morein order for the signal to be heard. Leptin produces a feeling of fullness after a meal. Certain foods can decrease leptin resistance and help restore the body’s regular function. For more on the health benefits of avocado, click here.