Archive for category Health

Best Cooking Oils?

You should know that good fats (like saturated fats) are not bad for you. Which oils are best to cook with? You need to look at how stable it is when it cooks. Vegetable oils are very unstable at a high temperature so you should never cook with them. Also see if the oil is saturated (solid at room temperature) They are usually more stable than liquid oils.

These are the best  oils to cook with:

Tallow

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a great cooking oil because it is saturated and very stable a high temperature.  It is a white solid at room temperature(below 76 degrees F) and has a yummy coconuty taste. It comes from coconuts of course. Many people around the world, especially in India, have used the oil for thousands of years. Coconut oil does not become rancid too quickly so food cooked in it won’t become stale.

In the 1940’s farmers tried to use coconut oil to make their animals fatter. Guess what? The became leaner and healthier,  had a better appitite and they were more active. Then they tried corn and soy, and that made the cute piggies and cows fatter. The same thing would happen to us.

Other health benefits of coconut oil are good saturated fats called lauric acids help us fight many diseases including HIV and cancer. It helps with weight loss and is 92% saturated,6% monounsaturated and only a good 2% polyunsaturated!

Coconut oil is great with meat and fish, and some veggies too, like sweet potatoes.

Ghee(clarified butter)

When you don’t want a coconuty taste to your food you can use ghee or butter  for cooking also. Ghee is a very nutritious fat even though it’s technically dairy. The reason to avoid dairy is because of lactose and some gut iritating properties. Ghee is purified to the point where it has no lactose in pure form, unlike butter  which has a little(0.5% to be exact). Ghee also is stable at high temperatures and is also highly saturated(good).

Ghee is great for cooking but also has other benefits as well. It is high in vitamin A and D, and can be supportive for eye and bone health. And Of course it is saturated and helps absorb fat soluble vitamins, like other fats.

Ghee is great to cook all foods in my opinion.

Animal fats

You know, lard, duck fat, tallow… Those are excellent for cooking. All animal fats are very stable at high temperatures and mostly saturated fat(if the animal was healthy and not fed grains. Grains raise polyunsaturated fat in the animal which is mostly omega-6. The lack of omega-3 in the fat will ruin our 1:1 omega-3: omega-6 ratios, which is really bad).

The other benefits of saturated animal fat are that it’s good for your bones, it makes up at least 50% of the cell membrane, and it enhances the immune system too. Those are just a few of the proven benefits of animal fats.

To be honest I’ve never tried food cooked in animal fats, I’m just gonna guess that its good in sweet potato/ zucchini chips and meat, maybe veggies, but I’m not sure.

So now you should know how cook paleo style. Make these the main fats you consume and cook with, and live healthily.

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Nuts: Healthy or Not?

Nuts are a praised paleo/primal snack. They can be used in many paleo cereals, not-oat-meal, breads or just simply eat them are they are! Many people eat a lot of them. They are loaded with helpful and essential nutrients, and some studies show that they might help with weight loss. There are some things that are not so great too.

Phytic Acids

Phytic acids are in nuts so they don’t sprout before the right conditions but in our digestive system they bind to other vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium so we can’t absorb them. Some nuts, like almonds and cashews, have them in high amounts. Chestnuts have one of the lowest amounts of phytic acid.

Lectins

Remember lectins from my other post about grains and why they suck. I mentioned that lectins cause gut irritation that is the bases for autoimminity and other ‘fun’ stuff. Well, they’re back again. Lectins are in large amounts in many nut but the lectins in them do not outweigh the beneficial  nutrients nuts  contain. But too many nuts will cause problems, especially if you have digestive problems, so keep it to a hand-full a day

Other Anti-nutrients

Nuts do have a few other anti- nutrients besides lectin. They are not in big amounts, but for the sensitive people it can be an issue.

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids(PUFA)

Another issue with many nuts are the amount and ratios of PUFAs. They are the main fat in most nuts and mostly in the form of omega-6 and omega-3. The problamatic part about this  is that most nuts have too much omega-6 and close to none omega-3. Our omega-3: omega-6 ratios are suposed to be between 1:1 and 1:2, and now the average is 1: 10, thanks to grains, processed food an legumes. Most nuts will not help either.

These are omega-6 and omega 3 ratios, I copied this whole section from Paleodietlifestyle.com. It’s really helpful info about nuts and ratios:

Almonds

Almonds are moderately high in PUFA, with a total of 12.1 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6. They are a good source of manganese, copper, magnesium,  vitamin E and riboflavin. Wild almonds are highly toxic with a compound that breaks down to cyanide, but modern domesticated almonds don’t contain that compound.

PUFAs in almonds Almonds

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Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are low in total PUFA compared to other nuts, with a total of only 1.5 grams per 100 grams and most of their fat being monounsaturated. The amount of total PUFA is low enough that the omega-6/omega-3 ratio is not a concern. They are a good source of thiamine, copper and manganese. Macadamia nuts are also very low in antinutrients like phytic acid. They are healthy even in higher amounts.

PUFAs in macadamia nuts Macadamia nuts

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Pistachios

Pistachios are moderately high in PUFA, with a total of 13.2 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6 fat. They are a good source of copper, thiamine, manganese and vitamin B6.

PUFAs in pistachios Pistachios

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Walnuts

Walnuts are very high in PUFA, with a total of 47.2 grams per 100 grams, with a fair amount omega-3 fat. They are often praised for their high omega-3 content, but are way too high in total PUFA and still have a bad omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. They are a good source of magnesium. manganese and copper.

PUFAs in walnuts walnuts

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Pine nuts

Pine nuts are very high in PUFA, with a total of 34.1 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6 fat. They are a good source of manganese, copper and magnesium.

PUFAs in pine nuts Pine nuts

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Chestnuts

Chestnuts are very low in total PUFA, 0.9 grams per 100 grams, low enough that the omega-6/omega-3 ratio doesn’t matter. They are also low in antinutrients like phytic acid. Chestnuts are considered a real nut and are starchy instead of fatty and this is why they are low in PUFA. Unlike other nuts, they can be roasted at higher temperatures without problems. They are a good source of vitamin C, copper, manganese and vitamin B6. They are the only nut with an appreciable amount of vitamin C.

PUFAs in chestnuts Chestnuts

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Pecans

Pecans are high in PUFA, with a total of 21.6 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6 fat. They are a good source of manganese, copper and thiamine.

PUFAs in pecans Pecans

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Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are moderately low in PUFA, with a total of 7.9 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6 fat. They are a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, copper and manganese.

PUFAs in hazelnuts Hazelnuts

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Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are high in PUFA, with a total of 20.6 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6 fat. They are an extremely good source of selenium, with 774% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) per 6 nuts. Selenium is an extremely important nutrient that’s lacking in many people’s diet. It’s a crucial antioxidant and is very important for the well functioning of the thyroid gland. Selenium is so important that it could be wise to eat a few brazil nuts regularly even though they are high in total PUFA. Keep in mind however that selenium becomes toxic in high amounts and that 2 or 3 brazil nuts per day should be more than enough. They are also a good source of magnesium and copper.

PUFAs in brazil nuts Brazil nuts

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Cashews

Cashews are moderately low in PUFA, with a total of 7.8 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6 fat. They are a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese.

PUFAs in cashews Cashews

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Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are high in PUFA, with a total of 20.9 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6 fat. They are a very good source of magnesium, a mineral that lacking in most people’s diet. They are also a good source of copper, manganese, iron and phosphorus.

PUFAs in pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds

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Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are high in PUFA, with a total of 23.1 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6 fat. They are a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, magnesium, copper, manganese and selenium.

PUFAs in sunflower seeds Sunflower seeds

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Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are high in PUFA, with a total of 21.8 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-6 fat. They are a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium. copper and manganese.

PUFAs in sesame seeds Sesame seeds

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Flax seeds

Flax seeds are high in PUFA, with a total of 28.7 grams per 100 grams, most of it in omega-3 fat, contrary to other nuts. Even though they are high in omega-3 fat, the omega-3 is in the ALA form (alpha-Linolenic acid), which is a short-chain form that need to be elongated to EPA and DHA to be useful for the body. The body’s mechanisms to elongate ALA to EPA and DHA are very inefficient and ALA forms of omega-3 fats are not good sources of omega-3 for us. Unless you enjoy them, don’t go out of your way to eat them as they are not a great choice to get more omega-3 compared to fatty fish and grass-fed ruminant meat.They are a good source of thiamin and manganese.

PUFAs in flax seeds Flax

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That’s some good info. By the way peanuts are NOT nuts, they are legumes. Don’t eat them. They have some harmful stuff that can also be found in grains.

Soaking Nuts

The amount of phytic acid, lectins and many other antinutrients can be lowered by soaking the nuts in water for 4-12 hours, and then drying them. This process ‘washes away’ the anti-nutrients.

In conclusion, nuts are healthy in very small amounts. They have plenty of important nutrients. Avoid too much because of phytic acid, lectins and other anti-nutrients, and bad PUFA ratios. Soaking the nuts can lower some of these, but not all. The healthiest nuts are cestnuts, for its low phytic acid content and Macadamia nuts because it has more monounsaturated fats and they both have a more-than-average omega-3 amount. Flax is tasty, but if you want lots of omega-3 meat and fish are the answers. Keep the nuts down to a  handful a day(or less) and you will be fine.

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You Better Drink Lots of Water!

So now it’s finally summer! No more school and the start of fun. Now you can spend more time with family, take walks on cool evenings, go to beaches, hang out with friends, and enjoy the sun. One thing about summer in many places is that it’s too hot! Your body’s is asking for water, when you want something else, Coke, lemonade, and other sugary drinks that you think will satisfy you more. You need a lot of water, not anything else.

Water on earth is the reason we are alive, without water, life on earth wouldn’t exist. Scientists believe water was on earth shortly after it formed, from comets with ice bombarding earth. Thank you comets!

We need water for many different reasons. Many of the body’s functions require water, such as digestion, building muscles, cell repair and even the brain needs it. Our body is made of  at least 70% water. To make up for any water loss(sweating, bleeding) you need water to hydrate your body.

If you don’t like the taste of your tap water,  I suggest getting a filter. Bottled mineral water is bad for the environment, it’s also not very good for you either. Mineral water only has minerals for taste and usually are not nutritionally significant. So buy a filter, buy a reusable water bottle, and save the earth!

The problem with other drinks, such as sodas and vitamin water is that they contain other chemicals that bad for you(sugar, preservatives) that you do not need in your body.(Vitamin water and vitamins tablets are pointless, any healthy person can get vitamins naturally from food without a problem, especially on the paleo diet) Of course every one knows sugar and preservatives are bad for you and not paleo. If you’ve gotta have a tasty drink, then I suggest almond milk, maybe with cocoa powder and some honey occasionally or water flavored with lemon, but no sugar. But plain old water is the best.

Have a great summer and drink water when you’re thirsty!

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Sunscreen is Bad for Your Skin

Most of the people around you and probably even your doctors are telling you to use sunscreen every time you get in the sun. They all say  it stops cancer, and that’s what you think too right? But now there’s proof that, surprisingly, sunscreen actually causes cancer.

Sunscreen has many toxic chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer. The FDA says the cosmetics with cancerous chemicals are supposed to have a warning sign, but, obviously, it’s not enforced very well. Other cosmetics, such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, and just about every other modern skin products usually have harmful chemicals, whether they cause cancer or not.

Another thing is vitamin D. Sunscreen blocks out the sun rays. That’s a good thing right? NO. While blocking out the sun rays it also keeps the skin from absorbing the all-important vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the absorption  of calcium, and helps you stay in a good mood, and it’s also fat soluble(eat good fat!). If you do not have enough vitamin D, you have a much greater chance of cancer and other health problems.

Basically sunscreen should be avoided. If you get sunburns when you go out in sunlight for a few hours, it can be fixed- naturally. It’s not very hard, all you do is go out in the sun everyday for 5 minutes, then 10, then 15, and so on. You should wear shorts and a tank top or t-shirt. You will build up the natural protection from the sun on your skin, and won’t get sunburned! Simple!

Overall, you do not need sunscreen everyday or even sometimes; it makes your skin weak, causes cancer and many other health problems. So make it a goal to enjoy the sun everyday!

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The Food Plate :(

This thursday the government changed the useless food pyramid into an even more useless food plate. It looks like this:

As you can see, they’ve made some better tweaks, the grains are smaller than veggies(I don’t think you need that many veggies though, but less grains is good; should be none though) . Less diary is good too; it’s on the side(should be gone or at least be the whole dairy with less lactose(yogurt, cream…)) They have not made big changes toward optimal health. The plate is confusing than the food pyramid, but they are off track by a huge margin.

This is the worst part:

“All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Most Dairy Group choices should be fat-free or low-fat. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group. Foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group.”

– USDA

How the heck is soy dairy!! Soy is a legume that we should all avoid because of lectins and phytates. Then, there’s what you have heard a million times: low-fat and fat-free! When is the FDA going to stop being biased and corrupt and tell the frikin’ truth!? (Saturated fat is good!)The government thinks vegetable and fruit juices are a serving of veggies or fruits: you’ve got to be kidding me! Then there’s soy, bean and peas in the protein group. And they say to avoid the much-needed saturated fats too. 😦

The food plate may be a step in the right direction, but has a long way to go. Nothing is going to change until the FDA and USDA get rid of the biased idiots who mess with the research and, for once, care about people’s health, not the economy.

Join the food fight!!!

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Paleo Approved Sweeteners

Here’s a list of paleo-approved sweeteners:
  • Honey
  • Crushed dates
  • maple syrup
  • crushed raisins
  • Fruit juice
  • Stevia
  • Molasses
(No agave nectar on the list because even though its natural, it’s very high in fructose. Fructose is very bad for your health see: http://paleodietlifestyle.com/10-reasons-why-fructose-is-bad/
All of these sweeteners are paleo-friendly and natural. But remember that you should only eat these in moderation and that way you can get to optimal health.
“Beat the sugar addiction”

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Egg Yolks Aren’t Evil

Egg yolks… everyone goes around saying they are bad… that they are the cause of heart attacks and all these other modern diseases. If you are paleo, by now you should know that dietary cholesterol is not bad for you, here’s why the egg yolk is so much more beneficial than egg whites.

The Good About Egg Yolks

"An egg yolk a day keeps the doctor away"

Egg yolks have lots of vitamin and all the fat soluble ones(A,E,D and K) It’s one of the only food sources of vitamin D, especially great on the paleo diet. So many people think that the saturated fat in egg yolk is bad, (when it is not) that they completely overlook the major benefits. The egg yolk also has a lot of important minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorous, thiamine, folate and vitamin B6 and B12 too. Egg yolk is a great source of protein and essential fat. Egg yolks contain cholesterol only because the bird inside the egg needs it to grow healthily. And cholesterol is also essential for us aswell. They also have DHA which is a form of omega 3 that your body can use. That way you can keep your omega 3/omega g ratios more like they should be; 1:1. Egg yolks have many benefits that you don’t want to miss out on.

   The Bad About Egg Whites

Egg whites, on the other hand, may not be so friendly. Egg whites don’t have much fat and that can be a problem, since most vitamins are only fat soluble. If you have an egg white omelette in the mornings you can have deficiencies in the major nutrients like cholesterol and saturated fat. If you think about it, all organisms want to live, right? So the egg is no different. Egg whites are actually  the self-defense mechanism of the egg. They have loads of anti nutrients. In fact, 13 of 14 kinds of proteins in the egg white have anti-microbial properties that usually stops microbes and viruses from getting to the egg  yolk which is trying to raise a full-fledged, healthy animal. But those can affect us too, especially if you eat a lot of egg whites. Some stuff in egg whites can even pass though your intestinal wall and damage you guts. This is why the egg whites are best avoided or at least eaten with the healthy egg yolk.

So this is why they say “An egg yolk a day keeps the doctor away” probably more than that high fructose apple.    😀

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