Category Archives: healthy fats

I advocate the avocado

I have posted on the nutritional value of the avocado a number of times. I wanted to run this as a refresher and also I thought it was beautiful. Sometimes folks are doubtful about avocados because they have fat, but it happens to be a very valuable fat that our bodies like.

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Here are other posts on the avocado:

Are avocados good for you?

How avocados and nuts could boost intelligence – MNT

What about Krispy Kreme vs. an avocado?

A chicken-avocado sandwich – Mr. Lazy Cook

Tony

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Filed under avocados, fat, Fats, healthy fats

Saturated fat could be good for you

A Norwegian study challenges the long-held idea that saturated fats are unhealthy

Regular readers know that I am a big supporter of coconut oil – a saturated fat. You can check out my Page – Coconut oil – Why you should include it in your diet for more details.

A new Norwegian diet intervention study (FATFUNC), performed by researchers at the KG Jebsen center for diabetes research at the University of Bergen, raises questions regarding the validity of a diet hypothesis that has dominated for more than half a century: that dietary fat and particularly saturated fat is unhealthy for most people.

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The researchers found strikingly similar health effects of diets based on either lowly processed carbohydrates or fats. In the randomized controlled trial, 38 men with abdominal obesity followed a dietary pattern high in either carbohydrates or fat, of which about half was saturated. Fat mass in the abdominal region, liver and heart was measured with accurate analyses, along with a number of key risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

“The very high intake of total and saturated fat did not increase the calculated risk of cardiovascular diseases,” says professor and cardiologist Ottar Nygård who contributed to the study. Continue reading

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Filed under Fats, HDL Cholesterol, healthy fats, LDL Cholesterol, saturated fat, saturated fats

Harvard study sheds light on dairy fat cardiovascular disease risk

Because  low fat diets were the rage for a while, people have become confused about the value and necessity of including fats in their diets. I love coconut oil, a saturated fat. I eat it every day and have a Page of information – Coconut Oil – Why you should include it in your diet on it.

Until recently, when you visited the dairy aisle, chances are you headed straight for the blue carton of milk—the skim milk that is. But recent buzz about dairy fat may cause shoppers to pause in front of the oft-shunned red carton of whole milk or other full-fat dairy products, as research suggests that their relationship to heart health is more complex than was once believed. While most studies to date have focused on the association between dairy fat and cardiovascular risk factors, few have examined the relationship to actual onset of cardiovascular disease.

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Low-fat diets – a failed experiment – Harvard

I have written numerous times about the nutritional benefits of coconut oil. For starters you can check my Page – Coconut Oil – Why you should include it in your diet. But that is just coconut oil – a saturated fat – but only one kind of fat.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health nutrition expert David Ludwig says that the low-fat diet remains “deeply embedded in public consciousness and food policy.” Recent research suggests that eating a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet—which Americans were advised to do for about 40 years—is not a good idea.

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In an October 6, 2016 CNN.com article, Ludwig, professor in the Department of Nutrition, wrote that longstanding recommendations about avoiding dietary fat—from the government and all major professional nutrition associations—were based on limited scientific evidence. Experts who touted a low-fat diet said it would help people stay lean and healthy. But, instead, rates of obesity and diabetes surged.

Experts now say that not all fats are bad—in fact, some are healthy and important in a balanced diet. Several recent studies found that high-fat diets actually produce greater weight loss than low-fat diets. And while the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have now lifted the limit on dietary fat, “you’d never know it, because a full accounting of this failed experiment has not been made,” Ludwig wrote. He called for a rigorous examination of “the low-fat diet debacle” and for more government funding to test new ideas in nutrition.

Read the CNN.com article: Doctor: Low-fat diets stuffed with misconceptions.

As I have said previously, living a healthy life and eating intelligently is the answer, not fad diets that don’t work and often throw your body out of balance.

Tony

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Filed under fat, healthy fats, low fat diet, saturated fat

All Fat Grams Are Not Created Equal

Here is another super infographic where one picture is worth a thousand words.

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NaturalNews says that avocados boost health in at least five ways:

1. Protein “Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.”

To read more on good fats, check my post: Are Avocados Good for You?

For further info on junk food: A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT.

Tony

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16 Reasons To GO NUTS For Nuts

Specifically, those who ate nuts five or more times per week were found to enjoy a 29% reduction in death from heart disease; an 11% reduction in death from stroke; a 23% reduction in death from infection; a 24% reduction in death from respiratory diseases; a 29% reduction in death from kidney disease; and an 11% reduction in death from cancer.

nuts

 

Our Better Health

BY DR. RONALD HOFFMAN  NOVEMBER 29, 2013 

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine underscores the health benefits of nuts. Researchers followed over a hundred thousand men and women over several decades and concluded that eating nuts helped them stave off the Grim Reaper. Seven or more servings of nuts per week cut the risk of dying by a third! (“A serving” was defined as one ounce, which is about one handful of almonds.)

Specifically, those who at nuts five or more times per week were found to enjoy a 29% reduction in death from heart disease; an 11% reduction in death from stroke; a 23% reduction in death from infection; a 24% reduction in death from respiratory diseases; a 29% reduction in death from kidney disease; and an 11% reduction in death from cancer.

It’s long been known that nuts are heart-healthy. A now-famous study of…

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Nuts and Your Health: What to Know

What’s more, researchers from Purdue University found that nuts are not linked with weight gain, despite their relatively high calorie count. An ounce of nuts has 160-200 calories, depending on the type.

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Our Better Health

By Kathleen Doheny   WebMD Health News   Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD     Sept. 10, 2014

Once viewed by some as a food too high in calories to enjoy on a regular basis, nuts are getting new respect.

Two recent studies have touted the benefits of nuts for blood sugar control. One, published in Diabetes Care, found that eating pistachio nuts daily may help people at risk of getting diabetes control their blood sugar. A second, published in PLOS One, found that tree nuts — including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, and pecans, among others — may improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.

These are only a couple of many recent studies that point to the health benefits of eating nuts in moderation.

WebMD asked two dietitians to dish on what else we need to know about these crunchy treats.

What are some of the top…

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Costco Now Carries Its Own Brand of Coconut Oil

It is just less than a year ago since I wrote Why Should I Try Coconut Oil?

Today I was shopping in Costco and came upon this huge display of their own Kirkland Brand coconut oil. I guess that means that the product sold well enough for Costco to find a company to produce it under for the Kirkland brand. That is very good news to me.

I shot this at Costco today

I shot this at Costco today

If you have been on the fence about trying coconut oil, please check out my Page – Why You Should Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet.

There are at least a dozen good reasons including that coconut oil is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It is second only to mother’s milk in its amount of lauric acid. What could be more nutritious than that?

Its medium chain fatty acids are easy on the digestive system. “It travels immediately to the liver to be converted into energy. It doesn’t circulate in the body and end up being stored as fat. So for a quick energy boost, eat a spoonful of coconut oil or add it to your food,” I wrote in that post.

One difference between the new Kirkland brand and the previous brand at Costco was that the previous brand said “Extra Virgin” coconut oil whereas the new Kirkland brand simply has “Virgin” coconut oil. What is the difference? Good question. The best answer I could find was ‘marketing.’ While there is a major difference between virgin and extra virgin olive oil, no such distinction exists in the coconut oil world.

Regarding product size: the old brand was a big fat 54 ounce jar. The new one is 42.3 ounces, but you have to buy two jars. So, you end up with more coconut oil in the slightly more manageable form of two containers.

Check it out for yourself. Costco knows a valuable product when they sell one. You should, too.

Tony

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Filed under coconut oil, Costco, healthy eating, healthy fats, healthy living, lauric acid

How About Some Granola Without any Grains?

Let me hear that, get me near that
Crunchy Granola Suite
Drop your shrink and stop your drinkin’
Crunchy granola’s neat ( Neil Diamond )


I agree with Neil about crunchy granola being neat. It has been a part of my diet for more years than I care to remember.

I know ‘Granola Without Grains’ sounds like something left over from April Fool’s Day. But it isn’t.  That’s why I was so surprised to discover Paleo Granola by CJK Foods of Chicago, IL.

“Granola,” according to Wikipedia “is a breakfast food and snack food, popular in the Americas, consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes puffed rice, that is usually baked until crisp. During the baking process the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose, breakfast cereal-type consistency. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, are sometimes added.”

So, clearly, grains are an integral part of granola.

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I must confess almost total ignorance of the Paleo diet. I just checked the web and the first thing I learned is that they don’t eat grains. They do eat grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthful oils, like coconut oil. Lots of good eating there. So, the fact that you don’t eat grains explains why the Paleo Granola has no grains in it.

Before going further, I need to tell you that I bought it from my local grocer who had a girl passing out samples. I tried one and was blown away by the taste. A party in my mouth! I went right back and picked up a package. I am now on my third one.

Okay, so what is in Paleo Granola?

The ingredients are Organic almonds, organic sunflower seeds, almond flour, organic cashews, organic walnuts, maple syrup, organic flax seeds, organic coconut oil, organic raisins, vanilla, organic coconut flakes, spices and salt.

Here is the nutrition breakdown:
Serving size 2 ounces, 57 grams
Calories 295
Total fat 23 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
No Trans fat
Sodium 16 mg
Dietary fiber 4 grams
Sugar 11 grams
Protein 7 grams

A quick comparison with a regular granola, puts Paleo slightly higher on calories, a lot higher on total fat, due to the nuts and coconut, way down on sodium and higher on fiber and protein. Not a bad tradeoff, I think.

Although I am a big granola fan and have a bowl almost every day. I have found that I like the taste of this Paleo mixture so much that I use it as a snack and sometimes take chunks of it with me for energy breaks when I ride the bike.

While I usually refrain from writing up local products that are not available to readers of an international blog, I did this one because I thought you might enjoy being exposed to the concept of granola sans grains. Also, resourceful readers might even try to make it on their own with a little experimentation. You have all the ingredients.

If anyone does try to make their own, I hope you will share your experience with the blog.

For Neil Diamond fans, here is the best audio version I could find on You Tube:

Tony

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Filed under breakfast, eating, energy, energy bars, Exercise, fresh fruit, granola, health, healthy fats, healthy living, meat, nutrition, nuts, Paleo Diet, protein, salt, saturated fat, snack foods, Snacking, Weight

Coconut Oil Featured in Wall Street Journal

As regular readers know, I am a big fan of coconut oil. Just look at the top of this page to see Why You Should Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I turned to the Personal Journal section of the Wall Street Journal and saw this headline: Unlikely Source of Healthy Fat: Coconuts, by Laura Johannes.
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The piece leads off with, “Coconut oil, which is high in saturated fats, is increasingly being heralded as a healthy oil. Its advocates, including companies that sell it, say it’s nutritious, good for the heart and a fast source of energy. The oil may possibly protect against Alzheimer’s disease, they say.”

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Filed under aerobics, Alzheimer's, April Fool's Day, cholesterol, coconut oil, Exercise, HDL Cholesterol, healthy fats, healthy living

How Healthy is Popcorn?

Everybody likes to snack at some time or another. So, how healthy is that perennial snack – popcorn?

As a kid growing up in the 1950’s I fell in love with the taste of popcorn at the movies and that’s the way I eat it now – nearly every night.6a00d83451be3669e2011279443eee28a4-800wi

The Popcorn Board offers the following nutritional information:

“It’s hard to believe a snack food that tastes so good can actually be good for you! With suggestions from organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D.), there’s no doubt popcorn is a perfectly sensible snack to fit into any meal/fitness plan.

• Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup; oil-popped popcorn has only 55 calories per cup.
• When lightly buttered, popcorn contains about 133 calories per cup.
• Popcorn is a whole grain, making it a good-for-you food.
• Popcorn provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates
• Popcorn contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet.
• Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories.
• Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives, and is sugar-free.
• Popcorn is ideal for between meal snacking since it satisfies and doesn’t spoil the appetite.
• 3 cups of popcorn equal one serving from the grain group.
• Popcorn is ideal for between meal snacking since it satisfies and doesn’t spoil an appetite.”

ScienceDaily reported Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a pioneer in analyzing healthful components in chocolate, nuts and other common foods, explained that the healthful antioxidant substances called polyphenols are more concentrated in popcorn, which averages only about 4 percent water, while polyphenols are diluted in the 90 percent water that makes up many fruits and vegetables.

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