Category Archives: saturated fat

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

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

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

Why Should I Try Coconut Oil?

That’s what I was asking myself the last time I was in Costco and passed one of their giant displays of 3+ pound jars of it. I could see the white substance inside that was solid at room temperature. Oil?

Coconut oil is a saturated fat and we need to avoid saturated fats, right? I can’t count the times I have written in negative terms about the saturated fat content of various food items.

Nonetheless, I found myself intrigued by the coconut oil. So, I bought some.

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When I got home, I learned some very positive things about coconut oil on the web.

Coconutoil.com says, “Coconut oil is an edible oil that has been consumed in tropical places for thousands of years. Studies done on native diets high in coconut oil consumption show that these populations are generally in good health, and don’t suffer as much from many of the modern diseases of western nations where coconut oil is seldom consumed anymore.”

That’s certainly a positive start.

Livestrong.com had especially good things to say about coconut oil for endurance athletes, like bike riders, “Raw coconut oil is different from most other oils because it has a high content of medium chain triglycerides – MCTs – which are also sometimes called medium chain fatty acids … according to Paul Insel, R. Elaine Turner and Don Ross, authors of ‘Discovering Nutrition.’ This means your body uses them for fuel immediately, unlike other types of fat. As a result products with coconut oil are popular with endurance athletes who need high-energy food.”

But what about those saturated fats? Continue reading

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Filed under cholesterol, coconut oil, HDL Cholesterol, saturated fat

Popcorn: The Snack with Even Higher Antioxidants Levels than Fruits and Vegetables

I use coconut oil on my popcorn for that delicious movie house flavor. WHAT? Coconut oil is a saturated fat! Isn’t that a no-no?? The answer is NO. Coconut oil consists mainly of the saturated fat Lauric acid. Lauric acid is the main component of breast milk. Besides being incredibly nutritious, it also raises the HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Check out Why Should I Try Coconut Oil?

Cooking with Kathy Man

Popcorn’s reputation as a snack food that’s actually good for health popped up a few notches today as scientists reported that it contains more of the healthful antioxidant substances called “polyphenols” than fruits and vegetables. They spoke at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, being held here this week.

Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a pioneer in analyzing healthful components in chocolate, nuts and other common foods, explained that the 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.

In another surprising finding, the researchers discovered that the hulls of the popcorn — the part that everyone hates for its tendency to get caught in the teeth — actually has the highest concentration of polyphenols and fiber.

“Those hulls deserve more…

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Filed under coconut oil, fat, lauric acid, saturated fat, Weight

How Many Calories in the New McDonald’s Chicken McWraps?

The new McDonald’s  Premium McWraps look like some low-cal winners at first glance. Chicken instead of beef – check. Wraps instead of buns – check. So far; so good.

The calorie counts aren’t horrible, either. The Chicken and Bacon (Crispy) tops them out with 600 calories while the Chicken and Sweet Chili (Grilled) covers the low end with 360 calories. Serving sizes range down from 11 ounces to nine ounces. Pretty big. Always keep in mind, however, that these nutritional breakdowns cover the McWraps alone. Do you want fries or a drink with that? Get ready to possibly double those calories.

Serving sizes range from 9.3 ounces to 11 ounces. That's a fistfull.

Serving sizes range from 9.3 ounces to 11 ounces. That’s a fist full.

Each of the McWraps comes in two choices, grilled chicken or fried chicken. They call fried chicken crispy chicken. A rose by any other name would still be a McRose. They cost $3.99 each.

The Nutritional Breakdown follows:

Chicken & Bacon (crispy)
Calories 600
Total fat 30 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
Cholesterol 70 mg
Sodium 1420 mg
Carbohydrates 54 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Sugar 7 grams
Protein 33 grams

Chicken & Bacon (grilled)
Calories 440
Total fat 16 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
Cholesterol 90 mg
Sodium 1250 mg
Carbohydrates 40 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Sugar 5 grams
Protein 30 grams Continue reading

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Filed under McDonald's, McDonald's Chicken McWraps, portion control, portion size, protein, salt, saturated fat, sodium, Uncategorized, Weight

What Are the Best and Worst Sandwiches to Order from Panera Bread?

You can’t go wrong eating out if you stick with chicken and turkey, right? Just beware of the big old burger.

Not so fast, says WebMD.

Panera's Signature Chicken on Artisan French Bread

Panera’s Signature Chicken on Artisan French Bread

Avoid like the plague Panera’s Signature Chicken on Artisan French Bread. It “contains 830 calories, 37 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, and 2,180 mg of sodium.  That’s the daily Sodium limit for healthy adults. The special sauce, bacon, and cheddar help turn chicken, a lean type of protein, into a calorie bomb. Unfortunately,  many of the hot panini, signature, and café sandwiches hit the 700-900 calorie range,” WebMD says.

 Panera's Smoked Turkey on Whole Grain Bread

Panera’s Smoked Turkey on Whole Grain Bread

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Filed under arterial plaque, burgers, calories, chicken, fast food, obesity, Panera Bread, Panera Chicken Sandwich, Panera Smoked Turkey, portion control, portion size, salt, saturated fat, sodium, turkey, Weight