IS SOY BAD FOR YOU?

IS SOY BAD FOR YOU?

Is Soy Bad For Your Hormones? 6 Reasons Not to Eat Soy

 

Soy can either be good for you or be bad for you.

But…. 90% of the soy on the market is bad for you.

However, most Americans have been misled to believe that eating soy improves health.

In 1999, the FDA approved a message from the food industry that:

“Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Since then, soybean consumption doubled. Approximately 31% of Americans consume soy foods or beverages at least once a week. Soy is now a billion-dollar industry and the United States is currently the largest soybean producer in the world, making up more than 35% of worldwide production in 2012.

The reason why people believed in the health benefits of eating soy and why it became so popular was due to pressure by the soybean industry and the discovery that people living in Okinawa, Japan had very long life spans and ate a lot of soy. However, the type of soy that they consumed was a lot different than the soy used in most foods today.

A little history lesson…..

Back in ancient China in the 1100’s BC, soybeans were designated as one of five sacred grains, along with barley, millet, rice, and wheat. Before then, soybeans were not eaten by humans, but were only used to help fertilize the land so that other crops could thrive. However, during the time of the Chou Dynasty, fermentation techniques were discovered. The Chinese learned that soybeans could be fermented, and thus the first soy foods (miso, natto, tempeh, and shoygu) were introduced into the human diet.

Unfortunately, traditional soy foods are rarely eaten by most Americans. Instead, unfermented soybeans that have been genetically modified are found in almost all soy products in the U.S.

The growth of genetically-modified soybean crops in the U.S. has increased dramatically since the early 1990’s when soybeans were promoted as a “health food.”

Because soybeans have been genetically modified to withstand the physically damaging effects of herbicides (“Roundup”), pesticides, and other toxins during the production process, there is an overabundance of soy (140 billion pounds per year) in the U.S.

So… What do we do with it all?

We sell it. The soy industry profits at the expense of the health of Americans.

 Most of the soy grown in the U.S. is sent to be used as animal feed and hydrogenated fats such as margarine. The rest is sent off to be added to or create processed foods.

Soy has also been pushed to replace traditional dairy ingredients and are marketed as high-end, “healthy” products such as soy baby formula, soy yogurt, soy ice cream, and soy milk. In every “health” food section there is also an area where you can find soy burgers and soy chicken nuggets. Soy products are heavily marketed to vegetarians as a high source of protein. In fact, vegetarianism is one of the biggest reasons why soy is in such high demand.

Enough history.. Let’s get down to the reasons why you should stop eating soy, or at least cut down on it.

6 main reasons why soy is bad for you are because:

 

1. They contain phytoestrogens that create hormonal imbalances.

 

Women have two main hormones that are responsible for maintaining their reproductive health: estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are mainly secreted by the ovaries and are dependent upon each other to balance each other out. They work together to promote the healthy development of the female sex characteristics during puberty and to ensure fertility.

The soy used today contains a lot of phytoestrogens, which are plant-derived compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. As most of us know, estrogen is primarily a “female” hormone. One might think that consuming large amounts of soy to try to raise estrogen levels during menopause is a good thing. However…

A study at the Mayo Clinic found no benefits from soy in treating hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness in a group of menopausal women.

In addition, when women consume large amounts of soy foods, the phytoestrogens may block and replace naturally-produced estrogen, which may cause a hormonal imbalance in the body. This may lead to infertility, loss of libido, and researchers have also found a link to breast cancer.

Women with a history of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer have been warned not to eat soy because it could inhibit the recurrence of breast cancer because of its estrogen-like properties.

Although recent research suggests that soy consumption is not associated with recurrence of breast cancer, its sample only included estrogen receptor negative breast cancer survivors.

Another study by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center found that eating soy may prevent cancer, but if you’ve already been diagnosed with it, soy can fuel its growth. In other words, soy consumption may be protective only if started before cancer develops. Otherwise, it makes cancer worse.

With that being said, it’s probably best to avoid or limit soy consumption altogether.

 

2. They are GMOs can damage your digestive system.

 

In addition to possible hormonal imbalances caused by soy, it is also important to note that over 90% of soy today are genetically modified organisms (GMOs). If you’re wondering why soy was genetically modified and why it’s so bad, you will be shocked at the answer:

Soy grown in the United States was genetically modified to resist toxic herbicides (i.e. “RoundUp”), which means that soybean fields are sprayed with toxic herbicides and pesticides, but have been genetically engineered to not die in the process.

During the genetic modification process, genes from bacteria are injected into the soybean. These genes produce a protein that humans have never been exposed to as a source of food, which increases allergic reactions.

Have you ever noticed that a lot of food products that you buy are labeled with “may contain soy?” That’s because soy is one of the eight major allergenic foods. So many people are allergic to it, because of the protein from the bacteria gene used in the genetic modification process that humans weren’t previously exposed to.

Not to mention, research has proven that the gene from genetically modified soy transfers into our own gut bacteria in our and continues to function. That means that even if we haven’t eaten soy in years, we could still have an allergenic protein being produced in our gut.

 

3. They contain high levels of toxins that may cause gastric distress (upset stomach).

 

Lectins, which are a type of protein found in soybeans, are not digested in the human body. Because we aren’t able to digest them, we often produce antibodies to them, which stimulates an immune system response. In fact, the response can be so severe that poisoning can occur.

Have you ever wondered why you don’t see sprouted red kidney beans on store shelves? That’s because they contain a type of lectin called phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause poisoning with as little as four raw beans.

And, have you ever heard the phrase: “Beans! Beans! They’re good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you f@rt”?

It is the lectins in beans that can cause flatulence, GI distress, and “leaky gut.”

When food passes through our digestive system, very minor damage to the gut lining occurs. Our gut lining is responsible for keeping the bad stuff contained while letting the good stuff pass through. So, a healthy gut lining is important. Normally, our cells quickly repair the damage done during food passage. However, lectins slow this process down and our gut lining is compromised, which becomes what is known as “leaky gut.” When tiny food molecules are able to pass through the gut lining when they should have been kept out, our body sees them as foreign invaders and sends off an alarm to remove the “enemy,” which causes inflammation. Lectins also signal our body to empty our gut contents, which leads to cramping, diarrhea and sometimes vomiting.

Leaky gut may be associated with:

  • Inflammation
  • Joint pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Cramps
  • Food sensitivities
  • Diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Hormonal imbalances such as PMS
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Skin issues
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, and celiac disease
  • Mood disturbances such as depression or anxiety

 

4. They contain hemagglutinin, which affects blood clotting.

 

Hemagglutinin is a substance that causes red blood cells to clump together, increasing blood clotting. This can be dangerous for people on Coumadin (warfarin) therapy, which is an anticoagulant medication used to prevent or treat blood clots. Consuming soy can reduce its effectiveness by inhibiting the action of vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting. Although more research is needed to confirm the effects of soy on warfarin therapy, it’s probably best to stick to only fermented soy foods, since the fermentation process deactivates hemagglutinin.

 

5. They are said to contain “anti-nutrients.”

 

Soy foods are said to contain “anti-nutrients” such as phytates, oxalates, soyatoxins, saponins, protease inhibitors, and other compounds that may hinder absorption of iron, zinc, manganese, and calcium.

Excessive amounts of soy (more than 35 grams a day) may lead to gastric distress because they contain “anti-nutrients” that block the action of trypsin, which is an enzyme produced by the pancreas to aid in protein digestion. Since food proteins must be broken down into amino acids that your body can use for tissue growth, maintenance, and repair, not having enough active trypsin can hinder digestion and even damage the pancreas.

However, there is no research that has proven that consuming soy foods leads to mineral deficiencies, and as long as you are eating a balanced diet and not relying on soy as your primary food staple, you should be able to get plenty of minerals from the other foods that you eat. Plus, phytates are considered to be an anti-oxidant and may help fight some cancers. So, the “anti-nutrient” content in soy shouldn’t be the main reason for you to cut it out of your life completely.

Fermenting soy reduces the mineral-blocking effects of phytates and other “anti-nutrients,” so only choose non-GMO soy foods that have been fermented.

 

6. They contain goitrogens that may cause thyroid dysfunction.

 

The thyroid is one of the largest glands in the endocrine system and It produces hormones such as triiodothryonine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and calcitronin. It is also responsible for controlling how your body responds to other hormones and controls how fast your body uses energy. This is why those with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) tend to gain weight or have a difficult time losing it.

Soy contains goitrogens that can block the production of these hormones, leading to thyroid dysfunction or it can make existing thyroid dysfunction even worse.

Soy can have an estrogen-like effect, and many people with thyroid issues find that they are prone to “estrogen dominance” (a hormonal imbalance).

In fact, about two thousand years ago, monks were regularly fed tofu to aid in their sexual abstinence. More estrogen means less testosterone. Less testosterone means less sex drive.

 

Some soy products to avoid/cut down on are:

  • Soybeans/Edamame
  • Soy milk
  • Soy protein
  • Unfermented tofu
  • Soy nuts
  • Soy chips
  • Soy nut butter
  • Soy burgers
  • Soybean oil

Of course, most things are okay in moderation. However, if you’re eating more than 35 grams of soy every day, this could negatively affect your health.

 

SOME soy is GOOD

Now, there are a few types of soy that can be good for you, which is the type of soy that the people of Okinawa, Japan were and still are eating. Good soy is organic, fermented soy.

Organic means it was not genetically modified and was not grown in soil that was treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Fermented means that it went through a process that increased its amount of probiotics (good bacteria), lowered its amount of “anti-nutrient” substances that behave like toxins in the body, and lowered its amount of phytates that prevent the absorption of nutrients in the body. Fermented soy foods are easier to digest and also contain high amounts of vitamin K2, which is important for bone, cardiovascular, and brain health.

 

The top 3 fermented soy foods are:

  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Tempeh
Miso is a salty, fermented soybean paste that is typically used to season soups and sauces.
Natto are sticky, gooey fermented soybeans that are typically served over rice.
Tempeh is a firm fermented soybean cake with an earthy flavor.

Conclusion

 

There are plenty of reasons not to eat soy. Yes, most soy is genetically modified, non-organic, and contains “anti-nutrients,” phytoestrogens, hemagluttinins, goitrogens, toxins, and plenty of other long words that most people can’t spell or pronounce. However, these substances in your everyday meals shouldn’t be enough to cause any problems as long as you are eating them in small amounts. Most of us consume enough minerals from other foods that more than make up for the phytates found in soy. Most of us do not eat enough soy foods to cause hormonal imbalances in our bodies. There’s a big difference between drinking soy milk three times a day and eating a handful of edamame once a week. If you’re at a friend’s house for dinner and they serve a salad with a few soybeans on top, there should be no reason to panic. But ideally, we should only eat organic, non-GMO, fermented soybeans just as the long-living Japanese do/did.

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THE BEST DIET FOR MENOPAUSE

THE BEST DIET FOR MENOPAUSE

If you’re a woman suffering from menopause symptoms and want to find out what the best diet for menopause is, then you should read this.

best diet for menopause

MENOPAUSE IS NOT A DISEASE

 

menopause doctor

Natural treatments for menopause are a hot topic. However, most women aren’t sure if they are very effective. They also don’t know what approach to take.

Menopause has been promoted as a disease and not a natural occurrence that every woman experiences.

Pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars by selling medications to women who are usually told by their doctors that they need to take medications during menopause.

Women fear their changing hormones, and that fear leads to money spent.
Lots of money. 

Most women don’t know that the most natural and most affordable approach to treating menopause symptoms is simply through diet.

Yes, there really is a best diet for menopause!

Premenopause and menopause are not diseases.

They are natural transitions that do not need medical treatment. When women experience undesirable symptoms, it is a sign that something is not quite right, and is usually caused by a less-than-optimum environment that alters normal metabolic processes. Nutrition is often part of it.

Nutritious alternatives to treating menopause symptoms work with your body, not against it like medications do, which usually cause more damage than good.

When we provide an optimum environment, our bodies are incredibly resilient and capable of restoring balance and healing themselves.

 

THE BEST DIET FOR MENOPAUSE IS NATURAL


In this article, I am going to show you exactly how the best diet for menopause actually works:

  • Create the healthiest possible environment to help your body restore balance and heal itself.
  • Select foods that will optimize your health and help balance your hormones naturally, which will reduce menopause symptoms.
  • Prevent or reduce menopausal weight gain with better nutrition.
  • Select herbal remedies, vitamins, and minerals to help balance hormones and treat menopause symptoms

 

If you’ve spent most of your life eating chips, French fries, candy, ice cream, and other refined and processed foods, you might think that it is too late.

It is NEVER too late.

Changing habits isn’t easy, but you don’t need to change everything all at once. Every small step you take can make a big difference in your health and the way that you feel. Plus, changing your lifestyle slowly over time will make it easier to keep it that way and not revert to old ways.

 

CUT DOWN CALORIES, NOT FAT

There is a very close relationship between fat and estrogen. Our fat cells are basically estrogen factories.

A vicious cycle exists when increased body fat raises estrogen levels, which increases our tendency to store more body fat. Another cycle exists where falling estrogen levels from menopause cause fat to redistribute to other parts of the body.

As fat was once stored in the hips, thighs, and buttocks as a reserve for breastfeeding, it’s no longer needed for that purpose as we hit menopause. Fat moves to the abdominal area instead and becomes visceral (deep belly) fat, which can cause inflammation in the body and can increase risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Read my article on how to get rid of menopause belly fat.

In addition, a study of menopausal women found that hot flashes occurred 30% more frequently in women who gained weight.

menopause weight gainEating fat will not necessarily make you fat. Excess calories will, however. As we age, our bodies “slow down” and we don’t need as many calories to keep it going. That means we don’t need to take in as many calories than we did in our 20’s, but our appetite doesn’t know that yet.

On top of that, we develop carb cravings as our hormones change, which usually leads to eating too many carbohydrates that have too many calories.

Research has found that 90% of women gain extra weight between ages 35 to 55. Most women gain 10 to 15 pounds starting in perimenopause (the time “around” menopause), and then a pound a year after that.

We really need to know what the best diet for menopause is.

 

The average calorie needs for women during lifespan:

Sedentary

19 to 25- 2,000 calories

26 to 50- 1,800 calories

Age 50 and up- 1,600 calories

Moderately Active

19 to 25- 2,200 calories

26 to 50- 2,000 calories

Age 50 and up- 1,800 calories

Very Active

19 to 30- 3,000 calories

31 to 60- 2,200 calories

Age 61 and up- 2,000 calories

Since it takes 3,500 extra calories to gain one pound of fat, just adding a muffin to your routine each morning can cause you to gain a pound a week! Unless you exercised it off, but that means you would have to run around 6 miles a day to burn off those morning muffins. Not the best diet for menopause.

Worried that your health will fail if you eat fat? Stop worrying. For the past few decades, there has been an outpour in misleading information that eating fat will make you fat, that you should follow a low-fat diet, that saturated fat is bad for you, etc.

fat freeIn fact, in 1977 the United States government made its very first dietary recommendation to “eat less fat and cholesterol, and more carbohydrates.” The obesity rate in America thus skyrocketed and the rate of diabetes went up along with it. Not to mention, it may have affected our hormones in a bad way, leading to increased infertility, early menopause, and a wide array of other problems.

Now we know through research that avoiding fat is nonsense. New studies also found that eating healthy fats don’t adversely affect your blood cholesterol and don’t cause heart attacks.

 

There are plenty of reasons for why you should NOT buy low-fat foods and they are:

  • Eating fat makes you feel satisfied. When you eat fat, your brain receives signals that you have the needed energy stores coming in and your appetite is then suppressed. Your stomach starts to empty more slowly, which means that you end up feeling full longer. Low-fat foods don’t have the same effect. You end up eating more calories because your body doesn’t sense that enough energy is coming in.
  • Displacing carbs with fat helps with weight loss because of the effect on insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is released by your pancreas in proportion to the amount of carbs you eat. The more carbs you eat, the more insulin is released. But the more insulin released, the more weight gain. Keeping insulin levels low helps you lose weight. Fat in the diet helps keep insulin levels low and allows your body to use fat as energy.
  • When you get enough fat in your diet, your body becomes conditioned to burn it more efficiently. This has to do with a fat-burning hormone called adiponectin, which is produced when you eat fat. Adiponectin increases the rate that fats are broken down, curbs appetite, increases muscle efficiency, and increases insulin sensitivity. When you eat low-fat foods, only small amounts of adiponectin are produced. You want to keep those numbers high.

 

Research has found that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet can significantly reduce body weight. So, the next time you are at the grocery store, avoid the “reduced fat” foods and choose whole-fat dairy products and foods that are in their natural state.

Wondering what “healthy fats” you should be eating? I will tell you how to choose healthy fats below.

Best Diet for Menopause 101: Eat Healthy Fats

Fat is essential in our diet and we need it to build and maintain many parts of our body including our hormones. Prostaglandins, hormones produced by almost all cells, play a huge role in inflammatory and immune processes in our body. Some prostaglandins promote inflammation (pro-inflammatory) and others inhibit it (anti-inflammatory). Omega-6 fatty acids increase production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and omega-3 fatty acids increase production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Since inflammation is sometimes necessary in our body, we need a healthy balance between the two.

Studies show that a diet very high in omega-6 fatty acids is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer because omega-6 fatty acids increase pro-inflammatory prostaglandin levels and damage DNA, which promotes cell growth. On the other end, omega-3 fatty acids inhibit cell growth, keeping things under control.

Ideally, we want to have more omega-3 and less of omega-6 fatty acids.
A diet rich in natural, healthy fats can help create that balance.

Here is a chart that shows the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid content of some fats and oils:

menopause infographic

The categories of saturated, mono- or polyunsaturated fats are less important than the difference between natural fats and fats that have been processed or “synthetic.” Learn to avoid trans-fats, which are sometimes listed on food labels, mostly from hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.

Trans-fats have been linked to cancer, decreased immune function, reproductive problems, auto-immune diseases, heart disease, bone loss, diabetes, and obesity.

Think about what types of fats humans have been eating for most of human existence and choose those. If it was created by man or is highly processed, it probably isn’t good for you.

Here’s a breakdown of some common fats and oils that are found in the foods we eat, to guide you in making the right choice:


Eat More Of…

  • Avocado oil: Rich in healthy essential fatty acids.
  • Butter: Eaten in moderation can be good for your health. Grass-fed butter is best.
  • Coconut oil: Make sure it says “virgin” or “unrefined” on the label. This means it is the least processed.
  • Fatty Fish: Fish such as salmon, cod, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fats.
  • Olive oil: Make sure it says “extra-virgin” on the label. This means it is the least processed and is high-quality. If it says “pure” or “light,” that means it is a lower-grade olive oil.

 

Eat Less Of… 

  • Canola oil: Highly processed, but better to use than corn or soybean oil.
  • Corn oil: Highly processed and a majority of corn are genetically engineered.
  • Soybean oil: Highly processed and usually hydrogenated.
  • Vegetable oil: Highly processed.
  • Margarine: High in trans-fat.
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil: Contain trans-fats and are often found in margarine, potato chips, and baked goods. These fats can block “good” fats and create hormone imbalance.

 

 

 

Eat Phytochemicalst Phytochemicals

 

Phytochemicals are compounds produced by plants that have protective or preventive properties, and are parts of the best diet for menopause. When included in your diet, they can act as a natural defense against cancer and research has also found that phytochemicals can prevent menopausal bone loss.

There are many types of phytochemicals  and many different ways to categorize the thousands of phytochemicals we know today. Nutritionists usually categorize them by their possible health effects in the human body. For example, phytochemicals that act as

soy to treat menopausal symptomsantioxidants are simply called “antioxidants” and some phytochemicals that affect metabolism of the female sex hormone estrogen in the human body and are called “phytoestrogens.”

Phytoestrogens are a hot topic in menopause because their chemical structures are very similar to estrogen found in the body and because of this, can bind to and activate estrogen receptors. A common food known to have estrogenic effects is soy. However, don’t think of soy as a cure for menopause.

Soy is NOT the cure for menopause.

Here are the controversies of using soy to treat menopausal symptoms:

  • The effects that soy have on estrogen levels in the body are around 1000 times weaker than estrogen produced by your ovaries.
  • Research has also found that soy is about one third as effective than a woman’s own estrogen in reducing hot flashes.
  • Soy may be contraindicated if you have a personal or family history of estrogen-sensitive cancers like breast cancer.
  • Soybeans contain phytate, otherwise known as the “anti-nutrient,” which may block absorption of important minerals.

However, there are always two sides to every story. For one, phytates are often found in small amounts. You would have to eat a lot of soybeans or other foods containing phytates to create a mineral deficiency in your body. The key to good health is moderation, and that may be said so for soybeans. Tossing some into your salad or having edamame as a snack will most likely not lead to negative health consequences. Most research surrounding phytates involved very high amounts, more than what are found naturally in a meal. For that, it may be worth a try to see if you start feeling better after a month or two of adding soy to your diet.

Additional types of phytochemical include:

  • Carotenoids include beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, which protect fat cells, blood, and other bodily fluids from free radicals.
    • Good sources: apricots, mangoes, papayas, watermelon, spinach, sweet potatoes, corn, red peppers, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes, to name a few sources.
  • Flavonoids include resveratrol, hesperidin, anthocyanin, quercetin, and tangeritin, which act against inflammation and prevent platelets from sticking together. They also block the enzymes that raise blood pressure.
    • Good sources: vitamin-C-rich foods such as apples, cherries, blueberries, grapefruit, oranges, plums, strawberries, broccoli, and kale. And yes, red wine.
  • Ellagic acid decreases cholesterol levels and reduce the inflammation process in the arteries.
    • Good sources: strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwifruit, raspberries, currants, and red grapes. Strawberries especially have been found in studies to inhibit certain enzymes, reducing the inflammation process in the arteries.
  • Allium compounds protect the cardiovascular and immune systems.
    • Good sources: onions, scallions, leeks, chives, and garlic.

Best Diet for Menopause: Eat Whole Foods First

Although I am giving you plenty of information regarding phytochemicals, healthy fats, etc., the single most important piece of information regarding the best diet for menopause is to eat whole foods.

That means unprocessed, unrefined, natural, “pulled-from-the-Earth” foods.

There are many diets out there that push for reduced-fat, reduced-calorie, or fat-free foods. However, the foods found on grocery store shelves bearing those labels are full of preservatives, hidden sugars, and additives.

Eating whole foods means eating fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and meats without fillers added to them.

Basically, if it doesn’t resemble something found in nature, it isn’t a whole food.

Choosing fresh fruits and vegetables means that they will not only taste better, but they will contain more nutrients than canned fruits and vegetables. The canning process removes some vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and important enzymes. Although buying frozen foods is better than canned, they still aren’t as nutritious as fresh.

Keep in mind that fruit and vegetable juices are simply that- juice. That means that they usually do not contain any fiber, which can help stabilize your blood sugar levels.

whole grain for best menopause dietChoosing whole grains means that you will look for the whole-grain label on each product. If it doesn’t say “whole grain,” then it isn’t.

If a bread is labeled as “whole wheat,” it doesn’t mean that it is whole grain. It just means that it is made with wheat flour. However, when wheat is processed, the fibrous, mineral-rich outer coat is removed and the vitamin-rich “germ” of the grain is also removed. Without these, it is not as nutritious and it also has a bad impact on your blood sugar levels when you eat it.

Finally, choosing whole meats is simply that. A meat that does not contain any fillers or preservatives like hot dogs, lunch meats, and other processed meats do.

Nitrites and nitrates in processed meats can be some of the most harmful compounds you put into your body. They are known to damage cells and also morph into molecules that can cause cancer, particularly colon cancer. Although they most likely won’t cause problems in most people, those who use stomach acid suppressants may be at a greater risk since the decreased stomach acid allows for the growth of bacteria that produce nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic compounds produced during digestion of nitrates and nitrites.

Of course, never eating white bread, canned beans, or sausage again is not very realistic. The key is moderation. By eating mostly whole foods with a treat every now and then can still mean a balanced diet.

Real Food vs Processed Food

 

Have you ever been on a diet before where you were pushed to buy their packaged, processed low-fat but high-carbohydrate products?

Do these look familiar?

nutrisystem and sugar

sugar and slim fast

The problem with these high-carb, low-fat foods is that they don’t hold you over until the next meal, they spike your blood sugar, and they don’t have much nutritional value. You end up hungry, wanting to eat more of them, and you eventually consume more calories than you would have if you ate something high-fat, high-protein, low-carb.

Unfortunately, this type of dieting has been mainstream for too long, and does not constitute the best diet for menopause for sure. For the past few decades, there has been an outpour in misleading information that eating fat will make you fat and that you should follow a low-fat diet to lose weight.

In fact, in 1977 the United States government made its very first dietary recommendation to “eat less fat and cholesterol, and more carbohydrates.” Thus, the dawn of low-fat foods spread throughout the country like wildfire, and the obesity rate in America skyrocketed.

The recommendation was a big fat fail. Since then, research has proven that avoiding fat is non-sense. New studies also found that eating healthy fats don’t adversely affect your blood cholesterol and don’t cause heart attacks. It just so turns out that the amount of calories from fat is irrelevant and replacing fat with refined carbs and sugar is far worse.

You should strive for a balance of healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates during every meal. The keyword for carbs is “complex.” This means you should be including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains such as brown rice or in your diet to cover the carbohydrate portion, while avoiding or minimizing refined carbs such as white bread, pasta, and pastries.

 

 

Eating More Fiber is Part of the Best Diet for Menopause

Fiber is essential to any healthy diet, and to the best diet for menopause. But, it’s particularly important for women in perimenopause and menopause, since it can aid in weight loss, remove excess cholesterol from the body, and improve glucose tolerance and insulin levels. In addition, it improves digestive health by preventing and treating constipation and for “cleaning” the gut, which can help reduce the risk of developing some cancers, in particularly colon cancer.

 

fiber consumption for menopauseHigh-fiber foods are low in calories and fill the stomach, creating a sense of fullness. This leaves less room for high-calorie foods, which can help you lose weight.

Fiber is material that the body can’t fully digest, which creates bulk in the stool and helps you have a bowel movement. This helps with constipation and will help keep your colon clean. When your colon is kept clean by having regular bowel movements, this can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

 

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber expands when mixed with water and turns into a gel. Insoluble fiber

 

 

Best Diet for Menopause: Drink Plenty of Water

drinking water helps menopausal symptomsSince vaginal dryness and dry skin are a consequence of decreased estrogen during menopause, it is important to drink plenty of water. Being dehydrated can make vaginal dryness and dry skin worse.

Drinking plenty of water also helps get rid of bloating that occurs with hormonal changes during perimenopause, which is a period of time before full menopause when estrogen starts to decline and lasts around 5 years.

Drinking water with enough fiber in your diet will also help prevent constipation, which can occur in menopausal women who take certain medications, vitamin supplements, or sleep aids when dealing with difficult menopausal symptoms.

The recommended water intake is called the “8x8 rule,” which means 8-ounce glasses, 8 times a day, which equals about half a gallon a day. Remember that you can also get fluid from soups, fruit, and other foods, which can count towards that recommended daily amount.

Buy Organic and Free-Range Foods

Free-range, organic, conventional.. There are so many different labels on the eggs, meat, fruits, and vegetables you buy in the grocery store, so how do you choose?

Let me break it down for you:

Organic meat means that the animal was given no antibiotics or growth hormones and was fed organic foods, and was raised with outdoor access to land not treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Organic fruits and vegetables means that they were grown in pesticide and chemical fertilizer-free land. The soil is often richer in nutrients.

Free-range means that the animal was raised in open air or was free to roam, which also means that it was able to consume foods found naturally in their environment, such as grass and worms and insects.

Conventional meat means the animal was typically raised in a cage, often with barely any room to move, and are fed antibiotics to prevent deadly infections usually caused by poor living conditions and hormones to make them grow faster. In addition, the grains they are fed were typically derived from land treated with pesticides and chemical fertilizers and were genetically modified (e.g. corn). Conventional fruits and vegetables means that they were probably grown in soil treated with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The soil usually contains less nutrients because of over-farming.

I am sure you have heard that the pesticides left on the skins of fruits and veggies are “too small to make a difference.” Well, add up all the other pesticides you are exposed to and the toxic load may be too much, wreaking havoc on your body and leading to hormonal imbalances and cancer.

Still wondering how free-range and organic makes a difference? You can actually SEE the difference between eggs that came from a hen who was able to roam the land eating insects and worms, and eggs that came from a hen who was confined to a tiny cage and fed grains.

In addition, free-range and grass-fed animals are naturally leaner. When a cow is able to graze the land, the meat contains stable, saturated fats. On the other hand, when it is fed cheap, poor-quality grain mash, the meat becomes full of chemicals, hormones, and polyunsaturated and saturated fats. You can see the difference in this as well..

Does this make it easier to decide which is best? Just go with your gut feeling, here. Not only is buying free-range and organic better for the environment and animals, but it is also better for your health.

 

Is Dairy Right for You?

Americans are one of the few cultures who consume milk on a regular basis. In fact, most other people in the world are allergic to milk or lack the enzymes to digest it properly.

Is milk part of the best diet for menopause?

Many years ago, Eastern Mediterranean people discovered that adding a bacterial culture to milk made it digestible because it converted lactose into lactic acid. This is how yogurt came into our food supply. Cheese also has a similar effect during digestion.

Although the government pushes for dairy in its daily food allowance recommendations, you don’t actually need to consume dairy to get enough calcium and other nutrients in your diet. There are plenty of other foods that contain high amounts of calcium, such as dark green veggies (broccoli, kale, etc) and fish (salmon, sardines, etc) and even nuts such as almonds.

In addition, remember that the growth hormones and antibiotics given to cows end up in your own body when you drink their milk. This affects your own hormones and also makes you more resistant to antibiotics, which makes them less effective when you truly need them.

To make matters worse, cow’s milk contains excessive amounts of hormones (estrogen, testosterone, etc.). Obviously, cows are animals and they have hormones just like humans, right? So, it might seem to make sense to drink milk to get more estrogen to help menopause symptoms, but that’s not really the case. Consuming hormones from a different animal’s body with a different biology will not have an ideal effect on your own body. You’ll end up with mood swings, acne, insulin issues, and possibly cancer.

Take Your Vitamins and Minerals

As we age, our vitamin and mineral requirements change. Unfortunately, food is not as nutritious as it was 1,000 years ago, thanks to overfarming and chemicals and hormones our livestock are exposed to (unless you buy organic). Soil quality decreases with each new crop, and the vegetation grown from it decreases in mineral content as a result.

To combat this, we are left with 2 choices: Ignore the problem, or, take a supplement to take out the guesswork of whether or not we are getting enough vitamins and minerals through diet.

As us women approach menopause, we often experience a broad range of unfortunate signs and symptoms such as hot flashes, brittle nails, fatigue, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, and so on…

What many of us aren’t aware of is how nutrients and supplements can help combat these signs and symptoms. So, I am going to give you a cheat sheet on which vitamins and minerals can help certain menopausal symptoms:

  • Menopausal Fatigue: vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, iron, zinc
  • Vaginal Dryness: vitamins E, B, A
  • Brittle Nails: zinc, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B
  • Brittle Bones: calcium, vitamin D
  • Decreased Libido: vitamin C, vitamin B
  • Muscle Tension: vitamins B, C, D, E
  • Mood Swings: vitamins B, C, D
  • Anxiety: vitamin B, D, Omega fatty acids
  • Depression: vitamin B, D, Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc
  • Thinning Hair: iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C
  • Weight gain: Learn from my recent blog post on the best (and worst) supplements for weight loss.

 

Daily Vitamin and Mineral Guidelines:

  • Vitamin A: 5,000-10,000 IU
  • B Vitamins
    • Thiamine (B1): 10-25 mg
    • Riboflavin (B2): 10-25 mg
    • Niacin (B3): 50-100 mg
    • Pantothenic Acid (B5): 10-50 mg
    • Pyridoxine (B6): 50 mg
    • Methylcobalamine (B12): 1000-2000 mcg
    • Biotin: 100-300 mcg
    • Choline: 50-100 mg
    • Folic acid/Folate: 400-800 mcg
    • Inositol: 150-300 mg
  • Vitamin C: 1000-2000 mg
  • Vitamin D: 300-400 IU
  • Vitamin E: 400-500 IU
  • Boron: 1-5 mg
  • Calcium: 300 mg
  • Chromium Picolinate: 200-400 mcg
  • Copper: 1-5 mg
  • Magnesium: 300-400 mg
  • Manganese: 10 mg
  • Selenium: 60-100 mcg
  • Vanadyl Sulfate: 10-25 mcg
  • Zinc: 10-20 mg

 

Take Care of Your Digestion By Taking Probiotics

The community of microorganisms that live in your digestive track, better known as “gut flora,” play an important role in all aspects of your health, including weight loss.

In fact, a healthy gut is the hidden key to weight loss! Here’s why…

* Different guts metabolize food differently.

Research has found that transplanting fecal material (poop!) from a thin gut into an obese gut is associated with weight loss.

Obese people have gut flora that cause the body to absorb more calories.

This may have been an advantage thousands of years ago, but in these modern times, our guts don’t need to be as efficient when food is so readily available. And although the species of flora in our gut have been around for quite some time, the balance between species changes according to diet. This is because some bacteria will dominate while others diminish when their incoming nutrients are altered.

 

  • Insulin sensitivity is regulated by gut flora. 

When the gut is overcrowded with “bad” gut bacteria, inflammation occurs and insulin resistance develops. This means that the body can no longer process carbs the way it should, which leads to high blood sugar, sugar cravings, and weight gain.

 

  • Gut flora affect your sweet tooth

The reason for this is because when you have a lot of gut bacteria that prefer to feed on sugar, you crave sugar to feed your gut. The more sugar you eat, the more “bad” bacteria thrive in your gut.

 

Taking probiotics can help balance gut flora. You can get probiotics from fermented foods such as yogurt and pickles, or you can take a supplement.

Check out my great recipe to make water kefir, a fizzy probiotic drink.

However, you should be careful when choosing a probiotic. Not all probiotic supplements are created equal. In fact, 85% of probiotics on store shelves have been found to be ineffective, primarily due to poor storage techniques.

The best probiotics should contain at least these three most important strains:

  • acidophilus: supports nutrient absorption and helps with digestion of dairy foods.
  • Longum: helps maintain the integrity of the gut wall and is a scavenger of toxins.
  • bifidum: critical for digestion of dairy products and breaks down complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein into small components that the body can use more efficiently.

And these if available:

  • rhamnosus: known as the “travel probiotic,” can help prevent occasional traveler’s diarrhea.
  • fermentum: helps neutralize some of the byproducts of digestion and promote a healthy level of gut bacteria.

 

In addition, a probiotic supplement full of dead bacteria is a waste of money.

 

To ensure viability of the organisms inside, packaging and storage should include:

  • An expiration date. If there isn’t one labeled, it should raise an eyebrow.
  • A money-back guarantee. Companies that are honest and believe in their product will offer one.
  • Refrigeration required or packaging that ensures the elements of light, heat, and moisture have minimal impact, such as opaque bottles with desiccant pouches.

I wrote a lot more information on balancing gut flora.

 

Complement The Best Diet for Menopause with Herbs

 

herbal supplements help with menopauseIn conjunction with a balanced diet, some vitamins and minerals, and exercise, herbs can also be used to help balance hormones as women approach menopause.

Herbs are generally gentler to use than pharmaceutical drugs, but they should be used safely. Too much of anything can do harm, so use only in moderation. You should also consult with your primary care provider before starting an herbal supplement, as they may interfere with some medications you may be taking.

Angelica Archangelica
This plant seems to have hormonal activity and is used to bring on menstrual periods. It acts as a stimulant.

Dong Quai
Contrary to popular belief, Dong quai does not have any estrogenic activity, meaning it will not simulate the effects of estrogen on the body. However, it does improve liver function and metabolism, which may improve excretion of hormones, bringing the body back into balance. It also acts as a mild sedative which may improve anxiety. Chinese women use it to bring on menstrual periods. However, there is not much research to back up its claims.

Black Cohosh
Has been found to be useful for hot flashes. Do not take if you have liver problems.

DHEA
Some research has found that taking DHEA supplements can improve libido and reduce hot flashes during menopause. DHEA may also be useful for treatment of depression, weight loss, adrenal insufficiency, and bone density.

Fenugreek
This is commonly found in herbal teas. It has oxytocin-like effects that can induce uterine contractions, so women take it when their menstrual period is late. However, it should not be consumed during pregnancy since it may stimulate an abortion. Women also use it to treat painful menstrual periods. Breastfeeding women use it to increase milk production. Men use it for erectile dysfunction and infertility. It is also helpful for weight loss by increasing a sense of fullness and reducing hunger.

Flaxseeds
Flax seeds and flaxseed oil contains a good source of lignans, which tend to balance female hormones. It has been found to ease night sweats in women undergoing menopause.

Ginseng
Some research has found that taking ginseng improves quality of life during menopause. It has been found to boost mood and improve sleep. However, there is no research that shows ginseng improves physical symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.

St. John’s Wort
Well-known for its antidepressant properties, St John’s wort can especially improve mood swings during menopause when combined with black cohosh. Consult with your primary care provider before use if you are taking antidepressants.

Wild Yam
Is used by pharmaceutical companies to produce steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisones. This has made it a popular alternative to hormone therapy for menopause. However, the diosgenin compound taken from wild yam is not equal to human estrogen or progesterone, despite claims found on many topical creams.

7 TIPS TO MAKE FAT BURNING MEALS

7 TIPS TO MAKE FAT BURNING MEALS

I’d like to share with you my top 7 Tips To Make Fat Burning Meals.

Wouldn’t it be great if all your favorite comfort meals naturally promoted fat loss? I think that would be awesome.

My old favorite comfort meals were fried fish tacos, fully-loaded veggie burritos, angel hair pasta with mizithra cheese and cheese-smothered veggie burgers with fries. Yum! Unfortunately these old favorites brought on rapid fat storage.

As you know because I told you the story of my transformation, I gained a lot of weight, maybe due to my love of food! 🤔

In my frustration I tried portion control, and began to limit the amount of foods that I ate. This began a yo-yo cycle of eating less food one day, more the next, and never seeing the results I wanted.

As you know, over the past few years I’ve read countless books on nutrition and scientific studies as part of my PhD program. I have created my own formula for weight loss and my own program. I also wanted to give you a shortlist. Something quick and to the point. An article you could print and keep on  your fridge to remind you on what to focus on right now.

Oh and this method of eating is effortlessly keeping me to that size 4 🙂

This is it…

FAT-BURNING TIP #1 – FOCUS ON PROTEIN

The base of a fat burning meal is a healthy serving of quality, lean protein. Choose from organic, hormone-free chicken, pork, beef, lamb, veal, fish or eggs.

No wonder I was gaining weight! Most of my favorite meals had very little to do with protein. After giving up meat at age 12, I spent the next 18 years as a junk food addict. Most of my meals were made up of processed grains and sugar.

Why is protein so important? Protein supports and fuels your lean tissues, namely your muscles, and does not have an effect on blood sugar levels, which would promote fat storage. 

 

FAT BURNING TIP #2 – DITCH GRAINS AND REFINED SUGAR

A fat burning meal does not contain a serving of grains or starches. Yes, I realize that this goes against everything that we have been taught or experienced with dinners. Most meals are plated with a jumbo serving of noodles, pasta, potatoes, rice, has been breaded or is served with bread, tortillas, chips or buns.

As I learned the hard way, these carbs are more than we need, and end up being stored as fat. And, yes, it is possible to create fat-burning dinners that satisfy even the hungriest meat-and-potatoes members of your family.

This was the hardest part for me to get used to. Grains and sugar are filled with fat-promoting carbs, and as you saw above, my favorite meals were all carb-ed out.

There’s really no reason, other than habit, to eat grains or sugar on a regular basis. Once I removed these from my diet, and got out of the habit of eating them, I no longer craved or even found my old favorites very appealing.

 

FAT BURNING TIP #3 – BRING ON THE VEGGIES

After you remove the grains and sugars from your meal, add a bunch of fiber-filled veggies instead. One of my favorite things to do now when building a fat burning meal is to get a bowl, add a few handfuls of organic spinach and arugula, and then top it with protein and some cooked veggies. Add a light homemade dressing and you’re looking at the perfect, quick fat burning meal.

Fiber-filled veggies are important for many reasons in addition to the fiber. They are filled with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which your body needs.  They are also very low in calories compared to the amount of space that they take up in your stomach. So you’ll get full faster on fewer calories.

 

FAT BURNING TIP #4 – QUALITY INGREDIENTS

Ingredients are the building blocks to a healthy meal so pay attention to the quality of the ingredients you use. Fast food just isn’t going to cut it! Be willing to spend a little more on the foods that you eat. Quality is much more important that quantity.

When choosing meat look for organic, antibiotic and hormone-free. Avoid processed meats, like lunchmeats, as these contain potentially harmful additives and lots of salt. Also avoid highly processed soy fake meats.

Choose foods that are:

  • Fresh, organic and seasonal
  • Pronounceable ingredients
  • Whole foods

 

FAT BURNING TIP #5 – USE A HEALHY COOKING METHOD

The method in which you cook your meal determines how many calories, how much added fat, and the number of nutrients that survive.

Don’t prepare meals like this:

  • Fried and battered
  • Processed and packaged
  • Doused with cream sauce

 

Choose these cooking methods instead:

  • Grilled
  • Baked
  • Broiled
  • Steamed

 

FAT BURNING TIP #6 – COOK WITH COCONUT OIL

Or extra-virgin olive oil (if it doesn’t say “extra-virgin” on the label, then it’s not). I used to always cook with vegetable oil, never realizing how harmful it was to my fat loss efforts. Unfortunately most people use harmful, unstable and fat promoting oils when they cook.

The good news is that coconut oil is an amazing, healthy oil that not only tastes great but also helps promote fat loss. Among its many benefits, coconut oil is stable, even at high temperatures. It’s filled with lauric acid, which boosts the immune system and helps ward off infections.

Best of all, coconut oil has been shown to increase metabolism and thyroid activity, which boosts fat burning.

 

FAT BURNING TIP #7 – ENJOY DESSERT OF FRESH FRUIT

When is the last time that you bit into a fresh, organic, perfectly ripe piece of fruit? Delicious, wasn’t it? I used to overlook fruit as the perfect dessert that it is, and instead would eat artificially flavored, cane sugar sweetened, processed desserts that encourage rapid weight gain and declined health.

I’m not going to say that ice cream and chocolate don’t taste awesome, because they do. But eating desserts like that on a regular basis is one of the big reasons that I kept gaining weight back in my twenties. By making the simple switch from refined sugar desserts to desserts of organic, fresh fruit I was able to lose weight without feeling deprived.

Let’s bring fruit back to its rightful place as our favorite, most popular after-dinner sweet. Out with the refined sugar and corn syrup and in with Nature’s sweetest gift…fresh fruit.

Hope that you have enjoyed these 7 Tips To Make Fat Burning Meals. I’m walking proof that this way of eating truly delivers results without deprivation or boring, bland meals.

I love food WAY too much to give up flavorful, delicious dinners, snacks and desserts.

My friend Diana Keuillian also is passionate about food. In fact, she’s so passionate about creating fat burning foods that, for the first time ever, she’s put all of her best recipes and eating secrets together into a full Family Friendly Fat Burning Meals program.

This system has over 100 of her family’s favorite fat burning recipes – which I use on a regular basis. It’s tasty stuff like Chicken Enchiladas, Baked Chicken Nuggets, Make-Your-Own Tacos, Healthy Brownies, Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies and much, much more.

Here’s a page where you can learn more about her Family Friendly Fat Burning Meals Program:

=> Click here to discover her Family Friendly Fat Burning Meals cookbook <=

 

I’m excited to hear your weight loss success story. Good luck, and enjoy all of those tasty recipes 🙂

BONUS VIDEO: HOW TO MAKE A HEALTHY LUNCH

My husband chef Gui Alinat and I were starving and about to make a quick lunch. So we grabbed our camera and recorded it for you.

HOW TO MAKE DINNER FAST – And Healthy

HOW TO MAKE DINNER FAST – And Healthy

how to make dinner fast

Are You Wondering How To Make Dinner Fast?

Knowing how to make dinner fast is easier than you think. Would you like…Maybe a 5-minute solution to “what’s for dinner?..  Some chef secret or a trick that could help you put dinner on the table faster than ordering take out or fast food?..
HERE. IT. IS. It’s called Ultra-Fast Sheet Pan Dinners.
This is EXACTLY what we do when we need to make dinner fast, and put dinner on the table, like, RIGHT NOW…
This chef secret is to pair tasty ingredients that just happen to have the same cooking time, gather them all on a sheet pan, and roast them for 20 to 30 minutes? Dinner done. 5 minute prep, and no clean up (except for one pan). And this is amazing, fat-burning food that everybody in the family loves.
Basically, you need to pair one protein, with 2 veggies, and a combination of aromatics of your choice.
Let me show you a quick video to show you how to make dinner fast.

Now that you watched the “dinner done” video, I thought I would create an infographics to show you how to make dinner quickly and efficiently, using your own creativity (yes, just like a chef) and without following useless recipes.

This is EXACTLY how you create your own:

Basically, to make dinner happen fast using this technique, you toss everything together in a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, herb & spice of your choice. And lay everything out on a sheet pan.
A few tips to help you succeed with no efforts:
#1 The protein portion should be about 6 to 8 oz each.
#2 The vegetables should be cut in large pieces (see photos)
#3 Use a parchment paper between the sheet pan and the food. It helps with clean up.
#4 All the ingredients I listed above all cook in pretty much the same time. A little adjustment is necessary for items like salmon, so it doesn’t dry out too much. Just take 10 minutes off.
#5 Aromatics are added as you see fit. You can mix and match. For instance, minced garlic and chopped basil go very well together.
#6 You can set it up in the morning then pop in the oven when you get home.
#7 Don’t be afraid to create your own Ultra-Fast Sheet Pan. It’s fun and delicious.

I’m excited about this and you should be too. Let me know how you like the Ultra-Fast Sheet Pan dinners in this blog post. Take pictures of what you create and send them over. I can’t wait to see what you do with this.

You see, the fun part about “how to make dinner fast” is that you create your own, and you don’t follow recipes. The fun is in the creation of your own meal.

Having said that, we recommend a bunch of very nice, super healthy, ultrafast cookbooks to help you make dinner quickly. We even wrote a cookbook we call Ultra-Fast, Dirt-Cheap Cookbook, because it’s 25 of our best recipes that are made very quickly (some in less than 5 minutes), and also they will make you save a lot of money on groceries. And of course, these are recipes that are delicious, as well as healthy and fat-burning, so that you can take out the guesswork and lose a ton of weight, or maintain your ideal weight.

=> Check out the Ultra-Fast, Dirt-Cheap Paleo Cookbook <=

HOW TO STOP EATING SUGAR – 31 WAYS

HOW TO STOP EATING SUGAR – 31 WAYS

Are You Ready to Stop Eating Sugar?

As a nurse practitioner specializing in weight management, I tell my patients all the time that they need to eat less sugar, and even stop eating sugr. These are the most common responses:

“I don’t think I eat much sugar.” (while eating yogurt with more sugar than 2 donuts)

“How can I sweeten my coffee?”

“How can I get over my sweet tooth?”

Telling someone to stop eating sugar is like trying to get an addict off of crack. No, seriously. I’ve been there! It’s not easy and it actually takes time. But, it’s so important for your health and if you’re wanting to lose weight, sugar is the first thing that has to go. Too much sugar in your diet has been linked to heart disease and a variety of other health problems, which can be avoided by cutting back.

Sugar is a HUGE problem in the United States. It has become such a problem that the USDA (finally!) created a dietary guideline that we keep our sugar consumption to no more than 10% of our overall calories.

That is equal to about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons of sugar a day for men. Currently, the average American eats a whopping 22 teaspoons of sugar!

naked juice no sugarSugars are hidden in almost every processed food you can find in the grocery store. No matter how health-conscious you are, you may want to take a closer look at food labels.

Salad dressing, “diet” foods, canned soup, bread…. Just because they don’t sound sweet doesn’t mean they don’t contain large amounts of added sugars. There are actually 62 names for sugar!

 

 

The GOOD news is that you CAN learn how to cut down on sugar without feeling like you are being tortured. I’ve compiled a list of simple ways that can help you stop eating sugar or eat less of it, so you can lower your chances of diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and other health problems. And, help you lose or maintain weight.

 

TIPS TO STOP EATING SUGAR INCLUDE:

1. GET EDUCATED

get educated about sugarKnow the difference between healthy and unhealthy sugars. Just because a food has sugar in it, doesn’t mean it’s bad altogether. For example, naturally-occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables won’t have a negative impact on your body like sugars in a bottle of cola will. Your liver won’t process it the same way. The fiber in fruits and vegetables slows the absorption of sugars, which helps you maintain stable blood sugar levels.

2. CUT OUT THE OBVIOUS

pop sugar
It’s pretty hard to stop eating sugar all at once. So first, cut out the obvious. That means sodas, candies, ice cream, baked goods like muffins and cookies, and other foods that are well-known to be high in sugar. Then as time goes on and you become more and more aware of hidden sugars in foods, you can make that checklist a bit bigger.

3. LEARN GROCERY STORE LAYOUTS

Has this happened to you? You go to the supermarket to grab ONE thing. About an hour later, you have a whole cart full of stuff, some of it that definitely doesn’t fit into a healthy lifestyle. You didn’t know it would happen, but the supermarket did. It’s designed to tempt you to make impulsive decisions.

At the beginning of the entrance, there are flowers or a small florist shop. This is meant to give consumers an idea of freshness, and also provides a cheap and convenient way to please your partner back at home and make them feel special.

choose vegetables over sugarAfter that, there is produce. You were just back near the flowers having a sense of “freshness,” which prompts you to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables (which I am definitely not complaining about. I hope you spend the most time there!).

In the corner beyond the entrance is the bakery. It gets your salivary glands going and makes you feel hungry. And the hungrier you are, the more stuff you will buy. AVOID this area.

Then there’s the deli in one of the front corners. Smelling the bakery scents must have made you hungry, right? How about a sandwich?

The dairy, meat, eggs, and other staples (probably what you went there for, just some milk?) are along the back wall of the supermarkets. These are the farthest out of reach from the entrance so that customers will impulsively buy other things along the way.

supermarket aisles are full of hidden sugarTo prompt you to go to the inner aisles, there are “endcap displays.” These are the ends of each aisle that are filled with things that are on sale. Everyone loves a good bargain. Buy one get one free potato chips? How can one resist! Oh! And the beer is right down that aisle. Perfect!

Then, the checkout aisles of course have the candy, chips, and bottles of soda to grab while waiting.

To avoid buying lots of unnecessary things, especially packaged foods that are loaded with sugar, stick to the outside parameters of the supermarket and try to avoid what’s in the center. Visit the produce, dairy, meat, and flowers (if someone deserves them!) and then head for the checkout line with blinders on. Less sugar brought home is less sugar that ends up in your body. That’s a good way to stop eating sugar.

 

4. DON’T SHOP HUNGRY

When you’re hungry, it’s easier to make impulsive buys and you’ll be much more likely to buy things that are sweet or processed and packaged (which means added sugars).

 

5. LEARN HOW TO READ LABELS

sugar and nutrition labelsThink you’re making a good decision for buying that vitamin water? Check the back label and you’ll find that it contains added sugars. How about the protein bar that is advertised as “only 2 grams of sugar?” Check the back label and you’ll find that although there are only 2 grams of sugar, there are also 10 grams of sugar alcohol. Like I said before, there are plenty of other names for sugar.

Also look for serving size. That bottled drink only has 4 grams of sugar? That’s because it’s for one serving, and there are 2.5 servings in that small bottle. See, things like this may trick you!

 

 

6. FIND BALANCE AND STOP EATING SUGAR

If you want to stop eating sugar, or eat less of it, you need to find balance. Obviously, never eating sugar again is not going to happen. It also doesn’t need to happen. You can be very healthy while still enjoying a sweet treat from time to time. Just make sure you are eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein, fruits, and vegetables, and pay attention to portion size for treats. Instead of having an entire chocolate bar, break off just a square to satisfy your sweet tooth. Don’t make it a meal.

 

7. THINK BEFORE YOU SIP

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of Americans get a substantial amount of calories from sweetened drinks. At the same time, we are becoming more unhealthy each year, plagued by obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more..

Drinking your calories is an easy way to get too many. And, it’s a quick way to consume too much sugar as well.

Opt for water and if needed, make your own sweet and fizzy drink by adding some lemon or lime juice into seltzer water, with a pinch of sugar. Even if you added in a couple of teaspoons (8 grams of sugar), you are going to consume wayyyy less sugar that way than what is found in a bottle of cola the same size (65 grams of sugar)

Making your own probiotic drink will not only cut down on calories, but will also revitalize your gut. Don’t let the sugar in probiotic drinks fool you because most of it is processed by the healthy bacteria inside.

 

8. CLEAN OUT YOUR PANTRY

donate sugarIn order to have a healthier body and cut back on sugar, or stop eating sugar altogether, you need to remove the temptations. If something isn’t there, you won’t eat it. Go through your pantry at home and remove candies, chips, pancake mix, cake mix, brownie mix, sugary cereals… And then give it away so you don’t feel bad for throwing it out.

9. CLEAN OUR YOUR FRIDGE

The same goes for your fridge and freezer. Toss the ice cream, sugar-laden yogurt, corn syrup-laden condiments, soda, sugar-laden fruit juice, bottled smoothie drinks, syrup, sweetened soy and almond milk…

For more tips on cleaning up your pantry and fridge, you can watch my video here.

 

10. CHOOSE UNSWEETENED

 When you shop for almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, applesauce, or canned fruit, look for “unsweetened” on the label. This will drastically lower your sugar and calorie intake, and bring you closer to stop eating sugar.

 

11. FIND SWEET ALTERNATIVES

sugar sweetenersCan’t get rid of that nagging sweet tooth? Find a sugar alternative. But STAY AWAY from artificial sweeteners. They can cause sugar addiction, according to Harvard University.

They can also cause adverse health effects and research has linked them to diabetes, kidney damage, and weight GAIN.

 

Here’s a list of artificial sweeteners to AVOID:

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Alitame
  • Cyclamate
  • Dulcin
  • Equal
  • Glucin
  • Kaltame
  • Mogrosides
  • Neotame
  • NutraSweet
  • Nutrinova
  • Phenlalanine
  • Saccharin
  • Splenda
  • Sorbitol
  • Sucralose
  • Twinsweet
  • Sweet ‘N Low
  • Xylitol

If you need a healthier option, choose Stevia.

 

12. EAT PROTEIN

 Often, we crave sugar because we are hungry. Simple carbohydrates (sugars) are the fastest source of energy, so it makes sense that is what our brain tells us to eat when it needs more energy. Eating protein will help curb cravings by keeping you feeling full longer. Aim for 25-35 grams of protein at each meal when trying to lose weight.

 

13. BEWARE OF “DIET” FOODS

Have you ever been on a diet before where you were pushed to buy their packaged, processed low-fat but high-carbohydrate products?

Do these look familiar?

sugar and slim fastnutrisystem and sugar

The problem with these high-carb, low-fat foods is that they don’t hold you over until the next meal, they spike your blood sugar, and they don’t have much nutritional value. You end up hungry, wanting to eat more of them, and you eventually consume more calories than you would have if you ate something high-fat, high-protein, low-carb. Sure, they say “100 calories per serving,” but if you look at the label, they’re loaded with “empty calories” (sugar).

 

14. USE TUNNEL VISION IN THE CHECKOUT AISLE

There’s a reason why the checkout aisles at supermarkets are loaded with candy, soda, and chewing gum. People can’t resist sugar and it’s a fast fix. The next time you are checking out at the cashier, don’t look to the sides. Just focus on paying for your groceries and getting out of there.

 

15. GET YOUR ZZZZ’S

Like I said, your body wants sugar when it needs energy because sugar is instant energy. Research has found that sleep deprivation changes brain processing and makes people want to eat junk food, and in addition, people who sleep less tend to be more overweight or obese. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and getting 8 hours of sleep each night.

sleeping

If you have a hard time falling asleep earlier than usual, create a bedtime routine. Have some chamomile tea, read a book, or whatever else you find relaxing and try to do it at the same time each night. Calcium and magnesium can also help.

 

16. RELIEVE SOME STRESS

 When you are stressed, your body produces higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Research has found that increased cortisol levels are linked to sugar cravings.

If you want to avoid sugar cravings caused by stress, take a walk and call a friend to blow off some steam, hit the gym, take a meditation class, or anything else you find to be calming.

 

17. FIND A FRIENDdiet and sugar

One of the best ways to change eating habits is to find someone who wants to change theirs, too. Sharing your food diary with a friend or loved one can keep you held accountable. Plus, you can motivate each other.

 

 

 

18. PLAN AHEAD

Planning is key when adapting to a healthier diet. It’s not always easy to find something fast but also healthy to eat when you’re in a rush. Grill a bunch of chicken and veggies on a Sunday and keep them in the fridge for lunches during the week. Watch here on how to build a healthy mason jar salad.

 

19. GO FRESH

Skip the canned foods and go for fresh. Instead of canned spaghetti sauce that contains added sugar, make your own and can it yourself. Or, skip it and top your pasta with sautéed tomatoes and some extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Opt for fresh fruit instead of canned fruit, which is usually packed with syrup.

 

dried fruits contain sugar20. WATCH OUT FOR DRIED FRUIT

 It is true that sugars found in dried fruit are mostly the same sugars naturally found in fresh fruit (fructose and dextrose). However, some dried fruits are too tart for most people to want to eat them as a snack, so sugar is often added to them when they’re dried.

 

21. MAKE IT 70% DARK

 You don’t have to give up chocolate when you want to stop eating sugar. But, you have to be more selective. Most chocolate found on store shelves is not “real” chocolate and is made from cocoa, which is a refined version of cacao (cocoa bean). Confusing? If it ends in –oa, it is refined/processed. If it ends in –ao, it is right from the cocoa bean. Milk chocolate also has more sugar than dark chocolate, so Hershey bars and KitKat are out of the picture. When you buy chocolate, read the label. If it says “70% cacao” (or a higher number), then it is dark chocolate. The higher the number, the less sugar it contains. Curb your cravings with a small piece of dark chocolate, which can satisfy your sweet tooth, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and insulin resistance.

 

22. GO GREEK

 Yogurt is often a hidden sugar bomb. In fact, some yogurts have more sugar than donuts!

Plain Greek yogurt is much higher in protein and contains less sugar than other yogurts on store shelves. Instead of buying it mixed with fruit, sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

 

23. SUBSTITUTE WITH APPLESAUCE

 Did you know that you can use unsweetened applesauce as a substitute for sugar? Not only is applesauce a great alternative for adding sweetness to your oatmeal or plain yogurt, it is also great for baking! You can use a ratio of 1:1 when substituting applesauce for sugar.

Aside from saving yourself from an onset of diabetes, a cup of unsweetened applesauce has about 100 calories and a cup of sugar has about 775 calories. That’s a big decrease in calories, which means less weight gain. Read more here.

 

24. MIND THE MILK

milk and sugarRead this: A baby cow weighs around 80 pounds at birth. That baby cow is going to need a lot of energy from food to grow from 80 pounds to over 1,000 pounds in a short period of time. It mostly gets that from its mother. It’s no wonder why milk contains a lot of naturally-occurring sugar called lactose. A cup of whole milk has 12 grams of lactose. Cow’s milk is not meant for humans. It contains higher amounts of sugar, calories, and also hormones that are meant to help baby cows develop into massive animals. Humans are not meant to grow to that size or that quickly. Just some food for thought…

P.S. Did you know that 1% milk has more sugar than whole milk? Sure, it’s only 1 more gram, but that adds up.

 

25. BE CAREFUL WITH CONDIMENTS

 Barbeque sauce, honey mustard, ketchup…. These are some culprits that many people don’t think about when trying to stop eating sugar.

Some healthy choices for adding more flavor to foods:

  • Mustard (Stone ground, Dijon, Yellow)
  • Olive Oil Mayonnaise
  • Dry or Fresh Herbs and Spices

 

26. DON’T KILL YOUR SALAD

I see it all the time at the salad bar. Someone creates a very fresh and healthy looking salad. Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green peppers adorn the plate like the Garden of Eden…. And then the dressing comes. Ranch, blue cheese, or creamy Italian dressing is poured all over the salad until you can’t see what’s underneath anymore. No more paradise. The salad has been killed. What they may not have known is that they just totally defeated the purpose of having a salad instead of a cheeseburger with fries. Laden with unhealthy oils, additives, preservatives, and SUGARS, their salad is now probably UNhealthier than the fast food meal they skipped for something “healthy.”

Do yourself a favor and make your OWN dressing. It’s actually pretty easy and fast! Here’s a very simple recipe:

 

EASY VINAIGRETTE RECIPE

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup vinegar (your choice: Balsamic, white, cider, red wine, etc.)

Salt & pepper to taste

optional: 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Add ingredients into a glass jar, cover, and shake. Refrigerate.

 

For some healthy salad ideas, watch THIS VIDEO HERE.

 

 

27. MAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE-ON-THE-GO

Leaving for work in the morning? Bring your own coffee or tea with you. Besides saving a ton of money, you will also drastically cut down on sugar by making your own instead of stopping at Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or other drive-thru cafes.

starbucks and sugar

 

28. DON’T QUIT COLD TURKEY

To make long-term lifestyle changes, one must usually take baby steps. That’s why crash diets don’t work. Trying to stop eating sugar drasticaly is hard. By slowly cutting back on foods and drinks that contain a lot of sugar, it will be much easier to continue doing that. Start small, such as bringing your own coffee on-the-go instead of picking something up at a drive-thru. Then replace your yogurts, then your salad dressings, and so on..

 

avocado fat29. DON’T FEAR THE FAT

Your body needs fat. You need fat in your diet. And don’t think that by avoiding fat will help you lose weight or stop eating sugar. It’s actually the opposite. When you eat fat, your brain is signaled that you are getting enough energy and should stop eating, which will prevent you from eating too many calories or craving sugar. Read this if you want to know exactly what to eat to lose weight (and stop craving sugar).

Choose healthy fats. That means extra-virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Butter instead of margarine.

In addition, don’t be afraid of saturated fat.

 

 

30. GET CHECKED OUT

Sometimes it takes a health scare to make changes. Get checked out by your doctor. He/she should do a fasting blood sugar test to see if you are on your way to diabetes (or if you already have it).

Diabetes is becoming increasingly common and can lead to heart disease, damaged blood vessels, foot problems and amputations, and more.. Just imagine having no foot. That should be enough to push you to stop eating too much sugar.

diabetes

 

31. PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING

 With our busy lifestyles, we often don’t pay much attention to what we put in our mouths. This leads to overeating and also making the wrong food choices, including too much sugar. By practicing mindful eating, you can learn to make better choices, quit eating too much sugar, and also enjoy your food more. Learn more about what mindful eating means.

ONE INGREDIENT BANANA ICE CREAM RECIPE

ONE INGREDIENT BANANA ICE CREAM RECIPE

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST ONE INGREDIENT BANANA ICE CREAM RECIPE

Here is the skinny. No ice cream maker? No problem. This is the simplest ice cream recipe of all times: this one ingredient banana ice cream recipe is simply the most delicious ice cream recipe.

one ingredient banana ice cream recipeBest of all, it is delicious. It’s hard to believe a one-ingredient ice cream recipe could be so good.

But that’s not it. Because there is no other ingredient in this recipe than banana, well, it contains nothing else. Nothing at all. No sugar, no dairy, no flour or gluten ingredients, no empty calories… just banana.

Finally, you don’t even need an ice cream maker. A simple food processor of blender will do. So this is great if you’re in a hurry, or if your kitchen is not a fancy kitchen, you’re a student in a dorm or what not.

Let me sum this up. This delicious, one ingredient banana ice cream recipe is:

  • Paleo friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • No sugar
  • No dairy
  • Fat free
  • High in fiber
  • Low glycemic index
  • Absolutely fat-burning
  • Takes 10 minutes to make
  • Doesn’t require an ice cream maker
  • Delicious

 

This is how to do it.

You see, banana naturally contains a lot of pectin. Pectin is the kind of fiber that helps jams and marmalade “set”. Because of that, when you blend bananas, it makes an amazing texture that feels even better than artisan-made ice creams. Why? Banana happens to give a smooth texture that is perfect for this recipe.

 

THE TRICK FOR ONE INGREDIENT BANANA ICE CREAM RECIPE:

ripe bananasfreeze the bananas Make sure your bananas are nice, ripe, and sweet. Slice them and freeze the slices solid. Then process them in a blender or food processor. At one point, that’s where the magic happens. The texture gets soft and smooth and delicious.

If you don’t own an ice cream maker, all you have to do is to freeze the ice cream again until serving time. It’s fine and it works.

If you do own an ice cream maker, then go ahead and give it a 5-10 minute churn to further increase the beautiful texture and make this recipe over the top.

 

Process the bananas

texture becomes like banana ice cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it. This is a 10 minute deal. And only one ingredient is used

Make sure you watch the video below. You won’t believe how simple, easy, and so healthy this recipe is. It is sure to please everybody in your family, and impress your friends. Don’t miss this!

One ingredient banana ice cream

Summer is coming! 👙💕 Today we're making a ONE INGREDIENT #paleo ice cream recipe that takes no time and no ice cream maker. Watch the video and look in the comment section below for the link to the recipe.

Posted by Dr. Carissa Alinat on Sunday, May 28, 2017

 

5 from 1 vote
Print
ONE INGREDIENT BANANA ICE CREAM RECIPE Yum
Prep Time
10 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Servings: 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 3 large ripe bananas
Instructions
  1. Make sure you choose sweet and soft bananas; they work much better.

    Peel the bananas and quickly slice them. Put the bananas on a sheet pan, and freeze for about 2 hours.

    Blend the frozen banana slices in a food processor. Pulse a few times to it’s well blended.

    Keep on blending until you get a very smooth consistency.

    At this point, the bananas look blended, creamy, and have the consistency of a soft-serve ice cream. You can enjoy it as is, or freeze overnight for a real ice cream.

    If you’re interested in an even better texture, use an ice-cream maker to achieve a real, perfect ice cream.

    Transfer to an airtight container and freeze overnight.

    To serve, simply take out of the freezer, and scoop in a bowl. You can add nuts like toasted walnuts, macadamia, or almonds. You can even add some chopped up dark chocolate pieces, as long as the chocolate contains over 72% of cocoa. 

BANANA ICE CREAM, DESSERTS, AND WEIGHT LOSS

What do one ingredient banana ice cream, desserts, and weight loss have in common?.. If you’re familiar with our work, you know that we love to eat, and that we promote a great “diet” over exercise. That’s because losing weight is 80% diet and only 20% exercise. So you can exercise all you want, if you are not eating well, then you won’t lose the weight.

That’s why the recipe I just handed over to you, one ingredient banana ice cream recipe, is important. It is only part of a great way of eating that we’ve been promoting for a long time now. We believe that eating great food, including eating desserts, should be part of losing weight.

Part of our weight loss program is actually focused on eating desserts. Diets don’t work. At least not on the long run. That’s why restricting yourself and avoiding dessert at all cost will not work for you, or for anyone for that matter. Instead, we promote great tasting desserts made with clean ingredients.

dessert recipe

These fat-burning dessert recipes, we compiled them into a cookbook that you might want to check out. So if you’ve been denying yourself chocolate, ice cream (including the one ingredient banana ice cream recipe above), cookies, and brownies for years with no results to show for it, then we have great news for you… Click on the image below to have access to more delicious, fat-burning dessert recipes.

dessert cookbook, including one ingredient banana ice cream recipe

=> Click here to have exclusive access to our best healthy eating dessert recipes <=

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