Looking back to my earlier years when I was growing up, I can remember the boom of the “low fat” or “no fat” craze of the food world. Salad dressings, cookies, pudding, and almost anything else you could think of had a lower or no-fat variety. Scientists back then told us that eating fat was bad. As a result, many of us took this to mean that if something doesn’t have much fat in it, we can eat a lot of it! Bring on the Snackwells cookies and white bread! Now, some scientists are starting to realize that they were wrong.
There was a great article in Time Magazine back at the end of June called Eat Butter: Ending the War on Fat that outlined how scientists were wrong to tell everyone that saturated fats were the enemy. More recent research has shown that it is actually carbs, processed foods, and refined sugars that are to blame for the obesity epidemic. Those who follow Mike Dolce or a paleo diet are likely thinking “tell me something I don’t know!” but keep in mind that the average American doesn’t spend time investigating what’s healthy for them. They’re influenced by what the television is telling them and what the labels on the packaging in grocery stores are trying to sell as a healthy option.
You may have noticed on these same grocery store shelves a lot of products proclaiming to be “trans fat free.” This means that the artificial trans fats once used to enhance the flavor of foods are slowly being eliminated. We now realize that trans fats raise the bad kind of cholestorol in our bodies while lowering the good kind of cholestorol. This reduction of trans fats only applies to the artificial trans fats used as an additive (often listed as “partially hydrogenated oils”) and not the natural trans fats found in meat and dairy items.
So what does this mean in the end? Not a whole lot to anyone who’s been eating healthy or done a little bit of research on a balanced diet in the past few years. Avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates, eat more natural foods, and eat a balanced diet. Everything is fine in moderation, so if you slip and have a bad day where you eat some cookies, don’t dive right in and eat the whole bag. Put it back in the cupboard, right the ship, and get back on course towards your healthier life.
For some guys out there, I’m sure this seems like the ultimate diet. Eat only sausages and drink only beer and still lose weight. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not. It’s just a matter of numbers.
About three years ago, Arizona resident Evo Terra changed up his diet to include just beer and sausages, inspired by Octoberfest. Over time, Evo managed to shed 14 pounds. His health wasn’t impacted that negatively, either. According to his doctor, Evo’s cholesterol actually dropped by a third in addition to the weight loss.
So how is the possible? As I alluded to earlier, it’s a matter of numbers. Let’s say that Evo consumes 1,500 calories worth of beer and sausage on a particular day. If he burns anything over 1,500 calories on that day through work or exercise, he’ll be at a calorie deficit. Evo will be burning off more calories than he actually consumes.
This is the key to his diet, as wacky as it sounds: watch your calories, and burn off more than you eat. You could replace beer and sausages with anything that you want to eat on a daily basis, like Oreos and milk or pizza and Diet Coke. So long as the calories you take in are less than the calories you burn, the weight will fall off. Of course, most people like a bit of variety in their lives, so limiting themselves to a diet of sausages and beer, for instance, isn’t that appealing.
Right off the bat, one of the health benefits of Greek yogurt is its consistency. By that, I mean it’s thickness and texture. It’s not that hard to believe that someone who’s wanting to lose weight could supplement soft serve or other creamy ice cream desserts with Greek yogurt instead, saving hundreds or thousands of calories over time.
As I mentioned yesterday, the thick texture of Greek yogurt is achieved by using a concentrated form of milk, though this can vary by brand, so remember to check the label. Those brands who do make their Greek yogurts with concentrated milk give you the ability to obtain more calcium from less amounts of dairy. So, for example, a small cup of Greek yogurt could pack the same amount of calcium as a glass or two of milk.
Greek yogurt is also packed with protein. This will of course vary by brand and type of Greek yogurt, but for the most part, Greek yogurt compared to regular yogurt will have about twice the amount of protein. Protein will provide you with energy and help you feel full longer.
But, like any product, you’ll want to flip to the nutritional information on the label and look for a few things. Make sure the Greek yogurt you’re buying is low in cholesterol. Make sure it’s low in sugar as well. Those appealing flavors could mean a lot of extra sugar compared to an unsweetened variety. Also, make sure your Greek yogurt has live and active cultures to obtain the health benefits that probiotics can provide.
I’m starting to sound like a broken record starting blog posts this way, but it was on The Joe Rogan Experience that I first heard about the health benefits of coconut oil from Joe Rogan. A while later, Onnit introduced its own organic coconut oil so I decided to research things a little further. I knew that it could be used as a substitute for MCT oil in Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee, but beyond that I wasn’t sure how I could integrate coconut oil into my diet.
Coconut oil is actually a very versatile product, and the name is somewhat misleading. When I think of a food oil, I think of a liquid like peanut, vegetable, sunflower, or corn oil. Coconut oil is a little different. At room temperature, it’s actually a solid with the appearance of lard or shortening. When heated, it turns into a liquid. This makes it easy to integrate it into your diet in many ways.
So why would you want to add coconut oil to your diet? It’s packed with MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides. The body burns these special fats very efficiently, making it a much better source of energy compared to sugar, startch, or even protein. A 2009 study found that women who added about two tablespoons of coconut oil to their diet for three months didn’t gain any weight during that time and had reduced abdominal fat.
Coconut oil can also help reduce cholesterol, build up our resistance to viruses and bacteria by boosting our immune system, and it stimulates the body’s metabolism, which can help with weight loss when combined with a balanced diet and exercise. Fortunately there are so many ways to add coconut oil to our diets that adding two-to-four tablespoons per day is easy!