“The GI measures how the carbohydrates in foods increase your blood sugar,” says Dr. Sears.
Carbs with a high GI are bad for you. Carbs with a low GI are good for you. Complex carbs with a low GI take time to break down. That’s because the glucose (sugar content) of the carb is released slowly into your system.
However, carbs with a high GI deliver an instant sugar shock to your system. This will cause your blood sugars to spike wildly.
Rising blood sugars trigger insulin release. Insulin manages blood sugar and builds body fat. Increased insulin signals your body to store calories as body fat. So, as Dr. Sears puts it, “excess insulin makes you fat.”
The more high-glycemic foods you eat, the more insulin enters into your bloodstream.
In time, your body becomes less responsive to insulin, or insulin resistant. This has a compounding effect. Your body then needs ever more insulin to balance blood sugars. Over time, this will make you fat. It can eventually lead to diabetes.
Balancing Bad Carbs
When balancing your blood sugar, it’s not just sweets you have to balance. You also have to control starches.
The key is to avoid carbs with high GI scores.
Here’s a list of five bad carbs:
• Breakfast cereals (Kellogg’s Cornflakes has a GI score of 80; Kellogg’s Raisin Bran has a GI score of 61)
• Bagels (GI score of 69)
• Breads (Pepperidge Farm white bread with wheat flour has a GI score of 71)
• White rice (GI score between 73 and 89)
• White Potatoes (Baked potato with skin has a GI score of 69; mashed potato has a GI score of 83)
Replacing your grains with whole grains effects only a small improvement. Some whole grains maintain some of the nutrients and vitamins lost in bleaching. But whole grain bread actually spikes blood sugar much the same as white bread.
Compare a porridge made of whole-grain rolled oats to the breakfast cereals above. The porridge scores 55 on the Glycemic Index. Brown rice – another whole grain recommended by the USDA Food Pyramid – is certainly better than white rice. But it scores between 66 and 87 on the Glycemic Index.
Carb-Diets Deficient in Vitamins
But the effect on your blood sugar is only one problem with carbs. Carb-rich diets are also deficient in vitamins.
Studies have shown that cultures which favor a high-carb diet lose vital vitamins. Whole grain cereals lack vitamin C and beta carotene. They also have poorly absorbable vitamin B6.
“In animal models, rickets are routinely induced by feeding [the subjects] high levels of cereal grains,” says Dr. Cordain. “Dwarfism is found more often in populations consuming unleavened whole grain breads. In Europe, where immigrant Pakistanis consume high levels of unleavened whole grain breads, rickets among their children remains a problem.”
Unleavened whole grain breads contain high phytate levels which may also cause zinc deficiency.
“Epidemiological studies of populations consuming high levels of unleavened whole grain breads show vitamin D deficiency to be widespread,” says Cordain. “The mechanism by which cereal grain consumption influences vitamin D is unclear.”
Low GI Foods
You don’t have to go without the benefits you get from carbs. You just need to select foods that have a low Glycemic Index. When you have breakfast tomorrow, don’t grab a bowl of cereal or a bagel-on-the-run. Instead, stick with the breakfasts our grand parents opted for: a high protein options including lean meat and eggs.
According to GlycemicIndex.com, “Foods containing little or no carbohydrate (such as meat, fish, eggs, avocado, wine, beer, spirits, most vegetables) cannot have a GI value. No carbs = no GI.”
Low-glycemic foods include:
• Plain yogurt
• Most berries
Protein Promotes Rapid Weight Loss (www.challenge4good.com)
Your glory days can still be ahead of you. You can reclaim the body you used to have. You can restore your health and fitness at any time. You just have to know how to re-program your biology. That doesn’t require expensive gimmicks or gym memberships. It just requires a solid understanding of the “macronutrient triangle.” Once you understand how the points fit together, you can balance your hormonal response. And once you balance your response, improved health and rapid weight loss will be yours.
But don’t think that cereal and bananas will help you lose weight. In truth, our grand parents had a better idea of healthy eating than the oatmeal-pushers and low-fat peddlers of today. You can lose weight and improve your health. And you can do it by eating the food you were meant to: the food you want to eat.
One of the best weight-loss foods is the one you’d least expect: red meat. Switching out corn flakes for a lean steak and eggs is a stepping stone to better fitness.
Flipping the “Magic” Metabolic Switch
Carbs and grains are a key factor in weight gain. But just as carbs contribute to weight gain, protein can help you to lose weight. That’s because protein powers up your metabolism like no other nutrient source. According to Dr. Sears, eating protein “throws a metabolic switch and tells your body that it’s okay to burn fat.”
That’s because your body is primarily interested in your day-to-day survival. You gain weight because your body stores calories. It does this to protect against possible starvation at any future date. So to prevent this possibility, it stores calories as fat. That’s why a good portion of the carbs you eat gets stored as fat.
Protein on the other hand is your body’s premium source of energy. When you consume protein, you’re giving your body what it really needs: like Super Unleaded fuel. Your body doesn’t store protein as fat – it uses it all for energy.
When you consume protein, you’re giving your body what it needs for survival. If you start packing away protein in excess amounts, your body no longer worries about survival. It’s getting what it needs. And then it starts burning its fat stores. Suddenly the pounds are melting off on their own.
Protein: Your #1 Premium for Health
Protein helps you to lose weight. More important than that; it restores and builds better health.
That’s because protein is loaded with 20 amino acids. Eight of those are essential to your good health: your body can’t produce them and so you must consume them.
Protein is also your cellular building block: it makes up your hair and nails; it produces essential enzymes and hormones; it builds blood, bones, muscles… it even regenerates skin.
A recent German study proved the importance of protein. The results were published in the prestigious Journal of Nutrition. Researchers found that high protein diets boost antioxidants – critical to your health. They concluded that more protein equals higher antioxidants.
The third reason why protein plays such a crucial role in weight loss and health is because it doesn’t elevate your blood sugars. Regulated blood sugar levels balance insulin. If your insulin levels are balanced, you’re storing less fat.
“Protein is important because it balances your blood sugar,” says Dr. Mark Hyman. “The best way to control blood sugar and energy level throughout the day is by eating protein with every meal. It keeps a slow infusion of energy going through your system rather than being quickly absorbed.”
Red Meat versus White
Protein powers up your fat-burning metabolism. And animal protein is a powerful source of protein. But it’s important to select meat that is healthful. That doesn’t necessarily mean eating white meat. There are many benefits to eating red meat, as demonstrated by several recent studies. Those studies reveal that red meat is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
A recent report concluded that red meat is loaded with iron, vitamin B12, and zinc. And there are further health benefits: it’s low in sodium and is not a major source of fat.
“The message is straightforward,” said Professor Geoffrey Cleghorn, an associate professor at Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. “Iron is essential… and red meat is an important source of iron.”
“Lean red meat is a nutrient-dense food,” said Dr Katrine Baghurst. Dr. Baghurst is the leader of consumer science program at CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition in Adelaide. She added that red meat is good for “people who are looking for a healthy balanced diet that helps control their weight.”
Passing on Processed Protein
But that’s not to say you can eat any meat and expect good health.
Processed protein like pepperoni, deli meat, meatballs, hot dogs, and ham won’t promote good health, or weight loss. In fact a new Harvard study proves that processed meats increase your risk of bad health.
The researchers picked 20 relevant studies. That pool of research included 1,218,380 people from 10 countries on four continents (North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia). The results show that by eating processed meat, your risk of heart disease skyrockets by 42 percent. Your risk of type 2 diabetes increases by 19 percent.
“Most dietary guidelines recommend reducing meat consumption,” said study author Renata Micha. “Most prior studies did not separately consider the health effects of eating unprocessed red versus processed meats. This suggests that differences in preservatives… explain the higher risk of heart disease and diabetes seen with processed meats, but not with unprocessed red meats.”
Best Source of Protein
Red meat can be better than white meat. And processed meat should be strictly avoided. The best source of animal protein is this: natural, grass-fed meat.
A chicken may not have as much iron as a cow, but it will still be more healthful if it’s free-range and the cow is grain fed.
A grain-fed animal is subjected to amoral and abnormal living conditions. It doesn’t get exercise and is forced to eat an unnatural diet – grains instead of grass. The animal winds up fat and diseased. Worse, it’s been reared on pesticides, herbicides, and hormones… and that’s the meat you end up eating.
That’s why you should avoid this diseased meat. It’s easy to secure premium protein. You just have to read the labels at the grocery store. You should purchase grass-fed red meat; free-range poultry; and cage-free eggs.
In the concluding article of our three-part-series, we examine the “facts about fat” and discover the truth about the most maligned macronutrient… Why is butter better than margarine? Find out in part three.
Understanding the “macronutrient triangle” can help you lose weight. It’s a key factor in quick and healthy weight loss. Understanding the triangle is your first step to balancing your hormones. And if you know how to balance your hormones you can restore youthful health and fitness. For a full report on rapid, healthy weight loss, check out the June edition of Natural Health Confidential.
My grandmother cooked with lard her whole life. And my grandfather ate butter until the day he died… at 82 years old. Neither one of them had diabetes or heart disease. And both were slim built, even in their final years. They’re not unusual for their generation. Most people cooked with lard and ate butter. And enjoyed robust health.
That changed when the government turned against animal fats; when the manufacturers started making margarine. And with that change came vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats. The public tossed out natural saturated fats and embraced trans fats; and humanity’s greatest health disaster was borne.
In the final part of our macronutrient series, we’re going to see how fat fits into your diet. The simple truth about fat is: you have to eat fat to lose fat. The key to unlocking that paradox is eating the right kind of fat.
Fat: the Most Maligned Macronutrient
The “macronutrient triangle” is made up of three “points”: carbs, protein, and fat. To find out more about the two other “points,” check out carbs and protein.
The third macronutrient – fat – fell out of favor at the end of the 70’s. Once the 80’s hit, the government told us – through its Dietary Guidelines for Americans – that animal fats caused heart disease. The Guidelines recommended we limit our saturated fat to less than 10 percent of our daily calories. That opened the door to shortening substitutes and low-fat products. Over the next two decades, this advice led to an “an unanticipated epidemic of obesity and diabetes,” says Dr. Michael Alderman, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY.
It’s only in the last decade that the medical community has started to re-evaluate saturated fats. And now the latest science is supporting saturated fats.
A recent study found “no significant evidence” linking saturated fats to cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease. The study was published in the March edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A second study, in the same issue, attributed America’s obesity and bad health to carbs – not saturated fats.
These studies are only the latest to support this scientific fact. An earlier report reviewed saturated fat studies from the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California. The authors concluded that reducing saturated fat does not prolong life or lower the incidence of coronary heart disease.
The authors wrote: “The conclusion of an analysis of the history and politics behind the diet-heart hypothesis was that after 50 years of research, there was no evidence that a diet low in saturated fat prolongs life… lowering saturated fat intake does not lower coronary artery disease.”
In yet another study, the National Academy of Sciences reported there was no evidence that a diet low in saturated fat prolongs life. They concluded that the real killer is trans-fatty acids. The report stated, “the only safe intake of trans fat is zero.”
So if saturated fats aren’t bad for us, are they good for us? The answer, in short, is “yes.” In fact, THB Expert Panel Member Dr. Al Sears says, “I tell my patients they should get about 50 percent of their fat intake from saturated fat.”
The Man Who Ate Fat to Lose Fat
Eating trans fats can help you lose weight. It sounds unlikely but it’s true. Dozens of doctors have reported true-life success stories in their own daily practices. Let me share just one with you: it comes from Dr. Mark Hyman. Dr. Hyman serves on the Board of Advisors of Georgetown University and operates a practice in Lenox, MA.
“One of my patients was 40 years old when he had his first bypass operation. He followed his doctors’ recommendation to eat a low-fat diet and exercised. Over the next 10 years, he gained about 30 pounds and developed blockages in his new arteries. His doctor kept telling him to “eat low fat.” His overall cholesterol was fine, but his “good” cholesterol (HDL) level was very low. Finally, his doctor told him not to eat any fat at all. And at the end of all this, he had gained 50 pounds and needed another bypass after following his doctor’s recommendations to eat a low-fat diet!
“When I saw him it was clear he had a problem with insulin resistance because he was not eating the right fats. I told him to eat more fat – the right kind of fat – and he began to do much better. Eating a diet with good-quality protein and good-quality fat raised his good cholesterol, lowered his blood sugar, and changed his whole system. Since then, he has been fine and has lost 50 pounds. He’s kept it off for four years, his inflammation is gone, and he feels great.”
Saturated Fats Promote Hearty Health
Dr. Lawrence Wilson also supports sat fats for health. Dr. Wilson is an M.D. has worked as a nutrition consultant for over 30 years in Phoenix, AZ.
“My conviction is that the fears about saturated fats are quite overblown,” says Dr. Wilson. “Most knowledgeable nutritionists agree that fats and oils are essential for health.”
So, both experts agree: sat fats offer good health benefits. The next question is why are they good for us?
“Fats are essential to good health,” says Dr. Sears. “Omega-3 fatty acids are so critical, a deficiency can lead to depression, lack of concentration and a host of chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer.”
Dr Hyman agrees.
“These good fats are some of the raw materials from which our bodies are made…lack of omega-3s may also lead to depression, dementia, cancer heart disease, and diabetes,” says Hyman.
He adds that eating good fats “turns on a different set of genes.”
Eat the right fats and you will:
• Burn fat
• Increase weight loss
• Increase your metabolism
• Reduce inflammation
• Become more sensitive to insulin, which will balance your blood sugar
Another critical benefit of good fat is cholesterol. You have good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). Good fats boost your HDL.
“If you substitute carbs for fat, your HDL will drop,” says Dr. Sears. You don’t want that to happen because “high HDL is the most reliable way to prevent heart disease.”
Good Sources of Sat Fats
This isn’t news to many Europeans. Both the Italians and French have always favored natural animal saturated fats over trans fats. You only have to walk around Paris to see the difference in people’s build: they are lean and vibrant. They’ve never shied away from trans fats – in moderation – and their health reflects this.
Simply put, fat is good for us… “but it’s important that you get it from the best sources,” says Dr. Sears.
Natural, healthy fat is a strong component in optimum health. The good news is that you can find it in abundance in whole foods. Two good sources of fat are saturated (animal) fat and omega-3 fats.
• Omega-3s – These are great for heart health. They protect against cardiovascular disease. They also helps to burn body fat. For good sources of omega-3s enjoy wild fish, avocado, olives, cod liver oil, Sacha Inchi oil, and nuts.
• Saturated Fats –These fats boost your immune system. They also help you to absorb calcium. Find it in grass-fed beef, raw milk, and raw butter.
You can find healthy sources of fat in these 9 foods:
1. Organic butter
2. Olive oil
4. Raw milk
5. Cold water wild fish
6. Grain-fed beef
7. Free-range chicken
Butter Better Than Margarine?
So if saturated fats – like those contained in butter – are good for us, why are other fats – like those in margarine – so bad for us? Most of the fats that are bad for us – vegetable fat, hydrogenated fats, and trans fats – are man made. They’re stripped of natural vitamins and are artificial, chemical-based oils.
“Vegetable fat in the modern western diet is an abomination,” says Dr. Sears. “Vegetable fats are highly processed to extend their shelf lives. The processing creates unhealthy hydrogena¬tion and cancer causing ‘trans’ fatty acids.”
“When a hydrogen molecule is added to vegetable oils, it turns them to fatty solids,” says Dr. Sears. “These fatty solids replace animal fats, allowing food makers to label their products ‘cholesterol free’.”
While saturated fats come from nature, trans fats are almost always man-made. According to a study published by the Food and Nutrition Board, trans fats are not essential fats; nor do they promote good health.
Despite this, they’re used in margarine, shortening, and baked goods. Why load up processed foods with these non-essential fats?
“The real reason is the considerable profit that margarine and other processed foods bring over the more expensive natural products,” says Dr. Wilson. “The cost of margarine is based on denatured vegetable oil which only costs a few cents, while good butter may cost a few dollars. This provides considerable room for easy profits. It does not take rocket science to market margarine just slightly less than butter and pocket the resulting huge profit.”
According to Dr. Wilson, margarine begins as chemically-extracted, refined vegetable oil. Margarine is produced at high temperatures which also destroys vitamin E, and other nutrients in the oil. The final product contains trans-fatty acids.
“Research shows that trans-fatty acids increase inflammation in the body,” says Dr. Wilson. “This can worsen illnesses such as colitis and arthritis. Very recent research indicates that trans-fatty acids in margarine raise LDL levels.”
On the other hand, natural butter is made from cream. Butter is a partially saturated fat and does not contain trans fat. It’s also a good source of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin A, D, E and K. None of these essential vitamins are found in significant quantities in margarine.
Dr. Hyman also names refined fats and hydrogenated fat as ones to avoid.
“Hydrogenated fat is one of the most toxic foods known and should have no place in you diet,” he says. “Hydrogenated fats actually block your metabolism (leading to weight gain), raise your cholesterol, create inflammation and cause cancer. They’re associated with dementia and cause diabetes.”
According to Dr. Hyman, “trans fats,” send a gene message which “blocks your metabolism, increases inflammation, and prevents you from being able to regulate your blood sugar, which causes insulin resistance.” And as we know, that can lead to weight gain and, in time, chronic illness.
“Eating the wrong fats turns on the wrong messages in your genes,” says Dr. Hyman. “Eating the right fats turns on the right messages.”
Fats to Avoid
Dr. Hyman recommends that you eliminate processed oils from your diet. That includes refined vegetable oils and hydrogenated oils.
Bad fats are the omega-6s. They are needed for a balanced diet, but only in small amounts. Dr. Sears says your health will improve if you have a much higher ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s in the foods you eat. You can avoid high levels of omega-6, by not eating grain-fed beef, processed foods, and vegetable oil.
Trans fats are worse than Omega-6 fats. They’re the most dangerous fat you can have and should be completely avoided. You get them in processed packaged foods like potato chips, cookies, cakes, and bottled salad dressings.
Here’s a short list of foods which contain trans fats:
• Hardened Margarines and shortenings
• Bottled salad dressings
• Fried fast foods
• Corn chips
• French fries
• Fried meats like chicken and fish
• Baked goods including biscuits, breads, cakes, cookies and crackers
Understanding the “macronutrient triangle” can help you lose weight. It’s a key factor in quick and healthy weight loss. Understanding the triangle is your first step to balancing your hormones. And if you know how to balance your hormones you can restore youthful health and fitness.