Coconut Oil Debate

I was watching Dr. Oz last week and he had on 2 doctors debating about whether coconut oil is good for us or bad for us.  He was urged to do this show because of the latest article from the American Heart Association (AHA) saying that saturated fat is bad for you and will cause heart disease.  If you weren’t confused before watching the show, you would be now.  One doctor says it is bad due to the saturated fat and even put on a demonstration with the amounts of saturated fat in lard, butter and coconut oil (coconut oil dominating the other 2).  So butter has less saturated fat than coconut oil but it is still high in saturated fats.  Haven’t we been told lately that butter is actually good for you?  I mean it’s certainly better than plasticized margarine (hydrogenated fats).

The other doctor talked about why coconut oil is not so bad due to the MCT (medium chain triglycerides) which behave completely different than other saturated fats. He went on to say how it protects our brain from amyloid deposits which cause Alzheimer’s disease among other advantages like anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.

So what the heck is one to think?  At the end of the show, Dr. Oz said that you can have a little coconut oil but not to over do it.  This is where you all need to make up your own mind whether you choose to believe it is good for you or not.  As always, it is best to do your own research from all different professionals, medical and natural.  Personally I choose to believe it is good for me and only use coconut oil for cooking, baking and putting on steamed veggies etc.  I use MCT oil with Balsamic vinegar for my salad dressings and in my smoothies and yet I still use some olive oil due to it’s health benefits as well.  I eat avocados which are high in fat but again it’s a good fat.

Bottom line…we should not be afraid of eating a lot of good fats as they have health promoting properties and pretty much every cell needs them.  We should however be afraid of eating the bad fats especially hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and trans-fats which you will find in processed foods.  Stick to fresh foods and natural fats.  Seems a little obvious but it is what it is.  If you want more information on coconut oil and MCT oil, you will find it in my earlier blogs.

Have You Heard of Caralluma Fimbriata for Weight Loss?

Do you have a voracious appetite?  Do you find yourself munching and you’re not even hungry?  I just watched this video from a bariatric doctor who talked about Caralluma Fimbriata which is a natural cactus plant extract which comes from India, and it’s supposed to decrease appetite and support weight loss.  The plant has been eaten in India for centuries.   Although it has been around for centuries, it gained popularity as a diet pill in the last few years.

So what is its mechanism?  Caralluma apparently works by blocking a specific enzyme (called citrate lyase) , which is necessary for the formation of acetyl CoA, a basic ingredient of essential fatty acids that become stored in the body as fat.  Caralluma blocks the formation of an enzyme (called Malonyl CoA).  Caralluma manufacturers claim that blocking these enzymes necessary to form fat will prevent the body from storing fat. This, combined with a purported interference with the brain’s hunger signals will cause you to eat less, and your body will burn stored fat for fuel.

Other health benefits of this cactus include:

Anti-Inflammation: Disease is often caused by inflammation within our bodies. Caralluma fimbriata contains high levels of omega-9 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. It’s also been linked to healthier blood glucose levels, reduced cholesterol, and more regular blood pressure.

Reduce Fatigue: As mentioned above, Caralluma fimbriata can activate stored fat, turning it into lean muscle mass and burning the rest as energy. This makes you feel more energetic while also enhancing results at the gym.

Anti-Aging: Like many plants, Caralluma fimbriata contains high levels of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants target free radicals within the body, which reduces aging in the brain and the body. That means fewer wrinkles and better overall cognitive and physical health.

Having said all of this, the studies are still new.  This supplement has only been available for a few years and studies on it are on-going so ones that are released now are still preliminary.   You never know…this could turn out to be the most promising weight loss aid in the near future.  Keep your eyes out for more studies and weight loss results!

 

Have you Heard of Forskolin for Weight Loss?

Dr. Oz has talked about it and many celebrities have made claims that it has helped them lose a lot of weight, but does it really work?  Many of us will try anything for weight loss and most of us want that quick fix.  Firstly, let me say that I have never tried a single pill without any dietary changes and lost weight and believe me I have tried them all.  However, some of them show much promise for weight loss but only alongside a healthful diet.  If I had a magic pill, I would be rich and retired, sipping Mai Tai’s on a beach in my skimpy bikini (sigh) but there is no such thing.

We have sold Forskolin in our stores (nutrition house) for many years and many of our customers have said that it helps them to lose weight.  It is added into many body building products as it helps to increase testosterone (up to 30%) and build muscle as well as burn fat.  Forskolin has shown marked ability to affect muscle/fat ratios in the body and regulate blood lipid levels.  As well it helps promote healthy hormone levels which in turn will help you lose weight.

Forskolin is a natural compound found in the root of Coleus Forskohlii, which is a purple-flowering botanical herb. It has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurveda medicine as a means to treat digestive issues, hypertension, chest pains, allergies, eczema, obesity, IBS, urinary tract infections, ‘advanced’ cancer, and even erectile dysfunction in men and it has been shown to help heal the heart.

It has very few reported side effects and is generally considered safe for use by nearly everyone.

If you want to try Forskolin, go for it!  Just remember that if you want to lose weight, you still need to keep your carbs low, your protein moderate and your good fats high.  Add MCT oil to your daily diet as a salad dressing, added to your protein shake or drizzled over your steamed veggies and you will lose weight even faster!

 

Need a Good Weight Loss Supplement? Try CLA Burn by Alora!

Let me start off by saying I am not one to talk a lot about weight loss supplements but when we received this one in our store (nutrition house) I was very impressed.  It’s called CLA Burn by Alora.  The reason I love this product is because it has all of the ingredients that I would recommend by itself and this product has them all!  Let me start by saying that this product has fat burners, energy boosters and stress busters!  I am going to break it down a little for you and why I love this product.  First it is All natural, Soy free, GMO free, Gluten free and sweetened with Stevia not artificial sweeteners.  Let’s look at the ingredients and know that they are all standardized extracts which means they guarantee their potency:

CLA (2000mg): CLA is derived from 100% pure safflower oil.   It inhibits the absorption of fat by blocking an enzyme called lipoprotein which helps the body absorb fat into cells.  Think of fat melting this way: When you put fat in a frying pan and turn on the fire, what happens? The fat heats up and melts.  This process happens in the body when fat is broken down or lipolysis occurs (lipo = fat; lysis = break down), and energy is made to create heat, or thermogenesis.  That’s how exercise works to melt fat: Exercise expends energy, which creates heat.   It reduces body fat while maintaining lean body mass.

Green Coffee Bean (350mg): Extracted from the green coffee bean (unroasted coffee beans) this contains the active ingredient Chlorogenic Acid (CA), which helps to burn fat.  (Most of the CA is removed when roasting coffee beans.)    Studies show that it can reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the digestive tract, which lowers blood sugar and insulin spikes.  Some studies have shown that CA can reduce fat absorbed from the foods you eat as well as reduce fat stored in the liver.  It can also improve the function of the fat burning hormone adiponectin.  On top of this CA has also been shown to drastically improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Cissus Quadrangularis (250mg): This supplement has been shown to decrease body fat composition, decrease waist circumference, improve blood sugar control, and reduce appetite in humans.  It may also reduce the absorption of fats and carbohydrates, blocking these calories from entering the blood stream through the intestines.  It also may further increase lean muscle mass and promote muscle building, helping to support increased metabolism.

Green Tea Extract (200mg): I talk a lot about green tea for its anti-oxidant properties as well as to reduce stress and increase energy but it is well known for its fat burning properties.  Know that you would have to drink 5-7 cups of green tea to get somewhat close to this amount.

L-Theanine (50mg): Extracted from green tea, L-Theanine helps to reduce stress levels.  Remember that it is difficult to lose weight when you are stressed because your body is in a fight or flight response and it stores fat automatically because it doesn’t know how long you are going to run or fight so it HAS to store fat for future energy.  L-Theanine is also a known fat burner.

Astragin (50mg) (Astragalus & Ginseng): Increases bioavailability of the above ingredients as well as increase energy and support the immune system.  The increased bioavailability of all the nutrients present in this formula makes it even more efficient at producing the desired effects of fat burning, increased energy, endurance and recovery.

What a great synergistic combination of ingredients to help you lose weight!  If you are interested in trying this, let me know and I will let you know what nutrition house store carries them that is closest to you.

What Vitamins Should I Take While Following a Low Carb Diet?

As far as vitamins when cutting out carbs, I will always recommend a good quality multi vitamin.  This assures you will get all of the vitamins and minerals that the body needs.  There are many multi vitamins that are gender specific as you should be taking women’s multi if you are a woman and men’s multi if you are a man.  Also, if you are over 40 you should be taking a vitamin geared to your age group as well as they will have added ingredients to protect you from age related issues like hormonal imbalances, heart protection, cancer prevention etc.

Fish oil is my second recommendation and this will take care of both at the same time.  When following a low carb diet it is important to add more good fats.  I personally take MCT oil daily.  This oil comes from coconut and body builders and dieters use it to help them burn fat and stay in ketosis.  In case you are unaware, ketosis means the body is using fat for energy instead of sugar (carbs).  You can read more about both ketosis and MCT oil on my previous blogs.  You can use MCT oil in your shakes, salad dressings or just take a shot of it with your meals.

Other fats that you should include in your diet are coconut oil, olive oil, butter and avocado’s.  Smoothies as a snack is a great way to get in more MCT oil and dense nutrients.  My smoothies include a protein powder, MCT oil, a greens powder and berries powder.  I also add liquid fish oils.  You couldn’t possibly eat all day long and get the amount of nutrients in this shake.  Also, I never use fresh or frozen fruit as they are too high in carbs.  I literally put water in my shaker cup, add the protein, oils, and powders, shake and go.  It’s low carb and easy to make.

Can Detoxing Help Me Lose Weight?

Do you experience any of these symptoms for prolonged periods of time?

  • No energy even after a good sleep
  • Poor digestion and bloating
  • Acne
  • Irritability
  • Brain fog (trouble thinking)
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • White or yellow coated tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Moodiness

You could need a detox.  Our bodies are bombarded by toxins in our environment and food.  So how does detoxing help me with weight loss?  One of the jobs of the fat cell is to hold and sequester toxins keeping them from the vital organs.  When we detox, we release the toxins from the cells thus releasing the fat with it.  It is important that you drink a lot of water during detox to flush out the toxins and fat.  I will often put people on a detox program when they want to lose weight to kick start the release of fat.

So how does one detox?  There are so many detox programs (kits) available today at nutrition house.  You can start by doing a liver detox first, then a full body detox.  Some kits are for one week, some for 2 weeks and some for 30 days.  Some of them are really easy to follow you simply take the products as directed on the product.  I always suggest that you don’t eat red meat or pork during the detox to give the digestive system a break.  Proteins such as fish and chicken are far easier to digest.  I also suggest that you don’t eat any wheat or gluten or dairy during the detox phase.  This will not only help you lose weight quicker but you will feel so much more energy after 48-72 hours.

After the detox phase, stick to the keto diet as instructed in my blog.  You should have lost some weight during the detox which will keep you motivated to continue with your low carb diet.  Visit your local nutrition house store and ask the sales expert to guide you to the right detox for you.  Good luck!

Cancer Prevention

Angiogenesis Inhibitors – Cancer Prevention

Everyone knows someone who has had cancer or lost someone with cancer.  We know some of the causes of cancer like smoking, poor diet, chemical exposure etc. but do we really know what happens to the body when we get cancer?   Know this….cancer cannot survive and grow without blood vessels!

In 1961 Dr. Folkman saw something while doing some medical research that gave him a hunch.  “What if cancerous tumors, in order to expand, needed to trigger the growth of new blood vessels to feed themselves? And if that was true, what if a way could be found, to stop that growth? Could cancers be starved to death? Dr. Folkman had ample reason to be self-confident — second in his class at Harvard Medical School, he was already considered one of the most promising doctors of his generation. But even he never guessed that his idea would eventually grow into a multibillion-dollar industry that is now racing through human trials with drugs that show unparalleled promise of being able to control cancer, as well as other deadly diseases.” – Dr Folkman.  His book is called Dr. Folkman’s War and it is fascinating information.

‘Angio’-means blood vessel and ‘Genesis’- means growth:  Blood Vessel Growth.  If we cut ourselves our body sends out signals to create blood vessels to heal the wound which is a good thing but what happens if these signals do not shut off?  That’s cancer.   Anti-angiogenesis are things that inhibit the blood vessel growth.  Foods that are natural angiogenesis inhibitors that you want to include in your daily diet (which will strengthen your immune system and should be organic) would include mushrooms such as shiitaki, reishi and maitake mushrooms, berries, citrus fruits, red grapes, red wine (yay!), artichokes, turmeric, kale, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and dark chocolate (yay again!).

I personally take Host Defense Turkey Tail mushrooms every day as they have proven to be natural angio-genesis inhibitors.  I also take Host Defense “My Community” which is a blend of 17 different mushrooms.

I strongly recommend watching this video by Dr Li.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjkzfeJz66o  It is from Ted Talks and is called “Can we eat to starve cancer”?  It is fascinating and you will want to share it with your friends.  Know that mushrooms such as Turkey Tail, Maitake, Shiitake and Reishi are natural angiogenesis inhibitors but the film lists many foods good for anti-cancer.  It’s a must see and once you watch it you will want to share it with your friends.  I hope so anyway!