“Obesity is the most important medical problem facing this country today. Currently, 1 in 4 children and 1 in 2 adults are overweight. These rates have increased by 50% since the 1960s,” says Harvard graduate Dr. David S. Ludwig, of the Children’s Hospital in Boston.
In an attempt to combat this problem, the Federal government and the medical community has advocated decreasing total fat and sugar while increasing “complex” carbohydrates. Despite a reduction of fat consumption to around the recommended 30% of total energy, rates of obesity continue to rise. This has led many doctors and physicians such as Dr. David Ludwig to conclude that there must be another dietary factor playing a critical role in weight regulation. Genes only account for about 5% of obesity. It is Ludwig’s prediction that the glycemic index, the measure of how quickly foods digest, may play the most significant role in weight gain.
Wait!?! So fat isn’t making us fat?? Pass the bacon, please!
Dr. Ludwig says if you want to take off weight and keep it off, you want to pay attention to the glycemic index of the foods you eat. High glycemic foods like sugar, white flour, white rice, potatoes, soda, juice, and most packaged or processed foods cause a surge in blood sugar, followed by a crash. The body digests these foods into sugar literally within moments after eating. This biological reaction releases hormones that stimulate hunger, making you crave more food, more often. It also releases the hormone, insulin, for fat storage, and lowers your overall metabolism.
Check this out: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjdSOhafGKo]
Ludwig recently published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that compared low carbohydrate, low fat, and low glycemic diets. Findings show that a low carbohydrate diet burns the most calories per day.
Low glycemic foods tend to be natural foods like most fruits, vegetables, and legumes. They are digested slowly in the body, using more energy, and burning more calories in the process. According to Dr. Ludwig, this increases the metabolic rate and decreases hunger, giving us a biological advantage in maintaining a healthy weight.
Science writer Gary Taubes contributes his feedback to Dr. Ludwig’s study during this interview.
“We got in our head the idea that fat causes heart disease and that the carbohydrate was a heart-healthy food,” says Taube. After this government recommendation, statistics in the USDA show that carbohydrate consumption went up, sugar consumption went up, and fat consumption went down, and this happens to coincide with rising obesity and diabetic epidemics. “Conventional wisdom remains to this day; it’s all about calories. It’s all about eating too much, exercising too little. And we’ve been given that conventional wisdom as the nation has gone fatter and fatter and fatter. And what the authorities do is blame us, the public, for not following their advice. The counter-argument is the advice is wrong, that what they’ve been telling to do has made the problem worse, not better,” says Taubes.
But aren’t fruits carbohydrates?
“We have these blanket recommendations for the nation that fruits and vegetables are good for us,” says Taubes. But we must separate potatoes or starchy vegetables versus green, leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach.” Furthermore says Taubes, “I’m making this argument that you know, for those of us who get overweight and obese, the carbohydrates in the diet are what’s causing it. So if you’re a lean and you want to remain lean, then, you know, eating fruits and starchy vegetables are fine as long as your body can tolerate it. But if we’re talking about somebody who’s 100 pounds overweight or is a type 2 diabetic, then arguably, even the carbohydrates in fruit are going to be problematic.”
Clinical trials have demonstrated that type 2 diabetes can be reversed by severe carbohydrate restriction, says Taubes. After following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, the body can return to normal and, in most cases, tolerate more carbohydrates in food, including most fruit.
Okay, moderate carbohydrate consumption. But what about dietary fat?
“Whatever causes coronary heart disease is not primarily from a high intake of fat,” says Ph.D. Michael Gurr, coauthor of the textbook Lipid Biochemistry.
Fat is our most efficient and prolonged burning fuel. It is essential for a multitude of bodily processes, including the health and function of the brain. As certified nutritional therapist Norah Gedgaudas, points out in her book, Primal Body Primal Mind, dating back as far as three hundred thousand years, humans subsisted primarily on meat and the fat of hunted animals. Plant material was slim, and indeed all cereal grains were a product of agriculture, ingested many years later. It was the extended dependence on meat and fat, giving the body EPA and DHA that allowed for rapid brain development. “We don’t ever have to eat any sugar or starch to be optimally healthy,” says Norah Gedgaudas. Our bodies can manufacture glucose, as needed from a combination of protein and fat in the diet. According to Gedgaudas, except for red blood cells, most organs and tissues in the body, including the brain, prefer to use ketones, the energy-producing by-product from the metabolism of fats. “There is abundant evidence that many modern diseases, including cardiovascular disease, elevated triglyceride levels, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and cancer, to name a few are the product not of excess natural fat in the diet, but of excess carbohydrates,” says Gedgaudas.
The quality, nutrient-laden dietary fats richly present in the organ meats, fatty fish, bone marrows, and tallow favored by humans throughout 2.6 million years of evolution constituted 60% or more energy intake in some primitive cultures, all without detriment to the heart. Gedgaudas predicts that this sudden health crisis has more to do with the advent of the food industry, and the increase in consumption of refined “Franken-foods,” vegetable and hydrogenated trans fats, sugar, and carbohydrates.
Make a conscious decision to cook with only fresh, quality, carefully selected, whole foods. Eliminate chemical additives, preservatives, poor quality fats and oils, and most foods known to cause inflammation in the body. Follow a low glycemic, low carb, anti-inflammatory, paleo diet. This may seem like a mouthful, but it is quite simple. By serving a variety of quality fats, oils, proteins, vegetables and fruits, you will lay the foundation of a well-balanced diet, without it feeling like a standard weight loss diet. It is our personal goal that healthy eating becomes a lifestyle choice because everyone deserves to feel the vitality and wellness that can occur when the body is properly nourished.
To get you started, we will provide you with some delicious anti-inflammatory recipes.
Steak Spiced Pork Chops
- 2 sweet potatoes diced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
- 2 boneless pork chops 6-8 oz each, patted dry
- 1 shallot minced
- ¼ cup beef broth or stock
- 3 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 Tbsp steak spice use your own or see recipe link in Notes
- 2 cups green beans
- Adjust oven rack to top position and preheat oven to 425°F.
- Toss potatoes on one side of a baking sheet with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper. Roast on top rack for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and carefully toss green beans on empty side of baking sheet with a drizzle of oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Return to top rack until potatoes are browned and green beans are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
- While veggies roast, season pork chops all over with salt and steak spice, ensuring it sticks to the chops.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4-6 minutes per side. If crust begins to brown too quickly, reduce heat to medium.
- Turn off heat and transfer chops to a plate.
- In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring until softened and lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Season generously with pepper.
- Divide pork, potatoes and green beans between plates. Spoon sauce over pork to serve.
- 3 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 ½ Tbsp powdered stevia or coconut palm sugar
- 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
- Place all the spices in a small glass jar and shake gently to combine. Yields 3/4 cup.
- Store for up to 6 months.
Honey Mustard-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
- 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 lb small Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved lengthwise
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 ½ Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp unsalted pepitas optional
- In a medium skillet, bring ¼ cup water and 1 Tbsp oil to a simmer. Add Brussels sprouts, season with salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar, mustard, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Uncover skillet, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until water has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Drizzle remaining oil over Brussels sprouts, add garlic, and cook, tossing occasionally, about 2-3 minutes until Brussels sprouts are golden brown and tender.
- Add honey mixture and cook 1 minute. Toss with pepitas if desired. Serve hot!
Chicken Zoodle Soup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cups celery chopped
- 2 ½ cups carrots sliced
- 3 Tbsp ginger grated
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper or to taste
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes or crushed red pepper or to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 ½ cups spinach chopped
- ¼ cup parsley minced
- 3 cups spiralized zucchini
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onions, celery, carrots, ginger and garlic. Saute about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
- Add the chicken, broth, vinegar, red pepper, turmeric, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.
- Add the broccoli to the pot and cook an additional 5 minutes. While cooking, shred the chicken and stir back into the soup.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the spinach and parsley. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Heat spiralized zucchini in a bowl in the microwave, just until warm. Divide heated zoodles into 6 bowls.
- Ladle hot soup over zoodles and serve.
If you’re interested in an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and more information and recipes like this, check out The Official Anti-Inflammatory Diet Masterclass. Or email us at info@VitalityConsultantsLLC.com for more details.