Don`t Stop Eating These
With all the don`t`s that we bombard ourselves with throughout the year, especially this time of year, I find these 5 don`t give up`s refreshing!
For some reason, this time of year brings out something in alot of us that makes us point our finger at ourselves and say "You`re not good enough, change ________________." We give up _________________, stop saying _____________, promise to _______________and write up a list of all the things we need to change about ourselves. Talk about setting ourselves up for failure! I thought it`d be nice to see five foods we don`t have to give up this year. Instead of focussing on what you can`t have, focus on eating more of what you can have. Sooner or later there`ll be no room for the can`t haves and you`re not bashing yourself in the process. I`m all about kindness towards self; positive reinforcement and attitudes, not belittlement.
Here are five foods that get a bad rap, that deserve to stay in your food choices.
?Did She Say EAT Beef?
Beef gets a bad rap. Everywhere you go it seems everyone is saying not to eat red meat. Ignore them. Unless of course you despise the stuff. Otherwise, eat beef. Grass-fed, grass-finished is ideal because it`s more nutritious, but if you can`t swing the extra dollars, do the best with what you`ve got. I understand why meat is on the chopping block. Heart disease rates are high, cholesterol numbers are high, the first thing doctors usually say is drastically reduce your consumption of red meat. However, there`s a study that says that including lean meats in your diet is just as effective at lowering cholesterol as the traditional 'heart healthy' diet is. Things like sirloin, flank, tenderloin, among others are considered lean. What`s not lean? T-bones and prime rib, good as they taste, are not lean meats.
The 'jist' of the study was that they took people and put them into 2 groups. One group ate white meat and the other group ate lean beef. After the alotted timeframe, cholesterol levels were re-checked in both groups. The findings were that the group who included at least 5.4 ounces of lean, red meat in their diets were effective at lowering their LDL cholesterol numbers. Sooooo.....'where`s the beef?'
They Don`t Have To Be Raw and Soaked
In my long quest for optimal fuel for my body I spent awhile on the vegetarian, and then raw foodist pathway. Both treated me well, and I respect each for its opinion and what it has to offer. One of the things I was taught was that you have to soak your nuts in order to break down the defense mechanism found within the nut so it can be properly digested and utilized. Well, it seems that a study done by Joseph Vinson, a PhD from the University of Scranton tested both raw and roasted nuts to see if there was any difference in their nutritional values. He found no difference. Apparently the plant antioxidant content were virtually the same in both nuts. Nuts are a great source of omega 3`s and are good sources of proteins, fats, and even calcium. Just remember that roasted nuts are typically salted, so for that reason only eat about an ounce a day (a handful).
There have been several short term studies by the folks at Harvard on the positive properties of cocoa. Real, unadulterated cocoa is a powerful antioxidant which has promising effects on blood pressure; it lowers it. It also improves blood flow (maybe due to the naturally occurring caffeine), cholesterol levels, and reduces insulin resistance. When choosing, try to develop a taste for the darkest possible chocolate you can handle. It has the most cocoa in it and has been 'ruined' the least in comparison with the common calorie laden, sugar abused, chocolate bar we see waiting in line at the grocery store. Experts advise amounts at about an ounce a day to reap its benefits.
Yes, WHOLE, Not Just The Whites
Right at the top, along with beef, white eggs have been villainized. They have been accused of raising the risk of acquiring heart disease left and right. What confuses me is I have no idea why. There is no data over the past forty years supporting what we`ve been told. Yes, they are higher in cholesterol than some other foods, but new studies are showing that the way we test for cholesterol is way outdated compared to what we`ve learned about it. Total cholesterol is believed to be less important when compared to the size of the lipid particle. Aside from that, the yolk in the egg has powerful antioxidants that actually may protect the LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and turning into a more unhealthy, harmful form that is associated with heart disease. If you`re still scared rest assured; the experts agree that one egg per day is good for us and falls way under the allowed 300 mg of cholesterol. On a side note; pastured eggs are healthier as they contain higher levels of omega 3`s and other goodies for our bodies.
Bring Back Joe!
I`m not sure why he went away in the first place. Maybe it was all the sugary, fake creamer things that made a healthy beverage into a health disaster. Yup! Healthy beverage. Did I surprise you? Coffee has an abundance of antioxidants; it is the number one source of antioxidants in an American`s diet even! Coffee consumption has been correlated with either a reduced risk, or an unchanged risk of cancers such as colon, breast, prostrate, and endometrial. Some research has shown that coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of developing senile dimentia and Alzheimer`s Disease. There is also suggestion by Australian studies that shows that coffee does not make GERD worse, so you can consider taking it off of your "no-no" list if you`re a heartburn sufferer. Maybe the stuff you put in your coffee gives you heartburn? As for being a diuretic, you`re safe at a two cup a day habit, more than that does make it a diuretic and dehydration can occur. So enjoy your morning, or mid-afternoon cup of Joe and don`t feel guilty about it!
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I am not currently employed by the medical profession. I am simply a wife and mother who looks for the best way to nourish my body and I constantly challenge the status quo and 'their' health advice. I believe knowledge is power and I do not care to be a sheeple and just follow. Do your research and dig deeper into your health people :)