Authored by: Kelley Herring
Many factors contribute to the twin epidemics of obesity and chronic disease in America (and, increasingly, throughout the world). But two dietary factors play the greatest roles, by far. These are the over consumption of:
1. Sugar (and other simple carbohydrates) and
2. Unhealthy fats
In previous articles, I’ve discussed the negative effects of a high-carbohydrate diet and chronically-high insulin levels. Today, let’s focus on fats… in particular, one of the healthiest fats you can consume and the positive effects it can have on your body. I will also share with you the most potent (and surprising) sources of this healthy superfat.
Healthy Fats: You Are What You Eat
You’ve certainly heard the adage, “You are what you eat.” This is especially true when it comes to fats. The type of fat in your diet dictates the type of fat in your cells. In other words, you literally become what you eat.
The make-up of fat in a healthy human body is normally about 97 percent monounsaturated and saturated. The other 3 percent should be polyunsaturated (half of which should be omega-3 and the other half omega-6). That means that omega-6 fats should make up only about 1.5 percent of your total calories.
But here’s the problem…
It has been shown that approximately 80% of the fats consumed in the United States are omega-6 fats. Today, the average American eats more than 75 pounds of these industrial fats each year!
These are primarily found in vegetable, corn and seed oils, which are the primary ingredients in most commercial sauces, dressings, chips, snacks and all manner of processed foods. Conventionally-raised meats are also very rich in these unhealthy fats due to the corn- and soy-rich diet on which these animals subsist.
When you consume these extracted and concentrated oils, your cell membranes incorporate their molecules. The problem is that they are highly unstable, vulnerable to oxidative stress and prone to causing inflammation.
These fats (along with the dreaded “trans fats”) also inhibit the natural permeability of the cellular wall. It becomes more difficult for nutrients to enter the cell… while waste products and cellular debris are unable to exit.
As you can imagine, this is a virtual prescription for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cataracts and macular degeneration, auto-immune disease, wrinkled and cancer-prone skin… and the list goes on.
Healthy fats, on the other hand, are essential for cellular health. They improve your ability to absorb nutrients from your food, they reduce inflammation, and they can even help to balance blood sugar and foster weight loss.
And one of the most important of these is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
The Healthy Benefits of Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature. They are commonly associated with the health benefits of the “Mediterranean Diet.” But before we explore their benefits, consider what makes these fats unique:
• MUFAs Don’t Readily Oxidize: Chemically speaking, monounsaturated fats contain a double bond. This makes them very stable (even in the presence of heat) and much less prone to oxidation than omega-6 fats.
• Antioxidant Benefits: The foods rich in MUFAS are generally rich in antioxidants, minerals and phytonutrients, including magnesium, selenium, vitamin E and phenolic compounds, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin (two potent antioxidant carotenoids).
• MUFAs Reduce Inflammation: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined data from 690 women in the Nurses’ Health Study. Researchers found that higher “diet quality” scores – particularly on the Mediterranean Diet Index – were associated with much lower markers for inflammation and endothelial dysfunction (endothelial cells are those that line inside of blood vessels).
Now, let’s look at some of the specific health benefits researchers have attributed to these superfats:
• In 2005, Greek scientists studying more than 3,000 men and women found those eating a diet closest to the traditional Mediterranean diet had 19% lower oxidized LDL levels than those with the lowest adherence to the diet. This diet also showed the greatest positive effect on the dilation of blood vessels.
• A study published in Public Health Nutrition found that women getting the most monounsaturated fat had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer than those getting the least. Another study, published in Cancer Causes and Control, found that men who consumed the most MUFAs experienced the greatest reduction in prostate cancer risk.
• According to a study in Diabetes Care, when test subjects ate a carbohydrate-enriched diet, they accumulated fat in the abdomen. When they ate a diet that had more MUFA, abdominal fat decreased (even without exercise!).
• A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: After six months on a MUFA-rich diet, the insulin levels of test subjects were reduced by 9.4% and the insulin resistance score was reduced by an average of 12.1%. Another study showed similar reductions in fasting insulin levels in subjects diagnosed as insulin resistant.
So, what are the best sources of these healthy fats?
Beyond Olive Oil: Superior Sources of Monounsaturated Fats
You’ve probably heard that olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats. This is true in some cases. But what you might not know is that independent researchers recently tested numerous olive oils for their potency and purity. As reported in the New York Times, they found that nearly 70% did not match the nutritional content reported on the label.
In fact, some of these “olive oils” were found to contain other refined oils… and even green food coloring!
Macadamia nuts and macadamia nut oil are also excellent sources of MUFAs, as are avocados and avocado oil.
But here’s something that may surprise you: Some of the best sources of monounsaturated fats don’t come from plant sources at all… but rather from animal origin.
Take a look at the amount and ratios of fats per 100 grams in these foods:
FOOD SAT MUFA PUFA
Olive Oil 14 73 11
Avocado Oil 12 71 13
Macadamia Nuts 12 59 1.5
Duck Fat 33 49 13
Pork Lard 39 45 11
Beef Tallow 49 42 4
Lamb Tallow 47 41 8
Avocados 2 10 2
Grass-Fed Beef Ribeye 3.6 3.5 0.3
Bison (Ground) 3.5 3.3 0.4
Grass-Fed Beef Strip Steak 1 1 0.1
What’s more, sources of monounsaturated fats from animal origin (including duck fat, lard and tallow) are also more stable under heat, thanks to higher levels of beneficial saturated fats. This should make them your ideal choice for cooking.
Choosing an ancestral diet rich in healthy fats (in the right ratios) is one of the best things you can do for your health. Here are a more than a few delicious ideas for adding more of these health-boosting fats, plus a full spectrum of other beneficial nutrients to your diet… sear grass-fed steaks and sauté veggies in beef tallow… enjoy a fresh arugula salad with avocados and olive, avocado, or macadamia nut oil… enjoy a breakfast of farm fresh eggs and grass-fed beef sliders… and keep some delicious macadamia nuts around for snacking. Bon Appetit!
ED NOTE – Love bread, but not the grain and carbs? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free and Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
1. "Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil" by Tom Mueller (Atlantic Books in the U.K.)
2. Fallon, Sally, and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Tripping Lightly Down the Prostaglandin Pathways," Price- Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal, 1996, 20:3:5-8
3. Fallon, Sally, and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Diet and Heart Disease—Not What You Think," Consumers' Research, July 1996, 15-19
4. Simopoulos AP, Leaf A, Salem N, Jr. Workshop statement on the essentiality of and recommended dietary intakes for Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000;63(3):119-121
5. Kris-Etherton PM, Hecker KD, Binkoski AE. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular health. Nutr Rev. 2004;62(11):414-426.
6. Mozaffarian D, Ascherio A, Hu FB, et al. Interplay between different polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease in men. Circulation. 2005;111(2):157-164.
7. Cortés B et al. “Acute effects of high-fat meals enriched with walnuts or olive oil on postprandial endothelial function.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71. Epub 2006 Sep 26.
8. Perona JS et al. "Virgin olive oil reduces blood pressure in hypertensive elderly subjects." ClinNutr. 23, 5:1113-21, 2004.
9. Assies J, Lok A, Bockting CL, Weverling GJ, Lieverse R, Visser I, Abeling NG, Duran M, Schene AH. Fatty acids and homocysteine levels in patients with recurrent depression: an explorative pilot study. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2004 Apr;70(4):349-56
10. Baer DJ, Judd JT, Clevidence BA, Tracy RP. Dietary fatty acids affect plasma markers of inflammation in healthy men fed controlled diets: a randomized crossover study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;79(6):969-73.
11. Raymond R. Tjandrawinata, PhD, of UCSF, Chai-Fei Li, BA, of SFVAMC, and Sina Sayyah, BA, of SFVAMC and UCSF Omega-6 Fatty Acids Cause Prostate Tumor Cell Growth In Culture. Science- Daily.
12. Soriguer F, Rojo-Martinez G, Dobarganes MC, Garcia Almeida JM, Esteva I, Beltran M, Ruiz De Adana MS, Tinahones F, Gomez-Zumaquero JM, Garcia-Fuentes E, Gonzalez-Romero S. Hypertension is related to the degradation of dietary frying oils. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;78(6):1092-7.
13. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, Faulkner DA, Josse AR, et al. Direct comparison of dietary portfolio vs. statin on C-reactive protein. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 May 18; [Epub ahead of print]2005. PMID:15900306.
14. Jerling JC et al. “A systematic review of the effects of nuts on blood lipid profiles in humans.” J Nutr. 135, 9:2082-9, 2005.
15. Staprans I, Pan XM, Rapp JH, Feingold KR.The role of dietary oxidized cholesterol and oxidized fatty acids in the development of atherosclerosis.Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005 Nov;49(11):1075-82.
16. Pitsavos C, Panagiotakos DB, Tzima N, Chrysohoou C, Economou M, Zampelas A, Stefanadis C.Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with total antioxidant capacity in healthy adults: the ATTICA study.Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;82(3):694-9.
17. Paniagua JA, Gallego de la Sacristana A, Romero I, Vidal-Puig A, Latre JM, Sanchez E, Perez-Martinez P, Lopez-Miranda J, Perez-Jimenez F. Monounsaturated fat-rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects. Diabetes Care. 2007 Jul;30(7):1717-23. Epub 2007 Mar 23.
18. Babio N, Bullo M, Salas-Salvado J: Mediterranean diet and metabolic syndrome: the evidence. Public Health Nutr 2009; 12(9A): 1607-17.
19. Giugliano D, Esposito K: Mediterranean diet and metabolic diseases. Curr Opin Lipidol 2008; 19(1): 63-8.
20. Giugliano D, Ceriello A, Esposito K: The effects of diet on inflammation: emphasis on the metabolic syndrome. J Am Coll Cardiol 2006; 48(4): 677-85.
21. Seth Rakoff-Nahoum. Why Cancer and Inflammation?Yale J Biol Med. 2006 December; 79(3-4): 123–130.
22. Hussain SP, Harris CC. Inflammation and cancer: an ancient link with novel potentials.Int J Cancer. 2007 Dec 1;121(11):2373-80.
Do you want smoother skin, more lustrous hair, stronger nails and a youthful glow? Who doesn’t?
In our modern world of uber-expensive creams, potions and procedures, many of us are willing to spend big bucks when it comes preserving or regaining our youthful looks. But the secret to looking young and vibrant doesn’t come in a fancy package. It doesn’t require needles, syringes and scalpels. And it won’t cost you a lot of money, either.
The key to looking vibrant at any age lies in the nutrient-dense diet of our ancestors.
The Ancestral Answer to Beauty and Bulletproof Health
The attributes we find attractive are also those correlated with good health and fertility. So maximizing nutrition won’t just make you healthier on the inside… but more beautiful on the outside too.
Your body is intelligently designed to prioritize the nutrients we have available. When you are deficient, your body will preferentially use nutrients for mission-critical biological processes like brain function, blood building and wound healing.
This is critical for survival. But it’s bad for your appearance, as you hair, skin and nails take a back seat in line for nutrients. If you’re lackluster in these departments, it’s a good indication that you are not getting the nutrients you need.
The good news is that following a Paleo diet can help…
Beauty Superfoods: Five Key Nutrients to Enhance Your Looks
By enjoying a wide variety of highly nutrient-dense foods – including healthy fats, clean protein, connective tissue, organ meats and bone – you provide your body with an unparalleled source of beauty-enhancing nutrients including collagen, zinc, biotin, vitamin A and omega-3 fats.
Eating ancestrally also eliminates or minimizes inflammatory compounds (like omega 6 fats from industrial seed oils), nutrient thieves (like phytates from grains) and DNA toxins (like sugar) that damage cells, bind up nutrients and promote the cross-linking of proteins that can lead to wrinkle formation.
Of course, it goes without saying that your diet should also include a wide variety of colorful, non-starchy vegetables, nuts and berries. These foods provide powerful phytonutrients and antioxidant protection that promote health and slow down the aging process.
So, let’s take a look at five key beauty nutrients and the best foods to optimize them in your diet:
- Collagen: This protein, found in connective tissue, has the unique ability to be deposited where you need it. That means dietary collagen can actually add cushion to your hips and knees or help to fill in fine lines and wrinkles on your face. Eating meat on the bone and making bone broth a staple of your diet are the two best ways to top off your supply of this superfood beauty nutrient.
- Zinc: You probably know this mineral best for its important role in growth, healing and immunity. But a deficiency in zinc (often due to inadequate dietary consumption or binding with phytate-rich grain foods) can result in thinning hair and skin problems, including acne. Get more zinc in your diet with oysters, grass-fed beef (short ribs and ribeyes are especially rich in zinc), lobster, shrimp, pork, beef liver, lamb and egg yolks.
- Biotin: This beauty nutrient is essential for hair growth and strong, healthy nails. The most concentrated sources of biotin are egg yolks and liver, with ample amounts in wild salmon, sardines, and chicken.
- Vitamin A: You’ve probably seen synthetic vitamin A creams and supplements – prescription or over-the-counter – marketed as a potent remedies for wrinkles. While these substances can help to prevent wrinkles and combat acne (thanks to their ability to boost cell turnover and increase collagen production), they also come with a list of potential side effects. Eating vitamin A rich foods – including beef liver, chicken liver, egg yolks, wild salmon and mackerel – can provide your body with this powerful anti-aging vitamin – without the unwanted side effects.
- Omega-3 Fats: Found primarily in wild game and seafood and meat from animals raised on pasture, omega-3 fats provide powerful protection against inflammation – a key disease process that promotes physical aging. Boost your intake of omega-3s with wild salmon and halibut, sardines, mackerel, wild shrimp and scallops and a high quality fish oil supplement.
Optimizing Your Nutrition for Beauty… and Beyond
To get the full spectrum of nutrients you need for optimal health, vary your diet. Try duck liver and bison liver… use bison marrow bones or chicken feet for collagen-rich stocks… enjoy halibut and lobster in addition to your usual seafood meal of wild salmon.
Enjoying delicious meals that include these nutrient-dense superfoods, coupled with a variety of non-starchy vegetables, is not just the best way to fortify your health… but also your appearance!
ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
- Shanahan, Catherine MD., Shanahan, Luke. Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food. 2009
- USDA National Nutrient Database
- “How Paleo Makes You Look Younger, Sexier and More Vibrant”. ChrisKresser.com. Web. 14 Feb. 2014
We get a lot of customer questions about the different cuts of beef and what part of the animal they come from. There are nine primary cuts of beef in a harvested animal, and these are known as "primal." It is possible to cut each primal into smaller "sub-primal" cuts. For example, a short loin is sub-primal of the loin primal. A tenderloin and a striploin are also sub-primals of the loin primal. You can save significant money on our meat by ordering a primal, and cutting it into retail cuts at home.
This handy guide will help in locating where your favorite cuts come from:
Bottom Sirloin: This is a boneless sub-primal of the loin with elegantly tender meat requiring minimal preparation. It is cut from the second most tender muscle group in the beef animal. Our Products: Bottom Round Roast, Eye of Round Roast, Pre-Cooked Pot Roast with Gravy, and Ground Beef.
Brisket: The brisket primal is from the front of the animal beneath the chuck primal. Because cuts from the brisket are among the less tender, they are best suited for moist cooking methods like braising, stewing and steaming. Our Products: Brisket (small or whole), Hand Seasoned Hickory Smoked Brisket, and Corned Beef Brisket.
Chuck: This primal is rich in meat and marbling, which helps add flavor and tenderize the surrounding meat. Although rich in flavor, chuck cuts are not as tender as the elegant middle steak primals; consequently, they are perfectly suited to pot roasts and braising cooking. This primal cut is also the most popular source for ground beef, thanks to its rich flavor and its balance of meat and fat. Our Products: Teres Major Steak, Flat Iron Steak, Corned Beef Flat Iron, Chuck Roast, Center Cut Shoulder Roast, Heart of Shoulder Roast, Minute Steak and Ground Beef.
Flank: The flank is the primal cut just below the loin primal. The primary cut from this primal is the flank steak. Our Products: Flank Steak.
Plate: The plate primal is located under the rib primal. The cuts from the plate are slightly tough and therefore better used in moist cooking methods. Short ribs, skirt steak, and beef bacon all come from this primal. Our Products: Beef Bacon, Hanger Steak, Skirt Steak, Inside Skirt Steak, and Ground Beef.
Rib: This primal is the source, as you might expect, for ribs. Although there are 13 pairs of ribs, only ribs six through 12 fall into the rib primal. (One through five are part of the chuck cut and the 13th rib is part of the loin.) Rib roasts and rib eye steaks are from the rib primal. Our Products: Short Ribs, Pre-Cooked BBQ Short Ribs, Back Ribs, BBQ Hickory Smoked Back Ribs, Standing Rib Roasts (2 Rib, 3 Rib, 4 Rib, and 6 Rib), Ribeye Steak, and Ribeye Primal.
Round: The round is cut from the rear of the animal, including the hind shank and the rump. Meat from the round tends to be very lean but not as tender and is therefore best suited to moist cooking. There are exceptions to this: London broil is delicious when grilled. Sirloin tips and sirloin sandwich steaks are light, healthy meats that require minimal preparation times. Our Products: London Broil, Tri-Tip Roast, Tri-Tip Steak, Inside Round Roast, Beef Jerky, and Ground Beef.
Shank: Meat from the shank primal is some of the toughest; as a result, we do not offer cuts from this primal. We do use the shank for ground beef and our marrow bones. Our Products: Marrow Bones (Thin, Medium, and Long), and Ground Beef.
Shortloin: Because this primal is from some of the least-used muscles, meat from this cut is particularly tender. As a result, these cuts do not require long cooking times and are the most expensive. The Delmonico steak, T-bone steak, and tenderloin (the source of filet mignon) are all from this primal. Our Products: T-Bone Steak, Delmonico Steak, NY Strip Steak (8 oz. and 14 oz.), and Striploin Primal.
Sirloin: This is a cut of meat from the loin of a steer or heifer. Sirloin steaks differ from shortloin steaks in that the bone and the tenderloin have been removed. Some American butchers call a thick sirloin tip steak a chateaubriand, although the French reserve that term for a much better cut from the tenderloin. Our Products: Sirloin Tip Steak, Sandwich Steaks, Knuckle Bone, and Ground Beef.
Tenderloin: The most tender muscle in the animal, tenderloin is a superior center-of-the-plate gourmet treat for any gathering. Our Products: Tenderloin Filets (6 oz. and 9 oz.), Tenderloin Kabobs, and Tenderloin Primal.
Top Sirloin: Cuts from the top sirloin primal are tender, though not quite as tender as those from the shortloin. Sub-primal cuts of the top sirloin are the tri-tip steak and the sirloin steak. Our Products: Top Sirloin Steak, Petite Top Sirloin Steak, Coulotte Steak, and Ground Sirloin Patties.
Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions!
When US Wellness Meats was founded back in 2000, we were raising and selling our grass-fed beef products only. After a few short years in business we realized we needed to widen our horizons as there are so many other great products we could be offering! So we started to branch out into grass-fed dairy and lamb products, and things continued to grow from there. We would not be the company we are today without the other amazing farmers and producers who contribute to our business.
We get a lot of customer questions about the different sources of our products and where they are raised, so we decided an in-depth blog post would be a great way to address all of these questions at once.
We have many US Wellness farmers and producers all throughout the United States, as shown below:
Beef: Our founding farms are located in the heart of the Midwest. Most of our current production comes from three of the founding members of the company located in Northeast Missouri and West Central Illinois. We enjoy long summers with abundant rainfall to keep our pastures green most of the year. We bale plenty of those warm weather grasses in the summer so the cattle enjoy those same grasses when snow is on the ground.
We also source from a farm run by personal friends of ours in picturesque Tasmania. This island is the ideal place for grazing animals as they have a temperate climate that allows for grazing year round, and no hormones or GMOs are even allowed on the island. Both our Midwest and Tasmania cattle are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.
Bison: Our bison are roaming around the open pastures of the Dakotas and Northern Plains and our farmers there are dedicated to improving the native grasses of the area, and ensuring the natural way of life bison have been accustomed to for decades. Our Wisconsin and South Dakota bison products are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.
Pork: All of our pork products are GAP-certified, meaning they are raised in the best conditions possible. Our pork comes from Heritage Acres which is a group of small, local Missouri and Kansas farmers providing the finest quality, antibiotic-free pork. For more information about our pork products, please visit our pork blog.
Poultry: We have a few different poultry farms raising animals for US Wellness Meats. Oaklyn Plantation in Darlington, South Carolina raises all of our free range 20-lb chicken bundles and ships those direct from the farm. Due to growing interest and frequent customer requests, Oakland Plantation also started raising soy-free chickens in the summer of 2011.
Our additional producers are in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Florida. They raise free range birds for our smaller chicken packages. All of their birds are raised under sunny skies on a non-GMO feed ration, in addition to the grass, sticks and bugs they enjoy on a daily basis.
Duck: All our Peking Ducks are raised with passion and care on a farm in upstate New York. They are free range and enjoy a non-gmo diet free of growth hormones and antibiotics.
Rabbit: Gourmet rabbit is one of the best kept secrets here at US Wellness Meats. Our rabbit comes from a small farm in Ohio. Rabbits are fed pellets containing 90% alfalfa and the remaining 10% is a mixture of various grains and minerals. They are not given growth hormones or antibiotics.
Dairy: We are very lucky to be able to source grass-fed dairy products, without any added growth hormones. We have two different Amish dairies- one in Indiana, the other in Pennsylvania, who supply us with raw, grass-fed cheese.
Lamb: Our lamb comes from Missouri and Oregon. Raised just south of US Wellness headquarters near Perry, MO our Missouri lambs are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. They enjoy lush Missouri pastures and plenty of rainfall.
Seafood: Our seafood products come from Vital Choice located in the state of Washington, one of the premier wild-caught seafood providers in the country. Their products are certified sustainable, and most products are caught off the west coast and surrounding waters. The only exception is our wild-caught raw shrimp which are harvested in the Pacific Ocean and processed in the United States. They are wild-caught and chemical free.
We have carefully collaborated with like-minded farmers and individuals that hold their products to the same standards we believe in for our company. Long story short, we have built our business over the many years while respecting our animals and our environment. We enjoy the products, just like our customers, so it remains our goal to offer the best selection possible.
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
If you’re following the paleo diet, your breakfast of choice may be the classic meal of pastured bacon and free-range eggs. And while this certainly fits the bill when it comes to healthy fats and high-quality protein, it doesn’t take long for this morning meal to become a bit ho-hum.
When it comes to making a lifelong change in your diet and getting a broad range of health-promoting nutrients, meal variation is the key to success. So, today I’ll show you twelve boredom-beating breakfasts that will provide you all-day energy and an assortment of age-defying nutrients to boot!
Paleo Breakfast Ideas That Beat Boredom and Boost Nutrition
- Organic Kale, Sausage & Egg Bake: The perfect breakfast when company is over, this nutritional powerhouse can be made ahead and enjoyed through the week. Simply crumble and brown 1lb. of sugar-free pork breakfast sausage in a large skillet. Drain the fat, then add 2 cups chopped kale and sauté 2-3 minutes. Whisk 10 eggs until frothy and season to taste. Add the kale and sausage mixture to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour the eggs over the top and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until eggs are just set. You can also make this same recipe in a well-greased muffin tin for individual, on-the-run breakfasts.
- Breakfast Sliders in Lettuce Wraps: Beef breakfast sliders are a delicious way to start your day. They a superior source of protein and also rich in CLA (the healthy fat that’s known to promote a lean physique and cellular health). Tuck cooked breakfast sliders into a lettuce wrap and top with avocado (and maybe a dollop of Paleo mayo or salsa) for a hearty hand-held meal.
- Bacon-Wrapped Egg Cups: Use sugar-free pork bacon as a nest for a perfectly cooked egg. Partially cook the bacon in the oven or skillet. Then place bacon strips in a well-greased muffin tin, making a “nest” inside each individual muffin cup. Add an egg (whole or scrambled) to each nest and then bake at 400F for 15 minutes or to desired temperature. Serve with fresh organic berries.
- Paleo Berry Muffins + Chicken Apple Sausage Links: Here’s a great grab-and-go duo. Simply cook up a batch of chicken apple sausages and bake a dozen Paleo muffins made with coconut flour for a breakfast with zero prep time on busy mornings.
- Canadian Bacon + Paleo Pancakes: More like ham than bacon, Canadian bacon is lean and flavorful and makes a perfect addition to grain-free pancakes topped with a fresh apple compote.
- Superfood Whey Protein Smoothie: Use grass-fed whey protein, coconut milk, your favorite organic berries and greens to make an immune-boosting, protein-rich breakfast that you can take along with you.
- Poached Eggs with Wild Salmon: Looking for a way to sneak more omega-3 rich wild salmon into your diet? Try poached eggs topped with flaked Vital Choice wild salmon (from a can or pouch). Add a grain-free English muffin and homemade hollandaise to make it a Paleo Benedict, as time permits.
- Steak and Eggs: This classic breakfast combination can be made in a hurry using grass-fed steak leftovers. Another option? Cut a teres major steak into breakfast portions and cook for the week ahead. Serve your steak and eggs Paleo breakfast with sautéed asparagus, organic greens or mushrooms.
- Paleo Breakfast Salad: Looking for an easy way to get more veggies? A breakfast salad made with your favorite leafy greens and crowned with poached eggs and crisp bacon is a great way to get the classic breakfast flavor… with more veggies to boot.
- Bone Broth Breakfast Soup: While uncommon in the U.S., many cultures start the day with a nutrient-rich bowl of soup made with a nourishing bone broth, veggies and assorted meat or fish. Try a breakfast of bone broth or chicken gelatin with some cooked pastured chicken, organic greens, ginger and lemongrass for an Asian-inspired start to your day.
- Primal Frittata: Raw grass-fed cheese, eggs, green veggies, salsa and your meat of choice make for a delicious meal, any time of the day.
- Pemmican and Nuts: This super-fast, fat-rich breakfast is perfect when you’re in a rush or traveling. Keeping healthy shelf-stable breakfast options on hand can prevent the dietary disasters that so often occur with limited healthy options on the road.
What’s your favorite breakfast meal? Do you make your breakfasts for the week ahead? We want to hear from you!
ED NOTE – For more healthy breakfast ideas, check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free and Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
- Bourre JM. Dietary omega-3 fatty acids for women.Biomed Pharmacother. 2007 Jan 2.
- Siddiqui RA, Shaikh SR, Sech LA, Yount HR, Stillwell W, Zaloga GP. Omega 3-fatty acids: health benefits and cellular mechanisms of action. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2004 Oct;4(8):859-71
Big Brother has finally come around to what I’ve been telling my patients for almost 30 years – stop worrying about cholesterol in your diet!
The influential Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the nation’s top nutrition panel, has now admitted they were WRONG about cholesterol. And they have now proclaimed this former dietary evil as no longer a “nutrient of concern.”1
They were slow – and, of course, wrong for decades – but at least they got there in the end.
That means eggs are back on the menu for millions of Americans – yolk and all – although my patients have been enjoying their eggs fried, poached, scrambled, deviled and made into omelets, flans and quiches for years, without the slightest negative impact on their health.
Big Brother has also deemed other “high-cholesterol” foods, like duck, goose, liver, lobster and shrimp, to be no longer a public health issue – not that they ever really were, except in the bureaucrats’ junk science-fueled imaginations.
On one hand, it feels good to have the federal government’s highest panel of diet experts on my side for once. After nearly four decades, they’ve actually come out and said it … there’s no evidence that consuming cholesterol causes heart attacks.
But, on the other hand, I’m still frustrated at how much these nutrition gurus continue to get wrong.
And, in spite of the fact that they no longer claim dietary cholesterol causes heart attacks, the medical establishment is still on a pointless campaign to lower our cholesterol levels. They say it’s necessary because you only get about 20 percent of our cholesterol from food while the rest comes from your genetic makeup.2
At the same time, the nutrition panel still won’t call off its crusade against red meat and other sources of saturated fats. So it still wants you to give up butter, cream, whole milk, real cheese and ice cream.
Yet researchers have debunked many previous studies that linked those foods to coronary disease.
Four decades of Big Brother’s advice has been based on bad science.3,4,5,6,7
But they still don’t get it. They’re messing with nature. We descended from hunter-gatherers, whose bodies evolved to eat large helpings of meat and fat. Societies may have changed, but our bodies and dietary needs have not.
Modern life has fueled epidemics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. But as I’ve said for years, the culprit hasn’t been cholesterol. The real villains are sugar syrups, chemical additives, and grains.
In the late ’50s, Big Pharma and Big Agra each launched their own propaganda machines to blame cholesterol for heart attacks.
Big Pharma wanted to sell cholesterol-lowering drugs, while Big Agra wanted to sell cheap, high-profit Frankenfoods, especially grains and soybeans. Both industries continue to make billions of dollars off unnecessary human health misery.
In 1961, the American Heart Association relied on flawed studies – I call it junk science – when it advised people to consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day. A whole egg has about 190 milligrams of cholesterol.
In the late ’70s, the federal government also relied on flawed studies when it went on the warpath against cholesterol. It told Americans to give up eggs, butter, cheese, and whole milk. And the same studies led the feds to warn Americans away from saturated fats, like those found in red meat.
Since I began practicing medicine nearly 30 years ago, I’ve made it my mission to expose medical myths like these.
My first piece of advice to patients who come to me with heart disease is always the same.
I tell them: “Your condition can be reversed. But, first, quit taking these cholesterol-lowering drugs. Throw them in the trash!“
In my book The Ageless Heart: Advanced Strategies to Reverse Heart Disease and Restore Your Heart Pumping Power, I explain that your body actually needs cholesterol to perform many vital biochemical functions.
Thanks to the propaganda machine, almost everyone on the planet has heard how cholesterol patches the damaged walls of blood vessels. And they’ve heard how patches turn into plaque, growing thicker and thicker… until, the blockage causes a stroke or heart attack.
And most people have heard that they have two types of cholesterol, one called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and the other is called high-density lipoprotein (HDL). According to the conventional wisdom, LDL is the “bad cholesterol,” because it causes plaque. And the HDL is the “good cholesterol,” because it helps clean away LDL.
That’s not the whole story. Despite what most doctors will tell you, cholesterol doesn’t cause heart attacks. Those LDL deposits are a symptom of coronary disease, not the cause.
Inflammation is the real villain. It’s what damages the blood-vessel walls in the first place. So when LDL patches the wall, it’s just doing its job. And the patch should only exist long enough for the inflammation to pass and for the wall to heal.
Then, HDL is supposed to come along and clear it away. But the system breaks down when there’s too much inflammation and not enough HDL to keep up with the cleanup. The best way to treat this is to reduce inflammation and boost your HDL levels.
But Big Pharma focuses on drugs to lower your LDL, because no one’s been able to come up with a patentable way to increase HDL. But at my South Florida wellness clinic, I concentrate on teaching my patients natural ways to increase their HDL, through diet, exercise and supplements.
I believe one of the best strategies for raising HDL is simply to lose weight or practice a regular exercise regimen, like my
Otherwise, try some of these no stress, no strain alternatives…
A daily snack of olives can boost your HDL. And add them to cold dishes for extra flavor. And eat salads dressed with olive oil. It’s best to eat olives and olive oil uncooked, because heat saps some of their antioxidant powers.
Daily doses of vitamin C, and niacin can also increase your HDL production. Vitamin C is vital for cholesterol metabolism. Both vitamins are necessary so the body can excrete excess cholesterol. I recommend taking 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C twice a day and 50 milligrams of niacin once a day.
Finally, take carnitine supplements. You usually get carnitine from red meat, but not enough to significantly enhance your HDL. Make sure you get supplements labeled L-carnitine, which is the natural form. You don’t want the synthetic D,L-carnitine, which will be no help at all. Take 500 milligrams a day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
P.S. By the way, if you’re confused by all changing dietary “advice” and half-truths about cholesterol and heart disease you hear in the media, you’re not alone. That’s one of the reasons I wrote my new book, The Ageless Heart: Advanced Strategies to Reverse Heart Disease and Restore Your Pumping Power, which is pretty much guaranteed to clear up any questions you have. It will also show you that in a very short period – by following advice directly opposite to standard recommendation – you can obtain real heart health. If you don’t have a copy yet, please click here .
1. Whoriskey, P. “The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol.” The Washington Post. February 10, 2015. washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/10/feds-poised-to-withdraw-longstanding-warnings-about-dietary-cholesterol. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
2.Szabo, L. “Panel could scrap advice on dietary cholesterol.” USA Today. February 12, 2013.
usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/10/new-dietary-cholesterol-advice/23174871. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
3. C.E. Ramsden, et al. “Use of dietary lineolic acid for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death: Evaluation of recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and updated meta-analysis.” BMJ, 2013; 346 (Feb 04 3).
4. Calder, P.C. “Old study sheds new light on the fatty acids and cardiovascular health debate.” BMJ, 2013; 346 (Feb 04 3).
5. DiNicolosanto, J.J. The cardiometabolic consequences of replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates or -6 polyunsaturated fats: Do the dietary guidelines have it wrong?” Open Heart, 2014; 1 (1): e000032 DOI: 10.1136/openhrt-2013-000032.
6. Hope, J. “Butter isn’t bad for you after all: Major study says the advice on dairy fats was flawed.” The London Daily Mail.
February 9th, 2015.
7. Cohen, P. “Butter, red meat not so bad for you after all.” cbsnews.com/news/butter-red-meat-not-so-bad-for-you-after-all. February 10, 2015. Retreived February 13, 2015.
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
A recent report from the World Health Organization states that the number of cancer cases worldwide is expected to surge by 57 percent over the next twenty years.
For many, this will mean painful, expensive (and potentially deadly) treatments with chemotherapy and radiation. On the other hand, many others will choose a more natural approach to treat and prevent cancer… one that is meant to boost the immune system, curtail the proliferation of cancerous cells, and starve those cells of the very fuel they need to grow.
And one of the most effective natural approaches for doing this is the ketogenic diet. It is certainly not the only thing that should be included in a cancer-fighting protocol, but science has proven that it can be a very important part of one.The Ketogenic Diet: Natural, Effective “Metabolic Therapy” for Cancer
The ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet that is moderate in protein and high in fat. It is well known that the cells in your body are normally fueled by glucose (the form of sugar present in the blood). But when glucose is not available, cells derive their energy from ketones – a byproduct of fat breakdown.
And if you are concerned about cancer this is a very good thing…
You see, cancer cells work differently than normal cells. And while they thrive on glucose, they are unable to make the switch to ketones. Without glucose as a source of fuel, cancer cells begin to die off. Over time, tumors shrink and the diagnosis of “cancer” can disappear.
Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, metabolic therapy researcher at the University of South Florida says:
"Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility. So we can exploit that.
In fact, preliminary studies have shown the ketogenic diet to be so effective at resolving a number of different types of cancers (including some in the advanced stages) that it is being called “metabolic therapy.”
Researchers at the University of South Florida found that removing carbohydrates from lab mice with aggressive cancer increased their recovery. The ketogenic diet was also shown to work better than traditional chemotherapy (and, of course, without the horrible side effects).
Another study at Johns Hopkins found that people with brain tumors have a significantly lower survival rate when they have higher blood sugar levels. This provides additional support for the role of a ketogenic diet in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Tips for Following a Ketogenic Diet
With cancer on the rise, the ketogenic diet is providing a safe, natural means of prevention and recovery for many people. And while each one of us is unique, with regards to the macronutrient ratios required to reach ketosis, a general guideline is to keep your carbohydrate consumption limited to 50 grams per day. The majority of calories should come from healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein.
Here are some quick meal ideas for a ketogenic diet:
• Breakfast: Pastured eggs cooked in grass-fed butter
, pastured pork sausage
and avocado. You could also supplement with a tablespoon of coconut oil, avocado oil, fish oil or MCT oil for an added boost of healthy fats.
• Lunch: Wild salmon
over a large organic green salad with Kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette. Pastured lamb burgers
with mint gremolata, olives and greens (with oil or duck fat
) might be another option.
• Snack: Grass-fed pemmican
, Brazil nuts
, macadamia nuts or canned mackerel
… plus another tablespoon of your favorite healthy fat.
• Dinner: Free-range roasted duck legs
over mashed cauliflower with grass fed butter
and a green salad with olive or avocado oil. Another option: grass-fed ribeye steak
with a generous helping of basil pesto and steamed broccoli. Another tablespoon of your favorite healthy fat before bed.
As research continues to mount that cancer is largely a disease of the metabolism, we have more opportunities to treat it with the safe, natural diet enjoyed by our ancestors.
ED NOTE: Do you want to follow a ketogenic diet? But are you worried that won’t be able to completely cut out those tasty treats that you enjoy? Over on the Healing Gourmet website, Kelley has a recipe for Keto Paleo Dinner Rolls
that are grain free, low in carbohydrates, and just perfect for sopping up the last few bites of your evening meal.
1. WHO: Imminent global cancer 'disaster' reflects aging, lifestyle factors. Tim Hume and Jen Christensen, CNN. February 4, 2014
2. A.M. Poff, C. Ari, T.N. Seyfried and D.P. D'Agostino The Ketogenic Diet and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Act Synergistically to Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer. PLOS ONE, June 5, 2013
3. McGirt MJ, Chaichana KL, Gathinji M, Attenello F, Than K, Ruiz AJ, Olivi A, Quiñones-Hinojosa A. Persistent outpatient hyperglycemia is independently associated with decreased survival after primary resection of malignant brain astrocytomas. Neurosurgery. 2008 Aug;63(2):286-91; discussion 291.
4. Thomas N. Seyfried, Michael A. Kiebish, Jeremy Marsh, et al. Metabolic management of brain cancer. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Bioenergetics. Volume 1807, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 577–594
5. Thomas N Seyfried Laura M Shelton. Cancer as a metabolic disease. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010; 7: 7.
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
If you’ve recently transitioned to a Paleo diet, you may feel that finding suitable snack foods is one of the biggest challenges about this way of eating.
And while conventional snack like chips, crackers and trail mix are certainly “off the menu,” it would seem that many widely-available foods (like nut mixes or dried fruit) would fit the Paleo template. Unfortunately, many of these contain unwanted ingredients like added sugars, vegetable oil and soy.
But today I’m going to share with you a dozen healthy Paleo snacks that you can make ahead and take along. Not only will these great snacks satisfy cravings between meals – they’ll also provide your body with a powerful source of age-defying, muscle-building nutrients, and are kid-friendly to boot.
Power Up Your Nutrition with Superfood Paleo Snacks
1. Meatballs & Sliders: Packed with protein and freezer-friendly, meatballs and sliders made with ground grass-fed beef, bison or turkey are a great way to satisfy a craving fast and keep you full until meal time. You can make them plain, add your toppings of choice later, or even include some ethnic seasonings for more interest. For Thai-style, add coconut aminos, lemongrass and ginger. For Mediterranean, try thyme, oregano and basil.
2. Paleo Muffins: Great for breakfast, after a workout or as an afternoon snack with a smear of Kerrygold butter, paleo muffins made with coconut flour and almond flour are a great way to scratch the itch for bread… without derailing your diet on grains. Add organic pumpkin, chia and blueberries for more nutrients and great flavor.
3. Rumaki: Looking for a great way to sneak more superfood liver in your diet? The mock-Polynesian recipe of rumaki - chicken livers and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon is a great way. Opt for coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce.
4. Boiled or Deviled Eggs: Keeping your fridge stocked with soft or hard boiled eggs is a great way to have quick nutrient-rich Paleo snacks on hand. For a more culinary-inspired treat, mix the yolks with mashed avocado or Paleo mayo for tasty and satiating Paleo Deviled Eggs.
5. Wild Shrimp Cocktail: Three ounces of shrimp provides 18 grams of thermogenic protein plus 48% of the daily value for the antioxidant micronutrient selenium. Dip in homemade cocktail sauce spiked with cayenne or smoked paprika for a light snack that will fill you up.
6. Baked Egg Cups: Not just for breakfast, muffin-tin egg cups make a great protein-packed snack any time of day. Simply add 8 organic pastured eggs to a large bowl and whisk in your cooked meat and toppings of choice. Pour the mixture into a well-greased muffin tin (liners may work even better) and bake about 20 minutes at 350 F. Some of my favorite mix-ins include: spicy bison chorizo or pork sausage, salsa, grilled veggies and raw cheddar cheese.
7. Pastured Chicken Drumsticks: Filling, portable and protein rich, marinate drumsticks in your favorite seasonings and grill or bake for a delicious between-meal snack.
8. Multi-Mineral Snack Mix: Make your own shelf-stable Paleo trail mix in batches and keep on hand for quick grab and go snacks. Add selenium-rich Brazil nuts, zinc-rich pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, cashews (all soaked and dehydrated, preferably), and some organic mulberries, goji berries or raisins.
9. Jerky & Pemmican: Loved by athletes for a power-packed source of fuel, grass-fed beef and bison jerky and pemmican make great Paleo snacks that are mess-free and easy to take along.
10. Pork Rinds: Pastured pork rinds are a great way to get a carb-free crunch fix while providing your body with zero glycemic impact cell-building protein. In fact, a 1-ounce serving of pork rinds contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams of protein and 9 grams fat. That's nine times the protein and less fat than you'll find in a serving of carb-rich potato chips.
11. Canned Sardines, Mackerel & Salmon: Power-packed sources of essential omaga-3 fatty acids, enjoying a serving of canned wild fish as a snack is a great way to optimize your intake of these vital fats. Enjoy them straight out of the can or mix with Paleo mayo and spread on grain-free crackers for a tasty, healthy treat.
12. Superfood Smoothies: Made with organic, non-denatured whey protein, organic berries and greens (try kale, spinach and parsley), a protein-packed smoothie is a great way to get more nutrition into your day and can be especially helpful for picky eaters.
Sticking With It: How Paleo Snacks Keep You on Track
Having plenty of healthy snacks on hand doesn’t just make for more convenience. It can also help you stay on track and avoid temptations that can derail your healthy progress while ensuring that you get the most nutrient bang per bite.
What are some of your favorite Paleo snacks? We want to hear from you!
ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
1. USDA Nutrient Data Lab, National Nutrient Database
2. EatWild: The Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Products
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
It has people lining up in New York City’s Brodo to buy a steamy $9 cup… it is being called “the natural alternative to Botox”… and it is allegedly Gwyneth Paltrow’s “new obsession.”
You might assume that this wrinkle-fighting, age-defying food is a new discovery from the Amazon rainforest or a remote peak high in the Himalayas. Not true. In fact, there is a good chance that your great grandmother made this timeless superfood in a stockpot with little more than what most people consider “scraps.”
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about bone broth…
What Is Gelatin – And How Does It Fight Wrinkles?
In my last article on the US Wellness Meats blog, I shared the many ways that consuming gelatin-rich bone broth can defy aging and promote healing. It can stimulate a variety of biochemical activities that can reduce inflammation, boost detoxification and keep us feeling young.
And while we all want to feel young, there’s no doubt we want to look young too.
It’s not breaking news that the beauty industry is big business. In fact, Botox alone – the muscle-paralyzing injection made from botulism toxin – grosses nearly $2 billion a year. The industry as whole – including creams, potions, serums and other forms of cosmetic surgery – is estimated at nearly $60 billion annually.
But the beauty and youthfulness of your skin is much less dependent on what you put on the outside. Far more important is what you’re doing to nourish the inside.
Of course, proper hydration is vital. It is also important to get sufficient high-quality protein and healthy fats. But when it comes to wrinkles, the story goes a bit deeper...
Your skin has a unique matrix structure that gives it elasticity and tone in our youth. In this network are numerous players, including three which play starring roles:
1. Collagen: Known as the “beauty protein”, collagen is the main structural protein of connective tissue. The amino acids glycine and proline are its principal components.
2. Elastin: As the name suggests, it provides skin with its elasticity, allowing it to snap back when pinched or pulled. Elastin has the ability to sustain "mechanical resilience" - meaning that it can extend and recoil billions of times. Researchers believe that it is the unique cross-linking of glycine, proline, leucine and valine, that give elastin this property.
3. Proteoglycans: These compounds are made of proteins and sugars. They are designed to attract and retain water. Proteoglycans weave around the collagen network, giving it tensile structure.
A strong network that’s well-hydrated and elastic results in a “plump” fresh-looking complexion.
And here’s where gelatin comes in…
Glycine & Proline – The Common Dominators For a Beautiful Complexion
As you just read, producing and preserving our collagen and elastin are essential for a strongmatrix that gives skin a smooth and youthful appearance. And the two key amino acids for building and maintaining collagen and elastin are: glycine and proline.
And can you guess the food richest in glycine and proline? That’s right. Gelatin.
It’s no wonder that anti-aging specialists are recommending gelatin to their patients and clients. It works.
Julia March, a bone broth advocate and well-known therapist to Hollywood celebrities says:
"My clients see less inflammation, more glow and more toned skin when they drink it. It repairs, strengthens, rejuvenates and heals.”
Making Wrinkle-Fighting Gelatan Recipes
Drinking bone broth daily – made from grass-fed, pastured soup bones, feet and backs – is the best way to get more healing gelatin in your diet. Slow-cooking or pressure cooking meat on the bone and enjoying the broth that accompanies the dish is another great way to sneak more of those wrinkle-fighting amino acids into your diet.
A great way to have this healing tonic on hand is to make a big batch and freeze it individual portions. The pressure cooker will help extract more gelatin from bones and connective tissues, making your money go a bit farther.
Even when you buy the highest quality ingredients to make bone broth, you’re still looking at cents per serving for Mother Nature’s original youth serum.
Are you drinking bone broth? We want to hear the many creative ways you’re incorporating this ancestral food into your modern healing diet.
ED NOTE – Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
1. Danile, Kaayla. Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin. Weston A. Price Foundation.
2. François-Xavier Maquart, Stéphane Brézillon, Yanusz Wegrowski. Proteoglycans in Skin Aging. Textbook of Aging Skin 2010, pp 109-120
3. Fred W Keeley, Catherine M Bellingham, and Kimberley A Woodhouse Elastin as a self-organizing biomaterial: use of recombinantly expressed human elastin polypeptides as a model for investigations of structure and self-assembly of elastin. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2002 Feb 28; 357(1418): 185–189.
4. Kielty CM, Sherratt MJ, Shuttleworth CA (July 2002). "Elastic fibres". J. Cell. Sci. 115 (Pt 14): 2817–28. PMID 12082143.
5. Carrino DA1, Onnerfjord P, Sandy JD, Cs-Szabo G, Scott PG, Sorrell JM, Heinegård D, Caplan AI. Age-related changes in the proteoglycans of human skin. Specific cleavage of decorin to yield a major catabolic fragment in adult skin. J Biol Chem. 2003 May 9;278(19):17566-72. Epub 2003 Mar 5.
6. Tzaphlidou M1. The role of collagen and elastin in aged skin: an image processing approach. Micron. 2004;35(3):173-7.
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
If your goal is to enjoy strength, health and clarity of mind well into your later years, one of your main objectives should be to maintain healthy blood sugar balance.
Of course, consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes. But it can also dramatically increase your risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and accelerate the aging process (including adding wrinkles to your skin).
You probably already know that a low-carbohydrate diet is the key to keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. But you might not know just how important it is to also consume adequate amounts of healthy fats.
Time and time again, diets that are rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates have been proven to produce healthier outcomes for diabetics.
But before we look deeper into the benefits of healthy fats, let’s take a look at…
How a Low Fat Diet Actually Promotes Diabetes
By eating a low-fat diet, calories that would normally come from fat and protein are displaced by carbohydrates.
A diet rich in carbs causes blood sugar levels to rise. This causes the pancreas to release insulin to escort the sugar from the blood into muscle cells to be used as fuel. But it doesn’t take long before your muscle cells have stored all the sugar they can hold. Then sugar gets shuttled to another place: your fat cells!
Not only does this promote an increase in body fat, it also promotes insulin resistance and diabetes.
Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels with Fat
Unlike carbohydrates, however, healthy fats have no appreciable effect on blood sugar levels. They are also vitally important for the absorption of important fat-soluble nutrients (including vitamins A, E, D & K) and for helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
But the type of fat is key.
Let’s take a look at the three healthy fats you should be eating to optimize blood sugar levels, achieve a healthy weight and ward off degenerative disease:
Omega-3 Fats: “Essential” for Blood Sugar Balance
In the United States, 80 percent of the fats we consume are omega-6, like those found primarily in vegetable and seed oils like corn, soybean and cottonseed oil. Omega-6-rich fats like these have been found to increase inflammation and other key markers of disease.
Omega-3 fats, on the other hand, provide potent anti-inflammatory action. They also improve blood sugar control, reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death among individuals with diabetes.
One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those with the highest blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – the two omega 3 fats found in fatty fish – were roughly 33% less likely to develop diabetes over the next decade than their counterparts with the lowest levels.
Another recent study published in the journal Lipids found that DHA and EPA omega-3 fats may help to lower body fat by encouraging fat-burning and reducing the number of fat cells. Even more impressive, the researchers found that omega-3 fats act at the genetic level – genetically programming the body to shed fat!
And the benefits of omega-3 fats don’t end there. Multiple studies have shown that these healthy fats dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke – the leading causes of death among diabetics. Take a look:
• A study in China that followed more than 18,000 men for 10 years found that those who consumed more than 7 ounces of fish or shellfish weekly reduced their risk of fatal heart attack by almost 60% compared to those who consumed less than two ounces weekly.
• In the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 84,000 women for 16 years, death from heart disease was up to 34% lower in women who ate fish at least once a week compared to those who ate it less than once a month.
• In a study that followed more than 79,000 women for 14 years, the women who ate fish at least twice weekly had a 52% lower stroke risk than those who ate fish less than once monthly. In a similar study of 43,000 men, those who ate fish at least once a month reduced their risk of stroke by 43% over those who did not.
To get the diabetes-fighting, heart-healthy benefits of this fat, eat wild seafood – including wild salmon, wild halibut and wild shrimp and scallops – several times each week and consider taking a high quality fish oil supplement.
But omega 3 fats aren’t the only fats that benefit blood sugar and diabetes…
Monounsaturated Fats: Reduce Belly Fat and Blood Sugar
Monounsaturated fats (the best-known sources include avocados, olive oil and nuts) can also help balance blood sugar, banish belly fat and protect against heart disease.
A study published in Diabetes Care found that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats helped to reduce abdominal fat better than a carbohydrate-rich diet. When study subjects ate a carbohydrate enriched diet, belly fat increased. But when they ate a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, belly fat decreased (even without exercise!).
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found MUFAs have a profound effect on blood sugar. After eating a monounsaturated-fat rich diet for six months, study participants saw fasting glucose drop by 3 percent, insulin fall by 9.4 percent and the insulin resistance score drop by 12 percent. All of these are key factors for warding off diabetes and other chronic disease.
While the traditionally recognized sources of monounsaturated fats should be enjoyed liberally (including macadamia nuts, olive oil, and avocados), there are other excellent sources of this healing fat that might surprise you, including duck fat and lard.
In fact, duck fat is 45% monounsaturated (with 34% saturated and 21% polyunsaturated). Lard is 41% monounsaturated (with 32% saturated and 27% polyunsaturated), making these rich and delicious culinary staples a must-have in your blood sugar-balancing culinary repertoire.
And last, but not least is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
CLA: The “Grass-Fed” Fat for Leanness
CLA is a powerful compound that has been found to benefit blood sugar levels and reduce leptin – a hormone that regulates body fat levels.
CLA is found exclusively in the meat and milk of grass-fed animals, including grass-fed beef, grass-fed cheese, butter and milk. It’s also found in high concentrations in grazing game animals such as elk and deer.
In recent years, CLA has been promoted for a wide range of benefits – from melting belly fat and lowering hunger hormones to balancing blood sugar and even reducing the risk of cancer.
• After an eight-week study, diabetics who added CLA to their diets not only had lower body mass and reduced blood sugar measurements, but also lower levels of leptin – a hormone that regulates fat levels.
• A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that CLA inhibits the body’s formation of fat while preserving muscle tissue. In the study, the group that supplemented with CLA lost an average of six pounds of fat, compared to the placebo group.
• A study published this month in Lipids in Health and Disease found that CLA-rich butter (from grass-fed cows) prevents high insulin levels and increased beneficial HDL cholesterol levels in animals.
CLA also has powerful antioxidant properties and is known to help reduce inflammation – two key factors for a healthy heart.
When it comes to balancing your blood sugar and achieving optimal health, focus on a low glycemic, low carbohydrate, whole foods diet that’s rich in the healthy fats noted above. You’ll get more culinary satisfaction from every bite…. while improving your health at the same time!
ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
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2. Diana P Brostow, Andrew O Odegaard, Woon-Puay Koh,. Omega-3 fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr July 2011
3. Lesley V Campbell,Priscilla E Marmot, Jenny A Dyer, et al. The High—Monounsaturated Fat Diet as a Practical Alternative for NIPPM. Diabetes Care March 1994 vol. 17 no. 3 177-182
4. Rallidis LS1, Lekakis J, Kolomvotsou A, Zampelas A, Vamvakou G, Efstathiou S, Dimitriadis G, Raptis SA, Kremastinos DT. Close adherence to a Mediterranean diet improves endothelial function in subjects with abdominal obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Aug;90(2):263-8.
5. Hodson L1, Karpe F. Is there something special about palmitoleate? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Mar;16(2):225-31.
6. Walker KZ, O'Dea K. Monounsaturated fat rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects: response to Paniagua et al. Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):e122; author reply e123.
7. Martínez-Augustin O1, Aguilera CM, Gil-Campos M, Sánchez de Medina F, Gil A. Bioactive anti-obesity food components. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2012 Jun;82(3):148-56.
8. Saha SS1, Ghosh M. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of conjugated linolenic acid isomers against streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Br J Nutr. 2012 Sep 28;108(6):974-83.
9. Dhar P1, Chattopadhyay K, Bhattacharyya D, Roychoudhury A, Biswas A, Ghosh S Antioxidative effect of conjugated linolenic acid in diabetic and non-diabetic blood: an in vitro study. J Oleo Sci. 2006;56(1):19-24.
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