How to be Healthier and Trimmer Even if you Can’t Ditch the Gluten, Dairy and Sugar
Frustrated with gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free? Let’s Talk
So, you want to get healthy. Feel better. Maybe trim down a bit. You’ve explored the latest diets, cleanses and lifestyles. Maybe you’ve even talked to a nutritionist. Nothing seems to stick.
Or maybe it just all sounds tasteless?
You can’t imagine life without pasta…real pasta; not pasta made out of rice, quinoa or lentils. The thought of going dairy-free sounds doable–you can live without brie, right? But then you realize cheese is what makes pizza. . . .pizza. And that dark chocolate is an acquired taste.
Before you throw in that all-natural, 800-thread count towel. . .
Before each meal, take 10 long, slow, deep breaths. At least 3 times during your meal, pay attention to how deeply you’re breathing. Open a window while you eat. Eat outside. Lack of oxygen is a stressor to our body. The more we breathe, the more calories we burn.
We’re talking about fats and oils.
Never thought about them much? You’re not alone. Sure, you toss oil with your salad. And oil is a base for everything on the stovetop. But these little suckers can impact your body in a big way. Good Oils can make you feel like a million bucks and Bad Oils can cause inflammation, weight gain and a host of other issues. It’s really all about oil and the fat within.
And let’s get something straight: fats in food do not equal fat in our body. Let me repeat: Fats in food do not equal fat in the body. Your body requires fat to survive. Period.
Turns out the body produces most of its own essential fatty acids–EXCEPT TWO: linoleic acid (LA), an omega-6 fatty acid, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid.
1 . Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), Omega-3: Anti-inflammatory, required to be healthy.
Found in: cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and though I wouldn’t toss it in a salad, oily coldwater fish contains the highest concentration of omega-3’s. Maybe just toss a can of sardines or salmon in a salad instead.
Linked to: a decrease in depression and anxiety; a reduction of ADHD symptoms; enhancing cardiovascular, brain, skin, and immune function.
2. Linoleic Acid (LA) Omega-6: Pro-inflammatory, prone to oxidation, required to be healthy.
Found in: processed veggie oils like Canola, corn, margarine, soybean.
Linked to: cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, obesity, metabolic dysfunction and more.
How much should I consume
It’s all about ratio. Most Westerners have a16:1 ratio(Omega-6:Omega-3), while they should be striving for 1:1.
The replacements: Ruh Roh!
In a nutshell, eat more good fats (omega-3) and less foods that are high in omega-6.
Sounds easy to simply replace all those Omega-3 fats with the Omega-6 fats? Right? Coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, ghee and pasteurized butter. Not so fast.
Unfortunately, canola oil is a problem. While marketed as healthy, it turns out not to be. Even when it’s organic. And it sneaks into everything–especially packaged frozen foods. Soybean oil is also a common ingredient in just about every salad dressing around yet it’s been linked to hormone disruption and breast cancer; can block the absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron; and has been linked to thyroid disease.
Just tell me what to do.
Stay away from processed vegetable oils like canola, corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, ‘vegetable’, anything with the word hydrogenated, margarine and other butter substitutes, and nonstick cooking sprays. Instead use ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, olive oil, and even lard. And check your ingredient labels. The bad news is that bad oils are in just about everything. The good news is that the tide is starting to change and there are more and more great companies coming out with products that use good oils!
If you’re wanting good oils here are some of our favorite brands:
Sure, finding packaged foods made without processed vegetable oils is going to be tough, but we’re all supposed to eat less processed food anyway, right?! But just think, you can still eat your gluten-filled boxed cake made with avocado oil instead of canola oil; you can still have your milk, and there are plenty of chocolates without yucky vegetable oils too!
Still jonesing for some packaged foods that have the all-clear as far as good fats are concerned? Here are some of our favorites:
Primal Kitchen – everything from salad dressings to ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise to bars, all without yucky vegetable oils. Just good ol’ avocado oil – which they make too.
Simple Mills – Do you know how difficult it is to find a soft baked cookie that doesn’t contain highly-processed vegetable oils? Found one! And they make the best baking mixes (that you can add your own oils to) along with crackers, crunchy cookies and even cake frosting.