July 17, 2014

6 Eating Rules For Faster Weight Loss

Reach for high-energy foods

Your body needs fuel to exercise, and the source of that fuel is food. That's why some people report feeling hungrier when they start to work out. If you're trying to lose weight, this could be counterproductive—unless you find the right balance of healthy, filling foods.

The typical American diet is loaded with refined or simple carbohydrates such as white flours, rice, and pasta, and pastries, soda, and other sugary foods and drinks. These carbs, which lack the fiber found in complex carbs (whole grains, fruits, and veggies), are metabolized by your body quickly. So while you may feel raring to go after eating them, that energy boost will soon be followed by a major energy slump, making it hard to give your all during your workouts.

In addition, if many of the foods you eat are metabolized quickly, you'll find yourself feeling hungry more often, which could mean more snacking and a higher calorie intake. To keep from eating back all the calories you've burned, stick to a diet based on these 6 science-backed components.

1. Fiber


Eat at least 20 grams of fiber per day from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fiber helps keep you feeling full longer—a big benefit when you’re trying to lose weight. A study from Brigham Young University College of Health and Human Performance demonstrated that women who ate more fiber significantly lowered their risk of gaining weight. 

Each gram of fiber eaten correlated to 1/2 pound less body weight. The researchers suspect that the higher fiber intake led to a reduction in total calories over time. 

2. Calcium & Vitamin D

calcium,vitamin d

Strive for three servings of calcium- and vitamin D-rich foods a day. These nutrients often occur together in foods, especially dairy.

Calcium and vitamin D work together in your body, primarily to strengthen your bones. But if the latest research is any indication, both of these nutrients may flex some muscle in your weight loss success. Dairy foods are the prime source of calcium and vitamin D in the diet. In a study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, college students who came closest to meeting the three-a-day dairy requirement while eating an otherwise healthy diet weighed less, gained less, and actually lost belly fat, compared with students who consumed little or no dairy.

Moreover, vitamin D by itself may play a role in weight control. Extra body fat holds on to vitamin D so that the body can’t use it. This perceived deficiency interferes with the action of the hormone leptin, whose job is to tell your brain that you’re full. And if you can’t recognize when you’re satiated, you’re more likely to overeat.

You may also want to consider a vitamin D supplement. The latest research suggests that this nutrient may be a factor in protecting you from everything from heart disease to memory loss and even chronic pain. Evidence is mounting that we need more than the current recommended intakes, especially as we age, because older skin produces less vitamin D (and sunscreens block the body’s ability to use sunlight to produce this vitamin). That’s why the leading experts in vitamin D research are now recommending a daily supplement of 1,000 IU of vitamin D—the kind most readily used by the body. Read more about why you should drink milk here

Daily Recommended Calcium Intake:

Men and women ages 19-50: 1,000 milligrams
Men and women age 51+: 1,200 milligrams

Daily Recommended Vitamin D Intake

Men and women ages 19-50: 200 IU
Men and women ages 51-70: 400 IU
Men and women age 71+: 600 IU

3. Good fats

good fats

These include monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, found in oils, nuts, avocados, certain fish—and yes, even chocolate! Eat 3-4 servings daily.

A study published in the journal Appetite shows how these fats—besides being good for your heart—can help you feel fuller longer after meals. The study participants with a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids (more than 1,300 milligrams a day, either from foods or from supplements) reported feeling less hungry right after their meals, as well as 2 hours later, compared with a lower omega-3 intake (less than 260 milligrams a day). Less hunger means less munching and an easier time keeping calories in check.

More specific research has been done on walnuts, a good source of monounsaturated fats. An Australian study had participants follow a healthy low-fat diet, either with walnuts or without. Both groups ate the same number of calories and lost approximately the same amount of weight at 6 months. But during the next 6 months of the year long study, the walnut-eaters continued to lose weight and body fat, while the other group stopped losing—even though they were still following the same diet.

4. Protein


Aim for three servings of lean protein (such as fish, white meat chicken and turkey, pork loin chops, and lean beef sirloin) per day. In addition to being an essential nutrient, protein helps to keep you feeling full longer, which is a big benefit when you’re trying to lose weight. In a small 2009 study, participants who ate a higher-protein breakfast were more satiated afterward (and took in fewer calories at lunch) than those who ate a low-protein breakfast(be sure to vary your protein sources and include plant ones, too).

5. Water


Studies from Stanford Prevention Research Center suggest that water helps promote weight loss in two ways. First, drinking more water—at least 4 cups per day—was linked to a 5-pound weight loss over the course of a year. According to the researchers, this amount of water increases the amount of energy or calories your body burns. Second, substituting water for sugary drinks—sodas, sports drinks, flavored drinks, and sweetened milks, coffees, and teas—resulted in even more weight loss. The exact number of pounds lost depended on how many sugary drinks were consumed in the first place, and how many were replaced with water.

Still don’t think you can give up your sodas and mochaccinos? 

Then consider this: It’s been shown that when people consume a certain amount of calories, they’re more hungry and more likely to overeat at their next meal when those calories are in liquid rather than in solid form. 

Translation: If you eat a 200-calorie snack, you’ll be more satisfied afterward and eat less later than if you drink a 200-calorie beverage. So frequently drinking calorie-dense beverages could increase both your hunger and your calorie intake throughout the day.

6. Green Tea

green tea
Sip at least 3 cups of green tea every day. Catechins, the antioxidants found in high amounts in green tea, have been shown to be helpful in promoting weight loss, specifically belly fat. If caffeine is a concern, decaf tea is an option. Some decaffeination processes, however, can lower the antioxidant content so you might want to have an extra cup or two.

In a study at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, participants who drank the equivalent of 3 cups of green tea a day lost twice as much weight as those not drinking tea. The tea-drinking group also lost significantly more belly fat than the non-tea drinkers.

If you like citrus, the news gets better. Replacing some of the tea brewing water with citrus juice, such as lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit, allows your body to use more of the tea’s catechins. You can drink your green tea freshly brewed for a warming hot drink, or chill it after brewing for a refreshing cold drink.

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July 15, 2014

8 Beers You Should Stop Drinking

Many of us choose what we eat very carefully, or at least dedicate our minimum attention to it. But when it comes to drinks, especially alcoholic beverages, we do little to make the best decisions for our health. Which is a HUGE mistake. All the work for your body can be ruined in a weekend out. While foods and non alcoholic beverages are required to list their ingredients and are monitored by the FDA, beer does not belong in either. Alcohol industry had lobbied for years to avoid labeling its ingredients. Some to protect its recipes, but most – to hide harmful ingredients.

Here are the 8 beers that are commonly found in bars in United States that you should stop drinking immediately.

Here’s some harmful ingredients that are commonly found in beer:
  •     GMO Corn Syrup
  •     GMO Corn
  •     High Fructose Corn Syrup
  •     Fish Bladder
  •     Propylene Glycol
  •     Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  •     Natural Flavors
  •     GMO Sugars
  •     Caramel Coloring
  •     Insect-Based Dyes
  •     Carrageenan
  •     BPA
  •     & lots more!

1. Newcastle Brown Ale

The Newcastle beer has been found to contain caramel coloring. Class 3 and 4 caramel coloring is made from ammonia, which is classified as a carcinogen. While alcohol is a carcinogen itself, drinking it in moderation may decrease your chances at developing cancer. However, more added carcinogens will have the opposite effect. “The one and only” beer with extra cancer causing qualities.

2. Budweiser

One of the most popular beers, or most advertised is Budweiser. Budweiser contains genetically modified (GMO) corn. In 2007, Greenpeace discovered experimental GMO rice in Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) beer.

3. Corona Extra

I used to love Corona’s commercials. They were so peaceful and relaxing. That is until I found out that the beer contains GMO Corn Syrup and Propylene Glycol. Propylene Glycol is controversial, and is said to may be potentially harmful to your health.

4. Miller Lite

This is another very popular beer in America that contains GMOs. Miller Lite contains GMO corn and corn syrup. It’s “GMO time”.

5. Michelob Ultra

Less popular but still readily available Michelob beer, should be eliminated from your choices. This beer has been found to contain a genetically modified sweetener(GMO dextrose).

6. Guinness

Guinness is often praised for it’s smoothness.  However, several investigations proved that Guinness ingredients are quite disturbing. The beer contains isinglass, an ingredient which comes from fish bladder and high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup has been long banned from many stores and drinks.

Update: Good news! Guinness have stated that they no longer use high fructose corn syrup in any of their beers.

7. Coors Light

Coors light is a drink that is very popular at bars and among college students.  Mostly because its cheap. The beer contains GMO corn syrup.

8. Pabst Blue Ribbon

Pabst Blue Ribbon contains GMO corn and GMO corn syrup.

Healthy Beer Alternatives

So when it comes to beer you have to be very careful. Your best option is to find a microbrewery that you can trust. As with everything, try to avoid cheap, low-quality products. Bars may offer Coors Light, Miller Lite or Budweiser specials, but they are cheap for a reason. The rest of the world is banning GMOs everywhere, while USA is lagging years behind, and only several states offer GMO labeling laws. Try to stay away from any American beers. 

Choose organic beer. Beers that contain 100% organic labels, have to have ingredients that are all 100% organic. While an “organic” label just means 95% of it will be organic.  European beer is most likely to be safe from GMO ingredients but unfortunately, most other beer contains GMO artificial ingredients, stabilizers, grains and preservatives, plus, HFCS.
GMO Free Beers:

Organic Beers (Unpasteurized & Unfiltered) 

  •     Wolaver’s – all beers
  •     Lamar Street – Whole Foods label (brewed by Goose Island)
  •     Bison – all beers
  •     Dogfish Head (organic when ingredients available)
  •     Fish Brewery Company – Fish Tale Ales
  •     Lakefront Brewery – Organic ESB
  •     Brooklyn – (organic when ingredients are available)
  •     Pinkus – all beers
  •     Samuel Smiths – Samuel Smiths Organic Ale
  •     Wychwood – Scarecrow Ale

Non-Organic Beers (Unpasteurized & Unfiltered)

  •     Sierra Nevada – all choices
  •     Duck Rabbit – Brown Ale, Porter, Amber Ale, Milk Stout
  •     Dogfish Head- 60 Minute IPA, Shelter Pale Ale, Chicory Stout
  •     Shipyard – Summer Brew
  •     Victory Brewery – Whirlwind
  •     North Coast – Blue Star
  •     Bridgeport – IPA (Bottle conditioned)
  •     Ayinger – all choices
  •     Royal Oak – Pale Ale
  •     Fraziskaner – Hefeweisse and Dunkel Weisse
  •     Weihenstephaner – Hefe Weissbier
  •     Maisel’s – Weisse
  •     Hoegaarden – Belgian Wit


  •     Heineken
  •     Steamwhistle
  •     Amstel Light
  •     Duchy Original Ale Organic
  •     Mill Street Brewery
  •     Fuller’s Organic
  •     Nelson Organic Ale
  •     Natureland Organic

Share This with Fellow Beer Drinkers

It’s important to expose companies that use harmful ingredients in our products. This information is hidden from the public with millions of dollars of false advertising, laws, etc. You can always vote with your money. As this information about GMO beers spreads, we will see a decrease in production of these beers and the companies may eliminate the harmful ingredients altogether. Most importantly, when you hang out with your friends, you will be able to share beer that’s more delicious and healthier.





June 29, 2014

15 Foods That Will Relieve Headaches

Sufferers of headaches know just how debilitating they can be. Headaches occur in millions of individuals across the country, and they have a mirad of different causes. The consumption of different foods can be the cause and the cure of headaches. Food allergies and sensitivities are a leading cause of headaches and migraines. The symptoms of headaches and migraines are not only pain, but can include vertigo, fatigue, malaise, and auditory and visual auras. Auras are a change in perception that can accompany severe headaches.

Individuas who suffer severe headaches and migraines may find themselves bedridden from the pain. A condition called chronic migraines sees sufferers in pain more than 50% of the time. There are a variety of medications available to treat headaches, but some people find that medication does not lessen the severity of their pain. Alternative treatments include lifestyle changes, stress management, and dietary changes. Improper nutrition can easily be the cause of a headache. 

Here are 15 foods that could relieve your headache and get you back to feeling good in no time:

1. Salad

If you wake up with a pounding headache from partying too hard from the night before, your pain may be in part from dehydration. One great meal to make to help rehydrate yourself is salad. Lettuce leaves are high in water and fiber, which will make your body feel great. Iceberg lettuce has a high water content but low level of nutrients, so consider a blend of different lettuce types.

2. Coffee

In moderation, coffee can be a great fix for a pounding headache. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it can reduce the size of blood vessels. In excess, this can cause a headache. However, one cup of coffee could help tame a difficult migraine. If your headache is caused by seasonal allergies, coffee will have an even greater effect. Coffee can reduce the release of histamine in your blood, which will calm allergic reactions and save your head from pounding pain.

3. Bananas

Bananas are a great food to eat when trying to relieve a stubborn headache. They are high in magnesium, which can relax your blood vessels and ease head pain. They are also high in potassium, which is an essential part of your electrolyte balance. A night of heavy drinking can leave you with a painful hangover and you may need to replace your lost electrolytes due to dehydration.

4. Spicy Foods

If seasonal allergies or the flu have your head pounding, try snacking on spicy foods. Consuming spicy foods can relieve congestion, which will reduce sinus pressure and open up your airways. Chili powder is also packed with vitamin E. This nutrient can relax your blood vessels, helping give relief to a sore head. Vitamin E supplements pills can cause headaches, so consult with your doctor before taking high doses of this vitamin.

5. Bread

Whole grain bread is a great food for people suffering with headaches or migraines. The unprocessed grains release carbohydrates slower than white bread, which can replenish your physical energy. If you have started a new diet, headaches can be common as your body gets used to its new fuel sources. Remember to consume healthy carbohydrates for complete nutritional health. Some simple toast with butter could be the ticket to a pain free head.

6. Potatoes 

Enjoy your potatoes with their skin on for the best headache relief. The skin of a large potato is packed with potassium. Potassium deficiencies are very common, with the majority of people never reaching their daily recommended levels of the vitamin. A diet with excess salt can further exacerbate the problem. Enjoy potatoes, with their skin, as a potassium rich food for easy headache care.

7. Yogurt

Having a snack high in calcium can help relax your body and take care of a sore head. Low calcium levels can cause painful headaches, so make sure you are consuming your daily recommended doses of this vital nutrient. Yogurt is a delicious way to get a boost of calcium. Look for 0% fat Greek varieties for one of the healthiest yogurt available. Yogurt with berries for breakfast would be an ideal way to start battling a tough hangover.

8. Almonds

Start helping your sore head by eating a handfull of almonds. This healthy snack is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps release serotonin, the feel good brain chemical. Turkey is another great option for consuming this amino acid. Almonds are also full of magnesium, which can relax your muscles and blood vessels. Physical pain and mental stress can cause tension headaches, which would benefit from consuming extra magnesium.

9. Watermelon

Watermelon is a delicious way to quickly rehydrate and consume healthy sugars. Watermelon has a very high water content, thus its name. You can enjoy watermelon cut up, frozen, or blended into drinks. Dehydration can quickly cause a pounding headache so if you find it difficult to drink enough water throughout the day, try snacking on high water fruits and vegetables. This is especially importent in the summer months when heatstroke is a danger.

10. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are high in vitamin B2, also called riboflavin. This nutrient is importent in making celular energy. Riboflavin deficiencies can occur due to poor diet or genetic predisposition. Eating a diet high in B2 can help relieve and prevent headaches. Mushrooms have high levels of riboflavin, along with broccoli and spinach. Many cereals also come fortified with B2.

11. Salmon

Diets high in healthy fats have been shown to help relieve chronic headaches. Salmon contains a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and stop a sore head. Other healthy fats include olive oils, avocado, and other fish products. Sardines are a great option. Some studies have found that regularly consuming olive oil can reduce the number of headaches, the length they last, and the severity of the pain.

12. Cucumber

Prevent getting headaches in the first place by drinking water throughout the day. Cucumbers are a great high water vegetable that can quickly rehydrate a sore body. If you’re battling a painful hangover, make a green smoothie to start your day. Blend together cucumber, apples, and spinach for a high water, high nutrient drink. Other high water foods include berries, tomatoes, and celery.

13. Liver

Beef liver is very high in vitamin B3, also known as niacin. Slight deficiencies of niacin can cause pounding headaches and migraines. Niacin is a water soluble vitamin, which means that you can eat it in excess without worries of overdoses. Enjoy liver as an entree, sausages, or as pâté. Liver fried with onions is a popular home style dish served at diner restaurants. This healthy food is also high in B6, B12, folate, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

14. Quinoa

This health food is a popular new food on the market. Quinoa is a seed, not a grain, which means it’s high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates. Quinoa is also high in magnesium. This nutrient is of great benefit to women suffering from menstrual migraines. Other foods high in magnesium include sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, and brown rice.

15. Spinach

Spinach is a powerhouse of migraine relief. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure, which can prevent chronic headaches. It can also help tame a killer hangover. Spinach is also high in magnesium. This leafy green has a high water content, which can help with dehydration or hangovers. Enjoy this vegetable raw in a salad or lightly cooked. Overcooking this green could destroy some of the beneficial nutrients.

June 28, 2014

Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Health Benefits

If you're worried about heart disease, eating one to two servings of fish a week could reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack.

For many years, the American Heart Association has recommended that people eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. Doctors have long believed that the unsaturated fats in fish, called omega-3 fatty acids, are the nutrients that reduce the risk of dying of heart disease. However, more recent research suggests that other nutrients in fish or a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients in fish may actually be responsible for the health benefits from fish.

Some people are concerned that mercury or other contaminants in fish may outweigh its heart-healthy benefits. However, when it comes to a healthier heart, the benefits of eating fish usually outweigh the possible risks of exposure to contaminants. Find out how to balance these concerns with adding a healthy amount of fish to your diet.

What are omega-3 fatty acids, and why are they good for your heart?

Fish contain unsaturated fatty acids, which, when substituted for saturated fatty acids such as those in meat, may lower your cholesterol. But the main beneficial nutrient appears to be omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk, reduce irregular heartbeats, and in children may improve learning ability. Eating at least one to two servings a week of fish, particularly fish that's rich in omega-3 fatty acids, appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, particularly sudden cardiac death.

Does it matter what kind of fish you eat?

Fatty fish, such as salmon, lake trout, herring, sardines and tuna, contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and therefore the most benefit, but many types of seafood contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Are there any kinds of fish you should avoid?

Some fish, such as tilapia and catfish, don't appear to be as heart healthy because they contain higher levels of unhealthy fatty acids. Keep in mind that any fish can be unhealthy depending on how it's prepared. For example, broiling or baking fish is a healthier option than is deep-frying.

Some researchers are concerned about eating fish produced on farms as opposed to wild-caught fish. Researchers think antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals used in raising farmed fish may cause harmful effects to people who eat the fish.

How much fish should you eat?

For adults, at least two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week are recommended. A serving size is 3.5 ounces (99 grams), or about the size of a deck of cards. Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant and young children should limit the amount of fish they eat because they're most susceptible to the potential effects of toxins in fish.

Does mercury contamination outweigh the health benefits of eating fish?

The risk of getting too much mercury or other contaminants from fish is generally outweighed by the health benefits that omega-3 fatty acids have. The main types of toxins in fish are mercury, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The amount of toxins depends on the type of fish and where it's caught.

Mercury occurs naturally in small amounts in the environment. But industrial pollution can produce mercury that accumulates in lakes, rivers and oceans, which turns up in the food fish eat. When fish eat this food, mercury builds up in the bodies of the fish.

Large fish that are higher in the food chain — such as shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel — tend to have higher levels of mercury than do smaller fish. Larger fish eat the smaller fish, gaining higher concentrations of the toxin. The longer a fish lives, the larger it grows and the more mercury it can collect.

Pay attention to the type of fish you eat, how much you eat and other information such as state advisories. Each state issues advisories regarding the safe amount of locally caught fish that can be consumed.

Should anyone avoid eating fish because of the concerns over mercury or other contaminants?

If you eat enough fish containing mercury, the toxin can accumulate in your body. It can take as long as a year or more for your body to remove these toxins. Mercury is particularly harmful to the development of the brain and nervous system of unborn children and young children. For most adults, however, it's unlikely that mercury would cause any health concerns.

Still, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that these groups limit the amount of fish they eat:

  • Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • Breast-feeding mothers
  • Young children

Pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and children can still get the heart-healthy benefits of fish by eating fish that's typically low in mercury, such as salmon, and limiting the amount they eat to:

  • No more than 12 ounces (340 grams) of fish in total a week
  • No more than 6 ounces (170 grams) of canned tuna a week
  • No amount of any fish that's typically high in mercury (shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish)

Are there any other concerns related to eating fish?

Several recent studies have linked high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood to an increased risk of prostate cancer. But, these studies weren't conclusive, and more research needs to be done to confirm this link. Talk with your doctor about what this potential risk might mean to you.

Can you get the same heart-health benefits by eating other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, or by taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements?

Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients appears to provide more heart-healthy benefits than does using supplements. Other nonfish food options that do contain some omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil. However, similar to supplements, the evidence of heart-healthy benefits from eating these foods isn't as strong as it is from eating fish.

June 26, 2014

Is Peanut Butter Healthy?

I loved getting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my school lunch box—until I became a teenager. That's when peanut butter turned into a guilt-ridden indulgence akin to candy bars, cookies, and cakes: diet disasters to be avoided at all costs. 

Here's why I was wrong:

It helps you lose weight

Calling peanut butter a diet food, with 180 to 210 calories per serving, may seem counter-intuitive. But it has the enviable combination of fiber (2 g per serving) and protein (8 g per serving) that fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer, so you eat less overall. Plus, there's nothing more indulgent than licking peanut butter off a spoon--and indulgence (in moderation) helps dieters fight cravings and stay on track.

It's packed with nutrition

A serving of peanut butter has 3 mg of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, 49 mg of bone-building magnesium, 208 mg of muscle-friendly potassium, and 0.17 mg of immunity-boosting vitamin B6. Research shows that eating peanuts can decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that consuming 1 ounce of nuts or peanut butter (about 2 tablespoons) at least 5 days a week can lower the risk of developing diabetes by almost 30%.

It's got the good fat

Peanut butter is chock-full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. A recent study found that insulin-resistant adults who ate a diet high in monos had less belly fat than people who ate more carbohydrates or saturated fat. PS: If you're buying reduced-fat peanut butter because you think it's better for your waistline, save your money. The calories are the same (or even a little higher) thanks to the extra ingredients that are added to make up for the missing fat (including more sugar).

How to buy the best

The fat and calorie counts of most brands of peanut butter are similar, but there are other indications of a healthier pick. Here's what to look for:

Sodium: Counts can range from 40 mg to 250 mg per 2-tablespoon serving. (Organic versions tend to have less.) Keep in mind that higher sodium content tends to mask the peanut flavor.

Sugar: Natural brands have 1 to 2 g—about half as much as commercial brands. The sugar content isn't so much a health issue as a question of flavor and use: If you're making a savory dish like satay sauce or combining peanut butter with a sweet ingredient, such as jelly or honey, save a few calories by choosing an unsweetened brand.

For Sauces

Peanut Butter & Co.'s Smooth Operator is the PB you spoon instead of spread, making it ideal for drizzling over fruit or adding peanut flavor without thickness to sauces or soups.

Straight off the spoon

Smucker's Natural or Organic have the best peanut flavor of the mass-market brands. They have a pure taste and the quintessential stickiness.

For lunches

Nothing beats the spreadability of Skippy Natural. With just a couple of swipes of a knife, you get an even layer of peanut butter on your sandwich. If I were stuck on a desert island, the jar I'd treasure is Adams Organic, which has a pure roasted-peanut flavor and a spreadable but thick texture. 

Healthy Cooking Oil — Which Oil Do You Use?

You have many options when it comes to selecting fats and oils for cooking.

But it’s not just a matter of choosing oils that are healthy, but also whether they stay healthy after having been cooked with.

The Stability of Cooking Oils

When you’re cooking at a high heat, you want to use oils that are stable and don’t oxidize or go rancid easily. When oils undergo oxidation, they react with oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds that you definitely don’t want to be consuming. The most important factor in determining an oil’s resistance to oxidation and rancidification, both at high and low heat, is the relative degree of saturation of the fatty acids in it.

Saturated fats have only single bonds in the fatty acid molecules, monounsaturated fats have one double bond and polyunsaturated fats have two or more. It is these double bonds that are chemically reactive and sensitive to heat.

Saturated fats and monounsaturated fats are pretty resistant to heating, but oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats should be avoided for cooking. Alright, now let’s discuss each type of cooking fat specifically.

The Winner: Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

When it comes to high heat cooking, coconut oil is your best choice. Over 90% of the fatty acids in it are saturated, which makes it very resistant to heat. This oil is semi-solid at room temperature and it can last for months and years without going rancid.

Coconut oil also has powerful health benefits. It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens. The fats in coconut oil can also boost metabolism slightly and increase feelings of fullness compared to other fats. It is the only cooking oil that made it to my list of superfoods.

Fatty Acid Breakdown:
  • Saturated: 92%.
  • Monounsaturated: 6%.
  • Polyunsaturated: 1.6%.
Make sure to choose virgin coconut oil. It’s organic, it tastes good and it has powerful health benefits. The saturated fats used to be considered unhealthy, but new studies prove that they are totally harmless. Saturated fats are a safe source of energy for humans.


Butter was also demonized in the past due to its saturated fat content. But there really is no reason to fear real butter. It’s the processed margarine that is the truly awful stuff.

Real butter is good for you and actually fairly nutritious.

It contains Vitamins A, E and K2. It is also rich in the fatty acids Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Butyrate, both of which have powerful health benefits. CLA may lower body fat percentage in humans and butyrate can fight inflammation, improve gut health and has been shown to make rats completely resistant to becoming obese.

Fatty Acid Breakdown:
  • Saturated: 68%.
  • Monounsaturated: 28%.
  • Polyunsaturated: 4%.
There is one caveat for cooking with butter. Regular butter does contain tiny amounts of sugars and proteins and for this reason it tends to get burned during high heat cooking like frying.

If you want to avoid that, you can make clarified butter, or ghee. That way, you remove the lactose and proteins, leaving you with pure butterfat. Here’s a great tutorial on how to clarify your own butter. Make sure to choose butter from grass-fed cows. This butter contains more Vitamin K2, CLA and other nutrients, compared to butter from grain-fed cows.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is well known for its heart healthy effects and is believed to be a key reason for the health benefits of the mediterranean diet.

Some studies show that olive oil can improve biomarkers of health.

It can raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and lower the amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream (17, 18).

Fatty Acid Breakdown:
  • Saturated: 14%.
  • Monounsaturated: 75%.
  • Polyunsaturated: 11%.
Studies on olive oil show that despite having fatty acids with double bonds, you can still use it for cooking as it is fairly resistant to the heat (19).

Make sure to choose quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It has much more nutrients and antioxidants than the refined type. Plus it tastes much better.

Keep your olive oil in a cool, dry, dark place, to prevent it from going rancid.

Animal Fats – Lard, Tallow, Bacon Drippings

The fatty acid content of animals tends to vary depending on what the animals eat. If they eat a lot of grains, the fats will contain quite a bit of polyunsaturated fats. If the animals are pastured raised or grass-fed, there will be more saturated and monounsaturated fats in them.

Therefore, animal fats from animals that are naturally raised are excellent options for cooking. You can buy ready-made lard or tallow from the store, or you can save the drippings from meat to use at a later time. Bacon drippings are especially tasty.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is derived from the fruit of oil palmsIt consists mostly of saturated and monounsaturated fats, with small amounts of polyunsaturates. 

This makes palm oil a good choice for cooking.

Red Palm Oil (the unrefined variety) is best. It is also rich in Vitamins E, Coenzyme Q10 and other nutrients. However, some concerns have been raised about the sustainability of harvesting palm oil, apparently growing these trees means less environment available for Orangutans, which are an endangered species.

Avocado Oil

The composition of avocado oil is similar to olive oil. It is primarily monounsaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated mixed in.

It can be used for many of the same purposes as olive oil. You can cook with it, or use it cold.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is very rich in the animal form of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are DHA and EPA. A tablespoon of fish oil can satisfy your daily need for these very important fatty acids. The best fish oil is cod fish liver oil, because it is also rich in Vitamin D3, which a large part of the world is deficient in.

However, due to its high concentration of polyunsaturated fats, fish oil should never be used for cooking. It’s best used as a supplement, one tablespoon per day. Keep in a cool, dry and dark place.

Flax Oil

Flax oil contains lots of the plant form of Omega-3, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). Many people use this oil to supplement with Omega-3 fats. However, unless you’re vegan, then I do recommend that you use fish oil instead. Evidence shows that the human body doesn’t efficiently convert ALA to the active forms, EPA and DHA, of which fish oil has plenty.

Due to the large amount of polyunsaturated fats, flax seed oil should NOT be used for cooking.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is derived from rapeseeds, but the euric acid (a toxic, bitter substance) has been removed from it. The fatty acid breakdown of canola oil is actually fairly good, with most of the fatty acids monounsaturated, then containing Omega-6 and Omega-3 in a 2:1 ratio, which is perfect.

However, canola oil needs to go through very harsh processing methods before it is turned into the final product.

If you haven't seen how canola oil is made already, check this post out. It is very disgusting and involves the toxic solvent hexane (among others) – I personally don’t think these oils are suitable for human consumption.

Nut Oils and Peanut Oil

There are many nut oils available and some of them taste awesome. However, they are very rich in polyunsaturated fats, which make them a poor choice for cooking. They can be used as parts of recipes, but do not fry or do any high heat cooking with them.

The same applies to peanut oil. Peanuts technically aren’t nuts (they’re legumes) but the composition of the oil is similar. There is one exception, however, and that is macadamia nut oil, which is mostly monounsaturated (like olive oil). It is pricey, but I hear it tastes awesome.

If you want, you can use macadamia oil for low- or medium-heat cooking.

Seed and Vegetable Oils

Industrial seed and vegetable oils are highly processed, refined products that are way too rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. Not only should you not cook with them, you should probably avoid them altogether. These oils have been wrongly considered “heart-healthy” by the media and many nutrition professionals in the past few decades.

However, new data links these oils with many serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

Avoid all of them:
  • Soybean Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Rice Bran Oil
One study also looked at common vegetable oils on food shelves in the U.S. market and discovered that they contain between 0.56 to 4.2% trans fats, which are highly toxic.

It’s important to read labels. If you find any of these oils on a packaged food that you are about to eat, then it’s best to purchase something else.

How to Take Care of Your Cooking Oils

To make sure that your fats and oils don’t go rancid, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

Don’t buy large batches at a time. Buy smaller ones, that way you will most likely use them before they get the chance to damage.

When it comes to unsaturated fats like olive, palm, avocado oil and some others, it is important to keep them in an environment where they are less likely to oxidize and go rancid.

The main drivers behind oxidative damage of cooking oils are heat, oxygen and light.

Therefore, keep them in a cool, dry, dark place and make sure to screw the lid on as soon as you’re done using them.

June 25, 2014

Know The Difference (Healthy Fats VS Unhealthy Fats)

Those who say all fats are bad for you are, of course, dangerously incorrect. As it turns out, plant-based fats are powerful cancer fighters, and even saturated fats from plant sources are now being shown to offer extraordinary health benefits.

If you want to prevent cancer, or you're currently battling colon cancer, prostate cancer or breast cancer, it is essential to get plant-based fats into your diet on a daily basis. What kind of plant-based fats are we talking about? What are the healthy fats?

Canola oil is what I consider a neutral fat, meaning it's not necessarily a bad fat, but neither is it considered one of the healthier fats. The healthy fats include extra-virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, and fats from plant sources such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconuts.

These healthy fats should be consumed with every meal. Failure to include these fats in a meal will result in many of the nutrients consumed during the meal not being absorbed by the body. That's because many nutrients are fat-soluble nutrients. Beta carotene, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E are three such nutrients that require fat in order to be absorbed and used by the human body, but there are many other nutrients that also need fats for human metabolism.

Incidentally, these oils do much more than just fight cancer, they also improve your cardiovascular health and fight weight gain and obesity. The benefits list is a long one.

A fascinating new study published, shows that dietary fat is necessary for the absorption of nutrients from fruits and vegetables. In the study, people who consumed salads with fat-free salad dressing absorbed far less of the helpful phytonutrients and vitamins from spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and carrots than those who consumed their salads with a salad dressing containing fat.

This is interesting research, but not necessarily all that surprising. We've known for a long time that healthy fats are a critical part of a healthy diet, and that avoiding fats actually causes chronic disease. The key is in choosing the right kind of fats for your diet and making sure you don't overdo the fats, because fats have a very high caloric density and can add far more calories to your meal than you might expect.

The fact is we all need fats. Fats helps nutrient absorption, nerve transmission, maintaining cell membrane integrity etc. However, when consumed in excess amount, fats contribute to weight gain, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Fats are not created equal. Some fats promote our health positively while other increases our risks of heart disease. The key is to replace bad fats with good fats in our diet.

In other words, if you take super food supplements without fat, you're not getting the same benefit as taking the same supplements with a little bit of fat

The total amount of fat you eat, whether high or low isn't really linked with disease. What really matters is the type of fat you eat. 

6 Health Benefits Of Drinking COFFEE


Do you smell it? Can you taste it? For some people, that unmistakable smell and delectable taste are the main reasons to pry themselves out of bed each morning. What is it? It’s the eye-opening and mouth-watering beverage that’s consumed by an estimated 100 million Americans on a daily basis and it comes from a simple bean – coffee. But, aside from the caffeinated beverage’s eye-opening abilities and addictive flavor, there are many other hidden benefits and we’ve compiled a list of arguably the six best reasons you should be consuming coffee.

Mental Note

Is there anything sadder than seeing an aging loved one drastically losing their mental sharpness? You may be powerless to prevent it, but, according to a recent study, coffee may be able to help you from falling into the same trap. Researchers discovered that participants who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had about a 65% decreased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia later on in life. To ensure you’re always drinking enough coffee, make it a point of always consuming coffee with your meals.

Cardiovascular Protection

Anybody who’s serious about health knows the importance of a healthy cardiovascular system. What they may not know is that by simply drinking one or two cups of coffee per day they could have a significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease-related death. According to a Japanese study of more than 76,000 participants, men consuming one to two cups of coffee daily reduced their risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease by as much as 38%. Of course, this still doesn’t excuse you from cardio exercises.

Risk Aversion

Want to lower your risk of death? A National Institutes of Health – AARP Diet and Health study of more than 400,000 people revealed that drinking coffee might be the answer. Between 1995 and 2008, male participants drinking even just one daily cup reduced their risk of death by 6%. Drinking either two to three cups or six or more cups reduced the risk by 10% during the timeframe of the study. The greatest reduction of death risk was 12% in the group drinking four to five cups. Know your limit: five cups.

Diabetes Defense

An alarming 11.8% of American men over the age of 20 have diabetes. Needless to say, it’s a growing concern and one receiving a great deal of attention in the medical community. Between 1986 and 1998 Harvard researchers tracked the coffee consumption and occurrence of type-2 diabetes of more than 40,000 men. They discovered that long-term coffee drinkers had a significantly reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes and statistics indicated the risk decreased the more they drank. Just remember to limit your sugar

Pain Reduction

Are you in pain during the course of a typical workday? It’s not that unusual. But, what is surprising is the degree to which many people feel rejuvenated following a coffee break and there may be a reason why. Norwegian researchers observed 48 people performing office work and found that those who consumed coffee only declared a pain-intensity level of 41, whereas participants who didn’t drink any coffee reported having a score of 55. If this study is any indication, you might want to take your coffee breaks literally.

Weight Loss

When you think of coffee, you usually think of the beverage. However, if your focus is weight loss, green coffee extract could be an effective aid. Following a 22-week study of 16 overweight adults, researchers discovered that participants given green coffee bean extract had undergone significant weight loss with 37.5% of them transitioning from being at a pre-obesity weight to a normal weight range. If you’re battling the bulge, consider complementing your workouts by looking at the green bean capsule aisle of your local health nutrition store.