Health News
This is Your Brain on Sugar PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Wednesday, June 08, 2016

sugaraffectbrain

For the first time, a study has shown how a diet consistently high in fructose slows brain function, hampering memory and learning.  Could this be the reason for the rise in learning disabilities in children and memory loss in adults?

The study out of UCLA, published in the May 15, 2012 edition of Journal of Physiology, illustrates that what you eat affects how you think.  "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information" said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at UCLA, and one of the researchers of the study.  "But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage" he said.

What is a high fructose diet?  Drinking just two sodas a day provides about 50 grams (25 grams in each 12 ounce can) of fructose a day. The UCLA team zeroed in on high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid six times sweeter than cane sugar.  Other sources of fructose in the American diet include cane sugar, beet sugar, fruit juices, and agave nectar. These sweeteners are widely added to processed foods, including sodas, yogurt, breads, condiments, applesauce and baby food. The average American consumes roughly 40 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year,and about 47 pounds of cane sugar per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  That's a high fructose diet!  It is much more than what the human body is designed to handle.

"We're not talking about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants," explained Gomez-Pinilla.  "We're concerned about high-fructose corn syrup that is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative."

While earlier research has revealed how fructose harms the body through its role in diabetes, obesity and fatty liver, this study is the first to uncover how the sweetener influences the brain. 

The UCLA team studied two groups of rats. The animals were fed standard rat chow and trained on a maze twice daily for five days before starting the experiment.  The team tested how well the rats were able to navigate the maze, which contained numerous holes but only one exit. The scientists placed visual landmarks in the maze to help the rats learn and remember the way.

During the six week experiment, both groups consumed a fructose solution as drinking water for six weeks. The second group also received omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which protects against damage to the synapses -- the chemical connections between brain cells that enable memory and learning.

Six weeks later, the researchers tested the rats' ability to recall the route and escape the maze. What they saw surprised them.

"The second group of rats navigated the maze much faster than the rats that did not receive omega-3 fatty acids," Gomez-Pinilla said. "The DHA-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats' ability to think clearly and recall the route they'd learned six weeks earlier."

"DHA is essential for synaptic function -- brain cells' ability to transmit signals to one another," Gomez-Pinilla said. "This is the mechanism that makes learning and memory possible. Our bodies can't produce enough omega-3 fat, so it must be supplemented through our diet."

The DHA-deprived rats also developed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar and regulates synaptic function in the brain. A closer look at the rats' brain tissue suggested that insulin had lost much of its power to influence the brain cells.

"Because insulin can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the hormone may signal neurons to trigger reactions that disrupt learning and cause memory loss," Gomez-Pinilla said.

He suspects that fructose is the culprit behind the DHA-deficient rats' brain dysfunction. Eating too much fructose could block insulin's ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar for the energy required for processing thoughts and emotions.

"Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning," he said. "Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new."

"Our findings suggest that consuming omega-3 regularly protects the brain against fructose's harmful effects," said Gomez-Pinilla. "It's like saving money in the bank. You want to build a reserve for your brain to tap when it requires extra fuel to fight off future diseases."

While I am in complete agreement with the consumption of omega-3's, I don't think the take-away here should that a person can throw caution to the wind and indulge sugary foods on a regular basis thinking that it's okay to do so as long as they also pop a fish oil capsule along with it.

The consumption of sugar, fructose in particular, is far reaching and has many other documented health effects, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

The main finding of this study is that the list of health problems and serious diseases associated with fructose consumption keep mounting.  We should all seek to remove sugar from our foods.

Source:

This is Your Brain on Sugar: Study Shows High Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning, Memory.  Science Daily, May 15, 2012.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120515150938.htm

 
Amazing Avocadoes Aid Weight Loss, Not Weight Gain! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Saturday, June 04, 2016

Avocados are high in fat, but they're not fattening.  In fact, avocadoes are one of the best foods for weight loss because they contain key nutrients that help stabilize blood sugar, lower the secretion of insulin, and increase metabolism.

Here's a summary of the scientific findings about the virtues of avocados and how eating them can help you lose weight:

  • Although 90 percent of the calories in avocados come from fat, the fat is the healthy unprocessed monounsaturated type, which speeds up the basal metabolic rate and helps you to burn more energy (calories).  Monounsaturated fat also helps lower bad cholesterol.
  • The fats in avocados are part of a "perfect package" food, accompanied by essential nutrients that help our body better absorb the fats and use them for energy. 
  • Research clearly indicates that monounsaturated fat exerts beneficial effects on how your body uses blood sugar.  Keeping blood sugar stable is the key to weight loss. High blood sugar leads to diabetes and obesity.
  • In addition to its fat, avocado contains a unique weight loss friendly carbohydrate called mannoheptulose, which reduces the amount of insulin the body produces.  When the body produces too much insulin, it creates insulin resistance, which forces the body to store blood sugar as fat rather than using it for energy.  Avocados are the only known food to contain mannoheptulose.
  • Avocados contain the vitamins and minerals of green vegetables and the protein of meat.  They contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, including vitamin A (the potent antioxidant), B vitamins including folate, lutein (a phytonutrient important for the eyes), magnesium, and 60 percent more potassium than bananas.
  • One medium-size avocado contains a whopping 15 grams of fiber, making it one of the most fiber-rich fruits on the planet. Diets high in fiber also help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which aids in weight loss.
  • Avocados are high in a phytochemical called beta-sitosterol, that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from foods, so despite its high fat content, the avocado is an excellent cholesterol buster.
  • According to a study in Brisbane, Australia, eating avocados daily for three weeks improved blood cholesterol levels and reduced weight in middle-aged women better than a low-fat diet did. The daily amount of avocado ranged from ½ avocado for small women to 1½ for large women. Including avocadoes daily reduced total cholesterol by 8 percent and improved the women's good HDL-cholesterol ratio by 15 percent. The Australian study not only reported that eating either half or a whole avocado per day for a month succeeded in lowering cholesterol levels, but at the same time most people in the study lost weight.

Avocados are wonderful in salads, but they can also be mashed into guacamole dip for veggies, and used in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches and in tuna salad, chicken salad or egg salad. Avocados can also be a great addition to smoothies, and you can even use them to make a creamy chocolate mousse!


Sources:

The Avocado and Human Nutrition, Bob Bergh Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, http://www.regenerativenutrition.com/content.asp?id=443

All-About-Lowering-Cholesterol.com, "Lowering Cholesterol with Avocado
Fat" http://www.all-about-lowering-cholesterol.com/avocado-cholesterol-and
-avocado-fat.html

 
Amazing Tepary Beans PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Tepary-Beans1Of all the commonly consumed plant foods eaten worldwide, no other food has a more health-supportive nutrient profile than beans.  They contain nearly equal amounts of both protein and fiber—a unique combination rarely found in other plant foods. This magical protein-fiber combination, coupled with beans’ high antioxidant content, has been shown to be a very powerful food weapon against many of today’s common diseases.

But there is one bean that rises above the rest.  The Tepary Bean (pronounced TEP-AR-EE) is highly superior in nutritional content and disease fighting powers than other beans.  They have been featured as a key dietary component in diabetes research on Native American populations whose incidence of type 2 diabetes is the highest in the nation.  Also, recent studies from the U.S. and Mexico suggest that tepary beans are useful for treating cancer, and they could be ten times more effective than chemotherapy.1  

Almost Extinct

 

You may have never heard of a Tepary bean.  Neither had I up until about 8 years ago.  That’s because it’s an ancient variety of bean that almost became extinct.  Tepary beans were once an important part of the traditional diet of the Native American Indians of the southwest.  Just before WWII, the federal government re-routed the water supply away from their land toward the farms and homes of white settlers. As a result they had no way to grow their own traditional foods (beans, squash, watermelon, pumpkins, wheat, and other plant foods). Their fields dried up, so the government stepped in and provided them with sacks of white flour, sugar, lard, canned foods, peanut butter and other commercially processed foods.   During that time, tepary beans vanished from their culture.

But recently, tepary beans and other native foods have been reintroduced into the southwestern Arizona Native American diets as researchers have discovered that they have unique qualities for combating diabetes that other beans don’t have.  Tepary beans have a higher protein content than common beans such as pinto, kidney, and navy, as well as higher levels of oil, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium.

 

Superior Health Benefits

 

The benefits, which are also found in a few more familiar foods like oat bran and okra, stem primarily from two characteristics: their high content of soluble fibers that form edible gels, gums and mucilages, and a type of starch called amylose that is digested very slowly. The combined effect is to prevent wide swings in blood sugar, slow down the digestive process and promote satiety. Because of their fiber, tepary beans have the lowest glycemic index (the rate at which a food raises blood sugar levels) of all beans.  The pinto beans that the federal government gives to the Indians (along with lard, refined wheat flour, sugar, coffee and processed cereals) are far more rapidly digested than tepary beans. 

 

Several Versatile Varieties

 

There are two main varieties of tepary beans: the brown tepary bean has a rich, earthy flavor, while the white beans have a slightly sweet flavor. The beans look a little like a flattened black-eyed pea. The white ones cook up creamy. The brown ones are best simmered like pinto beans. They go beautifully with cumin, and with garlic and coconut oil and chilies as well as with pungent herbs such as sage, bay, oregano and thyme. Basically, they go best with the seasonings indigenous to the Southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. 

 

Basic Cooking Instructions

 

Tepary beans take about 3 hours to cook after soaking them for about 8 hours. They can be used in bean salad, pureed for dips, used in cassoulets or stews or in place of any other dry bean.

Tepary beans are typically available at Farmer’s markets throughout southern Arizona, however they can also be purchased online at www.nativeseeds.org.

To cook, rinse beans with water, pick out an discard any stones or broken pieces, place beans in a large pot and cover with water (8 cups of water of one cup of beans) and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Partially cover and cook until tender, about two to four hours. Once cooked, they will double in volume. The cooked beans can be frozen and store well in the refrigerator for up to one week  (leave them in the cooking liquid). Delicious in bean salads, chili and dips.

 

Crock Pot Instructions

 

Tepary beans are perfect for the crock pot. The long slow cooking brings out the sweetness of the bean and makes a delicious broth. Pick through the beans removing any stones or cracked pieces. Rinse in water to remove any dust. Add the 2 cups of dried beans and 1 teaspoon of salt and fill your crock pot with water almost to the top. Cover and cook on high approximately 8 to 12 hours or until the beans are soft but not falling apart. Yields about 4 cups of cooked beans.

 

Sources:

1 Josue López-Martinez, Ana Luisa Castañeda-Cuevas, Lorena Yllescas-Gasca, et al, Cytotoxic Effect of a Tepary Bean (Phaseolus acutifolius) Lectin on Human Cancer Cell Lines, The Journal of the Federation of American Societies, 2008;22:1136.4., http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/22/1_MeetingAbstracts/1136.4

 
The Most Important Food Fight of Our Time PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Saturday, May 28, 2016

nogmovideoimage

CLICK ON THE ABOVE VIDEO FOR A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF WHY IT IS OUR RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT'S IN OUR FOOD

GMO Labeling – Your Right to Know

GMO Label RallyIn November, California voters have a powerful decision to make.  It could be one of the most important decisions in history regarding our health and the health of future generations.   If passed, California Proposition 37 will require food manufacturers to clearly label food and drinks containing ingredients that derive from genetically engineered, or genetically modified organisms (called GMOs).  GMOs are plants or animals whose DNA has been manipulated by scientists in an effort to speed up growth or make plants more resistant to pests.

According to official surveys, more than 90 percent of Americans support mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs.  Food activists have been fighting for twenty years to get U.S food companies to do this.  Why?  Because we have a basic right to know what’s in our food.  But the more important reason is that GMOs are scary.  They have changed the very essence of real whole natural foods, and have turned them into substances that are foreign to our bodies.  What’s even more scary is that they have never been tested for human safety. 

If you’ve ever wondered why so many people suffer from food sensitivities and allergies, it’s because our food supply has undergone a recent radical change.  In the mid-1990’s, new food proteins were engineered and introduced into our food supply, unannounced and untested on humans and animals. In an effort to increase production and profits for food manufacturers, scientists articifially insert bacteria, viruses and other genes into the  DNA of soy, corn, canola, and many other foods. A genetically engineered growth hormone, rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is used on dairy cows. 

 

These unlabeled genetically modified foods carry a high risk of triggering life-threatening allergic  reactions, and evidence collected over the past decade now suggests that they are contributing to higher allergy rates. Milk is the number one food allergen in the U.S.  Soy and corn allergies rank right behind it.  GMOs have been linked to the alarming increases in allergies, A.D.H.D, cancer, asthma and obesity.

 

An allergic reaction to food occurs when your body reacts to a food protein as a foreign invader (just like a virus or bacteria), which triggers an inflammatory response.  GMOs contain foreign proteins that have never been in our foods prior to the mid 1990’s.  That explains why adults who never had food allergies when they were younger, now have them.  And it explains why one out of seventeen children now have some form of food allergy.

 

In 1991, there was overwhelming consensus among scientists at the FDA that GMO foods were substantially different and could create unpredictable, unsafe, and hard-to-detect allergens, toxins, diseases, and nutritional problems. The scientists urged the agency to require long-term safety studies, including human studies, to protect the public.

But in spite of the protests, the warnings were not heeded by the FDA, which was under orders by the White House to promote biotechnology. As a result, GMOs—such as soybeans, corn, cottonseed, and rapeseeds (canola) that have had bacterial genes forced into their DNA—entered our foods without any required safety evaluations.

 

GMO Crops percentageAs crazy as it sounds, there have never been any human clinical trials on the effects of GMOs on our health, and not many long-term animal-feeding studies either, so we are largely in the dark about their effect on living creatures.

 

In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GM foods.

Has your doctor ever told you to avoid GMO foods??  Probably not.  That’s why California’s Proposition 37 is so important.

Because GMOs have never been tested to determine their safety, and because so many health issues have arisen since their introduction, more than 40 of the world’s wealthiest countries, including Japan, China, and a host of European countries already label genetically engineered foods. GMOs are deeply unpopular in Europe, which has banned many genetically engineered crops and has strict labeling rules for those that are used.  India’s government is the most recent to come on board: beginning in January 2013, food products containing genetically modified ingredients will be required to carry a “GM” tag.  The United States and Canada are the only two developed countries in the world that do not require labeling of GMO foods.

 

GMOlabelingmap

Processed foods in general can contribute to allergies for a number of different reasons. Most processed foods contain a variety of food colorings, flavors, preservatives, and other additives can have powerful and unforeseen chemical reactions in our body. But those chemicals are clearly listed on ingredient labels, and if you’re tying to avoid them, all you have to do is become a devoted ingredient list reader. GMOs are a more insidious heaUSDAOrganicLogo green and whitelth hazard because therNonGMOProjectseale are no labeling requirements in this country.

Good News: Organic is Not GMO and some Companies Voluntarily Label their Products

The USDA National Organic Program strictly prohibits the use of GMOs in any food carrying the USDA Organic Seal.  So if your food carries the organic seal, you know it’s not made with GMOs.  Organic growers and many other food companies have begun to take matters into their own hands, and are voluntarily labeling their products with a Non-GMO Project seal verifying that their foods do not contain genetically modified ingredients.  But all food companies should be required to let us know about GMO ingredients.

GMO Top FoodsWhere do GMO’s show up?

 

 Everywhere! It is estimated that genetically modified ingredients are found in 80 percent of the U.S. food supply.  They’re in non-organic foods that contain the following:

Sugar: if the product is made in North America and lists “sugar” as an ingredient (and NOT pure cane sugar), then it is almost certainly a combination of sugar from both sugar cane and GMO sugar beets.

Dairy Products:  if the milk comes from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone, then it’s GMO.  This means milk, cheese, yogurt, whey, ice cream and food ingredients that come from GMO milk.    If it’s not labeled organic, or Non-GMO Project verified, look for labels stating No rbGH, rbST, or artificial hormones.

Corn, Soy, Canola, Cottonseed:These are the four major GMO crops.  Soy shows up in protein bars, meal replacement shakes, baby food, infant formula, soy mik and dairy alternatives.  Corn is used to make foods additives, sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose, and even the “natural” sweeteners erythritol and xylitol.  It is also used to make xanthan gum, MSG  and artificial sweeteners.  Canola oil  and soybean oil are used in thousands of foods, including salad dressings, margarines, snack foods, and frozen foods. Many vitamins and supplements use corn and soy derivatives.

 

 

A Fight Worth FightingGMO prop37-poster

Real-food activists have been fighting for two decades to force U.S. Food companies to tell consumers when their products are made with genetically modified organisms.  This California ballot initiative is potentially their most promising offensive to date.  If Proposition 37 passes, California would become the first state in the nation to require GMO labeling on a host of food products commonly found on grocery store shelves, from breakfast cereals to baby food, sodas and tofu.

 

But the company that has the patents on the GMO seeds (Monsanto), and the food manufacturers that use GMO ingredients are fighting back hard.  Very hard.  Foodmakers, like carmakers, know that what starts in California has a fair chance of becoming the national law, or at least the national norm.

 

This has become a very big food fight.  It’s a people’s movement against big corporations, and it’s one of the most important food fights of our time. 

 

Those who want to see the measure passed are people like you and me who are passionate about healthy and organic food.  The big and small natural food companies that you have come to trust to provide you with high quality food products are also behind the initiative. To date they have raised $2.8 million on campaign efforts. Scores of individuals have made $100 donations, but most of the money is coming from organic businesses such as Nature's Path Foods and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. Dr. Joseph Mercola, the controversial holistic health activist from Illinois (and one of my heroes), has kicked in $800,000!  Yay Dr. Mercola!

But opponents to the measure have raised $25 million, about nine times as much. Almost all of the nearly $25 million has come from a variety of chemical, seed and processed-food companies, including Coca-Cola, General Mills, Nestle, and PepsiCo. General Mills alone has given $500,000, and Monsanto, the leading producer of GMO seeds, has given $4.2 million, the largest donation.  They’re still gathering donations, and could reach up to $50 million.

 

An Unfortunate Predicament

 

There’s something else that upsetting to me, and may be to you also.  Some of the natural food companies that you have come to know and love, are actually owned by big processed food companies.  One of my favorites, Larabar, is one of them. A few years back, Larabar was acquired by General Mills. Now General Mills is giving big bucks to fight against what Larabar-type people stand for. Some of my other favorites—Muir Glen, Cascadian Farms, and Santa Cruz Organic have also been bought out by the opposition in recent years.

This has left me in a quandary.  I stand against GMOs and I support GMO labeling. These companies that I have recommended and supported in the past are now on the side of food manufacturers who want to continue to keep consumers in the dark.

I am sure that the people at Larabar and Muir Glen would certainly want GMO’s labeled, but when they assimilated into a larger company that didn’t share their ideals, the possibility for this quandary arose.  They made their decision, and now I can’t support them.  I won’t be buying their products anymore.  It’s a difficult decision to make, but I have the right to know if GMO’s are in my food, and I can’t support any company that is fighting against that basic right.

We Can’t Wait For Legislation, We Have to Act Now

 

 Even if you don’t live in California and won’t have the opportunity to vote on this important proposition, you and those you love will be affected.  Because “As Goes in California, As Goes the Nation.”  We will either be given the freedom to know what’s in our foods so we can make educated choices, or we will continue to be silently poisoned by the food industry.

Whether you have food sensitivities or not, avoiding processed and GMO foods should be a priority.  We can’t wait for legislation.  We must begin to act in our own self interest.  You can begin by signing our petition asking the FDA to ban the most egregious food additives—many of which are made from GMO ingredients.

Also, an organization called JustLabelIt.org has already gathered over one million signatures on their petition asking the FDA to label GMO foods.  Theirs is a separate effort from the California proposition, and one of the ways you can act if you’re not a Californian.  To make your voice heard, click here.

If you don't already have a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, please print one out and refer to it often. It can help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Also remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.

 

When possible, buy your fresh produce and meat from local farmers who have committed to using non-GMO seeds and avoid processed non-organic foods as much as possible, as again these are virtually 100-percent guaranteed to contain GMO ingredients.

It may sound exaggerated, but genetically modified foods are, from my perception, one of the most significant health threats of our time.  We are living in a food experiment and we are all the guinea pigs.  The experiment is not going well, and is threatening the very sustainability of the human race. Everything you can do to avoid GMOs is a step toward saving humankind.

If you want to learn more about GMO's, you can read my three-part article on GMOs (Just Say No to GMO's part 1, part 2, and part 3).

 
Fat Burnin’ Foods in Place of a Low-Fat Diet PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Lowe   
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

 

 

 

Back in the 90’s slimmers everywhere were raving about the low-fat diet. From low-fat cookies to low-fat shakes – the fad paved the way for the low-fat-everything that lines the shelves of our supermarkets today. On the face of it, it all seemed to make sense back then. Lower fat food equalled less fat in our bellies - right? Well, not necessarily. It wasn’t until 2006 when Harvard University unleashed the results of their eight-year long study into low-fat diets. The study, in which 49,000 women participated, concluded that low-fat diets didn’t make us slimmer at all - In fact, it could do quite the opposite. What’s more, the low-fat diet didn’t even lower the risk of heart disease, breast cancer or colorectal cancer as first claimed, either.

healthyimage

 

The Low-Fat Flop

The low-fat diet, which emphasizes whole grain foods and fruit and vegetables (with a daily calorie intake consisting of about 20% from fat, 60% from carbohydrates, and 20% from protein) was found to significantly slow metabolism (the body’s fat-burning furnace, of course); with more recent studies also noting its adverse effect on both lipids and insulin resistance. Furthermore, because low-fat diets are high in carbohydrates (most of which come in the form of quickly digested foods, such as flour, rice, potatoes) the diet can also increase hunger - meaning it has the potential to be a particularly torturous experience for anyone who struggles with dietary discipline. Add to that the link between obesity, heart disease and additives (which are commonly used in low-fat foods as a substitute for flavour, after fats have been artificially removed) the low-fat diet isn’t as good an option as it might at first seem - especially for those of us who don't consume processed foods.

The Good Fats

Granted, avoiding the ‘bad fats’ (primarily trans fats) can help your lose weight; but in order to do so any budding ‘loser’ must acknowledge the good, healthy fats too – and not put them aside like the low-fat diet encourages. According to research, monounsaturated fats can actually prevent abdominal fat, along with providing a whole host of other health benefits; such as raising good cholesterol, lowering the bad and keeping your arteries plaque free. Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats shouldn’t be overlooked either. Found within Omega-3 and Omega-6, they also contribute to overall well being. Omega-3 (found within fish, such as salmon or mackerel) improves brain function, mood and immune system; whilst Omega-6 (found within corn and beef) keeps skin and eyes healthy when consumed in moderation. Consequently, avoiding all fat isn’t necessarily a wise move when you’re in pursuit of a slimmer figure.

Foods That Boost Fat Burning Hormones

Aside from exercise, or in conjunction with it, altering your diet to stimulate fat burning hormones is an ideal way to lose excess weight. And unlike the low-fat diet, it makes scientific sense. Fat burning hormones are present in all of us; testosterone, HGH, Leptin and thyroxine, for example, all play a part in burning fat, and their efficiency and influence on the metabolic rate can be boosted by eating the right foods.

Seafood

Seafood is fantastic when it comes to giving those fat burning hormones a kick in the rear. Oily fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids offer many benefits (as noted above) but also stimulate the production of leptin. The leptin hormone regulates and controls metabolism, therefore when your leptim levels rise, your metabolism speeds up and you feel less hungry - which is especially good news for those wanting to lose weight. 

Nuts

HGH (aka Human Growth Hormone) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, which does many useful things; including boosting energy, keeping bones strong, retaining muscle and of course burning fat - even whilst we’re asleep. Amino acids stimulate HGH, and can be found in nuts. Therefore Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds can all contribute towards burning fat and weight loss.

Vitamin C Foods

Citrus fruits that contain vitamin C are fantastic for diluting fat, and helping to remove it from the body faster. Oranges, tangerines, limes (and perhaps the occasional margarita?) are all very useful in weight loss. As well as being packed with vitamins and all that good stuff you’d want anyway, they also give your metabolism a kick.

Foods that boost Metabolism

As well as the larger groups, there are plenty of individual metabolism-boosting foods that can contribute towards losing weight when integrated within your diet. Many of them stimulate positive fat-burning hormones, and some counter the negative ones, making them all pretty useful. Here’s just a handful.

Hot Peppers – are great for giving your metabolism a kick. Even a pinch of cayenne in your meal is shown to increase your metabolism by 25% for three hours after you’ve eaten.

Milk (raw organic milk is best) – Calcium is wonderful for the metabolism - it’s also recommended you have a daily intake of 1,200 – 1,300mg for your general health anyway.

Eggs (oragnic) – As well as stimulating metabolism, eggs are full of Vitamin B12; which contributes to breaking down fat.

Ginger – Great for both metabolism, and circulation.

Organic Dark Chocolate – Stress hormones can cause the body to store fat. Dark chocolate counters this, reducing cortisol levels.

Lean Protein – Lean protein is great for both energy and metabolism. When it comes to weight loss, protein helps you lose fat, as opposed to muscle. This can lead to a higher lean muscle mass, which in turn leads to burning more calories on a daily basis - further aiding weight control.

And of course, there are many, many more.

The Big Fat Truth

With obesity ever on the rise, fatty food is on everyone’s lips. There is a huge emphasis on what we shouldn’t eat, rather than what we should. With relatively recent studies like Harvard’s, turning out such dramatic revelations, perhaps we should see through the fog of dud diets, flimsy fads, metabolism myths, and celebrity weight loss sagas; instead turning our attention onto what science actually tells us. And what science tells us is that there’s a whole host of wonderful fat-burning hormones waiting to be triggered by good, non-processed, natural food. Therefore, eating yourself skinny is not as far-fetched as it might seem!

 

 
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    Cumberland, WI

  • "Thank you for taking a real stand on health!"

    Whitney H.,
    Fort Worth, TX

  • "It is time the government stopped selling out "we the people" to businesses."

    Pamela I.,
    Cropwell, AL

  • "Keep up the good work."

    Geanine H.,
    Sacramento, CA

  • "I am so ready to sign this petition."

    Jean D.,
    Toms River, NJ

  • "Humanity's inalienable right to the natural, unadulterated foods given by the Creator is more important than the greed of food, drug and chemical corporations."

    Chavah A.,
    Taos, NM

  • "TOO MANY UNNATURAL SUBSTANCES = TOO MANY CANCERS!!...Unless a change is made to the laws, food manufacturers will continue to poison us with WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY CAN!! Time to stop the insanity."

    Karen G.,
    Henrietta, NY

  • "I find it a travesty that in what used to be one of the richest countries in the world we have such a poorly regulated food supply."

    Julie S.,
    Birch Run, MI

  • "Best of luck with this important petition!"

    Scott E.,
    Cheshire, CT

  • "Thanks for keeping us informed! We need a watch dog over our food supply!"

    Cindy M.,
    Raleigh, NC

  • "Every single person should take the time to prepare healthy, nutritious meals for their families every day! ... Drag those kids and your spouse into the kitchen and create together!!"

    Ellen F.H.,
    Colton, OR

  • "Obesity is an epidemic in this country. Let's mandate healthy eating and stop poisoning our citizens."

    Tim W.,
    Ventura, CA

  • "This processed food is the killer for all human beings."

    Hadassah E.,
    Florida City, FL

  • "Have been on the no preservatives diet for 3 months now and have lost 10 pounds! I feel great!"

    Sallie G.,
    Conway, SC

  • "I have a chronic illness so it is very important to me that our food does not have toxins in it."

    Susie H.,
    Monroe, WI

  • "I am just now learning (about) all the stuff that is being put in our food. I am so shocked."

    Verna W.,
    Las Vegas, NV

  • "The U.K. & other countries get it right because they care. It's a disgrace that the U.S. doesn't use safe ingredients."

    Janice E.,
    Glendale, AZ

  • "As someone who struggles with weight, I would like to be proactive, not only in my own life, but also in the lives of others, which is why I decided to be a part of this petition. Thank you for informing me."

    Tekoa S.,
    Fullerton, CA

  • "What a positive change it has made in my life!"

    Judy E.,
    Sun City, AZ

  • "Everyone has a right to clean, clear, un-adulterated foods. It is not a privilege but a RIGHT!!"

    Ramana and Neil K.,
    Plano, TX

  • "Awareness is the beginning of change...thank you for your diligence in keeping us informed!"

    Elizabeth D.,
    Ft Worth, TX

  • "Let us as individuals take charge of our own health by making our food supply safe."

    Deborah Y.,
    Phoenix, AZ

  • "Thank you for your devotion to this issue."

    Silvia S.,
    Riverside, CA

  • "I think the government has to start to have the health and welfare of the people at heart. Putting chemicals and dangerous preservatives in our food is not in anyone's best interest."

    Diane W.,
    West Lawn, PA

  • "It is criminal and outrageous what's being done to our food here in America....It is your job to protect us, and STOP this greed-driven abuse NOW! Take a stand for the health of your citizens and their families, or remove yourself from office.

    Douglas G.
    Goleta, CA

  • "Processed food has made me sick ... I feel better since I don't eat it anymore."

    Mary Ann B.,
    Oak View, CA

  • "We must take action to protect our health."

    Delores W.,
    Kansas City, MO

  • "Being a nutritionist with a PHD, it is my goal to assist as many individuals as possible to live a healthy lifestyle. As more and more issues with health arise, it is evident that the foods we are consuming has toxic effects on us."

    Brenda B.,
    Mesa, AZ

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