… and aid your weight management strategy
A surprising number of people avoid eating nuts as they retain the false stigma that the calories derived from a handful of nuts contribute to weight gain. Nuts also deliver a higher percentage of fat calories per ounce than many nutritionally deficient processed foods and are thus considered to be unhealthy. As the incidence of metabolic syndrome (six health metrics that increase risk of diabetes, heart disease and many other potentially fatal chronic conditions) continues to skyrocket in many unsuspecting individuals, a wealth of scientific evidence now shows that eating a variety of tree nuts is not only beneficial to our health, but also helps lower obesity prevalence in the adult population and aids weight management as part of a natural food diet.
A research team from Loma Linda University in California studied 803 Seventh-day Adventist adults to establish an association between tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts), metabolic syndrome (MetS) and obesity in a population with a wide range of nut intake ranging from never to daily. Publishing the results of their work in the journal PLOS ONE, the scientists were able to determine that the amount of tree nuts consumed daily correlated directly to the prevalence of obesity in the adult participants.
Tree nuts improve metabolic profile to lower MetS abnormalities and improve weight loss efforts
The researchers used a validated food frequency questionnaire to determine the daily intake of tree nuts and peanuts, both together and separately. The participants were then rated as to high tree nut consumption, averaging 16 grams per day, to low consumption with an average intake of 5 grams per day. Lead study author, Dr. Karen Jaceldo-Siegl noted “Our results showed that one serving (28g or 1 ounce) of tree nuts per week was significantly associated with 7 percent less MetS… doubling this consumption could potentially reduce MetS risk by 14 percent.”
MetS (consisting of increased abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and hyperglycemia) signals metabolic deterioration as the body is forced to deal with a cascade of physical abnormalities that ultimately lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia and drastically lowered quality of life.
Regular consumption of tree nuts can lower the risks associated with MetS as they help to balance oxidized cholesterol ratios and improve vascular function, largely due to the quality, monounsaturated fat content and wealth of minerals supplied in a handful of the small tasty gems.
Another benefit found by the researchers is lowered body weight. Although nuts are relatively high in calories, they squelch appetite by providing a solid source on non-animal protein and have little to no impact on blood glucose levels. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that the monounsaturated fats are conserved by the body for cellular metabolism and are not readily burned as a source of fuel by the body.
Dr. Jaceldo-Siegl concluded “We found that high tree nut consumers had significantly lower prevalence of obesity compared to the low tree nut consumers… and, high consumers of tree nuts had the lowest prevalence of obesity when compared to the low peanut/tree nut groups.” Nutrition experts recommend eating 1.5 ounces of tree nuts each day, the amount in a good size handful, to ward off chronic disease processes and help keep weight in check.
Pleasure the palate, nourish the body…
Soup’s On … Wow ‘em at the dining table with iLoveToLiveWell’s Bistro-Style, Tomato Bisque.
The eyes behold a rich fusion bursting with gloriously vivid, electric vermilion gorgeousness. Wafts of the irresistible, enchanting aroma tantalize the nasal. With each comforting, warming and cozy slurp…the lips lapse luxuriously into velvety delight. Then, the tongue swirls in a pool of sassy spiciness and seductive sweetness. The mind captivated in the romanticism of this cloud nine, cherishable dining interlude. All the while, the body flourishes with nourishment par excellence! Eat slowly to savor the ecstasy of these grand, gastronomic moments.
…the epitome of Recipes That WOW!
The Culinary Adventure
Let’s Get Homestyle Cooking
Yield is three quarts.
1} Put into a 5-quart pot:
In The Red
Tomatoes (red, low water content) = 48 ounces, leave skin and seeds intact
Weigh tomatoes…then core them.
Chop tomatoes into ½ inch by ½ inch pieces.
Sublime is the sapor of heirloom…unparalleled!
Pass The Thyme
Thyme (minced leaf), dried (thymus vulgaris) = 1 tablespoon
Measure minced, thyme leaf…then grind it to powder.
It’s About Thyme
A fresh perspective…
Splendid is 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme…instead of the 1 tablespoon, dried herb.
It’s Getting Hot In Here
Red chili pepper flakes = 1/8 teaspoon
Water, free of impurities = 4 cups
You say tomato… I say tomahto
Tomatoes, sun-dried = 3 ounces
If sun-dried tomatoes are without salt…accent this recipe with a little extra salt, up to ¼ teaspoon.
The sun-dried tomatoes will absolutely make or break this recipe. Be quite discriminating…sample a few varieties. Use sun-dried tomatoes of superior quality!
Which Direction To Go?
2} Lid pot…bring liquid to a rolling boil.
3} Simmer for 30 minutes…keep lid on pot for this entire time.
Run kitchen timer to count down the 30 minutes…all set, timing is everything!
4} Ready the following flavor enhancements…place them in a sauté pan:
Onion bulb, strip away its ends and peel it = 3 cups
Chop yellow onion into ¼ inch by ¼ inch pieces.
Bay leaf, dried = 1 leaf, in its whole form
A top-notch gourmet choice is…Turkish bay: laurus nobilis.
Feel free to choose 3 fresh bay leaves…in lieu of the dried leaf.
Salt, unrefined (fine grain) = ¼ teaspoon
Tingle the palate with one of this author’s most beloved salts…Andes Mountain Bolivian Rose Rock Salt!
Water, free of impurities = ½ cup, dry measure
What Happens Now?
5} Cook onion til it’s crisp-tender.
A culinary conundrum? What’s crisp-tender?
Cook til just tender…but still somewhat crunchy.
Not confident enough?
Put a fork in it!
Is there a bit of resistance when pressed into the onion? If yes… Then, we have success!
Moving on with savoir faire…
Once onion is crisp-tender…
6} Introduce garlic to the pan.
Garlic, mince it = 2 tablespoons
Click here … Get garlicky!
7} Sauté garlic for 2 or 3 minutes.
8} Fish out the bay leaf.
Everything’s panning out wonderfully well!
Only a high-speed, blender machine will pulverize the skin…and tiny seeds…of a tomato.
9} Place the salted, aromatic trio into a high-speed blender…along with:
Honey = 1 teaspoon
Select pure honey that hasn’t been processed…heated and/or filtered.
Salt, unrefined (fine grain) = ½ teaspoon
Peppercorns, black = scant, ½ teaspoon
Relish in the exquisite bouquet and zesty bite of pepper with these fine, gourmet picks of…Madagascar, Tellicherry, Malabar, Lampong or Sarawak. For its ultimate essence…always freshly grind peppercorns just before incorporating them into a meal.
A Slick Move
Olive oil = 2 tablespoons
Consider an unfiltered…extra-virgin…olive oil made from an ancient variety of olive…tree ripened…that’s been ice pressed or hasn’t been subjected to heat.
Butter, dairy = 2 tablespoons
Right On Course
Have handy a 3-quart pot.
10} Add…to the blender…a portion of what’s in the 5-quart pot.
11} And away we go… Have at it… A few zaps of the machine… Voila, smooth as silk.
Avoid spurting… Careful pureeing hot liquids. Start out on a low speed…gradually increase speed.
12} Transfer this beautiful, fragrant puree to a 3-quart pot.
13} Pour…into the blender…the remainder of what’s in the 5-quart pot.
14} Spin about the ingredients, and break into a chorus or two of… “Hey Good Lookin’! What Ya Got Cookin’?”
15} Join the luscious silk to the 3-quart pot…stir things up.
16} Lid pot to keep bisque warm.
If desired, garnish each bowlful with a complimentary dairy cheese…or perhaps a splash of heavy cream.
For both ultimate nutrition and flavor…consume foods that are heirloom, grown organically, sustainably or biodynamically.
Allyson Grabish-Paniccia is a proud woman, and for good reason. She once tipped the scales at 240 pounds, but in just one short year, she dropped 80 of them. In that same time frame, she lost 100 inches, 12 sizes, 34 percent body fat and her problems with acid reflux. Even her migraines and arthritis flare-ups greatly diminished.
“I was the heaviest I had ever been,” she says referring to her size 22 pants. Grabish-Paniccia explains that her pregnancies contributed to her weight gain. After her first son was born in 2005, she gained weight. While weight gain is expected from pregnancy, she says she never had the opportunity to get back in shape before her and her husband learned they were pregnant again. Her other child was born the following year.
She explains that she was basically bed-ridden about three times a week due to arthritic flare-ups, something she developed at 19, but made worse by her weight. Additionally, she had acid reflux. A study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology shows that overweight people are 50 percent more likely to have GERD than people of a normal weight range, while it was more than twice as likely for the obese.
Not only was her health in jeopardy, but her personal relationships as well as self-confidence suffered. She recalls going to Las Vegas and while most people would want their pictures taken at such a fun destination, she was too embarrassed to step in front of the camera. “But I just wasn’t ready to make changes.”
That is, until she landed in the ER for chest pains. Her pains turned out to be stress-related, but while she was hospitalized, she used the time to reflect on her health. The severity of the situation kick-started her urge to get healthy once again. And did she ever.
She remembers the moment well: It was 2012 when she was watching television. Tony Horton, fitness guru and trainer, was on and in an instant, she knew it was time. “I was ready,” Grabish-Paniccia recalls. In January she began Horton’s at-home fitness regimen, Power90, which consisted of intense workouts and nutrition plans. In just 90 days, she weighed 28 pounds less. Already in better shape, she moved on to his P90X and intensified her routine.
She lost 80 pounds and 100 total inches from her body. Her arthritis and migraines hardly occur and her acid reflux is completely gone. In September 2013, Grabish-Paniccia ran her first race. “My only goal was to finish,” she says. “I did.” She beams in post-race photos with her husband, both of them holding medals around their necks.
In addition to Horton’s fitness plan, she also assessed foods in her house and got rid of all things that were processed. Her family became part of the process, often exercising with her and eating healthfully.
“I think you really have to be conscious of what it is that you’re putting into your body,” she says. “Part of my mindset is also trying to teach my children healthy choices by example.”
Sources for this article include:
The incidence of gluten intolerance, celiac disease and other health problems linked to the consumption of wheat and gluten are on the rise world wide and seem to be reaching epidemic proportions. But while wheat, and more specifically gluten, have traditionally been blamed for this modern epidemic, new evidence points to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, as being a probable cause or contributor to this rapidly increasing health crisis.
It would seem that in recent times gluten has been blamed for more and more chronic health problems. In fact it’s got to the point where gluten has commonly become the first suspect when trying to resolve many health issues and removing it from the diet often helps.
But the question is why? Why after thousands of years of eating wheat, are humans suddenly becoming intolerant to it? Why is it causing all these diseases and health problems that used to be rare or non-existent?
It is because of the breeding? Has wheat been changed from what it used to be? Maybe. Or maybe it’s the glyphosate.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s number one selling herbicide Roundup. Roundup is used worldwide on many crops for both weed control and harvesting. Billions of liters of Glyphosate are used on crops around the world every year and use of the herbicide is increasing dramatically with the largest amounts by far being used on Roundup resistant GM crops.
Since its inception, the effects on human health of glyphosate have been studied with many such studies pointing to severe consequences to human health resulting from exposure or ingestion. Consequences such as cancer and endocrine disruption have been shown to be common.
However more recent studies show that as glyphosate use has risen, so has gluten intolerance and researchers have discovered that glyphosate disrupts and damages the digestive system causing Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and IBS. Some of these studies have found that not only is our food supply commonly contaminated with glyphosate, but water supplies are also being contaminated.
Glyphosate has been shown to damage liver cells, break down junctions in the gut wall leading to leaky gut syndrome, kill enzymes and disrupt gut flora leading to diseases of the digestive system and thereby impacting the rest of the body.
For those affected by gluten intolerance, removing gluten from the diet is often the obvious answer to distressing symptoms. However in light of the recent studies it may be likened to shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. With prevention in mind, these studies provide a good case for eating organic food, avoiding GM foods and removing foods that are likely to have been sprayed with glyphosate from our diet.
The amount of protein we need to maintain optimal health has long been debated.
The modern-day hunter gatherer Paleo people would perhaps suggest that a higher intake of animal protein is best. Conversely, the vegan, plant eaters would usually point to the low protein approach. Confusion ensues because both ways of eating definitely seem to have their benefits. They both promote the consumption of whole foods, and both have the same goal in mind – health.
A new study published in Cell Metabolism however may help us shine some light on the situation. I’m not claiming that the results of one singular study should be taken as gospel, but they are quite interesting.
The researchers combined an epidemiological study of 6,381 US men and women aged 50 and above with mouse and cellular studies in an attempt to “understand the link between the level and source of proteins and amino acids, aging, diseases, and mortality.”
Over a twenty year period, it was found that in middle-aged people; a high intake of animal protein (found in meat, dairy and eggs) is linked to increased cancer, diabetes and overall mortality. Conversely, in older populations, higher intakes of protein seemed to reduce the risk of cancer and mortality, although the diabetes risk remained.
It’s important to note that researchers define a “high-protein” diet as deriving at least 20 percent of calories from protein, a “moderate” protein diet includes 10-19 percent of calories from protein, and a “low-protein” diet includes less than 10 percent.
Participants within the study aged 50–65 with high protein intake had a 4-fold increase in cancer death risk, during the following 18 years. This was supported by the cellular studies and those carried out on mice, where the progression of cancer was significantly attenuated by a low protein diet, suggesting that it could play a future role in cancer prevention.
The study also showed that in middle age a high animal protein intake lead to a 5 fold increase in diabetes, and a 75% increase in overall mortality. The researchers suggest that high levels of animal proteins promote increases in IGF-1 and possibly insulin levels, and that this is one of the main promoters of mortality for middle-aged people.
Conversely, the risks of cancer, diabetes, and overall mortality were either completely abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived, such as protein from legumes or grains. Plant based proteins do not show the same IGF-1 and insulin promoting effects.
The risks for of cancer and death were not affected when the same calculations were performed for fat or carbohydrate consumption, suggesting that animal protein alone is the main issue. And even a moderate consumption was shown to have an ill effect. People who ate on average of 16% of their calories from protein were still three times more likely to die of cancer than those who ate a low-protein diet in middle age.
Interestingly, the study showed that for people aged 65-70, a higher protein intake may be favourable. High to moderate protein intake was linked to a 60% reduction in cancer mortality risk, and a 28% reduction in overall mortality risk in the older generation, however the diabetes risk still remained.
The researchers suggest that the higher protein requirements for elderly people may be due to their lower body weight and BMI, which may make them more susceptible to protein malnourishment. Other factors such as inflammation or genetics may also have contributed to the sensitivity to protein restriction.
The researchers conclude that a low protein diet during middle age is likely to be beneficial for the prevention of cancer, overall mortality, and possibly diabetes through a process that may involve, to some extent, the regulation of IGF-1 and insulin levels.
However at older ages, it seems that it may be important to avoid low protein intake and gradually adopt a moderate to high protein diet, preferably mostly plant-based consumption to allow the maintenance of a healthy weight and protection from frailty.
The researchers also conclude that “a diet in which plant-based nutrients represent the majority of the food intake is likely to maximize health benefits in all age groups.”
I must mention that there were a few limitations to the study. The researchers suggest that use of a single 24 hour dietary recall followed by up to 18 years of mortality assessment could have led to “misclassifying dietary practice if the 24 hour period was not representative of a participant’s normal day.” However, 93% of the sample reported that the 24 hour period did in fact represent a normal day.
The study may have also benefited from being carried out over a larger sample size, and this is especially true when looking at diabetes risk. However, we would expect a small sample size to decrease statistical power and make it harder to detect any significant trends, hence the ability of the study to detect trends in this study may reinforce the associations between protein and mortality.
I would also be interested to see the same test repeated on younger populations, and whether the quality of animal products consumed may also have an impact on disease risk (e.g grass fed meat, organic free range eggs etc.). I currently consume a plant based diet, but I know others have benefited from the higher protein Paleo approach too, so I wouldn’t want to rule it out based on the results of one study.
As I said, the study seems comprehensive and the results are very interesting, but we are still far from completely figuring out this complex nutrition puzzle. We must be careful not to jump to conclusions until further investigations are carried out.