Posts Tagged ‘grass fed meat’

15 New Superfoods

15 New Superfoods

1. Nuts

Nuts are New American Diet smart bombs. They’re packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, those good-for-you fats that lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes and, according to new research, help you control your appetite.

Researchers from Georgia Southern University found that eating a high-protein, high-fat snack, such as almonds, increases your calorie burn for up to 3 and a half hours. And just one ounce of almonds boosts vitamin-E levels, increasing memory and cognitive performance, according to researchers at New York Presbyterian Hospital. In another study, people who ate pistachios for 3 months lost 10 to 12 pounds on average.

2. Eggs

In a new study in the International Journal of Obesity, overweight participants ate a 340-calorie breakfast of either two eggs or a single bagel 5 days a week for 8 weeks. Those who ate eggs (including the yolk, which contains nearly half the protein and all the nutrient choline) reported higher energy levels and lost 65 percent more weight than bagel-eaters—and with no effect on their cholesterol or triglyceride levels!

Plus, a recent review of more than 25 published studies on protein that concluded that egg protein helps boost muscle strength and development more than other proteins do because of its high concentrations of the amino acid leucine. And egg protein is also better at keeping you from getting hungry over a sustained period.

3. Whole Grains

It’s not a magic disappearing act, but it’s close: When Harvard University researchers analyzed the diets of more than 27,000 people over 8 years, they discovered that those ate whole grains daily weighed 2.5 pounds less than those who ate only refined-grain foods.

Another study from Penn State University found that whole-grain eaters lost 2.4 times more belly fat than those who ate refined grains. Whole grains more favorably affect blood-glucose levels, which means they don’t cause wild swings in blood sugar and ratchet up cravings after you eat them. Plus, the antioxidants in whole grains help control inflammation and insulin (a hormone that tells your body to store belly fat).

4. Avocado and Other Healthy Fats

Just because a food has plenty of fat and calories in it doesn’t mean it’s “fattening.” See, certain foods cause you to gain weight because they provoke hormonal changes that trigger cravings, or “rebound hunger.” One hunger-control hormone, leptin, becomes blunted by starchy, sweet, fatty, and refined-carbohydrate foods. That’s why a bagel is fattening: It’s a high-caloric load of refined carbohydrates that double-crosses your natural satisfaction response.

Avocados on the other hand aren’t fattening, because they’re loaded with healthy fat and fiber and don’t cause wild swings in insulin levels. So enjoy the fat in avocados, olive oil, and nuts. Research shows that diets containing upward of 50 percent fat are just as effective for weight loss as those that are low in fat.

5. Meat (Pasture-Raised and Free-Range)

Grass-fed beef, chicken, and pork is leaner and healthier than conventional livestock—and will help trim away pounds. A 3.5-ounce serving of grass-fed beef has only 2.4 grams of fat, compared with 16.3 grams for conventionally raised beef. In fact, grass-fed beef is so much more nutritious than commodity beef that it’s almost a different food.

Grass-fed beef contains more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to reduce abdominal fat while building lean muscle. It also has more omega-3s and less omega-6s than corn-fed beef. It’s the same with chickens. According to a recent study in the journal Poultry Science, free-range chickens have significantly more omega-3s than grain-fed chickens, less harmful fat, and fewer calories than grain-fed varieties. This is important because omega-3s improve your mood, boost your metabolism, sharpen your brain, and help you lose weight.

6. Environmentally Sustainable Fish

Choosing seafood these days isn’t easy. Some species (swordfish, farmed salmon) contain obesity-promoting pollutants (dioxins, PCBs). Others are fattened with soy, which lowers their levels of healthy omega-3s. In fact, the American Heart Association recently urged people who are concerned about heart disease to avoid eating tilapia for just that reason. Wow. That goes against conventional wisdom, doesn’t it?

So what kind of fish should you eat, and how can the New American Diet help? Generally, small, oily ocean fish (herring, mackerel, sardines) are low in toxins and score highest in omega-3s. Wild Alaskan salmon, Pacific Halibut, Rainbow Trout, and Yellowfin tuna are generally low in toxins and high in nutrients. And then there are fish that we should avoid at all times: farmed (or “Atlantic”) salmon, farmed tilapia, Atlantic cod, Chilean Sea Bass, and farmed shrimp.

7. Raspberries and Other Berries

A recent study by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine discovered that after eating a high-carb, high-sugar meal, free radicals (rogue molecules produced when your body breaks down food) attack the neurons that tell us when we’re full. The result: It’s hard to judge when hunger is satisfied. Escape the cycle of overindulgence by eating foods that are rich in antioxidants. And berries top the charts.

The berries that give you the most antioxidant bang per bite, in order: cranberries, black currents, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates.  

8. Instant Oats

Fiber is the secret to losing weight without hunger. One U.S. Department of Agriculture study found that those who increased their daily fiber intake from 12 grams to 24 absorbed 90 fewer calories per day than those who ate the same amount of food but less fiber. Do nothing to your diet other than add more of the rough stuff, and you will lose nine pounds in a year, effortlessly.

Instant oats are one of the easiest ways to get more real fiber into your diet. Plus, new research indicates that oats can also cut your risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, and even reduce your risk of weight gain. Oats also have 10 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving, so they deliver steady muscle-building energy. Choose oatmeal that contains whole oats and low sodium, like Uncle Sam Instant Oatmeal, which also has whole-grain wheat flakes and flaxseed.

9. Cruciferous Vegetables and Other Leafy Greens

Cruciferous vegetables—like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, Swiss chard, and bok choy—are all rich in folate, and the more folate you have in your diet, the lower your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, and depression. A recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that those with the highest folate levels lose 8.5 times more weight when dieting. Another stunner: New research shows that folate helps protect against damage from estrogenic chemicals like bisphenol-A (BPA), which have been linked to obesity.

These veggies also rich in potassium. Researchers at the Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University, found that foods rich in potassium help preserve lean muscle mass.

10. Apples and Other Fruit

What makes the apple so potent? In part, it’s because most of us eat the peel: It’s a great way to add more fiber and nutrients into your diet. But there’s a downside: The peel is where fruit tends to absorb and retain most of the pesticides they are exposed to, apples and peaches being the worst offenders. That’s why, for maximum weight-loss potential, we strongly recommend you buy organic versions of apples, pears, peaches, and other eat-the-peel fruits.

You’ll experience a terrific payoff if you do: In a UCLA study, normal-weight people reported eating, on average, two servings of fruit and 12 grams (g) of fiber a day; those who were overweight had just one serving and 9 g. Credit that extra 3 g fiber—the amount in one single apple or orange—as the difference maker.

11. Navy Beans and Other Legumes

Study after study reveals that bean eaters live longer and weigh less. One study showed that people who eat 3/4 cup of beans daily weigh 6.6 pounds less than those who don’t eat beans. Another study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that people who eat one and a half servings of beans a day (3/4 cup) have lower blood pressure and smaller waist sizes than those who skip beans in favor of other proteins. Imagine each bean you eat is a perfect little weight-loss pill. Gobble ‘em up!

12. Dark Chocolate

A new study from Denmark found that those who eat dark chocolate consume 15 percent fewer calories at their next meal and are less interested in fatty, salty, and sugary foods. And research shows that dark chocolate can improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, decrease the risk of blood clots, and increase blood flow to the brain. Dark chocolate boosts serotonin and endorphin levels, which is associated with improved mood and greater concentration; it’s rich in B vitamins and magnesium, which are noted cognitive boosters; it contains small amounts of caffeine, which helps with short-term concentration; and it contains theobromine, a stimulant that delivers a different kind of buzz, sans the jitters.

13. Ice Cream and Other Healthy Desserts

Calcium-rich desserts like ice cream bind to fatty acids in the digestive tract, blocking their absorption. In one study, participants who ate 1,735 mg of calcium from low-fat dairy products (about as much as in five 8-ounce glasses of milk) blocked the equivalent of 85 calories a day. Plus, half a cup of vanilla ice cream gives you 19 milligrams of choline, which translates to protection from cancer, heart attack, stroke, and dementia. We’re not suggesting you have a bowlful of ice cream every night. But a scoop (the size of a tennis ball) every few days isn’t the diet-saboteur it’s made out to be.

Caveat: Tricked-out designer ice creams are packed with added sugar and preservatives. Pick a single flavor ice cream—vanilla, chocolate, coffee, whatever.

14. Enzymes and Probiotics (Yogurt)

Probiotics and enzymes, those friendly bacteria found in yogurt, may be the key to losing those last stubborn inches around your waist. They not only help the digestive system work properly, but also have a profound effect on the metabolism, according to a new study in Molecular Systems Biology. The bacteria Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus can change how much fat is available for the body to absorb by influencing stomach acids during digestion.

But not all yogurts are probiotic, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.” Other foods containing probiotics include kefir, acidophilus milk, miso soup, soft cheeses, pickles, and sauerkraut.

15. Tea and Other Healthy Beverages

Nearly 25 percent of our calories—about 450 calories a day—come from sodas, sweetened teas, and the like. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, if you swap just one of those sodas a day for water or unsweetened tea or coffee, you’ll lose 2.5 pounds each month.

In fact, cutting down on liquid calories has a bigger impact than cutting down on calories from foods, according researchers from Johns Hopkins. Instead of sugary beverages, try green tea, which is high in the plant compound called ECGC, which promotes fat burning. In one study, people who consumed the equivalent of three to five cups a day for 12 weeks decreased their body weight by 4.6 percent.

By: Stephen Perrine with Heather Hurlock at Men’s Health

 

 

 

 

The Startling Truth About Grass Fed Meat

The Startling Truth About Grass Fed Meatcows-on-grass

If you are after weight loss, greater mental acuity, healthy cell and hormone development, or just plain old better health and energy, you need to be getting enough omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.

There is a source of omega 3 you probably haven’t even heard of.  It tastes great and comes with a whole host of other big health bonuses. I’m talking about grass fed beef, along with other grass fed red meats like lamb and wild game.

Here are EIGHT great reasons to buy grass fed meat:

  1. Contains healthy omega-3 fats.  Studies clearly show animals reared on grass have higher levels of omega-3 and a lower amount of omega-6.  Most people consume way too much Omega-6 causing inflammation and inflammation-related illnesses.  Omega 6 is in most packaged foods in the form of vegetable oils such as corn, sesame, soy, sunflower and safflower further causing the imbalance.
  2. Contains conjugated linolenic acid (CLA).  A good fat which has been shown to fight off cancer, promote fat loss, and assist in lean muscle gain. CLA all but disappears in meat raised purely on grain and soy.
  3. No antibiotics added.  Antibiotics are given to grain fed cattle, because of the digestive problems brought on by their eating corn and soy, rather than their normal food of grass and clover. Their poor living conditions are another factor.     
  4. No steroids or growth hormones.  Steroids and growth hormones are routinely given to commercial meat to speed up growth and weight gain for faster “finishing” times.  These hormones actually make it into your body and have been implicated in a number of health problems including early puberty and acne.
  5. Treated more humanely. To minimize stress and trauma and I believe the animals stress affects us when we eat it on the cellular level too. 
  6. Cleaner and more wholesome. They are not fed any contaminated animal by-product feed like chicken manure, chicken feathers, cardboard and municipal waste.
  7. Minimal risk of E. coli.  Grain-fed animals have a much higher level of acidity in their stomachs, which E. coli need to survive, while pasture-fed animals do not have an internal environment that is hospitable to E. coli.
  8. Leaner than grain fed beef and has up to 15% fewer calories  

  So why don’t the farmers just feed them grass?

* Grain and soy are both super cheap food sources – especially those grains deemed not fit for human consumption

* Eating this way fattens them up far quicker than a grass-based diet

* It doesn’t require lots of expensive land

* The typical consumer has no idea how important it is to eat grass fed meat, and probably doesn’t know or care how their food has been raised

* The food and restaurant industry even supports the rearing of grain-fed meat by highlighting it as a good thing on many fine-dining menus!

Of course you could always up your intake of green vegetables, eggs and walnuts, but few people eat enough on a regular basis. According to strength/conditioning coach and hormone expert Charles Poliquin, you need between 35-40 grams of omega-3 every day. A typical salmon steak has less than 5 grams, so even if you’re not concerned about mercury and genetically modified or farmed fish, the reality is that your diet is most likely lacking in this important fat.

So how to access this all-important fat and protein source?

It’s not usually as simple as hitting your local supermarket. I buy all my meat, eggs, and dairy organically, which by definition should be free-range. Unfortunately, it’s no guarantee, which is why when it comes to meat – check to be sure it’s grass-fed. Some of the best places for organic meat include farmers markets, specialist organic butchers, and Whole Foods.  For an excellent source for grass fed meat in Washington state, click here.

Its does take more effort to eat this way, but I’d say it’s a helluva lot greater inconvenience to deal with the long-term health and weight consequences of poor dietary choices. Wouldn’t you?

Here is a great recipe using grass fed beef or you can substitute lamb or bison.

Beef Satay Stir-Fry

Serving Size  : 6     
                        * 1 1/2 pounds organic grass-fed beef cubes
                        * 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
                        * 3 small red chilies
                        * 4 garlic cloves
                        * 2 teaspoons cumin
                        * 2 teaspoons ground coriander
                        * 4 well-rounded tablespoons organic
                        — crunchy peanut butter
                        * 2 tablespoons raw honey
                        * 1 rounded tablespoon molasses
                        * 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
                        * 1 14 oz can organic coconut milk
                        * 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
                        * Handful of green beans, heads and tails
                        — removed, and chopped into thirds
                        * Top third of a half celery – including
                        — the leaves, chopped fine
                        * 8-10 large mushrooms, sliced
                        * Half bunch of Chinese greens or English
                        — spinach, washed and torn
                        * Fresh parsley, chopped roughly
                        * Plenty of ground pepper
                        * Organic sea salt to taste

 1. Chop your garlic and chili (leave the seeds in if really hot is your
thing), and then heat the coconut oil in a large stainless steel pan, on
medium.

2. Add the garlic and chili, sauté for a minute or so, then add the herbs
and stir for 30 seconds or so before tossing in the beef. Keep an eye on it
and toss constantly with a wooden spoon. It will only take a few minutes to
brown.

3. Add in the peanut butter, honey, molasses, sweet chili, and coconut milk.
Stir through and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, and
green beans, followed by the mushrooms. Mix well and allow to cook for a
minute or so (this is a good time to add salt and pepper) before adding the
leafy greens and parsley. Allow to cook with the lid half on for 5 minutes
or so and then check the veggies. This dish shouldn’t need to brew for ages,
as you don’t want to kill your fresh produce.

4. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Source: Kat at Body Incredible  

Author Note: This dish is great for freezing and there’s no better feeling than heading home from a long day knowing dinner is already pre-prepared and brimming with health.