A couple of blogs ago I mentioned that I was going to start a series with regard to foods for weight loss. Well here it is. I have given it some thought and decided that 1. I want to start with some foods that you SHOULD be eating if you are serious about eating the right foods for weight loss and 2. I didn’t want to limit any post to a certain format but would just keep adding parts… after all this is not a book, it’s a blog. I will provide links though to all of the parts. Also, I wanted to mention that the series will not only be about losing weight… but more about losing weight from fat, since you can gain good weight from muscle. Now, on we go with part 1.
One of the first things I want to touch on is something I mentioned in that earlier post, and that is CLA. CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid. After seeing “linoleic” many of you may realize that CLA is a fatty acid. It is found mainly in meat and dairy products from animals that graze. So if the animals do not graze then the amounts are greatly diminished.
CLA is not only an anti-carcinogen (cancer fighting compound) but it also reduces body-fat. I believe it reduces body fat by accelerating the metabolism as well as slowing the body’s conversion of dietary fats into body fat. Animals that graze on grass are leaner and healthier than animals that are grain-fed. The effect is the same on your body when you eat from grass-fed sources. You become leaner and healthier.
It is most important to note that you should not take a CLA supplement. You should obtain it in whole food form from grass-fed meat and dairy products. As I mentioned in an earlier post, grass-fed lamb is an excellent source of CLA. Also, there are non meat sources like whole raw milk from grass-fed cows or goats. Raw milk cheeses like parmesan and eggs can also be good sources of CLA.
Before I move on, I want to first point out one of the keys to losing weight from fat: You need to eat good fat to lose fat. Do not subscribe to the unhealthy lowfat diet. Certain fats are excellent for you and your body needs fat to survive. All fats are not created equal. Just the fact that I am even discussing it shows how far astray our culture has gone in the United States with regard to food.
One of the healthiest fats that you can consume is unrefined extra virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil is a saturated fat that is stable even when cooked with high heat. It does not go rancid easily like so many vegetable oils and has an excellent shelf life. It also is burned very easily by the body due to its medium chain fatty acid makeup. It also contains lauric acid which is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial. Do I need to repeat that? It is anti-viral! You know how you get sick from the common cold and it is cause by a virus (most of the time). Well, ahem, coconut oil is anti-viral. Point made. It also speeds up the metabolism and is good for digestion. So you can look around but it doesn’t matter if you look at avacodo oil, grapeseed, walnut, olive, palm, peanut, sesame, flax, or any other oil… none of them pack as many benefits into one as does coconut oil.
Having said the above, certainly there are other good cooking oils and fats you can use. Butter from grass-fed cows is not only a great source of CLA but is also an excellent fat that is easily metabolised. If the butter is clarified (the milk solids taken out) it is even better for high heat cooking (since the milk burns at lower temperatures). This is also called ghee.
Olive oil is another excellent oil. It is a classic oil, used by mediterranean cultures for thousands of years, that has excellent health benefits. One may be more prone to gain weight with excessive use, however it is extremely healthy for the heart and has a high concentration of antioxidants.
Now I am going to tell you one of the most powerful fats for losing fat. Are you ready? Ok, here it is: Omega-3 fatty acids. Most people do not get near enough omega-3 fatty acids and get far too much omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3’s help your blood circulate and decreases the blood insulin level. High insulin levels not only promotes the storing of excess fat but also negatively affects the lipase enzyme in your blood (lipase is the enzyme that helps to metabolize fat).
By adding these fats to your weight loss plan you will see tremendous differences over time. They must be a part of the rest of your plan though. So to summarize:
1. Omega-3’s (naturally occurring, one of the best sources is sardines, then salmon, then other fish)
2. CLA (naturally occuring from animals that graze on grass, minimally processed meat and dairy products)
3. Cooking with coconut oil, olive oil, and butter. Occasionally using avacado oil, sesame seed, flax, walnut, etc.
Vegetable oils like:
1. Canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and rapeseed oil.
2. Heavily processed, refined, deodorized, bleached oils (they will not say but you can tell if you know what to look for, also, the ones that are not refined will say “unrefined” and “extra-virgin” and “unbleached”, etc)
Lastly, I want to mention that when oils are oxidized they become dangerous for plaque buildup - arterial build-up that can cause heart-attacks and heart disease. Remember that - oxidized. So many oils oxidize with heat, oxygen, and light. Such is the case with vegetable oils and even good oils like avacado oil can rapidly oxidize when too high of heat is used in cooking with it. Olive oil even goes bad over time or when used with too high of heat.
Just look at the trend of heart attacks and heart disease over the last fifty years and see how drastically it has increased right along with recommendations to switch to margarine and crap like that. At the same time Mediterranean cultures are using olive oil and butter and are not having near the rates of heart attacks and heart disease.
Sorry this was so long… once I get going… shoot. I will be surprised if you actually made it this far. And this is only part 1…. haha. Later this week I will start part two on more foods for weight loss and sooner than you know it you will be a lean, mean, uhuh.