In light of the fact that we are regularly reminded of the dangers of red meat, many have cut back on meat and are unable to thrive with the energy they once had. In addition, we are told with good reliability that all fish carry unhealthy levels of mercury and therefore fish is on the “not to eat” list. Many just eat tons of chicken which, unless it is free range and organic, has its issues. Perhaps there are even more of us who just can't stomach the thought of eating animals and become vegetarians. While I am still a great fan of a mostly vegetarian diet, I find few are able to pull off vegetarianism well. Over time, an unhealthy and imbalanced vegetarian diet can cause a litany of health concerns. This is such a common presentation I felt it was important to create a quiz to help screen folks for the nutritional woes of a diet lacking in adequate protein.
If you have answered yes to any of the quiz questions and you are a vegetarian or eat meat or fish less than three times a week, you may be protein deficient. Ask your doctor for a blood test to confirm the levels of protein in your body, and watch this great video for information on Protein Deficiency Symptoms and the solutions to restoring protein balance in your body:
Source: Dr John Douillard LifeSpa
Many people like to grill their food, especially in Dubai where the weather allows us to enjoy outdoor cooking for a good chunk of the year. Cooking foods especially meats at high temperatures is not good for us as it encourages the formation of toxic compounds on the food, not to mention nutrient-loss.
Here are 4 easy tips to follow that will minimise these effects:
1- Grill on an area without a direct flame as the temperatures are highest directly above the flame.
2- Be sure not overcook or burn your food as this helps prevent the formation of toxic compounds.
3-Marinade with mixtures that contain antioxidant-rich ingredients such as lemons and onions, rosemary and black pepper.
4-Use an oil to coat your food and make sure its an oil that has a high smoking point such as safflower oil or Coconut oil. Olive oil is never a good idea as it has a very low smoking point and will go rancid when used for high temperature cooking.
Remember that the principles of nutrient loss from grilled or charcoaled food is very similar to the principles of all cooking. The shorter the time of exposure to heat and the lower the heat, the less the nutrient loss.
Are you trying to cut down on your meat intake? try this simple tip:
Crimini Mushrooms, more commonly know as mini-Portobello mushrooms have a delicious meaty flavor. Blending crimini mushrooms with ground turkey or meat is a great way to cut half the fat without losing taste. The high-fiber mushroom mixture works well for any meat-based dish and we promise you won't taste the difference!
Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs, keep your body warm, help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones too. Your body definitely needs fat – but quantity and quality is very important. There is so much information out there on what fats to eat and which ones to avoid. To make things more confusing, some go by alias names in the supermarket… if you don’t know your trans fats from your mono’s, today and tomorrow’s posts should make things clearer! We are going to look at the BAD fats today: Essentially they fall into 2 categories,Trans-fats and Saturated fats and they raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in your blood and mostly lower your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. TRANS FATS are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid at room temperature. Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils" or “trans fatty acids” so look out for that on food labels. Companies like using trans fats in their foods because they’re easy to use, inexpensive, act as a preservative for long shelf-life, and give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers. Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, and increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. They can be found in many foods, especially in fried foods like French fries and doughnuts, and baked goods including pastries, pie crusts, biscuits, pizza dough, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and shortenings. SATURATED FATS have a chemical makeup in which the carbon atoms are naturally saturated with hydrogen atoms, and they are typically solid at room temperature (think butter). Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Be aware that many foods high in saturated fats are also high in cholesterol which raises your blood cholesterol even higher. The majority comes mainly from animal sources, including meat and dairy products. Examples are fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, lard and cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk. In addition, many baked goods and fried foods fall into this category. The general consensus in the medical world seems to be that saturated fat should be controlled and consumed in infrequently in small quantities. Some plant foods, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil, also contain primarily saturated fats, but do not contain cholesterol. As a general rule, be kind to your heart and body, avoid trans fats at all costs and limit saturated fats as much as posisble. Check my post tomorrow on the good fats that help lower your cholesterol.
Have you ever heard of Tryptophan? It is an essential amino acid that is not made in the human body and must be obtained from the diet. Tryptophan has a very important function in our body as it gets converted into Serotonin, the ‘happy’ hormone responsible for mood and appetite. In turn Serotonin gets converted into Melatonin the ‘sleep’ hormone that helps us have a good nights sleep. So tryptophan is an important part of the whole feel-good cycle and essential part of our wellbeing.
Tryptophan deficiency can cause symptoms such as insomnia, low levels of serotonin, depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, irritability, inability to concentrate, weight loss and poor growth in children, according to the World's Healthiest Foods. When tryptophan deficiency is accompanied by a vitamin B-3 deficiency, symptoms can include dementia.
According to the World's Healthiest Foods, natural food sources of L-tryptophan include bananas, nuts, soybeans, red meat, seeds, dairy products, shellfish, tuna and turkey. Tryptophan is compromised in the cooking process so I would suggest you receive it through the consumption of raw food sources listed above. This way you will know that you are receiving the nutrient as nature attended!
Are you ready for change? Join our Detox Workshops