The Body Ecology Diet (BED) Column
......with Donna Gates
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Monday, December 19th, 2011:
Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays
In order to avoid packing on holiday pounds, friends or relatives may tell you to pass on the whipped cream, skim the fat off the gravy, or to eat only the skinless and boneless cuts of white breast meat.
Did you know that avoiding fat for fat’s sake is a little like counting calories? You may still gain weight and never understand why.
When it comes to weight gain, sugar is the real culprit.
Sugar is found in desserts and carb-heavy foods like bread, pasta, and root vegetables, such as potatoes and yams.
When strategizing healthy eating during the holidays, it is a good idea that we remind ourselves of all the perils involved with excess sugar consumption. For example:
- Excessive sugar can cause weight gain.
- Excessive sugar can weaken the immune system.
- Excessive sugar feeds pathogenic bacteria and yeast in the body.
- Excessive sugar binds with the proteins found in connective tissue, in the skin, and in the joints, leaving you stiff, sore, and swollen the day following a sugar binge.
- Excessive sugar heightens inflammation in the body.
- Excessive sugar ages the body.
- Excessive sugar is the main contributor to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Excessive sugar can block hormone receptors, playing a major role in hormonal imbalances and in conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Excessive sugar strips the body of important minerals and B vitamins.
- Excessive sugar leads to insulin resistance, a red flag indicating that you may need to watch out for diabetes.
- If pregnant, excessive sugar consumption can lead to birth defects like cleft palate.
While sugar is useful in the body as fuel, too much of it too often can cause a long list of health issues, including weight gain.
Tips for Eating Healthy This Holiday Season
- Keep sugar consumption to a minimum. Or avoid it altogether.
- Choose savory foods that are rich in healthy fats. When meals contain plenty of nutrient-dense foods and healthy fats, like coconut oil or ghee, this creates a genuine feeling of satiety.
- If you have a craving for sugary foods, eat something that is fermented. The sour taste of fermented foods eliminates the desire for sweet foods. Not only will your blood sugar benefit from this choice, your digestion will as well.
- If you are staying with family over the holidays, pack a bottle of InnergyBiotic. Or ship a bottle to your destination. InnergyBiotic is a fermented beverage that curbs sugar cravings and is rich in beneficial bacteria.
- If you want something sweet, you can also choose something that is made with Stevia Liquid Concentrate. A small bottle of Stevia is always good to have on hand and is easy to travel with. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar. And you can enjoy it without any negative consequences.
It is always best if the foods you eat come from a reliable source. This means eating organic fruit and vegetables. It also means that animal foods like dairy, eggs, and meat come from pastured animals. Most of these foods make up the basis of traditional eating.
- Soups, stews, and gravies that are made from bone and bone marrow.
- Soaked and, if possible, fermented grains.
- Fermented vegetables.
- Raw fermented dairy from pastured animals.
Bon appétit! With healthy fats from grass-fed animals and traditional foods.
When an animal is given a corn or soy feed, even if organic or all natural, this becomes the material that we eventually eat.
Eventually, an animal turns this corn or soy feed into fat. These fats, which we see as the marbling in meat or in the yolk of an egg, are actually richer in pro-inflammatory fatty acids. So, skip the margarine or fake butter and reach for the real stuff.
Pro-Inflammatory Fats Are Best Avoided
Did you know that chronic inflammation, even the inflammation caused by diet, contributes to weight gain and the accumulation of a special kind of fat? This fat is called visceral fat and is responsible for the classic “beer belly.”
One of the most healing benefits of animal-based foods is actually found in the fat.
- Fat helps with the uptake and use of fat-soluble vitamins.
- Only products from pastured, grass-fed animals contain a high amount of these fat-soluble nutrients.
- Healthy fats, this includes certain saturated fats, play an important role in the production of hormones.
- These fats also create a healthy cell membrane, which is an essential element in cell vitality and longevity.
That’s right: healthy fats can be healing.
This is true only when we consume the right kind of fat. Refined, processed, and filtered seed oils are actually damaged products. This means that the processing method has destroyed the original structure of the fatty acid molecule, rendering it harmful, toxic, and pro-inflammatory once it is inside the body.
Too many omega-6 oils in the diet, which are found in nuts and seeds, can be dangerous in the body even when these oils are enjoyed in a raw, unfiltered state.
The healing benefits of unsaturated fatty acids are mostly available in long chain omega-3 fatty acids. These long-chain omega 3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish and in the microalgae that these fish eat, namely Spirulina.
If you do not consume fatty, cold-water fish 1 - 2 times a week, you may want to consider finding another way to get omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.
This is especially true while traveling, when the body is more vulnerable to stress and could use a little extra support.
- Omega-3 fatty acids dampen the inflammatory response in the body.
- Remember, more inflammation means more weight gain.
- Body Ecology Potent Proteins, made with 50% fermented Spirulina, is an excellent way to get all essential amino acids and omega-3 fats.
What to Remember Most About This Article:
For most of us, the holidays mean mass amounts of sugar in one form or another. But sugar overload will block hormone receptors, trigger obesity and diabetes, and cause premature aging in the body. If you have a sweet craving over the holidays, eat fermented foods to eliminate the desire for a sweet taste.
When you eat healthy fats instead of sugar, you can nourish and protect your cells, supply essential hormones to your body, and even support bone, brain, cardiovascular, and dental health. If you’re still craving sweets, check out Body Ecology’s safe sugar substitute, Stevia Liquid Concentrate. Stevia contains no actual sugar and is a perfect substitute to make sweet holiday treats this year!
Learn more from The Body Ecology Diet book: