Oftentimes, we may read an article, or hear from a friend or loved one that there is a new superfood that will change your life. Sometimes the information is accurate; most times, it should always be fact-checked.
Here is a list of the top ten foods that you thought were healthy, and indeed, are not.
Despite their healthy reputation, many granola bars are high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients. That said, they offset the health benefits of oats, nuts, and other whole grains typically found in them. Worse, these snacks contain large amounts of calories which make them an unhealthy choice to munch on every time you need to go on break from work.
These drinks are often marketed as healthy for athletes, but they can be high in added sugars and artificial ingredients, and provide little nutritional value. These added sugars and artificial sweeteners can be the culprit to weight gain and other health issues while the high sodium content can ironically cause dehydration.
Low-fat and fat-free products
While these products may be lower in fat, they often contain added sugars and artificial ingredients to enhance their taste, making up for the lost flavor when fat is removed. What’s worse is, sometimes, the essential fatty acids and vitamins that are removed can actually be beneficial for your health.
Dried fruits can be high in added sugars and often lack the fiber and water content of fresh fruit. Because of this, it’s like offsetting the actual health benefits of the original fruit when freshly picked from the tree. Dehydrating fruits also remove some of the vitamins and minerals found in fresh fruits. If consumed in excess, the high calories in dried fruits can even cause weight gain.
While smoothies can be a good source of nutrients, they can also be high in added sugars and other artificial ingredients, especially if made with fruit juices or sweetened dairy products. Like the others in this list, these added sugars often can lead to weight gain.
Many juices are high in added sugars and lack the fiber and water content of whole fruits and vegetables. Moreover, juice is high in natural sugars (yes, we keep repeating this!) which can cause weight gain when consumed excessively.
Flavored yogurt can be high in added sugars and artificial ingredients, and often lacks the protein and healthy fats found in plain, full-fat yogurt. Consequently, these yogurts can be high in calories and you already know what that can lead to, right?
Many breakfast cereals, especially those marketed to children, are high in added sugars and artificial ingredients, and often lack fiber and healthy fats. It is better to go for oatmeal or eggs instead as an alternative.
Despite its reputation as a healthy sweetener, agave nectar is high in fructose and can contribute to insulin resistance and other health problems. Its low glycemic index should make it as an alternative to refined sugars, however, it is high in calories so it should only be taken in moderation.
Energy bars can be high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients, and often lack the fiber, healthy fats, and protein found in whole food snacks. They may be a convenient snack option but just take it easy and don’t get tempted to have some every time you’re craving for something.
In conclusion, it’s important to be mindful of the ingredients and nutrition content of the foods we eat. Best tip? Focus on whole and nutrient-dense foods as the foundation of a healthy diet. And, like always, everything in moderation should be okay.
Welcome to this week’s part 2 in our 3-part blog series on your health transformation.
Remember where we left off? With detailed explanation, we talked about how your body creates and suffers from inflammation.
Now it’s time to go into our philosophy, which will then lead to the solution. A sneak peak on the solution for gut inflammation is below.
The solution is simple – heal your gut, thus, heal your body.
Other measures can help reduce gut inflammation. However, with the core of inflammation sitting in your gut, the bottomline is, if you heal your gut, you will be primed for a healthy life. We can’t wait to explain exactly how to do that, but first it is important that we describe our philosophy, that thousands of patients and customers have now adopted.
AliRx: Our Dietary Philosophy
Your health starts with your diet. But you cannot just adopt a general diet and achieve optimal results. A challenge with most diets is, they are not sustainable. While most diet programs work for a period of time, the ability to sustain them is often limited. We believe in personalizing your diet based upon your gut health, genetic makeup, and current inflammatory markers. This allows you to have a program that you know works for you, and eventually this dietary change becomes a way of life, not a strict practice.
We believe that a diet should be sustainable over time. In order for it to be sustainable, you must enjoy it. That means that if you want to enjoy certain foods or drinks that may not be directly helpful to your health, we understand that and will incorporate those foods. That may mean family traditions, social gatherings, or just your favorite foods. But we are here to help you limit those practices in a manner that is simple and sustainable for you.
The dietary philosophy
When we consume too many carbohydrates from grains, beans, fruits, dairy products, and many other foods and drinks that have added sugar, our body spends all its energy burning the sugar from these foods as opposed to burning fat. When we rely on sugar for fuel, and we then do not burn those calories, our body stores excess sugar as fat. This process then starts a process where when you store fat, you are unable to properly digest the toxins in your body, thus resulting in an inflammatory response to fight off these toxins, which of course leads to increased inflammation.
The goal of AliRx is to reduce inflammation in your body by training it to become what we call “fat adapted” and use fat as its primary fuel source. By following our AliRx plan, you will thrive on eating a variety of nutritious, and delicious foods, and will achieve the transformative health and cognitive function goals that you have. Whether it is weight loss, cognitive function, recovery, or reduced pain, our program is proven to achieve these goals.
Instead of gaining weight and adding fat to your body by eating fat, your body will learn to use fat for lasting energy, boosted mood and brain function and reduced inflammation. The result of using fat as fuel is reduced inflammation which leads to systemic improvements, including improved cognitive function.
When your body becomes fat-adapted, it begins to produce ketones as its main energy source. Ketones come from the breakdown of fat and have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Unlike the typical highs and lows of using sugar for fuel, using fat as fuel creates stable and consistent energy, all while your body is simultaneously reducing inflammation.
Ketones also act as an anti-inflammatory agent by helping your body get rid of the toxins we encounter every day that come from the foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the things we touch or put on our skin. Most of the foods available today are loaded with unhealthy additives like artificial sweeteners and chemical preservatives. In addition, ketones have a natural ability to permeate your blood brain barrier, thus reducing inflammation that leads to neurodegenerative disease. This makes sense because the ketogenic diet was originally tested to assist children who suffer from epilepsy.
Eating too much sugar and carbohydrates can be toxic to our systems too. Our bodies typically do a great job of protecting us from these toxins, but when the amount of toxins become too difficult for our body to manage, we experience inflammation. Your body is a system. The reason that we often see people with a poor diet gain weight is not because they are eating fatty foods. It is because they are storing fatty foods. The reason our body stores fatty foods is because our body first processes the most toxic things first. Our liver will process simple sugars first, then proteins, and then fat. If we tire our digestive system out, or if we are unable to get to the point that we are utilizing fat as fuel, our body simply stores the fat for a later day, hence weight gain, and even worse, a poor functioning liver.
Inflammation, as discussed, can also be triggered by a bacterial imbalance in our gut, which is our first line of defense from the outside world. When this happens, foreign materials pass through our gut and enter our blood. Our body naturally responds to this foreign material by attacking it.
Unfortunately, this attack leads to increased inflammation. When in the brain, this increased inflammation makes it difficult to think and can even lead to long term health risks.
By following this guide and becoming fat-adapted, you will drastically reduce your inflammation by replacing high-carbohydrate, highly processed foods with healthy, high-fat, nutrient dense foods. You will enjoy eating a variety of meats and seafoods, nuts and seeds, vegetables and berries, and healthy fats like avocados and olives.
Now that we have had the opportunity to explain our scientific philosophy, we will go into our solution for this problem. Thank you for your time today. Our next post will be in two short days!
The Brain Maker book is written by a neurologist and expert in the field of nutrition and brain health, Dr. David Perlmutter. It focuses on the connection between the gut microbiome and the brain, and how nurturing and nourishing the gut can have a positive impact on overall brain health and function.
In the book, Dr. Perlmutter explains how the gut microbiome can affect not just digestive health, but also mood, behavior, and cognitive function. He argues that many modern health problems, including anxiety, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases, can be linked to the health of the gut microbiome. The book provides practical advice on how to improve gut health through dietary changes and probiotic supplementation.
Dr. Perlmutter also talks about the importance of reducing exposure to harmful toxins and avoiding certain foods that can harm the gut, such as processed and refined foods, as well as gluten and sugar. He also emphasizes the importance of a whole-foods, nutrient-dense diet that is high in healthy fats, fiber, and probiotic-rich fermented foods.
Moreover, Brain Maker includes success stories of patients who have used Dr. Perlmutter’s approach to improve their gut and brain health. Through the latest research and expert advice, the book provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the crucial connection between gut health and brain function.
In conclusion, the Brain Maker book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in improving their overall health and wellness, and for those seeking to understand the complex relationship between the gut and the brain. With its unique approach on gut health, this book can help readers prevent and reverse many of the chronic health problems prevalent in today’s society.
The ketogenic diet is a popular diet focusing on reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with healthy fats. However, as in any diet, there are many myths related to the ketogenic diet. In this article, we’ll debunk the top ten myths and most common fallacies about this diet and provide the facts about what it really is and how it works.
Myth #1: The ketogenic diet is just another fad diet.
Some people may believe that the ketogenic diet is just another fad diet. Why? For some, it seems like a drastic change from the typical American diet while others are intimidated because of the significant reduction in carbohydrate intake and an increase in fat consumption that it requires. Are you one of those who think it’s just a trend that will pass? Did you know that the ketogenic diet is a scientifically-backed dietary strategy and is not just a passing fad?
FACT: The ketogenic diet has been used for over 90 years, primarily as a therapeutic treatment for epilepsy. In recent years, it has gained popularity as a weight loss and health promoting diet.
Just because the ketogenic diet is often associated with high-protein diets such as the Atkins diet doesn’t mean it is all protein. In fact, the ketogenic diet’s main focus is to reduce carbohydrate intake so that they are replaced with healthy fats. Therefore, while the ketogenic diet still includes some protein, the majority of the calories come from fat and not protein.
FACT: A well-formulated ketogenic diet is moderate in protein, and primarily composed of healthy fats and low-carbohydrate foods.
Myth #3: You can’t eat any carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet.
Although the ketogenic diet does limit the intake of carbohydrates to about 5-10% of total caloric intake, some carbs are allowed, such as non-starchy vegetables and nuts. Health professionals, dietitians, and nutritionists typically recognize this myth and advise against this restrictive approach of completely eliminating carbohydrates.
FACT: While a ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, it allows for a small amount of non-starchy, low-carbohydrate vegetables such as leafy greens.
Myth #4: The ketogenic diet is unsafe and causes long-term health problems.
Why do some people think the ketogenic diet is unsafe? Often, they are only misinformed about the risks associated with it and do not understand the importance of properly managing electrolyte levels. Some people tiptoe around this diet thinking it’s too restrictive or difficult to maintain. Others think that the lack of carbohydrates can be harmful to the body; however, the body can actually adjust to burning fat for energy.
FACT: When followed correctly, the ketogenic diet can be a safe and effective way to improve overall health, as long as it is carefully monitored by a healthcare provider.
The reasoning behind this myth comes from thinking that the lack of carbohydrates will not provide enough energy for any physical activity. This is far from the truth. Ketones can actually provide an alternative and efficient source of energy for the body which helps during exercise. Consequently, exercise helps boost energy levels, improves body composition, and promotes overall health.
FACT: Exercise is highly recommended on a ketogenic diet, and can even enhance the benefits of the diet, as long as it is properly fueled with sufficient fat and protein.
Myth #6: The ketogenic diet is too restrictive and hard to stick to.
Nowadays, there are many delicious and healthy recipes that can make it easier for you to stay on track if you’re on a ketogenic diet. Believing this diet is restrictive limits you to the endless possibilities of its health benefits. Go ahead and see for yourself how possible and sustainable it is to create and enjoy keto-friendly meals with enough planning and preparation.
FACT: The ketogenic diet can be very satisfying and filling, and there are many delicious food options to choose from.
Myth #7: A ketogenic diet is only for weight loss.
Just like in myth # 5, if you think that a ketogenic diet is only for weight loss, it’s because you probably think it is only a low-carb diet. Again, ketones (not just carbohydrates) provide an alternative and efficient source of energy for the body. Thus, a ketogenic diet can help improve overall health, not just promote weight loss.
FACT: While weight loss is a common benefit of the ketogenic diet, it can also improve other health markers such as blood sugar control, cardiovascular health, and brain function.
Myth #8: The ketogenic diet is bad for your cholesterol levels.
This myth may stem from the fact that some ketogenic diets contain high levels of saturated fat, often linked to high cholesterol levels. However, research has shown that this is not necessarily the case. Many studies have proven that a ketogenic diet can actually improve cholesterol levels especially when done correctly. Moreover, a ketogenic diet can lead to improved health markers, such as lower triglycerides and improved insulin sensitivity.
FACT: While some people may experience temporary changes in their cholesterol levels on the ketogenic diet, it has been shown to improve cholesterol markers in the long-term, as long as it is combined with a healthy, whole food-based diet.
Myth #9: You can eat as much fat as you want on a ketogenic diet.
Many people assume that a ketogenic diet is very high in fat which leads them to believe they can eat as much fat as they want. However, this is not true, because, as in any diet, the ketogenic diet should be balanced and well-formulated so you’ll be properly nourished. That way, you can have the right amounts of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in your body, too. Did you know that eating too much fat can lead to weight gain? Therefore, it defeats the whole purpose of a ketogenic diet if that is the case.
FACT: While a ketogenic diet is high in fat, it’s important to choose healthy fats from sources such as avocados, coconut oil, and nuts, and to limit unhealthy fats from sources such as processed and fast foods.
For some, the ketogenic diet is intimidating and extreme so it must only be for men who have the body type and can stick to its strict requirements. However, this is not true, as the ketogenic diet can be beneficial for any gender – men and women alike. Additionally, you can tailor a ketogenic diet to meet your individual needs so that it can be a viable choice for everyone.
FACT: The ketogenic diet can be beneficial for both men and women, although women may need to adjust their macronutrient ratios slightly to accommodate their unique hormonal needs.
In conclusion, no matter what diet you get into, it’s important to always consult with a healthcare provider. It’s important that you get professional medical advice before starting a new health regimen, including the ketogenic diet.
“The Gut Microbiota and Inflammation: An Overview” is a research article written by Zahraa Al Bander and published in the Journal of Inflammation Research which provides an overview of the current understanding of the relationship between the gut microbiome and inflammation.
The article begins by highlighting the importance of the gut microbiome in maintaining overall health and well-being. The gut microbiome is composed of trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms, and it has been shown to play a crucial role in regulating inflammation, digestion, and the immune system.
This material goes on to describe the mechanisms by which the gut microbiome can affect inflammation. One of the key ways in which the gut microbiome can impact inflammation is through its effects on the gut barrier. The gut barrier is a layer of cells that separates the gut microbiome from the rest of the body which, when it becomes compromised, can lead to increased inflammation.
The article also discusses the role of diet in shaping the gut microbiome and impacting inflammation. It has been shown that diets high in fiber, fermented foods, and probiotics can help to promote a healthy gut microbiome and reduce inflammation, while diets high in processed foods and sugar can have the opposite effect.
Finally, the article summarizes some of the current research on the use of probiotics and other interventions to improve gut health and reduce inflammation. Probiotics have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects on the gut microbiome, including reducing inflammation and improving gut barrier function.
In conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the relationship between the gut microbiome and inflammation. The authors highlight the importance of the gut microbiome in maintaining overall health, and the role that diet and other interventions can play in shaping the gut microbiome and reducing inflammation.
Reference: Al Bander, Z. (2018). The Gut Microbiota and Inflammation: An Overview. Journal of Inflammation Research, 11, 1-11. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S145912.