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Diet

The basic rules of nutrition

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So many people are still looking for the best diet to help them accomplish their fitness goals, unfortunately this is not possible. There´s not a single diet that will give everyone of us the best results.

Instead of looking for the best diet to lose weight we need to think about what are the basic rules of nutrition that apply to everyone or almost everyone and from there adjust them to fit our lifestyle and goals.

As we´ve mentioned on our first post there are certain essential proteins called amino-acids and certain essential fats called fatty-acids that we need to give our body through food, but there are no essential carbohydrates, the only reason we need carbohydrates like vegetables and fruits may be for micronutrients which are vitamins, minerals and fiber but we can also get these micronutrients from other foods which is the reason why carnivores claim you can only consume meat and animal products and be completely fine.

Our body, our cells, our brain need energy and certain nutrients to keep everything working and functioning properly. A healthy diet needs to focus on giving your body this essential proteins and fats, the vitamins and minerals, fiber, prebiotics and probiotics so that everything is functioning properly and it also needs to avoid unhealthy foods as much as possible. All this nutrients come from meats, fatty fish, whole eggs, nuts, seeds, yogurt, fruits and vegetables.

We also need to consider energy, our body needs energy, our brain needs energy and we can´t deny the fact that healthy fats are a better source of energy that our cells, our brain and our entire body can use more efficiently. 1 gram of fat contain 9 calories compared to 4 calories in one gram of carbs, and our body, our brain and our cells can use healthy fats as a more efficient fuel compared to carbs or glucose. For this to happen you need to be fat adapted and have a flexible metabolism which is how our body is supposed to work.

So many people focus a lot on what they need to eat but they don´t eliminate unhealthy foods, those unhealthy foods create inflammation and stress on our body so you can eat all the healthy foods you want but if you keep eating unhealthy foods you won´t get any benefits. The foods you need to avoid are the ones that contain highly refined sugars, flours (except nut flours), seed oils and trans fats.

We can´t deny the fact that eating unhealthy foods is damaging our body, if you´re struggling with your weight, if you´ve tried to lose weight and fail the reason is simple, you´re not giving your body the nutrients it needs to function properly and all the unhealthy food you´ve been eating created damage on your metabolism and hormones this is why you feel tired all the time and your body hurts, this is why you can´t stop eating. When you give your body the nutrients it needs and you stop eating unhealthy foods your body starts to fix and repair all the problems so you start feeling better, with more energy and motivation, you are able to eat less, cravings disappear and this is when your weight loss starts getting easier and easier.

The easiest way to start improving your diet is by swapping unhealthy foods for healthy ones, instead of having a bowl of cereal and juice or a bagel or sandwich change it for scrambled or fried eggs on coconut, olive oil or butter, if you don´t have time to cook you can have natural Greek yogurt low in carbs with some chia seeds; instead of having a kit kat bar or any other candy for a snack have some pecans, almonds or pumpkin seeds.

It all starts with what our body needs to perform at its max every day and find healthy foods that can supply our body with those requirements and also that we enjoy. Any diet needs to be sustainable so finding foods that we also enjoy eating and that makes us feel satisfied is key. Once you have this under control you have more freedom to enjoy your favorite meals, snacks and desserts every now and then.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

DietSleep

Is it good to eat right before going to bed?

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Many people like to eat right before going to bed, but what the impact?

It doesn´t matter if you´re following a time restrictive eating protocol where you skip breakfast and have lunch and dinner or if you have the normal 3 meals per day being breakfast, lunch and dinner, some of us like to eat before going to bed, but this may not be the best option.

Having a big meal will make us feel tired because our body sends all the energy to digest the food we´ve just ate, this is why we find it easier to fall asleep after a huge meal, some people like to have a huge dinner before going to bed because they know they feel tired and find it easier to fall asleep, this is why some people feel like taking a nap also after a huge meal.

Even when it´s easier to fall asleep this does not means it´s a great option. When we go to sleep we want to make sure that our body is able to do all the jobs it needs to do while we´re sleeping, it needs to delete information, store important information in other parts of the brain, it needs to get rid of toxins, it needs to build, repair, recover, grow and make sure that we´re ready for the next day. If we eat a big meal right before going to bed our body will be working on digesting all that food and it won´t be doing what it´s supposed to do.

There´s no reason to have a huge meal before going to bed, we´re not going to be exercising or doing any physical activity so we don´t need that much food.

Some of us like to have a huge meal before bed and we don´t think about what we´re eating, so many of us have problems with digestion, some foods make us feel constipated, bloated, acid reflux, etc; all this cause a lot more problems and makes it harder for our body to digest the food plus it will take it more time which disrupts our sleep.

So many people recommend that we have the last meal 3 hours before going to bed, and this makes sense, in those 3 hours we´re giving our body time to digest all that food so that when we go to bed our body can do what it´s supposed to do. You can make that last meal of your day a big meal and make it higher in carbohydrates, it´s better to eat carbs at night because of hormones like cortisol, insulin and growth hormone, this way you´ll feel satisfied and you´ll still find it easier to fall asleep.

What you eat on that last meal has a huge impact on the quality of your sleep, even when you can have carbohydrates and protein, keeping that meal a little lower on fats may be beneficial and the most important point to consider is to be aware of foods that can cause problems, foods that make you feel bloated, constipated, etc; this creates inflammation and stress on our body and it takes more time to your body to digest. We do need to consider this on all of our meals and avoid foods that cause any problem, even if those foods are consider healthy, but even more on our last meal. You can have a big meal 3 hours before going to bed just make sure your food choices don´t cause any problem.

If you do need to eat before bed because of your busy day and schedule just make sure that it´s not a big meal, and make sure your meal doesn´t create any digestive problem, for this you need to be aware of what foods cause problems and avoid them so that you can have a small or medium meal before bed and you don´t go to bed hungry.

You need to find out what works best for you according to your day, if you can eat 3 hours before going to bed that´s ideal, you can still have a relatively big meal and give your body enough time to digest, if you can´t then it´s better to go for a small meal. In both cases make sure that your meal does not cause any digestive problem so that when you go to bed your body can work on what´s important at that time.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

It´s not about a diet to lose weight

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When it comes to nutrition or diet our interest is not on finding the best diet to lose weight, keeping that weight off is also part of the goal and more importantly improving and maintaining optimal health.

In most cases, although I could clearly say that always, a diet that focuses on improving your health and maintaining optimal health will help you lose weight and keep it off or gain muscle mass, a diet that focuses on health makes it easier for you to achieve any fitness goal while giving you the freedom to have your favorite meals every now and then or you find ways to make healthier and delicious versions of those meals, snacks or desserts and you can enjoy them every week.

Our weight is a result of our health so the moment you decide to take care of yourself and improve your health you´ll start losing weight, weight loss is not as simple as calories in & calories out, your metabolism, your hormones, your cells all play an important role on your weight they actually determine if you burn fat or if you store fat.

If you´re obese, overweight or if you´ve struggling with your weight, if you find it really hard to lose weight and keeping off the reason why all this is happening is simple, most programs only focus on calories and exercise, they make you eat less and move more without considering hormones and metabolism which are the ones blocking your results and this programs make more damage to your body which is why every time it gets even more harder to lose just a couple pounds and keep them off.

We´re not looking for a diet to lose weight, we´re looking for a diet that fix your hormones and metabolism, a diet that improves your health and this will lead to weight loss and will make it really simple to keep that weight off. For this, what you eat and when you eat matters, your body needs certain nutrients and there are foods that cause a lot of problems to your health, you know there are certain foods you need to avoid because they´re unhealthy, but you don´t know exactly which foods or ingredients to avoid and why.

The first step is to avoid foods and ingredients that cause damage and disruption to your body, this ingredients and foods are highly refined sugars, vegetable or seed oils, trans fats and flours (with the exception of nut flours like almond and coconut flour). This ingredients are the ones creating damage to your hormones and metabolism, the problem is that this ingredients are found in almost all processed and fast foods although there are some companies creating healthy products that don´t contain any of this ingredients so the next time you go grocery shopping you need to read labels and avoid products that contain all this unhealthy ingredients.

The second step is to follow a low carbohydrate diet, we´ve been eating a lot of unhealthy foods for a long time so the first weeks or months you need to follow a more strict plan to fix all the problems going on in your body, for this you need to lower carbohydrates, following a keto diet for a period of time will be beneficial but if you don´t want to go keto then lower your carbs, even the healthy ones.

The last step is time restrictive eating, we´ve been taught that we need to eat every 2 or 3 hours, we need to have three big meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks in between, this is a lie. Our body is able to use stored fat as energy but with all the myths and lies we´ve made our body rely on carbs and sugars for energy so we need to bring it back to relying on fat and having a flexible metabolism. We don´t need to eat every 2 or 3 hours, we don´t need to spike insulin every 2 or 3 hours, by having 2 or 3 meals a day in a 6 to 8 hours window you give time to your body to fix all the problems.

This might seem like a lot and at the beginning it is so take it one step at a time by following this 3 steps you´ll improve your health and find it really easy to lose weight and keep it off.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Pre / Post workout meals

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If you´ve been on the fitness industry for some time you´ve may have heard about pre and post workout meals, or if you´ve trying to lose weight you may have heard about it too, you may have read about the best foods to eat before your exercise routine and the best foods to eat after exercise, but are the really beneficial?

Unfortunately, this is not a black and white answer it all comes down to your goals and context. Planning your meals around your workouts is a great strategy to help you achieve your goals. Post workout meals is the one I consider more important regardless of your goal, when you exercise you give your body and muscles the stimuli to grow, to get stronger, to change and the moment you finish your workout your body starts to recover so by giving the right nutrients is key to make sure your body has everything it needs to start the recovery process.

When we talk about pre and post workout it can get a little complicated especially if your goal is just to lose weight and improve body composition, if this is your goal then keeping things simple is the way to go. For this doing cardio in a fasted state can be really beneficial but not everyone feels good exercising fasted. You can have an electrolyte drink before exercising just make sure the one you choose is low in carbs and sugars and also don´t contain unhealthy ingredients. If you prefer to eat something just make sure that whatever you eat makes you feel good, you don´t want to feel sick during your workout you want to feel energized and able to perform at peak.

For pre workouts it all depends of your goal and what works best for you, for weight loss what you really want is to lose fat, in this case for some people doing cardio first thing in the morning in a fasted state is really helpful, for some people doing resistance training in a fasted state also works great while others don´t find it beneficial and it impact negatively their performance especially for bodybuilders and power lifters. If you´re doing resistance training and your main focus is strength then a pre workout meal will be beneficial.

What is the best meal for pre and post workout also depends of you, of your goals and the type of diet you´re following, if you are keto getting some MCTs some carbs or caffeine pre workout might be beneficial or having a more complete meal a couple hours before exercising, depending on how hard is you session you may want to have some carbs to help your body fuel the workout. For post workout having a protein shake with some MCTs or coconut oil is better then to getting just a protein shake, whey, casein, egg protein are all great options and there are so many protein powders that contain them, adding some healthy oils work better for a post workout shake.

If you´re having a complete meal before your workout make sure it´s at least one hour before exercising and make sure you don´t get too full or what you eat won´t cause digestive issues, when you´re exercising you want to make sure you can perform at your max and your pre workout meal (if you have it) is supposed to fuel that workout not make you feel sick.

If you go to a gym you may have seen or heard a lot of people taking caffeine as a pre workout. For pre workouts we want something that gives us energy, increase performance is really important, even if you can take something pre workout that helps you increase performance for 5% that can make a huge difference on your workout when you´re lifting heavy and you want to go hard this is what caffeine does. Some people don´t like caffeine because of the crash , if this is your case, supplements like Ginseng and L-citrulline are also really helpful.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

The problem with dairy

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Most people have food allergies or food sensibilities or intolerances while some people know about them others don´t and probably the most common are gluten and dairy intolerance.

It´s not only that a lot of people are intolerant to dairy, it causes a lot of problems in most people from weight gain (which can make it easier if you want to gain muscle or bulk) but also allergies, bloating, acne and some research have even linked it´s consumption with cancer.

We can´t deny that dairy especially milk is the most complete food containing all three macronutrients, carbohydrates, protein and fats but there´s no reason to be consuming glasses of it every day and most of us don´t need it. The last time I check the recommendations it were to drink 3 glasses of milk a day, there´s no research to back this up in a positive way but there´s research showing that too much dairy cause problems like acne, bloating, etc. If we add to this that nowadays we can find milk with added flavors and sugars everything gets worse.

The industry has been selling dairy as a healthy food claiming it strengthen your bones but if you search and look for studies it turns out that the countries with the lowest consumption of milk have the lowest rates of fractures and related injuries while the countries with highest consumption of milk have the highest rates of fractures.

It´s been said that calcium is necessary and dairy is the best source of calcium so there´s people consuming a huge amount of dairy plus taking calcium supplements as we´ve mentioned the last paragraph too much dairy may not be beneficial. If you want to make sure you get enough calcium on your diet there are more foods that contain calcium like sardines, nuts.

The problem with most people is not only lactose intolerance what´s also causing problems is all the hormones, antibiotics, chemicals. Industrial dairy is the biggest problem, even when I still won´t recommend to consume huge amounts of dairy every day milk being the lowest in the list if you have access to local products like cheese, yogurt and butter from animals that have been raised without all the hormones and chemicals you can try them out, probably all those issues you have with dairy can disappear making it clear that the problem is not the actual dairy but all the other stuff.

As we mentioned before milk is a complete food, this is why bodybuilders drink it when they´re in a bulking phase, they know it´s a great option, but if you´re not in a bulking phase or you´re not trying to grow there´s no reason to consume it, for the rest of dairy products like cheese, yogurt and butter there are some cheese that are better than others and there are some that aren´t cheese like American slices, those yellow slices that we normally use on burgers are not cheese so it´s better if you skip them, there are different types of cheeses some of them are higher in fat, some of them have a little more protein some are lower in carbs while others are a little higher in carbs, hard cheeses are the best option if you´re on a keto diet, yogurt is a great way to get probiotics some people consider yogurt or kefir to be the healthiest dairy option but you need to be aware too, some yogurts are high in sugars and added flavors, the best option here is to go natural Greek yogurt full fat and add some cinnamon, nuts, coconut, maybe a little honey depending of your preferences.

What I recommend is if you have access to local products and you´re sure they´re free from hormones and others chemicals then try them, if you still have problems with it like feeling bloated, ance, constipation, etc then you can try dairy free versions which are made with coconut, oats, nuts, etc. just be aware that the ones you buy don´t have unhealthy seeds oils.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

If it fit your macros (IIFYM)

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If you´ve been following bodybuilding or the fitness industry in general you may have heard some girls and guys following the “if it fit my macros” type of diet or nutrition program and most of them are fascinated with it.

For this diet strategy you need to understand what macronutrients are, we talked about this on a past post (click this link to learn more), for now we´re going to keep it quick and simple, macronutrients are divided into 3 categories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates this are the 3 macros that our body needs in big quantities.

Any diet that you want to follow or most of them are based on different macro ratios, for example a high protein diet is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fats, a keto diet is based on high fats, moderate protein and very low carbohydrates, in the case of IIFYM most of the time people follow a most balanced approach between the 3 macronutrients, to follow this the priority and focus is on macronutrients, not on calories so you need to find out what are your needs for each macro and make sure you hit those numbers every day. Lets say you need 45 grams of fat per day, 122 grams of protein and 183 grams of carbohydrates per day, once you got this numbers you only need to make sure that by the end of the day you meet those needs.

This diet or strategy is a great way to make your diet is sustainable for long periods of time even if you are losing weight because it gives you the opportunity to fit it unhealthy foods, you can have your favorite snacks, meals or desserts as long as you are able to hit your target for each macro, it gives you a lot more freedom. The problem is that a lot of people use this diet to fit in a lot of unhealthy foods, most of their foods choices come from fast food and highly processed foods, the reason for this is that they only focus on hitting those numbers, they´re only interested on hitting the macros and they don´t consider quality of food this is why they can eat pizza and donuts or ice cream for dessert every day, however the problem with this is that those unhealthy foods won´t make you feel full, the impact on satiety is not the same as the one you get from eating healthy foods.

Even when this strategy is a great option for weight loss, we can be pretty sure that if you hit your macros every day you will achieve your goal whether it´s weight loss, muscle growth or maintenance, so if your goal is only to build the physique you want then IIFYM is a great option, but if you´re also considering overall health then you need to think about food quality.

The benefit of this strategy is that it´s flexible and it gives you freedom, you can actually use it with different diets, if you´re vegetarian or vegan, if you´re keto you just need to do the math to get your macros according to your goal and the diet you want to follow and from there you can decide if you want to focus on healthy foods most of the time or if you want to eat more unhealthy foods.

We do need to mention that quality of food does matter, if you get all your macros from unhealthy foods you will get results regarding weight loss, muscle growth and maintenance, but with healthy sources you´ll get better results, some foods even when they help you hit the target for each macro are poor quality or incomplete sources so you won´t get the same positive impact and the impact on hormones is really different between healthy and fast foods or processed foods.

When you focus on healthy foods most of the time you´ll achieve your fitness goal and also improve your health at the same time, there are so many healthy options for each macro. If you want to get the best benefits then using IIFYM and focusing on quality of food, making healthy choices most of the time is the way to go, remember that you can fit some unhealthy snacks and desserts or even meals just don´t do it every day, this is what makes your diet flexible and sustainable.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Portion control

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There are so many strategies you can use to make sure you´re eating the right amount of food, one of those is portion control.

One of the most common fitness goals is weight loss, followed by muscle growth, obesity and overweight is still a huge problem and it´s getting worse. One of the reasons why is because portions are bigger and bigger, companies make bigger portions and they trick you with the small and medium sizes so that you end up buying the bigger one. With this increase in sizes we´ve also increased the amount of food we consume per meal even when we cook at home so having an idea of how much we´re eating and how much we actually need as a great strategy for weight loss.

You may had even try to lose weight before maybe more than once so I´m sure you´ve followed the most common advice “eat less – move more”, I´m sure you´ve also heard about portion control. Some people just get crazy counting calories and they find it easier to stay on track by controlling every portion of food they eat.

From what I´ve seen, this strategy is used more by girls who are losing weight, some guys also follow it for weight loss. This strategy can be used to help you stay on track on your diet by having a clear idea of how much food you can eat for each macronutrient. We all know that if you eat more you´ll gain weight and if you eat less you´ll lose weight. The problem is that since portions nowadays are really big we are completely misguided on how a single portion of each macro looks like. There are different ways you can keep track of portion control when you´re cooking and preparing your meals, one is using your hands as a guide and the other is using your plate. I consider using your hands as the best strategy because there are different sizes of plates and this can create confusion.

To use your hands there are certain guidelines for example: a portion of protein is of the size of your palm for girls, a portion of vegetables would be the size of your fist, for carbohydrates it would be one cupped hand and for fats it would be the size of your thumb. For guys you can go up to double of each. When you´re eating out most people who are following this strategy find it easier to order half of the portion.

For some people even this guidelines can be confusing so getting help from experts is important, nutritionist or dietitians can show you what a portion of each macro looks like, when you´re seeing it in front of you it´s easier for you to get a more clear idea so that you can stay on track.

If you measure this you´ll find out those portions are small considering what you´ve been eating, so when you start a diet and follow this guidelines you can feel hungry almost all the time because you´re eating way less and considering that you are making two changes at the same time it makes things harder. I´m considering you were eating a lot of unhealthy highly processed and fast foods so the first change is avoiding those unhealthy foods and eating healthy ones and the second change is eating less.

When you start this change, if after a couple of weeks you find it really hard to stay on track then you need another strategy that helps you improve your hormones and metabolism to get rid of those cravings and hunger so that it´s easier to lose weight.

For some people strategies like counting calories, points or portion control alone work great to lose weight and keep it off, for others we may need some more strategies that help us improve our health and at the same time lose weight.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

The microbiome

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If you´re really committed to improve your health, brain and look as best as possible then you need to focus on your gut.

Our digestive system impacts our overall health, there are millions and millions of bacteria living in our gut and they are the ones digesting food and controlling more processes so that everything in our body is functioning properly, when our gut, when the digestive system is not healthy this puts at risk our health physical and mental.

Do you know that all those microbes or bacteria living in our gut have a lot to do with your weight, with metabolism, with the functioning of your brain, with your immune system? Our lifestyle has an impact on these microbes and in this case the most important one is our diet. The standard American or western diet is based on unhealthy oils and fats, refined sugars, added chemicals to add texture, flavor and long lasting products which for our body are toxins, this damage the microbiome. You may have heard that taking antibiotics or acid blockers is bad for your stomach, well, eating all these processed foods is also bad for your stomach.

We can come up with 2 different scenarios here, some people have too few bacteria in the intestines and others have a lot of bad bacteria, this 2 causes a lot of problems and intestinal disorders like leaky gut or irritable bowel syndrome now this can get worse leading to inflammation and it can keep getting worse with health problems like depression and even cancer.

There are 2 steps you need to take to improve the health of your gut one of those steps is avoiding foods that cause damage and the second step is to add foods to your diet that keep your gut healthy.

The foods you need to avoid are:

1.- Unhealthy seed oils

2.- Flours (with the exception of nut flours like coconut and almond fluor)

3.- Sugar, refined carbs

4.- Antibiotics

5.- Acid blockers

The foods you need to include in your diet are fiber, fermented foods and probiotics, some examples are:

1.- Avocados

2.- Broccoli

3.- Berries

4.- Nuts and seeds

5.- Beans

6.- Lentils

7.- Oats

8.- Kefir

9.- Sauerkraut

10.- Probiotics

These are some examples of foods you need to avoid and the ones you need to add to your diet, there are more options as to what you can eat, remember to put especial emphasis on the ones you need to avoid, if you add healthy foods but keep eating the unhealthy ones those foods will keep damaging your gut.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

The impact of food in mental health

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When we think about food and diet mostly we relate it with weight loss, some of us muscle growth and health, especially diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc; but we don´t think or relate food with our brain or mental health and it has a huge impact.

Many people is diagnosed with mental diseases like depression, anxiety, ADD, PTSD, OCD, but a lot of people suffer of symptoms from any of this and have not been diagnosed. I´m not saying that by being diagnosed you need to take drugs which I don´t recommend, this is the last option when you´ve literally tried everything else. Now I need to mention that depression, anxiety, PTSD, and some other mental illnesses could be cause by an accident or a situation the person went through and if it´s not treated it will get worse and worse over time. It´s really important to talk with an expert, but life is hard and we all go through situations that lead to depression or anxiety or other and we can all do something to improve and start feeling better and it all starts with our food choices.

Food is a great strategy to help us cope with the effects or symptoms of mental illnesses like the ones I´ve mentioned before, certain foods can make the symptoms worse while others can lower them down. We can see this on a day to day basis just be aware of how you feel after a meal, be conscious of what you´re eating and how you feel after, you´ve probably been on a bad mood more than once, if you eat unhealthy foods and even certain foods that can be considered healthy they can make your mood worse and if you eat certain foods that contain certain chemicals and micronutrients they will make you feel better.

For some people processed meats can make their symptoms of depression worse, if you´re on a bad mood turmeric can help improve it and it´s also anti-inflammatory. Berries are one the best fruits rich in antioxidants that also are very beneficial for your brain.

Food also has a huge impact on dementia and diseases like Alzheimer´s and Parkinson, certain diets like ketogenic have been used to treat Alzheimer´s when it actually started as a treatment for epilepsy.

We´ve talked before about inflammation and how certain foods cause inflammation, this occurs not only in our body also in our brain and this is how some diseases develop, inflammation in the starting point, we´ve also talked about insulin resistance which is when our cells start ignoring insulin signaling, this also happens in the brain and it´s also the starting point of many diseases.

Diet can reduce or increase inflammation and it can also improve or worsen insulin resistance. We know that certain foods are unhealthy and we need to eliminate them for a period of time and then avoid them as much as possible, those foods are unhealthy seed oils, flour (nuts flours are the exception), sugar and certain carbohydrates. This foods cause inflammation and raise insulin and when we eat them continually it leads to insulin resistance. So a way to start is avoiding this foods.

If you want to take this one step further you can try an elimination diet, you´ll need to eliminate grains, dairy, gluten, sugar for a couple of weeks which cause a lot of problems for many people and slowly start introducing them one by one. One week add grains to your diet and be aware of how you look and feel, stay with it for a couple of weeks, then add dairy and also be aware of how you look and feel, continue.

Now, if you want to improve your brain you need to consider that what you need to eat to improve it is as important as what you need to avoid, if you eat a lot of berries but you´re still consuming unhealthy seed oils and sugars you won´t get the benefits, in fact those unhealthy foods can have a greater impact.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Fats and the brain

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How many times have you heard that fats are bad? You will gain weight? You will increase your risk of diseases? We need to clarify this.

Yes, some fats are bad and unhealthy those are the trans fats which are the fats that are used by food chains and processed foods. Vegetables or seed oils are also unhealthy and toxic for our body and brain. So this are the fats you need to avoid but saturated fats and unsaturated fats have been involved is so many myths and lies, to keep it simple here those two types of fats won´t make you fat and are not unhealthy (if you want to learn more about fats click this link).

Our body needs health fats and our brain needs healthy fats too. As we´ve seen on the last post a diet high in carbohydrates that keeps insulin high for long periods of time leads to insulin resistant and this impacts our brain, it´s not only that unhealthy fats and carbohydrates deplete our body from nutrients they also create so many problems by depleting our brain from energy.

You may have heard of MCTs oils, Omega 3s, EPA and DHA, this are all healthy oils that our brain needs to function properly. Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats, fat is important for brain cell membranes, our brain uses certain fats especially DHA to build cell membranes and EPA is key for mood. Healthy fats are necessary so that our brain works properly, if our brain works properly we are able to concentrate on what we´re doing perform as best as possible, make better decisions.

MCT oils are medium chain triglycerides that have many health benefits including your brain. It is extracted from coconut oil and some dairy options also contain this type of oils. This type of oil is one of the best options for weight loss along with Omega 3 too. MCT is an alternative source of energy which can be used by the brain more effectively than glucose, while carbohydrates can create a lot of negative impacts on our body MCT do not go through the same process as carbohydrates, it´s easily absorbed and used.

When we follow a high carbohydrate diet and we keep insulin levels high for long periods of time our body becomes insulin resistant and our brain too becomes insulin resistant so MCTs are an alternative fuel that our brain can use effectively in the form of ketones, this is why ketogenic diets have become so popular to treat diabetes, Autism, Alzheimer’s not only Epilepsy. There are studies people with Alzheimer´s who were given MCTs improved short-term cognition and symptoms.

We´ve mentioned in other post that our body needs essential proteins called amino-acids and essential fats called fatty-acids and that reason why they are essential is because our body cannot produce or creates this essential nutrients so we need to get them through our diet. We need to eat foods that contain those nutrients, in this case healthy fats can be found in foods like fish, chia seeds, coconut oils, walnuts, avocadoes but most of us are deficient of this crucial nutrients and we consume a lot of food that our body doesn´t need like carbohydrates. There´s not an essential carbohydrate.

Making sure that we follow a diet that gives our body and brain the nutrients it needs is key to maintain optimal health and it will also help us lose weight and maintain optimal body composition. Eliminating or avoiding as much as possible foods that cause problems like sugars, trans fats and unhealthy seed oils is also important. Once you have your diet design you can add supplements based on what´s missing for example, if you don´t like fish you can take Omega 3, if you´re vegan r vegetarian you need supplements that give you all the nutrients you may be deficient.

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Pam