There have been too many real-time stories about endless struggles with weight, and worse, diabetes.
See if you identify with our readers and their health challenges.
Marina is 60, a grandmother of two who has high blood sugar, hypertension and back problems. She is 50 lbs overweight. Every meal time, she complains that despite eating less, she cannot lose weight. Her cardiologist advised her not to engage in vigorous exercise due to her high blood pressure.
Ronnie is a 30-year-old call center supervisor. Due to the pressures of work, he eats erratically. With no time to dine out properly, he is dependent on fastfood. What keeps him on the go are hard candies, chocolate bars and coffee. He skips breakfast, and snacks every two hours.
At 70, Sarah is concerned about dying too soon. She has arrhythmia and insomnia. Afraid to exercise in order to lose weight because of her palpitations, she does moderate walking instead. Wanting very badly to change her lifestyle, there is one thing she refuses to give-up: midnight snacking.
There was the low-fat diet mania in the 1980s, and the low-carb craze in the ’90s, which left everyone confused. So, which is which?
Leo Galland, MD, in “The Fat Resistance Diet,” explains that both ways of thinking are myths. While some fats are extremely bad, like trans fats from hydrogenated vegetable oils (due to processing), there are other fats which are good, like omega-3 fatty acids.
It isn’t true that if you cut back on fat, you are allowed to consume lots of carbs. The role of starch vegetables and rice or multigrain bread is to give you energy.
Bad for you
Simple carbohydrates, which are bad for you, are all white-based flour and starch foods.
Complex carbohydrates are good for you—brown rice, wild rice, multi-grain breads, etc.
Avoid transfats completely, because they interfere with your body’s ability to lose weight.
Sources of this are any food that is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, so be wary of cookies, popcorn packages and frozen desserts.
In terms of saturated fats, get only up to 1/3 of your daily intake from beef, pork, lamb, dairy, bacon, poultry skin, margarine, shortening, cream and butter.
While virgin coconut oil is considered saturated, it is a medium-chain fatty acid. The liver converts it into energy and speeds up metabolism.
Eat as much of monounsaturated fats as you can from olive oil, almonds/almond oil, macadamia nuts, pumpkin/sesame seeds and avocados.
For polyunsaturated fats like omega 3 and omega 6, the ideal ratio is 4:1 in favor of omega 3.
For omega 3, the main sources are fish. Top of the list is anchovy, sardines, mackerel (from the Atlantic, which is deemed safe), herring, tuna (bluefin is better than albacore), salmon (wild has higher omega 3 than farm-raised salmon)
For vegetables, it’s leafy greens, kidney beans, walnuts (walnut oil). Soybean oil has both omega 3 and 6, but its omega 6 content is high.
For omega 6, go with vegetable oils (corn, safflower, soy, sunflower, brazil nuts, sesame oil, pumpkin seeds). Sesame oil contains minerals and nutrients.
Leptin and ghrelin are two crucial hormones that play a major role in energy balance and weight loss.
There is now a condition called leptin resistance, discovered in obese patients. Weight loss is possible with leptin because it has been associated with food supression and increased metabolism.
Ghrelin, on the other hand, is an appetite stimulant. In obese humans it is expected that leptin levels are low and ghrelin levels are high.
Leptin resistance has been associated with overeating, which puts undue stress on the body mechanisms.
The message is clear: Eat moderately. Don’t binge.
Stress is fattening
Cortisol is a stress hormone. It is released by your body when you are challenged emotionally and physically.
While cortisol may be good when you need to meet a deadline, continuous low-grade/high-grade stress can upset your biochemistry.
Elevated cortisol levels can cause elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, fluid retention, loss of memory, osteoporosis and leeplessness. If you sleep less, your leptin levels are low. Leptin controls appetite. Ghrelin levels increase. The result: less sleep, bigger appetite.
It isn’t true that if you are sleep-deprived, then you are entitled to eat more.
Manage your stress levels. Stay calm. Don’t panic.
Also, if you eat, you must move your body. Every time you eat and maintain an inactive lifestyle, you will surely gain weight. So, the rule is simple: “Eat to move.” And this much is true: “Move more to eat more.”
This week’s affirmation: “An avalanche of blessings is coming my way.”
Love and light!
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