Protein is a nutrient found in food that is made up of many amino acids joined together. It is a necessary part of the diet. Amino Acids are essential for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs. They form the major structural component of all the body’s cells so protein foods are healthy food.
Foods above are Complete Protein Sources
Foods that contain all nine essential amino acids are referred to as complete proteins. The following foods are complete protein sources: meat, fish seafood as wild salmon, chicken breasts, eggs and dairy products.
Plant-based complete protein sources: Organic soy beans and Pea protein. Other healthy food sources for protein are Lentils, Nuts like Almonds, Tofu, Hemp Seeds, and Quinoa.
Our bodies use protein to make enzymes, hormones and other chemicals that allow the body to function well. Aside from water, protein constitutes a major part of muscles, bones, cartilage, blood, internal organs, skin, nails, hair and pretty much all other types of tissue in your body.
Most of the structure of organs and tissues consist of protein like haemoglobin, keratin, collagen, elastin and insulin. Protein is also essential as a source of certain amino acids and essential for replicating DNA.
The body requires a lot of protein to function properly as it doesn’t store it. This is why it’s important to eat the right amount of protein daily. There are plenty of good proteins that offer other health benefits along with the necessary fat to ensure a healthy body. Tissues throughout the body require ongoing repair and replacement, and thus the body’s protein is turning over constantly, being broken down and then resynthesized as needed.
Proteins are made of amino acids, many of which the body can make itself. Amino acids, often referred to as the building blocks of proteins, are compounds that play many critical roles in your body. You need them for vital processes such as building proteins, hormones, and neurotransmitters.
Your body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. While all 20 of these are important for your health, there are nine amino acids that are strictly required for normal body function that your body can’t biosynthesize.
These are called essential amino acids and the full nine can be found from all meat sources. Unfortunately for vegetarians and vegans, it’s rare to find the full nine in legumes and grains, so you need to make sure you eat a large variety to get all of them. Hemp protein is a good plant source for all vegetarians and vegans to obtain a full set of all the Amino Acids.
The nine essential amino acids, which you must get through your diet are as follows. Histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
The best time to take protein powders is with breakfast. This helps you stay fuller for longer and thus help with weight loss. Also taken after a strength-weight workout or bodyweight exercises (within 1 hour) will increase the ability of your muscles to repair and build new fibres quickly to increase body mass.
Eating the right fats will not only improve your health but help your brain, heart and rejuvenate your body. Healthy Food Fats do not make you fat, they do not raise cholesterol and they do not contribute to heart disease. Fats help the body absorb vitamins like A, D, E, K as these vitamins are fat soluble (dissolve easily in fat and oils.) Fat also helps the body absorb Calcium. If you supplement with vitamins, then take them with Coconut Oil. They will be better absorbed.
How Fat got a bad name
It all started in the 1970’s when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) changed the face of agriculture, and they determined what was to be grown and how it was grown. Their requirements were that it had to be profitable and cheap.
At the time big food manufacturers were looking for cheap and profitable ways to produce food. Today we call it Processed and Fast Food. Fat was labelled bad to eat and we were bombarded with eat more whole grain and eat low fats and non-fat foods.
Fat in food gave it the taste so fat had to be replaced to give the food back a decent taste. Sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and artificial sweeteners were the perfect replacements. They were plentiful and cheaper than Sugar but less nutritious.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Food Manufacturers quickly embraced the use of High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). It was plentiful and cheap. They started adding the industrial sweetener to bread, cakes, cookies, breakfast cereals and more in the 1970’s. By the mid 1980’s HFCS replaced sugar in soft drink/sodas and fruit juices.
Your body metabolizes Fructose and converts it directly into fat. When people eat a diet that is high in calories and high in fructose, the liver gets overloaded and starts turning the fructose into fat. That is what makes us fatter. It is believed that this paved the way for obesity which is out of control today.
Big food manufacturers got what they wanted with mass produced corn & soy. In the mid 1970’s a method was developed to produce a concentrated sweetener from the waste product of corn. Thus, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was born. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was much more concentrated as a sweetener and much less was needed in foods.
There has been an Epidemic in Heart Disease, Obesity and Diabetes for over 30 years and still continuing today. I constantly ask myself WHY? this epidemic is happening and why Government Health Departments, Health Authorities, Doctors, and Hospitals do not ask the same question. Shouldn’t they research food and the many ingredients in food that are very beneficial to humans, and test other food ingredients that can be detrimental to humans or is it too expensive and no profit in it.
I worked as a chemist for Pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and consumer & baby product companies for over 20yrs. These companies added artificial chemical preservatives to many of their products. Many years later it was found that some of these artificial chemical preservatives were probable carcinogenic. Today a lot of these same products now do not contain artificial preservatives, colours and flavours, and companies heavily advertise this fact. But some very similar artificial chemicals are put into food without question. WHY?
Your body functions better with healthy fats. Science is only now beginning to understand the role fat plays in our bodies.
Types of Fats
The human body is composed of approximately 62% water, 16% protein, 16% fat (lipids), 1% carbohydrate, 5% minerals.
Your brain is approximately 60% fat.
You may wonder isn’t fat bad for you, but your body needs some fat from food. Fat is a necessary component of our body and is a major source of energy. It acts as a potent detoxifier. When a chemical or toxin enters your system, your body attempts to neutralize the threat by storing it in fat tissue. Fat is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.
Fat can be Saturated or Unsaturated, Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated and Trans saturated (Trans) Fat.
Saturated Fat: Stick to healthy saturated fats. Saturated Fats help the body to absorb vitamins such as A, D, E, K, and calcium. They also regulate immune function and cell membrane structure. These types of fats are critical for total body wellness and don’t cause heart disease.
Healthy Saturated Fats are found in Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil (NOT Refined). Also found in Grass Fed Butter, Grass Fed Red Meat, Beef Tallow, Lard, Ghee, Whole Milk Products and Cacao.
Saturated means that all available carbon atoms are occupied (and fully “saturated”) by a hydrogen atom. Unlike unsaturated fats, saturated fats are highly stable and not likely to turn into free radicals or go rancid when exposed to heat, oxygen or light. You should be cooking with saturated fats.
Monounsaturated Fat (MUFA): Found in Tree Nuts, Sesame Seeds, Flax Seeds, Peanuts, Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil, Olives and Olive Oil, and Avocados. Monosaturated fat oils must be used in moderation if heating them to high temperatures. Olive Oil begins to break down once it is heated to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit and begins to unleash free radicals that lead to disease.
Polyunsaturated Fat (PUFA): They remain liquid even at cooler temperatures, go rancid easily, and breakdown into free radicals when heated. Most people and almost all fast-food restaurants use these oils when frying food because it is cheap to buy. Frying requires extremely high temperatures and these oils break down quickly unleashing free radicals into your body.
The two main types of Polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 fatty acid omega-6 fatty acid. Healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, and un-hydrogenated (organic) soybean oil.
Unhealthy Polyunsaturated Fats are foods rich in linoleic acid and other omega-6 fatty acids include vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, canola oil(rapeseed), Margarine, walnut oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, rice bran oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, flax seed oil, poppyseed oil, sesame seed oil, cottonseed oil and corn oils. The unwanted polyunsaturated fat omega-6’s like those found in refined vegetable oils squeeze out the vital omega-3’s which are good for you.
Trans saturated (Trans) Fat: Do Not Eat. The worst type of dietary fat is the kind known as trans-fat. It is a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation that is used to turn healthy oils into solids and to prevent them from becoming rancid. This chemical process called Hydrogenation is where Unsaturated fats are heated at high temperatures with hydrogen gas converting it to a “trans-fat.” Trans fats have no known health benefits and that there is no safe level of consumption. Therefore, they have been officially banned in the United States. Any product that states on their label that is “partially hydrogenated” will contain trans-fat.
Vegetable oils that have been partially hydrogenated are inexpensive to make and less likely to spoil, so foods made with it have a longer shelf life. Some restaurants use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in their deep fryers, because it doesn’t have to be changed as often as do other oils.
- Commercial baked goods, such as cakes, cookies and pies
- Microwave popcorn
- Frozen pizza
- Refrigerated dough, such as biscuits and rolls
- Fried foods, including French fries, doughnuts and fried chicken.
- Nondairy coffee creamer
- Stick margarine
Trans fats create inflammation which has been conclusively linked to coronary heart disease by Harvard Medical School. They also stimulate weight gain, and are linked to stroke, and other chronic conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Soft Margarines are high in omega-6 and today are mostly made from oxidized vegetable oils high in mono- or polyunsaturated fats, which includes safflower, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, Canola Oil (rapeseed). Margarine also contains Flavouring agents, yellow food pigments, emulsifiers and preservatives.
Trans Fats have been found in Margarines, Shortenings for making industrial baked goods, used for Deep Frying in restaurants, and found in Vegetable Oils which are hydrogenated to stop them going rancid while on a shop shelf. Most would be partially rancid by the time you buy them because many of them come from Europe with a long shipping travel time. They are usually the large vegetable oil containers stored on the bottom shelf found in supermarkets.
Any product that states on their label that it is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated will contain trans-fats. Not a Healthy product.
The two main types of Polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 fatty acid and omega-6 fatty acid.
Omega-3 fatty acids
The three main types of omega-3s are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and ALA (α-linolenic acid) fatty acids. EPA and DHA are the omega-3s your body needs in high quantities to achieve the benefits they offer.
Your body converts some DHA molecules back to EPA to keep them at fairly equal levels if you consume more DHA.
Lowering High Triglycerides: The American Heart Association recognizes that the highest amount of omega-3s is generally needed for people with high triglycerides, a major risk factor for heart disease. Use of omega-3 supplements has been associated with lowered triglyceride levels in patients with or without other diseases.
Multiple studies have found links between high omega-3 intake and a decreased risk for autoimmune diseases or an improvement in autoimmune disease symptoms.
benefits of omega-3
One reason omega-3 fatty acids may be so beneficial to many aspects of health could be that they help decrease system-wide inflammation, the root cause of most diseases. By eating a nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory diet, you give your body its best chance to fight disease like it was designed to do.
Omega-3 intake and/or supplementation have been shown to be beneficial in treating the following list of conditions. However, much controversy still exists in many of the uses listed below.
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Mental illness or brain decline.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Irritable bowel disease.
Healthy food sources of omega-3 foods include Atlantic mackerel, salmon fish oil, cod liver oil, walnuts, chia seeds, herring, wild-caught salmon, ground flaxseeds, white fish, sardines, hemp seeds, natto, green leafy vegetables, krill oil, algae oil, beans, egg yolks, and Organic soybeans.
Fish that are high in methylmercury, such as swordfish, albacore tuna, dolphinfish, kingfish, and shark should be replaced with fish that have a lower amount of methylmercury, such as salmon, herring, sardines, and trout.
Flaxseed oil is very high in ALA, with over 7 grams of ALA per tablespoon. However, ALA isn’t absorbed as well as DHA and EPA, so it’s not the ideal source. ALA is found in green, leafy vegetables, flaxseeds and chia seeds
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid we must obtain from food and supplement sources since our bodies do not produce it on their own.
Omega-6s are essential for supplying the body with a form of energy and maintaining healthy cell structures and processes. But too much omega-6 fatty acids can change the way cells react and have harmful effects on cells, the heart and blood vessels. Together with omega-3s, they keep cells functioning correctly, limiting cell damage that can lead to health problems or chronic disease.
But most people consume too much omega-6s which far exceeds the nutritional requirements and not enough omega-3s. It’s easy to consume too much Omega-6 because vegetable oils are typically used to make processed foods, which are eaten too often in Western societies.
Unhealthy Fats are foods rich in omega-6 and other omega-6 fatty acids. Some of the highest omega-6 foods include refined vegetable oils, safflower oil, poppyseed oil, grapeseed oil, hemp oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, walnut oil, soybean oil, sesame oil, rice bran oil, and sunflower oil.
These unwanted polyunsaturated fat omega-6’s like those found in refined vegetable oils squeeze out the vital omega-3’s which are good for you.
Researchers studying the link between omega 6 and inflammation recommend balancing the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for optimal health. The ideal ratio of omega-6 foods to omega-3 foods is about equal to a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio. Most modern diets contain a ratio closer to 20:1 or 30:1 omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. It’s important to learn how to balance omega-3s, omega-6s and omega-9s.
High intake of omega-6 fatty acids in the diet can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure in people with diabetes. Until more is known, do not use omega-6 fatty acid supplements if you have diabetes.
Omega-6 fatty acids can raise triglyceride levels. Do not use omega-6 fatty acid supplements if you have high triglyceride levels.
List of High food sources of omega-6 linoleic acid.
|Food Name||% LA|
|Grape seed oil||69.6%|
|Sesame seed oil||45%|
|Rice bran oil||39%|
|Linseed oil (flax), cold pressed||14.2%|
It makes sense to eat natural & traditional fats like Grass Fed Butter, lard, beef tallow, olive oil, eggs, Ghee, Grass Fed Meat, Avocados, Whole Milk Products, Eggs, Seeds, Cacao, and extra virgin coconut oil rather than refined and chemically processed fats. Natural fats have been around for thousands of years and are not known to cause disease or any illness if eaten with nutritious foods.
Your body needs and craves fat. Fats improve the taste of food and when fats were banned about 40 or so years ago food manufacturers replaced the fat with sweeteners like sugar, artificial sweeteners and flavours, corn syrup (fructose) and preservatives, etc. Thus began an enormous increase in poor health with a dramatic rise in heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illness. Many people became overweight (Obese) and it’s getting worse. Cancer (sick cells) increased dramatically and so did Autoimmune Diseases and Alzheimer’s.
You would assume those responsible for our health would be asking the very simple question “WHY” did these increases in poor health happen over the last 40 years. I am sure they would have the information and records to investigate, but no, I wonder WHY? The real cause of expanding waistlines is refined Carbohydrates (Sugar) and Processed Foods, not fats. See Carbohydrates.
butter versus margarine
Low fat spreads like margarine aren’t nutrient dense. While some margarines have less fat than original spreads such as butter, they’re made with highly processed vegetable oils like safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil and Canola (rapeseed oil).
Before Margarine is coloured it is a sickening shade of whitish grey. Yellow food colouring is added to make it look like butter. Additives as artificial Flavouring agents, yellow food pigments, emulsifiers and preservatives are included in margarine to improve the texture, colour and flavour and these additives can be harmful to health and are pro-inflammatory,
Vegetable oils are liquid at room temperature and can turn rancid quickly. They are susceptible to oxidation, both on the shelf and inside your body. Food manufacturers change them through hydrogenation. This is to harden them in margarine, so it is more solid like butter.
Hydrogenation is the chemical process of heating Vegetable Oils like those in margarine at high temperatures with hydrogen gas. This process started some 30yrs ago when our health authorities told us to reduce our intake of fat as it was believed the cause of obesity at the time. Since then, obesity has risen dramatically and produces. an artificial fat called Trans Fats (Trans saturated Fat).
Trans Fats create inflammation which is linked to coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes as reported by Harvard Medical School. These highly processed vegetable oils used in margarine contain high levels of Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid). Some scientists believe excessive omega-6 intake may promote inflammation.
omega-6 in margarine
Soft Margarines are high in omega-6 and today are mostly made from oxidized vegetable oils high in mono- or polyunsaturated fats as those in the list above.
It is much healthier to use modest amounts of Butter (no added salt) from grass fed cows than highly processed low-fat spreads like margarine. Its natural, people have made and eaten butter for thousands of years.
Put simply, modern margarine is a highly processed food product made from vegetable oils. Whereas butter is basically concentrated dairy fat and natural.
Dietary fibre, the structural parts of plants, cannot be digested by the human intestine because the necessary enzymes are lacking. Even though these nondigestible compounds pass through the gut unchanged (except for a small percentage that is fermented by bacteria in the large intestine), they nevertheless contribute to good health and are a healthy food.
Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and provides bulk, or roughage, that helps with bowel function (regularity) and accelerates the exit from the body of potentially carcinogenic or otherwise harmful substances in food. Major food sources of insoluble fibre are whole grain bread, rice, cereals, wheat bran and vegetables.
Soluble fibre, which dissolves or swells in water, slows down the transit time of food through the gut (an undesirable effect) but also helps lower blood cholesterol levels (a desirable effect). Types of soluble fibre are gums, pectin’s, fruits (especially citrus fruits and apples), oats, barley, and legumes are major food sources.
Both soluble and insoluble fibre help delay glucose absorption, thus ensuring a slower and more even supply of blood glucose. Dietary fibre is thought to provide important protection against some gastrointestinal diseases and to reduce the risk of other chronic diseases as well. So, we all need fibre.
Nutrient Dense Foods
Nutrient Dense Healthy Food feed our trillions of cells preventing disease and helps us live long healthy lives.
Foods above are Highly Nutrient Dense Vegetables
Some of the BEST healthy food are the Highly nutrient dense vegetables. Such as Broccoli, Baby Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard, Brussel Sprouts, Collard, Cabbage, Bok Choi Chinese Cabbage, Arugula (Rocket Lettuce), Beets (Beetroot), Cauliflower, Peppers, Carrots, and Green Peas.
Food today is nowhere near as nutritious as it was 50 – 80 years ago. It is now mass-produced and genetically modified [GMO] so as to withstand massive herbicide spraying. This includes pesticide and insecticides which are poisonous chemicals that are used to destroy weeds & insects and can damage people’s health.
For permanent weight loss and disease reversal, we have to eat more micronutrients and fewer calories. Most humans are deficient in micronutrients and consume too many macronutrients (calories). Natural, colourful plant foods contain the largest assortment of micronutrients, including those anti-cancer phytochemicals. The highly nutrient dense vegetables mentioned above contain many micronutrients.
Macronutrients = Calories. Mostly Carbohydrate sugars. Proteins have both Carbs and calories and most fats have calories and no carbs. All 3 do convert their Calories to energy and fats help to store energy.
Micronutrients = zero calories. Examples are Vitamins, Minerals, Phytochemicals, Carotenoids and Antioxidants all found in nutritious foods.
Remember knowledge is stronger than willpower. I hope the “Healthy Food & Junk Food” posts will give you the knowledge to start taking control of your own health.