Where Grace share her insights on nutrition and health.

The Paleo Power Lunch Guide

Are you searching for nutritious meal ideas but runs out short of putting through them together? I am too, guilty as charged.

So whether your work routine does not allow time in the kitchen, kids have over the top culinary requests, relatives are limited by wellbeing concerns or sustenance hypersensitivities, Paleo Power Lunch can settle all that. Loaded with just the best eating thoughts this powerhouse cookbook can enable you and your family to get ideal back on the track of adhering to a good diet.

>>Download this Paleo Power Lunch eBook

 

Paleo Recipe

You should never eat what a caveman didn’t eat. … When you are following the Paleo Diet, you can eat anything we could chase or assemble path some time ago – things like meats, angle, nuts, verdant greens, provincial veggies, and seeds. Apologies, the pasta, oat, and confection should go!

>> Download this Paleo Recipe Book for Free

WHICH SPORT SUPPLEMENTS CAN BE REALLY USEFUL? – PART 1

 

 When talking about supplementation we dive in a sea of thousands of products for every purpose. If all these products were really effective we would have the solutions to every problem of our performance and probably even some kind of superpowers. You could be fascinated by what many supplements promise, but then the truth comes to slap you in the face. So here there’s a non-exhaustive list of supplements which show interesting physiological effects indisputably validated by scientific studies.

 

MULTIVITAMIN

They are among the most common supplements for all ages and very useful in case of vitamins deficiency. This may happen for several reasons like:

  • Diseases which determine a bad absorption of nutrients (e.g. malabsorption and related conditions).
  • Lacking specific foods in your diet for personal reasons, as happens with vegans and vitamin b12.
  • Insufficient sun exposure: UV light activates the D vitamin which is important for bones, hormones like testosterone, and mood. Not enough sunlight exposure can lead to a deficiency of this vitamin.
  • Increased demand due to physical stress, hard training, and physical recovery. In these cases, many B group vitamins are more needed since the body cannot store them for a long time as happens with other fat-soluble vitamins.

When deciding to take a multivitamin you should ask yourself: “do I really need it?”. Apart from the cases above mentioned, in a healthy person with proper diet, it’s quite hard to have a vitamin deficiency. Moreover, an overdose of some vitamins is potentially dangerous for our health. For example, vitamin D can cause hypercalcemia, while a vitamin A excess is toxic for the liver and for the baby in pregnant women. You must consider also that our body has the capability to store several vitamins for a long time, in some cases even for months or years (A and B12), and an excess would not increase their effect. So multivitamins are surely good supplements, but only when needed.

 

STIMULANTS

You’ll find them in pre-workout and thermogenic formulas, with caffeine being often the main ingredient. They usually start to give their effect in 30-45 minutes after ingestion with a boost of energy, mental focus and sport performance improvements. These effects are possible through an indirect stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system similarly as other alkaloids drugs do. The bad things about this substance are its toxicity at high doses, the addiction, and resistance after a chronic ingestion.

This means that the more caffeine you ingest, the more your body starts to get used to it and asks for more to obtain the same effect. Since we are not talking about a cup of coffee or tea, but products with more than 200mg caffeine in a single shot, you should observe some precautions: if you aren’t a habitual coffee consumer, start with a half dose of what suggested in your supplement label; stop the supplementation for a week after two or less month of use; suspend the use if you are experiencing tremors, anxiety, restlessness. Caffeine has also a boosting effect on basal metabolism, thus it’s used in almost every thermogenic supplement for losing weight. It may help for some time and only if it’s your first time with stimulants, since in chronic assumption your body starts to become caffeine resistant and the effect on metabolism would be negligible. For this reason, it’s better to use caffeine and stimulants to intensify your training and not in the hope of a fat loss.

Caffeine in spiders changes their ability to build spider webs.

 

CREATINE

It’s a very popular supplement for its effect in improving the performance mostly in power sports, where an anaerobic effort is needed. It’s one of the most studied supplements over the past years and thus there are robust researches which confirm its effects. What you have to know is that creatine starts to work after your body accumulates it in the muscles, so you need to take creatine every day to have its benefits. After about 1 month you probably will notice a strength improvement and a weight gain which is due to intracellular water retention and muscle mass increase. For healthy people, creatine is free of side-effects, and it’s generally used in the quantity of 3-5g per day depending on weight. The sad thing is that not everyone benefits from creatine supplementation, as people are normally divided into responders and not responders. Since creatine is present in meat and the body is even capable to produce it by itself, the non-responders are probably those who often consume much red meat and have already their stocks full.

 

BETA-ALANINE

Beta-alanine is an amino acid naturally present in protein foods like fish and meat, but like other amino acids, it shows different properties when taken alone as a supplement. Like creatine, it must be taken chronically but improves the muscle endurance by a different mechanism. [1]

 

 

When your muscle is overdriven after many anaerobic efforts, its acidity increases due to the lactic acid formation. This limits further contractions due to several indirect mechanisms. Beta-alanine intervenes in the synthesis of carnosine which acts as a pH buffer, counteracting the acidity of the cell environment and giving you more resistance to fatigue when approaching your limit. A study suggests that it may work in synergy with creatine for improving endurance, thus it’s a really interesting supplement [2]. A curious fact is that if you ingest more than 800mg of beta-alanine at the same time, after some minutes you will experience a harmless tingling sensation on your skin.

 

BCAAs

Or Branched-Chain Amino Acids, it’s a supplement often too much celebrated. This is because it’s said that they prevent muscle loss, improve testosterone/cortisol ratio after exercise, stimulate GH and prolong protein synthesis in your muscle. This may sound amazing, but actually, many of these improvements are not relevant. The GH increase is low, not enough to trigger a change in body composition, as well as testosterone increase and post-training protein synthesis in normal people. Some studies report good effects on aerobic exercise and fat loss, but they have moderate to low consistency and often the effect was notable only in untrained subjects. [3]

Their most interesting aspect regards the ability for the muscle to directly use them as energy source when there is not enough glucose available, instead of using amino acids from the muscle itself. This means that BCAAs supplementation can be really useful during exercise in hypocaloric diet to preserve muscle mass. If you are eating more calories than you burn, your body already has enough energy, thus a BCAAs supplementation would be only a waste of money.

 

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22270875

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16953366

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1748109

SIX REASONS WHY YOU’RE NOT LOSING FAT

When talking about body fat the world is full of unhappy people:

  • Those who started to restrict their diet obtaining some results quite soon, followed by a stalemate that makes them give up. After some time, they find themselves fatter than before.
  • Those that “my friend eats like a horse and still ripped as hell!”
  • Those who have a good body composition but never manage to reach low body fat percentages.

There could be hundreds of reasons: we are all different with a different lifestyle, genetics, and metabolism. So this doesn’t pretend to be a comprehensive guide on what to do but gives just some aspects to take into account to succeed in your fitness goals. Some of them may look trivial but you could have surprises!

 

YOU DON’T MOVE ENOUGH

There’s a balance in your body between caloric intake and energy expenditure. This balance in 24h (or even better in weeks) indicates whether you are losing or gaining weight. It looks simple, but how can you know if you are burning more energy than you assimilate from food? You may think that walking half an hour a day it’s enough, but that are only thirty minutes in 24h! What really makes difference is your main daily activity, the job for example. To recover from 8-10h sitting in front of a computer you should do some medium to high-intensity sport unless you prefer walking for several hours: sadly, your brain activity it’s not enough. The best way to be sure about your caloric expenditure is to calculate it using the formulas for the particular sport you are doing or buying those smartwatches which directly show the calories you are burning. We will better discuss the importance of the sport in other articles.

YOU EAT TOO MUCH

It’s an obvious concept and directly related to the previous argument. Here the only way to know if your caloric intake is excessive for your capacity to burn it is to count every kcal from your food. It’s really boring but even this time the technology is helping us. There are many apps which facilitate this task, in which you can choose the foods and/or even scan the barcode to obtain the nutritional facts. Now, do you think it’s better to obtain the caloric restriction by simply eating less or by doing more sport while eating the same way?

 

YOU DON’T EAT ENOUGH…CARBOHIDRATES

There are some people who eat very little but still really fat. They often try to limit carbohydrates as much as possible because they heard somewhere that “carbs make you fat”. It’s one of the worst urban legends of our days. It’s not a matter of carbohydrates, fat or proteins, but as we said the basis of your weight gain relies upon caloric imbalance. But there’s more: the carbohydrates contribute boosting your metabolism by the stimulation of a hormone called leptin. This hormone is also produced by the body fat cells and has the task to signal to the brain that your energy level (so the fat stored) is enough. This induces the sense of satiety, the restriction of the synthesis of new fatty acids and the increase of lipolysis. This is the reason for the failure of many low-carb diets kept for a long time, and also explains the difficulty to obtain very low body fat percentages. Moreover, people with really high body fat produces so much leptin that their body starts to be resistant to this hormone and its signaling activity is compromised, just as happen with insulin resistance. This starts a vicious circle which makes things even more difficult.

So we can answer the previous question: it’s surely better to obtain the caloric restriction by doing more sport without sacrificing too much your food, especially carbohydrates. The body can be “trained” to handle more and more carbs and this is the key to have a good metabolism.

An example of a meal totally made of carbohydrates. This increases blood sugar level and insulin, but with no triglycerides to be fixed in your adipocytes.

 

YOU EAT TOO MANY PROTEINS

It may sound unlikely since differently from fat and carbohydrates, proteins have fewer calories per weight. They are also essential to our body, have a good satiating capacity and help to prevent muscle loss in hypocaloric diets. The problem arises when many sportsmen (especially bodybuilders) abuse proteins because they think the more they train, the more proteins they need. Unfortunately, it’s not like this because the proteins demand to sustain muscle anabolism is quite low (for natural people, without steroid use). The quantity needed depends upon your activity and ranges from 0,8 g/kg to even 2,5g/kg in case of endurance and power sports at high levels. If you are not in these categories and eat more proteins than you need, a part of the excess will be burnt and the other dismantled and converted to glucose and fat. If you are in a hypercaloric diet for mass building, you already have an excess energy and too many proteins would be just wasted or converted to fat, so it’s better to stay around 1,2 – 1,8g/kg. Otherwise, if you are in hypocaloric diet you can take advantage of all the protein properties above mentioned, even reaching 2-2,8g/kg.

 

BAD FOOD COMBINATIONS

Even if it’s the total amount of calorie which determines the body anabolic or catabolic trend, the timing and food pairing still has their role. There are so many theories and legends about these aspects, but one thing is sure: the easiest way for your body to start storing fat is when there are triglycerides and high insulin levels at the same time in the blood flow. Since insulin is directly stimulated by blood sugar levels, this means that you should avoid many carbohydrates and fat in the same meal. What does “many” mean? If you are a sedentary person you should stay below 1gr per kg bodyweight, but if you did some intense sport before eating or you are only eating carbs, this value can be exceeded.

Pizza: the most amazing food in the world, but the worst macronutrients combination for losing weight. You have carbohydrates, sugars, fats (mostly unsaturated), and proteins all together.

 

YOU DON’T HAVE PATIENCE

Every change in your body composition requires time. Your body acts on longer time lapse than just a couple of days; this means you could be on slimming diet since a couple of weeks and start to see results after more than 1 months when you less expect them. Another point is that the more you rush, the more difficult will be to maintain the obtained results, and usually, a too restrictive diet over a long period leads to a relevant loss in muscle mass. Last but not least, when the fat cell loses its content it normally doesn’t shrink suddenly as we wish, but the fatty acids are replaced by water. This means that you’ve actually lost fat, but your weight it’s not changed and your belly appears fluffier than before. The solution is to just wait, stay well hydrated, and keep following your diet program with patience!

 

 

 

 

HOW MANY EGGS SHOULD I EAT?

 

Eggs have been often in the middle of heated debates. Many sportsmen make a big use of them since they are cheap, tasty and rich in good quality proteins. For example, old school bodybuilders like Vince Gironda and others were used to eat large quantities of eggs, depicting this food as miraculous.

Someone else seems against eggs, pointing the finger to cholesterol and fat content which would be a risk for our health, saying you should stay below 3 or fewer eggs per week. Where is the truth? SPOILER: As usually, it’s in the middle!

Let’s analyze the common eggs nutrition facts:

As we can see there are not so many calories in one egg, only 70 kcal (remember that a pizza can even reach 1000 kcal). The reason is that it’s mainly composed of water, around 85% by weight. So this is our first revaluation of eggs: eating them won’t affect your daily caloric intake as much as many other foods since their macros are “diluted”.

Talking about proteins, they are not as many as you may think: only 6-7g per egg. But eggs proteins are somewhat special. They have the higher biological value of all unprocessed food so that is used as the reference (eggs=100). This number represents how much the proteins are easy assimilated by the body, hence high numbers mean higher quality proteins. This depends upon the amino acidic profile of the total proteins contained: generally speaking the animal sources have higher biological values than vegetables (for example, soy has a value of 74).

Looking at the nutrition table, we see also 4.5 g of fats, of which 1.5 saturated fatty acids. Since fats bring more calories by weight than proteins, this is a relevant amount. These fats are present only in the yolk, while the egg white is almost 100% made of water and proteins. As we know, not all fatty acids are equal: here the saturated fatty acids portion is mostly composed by palmitic acid (23%) which is not the best fat, as in some circumstance contributes to increasing bad cholesterol level. The unsaturated fats are mostly oleic acid (47%) and linoleic (16%). These are omega-6 fats with good properties, especially when balanced with omega-3, which are also present in a small amount (2-3%).

Summarizing, one egg has only 1g of palmitic acid with the rest composed of generally healthy fats. The main sources of the palmitic acid are animals’ meat, cheese, some kinds of oils and butter…so if you don’t gorge yourself with these foods it’s not one egg per day which upset your daily fat intake.

There is also another important fact: not all the eggs have the same fat composition. How is this possible? It’s said that we are what we eat, and this is true also for the chickens! Hens mostly feed with vegetable quality food tend to produce eggs with increased omega-3 content. This happens in free-range and yarding poultry farming, so buying eggs from these farms not only encourage a more ethical approach but also a better quality product. Your health and soul will thank you!

We can now talk about cholesterol, the major cause of all the concerns about eating too many eggs. Cholesterol is an organic molecule of enormous importance in the human body. It’s a constituent of the cellular membrane, protects nerves, but also a precursor of steroid hormones and vitamin D. It’s so important that the body produces it by itself for the 80% of its requirement, while normally the remaining 20% is taken from the diet.

The cholesterol is not water-soluble and since our blood is mostly composed of water, it has to be incorporated in a lipoprotein to be effectively carried where needed. The problems arise when there are too many low-density lipoproteins (LDL) carrying triglycerides and cholesterol: they are bulky and can deposit on the arteries leading to a condition called atherosclerosis, which is one of the most common causes of death and disability in the developed world. So as usual, there must be a balance between cholesterol and fatty acids assumption.

One egg contains 215mg of cholesterol which represents 70% of the recommended daily quantity. This is a noteworthy amount, especially if you eat also other cholesterol sources such as shrimps, animal fats, cheeses and chicken skin. Based on this many people should have a dangerous level of this substance, but normally this not happens because our body is smarter than you think: if too much cholesterol which is coming from the diet (exogenous cholesterol) makes the intracellular concentration too high, the intestinal absorptive cells decrease its absorption through a mechanism called negative-feedback, together with a decrease in the endogenous production.

However, for genetic and other reasons this “safety mechanism” it’s not so efficient in some people who struggle to keep cholesterol under control. In these cases it can be useful to restrict the exogenous cholesterol by limiting the above-mentioned foods, eggs included.

In eggs are present also others noteworthy substances: lecithin and avidin. The first one is found in the yolk and has a positive effect as it can reduce the cholesterol uptake. Avidin instead is found only in the white part and has an adverse effect, since it is attached to vitamin b7 (biotin) and limits the absorption of this essential nutrient. Both these substances are heat sensitive, so now we know the healthiest way to cook our eggs: the egg white fully cooked (70°C is enough) and the yolk slightly cooked or even almost raw, for example in the famous recipe called “eggs a la coque”.

So now that we know better this food we can try to answer the title question. There is not a unique answer: if you’re a young and sporty person who generally avoids junk food and with no history of hypercholesterolemia (also in your family), you don’t have to worry about how many eggs to eat, without prejudice to occasionally check your blood cholesterol levels which is always a good habit.

On the opposite, if you have bad blood analysis results (even as regards insulin and triglycerides) it’s better to reduce eggs in your diet by following at least the daily value indication mentioned in the previous paragraphs, which translates into 2-3 eggs per week in a normal diet. This is because with only one egg you are already close to the cholesterol limit of 300mg/die, which must be added to what you eat in your day, as small quantities are present in many other foods.

FRUCTOSE IN YOUR DIET: ALLY OR ENEMY?

Fructose is a sugar, a simple monosaccharide naturally found in honey, fruits, and – in fewer extent – vegetables, often together with other sugars like glucose and sucrose. Also, it’s used as a sweetener in many commercial snacks, and your common table sugar itself (being the sucrose a disaccharide) is half consisting of fructose. During the digestion, the sucrose molecule splits into its components fructose and glucose.

Therefore it’s not so uncommon to eat a large amount of this sugar if you have too many sweet foods in your diet. After all, the proverb says an apple a day keeps the doctor away…not an apple pie!

The main feature of the fructose is its sweetness/energy ratio which is higher than sucrose. This means fewer calories in order to obtain the same result as a sweetener. Actually, it’s possible for someone to feel some slight differences in taste and texture, but not as much as other artificial sweeteners.

Fructose has some interesting properties:

  • 5 times more sweet than sucrose (changes with temperature – cold is better)
  • Natural origins
  • A little less energy per grams than sucrose
  • Low glycemic index (IG=19-20)

Mainly for these reasons, this sugar began to gain a good popularity after the 90’s, as we started to see fructose packs in supermarkets in several countries. But are these features so relevant to really make difference in substituting sucrose in your diet? Could you really eat all the fruits you want? It depends, so let’s take a deeper look.

FRUCTOSE METABOLISM

Fructose is absorbed directly by the intestine with a maximum capacity ranging from 5g to 50g per individual serving, depending on the further presence of sucrose and the overall dietary fructose intake. This means the first reason you should avoid eating too much fruit or honey at the same meal, is that you will probably end with gastrointestinal pain.

Once in the blood flow, fructose has mainly two options: being taken by the skeletal muscles or by the liver. The first pathway is difficult since the muscle cells lack the specific enzymes, carriers, and receptors for this sugar so it is the liver who handle almost all your fructose intake. Through several biochemical pathways, fructose is then transformed into glycogen which is stored in the liver at maximum capacity of 80-100g. When the liver reserve is full, the excess fructose will be mostly directed towards the synthesis of triglycerides, which can be taken mostly by our fat cells (adipocytes) with all the related problems. It actually can be even worse, as an amount of these triglycerides can accumulate in the liver leading to a disease called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

 

ENDOCRINOUS INTERACTIONS

Thanks to its feature to avoid the muscle cells, fructose has a very low glycemic index as the ingestion does not appreciably increase blood sugar level. This seems to be really interesting especially for diabetics and all those who need to control their insulin spikes, but all that glitters is not gold. The lack of insulin stimulation doesn’t lead to a ghrelin decrease (hunger hormone) thus not contributing to your satiety. Even leptin hormone isn’t stimulated as other carbohydrates do, therefore not helping us to increase metabolism. Not a good deal if you are following a weight loss diet!

The bottom line is that unless you are diabetic and want to avoid artificial sweeteners, you probably don’t need to replace sucrose with fructose.

FRUCTOSE AND TRAINING

As regard fruits and honey, if you aren’t a sedentary person it’s hard to eat too much fructose through these sources, especially if you avoid sweet junk foods. To have an even better use of this sugar, you should avoid it when your liver is already full of glycogen, which means just after the main meals. A good timing could be the first breakfast, or as post-workout. In this case, your muscles and liver are glycogen depleted, so well ready to be refilled with sugars. Moreover, researches show that a little amount of fructose as post-workout helps the liver to a faster recharge of glycogen, which is important for your comfort after a hard training.

In conclusion, even if the fruits of the last decades are getting richer in sugars due to artificial selections, it’s not the eating of 2-3 fruits per day which makes you fat, especially observing the simple tips described before. The advantage brought by a regular fruits intake (thanks to minerals and vitamins) are surely greater than disadvantages of getting some extra calories from this sugar.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EDIBLE OILS IN YOUR DIET

Oils are in everyday meals, and they represent one of the best sources of the fats macronutrient in your diet. There are many oils of different characteristics as regards their taste, potential health effect, and temperature resistance. Thus, which oils should you use for frying? Which one is better to flavor a salad or baking a cake? And last but not least, which one is better to avoid? Let’s find out!

The first thing to know is that every oil is a dense liquid consisting almost totally by fat, so they are among the most caloric food you can have in this world. We can divide these fats into several categories by their chemical structure. The right balance of the following fatty acids is one of the bases for a good health and the right amount of energy.

 

SATURATED FATTY ACIDS

They are divided into other categories based on their molecule lenght. The bigger they are the harder is for the body to handle burning them for prompt energy. Moreover, this seems to increase “bad” cholesterol LDL with the related cardiovascular disease. They are not totally to avoid since the human body uses them as a source of energy and in the synthesis of several hormones like testosterone, so you just have to control their assumption by limiting mostly the animal sources of these fats.

 

 

POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS

They are not as bad as the saturated ones, as once in the body they in general lead to an increase of HDL cholesterol (the “good” one). This doesn’t mean you can eat them as much as you want because their amount should be balanced. The well-known omega 3 and omega-6 series belong to this category. The important and hard thing is to have the correct ratio between omega-6 and -3, as the first ones are very common in many foods, while omega-3 are usually rare, found in low quantity and easily degradable. Moreover, they are called “essential” since the body is unable to produce them by itself. It’s notable that some vegetable oils are rich in omega-3 and thus also used as a supplement, even if it’s not clear to the scientific community whether vegetable or animal sources are better.

MONOUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS

These fats are present both in animal food and vegetables and they are the main components of olive oil. What you have to know is that they exist in the trans- and cis- form. Cis ones are ok, but the trans fatty acids have been recently labeled as dangerous by the scientific community because the body can’t dismantle them easily, thus leading to a general mild inflammation. They are not so common in natural vegetable products, but some industrial transformation can lead to this undesirable product.

SMOKE POINT

The smoke point of an oil or fat is the temperature at which they begin to produce a continuous bluish smoke with an acrid smell. This happens when the heat dismantles and re-combines some molecules of the product, leading to several toxic and carcinogenic substances. This temperature mostly depends on the acidity of the oil (the amount of fatty acids freed from glycerol) and the ratio between monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. So if you forget your oil or butter on the cooker and found it smoking, let it cool down and throw it away!

 

Well, let’s analyze the most common oils as regard these characteristics.

SUNFLOWER OIL

Widely used oil both for its low price, neutral taste and the high smoke temperature in the refined versions. It contains 10% of saturated fatty acids (with only 5% the “bad” palmitic acid) with the rest made of monounsaturated oleic acid (30%) and omega-6 linoleic acid (59%). The unrefined oil has only 107°C smoke temperature, while the refined one can handle temperature around 230° (even it’s better to stay way lower), making it one of the best oils for frying. The raw version is rich in antioxidants (vitamin E) which makes it more stable, suggesting the use as a food preservative. You can also use it as butter alternative in either salty or sweet preparations or adding it to salads.

OLIVE OIL

It’s the real king of oils, well known everywhere but especially used in Europe, being an irreplaceable ingredient of the Mediterranean diet. Its fame is due to both its unique taste and excellent nutritional values, enriched with the presence of several kinds of antioxidants such as flavonoids, lignans, vitamin E, and others. The presence of these antioxidants gives the olive oil a good stability and health benefit, helping to fight free radicals (a major cause of aging). The main fatty acid in olive oil is oleic acid (around 73%), a monounsaturated fat which is very important for the stability at high temperature, pushing the smoke point above 200°C for the extra-virgin quality with low acidity. The only limit for the use as a frying medium is its cost. However, considering its health benefits and good taste, if you occasionally want a super cheat meal with something fried, you should definitely give a try.

 

PALM OIL

It’s the most controversial oil and you can find it in many industrial packaged foods. I won’t discuss the environmental sustainability of this product, but only its health and nutrition aspects. Let’s begin saying that two kinds of palm oil exist, one made from the palm seed and the other from the fruit. Both are not as healthy as the other edible oils because they contain more than 40% of saturated fatty acids, mostly palmitic acid. Since probably you already have your source of fatty acids through other food like meat, cheese, eggs etc. it’s not a bad idea to avoid the additional use of palm oil in your diet. Nevertheless, it still has some interesting aspects: the red colored raw palm oil (which is not refined) is rich in carotenes, co-enzyme q-10, vitamin E and other interesting micronutrients for your health, while the refined oil has one of the highest smoke points among all edible oils.

 

COCONUT OIL

This is another very common oil among South East Asia, but also used everywhere in sweet preparations and beauty products. It’s almost totally made of saturated fatty acids, reaching 87g on 100g of pure product. You could think this is really bad, but we are actually talking about lauric acid, a medium chain saturated fatty acid which has a way smaller impact to the LDL cholesterol than longer chain fatty acids like palmitic. Not just this, coconut oil has been investigated for its benefits on losing weight in obese patients (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058), even if many of its miracles and benefits claimed on the internet are not based on robust researches. It’s also very stable as regard as conservation due to its low concentration of unsaturated fats, so it’s possible to keep it for months at room temperature. You can use it to give an exotic taste to your recipes, but not for frying as it has one of the lower smoke points among all oils.

 

SOYBEAN OIL

An interesting oil as regard as nutritional aspects in the raw version, since it contains from 4% to 11% of omega-3, 70% of unsaturated fats and 14% saturated fats. The presence of a good amount of omega-3 makes the raw soybean oil unsuitable for frying. It’s also quite unstable by having a low amount of vitamin E, so to prevent the oxidation of the precious omega-3 you should keep it in a cold and dark place and for not much time. You can use it to flavor salads and ethnic food, given its particular taste. The refined version is obtained by partial hydrogenation of the raw oil, thus removing the omega-3 content and giving it more stability. However, the refining process leads to the formation of a small quantity of trans- fatty acids, which are not a good deal for your health.

 

LINSEED OIL

It’s well known for the high content of omega-3 fatty acids, around 53%, thus way more than soybean oil. The remaining fraction is composed of omega-6 monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic and mostly linoleic) and only 10% of saturated fats (just 5% palmitic). Like soybean, you can’t fry with this oil, with the same recommendations about storage. Its particular flavor makes it suitable as a condiment for European cheese, grilled fish, chickpeas hummus and everything fits its faint walnuts taste.

3 Ways To Lose Weight Without Eating Less McDonald’s

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