Tag Archive for healthy diet

Don’t Fear the Fat: Good Fats vs Bad Fats

good fats vs bad fatsThere is a lot of hype in the news this week about “bad fats.” This Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration took a big step toward potentially eliminating most trans fat from the food supply, saying it has made a preliminary determination that a major source of trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, is no longer “generally recognized as safe.” says CNN.com. It is important to recognize the difference between “happy fats” those in which our bodies need and rely on for brain function, and “hurtful fats” the ones that can damage our health.
Adults should get 20% to 35% of their calories from fat, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The right fats are imperative to heart and health, while trans fats and saturated fats can clearly be toxic to our bodies. Don’t get terrified of never touching a doughnut or drumstick again; get clear on what’s good and bad for our brains and bodies.

What is a hurtful fat? good fats vs bad fats

Trans fat can be found in processed foods including desserts, microwave popcorn products, frozen pizza, packaged snack foods (even those that claim to be “healthy”), margarine and coffee creamer, among others. Trans fats and saturated fats have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Saturated fats and trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol.

Appearance-wise, saturated fats and trans fats tend to be solid at room temperature (like traditional stick margarine or Crisco), while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (think of corn oil), these are healthier. To be safe, check a product’s ingredient list. Food manufacturers can say a product is trans fat free if it contains less than half a gram per serving. These can add up. If you see the words hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or shortening, it contains trans fat; you’re better off leaving it on the shelf its been living on for years.

What is a “happy fat”?good fats vs bad fats

You can find polyunsaturated fats in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as corn and safflower oil, and fatty fish. This category encompasses omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are known as essential fatty acids because our bodies don’t make them—we have to get them from food.

To increase your unsaturated fat, replace solids, like butter, with olive and vegetable oils, and swap red meat for seafood, legumes, or unsalted nuts. (Seafood and nuts also contain saturated fat, but less than red meat.) Monounsaturated fats are good guys, they raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL. Canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are good sources.

In the world of fats, omega-3s are superheroes. They taste great and fight disease while keeping your brain running smoothly. They fight inflammation, help control blood clotting, and lower blood pressure and triglycerides, and make outer appearance, such as skin and hair, glow. They have been shown to aid in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms and balance the brain.

Fatty fish like albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good sources. Vegetable sources include soy, walnuts, and some vegetable oils, such as olive and peanut (prior to heat, heating these oils creates a trans-fat like reaction).
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health.

Fats to Embrace: good fats vs bad fats

• Olive oil
• Canola oil
• Sunflower oil
• Peanut oil
• Sesame oil
• Avocados
• Coconut
• Lean poultry
• Olives
• Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
• Nut Butter
• Soybean oil
• Corn oil
• Safflower oil
• Walnuts
• Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds, flaxseed
• Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
• Soy & Tofu

Fats to Fear

• High-fat cuts of meat (beef, lamb, pork)
• Chicken with the skin
• Whole-fat dairy products (milk and cream)
• Butter
• Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
• Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
• Margarine
• Vegetable shortening
• Fried foods
• Candy bars
• Cheese
• Ice cream
• Palm and coconut oil (when heated)
• Lard

Tips

  1. Try to eliminate trans fats from your diet. Check food labels for trans fats. Avoid prepackaged and fast foods when you can. Baked goods, such as those yummy little donuts that have a shelf life longer than a goldfish, is a good start.
  2. Make small shifts: instead of creamer use milk, instead of a piece of fried chicken opt for baked.
  3. Eat omega-3 fats every day and take supplements.
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    Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

     

     

     

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Recommended Readings for a Healthy Diet and Mind

These books come highly recommended by our staff and clients on cleaning up your diet to make your brain and body happier and healthier.

healthy diet and mind

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg

Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, discusses how carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age.

Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carrhealthy diet and mind

Crazy Sexy Diet is a beautifully illustrated resource filled with expert on an anti-inflammatory, vegetarian program that helps balance the pH of the body and repair your mind. Plus, she shares the steps of her own twenty-one-day cleanse, and simple but delectable sample recipes. Carr empowers readers from her personal healing journey from cancer to cancer free through dietary changes. Lots of great ideas for adding more greens inot your life and creative ways to get protein even on a plant based diet.

healthy diet and mindGut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia by Natasha Campbell-McBride

Many of our clients have loved this book on the GAPS diet. New 2010 Edition with over 100 extra pages of information on Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Important information the information you need to heal a damaged digestive system. The perfect book for anyone suffering from Autism, Dyslexia, Depression, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Schizophrenia, and any other condition that has a link with gut dysbiosis. After testing for food allergies many clients rely on this book to make their new diets managable and learn about how foods can help or harm their bodies.

 

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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What is “Clean Eating”?

Emily Roberts MA, LPC

There are so many diets and fads out; it’s difficult to know what is best for you and your family, and what is more work than it’s worth.  Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, raw, the list goes on.  One of the lifestyle diets we hear most is “Clean Eating”. This is a great plan for many, depending on your dietary needs and restrictions; however, let’s get clean on what it really means.

Clean Eating is not just washing your produce well and keeping a close eye on labels. Simply put, clean eating is avoiding all processed food, and relying on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, rather than prepackaged or fast food. The purpose of clean eating is to make sure you are getting your nutrients and your health from whole foods, and avoiding junk food.  According to research, a clean eating lifestyle can keep you healthy, or help you regain your health if you haven’t been well. If this sounds close to impossible, to only eat clean, I hear you! However, it’s easier than you may think.  One of my favorite blogs these days, The Gracious Pantry, puts it in perspective:

  1. Eat Lots of Plants, Fruits, and Veggies – Emphasize foods that are close to nature. If you focus on foods that are off a tree, bush, plant or vine, you’ve pretty much got it covered. Stay away from foods that are processed.
  2. Include Meats, Fish, and Poultry - Eat meats that are whole and straight from the butcher, not prepackaged (which are sometimes filled with nitrates and other chemicals).
  3. Enjoy Grains - Eat grains that are still complete and haven’t been broken down into “glue”. Stick to brown rice, whole wheat, and other whole grains (For a list of foods to stock your pantry with, check out this list.)
  4. Don’t Always Trust Labels – “Whole Grain” or “natural” doesn’t always mean it is.  Look closely at the ingredients: white flour is not a whole grain, and “natural” spices and flavorings can encompass surprising ingredients – clarify with the company.
  5. The Fewer Ingredients, the Better. Try not to purchase foods that have more than 3-6 ingredients in the ingredient list, according to The Gracious Pantry. If you can’t pronounce it, and don’t recognize it, it likely shouldn’t go in your body.

You Can Have Carbohydrates

Avoid anything white or “enriched”.  Once again, if you are trying to eat clean, then you will want to purchase only those products that say 100% WHOLE grain/meal/flour.

Your Whole Family Can Benefit.

Processed foods are linked to lower IQs in children, research suggests. When we think of creating a lifestyle (depending on your child’s unique dietary needs), many parents are choosing to eat clean, most of the time.  A family I talked to recently said they do 80:20, 80% clean, 20% real life.  The book Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love (Fair Winds Press, 2012), by Michelle Dudash, R.D. can help, as well as many of the websites and blogs out there:

The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Magazine

Michelle Dudash

 

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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