Four Foods to Rethink

The food industry is strong, powerful and really smart. They've done a good job of taking the low fat message and making us feel good about eating processed, food-like crap (Gold medal to Snackwell's!). Low fat is not the path. Good fat is. Here are some foods it's time you reconsider:

1. Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt is blowing up. Day after day patients come in stating they are eating Greek yogurt so their breakfast is locked in. Three problems. Almost all Greek yogurt (and nearly all other yogurts for that matter) is fat free. They are taking out the best part, leaving you with mostly sugar (lactose in plain yogurt, added sugar in all the other stuff). Secondly, most of the time, it's flavored Greek yogurt. Flavored yogurt may have bits of "fruit" but it also contains a load of sugar. The third problem is the source of dairy. Most of the milk used in yogurt production is feedlot dairy. These cows are raised mostly on grain, overcrowded and often subjected to antibiotics either in their feed and/or treated with them. Outside of all of the other components of thier milk (hormones, antibiotics, environmental toxins) their diet alone is a concern. I've discussed the importance of O6:O3 ratios here. You can see in the graph below from Jo Robinson's Eat Wild article on dairy that the more feedlot, the more O6. Fully grassfed dairy has a perfect 1:1 O6:O3 ratio. 

So eating a container of name brand Greek blueberry yogurt gives you a pie chart that starts your day like the pie below. That's not counting the added carbs from putting fresh fruit on there. Not the way to start the day. The excess carb content starts the day in storage mode. 



Instead, let's start the day with Traderspoint Creamery Whole Milk plain yogurt, add some crushed Macadamia nuts and some fresh blueberries. Nearly a perfect pie to start the day. You can pick up the protein with a hardboiled egg or worry about it later at lunch and dinner.


2. Chili

This one was eye-opening for me when I started tracking my intake and fat loss. We made chili with grass fed beef and peppers from the garden. I found a homemade chili on MyFitnessPal that approximated what we made and my carb percentage spiked to 40%! It was the beans. There are some digestibility concerns with beans as well, but the carbs were killer. Next time: Beanless chili. Here's a version I like. It's beef, it's veggies. Perfect. 

3. Coconut flour "Paleo" muffins/pancakes/cookies                     

While not a problem for the occasional tweet every now and then, this should not be part of your daily or semi-daily intake. It is grain-free which is an advantage. Coconut flour is mostly carbohydrate, with a fat/protein/carb pie chart of 47/21/32. While this is not terrible, and again much better than gluten-free grain you have to account for the sweeteners that go into baked goods, be they bananas, applesauce, honey, maple syrup, etc. All carbs, and more likely the ones that have a greater effect on fat storage to boot. 

Do not consider coconut flour a good source of coconut. Instead opt for ways of working extra virgin coconut oil (cooking), canned coconut milk (smoothies) or unsweetened shredded coconut into you day. Also, baking occasional treats with more almond flour would be better, it's profile is 72/14/14. Adding eggs (or even extra eggs above what the recipe calls for) will push the fats and proteins up even further.




4. Poultry

Chicken and turkey is by no means bad for you. It's just that by being lean there is very little fat in poultry. On one hand, that is why we are more comfortable eating this as our primary meat source, but now that we've established going low fat is not in our best interest we need to rethink things. Free range chicken and turkey are perfectly fine meats to enjoy, but you will not be getting much fat here so realize that if you are having a hard time pushing your fat percentage high enough. Grass fed beef/lamb/bison sit at the top of the priority list with pastured pork a bit of a distant second. If these meats are harder to add for you, consider duck which is a fattier poultry source, chicken legs which provide darker, fattier meat and adding eggs and grass fed butter to poulty meals.

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