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I am on a weight loss plan, should I eat fruit?

Fruit and weight loss

Sometimes, short stories help to paint the picture, so here I go… one fine Saturday morning at our local cafe in Coogee after a very enjoyable ocean swim…

Friend: May I get the muesli fruit salad and a freshly squeezed apple juice please…

Me: Uh?? What happened to the big brekkie and long black you always order?

Friend: This is the new me mate… I need to drop a few kilos so I’m on a health kick!

I order an omelette and congratulate him on his new found enthusiasm for his health kick and weight loss plan. At this point I have two options:

A) I could sound like a food nazi and tell him my thoughts on what he just ordered… or B) Keep my mouth shut and wish him the best of luck.

I choose the latter… the last thing I wanted to do was dampen his spirits with my thoughts with weight loss and fruit, so I thought I’d put into a blog post instead and mail it to him…

Sugar, Fructose & the Forbidden Fruit

Whether you follow a Paleo lifestyle or you are some kind of fruitarian, fruit is fruit. So lets take a look at my friends muesli fruit salad first.

I noticed there was a fair bit of banana in there, I’m guessing half of one.

So the first thing that pops in my head whilst eating my omelette is this:

Weight loss & fruit hot tip No. 1

i) A banana contains approximately 40-60g of carbohydrates (4-5tsp’s of that is sugar). I’ve found over the years, for effective weight loss, many peoples daily carb’ intake needs to come in under 150g per day minimum (& that’s mainly veggies).  One banana and you’ve almost hit a 1/3rd of your quota!

ii) To burn off that banana it could take up to 1hr of fairly intense exercise. In my friends case 1/2 hr.

Remember, he’s trying to lose weight here, not maintain his weight. And is he training intensively often? Not likely (sorry mate)…

Then there is the other fruit in the bowl, but more on the fruit itself in a sec’. Let’s take a look at the muesli.

Weight loss & fruit hot tip No. 2

I) Muesli is usually 40-45% sugar content! (yes even your ‘healthy’ ones).

II) Dried fruit (which is in the muesli) is simply a sugar hit, it’s not nutritional. Look at it this way… If you ate enough raisins to cover the palm of your hand you have just consumed roughly 10 tsp’s of sugar! Yes, 10 tsp’s!

Then there’s the chopped up fruit on top of the muesli along with the half  banana. Let’s say for arguments sake it equals one piece of fruit. There’s another 4 tsps’s of sugar.

So far my friend is up to approximately (I’ll be conservative here) 12-15 tsp’s of sugar.

The next question he should ask himself is if his muesli fruit salad is nutritional?

I’m not going to mention the rolled processed oats here, I’ll keep that for another post, let’s just stick to the fruit.

Have you ever wondered how fruit can stay fresh for so long?

Imagine having a apple tree in the back garden. When the fruit falls from the tree onto the ground, how long does it last there? Would it be fair to say a few days or week at most before it begins to rot?

If you are a major food corporation this would cause a problem. When delivering fruit to the retailers, by the time it’s transported, shelved and then sold, this process can be a considerably long time.  Then think how long it lasts after you purchased it and have it sitting in the fruit bowl or the fridge. A little bit different to your apple tree in the back garden don’t you think?

For it to stay ‘fresh‘ for so long they coat the fruit in a waxing mineral oil, which retains the moisture. This is waterproof, so washing your fruit won’t help it either. A quick search on the net and you’ll find different information about this and the waxes they use, which vary the longevity of the fruit.

In the food industry, where it may be called “wax”, it can be used as a lubricant in mechanical mixing, applied to baking tins to ensure that loaves are easily released when cooked and as a coating for fruit or other items requiring a “shiny” appearance for sale - Wikipedia

From my understanding, the problem with this is that the fruit cannot breath. Combine this with stored refrigeration and the fruit will slowly begin to ferment. The sugar content goes up and the nutritional value goes down.

Personally, I’m not too keen on the idea of eating fruit coated in waxing mineral oil, which is months old and has little nutritional value.

I still find this amazing! Does anyone have more thoughts on this? Would love to hear more on this…

Last but not least, let us take a look at my mates freshly squeezed apple juice:

Weight loss & fruit hot tip No. 3

i) Juicing fruit removes a lot of the nutrients (what’s left of them anyway with waxing & storage) by taking away the pulp and fibre. This makes for a much more concentrated dose of sugar water. You are much better off eating the pulp instead!

ii) Let’s say it takes 3-4 apples to make his freshly squeezed apple juice. One piece of fruit equals 4tsp’s. There’s 12-16 tsp’s of sugar right there!

iii) A glass of freshly squeezed apple juice is the equivalent to drinking a can of coke! Those apples can be organic and blessed by a Tibetan monk, it would still equal a can of coke. All you are really drinking is flavoured sugar water.

180 Nutrition Fruit Sugar Guide

But isn’t the Sugar in Fruit Different?

The sugar in fruit is fructose. This is a little different to your regular table sugar as fructose has no immediate effect on your blood sugar levels. The reason for this is that it is metabolised almost exclusively by the liver. Even though there is no immediate effect, it has plenty of long term effect.

The liver has never evolved enough to the kind of fructose load we are starting to have in modern diets. When we flood the liver with fructose, our liver responds by turning much of it into fat shipping it off to become fat tissue. This means that this is the carbohydrate we can convert to fat most readily! If this is done over many years along with other sugars and processed foods, you are seriously asking for trouble.

In my mates case, he’s had a big hit of concentrated fructose from the juice and the fruit muesli. Along with long term storage of fruit and wax, the question he needs to ask himself is – by eating this kind of breakfast am I helping my health kick and new weight loss plan?

“The medical profession thinks fructose is better for diabetics than sugar,” says Meira Field, PhD, a research chemist at United States Department of Agriculture, “but every cell in the body can metabolize glucose. However, all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high-fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic.”[59] While a few other tissues (e.g., sperm cells[60] and some intestinal cells) do use fructose directly, fructose is almost entirely metabolized in the liver.[59]

“When fructose reaches the liver,” says Dr. William J. Whelan, a biochemist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, “the liver goes bananas and stops everything else to metabolize the fructose.” - Wikipedia

Conclusion

I don’t want to make out that fruit is the villain here, but I do feel smarter choices are needed regarding fruit. When you think that over 60% of our daily calories in the typical western diet includes – cereals and grains, sweetened dairy products, vegetable oils, dressing and condiments, sugar, bars and sweets – Rewind the clock and look at a Palaeolithic human existence, humans would not have derived any of their energy from these things. If you are eating many of the above foods and then compound it with fruit and more importantly fructose, surely this is only fuelling the problem with ones weight?… but more importantly health?

Do I eat fruit?

Yes I do, but not a great deal of it and I buy organic when possible. I’ll usually use a few strawberries or dessert spoon of berries in my 180 protein smoothie in the morning along with a fresh coconut for breakfast. This is simple to prepare and non processed. I’ll also have a 180 protein smoothie with a banana in after an intense workout. I’ll have the odd apple or orange if I feel a bit parched. So I’ll end up having at least 1-2 pieces of fruit in my daily diet, but keep in mind I’m a pretty active person and I’m usually doing some kind of exercise, whether it be gym or play six days a week.

I don’t drink fresh fruit juices, if I do have a juice it’s vegetable based – spinach, celery, cucumber, capsicum etc. I usually sweeten it up with a yellow grapefruit and a lemon. This makes for interesting taste but I honestly don’t mind it. I find things taste very different when you have hardly any sugar in you diet. At the very least go for 30% fruit and 70% green based vegetables.

To sum it up:

  • I eat organic fruit when possible
  • I mainly eat berries, strawberries & raspberries
  • If I’m training fairly intensely I’ll also eat bananas
  • I generally eat 1-2 pieces of fruit per day
  • I often have a high fat smoothie instead of high fruit

So the next time you see me eating an omelette for breakfast in the local cafe…  you know why!

7 Quick & Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Breakfast

healthy breakfast bowl smoothie

Angela: I think we all know by now breakfast is the most important meal of the day. With a few tweaks you can make an average breakfast supercharged with no extra effort at all! By doing this you will ramp up the nourishment factor of your food and you will be less likely to make bad food choices through out the day.

So what do I mean by supercharge your day? You are more likely to achieve a healthy metabolism, balanced weight and good concentration levels. Guy & Stu always get asked what they eat for breakfast. Here are their ’7 quick and easy ways to supercharge your breakfast’ so you can upgrade your most important meal of the day.

Tumeric & Black Pepper

tumeric

Love Tumeric! You could write a whole blog post just on the health benefits. It really is incredible and well studied. Some of the health benefits are: powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, fights degenerative diseases of the brain, lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer preventative and reducing inflammation and pain in arthritic patients. Curcumin is the key compound in turmeric that gives you all these wonderful health benefits. Tumeric taken along with black pepper can increase it’s bioavailability. You could add to a savoury porridge or omelette.

Leftovers

left overs dinner

Remember to think outside the box. One of our favourite strategies is to cook once and eat twice. You can have leftovers from the night before. Guy and Stu are big fans of a big cook-up and using last nights meal for breakfast the next day. Hands down you will be getting way more nutrients into you for breakfast than the traditional toast, muffins and cereal that we’ve been led to think is a healthy start!

Add Quality Fat & Protein (keeps you going all morning)

healthy fats

The last thing you want to do when kickstarting your day is spike your blood sugar levels with processed foods and carb’s for breakfast. This will have you wondering why your feeling low in energy a few hours later and reaching for sugary snacks. Try adding these foods to your breakfast plate instead; Smoked salmon, avocado, coconut oil, sardines, eggs, olive oil, nuts and seeds. All make great additions to your breakfast.

Supercharged Breakfast Smoothie

breakfast smoothieWe may seem a bit biased here, but 180 Superfood was designed to supercharge your smoothie. Packed full of protein, good fats, fibre and nutrients. It makes the perfect ratio of carbs, fats and protein for a balanced breakfast to keep you full until lunch. A smoothie is the easiest way to cram in quality nutrients. It could be as simple as adding 1/2 avocado (quality fats), handful of berries (low gi & nutrient rich), some coconut milk, 180 Superfood and ice. Give it a go! I always try to add some form of greens in there too, like cucumber or spinach. If you don’t like the idea of adding veg to your breakfast smoothie or the cupboards are bare, a greens superfood powder is a great way to help supercharge your smoothie. You’ll be amazed how you feel after doing this for a week or two.

Apple Cider Vinegar Shot

apple cider vinagarApple cider vinegar is made by fermenting the sugars from apples. This makes acetic acid which is the active ingredient. I think this is a great first drink of the day. It can taste harsh to start with but just dilute in a little more water until you get the taste for it. Dosage should be 1 – 2 teaspoons in about 1/2 a glass of warm water. Buy organic where possible to avoid toxins. Studies have suggested that it can kill some types of bacteria, lower blood sugar levels, help with weight loss and have benefits in achieving a healthy heart. I use ACV as a digestive tonic. I find that it aids digestion and get’s the system started first thing in the morning.

Superfood Breakfast Bowl

healthy breakfast bowlEasy to prepare and a powerhouse of nutrients and a recipe you can get creative with too. Soak a handful of pumpkin seeds, a handful of sunflower seeds and a handful of sesame seeds for 10 minutes (or overnight in the fridge) then drain. Throw in some berries or goji berries and a scoop of chocolate 180 Superfood if you need the extra protein hit. Place in a food processor and add coconut milk. Blend until porridge like consistency. This will be high in iron, magnesium and zinc. You will also have a diversity of anti oxidants, gluten free, low GI and high in protein. A great start to the day and it tastes delicious.

Almond, Brazil & Cashew Nut Butter (ABC)

ABC nut butterMove over jam and sweeten spreads. Get rid of those sugary spread fixes and have some sustainable energy. We love our nut butters, especially the ABC combo as it contains all the essential amino acids found in animal proteins making it a “complete” protein. This is our favourite one. Not only that nuts are high in good fats and packed full of nutrients.

Conclusion

By making some small adjustments, you can give yourself the right start to the day which your body deserves and you will soon reap the health benefits over the long term :)

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My Top 10 Go-To Herbs & Spices That Increase Vitality

Herbs and Spices

By Angela Greely

Angela: One of the first things I do with patients when starting a clean eating diet is clear out their pantry. Which can be full of condiments high in Omega 6 oils, sugar, colours and preservatives. Nature has provided so many wonderful herbs and spices to enhance our food with great flavours and they have amazing health benefits! Here is my top 10: More

What To Eat When On A Detox

Detox Foods List

By Guy Lawrence

If you follow our Facebook page, you may know that I am on an 8-10 week detox. I have a parasite that’s killed all my good bacteria, and has essentially affected my feng shui in the gut!

I am taking Metagenics supplements too, but these have been prescribed to me for a direct role related to my gut.

Why is this post relevant to you?

If you fancy implementing a clean eating plan for a few weeks, then the foods I’ve listed below will do the trick nicely.

For those of you that follow my blog, you’re probably aware I can’t do fluffy and nice to well, as I need to say it as it is. So if you think detoxing is buying some kind of tea from the chemist, or cutting out the potato chips for a limited time whilst ‘detoxing’, I apologise in advance. My purpose is honestly to educate and inspire, not to intimidate and throw it in the all too hard basket. But if you want the sugar coated topping without the real deal, buy a copy of a glossy magazine like No Idea.

One step at a time

For some just stopping alcohol for a month and having a cup of lemon tea is detoxing. Simply cutting out sugar or stopping that 3pm cookie fix is detoxing too. Whilst these are all fantastic and are steps in the right direction, I think it’s healthy to understand why you are doing it and the choices you are making. And if that’s where you need to start then go for it! Just don’t fall back to old ways after a week.

I feel I’ve surrounded myself with the best in the health business, and I am being guided all the way through my detox by Naturopath Tania Flack. So if you are looking to go the whole nine yards with a detox, I suggest you check out a local Naturopath in your area and be guided the right way too.

If not and you just fancy cleaning up your diet, then following my eating guidelines below will certainly help a great deal!

The detox foods I eat

Detox foodsTo make life easy I’ve grouped them into macronutrients; Protein, fat and carbs. I will combine all these foods to the best of my ability. I’m no Jamie Oliver, but I enjoy the challenge of the detox to make me think more creatively when it comes to what I can do with food.

Pic right: The difference between my creativity & Healthy Playful Living’s creativity whilst making detox friendly foods.

Main Source Of Animal Proteins

I will be having a palm size portion of these 1-2 times a day.

  • Fish
  • Grass fed beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Eggs (3 = 1 serve for me)

I will avoid eating:

  • Processed meats
  • Sausages
  • Pork
  • Bacon
  • Dairy – I only have limited dairy usually which is cream in my coffee, a little cheese in my omelette, butter & the grass fed WPI whey protein in the 180 Protein Superfood. I don’t drink milk. But all these are off limits for me for 8 weeks.

Main Source Of Plant Proteins

I will avoid eating:

  • Soy
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh

Main Source Of Fats

Essentially most fats from their raw natural sources

  • Coconut Oil (Will do all my cooking with this too)
  • Coconut milk & cream
  • Egg yolk
  • Olive oil (cold only)
  • Macadamia oil
  • Avocados & avocado oil
  • Liquid Metagenics Fish Oil
  • Fats from 180 Protein Superfood Vegan
  • Saturated fat from grass fed meat

I will avoid eating:

  • All fats in 95% of supermarket products (usually hydrogenated). This is a no-brainer and should be a priority whether you are on a detox or not! If you want to learn more about this, read David Gillespie’s book Toxic Oil. It’s a must!
  • Homogenised fats. i.e found in most full cream milk & chocolate. I avoid these anyway.
  • Butter & cream :( I Love my butter & cream, but it’s gone for 8 weeks due to the dairy free protocol. Margarine isn’t an option, & if it’s in your fridge go and throw it in the bin right now!

Main Source Of Carbohydrates

  • Green vegetables – Combination of cooked & raw with most meals
  • Coloured vegetables - Combination of cooked & raw with most meals
  • Sweet potato – I’ll have this after heavy exercise sessions
  • Pumpkin - I’ll have this after heavy exercise sessions
  • Quinoa - I’ll have this after heavy exercise sessions
  • Some legumes

Fruits I will eat:

  • Berries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Avocado – Knowledge is knowing it’s a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad :)

I will avoid eating:

  • All bread
  • Grains (unless listed)
  • All flour & pastries
  • Sugar (No-brainer)
  • White potato
  • Essentially 95% of supermarket products (Again, whether you are on a detox or not you should seriously consider these things)

Fruits:

  • I’ll avoid all other fruits except those listed above for the duration

So there you have it in a nutshell. I understand that I haven’t gone microscopic with the foods, but you get the idea. Feel free to share any recipes you have with me!

To make myself accountable, I am tracking my meals & progress over on:

- Instagram

- Twitter @180_Nutrition

- Facebook

Simply type #180detox into any of these 3 social media platforms search fields to see all.

Are you on a detox? What do you think a detox should look like? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, Guy

Good Fat – Bad Fat; 5 Fats I Consistently Have In My Diet & Fats I Avoid

Good Fat - Bad Fat

By Guy Lawrence

Eat your good fats. How often do you hear that? The fear of fat is certainly changing, but how often does someone say I can’t eat that as it contains too much fat! I think the fat free consumer is still very much here but things are slowly changing.

The purpose of this post is to help with the confusion around fat. What is good fat and which fats are just plain ugly. I’ve found over time I generally have certain fats in my daily diet and there are a whole host that I do my best to avoid. I don’t worry about the calories, I only worry about the type of fats. I wrote a post here if you want to delve into fats more. And why is there a fat 1970′s cowboy dancing? Not sure but we liked the picture!

The Good Fats I Eat

The fats I eat daily are all listed below with no particular preference. There are plenty of other fats out there too which are beneficial. If they are not listed it just means I’m not using them as much. In saying that, I am a lover of cold pressed olive oil, butter, ghee, nuts and animal fats from locally farmed sources.

Coconut oil

Spiral organic coconut oilNot quite sure what I’d do without it! Coconut oil  is a saturated fat that I have in my daily diet. It is the only fat I cook with, as it’s very stable under high temperatures.

I also love it raw and will use it when I make raw high protein snacks, and I’ll often add it to my smoothies. Type ’10  uses for coconut oil’ into Google to see how great this fat really is.

Avocados

Avocado

I generally eat 1/2 to a whole avocado most days. It’s become a staple in my post workout protein smoothies, and I like it fresh with my omelettes at breakfast. I’m not worried about the calories and I eat more avocados than I do bananas.

There are countless studies and research showing the health benefits of avocados. This is a bonus as I eat them because they taste delicious!

Fish Oil

omega-3 supplement

I wrote a post on fish oil supplementation recently and you can read about it here. But in a nutshell, I think this supplement is liquid gold and is highly underestimated. If I stop taking it for a week or so I start to notice the difference.

I take up to 5oo0mg a day of fish/krill oil along with a dessertspoon of cod liver oil. As far as I’m concerned, these essential fatty acids are yes… truly essential!

Apricot Kernel Oil

apricot kernel oil

I encourage you to do your research on this one. It’s controversial because it’s high in vitamin B17. Interestingly, B17 was banned in the 1970′s due to its controversies with its reactions within the body and cancer.

Personally I use it daily on my skin and face after a shower as I feel it’s food for the skin. I also use it because of B17.

Eggs

egg yolkAnother fat that seems to cop bad press is egg yolk. I eat plenty of eggs daily and I have no problem with it. What I am concerned about though is the quality of the egg as I feel this is important. I always shop for organic free-range eggs.

What about cholesterol? I feel cholesterol is essential for our bodies and overall health and I eat it daily… But that’s just me.

So these are the fats I have daily. There are other fats that I eat too but not necessarily all the time. I try to eat fats from grass fed animals like beef so I get CLA.  I have cream and would love to get my hands on raw butter. There are also plant-based fats like flaxseed, olive oil and nut oils. If I have these I have them raw and do not cook with them under high temperatures.

The Ugly: Fats I don’t eat

I do my best to avoid the fats listed below as much as possible. My belief is that they are detrimental to ones health if eaten over time. DO NOT get these confused with the fats that I have mentioned above, no matter what they are claiming on the packet.

Hydrogenated fats

trans fatsThink margarine, spreads, potato chips, ice cream, pizza, low grade cooking oil, fast food, biscuits and sauces… The list goes on and on. I read somewhere that up to 40% of your supermarket products will contain hydrogenated fats.

Start to do your research, there’s a whole host of reasons why manufacturers use hydrogenated fats. It’s one that is worth exploring. (You can read an in-depth article on fats here.)

Homogenised Fats

homogenised fatsI’m not a fan of homogenised fats. If you don’t know what it is, think milk and think of the cream that used to be on top (which we don’t really see these days). That process is homogenisation. I wrote an article on it here if you want to read more on the topic.

Over the years I’ve cut back on my milk consumption for this reason alone. I may have the odd flat white, but I generally have a long black with cream. And I use fresh coconut water in my protein smoothies instead of milk.

Heating The Wrong Fats

frying panIt’s hard enough simply avoiding the fats I’ve mentioned, so why compound it? Personally I don’t have a problem with frying, but I generally fry under a low to moderate heat and only use certain fats. Use fats and oils with a high heat threshold. I only cook with coconut oil and I feel ghee is another good option along with red palm oil.

I don’t cook with olive oil, any nut oils or plant based oils as I feel they are no good under heat. I feel these fats aren’t as robust and are subject to rancidity under high heat. And I certainly won’t use processed vegetable oils!

So there you have it. The good fats I eat and the fats I avoid. Did you find this helpful? What do you generally eat? Are you fearful of fats? Would love to hear from you…

Big Fat Lies David GillespieWant to learn more? A great resource and read is David Gillespie’s book – Big Fat Lies

Ps. I’ll leave you with this video. Very humorous but with an interesting message…

On a side note: I truly enjoy writing these posts, hence our frequent blog posts. At the end of the day though, these are just my thoughts and feelings around a topic I’m passionate about. I encourage everyone to do their own research and check out the facts for themselves.

If you did enjoy the post and got something from it or have something to share on the topic, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. If you feel others would benefit from this then it would be great if you could share it using one of the icons below (Facebook etc). Cheers, Guy…