Seeking Saturated Fat

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

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Saturated fat has more beneficial functions than just its role in supporting the heart, brain and lungs,  Saturated fat may be more important for the absorption of certain fat soluble vitamins.

It is relatively well known that fat soluble vitamins, (vitamins A,D,E,K) and minerals are not well absorbed without fat. Thus the health benefits of these nutrients are not being attained, if adequate fat in the diet is not present. Saturated fat seems to be a better vehicle to help nutrient absorption than unsaturated fat.

A perfect example of this is a study showing that saturated fat from beef tallow as compared with polyunsaturated fat from sunflower oil increases beta-carotene absorption from a salad 11 to 17 percent,  In this linked article, Chris Masterjohn specifically mentions that the “absorption of beta-carotene from a salad with no added fat was close to zero”. The saturated fat dressing was a…

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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Uncategorized


When It Comes to Saturated Fat Use Your Noggin'

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

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Saturated Fat Proves Worthy for Heart Health

“Follow The Nutrition Guidelines or Follow Your Heart,” came to be because it is important to understand that following mainstream advice without using your noggin’ is not always the right way.

Cutting fat from your diet is a theme that has been used to brainwash people for way too long. Know that saturated fat is healthy for more than just your heart.

Data relating saturated fat as supporting body organs and vital body functions exists and the next two blogs will hopefully open more discussions on this topic.

Saturated Fat Proves Worthy for The Brain

In addition to the heart, the brain tops this list as an organ that depends on monounsaturated and saturated fats and cholesterol for proper functioning. Fats compose 60% of the brain and is especially important for fetal brain development. This may be why human breast milk…

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Posted by on November 13, 2017 in Uncategorized


Think Before You Drink: Alcohol Messes with Muscle & More

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

Does Drinking Alcohol Ruin Post-Exercise Recovery?

Consuming moderate amounts of alcohol has its advantages;  It can help you relax, make a meal more enjoyable, lower heart disease and diabetes risk factors and it may also add a few years to your life.

Drinking more than you can handle is obviously a problem. When you overindulge, alcohol impairs judgment, amongst many  other things, and effects fitness goals by increasing appetite or lowering your guard so you eat more. You may also find it more difficult to complete aerobic activities as it lowers endurance and aerobic capacity (VO2 max).

When sports performance, weight or health counts, you get blasted again because alcohol dehydrates the body leaving muscles more susceptible to injury (soreness, flexibility, tears, etc…) and nutrient depletion. For example calcium, magnesium and potassium are nutrients involved in muscle function so if they are lost as a result of dehydration there is not enough nutrients to do…

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Posted by on November 6, 2017 in Uncategorized


A Halloween Candy Scare!

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Spooky, frightful, chilling party events, ghost stories and dress-up costumes are all part of Halloween fun but the party food and drink, trick or treating and left over candy can be the death of all us all!

Halloween is an Irish custom celebrated since the 1900’s.  It is considered the Celtic New Year  marking the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Customary orange representing a bountiful harvest and the turning color of  leaves, while black   symbolizes the “death” of summer and the changing season.

While the cultural experience of Halloween like carving Jack-o-Lanterns, bobbing for apples  and medieval folklore are rooted in this holiday, if you are not too frightened to learn more about the scare of the holiday then dare to check this out, “13 Halloween Superstitions & Traditions Explained”,

It seems that these traditions have been tossed into the witches cauldron only giving way to a candy fest. More candy than you may want to believe. Second only  to Halloween costumes, it seems candy was the second-largest revenue generator increasing to $2.7

Halloween traditions are dying and it all boils down to dollars and cents, lots of candy and in the end an evening that haunts us forever with health and weight problems.

Don’t get me wrong a little candy won’t kill you. But, if your Halloween events are anything like what I have experienced it includes tables full of cupcakes topped with creepy spiders, candy apples dripping in caramel and sprinkles, oh and yes the actual trick or treating that adds up to hundreds of thousands of sweet treats that look harmless but actually wreak havoc on blood sugar and insulin levels causing cravings,  leading to eating more, gaining weight and life-long health problems.

Whether eating a Reese’s peanut butter cup or fat-free licorice (see chart below) there is not much of a difference.  A nutrient-LESS treat that contains 100% sugar and carbs without any fat or a high in fat and high sugar junk food will both damages blood sugar and insulin balance.  The ingredients they both contain (i.e. corn syrup) still directly causes weight gain, spikes and dips in blood sugar, insulin surges and all the consequences that surround hormonal imbalance including mood swings, hunger, heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance  and much more. So do NOT be fooled into thinking that fat-free is health consequence free.

  Reese’s peanut butter cup licorice
Calories 200 210
Carbohydrates (g) 24 46
Sugars (g) 21 29
Fat (g) 13   0

Use these tricks of the nutrition trade for your healthy Halloween:

  1. Be generous. Share your candy and even a toothbrush with the men and women who serve and protect our country. Operation gratitude, helps spread the Halloween spirit by sending candy, tooth brushes and toothpaste to troops overseas.
  2. Eat a large amount of healthy food and be full before the big party or before going trick or treating.
  3. If you are hosting, serve real food. Leave no room for lots of junk food.
  4. Plan to use non-food items and fill time with fun-filled activities as part of the Halloween festivities.
  5. Hand out tattoos, spooky plastic rings, false teeth, stickers, bouncy balls and use them in a “funniest” costume contest.
  6. Use small plastic spiders, mini-ghosts, or skeletons in a scavenger hunt. Don’t forget the Halloween-themed pencils and erasers for the check off list.
  7. Cut the sugar carbs and fat from junk and commercially prepared foods from your daily eating and drinking regimen for 1-2 weeks in preparation for October 31st.
  8. Revisit Halloween with a little tradition on fright night try: ghost stories or movies, bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins, pin the spider on the web.
  9. Instead of eating chocolate, use it for a facial!
  10. Celebrate a healthy Halloween, take gluttonous candy eating out and put the tradition of spook back into fright night.


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Posted by on October 30, 2017 in Uncategorized


Fat Loss Is Just A Breath Away

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It


It is easier to grasp the concept of gaining fat than understand the rationale behind fat loss. Explaining it sounds easy right. If you eat more food than your body needs, it gets bigger, you gain weight. This formula can work for building muscle too.

A popular analogy that many of you may have heard goes something like this, “you might as well glue that hot fudge sundae directly on to your hips”. We know that is not exactly how it works but “you get the picture”. The more you eat, the more you weigh.

Based on genetics, we may be able to predict where some of that extra fat might plant itself, the gut, the arms or legs. But once you are carrying extra weight and you lose it, what happens to it? Where does it go?

Some people think it leaves the body with the rest of…

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Posted by on October 23, 2017 in Uncategorized


Tailgate and Feel Great!

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

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What makes football so popular? It’s a great game, of course! Football is THE number one pastime in the country. It is not just a weekend sport anymore, it is not just a game; football season has evolved into a  4 month, 256 game family affair.  That’s right, football is not just a man’s game. According to data from the ESPN Sports Poll and the U.S. Census, with league officials female football fans account for almost half of its supporters. Forty four percent of the NFL’s more than 150 million American fans are women, In fact, women participating in fantasy football have doubled over the past 4 years.

As many as seventy-four percent of male and female sports fans agree that following sports together is a good way to bond, Tailgating is a football tradition that heightens the bonding experience.  Regardless of whether your football team is winning or losing, there…

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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


“Strength” in Your Training

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

Last week I wrote a blog on “good” weight gain and listed 6 reasons why gaining weight through strength training would help improve your quality of life and your appearance, What I failed to mention from last week’s blog is the specific involvement of weight lifting in the quality of sports performance or any activity that may seem unrelated to strength training. There is much more to muscle training than meets the eye.

Weight training is not just about , good looks, “weight gain” and optimizing health.  Athletes, sports participants or anyone involved in work or any extracurricular activities involving movement will benefit from the specific association between peak performance and lifting.

Do you want to be more agile, boost your speed, obtain better total muscle coordination, improve precision and increase the force of movement? Do you want to minimize risk of injury or recovery time from an…

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Posted by on October 2, 2017 in Uncategorized