What About Fat? Part 1



Bad fats. Healthy fats. All fat is bad fat. The fat you eat is the fat you wear.

There are so many different opinions on fat these days. So what do you do?
Find the truth! And I'm here to help you find it.

Often, people consider dietary fat to only influence a person's appearance. Or maybe they know that cardiovascular health can be affected by fat intake as well. Or maybe a person thinks, like I did 2 years ago, that fat is a good fuel source so they chow down on a can of salted cashews but limit the fruit.

But thighs, arteries, and fuel aren't the only things affected by dietary fat intake. If you're like me and most other people, it may be news to you to find out that it also affects cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cognitive function, and more.

So pay attention! And if you disagree or doubt the facts I share, please do your own research and let me know what you find. Someone's life may be depending on it. Be aware, though, of the many studies done that have conflicts of interest (i.e. the study supports the very product the funding company sells).





Here is Part 1 of "What About Fat?"

Fat is Necessary for Health


You can now calm the fat-phobic's fear... for good health, there has to be some dietary fat. Dr. Douglas Graham, author of The 80/10/10 Diet, says it well:
Fat plays many important roles in regulation of various bodily functions. It is essential to our production of hormone, although too much fat will exert an adverse influence on our hormones. It also helps to regulate the uptake of nutrients and excretion of waste products by every cell. Fat is the primary insulator within the body. It protects us against cold and heat, keeps the electricity that flows through our nerves on course, and protects our vital organs from jarring and other types of physical shock.1
Now this doesn't mean you need to go chug a bottle of olive oil so you don't have to buy a winter coat. That's just gross.

While most fats our body can produce, there are certain fats that we cannot. These are known as essential fatty acids (EFA).
Dr. McDougall gives 3 reasons why EFA are actually essential.


  1. They help in the formation of phospholipids which help prevent faulty cell membranes from being formed.
  2. They help in the "transport and oxidation of cholesterol; as a result EFA tend to lower plasma cholesterol."
  3. They are key to the formation of important hormones known as eicosanoids.2

So... what's the take-home on this first fact? Just know that the body needs fat and that 2 kinds need to come from our food since we cannot synthesize it: Omega 3 and Omega 6. (Discussed later in Part 2.)





High Fat = High Animal Protein Diet


Actually, I should probably say "High Fat usually = High Animal Protein Diet." That's what Dr. T. Colin Campbell, world-renowned researcher and scientist from Cornell University, has found. Here's what he says:
The correlation between fat intake and animal protein intake is more than 90%. This means that fat intake increases in parallel with animal protein intake. In other words, dietary fat is an indicator of how much animal-based food is in the diet. It is almost a perfect match.3 [emphasis mine]
Surprised? Not gonna lie, I kinda was. Most people know that red meat is associated with cholesterol problems and that whole milk and butter are high in fat. But eating lean cuts, egg whites, and skim milk increases fat consumption too... not to mention animal protein. Remember the problems we found with animal protein in "What About Protein" Part 1 and Part 2? Yeah... that's why we want to stay away from it.




Too Much Dietary Fat is Harmful


In 2012, it was estimated that about 1/3 of Americans are obese.5 Dr. Campbell says that "on average, we consume 35-40% of our total calories as fat."6 And Dr. Graham's research shows that Americans eat around 1/3 to 1/2 of their total calories as fat.7 Dr. Graham's research also associates high fat eating with "almost every type of digestive disturbance, blood disorder, and degenerative disease."8 If that's the case, then over 60 million Americans who suffer from acid reflux at least once a month, may find relief in changing their diet.9 I believe we can infer that too much dietary fat affects a lot of people.

Too much fat not only affects organs, but it reaches into your blood and the very cells of the body. Dr. Graham says that the uptake, transport, and delivery of oxygen to the cells is negatively affected by excess fat.8 Have candida issues, insulin/blood sugar problems, or yeast infections? It's most likely too much dietary fat. 10, 11, 12

Vegetarians and Vegans can also often have too much dietary fat. The "Junk Food Vegan" can eat too many potato chips or other processed vegan food. Usually, it's also the added oils or too many nuts, seeds, and avocados that cause the fat % in the diet to be more than the body needs. Remember, 1 gram of fat has more calories than a gram of protein or carbohydrates. While the body needs dietary fat, a little goes a long way.



  • So how much fat is needed in the diet? 
  • Curious about Omega 3 and Omega 6?
  • What about Cholesterol?


Stay tuned for What About Fat? Part 2!



Interested in learning more about nutrition and health? Stay up to date by subscribing to my email, and also don't forget to "Like" my Facebook page!

–Hummingbird



 



1. Graham, D. (2006). The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life One Luscious Bite at a Time. p. 112. Decature, GA: FoodnSport Press.

2. http://www.drmcdougall.com/res_vegetable_fat_med.html


3. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 83). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition. 


4. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 82). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition. 


5. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html 


6. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 82). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.  


7. Graham, D. (2006). The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life One Luscious Bite at a Time. p. 121.  


8. Ibid. p. 124.


9. http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/acid-reflux-symptoms


10. http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/articles/candida.html


11. http://www.mendosa.com/The-Fat-of-the-Matter-How-Dietary-Fat-Effects-Blood-Glucose.htm


12. http://www.raw-food-health.com/yeast-infection-cures.html

Scrumptious Pumpkin Pie



Fall is in the air. The leaves are turning colors. The sun rises to crisp mornings. The acorns are dropping. The animals are getting ready for winter.


And there's pumpkin pie for breakfast!


Yes, you read that correctly. But how can a dessert be good enough for breakfast? When it's low fat raw vegan pumpkin pie! 





I have to admit, when I first made this recipe, I was a little nervous that it'd taste like raw pumpkin...which I'm not a fan of. But it doesn't! It tastes and smells like traditional pumpkin pie!! In fact, it was so good that I ate it myself in just 3 days. ^_^





I consider this recipe a special treat for a few reasons: it takes a little more effort to make (about 30+ min. prep time), it mixes nuts with dates (not best for optimal digestion but perfectly fine on occasion), and it is so delicious that you'll want to share it with everyone when you get together for the holidays!
*This recipe is based off Kristina's here.



Place crust ingredients (dates, pecans, and cinnamon) into a food processor.
Pulse till well mixed and begins to form a large clump. 
Press crust mixture into pie pan and smooth out evenly.


How I dice a pie pumpkin: 1) Cut off the top, 2) Slice in half, 3) Scoop out seeds,
4) Slice into wedges, 5)Peel off the skin with a paring knife, 6) Chop into about 1 in. cubes.
The Persimmon should be so ripe and squishy
that it just pulls right off the stem.
It should smell and taste sweet, but not rotten/fermented.
Pour pie filling into the crust and
smooth out with a rubber spatula or spoon.
Printable Recipe



Crust:

  • 1 lb. Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 c. fresh pecans, shelled
  • 1 t. Cinnamon

    Filling:

    • 1 lb. Medjool dates, pitted
    • 1 ripe Persimmon
    • 1 Pie Pumpkin* (aka Sugar Pumpkin); seeds scooped out, peeled, and diced
    • 1 t. Cinnamon
    • 1 slice of fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter OR 1 t. ground ginger
    1. Place crust ingredients (dates, pecans, and cinnamon) into a food processor. Pulse till well mixed and begins to form a large clump. 
    2. Press crust mixture into pie dish and smooth out evenly.**
    3. Place the following ingredients in your high-speed blender in this order: 1 lb. pitted dates, persimmon, diced pumpkin***, cinnamon, then ginger. Blend working up to High speed. Once in High speed, press filling down with the plunger (if Vitamix) or turn off blender then mix with a spoon, then blend again. Continue blending till thick, smooth, and creamy with no chunks left.
    4. Pour pie filling into the crust and smooth out with a rubber spatula or spoon.
    5. Cover and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up or in the fridge overnight. Best eaten fresh, but keeps up to 5 days covered in the fridge. Enjoy!

    Tips:

    *Don't have a high-speed blender or don't care about eating 100% raw? Replace the raw pumpkin with 1 can of organic pumpkin. Be sure it's not pumpkin pie filling though, otherwise it will have added ingredients. 
    **Too sticky? Fill a small bowl with water and dip fingers to keep the date mixture from sticking to you. Also, rub a little bit of water on the inside of the pie dish to help the pie from sticking too much to the bottom of the dish.
    ***How I dice a pie pumpkin: 1) Cut off the top, 2) Slice in half, 3) Scoop out seeds,
    4) Slice into wedges, 5)Peel off the skin with a paring knife, 6) Chop into about 1 in. cubes.




    –Hummingbird

     

    Pizza Party!



    Who doesn't love a good pizza? I know that I love the stuff... especially if I feel good after eating it. And that's what's so great about today's recipe! It's pizza you can feel good about!





    Years ago when I first found out about all my food allergies (gluten, dairy, yeast, soy, etc.), I thought I'd never again have a good tasting pizza. UNTIL NOW!!! I'm so excited about how this turned out! It wasn't too doughy, chewy, or soggy. The crust was just right – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Please let me know how you like the recipe in the comments below. :)


    (Unbaked Pizza Crust)

    Printable Recipe

    Crust:

    • 1 1/2 c. any Gluten Free Flour (I used a mix of Bob's Red Mill All-purpose Gluten free flour and Brown Rice flour)
    • 1/2 c. Corn Meal (or another 1/2 c. gluten free flour)
    • 2 t. Baking Powder
    • 1/2-1 t. Salt or Garlic Salt (opt.)
    • Dried Italian Herbs, to taste (I used about 1 t. of Rosemary, and a pinch of Thyme, Oregano, and Basil)
    • 1 c. Water
    1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl, then slowly add water while stirring. Mix well. You want it to have the constancy of soft play dough. If it's too wet, add a pinch of flour. If it's too dry, add a dash of water.
    3. Place dough on lined baking sheet and press out with fingers or rubber spatula till it's about 1/4 in. thick (thicker for a more "doughy" crust, thinner for a more "crackery" crust). 
    4. Bake crust for 10-20 min. (depending on how thick it is). The crust should be pretty much done.



    Pizza Toppings:

    • 1 recipe of Never Fail Red Sauce
    • Toppings of your choice:
      • 1/2 c. Broccoli
      • 1/2 Yellow Zucchini, spiralized
      • 1/2 c. Fresh Tomatoes, sliced or chopped
      • 1/4 c. Sweet Onion, chopped
      • 1/2 c. Pineapple, frozen or fresh
      • 1/2 c. Sweet Corn, frozen or fresh
      • Small bunch of Spinach
      • 2 T. "Parmesan" sprinkle (opt.)
    1. While the crust is baking for its initial 5-10 min., prepare Never Fail Red Sauce
    2. When the crust is finished with initial baking time, top with the Red Sauce and then layer on your toppings.
    3. Bake for about 10-20 min. until the crust is golden and the toppings are warmed. Enjoy!
    *Don't forget to let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments below! :)

    –Hummingbird




     

    Vegan "Parmesan" Sprinkle



    Not sure what to put on top of that salad, pasta, or vegan pizza? How about a little "Parmesan" Sprinkle?



    It's super easy to make with only 3 ingredients, and it keeps for at least 2 weeks in the fridge! That is... if it's not gone before then. ^_^



    Printable Recipe

    • 1/3 c. Raw Cashews
    • 1/3 c. Raw Hemp Seeds
    • 1 small garlic clove or 1 t. garlic powder
    1. Grind all ingredients in a coffee grinder. 
    2. Store in fridge in airtight container.
    3. Enjoy!
    –Hummingbird


     

    Starry-eyed Starfruit


    Ever dream of relaxing on a the shore of a tropical island with sand between your toes, soaking in the suns golden rays, while enjoying juicy tropical island fruit?

    While it may not be easy for you to get to a tropical island or find a sunny day, you may be able to find some tropical fruit in your neighborhood grocery store. More recently, I've been seeing cool tropical fruit, like the Starfruit, show up in the local Trader Joes, natural food markets, and of course Whole Foods. So check out the local grocers and see. If they don't have it, talk with the produce manager to see if they can order it or other specialty fruits.



    What does it taste like?


    Amazing! ^_^ Some people say it tastes like an apple and a pear or peach infused together. I think it has more a light citrus flavor with a hint of Paula Red apple. Basically, it tastes better than candy. :) You have to try it!

    When is it ripe?


    While some people prefer to eat it with some green, I find that to be too sour for me. I like to eat my starfruit when there's little to no green left, just a good yellow/orange color and when it's just starting to soften. Sometimes the edges will get a little brown from getting bruised from shipping, but that's okay because sweet starfruit is ripe starfruit!


    Some health benefits of the Starfruit

    *Per 100 grams:

    • Low cal with only 31 Calories
    • Super hydrating with 91.4 grams of water
    • Slimming and satisfying with 2.8 grams of Fiber and only 4 grams of natural fruit sugar

    • Low in Fat - only .3 grams
    • The fat that's in it is the essential kind: Omega 3 (27mg) and Omega 6 (157mg)
    • With 1 gram of Protein, it has all of the essential amino acids and a variety of nonessential ones too

    • 34.4mg of Vitamin C = over half (57%) of the Percent Daily Value**
    • A wide range of other vitamins, including: B vitamins, Folate, and Vitamin K and more
    • High in Potassium (133mg), important in the transportation of serotonin
    • A Variety of other minerals, including: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, and more
    **For those on a 2000 Calorie diet




    So go slice up a juicy ripe starfruit, google "island sunset", lay out a picnic blanket, then stare off into the beautiful sunset while relaxing and enjoying your tropical fruit. :)

    –Hummingbird

     

    Mango Serenade Smoothie (aka Constipator Eliminator)



    I think that most people who are trying to figure out what's the best way to eat may occasionally experience some mishaps. Perhaps you have slowed digestion from a meal made of nuts, avocados, or durian. Or maybe it was from poor food combining like nut butter drizzled on bananas and dates. Or it could be that you found out the hard way that your stomach doesn't digest brown rice as well as you thought it would. Whatever the reason for your indigestion or bloating, I think you'll find relief with this Mango Serenade Smoothie. Best served for breakfast about 20 minutes after drinking a tall glass of water.

    So why is this smoothie so good for you? One word: Fiber. I'm not talking about the fake fiber supplements that can actually harm the intestinal walls and deplete some vitamins/minerals. On the contrary, this smoothie has a symphony of vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber! The perfect combination, the way God intended in nature. It will cause your tummy to sing!




    When I took the pictures for this recipe, I was making it for two adults who would drink it over the course of 1+ hours. The recipe below is only for 1 adult. Feel free to make less and vary the ratio of ingredients to suit your taste and texture preferences.



    Printable Recipe

    (Makes enough for 1 hungry adult)

    • 15-20 Fresh Medjool Dates, pitted
    • About 2 c. frozen Mangoes, or the flesh from 2 ripe Mangoes
    • 3 c. of filtered water
    1. Pit the dates and place in the bottom of the blender, then add the mango. 
    2. Add enough water to cover the dates by at least an inch.
    3. Blend, adding more water to reach desired consistency. Enjoy!
    *Tips: If you buy organic dates, be sure to check for little buggies. Don't fret if you find them though! My philosophy is that if the buggies won't eat it, maybe I shouldn't either.
    Also, if you don't have a high speed blender, be sure to soak your dates first. If that doesn't work, then you can blend half the dates with some water, slowly adding more dates and water as you continue to blend. After the date/water mixture gets to a creamy consistency, add the mango and a little more water then blend. That's what I'd do when I had my 20+ yr. old Osterizer blender. It worked just fine!


    –Hummingbird