Tag Archives: Olive oil

Avocado Oil – The New Olive Oil

If you are like a lot of other people, you have become more careful about the type of oil you cook with. Olive oil is a healthful choice because it provides a mild anti-inflammatory benefit and reduces “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. But there are other healthful options, including avocado oil, which is pressed from the fleshy pulp of the avocado. If you find that the flavor of olive oil overpowers or doesn’t complement the taste of other ingredients in a dish, try avocado oil, which has a more subtle flavor than olive oil, smooth with a hint of pepper.

Nutritional benefits: Avocado oil contains the same amount of oleic acid, a healthful monounsaturated fat, as olive oil—about 9.5 grams per tablespoon—and just slightly more calories. It is cold-pressed without the use of solvents, and its acid content is comparable to that of extra-virgin olive oil. Like olive oil, avocado oil contains beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol (known to be healthful for the prostate) and small amounts of vitamin E and antioxidant carotenoids.

Ways to use: You can use avocado oil in homemade salad dressings or when sautéing fish or chicken. One advantage: Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil. This means that you can cook with it at higher temperatures (as high as 500°F). Olive oil reaches the smoking point at about 400°F.

Flavors: In addition to pure avocado oil, it can be infused with rosemary or basil. An 8.5-ounce bottle (plain or infused) sells for about $11 to $13. Olive oil sells for between $8 and $20 for the same-sized bottle. Avocado oil can be purchased online and at many grocery stores.

Source:  Mark A. Stengler, NMD, is a naturopathic medical doctor and leading authority on the practice of alternative and integrated medicine. Dr. Stengler is author of the Health Revelations newsletter, author of The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies (Bottom Line Books), founder and medical director of the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine in Encinitas, California, and adjunct associate clinical professor at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.


Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Health and Science


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Food Scientists Create The Perfect Meal

Food researchers at Britain’s Leatherhead Food Research have created the perfect meal.  Starting with over 4,000 foods, they scientifically eliminated the junk claimed to be healthy and ended up with approximately 200.  From there they created the most nutritious supper which includes a progression of foods containing the perfect nutrients.

Hors d’oeuvre:  The menu starts with a fresh and smoked salmon terrine, which contains Omega 3 and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is good for the arteries, heart and brain, accompanied by a mixed leaf salad with an extra virgin olive oil dressing, helpful for maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels.

Main Course:  A chicken casserole with lentils and mixed vegetables, a main dish that could make about 80 health claims, among them that it contains protein to grow muscle mass and lentils to reduce tiredness and improve mental performance.

Dessert:  The researchers recommend a blancmange, or pudding, made with yogurt with active cultures, topped with walnuts and a sugarless caramel-flavored sauce. Walnuts are known to improve elasticity of blood vessels, guar gum in the pudding would help to maintain normal blood cholesterol, and the yogurt is good for digestion.

Other recommendations from the food scientists at Leatherhead Food Research: A mixed berry shake that can serve as a meal replacement for dieters; a hot chocolate drink containing melatonin to aid in restful sleep; and charcoal tables to reduce gassiness.


Leave a comment

Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Health and Science


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Foods That Boost Muscle Growth

Whether you’re a girl or a guy, if you’re trying to get fit, you’re in the testosterone-boosting business. (Unless you have polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, in which case your body produces too much testosterone.) Testosterone gives us energy, builds muscle, and heightens our libido. It also helps protect our bones and brains — all good stuff. Some foods can help increase this helpful hormone — here’s how you can take advantage of them.

  1. Add some garlic and onions to your meals. A study conducted with rats found that garlic coupled with a high-protein diet increased testosterone levels. Allicin, a phytochemical found in garlic and onions, may also inhibit cortisol, which can compete with testosterone and interfere with its normal function.
  2. Get more niacin in your diet. Niacin, a B vitamin, has been shown to boost HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind), high levels of which have been associated with high levels of testosterone. Niacin is found in many foods, including dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, and eggs.
  3. Choose healthy vegetable fats. Vegetable fat intake has been shown to increase dihydrotestosterone, a form of testosterone responsible for the growth of body hair. Just take it easy on the soybean, corn, safflower, and sunflower oils — instead get your vegetable fats from heart-healthy canola and olive oils.
  4. Eat zinc-rich foods. These include oysters, Dungeness crab, beef, pork, dark-meat chicken and turkey, yogurt, cheddar cheese, cashews, almonds, baked beans, and chickpeas. One study found that restricting zinc in healthy young men led to a 75 percent reduction in their testosterone, while supplementing zinc-deficient older men doubled their testosterone.




Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Eat The Foods That Help You Recover

Fruit juice mix

You are what you eat—but never more so than when you’re sick or injured. You may crave comfort foods, such as toast and jam or macaroni and cheese, when you aren’t feeling well.

But some of these foods actually can work against you and prolong your illness. Make these smart food choices…

Choose healthful fats in healthful amounts.You should always opt for healthful fats, especially when you are recovering from an injury or illness. Foods high in unhealthful saturated fat, such as beef and hard cheeses, have been found to inhibit the immune system and prolong recovery time. Best: A general rule of thumb (even when you’re not sick) is to consume about 25% to 30% of daily calories from healthful fats, such as monounsaturated fat (olive oil, avocado, peanut butter) and polyunsaturated fat (sunflower and corn oils, salmon, walnuts). Consume very little saturated fat, such as that found in whole milk, red meat and hard cheese. It also helps to eat less fat. A landmark Tufts University study found that a lower fat diet (28% of calories from fat, as opposed to a more typical American diet of 38% from fat) increased the function of T cells, which fight against viruses and bacterial infections.

Eat whole fruit. Drinking orange juice (or any type of fruit juice) is not good for you, especially when you’re sick. These juices are high in sugar and low in fiber, causing a rise in blood sugar that can lead to inflammation and weaken the immune response. While juice with pulp is better for you than juice without pulp (and you can dilute fruit juice with water to decrease the sugar), you get more fiber from eating the whole fruit, and this fiber reduces the spike in blood sugar.

Reduce refined carbohydrates and sugar. Refined carbohydrates, such as white pasta, white rice and white bread, trigger inflammation in the body. Your immune system must work to fight inflammation, leaving it with less energy for fighting off sickness. Also, bacteria thrive on sugar, possibly exacerbating an infection. When you are recovering from injury or illness, just say no to refined grains and sugar!




Tags: , , , , , , ,

Food Combinations

Roast chicken with rice

And other foods that are not healthy when eaten together

When I was 15, my skin began to break out, and a well-meaning but misguided dermatologist prescribed antibiotics. Fifteen years later, frequent use of antibiotics had weakened my body to the point where I had almost no functional immune system—and my stomach burned whenever I ate anything. By the time I was 30, I could tolerate only five foods.

For the next decade, I explored every kind of diet available, as well as many other natural-healing methods. Then I discovered that I had the systemic infection candidiasis, which had compromised my digestive, immune and endocrine systems. One tool I used to heal myself was food combining, a revolutionary approach to eating that I learned about in my research. I then worked with Leonard Smith, MD, medical adviser for the University of Miami’s department of integrative medicine, to understand the science behind it.

Food combining focuses on the way you combine foods at each meal—the animal and vegetable proteins…the fats and oils…the starches…and the fruits and vegetables.

Some food combinations are easy to digest. They are quickly broken down, and the nutrients are thoroughly assimilated. Other combinations can be a digestive disaster, producing gas, bloating and other gastrointestinal (GI) discomforts.


Proper food combining may mean that you no longer need to take medications for digestive problems. Food combining also has benefits for your overall health. Here are the benefits you can expect…

Less bloating, stomach pain and gas, because well-digested foods don’t ferment in the intestines, producing those symptoms.

Less heartburn, because digestion is more efficient.

Better absorption of nutrients and, therefore, a better-nourished body and more effective immune system.

Younger looks, because poorly digested foods generate toxins that contribute to a dull complexion and a bloated body.

Weight control, because properly combined foods are assimilated and metabolized better, reducing the likelihood that they will be stored as fat.


The simple rules for food combining might not seem so simple at first. Don’t expect to master them in a day.

My suggestion: Place the food-combining chart below on your refrigerator door. Or you can print out a copy at Then try food combining for a little while—even just three or four days. If you have digestive ills, you likely will find the benefits are immediate—gas, bloating and stomachaches will vanish.

Rule #1: Eat animal protein with nonstarchy vegetables. When you eat animal-protein foods (eggs, fish, poultry, red meat) with a starchy vegetable or grain (examples include artichokes, carrots, corn, oats, peas, potatoes, rice, wheat, winter squash and yams), your salivary glands secrete ptyalin and amylase that break down the grains and starchy vegetables into simple sugars. Coating your protein foods with sugars creates compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are linked to inflammation and immune reactions that can lead to diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. When eaten together, animal-protein and starchy foods also are much more difficult to digest.

Instead, eat animal protein with nonstarchy vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, garlic, green beans, leafy greens (such as kale and collards), onions, sea vegetables (such as wakame and dulse) and zucchini.

Good combination: Fish with stir-fried nonstarchy vegetables.

Combinations to avoid: Chicken and rice. Pasta with meat sauce.

Rule #2: Eat grains and grainlike seeds (amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa) with starchy and/or nonstarchy vegetables. This combination is the easiest of all meals to digest. I prefer grainlike seeds over grains because they are gluten-free and higher in protein.

Good combinations: Brown rice stir-fried with onions, garlic, broccoli, yellow squash and red pepper. A potato, onion and quinoa sauté, with a leafy green salad.

Combinations to avoid: Beef hamburger on a wheat bun. Pizza with pepperoni.

Rule #3: Consume fruit and fruit juices alone and at least 30 minutes before any meal…or combined with a protein-fat (avocados, dairy products, nuts and seeds). Or eat acidic fruit combined with leafy green salads. Fruit and fruit juices pass through the digestive tract very quickly. When they are consumed with slower-digesting animal-protein foods, starchy vegetables or grains, they become trapped in the digestive tract with those foods and cause fermentation. You quickly experience bloating and gas.

Protein-fats combine well with acidic fruits. In food combining, acidic fruits include citrus fruits and juice, berries, cherries and pineapples.

Good combinations: Blueberries in yogurt with walnuts. Grapefruit with avocado on lettuce. Tomato in a leafy green salad.

Combinations to avoid: Traditional breakfast of eggs, orange juice and toast. Strawberries on top of cereal.

Rule #4: Combine fats and oils with any food. Nature created fats in such a way that they go with just about everything we eat.

Good combinations: Salmon in a leafy green salad with an extra-virgin olive oil dressing. Baked potato or acorn squash with butter. Quinoa tabouli salad with an extra-virgin olive oil dressing.

Rule #5: Combine protein-fats with protein-fats. Protein-fats are easily digested when eaten together.

Good combinations: Leafy greens with grated cheese, chopped walnuts and a dressing made with yogurt. A smoothie made in a blender with cucumber, celery, zucchini, yogurt, almonds and avocado.

Combinations to avoid: Grilled cheese sandwich. Yogurt with cereal.

Rule #6: Combine beans with nonstarchy vegetables. Beans are a protein-starch (a food that is predominantly starchy but also has naturally occurring protein), and because protein and starches don’t combine well together, beans are difficult to digest, producing a lot of gas. Combining them with easily digested foods such as nonstarchy vegetables works best.

Good combinations: Black beans with onions, garlic, celery and kale. Garbanzo beans in a leafy green salad.

Combination to avoid: Beans and rice.

Source: Donna Gates, a nutritional consultant and lecturer and author of the best-selling book The Body Ecology Diet: Rediscovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity. She worked with Leonard Smith, MD, medical adviser for the University of Miami’s department of integrative medicine, on The Baby Boomer Diet: Body Ecology’s Guide to Growing Younger (Hay House).


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: