Read chapter 6 in my ebook (free) that also breaks down the role of insulin and weight loss. The Ideal Body Fat Loss Guide: Inside Secrets of a Personal Trainer
Do you love fast food burgers, baked goods, and delivery pizza? If so, you are eating processed foods. When you take a bite out of an apple or eat a banana, you are enjoying a food that is free of processing (as long as the apple is not dipped in caramel, and the banana is not found in a banana cream pie). As far as your health is concerned, you should limit the amount of processed foods you eat.
What Is a Processed Food?
The International Food Information Council Foundation defines processed food as:
“Any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it’s
available for us to eat.”
In that definition, simply chopping up vegetables before you eat them qualifies for the processed definition. In most cases, however, processed food means “any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such as canning, cooking, freezing, dehydration, or milling.”
That is the definition from the United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. So simply by cooking your food, you are technically processing it. The more processes your food goes through before it gets into your body, the less nutrition it provides.
What Makes Processed Food so Bad?
Looking at the above definitions, you can see that foods you eat at restaurants, baked goods, sodas and many of the “ready-to-eat” meals you purchase at your grocer are heavily processed. Food manufacturers use refined sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, preservatives, steroids, trans fats and other unhealthy additives to extend the shelf life of the products they sell.
Unfortunately, most heavily processed foods deliver little nutritional value.
The more things you do to a natural ingredient like a fruit or vegetable, the further you strip it of its nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. When all the nutritionally poor ingredients mentioned above are added to that product, it becomes even unhealthier still.
This leads to what are called “empty calories”. That is why you can eat an overabundance of processed foods, and your brain will still send a hunger signal. It notices you have received little or no nutrition, so it tells you to eat more. Since processed food in many cases is extremely addictive, you reach out for the nutrient-poor food you just ate, and create an unhealthy eating cycle.
Chemicals like sugar and salt, found in extremely high quantities in processed foods, lead to heart conditions, overweight and obesity, diabetes and other health problems. This is the danger of addictive processed foods. They deliver next to no nutrition, and trade naturally healthy ingredients with unhealthy chemicals and compounds. Eat more raw foods, fruits, and vegetables with little processing and you can avoid the unhealthy negative side effects of processed food.
Vinegar has been used for many centuries as a household item as well as for cooking. It has been used as a folk remedy, with many claims as to its health benefits.
Apple cider vinegar is believed to have especially healthful properties. Here are some known benefits of apple cider vinegar that have been supported by science:
• It is high in acetic acid. Vinegar is made in a way similar to alcohol. You take apple cider or crushed apples and add yeast to it. The yeast ferments the apple cider into alcohol. Then bacteria are added to the alcohol so that the alcohol is fermented even further—down to make acetic acid, which is the main component of apple cider vinegar.
• It contains proteins, friendly bacteria, and proteins, which provides its health benefits. It is low in calories, containing about three calories a tablespoon. It contains a bit of potassium along with large amounts of acetic acid.
• It is an antimicrobial agent. Apple cider vinegar can help decrease the bacterial count in some body areas. It has uses in the treatment of ear infections, lice, warts, and nail fungus, where it acts as a disinfectant. It was used thousands of years ago by Hippocrates, who used it to clean dirty wounds. It is used as a food preservative because it inhibits the growth of E. coli in food. It may be beneficial in killing the bacteria that causes acne.
• It lowers blood sugar levels. Apple cider vinegar is good for diabetics; especially type 2 diabetics with insulin resistance. It may be useful even in non-diabetics who suffer from high blood sugar on occasion by keeping blood sugars stable. Vinegar helps insulin work better by improving insulin sensitivity by 19-34 percent after eating a meal high in carbohydrates.
• It also reduces blood glucose levels by 34 percent after taking in a 50-gram load of white bread. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, when taken prior to going to bed, can lower the fasting blood glucose level by four percent.
It has been shown in many other studies to increase the sensitivity of insulin in the system after meals. It is believed to be helpful in people who have pre-diabetes, diabetes, or elevated blood glucose levels for other reasons. Be sure to check with your physician if you are taking it along with medications to lower blood sugar.
• Weight loss. Apple cider vinegar decreases blood glucose levels, which means you, take in fewer calories as sugar. It can increase your satiety so that you don’t take in as many calories and can actually lose weight just by taking in the vinegar with meals. You can feel fuller after taking apple cider vinegar with a high carbohydrate meal so that you eat about 200 to 275 calories less than you otherwise would. This turns into actual weight loss over a period of time.
One study showed that drinking apple cider vinegar every day lessened the waist circumference, the amount of belly fat, and the triglyceride level in obese people. The bottom line is that taking in apple cider vinegar can bring about satiety so you eat less and therefore lose weight.
• Heart health. Heart disease is a leading cause of death in developed countries. It turns out that drinking apple cider vinegar can lessen the triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Apple cider vinegar also contains chlorogenic acid, which is a known antioxidant. This prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which ultimately leads to a reduction in heart disease.
It also reduces blood pressure in animal studies. Women who ate vinegar-containing salad dressings had a decreased risk of heart disease. Clearly, more human studies need to be done to see the full effect of apple cider vinegar on heart health.
• Cancer protection. There have been some studies indicating that vinegar has the capability to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. These studies have all been done in vitro (in a test tube) or in rats but not in human studies.
The studies done were performed on rice vinegar and not on apple cider vinegar. It is believed that the drinking of vinegar between the Chinese lessened the risk of esophageal cancer but increased the risk of bladder cancer. Clearly, more studies need to be performed to see the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar on humans who are at risk for cancer.
Dosage and Side Effects
There are some claims on the internet that apple cider vinegar has other health benefits but this hasn’t been proven in research studies. While this is folklore, it may someday hold true in scientific studies. It is certainly safe to take with no side effects when taken in moderate amounts.
It is best to take your apple cider vinegar as part of something you cook but it can be diluted with water and taken as a drink.
A common dose of apple cider vinegar is about 1-2 tsp to 1-2 tbsp. each day. You shouldn’t go above that level because there may be side effects like upset stomach.
- Protein digests slowly to keep you full longer so you eat less
- Protein fuels fat burning
- Feeds and preserves lean muscle mass, which can be lost during weight loss and which increases metabolism even when the body is at rest
- Promotes muscle growth and repair
- Has a thermic effect of food (TEF) or the energy used to digest food, so you burn more calories digesting protein than you do when digesting carbs or fats.
- Studies show protein helps reduce out of control cravings and late night snacking
Lean Red Meat
Eye Of Round Roast Or Steak
Sirloin Tip Side Steak
Top & Bottom Round Roast And Steak
Top Sirloin Steak
10% Or 15% Fat Ground Beef
Skinless Chicken Breast
Lower Fat Pork Chop Cuts
Tuna (fresh and canned)
Salmon (Atlantic and Sockeye have the most)
Low or Nonfat Greek Yogurt
Low or Nonfat Cottage Cheese
Low Sodium Skim Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan & Romano Cheese
1% or 2% Milk
White beans ñ most protein of all beans
Nuts & Nut Butters
Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
Sunflower Seeds (Dry Roasted)
Soy Nut Butter
Whey Protein Powder – add to smoothies as meal replacement