Cucumber…A Nutritional Powerhouse

Chances are slim that this veggie would catch your eye in the grocery stores…

Perhaps because of its not-so-attractive shape, or little is known about it–they don’t get the publicity they deserve!

Maybe you cannot even tell whether it’s a veggie or a fruit!

But you know what…

The cucumber boasts an impressive nutritional profile. In fact, it can even replace your daily multivitamin.

Cucumber or Cucumis sativus is in the same family as melon and squash…

Commercially, cucumbers are divided into two groupsslicing and pickling. Slicing cucumbers generally have thick skin and are larger than the thin skinned pickling cucumbers.

And for a long time, this fantastic veggie had escaped the eyes of researchers, to the extent of being upstaged by the cruciferous crew (broccoli, cabbage, etc) until it was found to contain 3 beneficial lignans (lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol)…

Which have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as several different types of cancer, including ovarian, prostrate, breast, and uterine.

And you’d be pleased to know that cucumber is a super-food containing almost all your daily vitamins requirements, including B vitamins, vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K1, minerals like copper, potassium, and manganese. You only need to eat one cucumber daily in place of a multivitamin.

And you can count on them for an energy kick. Rather than crave that third cup of coffee, chomp on a cucumber instead. The carbs and B vitamins in cucumber deliver an energy boost that can keep you going for hours.

Sometimes you can over-imbibe, but your morning doesn’t have to be a nightmare when you have cucumber around!

Eat a cucumber right before bed and your hangover agony will ease off.

Cucumber contains a mix of B vitamins, sugar and electrolytes that keep you hydrated and feeling great after a hard drink.

And when you find yourself craving sugar, snack on cucumber slices rather than reaching out for sugary snacks. Sprinkle the slices with sea salt and a little pepper for optimal enjoyment.

Even better, cucumbers will come to your rescue if and when stressed. Just boil a few slices of cucumber and breathe in the steam.

The aroma of cucumber can promote feelings of calm and relieve anxiety. For best relief, add a few drops of anxiety-busting lavender essential oil into the mixture.

Not only that…

If you suffer from bad breath (halitosis), you may want to consider eating cucumber instead of looking for sugary minty gums.

The phytochemicals in cucumbers kill bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities. Eat a slice after each cup of coffee or meal for breath that stays fresh all day long.

And there is more…

You may experience constipation as a result of stress, medication, or even eating a highly processed diet.

Cucumbers are high in fiber, which can give you regular bowel movement and keep your digestive system working at optimal speed.

Talk of detox…and cucumber is there for you!

Besides containing a lot of water that can keep your body hydrated, cucumbers also load detoxifying properties.

A 2013 study published in the journal Fitoterapia found that cucumber has a “cleansing effect” within the body by removing accumulated pockets of old waste materials and chemical toxins.

Eat cucumber daily to keep toxins at bay.

And that’s not all…

The blend of nutrients in cucumber make it ideal for boosting the immune system and treating common viral infections like colds and flu.

The anti-inflammatory properties in cucumber fight off the inflammation of the nose and throat when you have a cold.

Furthermore, high levels of potassium in cucumber help regulate blood pressure by boosting electrolyte levels and mitigating the lethal effects of sodium overconsumption.

Ever heard of free radicals?

Cucumber will help you fend them off. Just like melon, cucumbers are rich in antioxidants, which prevent the spread of free radical damage that can lead to premature aging and cancer.

Do you have puffy eyes?

The nutrients in cucumber make it effective at relieving inflammation, both internally and externally. Place fresh cucumber directly onto the swollen areas to reduce puffiness almost instantly.

And when you’re feeling bloated, eat a cucumber. The high water content and potassium in cucumber make it a mild diuretic that can fight bloating.

Your bones will benefit from cucumber, too.

Cucumber is high in magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K1–all essential for bone health. Eat cucumber regularly if you’re skimping on meat or dairy diet.

Are you experiencing poor memory?

Cucumber is naturally  high in copper, which is essential for brain function.

A 2014 study published in the journal Aging Cell found that the chemical known as festin, which is commonly found in cucumber, is effective at fighting the damage inflicted by the Alzheimer’s disease.

And if your skin is looking old and tired, don’t worry…

You’ll see cucumber at the spa…and at first, it would seem strange to you! But it’s there for a good reason…

Cucumber contains compounds that refresh and rejuvenate your skin from both the inside out and outside in.

Create a pulpy mixture of cucumber, add a few drops of lemon juice and apply directly to your face for a mask that’s both healthy and refreshing.

And when you want to turn heads with luscious, strong, and shiny hair, you can count on cucumber…

It contains silicone, sulphur, phosphorous, and calcium–all necessary for nourishing your hair.

Eating cucumber regularly can reduce hair loss and strengthen hair shafts.

The compounds in cucumber also help hair look shiny and healthy. Massage cucumber juice into your hair after bath and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing away with lukewarm water.

And there you’re…

If you’ve hitherto despised cucumber and never included it in your fresh produce shopping list, it has now dawned on you what you’ve been missing!

I have done my part–putting the medicinal and nutritional facts bare–right in front of your eyes.

Embrace this superfood and see what happens!

Spread the good word religiously.

Many thanks for finding time to read the article.

Stay tuned…


Fruits

how healthy are your fruits?

Fruits have for a long time been touted as some of the healthiest food choices you can ever make…

And for good reasons…

They load the most powerful antioxidant properties on earth…

And you know what antioxidants mean for your health!

But there’s still a lingering question…begging for an answer…

Which fruits should you indulge? Are they all the same?

Definitely not!

Different fruits have varied ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)…

Meaning varied antioxidant content levels…

And the higher the ORAC, the better the fruit for your health.

So, which fruits are the best for you given that many contain fairly high amounts of sugar?

Nutritionists place a higher premium on some fruit types than others…

Berries top the list, though this remains arguable.

Is there science to back the position that berries are some of the best fruits you can ever indulge, notwithstanding all the misinformation and confusion flying around?

The simple answer is “Yes“.

Berries pack quite a wallop when it comes to antioxidants and polyphenols.

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and even raspberries all get a thumbs up…

And cherries add to the list as well.

You’re, however, strongly advised to go for organic with these fruits.

The above choices stand out when compared to other fruits. They’re fairly low in sugar, but high in nutrients you can indulge as part of healthful recipes.

It’s worth noting that some of the fruits we consume regularly are not quite as healthy as they’re hyped.

More often than not, deeply vested commercial interests tend to get between our health and the food choices we find on the market…

But even then, some lowly rated fruit types are still ideal…

And here are some:

The mighty bananas are some of the most common fruits nearly everywhere on earth, even though, very high in sugar, which is a potential problem for some.

The average person consumes over 25 pounds of bananas every year.

Bananas are actually the fourth most popular agricultural product in the world.

Notably, fruits with high sugar content can raise your blood sugar, potentially leading to many health complications, including diabetes.

Bananas contain almost an entire day’s worth of sugar, yet very few vitamins and minerals. This is the exact opposite of an ideal fruit.

We want fruits that are nutrient-dense, fairly low in sugar–especially fructose, and high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

But even with all this, bananas are still a pretty good overall choice, since you’re still eating a fruit, anyway!

Just don’t load up on bananas if you have blood sugar issues, or are highly sedentary.

And while you can, try to replace some bananas with a good serving of berries.

What about apples?

Do they really hold up to the old “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” credo?

Unfortunately, available data does not quite support that hypothesis. In fact, apples are the absolute last in terms of nutrient density!

I know this is contrary to what you’ve been told, but it’s a nutritional scientific fact.

Apples are also high in sugar–19 grams in less than 100 calories!

This is close to an entire day’s worth of sugar requirement.

Given all this, it’s apparent that apples do not hold up to daily consumption, either.

But remember, semi-occasional indulgence of apples won’t send you downhill…and they’re still a whole, fibrous fruit.

Apples are certainly a better choice than soda. Vitamin C, fiber, and quercetin are major reasons why you’d want to eat apples regularly…

But you can also find such nutrients in better choices like berries.

An apple a week” might be a slightly better rule to follow.

And now…

Fruit juices enter the scene…

How healthy are they? Of course, their popularity is not in question.

Nearly everyone drinks fruit juice on a weekly basis, despite the fact that it’s eerily similar to soda in many respects.

People don’t seem to realize that these juices are stripped of all fiber.

Regular excessive consumption of juice is metabolically unhealthy, and less than ideal for your teeth.

Fruit juices are a common misstep in an otherwise healthy diet plan, and nearly everyone is guilty of indulging.

The good news is that if you keep your consumption in check, and avoid indulging them regularly, you can still reap some inherent health benefits.

Beware…advertisers will not relent in their campaigns to portray fruit juices as healthy, despite their high fructose content, which is bad for your liver.

Expert advice is…

Ignore the screaming “hard sell” ads, shun the juices, and eat some berries and other whole fruits…

And in the end, your brain, liver, and whole body will reward you for it.

If you’re looking to optimize your diet and keep your sugar intake low–something critically important in today’s over-sweetened world–fruit intake should be kept fairly low.

On the flipside, vegetables are largely more nutrient-dense, much lower in sugar content, and also lower in calories

Not to mention that they also contain more fiber.

So, on a balancing scale, indulge more vegetables than most common fruits, which do not get a free pass…

The natural sugar they contain makes them just as bad as soda

And they’re not “super-foods” as you’ve been misled to believe.

Are athletes an exception?

While those who are active certainly require more carbohydrates in their diet, they still need to keep daily sugar intake fairly low, as it’s not good for the teeth and liver.

The only time this guideline can be breached is right around the workout window, when your body can utilize some extra sugar to replenish glycogen stores.

But this doesn’t mean going hog wild!

It simply means athletes can get away with a little more fruit in their diet on a regular basis.

Keep in mind that sugar from soda is not really any different than fruit sugar!

There’s a misconception out there, thanks to sustained misinformation, that sugar in fruit juices is better and harmless. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Sugar is just sugar…

And any in excess amounts will visit the same debilitating health consequences on you!

The bottom line is…

Substitute most common fruits with dark berries as a healthier option, and overall, keep fruit intake fairly low.

The vast majority of your carbs should come from starch-rich sources like sweet potatoes, coupled with lots of vegetables for optimal health.

The ultimate fruit choices are organic berries and cherries

And suffice it to say that the extra price tag is worth it.

Once in a while, you can moderately indulge apples, bananas, mangos, watermelon, papayas, and others, just to vary your mix.

And…

There you are…

Share your thoughts about fruits.

Thank you for your patronage.

Stay tuned…


bean-debate

To Eat Beans or Not?

There’s a lot of conflicting information as to whether or not beans are healthy…

And certainly, when you think of junk food, beans probably aren’t the first name that comes to your mind.

Perhaps flour and sugar will, but beans?

They are supposed to be healthy, right?

Among mainstream nutritionists, they’re widely accepted as a great source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients.

Beans are often touted as a healthy food–supposedly even better than animal products in your diet.

But the opinions on beans within the Paleo community are murky and deeply divided. A consensus might be elusive to reach, but there are medical facts to consider.

Some thought leaders argue that beans and other legumes are unhealthy and shouldn’t have a place in your diet

Yet others don’t see a problem with having them every now and then, as long as they’re prepared properly.

Then, there are plenty of people who say that beans fall into the same “gray area” as wine, dark chocolate, and dairy products.

As some Paleo thought leaders point out, beans certainly aren’t the worst thing you could put on your plate.

Their nutritional profile varies, depending on the specific type of beans…

One cup of boiled black beans contains:

  • 227 calories
  • 15 grams of protein
  • 41 grams of carbohydrates
  • 15 grams of dietary fiber, and…
  • A decent amount of nutrients e.g. folate, magnesium, and manganese.

These numbers are noteworthy…

Beans are substantially more nutritious than indulging something like flour or sugar. Again, they’re inexpensive.

But meat and fresh produce are a lot better for you.

Beans load less nutrients than foods like meat, eggs, vegetables, and seafood

And you can get a lot more nutritional value for your buck if you go for high quality animal products and produce instead.

By sticking to the most nutrient-dense foods, you can consume the same amount of calories as beans, but with much fewer carbohydrates and more nutrients.

And nutrient-density isn’t the only thing to consider…

One of the most common arguments against beans is that they contain various “anti-nutrients” that can actually harm your body.

These anti-nutrients help protect the beans from being eaten by predators, such as insects, rodents, birds, and other pests.

They also keep the beans’ reproductive system intact.

The trouble is when these anti-nutrients get into your body…even though they usually don’t cause issues when eaten in moderate amounts.

But if you’re eating beans regularly, you might end up with side effects such as inflammation, leaky gut, and autoimmune disorders.

The Most Common Anti-Nutrients Found in Beans

  • Phytates–also known as phytic acids, these anti-nutrients bind to minerals in your food, preventing your body from absorbing them. So when you eat them in high doses, you might end up with mineral deficiencies.

Phytates mess with your digestion and prevent the absorption of minerals, besides interfering with the enzymes your body uses to digest food, including pepsin, which helps break down proteins in your gut.

Again, the danger is in the dose. A small amount of phytic acid every now and then will not hurt you…and you’ll actually find more of it in nuts, which is a Paleo-approved food…

But you’ll run into problems if you make phytate-rich foods your dietary staple.

  • Lectins–these are a form of protein found in beans and various other foods, and they can bind to cell membranes and cause serious problems.

They can damage your intestinal wall and make their way into your bloodstream. The tiny holes they leave behind create even more issues later on, as toxins and bacteria in your gut lining–your body’s defense against harmful substances–break through and interact with your immune system…

And if that happens regularly, it can lead to chronic inflammation, digestive problems (leaky gut), and autoimmune conditions.

Lectins damage intestinal walls, making it easy for toxins and bacteria to interact with your immune system. You can, however, take comfort in that cooking beans removes a good amount of the lectins.

The specific amount depends on the type of beans and people tolerate them differently.

  • Saponins–this anti-nutrient is found in almost every legume and can punch holes in membranes that line the exterior of cells.

Like lectins, saponins can damage the cells that line your intestines and get into your bloodstream. This damage makes your intestines more permeable, opening the door for other toxins and bacteria to get into your bloodstream.

Too many saponins may lead to chronic inflammation, digestive problems, and ultimately, autoimmune conditions.

Notably, some people can eat beans occasionally without experiencing any negative effects, while for others, it can lead to serious digestive issues, including bloating and heartburn.

Why is this so?

Beans are fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols (FODMAP), meaning they contain a specific type of carbohydrate that’s hard for a lot of people to handle.

But it’s not all doom and gloom…

Preparing your beans in certain ways can remove anti-nutrients and make them less harmful.

How to Remove Anti-nutrients from Beans

  • Soaking–putting beans in water for a few hours can help reduce, or eliminate their phytic acid content.

One study found that soaking for 18 hours at room temperature i.e. 70 degrees fahrenheit for 3 hours eliminated between 30-70% of the phytic acid content, depending on the type of legume.

Soaking can also help decrease lectin content.

  • Sprouting–this process has the biggest impact on phytates. The typical reduction ranges from 25-75%, with a lot depending on the legume type.

One study found that sprouting black-eyed beans resulted in a 75% decrease in phytic acid.

Sprouting only has a tiny effect on reducing saponins, if any at all.

A 1996 study found that sprouting both chickpeas and lentils for six days resulted in “no significant changes” in saponin content.

  • Fermenting–this takes longer than other preparation methods, but helps to significantly degrade phytate and lectin content.

One study found that fermenting kidney beans reduced their phytates by 85%, with a 77% reduction for soybeans and 69% decrease for mung beans.

Fermenting beans not only reduces anti-nutrients, it also increases the amount of good nutrients.

A 2014 study found that fermentation of mung beans for 72 hours could decrease their saponin content, but increase other nutrients.

  • Heating–this method removes lectin.

One study found that cooking beans for as little as 15 minutes almost completely removed the lectin content.

However, it’s important to point out that heating doesn’t effectively reduce saponins.

One study found that 85-100% of the original saponin levels remained even after boiling legumes for 2 hours.

Are there Substitutes for Beans?

Eating beans every once in a while probably will not hurt you–as long as they’re prepared to remove most of the anti-nutrients.

The big exceptions are if you’re dealing with any other serious digestive conditions, or if eating beans causes you gas, bloating, or heartburn.

Listen to your body and give it what it needs. Ditch the beans if they’re causing you trouble…

After all, there is no compelling reasons why you must eat beans. You can find alternative nutrients elsewhere in a balanced Paleo diet–like animal products and vegetables.

You’re not likely to find beans that have been thoroughly prepared at restaurants. So it’s not worth ordering them.

Instead, try swapping beans with the Paleo-friendly foods below:

  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut Squash

If, however, beans don’t give you any problems, you can indulge them in moderation every once in a while, so you don’t crowd out more nutrient-dense choices.

By and large, beans will probably remain a hot-button topic in the Paleo fraternity for a while.

They’re not junk food as long as they’re prepared properly and eaten in moderation.

If you’ve digestive problems, you can indulge animal protein and produce, with fruits and nuts thrown in for good measure.

Remember, at the end of the day, it’s really your choice…

Go for what you like provided it’s healthy.

I strongly believe this article will help you decide from a point of authoritative knowledge, whether or not to indulge beans…

And you’d do a great deal of good to share it within your circles to empower others do the same.

Thank you for your precious time well-spent here.

Dare you not tune off…


Vegetable oil

the vegetable oil myth

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Consistency breeds belief!

When you’re consistently treated to the same piece of information, over time, you’ll believe it to be true!

And this is exactly what has happened to humanity insofar as vegetable oils are concerned…

They’ve been touted as heart-friendly, and this message has sunk far deeper into the mind of the consumer…

And it’s almost practically impossible to reverse it and have the consumer believe otherwise.

The vegetable oil myth has been around for long…

And this article is an attempt from the nutritional science, to debunk the myth and present a different set of facts.

Take a dive and unravel the conundrum for yourself…

Back in the 60s and 70s, there was a new so-called health breakthrough that dictated that “saturated fats” should be crossed off the list of foods we should eat…

Steaks and hamburgers were bad news, and in order to fight heart disease, we were told to avoid all animal fats or saturated fats, and only use vegetable oils like Crisco, soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oils.

Everyone started using margarine made from partially hydrogenated seed oils…and vegetable oil for cooking, frying, baking, and so on.

And there was Crisco–a baking wonder…

Doctors told patients who had heart attacks to avoid all saturated fats, meat, eggs, and butter; and eat only chicken and fish, vegetable oils and margarine.

Foods and cooking oils that were vegetable-based were advertised as heart-healthy, including Crisco.

But now…everything seems to have changed…

Many health experts are now discovering that vegetable oils are significantly worse for us than sugar and grains.

Vegetable seed oils are considered to be one of the primary causes of many inflammatory degenerative diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and even cancer.

And it’s sad that many people who followed the advice of only indulging vegetable-based oils died too early–way ahead of their time!

This dietary change has likely killed millions of people prematurely and still continues to do so because most people just don’t understand this concept, or blindly buy into the mainstream medical paradigm.

However, there exists a huge disconnect between what nutrition science has established and what official dietary guidelines tell us to do.

The nutrition scientists say that vegetable oils, which are a type of Omega 6 fatty acids, are extremely toxic because they’re connected to many chronic diseases.

Meanwhile, governments and their predatory systems tell us that consumption of these oils is safe and sound.

Many people including health experts believe Omega 6 fats are considered an essential fat that’s necessary in our diets.

But, the fact is…Omega 6 fats, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs,, are made up primarily of linoleic acid, which is actually very harmful to your health.

Omega 6 fats have increased in the human diet from only about 2-3 grams a day (150 years ago), to over 30-40 grams a day in modern times…

And they now make up almost 20% of our diets.

This huge jump in Omega 6 fats, coupled with the toxic end-products from these fats, cause damage that many scientists now believe to be one of the primary causes behind the massive increase in chronic diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

By simply lowering your Omega 6 intake to what your great grandparents used to eat, you may be able to essentially eliminate most chronic diseases that are currently plaguing humanity.

Total consumption of Omega 6 fats–regardless of the ratio is harmful to your health.

Much has been discussed about sugar and processed grains as being incredibly harmful, but little is actually known about the dangers of processed Omega 6 fatty acids in vegetable oils…

Which are a fairly new addition to our diet, replacing the traditional fats that have been used for hundreds of years, such as ghee, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and lard.

And…how are industrial seed oils made?

While these vegetable oils are labeled as natural, they’re most definitely not natural. You can search the production process online and watch for yourself…and I guarantee you’ll not find it an appetizing operation.

Soy, corn, cotton, safflower, and rapeseed (for canola oil) plants are grown for vegetable oils, using mostly GMO technology, coupled with heavy spraying with pesticides and other toxic chemicals.

Once the plants are mature, the seeds are harvested and heated to extremely high temperatures, oxidizing the unsaturated fatty acids and creating harmful byproducts.

The seeds are then processed with a petroleum-based chemical solvent,such as hexane, which maximizes the oil that can be extracted from the seeds.

More industrial chemicals are added to deodorize the terrible smell that this chemically extracted oil contains. The deodorizing process yields trans fats–a form of unsaturated fat created during hydrogenation–converting liquid vegetable oils into semi-solid fat.

Even worse, the oil has more chemicals added to it to improve the color. All of this very Un-natural processing creates a high calorie, nutrient-poor, inflammatory GMO oil with leftover pesticides, chemical residue, trans fats, and oxidized byproducts.

Because the fatty acids in industrial seed oils are so unstable, synthetic antioxidants are added to help prevent oxidation and rancidity–the spoilage of food due to exposure to air, light, moisture, or bacterial action, resulting in unpleasant stale smell, taste, and color.

However, these synthetic antioxidants are not healthy, either. Synthetic antioxidants such as BHA, BHT, and TBHQ have endocrine-disrupting, carcinogenic, and immune-disrupting effects.

Additionally, TBHQ has been found to trigger an IgE (Immunoglobulin E) response to some foods, which may promote the development of food allergies.

The History of Vegetable Oils

Before the turn of the century, two soap makers named William Procter and James Gamble created a new type of soap from cottonseed oil, which at the time, was considered a toxic waste product that no one wanted.

Prior to this, soap was usually made from lard or beef tallow. The breakthrough came after it was discovered that when cottonseed oil was chemically altered and hydrogenated, it became a solid fat that resembled lard (a.k.a. Crisco)…

And a new market for vegetable ‘lard‘ was created.

Soybeans became a popular crop in the United States in the 1930s, and soon much of it was made into soybean oil. Canola, corn, and safflower oil followed soon after.

These cooking oils were very popular due to an excellent marketing and advertising campaign.

In the 1940’s, the newly formed American Heart Association received a large donation from Procter & Gamble to endorse vegetable oils as a healthier alternative to animal fats.

The icing of the cake, however, was when scientist Ancel keys presented his flawed “lipid hypothesis”, suggesting a link between animal fat, cholesterol, and heart disease.

Keys, of course pushed vegetable oils as the preferable choice to use, and the medical society and the public soon followed suit.

As we now know, the hypothesis was flawed because he cherry-picked the studies he wanted to use, and his ties to sugar industry helped to further exaggerate his claims against saturated fat…and soon, the entire industrialized world was using vegetable oils and demonizing animal fats.

How Are Different Types of Fats Classified?

In this section, we pay special attention to Omega 6 fats, linoleic acid, and PUFa’s…all of which are components found in industrial seed vegetable oils.

Other healthier choices of oils include monounsaturated fats like olive oil and saturated fats such as lard, butter and coconut oil. Fish oil contains healthy Omega 3 fats, including DHA and EPA.

The topic of fats is somewhat complicated, but generally, fats are divided up into the following groups:

  • Saturated fats–these have a full complement of hydrogen atom. Examples include coconut oil and animal fats like butter, beef tallow, and lard.
  • Monounsaturated fats- these have a single hydrogen atom missing. Examples include olive oil, avocado oil, and nuts.
  • Polyunsaturated fats or PUFA’s–these have multiple hydrogen atoms missing. Examples include vegetable oils like canola, soybean, corn, sunflower, cottonseed, safflower, etc.

These missing hydrogen atoms make PUFA’s much more likely to oxidize, and the fat breaks down into harmful metabolites. Omega 6 vegetable oils contain a large portion of linoleic acid.

OXLAMS (Oxidized Linoleic Acid Metabolites) have a profoundly negative impact on human health. OXLAMS are behind the oxidation in your blood vessels or plaque build-up that causes heart attacks.

Note: Don’t confuse linoleic acid (LA) with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is found mostly in grass-fed beef, while linoleic acid is found in vegetable seed oils.

Many people think CLA and LA are interchangeable, but they’re definitely not. CLA has many potent health benefits and will not cause any of the problems that LA does.

The truth is…the total amount of Omega 6 you consume is detrimental to your health and as long as you eat fish 2-3 times a week, you’ll get plenty of Omega 3.

So, you mostly want to pay close attention to your Omega 6 (PUFA”s), and linoleic acid intake.

Paul Saladino, the author of “The Carnivore Code” also discusses a lot of research that shows that it’s the ratio of saturated fat to Omega 6’s that he thinks is actually more important than the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio, with higher saturated fat being protective, and higher polyunsaturated Omega 6 fats causing the majority of health problems.

Why are seed oils bad for you?

First and foremost, our bodies do not recognize highly processed industrial seed oils. As Chris Kresser states, industrial seed oils are an “evolutionary mismatch.”

Up until 1900’s, humans never consumed industrial seed oil. However, beginning in the 70’s, the average consumption of just soybean went from 4 pounds per person a year to 26 pounds per person! Consequently, these high levels of industrial seed oil consumption are ruining your health.

The primary reason seed oils are so detrimental is that they contain large amounts of linoleic acid. When we talk about Omega 6 fats, we are referring primarily to the linoleic acid, or LA in those fats.

LA makes up about 60%-80% of Omega 6 and it’s the primary ingredient that appears to spark the disease process.

Seed Oils, Covid-19, and ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome)

Seed oils are suspected to play a role in the development of ARDS, especially in Covid-19. One of the primary causes of death in Covid-19 patients is the development of acute respiratory distress, often brought about by an overreaction of cytokines–an inflammatory immune reaction of the body.

One of the key toxins that contributes to the development of symptoms of ARDS is called leukotoxin…which is made from linoleic acid by the white blood cells to kill off pathogens.

However, leukotoxin is toxic to humans as well as pathogens. Leukotoxin is potent enough to kill animals if you inject large amounts of it.

ARDS can be triggered by different pathogens, including viruses like influenza or pneumonia. You can also get ARDS from smoke inhalation or other toxic substances in the atmosphere as well.

Doctors started noticing that patients being fed liquid diets in the hospitals (which are high in seed oils, such as soybean oil) were developing ARDS…

And the fatality rate from ARDS is generally 30% -60%.

According to one researcher, Tucker Goodrich, feeding on seed oil based liquid diets increases the rate of ARDS in patients.

Seed Oils and Cancers

Each of the cells in your body contains a tiny powerhouse that generates energy, called the mitochondria. On this cellular level, excess linoleic acid consumption impedes the body’s ability to generate energy in your mitochondria.

Energy is necessary for all body functions and processes…

And depending on the body part, the cells’ mitochondria work best with specific types of fatty acids. These fatty acids can include LA, palmitic acid (another type of fat), or the fatty acid components from fish oil, such as DHA and EPA.

The appropriate fatty acids in cells can be compared to a cellular alarm system that triggers cell death when something goes awry within the cell.

If these fatty acids are full of linoleic acid, they’re unable to signal and the damaged cells are not killed. As a result, dysfunctional cells continue to grow, and they can turn into cancerous cells.

Animals typically develop cancer once the Omega 6 fats in their diet reach 4%-10% of their energy intake, depending on the cancer type. In fact, scientists can actually induce cancer in animal models by feeding them with seed oils.

Most humans today are eating 15%-20% of their calories from Omega 6. So you can see there is likely a correlation. Our ancestral human diet is believed to have been made up of only about 2% -3% Omega 6 fats

And when intake increases above that level, you’ll see significant health problems beginning to emerge.

When you consume too many Omega 6 fats, you become far more susceptible to oxidative damage, which increases the risk of developing cancer.

However, there are some research showing that when Omega 6 linoleic acid is replaced with the oleic acid from olive oil, the cells become resistant to oxidative damage.

Seed Oils and Diabetes

Research shows that mice fed on a diet high in Omega 6 fats versus a high carbohydrate diet, developed diabetes. The mice became insulin resistant, leptin resistant, and obese.

Contrast this with mice who were fed a diet high in carbohydrates–which we generally associate with the development of diabetes.

These mice did okay…

On the other hand, the mice whose diet was high in Omega 6 fats had a breakdown in the mitochondria in their hearts. So, the conclusion you can make is that just by adding in seed oils, heart damage occurs because of a change in the fatty acids of the cells.

Seed oils Age Your Skin and Increase Risk of Skin Cancer

There is plenty of evidence showing eliminating seed oils from your diet will dramatically reduce your risk of sunburn and premature aging.

People with a high intake of seed oils and Omega 6 fats have increased inflammation, which in turn shows up as sunburn and sun-induced damage.

Susceptibility to UV radiation damage is controlled by the amount of Omega 6 consumption in the diet. Higher Omega 3 consumption, coupled with lower intake of Omega 6 has been shown to control how fast or slowly you can get skin cancer.

High Omega 3 consumption slows down or eliminates skin cancer, while high Omega 6 intake increases the risk of skin cancer.

Moreover, the inflammation and oxidation from sun exposure and high Omega 6 intake also increases the breakdown of collagen, thereby speeding up the aging of your skin.

Studies show that people with a higher intake of saturated animal fat have less photo-aging of the skin, compared to those who have a higher intake of vegetable oils in their diets.

What about heart disease?

It has been drilled down into our heads for the past 50 or so years that vegetable oils are “heart-healthy” and help us prevent heart disease…

Nothing could be further from the truth!

In fact, oxidized fatty acids from industrial seed oils appear to play a pivotal role in the development of cardiovascular disease.

Researcher James DiNicolantonio has been working on a theory called the “oxidized linoleic acid theory of coronary heart disease” that presents a link between consumption of linoleic acid-rich industrial seed oils and cardiovascular disease.

His theory includes pointers such as:

  • Linoleic acid from our diet gets into blood lipoproteins (triglycerides and cholesterol)
  • The instability of linoleic acid causes oxidation
  • Oxidized lipoproteins activate microphages, which initiate foam cell formation–atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

Industrial seed oils are also a causative factor in cardiovascular disease because it increases the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio.

The high Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio creates excess inflammation and dangerous clotting effects in the heart and blood vessels…

And LDL–the type of cholesterol that we’ve told is bad is only dangerous when it’s exposed to high levels of Omega 6 fats, which cause it to oxidize in blood vessels.

Industrial seed oils are also harmful to your gut health, making conditions like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) much more likely.

This information leads us to the conclusion that high levels of Omega 6 fats can alter your gut microbiome and increase GI inflammation, contributing to the development of IBS and IBD.

Anyone with any type of inflammatory or autoimmune disease should avoid processed vegetable oils and instead consume only natural fats from olive oil, coconut oil, wild seafood, nuts, seeds, and healthy animal fats.

How to Avoid LInoleic Acid and Omega 6’s

It’s an Herculean task to avoid Omega 6 fats altogether…

Because they’re not just in the vegetable oil you buy in a bottle at the store, but in almost all processed foods, salad dressings, sauces, chips, crackers, cookies, bread and more.

Most of all fried foods–unless they’re specifically labeled, are all fried in vegetable oils that are repeatedly heated.

Restaurants and even home cooks often reuse vegetable oil to fry foods. When vegetable oils are heated time and again, the toxicity of the oil gets magnified.

Repeated heating also depletes vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidant. This depletion dramatically increases the free radicals that damage DNA, proteins and lipids in the body.

This helps to explain why fried foods are associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and liver damage.

Even meat, such as commercially raised chicken, which is fed high LA grains is high in this dangerous fat…and eating foods high in Omega 3 fats may help, but will not eliminate the problem.

Researcher Tucker Goodrich states, “The ratio is not really what’s important…what’s important is totally avoiding the Omega 6 fats”.

Avoiding all processed foods, especially fried foods, and only eating saturated fats or monounsaturated fats like olive oil is the best way to avoid Omega 6’s.

What about Olive Oil?

Sure…olive oil contains LA, but it also has other healthy fats that help to offset this. Olive oil contains oleic acid, which is one of the best foods for your body.

Oleic acid is highly resistant to oxidation, which is why olive oil is much healthier to cook with. However, olive oil can contain varying amounts of linoleic acid and many olive oil types are cut with cheaper seed oils, raising the LA content even further.

So, just beware how much olive oil you’re consuming…it can be detrimental in higher amounts.

Other Healthy Fats

Beef fat–even conventionally raised beef–is a combination of monounsaturated and saturated fats, and only has trace amounts of PUFA’s.

Grass-fed beef is higher in CLA ( a healthy fat) and DHA (an Omega 3 fat).

On the other hand, chicken and pork have ten times as much Omega 6/LA content as beef, bison or lamb. So, if you want to be as healthy as possible, go for grass-fed red meat instead of chicken and pork.

Coconut oil is another healthy saturated fat, just as are avocado and nut oils.

Butter contains mostly saturated fat, some monounsaturated fat, and very little polyunsaturated fat. Grass-fed butter is also very high in vitamin K-2–yet another essential nutrient valuable for heart health.

Many people underestimate the profound value a healthy diet can have on every aspect of your life–from picture-perfect health to raging energy…to body composition…and moods–you name it.

The importance of proper, well balanced diet cannot be overstated…

The onerous task is to sift through the plethora of conflicting information out there and make sense of it.

Be sure to consult your nutritionist for best advice.

I know you’ve come a long way with me…

Because this article is fairly long, but it warrants…just so that you can make informed choices about your diet for a healthier, happier life!

And if you find it life-changing, please share with the ones you care about.

My profound gratitude for your time and patronage.

Stay tuned for a lot more.

Publisher’s Note

This article is for educational purposes, and does not purport to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. Always consult with your professional healthcare giver.


Lion

How Much Meat Should Humans Eat?

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Seriously? This proposition flies in the face of what we’ve been told and believed. But as you dive deeper into the article, it starts making a ton of sense!

Some sections may sound somehow controversial, but still very worthwhile. Sink your teeth…

Did you know that by eliminating fruits and vegetables from your diet could make your body more healthy, lose fat and pack on lean muscles?

I know at first it’s hard to believe…

Especially if a celebrated medical doctor recommends them.

Paul Saladino…a double Board-Certified Medical Doctor research proves that feeding on proteins instead of fruits and vegetables could result in a healthier body.

Paul clarifies more by giving his story…

Paul always suffered from autoimmune issues while growing up…

And that, one day during medical school, he had this crazy thought: What if it was the plants and vegetables that were causing his health challenges?

He dismissed his thoughts as being absurd, but being a doctor and a man of science…

He decided to do research…

And he realized that when it came to eating healthy and bring the physically best versions of ourselves…

We had been getting it wrong for the last 10,000 years.

Paul explained that the earliest ancestors of humans showed up on earth about 6 million years ago…

And for the next 4 million years or so after that…

Our ancient ancestors had brains that were around the same size as a chimpanzee’s–about 500 cubic centimetres.

Then around 2 million BC, something dramatic happened…

Our brains began to grow in size rapidly…

Reaching a peak size of about 1,600 cubic centimetres…

Which happened 40,000 years ago.

Paul says that, when you look at all of the evidence as to what caused humans to have this quantum leap in intelligence…

There’s one thing that stands out above everything else:

Around 2 million years ago is when you see the very first evidence of stone tools that were used to hunt animals.

This discovery pre-dates the discovery of fire by over a million years…

Paul couldn’t help but wonder if our species’ incredible mental growth was tied to hunting and eating meat!

It was a radical idea, but to be sure…

Paul kept digging into the evidence, and what he found was pretty shocking.

He became convinced that most of our history…

Humans were primarily carnivores...

And that humans only ate plants, roots, nuts, and other non-animal foods during times of desperation.

Eating meat is what made us human“, Paul said…

And for proof, he gave an example of the human shoulder

Which is perfectly suited for throwing heavy objects like spears, for long distances…

But will never see a chimp or a gorilla playing catch or throwing an object 40 or 50 yards. That’s because their shoulders weren’t designed for that…

And that’s probably not some random coincidence.

Paul discovered that there were all manner of evolutionary evidence that ancient humans were hunters first, and gatherers second…

Like the fact that humans are the only primate that is white in their eyes, which is common in predators, but not herbivores

And how it was only about 10,000 years ago...

With the so-called agricultural revolution…that our eating habits began to change.

That’s when, for the first time, human beings started farming–growing crops and staying in one place

And ever since, human health has been disastrous.

Paul said that if you look at the skeletons and bones of hunters and gatherers in prehistoric Greece and Turkey

You’ll find that up until about 10,000 BC

The average man was 5.9 and the average woman was 5.4...

Then, farming and crops enter the picture…

And by 3,000 BC

Men in the same region were only 5.3 on average…

While women had shrunk to 5.0 on average.

That’s pretty crazy to think about, right?

Then Paul talked about one big study that looked at the height of men across 105 countries

And found that in every single one of the tallest nations in the world…

The one similarity is that the tallest populations also tend to eat more animal proteins, and much less plant protein.

After that…

Paul started talking about something called the Dickson Mounds, which are ancient burial sites located in western Illinois.

The reason they are important is because they provide us with a staggering glimpse into what happens when you switch from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one.

The ancient people who lived in the area around the Dickson Mounds were hunters and gatherers…

But then, for reasons unknown, a shift occurred…

And they started farming.

You’d think that’s no big deal…

But when scientists dug up the bones of these native people and began examining them…

They found something shocking: Once they switched to a primarily plant-based diet…

Not only did they start shrinking in size…but their bones were weaker

They showed evidence of more bacterial infections, and they started getting arthritis

Their teeth became less healthy, and they appeared to have been missing many essential nutrients like zinc and iron.

According to Paul, this same phenomenon is found around the world…

In fact, in the classic work of paleo-pathology at the Origins of Agriculture

A team of scientists found that in 19 out of 21 countries from around the world that switched to agriculture-based diet…

There was a reduction in physical mass, strength, and overall health.

Well, needless to say, this was all fascinating…

But it was also a lot to take in.

Paul then explains why eating more plants has led to humans becoming smaller, weaker, and sicker.

Paul’s theory is that when you attack an animal, it defends itself by either running away or attacking you with its claws, teeth, and horns

But on the other hand, plants obviously can’t run away…

But it doesn’t make much sense that plants would be able to thrive on earth for billions of years without a defense mechanism.

It’s just that the way plants defend themselves is different from animals…

Because instead of charging at us, or running away…

Plants produce all kinds of chemicals that attack our insides when we eat them. Paul calls this “Chemical Warfare”

Which sounds extreme…

But Paul said this was not a case of him being dramatic…

Because most of the compounds in plants that we think of as ‘phytonutrients“…are actually “phytoweapons“…

And their purpose is to discourage insects, fungi, and animals (including humans) from eating them for food.

Plants Don’t Want To Be Eaten

And when you actually look at the science here…

You find that there are hundreds of thousands of chemicals that are produced in the kingdom that can harm us.

An example is Curcumin

The main active compound in Turmeric.

The human body has a really hard time absorbing curcumin naturally. This is no secret…

And supplement manufacturers love to point it out in their marketing…

Then they’ll tell you about how they’ve added black pepper extract to their turmeric supplements…

Because it’s been shown to increase the absorption of curcumin in the body up to 2000%.

When we hear this, we think “Oh God!”

But Paul said that if you look at the major studies that claim curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and thus good for us…

The vast majority of them were done in test tubes, with extremely high dosages…

While, when you look at the actual evidence in humans…

There is a high number of studies that suggest curcumin can damage our DNA and mutate our cells…

While turning off one of the body’s most important genes for suppressing tumors.

Paul explained that our bodies are pretty smart, which is why we don’t naturally absorb curcumin.

When you mix curcumin with black pepper extract though…it actually stops our body from detoxifying curcumin

And instead of being able to flush it out of your system…

The toxic compound levels increase by a potentially staggering 2,000%.

Resveratrol, which is sometimes considered a fountain of youth molecule in plants…

Is really a natural defense molecule that’s produced in the skin of grapes and other plants when they are being attacked by fungus, and it’s been linked to toxicity and cellular death in humans…

Flavonoids, like the ones you hear about in cocoa and tea

Are proven to mimic estrogen and mess with your thyroid hormones and impair the body’s ability to absorb vitamin C.

And then there are the oxalates in green plants like spinach and kale

Which have been shown to lead to kidney damage at even modest levels…

And negatively impacting your blood vessels, testicles, brains, eyes, thyroids, breasts, and more!

And all of this barely scratches the surface…

Because according to Paul…

For virtually any plant chemical that you’ve heard about…

It’s got a dark side that can be punitive to your body.

Now, I know this is a lot to take in…

But here’s a simple way to understand what Paul is saying: Animals and plants have entirely different operating systems. When we eat animals, we’re giving our bodies food that was designed for the same operating system…

When we eat plants, it’s like taking a piece of software that was designed for a PC…

And running it on a Mac.

The software and the operating system are incompatible

And it’s why the body has a hard time doing something with plant nutrients…

Along with why those nutrients can even cause crashes and errors inside our bodies.

Paul then explains why so many studies say that plants have health benefits and about all the vitamins and minerals that are found inside of them.

He gave a surprisingly simple reason…

He said that it goes back to separate operating systems…

Fruits and vegetables have plenty of compounds in them that show benefits in a test tube

But that doesn’t mean they are going to have those same benefits inside the human body.

Massive studies have failed to find a direct correlation between eating high levels of fruits and vegetables, and improved health.

Again, a study where 112,310 men and 184,111 women were followed for 11 years

It was found that eating higher levels of red meat was directly associated with lower rates of heart disease and cancer mortality!

Plus, when it came to vitamins and minerals…

Studies have it that plants are a crappy source of these nutrients for humans…

Because the human body has a very hard time absorbing most nutrients from plants.

Paul pointed out that several of the most important nutrients to human health are non-existent, or at best barely existent in plants…

Even though meat is loaded with them.

Take creatine for example…

Studies have found that in both men and women, getting high levels of creatine in your diet leads to drastically improved mental performance…

Along with significant strength and muscle gain.

And there’s Choline

Which is a super-nutrient that isn’t abundant in plants.

Choline is used in the formation of neurotransmitters

It’s been shown to support heart health to be precise…

And it can even protect us from numerous neuro-degenerative diseases.

Carnosine & Taurine

Which are natural antioxidants that have been shown to help reduce the formation of AGE’s in our bodies.

High levels of AGE’s have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and premature aging

So the fact that carnosine and taurine help protect us from AGE’s is a big deal…

And then there are critical vitamins like B12 and K2

Both of which are found in meat, but not plants.

So really, according to Paul…

Pretty much of all of the nutrition we need can be found in meat…

While fruits and vegetables are mostly filled with toxins and natural pesticides that can destroy your health.

Plus, don’t forget about L-Carnitine

An important amino acid that supports cellular health, allows you to burn stored fat for energy and supports longevity.

Low levels of Lcarnitine are also associated with high rates of depression

And yet, if you’re mostly eating fruits and veggies, you’re not getting nearly enough of this wonder nutrient.

And those three meat nutrients are very important.

I know all of this is wildly compelling and contrasting…

Because it goes against all what we’ve been told our entire life!

And you shouldn’t be shocked to even learn that fiber doesn’t add a lot of value into your body…

In fact, major studies have found that removing fiber from the diet actually eliminates constipation

And in three different studies involving more than 6,000 people and lasting more than 8 years

Scientists failed to find any link between high fiber diets and a lower risk of colon cancer.

Plus, scientists have found that even people who eat very low-fiber diets still have high levels of diversity in their guts.

According to Paul, plant fibers only increase bloating, mimic estrogen, disrupt your hormones, lower your absorption of nutrients and increases miserable trips to the bathroom.

Examples of animal proteins to add to your diet include:

  • Beef steak
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Brisket
  • Eggs & bacon

These are just but a few…

And they load lots of benefits:

  • Higher levels of energy
  • Enhanced clarity of mind
  • No drag or lag during the day
  • Lean, well-toned, muscular physique
  • Balanced level of cholesterol & blood sugar
  • Spot-on blood pressure
  • Zero signs of inflammation
  • Spot-on sex drive
  • Improved heart health, and…
  • Increased longevity

I know you’re likely to find this highly incredible, but just try to cut fruits and veggies off your diet for a while and see what happens. It doesn’t hurt to try…

And always feel free to consult your doctor if you feel uncertain.

Will you share this article?

I leave it to your discretion.

Stay tuned for more…


cocoa vs cacao

Cacao vs. Cocoa: Any Real Difference or Simply Fancied?

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You may have scratched your head trying to figure out the difference…

And understanding the difference will not only satisfy your curiosity…

It will also reveal some insights into how your favorite indulgence can affect your health.

And if you thought “cacao” and “cocoa” were just two words meaning the same thing…synonyms…

Well…this is your moment of epiphany–deep revelations!

You see, while cacao and cocoa come from the same source…

The process they go through to get the end product makes all the difference…

Including effects on their nutritional benefits.

Everything we know as chocolate–in all its forms–starts at the same source: the Theobroma cacao tree.

This tree, native to South America, produces seed pods.

Harvesters crack them open to take out the seeds, which are called cacao beans

They actually kind of resemble coffee beans.

And you can eat cacao beans raw. Their flavor is like a very bitter form of chocolate…

And it varies depending on the growing conditions like soil, sunlight, etc. of the cacao tree.

Raw cacao beans taste bitter, but they’re healthiest when eaten this way.

Before they’re processed any further, the beans are usually fermented and dried, and sometimes not roasted at all…

And even though they come from the same place with cocoa, it’s this processing that marks their distinction.

If you’re a chocolate hound, you probably already know that cocoa and cacao are available in many forms: nibs, chips, butter, powder, and chocolate bars, just to name but a couple.

There is a plethora of scientific research data on the incredible health benefits of chocolate…

But the vast majority of these studies exploring the link between chocolate and related health benefits don’t deal with the chocolate you’d ordinarily find in the stores…

They’re focused on the cacao beans themselves–either in raw or minimally processed forms.

But in whichever form, the cacao beans are unparalleled super-foods…

Loading a host of awesome health benefits.

And here’s a quick rundown:

  • Antioxidant effects–Cacao beans are rich in phenolic phytochemicals and flavonoids, which protect your cells against damage from free radicals. Oxidative damage can result in premature aging and many of the modern day health conditions.
  • Boosts your mood and cognitive performance–Epicatechin, the main flavonoid in cacao, improves various aspects of cognition, preserves cognitive abilities during aging, and even puts you in a better mood.
  • Lowers blood pressure–Studies have found that flavonoids lower blood pressure by increasing blood vessel flexibility.
  • Protects your heart–Researchers found that flavanols and procyanidins from cacao increased antioxidant capacity in the blood plasma and reduced platelet reactivity, resulting in a healthier heart.
  • Regulates insulin levels–Epicatechin, a flavanol in cacao activates key proteins that help regulate glucose production, even among diabetics.

Cacao beans are also rich in nutrients like magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese–all vitally essential body minerals.

Back to the processing…

Once the beans are dried and fermented, manufacturers heat them at a low temperature.

The heat separates the fatty part of the bean from the rest–a key part of the process.

Turning to cocoa

It starts pretty the same way cacao does–as harvested beans from the plant’s seed pods.

During processing, however, it’s heated at much higher temperatures, resulting in a slightly sweeter flavor and different health effects.

The cocoa powder is extremely popular in dessert recipes and it’s available in 2 types:

  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder, aka dark cocoa. This variety undergoes additional processing with an alkalized chemical solution to make the taste of the end product richer and less acidic. Any further processing should be avoided as it deprives it of its awesome antioxidants and nutrients.
  • Natural cocoa powder— This variety is a bit more acidic and bitter. You’ll find it often in recipes that call for baking soda because the soda alkalizes the natural cocoa powder.

Cocoa tends to be cheaper and easier to find than cacao…

The challenge is in finding a high-quality option without any added sugars, dairy products, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, or emulsifiers–“fillers” companies use to kick up the flavor and cut production costs.

It’s worth-noting that the heavier processing–heating at higher temperatures–that transforms cacao to cocoa, doesn’t just affect how manufacturers label the end product…

This heat actually affects the beans at a molecular level, changing their structure and diminishing their nutritional content.

Therefore, the heavy processing is what turns cacao into cocoa…

And much of the nutritional content dissipates in that state.

That means cacao has more powerful antioxidant effects and health benefits. For instance, 100 grams of raw cacao powder has an ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of 95,500, which represents antioxidant capacity…

This drops to 26,000 in cocoa powder.

Notably, this doesn’t mean cocoa is inherently bad for you; only that cacao packs more health benefits.

The bottom line is…

Heating cacao or cocoa degrades some of the nutrients and lessens some of their powerful antioxidant effects.

But cacao is a few steps ahead because it loads more of them than cocoa.

And, how good is dairy mixed with chocolate?

Dairy limits the body’s ability to absorb the phytonutrients found in chocolate–don’t add it to chocolate!

Darker chocolate is better for you because it contains much higher percentage of cacao–around 70% more than milk chocolate

And the more cacao, the more nutrients and antioxidants.

Milk chocolate–commonly found in chocolate chips and bars–has far less and also tends to have more sugar, dairy, and artificial sweeteners.

But practically, every chocolate product you buy from a manufacturer contains dairy in some form. They add “fillers” like powdered milk to slash production costs and add sweetness.

So, even if you indulge the darker chocolate…for sure, you’ll get more cacao, but you still have to deal with dairy blocking your body’s ability to absorb it optimally.

Check your labels carefully for dairy-free chocolate treats, though they tend to be more expensive.

And…there you’re…

A clear distinction between cacao and cocoa…

Whichever you enjoy indulging, the choice is personal…

But this time around, you’ll do it from a point of knowledge!

To your gooey experience!

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