Tag Archives: CLA

Fats Explained: Conjugated Linoleic Acid – The Good Trans fat

Photo: Kabsik Park under a Creative Commons license.

Whether you suffer from Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, Obesity, emotional eating, or have problems with weight management due to restricting or overeating, you need to know about what fats do in your body once and for all. In other words whether you are obese, underweight or a normal weight, if you are having problems regulating food intake in healthy ways, this series on fat is a must.

Trans fats vs. Non Trans Fats

Another way to categorize fats is whether or not a fat is a trans fat. There are two trans fatty acids.  The one that is exceptionally good for us is CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is found in grass-fed animal protein such as beef, bison, venison etc. The other is man-made trans fat, which is a class unto itself. This fat is the industrially-produced, partially hydrogenated fat found in corn, soy, safflower, flax, cottonseed, canola, peanut, and sesame oil as well as that in margarine.  There really isn’t much else to say about man-made trans fats, other than that they are very damaging to the systems in the body that regulate eating and fat storage. They contribute to obesity and all of it’s complications, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, the aging process and various types of cancer. 

Conjugated Linoleic Acid: Good Trans-Fat

When we think of fats that are unhealthy, we think of trans fats.  But one of the healthiest fats, CLA, is a trans fat. Actually conjugated linoleic acid is both a trans fatty acid and a cis fatty acid. The cis bond causes a lower melting point and is apparently the reason for all of the health benefits associated with CLA. One of the reasons that CLA is so healthy, is that it allows us to absorb vitamins D, A and K. These vitamins are critical to our health and well-being, but can only be absorbed from full-fat grass-fed dairy and meat, as both contain high concentrations of CLA.  Another reason that CLA is so good for us is that it appears to convert readily to muscle instead of fat.

How CLA Effects Muscle and Body Fat

Grass-Fed Animal Protein and CLA

Most beef sold in the United States is not grass-fed. Instead, most cattle are raised on grain and other types of feed. The majority of these animals are also treated with hormones and antibiotics, which pass through to humans, resulting in higher rates of cancer in women who began their periods prematurely and resistance to antibiotics in the population at large.

How Is CLA Made?

Cows are ruminants, which means that they have more than one stomach. Digestion in such animals begins in an organ called the rumen, where CLA is formed. The animal regurgitates and re-chews its cud and eventually digests the CLAs from the grass, where they enter the meat and milk of the animal. Common ruminant food sources include cattle, goats, sheep and deer as they all graze on grass if left to their own devices.

Organic, grass-fed cows have 300 to 500 percent more CLA than cattle raised on other feeds. This is true of the beef, butter, milk and cheese produced from grass-fed cows. Grass-fed cows are the best source of CLA in the American diet.

The highest concentration of CLA in all foods, however, is contained in kangaroo meat. Raised wild in Australia, kangaroo meat is sold in 55 countries including the United States, though it is relatively difficult to find (in Cincinnati, you can find kangaroo meat at Jungle Jim’s). The meat is typically ground and used in sausage. Kangaroo has only been legal to eat since 1980 and is still not a staple meat in any diet, even in Australia. CLAs are also found to a much lesser extent in poultry. You can read more about food sources of CLA here.

Milk from Grass-Fed Cows is Higher in Vitamin E.

Cows that get all their nutrients from grazed grass—their natural diet—produce milk with 86 percent more vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) than cows fed a standard dairy diet, according to a recent study. The standard dairy diet consists of large amounts of “concentrate,” which is typically a dry mixture of corn and soy. The concentrate does not produce much CLA  or vitamin E.  In addition, the  grains are almost always genetically modified, causing all sorts of problems for humans, not the least of which is obesity.

Some organic dairies raise their cows on pasture grass and supplement them with organic concentrate; others keep their cows indoors and feed them organic concentrate and stored grasses. It’s important to know that the more freshly grazed grass in a cow’s diet, the more vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and CLA; Organic Valley is a nation-wide organic dairy that emphasizes grazing.

The Higher the Altitude, The More CLA.

Another interesting thing about pastured cows is that the colder the climate, the better the grass, and the more CLA. New research shows that cows that graze at relatively high altitudes may produce the healthiest milk and cheese of all. Milk from cows that graze in the Alps, for example, have more omega-3 fatty acids while also having significantly less saturated fat. The reason? It has to do with plant antifreeze. Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids stay fluid at colder temperatures unlike saturated fats, which are solid at cold temperatures. A plant that has to withstand the cold needs more of this natural antifreeze to keep its cell membranes fluid in the cold. Cows that graze on this cold climate grass ingest more omega-3s as a result, which they then convert to CLA. In a recent study, cows that grazed in alpine meadows had more than twice the amount of CLA in their milk as similar cows that grazed down in the valley.  The lesson here is eat more Alpine cheese!

Natural CLA Vs. Synthetic CLA.

A new study shows that synthetic CLA pills may cause more harm than good. After reviewing 13 randomized studies, a group of researchers concluded that the pills do not reduce body weight or body fat to a significant degree. Worse yet, the researchers found that a kind of CLA found in the pills (CLA (t10, c12) may cause serious health complications, including an enlarged liver, lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance. Meanwhile, the main type of CLA found in meat and dairy products (c9, t11 or “rumenic acid”) has been given a clean bill of health. Once again, when it comes to fat, Mother Nature knows best!

Other Articles in This Series

Fats Explained: Fatty Acids (Infographic)

Fats Explained: Non-Essential Fatty Acids – Omega-5, Omega-7, Omega-9

Fats Explained: Essential Fatty Acids – Omega-6

Fats Explained: Essential Fatty Acids – Omega-3

Fats Explained: Saturated and Unsaturated

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’.

How to Choose a Healthy Yogurt

The Health Benefits of Yogurt

Photo by flickr user ‘quimpg’ used under a creative commons license.

High in protein, rich in calcium and delicious, there’s no wonder as to why yogurt is becoming an increasingly popular part of the American diet.  But the benefits of yogurt don’t stop here! According to an article published by Fitness Magazine yogurt can also:

  • Aid in weight loss and fat loss
  • Provide the body with good-for-you bacteria
  • Provide the body with vitamins such as potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, vitamin B5, and vitamin B12
  • Help the body recover from workouts faster
  • Prevent high blood pressure
  • Improve immune system function
  • Improve dental health

As the popularity of yogurt increases, so does the number of varieties of yogurt in the dairy case. Are all varieties of yogurt created equal? How can you be sure you are choosing the healthiest yogurt? Of course, the healthiest yogurt would be homemade. But what if you want to buy a store-bought variety? Here are some tips!

1. Choose yogurt that is organic. Keep in mind, the yogurt may not always be labeled organic. Some of the smaller dairies do follow all organic principles but just might not be able to afford to purchase the USDA “organic” label. You can usually find this information by calling the dairy directly or by visiting the dairy’s website.

2. Choose yogurt that is grassfed. Grassfed dairy contains more Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). CLA causes an increase in lean skeletal muscle tissue, and decrease in stored body fat. Studies show that individuals that include CLA in their diets may:

        • reduce their risks of developing certain cancers, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and heart disease
        • experience an increase in metabolism
        • lower their cholesterol and triglycerides
        • lower their insulin resistance (a Penn State study found that CLA mimicked synthetic diabetes medication)
        • experience a reduction in belly fat, especially in the overweight and obese
        • experience an increase in lean muscle

3. Choose yogurt that is made from milk from an A2 Beta Casein cow (Guernsey is best, but there are other breeds such as Brown Swiss and Jersey etc.). This information is sometimes more difficult to find, in most cases you would have to either contact the dairy directly, but sometimes the dairy does include this information on their website. If you want to play it safe, goat milk yogurt or sheep milk yogurt will always contain A2 Beta Casein.

4. Avoid “fat-free” or “low fat” yogurt. Here are a few reasons that I avoid fat-free and low-fat dairy:

 “A study at Harvard found that women who ate two or more servings of low-fat or non-fat dairy per day, like skim milk or yogurt, had 85% higher risk of infertility than those that ate full-fat dairy products.”  – Chris Kresser

“Low fat milk causes weight gain. This is how farmers fatten pigs. If they give them whole milk, the pigs stay lean.Low fat milk is missing all the vitamins that you get in the fat. The industry has figured out that they make a lot more money on butter and butterfat if they put it in ice cream. So they take the cream out of the milk, put it into ice cream. They would much rather you spend the money on ice cream, than on butter or buttercream; they make a lot more money.” -Sally Fallon, Weston A. Price Foundation

“A note on the production of skim milk powder: liquid milk is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air. This causes a lot of nitrates to form and the cholesterol in the milk is oxidized. Those of you who are familiar with my work know that cholesterol is your best friend; you don’t have to worry about natural cholesterol in your food; however, you do not want to eat oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, to atherosclerosis. So when you drink reduced-fat milk thinking that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually consuming oxidized cholesterol, which initiates the process of heart disease.”  -Weston A. Price Foundation, Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry

“Let us get rid of one fallacy which is that skim milk is actually milk that has had the cream skimmed off the top. That actually sounds logical but it is not how is done, at least not in this modern world. That process would not remove all the cream so what is done in modern processing is the milk is spun around with centrifuges, eventually completely separating the cream (fat) and milk. It is first clarified, then separated, then pasteurized (or ultra-pasteurized), and then finally homogenized. This over-processing has now removed every healthy vitamin, living enzyme, and natural mineral. Welcome to your now-dead beverage……Skim milk will not support life. So by removing the cream you have essentially turned the milk into something completely useless, especially the pasteurized variety as you have not only removed the healthy fat but you have also as stated removed the living nutrients.”
-Raw Milk Truth

“Researchers from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute conducted a study that monitored the dietary habits of more than 20,000 Swedish women for a decade.  It turned out that women who consumed full fat milk or cheese had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than the rest of the group.  The results were convincing enough for the researchers to recommend that a glass of full fat milk every day will cut weight gain by 15%, and a portion of full fat cheese each day will cut weight gain by 30%.  Alicia Wolk, professor at the Karolinska Institute stated, ‘The surprising conclusion was that increased consumption of (full fat) cheese meant that overweight women lost weight.’ 

Yet skim and 1% milk is pervasive in school lunch programs, and throughout the American diet.  If you summarize the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food pyramid you see an emphasis on grains plus skim milk, the very combination that fattens hogs so efficiently!  In fact, the USDA recommends we start the low-fat habit early: children as young as pre-school are recommended to consume non-fat or low fat milk, yogurt and cheese. With a food pyramid like this it’s little wonder we face an obesity epidemic from childhood onward.” -Ann M Childers, MD. Life Balance Northwest

“Guess what they feed a pig if they want to make it as fat as possible as fast as possible? Low-fat milk, because if they give the pig milk with fat in it, the pig gets satiated. It’s satisfied and won’t eat any more. But if they give it low-fat milk, it will eat the grain they feed it forever because it’ll have a deficiency of fat.

Now think of what we’re eating for breakfast in this country…If you don’t want to get fat you’re told to drink low-fat milk, and corn or wheat or oat-based cereal. It’s the prescription to make you as fat as possible as quickly as you can get there. You’ll never stop wanting to eat because you’re never getting any food that causes satiation. Americans are told to eat a diet that is scientifically designed to make you as fat as possible as fast as possible.” -Dr. Al Sears, MD. Power for Healthy Living

Secondly, the body needs fat soluble vitamins in order to digest protein. Vitamin A is one of the vitamins it needs; this is most common in animal fat. If the body isn’t getting fat soluble vitamins from the food it is trying to digest, it’s going to start pulling vitamins from the liver. The liver of those recovering from eating disorders and obesity is already under a lot of stress so fat free/low fat sources of protein are not the way to go, if attaining maximum health is the goal. Additionally, those with eating disorders such as anorexia are usually quite deficient in vitamin A; there is also a high prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in the obese population.

5. As with all food choices, when choosing a yogurt you should try to find the least processed variety. If available in your area, yogurt made from raw milk is ideal. In many areas, raw milk yogurt is not available, so try to find a variety that is lightly pasteurized.

6. Be sure to check the ingredients label for unwanted ingredients such as agave syrup, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Be sure to check for hidden sources of MSG such as skim milk powder, natural flavors, gelatin, pectin (Truth in Labeling provides a list of all hidden sources of MSG). Typically, unflavored yogurt is your safest bet. You can always add your own organic fruit, or maybe a bit of coconut nectar if you find it is too tart.

Currently, one of my favorite brands of yogurt is Erivan. It has no added thickeners, stabilizers, or milk solids. The cows on Erivan Dairy are primarily grassfed; any supplemental feed is fertilized organically. Calves are fed their mother’s milk. According to the Erivan website, the yogurt is made from “a choice blend of the freshest raw cow’s milk, pasteurized only once – just before culturing”. Erivan also notes that since the yogurt “is incubated in its own container, valuable whey, containing minerals, vitamins and protein is not lost.”

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

 

Choosing a Healthy Protein Powder

photo used under a creative commons license

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes. My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.” 

Currently, Americans spend over $2.7 billion dollars on sports nutrition products. One of the most popular products? Protein powder. The majority of stores have an overwhelming amount of various brands of protein powders, even gas stations are selling pre-mixed protein shakes in their beverage coolers! With so many brands on the grocery store shelf, how can we be sure we are picking the healthiest protein powder?

Look for a protein powder that is ‘undenatured’ or ‘cold processed’. The majority of protein powders in stores are subjected to extreme heat when they are being processed. Protein powders contain glutamic acid, which is normally healthy. Glutamic acid becomes a problem when it is exposed to heat. When protein powder is manufactured, it is exposed to extreme heat, which converts glutamic acid into free glutamic acid, also known as monosodium glutamate (MSG). You can read more about the dangers of MSG here (link to MSG article).

Always avoid soy protein powder. Soy is one of the most genetically modified crops in the US. They contain phytoestrogens, goitrogens, phytates, and trypsin inhibitors; you can read about all of these here. Soy protein is typically made from the sludge that is left over from deriving soy oil from the soy bean. Food Renegade describes it well in her article “The Dangers of Soy” when she says “Soy foods aren’t real food. They aren’t traditional. They aren’t old. They’re industrial waste products dressed up in pretty clothes and marketed to an ignorant public.” Instead of soy protein, I typically use whey protein.

Next, look at the ingredients label. Be sure the powder doesn’t contain any neurotoxins or other additives such as high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, most protein powders contain hidden sources of MSG. How do companies get away with not listing MSG on the ingredients label? Thanks to the FDA, it’s quite easy. If an ingredient is less than 99% pure glutamate, than it doesn’t need to be listed as MSG on the label! Here’s a list of hidden sources of MSG that ALWAYS contain MSG:

Glutamic acid,  Glutamate
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Monopotassium glutamate
Calcium glutamate
Monoammonium glutamate
Magnesium glutamate
Natrium glutamate
Yeast extract
Anything “hydrolyzed”
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Calcium caseinate,  Sodium caseinate
Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
Autolyzed yeast
Gelatin
Textured protein
Soy protein, soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Whey protein, whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Anything “…protein”
Vetsin
Ajinomoto

I tend to avoid protein powders that contain a long list of ingredients, especially if many of the ingredients are impossible to pronounce. As with all foods, as a general rule, if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t eat it. Here’s a good example of one of the most popular heat-processed protein powders on the market:

Micellar Alpha And Beta Caseins And Caseinates, Rich In Alpha-Lactalbumin, Whey Isolates, Whey Peptides, L-Glutamine, Taurine, Lactoferrin), Lean Lipids(TM) (Trans Fat Free Lipid Complex Consisting of Canola Oil, Sunflower And/Or Safflower Oil, MCT’s, L-Carnitine), Fructose, Cocoa Powder, Maltodextrin, CytiVite I(TM) (Vitamin And Mineral Premix Consisting Of Vitamin A Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Folate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine HCL, Cyanocobalamin, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Di-Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Iodine, Potassium Chloride, Ferrous Fumarate, Magnesium Oxide, Copper Gluconate, Zinc Oxide, Chromium Nicotinate), Natural And Artificial Flavors, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Soy Lecithin.

Next, look for protein powder that is made from hormone-free grassfed milk. Grassfed milk contains five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), the perfect ratio of essential fatty acids, and contains more beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin D than grain-fed milk. You also want to make sure the protein is a “concentrate” and not an “isolate”. Isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional cofactors.

After all these criteria, it may seem that almost every protein powder on the shelf is eliminated, right? I have found one protein powder that is delicious and meets all of the above criteria called, One World Whey. There are a few other cold-processed, grassfed protein powders available such as Upgraded Whey Protein Powder, Mercola Pure Power Protein, and Miracle Whey, but I haven’t personally tried these brands.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

 

Recipe: Grassfed Whipped Cream

“In my experience, clients that are in treatment for bulimia, binge eating disorder, anorexia or bulimarexia are typically faced with an increased risk of inadequate nutrition. To this end, I try to provide my clients and readers nutritious and delicious recipes to enjoy both during and after their recovery journey at ‘The Norton Center for Eating Disorders & Obesity’.”

Rich in CLA, Snowville Whipped Cream  is one of my favorite guiltless pleasures. I use it in my “Grassfed Creamy Yogurt Fruit Topping“, on a bowl of fresh fruit, and as a dip for bananas (I usually eat slightly green bananas, to lower the glycemic load).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Snowville Whipped Cream

Ingredients
1 cup Snowville Whipping Cream
1/4 cup organic powder sugar or Coconut Secret Coconut Crystals (Coconut Crystals will give more of a caramel taste)
1/2 tbsp pure vanilla

Directions
In a glass bowl, beat the cream and vanilla in a chilled non-reactive bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer just until they hold a loose peak.
Add the sugar, beat until soft peaks form. Be careful not too overbeat!
Refrigerate, up to four hours.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving)
Calories – 190
Fat – 19 grams
Protein – 0 grams
Carbs – 6 grams

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com

Recipe: Grassfed Creamy Yogurt Fruit Topping

In my experience, clients that are in treatment for bulimia, binge eating disorder, anorexia or bulimarexia are typically faced with an increased risk of inadequate nutrition. To this end, I try to provide my clients and readers nutritious and delicious recipes to enjoy both during and after their recovery journey at ‘The Norton Center for Eating Disorders & Obesity’.”

My Creamy Yogurt Fruit Topping is made with grassfed cream and grassfed yogurt, making it an excellent source of CLA. Whether your goal is to lose weight or to restore weight, CLA will help your body gain lean skeletal muscle and reduce stored fat. For more information on the benefits of CLA, be sure to read ‘CLA + Trans-fats‘ and ‘Why Does CLA Cause an Increase in Lean Skeletal Muscle Mass and a Decrease in Stored Body Fat?

Grassfed Creamy Yogurt Fruit Topping
Ingredients
1/2 cup Snowville Whipped Cream (preparation directions follow below)
1/2 cup Traders Point Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
1 tbsp Uncle Matt’s Organic Orange Juice
1 tbsp unsweetened strawberry preserves

Directions
In a small mixing bowl, combine whipped cream and whole milk yogurt.
Add orange juice and strawberry preserves.
Stir until combined.
Pour over diced fruit. I use oranges, pears, bananas, blueberries, and chopped prunes.
Top with walnuts, almonds or coconut, if desired.

Serves 3.

Nutrition Information/per serving (for sauce only)
Calories – 125
Fat – 9 grams
Protein – 2 grams
Carbs – 10 grams

Snowville Whipped Cream
Ingredients
1 cup Snowville Whipping Cream
1/4 cup organic powder sugar or Coconut Secret Coconut Crystals
1/2 tbsp pure vanilla

Directions
In a glass bowl, beat the cream and vanilla in a chilled non-reactive bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer just until they hold a loose peak.
Add the sugar, beat until soft peaks form. Be careful not too overbeat!
Refrigerate, up to four hours.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving)
Calories – 190
Fat – 19 grams
Protein – 0 grams
Carbs – 6 grams

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

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Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Why Does CLA Cause an Increase in Lean Skeletal Muscle Mass and a Decrease in Stored Body Fat?

Grassfed Beef and Dairy are Excellent Sources of CLA

photo used under a creative commons license

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

Upon posting the article on ‘CLA + Trans-Fat’, I received a few inquiries about how CLA causes an increase in lean skeletal muscle tissue, and decrease in stored body fat. In order to understand the process involved, we first need to examine the process involved in gaining lean skeletal muscle mass and the process involved in accumulating body fat.

How Do We Gain Lean Muscle Mass?

Every muscle cell has a protein-transporter which exists in a dormant cell in the center of the cell. This protein-transporter is known as ‘Glucose Transporter 4’ or simply ‘GLUT4’.

GLUT4 becomes activated in muscle cells when the cells experience tension and vibration, such as that which occurs during strength-training.

When GLUT4 is activated, it comes to the cell’s surface and takes in glucose. The muscle cell uses this glucose to fuel and repair muscle tissue, resulting in an increase in lean muscle mass.


How Do We Accumulate Body Fat?

Much like muscle cells, every fat cell in the body also contains a dormant protein-transporter known as GLUT4.

GLUT4 becomes activated in fat cells when they experience an increase in insulin, most commonly occurring when we eat.

When we take in nutrients, some of those nutrients are converted into glucose, resulting in increased blood sugar levels. In response, our bodies begin to produce insulin. This insulin travels through our blood stream, activating the GLUT4 within our fat cells.

When the GLUT4 is activated, it comes to the cell’s surface and takes in glucose, resulting in an increase in the size of our fat cells.

How does CLA Effect the Growth of Muscle + Fat Cells?

Studies clearly show that CLA causes an increase in lean skeletal muscle tissue and a decrease in stored body fat. What causes this?

When we eat a food that contains CLA, our muscle cells experience an increased concentration of GLUT4. Conversely, our fat cells experience a decreased concentration of GLUT4. This change in concentration allows our muscle cells to take in more glucose to fuel and repair muscle tissue, while forcing our fat cells to taking in less glucose after eating. The result? Increased growth in muscle tissue, decreased growth in fat tissue.

And that’s why we can enjoy foods like grass-fed whipped cream, grass-fed cheeses and grass-fed butter without worrying about gaining body fat!

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

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Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources

http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/​content/meeting_abstract/24/1_​MeetingAbstracts/541.22

The Benefits of Butter

 

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

For decades, we have been told that saturated fats are unhealthy, the root cause of the epidemic of heart disease, obesity and high cholesterol that is plaguing our society. I can’t help but to wonder where this theory originated from and if there is really any truth to it? Can something my own grandparents regularly incorporated into their diet really be the cause of many of the health issues that are afflicting our nation?

When it was first announced that saturated fats were unhealthy, the soybean industry saw an opportunity for profit. They spent millions of dollars on an anti-saturated fat campaign, which resulted in butter and other saturated fats being viewed as “evil villains” that had no place in our diet. We were convinced that in order to attain optimal health, we should stop consuming butter and start consuming (often soy-based) margarine. The soybean industry wasn’t the only industry to profit off of this campaign, producers of America’s other main crops (cotton and corn) also benefited, as the majority of margarine is primarily composed of cottonseed, corn and soy oil.

The Weston A Price Foundation has done extensive research about these claims that saturated fats, like butter, have a negative effect on our health. Their research demonstrated that butter actually contains ingredients that PREVENT heart disease. They found that margarine INCREASES the risk of heart disease, due to the free-radicals that are generated during the process of producing margarine. Research by the Medical Research Council demonstrated that men who incorporate butter into their diets ran half the risk of developing heart disease than those who used margarine. Their research also demonstrated that butter does not cause weight gain. To the contrary, margarine is much more likely to result in weight gain because it lacks so many important nutrients, resulting in “cravings and bingeing.”

Butter, especially grassfed butter, is an excellent source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2. It is also somewhat unique in the fact that it contains all of these vitamins co-factors that are required for our bodies to experience optimal benefit. Depending on the source of the butter, the concentration of these vitamins will vary. As a general rule, the more yellow the butter, the more concentrated the nutrients. Also, grassfed butter will typically be higher in nutrient content in the Spring and Autumn when the grass is greenest.

Vitamin A (or retinol) from butter is more easily absorbed by the body than from any other dietary source. Vitamin A is a ‘catalyst’, in that it helps our body to absorb other minerals. Since it is a fairly stable vitamin, little to no damage is done during the pasteurization of butter. Some of the main health benefits of vitamin A include:

  • it strengthens the immune system
  • it promotes good eye health
  • it maintains healthy bones and teeth
  • it prevents urinary stones
  • it reduces the risk of developing cancer
  • it improves the health of our skin
  • it improves reproductive health

Vitamin D is essential to obtaining maximum health. Much like Vitamin A, it serves as a catalyst in the absorption of minerals. Some of the health benefits of Vitamin D include:

  • it improves the health of our skin
  • it strengthens the immune system
  • it maintains healthy bones and teeth
  • it prevents osteomalacia and rickets
  • it improves cardiovascular health
  • it protects against osteoporosis and arthritis
  • it improves mental health
  • assists many bodily processes, such as regulating blood pressure, reducing muscle spasms, helps in cell formation, regulating insulin secretion

‘Activator X’, which is now known to be vitamin K2 was discovered by Dr Weston A Price in 1945. Grainfed butter is only a moderate source of this vitamin, grassfed butter contains up to 50 times more vitamin K2. This is because grass and other leafy greens contain vitamin K1, which is converted into vitamin K2 during the fermentation process that occurs in the cows stomach. Corn-based feed contains little vitamin K1 (0.3 µg/100 grams, some leafy greens contain more than 800µg/100 grams). Vitamins A, D and K all work together in our bodies. When we ingest foods containing vitamin A and vitamin D, a signal is sent to our cells to create certain proteins, vitamin K then activates these proteins. Vitamin K2 also plays a major role in:

  • the prevention of tooth decay
  • growth and development
  • reproduction
  • protection against heart disease
  • brain function

Vitamin E has many biological functions, it’s anti-oxidant function is the most well-known. In addition to it’s anti-oxidant content, vitamin e:

  • Promotes heart health
  • Promotes respiratory health
  • Helps with normal PMS symptoms
  • Supports circulation
  • Supports prostate and breast health
  • Is good for your brain
  • May help hot flashes in menopausal women

Butter possesses many other health benefits beyond it’s content of vitamins A, D, E and K2.

  • Butter is a good sources of short and medium chain triglycerides (these are the types of fat that cannot be stored in adipose tissue)
  • Butter contains the medium chain triglyceride, lauric acid. There are only two dietary choices when it comes to lauric acid: small amounts of butter or large amounts of coconut oil
  • Butter contains the short chain triglyceride, butyric acid. This short chain triglyceride is only found in butter
  • Grassfed butter contains a perfect balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Grassfed butter is an excellent source of CLA. It contains 300-500 times more CLA than grainfed butter
  • Butter contains lecithin, which helps the body utilize cholesterol and other components of fat
  • It is an excellent source of many trace minerals, including manganese, zinc, chromium and iodine.

I often make my own butter, using whipping cream from Snowville Creamery. The Snowville Creamery website provides directions on how to make it:

It is best to start with cream at about 55-60 F.

There are many ways to churn butter, but any form of agitation will cause the butter to form. The easiest way is to pour cream into a food processor up to the liquid fill line and run the processor beyond whipped cream until the butter separates from the buttermilk. You can also use a mixer, a hand whisk, or put cream in a jar and shake it.

Once the butter has separated from the buttermilk, pour the butter and milk into a strainer or colander. The milk that pours off of the butter is good to drink or use for cooking.

The butter that is retained in the strainer should be rinsed with cool water and repeatedly kneaded with a wooden spoon until all the milk is expelled and the water runs clear.

The butter can then be placed into a butter mold or bowl. For salted butter, add salt before pressing. Enjoy!

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Why Butter is Better – Weston A Price
The Skinny on Fats – Weston A Price
Why Butter is Better – Mercola
Grass Fed Butter – Choosing a Better Butter
On the Trail of the Elusive X-Factor – Weston A Price
7 Health Benefits of Vitamin A
Benefits of Vitamin E
Health Benefits of Vitamin D

Dairy: Raw vs. Pasteurized

Choosing Healthy Dairy Products

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

In support of the raw dairy community and the education of dairy consumers, Natural News has just released an infographic about organic raw (fresh) dairy products versus conventional (pasteurized) dairy products.

This infographic is an excellent resource as it explains the differences between the nutritional properties, animal compassion and health implications of raw dairy versus pasteurized dairy.

For more information on choosing health dairy products see my article ‘Dairy Aisle Confusion

Copyright (c) 2012 by Mike Adams. All rights reserved. Posted with permission from Natural News.

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

CLA + Trans-Fat

Grassfed Beef and Dairy are Excellent Sources of CLA

photo used under a creative commons license

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is both a trans-fatty and cis-fatty acid that is naturally produced in the stomachs of ruminant animals (like cattle, sheep and goats). Wait. I know what you’re thinking, “You said CLA is a trans-fat. Aren’t trans-fats bad?”.

There are some trans-fats that have no place in our foods today. The trans-fats that are detrimental to our health are of the “industrially-produced” variety. Indeed,  80% of the trans-fats consumed in the Standard American Diet are industrially-produced. Maria Emmerich gives a good description of how our bodies process these types of trans-fats:

“Trans-fats in foods are like BIG SUV’s trying to park into ‘compact’ parking spaces of our cells that are reserved for healthy Omega-3 fats (DHA). When this happens, our neurotransmitters responsible for focus, mood and memory have a hard time finding and recognizing their receptors due to  the inflammation of the membranes on the brain cells caused by the consumption of trans-fats.”

Naturally-occurring trans-fats, like CLA, are thought to be beneficial to our overall health. Studies show that individuals that include CLA in their diets may:

  • reduce their risks of developing certain cancers, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and heart disease
  • experience an increase in metabolism
  • lower their cholesterol and triglycerides
  • lower their insulin resistance (a Penn State study found that CLA mimicked synthetic diabetes medication)
  • experience a reduction in belly fat, especially in the overweight and obese
  • experience an increase in lean muscle

Although CLA can increase metabolism, including it in one’s diet is less likely to produce weight loss and more likely result in a change in body composition; i.e. a reduction in body fat and an increase lean muscle. CLA appears to reduce body fat because of it’s ability to regulate fat metabolism. In other words,  CLA may not reduce the number of fat cells in our bodies, but it does keep small fat cells from getting larger.

So what are the best sources of CLA? I typically use beef, full-fat milk (raw, if available in your area), full-fat raw cheese and butter. I always get organic, grass-fed meat and dairy, it contains 300%-500% more CLA (for more information on choosing healthy dairy products, read this article). There are also CLA supplements available, but these are rarely beneficial. CLA supplements are typically a synthetic form of CLA that is derived from plant oils. I always recommend getting all nutrients in their natural form, when possible.


Currently, the FDA does not require trans-fats to be listed on nutrition labels, if the product contains less than 0.5 g of trans-fats per serving.

If you are really serious about keeping all unhealthy trans-fats out of your diet, be sure to check the ingredients list for “hydrogenated oils” and/or “partially hydrogenated oils”. These ingredients are actually trans-fats. Just because some of your favorite foods contain trans-fats, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these foods. Here are some popular grocery store items that contain trans-fats, with healthy alternatives*….

Not so good choice – Girl Scout Samoa Cookies
Better choice – Homemade “Samoa Cookies

Not so good choice – Pay Day Candy Bar
Better choice – Homemade “Pay Day” Bar

Not so good choice – Premium Plus Crackers
Better choice – Homemade “Premium Plus” Crackers

Not so good choice – Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Pancakes
Better Choice – My Quinoa Pancakes or my Protein Pancakes

Not so good choice – Taquitos
Better Choice – Homemade “Taquitos”

*I prefer using Jay Robb protein powder for recipes that incorporate Whey Protein

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/04/26/natural-trans-fats-actually-have-health-benefits.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/10/18/dairies-unite-to-set-safety-standards-for-raw-milk-cheese.aspx
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/12/2943.full
http://www.adsa.org/jointabs/iaafs108.pdf
http://www.springerlink.com/content/jx34483r3888840n/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20463040
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18820159

Is All Butter Created Equal?

Dairy Aisle Confusion

Choosing Healthy Dairy Products

“Making informed nutrition and fitness-related decisions can be somewhat overwhelming for those in therapy for eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, binge eating disorder) and obesity. To this end, I’ve compiled a set of handouts to provide handy reference guides to both my readers and clients. You can view all my Nutrition and Fitness Handouts here. Be sure to check back frequently, as I am always adding new handouts to my list!”

With all the varieties of milk available in grocery stores today, it is very difficult to know which type of milk is the healthiest. In this post, I hope to provide both my patients and readers with some insight to make the decision-making process less stressful.

Today’s milk is much different from the milk our grandparents and great-grandparents drank. Much of the milk in stores today:

  • comes from cows that produce A1 beta-casein
  • comes from grain-fed cows
  • is pasteurized (and in some cases ultra-pasteurized) and homogenized
  • contains synthetic vitamins, antibiotics and growth hormones
  • has dry milk added to improve consistency

We can avoid some of these unhealthy aspects of today’s milk by consuming milk from grass-fed cows when possible. Milk from grass-fed cows has many health benefits, including but not limited to:

  • it contains five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
  • it contains the perfect ratio of essential fatty acids. This can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and mental health disorders
  • it contains more beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin D than grain-fed milk

So, what kind of milk should you buy? I’ve created a handy, quick-reference guide to use when making your decision.

*Raw milk is only legal for purchase in my area through cow-share programs. To find out the laws in your area, check here

The Cornucopia Institute recently did an in-depth investigation of over 100 organic dairy farms throughout the United States. They ranked each dairy based on organic farming practices and ethics. I’ve summarized some of the findings for some of the organic dairy farms that sell milk in the Cincinnati area (for readers outside of the Cincinnati area, you can find more dairy farm ratings here)

Traders Point (milk and yogurt) was the only dairy farm in my area that was rated ‘Outstanding’ (5 out of 5 cow rating) (Snowville Creamery was not included in the report)

-Dairy farms that were rated ‘Excellent’ (4 out of 5 cow rating) include:

Ben and Jerry’s Organic Ice Cream was the only locally available ice cream that was rated ‘Very Good’ (2 out of 5 cow rating)

-Dairy farms that were rated ‘some or all factory-farm milk or unknown source, but better than conventional’ (1 out of 5 cow rating)*

-Dairy farms that were rated ‘Ethically Deficient’ (0 out of 5 cow rating)* include:

  •  Horizon Organic Milk
  •  Aurora Organic Milk
  •  Back to Nature Cheese

*There were no ‘1 cow rated farms’ or ‘0 cow rated farms’ that agreed to participate in the investigation, so score was based on information that was publicly available

Although milk has changed over time, we can still make healthy decisions by becoming informed consumers. Thanks to institutes like Cornucopia, we can gain much knowledge about where our food is coming from.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com)’.

Sources:
www.foodrenegade.com/healthy-milk-what-to-buy/
www.eatwild.com/articles/superhealthy.html
www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html

photo used under creative commons license, flickr user kakie