You may have seen tons of keto-approved snacks, shakes, and delivery services available for purchase online, but any budget-conscious foodie knows that these items can be quite costly, especially when you factor in steep shipping fees.
Although it may seem impossible to indulge in the popular high-fat and low-carb eating plan on a tight budget, dietitians say it's possible to score keto-approved produce, meats, and snacks on the cheap.
INSIDER spoke to two registered dietitians to learn how to find the best keto-friendly foods on a budget.
1. Look for family-size packs of chicken, beef, and pork chops
Even if you are just cooking keto-friendly meals for yourself, registered dietitian Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN, suggested looking for family-size packs of chicken, beef, and pork chops, saying they are often more affordable than smaller packs.
"You can always grab some freezer bags and split up the pack when you get home so one family pack can provide you multiple meals," Gulbin told INSIDER.
2. Find out when your grocery store restocks meat
Gulbin also said it's important to find out when your grocery restocks meat. She suggested that when stores do this (which is usually the day before or on the day of) they often tag meats (that are a week from their sell-by date) with discounts.
3. Try to buy produce that's in season
"It's wise to use a produce guide from the USDA which will t ell you which vegetables are in season," Guilbin said. "When produce is in season, they will be cheaper and more flavorful."
4. Use frozen vegetables to save money
Although fresh produce is best, Gulbin said frozen vegetables can be cheaper, especially when they are purchased in bulk. She also noted that, "many frozen vegetables are flash frozen at their peak of ripeness, so they will still sustain comparable nutritive qualities to fresh produce."
Frozen vegetables will also not go bad as quickly as fresh produce, which Gulbin said will help you save money in the long run
5. Check out the bulk section of your favorite grocery store
If you are looking to save a buck, Gulbin said the bulk section of certain stores can allow you to buy whatever amount of nuts or seeds you want for a cheaper price than their prepackaged counterparts.
Look for bulk food sections at grocery stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts, she said, as well as sites like Litterless or ZeroWasteNerd for bulk food locations in your area.
6. Save big at stores likes Dollar Tree and Grocery Outlet Bargain Market
"You may be surprised to find coconut oil, olive oil, and low carb snacks for cheap at places like Dollar Tree or Grocery Outlet Bargain Market," Gulbin said.
7. Create a shopping list and stick with it.
"Always prepare a grocery list before entering the market and use it," registered dietitian Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN told INSIDER. Only buying what's on that list is the best way to stick to a budget, she said.
8. Don't throw away your chicken carcass
"It's usually a better deal to buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces yourself," Aguirre suggested. But you won't want to throw away the carcass, she said, as you can use it to make chicken broth.
9. Shopping online may guarantee better savings
If you can't find the deals you want locally or are short on time, shopping online is another option for savings, according to Aguirre.
"Check out items such as nuts, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, and spices," she said. These items are usually less expensive to buy online than in the store, even with shipping, she added.
10. Try to make food yourself instead of relying on packaged foods
"Plan to make anything yourself that you normally would buy packaged," Aguirre suggested. Not only will this help you save money, but it'll also eliminate the other ingredients that show up in processed foods, she said.
Eating right on the keto diet can be a bit tricky, as you'll want to focus on the right food choices that will keep you in ketosis all day long. And of course, that means avoiding sugary and processed foods as much as possible, as these foods can jeopardize all that fat-burning action you worked so very hard to achieve. To keep you fuller longer, registered dietitian Abbey Sharp, RD, recommended focusing on high-fiber and high-fat food sources that are also low in carbs. This keeps you satiated fast, she said, since both fat and fiber are very satiating.
To help you give the pork rinds a break and find better food choices that will keep you full throughout the day, we spoke more to Sharp and other nutritional experts about the most filling keto foods that can easily be added to your diet. Below are some of the food choices they say will squash those pesky cravings in a flash.
Mushrooms are a very filling vegetable.
"Mushrooms are mostly made of protein, fiber, and water, making them very filling," said Alex Ruani, nutrition science educator at The Health Sciences Academy. Low-starch foods like mushrooms are unlikely to kick you out of ketosis, she suggested, making them an ideal staple during low-carb eating. To add mushrooms to your diet, she recommended stirring them with scrambled eggs. Doing so makes a delicious and very filling low-carb meal, she explained.
Sauerkraut is rich in filling fiber.
"With only 4.3 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams (most of which are fiber), sauerkraut is an excellent food to try during a low-carb eating regime," Ruani added. You can try making your own sauerkraut by fermenting shredded green cabbage and chopped garlic cloves in salted water, and optionally adding a carrot or two, she suggested. However, if you opt for commercial sauerkraut, she advised double-checking your labels and avoiding products with added sugars.
Coconut yogurt can promote satiation.
"Made from coconut milk (which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates), dairy-free coconut yogurt can be an enjoyable treat to curb sweet cravings and promote satiation," Ruani told INSIDER. Opt for sugar-free or unsweetened versions, she advised, or try making your own by blending full-fat coconut milk, probiotic cultures, and a bit of stevia for a sweet touch.
Green pesto has an amazing fiber content.
"Starch-free and sugar-free, green pesto can make many low-carb dishes not only tastier but also more filling thanks to its high fiber content," suggested Ruani. To make your own pesto, she recommend using ingredients like Italian basil, olive oil, minced garlic, chopped pine nuts, and grated Parmesan.
Sardines are incredibly healthy.
"Sardines are a high quality protein that has several different vitamins and minerals," suggested registered dietitian Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN. In addition, she said this type of fish is an excellent source of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Add eggs to your diet .
"One large egg contains less than one gram of carbs and about six grams of protein, making eggs an ideal food for a ketogenic lifestyle," Aguirre added.
Make sure you are consuming full-fat dairy
"Eating full-fat dairy is shown to provide essential nutrients difficult to obtain from low-fat dairy," Aguirre told INSIDER.
Olives contain numerous health-promoting compounds.
"Olives contain numerous health-promoting compounds," Aguirre suggested. One of the most studied compounds is a phenolic compound called oleocanthal, she said, which possesses similar anti-inflammatory properties to ibuprofen.
Don't be afraid of guacamole.
Aguirre said that one serving (or one-fifth of an entire avocado fruit) of an avocado contains 4.5 grams of fat. Most of the fat is in the form of healthy monounsaturated fats, she suggested, which is ideal for those observing the keto diet. Guacamole also contains several vitamins and minerals, according to Aguirre. Among those include potassium and vitamin C, she added.
Salmon is very high in omega-3 fats.
"Salmon is very high in omega-3 fats, which have been linked to a decreased risk of disease and improved mental health," Aguirre suggested. Aim to consume at least two servings of high fatty fish weekly, she advised.
Chia seeds crush hunger quick.
"One small tablespoon of chia seeds has 11 grams of fiber, five grams of omega-3s, and four grams of protein," said Sharp. Together, they make up the "hunger crushing trio" which will definitely keep you fuller longer, she added.
Sprinkle flax meal over salads and smoothies.
"Flax meal has three grams of fiber and protein, and over seven grams of fat per two tablespoons," Sharp told Insider. Flax meal is also very easy to add into your lifestyle, as you can easily add it to a high-fat smoothie or salad.
Almonds also have an impressive fiber content.
"Almonds are low in carbs but are high in fat, as an ounce of almonds has 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 3.5 grams of satisfying fiber," Sharp says.
1. Low Energy/Fatigued
With the meteoric rise of energy drinks and the steady popularity of caffeinated beverages you’d think there was an low energy epidemic in full swing.
Trying to make up for a lack of energy with stimulants like caffeine and taurine only worsen the problem in the long run. After the pick-me-up there is often an energy crash that leaves you feeling worse than when you started. Not only that but these beverages usually act to burden the liver, further exacerbating the problem and sending you into a low-energy spiral.
If you wake up in the morning feeling sluggish, and pretty much stay that way throughout the day with varying degrees of lethargy, you should definitely consider doing a detox. A cleanse in conjunction with a detoxification program can help you lose body waste, feel lighter, and release store up toxins.
How a Detox Helps: A detox can help you flush out the things that are preventing you from feeling energetic and having a pep in your step.
Chronic constipation is a sign that something isn’t right in your digestive system. If you’ve tried increasing your fiber intake and adjusting your diet with limited results, it could be your body telling you that it needs a cleansing. Frequent Indigestion is also a common sign.
If you’ve accumulated years of waste in your bowels and colon, including impacted fecal matter and more, constipation could be just one symptom of a larger, more pressing problem.
In conjunction with a cleanse you introduce plenty of healthy foods like raw fruits and vegetables, and stop the intake of fried foods, and other unhealthy options so your body is getting a break, as well as getting the vitamins and minerals it so badly needs.
How a Detox Helps: A cleanse is the order of the day if you’ve been battling with bouts of constipation. An effective cleanse will not only clear your colon of any stored up fecal matter, but will cleanse your digestive tract as well, improving your digestive health along the way.
3. Brain Fog/Unable to Focus
There’s one energy drink on the market that keeps promising to improve your focus. Perhaps that’s because there’s a serious need for many Americans to go on a detox program because of all the toxins they’re exposed to on a daily basis.
If you consistently find that in your natural state you lack the ability to focus and find yourself adrift in a mental fog, your body could be screaming at your to detoxify it, and this is its cry for help. Don’t misread it as a sign to use a stimulating drink or prescription drug.
Once you free yourself of toxins in the form of candida, heavy metals, and more, you’d be surprised how much better you’re able to focus, stay on task, and get things done.
How a Detox Helps: A detox helps get rid of the toxins that are preventing your brain from firing on all cylinders. A candida cleanse alone can restore clarity, focus, and concentration by ridding your body of excessive and damaging candida fungus.
4. Feeling Depressed
The way you feel is largely dependent on your ability to feed your body with nourishing foods. Your mood can change with the right or wrong meal, and eating foods that are low-quality or even toxic to the body over long periods of time can put you in a depressed state.
The problem is that when you start to make changes to feel better and change your diet to include more life-giving foods, the toxins will block the nutrients from finding their way to your brain. Toxins have a way of nestling into the body and can remain there unless acted upon by another force. In this case a detox program can help to get your mind back in the right place.
It’s important to make the distinction between feeling down and depressed and having clinical depression. If you believe that you may be clinically depressed it’s important to consult with your doctor for the best help.
How a Detox Helps: A detox may not be the cure for clinical depression, you’ll want to see your doctor for that. But as far as helping to avoid depressing thoughts, a detox can work wonders. It frees your body of stored up toxins that can keep you in patterns of negative thinking, and can inspire a new outlook on life.
5. Overweight/Trouble Losing Weight
If you’re not at your ideal weight even after several earnest attempts at weight loss, it could be that you were fighting an uphill battle thanks to all of the toxins in your body.
Turning over a new leaf and introducing the body to healthy foods doesn’t work as well as you’d think it does if there is waste in the body that is preventing the absorption of the vitamins and minerals these foods contain.
When you detox the body you are bringing things back to square one rather than starting at a disadvantage. It not only helps the body shed body waste and lose weight as a byproduct of doing the detox, it sets the stage for healthy weight loss with the adoption of a better diet and a more active lifestyle.
How a Detox Helps: A detox cleans the slate if you will, and allows you to start fresh rather than swimming upstream by trying to be healthy while still having plenty of stored up toxins.
6. Trouble Sleeping
An excessive amount of toxins can keep you up at night, tossing and turning as your natural cycle is disrupted. Melatonin signals the body for sleep, but an excessively toxic body can reduce the amount of melatonin that is released, and cause a domino effect when it comes to getting natural, restful sleep.
When the body is persistently kept in an unnatural state, which is the case if you have too many toxins in the body, you may find yourself falling out of rhythm with nature. This will have you staying up late and waking up later than you need to, or feeling like you need more sleep than you actually do.
Try a detox before resorting to sleep aids, which will only prolong the problem.
How a Detox Helps: A detox helps you by restoring your body to a more natural state. You can then be more apt to follow the patterns of the circadian rhythm, getting tired at appropriate times at night thanks to melatonin released by the body, and waking up with the birds feeling refreshed and recharged.
7. Sexual Dysfunction
It’s funny to think that many of the prescriptions filled and products sold in relation to sexual problems could be solved with a detox program. But your sexual organs are the same as any other organ, and their proper function can be thrown off when there are too many toxins wreaking havoc on the body.
Many who complete a detox program report feeling a stronger sex drive, and a better performance than before they started the program.
If you’ve never done a detox and your sexual performance and desire has gradually waned, it may not be a sign of aging, but rather a sign that you need a detox in a bad way.
How a Detox Helps: If your reproductive organs aren’t getting the vitamins and minerals they need to do their job thanks to toxicity in the body, your physical performance will be affected and you may end up blaming yourself.
8. Unexplained Headaches
The source of some headaches is easy to identify, either from a stressful day or being around a lot of noise. But if you suffer from regular headaches with no obvious cause it may be just the time for a detox.
A headache is a pretty reliable way for your body to tell you that something isn’t right. It gets your attention and can bring your world to standstill if it’s bad enough. Rather than treat the symptom of pain, it’s best to see if your headaches are being caused by a toxic state.
Before trying yet another pain reliever or worrying that you’ll have these headaches for the rest of your life, try a detox program to see if the problem is too many toxins. Just be warned, your headaches may worsen during the detoxification process, but when it’s complete they should be gone, or at least greatly reduced.
How a Detox Helps: A detox gets rid of impurities in the body that may be making you more prone to a headache.
9. Unexplained Soreness/Stiffness
Do you wake up in the morning feeling sore and stiff even though you didn’t do anything the previous day to justify feeling that way? If you play a rough sport or practice Mixed Martial Arts it makes sense to wake up feeling like you were hit by a truck. But what if you don’t have a good reason for feeling this way?
When you have toxins in the body that need to come out you are more likely to suffer from inflammation, because many of the foods and beverages that cause toxicity also lead to inflammation.
If you’ve never done a detox to flush these toxins from the body, they build up over the years and can lead to premature and undue soreness and stiffness in the body.
How a Detox Helps: A detox can help reduce excessive inflammation, which in turn helps to soothe the aches and pains brought on by too much inflammation in the body.
10. Skin Problems/Allergic Reactions
You may have noticed that your skin has been having issues, and nothing that you’ve tried has been able to fix it.
A topical treatment isn’t going to help if the cause of your skin problem is excessive toxicity in the body. It’s time to get to the root cause and follow a proven detox program that lists skin conditions as one of the symptoms it can relieve.
One thing to keep in mind is that a side effect of doing a detox is often rashes and other skin problems, especially if many toxins are being released. These will subside by the time the process has finished, and should not be confused as a worsening of your problem.
How a Detox Helps: A detox works at the source of the problem, ridding the body of toxins that can lead to rashes, outbreaks, and allergic reactions on the skin, as well as sneezing, coughing, and asthmatic conditions.
If this sounds like you, make the decision today and message me! Your body will thank you for it.
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Between Soul Cycle, Fitbit, Whole30 diets and social media health gurus, the health and wellness industry is booming — but Americans are more likely to be obese today than ever before.
The problem: Despite promises made by gyms and fitness programs, physical activity does little to help people lose weight, says Ashkan Afshin from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. And Americans' diets are still terrible.
It’s the only disease that we put the blame on the patient and remove it from the health care provider.
— Fatima Cody Stanford, obesity medicine physician scientist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
One key trend:
The prevalence of diseases most attributed to obesity — high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol — has held steady or even fallen over the past few years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. fitness industry is the most lucrative in the world, bringing in $30 billion worth of revenue in 2017, according to the latest report by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) — a global trade association for the fitness industry.
The bottom line: "Our bodies are now supportive of an environment that really supports obesity," Stanford said. Meanwhile, the medical community and insurance regulations are slow to help obese patients until they've been diagnosed with other serious health issues associated with the disease.
Are you looking to finally looking rid yourself of diest and make a lifestyle change that fits?
Frequent intentional weight loss is associated with lower natural killer cell cytotoxicity in postmenopausal women: possible long-term immune effects.
Weight-loss attempts are likely to become more frequent as the prevalence of obesity rises. Repeated cycles of loss and gain are a common consequence of failed weight-loss attempts. The question of whether this pattern has negative health effects is unresolved. The objective of this research was to investigate associations between weight-loss history and current measures of immune function.
DESIGN: The study design was a cross-sectional study.
SUBJECTS: One hundred fourteen healthy, overweight, sedentary, postmenopausal women were recruited for an exercise intervention study and were currently weight stable.
METHODS: History of intentional weight loss was assessed by questionnaire. Flow cytometry was used to measure natural killer cell (NK) cytotoxicity at four effector-to-target (E:T) ratios and for enumerating and phenotyping lymphocytes. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to investigate associations between weight loss within the past 20 years and current immune function
RESULTS: Women who reported ever intentionally losing >or=10 pounds had lower measured NK cytotoxicity than those who did not (24.7%+/-12.1% vs 31.1%+/-14.7%, respectively, at E:T 25:1; P=.01). Increasing frequency of previous intentional weight loss was associated with lower NK cytotoxicity (P=.003, trend). As an independent predictor, longer duration of recent weight stability was associated with higher NK cytotoxicity (21.6%+/-11.9%, 24.4%+/-11.0%, and 31.9%+/-14.4% for <or=2, >2 to <or=5, and >5 years of weight stability, respectively; P=.0002, trend). The frequency of weight loss episodes was also associated with differences in the number and proportion of NK cells.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that frequent intentional weight loss may have long-term effects on immune function.
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Intermittent fasting, also known as IF, has become a popular method for getting lean and losing weight. It’s also said to boost energy levels, increase motivation and stamina, and improve cognitive function. It may even protect against cancer (1).
Those benefits don’t sound too shabby, do they?
While intermittent fasting does seem to offer some promising health benefits, it may not be for everyone — especially depending on whether you’re male or female. And as it stands now, there’s more research being done on intermittent fasting for rats than for humans.
It seems that whether or not intermittent fasting will work for you comes down to human biology. While shorter periods of fasting are generally considered safe for most people, some of the extended fasting times associated with intermittent fasting can be disastrous for a woman’s hormones — causing things such as reproductive issues and early menopause — and may worsen other pre-existing health conditions.
Before we get into the details, let’s look closer at what intermittent fasting is, how it works, and the pros and cons of this eating trend for women.
What is Intermittent Fasting and How Does it Work?Intermittent fasting may sound a bit technical, but you’ve probably done it before without even realizing it. First, it helps to know the difference between the fasted state and fed state.
The Fasted State vs. Fed StateWhen you eat every few hours, you’re in a “fed” state, which is when your body is busy digesting, absorbing, and assimilating the nutrients from your meals. Accelerated fat burning isn’t the #1 priority here. Most of us remain in the fed state during the day, aside from when we’re sleeping.
The reason why intermittent fasting can provide certain benefits for weight loss is because it allows your body to enter the fasted state, which is when your body’s fat burning can really accelerate.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
Intermittent fasting simply means you go a period of time without eating, usually between 12 to 48 hours. This length of time is known as your fasting window, during which time you only consume liquids, such as water, herbal tea, or broth.
Some experts recommend drinking low-calorie green vegetable juices and taking supplements while fasting to help keep vitamin and mineral intake consistent, while others believe only water should be consumed. Like many topics in the health realm, the rules around intermittent fasting are subjective, depending on who you ask.
If you fast for less than 24 hours, you’ll also have an eating window. This is the time allotted for meals before you begin your fast. For most people practicing intermittent fasting, their eating window is between six to 12 hours. The most common fasting times are 12,14,16, and 18 hours.
For example, if you were to do a 12-hour fast, your eating window would be 12 hours. You could start your eating window at 7am and end at 7pm. You would break the fast the next day at 7am.
Although some of the intermittent fasting methods online seem more intense than others (some can last upwards of 48 hours), the beauty of intermittent fasting is that you get to choose and experiment with how long you fast. This not only allows you to determine how intermittent fasting can fit in within your lifestyle, but to discover the fasting sweet spot that helps you feel best physically.
Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting for Women (And Why it Can Be Tricky)Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting may include:
When the female body senses it’s headed towards famine, it will increase the production of the hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin, which signal to the body that you’re hungry and need to eat (2). Additionally, if there’s not enough food for you to survive, your body is going to shutdown the system that would allow you to create another human. This is the body’s natural way of protecting a potential pregnancy, even if you’re not actually pregnant or trying to conceive.
It’s not that you’re intentionally imposing a famine upon yourself — but your body doesn’t know that. It doesn’t know the difference between true starvation and intermittent fasting, which is why it defaults to this protective mechanism.
Therefore, some of the cons due to hormonal imbalances brought on by intermittent fasting may also lead to:
With all of these drawbacks, you may be wondering: could you (and would you still want to) practice intermittent fasting as a female? If you take a more relaxed approach, the answer is yes. When done within a briefer timeframe, intermittent fasting can still help you reach your weight loss goals and provide the other health benefits previously mentioned, without messing up your hormones.
The Best Intermittent Fasting Methods for Women
So, what exactly is a relaxed approach to intermittent fasting? Again, since there’s little research done on intermittent fasting, we’re dealing with a bit of a gray area. The opinions also tend to vary depending on which site you visit, or which health expert you ask. From what we’ve found, the general guidelines to brief intermittent fasting for women are:
Do not fast for longer than 24 hours at a time
Ideally fast for 12 to 16 hours
Do not fast on consecutive days during your first two to three weeks of fasting (for instance, if you do a 16-hour fast, do it three days a week instead of seven)
Drink plenty of fluids (bone broth, herbal tea, water) during your fast
Only do light exercise on fasting days, such as yoga, walking, jogging, and gentle stretching
Options for Intermittent FastingThere are several different intermittent fasting methods discussed online. Here are a few of the most popular ones.
When Should You Avoid Intermittent Fasting?Intermittent fasting isn’t a good fit for everyone. You shouldn’t consider intermittent fasting if you are:
Final Thoughts on Intermittent Fasting for WomenIntermittent fasting may work amazingly well for some people, and terribly for others. Most importantly, if you do decide to give intermittent fasting a try, be sure to listen to your body’s feedback. Easing into intermittent fasting by starting with shorter fasting windows can help with initial symptoms of hunger and discomfort. But if it becomes too uncomfortable, be honest with yourself, accept it, and move on.
At the end of the day, nothing can have a greater impact on your health than a diet rich in real, whole foods, and a lifestyle that prioritizes your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
When you compare grass-fed beef to grain-fed beef, it may just seem like beef with a higher price tag. After all, does it really matter what the cow was fed throughout its lifetime?
When it comes to your health, the short answer is yes.
Not only are there key nutritional differences between grass-fed and grain-fed beef, but there are also differences in the safety of the meat (not to mention the taste). There’s even a significant difference between grass-fed and grass-finished. Let’s take a closer look at how grass-fed beef, grain-fed beef, and grass-finished beef are different, and why this matters to your health.
The old adage, “you are what you eat” also applies to what the foods you eat once ate.
In other words, the beef you’re eating can only be as nutritious as what the cow was fed. Before we get into the differences in nutrient composition of grass-fed beef and grass-finished beef versus grain-fed beef, it’s important to first understand the different diets each type of cattle are raised on.
For the first 6 months or so, all cows start out with a similar diet: their mother’s milk and the greenery in their environment. Once they’re weaned off milk, grass-fed and grass-finished cows — also known as “pasture raised” cows — will continue to roam green fields, where they’ll enjoy chowing down on lush plants, shrubs, and the occasional bug for the remainder of their lives.
Since grass and plants can provide all of the nutrients a healthy cow needs, the result is highly nutritious beef. In fact, research shows that grass-fed cows are higher in conjugated linolenic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that’s been shown to have anti-carcinogenic effects and promote fat loss. They also contain 2 to 4 times more omega 3 essential fatty acids than grain-fed cows, which is important because we get far less omega 3 fatty acids in our diets today than what our bodies actually need (1)(2)(3).
Omega 3’s — which are found in unprocessed oils, wild fish, grass-fed beef, and nuts and seeds — play a critical role in hormonal health, cognitive function, growth and development, healthy skin, and keeping the body’s anti-inflammatory response in check.
Animals that are fed green grass also store more vitamin A in their livers (4). This explains why grass-fed beef is higher in beta carotene — the precursor to vitamin A. Grass-fed beef is also shown to be richer in vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium.
Now, let’s move on to how grain-fed cows are raised, and how a grain-fed diet alters the nutrient composition of the beef you eat.
How Grain-Fed Cows And Grass-Fed Are Raised
Grain-fed cows — also known as “conventionally raised” cows — are moved to a feedlot once they’re weaned from their mother’s milk at approximately 8 months. It’s in these lots that they’re fed grains, corn, and soy to fatten them up and produce a higher yield of beef. The cattle are also confined in very small spaces— not even enough space to move, which puts the animal under distress.
High stress levels can also lead to fatter animals. This is because cortisol is a fat storage hormone that’s part of the ‘fight or flight’, or stress response. Since the cow has been removed from its natural environment and experienced a dramatic change in living conditions and diet, there will undoubtedly be a certain level of stress endured by the cow, which results in elevated cortisol levels. When cortisol levels are consistently elevated, the body is more likely to store fat as a protective mechanism (5).
Alternatively, when grass-fed cows graze in fields, they’re getting exercise, which naturally results in leaner beef, as well as an animal that’s not stressed out.
Now, this isn’t all to say that grain-fed beef doesn’t have nutritional value. It still contains several essential nutrients, such as protein, B vitamins, iron, and zinc. But in addition to being lower in minerals, CLA, and promoting a poor omega 3:6 ratio, grain-fed beef also contains 4 times more saturated fat per 3 ounce serving.
The Difference Between Grass-fed Beef and Grass-finished Beef You Should Know AboutThere’s a major difference between grass-fed and grass-finished cows that many people don’t know about. Grass-fed beef is marketed as the healthiest choice for meat, but the term ‘grass-fed’ is unregulated, and accompanied by a major grey area.
You see, the term grass-fed doesn’t necessarily mean the cow was fed a grass diet their entire lives. It means they were started on a grass-fed diet, and may have been fed grains for the remainder of their lives, which is actually grass-fed, grain-finished beef.
In other words, as long as the cow was fed greenery at one point in its life, it can be labelled as grass-fed beef.
On the other hand, grass-finished beef means the cow was fed grass — and nothing but grass and plants — for the duration of its life. So while grass-fed cows will still contain omega 3 essential fatty acids, CLA, and other beneficial nutrients, grass-finished beef is ultimately the most nutrient dense beef you can buy, and ideally what to look for when you purchase beef.
Food SafetyAre Growth Hormones Safe or Not?There’s one other ingredient that goes into the feed of grain-fed cows: hormones. Synthetic estrogen, testosterone and growth hormones are another way to help cows grow 15% larger, faster.
Going back to our first point, “you are what you eat”, when we eat beef that has been treated with hormones, we’re also ingesting those hormones. While there’s limited research to show the impact that synthetic hormones — specifically sourced from grain-fed meat — have on our health, it may not be ideal for those who are already susceptible to certain cancers or are suffering from hormonal imbalances to be ingesting them (6)(7).
A large percentage of grain-fed cattle are treated with hormones. However, it’s possible to find hormone-free conventionally raised beef. Grass-fed beef are generally not exposed to hormones in their lifetime.
Antibiotics: 30 Million Pounds Used in Livestock
Think it’s common for Americans to take antibiotics? Some sources suggest over 70% of the antibiotics in the US are given to animals. In fact, over 30 million pounds of antibiotics were given to American livestock in 2011.
The danger of consuming antibiotics through meat is becoming more prevalent, as antibiotic use in livestock has recently been discovered as a leading cause of the rise in antimicrobial-resistant infections — leading to antibiotic resistance and increased mortality rates (8).
There’s no pretty way to say this: the feedlots grain-fed cows live in aren’t a sanitary environment. In fact, the ground the cattle stands on is basically a mix of bacteria, mud, dirt, and feces. These living conditions make the cows more susceptible to illness and disease, which is why they’re commonly treated with antibiotics.
While there’s no guarantee that a grass-fed cow won’t get sick and need a round of antibiotics in their lifetime, the living conditions of a pasture are far less of a threat to the cow’s health than a feedlot. That’s not to mention the greater amount of immune-boosting nutrients in a grass-fed diet versus a grain-fed diet — in which case, fewer (if any) antibiotics should be needed.
The difference in taste between grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef is up for debate.
Some argue that grass-fed beef tastes, well, grassier — while grain-fed beef has a richer taste because it’s higher in saturated fat. Others don’t notice a difference at all.
As you can see, all types of beef do contain nutrients that benefit your health. However, if we were to rank grass-fed versus grain-fed versus grass-finished in order of health benefits, grass-finished would be the most nutrient-dense choice, followed by grass-fed, and grain-fed.
Autoimmune diseases are increasingly common. About 50 million Americans are suffering from a least one kind. (1)If you have an autoimmune disease, it means that your body is basically attacking itself. Your immune system goes into overdrive and sees everything as a threat. Trying to protect you from this perceived danger, it starts fighting and attacking its own tissues and cells, mistaking them as hazards. This can lead to pain, discomfort, and all kinds of issues depending on the autoimmune condition you have.
There are many kinds of autoimmune diseases, including Celiac disease, Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Despite the wide range of different autoimmune diseases though, they all tend to have the same kinds of triggers. (2) If you avoid these common triggers, you can avoid flare-ups and reduce your symptoms.
5 Autoimmune Triggers You Can Avoid
There’s nothing worse than finding yourself in that midday slump, feeling sluggish, and struggling to stay alert.
Luckily, we have an Energy Solution designed specifically to help you keep your energy levels up no matter what your day has in store. The next time you find yourself unable to keep your eyes open, here are a few strategies to help you fight fatigue – naturally.
Supplement With Adaptogens Daily
Like worry or fear, stress can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. Even low levels of chronic stress can erode energy levels over time, leaving you feeling less motivated to do daily activities (1).
With an onslaught of stressors coming your way each day the need for a defense is evident. Getting a daily dose of adaptogens like those found in RENUVO, can help your body more readily mitigate stress to minimize its harmful effects and give you the boost you need (2,3).
This may be the most common coping mechanism for fighting fatigue due to its accessibility and instant affect. While there is nothing inherently wrong with caffeine, the large doses, synthetic ingredients, creamers, and added calories that come with it can be a problem.
Instead of grabbing an energy drink or sweetened coffee, choose LiftOff or Green Tea. They provide a moderate, effective dose of natural caffeine without any of the junk or added calories.
Choose the Right Snack
If done right, snacking can be an effective tool to keep your blood sugar stable while helping to fend off an energy crash. Studies have shown that when you are low on energy you are more likely to choose a more sugar-, salt-, or fat-laden snack (4).
In these times of need, having a nutritious snack on hand or in mind can help you stay on track, and help you refuel to get through your day. Choose snacks that provide at least a moderate amount of protein, healthy fats, and/or fiber. Protein Bites are a nutritious and tasty alternative that will leave you feeling satisfied while providing a steady flow of energy.
Did you know that it is easy to sometimes confuse signals of hunger with thirst? Thirst can masquerade as fatigue and negatively impact your mood (5). Even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic.
Making sure you are properly hydrated is key. Having a naturally sweetened sports drink such as Energy Go Stix on hand can help you keep your hydration and electrolyte levels in check while also providing a little boost of energy through the small amount of easily digestible carbohydrates it supplies.
Go for a Walk
Taking a break to go on a brisk walk can not only curb hunger cravings, but also help you feel more alert. One study showed that in comparison to eating a sugary snack, participants reported feeling more alert up to two hours later after taking a 10-minute walk. After incorporating daily walks for three weeks, participants reported an increase in overall energy levels and mood (6).
Take a Power Nap
Napping may not always possible with a busy lifestyle. But if you have the opportunity, take one! Studies have shown that they are an effective tool to restore brain power. A power nap that is less than 30 minutes during the day promotes wakefulness and learning ability (7, 8). For an even bigger boost in energy, try drinking a cup of coffee before you fall asleep. The caffeine isn’t likely to affect your nap because it’s not absorbed quickly enough, but by the time you wake back up you’ll feel its energizing effects.
Plan Ahead With a Good Sleep
Quality sleep is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Just one poor night’s sleep can wreak havoc on all areas of your life – your waistline, mood, performance, and of course your energy levels the next day. There are many different strategies to enhance your sleep, but supplementing with a melatonin product like SleepRite AMJ can be one of the most effective. Sleep Support and Renewal can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up without the drowsy feelings that accompany most sleep aides.
With our help along with a few simple tricks you can finally conquer your midday slump for good.
Finding the time to sit back and enjoy a book is almost impossible for entrepreneurs. But it's critical that you find the time to read. After all, reading can boost our brainpower, help us relax, and make us more empathetic. I personally find that when I read I am much more aware of good ideas, am able to set more goals, and become a better leader to those around me.
With the new year rapidly approaching, one of your goals should be to take the time to read in 2016. And, here 16 books to help you get started on achieving that goal. As a bonus, you now have an answer when someone asks you what you would like for the holidays!
1. The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups From Their Founding Entrepreneurs, by David KidderHave you ever wondered how companies like LinkedIn, PayPal, and AOL got off the ground and became household names? David Kidder, a New York Times best-selling author and serial entrepreneur, sat down with 40 founders to get an inside look at how their businesses were able to succeed, as well as for advice on topics like leadership, how to inspire others, and persistence.
2. One Simple Idea, Revised and Expanded Edition: Turn Your Dreams Into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work, by Stephen KeyThroughout his career as an inventor, Stephen Key has licensed more than 20 simple ideas that have generated billions of dollars. Key has taken his experience and converted into this priceless book. Key takes readers through each step of launching a business, from an idea to cashing in on the idea, and presents it as a practical, real-world guide.
3. As a Man Thinketh, by James AllenFirst published in 1902, this timeless masterpiece by British philosophical writer James Allen has inspired millions of people with pieces of wisdom like: "All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts." Even if you're already read this book, it definitely deserves another reading.
4. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony HsiehHow has Zappos been able to make more than $1 billion in gross merchandise sales year after year? For starters, it is the shining example of how to do outstanding customer service. Zappos also prides itself on focusing on a company culture that embraces happiness. Thanks to CEO Tony Hsieh, Zappos has become one of the most beloved companies around, both for customers and employees. In his first book, Hsieh explains how he built a culture of passion and happiness through his life experiences.
5. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed CatmullAs the co-founder and CEO of Pixar, Ed Catmull certainly knows a thing or two about innovation and creativity. Catmull shares how leaders can create, drive, and maintain a culture of innovation. This book is so valuable that Forbes has stated that it "just might be the best business book ever written."
6. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell, the author behind excellent books like The Tipping Point and Outliers, strikes again with another intriguing and fascinating book. This time around Gladwell argues that those with disadvantages are actually stronger and more prone to success than those who don't have to face an uphill battle. Gladwell uses examples like Richard Branson and Charles Schwab battling dyslexia to back up his claim.
7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, by Stephen R. CoveyFirst published in 1989, this now-classic book examines how to succeed not only in business, but also as a leader and as a human being. Covey outlines a step-by-step guide in which you can learn how to become a better person both professionally and personally by solving problems.
8. Meditations, by Marcus AureliusIf you're looking to add balance to your hectic life as an entrepreneur, then this book, which is a collection of inspirational phrases from Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor Aurelius, is essential. One of my favorites piece of advice is "You have power over your mind--not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."
9. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), by Seth GodinThis is another winning text from Seth Godin, author or Purple Cow and Tribes, that is easy to consume, but packed with valuable insights, like the fact that winners know when to quit by cutting their losses, regrouping, and changing direction. It's a good companion book for entrepreneurs asking whether it's worth the fight or not.
10. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura HillenbrandWhile this isn't a business book, the inspiring true story of Louie Zamperini can help us all understand the importance of personal sacrifice and perseverance. If Zamperini could overcome the insurmountable challenges he faced during World War II, then you can overcome the barriers holding you back.
11. Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, by Peter Diamandis and Steven KotlerThese two best-selling authors teamed up for a feel-good and visionary book that explores why the future is going to great thanks to technology. Diamandis and Kotler maintain that technology is going to solve some of the most pressing global concerns, such as food, overpopulation, and health care. This will present an opportunity for innovative leaders to start a profitable company that can also change the world.
12. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee VanceJournalist Ashlee Vance spent years with Elon Musk and interviewed more than 300 individuals to completely grasp the drive and vision of one of the most important entrepreneurs in recent history. The biography, which examines Musk's journey from South Africa to launching companies like PayPal and Tesla, also gives us a closer look at the hardships of entrepreneurship, such as Musk's meltdown in 2008.
13. The 7 Day Startup: You Don't Learn Until You Launch, by Dan NorrisIf you're a first-time entrepreneur, then this book is a must-read, since it can be used as a guide if you're bootstrapping your startup. Written by Dan Norris, an entrepreneur who experienced failure for seven long years until he created WP Curve, this book can help you start bringing in cash in literally a week.
14. Mindsharing: The Art of Crowdsourcing Everything, by Lior ZorefAfter a decade at Microsoft as the VP or marketing for consumer and online services, Lior Zoref is now a crowd wisdom researcher. This book, his first, can assist us with learning how to use the power of crowds, such as connections on social media, to make smarter and more objective decisions.
15. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Timothy FerrissIt doesn't seem possible, but serial entrepreneur and best-selling author Timothy Ferriss may have discovered a shortcut to entrepreneurship. Pick your niche; use your experience to your advantage; test to find out what your audience needs help with; and then release a product that solves that pain point. After that, you can enjoy your life by working less.
16. The Virgin Way: If It's Not Fun, It's Not Worth Doing, by Richard BransonLike so many other entrepreneurs, I'm fascinated with Richard Branson. It's hard not to be drawn to his charisma, wisdom, and excitement. In his recent book, Branson describes why leaders should listen, be passionate, and have fun the "Virgin Way."
Special note: If you're like me and have a hard time finding time and focusing to read, download the audiobook and listen to it. I personally do this and listen while I go for walks and drive in my car. It helps me to learn while on the go.