Saturated Fat: What You Need To Know

Written by Jackson Long and Aaron Stuber

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Every time you hop on the internet, it seems there is conflicting nutrition advice coming from every direction. Bacon is good for you one day, then it causes cancer the next. One of the best examples in recent years is saturated fat. Time Magazine put butter on their cover recently, insisting that everything we claim to know about saturated fat is wrong.  But what does the science say? What’s the deal with saturated fat?

First off, what is saturated fat? It’s simply a chain of monoglycerides and fatty acids that are “saturated” with hydrogen atoms.  This makes saturated fats solid at room temperature (think bacon grease in a can after you let it cool down).  Most of the saturated fat in the western diet comes from animal products like butter, cheese, milk and meats.

We’ve known for over 50 years that as dietary saturated fat intake rises, so does your cholesterol, especially the bad kind.  In fact, this relationship is so consistent and reproducible that you can accurately predict the total rise in serum cholesterol based on the amount of saturated fat someone consumes using the Hegsted Equation. These results were found through hundreds of metabolic ward studies, where people are locked in a room for weeks with researchers who have total control over their nutritional intake.  That’s as accurate as nutrition studies get.

We also know that high total serum cholesterol is the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, our number one killer. Randomized controlled clinical trials, the gold standard of study design, have shown over and over that a reduction in saturated fat intake not only drastically lowers serum cholesterol but that it also reduces the risk of cardiac events like heart attacks. The most prestigious, governing scientific and public health bodies in the world are unanimously in favor of reducing or eliminating dietary saturated fat intake because of its clear role in the development of atherosclerotic disease.  So if there’s such a consensus in the scientific community, why are we still having this debate?

The primary reason is that the meat and dairy industries (and the Atkins Foundation) have done a masterful job of paying scientists (like Ronald M Krauss) to conduct meta analyses of cross-sectional studies which do not have the “power,” in statistical terms, to demonstrate statistically significant correlations between saturated fat intake and heart disease. This happens because cross-sectional studies, as opposed to controlled feeding experiments, are only designed to show a change in cholesterol based on dietary interventions.  Knowing the change in someones cholesterol after altering their diet, without knowing their total cholesterol level, makes it impossible to infer a relationship between that change and disease risk.  There are very clear relationships between total cholesterol levels and the manifestation of coronary artery disease, so much so that we can say with scientific accuracy that people with a total cholesterol under 150 (such as you might find in Sub-Saharan Africa) will be virtually disease free.  We can also predictably reverse coronary disease by getting saturated fat low enough.

There is nothing academically dishonest about doing cross-sectional studies of this kind; they show other relationships that are important.  The problem lies in the funding and publication of reviews that selectively and exclusively use this limited data.  The studies are set up to fail.  This is the sole intention of industry: confuse the public and remove their incentive to change by manufacturing doubt.  That was, after all, the MO of the tobacco industry in decades past.

Articles like the one in TIME and other major media outlets continue to stoke the fire of controversy and create mass appeal for leaders in the high fat/low carb world, who cash in on their contrarian point of view to the detriment of public health.  We might laugh if the stakes weren’t so high. Isn’t it time we looked critically at the evidence and stopped killing ourselves with food?  The beautiful thing about science is that it’s true, whether you believe it or not.

Shaleen Shah on Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary and Compassionate Entreprenurialism

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This week on the show, we’re excited to bring Shaleen Shah to you guys. Shaleen is an entrepreneur and founder of the farm sanctuary Luvin Arms, based here in Boulder, Colorado. Luvin Arms is a pretty new sanctuary, only about a year old, and is pretty small, with a few goats, pigs, chickens, and horses. With his background in computer programming and entrepreneurialism, Shaleen has created a beautiful website and platform focused on creating a community based on education and compassion by connecting with animals. In our conversation, we cover everything from how Luvin Arms started to creating a culture based around compassion and what the plant-based/vegan business world is looking like for the future. If you’re in Boulder or Colorado in general, come celebrate Luvin Arms 1 year anniversary and eat amazing vegan Indian food this weekend (October 9th)! Get tickets here: https://eventgrid.com/Events/23257/luvin-arms-1st-anniversary-dinner-and-dance-celebration. We’re really grateful for Shaleen coming to join us on the podcast, so thank you to him and we hope you enjoy the conversation.


Stay up to date with all things TFF by checking out our social media platforms. You can find us @TFFlifestyle on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Jackson is also posting more regular videos on Thought For Food TV, our YouTube channel, including VLOGS, recipe videos, and much more! Please go subscribe 😉

We’re gearing up for another Q&A episode, so if you have any questions about anything related to the stuff we talk about (or not) send us an email to tfflifestyle@gmail.com so we can answer your question Live on Facebook and on the podcast!

If you want to support TFF for free, please consider writing a review on iTunes to keep us reaching more people, it’s super easy and it makes our day each time we see a new review pop up (we read each and every one). Here’s a link to our iTunes page: bit.ly/TFFitunes.

Finally, we are getting our services more dialed in on our website, including nutrition and lifestyle consulting and grocery store tours. If you or someone you know could benefit from getting some individualized consulting and help with nutrition and lifestyle in order to take your health or exercise to the next level, definitely check us out. We offer a huge amount of value for affordable prices, and can’t wait to start working with you. Click over to our shop to learn more!

Thanks to everyone listening and supporting the show from all over the world, it means so so much to us to read your emails and social media comments, and it keeps the fire burning to produce great content. Keep doing what you’re doing!

Go eat some plants, and what’s your thought for food?

-jackson and aaron


Show Notes

Luvin Arms: www.luvinarms.org

Luvin Arms on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luvinarms/?fref=ts


Follow TFF:

Facebook.com/TFFlifestyle

Instagram: @tfflifestyle

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

Snapchat: TFFlifestyle

YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Jackson on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/54401

Interested in coaching from Jackson and Aaron? Send us an email at tfflifestyle@gmail.com or click services on the website to learn more.

Music by:

soundcloud.com/dcuttermusic

soundcloud.com/peterkuli

Disease Fighting Fall Soup Recipe

Written by Aaron Stuber

 

Several years ago, my wife and I purchased a cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz called, Vegan with a Vengeance that has since become so dilapidated and covered in food bits as to render it nearly unreadable.  As cookbooks go, this is a good sign.

We both really like hearty food, the kind that warms your bones, especially as the weather grows cold and keeps you inside more hours of the day.  If you share our delight for comfort food and don’t mind preparing your own, give this recipe a try; you’ll be glad you did.

On page 68 of this phenomenal book, you will find a recipe for “Chili sin Carne al Mole.”

To make this meal you will need the following ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion
1 small jalapeno, minced
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 pound seitan, coarsley chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (28oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes in sauce
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
2 (14oz) cans pinto or black beans, drained and well rinsed
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (we use low sodium)

Preheat a large (at least 6 quart) pot over medium-high heat; pour in and heat the olive oil.  Add the onions and peppers and saute for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and seitan.  Cook this for 8 minutes, until the onions are soft.  Add the chile powder, cinnamon, and cumin, stirring occasionally for another minute.

Now add the tomatoes, then add the beans and vegetable broth.  Cover and bring to a gentle boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.  You should allow this to sit at least 20 minutes before serving.

You might notice that we added one additional ingredient, sweet potatoes.  This really thickens things up and gives the soup a seriously hearty flavor and consistency; and frankly, we just love sweet potatoes so why not?  We also doubled the recipe so that we could eat this all week. You can also eat half and freeze half for enjoying at a later date if you prefer.

Before I wrap this up, I want to explain why I call this a “disease fighting” soup recipe.  Most people, when they look at this meal in its finished state, see a bowl full of plants, something composed of just a few raw elements that will provide a source of calories.

I see a mobile pharmacy teaming with hundreds of unique phytochemicals whose sole purpose is to protect our bodies from the ravages of oxidative stress, in turn preventing and eating treating chronic disease.  As it turns out, most of the ingredients in this soup have been demonstrated to do just that, so here is a preview.

The onions in this pot contain compounds such as quercitin, sulfur, aromatase inhibitors and flavonoids, all of which have strong anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral and immune system modulating activity.  The same can be said for the garlic and tomatoes with the notable addition of lycopene, the tomatoes secret carotenoid weapon.

All of the spices have powerful anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties which might be one reason why populations in the east enjoy much lower rates of this disease.

The cocoa powder comes from the cacao bean which contains high amounts of magnesium and a few special compounds: anandamide and theobromine, neurotransmitters that cause a sensation of euphoria.  Who knew you could get high eating soup?

To top that all off, the beans are a concentrated source of resistant starch, a type of insoluble fiber that feeds gut microbes and gets them to produce butyrate, a compound highly protective against colon cancer. Beans are also loaded with protein, isoflavones and antioxidants.

So next time you make a chili like this, learn to see it as so much more than just a source of calories.  See it as medicine, because that’s exactly what it is.

Kayle Martin on Breast Cancer Survival Through Plants

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This week on the podcast, we’re excited to bring you an interview with Kayle Martin. Kayle is the owner and founder of Cowgirls and Collard Greens, a business designed to empower women battling breast cancer with knowledge about plant-based nutrition. Kayle was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30 and decided to adopt a completely raw-vegan diet combined with conventional cancer treatment, which led to curing her disease and catalyzing her to spread the message of plant-based living to prevent and reverse disease. She loves animals, and has a particular affinity to horses, and became vegetarian after her beloved cow, cupcake, ended up on her dinner plate. Kayle also lives a mostly digital-nomad lifestyle, following her passions. 

In the episode, which was a solo interview from Aaron, is focused on Kayle’s story surrounding breast cancer and veganism. The conversation also includes a discussion of her current lifestyle based on travel and growing her business. Kayle is incredibly inspiring and is a fantastic resource for helping to empower women around taking control of their health through plants. We hope this episode helps bring to your awareness the power of plants.


Thank you to everyone who has supported TFF through social media, leaving a review on iTunes, or sending us emails. We’ve been incredibly excited about connecting with you guys, and it means a lot to us that what we’re putting out is at least entertaining, if not helpful and inspiring to people all over the world. If you have a question that you would like answered on the podcast, send us an email to tfflifestyle@gmail.com, we’re gearing up for another Q&A podcast. If you haven’t already and want to support us for free, please consider leaving a review on the iTunes store, which helps us grow and reach more listeners. We’re also producing a ton of new content from Jackson’s YouTube VLOGS to weekly blog articles on the website. Definitely go check those out to see a different side of TFF. Have an awesome day, enjoy the episode, and go eat some plants.

What’s your thought for food?

 

Show Notes


Kayle’s site: Cowgirls and Collard Greens

Kayle on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CowgirlsCollardGreens

Instagram: @collardcowgirl


Follow TFF:

Facebook.com/TFFlifestyle

Instagram: @tfflifestyle

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

Snapchat: TFFlifestyle

YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Jackson on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/54401

Interested in coaching from Jackson and Aaron? Send us an email at tfflifestyle@gmail.com to learn more.

Music by:

soundcloud.com/dcuttermusic

soundcloud.com/peterkuli

5 Reasons It’s Cool To Eat Nothing But Plants

Written by Jackson Long

 

I’d say a majority of people I know (as well as the general population especially) are still existing under the outdated paradigm that being completely plant-based, i.e. eating nothing but plants, is downright impossible. This kind of lifestyle will make you weak, deficient in x or y nutrient, it’s expensive, complicated, elitist. The only way to be healthy is eat other animals right? I mean, what about protein though?

Whatever the excuse may be, I think it’s important to show just how awesome it is to live this way, and that you won’t end up a frail, weak, and whiny hippie.  

Here are five reasons why it’s cool to eat nothing but plants.  

 

1) You’re making a significant impact on the welfare of animals.

This is probably the most important reason to not eat animals: you’re not contributing to the suffering and death of animals. About 60 billion animals are enslaved and slaughtered every year. It’s simply not right, and if you wouldn’t slit the throat of a pig, why pay someone else to do it?

Due to brilliant marketing campaigns and even anti-investigation laws (Ag-gag) enacted by the meat and dairy industries, people don’t truly know what goes on behind the scenes of their pretty packaged cellophane piece of meat from the store. If you’re truly fine with what happens in the documentary Earthlings, then knock yourself out. But it’s time we wake up and act more in line with our morals, and truly extend compassion to the other inhabitants of our planet, not just our cats and dogs.

 

2) It’s by far the best and easiest thing you can do to decrease your footprint on the environment.

If you care about the environment, or call yourself an environmentalist, it’s incredibly contradictory to eat meat, period. Forget about your hybrid cars, animal agriculture contributes 51% of greenhouse gas emissions, 55% of the USA’s water usage, 91% of Amazon Rainforest destruction, and is the leading cause of species extinction.

One 1/4 lb hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce, the same as showering for 2 months straight. You can produce half the CO2 and 1/18th less land as a meat eater by switching to plants¹. This is a no brainer. Check out the incredibly important documentary Cowspiracy for the true scope of animal agriculture’s impact on the environment.

 

3) It’s also the best and easiest thing to do for your health!

True, long term health starts with what we put in our bodies every day. A plant based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease (our number 1 killer) and type II diabetes as well as drastically reduce your risk of developing cancer, obesity, and many other lifestyle related ailments². Today’s standard medical procedure for dealing with disease and health is a system of addressing symptoms, casually and often carelessly prescribing drugs, and not prevention or treatment of the underlying cause.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather eat bananas and potatoes than have to be on a strict regime of pills for the second half of my life to reduce my risk of heart attack, not to mention all those crazy side effects. The world’s longest living cultures, AKA “The Blue Zones” all have in common a primarily plant-based diet³. Check out NutritionFacts.org for more nutrition info, and the awesome documentary Forks Over Knives on Netflix. 

 

4) It rules if you’re an athlete.

Inflammation. Long recovery. Fatigue. Excess body weight. Soreness. Weak immune system. Sound familiar? Plants are naturally rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, are alkaline-forming, and can give you the energy and nutrients required as an athlete. Don’t believe me? Ask Rich Roll, an ultra endurance athlete who completed 5 Ironman distance triathlons in under a week on 5 Hawaiian islands.

Or Kendrick Farris, Team USA’s only male powerlifter at this year’s Rio Olympics, who exists on a completely vegan diet. What about world record holding strongman Patrik Baboumian, or Scott Jurek, one of the world’s most accomplished ultrarunners? These guys and many others eat nothin’ but plants and still crush it. I know I feel pretty damn good eating this way, and have no problem smashing it up the unforgiving CO mountains on my bike or busting out 5 hour rides. If you want your body to perform like a Ferrari, you gotta give it high-octane fuel.

 

5) It’s f*****g delicious.

Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet not only takes care of all the essential nutrients and significantly improves health, it just tastes incredible if you eat real food. I’m amazed every day at how much variety exists in the plant kingdom. I get so much more amped to come home after a bike ride and demolish 2L of fruit and vegetable smoothie or put away a mixing bowl sized curry stew for dinner than I ever did eating stuff on a “normal” diet.

There are only a few common options at the store when it comes to animals: pigs, chickens and their eggs, cows and their milk and turkeys. It’s easy to stereotype vegans that eat nothing but kale and tofu, but eating eggs for breakfast and chicken breast for dinner isn’t exactly exciting. It’s insane how much good food there is that doesn’t require a corpse to make it taste good. Smoothies, rice and beans, burgers, burritos, curries, ice cream, stir fry, the list goes on. Look at the produce section compared to the meat section. I start salivating at the sight of raw nectarines, watermelon, and mangoes. Not so much the raw chunks of cow (but maybe I’m weird).

 

The Take Away

I urge you to try incorporating more plant based whole food meals into your life. It’s time we start thinking about our food choices more seriously and stop listening to what the media or nutritionally uneducated doctors tell us. Think about nutrition and health more “wholistically”, a big picture lifestyle and not just some fad diet. There are more important issues (and fellow animals) than carbs and protein that are directly affected by what we put on our plate 3 times a day. Change is hard, but it is so worth it to get over the learning curve and go all into something you believe in. Do your research, be open minded, and truly think critically when it comes to your health, well being, and the planet as a whole.

 

Sources:

¹ http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/

² http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/plant-based-diets/

³ http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/04/11/398325030/eating-to-break-100-longevity-diet-tips-from-the-blue-zones

 

Our Experience With Exercise Addiction

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In this episode, we go deep on a pretty serious subject: exercise addiction. Both of us have struggled significantly with this problem and wanted to discuss it on the podcast. It’s something we’ve recently gotten some questions about so we felt compelled to share our thoughts on the subject. Jackson talked with his then girlfriend Robin about this on a previous episode, but Aaron wasn’t there. We are both working super hard to find balance in our exercise routines and really come to a place of sustainable training. Just a quick warning though: for those of you very sensitive to topics like this, the things we discuss could be potentially triggering for you. So if you feel worried about that, don’t listen. We don’t want this to stimulate any negativity, we simply wanted to share our own experiences. We talk about each of our pasts with exercise addiction, and then some of our best tips for working towards managing it. We would love to hear your feedback on the subject, so please send us an email at tfflifestyle@gmail.com if you want to discuss!

Thank you to everyone who has reviewed the show on iTunes, it really helps us out! We’ve been psyched at the recent response on social media and YouTube from you guys, so we really appreciate the support! Definitely be sure to share the podcast and website with your friends and family, and don’t be shy about sharing it on social media! Jackson is starting to do regular VLOGS on our YouTube channel, Thought For Food TV, so definitely go subscribe and check them out to get a glimpse of what our days look like here in Boulder, and expect some awesome videos in the future (he’s still getting the hang of things!). Hope everyone is having an awesome day, go eat some plants, and what’s your thought for food?

-Jackson and Aaron

Show Notes

Episode 017: Real Talk with Robin on Exercise Addiction

Connect with Thought For Food!

Facebook.com/TFFlifestyle

Instagram: @tfflifestyle

Snapchat: TFFlifestyle

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Ask us a question for our next Q&A episode! tfflifestyle@gmail.com

Interested in coaching from Jackson and Aaron? Send us an email to learn more.

Music by:

soundcloud.com/dcuttermusic

soundcloud.com/peterkuli

Welcome to the new TFFlifestyle.com!

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Welcome! We are both really excited to finally launch our new website, TFFlifestyle.com! We’ve had a good friend, Mary Murphy, help us out and she’s done a fantastic job.  Since we have expanded beyond the podcast, it was time to create a centralized location where you can find and enjoy everything we do at TFF, including all of the services and upgrades we plan on implementing in the future.

This also marks the first major turning point for Thought For Food Lifestyle. We have some pretty lofty goals for the future and a lot of valuable services we want to roll out right away.

One of those services is Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching/Consulting. This is something we’ve been thinking about doing since the inception of TFF. Aaron, a cardiovascular nurse, has extensive experience with and formal training in Health Coaching (he’s a graduate of WellCoaches) after running his own private Health Coaching practice, The Plant-Based RN, LLC.

Jackson has a passion for science and helping people improve their diets and lifestyle for the better. He holds a degree in Integrative Physiology and Public Health, a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell, and is a graduate student in Applied Nutrition with an emphasis on chronic disease prevention.

With combined athletic experience of over 20 years in competitive sports, we add value beyond the academic. Aaron has a background in competitive rock climbing and has been a sponsored trail ultramarathon runner for the last four years. Jackson has raced at the highest amateur level in road cycling, competing at the national and international level.

We’re confident that we have the expertise and experience to provide safe, efficient and high value coaching to a variety of clientele who are looking to improve their health and take control of their lives. So whether you’re an athlete looking for ways to improve performance and get an edge on the competition, are wondering how to excel and thrive on a plant-based diet or just want to balance out your lifestyle with simple, no-nonsense solutions, look no further.

We want to show the world that you can not only survive, but thrive, as a plant-based athlete. And if athletics aren’t your thing, no problem, we’ve got you covered. This is about changing paradigms. If you are interested in working with us, please reach out via the Coaching or Contact forms on this site and we will get back to you right away.

Other changes you should expect from TFF in the near future include: a Patreon page for our supporters (with exclusive content!), upgrades in podcast and video equipment, more frequent content, more livestreams and Q&A’s to stay connected with YOU and some useful and informative blogs.

We also just want to extend an enormous thank you to everyone who has supported us so far. We are deeply passionate about this project and couldn’t have done it without the outpouring of support from YOU. It truly means the world to us and keeps us motivated to up our game and continue providing you guys with the best content we can.

The mission: Change the health paradigm with a global shift to plant-based and active lifestyles, save ourselves from a climate catastrophe and improve the lives of animals. We’re all in this together. Will you join us? Let’s go eat some plants.

Cheers,

Jackson and Aaron