Nutrients That Boost Your Health and Burn Fat

By Julie Sews - 7:00:00 AM

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I love when I find out things I'm already doing are good.  If you follow this blog you know that I'm always developing new recipes from good sources and adjusting them to have more nutrition per serving.  My focus is on eating whole foods from scratch with as high of nutrients as possible (no empty calories here).  Apparently research has shown several nutrients to be helpful in weight loss.  The cool thing is they're nutrients you should already be taking in you diet anyways just for general health.  So if they don't actually work for weight loss, at least you'll be healthier!

I'm learning more and more every day about the complexities of weight gain and obesity and just how many factors can be at work.  While usually bad diet and lifestyle choices play a role in weight gain, they are not the only contributing factor.  Often other factors like toxins, incorrect cultural ideals about diet and exercise, hormones, and stress all play a role.  With so many possible factors working against an overweight person they need as much support to get started as possible.  I think this is a great place to start, but most peoples weight issues go much deeper than this.  I would suggest also looking into how chemicals, stress, and diet and exercise wight be playing a role in your weight gain as well.

  • Vitamin D A 2008 UMN study showed that by fueling your body with the D-rich nutrients it needs to stay out of a fat-storage state and in a fat-burning state, you can speed weight loss by 70 percent!  A new study of more than 4,600 women age 65 and older shows that having low vitamin D levels can contribute to mild weight gain. Women who had insufficient levels of vitamin D gained about two pounds more compared to those with adequate blood levels of vitamin D during the 4.5-year long study. Those with insufficient levels also weighed more at the outset of the study.
    • Vitamin D is also one of the most studied vitamins and having less than optimal amounts have been linked to nearly everything from colds and flu, to bone loss, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many things in between.
    • One word of caution as with most things having the OPTIMAL amount will give you these benefits.  Getting exposure from the sun safely (not enough exposure to create a tan) is the safest way to do this.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and can accumulate in your fat and you can overdose on it.  So if you decide to supplement (which most people need to because hardly any place has UVB rays year round), you should get blood test to determine your levels periodically. 
    • If you can't get a blood test to determine your amount and want a guide line Dr Mercola suggests 35 IU per lb of your weight, but strongly advises to go off testing instead.
    •  Make sure that you only use Vitamin D3.  This is the only natural version, if it's not D3 it's synthetic and has been  found to cause many problems.  Due to this it's rarely found in supplements anymore but is found in some food items.  I found it in my Trader Joe's almond milk. 
    • You should find out when your location gets UVB rays (needed to make Vitamin D).  This video will walk you through how to figure it out for your area.    For example, Minnesota Medicine said, "Given the lack of sufficient ultraviolet B radiation people in Minnesota get from the sun between October and April, measurement of vitamin D status is required for rational replenishment and maintenance dosing. The goal of replenishment should be at least 32 ng/mL and, ideally, more than 50 ng/mL."  And Dr Mercola said that in Chicago "the UVB rays are not potentially present until March 25, and by September 16th it is not possible to produce any vitamin D from the sun in Chicago."
  •  Calcium  is stored in fat cells, and researchers think that the more calcium a fat cell has, the more fat that cell will release to be burned. Calcium also promotes weight loss by binding to fat in your GI tract, preventing some of it from getting absorbed into your bloodstream.
    • While calcium is a necessary nutrient we all need to make sure we are getting enough of, be careful that you are also taking a high amount of magnesium and other minerals, of course have optimal vitamin D levels, and vitamin K (I take Life Extension's Super K) .  Because if your not having the nutrients to help absorb calcium it can end up in other parts of your body and not your bones.  It can block you arteries, and calcify organs. 
  • Protein not only helps keep your hunger in check, but adequate protein helps you to preserve muscle mass as you drop pounds. A study out of the University of Illinois found that women who consumed protein twice daily lost 3.9 percent more weight than women who consumed less. They not only lost more weight, they also got stronger as they did so, with their thigh muscles alone ending up with 5.8 percent more protein at the end of the diet than before.
    • Make sure that you are getting the right amount of protein for your weight a day.   You don't want to over do it or under do it to get good results.  According to Dr Rosedale in the book "The Rosedale Diet" excess protein can turn toxic.  He advises people to eat between 50-75 grams of protein a day (depending on height, frame, weight, and activity level) spread out over meals no more than 15-20 grams per meal.  Basically you want enough to meet your bodies requirements but not to burn as fuel.  Ask your doctor what they think is the right amount for you.
    • Creating muscle burns fat.  To help aid in your muscle growth use a fast assimilating protein within one hour of exercising (the sooner the better).  I use whey powder from defense nutrition.
  • Omega 3 Fats  switch on enzymes that trigger fat-burning in cells and might improve leptin signaling in the brain, telling you your full. 
    • From the book "Forever Young", by Nicholas Perricone, "Your body needs the right kinds of fat to burn fats rather than store them.  Omega-3s activate receprtors, or PPARs that control blood sugar, the storing of body fat, and the way energy is used in the body.  Omega 3-s produce a protein known as uncoupling protein 3which uncouples oxidative phosphorylation that resluts in geater dissiapation as heat and as a decrease in stored body fat "
    • Some ways to get Omega 3 are Fatty fish like salmon (which are also high in D) ,some nuts (walnuts are highest in ALA) and seeds, contain a type of fat that can be converted into omega-3s after ingestion.  I take krill oil myself for this as well as eating wild salmon and nuts and flax (I add flax into most of my recipes) often. 
  •  Monounsaturated Fats  One Danish study of 26 men and women found that a diet that included 20 percent of its calories from MUFAs improved 24-hour calorie burning by 0.1 percent and fat burning by 0.04 percent after 6 months. Other research shows that MUFAs zero in on belly fat. They've also been found to improve blood sugar steady and reduce appetite.
    • MUFAs are fat found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and chocolate
  • CLAs are fatty acids that are created when bacteria ferments the food in the first part of the stomach of cows, sheep, and other ruminant animals. The CLA that is created through fermentation then makes its way into the meat and milk of these animals.  CLA helps blood glucose enter body cells, so CLA can be burned for energy and not stored as fat. CLA also helps to promote fat burning, especially in muscles, where the bulk of our calorie burning takes place.
I am not a doctor. I have ZERO medical training and NO formal nutritional training.  The information provided on this site, such as text, graphics, images, is for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical care or medical advice and is not a replacement for medical care given by physicians or trained medical personnel.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider(s) when experiencing symptoms or health problems, or before starting any new treatment.
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