Not all Calories are Created Equal

March 6th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

Calories are not the issue…where those calories come from IS!

For years we’ve been told that “a calorie is a calorie”. NOT SO! Eat lean protein (grass-fed, free-range, organic, wild-caught), good fat and complex carbs (from veggies) and you won’t have to worry about calories!

People who ate plenty of vegetables and whole foods lost significant amounts of weight over the course of the year without restricting the quantity of food that they consumed, according to a new study published in JAMA on Tuesday.

The study, led by Christopher D. Gardner, the director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, looked at 600 people who were split into two diet groups. One group ate low-carb food and the other followed a low-fat diet, The New York Times reports.

The original goal of the study was to compare how overweight and obese people handled each diet, but both groups were encouraged to choose better quality food over processed options. At the end of the year, both groups had lost a good deal of weight. The low-carb participants lost an average of 13 pounds, while the low-fat group lost an average of 11.7 pounds. Both groups also saw improvement in other health factors such as blood pressure and body fat.

The study suggests that health professionals should encourage people to avoid processed foods that have refined starches and added sugars such as white bread, bagels, and sugary snacks and instead focus on eating more high-quality food.

Researchers say that it’s not that calories don’t matter. Participants in both groups were eating less by the end of the study, but that calories shouldn’t be the main focus when it comes to weight loss.


Eggs Don’t Cause Heart Attacks — Sugar Does

February 19th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

I have been saying this for a long time. It is time to admit that the doctors and experts have been wrong for years, and that good fat is VERY good for you and necessary for good health. I start every day with a three-egg breakfast!
Debbie Martilotta, DBM Strength Training

It’s over. The debate is settled.

It’s sugar, not fat, that causes heart attacks.

Oops. Fifty years of doctors’ advice and government eating guidelines have been wrong. We’ve been told to swap eggs for cereal. But that recommendation is dead wrong. In fact, it’s very likely that this bad advice has killed millions of Americans.

A rigorously done new study shows that those with the highest sugar intake had a four-fold increase in their risk of heart attacks compared to those with the lowest intakes. That’s 400 percent! Just one 20-ounce soda increases your risk of a heart attack by about 30 percent.

This study of more than 40,000 people, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, accounted for all other potential risk factors including total calories, overall diet quality, smoking, cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and alcohol.

This follows on the heels of decades of research that has been mostly ignored by the medical establishment and policy makers. In fact, the Institute of Medicine recommends getting no more than 25 percent of your total calories from added sugar. Really? This study showed that your risk of heart attacks doubles if sugar makes up 20 percent of your calories.

Yet more than 70 percent of Americans consume 10 percent of their daily calories from sugar. And about 10 percent of Americans consume one in every four of their calories from sugar.

Failed Dietary Guidelines

U.S. Dietary Guidelines provide no limit for added sugar, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still lists sugar as a “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) substance. That classification lets the food industry add unlimited amounts of sugar to our food. At least the American Heart Association recommends that our daily diet contain no more than 5 percent to 7.5 percent added sugar. Yet most of us are eating a lot more. Most of us don’t know that a serving of tomato sauce has more sugar than a serving of Oreo cookies, or that fruit yogurt has more sugar than a Coke, or that most breakfast cereals — even those made with whole grain — are 75 percent sugar. That’s not breakfast, it’s dessert!

This is a major paradigm shift. For years, we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that fat causes heart attacks and raises cholesterol, and that sugar is harmless except as a source of empty calories. They are not empty calories. As it turns out, sugar calories are deadly calories. Sugar causes heart attacks, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and dementia, and is the leading cause of liver failure in America.

The biggest culprit is sugar-sweetened beverages, including sodas, juices, sports drinks, teas, and coffees. They are by far the single biggest source of sugar calories in our diet. In fact, more than 37 percent of our sugar calories come from soda. The average teenage boy consumes 34 teaspoons of sugar a day, or about 544 calories from sugar. Even more troubling, this isn’t just putting kids at risk for heart attacks at some remote later date in their lives. It’s killing them before their 20th birthday.

This new research syncs with decades of data on how sugar causes insulin resistance, high triglycerides, lower HDL (good) cholesterol and dangerous small LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also triggers the inflammation we now know is at the root of heart disease.

And fats, including saturated fats, have been unfairly blamed. With the exception of trans fats, fats are actually protective. This includes omega-3 fats, nuts and olive oil, which was proven to reduce heart attack risk by more than 30 percent in a recent large randomized controlled study.

Here’s a simple fact: Sugar calories are worse than other calories. All calories are not created equal. A recent study of more than 175 countries found that increasing overall calories didn’t increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, but increasing sugar calories did — dramatically.

How to Cure Our Sugar Addiction

America lags far behind the rest of the world in addressing this problem. Mexico, for example, responded after learning that when soda consumption increased to 20 percent of calories for the average citizen, their rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes skyrocketed. Public health officials there researched effective solutions to combat obesity and diabetes from around the world.

The key interventions they implemented included taxing soda, banning junk food television advertising, and eliminating processed foods, junk food and sugar-sweetened beverages from schools. More than 15 countries have targeted sugar-sweetened beverages by taxing them — a strategy that’s proven successful.

Another effective strategy is revamping food labeling to make it clear if a food is good, should be consumed with caution, or is bad for you. In the United States, even someone with a Ph.D. in nutrition has trouble deciphering food labels. How can the average person be expected to know?

Recent and mounting scientific evidence clearly proves that sugar — and flour, which raises blood sugar even more than table sugar — is biologically addictive. In fact, it’s as much as eight times more addictive than cocaine.

The average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour a year. It’s imperative that we revamp our outdated and dangerous national dietary guidelines. And we need clear strategies and medical programs to help people understand and address the health risks and addictive nature of sugar and refined carbohydrates.

That’s how we can reverse this tsunami of obesity and chronic disease that is robbing us of our health and crippling our economy.

Shared with permission by Mark Hyman, MD


DBM Nutrition Plan

February 1st, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

I’m often asked by clients “What should I eat?” or “How can I become leaner?” or “What foods should I avoid?” Well, here you go:

Remember, your diet is 80 to 90 percent of what it takes to be fit.  No amount of exercise will undo what you just stuffed into your face. PERIOD.

If you don’t eat right, you may become stronger but not leaner. Feed your body with clean, organic, unprocessed whole foods.  Your body will love you and you will love your body and yourself!

Along with clean and healthy eating, make sure to get your strength training in. I recommend two 30-minute strength training sessions weekly with me.  Add a walk or bike ride for fun, to burn a few extra calories, or to relieve stress.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

Just because a label says gluten-free, fat-free, or sugar-free does not mean that it is good for you. Food companies make up for the absence of these ingredients with additional processed ingredients which add calories, cause inflammation and sabotage your efforts to get healthy and stay healthy.

Clean Protein:  Always find clean (antibiotic-free, organic, nitrate-free, hormone-free, grass-fed, free-range or wild caught) protein sources. (beef, pork, fish, wild game, lamb, chicken)

Try to get up to 5 cups of non-starchy (preferably organic) vegetables a day. That may sound like a lot, but with choices of broccoli, leafy greens, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, bell peppers, green beans, and cabbage, you can vary the veggie(s) and cooking method(s).

Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day (i.e. if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water per day). I recommend filtered/purified water, as tap water contains trace amounts of chemicals that can accumulate in your body and may jeopardize your health.

Consume at least 20 grams of protein per meal/snack throughout the day. Remember, in order to build lean muscle, you should consume about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of your ideal body weight per day (i.e. if your ideal weight is 150 pounds, you should consume 150 x 0.8 = 120 grams of protein per day). 

THINGS TO AVOID:

All grains, highly processed foods, sugar, wheat, corn, starch, and artificial ingredients.

Remember: Sugar is like CRACK to your body!  It is very addicting.  STOP the cycle!!   Sugar is present in many types of foods and products and may be disguised.  YOU MUST LOOK AT THE NUTRITION LABEL CAREFULLY! If you see ingredients like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, and honey, BEWARE.  These are all recognized by your body as SUGAR and contribute to inflammation, weight gain, and trigger your body’s ‘sugar response’, resulting in insulin spikes.

A few shopping tips:

  • Shop the outside aisles of the grocery store. This is where the fresh foods are kept. Inner aisles are mostly processed garbage;
  • If a product has more than 5 ingredients, it’s a sure bet that it contains stuff that you don’t want/need, and that may be contrary to your goals;
  • If a product contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce, AVOID IT;
  • If a product contains ingredients that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize, DITCH IT;

GENERAL MEAL RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Start your day with a protein-based meal such as 3 scrambled/hard-boiled eggs along with a quarter cup of berries. This sets up your metabolism for success for the rest of the day.
  2. 3 – 4 hours later have another protein-based meal/snack such as a protein shake or Greek yogurt. Choose your protein powder carefully. If you want a protein that has no artificial ingredients, soy, or dairy, Ariix brand – Pure Protein, is a great option. If you are looking for a whey protein, Garden of Life offers a grass-fed, organic protein powder that is also very good.
  3. 3 – 4 hours later have another shot of protein such as canned tuna or chicken, along with some veggies.
  4. Repeat this all day.
  5. Stop eating 3 – 4 hours before bedtime. This will give your body adequate time to digest what you have eaten before your metabolism slows for sleep.