Cornell University trained M.D. reveals the simple key to making a keto diet 3 times more powerful: Swap out unhealthy oils for these slimming superstars.
Catherine Shanahan, M.D., had justset off for a hikewhen her knee started aching. She figured itwould pass, but the pain continued to getworse, and two yearslater, the board-certified physician could barelywalk.“Everything Itried seemed to make thingsworse,” she says. Searching for answers,she looked at herfamily history but found that her health problems didn’trun in herfamily.
“My parents and grandparentswere pictures of health,” she shares.Next,she began to research nutrition.“AsIread,Irealized my medical education had failed to provide mewith some important basics.I began to see that the root cause of my healthwoes and those of my patients isthe foodwe’re eating.”
What’sso bad aboutthe foodwe eattoday?It all comes down to fat.Whilewe still eat the same total amount of fat as 50 years ago (about 80 grams a day), 80% of fat caloriesin a traditional diet come from highly refined polyunsaturated fats, like canola and corn oils. Dr. Shanahan explains,“Our parents and grandparents, on the other hand, got most of theirfat from minimally processed animal-based fatslike butter.”
The problem: These highly processed oils(see list on p. 29) wreak havoc on the body.“Asthe body tries to burn them forfuel, these oils break down into free radicals,which creates cellularsmog that pollutesthe body and slowsfat burning,” says Dr. Shanahan. Italian researchers found thatwhile the fatsin our grandparents’ diet prompted cellsto burn fat efficiently, the highly processed polyunsaturated fats most common in our dietstoday slowfat burn by roughly 50%.
These oils also kick off a vicious cycle thattriggerssugar cravings. Because our cells need energy to function, the brain startslooking for alternative sources and sugar is an accessible, quick-burning fuel. “The more sugar you eat, the more reliant you become on sugar,” Dr. Shanahan asserts.“Your cells become sugar addicts.” The result: The body strugglesto sustain steady blood-sugar levels,which setsthe stage forweight gain and eventually diabetes.
Luckily,swapping out highly processed fats makesslimming a snap.“Once my patients start enjoying whole-milk dairy, nuts, butter and animal meat, they start to feel more energized and less hungry almost immediately,” Dr. Shanahan promises. In fact,studies show that within an hour of eating healthy fats, cellsstop producing metabolism-slowing free radicals. And within aslittle as 24 hours, cellsstart to tap into body fat forfuel.
The benefitsdon’t endwith weight loss.Nixing highly processed fats can slash migraine frequency by 80% and ease joint pain by 41%, andwomen say that eating more minimally processed fats helped them sleep deeper, lower cholesterol and improve memory. Read on to start yourtransformation!
So easy, so effective!
Replacing unhealthy polyunsaturated fatsin your dietwith saturated and animal-based fats healsthe metabolism to fire up fat burn.“This simple swapwill feel easy because you get to eat food that isjust as delicious and more satisfying,” says Dr. Catherine Shanahan, M.D., a boardcertified family physicianwho created the PRO Nutrition program forthe LosAngeles Lakers.“And once you start burning your body fat for energy, weightwill come off effortlessly.”
The firststep is eliminating highly refined vegetable and seed oils. These oils are refined in high-heat, highpressure processes, which damages the fats. The worst offenders, Dr. Shanahan says, are canola, corn, cottonseed,soy,sunflower,safflower and vegetable oils.“You have to eliminate these like yourlife depends on it,” she says.“But it isn’t always easy considering these oils compose a third of the average person’s calorie intake.”
These highly processed oils are in many packaged foods even those labeled organic and non-GMO.What’s worse, they’re in foodsthat you may not think to check, like peanut butter and pasta sauce.“You need to read food labels carefully,” says Dr. Shanahan. “If it’s a vegetable oil, avoid it.”
Instead, enjoy good fatsfrom fruit oils(coconut, avocado and olive),some seed oils(sesame and flax),some nut butters and oils(peanut, macadamia, walnut and almond) and animal fats (like full-fat dairy, tallow, lard and bacon grease). Some common brands that make products with these healthier oilsinclude MaraNatha Organic nut butters, Smucker’s“Natural” line of nut butters, Rao’s Homemade tomato sauces, Ragu “Simply” line of tomato sauces, Newman’s Own avocado oil dressings and Primal Kitchen condiments.(Note:Always doublecheck the label for harmful oils.)
Thissimple changewill heal your metabolism at the cellularlevelwhile eliminating hunger and boosting energy soweight lossfeels effortless. 28 First for women 5/25/20 And for even fasterresults, follow these simple guidelines:
Upgrade your carbs. Dr. Shanahan recommends a keto-style diet for healthy,sustainableweight loss. So, in addition to changing up yourfat sources, you’ll also swap fast-burning carbohydrates, like potatoes andwhite rice, forsmall portions(about 1 cup a day total) ofslower-burning carbs, like beans, oats andwhole-grain breads. “Slower-digesting carbs enter your bloodstream gradually,” she explains. “They provide energy while the body transitionsfrom burning sugarfor fuel into burning fat.”
Rethink snack time.“Nature designed usto be able to go between mealswithout energy dips,” says Dr. Shanahan. That’swhy she suggests phasing out between-mealsnacks. That doesn’t mean you have to give up yourfavorite treats simply enjoy them alongside orsoon after meals.
Supercharge with a mini fast. Once you’re able to go through a day without feeling hungry between meals, Dr. Shanahan suggestsskipping breakfast twice aweek. Why thisworks: “The longer you go between meals, the more adrenaline your body produces and the more energized you feel,” she explains.“Adrenaline stimulatesindividual fat cellsto release stored fat.”
3 Easy fat swaps to fast-track results
Trading highly processed polyunsaturated fats, like canola and corn oils, for healthier options, like butter and coconut oil, forces the body to burn fat for fuel. Here, 3 simple ways to get started.
POUR FULL-FAT MILK
Manufacturers often add refined oils, like sunflower oil, to nondairy milks to create a smooth texture.Instead, opt forwhole milk:In one study,womenwho sipped full-fat dairy shed up to 20% of their body fat in 90 days. (Can’tstomach dairy? Try full-fat coconut milk instead.)
BAKE WITH COCONUT OIL
Most baking mixes and cake recipes call for highly refined vegetable oils. Instead,replace the processed oilsin baked goodswith an equal amount of coconut oil. Itssaturated fat gives treats a delicate crumb while increasing calorie burn by up to 50%.
DRESS WITH AVOCADO OIL
Store-boughtsalad dressings are often loaded with highly refined oils, like soybean oil. Instead, whip up your own dressing by combining 1⁄2 cup of avocado oil with 2 Tbs. of white wine vinegar and yourfavorite herbs. Research shows that avocado oil fires up fat burn enough to help you shed 5 poundsin 30 days!