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Eat Potatoes White Foods – for a Leaner-Body?

I think it about time we started a little discussion about carbohydrates… and in particular, “white foods” including potatoes. One reason I wanted to talk about this is because so many health and fitness professionals trash talk potatoes about being a bad carbohydrate choice because of the high glycemic index. Some people are saying such ridiculous things as “avoid any and all white carbohydrates”.

Now while I agree that white bread and refined white sugar are two of the worst things we can be feeding our bodies. I don’t believe in avoiding any and all “white carbohydrates”.

Believe it or not “White Foods” aren’t always the enemy.

It’s true that colourful foods are great, but it is also a big mistake to specifically avoid white foods! There are plenty of white foods that have specific nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere. Let’s take a look at a few examples…

Onions and Garlic

What about onions and garlic? They are both white and they are chock full of protective phytonutrients, vitamins, and trace minerals that aren’t easy to find elsewhere in a normal diet… such nutrients as allicin, quercetin (an important flavonoid), chromium, and other unique anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Cauliflowers

Here is another example of something white, that is great for you is cauliflower. Cauliflower is full of vitamin C, trace elements, fiber, and special compounds such as glucosinolates and thiocyanates, which are abundant in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage. One little-known fact is that some of the compounds in cruciferous vegetables help to counteract other estrogenic compounds in our food supply and environment and can help prevent excess belly fat. So eat up that cauliflower!

Mushrooms

Not many people realize this, but even white mushrooms have high levels of unique nutrients and antioxidants. Ordinary white mushrooms are high in antioxidants called polyphenols and ergothioneine.

Potatoes

Now that also leads us to another example – white potatoes. Many health professionals claim that potatoes are a bad carbohydrate because they are thought to have a high glycemic index. If you’ve read my Truth about Six Pack Abs book, you will understand that glycemic index is not necessarily the most important factor in choosing your carbohydrates.

While making the assumption that most low glycemic index carbohydrate choices will help you lose body fat easier than high glycemic index choices, it is not all that it’s cracked out to be. There are many other factors that determine how your body will react-to and process the carbohydrates you ingest, such as glycemic load and also how you combine the high GI food with other foods.

For example, using glycemic load as an example… it is known that watermelons have quite a high glycemic index. However, the glycemic level of a normal serving of watermelon is just way too low for your body to start packing on body fat just because you ate a high glycemic index fruit. You would have to eat such an enormous quantity of watermelon just to get enough grams of carbohydrates to have any negative glycemic effect, that’s just not logical.

Not to mention that watermelon is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and lycopene. There’s just no reason to avoid it simply because it has a high GI. The point that I am trying to get across is… candy bars, cupcakes, and donuts etc make you fat. Not because they contain fat but because of all the added sugar… NOT watermelons, carrots or potatoes… French fries excluded of course.

Also, as i mentioned, food combinations are important in how your body processes the carbohydrates and the associated blood sugar and insulin response you receive. e.g if you mix a high glycemic index carbohydrate with an extra source of fiber, and healthy fats, or even certain proteins, effect of the increased blood sugar and glycemic response will be slowed down considerably by the way you combined the food. I talk in great detail about this topic in my book.

Back to my point that white potatoes are actually a healthy carbohydrate as long as you eat them in the right form… with the entire skin, and please don’t ruin them by deep frying them into french fries either! French fries or Chips whatever you want to call them, are one of the most evil things ever invented for your health, but only because we ruin them by soaking them in a scorching bath of trans fats in the deep fryer from the hydrogenated oils that are typically used.

Will eating 8 potatoes per day make you fatter? of course not.

On the subject of potatoes not being bad after all, I don’t remember where I read this, but I saw a study that had participants eat at least 7-9 whole potatoes per day for several weeks.
At the end of the study, the potato eaters had consistently lost weight! I’d venture a guess that the reason the people lost weight is that they were probably so full from eating all of those potatoes. They consumed less calories than normal! An average sized potato has about 100-120 calories, and I can imagine you’d be constantly full from eating 7-9 potatoes each day.

I would never recommend going to those extremes, but my point is that an occasional potato is not going to affect your efforts to get leaner, especially if you combine it with some other fibrous vegetables, and maybe a healthy fat, and some protein. Let me share with you one of my favorite recipes for you to try, using potatoes.

Mikes’s Lean-Body Potato Side Dish

* Desired quantity of baby potatoes (I like to use this mixture I found recently at a health food store… it is a mixture of white, red, yellow, and purple baby potatoes)

* 1 red pepper

* 1 green pepper

* 1 yellow pepper

* 1 or 2 onions

* a couple cloves of garlic, finely chopped

* 1 or 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and / or coconut oil

* a little salt and pepper to taste (I like using a sea salt instead of normal commercial salt)

Cut the baby potatoes into smaller pieces and place in a steamer until soft all the way through. Slice up the peppers and onions into strips and add with the chopped garlic into a pan with the olive oil. Slowly fry the peppers, onions, and garlic until tender, and then add the steamed baby potatoes. Mix together and serve. Its is a delicious and healthy side dish that goes great with chicken or red meat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little topic today about potatoes, healthy carbohydrates, glycemic index, and my healthy potato recipe idea!

Mike Geary

Certified Personal Trainer

Certified Nutrition Specialist

Truth about Abs

Eating Oily Fish to Lose Weight

Eating Oily fish such as Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Pilchards, Sardines, etc, which are known to contain many important dietary elements that will improve a person’s overall health. Many health experts have long stressed the importance of switching from red meats to fish to improve weight loss. They have based their logic on the fact that fish contains less fat per serving compared to beef, chicken, and pork. However the real benefits that the body receives from eating oily fish. Is not from the lower amounts of fat that fish contain, but the type of fat that fish contain.

The human body can’t produce all of the essential elements that it needs to function. Some of the elements must come strictly from diet. The fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid(ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) must come from diet. ALA is an omega-3 fatty acid, while LA is an omega-6 fatty acid. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the health of humans. The body uses ALA to create eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are both omega-3 fatty acids. These omega -3 fatty acids play a key role in the health and regulation of our heart.

The problem is that this process relies on an enzyme called delta-6-desaturase, which can be in short supply, especially after a viral illness, (viruses deactivate this enzyme in order to survive, and in many chronic health conditions). It is also a slow and inefficient process, which means that the majority of us, are probably deficient in these essential fatty acids.

There are not many foods that are high in EPA and DHA fatty acids. These foods include organ meats such as kidney, liver, and intestine; the other source is from fish. The fat that fish contain in very high in both EPA and DHA fatty acids, and they contain other nutrients that make them far better for the body to digest in comparison to organ meats.

Research has shown that people who are training that eat three to four servings of fish a week absorb more oxygen into their system. So puts less strain on their heart compared to people on other diets. This means that people who are ingesting omega-3 fatty acids will be able to train longer, and lose more weight compared to people who aren’t getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Research has also shown that people in western society’s get around ten times the amount of omega-6 fatty acids in their diet compared to omega-3 fatty acids. A healthier ratio would be around four times the amount. Eating oily fish would be an enjoyable way to achieve this rebalance.

Even with the substitution of fish into a person’s diet it is hard to contain a regular amount of omega-3 fatty acids in a diet. It is important to have a continual supply of omega-3 fatty acid, because it takes weeks for the fatty acids to be incorporated into your heart’s muscle cells. It is important to take a supplement that contains the fish oil that is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Try to get supplements which have a much higher ratio of EPA to DHA, as these have been found to be more effective. Taking a supplement in addition to eating more fish in your diet will ensure that you get all the benefits that omega-3 fatty acids have to offer.

Understanding that our body requires certain fats and oils in order to function more efficiently will help you to lose more weight. In addition to the weight loss benefits of essential fatty acids. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids have helped to prevent heart disease, and joint inflammation, in addition to helping both the hair and skin to be more healthy and vibrant.

If you want more info on omega 3 and fat loss, why not check out Mike Geary’s “Fat Burning Kitchen” ebook which can be purchased here.
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Appetite – Omega-3s may help control appetite, satiety and promote weight loss. Parra D, Ramel A, Bandarra N, et al. A diet rich in long chain omega-3 fatty acids modulates satiety in overweight and obese volunteers during weight loss. Appetite. 2008;51(3):676-80.

Obesity – Omega-3 fatty acids prevent increases in abdominal fat. Sneddon A, Tsofliou F, Fyfe C, et al. Effect of a Conjugated Linoleic Acid and omega-3 Fatty Acid Mixture on Body Composition and Adiponectin. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008; [Epub ahead of print]

Vegetarian muscle building meal ideas

Details of his vegetarian muscle building diet is one of the most frequent requests Jason Ferruggia receives. I also often read on various forums people begging him for advice because they already are, or have been brought up in a vegetarian household. Since there is much interest in this topic he would like to share it with you today. Here’s what he has to say on the subject:

Mike let me explain my daily routine.

At Breakfast – My day always starts with a shake. This will usually include ingredients like rice, pea’s or hemp protein, or a combination of the three. I start by blending between 30-40 grams of protein in 8oz of organic coconut milk, and somewhere between 8-12 oz water. I also blend fruits like banana, mixed frozen berries, a tablespoon of cacao nibs, and 2 tbls of maca powder, which is known to increase testosterone production and virility. This shake is delicious beyond your wildest imagination.

Snacks – Some times a few hours later, I will have a few tangerines and some cashews or a pair of apples with some almond butter. The fresh ground almond butter from Whole Foods is one my favorite things and I could easily eat an entire container in one sitting. Occasionally I treat myself, I mix it with honey and kill the entire container, with a cup of hemp or almond milk.

I am big fan of high sodium (Salt) intake for strength and energy production so I always have a few pickles every day and add sea salt to much of food.

Lunch – This will usually consist of some kind of legumes or beans, which are a mainstay in any vegetarian muscle building diet, with organic brown rice or quinoa. I will sauté the black beans with peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic, and then mix that in with the rice. I top it off with salsa and some fresh avocado. That is my version of Mexican style rice and beans. Sometimes I just mix the beans and rice or quinoa with marinara sauce.

I will sometimes have a salad with that or eat some raw veggies or mix some steamed kale or spinach into the whole thing.

Occasionally I will have a couple almond butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. I have drastically reduced my consumption of peanuts and peanut butter due to the deadly toxins, that they contain, along with wheat because of it’s gluten content, hence it’s inflammatory properties, I substitute some brown rice bread for the occasions I do eat these.

Snack – Similar to above. When I’m not near food I always carry Raw Organic Food Bars with me and a variety of nuts. If I am home and have fruit for my first snack. I try to make this snack with raw veggies and hummus along with a decent amount of nuts.

I also drink another shake some time during the day which is usually right after I train. It is similar to the shake above except that I don’t include the coconut milk or the cacao but I do use the maca powder. I blend a banana, almond milk, water, frozen spinach (you don’t taste the spinach at all so this is nowhere near as gross as it sounds) and some extra protein.

During my workouts I drink coconut water or regular water. I try to drink at least half a gallon of water throughout the day (hopefully you will filter your own from the tap) out of glass or my bottle. I do my best to avoid drinks stored in plastic containers and bottles. Considering of the estrogenic effects of chemicals in plastics. I also drink a couple cups of green tea each day.

For Dinner – I normally cook some kind of stew consisting of a large variety of vegetables and some kind of legumes. For example, last week I got home, and all that we had was onions, squash, spinach and garlic. I threw it all in a pot with vegetable broth, salt, pepper and yellow peas, which have 10 grams of protein per ¼ cup (you would have to eat a lot of meat to equal the protein in two cups of yellow peas). That’s cooked for 2 hours, and then mixed in some quinoa. Other times we will mix brown rice in with a variety of other veggies and lentils. If I was trying to get lean I would probably skip the brown rice, as rice is full of starch. Adding potatoes (even just one) to the stews makes them creamier and even more delicious.

I severely limit my soya consumption because of it’s unfortunate estrogenic effects, but for the occasional cheat I will have some tofu with brown rice, or some kind of meat substitute with brown rice pasta.

I also eat soya and wheat (gluten) free veggie burgers one or two nights per week, and always have a huge spinach salad mixed with broccoli, olives, peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and fruits such as apples, berries, nuts, seeds, avocado, and whatever else I can fit in there. I top that with olive oil, rice bran oil and balsamic vinegar.

Dessert – Occasionally, when I am going to cheat I will have some organic coconut milk ice cream. It is delicious and pretty healthy. Coconut milk contains healthy Medium Chain Fatty Acids and has none of the dangers of cows milk. I then sweetened with organic agave syrup.

The only other cheat dessert that I will regularly eat is organic, dark chocolate. Concentrated Chocolate is shown to have a variety of health benefits. The brands I buy are those that show their support for slave free, and fair trade practices.

So there we have a brief overview of my vegetarian muscle building diet. It’s very straight forward, and a whole lot healthier than eating pounds of red meat, and all that saturated fat.

Let me tell you a bit more about Jason.

He is a world famous professional fitness coach. His trade marked Muscle Gaining Secrets workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and other magazines and all over the Internet. To get more muscle building nutrition tips, and to access his training program, check out. Renegade Diet Program.

Jason Ferruggia's Renegade Diet

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