How many calories should I be eating? Is milk bad for us? Why is olive oil bad if you cook it...?
You asked, we answered! Send us your burning health questions and we’ll help answer them in our weekly series of the most popular health FAQs.
1. How many calories should I be eating in an average day?
To answer this, you must consider the number of calories you are burning daily. In addition, what is your body type, and what are your goals?
For fat loss, technically, you need to burn more than you eat, but it is not that simple. Macrobiotic ratios are vital in your quest for optimal success in physique transformation. If you eat 1500 calories of ice cream and lollipops, you will not lose as much fat as if you were eating 1500 calories from salmon and broccoli. Calories matter, but they are just one piece of the physique transformation puzzle.
Typically, I do not like to count calories in a diet. However, to give yourself and idea of how much “energy” you are currently consuming, it is important to know how many calories you eat in an average meal. This simply gives you a reference point on how to properly adjust your portions in order to optimise your results.
I have had many clients whom ate wholesome, nutrient dense meals on a regular basis, yet we had “sticking” points in our fat loss progress. After asking them to calculate the total calories in each meal that they consumed in one day, we quickly realized that a little too much “energy” was being consumed in an average day, and so we decided to either reduce portion sizes, or increase energy expenditure in order to reach our goal.
2. Some people say that milk products are not good for us, is this true?
This is true: commercially produced, non-pasture-raised milk products are detrimental to our health and physique. Modern day industrialized milk products are nothing but liquid hormones and immune system and digestive disruptors, and usually contain high amounts of added refined sugar.
Dairy cows are fed a diet that consists exclusively of highly inflammatory grains from genetically modified (GMO) soy and corn. Not only this, but the cows are injected with growth hormone, steroids, and antibiotics, and all of these harmful compounds will find their way into the food product that ends up on the shelves and grocery store fridges. Please, do your body and mind a favor, and eliminate industrially produced dairy products from your diet.
On top of all this, the industrialised dairy industry is not something that I want to support, so I strongly discourage anyone from buying non-pasture-raised dairy products for multiple reasons. The unethical treatment of animals is one major factor, but the ripple effect from the toxic industry of feeding chemically altered foods to hormone-filled animals is a vicious circle that needs to end.
When I lived in the Alps of Switzerland, I hiked mountains where cows were roaming freely through the hills at high elevation, eating grass and sprouts and flowers and whatever else grew naturally on those pristine mountaintops. That is a happy and healthy cow, and I would gladly enjoy a dairy product from this animal. We have become greedy, lazy, and disconnected from the source of our food supply, and now this supply is industrially controlled and saturated with toxins. If we do not insist on choosing small farm, naturally raised products, we will proceed in a direction that will continue to reduce the quality and ethics of our food supply. Please support natural free-range meats when possible, and remove all non-organic dairy products from your diet for best results in your health and fitness efforts.
3. Why is olive oil good for me on salads but bad for me if I cook with it?
This is a great question, and one where I take the opportunity to share a little insight into the concept of what I call “thermic threshold.”
All foods have a thermic threshold. What this means is that above a certain temperature, there is a reduction in the quality of the nutrients that food will provide you with. With most carbohydrates, it’s not a huge deal, as you are simply altering the glycemic index and potentially diminishing the potency of the mineral and vitamin profile.
However, with fats, heat is a big deal. When cooked, most fats or oils will surpass their thermic threshold, turning them into an oxidised and slightly toxic compound that no longer has any positive health benefits. Basically, you take a fat that could have provided you will all kinds of beneficial functions, and you kill it. Now it is just an unhealthy fat that will be poorly digested and poorly metabolised.
Many of us have a problem with inflammation in the body, including the brain. Recent studies have shown that most inflammation issues can be greatly reduced when we eliminate omega-9 fats from our diet, cut down on omega-6s, and comparatively increase our ratio of omega-3s.
Omega-3 fatty acids are the most heat sensitive, and this is one of the reasons why we are all so deficient in this super-healthy fat source. We have been misled by false marketing about which oils are healthy to use in cooking, and we have offset our balance of omega-3, 6 and 9.
Cold-pressed olive oil served cold has so many different positive benefits, but when you cook with it at high heat, all that good stuff is gone. Save olive oil for salads and dressings, and use coconut oil or organic grass fed butter or ghee to cook with in the future.
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