All posts by Jeff Fidler

Learn the advantages of fasting every other day

Health Benefits of Fasting

What is Alternate Day Fasting?

Alternate day intermittent fasting has proven benefits for aiding in weight loss and controlling insulin resistance.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not medical advice. A low carb diet may not be suitable for you. Consult your health care provider before making any changes to your lifestyle or use at your own risk.

Many people find that intermittent fasting techniques help them lose weight and achieve other health goals. This is because when we give our bodies a break from digesting food, it is able to heal and repair itself naturally. Also, given your lower caloric intake when you fast, your body is more likely to start burning through extra stores of fat for energy. But a lot more goes on behind the scenes when you fast, so if you are interested in learning more about this eating technique, keep reading! In this article, we focus on one particular method called Alternate Day Fasting, which has shown great benefits – especially for diabetics and prediabetics struggling with insulin resistance.

What is Alternate Day Fasting?

Alternate Day Fasting, or ADF for short, is a method of intermittent fasting where you fast for one day, then eat what you want the next day, and repeat. One of the benefits of this approach is that you only have to restrict what you eat half of the time, rather than fasting upon waking every single day. In addition, many people follow a modified ADF method, where you can eat about 500 calories on fasting days, or 20-25% of your regular caloric intake. This method is much more sustainable and has been shown to be just as effective as doing full fasts. You can also consume as many zero calorie beverages as you want on non-fasting days, including water, tea, and coffee with added zero calorie sweetener, if you like.

Alternate Day Fasting and Weight Loss

Studies among adults who were overweight or obese showed that alternate day fasting can help you lose between 3-8% of your body weight in 2-12 weeks. ADF is particularly effective at reducing harmful belly fat. Having excess fat in this region of the body is strongly associated with a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This is because the fat cells that accumulate in this area of the body in particular secrete hormones and chemicals that have been linked to a number of chronic diseases. If your waistline measures 35 inches or more for women or 40 inches or more for men, then you may be at risk of harboring these kinds of harmful fat cells.

Physical activity in combination with ADF can also accelerate weight loss. When the body is already in a fat-burning state while you are fasting, this is a great time to incorporate some light cardio, yoga, Pilates or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts as they require less carbohydrates than strength or muscle building. You should avoid heavy lifting on fasting days as these require you to eat protein after you work out to help with muscle regeneration. That said, find what works for you and your energy levels depending on your current fitness level and whether or not you decide to choose the modified ADF method. Remember to stay hydrated, especially when working out, and don’t worry if you hit a wall on the first day – your body is already doing a lot of work while you fast!

Alternate Day Fasting and Managing Diabetes

People with diabetes or prediabetes must keep close watch on their blood glucose and insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body process glucose (sugars) from our diet into energy. However, diabetics either cannot produce enough insulin, or it does not function optimally in their bodies. Diabetes develops as the result of insulin resistance, where the cells in the body don’t respond well to insulin. This can cause blood sugar levels to rise and promote excess fat storage. High blood sugar levels can cause serious damage to cells and organs, which, over time, can lead to a number of health complications including kidney disease, eye and nerve damage, more frequent infections and heart disease.

Research has shown that fasting, especially using the ADF method, can help regulate insulin levels in the body. It works by drastically reducing blood sugar levels on the days that you don’t eat, which helps the body produce and respond to insulin normally. Over time, this can reverse the effects of insulin resistance. Talk to your doctor about managing insulin resistance through your diet.

Fighting Inflammation with Alternate Day Fasting

Another benefit of ADF is the reduction of chronic inflammation, which can lead to cancer, heart disease, arthritis and other serious diseases. Inflammation occurs when there is a buildup of free radicals in the body, which are toxic compounds caused both by natural metabolic processes and also environmental stressors. Environmental stressors that cause free radical buildup include things like processed and fast food, air pollution, excessive caffeine, alcohol, and stress. In addition to reducing your exposure to these things and eating a clean diet rich in fruits and vegetables, it can help to fast from time to time or follow a more routine fasting schedule such as ADF.

Fasting helps reduce free radical buildup in the body that leads to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. As mentioned previously, regular metabolic processes can create free radicals as natural by-products. However, when you are not consuming anything, as in the case of fasting, the body can divert more resources to fighting off free radicals, rather than processes that cause more oxidative stress. In addition, the natural reparative state that the body enters when you fast (which is similar to when you sleep) can fix damage caused by environmental stressors, so long as those are also managed as well.

Other Benefits of Fasting

Here are a few more benefits and perks associated with fasting:

  1. The skin undergoes revitalization that can help reduce the appearance of blemishes, skin tone and wrinkles, as well as improve circulation.
  2. Memory and mental clarity improve due to cleaner blood supply and the elimination of toxins from the brain.
  3. Diseased tissues are broken down and dead cells or tumor-like growths can be eliminated via a process known as autophagy.
  4. Cholesterol enters the blood as part of the detoxification process, but overall levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol are lowered with regular fasting.
  5. Levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that controls your feelings of hunger, are normalized. The result is more “disciplined” hunger when you come out of a fast.

Tips for Fasting

Fasting is definitely no easy task, but it is one that is well worth the effort. Read below for what to expect and how to make your fasting experience more pleasant.

There are different stages of fasting, which are accompanied by different effects in the body as well as different emotions, feelings and sensations. During the first 6 hours of fasting, you might find yourself feeling hungry and irritable. It is important to manage these emotions for this time, as you will reach a breakthrough. Remember all of the logical reasons for fasting and focus on an activity that does not require a lot of physical effort.

After the first 6 hours, the real magic starts to happen. Blood glucose levels will start to return to normal and the body will begin its restorative processes. By 12 hours, you will have entered the metabolic state known as ketosis, which others may achieve by eating a low carb high fat diet. In ketosis, the body switches from burning glucose for energy to burning fat. If you are not consuming any food, the body will convert excess stores of fat into energy. Within 24 hours, your cells will begin the process of autophagy, in which diseased, damaged or dead cells are eliminated. Exercise combined with fasting can increase autophagy.

For days when you are fasting, you’ll need a few things to get you through the day. The first of which is water; it is crucial to stay hydrated to avoid feelings of dizziness, fatigue and other uncomfortable physical side effects that people commonly experience when fasting. You can also consume coffee, tea and other zero calorie drinks to help subside feelings of hunger. Check out Zevia Zero Calorie Soda and Zero Sugar Iced Tea for some flavourful options. You can also use a zero calorie natural sweetener in your coffee or tea, but skip the milk and cream as these add calories.

If you choose the modified version of ADF, you can eat up to 500 calories on fasting days. Some low calorie foods to explore include Miracle Noodle Konjac Pasta and Rice Substitutes, Walden Farms Zero Calorie Condiments, Mama Lupe’s Low Carb Flour Tortillas, Dixie Diner Bake Mixes, super lean BUFF Bison Jerky Sticks and ThinSlim Bakery Snacks! Bone broth is also great to sip on throughout the day since it is rich in essential nutrients yet relatively low in calories.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are several benefits to fasting – even doing it once in a while can provide numerous health benefits if something like ADF seems too daunting. It can be helpful to remember that our bodies are designed to cope with fasting. As a culture, we have become so conditioned to eating three meals a day, often with snacks in between, yet humans have survived on just one meal a day for hundreds of years. Eating so frequently – especially when our meals are high in refined carbs – can place enormous stress on our bodies over time. These effects are exacerbated if we are also dealing with other underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or chronic inflammation.

You can think of fasting as good bodily “hygiene”. In the same way that you take a shower or brushing your teeth, allow your body to clean itself and repair any damage from time to time. If you currently are dealing with a health condition such as diabetes, want to lose weight, or frequently experience symptoms of chronic inflammation such as body pains, fatigue, depression and mood disorders, gastrointestinal complications or frequent infections, you may consider fasting as a solution. The results you will see and feel will surely beat the temporary feeling of satisfaction that food can give you.

Stay Connected

We hope that you picked up a thing or two about the processes, benefits and tips on intermitted fasting and alternate day fasting. If you’d like to share your thoughts, we recommend joining our online communities and discussions over on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Sugar in our blood is important to control, especially on a keto diet.

How To Control Blood Sugar Levels on a Keto Diet

Controlling Sugar Levels in our Blood

Discover what foods to eat for better health & control blood sugar levels

Many people struggle with managing their blood sugar levels – even if they don’t know it. Common problems can arise due to insulin resistance or diabetes, a condition in which the body cannot properly process glucose (sugar) in the blood. This occurs because of improper functioning or production of a hormone called insulin.

Insulin is involved in helping convert glucose from foods we eat into usable energy. However, when not enough insulin is produced or the body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it should (known as insulin resistance), glucose can remain in the blood. If this happens consistently, it is very dangerous for our health; glucose molecules that are not converted into energy can seriously damage our organs and tissues. This is why people with diabetes are at higher risk for things like heart disease, kidney damage, infections that affect the limbs, deteriorating eye health, and even nerve damage in the brain.

In this article, we cover ways that you can control your blood sugar levels effectively through a low carb diet, or keto diet.

Below are various foods and substances you can include more of in your diet due to their proven ability to improve blood sugar control.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to replace personalized medical advice. A low carb diet may not be suitable for you. Consult your health care provider before making any changes to your lifestyle or use this information at your own risk.

 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels because it imitates the effects of insulin. It increases the transportation of glucose from the blood into the cells, where it can be stored for energy rather than circulating in the blood. Cinnamon also helps promote the release of insulin from the pancreas, which can improve insulin sensitivity. This is especially needed in the case of diabetics or those with insulin resistance and are prediabetic, as the body does not respond to insulin the way it should. Finally, cinnamon can also improve digestion. Healthy digestion is an important component of blood sugar control as this can make it easier to process and expel excess sugar to keep blood sugar levels at normal levels.

How to Use Cinnamon

One of the best ways for people trying to control their blood sugar levels is to consume cinnamon in a glass with water first thing in the morning. You can soak a quill of cinnamon bark in a glass of water overnight and drink it when you wake up before eating. In addition, you could mix cinnamon powder into your morning tea or coffee beverage, which adds great flavour and is a good replacement for sugar.

Cinnamon can also add bright and delicious flavours to savoury dishes. Try making a curry or stew with cinnamon and a mix of other vibrant spices, such as turmeric, allspice, cloves, curry, cumin and black peppercorn. Alternatively, you can add cinnamon to things like smoothies, yogurt, cereals or granolas.

Buy the Right Kind of Cinnamon!

Before moving on, it is imperative that we mention the importance of choosing the right kind of cinnamon, especially if you plan to consume it regularly. The most common form of cinnamon that you find in grocery stores is a variety called Cassia cinnamon, from China. Cassia cinnamon actually contains potentially unsafe levels of a toxin called coumarin. If you eat more than one teaspoon (2.6 grams) of Cassia cinnamon, you could increase your risk of liver damage, cancer and breathing problems.

The best type of cinnamon to buy is Ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka, also known as “True Cinnamon.” This variety contains 250 times less coumarin than Cassia cinnamon, so it is much safer for regular consumption. It also has a slightly sweeter taste, so it is not as overpowering – believe it or not, it tastes similar to cinnamon heart candies!

Shop Ceylon Cinnamon at The Low Carb Grocery!

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential nutrient for the brain and the body, so it has many health benefits aside from regulating blood sugar levels. Those with diabetes and prediabetes are often deficient in magnesium. This explains the occurrence of insulin resistance in these individuals because magnesium plays an important role in converting glucose from the food we eat into fuel. A lack of magnesium makes our bodies less effective at using insulin, resulting in insulin resistance.

How to Use Magnesium

There are many different forms of magnesium. Some you can find in supplement form, such as magnesium chloride or magnesium oxide, and others naturally occur in certain foods. You can buy magnesium supplements in the form of liquids, dissolvable powders or pills. It is recommended to consume about 270mg of magnesium for women or 300mg for men each day.

Some dietary sources of magnesium to include in your diet are:

  • Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
  • Almonds
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Soymilk
  • Dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher)
  • Avocados
  • Legumes

Be sure to discuss the benefits and risks of different forms of magnesium supplements with an expert before choosing the right one for you.

Chromium

Chromium is another essential trace mineral that we need in our diets. It is only needed in small amounts to help the body process carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It has also been shown to improve the function of insulin in the body. Essentially, it increases the activity of insulin receptors, thus increasing insulin sensitivity.

The recommended dose of chromium for diabetics is anywhere from 200mcg to 1000mcg a day. Speak with a health care practitioner about including a chromium supplement in your diet to improve blood sugar control. You can also include more foods in your diet that are naturally high in chromium, such as these:

  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Egg yolks

Chromium is also found in things like potatoes, whole grains and fruits such as grapes, oranges and apples; however, these are not very low carb-friendly choices.

Healthy Fats

Fat is the longest lasting fuel source that our bodies and brains can use. On the other hand, glucose from carbohydrates is burned very quickly, which is why it can cause a roller coaster ride of energy levels if it is the main source of fuel in our diet.

The best way to avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes is to switch to a different fuel source – healthy fats. These include foods such as coconut oil, olives, avocados and fatty fish. Healthy fats provide our bodies with enough energy to last for hours so we don’t experience spikes and crashes, and they improve the absorption of certain nutrients. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids found in healthy fat sources reduce inflammation, which can improve insulin and satiety signaling in the body.

Try to replace unhealthy fats found in things like vegetable oils, packaged food products, restaurant and fast food meals, margarine and grain-fed meats with the healthy fat options.

In addition, you can speak with your health care practitioner about a low carb, high fat (LCHF) or ketogenic diet, as these fat-based diets have shown many benefits for those struggling with diabetes and have trouble maintaining a healthy weight.

Find more resources and information about these lifestyles on our low carb lifestyle blog.

Adaptogens

Adaptogens are plants and herbs that have reparative effects on the body. They get their name from their ability to “adapt” to the different needs of the body at the time they are consumed. They may either have a stimulating or relaxing effect, with the overall goal of stabilizing the body’s systems and returning it to its natural state of homeostasis. In this state, the body can function optimally and combat stressors (including excess blood sugar).

Adaptogens are effective at stabilizing hormones such as cortisol, which can throw the body out of balance. Excess cortisol in the blood can make it harder to process sugar and lead to more sugar cravings. Adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng, ashwagandha, maca root, reishi and holy basil have been shown to be effective at stabilizing cortisol levels in the body. You should also aim to reduce dietary stressors such as caffeine, processed foods and high sugar foods.

We recommend making tea from chaga mushroom chunks. This tea/herbal remedy dates back thousands of years, and is filled with loads of minerals and vitamins, as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients. Changa tea is said to help weight-loss, tuberculosis, bad circulation and even treatment of some cancers due to the content of betulinic acid.  With all these benefits, its easy to see why chaga tea has become so popular.

Note: It’s also important to manage stress in other areas of life by including exercise, yoga and other activities that you enjoy in your daily life.

Other Tips to Control Your Blood Sugar Levels

Eat Regularly

Eating at regular time intervals every day can help the body get into a natural rhythm. This has not only proven effects for blood sugar control but can also aid in other things like sleep quality, energy levels and metabolism.

Try to eat three meals a day, 3-5 hours apart, with a couple healthful snacks in between – and best to do this at the same time every day. Also be sure to eat about the same amount of food every day at each meal and snack. If you have diabetes, the body isn’t able to respond to drastic changes in blood sugar levels, so it is best to maintain a similar eating pattern that the body can easily predict. Your doctor will likely recommend how many carbohydrates you can eat every day and at what times. Typically, carbohydrates are better metabolized after a workout or when the body’s metabolism naturally peaks in the late afternoon (around 8-10 hours after waking).

Include More Fibre in Your Diet

Fibre is essential for stabilizing blood sugar levels. This is because fibrous foods are digested more slowly by the body, allowing for a more timed release of glucose into the blood. High fibre foods are also usually low in sugars, which can help prevent blood sugar spikes.

Aim to include leafy green vegetables in at least one of your meals each day. These are high in many of the nutrients previously mentioned in this article and provide a good dose of fibre. Some other high fibre, low carb foods include:

Also check out products like Smart Sweets and Miracle Noodles – tasty, high-fibre alternatives to traditionally high-glycemic foods like candy and pasta.

Eat Balanced Meals 

A balanced meal includes fibre, protein and healthy fats. Try to include one source of each macronutrient at each of your meals and snacks for better digestion and blood sugar control. Combining these different elements will help stave off hunger and allow your body to process nutrients optimally. It will also keep you energized until your next meal to avoid excessive snacking that can occur when our blood sugar levels drop.

 

Share How You Managed to Control Sugar Intake

We hope that this article has provided you with some ideas to manage your blood sugar intake. If you would like to share your thoughts or experiences, head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages.

We also love to read and respond to our Google Reviews, so please take a moment to share your experiences with The Low Carb Grocery over there! And lastly, subscribe to our weekly email newsletter for the most up to date keto news and low carb health food sales!

Good luck with your fight against sugar intake!


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Grain vs Grass Fed Beef – What’s the Difference?

Grass-Fed. Is It Worth It?

Here’s what to look for when shopping for meat and animal by-products.

There are several factors to consider when shopping for meat and dairy products – before they hit the grocery store shelves. The best quality meats will honour their ‘organic’, ‘humanely raised’ and other deserving badges. The living conditions of the animals is very important, as what they get, is what you get.

An animal’s diet and living conditions determine most of the nutrients available to it and dictate the type and amount of hormones it releases – all of which can affect the taste and quality. To purchase the best quality meats and dairy products, we must first become aware of the best farming practices. Factory farmed meats and processed animal by-products contain much fewer nutrients and more harmful chemicals and hormones compared to humanely raised animals. Furthermore, supporting the corporations that profit from these unethical farming practices causes harm to our societies and the environment.

In this article, we answer one of the most common questions about meat: is grass-fed worth it? In addition, we provide tips and suggestions for choosing the best meat and animal by-products at your local grocery store or butcher shop.

Beef: Grass-Fed -vs- Grain-Fed

Before the 1950s, most meat was grass-fed. As you can imagine, this is more similar to how animals naturally feed. However, as the economy expanded with the rise of the middle class, more cheaper options were in high demand. As a result, farmers started feeding their livestock grains instead of grass to cut costs and time. Grain-feeding also eliminated many farming variables that made it hard to keep a steady supply and price, such as weather conditions. However, this switch proved only to benefit the farmers. Since grain-fed techniques became widespread, heart disease and obesity rates have skyrocketed, as well as the number of E. Coli cases.

Why choose grass over grain when it comes to your beef:  It’s no secret – grass-fed meat will always win, but here are a few reasons why you should choose grass-fed meat over grain-fed meat. Note that this mainly applies to beef, however most animals such as pigs and chickens also benefit from a mainly vegetarian and or organic diet.

Healthy Fat Content

Grass-fed meat contains lower levels of saturated fat than grain-fed beef. Saturated fats found in animal products have been highly associated with poor heart health and related conditions. This is because eating saturated animal fats causes cholesterol to build up in the arteries, which blocks the passageways from the heart to the rest of the body. When this happens, it puts you at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Grass-fed beef has been shown to have about the same amount of saturated fat as lean chicken. On the other hand, grain-fed beef has 3-4 times the amount of saturated fat than grass-fed beef!

Omega-3 Content

Another type of healthy fat that we could all use more of in our diets is omega-3 fatty acids. These help lower inflammation in the body, reduce blood pressure, lessen the chance of heart disease, improve brain health and strengthen the bones. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diets due to the over presence of omega-6 fatty acids in our food, which counteracts many of the benefits of omega-3s. Omega-6s are found in most fast foods, packaged food products and vegetable and seed oils. It is also found in things like nuts, seeds, avocados and tofu, although in much smaller amounts (there is no need to shy away from these foods as our bodies still need a small amount of omega-6 fatty acids to function). Grass-fed beef has a very high omega-3 content, compared to limited amounts found in grain-feed beef – which also contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.

CLA Content

Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is another key fatty acid found abundantly in grass-fed beef compared to grain-fed. Research has found that CLA shows promise of reducing one’s risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes and immune disorders. This is because of its anti-inflammatory effects on the body. It has also been shown to increase the amounts of enzymes and proteins in the body that help break down fat, which can promote weight management and the retention of lean muscle mass. The CLA content found in grass-fed beef and dairy is 300-500% higher than that found in grain-fed cows.

Exposure to Bacteria

E. Coli bacteria lives in the guts of cattle. These bacteria can become infectious when fecal matter comes in contact with the meat inside a slaughterhouse. Grain-fed cattle are often clustered in large numbers inside feedlots, which means they are standing in dirt and manure all day long. This makes their meat much more susceptible to bacterial infection. Meanwhile, grass-fed cows tend to be raised in large fields where they can graze and move around naturally. This makes them 300 times less likely to be exposed to E. Coli bacteria that can make us sick! Furthermore, if grass-fed meat were to come in contact with E. Coli, the bacteria are far less likely to survive in the natural acidity of our digestive tracts because they have not become acid-resistant like the E. Coli bacteria found in grain-fed beef.

E. Coli is a very serious health threat. This is why it is always best to choose meat from animals that are humanely farm-raised.

Environmental Impact

Cows are responsible for approximately 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions associated with agricultural activities. This is why many environmental researchers recommend cutting down on meat consumption – many suggesting practicing one meat-free day per week. But whether you’re ready to cut down or not, grass-fed beef is arguably better for you, the planet and the animals.

Grazing animals are also great for soil quality, which has been on a steady decline since the Industrial Revolution. Their manure returns nutrients to the soil, which improves the quality of the soil. It also means that the land doesn’t have to be plowed and deep-rooted plants that prevent soil erosion can continue to flourish.

Nick’s Sticks 100% Grass-Fed Beef Jerky

Nick’s Sticks 100% Grass Fed Beef Jerky Sticks have been a long-time favourite at The Low Carb Grocery! We love these beef snacks and the company behind them; they always ensure the cleanest ingredients in their jerky. Not only are Nick’s Sticks made with 100% grass-fed beef and hand crafted in small batches, but they are also free from artificial colours, preservatives, hormones and antibiotics. They use celery powder and Redmond Sea Salt – one of the highest-quality salts – to preserve their jerky the natural way. These beef snacks are also sugar-free and high in protein, making them a delicious and satisfying low carb-friendly snack! Learn more on the Nick’s Sticks website.

Grass Fed Pork and Poultry          

When buying pork or poultry, similar principles apply. It is always best to look for things such as “farm-raised” or “pasture-raised” on the packaging labels, as this indicates more humane living conditions for the animals. In addition, it means less contamination from overcrowding. Vegetable-fed pigs and chickens produce healthier meat and by-products, so this is another label to look out for. Finally, it is always a good idea to choose non-GMO and organic products where possible as this ensures less exposure to pesticides and also a higher omega-3 fatty acid content! If the label has an ‘organic’ stamp, this implies that it’s also non-GMO, as the organic stamp is a higher earning grade than just non-GMO. Look for these certifications, as well as the Humane Certification on your packaged meat and eggs.

Summary – Eat Grass Fed!

We hope that you enjoyed this article, and hopefully picked up on a few reasons to purchase grass-fed and organic meat and dairy products. If you’d like, please feel free to join the on-going low carb and health food conversations over on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

We also love to read and reply to your feedback on our Google Reviews. And, if you’re interested in staying up to date on low carb news and products sales – please subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.


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canola olive avocado peanut coconut oils

Buy The Best Cooking Oils

The Top 5 Cooking Oils: Cooking Oils Showdown

Where to buy the best cooking oils to make the right choice for you and your skillet!

The type of oil you use to cook matters a lot, and making a major difference in your health could be as simple as swapping out your normal cooking oil for a better option. The right cooking oil will allow you to include more healthy fats in your meals and avoid consuming toxic compounds that result from cooking with oils that are unstable at high temperatures. It all comes down to chemistry. So, what may seem like a good option at surface level may fare quite differently when you add a little heat!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to replace personalized medical dietary advice. Always consult your health care provider before making any changes to your lifestyle or use this information at your own risk.

In this article, we cover all of the most common cooking oils and rank them from best to worst so that you can find the best cooking oil for you. If you discover that you have been using a cooking oil that isn’t the healthiest or safest option, don’t hesitate to swap it out immediately.

You can find some healthy cooking oils at The Low Carb Grocery – check out our inventory today!

#1 BEST: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil tops our list as the best oil to use in cooking! It is also great for baking and a number of other household uses – but that isn’t the only reason why it’s our number one.

Coconut oil is highly resistant to oxidation at high temperatures, meaning it is great for cooking on high heat and using certain cooking methods such as frying. It is, of course, safe to use at lower temperatures, as well. In addition, the fat content of coconut oil is very unique. While about 40% of the total fat in coconut oil is saturated fat, it is not the artery-clogging, cholesterol-raising type of saturated fat. It has been shown that the saturated fat found in coconut oil – unlike that found in butter, fatty cuts of meat, dairy and lard – does not raise levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

The medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) fats found in coconut oil may also be especially good for those on a low-carb high-fat or ketogenic diet. This is because they are quickly and easily converted into ketones – usable energy for the body – by the liver, rather than being stored. This encourages your body to burn fat more quickly, raise levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and can help reduce the risk of related heart diseases.

When shopping for coconut oil, try to look for pure, organic virgin or extra virgin coconut oil. The term “virgin” means that the oil has undergone little or no processing (which may include bleaching, deodorizing and refining). Organic is the best option as this means that the coconuts have not been exposed to harmful farming chemicals – and neither will you! Pure coconut oil should have very little taste, although some people enjoy the slightly sweet, nutty taste of coconut oil.

We recommend Wild Tusker Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. A portion of all proceeds from Wild Tusker products are donated to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to help save this endangered species.

#2: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Coming in close second, extra virgin olive oil is another very healthy option! Olive oil is best used on low or medium heat, which is why it’s not our top pick. That said, olive oil still contains high levels of antioxidant compounds called polyphenols which help prevent oxidation at higher temperatures. When fat is oxidized, it breaks down into unstable molecules which can cause a lot of damage to cells inside the body. It can lead to inflammation which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis and bowel diseases such as Crohn’s. Extra virgin olive oil contains more polyphenols compared to regular olive oil since it is unrefined, so it’s always best to look for this on the labelling. Again, choose organic where possible. Also be sure to look for extra virgin olive oil that comes in a dark-stained glass bottle as this prevents further oxidation from sunlight.

In addition to being packed with antioxidants, extra virgin olive oil is also high in healthy monounsaturated fats (deemed the healthiest type of fat), as well as vitamins E and K, which can help prevent premature aging and cognitive decline, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, support immune function, and improve eye health. Did you know that people tend to live longer in places where olive oil is a staple part of the diet?

#3: Grass-Fed Butter or Ghee

Closing out our top 3 cooking oils, grass-fed butter or ghee are the healthiest types of animal fats you can use. Ghee is a form of highly clarified butter that is traditionally used in South Asian cooking. It is made by melting butter until it separates into its individual components, which allows the milk solids to then be removed. This means that ghee contains less lactose than butter, which could be a plus if you are sensitive to lactose/dairy.

We recommend Organic Ghee by Prasad Ayurveda, made from 100% organic Canadian clarified butter.

If you choose butter instead of ghee, it is essential that you buy organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised butter (and ditch margarine altogether). Cows that are raised according to these standards are much healthier, meaning that their milk contains more vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats. In particular, it is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation unlike omega-6 counterparts that have been shown to produce inflammatory effects when consumed in excess. It is also worth mentioning that you should aim to eat a diet rich in omega-3s, with an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of 4:1 or less. It might surprise you to learn that the Western diet has a typical ratio of somewhere between 10:1 and 50:1! Consuming omega-6s at these levels is very dangerous to one’s health, and vegetable and seed oils are some of the worst culprits of poor omega 6 to omega 3 ratios. As we move down our list towards the worst cooking oils, you’ll see that the omega-6 contents skyrocket!

#4: Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is naturally high in healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. The monounsaturated fats found in avocado oil have also been shown to help the body absorb fat-soluble essential vitamins, boosting the overall nutritional value of your meal! While, overall, its nutrient profile is very similar to that of olive oil, one key distinction is that avocado oil contains less polyphenols, the oxidation-fighting chemicals that reduce inflammation in the body. Extra virgin olive oil also contains slightly more vitamin E, which provides more benefits for the skin, eyes and brain.

Although avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, due to its lower amounts of polyphenols, it tends to oxidize more than olive oil. When comparing the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of avocado oil, it also falls slightly behind our better rated oils. Avocado oil has a ratio of 13:1, while extra virgin olive oil has a ratio of 8:1 and ghee has a ratio of 1.5:1 (coconut oil also has negligible amounts of both <4:1).

Once again, it is best to look for unrefined avocado oil to avoid harmful processing such as bleaching and deodorizing. Be aware that avocado oil also tends to come with a much higher price tag than other oils. In addition, it can impart a certain flavour that not all people enjoy. 

#5: Macadamia or Peanut Oil

Macadamia nut and peanut oil are both naturally trans-fat free, cholesterol free and low in saturated fats. They are also high in monounsaturated fats, like those found in the previous healthy cooking oils.

Macadamia nut oil has a smooth, buttery flavour, making it good for roasting, baking and deep frying due to its high smoke point. In addition, 80-85% of the fat content in macadamia nuts comes from healthy monounsaturated fats! These have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol levels and promote fat-burning rather than fat-storing. Macadamia nut oil is one of the more stable nut oils when exposed to heat and contains a good amount of antioxidants that can help prevent some oxidation. That said, it is probably best used in low heat cooking or in salad dressings.

Find Organic Macadamia Oil here.

Peanut oil has a very high smoke point, which is why it is often used for frying and high heat Asian cooking methods. That said, it does unfortunately contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, making it prone to oxidation despite its high smoke point. A high smoke point simply indicates that you won’t get the bitter taste from food that has been cooked in smoke. As such, peanut oil is not a very safe choice of cooking oil, but if you choose to use it for its unique flavour, try to find one that is cold-pressed and unrefined.

Note that any oils beyond this point in our list should ideally be avoided. Learn why the following oils should not be used in cooking, and how they could be harming your health.

#6: Soybean Oil

Soybean oil is also high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, although it does contain mostly unsaturated fats, which are better for heart health compared to traditional saturated fats. One of the main problems with soybean oil is that it tends to be partially or fully hydrogenated, a term used to describe food processing that strips many of the original nutrients from the oil. Hydrogenated oils are some of the worst oils to consume because they increase levels of bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol levels, and that poses many risks to heart health. Some research has also linked soybean oil to obesity and diabetes. This could be due to the fact that soybean oil is found in many mass-produced, packaged foods since it is a relatively cheap oil.

Just because soybean oil is not a great choice for cooking doesn’t mean that you should throw out your soy sauce, tofu, edamame or soymilk! These foods contain only small amounts of soybean oil and provide lots of other healthy nutrients and plant-powered protein.

#7: Canola Oil (AKA Rapeseed Oil)

The debate surrounding canola oil is quite confusing – some claim that it’s terrible, while others claim it’s perfectly safe for consumption.

Canola oil gained its popularity when health experts began to advise against consuming saturated fats. Given its low saturated fat content, many people deemed canola oil a “healthy option” without taking into account other factors that make for a healthy cooking oil. Canola oil is often used in food manufacturing since it has little to no flavour, so it can be used in a variety of recipes from sweet to savoury. What isn’t widely understood is that this lack of flavour is also partially due to the fact that most canola oil on the market is refined, bleached and deodorized. The refining process causes oxidation and replaces some of the healthier polyunsaturated fats found in canola oil with dreaded trans fats (the kind of fat that clogs your arteries). Another problem with canola oil is that it contains very high levels of erucic acid, which can be toxic to humans and animals. Frequent consumption has been linked to the formation of fat deposits in the heart. So, it’s safe to say that canola oil is not very safe for consumption!

#8: Corn Oil

Corn oil is another cheap and flavourless cooking oil that should be avoided. Given the fact that is it often highly refined, it is a very poor choice nutrition-wise. Corn must go through a very complex refining process in order to produce corn oil – which makes sense, since corn is not naturally a high-fat food like coconuts, olives or avocados. Unfortunately, this refining strips the nutrients present in corn and converts the fats into trans fats. In addition, the heat use to refine corn oil produces an antinutrient called acrylamide, which is a highly reactive compound that has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and poor nerve, muscle and hormone function. Note that other foods that typically undergo high-heat processing such as French fries, potato chips, crackers, cookies, cereals and roasted coffee beans are also likely to contain acrylamide.

Corn oil also has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 46:1. Frequent consumption of high omega-6 and highly refined goods have been linked to obesity, impaired cognitive function, depression and heart disease. Furthermore, a lot of the corn grown in North America is genetically modified and non-organic.

#9: Sunflower Oil

Although sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients such as vitamins A and E, folate and choline, sunflower oil differs vastly in its nutrient content. Sunflower oil is not extracted from the same seeds you might find in a grocery snack aisle, and it often undergoes intense processing. Cold-pressed unrefined sunflower oil may be used for salad dressings and sauces; however, it is more common to find bleached, chemically extracted sunflower oil in processed foods. Refined sunflower oil is stripped of most of the vitamins and polyphenols naturally found in sunflower seeds. This lack of antioxidants means that sunflower oil is easily oxidized when exposed to heat. This can damage cell DNA and lead to obesity, cancer and a host of other health conditions.

Sunflower oil also has a very high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids – around 300:1! This definitely makes it a poor choice if you are trying to limit your intake of omega-6 fatty acids, which we all should be! It is also much lower in healthy monounsaturated fats compared to the other oils ranked above it, meaning that there are healthier options out there if you are looking to consume more healthy fats in your diet. It should also never be used in cooking because it releases toxic compounds when heated at high temperatures.

#10 WORST: Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of about 700:1 – yes, you read that right! This is why it has earned the spot of worst cooking oil on our list. Remember, you should aim to consume an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 4:1 or less, so grapeseed oil should already be out of the question based on this fact alone!

Conclusion

After investigating many common cooking oils, we hope this list helps you understand what to look for and what not to look for in your cooking oils. Make sure to find an oil that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids – especially in comparison to its omega-6 fatty acid content – and that can withstand the temperatures you plan to cook at, without oxidizing. Our top 3 cooking oils are really your best bet in the kitchen, and anything else is safe to avoid.

Also, remember to be mindful of the oils used in packaged or cooked food from restaurants. Many restaurants use hydrogenated vegetable oils that are high in trans fats, simply because they have little flavour and don’t need to be changed as often out of the deep fryer. Always be sure to read the ingredients lists on packaged products and avoid anything labelled as “hydrogenated”, “partially-hydrogenated”, or “high-linoleic”. Stay safe and stay healthy!

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Taking a break from the workout at the gym

Keto Diets & Building Muscle Mass

Can You Build Muscle on a Keto Diet?

Here are the best practices in building muscle on a keto diet. 

You might think that muscles are only important for aesthetics, but there are actually health benefits to having more muscle tissue in your body! In this article, we explain why muscle tissue is more beneficial than other types of tissues in the body, and we provide tips for how you can build more muscles with low-carb and keto food products, along with the right types of exercise.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to replace personalized medical advice. A keto diet may not be suitable for you. Consult your health care provider before making any changes to your lifestyle or use this information at your own risk.

Why is Muscle Tissue so Important? 

The plain and simple answer is that our bodies need muscle to survive. Did you remember that your heart is a muscle? The heart, of course, is one of the strongest muscles in our body. It ensures that our whole body receives all of its necessary blood and oxygen. And our other muscles enable us to move and exercise, which are crucial parts of our lives. They also play a large role in our metabolism, weight management, bone strength, and resistance to stress and disease.

Metabolism and Body Weight 

Muscle tissues burn up to three times more calories than fat tissue, even at rest. Many people try to achieve a caloric deficit when they want to lose weight, which is when you consume less calories than your body burns. If you want to determine how many calories a day you should be consuming, it is important to take into account the amount of exercise you get in a day as well as your body’s resting metabolic rate – and this is where muscle tissue comes in. You will naturally have a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR) if you have more muscle tissue in your body. This can place you at a more comfortable target caloric intake without feeling restricted.

Muscle mass can also help protect against metabolic syndrome and diabetes. A lack of muscle mass or inadequate muscle quality has been strongly linked to diabetes. This is because muscles play a role in insulin sensitivity by protecting against insulin resistance. When we consume carbohydrates, glucose molecules are stored in our muscles and are readily available to use for energy any time we need to move. This promotes healthy metabolism of carbohydrates. On the other hand, glucose that gets stored in fat tissue isn’t as easily converted into energy, which can result in insulin resistance (a type of metabolic syndrome) and diabetes. Therefore, the less muscle mass and more fat tissue you have, the more likely you are to develop insulin resistance, and thus diabetes.

To make matters worse, obesity (which can sometimes go hand in hand with diabetes) triggers inflammation in the body, which causes our muscles to break down. Muscle loss can make it harder to move, promoting a more sedentary lifestyle. A lack of exercise then further accelerates weight gain and more muscle loss. As you can see, this is a vicious cycle that must be paid attention to. If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about a weight loss program that can work for you. And, prioritize building muscle to help stop this dangerous loop.

Bone Strength

This correlation between muscle mass and bone strength may not seem obvious. However, our bones are basically encased in muscles and other tissues. In order to move, the bones must bear the weight of these tissues. It takes considerable strength to lift, carry, drag or move something under a heavy load. So, the best way to build strong bones (apart from eating the right nutrients) is by placing them under substantial weight. The exercises you perform to build your muscles will also play a role in strengthening your bones. This can become especially important in old age, as our bones tend to lose density and become more prone to breaking.

Stress and Disease Prevention

Muscles create additional stores of protein that the body can draw on in times of increased need, such as when we are stressed or sick. Protein is the main structural component of your body, making up everything from your bones, muscles, organs, blood cells, enzymes and hormones. When we become stressed or sick, this can cause deterioration or damage to these components of our bodies. Muscle mass allows the body to more easily replenish and repair these cells. Think of them like health insurance; an emergency store of nutrients that can keep you and your body healthy and recover more quickly from unexpected stressors! Diet alone can rarely deliver the required level of protein that your body needs during these times, so it is really important to have an adequate reserve of muscle mass. 

How to Build More Muscle

Diet

To build muscles – which are made of protein – you must consume an adequate amount of protein (20-25% of your daily calories). You also need to consume the right amount of calories in a day; an extreme caloric deficit can actually destroy muscle mass. If you are also trying to lose weight, a slight deficit might be okay because the body can still use energy from stores of fat in your body to make muscles. That said, if you do not have a lot of excess weight, make sure you are eating enough every day (check your BMR here and factor in how many calories your burn from exercise in a typical day, as well) . A slight caloric surplus is recommended in order to gain muscle mass – but make sure you are eating healthy foods to provide the right kind of extra fuel for your body!

Here are some substances that help you build muscle tissue:

  1. Whey Protein

Milk contains two types of proteins; casein and whey. Whey protein is often separated and used for improving strength because of its unique properties. It contains a range of essential amino acids (which are required for building proteins) and is absorbed quickly by the body. For those who have a lactose sensitivity or intolerance, whey may still be a safe option as it contains small amounts of lactose (especially whey protein isolate).

Check out The Low Carb Grocery’s selection of whey protein powders and snacks!

  1. Collagen

Collagen is found in your muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, hair, nails and skin. It is the main structural protein of connective tissue, making it the most abundant type of protein in your body. We all lose collagen as we age, which is why some people may take collagen supplements to improve the appearance of their skin, hair and nails as they get older. But aside from its beauty-promoting benefits, it is also a key protein for healthy maintenance of bones and other important structures in the body. That said, it is not a perfect replacement for other types of protein, rather a great supplement to take to promote anti-aging along with other protein sources in the diet.

Collagen peptides are the easiest form of collagen to digest, so you will often find these in the supplement aisle at your local store. The most common forms are sourced from animals or fish. However, if you are vegan or vegetarian there are plant-based options, too! Check out Sunwarrior Plant-Based Collagen Peptides!

  1. Fish Oil

This one might seem a little strange, but fish oil is recommended for building muscle because it contains powerful omega-3 fatty acids that can help strengthen muscles. Specifically, the EPA and DHA types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are responsible for these effects. EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce muscle soreness after workouts, improve endurance, help you burn fat, and aid in range of motion. The point here is that omega-3s are incredibly important for overall strength and vitality to support healthy muscles! You can either take a fish oil supplement, or regularly include fatty fish (i.e. wild caught salmon, mackerel and sardines) in your diet.

Grass-fed beef also contains high amounts of omega-3s as well as pasture/farm-raised poultry, eggs and other meats. Note that plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids (such as nuts, seeds, and algae) only provide ALA omega-3s, which are compositionally different and not as beneficial for the body.

  1. Magnesium

Magnesium won’t build muscle in the short term, but it is an important nutrient for long-term muscle growth and strength. This is because it plays a role in blood glucose control, which can prevent metabolic syndromes like insulin resistance that block muscle growth. It also helps balance and control stress hormones, which, as we mentioned previously, can break down muscles if released in excess. Magnesium may also provide more energy to support your workouts and help prevent muscle soreness afterwards for a speedy recovery. The type of magnesium that is best absorbed by the body is magnesium chloride. Magnesium citrate is also used for relaxation and recovery purposes. However, it is good to get dietary sources of magnesium as well, which can be found in things like pumpkin seeds, nuts, soy, raw cacao (found in 70%+ dark chocolate), leafy green vegetables, seaweed, and whole grains.

  1. Lean Meat

Of course, we can’t talk about consuming protein and not mention lean meats! Lean meat is one of the densest sources of protein and heme iron necessary for muscle growth, so it is always a good choice if you are looking to build muscle. That said, be sure to choose the right kinds of meat, as many processed meats and poorly raised animals can contribute to inflammation in the body, which breaks down muscles. Choose grass-fed and farm or pasture raised meat for the best quality and highest amount of nutrients. As mentioned previously, these meats also tend to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for overall health and muscle performance.

  1. Pastured Eggs

Finally, eggs from pasture-raised chickens are another great source of protein and essential amino acids (as well as many other nutrients). You can also look for omega-3 enriched eggs for an extra boost of muscle-building nutrients. Additionally, eggs are naturally rich in healthy fats which can promote weight management and help reduce fat tissue in the body that detracts from muscle ability.

Exercise

Unfortunately, muscle is a use-it-or-lose-it kind of tissue. So, it is important to do regular strength training, especially as we get older. As we age, many people tend to stop exercising, yet this is the worst time to stop being active as this is when we are at the highest risk for muscle loss! Starting around age 50, the amount and quality of our muscles start to decline. As the body’s metabolism changes, it begins to sacrifice things like muscle proteins in order to keep the heart and other vital organs functioning optimally. We must show our bodies that our muscles are worth having by using them regularly. And by eating right as we age, we provide our bodies with the necessary energy to keep our muscles strong.

Weightlifting is probably the first type of exercise to come to mind when you think of building muscle. That is because it is the most effective exercise for increasing muscle mass! Basically, when you lift weights, it creates tiny tears in the muscle fibres. Your muscles then repair these micro tears, which causes them to grow and get stronger. Weightlifting might feel intimidating if you have never done any kind of strength training, but many studies have shown that it is both safe and effective, even in older adults. It is especially beneficial when practiced consistently for at least one year. You don’t have to do dead lifts off the bat – even something as simple as purchasing a couple of dumbbells and doing a few reps of bicep curls every day or every other day is a great exercise (remember to allow your muscles time to repair!). You can gradually increase the weight as you feel comfortable to do so. Ideally, by the end of your reps you should feel like you can’t do one more, but you are not exhausted or in intolerable pain.

You can also do bodyweight exercises – these are easy, fun and require no equipment at all! This might include things like push ups, sit ups, planks, lunges and pull ups. There are plenty of videos and courses online that involve these kinds of workouts. Aim for at least 15-20 minutes of day of these kinds of exercises. This is another safe and effective way to work out all parts of the body, especially the core.

Aerobic exercise is another way to build muscle, although it is not as effective as the other exercise methods we mentioned. The word aerobic means “with oxygen.” So, aerobic exercise refers to things like walking, running, swimming and cycling that get the heart rate up to distribute more oxygen to the body. These involve repetitive motions of the large muscles, which can keep these muscles healthy and strong over the long-term. The key here is doing these exercises for long periods of time, as this promotes muscle strength and endurance. Aerobic exercise may be more comfortable for those just starting out their muscle building journey and those older in age. It is also a great way to achieve both fat loss and muscle strength.

Get Started Today

We hope this article helped you picked up some key takeaways for building muscle on a low-carb or keto diet. As you can see, there’s still no way around building muscle besides great quality foods and proteins and exercise. But, we hope some of our recommendation can at least make it easier – or better yet, more fun!

If you want to continue this conversation with us or our thousands of followers, please consider joining our communities on Facebook or Instagram. We also love to hear your personal feedback with a Google Review. Also, if you’re looking for the most up to date low-carb and keto news, plus sales on your favorite low-carb and sugar-free products, please consider subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


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Indian inspired health drinks to manage or treat illnesses.

Explore Guruji’s Pure Ayurvedic Juices

Discover the Health Benefits of Guruji Juices

Guruji’s Pure Ayurvedic Juices provide a range of natural solutions, that help maintain good health and manage chronic diseases. Discover the natural healing and detoxifying wonders bottled in these drinks, today!

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a wholistic, lifestyle-focused approach to health that has been practiced in India and its surrounding regions for more than 5,000 years. In Ayurveda, herbal medicines and remedies are often used to treat or prevent illnesses and to maintain good health. The rest of this balanced approach involves an individualized diet plan and practicing mindfulness through meditation and yoga. The goal of Ayurvedic practices is to balance the needs of physical, mental and spiritual health so followers can attain longevity, well-being and manage or prevent any debilitating illnesses.

Tips to Apply Ayurvedic Practices to Your Lifestyle

Although the intricacy and depth of a complete Ayurvedic lifestyle is a lot to study, there are some simple ways to achieve the principles of Ayurveda in your daily life. Here are some tips to increase a sense of balance, harmony, and well-being in your life and physical health:

  1. Eat minimally processed foods. Avoid packaged foods and avoid anything with added sugars, preservatives and fillers.
  1. Practice mindful eating. Chew your food, minimize distractions and set aside scheduled times to eat if you tend to rush or skip meals.
  2. Create a morning and evening routine to calm your mind before and after sleep. A morning routine could include drinking a cup of lemon water, stretching or doing a quick yoga routine, or even something as simple as writing down an agenda for the day to organize your thoughts. Before bed, be sure to take time to turn off electronics and do something relaxing such as reading, listening to a guided meditation or drinking herbal tea. These simple routines can help you ease into your day mindfully, and greatly improve your sleep quality.
  1. Spend more time outdoors! Nature has a very calming effect on all of us. Taking walks and spending time outdoors is a great way to calm the mind and relax the soul. 
  1. Understand that not every day will be the same. From time to time, we will experience changes in our bodies, mental states and physical health. Listen to your body by paying attention to things like energy levels, indigestion and the onset of any other concerning health conditions. You may not know what works best for you and your body yet, so it’s also a great idea to consult a physician and begin to try new foods, exercises and daily routines until you find what suits you.

If you are interested in more ways to live according to Ayurvedic principles, consider taking a look at this list of 20 Ayurvedic practices!

About Guruji Juices

Guruji is a brand of all-natural juices made from fruits and herbs that are used in traditional Ayurvedic practices for the maintenance of good health. Available in 8 different flavours, each with its own unique health benefits, Guruji Juices are an easy and convenient way to access the natural healing powers of select plants that have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. Each bottle contains 16 servings, meant to be taken in small doses once or twice daily (do not consume an entire bottle in one sitting). Guruji juices contain no added sugars or fillers – as these would not comply with Ayurvedic principles! Keep reading to explore the amazing range of natural health benefits that each Guruji juice has to offer.

Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera has several bioactive compounds that help soothe the entire body. While you may be familiar with applying aloe vera topically to heal cuts and sunburns, it can also help heal the body from within! Drinking pure aloe vera juice provides a boost of antioxidants, can relieve constipation and soothe the lining of the gut, improve the immune system and hydrate and nourish the skin. It has even been known to reduce dental plaque, which can prevent cavities.

How to Use

Ideally, you should consume 20mL – 30mL of aloe vera juice mixed with water on an empty stomach. You can do this in the morning before eating breakfast. Waiting 30-60 minutes before eating or drinking anything else will allow the aloe vera to detoxify the body and cleanse it of toxins that have built up over night. This is a great way to have a fresh, light start to the morning and boost hydration early in the day when our bodies need it!

Amla Juice

The amla fruit, also known as the Indian gooseberry, has a variety of health benefits that can support general health and well-being when taken daily. Some of these benefits include boosting immunity, stabilizing blood sugar levels, improving blood circulation, aiding in eye, heart and liver functions, improving digestion and helping to absorb calcium, a nutrient that is important for bone and teeth health. All of these benefits are essential to general well-being and functioning of the body. Think of your body as a well-oiled machine when all of these functions are supported!

How to Use 

Take 30mL of amla juice mixed with water twice daily, preferably in the morning and evening. This will support proper functioning throughout the day and effective rest and recovery after a day of activities!

Jamun Juice 

Jamun, also known as the Indian blackberry, is packed with vitamins, iron, magnesium and potassium, making it one rare and powerful berry! All of these nutrients help the body to perform important functions and send messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

Jamun berries also contain enzymes that help produce hemoglobin, which is a key protein used to make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and help cycle out waste products such as carbon dioxide that are produced by our organs and tissues. Without enough hemoglobin, and thus red blood cells, we may experience symptoms of fatigue, faintness, cold hands and feet, pale skin and brittle nails. Taking jamun juice may be especially beneficial for those suffering from anemia or those who may not be getting enough iron from a vegan or vegetarian diet.

How to Use

Consume 30mL of jamun juice twice a day, preferably during the day, with or without water. It can also be added to smoothies for a healthy and tasty breakfast or snack. Those suffering from diabetes should check with their doctors first before taking jamun juice to avoid interferences with any medications.

Karela Juice

Karela, or Indian bitter melon, is a staple in many Asian cuisines and medicinal practices. If you have ever seen one of these spiky cucumber-looking fruits, you may wonder who thought to try it first! Yet, this lucky discovery has provided many wonderful health benefits for those who dare to consume this intriguing plant. Drinking karela juice is a great way to reap the benefits of this fruit if you are not familiar with cooking it.

Karela juice has the ability to aid digestion, promote glowing skin and healthy hair, cleanse the liver (great for hangovers), stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels and can also support weight loss. It has shown great benefits for those suffering from diabetes and can promote healthy menstrual cycles in women. Since karela is a great source of vitamins, potassium, iron and magnesium, it also supports numerous important bodily functions for the maintenance of general health and well-being.

How to Use

As the name suggests, Indian bitter melon tastes bitter and is quite unpalatable for some people. To make it easier to drink, it can be mixed with water, honey, lemon juice, ginger or other natural fruit juices. Try mixing 30mL with any of these ingredients and drink on an empty stomach morning and evening. Karela juice can also be taken with an equal amount of Amla Juice for enhanced effects.

Lauki Juice

Lauki – one of its better monikers (other names in English include Bottle gourd or calabash) – is a natural detoxifier and coolant that is the perfect supplement to take in warmer months! It naturally cools down the body, which can improve sleep quality, help treat infections, relive stress and is a great for post-workout hydration and recovery! It can also cure digestive issues and keep your heart healthy since it regulates blood pressure.

How to Use

Take 30mL of lauki juice mixed with water in the morning and evening, or after a workout. Be sure to wait at least 30 minutes before drinking or eating anything else to let this fruit juice work its magic.

Triphala Juice

Triphala juice is an herbal remedy made from a combination of amla juice (33%), harad juice (33%) and baheda extract (33%). This trifecta of ingredients is a powerful detoxifier and has been used to fight infections and support the immune system. It can also alleviate digestive problems, stomach ulcers, UTIs and aid in weight loss.

How to Use 

Take 30mL of triphala juice mixed with water (and honey, which may improve the taste) on an empty stomach in the morning. Wait 30-45 minutes before drinking or eating anything else for maximum effectiveness. Due to its diuretic effects, triphala may cause you to urinate more frequently which can cause sleep disturbances if taken at night.

Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking triphala juice if you are currently on any medications for diabetes or hypertension, as it may reduce their efficacy.

Turmeric Juice

The powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are not new to the health community; this root vegetable is often recommended to those wanting to boost their immune system, reduce inflammation, help fight against infections and prevent certain types of cancers. Turmeric has also shown tremendous benefits for preventing heart disease, since it protects against the formation of blood clots and reduces plaque buildup in the arteries. Its anti-inflammatory effects have also been shown to improve brain health; consuming turmeric can reduce symptoms of depression and even Alzheimer’s disease.

How to Use 

Turmeric juice can be best enjoyed in a warm beverage before bed or between meals. Try making a delicious turmeric latte by boiling 30mL of turmeric juice with your choice of milk or milk alternative. You can also add spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg to enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric (and the warm-and-coziness of your latte!).

Wheatgrass

You have probably heard of health fanatics downing wheatgrass shots – but do you know why? Wheatgrass, which is the young form of fully matured wheat, contains a high number of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and chlorophyll. All of these nutrients are essential to healthy functioning of the mind and body and can support healthy growth and functioning of the brain, muscles and immune system. Note that those with gluten-intolerance or carb restrictions on their diet can still safely consume wheatgrass juice.

How to Use

Take 30mL of wheatgrass juice on its own or mixed with a glass of water twice daily. When taking it in the morning, do so on an empty stomach and wait 30 minutes before consuming anything else. In the evening, be sure to leave this same 30-minute time gap between the juice and other food and drinks.

 

If you are interested in any of the above-mentioned products, be sure to check out Guruji’s full line of Pure Ayurvedic Juices.

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