Healthy Recipe Can Be An Unhealthy Choice.
This dessert/ snack was posted on social media as a ‘healthy recipe’
- coconut milk, chia seeds, mango cubes, coconut.
Yes, this is healthier than cookies, ice cream, frozen desserts, cake… almost anything else you may crave for dessert or to satisfy your sweet tooth.
However: if your goal is fat burning, this counts as empty calories.
For efficient fat loss, you need to focus on protein.
Protein is the most important macronutrient if you want to improve your metabolism.
Protein does not raise insulin levels (insulin triggers fat storage from any carbohydrate).
Protein helps you build muscle. Muscle mass improves metabolism.
When broken down into amino acids, protein provides the building blocks for hormones and brain chemistry.
Hormones control your metabolism.
Brain chemistry influences your cravings, whether you feel hungry or full.
A snack of this type provides no protein.
The sugar from the mango (mangoes are a high-sugar fruit) will stimulate insulin and promote fat storage.
Once insulin is triggered, you remain in fat-storing mode.
This is why snacking is not recommended for those who are trying to burn fat.
The old and outdated information of 5 small meals a day, and even the outdated practice of calorie counting does not lead to optimal results and does not give you lasting results.
When you count calories, you forget about the quality of the nutrition and the nutrient density of the food. This is critical when fuelling your metabolism.
A terrible example that turns most people off is to compare 100 calories of chocolate to 100 calories of broccoli. Most people who have been dieting a lot, surely do not want to hear about broccoli.
Let’s look at the nutrient density of 100 calories of steak versus 100 calories of sweet potato.
The protein and the fat in the steak serving keep insulin neutral. The combination of fat and protein will keep you from getting hungry because your blood sugar levels remain stable.
Protein is necessary to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate and fat-burning ability.
Protein also is essential to heal your immune system, repair tissue, and make brain chemistry and hormones.
When you eat sweet potato, no matter how ‘healthy’ it is (no different from half a cup of mango chunks) it breaks down into sugars. All carbohydrates become sugar. Sugar triggers insulin to rise. Insulin takes that sugar and stores it as fat.
Insulin resistance is the most common obstacle to efficient fat burning.
When you have insulin resistance, snacking should be avoided.
High protein meals, 2-3 times a day is the ideal goal.
The most current science around protein shows that almost everyone is eating too little.
Aim for 1g per pound of body weight per day.
Ideally, eat 40-50g of protein at the first meal. Another 40-50g with your last meal.
A better modification of this recipe would be to add a protein powder (whey or beef - 20g in a scoop minimum) into the coconut milk (filled with good fats) and top with berries. (A low sugar fruit).
You now have a high protein test with good fats. Phytonutrients from the berries.
And overall something that boosts your metabolism and not block it.
Dr. Natasha Iyer, MD
*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions and should not be used for medical advice. Seek proper medical consultation with a medical professional.