I'm sure you've heard a time or two before that you should only be mindful of consuming too many eggs as their cholesterol content is rather high and the recommendation that eggs should only be eaten once per week to avoid cholesterol issues.
You see, for years we have been told that cholesterol intake should be kept to a bare minimum as doing so will help to decrease blood cholesterol levels and promote overall health, and although the theory of lowering dietary cholesterol intake to lower internal cholesterol makes logical sense, the theory doesn't quite pan out, as our bodies are, generally, more complex creatures than our logical minds give them credit for.
Fact is, when dietary intake of cholesterol is decreased, the liver compensated by producing more cholesterol, leaving total cholesterol levels relatively unchanged. In the same way, if cholesterol consumption is increased, the liver produces less cholesterol, and again, total cholesterol values will not be substantially altered.
Now that's not to say that we should go hog wild with our intake of cholesterol, but it does mean that one can expect cholesterol levels to remain relatively stable over a wide range of dietary intakes.
Given this information, you may be wondering why the body would ever produce more cholesterol if cholesterol is so "bad", and that's a good question.
The truth is, cholesterol actually acts as an antioxidant against dangerous free radicals within the blood and is also necessary for the production of certain hormones that help to fight against heart disease.
When there are high levels of undesirable substances in the blood (caused by the dietary intake of damaged fats, highly processed "unhealthy" foods, and large quantities of sugars), cholesterol levels rise in order to combat these substances.
Blaming heart disease on high cholesterol is like blaming infection on high levels of antibodies (special proteins produced by the body in order to defend against foreign bacteria and infectious agents). If the body allowed cholesterol to fall in the presence of large amounts of free radicals, our risk for heart disease would increase, not decrease, and fortunately our bodies won't let that happen.
So, the answer to decreasing blood cholesterol levels is not avoiding omelets and not necessarily decreasing dietary cholesterol intake, but rather improving ones diet overall by eating healthier in general and avoiding the other harmful types of foods mentioned.
Combine that with increased physical activity and both you and your cholesterol levels will be in even better shape.
For decades, grains and other high carbohydrate foods formed the base of the food pyramid and the foundation for a "healthy diet". All the while, fats were demonized.
Unfortunately, these recommendations couldn't be further from the ideal path to a flat belly. A diet high in wheat and other grain products inevitably leads to high blood sugar and poor sensitivity to the hormone insulin. In turn, poor insulin sensitivity becomes....and thus the vicious cycle repeats, often leading to out-of-control belly fat storage over time.
Fats, on the other hand, are instrumental in the regulation of your overall hormonal balance, including many fat-burning hormones. When you understand how to choose the right fats, replacing high-carb items in your diet such as bread, bagels, muffins, baked goods, and pasta with more of these fat-burning, healthful "fatty foods", you'll be well on your way to a flatter belly.
Here are 7 "fatty foods" for a flat belly: Whole Eggs, Nuts (such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews), Seeds (such as sunflower seeds and flaxseeds), Avocado, Olive Oil, Fatty Fish (for example, mackerel, tuna, salmon, and trout), and Coconut Oil.
All of these "fattening" foods help to improve your overall fat-burning hormone balance, satiety and feelings of fullness after a meal, and also possess an array of other unique fat-burning and health benefits.
For example, egg yolks are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (making the myth about only eating egg whites for a flat belly completely false); avocados and olive oil are rich in heart-healthy, health-boosting fatty acids; many species of fish are a great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), well known for their appetite regulation, energy, and immune benefits.
What about Probiotics?
What exactly are the beneficial bacteria found in kombucha? In an article published from the Journal of Food Microbiology, it was found that the following probiotics are generally found in kombucha--although the actual amounts and types of organisms in the culture can vary widely, based on geography, preparation, temperature, climate, local bacteria in the environment, and yeasts present.
* Gluconacetobacter-An anaerobic bacteria unique to kombucha. It feeds on nitrogen from the tea and produces acetic acid and gluconic acid, as well as building the SCOBY.
* Acetobacter-Bacteria that produce acetic acid and gluconic acid, along with the actual SCOBY mushroom. Acetobacter xylinoides and acetobacter ketogenum are two of the usual strains youfind in kombucha.
* Lactobacillus-A type of bacteria sometimes in kombucha lactic acid.
* Saccharomyces-Includes a number of yeast strains that produce alcohol and are the most common types of yeast found in kombucha.
* Zygosaccharomyces-A yeast strain unique to kombucha. It produces alcohol and carbonation as well as contributing to the mushroom body.
The different types of bacteria and yeast in kombucha are what make it behave and appear the way it does, including the fizz and its somewhat unique flavor. (And if you see funky looking thins floating around in you kombucha, don't worry about it--just drink up--it's little colonies of healthy yeast and bacteria).
Other, not so beneficial organisms have been found in some cultures as well, and if you are making your own brew, you need to be very careful to keep everything touching the kombucha and the SCOBY very clean. Penicillin, Aspergillus, and Candida are common invaders, and rarely, even more harmful bacteria can take up residence, but those cases are few and far between. However, if you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, it is probably best to avoid kombucha, since some of the yeasts and bacteria may be more harmful to a weakened immune system than good.
How do you know if your home brewed kombucha has unhealthy molds? It's pretty easy to spot. It usually looks very similar to the mold that you would see growing on bread, fruit or cheese. Green, black, or gray--and fuzzy. Just be sure to dump everything if you see mold on it, and start over with a new SCOBY.
Please adhere to very clean standards and avoid contaminating it, to create the freshest kombucha with the most active enzymes and ingredients. Commercially prepared kombuchas lose many of their antioxidants when stored for long periods of time, and some varieties have far less beneficial bacteria in them.
Here is a recipe for basic kombucha:
4-6 black tea bags
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1-2 liters filtered or spring water (don't use tap water as it often contains chlorine and other chemicals which will kill or prevent the frowth of the beneficial bacteria and yeasts.
Large glass container with wide mouth, such as glass iced tea container
SCOBY (you can use a starter from someone else who makes kombucha or obtain a starter from a health food store or online)
Clean dish cloth and rubber band
Be sure you kitchen and utensils are all very clean. Just to be sure, rinse all under very hot water.
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Once boiling, remove from heat and add teabags and sugar and let it steep, stirring occasionally with clean spoon to dissolve sugar.
Remove and discard tea bags after about a half hour or so. Let mixture cool to room temp--do not pour boiling hot tea over SCOBY or you may kill the live bacteria and yeasts.
When cool, add to jar with an equal amount of filtered water. Ad SCOBY and cover with clean cloth and rubber band to secure it. Do not add a lid as the fermentation will build up and could explode it!!
Allow the tea to sit or 7-14 days. Less time produces a tea with more sugar and caffeine. More time creates a more sour, fizzy brew, but it will be full of antioxidants, enzymes and probiotics. Much depends on the temperature and storage of the tea.