September 10, 2017
When saturated fat became unjustly demonized in the 1950’s, diets worldwide began to shift radically - people started to reduce the amount of fat in their diets and replaced it with sugar and refined carbohydrates. Because of this fallacious belief that saturated fat was unhealthy, we entered into a dietary paradigm in which carbohydrates became the only “safe” fuel source for the body. The foodscape in our grocery stores quickly changed and all of a sudden the “low-fat” and “fat-free” claim on pre-packaged food products became ubiquitous. One thing food manufacturers didn’t mention in their low-fat claims is that when you remove the fat from something you have to replace that fat with sugar, otherwise it would taste awful. Because of this, we all unknowingly went on low-fat high-sugar diets.
This has had unfortunate consequences because we now know that sugar and refined carbohydrates are the leading cause of obesity. We also now know that saturated fat is completely harmless - in fact, it is now thought to be an essential part of a healthy diet. So with refined carbohydrates and sugar now becoming the new dietary villain, this leaves us with the question, “what should we eat for breakfast”?
In my opinion, the best breakfast is one that is rich in vitamins and minerals, high in healthy fats, and low in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Here’s why:
Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
When you consume sugar and refined carbohydrates, you dramatically increase your blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels become very high, they will eventually take a swing in the opposite direction and become very low. Some of the symptoms of low blood sugar can include nervousness, anxiousness, shakiness, extreme hunger, headaches, and irritability. The problem with relying on sugar and refined carbohydrates for fuel is that you have to constantly be elevating your blood sugar levels with food. This puts you on a very short leash where you have to eat every 3 - 4 hours to feel normal.
The reason healthy fats are the ideal fuel source is because they have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels. The more stable your blood sugar levels are, the more stable your energy levels, appetite and attitude will be. Healthy fats also have the added benefit of being very satiating - they’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer. This will help to reduce your overall appetite and will allow you to remain more focused throughout the day.
Vitamins and Minerals
Most breakfast foods are very low in vitamins and minerals and very high in calories. This combination can easily lead to weight gain because when your body is nutritionally deficient it’ll start to crave certain foods. These cravings can lead to constant snacking as well as overeating because even if you feel full after a big meal, you’ll still find yourself wanting something more.
Why Level Up Coffee Could Be Your Ideal Breakfast
The reason Level Up Coffee is an ideal breakfast is because it is a unique combination of coconut oil, raw cacao, and coffee; combined, these ingredients work together to satiate hunger and produce an incredible feeling of energy that is deeply satisfying to the mind and body.
Coconut oil is a unique plant-based saturated fat with some impressive qualities. Since it’s pure fat, it does an excellent job of satiating hunger without affecting blood sugar levels. It will also slow down digestion, which slows the release and absorption of the caffeine from coffee, allowing for a longer-lasting feeling of energy. Coconut oil contains the highest concentration of MCT oils (medium-chain triglycerides) out of all other foods. MCT oils are short-chain fatty acids that are easily broken down by the body, converted into ketones, and used by the brain for energy. Together, these fats have anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. Coconut oil also provides caprylic and lauric acid, which can help prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut (such as candidiasis), lending support to a healthier immune system.
Raw Cacao Powder
When you sleep, your body enters into a fully relaxed state where bodily processes slow down. What better way to start your morning then by increasing blood flow to the area of your body that needs it the most - the brain! Raw cacao powder is classified as a vasodilator; vasodilators dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow throughout the body. When there is better blood flow to the brain, there is more oxygen being delivered to it. Increased levels of oxygen in the brain is one of the explanations for why cacao improves mental focus. Another reason why cacao is such a brain-boosting food has to do with its unique antioxidant content. Researchers have discovered that a group of antioxidants called flavanols and polyphenols, both found in raw cacao powder, have a positive effect on brain function, mood, and attention span.
Most people are unaware that coffee is much more than just an energizing drink. It also contains antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. Here is the nutritional profile of a medium coffee (2.5 cups):
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 27.5%
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 15%
Niacin (B3): 5%
And here is the nutritional profile of that same medium cup of coffee with a serving of Level Up Superfood Coffee Mix:
Saturated fat: 5.4g
If this isn’t impressive enough, researchers have also discovered that daily coffee drinkers tend to live longer that people who don’t drink coffee. In one study which included 10 European countries and 521,330 participants, researchers found that people who drank coffee had a statistically significantly lower all-cause mortality rate. In a second study done in America which included 186,000 participants, researchers also found that people who drank two or more cups a day were 18% less likely to die by the end of the study. Finally, in a third study which included almost 20,000 participants, researchers discovered that people who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never or almost never consumed coffee. Additionally, there was a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality for each two additional cups of coffee per day. Scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine believe that there is a link between chronic inflammation in older people and an increase in cardiovascular disease and overall mortality rates. In a multi-year study of 100 participants, they discovered that caffeine seems to counteract age-related inflammation, which could be a reason why people who drink coffee tend to live longer. Although it's difficult to pinpoint why coffee drinkers tend to live longer that those who don’t, researchers are currently working on understanding what exactly it is about coffee that seems to improve longevity.
Mornings are a busy time for most of us. We have to get ready for work or school quickly, and if you happen to have children, then finding the time to make yourselves a healthy breakfast is often out of the question. The advantage of Level Up Coffee is that it can easily be made on-the-go. All you have to do is add a scoop of Level Up Superfood Coffee Mix into your seal-proof travel mug before you leave, get the barista to fill it with coffee, give it a good shake and presto! Instant Level Up Coffee (coffee shops will often give you a discount for using your own mug as well!). Level Superfood Coffee Mix doesn’t need refrigeration either, meaning that you could leave a jar at work and have access to Level Up Coffee throughout the day.
When you start your day off with a carbohydrate-heavy breakfast, your energy levels, hunger, and attitude largely become dictated by when your last meal was. Trying to rely on carbohydrates and sugar to keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day is an inefficient way to manage your energy levels. A superior strategy would be to avoid the blood sugar rollercoaster and switch to a fat-based fuel source that is far more stable. When I made the switch from a carbohydrate-based breakfast to a fat-based breakfast, the difference in how I felt throughout the day was truly remarkable. When you add the benefits of coconut oil, raw cacao, and coffee into the equation, you set yourself up for an unbelievably productive day!
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