Keto Zone eating just got even better. Chili and chocolate.
We’ve combined these high-nutrition foods into our newest fat bomb recipe. Fat bombs are small high-fat snacks that help you stay in ketosis, get your percentage of calories from fat up, and keep you satisfied.
They are delicious, healthy, cravings-busters.
In the past months, we’ve provided a variety of recipes for savory and sweet fat bombs.
This week, here’s a spicy one that’s almost 100% fat, boosts your metabolism and delivers a nutrition power-punch!
*Coconut oil can be substituted for cacao butter. Allow to set in the refrigerator rather than room temperature as they will melt easier. Culinary-grade cacao butter can be found on Amazon.
**Erythritol will make the mixture thicker and may help it “set” better. However, it also tends to have a “cooling sensation” when mixed with cacao, which is undesirable to some.
Nutrition info (1/18 of recipe): 29 calories, 3 gm fat, 0 gm net carb, 0 gm protein
Of course, most of us want the chocolate. And for good reason. Cacao is incredibly healthy and offers many benefits – see them all here.
But, what about metabolism boosts?
Chili (dried or fresh) offers a lot of health benefits as well. Specifically, capsaicin offers a lot. These components of chili are what makes them hot. And, here’s what they offer:
Capsaicin can help you lose weight in 3 ways.
First, they promote fullness which can cause a reduction in calorie intake, especially when added to a Keto Zone diet.
Then, they actually induce increased energy (calorie) expenditure after they are consumed. This means that they directly boost metabolism (1).
Third, it is one of a few foods that likely increases the conversion of white adipose tissue (low energy expenditure) to brown adipose tissue. Brown adipose tissue increases the cells calorie burn and energy expenditure, which is great for fat loss and lean mass (2).
What’s more, they also positively affect blood sugars and insulin (see below) for more indirect metabolism help, promoting fat loss.
Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes.
The hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains the more anti-inflammatory action.
The hottest varieties include habañero and Scotch bonnet peppers. Jalapeños are next in their heat and capsaicin content, followed by the milder varieties, including Spanish pimentos, and Anaheim and Hungarian cherry peppers. Capsaicin is actually being studied as an effective treatment for sensory nerve fiber disorders, including pain associated with arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy.
Red chili peppers, such as cayenne, have been shown to improve blood cholesterol and increase HDL, and reduce triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation (3).
They also increase the body’s ability to dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots.
Together, these actions are very heart healthy.
What’s more, cultures in which hot pepper is consumed liberally have a much lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.
As an antioxidant, chili peppers may also protect the fats in the blood from damage by free radicals (4).
When fats are oxidized by free radicals, atherosclerosis can form.
In one randomized, crossover study involving 27 healthy subjects (14 women, 13 men), eating freshly chopped chili was found to increase the resistance of blood fats, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, to oxidation (free radical injury). In addition, after eating the chili-spiced diet, women had a longer lag time before any damage to cholesterol was seen compared to the lag time seen after eating the bland diet. In men, the chili-diet also lowered resting heart rate and increased the amount of blood reaching the heart.
Ever eaten food so spicy it makes your nose run? This is common. The peppery heat stimulates secretions that help clear mucus from your stuffed up nose or congested lungs.
If you suffer sinus infections, you can reduce them by keeping sinuses clear with spicy foods!
Red chili peppers’ capsaicin, the compound responsible for their heat, stops the spread of prostate cancer cells through a variety of mechanisms.
In fact, capsaicin triggers cell-death in both primary types of prostate cancer cell lines, those whose growth is stimulated by male hormones and those not affected by them.
In addition, capsaicin lessens the expression of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), inhibits the ability of the most potent form of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, to activate PSA, and directly inhibits PSA transcription, causing PSA levels to plummet (5).
Chili peppers have a false, bad reputation for contributing to stomach ulcers.
Not only do they not cause ulcers, but they can help prevent them by killing bacteria that does (H. pylori).
In a study published in the July 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Australian researchers show that the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar after a meal is reduced if the meal contains chili pepper. When chili-containing meals are a regular part of the diet, insulin requirements drop even lower.
In addition, in overweight subjects, chili-containing meals significantly lower the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar levels after a meal AND result in a lower ratio of C-peptide/ insulin. This indicates that the rate at which the liver is clearing insulin has increased.
Lastly, new in lab and pre-clinical studies are showing promise that capsaicin can reduce metabolic syndrome by improving cell function (6).
Of note, if you know you are intolerant of affected by nightshade vegetables, you may not tolerate many chilis in your diet, so test it out and take note of any issues. Some people report more food intolerance symptoms from leaky gut when nightshades are included.
You can have your chocolate and eat it too – especially if you add the chili! Chili’s most nutritionally-beneficial component, capsaicin, is a metabolism-boosting nutrient that can also promote heart, blood sugar, prostate, and digestive health.