I am not a diet advocate. There is so much more to eating for health than adopting the diet trending on social media this year. The truth is most diets have benefits and most have opportunities for improvement. To adopt an eating strategy, there are a few keys to success
Nothing is more powerful than identifying items that are damaging to our biology in all instances. If you want to be healthy, avoid things that always make you less healthy.
Even the name is deceiving. Vegetables seem healthy, however these oils are better named Industrial Seed Oils – canola, corn, sunflower, and more. The process to manufacture these is crude, even including hexane which is used in making gasoline. Once the product is consumed, especially when heated, they unleash a firestorm of oxidative stress (think the rusting process), especially on our endothelial cells (lining sensitive tissues such as our vasculature). Further, much of the fats in these oils are omega 6, which are pro inflammatory. This pro-oxidative, pro-inflammatory fuel wreaks havoc on our entire system.
Yes, grains (seeds of grasses – wheat, corn, rice, etc) have been used across the glove for thousands of years. Yes, they are still a critical avoidance. Genetically modified and treated with Roundup (glyphosate) the biological burden is too great and I haven’t even got to the gut. They make the gastrointestinal tract more permeable – termed leaky gut. It is as gross as it sounds. Further, the starches in these grains raise blood sugar more than table sugar itself. Collectively, they are a pro-inflammatory storm, whether or not whole grain. Do NOT fall for the trap these should be part of any healthy eating strategy (with the possible exception of occasional rice).
Foods with added sugar overwhelm our biology over time. We can only handle so much. Circulating at any time in our bloodstream is about 4 grams (slightly less than a teaspoon) of glucose. Compare this to any food label where it is common to find in excess of 10 fold this number per serving. Added sugar consumption leads to a number of maladies such as diabetes, fatty liver, and others. Yes, fatty liver. Excess sugar is turned into fat in the liver (de novo lipogenesis).
Genetically Modified (GMO) and Roundup (glyphosate)
To improve crop yield, they have genetically modified plants to change attributes, including the ability to tolerate glyphosate. GMO, and its foreign proteins, cause problems by themselves. Roundup (glyphosate) causes immense problems. It was originally patented as an antibiotic, chelates metals, interferes with drug processing pathways (CYP 450 etc), and can even mimic glycine (the most predominate amino acid on our body). Like grains, glyphosate can also precipitate leaky gut, cumulatively with the effects of grains. Together, GMO plus glyphosate are a troublesome twosome.
Processed food providers profit by offering the perfect combination of the above avoidances. Chips, crackers, and anything with a food label that has an ingredient list that goes on for miles. The problems above are all included, but there are more! The unnatural high carb, high fat combination overwhelms our body’s innate ability to regulate appetite. Our reward systems, mediated primarily by dopamine,
Here is an analysis of the USDA listing of “Branded Foods”
Over 75% of branded foods have at least one category from the avoidances above. Almost 40% have an ingredient that spikes blood sugar (sweet/starch) combined with fat.
Processed foods are a problem.
When To Eat
When to eat, or not to eat, is important to include in mapping out a plan. Unfortunately, most diets omit strategies for meal timing.
Yes, food types and diets signal vast biological processes. Not eating impacts equally important processes as well.
The 30,000- foot view is that feed stimulates growth signaling, while fasting signals recycle and repair. Many of the chronic diseases we face are at least partly attributed to excessive growth signaling.
This concept takes a bit more to dig into, over 30 pages anyhow. Please click here for a free whitepaper I put together on this topic of enormous importance. When To Eat Whitepaper.
What to Eat
You won’t find a prescription for a specific diet here. The truth is many can be implemented as part of a healthy lifestyle if the concepts above are included. The key is to switch it up a bit – VARIATION IS CRITICAL. I am a fan of keto, but not all the time. Carnivore? Sure, I like well-sourced meat (grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic, etc), but not for the vast majority of my meals every day. Vegetarian? For a short time sure, but it is very hard to maintain indefinitely. The cool thing is you can, and should, eat a variety of foods. Historically, we have been a species that eats seasonally available foods. This should be enhanced and doing so improves our metabolic flexibility – the ability to change fuel sources – and this may be one of the most
Implementing a dietary strategy, especially for the purposes of alleviating a chronic health condition, can be daunting. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. Please reach out for a free consultation.
The best place to start is the whitepaper mentioned earlier, When To Eat.
Below are some recent posts relevant to the material above.
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