Monday, December 20, 2010

The Momentum is Building

You can't ignore it.  It is becoming too prevalent.  The evidence is so overwhelming that the mainstream media is even catching on.  The LA Times has a big following.  Who knows where this article appeared in their print version but it is sure to catch the attention of it's readers.  Especially with 70% of America being overweight.  Statements like these in a national newspaper are pretty significant:
"Dietary fat used to be public enemy No. 1," says Dr. Edward Saltzman, associate professor of nutrition and medicine at Tufts University. "Now a growing and convincing body of science is pointing the finger at carbs, especially those containing refined flour and sugar."
 But a growing number of top nutritional scientists blame excessive carbohydrates — not fat — for America's ills. They say cutting carbohydrates is the key to reversing obesity,heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
 "Fat is not the problem," says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases."
 Consumption of carbohydrates has increased over the years with the help of a 30-year-old, government-mandated message to cut fat.
And the nation's levels of obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease have risen. "The country's big low-fat message backfired," says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. "The overemphasis on reducing fat caused the consumption of carbohydrates and sugar in our diets to soar. That shift may be linked to the biggest health problems in America today."
"At my obesity clinic, my default diet for treating obesity, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome is a low-carb diet," says Dr. Eric Westman, director of the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at Duke University Medical Center, and co-author of the new Atkins book. "If you take carbohydrates away, all these things get better." 
As nutrition scientists try to find the ideal for the future, others look to history and evolution for answers.   Some, like Phinney, would argue that we haven't evolved to adapt to a diet of refined foods and mass agriculture — and that maybe we shouldn't try.
 WOW!  Scientists from Harvard, Tufts, and Duke universities coming out in the public media supporting the very things we have talked about on this site.  I told you at the beginning of this blog we weren't making this stuff up.  The question is how long will people get hit over the head with they proverbial hammer till the finally decide to give this stuff a real chance?  

The great thing is, the more I talk about it, the more people read about it, the more they hear about it, the more the message is actually getting through.  It is crazy when I hear friends or family tell me about how they are convincing other people to give this a try.  This viral messaging is having an effect.  If you follow this site, pass it on, you never know how it may effect someone down the line.


Friday, December 17, 2010

It Just Works Damn It!

Out of the blue yesterday, I got an unsolicited text from a friend whom I text once or twice a week.  Here is what he wrote, "Thanks for introducing this lifestyle to me....I love it!  Have never felt better!".    No, I did not introduce him to the lifestyle of swinging or Dungeons and Dragons.  The "lifestyle" he speaks of is the primal/paleo diet you may have read about on this site or elsewhere.  My friend was not particularly overweight or unhealthy when he started his experimentation.  For him to express himself this way after starting off in a pretty healthy place means as I said to him, "This shit just works".

You can definitely lose weight eating this way.  Losing weight is typically the goal of people when they make a diet change.  This is a noble pursuit and a great idea in general.  What makes this way of eating unique is that it has results that sustain and it causes tremendously positive changes in overall health.  That, in the end, should be the goal.  If you don't feel great and are on maintenance drugs, your goal should be to get off all those drugs and feel better than ever.

Here is another great example of the results of this diet from Marks Daily Apple:

With the help of a professional physical therapist trainer and nutritionist, in January 2010, I committed myself feverishly to those things which conventional wisdom dictates: daily torturous battles with my body at the gym, and a low-fat, high-fiber, high-carbohydrate diet.
After two months, I was seeing some modest results, but I could tell that my body needed something different. I had an instinct that I didn’t feel well eating all of these refined carbohydrates. I had a battle with my nutritionist/trainer who swore that my instincts were wrong and that I would be doomed to failure.  In March, I followed my gut and set out full-steam-ahead down my Primal path. 
Within a month of ceasing my refined flour and sugar consumption and adopting the Primal Blueprint, I began to see immediate and dramatic results. My lifelong symptoms of severe asthma immediately disappeared, my painful gastric reflux abated, I dropped 15 pounds that first month, and I was able to cease all prescription medication almost immediately.
Now, 11 months after beginning my weight loss journey, and 8 months after going “Primal” I see dramatic results. My weight has dropped about 105 pounds to 220, with my average monthly weight loss being between 8 and 12 pounds consistently.

New Years resolution time is coming.  Rather than just eat less like typical diets call for, why not make a real change that actually works?


Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Was Wrong, All Carbs Are Not Created Equal

Please do not get mad at me for this post.  I am talking about trying to gain weight.  About 4 years ago I made a permanent diet change that allowed me to lose about 35 pounds of fat and gain about 5 pounds of lean mass (presumably muscle).  I have maintained that weight loss ever since.

So I have been on a kick lately to gain weight.  You see, if I gain just a few more pounds, my Body Mass Index total will put me in the "overweight" category.  Well, don't take this as me being braggadocios but I am pretty lean.  For me to be considered overweight at 172 pounds is ridiculous but BMI is the standard the medical community and our government use to judge someones body composition.  In general it is kinda accurate but if you have just a bit of muscle mass on your body you can throw this out the window.  That is why I want to gain weight, I think it would be funny for a doctor to look at my BMI and tell me I was overweight.

Anyways, in my effort to put on a few pounds I have upped my overall food intake.  I used to only eat till I was full but I am now stuffing myself past that point.  I have consciously been eating more carbs.  By more carbs, I mean I have been eating a lot more yams, squash, and fruits.  I tried to add in some white potatoes and let's just say my wife wasn't happy with the post meal results.  I haven't added wheat back into my diet and for good reason.  I personally (and a lot of other people too) feel it doesn't belong in anyone's diet.  The more I read the more issues I find with this supposed health food.

Two posts I have read recently and my personal experience has caused me to come down off my high horse a bit about carbs in general (anyone remember this post: Carbs are Making Us Fat).  Mind you, I was never very low carb (like the Atkins Diet).  I still ate some  fruits and veggies with occasional yams and squashes.  This article talks about a study where a population in China replaced rice consumption with wheat consumption and they got fat.  Then another article cited the same study but at 5 year follow up.  The group with the high wheat consumption was still more obese than the other groups.

How does this pertain to my recent addition of carbs you may ask.  Well in a month of adding more carbs and no wheat, I haven't gained weight.  All this despite being relatively inactive.  I say this because I am now feeling that all carbs are not created equal.  Maybe it's the abundance of wheat in the the Standard American Diet that is causing obesity problems around our country.  I think back to this post talking about an overweight family who ate very little meat, very little fruit, very little veggies, and no squash or yams (at least from what I saw in the video of their typical day).  They did eat a lot of wheat products though.  If you haven't eliminated wheat from your diet, think about the last meal you ate that didn't have wheat in it.  Hard to do huh?  Just about every meal revolves around it.

If your goal is weight loss, I feel low carb will work very well for you.  If you want to maintain, do everything you can to avoid wheat.  It will be easier to keep weight off and you will feel better too.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stop Blaming Your Parents

Many believe the health traits of their parents and grand parents are their uncontrollable destiny.  If you ever hear someone say this tell them to stop blaming their genetics and starting looking in the mirror and also in the fridge.  Feeling like crap, not looking how you want, being unhealthy is something just about everyone can control.    

The operative term is Gene Expression.  Mark Sisson writes about it here.  What this means is that we do have the ability to control our genes and they will express themselves in different ways depending on outside environmental factors they are exposed to.  Things like the foods we eat, exercise, medications, and smoking are just a few factors that can have huge influences on the composition, health, and strength of one's body.  Here is a great example to illustrate the impact that outside influences have on the human form.  Believe it or not, the 2 men below are identical twins.  They were born with the exact same DNA.
Amazing huh?  My 7 year old son says "Aren't twins supposed to look alike?"  Well, if they lived exactly the same they would have a great chance of looking identical but these twins didn't live exactly the same.  They were both track athletes.  The one on the left ran long distance races and the one on the right did the shot put and discuss.  These are very different specializations.  They require very different physical conditioning thus different stresses on the body.  The photos were taken over 40 years ago so I am not sure if their diets would have been very different.  Today, the endurance runner would likely eat high carb and the strength athlete would eat high protein. 

I don't know much more than I already wrote about these twins but let's say these 2 chose their track specializations in their early teens.  That is 10 years of their lives that had a profound influence on their body composition by age 23.  In an average lifespan, 10 years is a relatively short time frame.  Unfortunately for most people, bad habits tend to persist for more than 10 years.  These bad habits cause genes to express themselves in negative ways.  Obesity, cancers, and other chronic diseases can be caused by genes gone bad. 

Except for the rare afflictions at birth, none of us are born to be unhealthy, fat, or weak.  We are born to thrive. Our bodies need the right environmental stimulation to thrive.  Good or bad, it all adds up.  


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Roll of Nickels Experiment

Alright, who is up for a little experimentation?  Participants will need to report back to me every six months over 4 years or if there is a significant change in health at anytime.  You will be compensated for your time and possible suffering.  The compensation will be $2.  At the beginning of this experiment, you will have X rays and an MRI on your right foot.  You will then be given a roll of nickels worth $2.  You will be trained on how to use this roll of nickels.  Watch the video below for a similar example of what you will be doing in this experiment.

Yes, you will be asked to drop the roll of nickels on your right foot from a reasonable height.  Don't worry, they weigh less than half a pound.  We ask that starting first thing in the morning you drop the roll on your right foot.  Then do this every 4 hours till you go to sleep for the night.  Also do it if you wake up for a late night snack.  Feel free to contact me if you would like to participate in this experiment.

Hopefully by now you have figured out that this is a facetious experiment.  If you dropped that roll of nickels on your foot just once it very likely would not do any structural damage.  If you did it several times every day for an extended period of time there would definitely be structural damage.  It would probably start with soft tissue break down first and progress to microfractures.  What if you didn't stop when there was obviously damage being done?  Doesn't seem worth $2 does it?

You may ask what is the point of my stupid study?  Well, hold your horses, I am getting there.  There was an actual study published in The International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology back in 2007.  The authors wanted to know if people without celiac disease had any reaction to gluten.  They introduced gluten to human tissues of the non celiac subjects.    Here is the result quoted from the article:   
The data obtained in this pilot study support the hypothesis that gluten elicits its harmful effect, throughout an IL15 innate immune response, on all the individuals. 
Every one of them had an innate immune response.  That is crazy, weren't only people with celiac supposed to react to gluten?  But it's no big deal right?    

Yes, it is a big deal.  What that means is the immune system is put on alert and made ready for a fight every time a person eats wheat, barley or rye.  The innate immune system is what produces inflammation.  Inflammation is suspected as a cause of many chronic diseases.  Now if this is happening several times a day, is the immune system ready to fight off real dangers like viruses and infections?   Or if the immune system is constantly agitated, it's eventually gonna want to fight something, right?  It then begins to attack the body it is supposed to protect.  This is what an autoimmune response is, the body attacking itself.

Some people have gluten intolerance that shows up very young and is prominent with the classic symptoms.  Most others can tolerate gluten a bit more just like someone could tolerate dropping a roll of nickels on their foot.  It may not be a problem early on but sooner or later it will catch up to you.  To stop eating gluten is as obvious to some as stopping the nickel dropping experiment.  Unfortunately, gluten is not an obvious problem to most people and even most experts.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Chink in the Armor

I don't think we are real close to the time when the low fat experiment is officially abandoned as a failure.  It's probably at least 10 years away.  It seems though that almost every week there are more reports that the experts have definitely realized the colossal failure that it is.  Thank you to Hold the Toast for finding this gem.  Check this article out:

This report was done from the American Dietetics Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo.  Here are some quotes from the article:
- The author wrote: four leading experts presented evidence suggesting that low fat diets may be less healthy than those containing at least a moderate amount of fat. In particular, all four agreed that replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates – as has been widely recommended in the United States – is likely to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- “If anything, the literature shows a slight advantage of the high fat diet,” he said.“The focus on fat in dietary guidelines has been a massive distraction…We should remove total fat from nutrition facts panels on the back of packs.” Chair of the Harvard School of Public Health’s nutrition department Dr. Walter Willett 
 - Assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School Dr. Mozaffarian said “Overall dietary quality is very important for cardiovascular risk,” he said.“Saturated fats may raise LDL cholesterol but increasing levels of all fats lowers triglycerides…You can’t look at data across countries and draw conclusions. Nor can you look at animal studies or a single biomarker and draw conclusions from that.”
Although they still seem to unfairly demonize saturated fat, they are moving in the right direction.  At a symposium such as this, it is very telling when something so controversial is discussed.  These are the actions that will snowball into real change.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Twinkie diet?

I came across an article today about a guy that ate nothing but snack foods and lost a decent amount of weight. Now, I'm not condoning this as a healthy lifestyle choice but it has to make you wonder the validity of conventional wisdom. You know, the same wisdom suggesting that whole grains are good for you? Following a paleo lifestyle doesn't always mean losing weight as my buddy CP reminds me. But when you follow it, you sure do feel great and healthy when doing so. Paleo does have the nice effect of making me less hungry and satisfied, so you can loose weight by eating less pretty easily.

Many equate good health to low weight, but is that really what we should all be striving for?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dr. Peter Green...a Gluten Flip Flopper?

Let me introduce you to Dr. Peter Green.  Here is some key sentences from his online bio:
Celiac disease has been Dr Green’s focus over the last 10 years with equal concentration on patient care and research. He is one of the few physicians in the United States with an intense clinical and academic interest and expertise in celiac disease. As a result of the need for a coordinated approach for the medical care of patients with celiac disease Dr Green established the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.
His main clinical and research pursuits, over the last 12 years, has been in the clinical care and investigation of patients with celiac disease.  
As you can see, Dr. Green knows a lot about celiac disease.  If you aren't aware, celiac is a disease caused by an autoimmune response to gluten.  For more on gluten, see an older post I did a while back titled Gluten: Grain's Trojan Horse.  Because of his expertise and maybe because of his geographic location, he has been interviewed on ABC several times on the subject of gluten.  Here is one of him on The View I found on Youtube that was dated 3-17-2007 by the poster.

If you don't have time to watch it all, I will pull a few quotes from the video that are pertinent.  First at the 2:10 mark he says "None of us digest gluten very well.  We didn't evolve to eat wheat."  This is pretty common knowledge to followers of this site and followers of the ones we link on the right side of our blog.  You won't get an argument from us.  Now here is a second important quote at the 6:49 mark Dr. Green says in regard to gluten-free "It is actually a healthy diet."  Now us paleo followers would argue that just going gluten-free isn't as healthy as one could get but that is a topic for a whole other post.

Dr. Green was recently on ABC Nightline dated for yourself.    

At the 3:10 mark when asked this question, "Are there benefits for someone who doesn't have celiac in adopting a gluten free diet?", Dr. Green answered, "Not that I'm aware of."  Here is another quote "A gluten free diet is not entirely healthy.  Often it lacks fiber.  The manufacturers of wheat flours fortify the flours with vitamins and minerals."  Here is one last noteworthy quote, "It's been demonstrated if you are on a gluten free diet long term you can be vitamin B deficient."  I think Richard Nikoley has the vitamin B problem answered on his site.  Or if you don't like his solution just eat some red meat.

The reporters go on to say that going gluten-free can be dangerous unless you have celiac disease.  They say that there are "missing nutrients" that make a gluten-free diet unhealthy for most people.  At no time did they say that people with celiac disease are unhealthy because they are missing these same nutrients from their gluten-free diet.  Why can a celiac patient be healthy without those same missing nutrients???  

Is anyone confused?  I am.  3 years ago Dr. Green says "None of us digest gluten very well.  We didn't evolve to eat wheat."   Now the same person says eliminating glutent is bad for our health.  I searched on Pubmed for published clinical articles Dr. Green was involved in.  There were 10 and not one of them said gluten was a necessary part of our diet.  I will speculate that in the last 3 years there has been much more research published showing that gluten is unnecessary and unhealthy.

Why the change of opinion from Dr. Green?  Maybe keeping as many people as possible eating gluten will broaden the market for drug therapies.  Why stop eating gluten when you can take a pill to mask the problems it causes for celiacs and non celiacs? Dr. Green is the head of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.  On their site there is a page for parties who are interested in donating to the organization.  Here are a few interesting sentences from that page:
 We regard the laboratory research that we are funding to be the mainstay of seeking an understanding of the immunology of celiac disease. It is through this research that there will be development of drug therapies that will be used as an adjunct to the gluten-free diet.
So the say they are interested in developing drugs to use in conjunction with a gluten-free diet?  Sounds like an invitation for drug companies to come fund research for the latest epidemic to cash in on.  But they say they will develop drugs to be used with a gluten-free diet.  You know how that will go for the majority of people.  When there is a pill, why make sacrifices?  Drug companies know that and it's what keeps them thriving.  People cannot stop putting crap in their mouth except for pills.

I am not sure if I connected the dots on this one but there really is nothing in the Nightline piece that supports Dr. Green's new statements.  Where does Dr. Green get his information to come to his new conclusion?  What are these people eating who have problems with a gluten- free diet?  Is it possible they continue to eat a bunch of crap but now without gluten in it?  

Gluten-free is not the panacea of of nutrition.  Eliminating grains is what needs to be done.  This elimination of calories needs to replaced with healthy fats, animal proteins, and plenty of produce.  Now try to tell me that diet is nutrient deficient.  I have been eating grain free for almost 4 years now and I can tell you I feel better than ever.   

EDIT:  Here is an amazingly related article I read after I published this post by a Family Medicine Practitioner and author Coralee Thompson, MD


Friday, November 5, 2010

N=1 version 4.0

This is what it's all about:

"Not only have the results been positive but they have occurred incredibly quickly. In a way it’s almost difficult to believe how amazing the change has been. I started the Primal lifestyle on July 11th 2010, a month later I had stopped taking Co-codamol tablets. This meant that I was taking eight tablets less each day. I only continued taking my Celecoxib because I had an important forthcoming examination and I didn’t want to risk the possibility of my health taking a knock. After the exam was out the way, towards the end of August, I stopped taking the Celecoxib and booked an appointment with my GP to see if I could stop taking or reduce the dose of Methotrexate. Given the serious nature of the medication I didn’t want to make this judgment call myself, despite feeling in much better shape due to improved diet, exercise and sleep. In early September after a consultation with my GP I was drug free for the first time in five years!
After I started up the Primal lifestyle I found that I started losing the excess fat I had gained over the previous five years incredibly quickly. In addition to this I can run for the first time in five years and it doesn’t hurt to go out and walk."
Those 2 paragraphs are just a taste of an incredible story submitted to Mark's Daily Apple.  It's not natural to need multiple medications to survive.  For millions, a diet change can mean getting off these artificial crutches before it is too late.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's That Time of the Year

It's officially started.  Personally, I feel Halloween is the start of the holiday season.  It's the 3 month period of the year that lasts from the Halloween parties at the end of October to the Superbowl at the end of January.  It's everyone's excuse to abuse their body for social purposes.  It's just a little of the kids trick or treat candies.  Just a few extra drinks at the work function.  A whole lot more family get togethers to stuff your face at.

These 3 months are packed with more bad food and beverages than our bodies need or can tolerate.  Most everyone puts on weight this time of year.  I imagine it tears our insides up too.  The combination of decreased sun exposure and the nutritional abuse on our body most likely does more to contribute to the flu season than flu bugs flying around.  The poor nutrition causes our immune system to be not as strong as it needs to be thus becoming more susceptible to the flu virus.

Buck the New Year's resolution trend.  If you don't feel great and/or if you don't look great TODAY don't fall into the hole even farther.  Set your goals for a December 31st, 2010 deadline.  Your New Year's Eve celebration will be that much more enjoyable.  Set a goal to lose weight, set a goal to get stronger, set a goal to lower your triglycerides, you get the idea.  Accomplish it all with the discipline to limit the bad you put in your body and increase the good.

Here is my goal, I would like to get stronger.  I am going to do this by tweaking my diet and my training plus getting more sleep.  The next party is coming fast, are your goals going to be in place to give the you willpower to say no to the junk?


Friday, October 29, 2010

This Isn't the Whole Equation to Manhood But it is To Health

Just read this article and had to laugh.  It's funny but true.  In my opinion there is more to manhood but achieving manliness without following principles of this article is impossible.
Man or Woman?
You SUCK as a MAN
"You can’t stop sucking when anything more vigorous than abusing an elliptical causes serious injury."
"You can’t stop sucking when the only way you could do 10 pushups is by finishing the last 8 in the modified position, like a girl – remember, you’re turning into a woman."
"You can’t stop sucking when you eat low-fat, no protein, and whole grains (any grains, really), like pasta, wheat bread and Cheerios. Or snack wells. Or M&M’s. Those food groups jack with your manliness, bind up testosterone, increase body fat and reduce muscle tissue (not to mention a bunch of other things)."
Are you healthy, are you strong, do you not SUCK as a MAN?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hand Sanitizers

So, going through my normal routine today, I realized how often I use hand sanitizers or alcohol wipes. Whenever I drop my son off at pre-school, it's the first thing I do when I get back in the car. Yah I'm probably a little obsessive about it. You know (or at least you've been told) that school or daycare is a breeding ground for germs. My question would be, is it really helping me from getting sick from the spread of germs? I think so, but that's only because of the past 30 years of becoming a germaphobe from everything you read or hear. You hear it all the time - the gas pump has more germs on it than anything else. Or you want to know where most germs hang out? Your computer keyboard. Or your steering wheel.

So given the fact that I pretty much work at a keyboard all day and I'm not spraying it with disinfectant, could it be that I'm just wasting my time and money with these sanitizing products? We can't live in a bubble and you're going to be exposed to germs no matter how much you sanitize. Cavemen certainly didn't have sanitizers. Should we? Could I be putting myself at more risk of getting sick by using them?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Gotta Eat That Fat

A Surgically Repaired Hip Fracture
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble vitamins.  These vitamins need dietary fat to be absorbed.  Eating a low fat diet can cause malabsorbtion of these vitamins and cause nutritional deficiencies.  These vitamins are responsible for optimizing health in multiple ways.

Vitamin A helps heart health, vision, bone health, and fertility.   Great sources are green vegetables, butter, sweet potato, liver and milk.

Vitamin D is fast becoming a well known nutrient in the nutritional world.  Problems that can be blamed on deficiency of this vitamin are cancers, weak bones, mutliple sclerosis, rheumatoid artritis, and possibly cardiovascular and peripheral vascular diseases.  The body naturally synthesizes Vitamin D via sun exposure and cholesterol in the skin.  This is by far the best way to get vitamin D but it still requires dietary fat for absorbtion.  Foods high in Vitamin D are fatty fish, eggs, and mushrooms.

Vitamin E is known as a powerful antioxidant that is good for general cellular health.  Good food sources of for Vitamin E are green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds, pumpkin and asparagus.

Vitamin K has been found to also be important in preserving bone strength.  Some other benefits of K are blood clotting regulation and prevention of cognitive diseases.  Again, green leafy vegetables are a great source of vitamin K.

I used to be in the business of fixing bone fractures.  The statistics associated with late life fractures like those of the hip, wrist, and spine, are scary to say the least.  Women especially are at a real risk to suffer these fractures after the age of 50 and they can greatly impact quality of life and length of life.  

The popular recommendation to consume Omega 6 rich vegetable oils could cause bone loss.  Don't count on drugs to help your bone density either.  One long time trusted osteoporosis drug, Fosomax, was recently shown to INCREASE risk of hip fractures.  Couple that with your antacid drug causing fracture issues and you have the perfect storm of mush for bones.  Gweneth Paltrow didn't eat right and avoided the she has low bone density at age 37.  Yes, it can happen that young.

Here are some pretty powerful quotes from a researcher at The Ohio State University:
"What we're finding is that if you don't have some fat in the meal, all these wonderful" compounds are missed, says Steven Clinton, program leader for molecular carcinogenesis and chemoprevention and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus. "If the nutrients don't get into your system, then what good are they?"
Study researchers say they were not only surprised by how much more absorption occurred with the avocado was added to the meal, but they were taken aback at how little the body absorbed when no fats were present. "The fact that so little was absorbed when no fat was there was just amazing to me," says Dr. Clinton.

So basically, if you are eating a low fat diet, you are putting yourself at risk for nutrient deficiencies that will lead to possible health problems.  Besides bone health there are also many other reasons to be sure you get your fat soluble vitamins absorberd.  Eat a well balanced diet of meats, fish, eggs, and veggies and you should cover your bases pretty well.  On top of eating fat, avoid gluten containing grains because they can also interfere with the absorption of these nutrients.  Remember though, without dietary fat, you will have deficiency in the long term of vitamins A, D, E, and K.  So find healthy fat sources like butter, fatty fish and meats, avacodos,  have eggs with the yolks, put olive oil on your leafy greens,  and eat those "fattening" nuts.  The alternative is something you don't want to suffer through.  


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Are You a Victim of 30 Years of Misinformation?

If you are on the internet reading this right now, then I would say unfortunately you are a victim.  You most likely do not live in a hut or a jungle.  I bet modern medical treatment is a luxury you can easily access (whether you can afford it is a whole other issue).  The problem is that modern medical care has been tainted by the flawed saturated fat/dietary cholesterol hypothesis that was first established almost 50 years ago.  Our government made official nutritional recommendations based on this hypothesis in 1980.  What those recommendations suggested is that we all eat more carbohydrates and less fat, much less saturated fat.  America listened.  See the graph below.
All is well then right?  We are following this advice and we should be healthier than ever.  There is no possibility that advice could be making things worse is there?  Take a look at the rise in obesity on this chart, notice anything interesting happen around 1980?

Appears obesity and extreme obesity follow a similar curve as the first graph above showing an increase in carbohydrate intake.  Not so coincidentally, obesity and carbohydrate intake increased after the USDA made their first recommendations.  Obesity increases risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, and a myriad of less common ailments.  

Take That Food Pyramid
A group of nutritional researchers published a paper on Friday titled In the face of contradictory evidence: Report of Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee in The International Journal of Applied and Basic Nutritional Sciences.  As you can tell by the title, the paper disputes the effectiveness and the "scientific" proof supporting the USDA recommendations.  It's a very big deal when such an anti conventional wisdom paper is published in a respected, peer reviewed journal.  Actually, it's a very public kick in the gonads of of the USDA's recommendations and their food pyramid.  Not a knockout punch...that will unfortunately come years down the road.  

Again, the first government dietary recommendations came out in 1980.  As noted in this paper, the American Medical Association pleaded with the USDA in 1977 not to make the national dietary recommendations.  Here are a few quotes from the AMA back in 1977 in direct response to the proposed recommendations:
"We believe that it would be inappropriate at this time to
adopt proposed national dietary goals as set forth in the
Report on Dietary Goals for the United States. The evidence
for assuming that benefits to be derived from the adoption of
such universal dietary goals as set forth in the Report is not
conclusive and there is potential for harmful effects from
a radical long-term dietary change as would occur through
adoption of the proposed national goals." 
"The Report suggests that the incidence of heart disease,
cancer, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and tooth decay could
be reduced by making qualitative and quantitative changes in
“the American diet.” The goals are laudable; however, the
American Medical Association believes that there are insufficient
data to recommend such changes in the diet on
a nationwide scale."
Well, the AMA's worst nightmare came true.  The dietary recommendations were released, America followed them, and the "harmful effects" came to fruition.  The dietary guidelines of then and today are no where near what our ancestors thrived on.  Animal proteins and fats and relatively low carb vegetation is what they ate.  The recommendations to ignore science and our evolutionary past have caused a huge burden in the form of chronic diseases.  Our primitive ancestors  suffered in harsh living conditions but they did not suffer from chronic diseases.  Because of the prevalence of these chronic diseases, the current generation of children is expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.  It's the first time that has happened in 200 years.   


Monday, October 4, 2010

Are You a Driver or Just a Passenger?

Which Seat Do You Choose?
This post inspired me a while back and has been in the back of my mind ever since.  It  makes you ponder whether you are just a passenger inside your own body or whether you are a driver.  Let me explain what I mean by this.  

I personally feel too many people (myself included in the past) are just passengers inside their own body allowing others to drive them.  People are more than willing to take control of their career.  In regard to health, people blindly let others steer them in whatever way they are told.  They go to the doctor, said doctor does what ever they want to, come to what ever conclusion they come to, and tell their patient to do certain things to improve their health.  You notice how that sentence transitioned the person into a patient.  At this point most people are not actively participating in their health anymore.  In general, the doctor steers the patient to take some medications to help improve the situation.  They sometimes also recommend exercise and diet change.  The patients rarely attempt to steer themselves in a different direction or even consult a map for a more direct and/or safer route.  They allow themselves to be steered and thus become a passenger.

The pill popping is easy and is typically adhered to for as long as the doctor tells them.  Exercise and diet change take some active participation and change by a person.  This is rarely adhered to because people aren't willing to do what it takes to drive their own health.  They want someone to do it for them.

My contention is you should drive your own health.  No one should care about your well being more than you.  Don't be afraid to do your own research.  Become an expert in whatever ails you.  Don't be afraid to question a doctor.  Don't be afraid to get a second opinion.  Find a doctor who is willing and patient enough to work with you toward the common goal of your health.  It is in fact your well being or that of a loved one that is at stake.  You only have one life to live......take the wheel and be the driver of your own health.  


Friday, October 1, 2010

Do Comedians Know The Secret to Health?

If you have ever looked at the links we put up on the right, you might have noticed one called Fat Head.  This is an extremely informative site done by part time comedian Tom Naughton.  He made a fun but also intended to be serious movie called Fat Head.  It's very entertaining while also being educational...HIGHLY recommended viewing.

Here is another comedian who also provides some entertaining education in regard to nutrition.  Although kinda tongue in cheek, it is spot on none the less.  Not necessarily kid safe though.

I think the reason why we are getting these messages from comedians is that what makes them so funny is they can point out unobvious societal flaws.  When they point these flaws out it is funny because at the moment they give the pitch the audience realizes how oblivious they were to this humorous truth.  I was a big fan of the sitcom Seinfeld....that is what made that show so great.  Oh well, you never know what will inspire change in somebody, maybe humor is the trick.  CP  

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Little Jake is Now a Happy Boy

Not Actually Jake but He is Just as Happy
It is a common misconception that we get sick or have allergy attacks only because of tiny "bad things" floating around in the air.  While that may be the case in some instances, it is very often not the case.  I have a friend who I agreed to not mention her name.  Her son, whom I'll call Jake, suffered through a long period of misery.  Conventional wisdom, in this case the pediatricians, put him through many comprehensive and expensive drug therapies.  You know what, she wrote out the whole experience in an email to me.  I'll let the story be told in mommie's own words.
"I'll try to make this as short as possible. It all started January 2010 when we were in Florida and Jake was coughing like crazy and ended up with pneumonia.  After our trip he continued with a chronic cough that we shrugged off because it was happening all the time.  He was constantly getting sick, but again we thought he was picking up everything from his older sister.  The last time we were on vacation in May he had another coughing attack.  He couldn't catch his breath and we had a Doctor come in.  They said he was probably suffering from allergies which was causing the coughing fits.  They diagnosed him with allergy induced asthma.  From then on we always carried an inhaler and also have a nebulizer at home.  
In June we were giving him a breathing treatment every other day.  I finally took him to his pediatrician and they prescribed Singulair.  I was very hesitant about putting him on a long term medication so I took him to a Wellness Doctor. There they did a stool sample and blood test to see exactly what he was allergic to.  When the results came back we were shocked.  He wasn't at all allergic to anything in the environment it was all food =  Wheat, Dairy and Eggs.  On top of that he never had asthma.  The Doctor said that we had to remove all products that contained these ingredients.  I was very overwhelmed, but realized I had to do this to keep him off any type of medicine.
 It's been over two months now and we've only had to give him one breathing treatment because he had pizza at a party.  It's been amazing the changes we've seen in him.  He's not tired, doesn't cough and sleeps through the night without waking up.  He's only 2 1/2, but he's realizing what kinds of foods make his stomach hurts and causes him to cough.  It's also been a great change for our family.  We hardly have any sweets in the house unless they are dairy, wheat and egg free.  Most of our diet now consists of all natural foods.  Rice, some type of meat and veggies. Jake hardly has any type of Carbs unless it's made from a rice base.  For example his pizza is a rice crust with rice cheese.  I'm shocked that regular carbs were making him so sick.  I'm hoping that eventually he'll grow out of this, but for now we've adopted a very low carb, no preservative diet and are feeling great!"
Wow, can you imagine the prospect of having your 2 year old child take medications for the foreseeable future just to function normally???  Unfortunately this just accepted as the way it has to be all too often.  Whether it be children or adults, people medicate themselves to mask the symptoms caused by eating foods their body cannot tolerate.  I see the symptoms especially in children because they don't do a good job of hiding their misery like adults are required to do for appearance reasons (you know the old term "put on a happy face").

Here is a list of just a few health issues improved by diet that we have discussed on just this site alone (we have only been around a little over a month so I am sure there will be many more to come):
It is time to be open minded to this alternative approach, especially in cases of long term medication.  If you or a loved one has minor or major health problems that just won't go away, it is time to consider whether the food is the root cause of the problem.  A lifetime of medication is a very risky and ultimately expensive proposition.   CP 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things are Nuts Right Now

Hopefully things will slow down soon and I will be able to post some new stuff.  In the meantime if you are looking for something to read check this out.

America: A Big, Fat, Stupid Nation

I don't know about you but I don't like being called stupid or fat.  I am doing everything I can to not fit into this stereotype.