It’s about a way of life, not some temporary adjustment.
Often times, patients ask, “what should I eat,” or “what is the best diet?” They focus in on the concept of dieting, which implies a short-term change in food intake, with return to normal eating once they have reached a target weight. Conceptually this is why less than 12% of people maintain weight balance long term, they resume the same habits that made them obese in the first place. Keep in mind that the human body and all of its individual cells are highly adaptive, once the body senses a period of starvation or significant nutrient depletion, the fat cells DNA activate a storage mechanism, which causes immediate weight restoration upon nutrient return, often with an overshoot of the fat cell size, in anticipation of a future starvation event. This overshoot during return of normal food intake results in the paradoxical yo-yo effect where every period of dieting leaves the patient a few pounds heavier than they started.
Don’t think of this as a diet, diets make you feel restricted and are unsustainable. This is a way of life, the livehealth.com lifestyle, not some fad you will pickup for six weeks and then drop for the next fad.
Food as a nutrient medication?
Food should be considered a medication; it can have specific benefits and adverse side effects. Approaching your food intake with an eye towards its specific actions and interactions will allow you to program your body; in how you feel, how effectively it works, and how you look. You should become aware of every item you place in your mouth, and even the cosmetics and creams you apply to your skin.
What’s wrong with eating carbohydrates?
Conventional nutrition seems to focus heavily on carbohydrate ingestion, seemingly focused on what the best grain to eat is. Conventional farming, with grain harvest and storage, has existed for approximately 10-15,000 years, not enough time for evolutionary adaptation to a continuous nutrient dense carbohydrate intake.
Human evolution takes hundreds of thousands of years, and we have barely begun adapting to the agricultural revolution, let alone the industrial revolution or the new digital age. Our created environment has changed dramatically, yet our ability to extract nutrients from ingested food remains oriented to periods of feast and famine, unrefined carbohydrates, and high fiber consumption. Carbohydrate ingestion historically was limited to end of season harvests, ripe berries and fruits, in anticipation of fat storage for long periods of winter starvation. The continuous consumption of carbohydrates has produced disequilibrium with ongoing storage of fat even when anticipated starvation is improbable, hence the epidemic of obesity.
So what should I be eating to be healthy?
Avoid refined carbohydrates.
Refined carbohydrates are anything that is a processed sugar, whether it comes from a grain or a fruit. Refined carbohydrates are unnatural and have had the fiber removed, producing over-nutrition. In addition, the bacterial and parasitic load is refined out of the carbohydrate by industrial processes, which permits much higher gut absorption of carbohydrate. Ingested carbohydrate is converted preferentially to fat reserves; akin to how grain fed beef is finished and produces excess fat and weight, and an unnatural fat deposition pattern between the muscle fibers.
Avoid all liquid carbohydrates
Many patient’s fail to recognize the impact of the liquids they consume, they fail to recognize that soda may contain 300 Calories of straight carbohydrate, without any protein, fat, insoluble fiber or other nutritional benefit. Some patients consume two to six soda’s per day, and then wonder why they can’t seem to loose weight. The same goes for fruit juices with the removal of fibrous materials.
Diet soda is not any healthier, as the artificial sweeteners cause tremendous insulin dumping and secondary hypoglycemia resulting in subsequent insulin resistance.
Milk from cows contains growth factors to rapidly increase the size of the newborn calf. Unfortunately these growth factors also rapidly increase the size of adult humans, causing an accumulation of fat tissue since vertical growth is limited by a closed growth plate. The milk industry has done an amazing job of branding and marketing milk as a healthy substance, geared towards calcium and bone health. Unfortunatley this is simply not true, milk contains very little Vitamin D and the available calcium is less than what is found in cruciferous vegetables (Swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, watercress, radish, horseradish, turnip, rutabaga, wasabi, rapini, arugula, spinach, turnip, kale, and bok choy.). Milk fortified with Vitamin D contains approximately 100 IU per eight ounce glass, whereas being in the sun for 15 minutes produces 20,000 IU of available Vitamin D. What milk will do is cause rapid fat accumulation. Whole milk and cheese is not as bad as low fat milk. Ghee, which is clarified butter with the growth factors and proteins removed is probably far healthier than regular butter.
Eat unrefined carbohydrates (fiber)
Unrefined carbohydrates, such as vegetable, are rich in slowly digestible fiber, which reduces the overall nutrient load density, and facilitates the removal of toxic metabolites. Additionally, fiber material reduces hunger by maintaining a sense of fullness, and lower peak glucose levels, which prevents the feeling of hypoglycemia. Dietary intake should include at minimum 10 grams of fiber per meal.
Live harmoniously and eat dirt (micronutrients, bacteria, and parasites)
The human gut has co-evolved with bacteria and parasites, with dietary sterilization leading to in the unintended consequence of obesity and autoimmune disorders.
Although it would seem contrary to good hygiene, the beneficial effects of coexisting parasitic infections include a reduction in inflammatory mediators, a function of the parasite changing its local environment in order to grow inside its parasitic host. This anti-inflammatory action prevents expulsion of the parasite, and at the same time reduces the inflammatory activation against key antigens. Reintroducing parasites has been shown beneficial in Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and severe peanut allergies. It should not be unsurprising that the epidemic rise in rates for multiple sclerosis and food allergies is associated with the advent of flush toilets, which reduced human parasite transmission. There is also a significant relationship between obesity and chronic gut inflammation.
Gut bacterial biodiversity is necessary for optimal health, and the balance between the different bacteria determines the likelihood of obesity. These bacteria create a fermentation effect in the gut, historically permitting metabolism of fiber rich compounds, providing nearly 25% of the bodies total energy as a fermented alcohols. Unfortunately antibiotics and toxic highly concentrated carbohydrates disrupt this bacterial ecosystem. Bacterial balance is so important that transplanting bacteria from an obese mouse to a skinny mouse causes the skinny mouse to become obese. The mechanism is related to the overall absorption of nutrients, which is enhanced by bacteria found in obese individuals and can quickly proliferate in thin individuals fed a carbohydrate nutrient rich diet. An example of this is often seen in individuals who undergo a carbohydrate free diet, but then develop abdominal cramping and bloating once exposed to nutrient dense carbohydrates, due to a change in fermentation capacity and absorption. Additionally, during the carbohydrate cleanse phase, a tremendous amount of gut inflammation is reduced with mobilization of excessive edema, with many patient’s experiencing ten to fifteen pound weight loss from reduced gut edema alone.
The cleanliness of our food supply, by use of pesticides, herbicides, and meticulous cleaning and removal of soil materials has reduced available micronutrients and vitamins necessary for optimized metabolic function; leaving many people feeling sluggish. For example, we are experiencing a resurgence of Vitamin D deficiency, at the same time we are experiencing obesity and over nutrition. The genetic engineering of foods has also dramatically reduced the diversity of insects, some of which contain beneficial cofactors for human consumption.
Eat healthy fats
Avocados, fish oils, olive oil, and ghee are all acceptable fats. Egg yolks have gotten a bad reputation in the nutrition literature, but the cholesterol in egg yolks is a fundamental precursos for good hormonal health and there is a poor relationship between consumed cholesterol and blood levels of bad LDL. The use of animal fat does pose concerns, if burned it is a carcinogen.
Eat plenty of healthy protein
Whether the protein comes from animal or plant is irrelevant, as long as it is not combined with unnatural compounds. Protein load should be1 gram per pound of body weight per day. Avoid engineered proteins such as soy, which contains estrogens, avoid proteins from grains, and avoid unnecessary fats hiding in proteins
Eat slowly digesting foods
Proteins combined with slowly absorbing fats in a matrix of insoluble fiber forces the gut to expend energy in metabolizing, as is demonstrated by the significant exothermic heat production necessary to digest a steak compared to the minimal energy used to digest cotton candy. Similarly a glass of apple juice is quickly absorbed as compared to digesting an apple. In general, the harder it is to chew, the more energy it will take to absorb, and the better it is for you.
Exercise your metabolism, as you would exercise your muscles
In all things there is an ebb and flow, a pulse of plenty followed by a period of depletion. This period of fasting runs counter to much of the nutrition literature, which suggests nearly continuous feedings, which is not how the human body was designed. In fact. the creation of breakfast and lunch is less than three hundred years old, and certainly near constant snacking is related to marketing efforts by the snack food industry hoping to capture revenue dollar. Timing of feeding is also critical, in that a period of activity should occur after the last meal of the day rather than a period of rest and sleep. Training the fat cells to release nutrition and accumulated fat cell toxins reduces the inflammatory load.