INFLAMMATION: THE IMPLICATION WITH WEIGHT GAIN
The connection between inflammation and diet is clear. Low-grade inflammation disrupts weight-control mechanism. When people gain weight, the extra fatty tissues produces leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite and speeds metabolism. In theory, this should cause people to lose the extra weight. Instead, inflammation in fat tissue and blood vessels stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory chemicals. Theses chemicals disable leptin’s ability to suppress appetite and speed metabolism. This is called leptin resistance.
To combat leptin resistance, I have developed a fat-resistance diet based on cutting edge research done at major universities and teaching hospitals. Eating the proper foods can eliminate chronic inflammation and reprogram the body’s weight-loss mechanism. Only real foods provide key anti-inflammatory nutrients. Artificial sweeteners and fat substitutes do not have such nutrients.
1 ) Eat fish 3 times a week. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Fish rich in omega-3s are: anchovies, conch, herring,
mackerel, sablefish, salmon, sardines, sturgeon, and tuna. Also, flaxseed, walnuts, beans.
2) Balance essential fatty acids. The optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is 1:1. The ratio in the average American diet is 20:1. An excess of omega-6 fats in tissue leads cells to produce excessive levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals called prostanoids. Foods high in omega-6s: red meat, chicken, milk, eggs, and most vegetable oils.
3) Cut back on saturated fat – found primarily in beef, pork, lamb, dairy products, and poultry skin – to no more than 10% of total calories … Unless free ranging, grass feed, organic meat. These meats conform to the 10% fat rule. Do not eat any trans fat – any foods made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
4) Get 25 grams of fiber a day. A diet high in fiber helps control appetite and reduce inflammation. People who consume the most fiber have lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which indicates the presence of inflammatory chemicals in the body.
5) Eat colorful fruits and vegetables. Aim for 9 servings a day. Deeper colors and intense flavors indicate foods high in flavonoids and carotenoids, chemical compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects. Anthocyanins, among the most potent anti-inflammatory agents are found in blueberries, cherries, or pomegranates.
6) Choose alliums and crucifers. Crucifers include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. Alliums include onions, and garlic.
GAINING WEIGHT: MEDICATION MAY BE THE PROBLEM
Don’t look just to your diet. Look in your medicine cabinet. It’s not unusual for patients to gain at least five pounds after they start on certain medications. Here are just a few:
1 ) Many serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) cause an average weight gain of 7%. Some SSRIs such as Paxil are more likely to cause weight gain than others.
These drugs increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is involved in appetite and satiety. People who take them may feel hungrier in general and not feel full after eating. Other, chemically similar, drugs such as Zoloft, Welbutrin, or Effexor are less likely to cause weight gain.
2) Antipsychotics. 60% of patients taking the new anti-psychotics gain significant amounts of weight in the firs year. Those taking Zyprexa may gain more than 30 pounds. Those taking Clozaril average an 11-pound weight gain.
3) Hormones. The hormones used in birth control pills and to relieve menopausal discomfort (HRT) appear to cause weight gain in about 25% of patients. The contraceptive injection, Depo-Provera, causes weight gain in up to 70% of users. Non-hormonal methods and Ortho Tri-cyclen, mimic the body’s cycle, which may minimize weight gain.
4) Evista. Helps prevent osteoporosis but a small percentage of women who take it gain weight. Try Fosamax instead.
5) Neurontin. For seizures appears to cause alterations in carbohydrate metabolism and effect parts of the brain that control appetite. 10% of patients who take it gain weight. The drug Dilantin doesn’t cause weight gain.
6) Steroids. Increase appetite and cause weight gain.
7) Tamoxifen. Used to prevent cancer reoccurrence in women who have undergone surgery or other treatments for breast cancer. Some studies show that women who take tamoxifen may gain up to 25 pounds over three years.
Antibiotics kill germs and bad bacteria, but they also kill good bacteria. And here’s what happens when we expose ourselves to antibiotics from many different sources in our society: from penicillin to flu shots to the antibiotics given to farm animals. Bacteria and other intestinal microbes adjust the level of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite and metabolism. Certain microbes seem to be associated with a desire for chocolate according to research by the Nestle Research Center. A recent study suggests that emotional stress triggers an explosion in the population of B. theta, the starch-digesting bacteria associated with weight gain.
From birth, microbes colonize us. After birth, while our immune system is still undeveloped these microbes learn to tolerate or destroy foreign substances. The immune cells in the respiratory and digestive systems sample all the microbes we inhale or swallow. When they see the same ones over and over (fats and sugars), they then secrete an anti-inflammatorily substance that signals the microbe-killing T-cells to stand down.
In order for the immune system to know which bacteria are good or bad, they sample all the microbes we inhale or swallow. The essentials steps in the development of a healthy immune system begin at birth. But there is a fine line between recognizing substitutes as foreign and deadly, or harmless. But to develop a properly functioning immune system, it must be exposed to a wide range of harmless microbes early in life. This was the normal condition of most human infants until just a few generations ago.
Now, from the day we are born we are exposed to antibiotics in the food we eat or in the form of preventative injections, and kept in a sterile, perfectly clear environment. Cover the dirt floor, banish farm animals to a distant feed lot, treat the ear infection with penicillin and the inflammation-calming lnterleukin-10 reaction may fail to develop properly. And inflammation is now considered the greatest risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Modem sanitation, to an extent, is a good thing, but keeping the children at a safe distance from all microbes and it tips the immune system in the direction of over reaction, whether to outside stimuli or even to the body’s own cells. If the immune system is not familiar with external micros, it launches an extreme (what would be a minimal assault if faced earlier in life by an as yet undeveloped immune system) assault resulting in allergies and asthma. But if the immune system turns on the body itself, then you see irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, or MS among many other autoimmune diseases that were virtually unknown to our ancestors., but are increasingly common in the developed world.
The answer is to minimize immunization and expose young children to a wide range of harmless germs like those found in a playground or a park. And treat all saturated fats and sugars are foreign substances, because, very quickly, right after birth, the body learns to disregard them.
One microb in particular, Mycobacterium vaccae, is found I the soil in East Africa. That has a powerful effect on the immune system. It was tested by the university of Bristol as a cancer therapy. The results showed, indeed, that it had anti-cancer properties. But what was just as impressive was that cancer patients felt better regardless of whether or not their cancer was actually improving. When scientists injected mice with Mycobacterium vaccae, they found it activated the serotonin receptors working like an anti-depressant.
The say that those who do not learn the lessons of the past are bound to repeat its mistakes. So, here’s a lesson from ten centuries ago.
Researchers examined 100 skeletons from the 11th to the 16th centuries from three abbeys in the vicinity of London. They compared them to the remains of 200 secular Londoners of similar ages. What they found was that the monks had higher rates of thickening bone and certain patterns of ossification that are hallmarks of severe obesity.
They also showed higher rates of arthritis and other joint-related problems. Using written records of menus and food shopping lists to calculate the average monk’s diet, it is estimated that they consumed a staggering 6,000 calories a day.
So, why were so many of these individuals obese when there was almost no signs of obesity in the general population at that time? Historians who studied the lifestyle of medieval monks found that they heavily relied on food as their source of pleasure. The abbeys were highly political places with few amusements allowed. As a result, food was one of the few pleasures permitted in the abbeys. They did not exercise, interact with nature, partake in new activities, work in enriched environments, or share love and compassion. In reality, they didn’t do any of the things that are essential for endorphin release and our well-being.
There are lessons to be learned from reviewing the past and relating that to present day circumstances. People today who are separated from others and from nature by technology, who do not work in enriched environments or partake in new activities, are just as dependent upon food as the monks were ten centuries ago. We would do well to compare and consider the effects of relying on food as our sole source of satisfaction.
We need to become less dependent on food for our sense of self-gratification. We can do this by regularly engaging in new activities: Take a class in pottery, painting, economics, a foreign language. Return to nature. Nature is never depressed. One can go into a natural setting as an observer – remain detached and leave quickly, or become a part of nature through interaction – touching. Social Integration. The more ways you are integrated into society, the more endorphins get released, making you less for dependent. Contact: Call or write to several people each day. Pick up the phone, call a friend and tell them how much you care about them, how much you appreciate them. Volunteer work: Join a group – neighborhood organizations; give comfort to those in a home for the aged. Religious connection: People who have religious connections that are fulfilling also have a health advantage. Sharing: Long-term committed relationships, whether platonic or sexual, reduce by 50% the risk of premature death and disability. Making Friends: Have someone – other than your mate – who is genuinely interested in you… who will empathize with you … and listen to you and your troubles anytime. Support Group: This is the most important one of all in this category. Get together with others at work, in your neighborhood, at church, in class; others who may be struggling with their weight as you are. Diversify: It’s important not to focus on only one or two areas of intent. All of us need variety in our lives, so that if one interest area becomes stressful or goes sour, there will be others that are doing well and can take up the slack.
I was out to dinner the other night with friends and one of the women at the table, who was in superb shape ordered coffee for dessert. Seeing only regular sugar on the table, she asked our waiter to bring over some artificial sugar. When she reached nonchalantly for one of the three available, I asked her if she thought there was a difference between the three. She felt they were all the same. Well, I knew that wasn’t true, but a didn’t have all my facts available to make a good argument at that moment. So, as soon as I got home, I opened up my books and articles applying to the subject. Here is what I came up with.
People have been led to believe that using artificial sweeteners saves them from the negative effects of regular sugar. Well, here’s the bad news:
According to Dr. Alan Hirsch, M.D., a neurologist and founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, in Chicago, artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking that you are eating regular sugar, and actually results in increased release of insulin into your bloodstream. This in turn causes your blood sugar levels to drop, which then triggers your appetite, tricking you into feeling hungry and resulting in overeating.
Further, and even more disturbing, is the connection between arterial sweetener and Alzheimer’s. First a little background. The first man-made excitotoxin was synthesized from seaweed. This became known as monosodium glutamate, or MSG. Since 1940, the amount of MSG added to prepared foods has doubled each decade.
By the early 1940’s, it was known that glutamate and aspartate were two of the most common transmitter chemicals in the brain. Also, that when their concentrations rise above critical levels, they become deadly toxins to the neurons containing glutamate receptors. Even smaller doses can damage these neurons without actually killing them. Today there are a large number of foods that contain excitotoxins. Identification becomes complicated due to the many names used to disguise these dangerous substances: MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (which contains three excitotoxins and MSG), caseinate, beef or chicken broth, natural flavorings, aspartate (the main ingredient in NutraSweet), many spices, and cysteine.
Brain cells are maintained through carefully balanced chemical reactions. As we . mentioned previously, the two key neurotransmitters involved in the regulatory process are glutamate and aspartame. Their function is to stimulate neurons to grow. Greater amounts of these neurotransmitters are shown to kill those same brain cells.
The blood brain barrier in children is not fully formed; therefore, the risk of toxins entering their brain is highest during this period. In our modern society, it is also the time when young people ingest the most excitotoxins. And a diet high in simple sugars causes periods of hypoglycemia – opening the blood brain barrier – that then enables excitotoxins to enter the brain. These products precipitate hypoglycemia and nutritional deficiencies. This early damage leaves them highly vulnerable as they get older, greatly increasing the chances of neuro- degenerative disease. When excitotoxins are introduced into the body in liquid form (children drink an average of six sodas a day containing either aspartame or sugar), they penetrate the brain more quickly and completely than in solid form.
From the time aspartame was approved for public consumption in 1981 until 1990, brain tumors in people over the age of 65 increased 67%. We ingest, on the average, over 50% of our calories from foods loaded with excitotoxins. A healthy alternative is Naturlose. Naturlose is the brand name for tagatose, a naturally occurring ketose that is found in some dairy products and other foods. It has been patented as a low-calorie, full-bulk sweetener, and also the process to make it starting from whey, a dairy by-product. Naturlose has been determined to be a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) substance in the U.S., with the FDA permitting its use in foods and beverages. Naturlose has also been determined GRAS for use in cosmetics and toothpastes, and in drugs.
Naturlose can currently be used as a sweetener in toothpaste, mouthwash, and other cosmetics, and can also be used as an excipient (non-active ingredient) in over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Naturlose. Quick Facts:
• The taste of sugar – far better than any low-calorie sweetener. Taste tests show
• that you can’t tell the difference between Naturlose and table sugar.
• No aftertaste like some other bulk sweeteners or high intensity sweeteners.
• Naturlose is 92% as sweet as table sugar.
• Unlike other sweeteners that require special tricks for baking, Naturlose browns » and bakes.
– Naturlose has anti-plaque, anti-biofilm, anti-halitosis, and non-cariogenic
• properties. It does not cause cavities and does not promote tooth decay – so
• dentists encourage its use.
• Naturlose doesn’t cause glucose spikes, so no sugar rush or sugar crash occurs
• Naturlose is a prebiotic – promoting general gut health by promoting healthy
– bacteria and inhibiting dangerous ones.
Benefits Of Naturlose:
• Weight Loss at Healthy Rate
– Diabetes (safe and beneficial for diabetics)
– Anti-plaque, Non-cariogenic, and Anti-halitosis
• Fights Colon Cancer
• Increases Beneficial HDL-cholesterol
Naturlose & Obesity. According to the American Obesity Association , approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. Obesity is linked to the following diseases: high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gall bladder disease and cancer of the breast, prostate and colon.
Naturlose can become a vital tool in the fight against obesity. Studies show that Naturlose promotes weight loss when incorporated into a routine diet. Human clinical trials conducted on patients with type 2 diabetes and normal persons – at the Department of Endocrinology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine – showed that both the type 2 diabetics and normal subjects receiving the daily regimen of Naturlose (tagatose) for 12 months, gradually and consistently lost weight at medically desirable rates. BioSpherix is in the process of investigating Naturlose in various products and formulations to combat weight gain and diseases connected to obesity.
Do not be fooled. Sugar by any other name is sugar. Compound sugars are one small step away from simple sugar. The body reacts almost exactly the same to compound sugar as it does to simple sugar. There is no such thing as healthy sugar. All foods are broken down in glucose. Beyond a few pieces of in-season, non- hybridized*, grown in its own root system** – fruit per day, you do not need any extra sugar. It is hype, advertising, and false beliefs instilled by the mass marketers.
The process of hybridization has been in use since the 1960s. To better suit American tastes, growers breed fruits so they contain twice the sugar and half the fiber as their ancestors.
Most fruit is not grown in their own root system, but hydroponically. This means the fruit is not absorbing the nutrients from the soil as they did for millennia. Unless it’s organically grown in its own root system, you are eating a sugar ball with little nutrients. When you eat a food devoid of nutrients, your body must use its store of nutrients to break down the food, thereby not having those nutrients available for other vital needs.
Sugars are generally classified as either simple or compound. Simple sugars have one molecule called a monosaccharide. Compound sugars consist of more than one molecule.
Composition of simple sugars
1 ) Disaccharides have two molecules.
2) Trisaccharides have three molecules
3) Oligosaccharides have up to 6 monosaccharide molecules.
Oligosaccharides are found mainly in breast milk and plants. These coat the mucus membranes and are present in saliva. By linking monosaccharide molecules together, sometimes in the hundreds and thousands, a very large molecule is formed called a polysaccharide.
Compound sugars include:
1 ) Lactose (glucose and galactose) is also known as “milk sugar.”
2) Lactulose (galactose and fructose) is not found in nature, but is manufactured.
3) Maltose (two molecules of glucose) is also known as malt sugar found in malt, grains, and fruits.
4) Sucrose (glucose and fructose) is found in sugar cane, sugar beets, and maple syrup.
Starch and glycogen are polysaccharide molecules stored in the liver to be used as fuel when the need arises. Cellulose is another polysaccharide molecule that cannot be digested by humans because they do not have the necessary enzyme to do so.
Simple sugars save the body the extra step of breaking down a compound sugar. Some simple sugars can be found in the following:
I ) Galactose comes from plants.
2) Glucose is the type measured in the blood and commonly called dextrose on labels. It is found in fruits and honey.
3) Mannose comes from the manna ash tree and is always converted into mannitol, a sugar alcohol, by the body before use.
4) Acesulfame – an artificial sweetener
5) Alitarne – an artificial sweetener
6) Aspartame – an artificial sweetener
7) Classification of Carbohydrates – a listing of the classification of carbohydrates
8) Fructose – the sugar formed in fruit
9) Lactose – the sugar formed in milk
10) Molasses – definition and types
11) Stevia – describes a natural sweetener that has been available for centuries
12) Sugar Alcohols – the characteristics and the problems of these sweeteners
13) Tagatose – an artificial sweetener
New research by Dr. Alan Hirsch, M.D., a neurologist and founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, in Chicago. Dr. Hirsch has uncovered some amazing facts. He explains that the taste and smell of the foods we eat can effectively turn off or on the appetite center in the brain. His research showed that certain smells caused overweight people to reduce their cravings, and therefore eat less. He found that foods cooked with aromatic ingredients like garlic, onions, herbs and spices satisfy the appetite more completely.
So, you ask, how does that apply to milk? According to Dr. Hirsch, milk is so bland that the satiety center in the brain doesn’t respond to it the same way it does other foods. As a result, people tend to drink excessive amounts of milk. Just a single cup of whole milk contains 150 calories. A glass of milk contains at least two cups: that’s 300 calories a glass, the equivalent of a small meal that won’t even register on your appetite center. Further, milk is one of the most allergy-producing substances on earth. Everyone has a lactose intolerance – the only variance is the degree of intolerance – because, as we age, we produce less of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest lactose – the type of sugar in milk. 80% of the people in the world has a lactose intolerance. Lactose, is a from of sugar in milk that triggers an insulin reaction.
Fact: through eight million years of evolution, man did not consume milk. Milk only became available with the domestication of cattle 10,000 years ago. But no other mammal drinks the milk of a different species. The milk of herbivores (cows and goats) is designed for an entirely different digestive system than ours. Drinking low fat or skim milk does not help. It is the sugars and foreign proteins in milk that are the real danger. The fat actually inhibits the absorption of these sugars and proteins.
We must be aware there are good and bad sources of calcium. Milk is among the top three foods causing allergies (the others being grains such as wheat and corn, and peanuts). Dr. Neal Barnard. Problems in children: can cause diabetes and anemia. Problems in adults: Potential for arthritis, anemia, infertility in women and cancer. Skim or non-fat milk contains sugar in the form of lactose, which causes an insulin spike, setting off the appetite control center in the brain. The more milk you drink, the greater the risk. Milk drinkers are prone to osteoporosis. This is because excess consumption of calcium from milk causes a deficiency of magnesium in the body, resulting in a loss of bone density later in life. This does not occur when gaining calcium from leafy green vegetables because the vegetables have a much higher ratio of magnesium to calcium Solution: Soymilk. Soymilk contains no dairy, but is high in calcium and protein and low in saturated fat.
The media always likes to put things in simplistic terms. They believe that sensationalism sells, and that the public isn’t capable of decreeing the sometimes nuances between things that are sometimes good for us, and other times bad. The case in point; fats. Fats are divided into four categories: saturated, polyunsaturated fats monosaturated, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The fats our ancestors ate were predominately omega-3 fatty acids from algae and fish, and monosaturated fat from seeds and nuts. The brain needs omega-3 fatty acids to function. The omega-3 fatty acids from fish are a rich source of peptides that cause the hormone leptin to be secreted. Leptin in the blood signals the brain that we are full and initiates a more rapid burning of calorie.
About 150,000 years ago, the weather turned colder, forcing the last remnants of man off the African savanna and into the Rift valley. There, he discovered a new source of food: shellfish found along the shores of the lakes. These shellfish consumed algae, which gave them a high concentration of algae-rich fats – what we now know as omega-3 fatty acids. These fats accelerated the growth of the frontal cortex, the site of higher thinking in the brain. In just 10,000 years the size of man’s brain in creased by 50%. It was this development that led to modern man conquering the rest of the known world.
New research finds that the healthy omega-3s in shellfish actually block the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Plus, omega-3s keep blood vessel walls flexible, prevent dangerous blood clots and lower the production of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. Eating any shellfish twice each week can lower the risk of heart disease by 29%.
Monosaturated Fats: found in nuts, avocado, and olive oil, cause the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), which tells the brain to stop eating
Povunsaturated fats. For decades it was assumed that these fats were good for us; considered the opposite of saturated fats. But, according to Dirk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, Life Extension, polyunsaturated fats are susceptible to auto-oxidation (conversion to a peroxidized, immune-suppressive, clot-promoting, carcinogenic form). They go on to say, “While the cardiovascular disease rate has been increasing in the United States, it has been accompanied by a 37% rise in polyunsaturated fat consumption and only a 7% increase in saturated fat consumption.”
Saturated Fats: The fats we eat are mostly saturated fats that rigger an endorphin release that prolongs the eating process. We normally equate saturated fat with red meat from farm-raised, grain feed cattle. But the lipid profile of free-ranging, organically grown animals is closer to olive oil than it is to penned animals. There are also higher levels of monosaturated fats than saturated or polyunsaturated fats in free-ranging animals.
There are two families of unsaturated fats – the omega 6 fats found mainly in plant-based oils, and the omega-3 fats found in fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds – were in relative balance a century ago. The modern diet now emphasizes omega-6 fats by as much as 25-1. Omega-6 fats encourage inflammation, while omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory. Some fatty acids are essential fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid is an essential omga-3 fatty acid, while linoleic acid is an essential omega-6 fatty acid. But he western diet already includes excessive omega-6 fats. The key to correct the distorted ratio is to in crease the consumption of omega-3 fats from walnuts, seeds, fish, fish oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soy, and dark green leaves such as spinach, broccoli, kale, and seaweed.
Trans Fats: Vegetable oil infused with hydrogen is used in thousands of highly processed commercial foods but puts people at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and even muscle wasting. Take nachos, French fries, and cinnamon rolls off the menu. Trans fats are the worst of all. Not only are they poison for your heart but trans fats also add inches to your waste line. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition covering 16,500 men over a period of 9 years, researchers found that for every 2% increase in trans fat intake, men added one-third inch to their waists. Mono and polyunsaturated fats had no effect. Saturated fats seemed to affect total weight, but not the waist. Trans fats also reduce insulin sensitivity, which may contribute to abdominal obesity.
Modern methods of manufacturing cooking oils, margarines, and shortening also create harmful by-products and distorted forms of fat molecules that did not exist in human diets when our digestive processes evolved. The effects of these pathological forms of fat are worsened by frying foods at high temperatures.
But to those who say cut out all or most fats from your diet, a warning. Some fats are essential to our health and well-being. Beneficial fats help in the body’s creation of hormones, phospholipids (used to create the membranes that surround our cells), and prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that control a wide variety of functions, such as platelet stickiness and blood pressure). A major study conducted by Harvard found that nurses who ate at least one ounce of nuts per day had 75% less heart disease that those who did not eat nuts.
I learned a very Important lesson when studying the stock market for many years. When everyone in the public sector starts talking about a specific topic, they’re usually wrong. When everyone was talking about the stock market a few years back, I knew it was time to get out. That was when the NASDQ was at 5000!
When everyone jumped on the low-carb bandwagon after just a few initial studies, I was very skeptical, so I kept my eye out for new information to see whether it confirmed or refuted the initial claims. Here is some of what I found.
Rachel Husky, a sixteen-year-old girl, died due to fatally low levels of electrolytes like calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium in her system. Electrolyte depletion is evidence of a state known as ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body has burned all its available blood sugar and begins consuming itself – vitamins, minerals, and vial fats -which are expelled in the urine. This puts the kidneys under stress and frequency of urination increases, furthering the deadly cycle.
Electrolyte depletion causes an irregular heartbeat, which doctors believe killed the young girl. Also, a diet too low in carbs – a lack of fruit or starchy vegetables – will increase your risk of certain cancers such as colon, stomach, and esophageal cancers. Carbohydrates play two very important roles in the body. One, they help prevent a rapid decline in thyroid hormones, which would otherwise lower your resting metabolic rate. And two, carbs release insulin, an anabolic hormone that supports muscle mass.
Glycogen (stored glucose from carbohydrates) inside your muscle tissue and liver are compromised when your carb intake is too low. And with low stores of glycogen, it’s difficult for your muscles to exert the sustained effort required to do high-intensity exercise.
Further, the kidneys are placed under increased stress on a super low carb diet, and age more rapidly. Some high-protein, low carb diets have resulted in a sharp rise in kidney stones – a condition that can be life threatening, not just uncomfortable.
And now a new concern: some low-carb sweets rely on sugar alcohols, which are slowly digested carbs that have no impact on insulin levels but can, in excess, wreak havoc on the digestive tract.
When in doubt, follow the best possible examples available to us. In my book, Why We eat… and why we keep eating, I share with you the dietary habits of the healthiest people to ever roam the face of the earth. They were the Paleolithic people. They had the lowest body fat ratios of any people. They were amazingly fit and had powerful muscle tone. The men averaged 5’10”, the women 5’6″. Their physiology was the equivalent of elite athletes of today, and they evolved as such through the following regime: All you have to do is divide your plate up as follows: 30% protein (super lean meat, fish, poultry, and low-fat tofu), 40% complex carbs (whole grains, veggies), and 30% fat (from nuts, seeds, avocados and healthy oils such as olive and canola).
So many people have a vested interest in high or low protein diets that it’s difficult to know where the truth lies. Well, we looked at a dozen different studies done of the past few years to find the pros and cons of protein. So, let’s list here the benefits of protein using all the available studies:
1) Protein is superior to other foods as a satiator. Protein stimulated the release of, CCK, the hormone which signals the brain to shut down the appetite center.
2) It takes more energy to digest protein (obligatory thermogensis) so that fewer calories are available to the body than with a meal of similar caloric value consisting of fat or carbohydrates.
3) Protein stimulates the metabolic rate (facultative thermogensis) so that even 2,5 hours after ingesting a high protein, the metabolic rate is two-fold higher compared with a high carb meal.
4) Diets high in protein spare muscle mass and produce a lower glucose and insulin response.
5) A diet high in protein has been shown to decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
6) Dietary protein increases circulating IGF-1, a growth factor that plays an important role in bone formation. In a test where doctors supplemented the diets of patients with 20 grams of protein per day for 6 months, patients responded with reduced rates of bone loss in the hip during the year after the fracture.
7) It has been found that a diet high in protein is of even greater importance in those trying to lose weight since it helps to maintain muscle mass. (Reduced calories should be at the expense of fats and carbs).
8) Wild animals that range freely, and eat what nature intended, have fat that is far more healthful than grain-feed, penned animals. Less of their fat is saturated, and more of it is the monosaturated form like olive oil.
9) On the downside, too much protein overwhelms the liver’s waste-disposal system, leading to protein poisoning – nausea, diarrhea, and wasting. Protein should account for no more than 40% of one’s diet.
A human being living 50,000 years ago had the exact same physiology as man today. What has changed is our diets. Our ancestors, the healthiest people to ever roam the face of the earth, ate a diet that contained five times as much fiber, 3 times the monosaturated fats, 8 times the omega-3 fats, and 3 to 4 times the protein (but 60-70 percent less saturated fats).
So, how much protein should we be eating? Between 1.5 -2.5 grams per kilogram of body weight. The upper level is recommended if energy restriction is substantial (little exercise) because this may assist in the maintenance of lean body mass and promote satiety.
Protein Kills Hunger
The benefits of a high-protein, lower carb diets are substantial. Not only does eating this way help you gain more lean muscle, but it helps you burn more fat – and numerous research studies support these claims. Accumulated studies find these diets to be safe and effective. Now there is a new study from researchers in London which finds another reason why high-protein diets help you get and stay lean. It introduces a hormone called peptide YY (PYY), produced by gut cells that are released into the blood stream, where it travels to the brain to decrease hunger and increase satiety.
Researchers had ten healthy, normal weight men and ten obsess men eat three different meals: high protein, high carb, or high fat. Each consisted of roughly 1000 calories. The high protein meal was 65% protein, the high carb meal 65% carb, and the high fat meal 65% fat. Blood samples were taken immediately before eating the meals and at 30 minute intervals for up to three hours after eating. Researchers concluded that the high protein meals produced the greatest reduction in hunger and the largest increase in PYY in both normal and obese groups. Three hours after eating the meals, the normal weight subjects were three times more satiated by the high-protein meal than he high barb meal, and almost two times more satiated than the high-fat meal. At that same time, the blood levels of PYY were 45% and 30% higher when normal-weight subjects ate the high protein meals than when they ate the high carb and high fat meals, respectively. Conclusion: Harness the appetite -decreasing power of PYY by simply boosting dietary protein. Get 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
How much is too much?
With respect to animal protein intake, no existing data has linked levels of protein independently to increased risk of cancer. In fact, insofar as intake of lean protein does not lead to insulin resistance and the associated metabolic consequences of high circulating levels of insulin and IGF-1, high protein intake may, in fact, represent a protective influence over the typical Western diet. In the most comprehensive study to date (more than 75,000 subjects) comparing mortality rates from cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, stomach, and lung, no differences were found between meat eaters and vegetarians