Processed food – why we must avoid it

What is “processed” food anyway? We’re talking about foods that have changed form, and are therefore different from how they occur in nature.

The more processed foods you eat, the less nourished you become.

Why are foods processed? To protect them from bad bacteria and to make them more visually appealing, packageable, marketable, and shippable. It’s all a matter of convenience.

American “cheese” isn’t made from curds and whey – it’s a nightmarish mix of what was once milk, along with artificial flavors, colorants, preservatives, and gummy texturizers.

White bread is made from flour so processed that it is almost pure starch, and it is barely recognizable as a wheat product – but it’s fluffy and white, and that’s what everyone uses to make PB&J!

These products are so fake that classifying them as “food” is quite a stretch.

Even whole healthy foods are processed. Vegetables are sprayed so that they can be stored longer – potatoes may be six months old before you eat them!

They’ve been treated to stop them from sprouting “eyes.” Chicken is dipped in chlorine bleach to kill surface bacteria and make it turn white when cooked. Apples are waxed for storage and shine.

Read the ingredients list – how many things do you recognize? How many are “extracts,” “from concentrate,” or just scary scientific words?

Processed foods are bad for the body and mind in so many ways. For one thing, they contain all sorts of artificial ingredients like preservatives and colorants that cause reactions in the digestive, immune, and nervous systems.

Furthermore, processed foods lack many crucial nutrients found in whole foods.

Common Highly Processed Foods

Bleached and Highly-refined Flour

Refined grains are devoid of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, leaving nothing but starch and a small amount of protein in these products. White bread, pasta, and baked goods are the main culprits. It’s these refined, simple, high glycemic carbs that you need to avoid. They’re quickly digested and cause your blood sugar to spike, and your body immediately either uses or stores them (as glycogen and/or fat).

A better option is to opt for whole, complex, quality carbohydrates such as bajra, rajgira, buckwheat, or you can try minimally processed whole-grain breads and pastas.

Refined Sweeteners

Too much sugar stresses your body – your pancreas struggles to produce insulin, and your body stores excess glucose as fat. Artificial sweeteners exacerbate cravings, disrupt gut bacteria, and cause glucose intolerance.

Minimizing your sugar intake is the first step, but changing the way you choose to appease your sweet tooth can make a big difference in how you feel! Ditch the aspartame, high-fructose corn syrup, and even agave nectar.

Refined, Trans-fat or Partially-hydrogenated Vegetable Oils

Many oils are hydrogenated, a process that makes them solid, but also creates trans-fats. These are the unhealthy fats that increase bad and decrease good cholesterols and cause heart disease and diabetes. They’re unsaturated, cheap, and processed, and they are used in most fast foods, take-out, and fried foods.

A better option is to toss the canola. Stick to extra virgin olive oil (which is extracted by machine only), animal fats like butter, lard, ghee, and unrefined coconut oil.

Processed Meat

The main culprits are salt and nitrates, which are used to preserve pinkness. These two items have been extensively linked to an increase in risk of colorectal cancer. Processed lunch meats have so many other bulking agents, additives, and preservatives that it’s better to avoid them altogether.

The Bottom Line

By focusing on consuming whole foods with little processing, you will minimize your intake of artificial additives and preservatives, some of which can be dangerous.

The best advice I can give you is to make time to read ingredient labels and make sure you understand what you’re eating.

If you don’t recognize something, don’t buy it! Go to the store more often and stick with the KISS method – minimally-processed, natural, whole foods. Your body will thank you for it.

How to Fix Your Gut Bacteria and Lose Weight

 Mark Hyman, MD

“I read somewhere that a high-fat diet can damage your gut bacteria and promote weight gain,” writes this week’s house call. “Should I be concerned if I’m eating a high-fat diet?”

It is true that what you eat can affect your gut bacteria, for better and for worse, and changes in your gut bacteria or microbiome cause weight gain.  Indeed, some studies demonstrate that high-fat diets can adversely affect your gut flora and promote inflammation and weight gain. However, it’s important to note that the type of fat you eat matters!  Most of these studies are focused on diets that incorporate high levels of inflammatory, refined omega 6 vegetable oils like soybean oil. 

Refined omega-6 rich vegetable oils fall into the “bad fats” category and should be avoided. While most of us have been convinced, by the food industry and our government, that vegetable oils are safe and a heart-healthy alternative to saturated fats, we now know differently.

Polyunsaturated fats from soybean, canola, and other seed oils are inflammatory. Avoid them if you want to be healthier. Even if you consume some omega 3 fats while consuming these inflammatory oils, you won’t reap the healthy fat benefits.

For most of human history, we consumed a much higher ratio of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats. Wild foods like grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish provide a great source of omega 3s, but these foods are not a big part of our modern diet. Unfortunately, the factory-farmed animals that do make up much of our modern diet have almost zero omega 3 fats.

The vast quantities of omega 6 fats in our diet contribute to heart disease, diabesity, and cancerStudies also link high omega 6 fat consumption to depression, suicide, and other major health problems due to increased inflammation.

To reverse these and other problems and create optimal health, replace these damaging omega 6 fats with healthy ones – like coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter, fish rich in omega 3s, and extra-virgin olive oil.

Interestingly, when we look at studies that use the healthy, anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats, we see just the opposite effect. These healthy fats promote healthier gut bugs, lower inflammation levels, and increased weight loss.

I said it before and I’ll say it again:  the types of fat we eat matters. The wrong fats increase inflammation, promote the growth of bad bugs, and create resistance to weight loss. The right fats decrease inflammation and help with weight loss.

Why Is Gut Health So Important?

Optimal gut health has become a prominent focus in 21st century health. Having too many bad critters hanging out in the gut has been linked to numerous problems – including autism, obesity, diabetes, allergies, autoimmunity, depression, cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia, eczema, and asthma. The links between chronic illness and an imbalanced microbiome (or gut bacteria) keep growing every day.

Many scientists have begun to refer to the gut as our second brain, an idea that is reflected in amazing books like The Good Gut, Brainmaker, The Microbiome Solution, and The Gut Balance Revolution.

Having a healthy gut should mean more to you than being annoyed by a little bloating or heartburn. It becomes central to your entire health and connected to everything that happens in your body. That’s why I almost always start treating my patients’ chronic health problems by fixing their guts first.

You can begin to understand the importance of gut health when you consider there are 500 species and three pounds of bacteria in your gut. There are trillions of bacteria in your gut, and they collectively contain at least 100 times as many genes as you do. The bacterial DNA in your gut outnumbers your own DNA by 100 times. You have about 20,000 genes, but there are 2,000,000 (or more) bacterial genes!

Altogether, your gut is a huge chemical factory that helps to digest food, produce vitamins, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, produce healing compounds and keep your gut healthy.

Intestinal health could be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. But that is a big job that depends on many other factors. For example, the bugs in your gut are like a rain forest – a diverse and interdependent ecosystem. They must be in balance for you to be healthy.

Too many of the wrong ones (like parasites, yeasts or bad bacteria) or not enough of the good ones (like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria), can lead to serious damage to your health.

Optimal gut balance begins with your diet, which directly affects that balance. You want to eat a diet with lots of fiber, healthy protein, and healthy fats.

Good fats, including omega 3 fats and monounsaturated fats – such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocados or almonds – improve healthy gut flora, while inflammatory fats, like omega 6 vegetable oils, promote growth of bad bugs that cause weight gain and disease.

Even obesity has been linked to changes in our gut ecosystem, resulting from an intake of inflammatory omega 6s and not enough anti-inflammatory omega 3s. Bad bugs produce toxins called lipopolysacchardies (LPS)  that trigger inflammation, insulin resistance or pre-diabetes and therefore, promote weight gain.

Lack of sleep and chronic stress also contribute to gut imbalance, In fact, your gut flora listens to and becomes influenced by your thoughts and feelings.  So be sure to get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep and remember to practice your favorite stress reduction activities daily. 

9 Ways to Fix your Gut Bacteria and Lose Weight

The best way to grow a healthy inner garden and make your gut bugs happy begins with your diet. Here are 9 ways to build healthy gut flora starting with your next forkful:

  1. Eat whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods. One of the best ways to maintain gut health involves cutting out the sugar and refined carbs and jacking up gut-supporting fiber.
  2. Make 75 percent of your plate be vegetables and plant-based foods. Your gut bugs really love these high-fiber plant foods.
  3. Eat good fats and get an oil change. The good fats we mentioned earlier (like omega 3 fats and monounsaturated fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil) will help with decreasing inflammation, giving healthy gut bugs a chance to flourish.
  4. Supplement smartly. Beyond the numerous benefits (including reducing inflammation), studies find omega 3 fatty acids can support healthy gut flora.  You should definitely supplement with an essential fatty acids formula, if you’re not regularly eating wild-caught fatty fish. Take a good probiotic supplement. This helps reduce gut inflammation while cultivating health and the growth of good bacteria.
  5. Add more coconut. Studies demonstrate anti-inflammatory and weight loss benefits from adding Medium Chain Triglyceride or MCT oils. One of my favorite fats, coconut oil and coconut butter, contains these fabulous fat-burning MCTs.
  6. Remove inflammatory fats. Cut out bad, inflammatory omega 6 rich fats like vegetable oils. Replace these with healthier oils like extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
  7. Add fiber-rich foods. Nuts, seeds, and a fiber called inulin provide prebiotics and feed our healthy bacteria.
  8. Add fermented foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and miso contain good amounts of probiotics so your healthy gut bugs can be fruitful and multiply.

The above recommendations are not miracle cures.  They are the actions that lead to normalized gut function and flora through improved diet, increased fiber intake, daily probiotic supplementation, the use of nutrients that repair the gut lining, and the reduction of bad bugs in the gut with herbs or medication.

Yes, inflammatory fats will definitely damage your gut bacteria. But the right fats, including omega 3s and extra-virgin olive oil combined with a whole, real food diet can actually repair your gut and even increase good bacteria.

Be Healthy.

Non-stick cookware – Are they safe to use?

 Dr. Mercola

Non-stick cookware – are they safe to use?

According to ‘The Intercept’:

“Concerns about the safety of Teflon, C8, and other long-chain perfluorinated chemicals first came to wide public attention more than a decade ago, but the story of DuPont’s long involvement with C8 has never been fully told…

[A] long trail of documents has emerged that casts new light on C8, DuPont, and the fitful attempts of the Environmental Protection Agency to deal with a threat to public health.

This story is based on many of those documents, which until they were entered into evidence for these trials had been hidden away in DuPont’s files.

Among them are write-ups of experiments on rats, dogs, and rabbits showing that C8 was associated with a wide range of health problems that sometimes killed the lab animals.”

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, also known as C8), was an essential ingredient in DuPont’s non-stick cookware for decades.

The chemical is also used in hundreds of other non-stick and stain-resistant products, from microwave popcorn bags and fast-food wrappers to waterproof clothing and soil-repellant carpet and furniture treatments.

It’s also found in flame retardant chemicals, and hence items treated with flame retardants, which run the gamut from children’s items to furniture and electronics.

PFOA is a fluorinated chemical — it’s the fluorine atoms that provide that hallmark slipperiness.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR):

“Once in your body, perfluoroalkyls tend to remain unchanged for long periods of time. The most commonly used perfluoroalkyls (PFOA and PFOS) stay in the body for many years. It takes approximately four years for the level in the body to go down by half, even if no more is taken in.”

While there’s a dizzying array of chemical names in this group of chemicals, if an item is either non-stick, waterproof, or stain-resistant, it has some type of fluoride-impregnated coating that provides the slipperiness, and you can assume it can be problematic.

PFOA is now the subject of about 3,500 personal injury claims against DuPont, including 37 claims for wrongful death.

In 2005, a panel of three scientists was convened as part of a settlement to determine the chemical’s effects on people. After seven years of research, the results of which are detailed in more than three dozen peer-reviewed papers,5 the C8 Science Panel linked PFOA to:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • High cholesterol
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Thyroid disease
  • Testicular and kidney cancer

Its health effects were deemed to be widespread and occurred even at very low exposure levels. According to The Intercept, DuPont was aware of many of these risks, yet kept its knowledge secret — even from its own workers, who came into direct and prolonged contact with the chemical.

PFOA Pollution May Be Permanent

A man-made compound that didn’t exist a century ago, C8 is in the blood of 99.7 percent of Americans, according to a 2007 analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as in newborn human babies, breast milk, and umbilical cord blood.

Although DuPont no longer uses C8, fully removing the chemical from all the bodies of water and bloodstreams it pollutes is now impossible. And, because it is so chemically stable — in fact, as far as scientists can determine, it never breaks down — C8 is expected to remain on the planet well after humans are gone from it.”

According to the article, if DuPont and the seven other chemical companies (including 3M) responsible for the global C8/PFOA pollution were actually forced to clean up their mess, the costs would be “astronomical.”

PFOA Dubbed the ‘Tobacco of the Chemical Industry’

Like tobacco, C8 litigation may forever change how people view these chemicals. In fact, PFOA is now being called the “tobacco of the chemical industry” because of the decades-long corporate cover-up of its health effects, the lawsuits pending, and how difficult it is to make companies accountable for producing disease-causing products, even after the evidence is clear.

Is it possible to exercise while fasting?

Is it possible to exercise while fasting? This is a common question we hear all the time. People think that food gives them energy and therefore it will be difficult to fast and exercise at the same time. Some people with physically demanding jobs feel that they could not fast and work properly. What’s the truth?

Well, let’s think about this logically for a second. When you eat, insulin goes up telling your body to use some of that food energy immediately. The remainder is stored as sugar (glycogen in the liver). Once the glycogen stores are full, then the liver manufactures fat (DeNovo Lipogenesis). Dietary protein is broken down into component amino acids. Some is used to repair proteins but excess amino acids are turned to glucose. Dietary fat is absorbed directly by the intestines. It doesn’t undergo any further transformation and is stored as fat.

Insulin’s main action is to inhibit lipolysis. This means that it blocks fat burning. The incoming flood of glucose from food is sent to the rest of the body to be used as energy.Macro oxidation

So what happens during a fast? Well, it’s just the process in reverse. First, your body burns the stored sugar, then it burns the stored fat. In essence, during feeding you burn food energy. During fasting, you burn energy from your stored food (sugar and fat).

Note that the amount of energy that is used by and available to your body stays the same. The basal metabolic rate stays the same. This is the basic energy used for vital organs, breathing, heart function etc. Eating does not increase basal metabolism except for the small amount used to digest food itself (the thermic effect of food).

graph

If you exercise while fasting, the body will start by burning sugar. Glycogen is a molecule composed of many sugars all put together. When it comes time to use it for energy, the liver simply starts breaking all the chains to release the individual sugar molecules that can now be used for energy.

As mentioned before, short term storage of food energy (glycogen) is like a refrigerator. The food energy goes in and out easily, but there is limited storage. Long term storage (fat) is like a freezer. Food is harder to get to, but you can store much more of it. If you eat 3 times a day, it’s like you go shopping for food 3 times a day and any leftovers get stored in the fridge. If there is too much for the fridge, it goes into the freezer.

So what happens during fasting and exercise? Well, the body simply pulls energy out of the ‘fridge’. Since you have enough glycogen stored up to last over 24 hours on a regular day, you would need to do some serious exercise for a long time before you could exhaust those stores.

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Endurance athletes occasionally do hit this ‘wall‘, where glycogen stores run out. Perhaps there is no more indelible image of hitting the wall as the 1982 Ironman Triathlon where American competitor Julie Moss crawled to the finish line, unable to even stand. Athletes also term complete exhaustion of short term energy stores ‘bonking’. I know some of you may think ‘bonking’ refers to other activities done on all fours, but this is a nutritional blog!

So, how do you get around that? Glycogen stores are not enough to power you through the entire IronMan race. However, you know at the same time, that you are still carrying vast amounts of energy in the form of fat. All that energy is stored away and not accessible during exercise. But the only reason it cannot be used is because your body is not adapted to burn fat.

By following a very low carbohydrate diet, or ketogenic diet, you can train your body to burn fat. Similarly, by exercising in the fasted state, you can train your muscles to burn energy. Now, instead of relying on limited by easily accessible glycogen during competition, you are carrying around almost unlimited energy drawn directly from your fat stores.

Studies are starting to demonstrate the benefits of such training. For example, this study looked at muscle fibres both before and after training in the fasted state. This means that you fast for a certain period of time, usually around 24 hours and then do your endurance or other training. The combination of low insulin and high adrenalin levels created by the fasted state stimulates adipose tissue lipolysis (breakdown of fat) and peripheral fat oxidation (burning of fat for energy). Other studies had already shown that breakdown of intramyocellular lipids (IMCL – fat inside the muscle) is increased by training in the fasted state.Six weeks of training in the fasted state also induced a greater increase of fatty acid binding protein and uncoupling-protein-3 content in muscle.

TrainFasted-1-300x150

What does this mean in plain English? It means that our bodies have the wonderful ability to adapt to what’s available. When we fast, we deplete much of the stored sugar (glycogen). Our muscles then become much more efficient at using fat for energy. This happens because muscle ‘learns’ how to use the fat as energy by increasing the amount of proteins that metabolize that fat. In other words, our muscles learn to burn fat, not sugar.

Looking at muscle cells before and after exercise in the fasted state, you can see that there are more muscle bundles, but also that there is a deeper shade of red, indicating more available fat for energy.

Legendary exercise physiologist and physician Tim Noakes of Cape Town, South Africa has led the way in understanding the benefits of low carbohydrate diets for elite level athletes. Many national level teams (such as the Australian cricket team) are now applying these lessons to crush their competition. Legendary NBA players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony are turning to low carbohydrate, high fat diets to slim down and prolong their careers.

lebron

You can be damn certain that these elite level athletes would not be doing this Low Carb mumbo jumbo and training in the fasted state malarky if it had any detrimental effect on their athletic performance. Quite the contrary. Hall of Fame NBA player Steve Nash does not eat simple carbs at any cost. Drinking sugary Gatorade? Not bloody likely to help.

Another study looked at the effects of a 3.5 day fast on all different measures of athletic performance. They measured strength, anaerobic capacity and aerobic endurance. All of these measures did not decrease during the fasting period.

The body simply switches from burning sugar to burning fat. But, for endurance athletes, the increase in available energy is a significant advantage, since you can store infinitely more energy in the form of fat rather than sugar. If you are running ultra marathons, being able to utilize your almost unlimited fat energy instead of highly limited glycogen energy will mean that you won’t ‘bonk’ and might just win you that race.

During the period where you are adjusting to this change, you will likely notice a decrease in performance. This lasts approximately 2 weeks. As you deplete the body of sugar, your muscles need time to adapt to using fat for energy. Your energy, your muscle strength and overall capacity will go down, but they will recover. So, LCHF diets, ketogenic diets and training in the fasted state may all have benefits in training your muscles to burn fat, but they do require some time to adapt.

fuel

Consider an analogy. Imagine that our bodies are fuel tankers. We drive these large tankers around, but only have a limited amount of gas in the gas tank. After the gas tank runs out, we are stuck on the side of the road calling for help. But wait, you might say. That’s ironic. You are carrying an entire tank of gas, but ran out of gas. How is that so? Well, that gas is not accessible.

In the same manner, we carry around huge stores of energy as fat. But our muscles are trained to run on sugar, and run out of energy, so we need to continually refuel despite the large tank of fuel stored as fat.

So, what my best advice on physical exertion and fasting? Don’t worry about it. Do everything you normally do during fasting. If you normally exercise, or even if you don’t, you can still do it during fasting. Whether you fast for 24 hours or 24 days, you an still exercise. Your muscles may take up to 2 weeks to become fat adapted, though. During the first 2 weeks of fasting, you may need to take it a little easy, but you should quickly recover after that.

Jason Fung, MD.

How to Do Intermittent Fasting: 17 Popular Questions Answered

Yuri Elkaim


How to Do Intermittent Fasting

If you’ve been wondering how to do intermittent fasting, I’m going to provide you with the ultimate primer on this amazing dietary practice.

You see, intermittent fasting is arguably the least expensive and most powerful healing method we can incorporate into our lives.

Every religion has an element of fasting—whether it’s 30 days of Ramadan or a one day Yum Kippur fast. Our ancient ancestors were definitely on to something.

We humans have been fasting since we first walked the earth. Our paleolithic ancestors didn’t have the luxury of 24/7 convenience stores, a Starbucks on every corner, or even refrigerators to store their food.

Thus, they ate what was freshly available.

But sometimes they couldn’t find anything to eat, and their bodies evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time. Today, we still have this same biology – we haven’t evolved at all.

And, if anything, fasting from time to time is more “natural” and healthier than constantly eating 3-4 (or more) meals per day. I’ll show you proof further below.

For years, my clients and readers have asked me which is better for weight loss; eating 3-5 meals per day or intermittent fasting, not to mention they also wanted to know how to do intermittent fasting.

So in this post, I’m going to answer 18 of the most common fasting questions I’ve been asked in order to give you a solid understanding of the topic.

Let’s jump in…

1. What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and not eating. It’s not a diet that says “eat this, not that”, but rather you don’t eat any food for a certain length of time – usually 16-24 hours.

There are a number of different types of intermittent fasting (highlighted below), but they all serve the same purpose—to allow your body time without food to spend more of its energy on internal healing and repair—something that cannot happen when you’re constantly in a fed state.

2. Who is Intermittent Fasting For?

Based on the numerous benefits you’re about to discover, intermittent fasting is really meant for anyone who is serious about improving their health and perhaps losing weight without overhauling their diet.

The 10 Best Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting or Exercising

Technically, you don’t need to change anything about your diet to benefit from intermittent fasting, which makes it very appealing to many people.

Intermittent fasting is also for those who want that extra edge to burning fat while maintaining their muscle (shouldn’t we all?).

It’s completely safe to do and provides enormous benefits so it’s really just a matter of committing to it, trying it out, and seeing if it’s something you want to do regularly.

3. What Are Some Intermittent Fasting Benefits?

There are literally dozens of benefits! If you’re wondering how to do intermittent fasting to get the most bang for your buck, check out some of these incredible benefits – all backed by science:

Increased Life Expectancy:

Studies on animals are being done by Dr. Mark Mattson and colleagues at the National Institute on Aging. The findings from these studies suggest that animals age slower and live longer when they consume fewer calories. The research is showing that this effect can be achieved by eating less each day, or by fasting on intermittent days.

Living Longer - The Okinawa Secret to a Long, Lean Life

Improved Hormone Profile:

When fasted, we get significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as a drastic increase in human growth hormone. These all favorable for losing weight, maintaining muscle, and reducing our risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.

Faster Weight Loss:

Most people want to know how to do intermittent fasting because they’ve heard it’s a safe and effective way for losing weight. And they would be correct.

Many studies have shown that both overweight and obese subjects burn more fat and lose weight with intermittent fasting).

Here are a number of other documented benefits of intermittent fasting:
  • Maintenance of skeletal muscle mass
  • Decreased blood glucose levels
  • Decreased insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity
  • Increased lipolysis (breakdown of fats) and fat oxidation
  • Increased uncoupling protein-3 mRNA(important for the production of energy inside the cell)
  • Increased norepinephrine and epinephrine levels, which increases fat breakdown
  • Increased glucagon levels, which breaks down fat
  • Increased growth hormone levels, which preserves muscle mass
4. Why is Intermittent Fasting Effective?

A 2014 review of the literature showed intermittent fasting’s powers come from its impact on adaptive cellular responses that reduce oxidative damage and inflammation, optimize energy metabolism, and improve cellular production.

Basically, that means that it helps your body deal with stress, which includes being able to better cope with fasting (which is a form of stress) itself.

Fasting also triggers the process of autophagy, which breaks down and recycles dysfunctional proteins and cellular debris.

This is  similar to taking out the trash and cleaning up around the house – a process you’d hope would be taking place in your body on a frequent basis.

5. Why Does Intermittent Fasting Burn Fat?

Basically, not eating tells your body to rely more heavily on its fat stores. This is a similar phenomenon experienced with consistent exercise training.

Your body becomes “smarter” and understands that, in order to maintain blood sugar and spare muscle and liver glycogen (stored carbohydrates) for potential immediate use, it’s better off relying on fat, which naturally provides more energy (9 calories per gram) versus carbohydrates or protein (4 calories per gram each).

6. Which Type of Intermittent Fasting is Best?

Here, I’ll explain how to do intermittent fasting through three different methods and I’ll tell you which one I employ on a weekly basis.

Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting:

Alternate day intermittent fasting is basically fasting every other day for a 24-hour period. For instance, you would eat normally on Monday, fast Tuesday, eat Wednesday, fast Thursday, eat Friday, fast Saturday, and so on.

This style of intermittent fasting is the most popular form used in research studies, but from what I have seen it isn’t very popular in the real world. I’ve never tried alternate day fasting myself and I don’t plan to do so.

In my eyes, it’s a bit excessive and many of the negative effects seen in some women while fasting tend to be related to this type of fasting.

And it makes sense since you’re not eating half the time, which is not advisable, especially for women for whom carbs and caloric intake are important for hormones and fertility.

If this is the first method you try as you figure out how to do intermittent fasting, my fear is that it will be too difficult for you and you’ll give it up altogether.

The truth is, it’s just not sustainable for most people unless you enjoy feeling miserable 50% of your life. As a result, I think you’re better off using either (or a combination) of the following two intermittent fasting methods.

16/8 Daily Fasting:

This type of intermittent fasting was popularized by Martin Berkhan from Leangains.com and has worked really well for him and thousands of his followers.

Basically, you fast for 16 hours and eat during the remaining 8.

His general position on the fasted phase is that it should last through the night and during the morning hours. Ideally, the fast should then be broken at noon or shortly thereafter if you wake up at 6-7 AM like most people. Afternoons and evenings are usually spent in the fed state.

To be quite honest, even though I only do a committed fast once per week, I probably do 16/8 fast – inadvertently – 2-3 times per week mostly because I don’t feel like eating anything until about lunch time.

It doesn’t matter when you start your 8-hour eating period. You can start at 8am and stop at 4pm. Or you start at 2pm and stop at 10pm. Do whatever works for you. Based on my schedule, I tend to eat around 1pm and 5pm most days.

The 1-Day Fast:

As the name implies, this is a 1-day fast – typically 18-24 hours in length.

Here, instead of fasting every day or every other day, you simply fast once per week. I’ve found this to be most realistic and sustainable for most people.

To make it easy on yourself, simply start your fast after dinner so that by the time you wake up the next morning you’ve already completed about 12 hours of your fast. Then, if you can make it on water and/or herbal tea until mid-afternoon or early evening, you’re golden.

Being hard on yourself for not making it the full 24 hours is not a good idea. Don’t beat yourself up. If you’ve fasted 14, 17, 20, or however many hours, just be happy with the fact that you’ve given your body a “breather” to do some much needed cleansing and healing.

Please remember as well that your first 1-day fast will likely be a challenge, especially if you’re used to eating all the time. However, it will also be one of the most rewarding experiences you go through as you’ll a lot about why you eat.

A lot of times you’ll recognize that you’re not hungry but rather anxious, bored, or in a “conditioned” situation (like working at your desk) where you would normally be snacking on food. This awareness alone is worth doing a 1-day fast.

Whichever type of intermittent fasting you choose, the additional benefit it provides you is a little more flexibility with your diet.

You don’t need to be a food nazi and nit pick every single thing you eat as a weekly fast can help clean up some of the junk. But also don’t use that as a hall pass to eat whatever you want at your other meals throughout the week.

7. How to do Intermittent Fasting — Where to Begin

Whether you’re a man or woman, the benefits of fasting are simply too numerous to ignore. So how do you get started?
I’m very aware that the mere mention of the term fasting terrifies many people, conjuring up images of intense suffering and starvation. They picture themselves waking up in the morning and starting their 24-hour timer, anxiously counting down the milliseconds until they can have the first bite of their post-fast meal. Others can’t even fathom the idea of going a full day without food.

It really doesn’t have to be so awful, and there’s an approach that actually makes it quite doable. For example, if you had a big dinner around 7 p.m., your body would be in a “semi-fasted” state by the time 10 p.m. rolls around. Consider that the kickoff of your fast. Hit the sack and sleep for 7 to 8 hours. By the time you wake up, you’ve completed one-third of your day’s fast without batting an eyelash, literally.

If you’re anything like me, you might not feel hungry in the morning. There’s a good chance this will happen considering how much you stuffed yourself the day before. So much for breakfast. If you can make it to lunch on a few glasses of water, then you’ve just knocked out 14 hours of your fast.

And if you can make it to at least 4 p.m., that’s 18 hours. You’re really on fire at this point. Maybe you can have a cup of peppermint tea as a reward. After all, this is when the massive health benefits from your short-term fast really start to kick in.

At this point, if you really can’t take it, you can have a smoothie or smaller meal to break your fast. However, if you really want to win, power through to dinner without taking a bite. Once you reach 10 p.m., you’ve made it. You’ve successfully completed your fast and you can go to bed dreaming about breakfast.

If you can’t wait until morning to eat, I recommend a small high-protein meal or, better yet, a protein shake with a few carbs about an hour before you go to sleep. That way, you provide essential proteins to your muscles, while keeping your tummy satisfied until morning. The 1-Day Fast isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either, and when you stay focused on the benefits, it becomes a lot more doable. Can you do this? I bet you can.

What makes it all a whole lot easier is simply making the decision to do it. Most people have a tough time without food because they’re constantly thinking about what they’ll eat next. In the middle of a stressful day, that just feels like too much to handle, as the satisfaction that comes from a delicious meal—even one that’s not good for you— helps people soothe their blues away. When that food isn’t there, they start panicking.

When you consciously make the decision that tomorrow will be a fast day, you activate a new mechanism inside yourself. You’re forced to let your innards recharge while you reflect on the bad eating habits with which you’ve been self-medicating. Fasting is such a profound tool for deep change. No wonder people have been turning to it for centuries.”
There you go. That’s all you need to start intermittent fasting.

8. How to Do Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss?

Although a lot of the research on fasting has used “alternate day” fasting where you basically don’t eat every other day (which is crazy if you ask me), you can still see noticeable fat loss results with just a single day of fasting each week.

So finish dinner and start your fast thereafter. Then, if you can make it through to the next day’s dinner you’re golden. Remember, when your body is in a fasted state is starts to rely more on its fat stores for fuel.

Thus, it helps you become a fat burner instead of sugar burner who is constantly craving food. It’s a very freeing process.

Here’s another strategy you can use to speed your weight loss while intermittent fasting:

At any point of your day, do 5-10 minutes of high intensity interval training to increase your body’s release of catecholamines. These are your fight- or-flight hormones—specifically, epinephrine and norepinephrine—released by the adrenal glands in response to stress like high intensity training.

One of the roles of these hormones is to break down stored fat in your body into free fatty acids that can then be converted into energy. This intense exercise also depletes your glycogen stores much more readily.

As glycogen is depleted, your body must rely further on burning fat for energy.

You do not get this catecholamine response with low-intensity exercise. (If the word intensity scares you, don’t be alarmed. You’ll only be doing 5 to 10-second bouts interspersed with nice and easy recovery.)

And if you want to take your fat burning to the next level, then after you finish your intervals, spend 30 minutes or more going for a nice easy walk or bike ride to burn up those free fatty acids (from broken-down fat) that have flooded into your bloodstream.

Post-workout is when your body, since it’s recovering, really relies on those fats for fuel.

For instance, a 2008 study showed that even though carbohydrates were the predominant fuel source during the actual workout, for more than 3 hours afterwards, fats became the main contributor to energy.

Basically, the most fat was burned post-workout. But again, workout intensity sets the stage for this to happen.

So, to really take advantage of this fat-burning window, I strongly recommend following your high intensity intervals with 30 minutes (or more) of low-intensity cardio like walking.

This will help shuttle those free fatty acids floating around in your bloodstream into your muscles to be burned as fuel.

9. What Should I Eat After My Intermittent Fast?

One of the most important steps in learning how to do intermittent fasting is figuring out how to ease back into eating.

When you finish your fast you need to pretend that your fast never happened. No compensation, no reward, no special way of eating, and no all-out binges.

The minute you decide to stop fasting, simply wipe the fast from your memory, and eat the exact way you would normally eat at that specific time of the day (while eating responsibly of course).

If you end your fast at dinnertime, have dinner. If you end your fast at 4:00 PM and you don’t typically have dinner until 6:00 or 7:00 PM, then have a light snack… but nothing larger than you would normally have at that time.

There is no magic way to end your fast. The absolute best thing you can do is simply pretend your fast never happened and begin eating in the exact way you would normally eat at that specific time of day.

One thing I have noticed though with many clients is that they tend to “crave” healthier foods at the end of their fast.

As a result, they end up choosing a green smoothie or a healthy snack instead of devouring a large pizza (as you might think would happen after not eating anything all day).

10. Is Intermittent Fasting Bad for My Blood Sugar?

The truth about having low blood sugar is that it is not nearly as common as we are often led to believe. But obviously check with your doctor if you’re uncertain.

For the vast majority of the healthy population, we are easily able to maintain healthy blood sugars that are neither too-high nor too-low in a whole range of different situations, including fasting and intense exercise.

In research examining the effects of a 24 hour fast, it was found that fasting did not cause blood sugar levels to dip below 65mg%, meaning that during the entire 24 fast, blood sugar slowly lowered itself, but remained at normal non-hypoglycemic levels.

11. Can I Exercise When Intermittent Fasting?

I absolutely encourage you to practice as many different types of exercise as possible. Just like nutrition, I think variety is the key to exercise and both yoga and mountain biking are excellent examples of exercises that complement intermittent fasting.

As long as you are doing some form of resistance training at least two or three times a week you will not lose muscle since intermittent fasting actually increases growth hormone, which helps preserve muscle.

One thing you may notice is if you work out on day in which you’re fasting, your energy levels may be a little lower. That’s because the workout will be tapping into lowered glycogen reserves, which means you may fatigue sooner than on a traditional “eating” day.

However, exercising, especially for short durations at high intensity, in a fasted state is a secret weapon I would strongly encourage you to explore as it will accelerate fat loss tremendously (more on that below).

12. Why Do I Get Hungry When Intermittent Fasting?

Well, you’re not eating any food so naturally your stomach might experience the odd growl here and there.

Additionally, your hunger hormone ghrelin responds to a lack of food in the stomach, which will naturally have it firing on all cylinders, making your brain think you’re starving.

Hunger pangs usually dissipate after your first 2-3 fasts as your body adjusts.

13. Why Do I Get a Headache When Intermittent Fasting?

First of all, not everyone does.

But there has been a lot of research on Ramadan fasting and headaches.  It seems that women are particularly susceptible to headaches while fasting.

This is not due to dehydration and may actually be similar to withdrawal symptoms, similar to the headaches you experience when you quit drinking coffee cold-turkey.

From my experience, if you experience headaches they do tend to go away after your first couple of fasts. If needed, you can treat your headache as you normally would when not fasting. Just remember to drink lots of water and get some fresh air during your fast (and in general).

14. Can I Drink When Intermittent Fasting?

Yes you can but make sure there are no calories.

That also doesn’t mean drinking diet soda is ok, because it’s not. Just drink water or herbal tea.

Some people tell you that black coffee is ok to drink during a fast but I wouldn’t advise that. Yes, the caffeine in the coffee will skyrocket your epinephrine which can assist with fat loss, but since I don’t advise drinking coffee in general, you’re better off without it, especially when its caffeine isn’t buffered by food.

Instead, focus on drinking plenty of water and/or any herbal teas that you enjoy without the use of milk, sugar, or sweeteners. Remember, this is a day of “rest” for your body so that means no calories of any kind.

15. How Often Should I Do Intermittent Fasting?

This really depends on the type you’re using but if you’re following my 1-day fast, then once per week is plenty. Some people choose to do TWO 24-hour fasts per week and have seen great results doing so, but I would say that’s the maximum.

But if you’re doing the 16/8 fast, you can do it as often as you like. In fact this is a good way to deal with travel or work, not having to worry about eating out.

16. Will Intermittent Fasting Slow Down My Metabolism?

In spite of all the fat burning benefits I’ve already mentioned, you might still be wondering whether or not intermittent fasting will slow your metabolism to a halt.

After all, you’ve probably been told that you have to eat every 2-3 hours or your metabolism will shut down and you’ll store fat. Thankfully, that couldn’t be more untrue.

In a 2000 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, subjects went through 4 days of fasting to determine the impact on their resting energy expenditure, which is the amount of energy your body needs to carry out all of its basic functions when you’re resting.

The findings would surprise most people: for the first 3 days, the subjects all saw their resting energy expenditure (metabolism) increase!

In another study by a different group of researchers, people who even fasted every other day (alternate day fasting) for 22 days had no decrease in their resting metabolic rate.

In addition, people who were on very-low-calorie diets and on a resistance exercise program (i.e., lifting weights) did not see a decrease in resting metabolic rate, and these people were eating only 800 calories a day for 12 weeks!

In still more studies, there was no change in the metabolic rate of people who skipped breakfast, or people who ate two meals a day compared to seven meals per day.

The bottom line is that food, or the lack thereof (at least in the short term), has virtually nothing to do with your metabolism.

In fact, your metabolism is much more closely tied to your body weight, and specifically your muscle mass. If your body fat (and thus your lean mass) goes up or down, so does your metabolism.

It is prolonged fasting which slows metabolism. What we are doinh here, however, if alternate fasting and ‘feasting’ (normal eating).

Slow Metabolism - The Number One Cause

The #1 cause of slow metabolism is low muscle mass.

Bringing a few of these studies to your attention has hopefully shown you that short-term fasting can provide incredible benefits without worrying about it sabotaging your metabolism.

There’s nothing to be scared of, and hopefully, I’ve eased any misconceptions you’ve had about how to do intermittent fasting and its impact on your metabolism.

17. Is Intermittent Fasting Safe for Women?

Ah, I’ve saved the best for last.

This is the biggest area of controversy when it comes to how to do intermittent fasting.

Those who caution women against intermittent fasting state that studies show that it negatively impacts fertility. And that’s true.

Unfortunately, what most of these people fail to realize is that ALL of these studies use “alternate day” fasting protocols where women are literally eating nothing every other day!

No wonder their hormones get messed up and have fertility issues.

Remember, I’m advising a 1-day fast once per week – which is much, much safer and I’ve yet to see any negative effects in the thousands of women that I’ve helped with intermittent fasting.

There is some research that looked at the effect of short-term fasting on the menstrual cycle of women.

These research studies found that despite the metabolic changes that occur during fasting, even fasts as long as 72 hours do not seem to have an effect on the menstrual cycle of normal cycling women.

Interestingly, even longer fasts have been shown to have little impact on the menstrual cycle of normal weight women.

There is research, however, to suggest that longer fasts (72 hours) can affect the menstrual cycle of exceptionally lean women (body fat levels well below 20%). (18, 19)

Overall, there’s a lot of research (even some of the “alternate day” studies) that show intermittent fasting to be safe, healthy, and effective at burning fat in women of all shapes and sizes. But again, we’re not going crazy with this and only fasting for no longer than 24 hours.

Nonetheless, if you’re a woman and still unsure whether or not intermittent fasting is right for you, then my advice would be to inch yourself into it so that you’re fasting for 8-10 hours at a time. Then gradually increase that length of time as you see fit.

UPDATE: Here are a few more questions that have come across my desk…
What is your opinion on intermittent fasting if a person has hypothyroid?

In general you should be fine if your fast is no longer than 24 hours. Here’s what you should know:

Since the circadian rhythm is affected by both food and light exposure, lifestyle practices can enhance natural circadian rhythms. These practices should optimize the circadian cycle:

Light entrainment: Get daytime sun exposure, and sleep in a totally darkened room.

Daytime feeding: Eat during daylight hours, so that food rhythms and light rhythms are in sync.

Intermittent fasting: Concentrate food intake during an 8-hour window during daylight hours, preferably the afternoon. A 16-hour fast leading to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, and the more intense hormonal response to food that results from concentration of daily calories into a short 8-hour time window, will accentuate the diurnal rhythm.

Adequate carb intake: this will be taken care of on other days where you’re eating plenty of healthy carbs.

I’ve read that it’s not a good idea if you have adrenal fatigue. What’s your thoughts?

It will depend on the individual but if you’ve got full blown AF you may want to do a shorter fast and have something small throughout the day to stabilize your blood sugar.

Hope that helps.

Sta Healthy.

6 Charts That Show How The War On Fat Was A Gigantic Mistake

 

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The war on fat is the biggest mistake in the history of nutrition.

As people have reduced their intake of animal fat and cholesterol, the incidence of many serious diseases has gone up. We are now in the midst of worldwide pandemics of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.

Studies conducted in the past few decades conclusively show that neither saturated fat nor dietary cholesterol cause harm in humans. Scientists are now beginning to realize that the entire low-fat dogma was based on flawed studies that have since been thoroughly debunked.

Here are six graphs that clearly show how incredibly damaging it has been to advise people to reduce their consumption of animal fat.
1. In Europe, the Countries that Eat the Most Saturated Fat Have the Lowest Risk of Heart Disease

saturated-fat-heart-disease-in-europe
Saturated fat heart disease in europe – Data from: Hoenselaar R. Further response from Hoenselaar. British Journal of Nutrition, 2012.

 

The reason for this is simple, actually … the truth is that saturated fat simply has NOTHING to do with cardiovascular disease. There is no paradox. It was a myth all along.

Thanks to Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt for the enhanced graph.
2. The Obesity Epidemic in the USA Started at Almost The Exact Same Time the Low-Fat Dietary Guidelines Were Published

low-fat-guidelines

Low fat guidelines – Kris Gunnars – Source: National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar. Chartbook.

Although this graph doesn’t prove anything (correlation does not equal causation), this does make sense because people started giving up traditional foods like butter in place of processed “low-fat” foods high in sugar.

Since then, many massive studies have been conducted on the low-fat diet. These studies show clearly that the low-fat diet does not cause weight loss and has zero effect on cardiovascular disease in the long term.

Despite the poor results in the studies, this diet is still recommended by nutrition organizations all over the world.
3. Diets that Are High in Fat But Low in Carbohydrates Cause More Weight Loss than Diets that Are Low in Fat

weight-loss-graph-low-carb-vs-low-fat

weight loss graph low carb vs low fatKris GunnarsSource: Brehm BJ, et al. A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003.

If animal fat was as bad as they say, then diets that contain a lot of it should be both fattening and harmful to your health. However, the studies do NOT back this up.

In the study above, women eating a low-carb, high-fat diet until fullness lost more than twice as much weight as women eating a calorie restricted low-fat diet.

The truth is, diets that are high in fat (but low in carbs) consistently lead to much better results than low-fat, high carb diets.

Not only do they cause more weight loss, but they also lead to big improvements in pretty much all the major risk factors for diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
4. The Diseases of Civilization Increased as Butter and Lard Were Replaced with Vegetable Oils and Trans Fats

fat-consumption-in-usa

fat consumption in usa – Kris Gunnars – Source: National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar. Chartbook.

In the 20th century, several serious diseases became common in humans.

The heart disease epidemic started around 1930, the obesity epidemic started in 1980 and the diabetes epidemic started around 1990.

Even though these diseases were almost unheard of before, they have now become the biggest health problems in the world, killing millions of people per year.

It is clear from the graph above, that these diseases have skyrocketed as animal fats have been replaced with shortening, margarine and processed vegetable oils.
5. The Obesity Epidemic Started as People Reduced Their Intake of Red Meat and High-Fat Dairy Products

fatty-food-consumption-from-1980-1990

fatty food consumption from 1980 to 1990 – Kris GunnarsSource: Hu FB, et al. Trends in the Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease and Changes in Diet and Lifestyle in Women. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2000.

It amazes me that some people still blame traditional foods like meat and butter for the diseases of civilization. These foods have sustained humans in good health for a very long time and blaming new diseases on old foods just doesn’t make sense.

All the data shows that people actually reduced their consumption of these foods as these diseases went up.

The graph above, from the Nurses Health Study, shows that Americans were reducing their intake of red meat and full-fat dairy at the same time the obesity epidemic was starting.
6. In the Framingham Heart Study, Heart Disease Goes up as People Replace Heart-Healthy Butter with Toxic Margarine

butter-vs-margarine-stephan-guyenet-larger

butter vs margarine

Stephan Guyenet  Kris GunnarsSource: Gillman MW, et al. Margarine intake and subsequent coronary heart disease in men. Epidemiology, 1997. Photo source: Whole Health Source.

In the graph above, based on the Framingham Heart Study, you can see how heart disease risk goes up as people eat less butter and more margarine instead.

For some very strange reason, many health organizations are still recommending that we avoid heart-healthy butter and replace it with processed margarine.

It’s simple: eat the way grandpa and grandma used to. And you’ll enjoy the health quality they did.

From Kris Gunnars

You’re not sick because you’re fat. You’re fat because you’re sick

Sarah Berry

Weight problems cannot be measured by numbers, according to David Ludwig.Weight problems cannot be measured by numbers, according to David Ludwig.

Overeating isn’t making you fat.

Rather, getting fat makes you overeat.

This is the word of Dr David Ludwig, an obesity expert and professor of nutrition at Harvard.

“It may sound radical, but there’s literally a century of science to support this point,” Ludwig tells The New York Times.

So what, if not overeating, is causing an obesity crisis of epidemic proportions?

There are two things to consider, says Ludwig, who examines the epidemic and foods that act as “fat fertilisers” in his new book, Always Hungry.

Firstly, what we are eating is a big problem.

“It’s the low-fat, very high carbohydrate diet that we’ve been eating for the last 40 years, which raises levels of the hormone insulin and programs fat cells to go into calorie storage overdrive,” he explains.

“I like to think of insulin as the ultimate fat cell fertiliser.”

The calories become so well stored in the fat cells that our bodies cannot access them to burn for energy. This means we always feel hungry, as our bodies cry out for fuel they can use and simply trying to eat less exacerbates the problem without addressing the real issue.

“When we cut back on calories, our body responds by increasing hunger and slowing metabolism,” Ludwig says.

“We think of obesity as a state of excess, but it’s really more akin to a state of starvation.”

He continues: “If the fat cells are storing too many calories, the brain doesn’t have access to enough to make sure that metabolism runs properly.

“So the brain makes us hungry in an attempt to solve that problem, and we overeat and feel better temporarily. But if the fat cells continue to take in too many calories, then we get stuck in this never-ending cycle of overeating and weight gain. The problem isn’t that there are too many calories in the fat cells, it’s that there’s too few in the bloodstream, and cutting back on calories can’t work.

“And that makes weight loss progressively more and more difficult on a standard low calorie diet.”

The second part of the problem is predetermined by genetics. 

In this sense, fat people and thin people aren’t all that different, but it explains why the same diet can have dramatically different outcomes.

We have a body weight ”set-point” Ludwig explains, which seems heavily based on the genes we were born with.

“We’ve been following the wrong advice for too long. Dieting doesn’t need to be this hard. The key to long-term weight loss isn’t counting calories; it’s eating in a way that lowers insulin levels, calms chronic inflammation and, by so doing, readjusts the body weight set-point to a lower level.”

This involves nourishing through nutrition instead of eating by numbers. And nutrition guidelines are finally starting to catch up with ever-evolving nutrition science.

This year, sugar took over from fat as public food enemy number one. In the States at least, where new dietary guidelines advise significantly cutting back on sugar – specifically limiting added sugars to 10 per cent of daily calories.

“The quickest way to lower insulin is to cut back on processed carbohydrates and to get the right balance of protein and fat in your diet,” he says. “A high fat diet is really the fastest way to shift metabolism. It lowers insulin, calms fat cells down and gets people out of the cycle of hunger, craving and overeating.”

It also gets them out of the cycle of calorie counting, reiterating that the battle of the bulge is much more than just a numbers game.

“Cutting back on calories won’t do it. That doesn’t change biology. To change biology, you have to change the kinds of foods you’re eating.”

Change the way we eat to Stay Healthy.

8 Steps to Reverse Memory Loss

Mark Hyman, M.D.

These 8 strategies help reverse or prevent memory loss or dementia.

Balance your blood sugar with a whole-foods, low-glycemic diet. You can achieve this by taking out the bad stuff (refined carbs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, dairy, and inflammatory, omega-6 rich oils such as vegetable and seed oils) and putting in the good stuff (healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, almonds and cashews, grass-fed meats, pastured chicken and eggs, olive and coconut oil).
Eat healthy fats that make your brain happy. These include omega 3 fats in wild fatty fish, as well as coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, whole eggs, nuts, and seeds.
Exercise daily. Even a 30-minute walk can help. More active readers might want to incorporate high-intensity interval training or weight lifting. Studies show physical activity can prevent and even slow down the progression of cognitive decline and brain diseases like dementia.
Supplement wisely. At the very least, take a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, an omega 3 fat supplement, extra B6, B12, and folate, as well as vitamin D3. And, a good probiotic will enhance the brain-gut relationship. You can find all of these and other supplements in my store.
Check your thyroid and sex hormone levels. If they are out of balance, you will want to treat them.
Detox from mercury or other heavy metals, if you have high levels, by doing a medically supervised detox program.
Control stress levels. Chronic stress takes a toll on your body and brain. Relaxation isn’t a luxury if you want to prevent or reverse dementia. Whether that involves deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, find something that helps you calm down.
Get 8 hours of sleep every night. Studies show poor sleep becomes a risk factor for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Aim for at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night.

This is just a start, but these eight strategies go a long way by giving your brain a chance to heal, recover, and experience fewer memory problems.

Even if you aren’t suffering from cognitive decline, you should take these steps because they can help you prevent the aging of your brain and help you achieve lifelong health.

 

These Unhealthy Food Cravings Are a Sign of Mineral Deficiencies

 Natural News

nutrient defeciency

The following cravings are less common than those detailed above, but are still regularly reported in today’s society:

Oily and fatty foods: You are deficient in calcium. Good sources of calcium include raw milk, cheese, turnip greens and broccoli.

Ice: You are deficient in iron. Eat more iron-rich foods like leafy greens, meat, blackstrap molasses and sea vegetables.

Salty foods: You are deficient in chloride and/or silicon. Try adding more fish, nuts and seeds to your diet.

Rather than giving in to food cravings, we can deal with the root cause and help our body regain balance, and Stay Healthy.

Cooking with vegetable oil releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer

Robert Mendick

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Vegetable oil could be one of the most unhealthy cooking oils.

Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases, according to leading scientists, who are now recommending food be fried in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard.

The results of a series of experiments threaten to turn on its head official advice that oils rich in polyunsaturated fats – such as corn oil and sunflower oil – are better for the health than the saturated fats in animal products.

Scientists found that heating up vegetable oils led to the release of high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and dementia.

Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology, said that his research showed “a typical meal of fish and chips”, fried in vegetable oil, contained as much as 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organisation.

In contrast, heating up butter, olive oil and lard in tests produced much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut oil produced the lowest levels of the harmful chemicals.

Professor John Stein, Oxford’s emeritus professor of neuroscience, said that partly as a result of corn and sunflower oils, “the human brain is changing in a way that is as serious as climate change threatens to be”.

Because the vegetable oil is rich in omega 6 acids, it is contributing to a reduction in critical omega 3 fatty acids in the brain by replacing them, he believes.

“If you eat too much corn oil or sunflower oil, the brain is absorbing too much omega 6, and that effectively forces out omega 3,” said Professor Stein. “I believe the lack of omega 3 is a powerful contributory factor to such problems as increasing mental health issues and other problems such as dyslexia.”

He said sunflower oil and corn oil were now banished from his own kitchen, replaced by olive oil and butter.

Professor Grootveld, of De Montfort University in Leicester, who carried out a series of experiments, said: “For decades, the authorities have been warning us how bad butter and lard was. But we have found butter is very, very good for frying purposes and so is lard.

“People have been telling us how healthy polyunsaturates are in corn oil and sunflower oil. But when you start messing around with them, subjecting them to high amounts of energy in the frying pan or the oven, they undergo a complex series of chemical reactions which results in the accumulation of large amounts of toxic compounds.”

Health concerns linked to the toxic by-products include heart disease; cancer; “malformations” during pregnancy; inflammation; risk of ulcers and a rise in blood pressure.

Saturated fats, including butter, ghee and coconut oil are a healthier option.

Stay Healthy.

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