Monthly Archives: April 2014

Oh Sugar!

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a draft for public debate which recommends that adults consume no more than six (6) teaspoons of sugar a day.  A can of soda or “healthy” fruit juice has nearly ten!  The guidelines are based on a analysis of more than 120 scientific studies.

…Marion Nestle, a nutrition researcher at New York University, predicts that grocery manufacturers are not going to take the proposal lying down. “If people follow this advice, that would be very bad for business,” she says.

Watch Coke, Pepsi and all food manufacturers fight this with millions of propaganda dollars.  Sugar is the next tobacco folks!

This New York Times Magazine 2011 article by Gary Taubes asks, Is Sugar Toxic?


Blood So Sweet

The total amount of glucose in our blood is less than two teaspoons of sugar. Glucose levels are tightly regulated by a normally functioning metabolic system, otherwise a person would experience hyperglycemia (too much glucose) or hypoglycemia (too little glucose). Here is a layman’s snapshot of how the process works:

  1. There are three macro categories of food: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
  2. Your digestive system converts all carbohydrates into blood glucose, so even something like “healthy” whole grain bread gets converted into blood glucose, just at a slower rate than a can of soda.
  3. When you consume carbohydrates your metabolic machine keenly senses the glucose entering the blood system.  Tiggers of what’s coming down the pipe actually begin when food hits the tongue.  This is one reason why some theorize that artificial sweeteners are bad; they trigger the tongue to send the incorrect hormone signals.
  4. The pancreas receives instructions to pump insulin (a hormone) into your blood to manage the glucose that has just entered. Insulin signals your cells to absorb glucose.  Your cells cannot uptake glucose from the blood without the insulin signal.
  5. Muscle cells are the first ones to uptake glucose and store it for future use.  Athletes refer to this as carb loading.
  6. Muscle cells quickly become saturated and cannot store anymore glucose, so very often there is still excess glucose in the blood, so insulin then signals to store the excess blood glucose into your fat cells.

Step (6.) is how people get fat when they eat too many carbohydrates. Insulin is sometimes referred to as the fat-storing hormone. Farmers have always known this and fatten livestock before sending them to market by feeding them grains & corn (carbohydrates).

So stop sweetening your blood!

Count carbs, not calories.  Reducing daily carb intake to less than 50g/day induces weight-loss for most people.

Nutrient Density

Food is more than “gas for the tank”.  Food contains both building blocks and signals for cellular function.  Food also has profound affects on hormone function.  There are still thousands of undiscovered synergistic combinations of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that affect our bodies, cells, molecules that science does not understand.  Researchers see only the tip of the iceberg and we have yet to explore very deep.

Some scientist suspect that food even affects the quantum dance of electrons across the intermitochondrial membranes of a cell where energy is manufactured.  Perhaps our understanding of cancer and its ultimate solution is not pharmaceutical-based.  Perhaps the scientists are barking up the wrong tree and need to look at quantum physics and electromagnetic effects on our cells.

The more nutrient dense the food that you eat, the less food that you need to eat.  Carbohydrates from grains are one of the least nutrient dense forms of food.  This is one reason why low-fat dieters need to eat all the time (especially snacking in between meals) and high-fat dieters often eat only 2-3 times a days without snacking; the low-fat people are not getting the same amount of cellular nutrition in a meal.  People that consume a nutrient dense, high-fat diet with plenty of Omega-3 fats and the fat-soluble vitamins D,E,A, and K2 can arrive at a “calorie-restricted” way of living which is well documented to improve longevity.

Examples of Foods That Are Not Nutrient Dense:

  • Sugar – actually no micronutrients at all, just glucose and fructose. Sugar is a poison.
  • Grains – processed (pulverised) flour is so devoid of micronutrients that synthetic vitamins are mixed back in to make flour “Enriched”
  • Legumes – lots of carbs, low nutrient density and they don’t fully digest…this is why they cause gas.
  • Juice – with the healthy fiber extracted the juice process yields a liquid that is mostly water and sugar, sometimes more sugar than in a can of soda.
  • White or lightly colored vegetables – examples include potatoes, carrots and other roots.  A good guideline is to eat vegetables that grow above the soil line.
  • Fruit – most fruit contains no more vitamin C than vegetables and provides an overdose of fructose.  Have no more than one piece a day.
  • Vegetable (seed) oils –  these are actually an antinutrient as seed oils are oxidized during high-temp chemical processing.  Vegetable seed oils are poison.  The exceptions are the cold-pressed tropical oils; olive, palm, and coconut.

Examples of Foods That Are Nutrient Dense:

  • Shell food, especially oysters
  • Sardines (skin on, bone-in) and other cold-water oily fish like salmon
  • Fish head and guts – the Japanese tradition has it right…make sauces and seafood stock from the fish parts
  • Organ meat – yep, our grandmothers had it right when they made liver. There is more vitamins in single serving of liver than eating days of salads.
  • Meat on the bone, skin-on, slow cooked, rare.  Let the nutrients from the bone, connective tissues and skin fat seep into the meat.
  • Bone broth soup stock
  • Leafy green and dark colored vegetables and dark colored berries (but only a handful of berries…too much sugar)
  • Sulfur foods – mushrooms, onions, garlic
  • Fermented foods: sauerkraut, cheese, plain yogurt, ripened vegetables
  • Nuts and Seeds – but less than a handful a day.  Roasted or water soaked and dried, not raw.

Here is a good rule of nature: the more rich and dark the color a food, the greater is its nutrient density:

  • Organ meat is darker than the muscle, thus contains more vitamins and minerals
  • Dark green leafy lettuce contains more nutrition than iceberg lettuce
  • Red onions have more nutrients than white onions
  • Sweet potatoes have more minerals than white potatoes

See the pattern nature provides?  Color Density = Nutrient Density

Diverticulitis, Dairy & Fasting

It’s been two years since I have experienced any symptoms related to Diverticulosis.  I developed a mild discomfort mid-day about one week ago.  I knew this old “friend”, so I decided to make room for him.  An inflamed diverticuli is much like a sore in the mouth.  It cannot heal if food is present at the location of the wound, so the area needs to be irrigated and remain clean for several days in order for the sore to heal.

Here is what I did:

  1. Stopped eating
  2. Performed a salt-water flush to cleanse
  3. Started this probiotic: Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra Ultimate Probiotics Formula
  4. Began a 3-day fast, consuming only the following:
    1. Water
    2. Black & Green Tea.  2-3 cups a day
    3. Coconut Oil. 2-3 tablespoons a day, as needed when I felt hungry or tired

I felt immediate relief after the salt-water cleanse, but it made sense to allow three full days of fasting so the inflammation could heal.

Fasting is easy for fat-adapted people.  Carbohydrate glucose-burning people struggle with fasting because they experience blood sugar, insulin and other hormone fluctuations that drive cravings.  I felt great during the fast with some slight fatigue during the late afternoons of Days 2 & 3.  I actually experienced a heightened sense of mental clarity during the fast.  It was really cool!

Here is how how I reintroduced food:

  1. Day 1, Breakfast – skipped
  2. Day 1, Lunch: two scrambled eggs
  3. Day 1, Dinner: More scrambled eggs and sauteed spinach, kale, mushrooms and onions, plus a side dish of sauerkraut
  4. Day 2: Same as Day 1 and also introduced some sausage and salad with dinner
  5. Day 3: Same as Day 2, but I ate some dairy (sour cream and cheese) with fajita meat and veggies….uh-oh!

During Day 3 while taking an evening walk with the dog, I noticed some of right right-side stiffness and discomfort had returned.  It was very mild, but it was present enough that I took notice and asked myself what did I eat?  Oh no!  Not my beloved dairy!  I love cheese and butter!  Shoot!  I was eating a lot of dairy during the weeks preceding this diverticulitis episode.  Since this observation I have abstained from all dairy and plan to introduce it again in the months ahead.

BTW: during Lent I have skipped breakfast and eat in a compressed window of 6-8 hours, between 12 pm and 8 pm .  This has been a really cool experiment.  I give my body 16-18 hours of fasting every day.  I just may stick to this way of eating for good.  I make breakfast many mornings and pack it in Tupperware for the lunch-hour.

Mark’s Daily Apple has a great series of articles on fasting:

Why Fast? Part One – Weight Loss

Why Fast? Part Two – Cancer

Why Fast? Part Three – Longevity

Why Fast? Part Four – Brain Health

Why Fast? Part Five – Exercise

Why Fast? Part Six – Choosing a Method

Why Fast? Part Seven – Q&A

Dear Mark: Women and Intermittent Fasting