Let’s Make This Year (2018) Different

How many people do you think made a weight loss wish when the ball dropped this year? Chances are, quite a few.

With two-thirds of Americans overweight, there are an estimated 45 million people on a diet right now, chalking up $33 billion per year on weight loss products.

Yet, times are changing, and so are the approaches to improving our health. The dogma of calories in, equal calories out has been exploited. There is far more involved with wellness and weight loss than the obsession with eating perfect portions of perfectly healthy food.

Make this year different by relaxing the efforts on dieting, and create a balance between the mind, body, and spirit, emphasizing how you feel, how, what and when you eat, and what you believe makes you healthy. I’ve included a few items to focus on below:

1. Hydrate

The goal is to drink half your weight in ounces, and more if you are exercising or traveling. Start the day with an inner bath and drink 20 ounces first thing. In the winter, I fulfill this need by carrying a water bottle with me wherever I go, or more often you will see me with my Continga containing hot water with lemon.

2. Don’t Major in Minor Things

Sometimes eating “perfectly” can do us more harm than good. Relax and don’t give up 95% of your life to drop 5% of your weight (or fill in the blank of what you are trying to achieve). The healthiest version of yourself isn’t how good you look in a swimsuit. The healthiest version of yourself is when hormones are balanced, your body and mind are strong and you have the energy to do what you love. When you push your body to extremes, including talking to yourself in a negative way, you’re giving up more than calories. You miss out on life.

3. Avoid Vegetable Oils and Man-Made Oils (Canola. Corn, Sunflower, Soybean oil, Safflower and Cottonseed oil)

These oils have large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful to our health.  The more Omega-6s you eat, the more systemic inflammation you will have. Opt for better fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil. palm oil, grass-fed butter or ghee for cooking, and olive oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, walnut oil for cold uses. Make sure to have some sort of fat on your plate at each meal, and the right kind of fat.

4. Know Hunger is the Best Sauce

Master hunger and feel comfortable being hungry 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Eat when you’re hungry – but only when you’re hungry. Forget the clock and listen to your body instead. 

5. Moderate

Perhaps my favorite tip: moderation (and I am not talking food). While working hard in your career, parenthood, friendships, life, find a balance in enjoying things like make you happy. Being healthy is a balancing act, and not about deprivation nor perfection.

6.  Stress Less – Sleep More

Sleep is the backbone of good health. Guard your bedtime as sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.

 

Legumes, Why Should I Stop Eating You?

Legumes, also known as hummus, refried beans, chick peas, black beans, peanuts, soy beans etc, all contain lectins (specialized proteins). Indeed, all plant foods contain lectins but the lectins in grains (such as wheat), dairy and legumes cause an inflammatory response in your body and are resistant to cooking and digestive enzymes.

Overall, research on legume lectin is young and there is a lot more to be explored. However, for this post I have pulled some data for those of you trying to eat paleo day in and day out while ‘digesting’ the biochemistry of Neolithic food.

Lectins are inflammatory, toxic or could be both.  Mark Sisson writes in his new book, “Lectins are natural plant toxins that suppress immune function, interfere with normal protective gut barriers, and promote inflammation (skin, joint, reproductive, allergies and more health related issues) by allowing undigested protein molecules to infiltrate your digestive tract and trigger an autoimmune response – a situation characterized by the familiar term, leaky gut syndrome.”

But what if I have just a small portion of beans or a spoonful of peanut butter, would there be much harm? Yes.

In the Lancet, Dr. Wang and colleagues revealed that lectins can get into the bloodstream in as little 1-4 hours after subjects ate a handful of roasted, salted peanuts, and these lectins can cause damage beyond the gut – commonly in joints, brain, and skin of affected individuals.

But I already have type 1 diabetes and I am grain intolerant; the damage is done. Can I not possibly have a little bit of peanut butter? No.

Research supports the strong possibility that mild stimulation (inflammation) can further worsen gut injury and autoimmune disease. Avoidance of certain food lectins can help achieve optimal health and heal a damaged gut. This serves as a basis for ongoing research and probable success of the paleo diet.

There you have it, “Goodbye peanut butter. I will miss you but challenging my health just is not worth it.”

Regardless if you have an autoimmune disease or a food intolerance, dairy, legumes and grains contain toxic ingredients (lectins) and intolerance can be asymptomatic (silent). If eating paleo is not suiting you at this time, just try your best to eat your best. More great research on the paleo diet in relation to inflammation, disease and performance can be reviewed here.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

Additional articles on this topic:

Dietitian & Doctor Recommend Simpler Eating

Ever since my mom foresaw my love of nutrition and desire to be a dietitian, she would collect all sorts of health related articles and newspaper clips to insure I was on-top of the “latest” wellness talk. And since I just moved from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, I came across one of these articles pulled from a 2008 Columbus Dispatch newspaper, “Doctor recommends simper eat.”

Yes, it’s slightly bizarre I am sharing a dated write-up but the included Q&A addresses topics that are taking place today, for example gluten free eating. I’ve typed the article below AND included my thoughts as a registered dietitian beneath Dr. Glen Aukerman’s comments.

Enjoy and please share your thoughts!

Q&A
Doctor recommends simpler eating
August 11, 2008

Dr. Glen Aukerman, medical director of the Ohio State University Center for Integrative Medicine, sees patients from throughout the world who are seeking alternative approaches to health care.

“Someday, this probably won’t be called integrative medicine,” said Laura Kunze, program coordinator. “It will just be called medicine — good medicine.”

Aukerman recently answered some questions about nutrition.

Q: You say that eating the wrong types of fruits and vegetables ranks among the biggest mistakes that people make. What should they eat?

A: You need to have fruits and vegetables that are grown locally and harvested locally.

Kelly A: I fully believe in locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, but I would ALWAYS recommend consumers to eat any fruits and vegetables rather than not eating any at all.

Q: You say that consuming too much gluten might cause symptoms such as fatigue, dry skin, abdominal pain and difficulties with concentration, among other things.

A: We eat foods with gluten in high levels (which sometimes cause malabsorption and autoimmune diseases). Our ancestors were not able to eat at that level, and we can’t. Because our ancestors did not eat high levels of gluten, most of us do not have the enzymes to break it down. We need to be limiting our wheat, barley, rye and spelt.

Kelly A: I couldn’t agree more. Our society is so caught up in “whole grain” everything that people are eating far too many grains and not enough produce. I have been gluten free for over 6 months and have never felt better. I will also add that I am not replacing whole grain breads and sweets with gluten free products, but I am choosing to eat far more vegetables and fruit in-place of grains.

Q: One of your biggest nutritional concerns involves omega-6 oil. Recent research shows that humans are getting too much of it. In what is it found?

A: The most common example is poultry — because those (animals) are fed corn and they accumulate the corn oil. (It is) also in granola products, tortillas, hummus, chips, all nuts, peanut butter.

Kelly A: The average consumer today is eating a much higher ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids and this is not consistent with our ancestors. For an explanation of an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio click here. Omega 6 fatty acids are commonly found in snack foods, crackers, and sweets. To improve your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio include more fruits and vegetables in your diet daily.

Q: Why are artificial sweeteners bad?

A: We can’t burn them, so they have to be detoxed like a chemical by our liver. Rat experiments show that, if we put rats on artificial sweeteners, they can gain more weight than if they’re eating real sugar.

Kelly A: I am not the biggest fan of man made food and I recommend that if you are not diabetic, you should make room in your calorie budget for regular sugar instead of sugar substitutes. And that is only if you choose to eat sweets at all.

Q: What should people start eating that they don’t eat — and why?

A: They should be eating lamb, pork or beef; omega-3 eggs; wild salmon; fruits and vegetables in season, frozen or canned; and rice products. Limit the corn products because of the corn oil. We advocate a diet that’s fairly simple.

Kelly A: I agree with the above mentioned foods yet I would add nuts and seeds. A few favorites are almonds, pecans and pumpkin seeds. I want to highlight that peanuts are a legume and legumes were introduced the human diet much after nuts.

Q: What are some of the most intriguing results that your patients have had?

A: We have had (older) couples go on it (a simpler diet). In six months, they’re not getting up to go to the bathroom. And in another three months, they claim their sexual appetites are what they were at 17.

Q: Walk me through a typical day of eating for you.

A: Rice (cereal) or a non-instant oatmeal; or a cornflake breakfast with either yogurt or milk on it; or some fruit that’s regional, seasonal, canned or frozen.

My lunch will sometimes be a baked potato with some broccoli and real sour cream, and an apple or a peach or a pear or some canned or frozen fruit.

And then my dinner will usually be similar, whether it’s lamb, beef, pork or beans. I may go rice and beans with some fruits and vegetables.

Kelly A: I’ve blogged a 5 day food log about a month ago. Click here to begin viewing with day 1.

Q: You noted a study showing that people who eat cornflakes or rice cereals for two meals a day are healthier by about 50 percent.

A: Yes, the Spanish School Nutrition study indicates we eat way too complex.We think variety is more important than it is for health.

Q: What Web sites do you recommend checking when creating a personalized nutrition plan?

A: efaeducation.nih.gov, www.nutritiondata.com and www.mypyramid.gov.

Kelly A: I love reading articles from whfoods.com and I love using the diet tools on fitday.com.

 

Study Identifies New Class of Functional Foods

Stressing plants to induce their natural defences could lead to a new range of functional foods enriched with a plant’s natural defensive compounds, phytoalexins.

Researchers from the US Department of Agriculture report that stress can lead plants to produce higher levels of these beneficial compounds, which may possess antioxidant and anti-inflammation activity, and maybe even anticancer activity.

Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the USDA researchers state that phytoalexins have been largely ignored as nutritional components in human foods.

“We propose a new area within functional food research called phytoalexin-enriched foods that utilize induced plant compounds or phytoalexins created either pre- or post-harvest that have been traditionally viewed only as plant defensive compounds, but have beneficial health effects,” wrote lead author Stephen Boue.

Global functional foods

The phytoalexin-enriched foods could soon be adding to the growing functional food market, expected to be worth about €175 billion by 2012, according to Euromonitor International data.
In a global health and wellness market, the researcher puts at €450bn, functional foods are the fastest growing sector and second in value to naturally healthy foods (€155bn), both now and in 2012.

By 2012, better-for-you foods will be the third highest selling category, followed by vitamins and food supplements; organic; botanicals; slimming products; food intolerance products
and sports nutrition products.

Phytoalexins science

“Phytoalexin-enriched foods would be defined as foods with health-promoting activities based on phytoalexins and would be a subclass of functional foods,” wrote Boue and his co-workers.

Production of the phytoalexins would be achieved by biotic and abiotic elicitors – substances that elicit the production of the phytoalexins – as well as other stress-inducing techniques. This would be done both before harvest and after harvest, they said.

The various methods for production of such plants include organic cultivation, which reportedly leaves plants more susceptible to pathogen and insect attack. This may subsequently lead to increases in secondary metabolites as the plants defend themselves.

“It is tempting to speculate that in modern agriculture we are limiting at least to some extent the production of health-promoting compounds in our diets that may be present at higher levels in organically grown foods or have been at higher levels in foods grown before the advent of modern agricultural pest control,” wrote the researchers.

Another method is external challenge post-harvest plants such as grapes with UV radiation, which leads to an increase in the levels of resveratrol in grapes.

“These phytoalexin-enriched functional foods would benefit the consumer by providing ‘health-enhanced’ food choices and would also benefit many underutilized crops that may produce phytoalexins that may not have been considered to be beneficial health-promoting foods,” they concluded.

Research: Journal of Agricultural and Food ChemistryPublished online ahead of print, ASAP Article, doi: 10.1021/jf8040403“Phytoalexin-Enriched Functional Foods”Authors: S.M. Boue, T.E. Cleveland, C. Carter-Wientjes, B.Y. Shih, D. Bhatnagar, J.M. McLachlan, M.E. Burow

Source: click here