Winning with Diabetes

When I say “winning,” please don’t think it means I have perfect blood sugars, or I am skipping through this journey with bliss. Hella no. This disease is hard BUT in the last 26 years, I have unknowingly grown to love it.

You see, I was diagnosed in second grade, which is also where most of my memories begin, and I have always expressed, written and stated we need to live life to the fullest. I believe with every single one of my doctor’s appointments, shoot blood sugar tests/pricks, I fear death, and with that fear, I want to live and appreciate every minute I have in my life.

Am I alone with this thought? I don’t think so. Last month at the Weekend for Women, Diabetes Sister’s conference I attended in DC, the keynote came from Shawn Shepheard, who happened to also have type 1 diabetes. He shared that on Christmas, many moons ago, when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he needed to immediately “squeeze every minute out of life.” What an honest thought, and I recognized that he too doesn’t want to downplay the health statistics that are not in our favor, but rather he wants to use this fuel to seek happiness.

Like Shawn – I am “winning with diabetes” because it has given me the opportunity to be more connected to my soul, my purpose, my passion and serves as a reminder to seek happiness and adventure.

I have accepted my limitations and I continue to push beyond them and I thank gratitude for the solution.

How are you winning in life?

Get Moving for Your Mood

Our happiness is predetermined ~ 50% by genes. This leaves us with a huge opportunity to take action to smile, or want to smile, more often. Overall our brain is like a muscle, the more we influence happiness, the more likely or more easily it can be to attain. You see, happiness is part of a chemical process of neurons and dopamine receptors. If we don’t exercise doing things that enlighten our mood, those receptors can decrease with time and age.

Thankfully here we can hit 2 birds with one stone here! Aerobic exercise is one of the best ways to improve mood. Not only can we look at activity for fitness, heart health, and weight loss, but overall we can improve our happiness and mental health too.

Therefore, maybe weight loss should move to way wayside, and overall mental and physical health should be capitalized? Not a bad idea and research proves that focusing on health, in general, is better and more productive than focusing on losing weight.

As someone with diabetes, exercise impacts my blood sugar control, but that doesn’t hold me back from doing interval training, yoga and heavy lifting weekly. Also, I asked a few friends from “Females with Type 1 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetic Athletes Group, DMs Supporting DMs,” Facebook communities what their activity looks like, and this is what they had to share:

I have played soccer before and after my diagnosis, and crossfit 5-6 times per week. Crossfit keeps my blood sugar more level than soccer ever did! The most significant differences that I notice are overnight readings. My insulin sensitivity is very manageable as I am more aware working out… When I am not active or in the past when I have not been working out, it was much harder to notice my insulin sensitivities! Being active and staying fit has changed my life incredibly! My diabetes is pure motivation to get to the gym when I can hardly stand to do anything that day! It has really pushed me to have the desire to see within range blood sugar numbers and I know that being active is the only way I will accomplish that. Type 1 diabetes using the Medtronic 530g! Diagnosed for 10 years and 7 months! – Katelyn Partridge 

I start every day with a 2-mile walk with my dog. Then after working 8 hours depending on the night I play racquetball, tennis, do Zumba or yoga. In the winter I ski on the weekends. In the spring and summer, I do distance cycling. Exercise has helped me lose weight, maintain decent blood sugar control and it makes me more sensitive to insulin. Besides that it makes me feel good. Omnipod pump and a Dexcom. Type 1, dxed May 1975. – Clare T. Fishman 

I’ve been t1 for 24 years and got a Dexcom 2.5 years ago. It really helps with hiking. You can see a drop coming before it happens and eat some glucose to maintain nice flat lines. – Kate Sullivan 

I was a competitive dancer most of my youth and started really working out again two years ago. It changed my life and I started to feel strong and empowered again—my insulin needs dropped from 75 units a day to 45 units a day and I’ve been on a pump for 14 years…as I realized I could workout with diabetes as I had a fear that it would hold me back I found a passion in running and have now completed 5ks, 10ks and working towards my first half marathon this spring! I realized when I believe in myself, I can do anything I set my mind to. Diagnosed with Type 1 on st patty’s day 1997. – Amanda Jolene Smith 

Grew up racing BMX and mountain bikes nationally, competed in fitness competitions for a few years and now do CrossFit 4-5 times a week and stay active with my kids! Competing and exercising with diabetes can be tricky, but if you watch your patterns closely, with trial and error you can figure it out. Building muscle and staying consistent has been the best for me with managing diabetes! Also, this was crucial for two heathy pregnancies with diabetes too! Type 1 for 25 years since age 14, currently on Medtronic pump and CGM. – Allison Sigler MacKenzie 

I make it a point to exercise at the gym at least 3 (but I shoot for 5) days a week, with “active rest days” the rest of the week. Anything more than a gentle walk means I have to take extra insulin, but it’s totally worth it. Besides the benefits to my physical health, I dervive huge mental health benefits, too. When living with a chronic disease, we have to take every opportunity we can to feel good about ourselves, and to feel strong. This is how I keep my head up, and keep going on. I’m looking forward to rocking the NEXT 31+ years, whether they find a cure, or not. I got this! T1 for 31 years (pump/CGM), and active for 2 years… – Dana Coltrinari Burke 

I run 5-8 miles almost every day. On days I don’t run, my numbers are all over the place. I also do yoga and stretching almost everyday. The mental health benefits from the endorphin release and clearing of my mind is equally as important in managing this disease. Diagnosed 3.5 years ago, at age 51. I use both the Omnipod and a CGM. – Stacey Boehrer 

I mostly run, 3-5 days a week. Running has helped me reduce the amount of insulin I need to take and makes me more fit, which in the long run will add years to my life. I was diagnosed at age 5, 33 years ago. I use an Omnipod pump and Dexcom G5 CGM. – Matt Barnett  

“Control diabetes. Don’t let it control you” I had amazing parents who went through training and extreme patience when they first had to give me insulin and figure out the diet. We were an active family already so it was a little easier. Its crucial to have the support of your family and friends especially if newly diagnosed. It’s a complete lifestyle change! For those of us who’ve known nothing else it’s a little easier to transition through each phase. I tried the cgm for a week but due to the way the alarms were set, I went super high and super low due to overcorrections or overeating. For me it’s hard to change what’s been working- low carb meals, lots of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise includes walking the dogs, running, playing with the kids, swimming, tennis, basketball and whatever comes in front of me.Type I diabetic for 32 years- only on the pump for the past 7 years. My A1c has been between 5.7-6.5 for the past 10 years but my goal is to get it back to 6.0 or under. – Joella Davis 

The formula for happiness is not the same for all of us, but figuring out what we enjoy is key. Go out and play and make time for personal play. When this is easier said than done, I make a gratitude list on paper or in my head, and quickly realize, “I’m too blessed to be stressed.” Or at least overly stressed. 🙂

 

Type 1 Diabetes Paired With a Paleo Diet

I have three main purposes for my website and one is to help educate consumers on the connection between nutrition and health, secondly to describe the philosophy of my counseling services to potential patients to distinguish it from other dietitians/nutritionists and thirdly, to act as a portal for people with type 1 diabetes and those interested in the care for type 1 diabetes to connect, communicate and learn.

That said, I am honored to share the experiences from Keith R. Runyan, MD, a physician in Florida, about his journey with type 1 diabetes.

So often I can write how the paleo diet has changed my life (diabetes), yet, when I see another fellow T1 experiencing similar things, I am inspired to share the story with my audience. Thank you Dr Runyan for allowing me to post this information and keep up the great work with your diabetes and helping your patients.

Dr. Runyan’s story goes something like this…

Background
In medical school, I learned a tremendous amount of information about anatomy, histology, embryology, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics, as well as most of the pathologic conditions that affect mankind.  Interestingly, the topic of how nutrition influences or causes disease was lacking.  Of course, we learned about vitamin, mineral, fatty acid, and protein deficiencies and their clinical presentations, but the idea that a diet which deviates from that on which humans evolved to thrive can cause numerous major chronic diseases was not covered or adequately emphasized.  So, over most of the past 20 years, I have been treating these diseases with medications and advice to see a dietitian, thinking that the dietician would be dispensing correct information about what my patients should be eating.

In 1996, I gradually became ill with weight loss initially, then later fatigue, polyuria (excessive urination), polydipsia (excessive thirst), and diarrhea.  Through the powers of denial, of which mine were strong, I was able to ignore these symptoms and continue working.  Even though my wife, other physicians, and nurses noticed the weight loss, I continued to believe the problem would go away on its own.  Eventually, in 1998, having lost 40 lbs. from my originally normal body weight, I could no longer deny I had a problem.  I saw a physician and had some tests run.  My blood sugar was 489 mg/dL, and obviously I had diabetes mellitus, type 1 in my case.  I started on insulin that same day with resolution over the next 2 weeks of the fatigue, polyuria, and polydipsia, but the diarrhea which turned out to be caused by diabetic autonomic neuropathy involving the intestinal tract would take another two and a half years to resolve.  With treatment of the diabetes with insulin and improved blood sugar control came the onset of severe and diffuse peripheral neuropathy with pain and numbness over most of my body.  I could not decide which was worse, the whole body pain or the diarrhea up to 20 times per day.  Fortunately, I did not have eye, vascular, or kidney involvement and that remains the case today.  The neuropathic pain gradually resolved over the next year, and the neuropathic numbness gradually went away after 2-3 years.  But, I did want to discuss the difficulty I had with controlling blood sugars while following the recommendations of the ADA (American Diabetes Association).  Ever since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus in 1998, the ADA has recommended a low fat diet in line with the dietary fat-heart disease hypothesis since heart and vascular disease is the most common cause of death of the diabetic patient.  Specifically, a dietary intake of 50 – 60% of calories from carbohydrates (carbs) has been recommended, some of which may be simple sugars.  In theory, I thought this seemed plausible, since the ADA recommended counting carbohydrate grams in the diet to be balanced with insulin, in my case, or other diabetes medications (for those with type 2 diabetes).  However, after 2 years of weighing my food or otherwise calculating the grams of carbohydrates eaten with each meal, there was no significant improvement in blood sugar control and no improvement in the number or severity of hypoglycemic episodes (low blood sugars).  So, I abandoned the carb counting and just tried to keep the intake of carbs constant with each meal.  At some point along this journey, I heard about the book “Dr Richard Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution”.  I did not read the book at the time, but found out about the “drastic” reduction in carbohydrates in the diet as the main feature of his approach.  The thought of giving up so many foods that I liked did not appeal to me.  I thought the fluctuations in blood sugar, hypoglycemic episodes, and my HgbA1c values of 5.6 to 6.9% were an inevitable part of having diabetes.  In addition, I assumed that if his approach was scientifically based and clinically effective, that the medical authorities (including the ADA – American Diabetes Association) would have also embraced this approach.  But the fact that they did not, added to my reluctance.  Well, I should have looked into that more at the time and actually read his book.  In 2008, the ADA for the first time acknowledged the use of a low carbohydrate approach for the purpose of weight loss in diabetics for up to one year, based on a recent study published in the medical literature.  They did not, and have not, embraced the low carbohydrate diet for all diabetics long term.

In 2007, my wife trained for and did her first triathlon.  I watched her first triathlon race and saw how she and so many others appeared to enjoy it.  I had not exercised on any regular basis since high school and since I had a chronic disease that might be helped with exercise, I decided to give triathlon a try.  I enjoyed the exercise and having a goal to work toward gave me the motivation I needed.  After a few years of increasing the distance of the triathlon events, I contemplated doing the full ironman distance triathlon.  I started looking into how to keep my body fueled and blood sugars near normal for the 12+ hours it might take me to do such a race particularly since sugar is the primary, if not sole, fuel used by athletes during a long distance triathlon.  This is what motivated me to discover the dietary change that I am currently enjoying.

In 2011, I reexamined my diet and studied the Paleo Diet (Loren Cordain, PhD), the low carbohydrate ketogenic diet for diabetes (Richard Bernstein, MD), and the low carbohydrate ketogenic diet for athletes (Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD, Jeff Volek, PhD, RD and Eric Westman, MD).  I have combined portions of both of these diets for myself.  The essence of the low carbohydrate ketogenic approach for diabetes is as follows.  Diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate intolerance.  Carbohydrates in the diet are not essential to the diet, only protein and fat are essential.  Near elimination of carbohydrates from the diet will maximally improve diabetes control, reduce insulin doses needed to control blood sugars in type 1 or insulin dependent type 2 diabetes, and in the case of pre-diabetes or early type 2 diabetes can normalize blood sugars without medications.  See Athletes page for more details.

I transitioned to this low carbohydrate ketogenic diet to address both of my issues, namely diabetes control and fueling endurance exercise with excellent results.  My blood sugars are better controlled and hypoglycemia is quite unusual.  I have had several blood sugar readings in the range of 46 to 60 mg/dl without any symptoms of hypoglycemia.  Readings this low prior to the ketogenic diet would have caused symptoms of hypoglycemia.  On the ketogenic diet, however, these symptoms are absent presumably due to the use of ketones by the body and brain.  I am able to exercise with no apparent loss of energy or power while consuming relatively little sugar during exercise to prevent hypoglycemia.  I measure my blood sugar while exercising usually every 60 – 90 mins or if I feel my blood sugar might be low.  My blood tests have improved in the typical pattern seen on a ketogenic diet. Triglycerides decreased from an average of 76 to 65 mg/dL, HDL cholesterol increased from an average of 61 to 90 mg/dL, the triglyceride/HDL ratio decreased from 1.31 to 0.72, the calculated LDL cholesterol increased from an average of 103 to 162 mg/dL.  The hsCRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation) decreased from 3.2 to 0.7 mg/L.  Of note, in my case, exercise did not result in a significant change in any of these lipid values, nor did niaspan or pravastatin (taken during different time frames).  The niaspan was discontinued 16 months prior to and the pravastatin was discontinued 4.5 months prior to these latest results.  Seeing that this diet actually worked for me and the scientifically proven health benefits of a well formulated low carbohydrate diet for treatment of obesity and numerous chronic diseases, I decided to add nutritional therapy to my medical practice.  In addition to review of books and literature, I am using the resources of the ASBP (American Society of Bariatric Physicians) in preparation for the board certification examination in obesity medicine (by the American Board of Obesity Medicine) in Nov. 2012.

What Does Dr Runyan Eat?
1.  Macronutrient Composition
Protein – about 0.7 grams protein per pound of body weight per day, currently 163 lbs X 0.7 = 114 grams per day.  This is close to what I ate prior to starting a ketogenic low carb diet.  This is in the range recommended for athletes (0.6 to 1.0 grams per pound of body weight per day).  I chose the lower end of this recommended range for two reasons.  First, I am doing endurance exercise rather than body building exercise and therefore need less protein.  Second, too much protein in the diet can interfere with maintaining nutritional ketosis since protein in excess of the body’s needs for production of enzymes, hormones, structural components, etc. can be converted to glucose which in turn would require more injected insulin and suppress fat burning and ketone production.  The protein in my diet comes from grass-fed beef, lamb, and pork (which is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed), range-fed chicken, omega-3 enriched eggs (currently not range-fed), cheese (extra sharp cheddar, feta, and cream cheese primarily), fish (primarily wild caught Alaska salmon, but other varieties as well) and shrimp, plain Greek yogurt (10% milk fat), and nuts (primarily macadamia and pistachio).

Carbohydrates – about 40 – 50 grams carbohydrate per day.  I aim for about 30 – 40 grams from my diet, and during long exercise sessions (> 2 hrs) which generally occurs 2 days/week, I may take up to 24 grams of carbohydrate per hour while exercising to prevent hypoglycemia.  Carbohydrates in my diet come from vegetables (kale, collard greens, yellow squash, zucchini squash, brussels sprouts, lettuce, etc), and the small amount of carbohydrates contained in cheese, yogurt, nuts, cream, and 2 tbls lemon juice for salads.  I avoid all grains and foods made from grains, fruits (except tomato and avocado), potatoes, and legumes.  I take sugar (glucose) only to treat hypoglycemia or prevent it during exercise.

Fats – about 230 grams fat per day (about 100 grams saturated fat, 100 grams monounsaturated fat, 30 grams polyunsaturated fat, 6600 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6/omega-3 ratio of 3.6 to 1, and 600 mg of cholesterol).  Fat in my diet primarily comes from meat, tallow, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts, butter, heavy whipping cream, coconut oil, olives and olive oil.

Totals Calories = (114 grams protein x 4) + (45 grams carbohydrate x 4) + (230 grams fat x 9) = 2700 calories.  From a caloric perspective, 17% of calories come from protein, 7% from carbohydrates, and 76% from fat.

2.  Micronutrient Composition
I used the USDA nutrition data tables primarily to calculate the micronutrient content of my diet.  Using the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) values for my sex and age, I compared them to my daily intake.  My diet met or exceeded the RDI values.

3.  Fiber
My daily dietary fiber intake is about 18 grams/day, which is less than the recommended 30 grams/day.  This recommended figure is based on the belief that dietary fiber will prevent colon cancer.  I believe that colon cancer is not causally related to dietary fiber, but more related to a carbohydrate predominate diet since colon cancer is one of the many diseases of Western civilization.

In summary, I have combined most of the tenets from the Paleo Diet as outlined by Loren Cordain, PhD (except for the use of some dairy products, inclusion of more fat, exclusion of fruit) with a ketogenic low carbohydrate approach as detailed by Richard Bernstein, MD which I believe is optimal for those with diabetes.  This lifestyle has resulted in the best control of my diabetes to date and has the potential to minimize the many complications of diabetes.

Keith R. Runyan, MD
6499 38th Ave N., Suite C-1
St. Petersburg, FL   33706
Phone (727)345-3908

 

See You Later Hypertension

Last fortnight I was asked to participate in an online interview (article originally published on: http://www.bloodpressurecharts.net/kelly-o-connell-interview.html) about natural ways to manage high blood pressure. Not only was this request interesting but it is a topic that needs more coverage. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a silent killer. I hate to be so blunt but there is no way around it – one in four adults (US data) have hypertension. Untreated hypertension can get ugly causing kidney damage, stroke, heart disease, dementia and more. However, with most things related to health, you can turn it around for the better. If hypertension is something you deal with personally, consider the below to incorporate with your daily routine. As always, if you need some help, feel free to contact me.

  • What supplements/foods do you recommend people with high blood pressure try, to help lower their blood pressure?

Before advising someone on what to eat and what to supplement with, I first need to understand if there is anything else going on with their health, such as diabetes, kidney disease, etc. I also want to know what medication they are taking.

Generally speaking though, I advise eating a moderately high protein and fat diet, with moderately low (less than 150 grams per day) carbohydrates. Carbohydrates should be mainly sourced from vegetables, legumes/lentils, tubers and fruit.

Important foods to consider are those rich in potassium (bananas, avocado, herbs, cocoa, nuts, and tomatoes), magnesium (pumpkin, squash, cocoa, nuts, fish), vitamin C (citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, celery) and vitamin E (almonds, herbs, olives), omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish like salmon or sardines) and flavonols (red wine, grapes, cocoa). Do you see a trend? I am a believer in dark chocolate/cocoa nibs and consume cocoa in one shape or another daily.

However, more important than knowing what to eat is knowing foods to cut back on, including foods high in fructose and processed foods (chips, deli meat, bread, pastries, cookies, desserts, etc).

Fructose, simply put, is a type of sugar. It is under a lot of scrutiny causing detrimental things to our health including hypertension. While the jury is still out, there is a true consensus that fructose does more harm than good. The important take away is to know what foods are high in fructose i.e. candies/lollies, cold breakfast cereals, desserts such as ice cream, cake, muffins, salad dressing, breads, pizza,crackers, canned fruit and juices with added sweeteners and more.

My recommended supplements include high-quality fish oil, a strong probiotic, magnesium twice a day, Himalayan sea salt and CoQ10. Food always comes first.

  • What are your thoughts on salt and high blood pressure? Should we be limiting salt intake or is the salt thing all blown out of proportion?

You may be surprised to hear that I do not stress salt restrictions. Processed foods should certainly get more vigilance in this space. I think overall sodium claims are blown out of proportion and certainly, I strongly advise the use of Himalayan sea salt. Overall, individuals need to self-assess how salt makes them feel. If the consumption of salt makes someone retain fluid or make their heart palpitate/speed up, then a reduced salt intake should be implemented. However, I think there are far more important actions to take than demonizing salt. Focus should zero in on stress levels, adequate sleep, exercise, eating whole foods (this does not include whole grains) and maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Not necessarily specific to high blood pressure, but what are your top 5 healthiest foods we should all be trying to eat more of, and why?

Grassfed/free range meat – protein is essential and free range meat, ideally, beef, has an optimal fatty acid ratio, up to 6 times more omega 3’s compared to the grocery store variety. Certainly, omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in every cell and system in our bodies. Beyond the nutrient profile grassfed/free range beef offers, it is a great tool for optimal health. It is satiating, protective against cancer and cardiovascular disease, has low insulinogenic properties and more.

Coconut – whether it is coconut oil, flour, cream or milk, I welcome it all. I consume this functional food daily, reaping one of the thousands of benefits it offers. In traditional medicine, coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems and it is so versatile to use. I make pancakes from coconut flour and milk, I cook with coconut oil, especially with eggs and coconut cream is delicious with berries.

Pumpkin – is loaded with healthy starches and it is absolutely delicious. Pumpkin is nutrient-rich, easy to make and can satisfy a sweet or savory craving. I have learned to cook pumpkin in a variety of fashions from pumpkin soup (with coconut milk and cinnamon), roasted pumpkin salad (with pine nuts, spinach, feta and homemade balsamic dressing) to pumpkin porridge (mixing puree pumpkin with eggs, nuts, and raisins).  Pumpkin can also serve as a dessert by garnishing it with spices and honey.

Free range eggs – they are one of few foods that naturally contain vitamin D and are far superior to caged eggs when it comes to nutrient content. They are rich in vitamin A and E and omega 3 fatty acids, among many other important vitamins and minerals.

Fermented foods – I am all about gut health and a happy gut, makes a good immune system. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, etc provide probiotics to our intestines. There are plenty of benefits to adding probiotics to our bodies, including protection from colon cancerrelief from lactose intolerance and diarrheareduction in cavities, and more. Improved digestion means more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are absorbed, making you an overall healthier being.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel
.

 

 

 

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:

Dear Food Log – 12/12/11

Today, Monday, I ate:

Gym: 6AM, stairclimber, abs, push-ups

Breakfast: 7:20AM
2 poached eggs
Mushrooms and herbs
1 large strawberry, sliced
Water
Fish oil
Probiotics

Lunch: 2PM
Leftover fish taco meat and vegetables
Water

At work today we had a guest speaker discussing how to make the most of our lives. It was an interesting talk and motivational. I have been brewing up some NYE resolutions but have not necessarily thought of my goals for 2012. Have you? I know I have traveling in mind, health as a focus, maybe write a book, continue on blogging and more. I would love to hear what you all are pondering. Have any suggestions or ideas? Please share.

Walk: 5PM, walk home from work – 4.5 miles

Dinner: 7:30PM
Saganaki
Raw beef with truffle oil, rocket, parmesan cheese and potato
Water
Sauv Blanc

 

Australian Research: Inflammation

Eating to beat inflammation

The worry of wagyu … compared to kangaroo, it may trigger inflammation, say researchers.

Before you bite into a wagyu burger here’s some food for thought. Last year when Australian researchers looked at how the body reacts after either a meal of kangaroo or wagyu beef there was an intriguing difference: compared to the kangaroo, the wagyu meal appeared to prod the immune system into action, triggering the release of inflammatory chemicals.

Why bother comparing kangaroo with wagyu?

“Because kangaroo mimics the kind of wild meat that humans ate for thousands of years,” explains Dr Gary Egger, Professor of Lifestyle Medicine at Lismore’s Southern Cross University, and one of the researchers. “It’s meat from lean animals that run around and eat grass. Wagyu on the other hand is relatively new to the food supply and an example of modern meat from modern animals that are less active and often fed on grain.”

It’s too soon to say whether this might matter to our health, but the ‘roo versus wagyu experiment is the first of more proposed studies at Southern Cross University and the Australasian Research Institute to see if food with a high ‘Human Interference Factor’ is fuelling chronic inflammation, a problem now linked to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases including asthma, Alzheimer’s disease and possibly cancer. Other examples of old versus new foods on the researchers’ list are brown rice versus refined white rice, whole soybean flour versus processed soy isolate, and wholegrain flour versus white.

Inflammation is the immune system’s defence mechanism – and when it erupts on injured skin with redness and swelling it’s a sign that that your body’s repairing itself. But scientists now think there’s also a kind of low level inflammation smouldering inside the body that isn’t so healthy. Unlike the acute inflammation that helps heal a wound, chronic inflammation doesn’t switch off – and Egger thinks our modern lifestyle is the reason why.

Eating a western diet, stress, smoking, inactivity and skimping on sleep, have all been linked to chronic inflammation. And while all these habits have been part and parcel of industrialised societies for years, in the big picture of human evolution they’re new assaults on the body – so our immune system treats them like foreign invaders, he says.

“Modern lifestyles seem enough to cause an inflammatory reaction – it’s as if the immune system is programmed to react to activities in the same way as it does to microbes, but at a lower more chronic level,” Egger explains.

One example of where the immune system gets it wrong is in the blood vessels where it tries to defend the arteries against ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, but in doing so ends up thickening the artery walls – and contributing to hardened arteries.

So how can we live in an industrialised world and still keep inflammation at bay?

“Getting more sleep is part of it. Humans have never had such short sleep cycles as we do now,” Garry Egger points out. “We’re also walking about 15 kilometres less each day than we did 150 years ago. We can’t go back to doing that so we need to have institutionalised exercise to make up for it.”

We also need to choose foods that are less likely to provoke inflammation, and a number of studies point to a traditional Mediterranean style diet – big on plant foods and including olive oil, fish and nuts – as having an anti- inflammatory effect. Australian research from the University of Sydney reported earlier this year backs up the anti-inflammatory benefit of nuts – those who ate the most nuts had a 40 per cent reduced risk of dying from an inflammatory disease, according to data from the Blue Mountains Study, a long running study of residents in the Blue Mountains.

The kind of carbs we eat matters too. Garry Egger suggests that lowering inflammation is another argument for low GI carbohydrates which are generally anti-inflammatory – there’s some evidence that blood sugar spikes from rapidly digested high GI carbs can trigger inflammatory chemicals.

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.

 

Future foods will cater to personal health

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew which foods you should be eating based on your own personal health profile?

What’s for dinner? In the future, you should know exactly what’s best for your body, experts say.

We know that certain foods are bad for people with particular conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. Advising a generally healthy person on foods that will prevent future disease, on the other hand, is far more complicated, and represents one of the challenges for scientists working in food science.

In the future, people should be able to tailor their diets and supplements to their particular biochemistry, said experts presenting at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science this week.

Right now the food industry is centered on products, said J. Bruce German, professor and food chemist at the University of California, Davis. That means profits depend on lowering the cost of production and making things cheaper.

“No one’s getting healthy in this model,” he said. “It’s clear we have to move toward a consumer-driven food supply.”

In a consumer-driven food world, the industry would focus its goals on improving all aspects of the consumer’s health, he said. People would receive dietary recommendations based on a very specific individualized health assessment, taking into account age, sex and medical history, he said.

Once scientists have a better understanding of the way metabolism works — research that is well under way — people will be able to better personalize their diets to meet their own health needs, German said.

Right now, the blanket recommendations are missing the mark. For example, look at omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Although most people don’t get the recommended intake of omega-3s, found mainly in fish oils, different healthy people react very differently to these acids, meaning some need them a lot more than others, German said.

Moreover, there’s little hard evidence supporting the use of vitamin C and zinc supplements, although they’re widespread in pharmacies, said Dr. M. Eric Gershwin, professor of medicine at the University of California, Davis.

As for herbal supplements like ginseng, Gershwin and colleagues found in a survey of products in Davis and Sacramento that half of the ginseng they bought actually contained no ginseng.

The immune system, “a complicated, multiorgan, chemical and genetic nightmare,” evolved about 250,000 years ago, meaning it’s unlikely that we can improve it much just by eating certain foods, Gershwin said.

What we do know is that being thin is good for the immune system, and that foods rich in antioxidants have the potential to reduce inflammation that occurs in the body, he said.

It’s also important to recognize that the immune system slows down with age. When a baby gets hepatitis A, parents may not even know the child is sick, but older adults have a 25 percent chance of death from the disease, he said. In thinking about how to improve diets in the future, age is therefore a huge factor.

Educating the immune system at a young age is also key, and that means it’s actually good that babies get exposed to some bacteria. Gershwin advises that if your child’s pacifier falls on the floor, put it right back in his or her mouth.

In fact, one theory, called the hygiene hypothesis, is that allergies to foods and pollens in America are so rampant because we’re too clean, experts say.

The bottom line is that being deficient in a nutrient such as vitamin D has harmful effects, but once you achieve a certain level, it’s not clear that excess vitamins will help the immune system, Gershwin said.

Another direction that food science is taking is genomics. Researchers are looking at the genes of edible organisms to figure out what about them makes them beneficial to humans, knowledge that may enhance diets in the future.

For instance, scientists are looking into how human milk evolved. Curiously, one component of breast milk is something that infants cannot digest: oligosaccharides. Research in the last few years has shown that these oligosaccharides stimulate particular bacteria in the intestine, which is a beneficial process.

“The mother is recruiting another life form to baby-sit the infant,” German said.

Source http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/18/foods.future/index.html