Paleo/Primal Book Recommendation

I have another great book to add to my Recommended List. Find the details below. Cheers to you and good health, Kel

Gut and Psychology Syndrome | GAPS Diet

New 2010 Edition with over 100 extra pages of information! Gut and Psychology Syndrome provides the information you need to heal a damaged digestive system. The perfect book for anyone suffering from Autism, Dyslexia, Depression, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Schizophrenia, and any other condition that has a link with gut dysbiosis.


Blood Type – Do I Eat Right?

Do you believe in the idea that we should all eat for our blood type? I think there is some truth to it, but should not be the only thing considered when designing someone’s or your own diet. Most recently I confirmed that I have type O positive blood. According to the literature for a type O positive blood type, I should be doing the following:

  • Avoid gluten containing grains (Check! I avoid gluten like the plague.)
  • Eat dark, leafy greens rich in vitamin K (Check!)
  • Eat lots of animal protein (Check! Bring on the meat.)
  • Restrict legumes and beans (Check! Beans are not the magical fruit.)
  • Restrict cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard green (Ughhh – I love my cauliflower. Perhaps I conduct an n=1 experiment on myself and see how I feel restricting then introducing this vegetable.)
  • Avoid nightshades (I could make a stronger effort here.)
  • Avoid dairy (I go easy on dairy, but again, could make a stronger effort.)
  • Avoid eggs (Oops – I nearly eat these daily. Perhaps I can do another n=1 experiment. I recently did this with nuts, and wow, I am feeling different in a good way.)
  • Restrict heavy consumption of nuts (Check! See above.)
  • Avoid corn (Check! Every so often I will have some corn chips, but avoid corn the best I can; it’s everywhere.)

If my current food intake was graded against these guidelines, I would get, I say, a B. I have a diet clean of gluten and legumes and rich in vegetables but have a few other tweaks to make, if I choose to take this information literally. Overall, it’s something fun to consider. I mean, it is ironic I don’t handle gluten well and apparently this is the norm for someone with type O.

Overall, I am adding nutrigenomics to my lab wish list. Yes, I have a lab wish list. Once I get some true DNA indications, I will take the eat for your blood type to heart (no pun intended). Have you dabbled with nutrigenomics? I predict it is the next big thing for the diet and health industry.

Cheers to you and good health,


Why Is Type 1 Diabetes Rising Worldwide?

We’ve gotten sadly accustomed by now to warnings about obesity and its effect on health: joint damage, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and its complications such as blindness and amputation. We almost take for granted that as obesity increases worldwide, diabetes will also, and it is. That is, type 2 diabetes — the kind that is linked to obesity and used to be called adult-onset diabetes — is rising as obesity does.

But here’s a puzzle: Type 1 diabetes — the autoimmune disease that begins in childhood and used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes — is rising too, around the globe, at 3 percent to 5 percent per year. And at this point, no one can quite say why.

I have a column in the February Scientific American, on newsstands now and live on the web, exploring this conundrum. There is a raft of researchers exploring the issue, but so far there is only one thing they can say for sure: The increase, which began in the 1950s and accelerated in about the 1980s, is happening too fast to be due solely to genetic change. Something in the environment is driving the increase. But what?

The challenge for explaining the rising trend in type 1 diabetes is that if the increases are occurring worldwide, the causes must also be. So investigators have had to look for influences that stretch globally and consider the possibility that different factors may be more important in some regions than in others.

The list of possible culprits is long. Researchers have, for example, suggested that gluten, the protein in wheat, may play a role because type 1 patients seem to be at higher risk for celiac disease and the amount of gluten most people consume (in highly processed foods) has grown over the decades. Scientists have also inquired into how soon infants are fed root vegetables. Stored tubers can be contaminated with microscopic fungi that seem to promote the development of diabetes in mice.

None of those lines of research, though, have returned results that are solid enough to motivate other scientists to stake their careers on studying them. So far, in fact, the search for a culprit resembles the next-to-last scene in an Agatha Christie mystery — the one in which the detective explains which of the many suspects could not possibly have committed the crime.

One of the best-elaborated hypotheses suggests that lack of exposure to infections in childhood keeps the various components of the immune system from learning how to hold themselves in balance. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a version of the “hygiene hypothesis” (past posts here, here and here), which says that a too-clean childhood can lead to allergies later in life.

The diabetes version of this hypothesis explores whether conditions that are a proxy for exposure to infections — not having older siblings in the house, not attending day care, being born by Caesarean — can have an effect on the occurrence of diabetes. No clear culprit has been found yet.

Some researchers say it is possible that obesity may play a role. In type 2 diabetes, tissues in the body that receive the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar, become insensitive to it. In type 1, the body destroys the insulin-producing cells. But an “overload” hypothesis is now suggesting that if a child is obese to begin with, that could prime the insulin-producing cells for failure, with the autoimmune attack pushing them over the edge.

If obesity is an explanation, it’s not a comforting one. As the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics noted today, a whopping percentage of United States adults — 36 percent — are obese. And the trend is not reversing. By 2048, according to Johns Hopkins researchers whose work is discussed in my story, every adult in America will be at least overweight if the current trend continues.

That’s a lot of potential diabetes cases: a lot of glucose monitors, syringe jabs and inevitable blood sugar swings, if you care for it well, and a lot of kidney disease, heart disease, amputations and blindness if you don’t. (Not to mention effects like this image of insulin lipohypertrophy published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, from years of administering insulin injections.) Let’s hope we find, if not a cure, at least a cause for rising type 1, before the trend gets out of control.

Reference click here.

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,


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