Sunday
Sep082013

Primal (Paleo) Diet Overview

What if what we are told about diet is all wrong? Today, in modern society, we are consuming foods that are very different than the foods I grew up with just 40 or 50 years ago. The food I grew up with then, was also different from the food from a hundred years before that, and the food we ate 2,000 to 10,000 years ago was also different from our forefathers before them.

Many researchers have been studying indigenous people. They are slim, strong, healthy and have straight teeth, great eyesight and are free of arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, schizophrenia and cancer. These are the Earth's last hunter-gatherers that exist and they share a diet which has not changed for hundreds of thousands of years. Theirs is a diet that humans have evolved on and this diet is encoded in all our genes. This diet contains only the foods that were available during our evolutionary process and it includes all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants and oils essential to our healthy living.

When we consume foods we have been evolved to eat, while simultaneously eliminating the over processed sugar laden foods now linked to causing the many diseases we are faced with in society today, our bodies will be provided with the pure nutrition that will assist in normalizing our body weight as well as keeping us free from many of our modern diseases.

You and I are designed to eat and live off the natural land, to eat fresh locally available animals, seafood, fruits and vegetables, a few nuts, and some seeds,.  This is the ultimate secret to maintaining our natural health and our natural weight.

Imagine a world where: diabetes, heart, autoimmune and other modern diseases are rare or do not exist, where we grow up naturally lean and fit, where we stay fertile throughout our childbearing years, where we sleep peacefully and deeply, we age gracefully without degenerative diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. Anthropological evidence suggests that this is exactly how human beings have lived, for the majority of our evolutionary history.

Next time you go to the grocery store to shop for food use two carts instead of one. Fill one with the food around the edges of the store excluding the bakery section and fill the other cart with food from the inside aisles. When you are done look at the second cart and discard it. Then fill the first cart with replacements of the second cart with food from the outside aisles. You will likely have a much healthier food supply.

Managing blood sugar with Insulin

Carbohydrates that have no fiber cause a blood sugar spike which your pancreas tries to fix by using the hormone insulin to regulate. We now know that insulin switches your body from burning fat to storing fat. We also know that when your body is storing fat it is not doing other essential body functions, like repairing and maintaining the body which causes the body to age prematurely.

We were never intended to eat these concentrated carbohydrates and the pancreas is not intended to produce insulin continuously. Insulin is actually an emergency hormone to be used infrequently.

 

The problem is that the immune system crashes when blood sugar levels increase too high. It takes hours for the immune system to recover. When insulin is produced, all fat burning stops and does not resume until the insulin stops being produced, which is long after the sugar is digested. Insulin is also always over produced and stored as fat. Over time you may develop insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, and/ or diabetes II.

Protein, fat and fibrous carbohydrates do not cause a sugar spike and therefore do not induce insulin which allows your body to burn fat instead of sugar or glucose.

Of the three macro-nutrients; protein, fats and carbohydrates, only protein and fats are required. However fibrous vegetables are needed more than ever today, because of the numerous toxin we are exposed to today. These plants supply us with a great abundance of nutrients to fight the assault of free radicals caused by the many toxins that exist in today's environment.

Do not eat or greatly reduce your intake of non-fibrous carbohydrates like processed grains, beans, legumes, sugar, potatoes, most modern fruits, sodas, fruit juices, and sports drinks.

Specific Problems With Grains, Beans and Potatoes

Imagine this: For millions of years, humans ate no grains; and now, beginning 2,000-10,000 years ago, we have come to rely on this food for over 50% of our diets. Our genes are not adapted to eating these foods. Grains are incompatible with human digestion. What causes even more problems for us is that grains are not the natural food for many mammals and fish we eat either.

Grains, beans, potatoes and potatoes are very hard to digest properly. Part of the starch isn't absorbed, stay in the digestive tract feeding bad bacteria, causing inflammation, gases, and damage to the wall of the intestines. Grains, beans, and potatoes are all toxic and dangerous when eaten raw or undercooked. Cooking destroys most, but not all the toxins. The toxins remain in the body and are absorbed through our vital organs.

These toxins include enzyme blockers, lectins, exorphins, and others. Enzyme Blockers are abundant in all seeds, including grains, beans, and potatoes, preventing them from sprouting and acting as natural pesticides. When eaten, they can affect the stomach and small intestine increasing digestive enzymes and eventually overworking the pancreas.

Lectins are proteins which act as natural pesticides. They are toxic to bacteria, insects, worms, rodents and mammals, and of course, to humans. Lectins have the ability to crack the codes of our cells tricking them to act abnormally. Lectins also bypass our natural defenses traveling all over the body causing harm. Some break down the surface of the small intestine, causing the cells to become irregular and leaky. Others cause the pancreas to release insulin stimulating fat storage. Some lectins trick the immune system, so the body's tissues are attacked by its own cells, leading to autoimmune disease,.

Our body has its own natural morphine like substances that are called endorphins and these are beneficial to us. However, exorphins are not beneficial and are found in dairy products and wheat. They have a morphine like activity, but instead produce chronic pain and cause addictive behavior.

 

As for the problem of not getting enough carbs: No such problem exists. According to studies of many indigenous people, carbohydrates are optional. You can survive and be perfectly healthy on a zero-carbohydrate diet. Look at the Eskimos who eat zero carbohydrates and look at the thousands of people around the world who eat a low-carbohydrate diet. They are much healthier than people that eat grains as a staple.

Soybeans are full of anti-nutrients and substances that act like hormones in the human body. Eating too much soy can cause women to have periods which last 2 days longer than normal and are more painful.

Inflammation

Many of the modern diseases are cause by the inflammatory properties of our modern food. The more food is processed, the more likely they are to have inflammatory properties.

In animal products, the concern is, the food the animals eat, because their natural food balances their fatty acid oil production. Cattle for instance, are naturally eating grass and other greens. Most modern cattle in factory farms are feed grain, mostly  corn and soy among other less edible non foods. This changes their balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio from a natural 2-1 or 3-1 ratio to 15-1 or higher. By eating beef that is grain feed this is passed to us and therefore changes our fatty acid ratio to their levels.

What Is A Toxin? 

At the simplest level, a toxin is something capable of causing disease or damaging tissue when it enters the body. When we hear the word “toxin,” we think of chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals or other industrial pollutants.

The first bit, of any toxin has a low toxicity. Each additional bit is slightly more toxic than the bit before. At higher doses, the toxicity of each bit continues to increase, so that the toxin is increasingly poisonous. Even beneficial nutrients like water, which are necessary to sustain life, are toxic at high doses.

It is important to understand the role of toxins in our diet and how they affect our health. Most of us won’t get sick from eating a small amount of sugar, cereal grain, soy and industrial seed oil. In excessive amounts however, our risk of developing modern diseases rises dramatically.

This is what is going on today. These four food toxins; refined cereal grains, industrial seed oils, sugar and processed soy; comprise the bulk of our modern diet. Bread, pastries, muffins, crackers, cookies, soda, fruit juice, fast food and other convenience foods are all loaded with these toxins. When the majority of what we eat, on a daily basis is toxic, it’s easy to understand why our health is declining.

Most people accept diseases like obesity, diabetes, infertility and Alzheimer’s as “normal.” These diseases seem common today, but they are not normal. Humans and their ancestors  have evolved for over 2 million, for over 80,000 generations, and were free of these modern diseases. The natural human condition for our entire history was healthy, but this all changed just a few generations ago.

Our modern lifestyle and diet are responsible for this change. This modern lifestyle has transformed us, from naturally healthy people, free of degenerative disease, into a world of sick, and fat people.

There are several aspects of our current lifestyle that contribute to disease, but the widespread consumption of toxins in our diet, is the greatest. Specifically, the following toxins:

Grains (wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, rye and millet, especially refined flour)

Industrial oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, etc.) and trans fat (margarine, spreads and shortening)

Sugar, refined syrup, honey and high-fructose corn syrup

Processed and unfermented soy (soy milk, soy protein, soy flour, etc.)

Next Let’s look at each of these food toxins.

The major grains – wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, rye and millet – are today a staple in our modern diet. They are also the main food in the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets, promoted by the American Heart Association (AHA), American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Federal Government. Whole grains are advertised to mean healthy, nutritious and deemed necessary for our well being.

Most animals are not adapted to eating grains and don’t eat them in large quantities in the wild. They are seasonal and only around in the wild a few weeks. Most animals swallow them whole, end up in their dung to help them grow in the next season. Humans have only been eating them for the past  2,000 to 10,000 years depending on geography, and in evolutionary terms, this is a very short a time for us to fully adapt.

Grass seed plants like grains have evolved ways to protect themselves from predators. They produce toxins that damage the lining of our gut, toxins that bind essential minerals, making them unavailable to our body, and produce toxins that inhibit digestion and absorption of other essential nutrients, including protein.

Protein gluten, in wheat and many of the other grains damage the intestines, making them leaky. Leaky gut is one of the major predisposing factors for conditions like obesity, diabetes and autoimmune disease.

Celiac disease, a condition of severe gluten intolerance has a dramatic and, in extreme cases, a potentially fatal immune response to even the smallest amounts of gluten.

Research over the past few decades has shown that gluten intolerance can affect most other tissues and systems in the body, including:  The brain, endocrine system, stomach and liver, nucleus of cells, blood vessels, smooth muscle, just to name a few!

Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are associated with several other diseases, like:

Type 1 diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis.

Neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia, psychiatric illness, ADHD, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, obesity and others.

 

People with celiac disease are only a small fraction of the population of people with gluten intolerance. It is estimated that about a third of us are gluten intolerant. Many of us will cross-react with other foods that have a similar “molecular signature” to gluten. These foods contain other grains, which is why some doctors will recommend not just a gluten-free diet, but a total grain-free diet.

Industrial Seed Oils, Margarine, Vegetable Shortening and Trans Fat

Industrial seed oil or  so-called vegetable oil (corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, sunflower, etc.) as well as margarine and vegetable shortening consumption has risen dramatically over the past several decades. They have not been a part of the human diet until very recently.

At the beginning of the industrial revolution (about 140 years ago), there was a total shift in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Consumption of omega-6 fats are increased at the expense of omega-3 fats. This change was due to the arrival of the modern vegetable oil industry and the increased use of cereal grains as feed for domestic livestock, which changed the fatty acid profile of meat that we consumed.

Vegetable oil consumption rose dramatically at the end of the twentieth century, and this changed the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the American diet. Between 1935 and 1939, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids was reported to be 8.4:1. From 1935 to 1985, this ratio increased to 10.3:1, a 23% increase. Other calculations put the ratio as high as 12.4:1 in 1985. Today, estimates range from an average of 10:1 to 20:1, with a ratio as high as 25:1 in some individuals.

Americans get almost 20% of their calories from a single food source, soybean oil, with almost 9% of all calories from omega-6 fat. This means that our average intake of omega-6 fatty acids is between 10 and 25 times higher than evolutionary ancestors.

The consequences of this shift has dramatically affected our overall health negatively.

The consequences, are an increase in all inflammatory diseases, which means all diseases.

The list includes: Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome & inflammatory bowel disease, macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, cancer, psychiatric disorders, autoimmune diseases and more.

There is a clear connection between a rising intake of omega-6 and increased death rate from heart disease. America is near the top with the highest intake of omega-6 fat and the greatest risk of death from heart disease.

The increase in omega-6 consumption has played significant role in the rise of nearly every inflammatory disease. Inflammation is involved in nearly all diseases, including obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Anthropological research suggests that our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed omega-6 and omega-3 fats in a ratio of roughly 1:1. It also indicates that both ancient and modern hunter-gatherers were free of the modern inflammatory diseases, like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They are the primary causes of disease and death today.

Sugar and High-fructose Corn Syrup

Sugar destroys our health. Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostrate, rectum, pancreas, lung, gallbladder and stomach. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose, can cause reactive hypoglycemia and can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract, including an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Sugar can also interfere with your absorption of protein. It can cause food allergies and contributes to obesity.

Not all sugar is created the same. White table sugar (sucrose) is composed of two sugars: glucose and fructose. Glucose is an important nutrient in our bodies and is healthy, as long as it’s consumed in moderation. Fructose is a different story.

Fructose is found primarily in fruits and vegetables, as well as sweeteners like sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. A recent USDA report found that the average American eats 152 pounds of sugar each year, including almost 64 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup.

Unlike glucose, which is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and taken up by the cells, fructose is taken directly to the liver where it is converted to fat. Excess fructose consumption causes a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which is directly linked to both diabetes and obesity.

Shifting a diet to include more calories from fructose than from glucose causes an increase in abdominal fat, which is an independent predictor of insulin sensitivity, impaired glucose tolerance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and several other metabolic diseases.

Processed Soy

Today, soy is in almost every packaged and processed food as soy protein isolate, soy flour, soy lecithin and soybean oil. Like cereal grains, soy is promoted as a health food.

Many people think that soy is healthy, because it’s been consumed in East Asia for thousands of years. The soy products consumed traditionally in Asia were typically fermented and unprocessed, including tempeh, miso, natto and tamari. The fermentation process partially neutralizes the toxins in soybeans. Also, The average consumption of soy foods is not large in China and Japan. It is used as a condiment, not as a replacement for animal foods as it is in the U.S. and other western countries where the soy is highly processed, unfermented, and eaten in much larger quantities.

Processed soy is extremely unhealthy. 

  • Soy contains trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function.
  • Soy contains phytic acid, which reduces absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
  • Soy increases our requirement for vitamin D, which 50% of American are already deficient in.
  • Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
  • Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body’s requirement for B12.
  • Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic and carcinogenic elements.
  • Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods to mask soy’s unpleasant taste.
  • Soy can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems, especially in women.
  • Men who consume the equivalent of one cup of soy milk per day have about 50% lower sperm count than men who do not eat soy.
  • Babies fed soy-based formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula. Infants exclusively fed soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least five birth control pills per day.

The best way to avoid toxins in food is to buy fresh organic produce and to buy meat (beef, fowl and seafood) either wild or from providers that feed their animals their nature diet.

Eat fresh organic meat, chicken, fish, eggs from cage free animals raised on their natural diet, and eat fibrous vegetables, some limited amounts of seasonal fruits, nuts, and berries.

Some people can also tolerate some dairy products like unpasteurized milk, cream and butter, fresh from the farm, and some hard cheeses. Goat products are great choices and cause less problems for people with gluten intolerance. Celtic salt and many spices can add flavor and nutrients to your food.

Do not eat grains (including bread, pasta, cereal), beans (including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, snow-peas and peas), potatoes or sweet potatoes, pasteurized dairy products, sugar, refined salt, peanuts (which are legumes) or cashews (which are in a family of their own).

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Reader Comments (2)

A new lifestyle.
Great tips to help us get the ideal weight as desired.
Do not forget that you have to unite the body and mind to arrive before the finish.

el peso ideal

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDorlreta el peso ideal

In modern society, we are consuming foods that are very different from traditional food. Now we are taking oily and spice food with use of chemicals which gives different flavors to food. This is really very bad for our health and these type of foods leads to many diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and arthritis. So we have to follow traditional food habits which is full of vitamins, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. These type of foods are good for healthy living.

November 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPearl

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