How does fat make you fat?

For most foods to make you gain excess body fat, you have to over eat them.

Saturated fat is your body’s natural storage form for excess energy. You were designed that way, over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. Excess food, from sugar, carbs, fat, and even some protein, gets stored as saturated fat, because it’s what your body likes to burn.

So, what causes us to over eat fats, or anything for that matter?

One proposed cause has to do with nutrient density. Eating nutrient void foods may fill you up temporarily in the tummy, but due to their lack of useable vitamins, minerals, proteins, or whatever, you tend to become more hungry more often. This makes you eat more. And let’s face it, it’s probably more of the same stuff you ate before.

What types of fats are void of nutrients, and would tend to make us over eat them?

Unsatrated and hydrogenated fats from vegetable oils (the industrially processed kind, the kind we cook and deep fry with, and use as an additive in most packaged foods) are guilty of this. They contain little or no vital nutrients for your body. These are the unhealthy fattening fats you want to avoid. Not to mention, they oxidize very easily, causing systemmic inflammation, and therefore many modern degenerative diseases.

Saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated (yes even trans) fats, from naturally raised animal and plant sources that are unprocessed and unadulterated, contain many vital nutrients that your body needs, including fat soluble vitamins and minerals that you can’t get in a pill or supplement. There are in fact hundreds of different types of vitamins A, D, B, E, and K, all found in natural animal sources, and all that do something a little bit different in your body! None of these types can be supplemented, because most of them have barely even been discovered yet, let alone synthesized. And usually, the synthetic forms of vitamins don’t even do what they’re supposed to! (see: Folic Acid)

Due to this healthful nature of natural fats, it is much harder to over eat them, because you are kept sated for longer. These types of fats are also near impossible to oxidize. Even the more easily oxidized polyunsaturated fats come pre-packaged in natural form with antioxidants! Brilliant!

Conveniently, one of the most filling factors in natural fat rich foods is protein. Protein also keeps you from getting hungry. And complete proteins are necessary for building and maintaining everything in your body. What a two-for-one deal we get here! How can you go wrong? Eggsandbacon eggsandbacon!

How convenient, that mother nature put all this good stuff in nice natural healthy little units called animals. And we can eat ’em too!?!! omfg!!

You may also want to read here about food reward and how that tricks our bodies to over eat!

Now what about this inflammation nonsense?

Chronic and systemmic inflammation has also been shown to cause excessive fat gain. How does this happen?

Inflammation confuses your normal systems, and causes a disregulation of your healthy body fat regulating devices. One system of note is the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls metabolism, nutrient uptake and expenditure, and hormones. Chronic inflammation throws it all outta whack, so your key hunger and body fat regulating hormones also get outta whack. We’re talkin’ about leptin, insulin, ghrelin, and a whole bunch of others you may not have even heard of!

Now we’re gettin’ into what causes insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, and stuff. Too much sugar in the diet, and other inflammatory foods like easily oxidized processed fats and grains, causes a whole lotta systemmic inflammation. An unhappy hypothalamus indeed!

See? Where would you be without me, making all this stuff so easy to understand?

So, we’ve talked about nutrient density, and we talked about inflammation. Is there anything else I’m missing?

Ah yes. A lack of dietary fats, the healthy, natural, unprocessed kind, can make it more difficult for your body to burn off excess body fat. So again, it seems it’s in your best interest to ditch the margarine and canola oil, and pick up them ribs baby!

We in America have a chronic unnatural avoidance of dietary fats, which leaves our natural fat burning mechanisms out of practice! If you want to burn of excess body fat, you need to train your mitochondria how to burn it primarily for energy. It is what they want, after all! So you need to eat a range of healthy natural unprocessed fats, while avoiding the industrial ones, and avoiding nutrient void crap foods like Oreos ‘n’ stuff. Once you stop burning mostly sugar for energy, your mitochondria will by happy to burn mostly fat, and you’ll be happy too, because fat metabolism creates less free radicals! Cool Beans!

Oh yah, walking around a lot and lifting heavy things also trains your body to burn fat primarily for energy, instead of sugar. Bonus!

Still not convinced? Still think there’s too many calories in fat? You really should read this post here: You wanna talk calories? Lets talk calories.

Cutting out all the excess garbage, and eating only whole real natural foods will get your inflammation down, your fat burning mechanisms practiced and in place, and will make sure you aren’t hungry or tempted to over eat! See how easy this is? It’s super stoneage common sense!

Oh yah, I almost forgot! (how could you let me forget?) Atherosclerosis and heart disease is now widely recognized as an inflammatory disease, which means cholesterol is off the hook! woohoo! Read about it here.

Get Stoneage!

~ Dan

Grains. There’s more to it than just gluten – Part II.

Lectins are sugar-binding proteins (not to be confused with glycoproteins, which are proteins containing sugar chains or residues) that are highly specific for their sugar moieties. They play a role in biological recognition phenomena involving cells and proteins.

There are a number of different lectin types in foods. Not all are damaging to us. Some should be avoided, especially the ones in cereal grains and legumes. Plants use lectins as part of their natural defense systems. They help plants defend against attackers such as mold, fungus, and parasites.

Grain lectins are able to pass through the gut into general circulation, and cause numerous problems throughout the body, including systemmic inflammation, a leading cause of many diseases and obesity.

Lectins are not digested by stomach acid or enzymes. So still intact, lectins can then attach to, and attack, cell membranes. Recent research is beginning to reveal how the body’s response to these lectins is a major cause of many immune system imbalances. Based on this recent research, many symptoms once attributed to aging or “wear and tear” may need to be reclassified as immune reactions caused by lectins.

The problems with eating grains can be compounded further. As I mentioned in the first post in this series:

Combine a diet high in cereal grains, low in total fat, low in saturated fats, and possibly low in high quality animal proteins, and it’s obvious why an individual might start to run a deficiency in iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins, etc.  Some people will argue that grains can be a good source of many nutrients… in the lab These same people need to understand the difference between ingestion and digestion.  Just because a food has a particular nutrient profile analysed in a lab setting, it does not mean it can be digested and absorbed by the body.  Grains in particular are spectacularly good and binding nutrients, minerals especially, and preventing them from being absorbed (grain intake might even see a higher turnover in the likes of vitamin D). 

So you’re not doing yourself any favors by trying to carb load on grains. Especially athletes. Where the goal is to minimize inflammation, grains have an incredibly pro-inflammatory tendency. You need to start using clean carb sources like sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, and other starchy vegetables. You’ll be able to avoid the inflammation, gut stress and emegency sideline bathroom breaks, along with the bloating and discomfort. At the same time you’ll be getting many times more vitamins and minerals in your diet, a key for proper recovery and immune function.

So on top of the anti nutrients discussed in the previous post, lectins from grains and legumes compound the risk. Now it’s easy to see why obesity and disease rates are so high in industrialized countries like America. We rely so heavily on grains as a staple food source, it makes up the bulk of what most people are told to eat. Yet they are nothing but cheap sugar calories, void of any nutritional value, and they cause systemmic inflammation that catches up to you as you age.

Even before you are very old, systemmic inflammation from poor diet can rear its ugly head in the form of acne, depression, IBS, celiac, arthritis, and abdominal fat accumulation, just to name a few.

How do lectins cause these problems?

Lectins cause cells to “agglutinate”, or stick together. Your body’s immune system then sends out white blood cells to destroy the lectins, as well as the cells that have agglutinated. This can result in systemmic inflammation.

In the intestines, agglutination allows lectins to bind to the intestinal wall, particularly the villi, of the small intestine. This causes damage and impaired cellular repair potential, cellular death, and compromised intestinal villi, reducing the absorption of other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and protein. Add to this altered gut flora, which can allow certain harmful bacterial strains like E. coli to run rampant. Since the body is now responding full-time to the needs of the injured gut lining, proteins and other resources are redirected from other basic growth and repair processes.

This process also causes leaky gut, allowing other toxins and partially digested food to enter circulation, leading to food allergies and autoimmune reactions, when your immune system attacks these particles, and the healthy cells they are attached to.  

That’s why lectins are linked with autoimmune disorders like IBS, Crohn’s. colitis, thyroid conditions, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis. Specific lectins have been associated with particular ailments (like wheat with rheumatoid arthritis), but more research is needed to trace and confirm these connections. However, it is clear that potent autoimmune destruction can result when the intestinal lining experiences this level of damage. Lectins also cause discharge of histamine from gastric mast cells, which stimulate acid secretion. So the three main pathogenic factors for peptic ulcer – acid stimulation, failure of the mucous defense layer, and abnormal bacterial proliferation (helicobacter pylori) are all theoretically linked to lectins. The mucous stripping effect of lectins, also offers an explanation for the anecdotal finding of many allergists that a “stone age diet”, which eliminates most starchy foods and therefore most lectins, protects against upper respiratory viral infections.

One more thing to be aware of is how easily you can over eat these calorically dense, yet nutrient void grain based foods. Since grains (and sugar) give you nothing your body actually needs, your satiety mechanisms quickly make you hungry only a few hours after a meal. That’s your body telling you to eat. It’s looking for nutrients that it needs, yet getting none. This happens time, and time again. We over eat. We get fat. And all the systemmic inflammation makes us sick, weak, and prone to disease. Blasted!

There’s an easy way to mitigate all this. Stop eating grains and sugar and legumes. And eat lots of healthy natural fats (not the kind made in a factory).

If you have autoimmune issues, avoiding the following foods, as well as grains, should help releive your symptoms. You can experiment with adding foods back, and see which ones you are most affected by:

Beans, kidney, lentils, peanuts and soybeans. Seeds and nuts such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts. Oils made from corn, peanuts, soy, etc. Dairy foods, all milk products, cheese, cottage cheese, kefir andyogurt. Eggs and all products that contain them. Fruits such as cantaloupe and pomegranate. Vegetables in the nightshade family: potato, tomato, eggplant, cucumber and peppers. Processed foods containing added flavoring agents, thickeners, fillers and binders. GMO Foods, as lectins are spliced into modified varieties to enhance “natural” pest & fungal resistance.

Coming soon…

Fat doesn’t make you fat < Read on! Get Stoneage!

~ Dan

8 Reasons your weight loss might be stalling, and what to do about it

So you’ve done everything right. You’ve dropped grains, industrial veggie oils and sugar, and started eating whole real foods. You’ve started lifting heavy things once in a while. You get healthy amounts of sunshine. You try to avoid stress. Everything seems to be going as planned.

But you’ve hit a stall in your fat loss goals. Your tummy just won’t budge, or you’re having trouble losing those last few pounds to really be lean and get that beach body in time for summer. How will you ever fit ito that bathing suit?

Are you actually doing everything you can? Here’s some questions to ask yourself before you throw in the towel.

Are you actually eating healthy?

You might think just sticking to the Paleo 80/20 rule is enough, but if you’ve reached a stall, it’s time to assess that other 20%. It’s possible you’re allowing a little sugar in your coffee here, and a little veggie oil there, all the while thinking that it’s “ok” because it’s within that 20%, but it really does add up, and chances are if you’re not paying attention, you could be consuming way more “crap” than you realize. Add that onto a few alcoholic drinks each weekend, and a cheat meal at a restaurant that includes grains, and we’ve slipped suddenly into 50/50 territory, or worse.

The solution is to go full 100% paleo. Don’t let that sugar into your coffee, get a bit more picky at restaurants, and keep alcohol to a minimum during the weekend. Kick that nagging sugar addiction to the curb by going cold turkey. Don’t go near any grains. Cook at home as often as possible. You’ll save money and feel better, and more often than not, start to see the fat go away. This is one of the most common problems for weight loss stalls. More often than not, once you really dial in your diet, you’ll see progress. Everything else is just (coconut oil) icing on the (gluten free) cake 😉

Are you still smoking or drinking?

It’s obvious that smoking and too much alcohol do have adverse health effects. I really shouldn’t have to go into detail here. But the bottom line is, even if diet is dialed in, drugs like these have an overwhelming effect on our ability to lose fat. Modern tobacco is coated in pesticides, for instance, which has been shown to cause chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Not only is insulin resistance the gateway to lifelong fat-gain, it’s the gateway to diabetes.

The act of smoking also causes chronic inflammation from carcinogens. Not only is this the main determining factor in the hypothalamus’ health and ability to regulate fat mass, but chronic inflammation leads to a number of health issues in the long run, cancer being an obvious big one.

Alcohol also inhibits your body’s ability to burn fat. When alcohol is in your system, it becomes your body’s priority to metabolize the poison and get rid of it. The more you consume, the more lipolysis is inhibited. Since our goal with Paleo is to become fat-burning machines, it makes a lot of sense to keep alcohol to a minimum.

Are you eating too much?

Paleo isn’t dark magic. Your body is still able to absorb and store excess energy as fat. That’s the wonder of our hunter-gatherer genes that helped us to survive times of scarcity. We’re designed to be thrifty and store energy for emergencies. Obviously finding food nowadays isn’t an issue for most of us, actually the problem we face is too much food.

Are you consuming too many carbs? If you are mostly sedentary (chances are if you’re reading this, that’s you) your ability to handle lots of glucose diminishes. Taper your fruit and starch intake down if you are taking time off from activities. Even if you are active, the conventional wisdom for how many carbs we “need” is vastly overstated. Try to dial them down to no more than 100g per day, higher for very active people like athletes (200 plus, depends on the individual) then see how you feel. If you feel good, bring them down more. If your activity performance decreases, try going higher. Everyone is different. But if the goal is rapid fat loss, make sure you’re not polishing off an entire carton of berries every day.

Are you only eating when you are truly hungry? Like I said above, we have a problem these days of having too much food around. Everything around us is designed to override your natural satiety and pleasure signals to get you to consume more. Become conscious of this, and attune yourself to your own hunger signals. Eat only when truly hungry, and don’t let anyone tell you that you have to eat. Paleo makes this easier by removing food toxins that mess with your satiety signals, but external pressures still abound. Take note, and remember, Summer is coming! Reach that goal!

How active are you?

Most people today just are not active enough. We spend hours at our desks, then we go home and do it in front of the computer or TV. It’s a huge problem. We are designed as fat-burning animals, and our bodies need lots of low level activity like walking, hiking, or swimming. Lifting heavy things also creates more fat-burning muscle tissue, by making muscles larger and increasing the amount of fat-burning mitochondria (the powerhouses of our bodies that make ATP from fatty acids). Muscle also looks better, and makes it much easier to maintain a low body-fat percentage.

Some people are just too active. Doing too much cardio is common. When you stay above 75% of your MHR (max heart rate) for long periods of time you are burning glycogen, causing you to crave more sugar in order to replenish those stores. Clearly a problem if we’re trying to minimize excess carbs. The other issue with too much cardio is that it causes excessive release of cortisol, so over the long run you will gain weight, lose muscle, and cause chronic wear issues like joint pain. This is a common issue for other types of exercise too. Lifting weights too often will also release too much cortisol and can stall fat loss.

You have to find your happy medium, and make sure to allow proper recovery time between workouts. Muscles have to heal to grow, in order to burn more fat and create more mitochondria. I prefer to allow 5-7 days between muscle groups when I lift, and I usually lift 3 days a week, with one weekend session of interval training each week. Which leads me to the next section…

Have you tried sprinting yet?

I have a number of posts about sprinting, or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The benefits are numerous, and the time commitment is minimal. Basically, providing an occasional high-stressor for your body causes an array of adaptations to fat-burning and metabolism, while keeping cortisol to a minimum and allowing plenty of recovery time between sessions. It increases insulin sensitivity, causes HGH secretion, increases numbers of fat-burning mitochondria, and makes way for growth spurts in muscle that can have overarching benefits in your weight lifting. If you haven’t started doing this each week, why the hell not?!

Have you tried intermittent fasting?

I also have a few posts about this topic. IF is shown to increase longevity and a number of health markers, as well as induce autophagy, allowing your body to clean, detoxify and reboot itself. IF also allows you to eat a few large meals a day, and still provide a large window of time for your body to burn primarily fat for energy when you are not eating. Eating Paleo makes this 100 times easier, because you don’t actually get hungry during the fast. If you haven’t made this a regular part of your routine, now is the time to make it happen!

Are you managing stress properly?

Too much stress can hinder fat loss via excessive release of cortisol. It can also cause you to crave junk food, over eat, and lose muscle. The best ways to manage stress is to get outside and enjoy nature, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, and make sure you have healthy ways to let it out. Working out, playing, laughter, being with friends. All good ways to make yourself happier and less stressed.

Have you been sick recently?

Things like antibiotics are overused by the medical establishment. Good thing Paleo makes us as healthy as possible, so that if we do get sick, we can overcome it very fast. Antibiotics are handed out for everything from a sore throat to an ear infection. They are very damaging to your gut flora, which has a large part to do with your ability to lose weight. Your gut flora determines largely how you digest foods, and having a healthy population can help keep you lean. There have been a plethora of recent studies done. For instance I recently read one where they transplanted gut bacteria from lean people to obese people, and the obese individuals all lost weight without any other intervention. This study did the same thing with mice.

Lean human guts contain more flora from the bacterial phylum of Bacteroidetes and less from the Firmicutes phylum, whereas obese human guts contain flora more heavily weighted toward Firmicutes. Furthermore, both mice and humans with “obese” gut flora (high in Firmicutes) derive more energy from food and have an increased ability to “harvest energy.”

Martin Blaser, an NYU microbiome researcher, speculates that not only does antibiotic usage permanently change our gut flora, it also promotes obesity. Blaser examined the effect of antibiotics on Helicobacter pylori, a common member of the human gut biome. While there’s evidence that H. pylori increases the risk for ulcers and gastric cancer, it’s also been living in human guts for at least 58,000 years.

Blaser used US veterans who were scheduled for upper GI endoscopies. Of the 92 vets, 38 had no H. pylori, 44 tested positive for H. pylori, and 10 were indeterminate. 23 of the H. pylori positive were given antibiotics, and all but two had total eradication of H. pylori. So, the 21 subjects who were initially replete in H. pylori but who eradicated them through antibiotics gained the most weight. Their BMIs increased by 5% + 2% (The other vets had no weight change). Leptin levels increased by 20%. Postprandial ghrelin increased sixfold. Ghrelin increases hunger, but high levels have the ability to increase abdominal fat.

So before you think you’ve done all you can, check yourself and your habits to see if you are letting a few too many things slip by. It could also be a certain food holding you back. Some people can handle dairy for instance, but some people might find it hinders their fat loss. With Summer approaching it’s time to get your rear in gear to get that beach body! Take a real good look at this list. Try to reach that 100%, or as close to it as you can. Your body will thank you!

You might also like to read:

Is high-rep weight training a waste of time?

Thoughts on High Intensity Interval Training

How bad is saturated fat and cholesterol?

Why women should deadlift

Get muscles, burn fat faster

How to maintain vibrant health and good looks as you age

Aging comes with a lot of stigma these days. The slogan “I’m getting too old for this” is uttered by everyone at some point. We think that getting tired, sick, weak and slow are all part of the process. We are programmed to think that getting old inevitably includes bags, sags, and wrinkles, joint pain, cancer, heart attack, and lots of naps. Adding extra weight around our mid-sections is another accepted part of the “normal” aging process. Don’t believe any of this for one more second!

Aging does not have to come with any of that baggage.

In fact, most of these things are completely in your control. All it takes is living an active life and keeping your body in shape, while following an ancestral type diet that includes healthy animal meats and organs, vegetables and fruit, and eliminates all processed food, grains, and sugar. By doing so you will eliminate systemic inflammation, which is the cause of most modern ills and diseases. You will also find that your skin and complextion are healthier too. Lean muscle mass will provide you with the proper organ reserve to maintin strength and health through old age, and also prevents injury.

Take a look at this succss story from a 71 year old man (who looks more like 50) who has followed this type of lifestyle. Here are a couple of people (Mark Sisson, and his wife) over 50 who also have found success in an ancestral lifestyle. Here’s a few more! Gerry age 64, Paula 51, Dave 54, 65 year old mother, Norman 53, George 54.

Here is an informative list of 10 rules for aging well.

The role of lean muscle mass and organ reserve in aging

How to control your gene expression. Don’t be a victim of your own genes!

How to get that natural glow and maintain healthy skin

Is it really that easy? Yes it is! Try it for 2 weeks and tell me you don’t see immediate changes in your health and energy levels!

Like this post? Want to find out more about how to get in shape fast? Check out these articles about getting in shape, feeling great, and controlling your genes!

Lower bodyfat setpoint.

Lose stubborn body fat. (Intermittent fasting)

Control your gene expression.

Heavy strength training is a required aspect of long term health. For everybody.

How to train your body to burn fat all day long. High intensity interval training (HIIT).

Why you should avoid too many polyunsaturated fats.

What is chronic inflammation. What to eat to avoid it.

The final word on grains and legumes: AVOID them.

The final word on Saturated fat and Cholesterol: EAT them

Smoking does make you fat and insulin resistant. Pesticides in America.

[Reblog from Animal Pharm]

Modern Big Tobacco-Agra/Monsatan Crops

Crops are generally coated with pesticides for the last 30-50 years. Are they toxic? Pesticides are upregulated into the food chain via consumption (corn, soy) by feedlot livestock and poultry. Let’s not forget tobacco (cigarettes, snuff, cigars, etc). ‘Tobacco is a pesticide-intensive crop. With nearly 27 million pounds of pesticides (including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and suckercides) applied to the U.S.-grown crop from 1994 to 1998, it ranks SIXTH in terms of the amount of pesticides applied per acre. The tobacco industry regards pesticides as essential to tobacco production, stating that “the crop could not be produced economically without them”.’

Additionally pesticides are employed in municipalities (public schools, parks, government land) and personal home use (termites, ant control, weeds control, lawns, etc). Although pesticides do not taste, smell or look toxic, they are not benign and without metabolic dysregulation consequences.

New studies in PubMed are cropping (pun intended) up in number pointing directly to insulin resistance, obesogenic, neurologic and inflammatory damage secondary to this broad group of pervasive chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). They are difficult to avoid as once in the soil, air or bodies of water, fish, birds and animals, they typically fail to degrade and significantly impact the environment.

The researcher Alavanja states ‘Over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United State (US) each year and approximately 5.6 billion pounds are used worldwide (1). In many developing countries programs to control exposures are limited or non-existent. As a consequence; it has been estimated that as many as 25 million agricultural workers worldwide experience unintentional pesticide poisonings each year (4). In a large prospective study of pesticide users in the United States, the Agricultural Health Study, it was estimated that 16% of the cohort had at least one pesticide poisoning or an unusually high pesticide exposure episode in their lifetime (5).

Although attempts to reduce pesticide use through organic agricultural practices and the use of other technologies to control pests continue, exposure to pesticides occupationally, through home and garden use, through termite control or indirectly through spray drifts and through residues in household dust, and in food and water are common (6). The US Department of Agriculture has estimated that 50 million people in the United States obtain their drinking water from groundwater that is potentially contaminated by pesticides and other agricultural chemicals (7, 8). Children from 3-6 years old received most of their dermal and non-dietary oral doses from playing with toys and while playing on carpets which contributed the largest portion of their exposure (9-12).’

U.S.A. Obesity Trends With Pesticide Use

Guess what?

Pesticide use on crops grown in the South (tobacco) and Mid-West (corn, wheat, soy) trends well with U.S.A. obesity patterns [hat tip: LePine MD]. Above is the trend of obesity that starts mid-1980s then grows exponentially each few years. Maps are from Lim et al and BFRSS data.

Smart people in Korea (Lim et al) report that ‘There is an apparent overlap between areas in the USA where the herbicide, atrazine (ATZ), is heavily used and obesity-prevalence maps of people with a BMI over 30. Given that herbicides act on photosystem II of the thylakoid membrane of chloroplasts, which have a functional structure similar to mitochondria, we investigated whether chronic exposure to low concentrations of ATZ might cause obesity or insulin resistance by damaging mitochondrial function.’

Pesticides Kill Pests, Including Our Bug-like Mitochondria

It’s therefore not surprising to read about the toxic effects of pesticides on pests whose networked pathways overlap almost precisely with our own cells. Atrazine is a mitochondrial toxin, and our mitochondria are the sole energy generators and powerhouses whether the substrate is glycogen, glucose or fatty acids.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction Causes Fatness and Insulin Resistance (IR)

‘A close association between mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance is well established [1]–[3]. In in vitro studies, we found that artificial induction of mitochondrial dysfunction induced insulin resistance [4], [5].’ This is discussed by Lim et al. He and his colleagues performed an experiment on rodents. They fed low levels of atrazine to rats then examined lab parameters for insulin resistance (IR). What happened? The higher the dose of atrazine, the higher the obesity and insulin resistance. Atrazine was associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, higher visceral (organ) fat deposition, higher blood glucoses and decreased energy metabolism.

Another group of researchers, Ruzzin et al, tested a similar hypothesis. They fed crude Atlantic salmon oil to rodents and examined IR parameters. They state ‘POPs accumulate in the lipid fraction of fish, and fish consumption represents a source of POP exposure to humans (Dougherty et al. 2000; Hites et al. 2004; Schafer and Kegley 2002). Therefore, certain European countries have dietary recommendations to limit the consumption of fatty fish per week (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition 2004).’ They discovered similar insulin resistant results when they exposed fat cells in vitro to a POP mixture that mimicked the relative abundance of contaminants found in crude salmon oil. Insulin signalling was broken and impaired.


BRFSS, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System [Obesity trend map and cdc slides] [BRFSS raw data by state and year]

Pesticides Use and Exposure Extensive Worldwide. Michael C.R. AlavanjaRev Environ Health. 2009 Oct–Dec; 24(4): 303–309.

The Tobacco Industry and Pesticide Regulations: Case Studies from Tobacco Industry Archives. Patricia A. McDaniel, Gina Solomon, Ruth E. Malone. Environ Health Perspect. 2005 December; 113(12): 1659–1665.

Chronic Exposure to the Herbicide, Atrazine, Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Insulin Resistance. Soo Lim, Sun Young Ahn, In Chan Song, Myung Hee Chung, Hak Chul Jang, Kyong Soo Park, Ki-Up Lee, Youngmi Kim Pak, Hong Kyu LeePLoS ONE. 2009; 4(4): e5186.

Persistent Organic Pollutant Exposure Leads to Insulin Resistance Syndrome. Jérôme Ruzzin, Rasmus Petersen, Emmanuelle Meugnier, Lise Madsen, Erik-Jan Lock, Haldis Lillefosse, Tao Ma, Sandra Pesenti, Si Brask Sonne, Troels Torben Marstrand, Marian Kjellevold Malde, Zhen-Yu Du, Carine Chavey, Lluis Fajas, Anne-Katrine Lundebye, Christian Lehn Brand, Hubert Vidal, Karsten Kristiansen, Livar FrøylandEnviron Health Perspect. 2010 April; 118(4): 465–471.

Effect of Endocrine Disruptor Pesticides: A ReviewWissem Mnif, Aziza Ibn Hadj Hassine, Aicha Bouaziz, Aghleb Bartegi, Olivier Thomas, Benoit RoigInt J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 June; 8(6): 2265–2303.

Why grass fed? Because it really does matter what your food eats!

Something I have been meaning to get to recently, but just haven’t had in the forefront of my mind until now. Since we are trying to attain optimal health and “look-good-naked” status, [wink] it makes sense to consider not only what you are eating, but where it came from and how it was grown or raised.

Not only is factory farming cruel and dirty, but it raises sick animals by feeding them cheap grains and feed, and it commoditizes our food making it lower quality, sacrificing our health for their bottom line ($$$).

Only healthy happy animals make happy healthy Paleo food for us!

Yes it does matter. Just as you would (or should) choose organic pesticide free fruits and vegetables, locally and sustainably grown, you should also ask “where did this animal come from? How was it raised?  What did my food eat before I ate it?

Residues that accumulate as a result of the factory farming system (pesticides, antibiotics) are fat-soluble, and stored in the animal’s fatty tissues. Consuming the fat from these animals causes us to accumulate these toxins as well. These toxins are also dose-dependent, meaning the more you consume, the more your health is at risk.

Bacon, for example, is one of the fattiest cuts. Bacon from the factory farming system contains some of the highest doses of these toxins. In addition, pigs are arguably the most abused, poorly fed, sick animals in the factory farming system. Therefore, to enjoy bacon and maintain your long-term health in the Paleo context, it should always come from local farms that allow their pigs free range pasture, with a diet free from grains or other commodity feeds.

The fatty acid ratio in factory farmed animals is also pretty bad. There is a total lack of omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed to balance out the omega-6 content. The omega-6 content also sky-rockets from grain-feeding, making the nutrient profile even uglier.

Grain fed animals also suffer many of the same health problems as people who follow the Standard American Diet. Being fed a steady diet of mostly grains results in systemic inflammation, intramuscular fat accumulation, poor nutrient profile, and sick animals who are shipped off to slaughter just before becoming ill or dead from it.

What should my food eat?

Your food should eat what would normally be available to it in the wild. For cows, that’s wild grasses. But, to say grass-fed cows eat grass isn’t telling the entire story. It’s more accurate to say they eat graminoids, which comprise hundreds of different species of sedges (found in wild marshes and grasslands; a famous sedge includes papyrus), rushes (a small but plucky family of herbaceous and rhizomatous plants), and true grasses (cereals, lawn grass, bamboo, grassland grass – the type of grass that produces the leaves Walt Whitman writes about). And that’s just the graminoid. Cows will also nibble on shrubs, clovers, and random leaves if they can get to them. Basically, they’ll eat whatever’s in reach, green, and leafy. Legally, grass-fed cows may also eat cereal grain crops in the “pre-grain stage,” hay, silage, and non-grain crop byproducts

You need to be careful, though, because sometimes beef may say “pastured” on the label, even though many pastures contain supplemented feed bins with grains. The same goes for chickens. Chickens and eggs will often be labeled as “free range” or “vegetarian fed” or some such nonsense. Chickens are not vegetarians, and should eat grubs and bugs to make the healthiest tastiest eggs and chicken wings for us Paleoists!

Grass fed beef is higher in necessary B-vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K, and trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium. Studies show that grass feeding results in higher levels of CLA, a healthy naturally occurring trans fat. Grass fed dairy also has more of the beneficial trans fats. Grass fed beef has plenty of healthy fats, distributed more evenly throughout the animal’s subcutaneous tissue, where it belongs (Fat accumulation in muscle tissue is not a sign of a healthy animal).

Grass-fed truly shines in the micronutrient profile for one reason. Grass-fed cows get more nutritious food. Remember: they aren’t munching on monoculture lawn cuttings (let alone soy and corn). They’re eating a wide variety of (often wild) grasses, sedges, rushes, shrubs, and herbs, each with its own nutrient profile.

Plus, it just tastes better!

The clearly superior version of beef, chicken, eggs, or pork comes from grass-fed and finished, or pastured and free-range-fed. Animals that are raised by ranchers committed to providing excellent stewardship of both soil quality (for our food’s food quality), and animal quality. Plus it’s the more responsible thing to do. I know I feel better eating animals that were treated with care, and were happy and healthy up until slaughter, and the point where it became food to sustain me as a healthy animal.

YUM I am hungry.

Like this post? Want to find out more about how to get in shape fast? Check out these articles about getting in shape, feeling great, and controlling your genes!

Lower bodyfat setpoint.

Lose stubborn body fat. (Intermittent fasting)

Control your gene expression.

Heavy strength training is a required aspect of long term health. For everybody.

How to train your body to burn fat all day long. High intensity interval training (HIIT).

Why you should avoid too many polyunsaturated fats.

What is chronic inflammation. What to eat to avoid it.

The final word on grains and legumes: AVOID them.

The final word on Saturated fat and Cholesterol: EAT them

How to be smarter. Why sugar is making you stupid.

And how to have more energy all the time!

First, we need to enhance our mental clarity. But how do we do that? We’ve already tried the energy drinks, eaten our sugary-snacks, AND had a few donuts and bagels. But howcome we still feel slow, sluggish, foggy, and stupid? I mean, didn’t we do everything “they” told us to by keeping our blood sugar elevated?


Here’s what really happens when you eat sugar

After easily consuming hundreds of grams of some sugary-substance, either grains, soda, energy drinks, or snacks, we have THE DOMINO EFFECT:

Your pancreas kicks into overdirve and issues a flood of insulin to try and mop up that mess of sugar in your blood stream. Even though glucose is valuable fuel when your muscles need it during strenuous exercise, in excess this sugar is toxic to your system, and is treated as a threat. You might feel flushed, high, spastic, nauseous, or slightly drugged; unless you are insulin-resistant, in which case you might barely notice. If this is true, take note, because you are on your way to diabetes-ville.

The rush of insulin starts a chain reaction. If there is room in your muscle or liver glycogen stores, your insulin will try to store the glucose there. Chances are, though, if you follow the Standard American Diet, and eat your “healthywholegrains” every day, your glycogen stores are most likely filled to the brim. In this case, the excess is shuttled right into your fat cells. In reaction to this “quasi-emergency that looks like another life-threatening stressor”, the body steps up its efforts to achieve homeostasis by releasing both epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol from your adrenals. Your heart is racing, and you’re starting to feel uncomfortable, maybe even sweating. And we’re still likely within the first hour after you finished off that twinkie-pop-donut-cake!

Shortly after the adrenaline rush, the crash comes. Burnout. Oh yes, we’ve all had this before, the dreaded sugar-crash. All the glucose is now out of your blood stream, because you thretened the system and it over reacted. You start to feel sluggish and fried. Your orexin cells are yawning and putting you to sleep. Making you foggy-brained and slow to react.

Your immune system takes a hit as well. After the insulin, adrenaline, glucose, cortisol rush, your immune system starts to tailspin. Immunity related phagocytes can be impaired for up to 5 hours! Free radicals also go to town as sugar increases oxidative stress. Your blood even thickens as a result of the stress. 

A large dose of sugar can even impair your immune system for up to 24 hours. Now you’re at risk for not just diabetes, but whatever bug is floating around the office now looms over your head.

So, how do you get smarter than everyone else?

Fat is a more efficient source of energy for your body, as your mitochondria have an easier time making the conversion. Sugar, on the other hand, is a very dirty conversion, and creates lots of free radcals, which induces lots of oxidative stress on your body.

Your brain would also rather run on ketones than glucose. A study presented at the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in February of 2003 verified that blood sugar excess is a major vector for memory problems.

Various factors were measured in the study including how participants performed on several memory tests, how quickly they metabolized blood sugar after a meal, and, through the use of MRI scans, the size of the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for for learning and recent memory. Results indicated that people who metabolized sugar slowly (where blood sugar levels were more elevated) had a smaller hippocampus and scored worse on tests for recent memory. The study is the first to show an association between the size of the hippocampus and the ability to control blood sugar levels in the body.  Though further research is needed, this association suggests that delivery of glucose may influence hippocampal structure and function, researchers said.

Conversely,  other studies have clearly shown indication that many natural dietary fats seem to have a cognitive and memory enhancing effect, as well as the effect of  powerful neurological stabilization (as evidenced by the effectiveness of ketogenic diets for eliminating seizures).

Since glucose is reactive in the presence of oxygen and  “sticks” to things, any amount of glucose is going to have glycating and undesirable oxidative effects throughout the body–particularly the brain.  The brain is the most vulnerable organ to the effects of  glucose because it lacks the ability to respond to insulin.  SOME blood sugar is a necessary and unavoidable thing (due to the unique needs of our red blood cells)…but the less dependent we are upon it, the better.

Your liver is also able to create whatever glucose the brain and body needs for normal function via gluconeogenesis, the process by which the liver converts protein to glucose. So why load up on dietary sugar?

The less the brain has to depend upon glucose as its primary source of fuel, and the more it can be trained and adapted to depend upon ketones for energy, the better, healthier and more efficient brain function becomes.

Nature would never have been so stupid as to design the human body and brain to be chronically dependent on so unreliable, inefficient and damaging a fuel as glucose.  For one thing, we are descended from hunter-gatherers.  Sugar and starch were not readily even available through a significant portion of our evolutionary history (ice-age or seasonal times).  Glucose is naturally meant to be the body and brain’s emergency fuel–used mainly in more extreme and anaerobically demanding circumstances (read: demanding situations that leave you out of breath or during moments of major exertion).

If you examine the value of both of our utilizable fuel sources, glucose/sugar and ketones/fat strictly from the perspective of the energy they provide the truth becomes obvious.  Sugar, as a quick burning fuel can be viewed as a form of “kindling”.  Commonly prescribed “whole grains”, brown rice and legumes can be looked upon as “twigs” for feeding the metabolic fire.  Potatoes, white rice, bread and  cereal can be viewed more like “paper”.  Alcohol is the equivalent of “gasoline” on the fire–supplying a ball of flame and not much more. People who are ultra dependent on glucose will crave alcohol regularly as an emergency means to keep their metabolic fire going.  A reformed alcoholic that has not dealt with the underlying blood sugar dependence issue will compensate for the elimination of alcohol with an ongoing perpetual sweet tooth (and likely, ongoing cravings for alcohol, as well).  Changing one’s metabolic fuel dependence to ketones/fat instead of glucose/sugar changes everything.

Fat, unlike sugar, is the fuel equivalent of putting a nice big log on the fire. 

Your brain is metabolically the most expensive organ in the human body (relative to energy demands).  It occupies less than 5% of your total body mass but uses 20-30% of your total energy every day, just to maintain itself.  Doesn’t it make sense that fat would be the far better choice for this?  –Particularly since fat is what the brain is overwhelmingly made of and because healthy natural fat has no detrimental glycating or damaging impact by its presence.

The quicker you drop sugar and switch over to fat, the better (as opposed to “gradual changeover”).  Supplements such as L-glutamine, L-carnitine help facilitate the metabolic changeover more rapidly and with far less discomfort for some. But just go all out and get it over with already!

So–to put it all in a nutshell–what’s the single most beneficial step you can take to greatly improve the function and performance of your brain and memory?

Avoid the sugar, avoid the crash, avoid the inflammation. Stay strong and healthy by following a Paleo lifestyle. When you are burning healthy fats for energy, you’ll be smarter, more alert, and healthier for it!

How Essential are PUFAs? Don’t guzzle veggie oil!


Current reviews and textbooks call the omega-6 linoleic acid and the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid “essential fatty acids” (EFA) and cite the EFA requirement as one to four percent of calories. Research suggests, however, that the omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) and the omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the only fatty acids that are truly essential. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) occurs in fish products but is probably not a normal constituent of the mammalian body and in excess it interferes with essential AA metabolism. The EFA requirement cited in the scientific literature is inflated by several factors: the use of diets composed mostly of sucrose, glucose, or corn syrup; the use of diets deficient in vitamin B6; the use of purified fatty acids instead of whole foods; the use of questionable biochemical markers rather than verifiable symptoms as an index for EFA deficiency; and the generalization from studies using young, growing animals to adults. The true requirement for EFA during growth and development is less than 0.5 percent of calories when supplied by most animal fats and less than 0.12 percent of calories when supplied by liver. On diets low in heated vegetable oils and sugar and rich in essential minerals, biotin, and vitamin B6, the requirement is likely to be much lower than this. Adults recovering from injury, suffering from degenerative diseases involving oxidative stress, or seeking to build muscle mass mass may have a similar requirement. For women who are seeking to conceive, pregnant, or lactating, the EFA requirement may be as high as one percent of calories. In other healthy adults, however, the requirement is infinitesimal if it exists at all. The best sources of EFAs are liver, butter, and egg yolks, especially from animals raised on pasture. During pregnancy, lactation, and childhood, small amounts of cod liver oil may be useful to provide extra DHA, but otherwise this supplement should be used only when needed to obtain fat-soluble vitamins. Vegetarians or others who eat a diet low in animal fat should consider symptoms such as scaly skin, hair loss or infertility to be signs of EFA deficiency and add B6 or animal fats to their diets. An excess of linoleate from vegetable oil will interfere with the production of DHA while an excess of EPA from fish oil will interfere with the production and utilization of AA. EFA are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) that contribute to oxidative stress. Vitamin E and other antioxidant nutrients cannot fully protect against oxidative stress induced by dietary PUFA. Therefore, the consumption of EFA should be kept as close to the minimum requirement as is practical while still maintaining an appetizing and nutritious diet.

Bottom line: NOT VERY ESSENTIAL. Don’t flood your body with PUFA. You get plenty from butter, eggs, fish, and other animal products. Any more than that leads to inflammation and atherosclerosis.

Don’t use veggie oil, don’t supplement with omega 6 or omega 3.

What the heck is inflammation, and how does it affect me?

There are two types of inflammation: acute and systemic/chronic. Acute inflammation has it’s place and is a natural reaction by our bodies to stress or injury, but when that acute inflammation becomes systemic, we can have major problems with our health.

Acute inflammation is the initial response to a pathogen or an injury. It is usually brief and only lasts a few days. Acute inflammation is usually caused by trauma, infection, burn, chemical irritation, frostbite, cuts, and allergic reactions.

Heat, redness, swelling and pain usually result, but are absolutely critical forms of acute inflammation to get the healing process started:

  • Increased blood flow heats up the injury and turns it red. The blood carries leukocytes that clean up pathogens and start healing.
  • swollen parts like a swollen ankle is full of plasma and leukocytes that start the healing process.
  • Pain is just your body’s way of saying you f**ked up! Don’t do that again!
  • Loss of function prevents you from using a broken part, so it can heal.

What about systemic or chronic inflammation? Why is it linked to obesity, heart disease, and depression?

Inflammation becomes chronic once it ceases to be an acute response, and it becomes a constant feature of your physiology that’s always engaged, always fighting what your body sees as a low level, constant threat.

This is how things really get screwed up, because inflammation is supposed to be an acute, short-and-sweet response to injury, and because a big part of inflammation is tissue break-down, targeting pathogens and damaged tissue, a chronic inflammatory response has the potential to really f**k up your body! You can see how things have the ability to get way out of hand.

Now here’s some things that cause chronic inflammation. These are things we see in most developed countries such as ours, and they all lead to a systemic breakdown of the finely tuned and tightly managed inflammatory system. The first two are the most important!

Toxic diets: High-sugar, high-processed carb, high-industrial fat, high-grain, high-CAFO meat.

Leads to: leptin resistance, insulin resistance, obesity, abdominal fat accumulation, diabetes, poor recovery, weak immune system, chronic heartburn, the list goes on and on and on….

Excessive PUFA intake: Polyunsaturated fats form the precursors for inflammatory eicosanoids, which are an integral part of the inflammatory response. High omega-6 status (High PUFA status in general) means excessive production of inflammatory eicosanoids and an exaggerated inflammatory response to normal stimuli.

Leads to: heart disease, atherosclerosis, obesity.

Lack of sleep: Poor sleep is linked to elevated inflammatory markers. Poor sleep is a chronic problem in developed nations. Either we go to bed too late, wake up too early, or we use too many electronics late at night and disrupt the quality of what little sleep we get. Or all three at once. Try a harder mattress, or no mattress. It’s natural!

Lack of movement: People lead sedentary lives, by and large, and a lack of activity is strongly linked to systemic, low-grade inflammation.

Poor recovery: Other people move too much, with too little rest and recovery. Overtraining is a form of chronic inflammation.

Lack of down time: When you’re always on the computer, always checking your email/Facebook/smartphone, you are always “on.” You may think you’re relaxing because your body is stationary, but you’re not relaxing. That’s why I’m going to Cancun in a couple weeks!

Lack of nature time: We spend too much time stuck in cubicles, cars, trains, and cities, away from the forest and soft earth. We evolved from hunter-gatherers, so the wilderness is natually home for us. Plus getting enough sun gives us much needed vitamin D! Going camping certainly has its measured benefits!

Poor gut health: The gut houses the bulk of the human immune system. When it’s unhealthy, so is your inflammatory regulation.

Leads to: depression, illness, weak immune system, poor recovery, and acne.

All that stuff really adds up and sets us up for a lifetime of woe and misery. MAJOR SUCK!! But you don’t have to fit in with the crowd and say “we all get fat and sick with age”. Hell No! Just do your body right and stick to the Paleo way of life, which will keep inflammation in check. ALL RIGHT!

Next up: Controlling our genes with positive hormone expression

My Progress 2/08/2012 and breaking the plateau.

I’ve done it again! Week-on-week gains have been a walk in the park for me these past 2 cycles.

I’ll post my updated logs below, but first I want to go off on a tangent about…

The Dreaded PLATEAU

I have friends that complain about hitting “plateaus” in their workouts. They just can’t lift any more weight, or get past a certain point in body composition. I wonder what the cause is? My gut tells me they’ve hit the plateaus because of poor diet, and their body just can’t support any more muscle mass with their mediocre nutrient intakes. Or they have some systemic inflammation going on, and recovery from the gym is just secondary to their body’s need to fight that inflammation.

One of my close friends follows a low carb plan (weakly though). He’s got decent definitiion, but seems to get bored easily. I think the boredom has to do with his lack of gains recently, and that exacerbates the problem. He complained to me once that he just couldn’t get past “this one lift”.

Another of my gym-going friends says he pays attention to what he eats, but it really is a shit-poor diet of grains and lean meats. So in reality, he’s eating what everyone else in the weight-lifting world eats. He also started with the “bulking then cutting” bodybuilding mentality, and has paid for it with piss-poor body composition for years. Granted, he CAN leg press 1000 lbs, but that’s just genetic luck on his part. He also seems to have some boredom issues with regards to getting into the gym and lifting. He’s also plagued by constant joint pain and various lifting related injuries that have held him back and caused regressions here and there. The injuries were obviously preventable, but it’s taken him a long time and he still has not fully recovered. This has definitely played a role.

Both friend A and friend B don’t have the same pumped up mentality they used to when we all started out “back in the day”. They do train to failure, and friend A even uses the same Musclehack routines that I do. Again, boredom comes to mind with regards to lack of gains or results in the gym, but I think it all comes down to one thing: they’ve lost their capacity to make further changes in body composition, and lost their capacity to recover.

So what’s holding them back?

Both friend A and friend B continue to eat grains and sugars and all that crap. And the lack of gains is making them lose interest and get bored.

Friend B has a “personal trainer” that no doubt whispers sweet nothings in his ear about “arterycloggingsaturatedfat” and “healthywholegrains”. He trains hard and does the classes and the spinning and all that, but it’s been about a year, and he’s still got that gut. Every time I talk to him about Paleo all he says is “I need my carbs”. Ok buddy, how’s that workin’ for ya? His injuries have also been slow to heal. My experience with this tells me that his “high-carb” attitude has him guzzling grains like a factory-farmed-cow. The immune response from all those lectins and inflammation is undoubtedly keeping his recovery slow, not to mention nutrient deficiency which is absolutely critical to recovery from injury and illness!

Friend A has a wife who loves to cook. Need I say more? Paleo seems like a pretty big life changer for their situation. It would take me a lot of convincing to get both of them to switch. Damn, marriage really does take a toll on your health!

So how do I help my friends? They’ve been stuck in a rut and brainwashed by “professionals”! Meanwhile I’m surpassing them. Huh funny how that works….

Speaking of surpassing

Here’s my latest log update. Keep in mind, most numbers in the spreadsheet are PER SIDE, and don’t include the bar.

Workout Log 1-20-12 to 2-7-12

My biggest lift pundage totals so far

Overhead Press 120 x 8

Smith Shrugs 250 x 10

Leg Press 690 x 8

Bench 175 x 7

Deadlift 245 x 9

Cable Curls 80 x 8

Tricep Pushdowns 145 x 7 (not sure if this is actual weight or what, its one of those cable machines so it could just be a “resistance” measurement)

So there you go! That’s why I never get bored. My body doesn’t plateau because it’s not busy fighting inflammation. [Eat good]. [Train hard]. [Do it right.]

Healthy Whole Grains, Soy and Beans. The Final Word.

Quite possibly some of the most disruptive and dangerous “foods” you can ingest, grains and legumes contain dangerous forms of lectins that have the following effects on your body. 

Edit 2/9/12: Lectins also produce leptin resistance, and bind to insulin receptors, a real problem when we are trying to lose weight and get our metabolism back in check. So if grains are a large part of your diet, you are definitely leptin resistant. I’ve linked to leptin resistance before, and also given you a few tricks on lowering your body fat set point. Leptin resistance also predicts a worsening of the features of the metabolic syndrome independently of obesity.

One study showed that 29% of asymptomatic (not celiac) people tested positive for anti-gliadin IgA in their stool. Anti-gliadin IgA is an antibody produced by the gut that remains there until it’s dispatched to ward off gliadin – a primary component of gluten. Basically, the only reason anti-gliadin IgA ends up in your stool is because your body sensed an impending threat – gluten. If gluten poses no threat, the anti-gliadin IgA stays in your gut. This crap forms the base of the USDA food pyramid! No wonder everyone in America is fat and sick! But I digress… 

Because plants like cereal grains are always competing against predators (like us) for survival. Unlike animals, plants can’t run away from us when we decide to eat them. They had to evolve other mechanisms for protecting themselves. These include:

One of these toxic compounds is the protein gluten, which is present in wheat and many of the other most commonly eaten cereal grains. In short, gluten damages the intestine and makes it leaky. And researchers now believe that a leaky gut is one of the major predisposing factors for conditions like obesity, diabetes and autoimmune disease.

Lectins cause modern health issues

Grains have a direct negative effect on the following systems:

  • brain;
  • endocrine system;
  • stomach and liver;
  • nucleus of cells;
  • blood vessels; and,
  • smooth muscle,

The Lectin Report:

Lectins are hardy proteins that do not break down easily. They are resistant to stomach acid and digestive enzymes.

Lectins may bind to the gut wall and damage the gut lining, are not altered by digestive enzymes, and may alter gut permeability and pass through the gut into general circulation. Lectins can cause alterations in gut function that may be related to colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac-Sprue, IBS and gut permeability.

Lectin damage to the gut wall may allow other non-lectin proteins to cross undigested into general circulation and cause allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Having gained access to general circulation various lectins may bind to surface cell membranes in arteries and vessels, organs and glands, including the thyroid, pancreas, kidney and adrenals, in susceptible animals and humans.

This binding may begin antigen antibody reactions leading to autoimmune disorders and so-called degenerative diseases. Different lectins have been implicated in different diseases. Dairy lectins have been implicated in juvenile onset type I diabetes. Wheat lectins have been implicated in juvenile nephropathy.

High levels of lectins (specialized proteins) may be found in grains (also known as cereals or pulses), legumes (that is ‘beans’ including peanuts), dairy and plants in the nightshade family. Many other foods contain lectins but are less well studied and the amounts of lectins present are not thought to be as high or as potentially toxic.

Like this post? Want to find out more about how to get in shape fast? Check out these articles about getting in shape, feeling great, and controlling your genes!

Lower bodyfat setpoint.

Lose stubborn body fat. (Intermittent fasting)

Control your gene expression.

Heavy strength training is a required aspect of long term health. For everybody.

How to train your body to burn fat all day long. High intensity interval training (HIIT).

Why you should avoid too many polyunsaturated fats.

What is chronic inflammation. What to eat to avoid it.

The final word on Saturated fat and Cholesterol: EAT them.

Paleo/Primal Diet is a High Fat, High Cholesterol Diet. And That’s a Good Thing.

Dietary fats are necessary for life. Cholesterol is necessary for life.

People often ask me how I look so good and emanate such heath, even though I eat tons of “arterycloggigsatruatedfat”. Probably the most vilified nutrient in the world of conventional wisdom, saturated fat always gets a bad rap. But is it really as unhealthy as the “officials” tell you? It’s been pounded into your brain from birth, so it’s obviously very difficult to fathom saturated fat as actually being HEALTHY. Lets try.

  • Everything you’ve learned about saturated fat is wrong.

Saturated fat (saturated fatty acids) are resistant to heat damage, shelf spoilage, and are essential to many bodily functions. The best parts of the animal, like organ meats and liver, contain SFA’s along with necessary fat soluble vitamins A D and K2.

Saturated fats are called “saturated” because all the available carbon bonds of the SFA are tied up with a hydrogen atom. This means there are no “openings” for rancidity or oxidation. That’s a good thing.

Hmmmmm. “So Dan, you’re trying to tell me that SFA’s are RESISTANT to oxidation? AND their high in essential nutrients?” BINGO! Compared to polyunsaturated fats which contain two or more double bonds without hydrogen, which are WIDE OPEN to oxidation, saturated fats are like, super awesome! Keep oxidation in mind, because this comes up later…

Saturated fat is your body’s primary energy source. By design, we store all excess calories as saturated fat for later use. We evolved this way to store energy for later, because as hunter-gatherers, food was not always available. When you exercise, or when you are fasting, you are literally consuming large amounts of saturated (and monounsaturated) fat, as your body begins to release it from adipose tissue for energy. Keep in mind, this would have been crucial for survival during lean times in the paleolithic era.

So, stored fat is your energy reserve, and dietary fat is used for immediate energy. So to say saturated fat is bad, is to say that evolution “got it wrong” and our bodies somehow over hundreds of thousands of years, developed this highly dangerous and unhealthy method of energy storage and consumption. YAH-fucking-right. How stupid do these “officials” think we are, anyway? Ever heard of Darwin and natural selection? All the traits that made us successful, healthy human beings have been carefully selected for across those 100,000 years of evolution. I think the “officials” have got it all wrong.

  • Everything you’ve learned about cholesterol is wrong

Cholesterol is created in your body, and is completely regulated by your body. This means that as dietary cholesterol goes up, your body down-regulates its own production. Also, as dietary cholesterol drops, your body up-regulates its production of cholesterol to keep everything within an optimal range. This means that dietary cholesterol has no effect on serum cholesterol. This also should tell you that cholesterol is A NECESSARY SUBSTANCE IN YOUR BODY! You need it to create vitamin D from sunlight. Your body also needs it in order to produce vital nutrients like Co Q-10 and testosterone.

It’s hard to believe that something so important as cholesterol has so easily been vilified in “conventional wisdom”, especially when most quality statistical analyses show that cholesterol ISN’T EVEN WEAKLY CORRELATED WITH HEART DISEASE!

cholesterol cardiovasc men

The observational data that attempts to link cholesterol with heart disease really never adds up from a proper statistical standpoint. What about the physiological process by which cholesterol causes disease? The “officials” can never come up with one (I’ll tell you a secret, that’s because there ISN’T one!).

What it comes down to, is that every study that finds any link (no matter how weak) between disease and fat/cholesterol/protein/whatever is purely an observational study. These aren’t controlled studies. These are often studies in which dietary information is acquired from questionnaires asking people about their dietary habits for the last five years. These are average, everyday populations. Busy people like you and me, and they’re expected to remember their exact dietary habits for the past five years? Fucking-puh-lease! Also, many developing countries’ data comes from medical directories wrought with classification error, because they have not developed the same standards of documentation and review that we have in the United States. Low medical standards allow some practitioners to file unexplained deaths in an arbitrary category. They might just as well label someone as dead from “heart failure”, when they really had no idea what caused the death, or it could have been some other cardiovascular problem not really related to heart failure, but it was “close enough”. This throws huge inaccuracies into the data when we look at certain countries used in an epidemiological study. “The China Study” is a really good example of this.

One more thing. CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. I can correlate murder rates with ice cream sales, but that does not mean ice cream causes murders! It means that something else is related, like the fact that more crimes happen in the summer! OMFG!

  • Everything you’ve learned about heart disease is wrong

Ever wonder how your arteries get swollen and clogged? What’s the actual process that causes heart attacks and stroke, and makes us fear saturated fat and cholesterol? Why is the statin industry making so much god-damned money? Why do we have to take so many pills just to stay healthy? Why can’t we just eat the food we love? Why do we have to avoid fats and cholesterol and count calories and and and……

IT’S ALL BEEN A BIG FAT LIE. [Check out this post for more info: How bad is saturated fat and cholesterol? The final word.]

Here’s how your arteries actually get clogged. I’ll give you a hint. OXIDATION! Finally, the biological process by which our arteries harden and get restricted, explained in scientific clarity. Here, I’ll leave it up to Mark Sisson to explain this one:

In my recent post on blood lipids, I briefly summarized Chris Masterjohn’s ideas about heart disease. Namely, that heart disease is a problem of macrophages (cells that like to gobble up lipids and other things) in the endothelium (arterial wall) receiving oxidized (damaged) LDL and forming atherosclerotic plaque, which is then vulnerable to rupture. Regular LDL is not the issue; only oxidized LDL gets taken up and turned into plaque. Okay, sounds good (or bad), but how does inflammation figure into all this?

The inflammatory response and subsequent oxidative stress load is ultimately responsible for the oxidation of the LDL, while inflammatory cytokines produced at the atherosclerotic site can weaken and loosen the plaque, thus setting the stage for (and even causing) a rupture. In fact, inflammation is intimately involved in nearly every aspect of heart disease.

Read more: 

Wow, that’s good stuff! So it looks like inflammation causes oxidation causes inflammation causes plaque causes rupture, causes more plaque, causes hardening and swelling of arteries, causes eventual constriction of arteries. Well DUH! After all, it wasn’t just a bunch of fat floating around in your “tubes” clogging things up like those doctors wanted you to believe! That’s a pretty laughable explanation, considering that fat doesn’t just float around in your arteries!

  • So, to summarize

 The conventional wisdom sucks, so we should all start eating like animals! yay.

  • Saturated fat is strongly resistant to oxidation and is a vital source of nutrients and energy.
  • Cholesterol does not cause heart disease, and is a vital and necessary precursor in many bodily functions and nutrients.
  • Epidemiological studies are really bad at predicting cause and effect. In fact they are downright USELESS.
  • Oxidation causes Inflammation causes heart disease.

Cool! Now I can stop worrying about all that cholesterol and saturated fat. But what do I worry about now???


Read my next installment about PUFA’s and how they cause inflammation…

This post summarizes the method of PUFA oxidation as it relates to atherosclerosis…

This post describes inflammation and oxidation as it relates to health…

How To FAIL At The Gym. (Health Is Common Sense)

This is Part I. Make sure you read Part II and Part III

I have a complaint.

Is it the media, a lack of information, or just plain LAZINESS that makes people run on a treadmill for an hour and a half, every day, and STILL they can’t manage to change their body composition?

I see them every day, at the YMCA. They run with terrible form, heel slamming, joint killing form. They jump up and down on the elliptical (terrible machines), only doing about 50% of the work they THINK they are actually doing. They pedal carelessly on a bike, while their guts spill over into their laps and they read “Food and Wine” or “People” or some other God-awful publication that’s bound to be contributing to their utter useless lifestyle.

I’ve managed to motivate myself to change permanently for the better, with no other forces at work other than pure determination, and the knowledge that I will not spend, I REFUSE to spend the last 10 to 15 years of my life in decrepitude. The problem with society is that we’ve been programmed, BRAINWASHED into thinking this is normal. Apparently, even though we are still genetically identical to our wild ancestors, we have to accept the fact that we are different, that we can not live without disease and degenerative disorers that render us utterly useless to ourselves, left in the care of our offspring as we lose the ability to MOVE and ACT and have FUN.

BULLSHIT I say. You can change your falsely pre-determined future. Its so friggin easy people, all you have to do is realize that you are poisoning your body slowly over the entire course of your life by feeding yourself food toxins [1] [2], by being lazy, by hiding from the sun, and by listening to the government tell you what is healthy. These problems largely do not exist in the wild! Paloelithic human beings didn’t have to deal with cavities, heart attack, obesity, cancer, etc. Know why? They hunted, sprinted, lifted heavy things, ate animals, vegetables, and fruit. They didn’t sit around playing Halo on Xbox 360. They didnt eat 7-11 servings of birdseed (grains) every day! They didnt have soy. They didnt have veggie oils. They fasted. They didn’t eat every 2-3 hours trying to “keep blood glucose elevated” (fuckingstupid). They were lean, fit and HEALTHY throughout their lives. Don’t believe me? Modern anthropology continues to find evidence of this. GO TO A MUSEUM you fool.

Health is common sense. Most, if not at least 80% of body composition and total health, is determined by what you EAT. Movement only constitutes about 10%. The rest is lifestyle. If you don’t change what you eat to REAL FOOD (animals, vegetables, fruits), you will never know true health.

However, if you realize that there is no science behind the FAT-PHOBIA, CHOLESTEROL, FOOD PYRAMID, HEARTHEALTHY WHOLE GRAINS, you will live largely sickness and disease free, and you will change your body composition. You will lean out and gain more muscle. You will become more attractive naked. You will emit a positive attitude. To everyone around you, you will appear to be unstoppable, full of energy, immune to whatever virus is floating around the office.

Your brain will fucntion at optimum efficiency, soaking up all the information and beauty around you. You will feel ultimate clarity. It’s like a permanent high. Engergy on-tap, whenever it is needed. Power to have explosive workouts at the gym. Speed to spint to your car after work. Drive to make-your-bed-rock (ooooh yeaaaah). Recovery to do it all again. Your immune system will function at top efficiency because you will not have chronic inflammation, you will not get sick, you will recover from your brutal lifting sessions faster. You won’t waste time consuming fillers made of grain or soy, so there will be more room for amino-acids and fatty-acids to build and construct new tissues, bigger muslces. You will train your body to burn fat for energy by promoting mitochondial adaptaion. You will be a FUCKING SUPER HUMAN!!!11 YUP!

Did I mention I feel really really good today?

This is Part I. Make sure you read Part II and Part III