What you eat affects your immune system.

We all hear talk about our immune system. You know it’s important to get the proper nutrients, like zinc, to support it, so we can fight back those bad infections and seasonal colds, and avoid the flu that seems to be floating around the office.

You even hear some people complain, exclaiming “I have no immune system”, or “My immune system has taken a hit since last weekend”. People also think that aging and a weaker immune system go hand-in-hand. Not true.

But what if I told you that you are completely in control of your immune system? Would you believe me if I said that diet is one of the largest contributing factors in how well your immune system functions, or doesn’t function?

Here are the 3 tiers of the human immune system, as described by Mark Sisson:

  1. Anatomical barriers – Skin is the basic line of defense, along with mucus membranes and other physical responses like sweat, tears, and salivation, against the intrusion of foreign bodies and antigens.
  2. Innate/non-specific immune system – The innate immune system is the broad, generic response to bacteria and viruses that have made it past the anatomical barriers. Imagine bacteria entering through an open wound and the resultant inflammation, which is pretty much the body’s attempt at a catch-all response. Technically, the physical barriers are included in the innate system.
  3. Adaptive/specific immune system – The immune system can learn and improve its response to specific microbes over time and with repeated exposure; this is the adaptive immune system, and it’s only present in jawed vertebrates.

It’s generally accepted that gut flora affects and informs our immune systems, and how it does so, though a complicated, multi-faceted process, is beginning to be teased out by researchers.

 

…the human gastro-intestinal tract houses the bulk of the human immune system, about 70% of it. And foreign gut flora actually aids and abets our innate immune response system by improving the function of our mucosal immune system and providing a physical barrier to invading microbiota

…Healthy gut flora populations protect against invading microbes by simply taking up space and generally being more proficient at obtaining nutrients than the intruders. They’re playing defense, and informed, experienced defenders who know their way around always have the advantage…

Good bacteria talks to the lymph nodes and provides a safe word, and the lymph nodes’ stromal cells produce “normal cell” antigens that tell the immune system not to attack the good bacteria. This conserves resources and improves the immune response by making it more efficient

 

Gut flora plays an integral part in our immune system function. So it stands to reason that we should do our best to promote a good spectrum of gut flora, and avoid things that damage it.

Much of your gut flora for the rest of your life is determined at birth. You inherit the majority of your gut flora from your mother and the surrounding environment during birth and for the first year or so.

Proper gut flora also promotes the formation of healthy immune system organs. For example, the thymus is responsible for creating T-cells. In formula-fed infants, the thymus is smaller and less productive, compared to the healthy and fully-functioning thymuses of breast-fed infants! Breast milk is full of beneficial bacteria that is essential for the formation of proper gut flora in infants.

Of course, if you’re reading this, you have been born already, for many years. You are now stuck with the gut bacteria you were born with…Just kidding!

The best way to promote a heatlhy gut, and healthy gut bacteria, is to avoid things like sugar, grains, and vegetable oils and legumes, and include a diet rich in animal fat, protein, leafy veggies, starchy tubers, and fermented foods that provide a rich source of probiotics!

What damages gut flora, and hurts our immune system?

Lets start with sugar. Sugar causes insulin resistance, promotes systemmic inflammation, leads to weight gain, contributes to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and acts like a fertilizer for cancer cells. High gructose diets also decrease HDL levels while making LDL more dense and dangerous, contributing to heart disease. Glucose and fructose also bond to (glycate) proteins and lipids without proper enzymatic control. I think it’s safe to say that with all this crap going on, your body is going to have a much harder time focusing on an invader; your immune system won’t be up to full steam.

How about grains? Grains share many of the same problems as sugar, since they are a cheap source of sugar calories in the form of glucose. They also cause lots of gut irritation form their excessively high lectin and fiber content, not to mention all the other substances in grains that are difficult to digest, gluten is only one of them! 

Grains also promote mineral deficiencies and systemmic inflammation. Phytic acid makes much of the nutrients you eat unavailable to human digestion. That’s right, those vital minerals and nutrients that are absolutely necessary for tip-top immune system function are being swept away by phytic acid and end up in the toilet, literally! Legumes share many of the immunosuppressive properties of grains, with their high insoluble fiber and lectin content.

Not getting enough sleep, causing systemmic inflammation from the wrong veggie oils, using hand sanitizer, and too much cardio also suppress the immune system.

The Standard American Diet and following “conventional wisdom” takes the largest toll on your immune system. Of course it’s no surprise that following the SAD just perpetuates the problem, making you buy up all those supplements to make up for your lack of nutrients like Cold-EEZE, Halls, and Vicks, and overuse things like hand sanitizer and antibiotics (which actually weaken your immune system).

What’s the best way to support our immune system?

Healthy animal fats from healthily raised animals provides clean burning natural energy, as well as valuable fat soluble nutrients that support your immune system.

Protein provides the basic needs of our lean structure, for repairing bones, muscles, and organs. Eat plenty of animals at every meal!

Fruit and veggies also provide valuable nutrients, as well as antioxidants and flavanoids that all aide the immune system.

Do your best to follow this Paleo diet framework and lifestyle, and you’ll be sick less often! Not to mention much healthier and better looking for the long-haul!

Like this post? Leave a comment!

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!

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.

References

BRFSS, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System www.cdc.gov/brfss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCNW-NgYZ2s [Obesity trend map and cdc slides]

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/trend/maps/obesity_trends_2006.pdf [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

Poor diet may have behavioral consequences

A lack of zinc in your diet may be making you aggressive.

(From the Geenpasture.org archive)

A fascinating article in Psychology Today focused on the origin of violent behavior. Was it nature or nutrition? Could the underlying cause be in one’s upbringing or in their genes? Or just maybe it could be some type of nutritional imbalance.

Taking the nutritional stance was William Walsh, Ph.D. and his team at the Health Research Institute in Illinois. Walsh and his colleagues published a study in Physiology & Behavior (1997) where they compared the results of blood tests given to 135 “assaultive” young males—who were between 3 and 20 years of age—to those of 18 in the control group without any history of violence. The results were staggering: The violent males had higher copper and lower zinc levels than the control group. The higher the copper and lower the zinc, the more aggressive and violent the behavior.

When the aggressive young males were treated with therapeutic doses of zinc, their aggressive episodes were substantially lessened.

Wow!

[Read More Here]

Wheat, the drug. Are you an addict?

This is mostly theory, but I found it very interesting. Research is still young on the subject. Reblogged from Marks Daily Apple:

You’re addicted to wheat.

Wheat contains opioid peptides that may be able to activate opioid receptors in our bodies. You know what else activates opioid receptors? Opium, morphine, and heroin. (I’ve never tried any of them, but I hear they can inspire some real devotion from their users. See: Trainspotters, Requiem for a Dream.) I know that may sound glib, and I’ll be the first to admit that research into this is still very preliminary. You won’t find any ironclad evidence on PubMed that wheat is addictive. But the thinking goes that rather than hitting you like a ton of bricks and rendering you speechless from the sublime triggering of your opioid receptors, wheat addiction manifests as a stubborn lingering thing.

Evidence does exist, however limited. One older paper (PDF) that identifies multiple opioid peptides in wheat gluten, suggests that they are capable of binding to brain opioid receptors via a “plausible biomechanical mechanism,” and deems them of “physiological significance.” Dr. Emily Deans, of Evolutionary Psychiatry, has actually used naltrexone – a drug that blocks opiate receptors – to curb wheat cravings in celiac patients who are trying to kick the “habit.”

Wheat plays a huge role in the diets of industrialized nations. If you’re reading this, you probably grew up eating it. You may still be eating it from time to time – and that may be at least partly responsible for your urge to eat that slice of bread.

 

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

From cholesterol-and-health.com

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.

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.]

On a Diet to Lose Weight? Most of What You’re Losing isn’t Fat.

A new study (referenced below) attempts to reveal the relationship between protein and weight. A number of indibiduals were fed very specific diets in a controlled environment for 8 weeks. They were fed what was considered “40 per cent more calories than estimated to be required for weight maintenance. This equated to overfeeding of an average of about 950 calories a day”. Here’s what the calorie percentages for each diet looked like:

                       Protein       Carbohydrate       Fat

Low Protein:     6%                 42%              52%

Med Protein      14%               41%              44%

High Protein      26%              41%              33%

Notice how high the carbohydrate % is for each diet. Without knowing what type of foods the carbs came from, we should assume each diet used the same type of carb-food, (most likely cheap processed carbs). The measurements after the 8 week study can be seen below:

  weight change lean mass change fat mass change
low protein +3.61 -0.70 +3.66
medium protein +6.05 +2.87 +3.45
high protein +6.51 +3.18 +3.44

Notice that each of the groups put on “weight”. Also, each group put on approximately equal fat mass. Considering the amount of carbohydrates between groups is relatively similar (around 40% of calories), it’s my opinion that the high % carbohydrate contribution had the most influence on overall fat gain. 

Also important, is the high-protein diet put on the most lean mass. Had the carb count been lower, or from whole food sources and not cheap processed carbs, We might see a reduction in the fat mass change for this diet

What’s most interesting to me, is that the diet that most resembles the USDA recommended guidelines (low protein-low fat) resulted in the least lean mass gain, and the most fat mass gain. In fact, the low protein diet actually resulted in NEGATIVE lean mass change!

Now, the USDA and common wisdom villify saturated fats. The best protein rich foods contain saturated fats (animals!), so it stands to reason that people on a conventional-calorie-counting-low-fat-diet will be avoiding protein rich foods, in order to avoid the fat (dummies). This diet had a calorie EXCESS. Imagine how much you would lose on a calorie deficit! It’s all lean mass!

It should be obvious to you now that a combination of low-protein, low-fat and low-calorie dieting will lead to a loss in mostly LEAN MASS. Not only will you be weak, but you will become skinny-fat. There’s no beauty in frail weakness.

Reference:

Bray GA, et al. Effect of Dietary Protein Content on Weight Gain, Energy Expenditure, and Body Composition During Overeating – A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA 2012;307(1):47-55

 

Why You Should Eat Cholesterol and Saturated Fat.

Don’t eat less cholesterol. Don’t eat less fat. Eat more whole foods.

Whole real foods work in harmony with your body. Focusing on macronutrients just causes confusion, and takes your focus away from the big picture.

Fatty foods like Eggs and liver contain plenty of fat, cholesterol, vitamins and minerals. They also contain choline, a necessary B vitamin which also prevents fatty liver disease. This makes perfect sense, because the more fat you consume, the more choline your body needs. Nuts contain antioxidants, which also makes sense, because they contain pro-oxidants such as omega-6 fatty acids.

When a controlled scientific study analizes single isolated nutrients, in the absence of the whole food, it does not give us a complete understanding of the real-world outcome. Especially when they aim to mislead us. This account in Science Daily attempted to blame “saturated fat” intake on fatty liver disese in pregnant “mothers” and their “children”. What they didn’t tell you, is that the “mothers” were mice, and the “saturated fat” diet they were fed actually contained 44 percent of its fat as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and almost twenty percent of its total calories as PUFA. This is in great excess of the PUFA consumption seen even in the Standard American Diet (SAD), loaded in processed PUFA-rich vegetable oils.

It’s funny, really. Especially when you consider these studies that show saturated fat as being PROTECTIVE AGAINST FATTY LIVER DISEASE. [1] [2] [3] [4]

What’s most fucked up, is what is said by one of the researchers of the study himself!

Professor Christopher Byrne, with colleagues Dr Felino Cagampang and Dr Kim Bruce, of the University’s School of Medicine and researchers at King’s College London, conducted the study, funded by the BBSRC. Prof Byrne explained: “This research shows that too much saturated fat in a mother’s diet can affect the developing liver of a fetus, making it more susceptible to developing fatty liver disease later in life. An unhealthy saturated fat-enriched diet in the child and young adult compounds the problem further causing a severe form of the fatty liver disease later in adult life.

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t buy too much into studies, especially news article interpretations of those studies. There is conflicting evidence everywhere, and the peer review process isn’t that great. So use your best judgement and read into the details yourself. Make sure the researchers don’t have a hidden agenda, or a predetermined outcome. And make sure the “diets” they feed the subjects, rat or human, are what they say they are.

What’s the moral of the moral of the story? Fuck studies. Eat whole foods. Ignore the bullshit government advice to avoid saturated fat and cholesterol. It doesn’t make any sense. And stop eting ground up sawdust with vitamins added to it (grains). While you’re at it, stop guzzling floor polish (veggie oils).

Another Example of Your Body’s Natural Ability to Regulate Caloric Intake

When eating real food, and avoiding grains, legumes, sugar, and processed food, counting calories becomes obsolete.

Just a personal example of huger regulation in a well functioning body. I have been eating this way for a year. I have lost fat, become leaner and more muscular. I have increased my ability to resist illness. I have cured my heartburn, allergies, acne, eczema, dry skin, and stomach pains. I have become smarter, faster, and more focused. I have also increased my sex drive, and decreased my recovery time from injury and working out.

Can you say the same after following the USDA’s recommended low-fat, crap-food, high-sugar prescribed diet? I highly doubt it.

When you were a kid, you could come downstairs for breakfast, and EASILY polish off an entire box of cereal.

I bet you could still do the same today. And you would be ravenously hungry a few hours later. How many eggs could you eat? Not many I’m sure. The amount likely hasn’t changed much at your current age. I have a hard time eating more than 3 in one sitting. Today I was barely able to force down 4 of them before the eggs became un-appetizing. The same thing seems to happen with other whole foods, such as steak and veggies at dinner.

This difference in caloric intake can be attributed to your body’s natural ability to sense nutrients and nutrient density.

Your body doesn’t count calories per-se. It wants calories, but does not limit your intake when the “food” you are consuming is nutrient-void. However, when the food you consume is nutrient-rich, everything works in harmony, and your body says STOP once it’s had enough. The most satiating factor of food is fat and protein. The more of each is in a certain food, the more satiating it becomes. This means you will only be diven to eat as much as your body NEEDS. Once it’s replete with nutrients, you are no longer driven to eat. This occurs whether you are physically full or not. It’s possible to push past that barrier, as I did when I forced down that 4th egg today, but it’s difficult.

This is why counting calories is useless and tedious.

You’ve got these built-in mechanisms to tell you when you’ve had enough to eat. Leptin, insulin, ghrelin, etc all working in harmony to elicit hunger and satiety responses. They get thrown off balance by calorically dense food that lacks the nutrients our bodies need. Even if you consume whole foods along with grains and sugars, you are still tricking your body by giving it excess empty calories. There are no complete nutrients to balance out the extra caloric intake from a bagel or a bowl of cereal or a plate of spaghetti.

When everything works properly and nutrient rich food is consumed, calories are irrelevant. Try it for a couple weeks. Eat only meats, eggs, veggies, and fruit. Notice how much clearer your mind is, how much more vibrant your body feels. Notice how you will not be tired after meals. The inevitable afternoon “food coma” will be eliminated. Your body will naturally correct itself, bringing body wetight down to a normal level. You’ll become more active, since you will have more energy. Those “off” days will cease to exsist.

I’m full of energy, and not anywhere NEAR being hungry. My first meal of the day was at 11:00 AM. It was 4 eggs, a tbs of pastured butter, and some turkey. It’s 5:00 PM right now, and I haven’t thought about eating yet. No snacks, just some water. And I still put on muscle each week at the gym. Wow I rule! I’ll probably have a protein shake after the gym, and a fat steak with brussels sprouts for dinner. That’s how I win!

FUCK Calories!

This book is super funny, and a really great read. If you’ve ever lacked the motivation to change your habits, this is the book for you.

“Fortified” means “We took the good stuff out so we have to put it back in.” Except what we put back in is rarely as good as what was in there in the first place. Grind up a vitamin pill and mix it into some sawdust. Congratulations. You just “fortified” that sawdust. Pour some milk over it, and you’re of breakfast cereal. You think I’m kidding? Hell, wood pulp is probably better for you than most cereals. In fact, look for “cellulose” on the label of your favorite foods. That’s mashed up trees, and it’s in your Eggo Waffles, Fiber One cereal, breads and bagels, and pretty much anything from McDonald’s. Even your Jimmy Dean frozen breakfasts. If you own a wood chipper, you could start your own cereal business.

Download this baby here for FREEEEE!!!

The moral of the story? Don’t count calories, eat real food, and be kickass!

Why Sugar Makes Us Sleepy and Protein Wakes Us Up

Several studies have demonstrated that the intake of sugar can decrease the activity of orexin cells, which is probably why we want to nap after a carb heavy lunch. This phenomenon also begins to explain the downward spiral of obesity triggered by our warped modern diet. Because we eat lots of refined sugars, washing down Twinkies with cans of Coke, we continually reduce levels of orexin in the brain, which then reduces levels of physical activity. In other words, we get fat and sleepy simultaneously

These experiments also document, at a biochemical level, why the modern American diet is such a catastrophic mess. The typical supermarket is filled with processed foods where the only relevant “nutrient” is some form of sweetener. (So-called “added sugars” – they are injected into food during manufacturing – now account for 16 percent of total caloric consumption. That’s 21.4 teaspoons of sugar and corn syrup every day.) While such snacks are unfailingly cheap and tasty, they also lead to sudden spikes in blood sugar and a reduction in orexin activity. We eat them for the energy boost, but the empty calories in these foods make us tired and sad instead. (There’s some suggestiveevidence that chronically low levels of orexin can increase the likelihood of depression.) And so we keep on swilling glucose, searching for a pick-me-up in all the wrong places.

 

consuming foods high in protein can increase the activity of orexin neurons. This, in turn, leads to increased wakefullness and bodily activity, helping us burn off the calories we just consumed. Furthermore, eating protein in conjunction with glucose – adding almonds to Frosted Flakes, in other words – can inhibit the inhibitory effects of sugar on orexin. The sweetness no longer makes us tired.

Read the rest here…

It should be noted, that sugar consumption is never a good thing, whether it is consumed with protein or not. Unlike glucose, which is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and taken up by the cells, fructose is shunted directly to the liver where it is converted to fat. Excess fructose consumption causes a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is directly linked to both diabetes and obesity.

Ancel Keys, The Devil? Maybe Not So Much. But Still, Yah.

I had to share this,

because I LOVE YOU DENISE! She never fails to educate AND make me laugh:

Curiously, instead of rolling around on the floor possessed by fat-phobia demons, his WHO audience reacted with skepticism. One report says another researcher challenged Keys to describe his “best piece of evidence” for the diet-heart idea, and effectively squashed Keys’ argument with his Oxford-educated debate tactics. As a result, poor Keys never got to show all the WHOs down in WHOville the full reasoning behind his theory, and left the conference rather defeated. (At least he didn’t steal Christmas.)

Peep the rest by makey clicky right here.

Her glorious conclusions:

Emphasis in bold is mine

  • Yep, Keys picked some cherries—but a link between fat intake and heart disease mortality existed among all 22 countries, not just his six-country graph. And as Yerushalmy and Hilleboe’s paper revealed, the real force behind that correlation was animal fat intake, not just fat as a general category. Keys definitely should’ve facepalmed himself for not looking at the data more carefully, but even if he’d been scrupulous, he probably still would’ve launched the anti-saturated-fat crusade that defined his later career.
  • Although total fat, animal fat, and animal protein were associated with heart disease in this data, those variables were associated with less death from pretty much everything else. Overall, the countries with higher fat and animal food intake had longer life expectancies than the rest. This doesn’t prove that animal foods make you immortal or that plant foods will slit your throat in the middle of the night: it’s mostly a result of countries with more money and a higher standard of living tending to eat more animal products (along with having lower rates of infectious disease, better health care, diets higher in industrially processed foods, and so forth). There’s so much confounding involved with this subject that I don’t even wanna touch it with a ten-foot statistical pole.

  • A lot of countries suck at classifying heart disease deaths under the right label. Especially less-developed nations with sketchy medical care. This makes it look like some countries have abnormally low rates of heart disease, when in reality, they just have abnormally high rates of messing up.
  • The F.A.O. data that Keys (and others of his time) used is probably the most inaccurate way to measure food consumption ever invented (it includes what was available, not what was actually consumed). Because food-balance data doesn’t account for stuff people throw away, wealthier countries are always going to look like they have a higher intake of pretty much everything compared to poorer countries. It’s impossible to say how much this influenced the link between fat or animal foods and mortality rates, but the impact might’ve been pretty big.
  • Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t causation. Correlation isn’t a cucumber. (Just making sure you’re awake.)

Eat Animals For Optimal Health. Not Monkey Biscuits!

The rules of nature always hold true

How do you keep an animal healthy and happy? You feed it what it would naturally eat in the wild, and keep it’s habitat as natural as possible. This rule will always hold true. Animals thrive in their natural habitat, for the most part free of disease, obesity and age realted disorders. The few instances of cancers that do exist in the wild are only recent develpoments, and are likely related to modern factors including climate change industrialization, and re-introduction of previously captive species.

Are you eating monkey biscuits?

North American zoo gorillas were dying of heart disease, until the zoos got smart and stopped feeding them gorilla biscuits! The biscuits were formulated to be nutrient and vitamin rich, but were also starchy and full of calories. Gorillas are primarily herbivorous, eating the leaves and stems of herbs, shrubs, and vines. In some areas, they raid farms, eating and trampling crops. They also will eat rotten wood and small animals.

Captive gorillas can be compared with westernized humans; they are both displaced from their natural diet and lifestyle and are thus at risk for specific diseases.

Monkey Biscuits!!

MMMM. Tasty!

Now what about us, Homo Sapiens? We are genetically identical to our Paleolithic ancestors, who lived vastly free of obesity and modern disease for hundreds of thousands of years. Their lifespans were similar to ours. They also grew taller and stronger.

We have only been “getting by” on modern foods for a blink-of-an-eye in terms of our evolutionary timeframe.

It’s extremely difficult to identify the ideal diet for wild Human beings. One thing is for sure, it varied widely between plant based and animal based, and almost always included animal foods. It most certainly did not include mass amounts of grains and processed foods, and we thrived. That is why we are here today to write about it in blogs! Here is a number of interesting articles about diet from anthropological blogger, John Hawks.

From Humans are predators:

A predator is an animal that kills and eats other animals. Any hunter is by definition a predator.

That does not preclude other means of subsistence or other trophic relationships with different species. Humans were predators from at least 2.5 million years ago

As more information comes to light, we continue to see modern science and common sense overturning what we thought was unhealthy vs. healthy. Based on certain nutrient-needs alone, it becomes clear that eating animals and saturated fat is not unhealthy, and in fact promotes total health.

Case in point. Humans need vitamin B12, which comes almost exclusively from ANIMALS! Vegans have to supplement B12, and even then, bioavailability of supplements is incomplete. You also have to consider the risks involved with taking large amounts of man-made supplements. The only way to maximally absorb and utilize vitamin B12 is by consuming animals.

We are also far less capable of utilizing the forms of iron and zinc found in plants. Evidence shows that early Human diets may have also included plently of cholesterol.

So, here is where common sense comes in. We evolved to be a resilient, smart, big-brained, healthy species. Our nutrient needs are well defined: amino-acids, fatty-acids, vitamins, minerals (the only things that are actually required by our bodies). There are certain things that are abundant and available in animals, things that we need to survive. These are the things we would find in our natural habitat. These are the foods we evolved to eat and be healthy, and our needs have not changed.

Continue reading

Stop Counting Calories. Your Body Regulates Hunger.

“Calories in. Calories out.” How many times have you tried to cut your caloric input, or increase your output, just to fail, binge, or not lose any fat?

If you did succeed, how long did it last before you bounced back to your old weight? How did you feel while dieting? Were you hungry, tired, depressed, irritable, or just plain unhealthy? Did you have to lie to yourself that you weren’t really hungry, just to “stay on the wagon”? Did you have to utilize a “support group” like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, in order to muster enough motivation to just “hang in there”?

It’s not natural to spend weeks or months worrying about caloric intake. Plus it takes way too much energy to count grams-of-this, or calroies-of-that. It tries your patience, makes you worry too much. The stress alone is probably counter productive, since stress plays a major role in weight management.

From birth, your body is naturally programmed to regulate it’s own caloric intake. It does this using hormones that regulate hunger and cravings. Leptin, Insulin, and ghrelin, just to name a few. They work in harmony to signal your brain that you need (or don’t need) nutrients.

After years of eating modern food, like hyper palatable packaged processed garbage-food, (baby formula, canned pasta, boxed snacks, soy products, grain products, vegetable oils) your hormones get thrown out of whack, waaaayyyyy out of whack. Grains in particular are especially damaging to your bodies natural systems. They initiate systemic oxidation (systemic inflammation), immune disfunction, and hormone imbalances with gluten, phytates, lectins, and high glycemic load. That’s a pretty potent punch!

Your goal is to get your hormones back in sync, and let your body determine when you are TRULY hungry, and what you REALLY want to eat. The first step is to remove the processed crap, the grains, the sugar, and get back to REAL fucking food. The stuff you were BORN to eat. The stuff you EVOLVED to eat. The REASON THAT WE ARE HOMO SAPIENS. The reason we have the power of reason!

Why Does Modern Food Throw Off Your Natural Hunger Regulating Mechanisms?

It’s because hyper palatable modern food is also hyper-tasty! It creates an unnatural amount of hedonic reward, that is, your body sees modern food as an extremely dense source of calories, but it’s unbalanced by the fact that modern food is nutrient void. They are made of ingredients that are so nutritionally void, yet so dense with calories, that they never tell your body to stop consuming them. You could simply keep eating until you were nauseous and had consumed pathological amounts!

Your body’s natural mechanisms for sensing nutrient intake continue to drive hunger. Ever wonder why you get ravenously hungry a couple hours after breakfast, even though you ate a WHOLE BOX OF CORN FLAKES? Your hunger mechanisms recognize that even though you were STUFFED a couple hours ago, you didn’t fulfill your basic biological needs. Not only did you not give yourself complete amino-acids, or enough fatty-acids to last through the afternoon, but all the vitamins and minerals in the “enriched wheat flour” were unabsorbed by your gut. All thanks to grains being the wonderful staple that they are. Hooray USDA (ppbbthppbbthpbthbb!).

Snack after snack. Trip after trip to the vending machine. Still hungry? How ’bout a Coke! Mmmmm that’s right. Satisfyin’. Fat-free yogurt? Sure! Let’s go ahead and make it taste good by loading it with SUGAR or fake sugar! That’s TOTALLY better for you. Because we all know that fat makes you faaaaaat. [End sarcasm]

How Do You Correct Your Hunger Regulating Mechanisms?

Start by eating real food. Follow my very simple rules: Eat This. When you stop tricking your body into over consuming calories, it will begin to regulate caloric intake on its own. When you are hungry, EAT! Eat complete protein, good fats from free-range animals, lots of vegetables, and fruit (always along with a protein/fat). When your nutrient intake has met sufficient levels, you will stop wanting food. You may not even be full, but your body tells you to stop, and the food becomes less palatable. These are the normal signals your body uses to regulate hunger and keep you healthy. When you crave salt, or fat. EAT IT!

The best part about following a whole food Paleo or Primal lifestyle is that your calorie intake may actually seem too low, or just right if you happen to keep track one day. It is right on par with what your body actually needs, because your body is built to REGULATE ITSELF. You may find that some days, you only want to eat twice. You won’t even need to snack. Doing Intermittent Fasting for weight loss will become easy. You can pull off an 18 hour fast like a breeze, without having distracting hunger pains!

See for yourself. Do it. Now. There’s no reason to put it off any longer. Start eating like the predator you were born to be, and BECOME A FUCKING SUPERHUMAN!!!!!111!22

Leave me a comment first, though……

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

Study Critique: Low Carb Diet Improves Memory

This study attempts to draw conclusions between a low-carb (ketogenic) diet, and enhanced memory function. Their conclusions are that a ketogenic diet is protective because of the lower insulin levels it secretes. In this post, I’ll take a look at the other hormones at play, and try to find out what might be the real cause for the memory improvement. Seems like a good time, let’s see how it measures up…

Take a look at the graphical data below from the study. Clearly there was a memory improvement after the low-carb meals. Makes it easy to put the blame on insulin, huh?

But, what else might be going on here? We know there must be other hormones at play. Notice the breakdown of each meal below, and take note on the amount of protein in each one. They are very close, basically the same for the purposes of this study.

I’ve said previously that protein actually enacts a higher insulin response than carbohydrate. Since both meals in the study kept protein relatively the same, the insulin response from the high-carb meal could only be a result of the higher carbs. I suspect that, had the low-carb diet used the same amount of protein (a good estimate of the average low-carb meal), and the high-carb diet used half the amount of protein (about 30 g. a more realistic amount for the Standard American Diet), the researchers would have observed a higher insulin response in the low-carb meal, or even an insignificant difference in insulin response.

Now, introducing Ghrelin, a wonderful hormone indeed.

Ghrelin production ramps up when you become hungry and during periods of fasting

  • It increases secretion of growth hormone
  • It increases focus and cognitive function
  • It increases cardiac output
  • It increases the amount of dopamine in the brain’s center of reward and addiction
  • ITS A RUSH
  • IT ENHANCES LEARNING AND MEMORY

If you don’t believe me, just Google it.

So normally, once you eat, ghrelin will decrease, and insulin will increase. Here is where satiation kicks in, and you start to feel satisfied, relaxed, calm, and possibly a bit fuzzy, depending on what exactly you ate.

Now I’ll try to show you how insulin alone is not the reason for the difference in cognitive function. This study shows the different levels of ghrelin responce across 3 breakfast meal types: a  high calorie simple carb, a  high calorie complex carb, and a low calorie meal (water).

Ghrelin concentrations decreased after the HC-SC breakfast by 41%, after the HC-CC breakfast by 33%, and after the LC breakfast by 24%. No significant differences in ghrelin concentration among the 3 breakfasts were observed until 120 min. Ghrelin concentrations were correlated with subjective measures of hunger (r = 0.51) and fullness (r = –0.44). The percentage decrease in ghrelin between 0 and 30 min was inversely correlated with the percentage increases in insulin (r = –0.76) and glucose (r = –0.79) but not with changes in leptin (r = 0.10). The percentage changes in ghrelin concentrations between 30 and 180 min were correlated with the percentage changes in insulin (r = –0.53) and leptin (r = –0.47) but not with changes in glucose (r = 0.22).

The big high calorie simple carb meal would have likely been the equivalent of pop tarts, waffles, syrup, or any combination of cereal grains covered in sugar. You know, the processed food-like crap that millions of ignorant parents shovel into their kid’s mouths before they run off to school.

The high calorie simple carb meal suppressed ghrelin more than either of the other two meals. The simple-carb meal would have enacted the largest spike in blood glucose levels, with the largest decrease in cognitive function, motivation, clarity, etc, flooring levels of ghrelin. Although the responses to ghrelin were inversely correlated with insulin levels, I assume that is because the 3 meals also had similar protein amounts, making the difference in insulin response only a result of the amounts of cheap carbs across the meals.

Want to stay sharp and focused in the morning? Tired of the mid-afternoon slump after lunch? Try limiting blood glucose spikes by eliminating sugar, bread and cereal from your diet. Eat only things that will keep you on the cognitive razor’s edge: meat, veggies, fruit.

Type of Fat Does Matter. USDA Lies.

Everyone should know this by now, that the type of fat you consume has a huge impact on health and fitness.

In the Paleo community, we actually know how to read and interpret the studies. We know how to avoid junk science. We know that Saturated, monounsaturated, and omega-3 fats are the ones to eat.

Here is something interesting I came across. First, take a look at the graph below. It represents obesity in the US since the USDA guidelines came into existence:

Now compare it to this graph, showing sources fat intake over time:

Really makes you wonder who we should, or should not be listening to when it comes to our health and well-being. Wasn’t it the government that told us to switch to veggie oils and man made processed crap? Wasn’t it them who told us saturated fat was going to make us fat and give us heart attacks? Ah! It was! Fuck you, USDA, for making us fat and ugly, and dead!

Dietary guidelines are dirven by politics and money, not science. Get your head straight and eat like an animal, because you are one! It really is that simple!

I eat an average of 80-110 grams of fat per day, most of it saturated. I am the healthiest person I know.

Side Note: This is really REALLY fucked up. Pizza is not, and never should be, considered a vegetable! Just more proof that the government health guidelines really are driven by politics.