Digestive Kindness and Patience

When we decide to move from one diet to another, it is important to make the change slowly over a period of one to two weeks. It may not seem like a big deal to move from omnivore to vegetarian, or processed food to whole food, or elect to dramatically increase fats while reducing protein, but the pancreas and gallbladder, the two organs responsible for making the enzymes needed to digest the food you eat, will be unprepared to handle the initial change.  Often a one time digestive discomfort is taken as a reason to not eat the food again, when all that is needed is a slower ramping up in quantity over time and perhaps a little digestive support.

 

Regardless of whether you are increasing fat, or adding meat to an otherwise vegetarian diet, a good way is to begin by adding in single bites or teaspoons.  One bite of chicken or fish, or one teaspoon of coconut oil, for example. The next day or so, if no digestive discomfort presents itself, increase again by another bite or another teaspoon. Each day, the pancreas and gallbladder will become aware of the greater need for different enzymes and begin to adjust accordingly.

 

The older we become, the less productive our pancreas and gallbladder can become, so it may be necessary at some point to use supplemental digestive enzymes every time you eat, or for heavier meals that include more fat and protein. Whole food has many of its own enzymes, so you may find that just eating real food (vs. processed and fast) dramatically improves your digestion and comfort after meals.

 

Be patient and kind to your body.

By |2018-09-05T10:54:34-05:00August 24th, 2018|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Ketogenic Diet

10 Good Reasons to Try It…

The Ketogenic Diet is the current diet-of-the-moment. Unlike many fad diets, the Ketogenic Diet is therapeutic in nature and can benefit many people in many ways.

Who would benefit?

A Ketogenic Diet is well worth considering by anyone facing serious health challenges including
neurological issues or disease, mood disturbances, digestive problems, blood sugar regulation issues
including diabetes and insulin resistance, and those who need to lose weight. It is also a great option for generally healthy individuals who want to supercharge their health. Ketogenic eating has anti-aging and anti-cancer effects.

Ten Benefits of following a Ketogenic Diet besides weight loss include:

1. Optimize brain function and mental clarity
2. Stop food cravings
3. Anti-cancer strategy
4. Improve the gut biome
5. Improve energy
6. Increase muscle mass
7. Reduce or reverse insulin resistance
8. Reduce inflammation
9. Promote cellular detoxification
10. Slow down the aging process

What is nutritional Ketosis?

The Ketogenic diet is named after the biological state of ketosis, which is achieved when the human
body reaches a fat-burning state. Most Americans eat so many carbohydrates that the body always has a
plentiful supply of glucose to use for fuel. As a result, the body forgets how to
efficiently burn fat. By reducing carbohydrate fuel, the body is forced to
become an efficient burner of body fat and dietary fat. Fat is a cleaner source of fuel for the body
and produces less oxidative stress than carbohydrates. 

What are the key aspects of a Ketogenic Diet?

Ketogenic diets have 4 main components.

They are:
1. low carbohydrate
2. high fat
3. adequate protein
4. combined with some degree of fasting.

Carbohydrates are primarily sourced from vegetables with good fiber content yet low carbohydrate content. There are a couple of fruits included as well, however grain, sugar and most dairy are excluded.  Total net carbohydrate intake is usually recommended to be at or below 50 grams, a target that should be reached in a step like fashion over one to two weeks.

Fat content is high and very specific in source. Strong emphasis is placed on avoiding refined oils, trans
fats, and fats high in Omega 6 inflammatory oils. Recommendations are for fats to be anywhere from 50-80% of total caloric intake (e.g. 1200 calorie diet in which 600-960 calories come from healthful sources of fat). Caution should be used in reaching these levels of fats, accomplishing this by slowly increasing fat intake over several weeks to allow the pancreas and gallbladder time to adjust to a higher fat diet.  Healthy fats provide satiation, improved mental clarity, and an excellent source of fuel for energy. They also help to balance overall cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and promote weight loss.

Adequate protein refers to the importance of getting enough protein without getting too much.
Most people will need between 30-70 grams of protein a day, spread throughout the day. This includes
protein from plant and animal sources. According to Dr. Mercola, in his book Fat for Fuel, excess
protein can stimulate a regulatory pathway in the body which can promote growth of cancer cells and
can convert to glucose, thus negatively impacting blood sugar and insulin levels (pp. 47-48). As with
carbohydrates and fat, source and quality of protein matters.

Finally, fasting is an integral part of teaching the body to burn fat efficiently. By working toward a slow
reduction in carbohydrates while at the same time increasing healthy, undamaged fats and introducing a fasting state 4-5 times a week, the body becomes an efficient burner of healthy fats instead of carbohydrates.

Once the body is “fat adapted”, meaning able to burn fats efficiently, recommendations are to then
cycle in and out of nutritional ketosis by feasting on higher carbohydrate vegetables and fruits once or
twice a week to maintain metabolic flexibility.

To minimize side effects and maximize benefits from the ketogenic diet, we recommend seeking guidance
from a nutrition expert knowledgeable about this diet. We also recommend that you read a book to ensure good
understanding and proper implementation.

Dr. Ron Rosedale (www.drrosedale.com) and Dr. Joseph Mercola (www.mercola.com) are both
proponents of this kind of diet for healing and good health. Information for this article has been taken
from these websites and Dr. Mercola’s book Fat for Fuel, published in 2017 by Hay House, Inc.

By |2018-09-05T10:40:37-05:00August 22nd, 2018|Articles, General|

Various Diets Explained: Part 2

Confused? Overview and Distinctions Between Paleo and Ketogenic Diets

The Paleo Diet was proposed as early as 1975 but was popularized in 2002 by Loren Cordain, PhD in his book The Paleo Diet. Based on the idea that our genes are well adapted to a world in which all the food eaten daily is hunted, fished or gathered from the natural environment, Dr. Cordain recommended a whole food diet containing meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruit.   He proposed that the core staples of our diet in this century – cereals, dairy products, refined sugars, fatty meats, and salted processed foods- were destroying our body’s metabolic machinery. He argues convincingly, that we have strayed from the path designed for us by nature.  He proposes that “The Paleo Diet is the key to speedy weight loss, effective weight control and above all, lifelong health”, (p.11).  Dr. Cordain’s original Paleo Diet has been substantially reinterpreted by many different nutritionists and practitioners so be aware that there is more than one “paleo” diet in the marketplace with wide variations on what is included and excluded and the recommended mix of macronutrients.  Below are Dr. Cordain’s original recommendations. Main Features include:

  • Low Carbohydrate – Recommends about 22-40 % of calories come from carbohydrates, specifically non-starchy vegetables and all fruits, all nuts and all seeds. Starchy tubers like potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes are not allowed as well as all legumes (including peanuts and soy), all grains, all grain-like seeds (amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa), high sodium foods and fatty meats.  Dairy products and butter are excluded as well.  Cordain does not allow honey, though he believes it was a natural source of sugar obtained by early man, understandably, on rare occasion. He does allow dried fruit in limited portion. However, it is important to be aware that many recently published Paleo diets and cookbooks use a considerable amount of dried fruits in addition to sugar, maple syrup, fruit juices, molasses and honey as sweeteners and some versions include potato, sweet potato, yams, cassava, taro and plantains, which collectively can easily drive this to a moderate or even high carbohydrate diet depending on how the consumer makes food choices.
  • Low to Moderate Fat – Recommends about 28-47% of calories come from fats. Saturated fats are for the most part discouraged including butter, meat fat, and cholesterol found in meats and fats. (At the time Dr. Cordain published in 2002, the world of research had yet to establish this error, but it has since been clearly validated over and over that we do need cholesterol. More updated versions of The Paleo Diet do allow butter and fattier cuts of quality meats though they tend emphasize a low to moderate fat intake and point to protein as the most important fuel.) Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts and avocados are recommended as well as polyunsaturated Omega 3 fats from fish oils, while Omega 6 sources in processed foods are discouraged.
  • Moderate Protein – Recommends 19-35% of caloric intake come from protein. Cordain’s book recommends lean cuts of meat and poultry and encourages wild sourced meats such as wild game and seafood. Newer Paleo diets include bison and other wild meats, and often are perceived and described as High Protein diets so be aware there can be variations in protein recommendations.
  • Recommendations: Paleo diets in general are sensitive to the importance of food quality, animal care and feed, and concerns about toxicity from pesticides, and genetic modification. Be aware however of the wide variations in quantity of protein, quality and quantity of fats and the collective possibility of high sugar/carbohydrate recipes in the marketplace.

 

 

Ketogenic Diet is the newest catch word in the market place and will likely continue to be in the new year to come. Dr. Adkins was the first to launch this concept in 1972, which was to suggest that lowering carbohydrates was essential to weight loss, however, his program even today still supports the use of artificial sweeteners, soy and damaged fats in his products and he did not adopt the high fat concept that is better understood today. Additionally, Adkins did not account for the damage associated with too much protein.   A Ketogenic diet is designed to address insulin and leptin resistance from consuming too many net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) and too much protein.  It does this by taking away glucose as the primary fuel for the body, force the body into nutritional ketosis (not to be confused with ketoacidosis) in which the body burns fat as its primary fuel rather than glucose.  Dr. Ron Rosedale (www.drrosedale.com) and Dr. Joseph Mercola (www.mercola.com), are both proponents of this kind of diet for healing and good health. According to their websites and books, this kind of diet can be very healing and restorative to lose weight, lower inflammation, reduce risk of cancer and help with treating cancer as well as increasing muscle mass, normalizing appetite, improving mental clarity and reducing sugar and junk food cravings.  Once the body is “fat adapted”, meaning able to burn fats efficiently, then recommendations are to cycle in and out of nutritional ketosis by feasting on higher carbohydrate vegetables and fruits once or twice a week to maintain metabolic flexibility. Main Features include:

  • Low Net Carbohydrate (Determined by subtracting fiber grams from carbohydrate gram to get net carbs). Ketogenic diets are usually in the range of less than 50 grams of net carbohydrate a day and are very specific about the source of the carbohydrates.  The diet excludes grains, sugar, milk, yogurts, beans and legumes as well as all processed foods such as chips and fries. It focuses on low carbohydrate vegetables, some nuts and seeds and sprouts. Caution should be used in reaching this level, if reduction in carbohydrates has never been done before, by slowly reducing carbohydrate intake over several weeks to avoid dramatic low blood sugar, until the body becomes efficient with sourcing and burning fat.
  • High Fat –Emphasis is placed on the quality of the fat and is clearly defined by a group of foods and sources which provide it. Strong emphasis on avoiding refined oils, trans fat and fats high in Omega 6 inflammatory oils. Recommendations are for fats to be anywhere from 50-80 % of total caloric intake (e.g. 1200 calorie diet in which 600-960 calories come from healthful sources of fat). Caution should be used in reaching these levels of fats, accomplishing this by slowly increasing fat intake over several weeks to allow the pancreas and gallbladder time to adjust to a higher fat diet.
  • Adequate Protein –An important nuance of the ketogenic diet, protein needs are determined by mathematical formula, personal health and activity level. The concept is to get adequate protein but not too little or too much.  Most people will need between 30-70 grams of protein a day, spread throughout the day.  This includes protein from plant and animal sources. According to Dr. Mercola, in his new book Fat for Fuel, excess protein can stimulate a regulatory pathway in the body which can promote inflammation, growth of cancer cells and can convert to glucose, thus negatively impacting blood sugar and insulin levels (pp. 47-48).  As with carbohydrates and fat, source matters and quality matters.
  • Recommendation: This diet encourages intermittent fasting and optimally clean, unprocessed and undamaged foods. To minimize side effects and benefit from the ketogenic diet, we would recommend seeking guidance from a nutrition consultant knowledgeable about this diet and reading a book to ensure good understanding and proper implementation.

 

By |2018-01-17T14:33:10-06:00January 17th, 2018|Articles, General|
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