Training manual

LIFELONG NUTRITION
CONCEPTS
Your health is the PILLAR on
which the rest of your life
stands. What you eat, drink,
think and feel ultimately
influences your health, energy
and well-being.
Sandy Ridout
Lifelong nutrition 101
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Contents
Cheese a Nutrition Powerhouse! .................................................................................................................. 2
Review questions ...................................................................................................................................... 3
Sleep .............................................................................................................................................................. 4
Review questions ...................................................................................................................................... 4
Sleep Problems and What You Can Do! ........................................................................................................ 4
Review questions ...................................................................................................................................... 8
Detriments of sugar ...................................................................................................................................... 8
Review questions .................................................................................................................................... 11
Synthetic Wheat of Today ........................................................................................................................... 12
Review questions .................................................................................................................................... 14
The Scoop on the Milk Controversy! .......................................................................................................... 15
How It All Works! Part 1 .............................................................................................................................. 17
How It All Works! Part 2 .............................................................................................................................. 21
How It All Works! Part 3 .............................................................................................................................. 24
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Cheese a Nutrition Powerhouse!
Raw cheese from grass-fed pastured animals is an incredible food source for many reasons. It contains
a cornucopia of vitamins, minerals (including calcium), protein, and fat. You can enjoy the benefits of
cheese even if you are lactose intolerant since most of the lactose is removed during the cheese making
process. Additionally, pairing cheese with other foods enhances your absorption of important nutrients.
One of the most valuable nutrients in cheese is vitamin K2 which is important to your heart, brain and
bones. Despite the myths surrounding fat and cholesterol, numerous studies have confirmed saturated fat
is NOT associated with obesity or heart disease and is actually associated with improved heart health.
Today, North Americans are consuming inadequate amounts of saturated fat.
In fact, the Greeks, French and Germans eat much more cheese than
Americans but enjoy lower rates of hypertension and obesity.
Many nutritional scientists believe that 50%-70% of our diet should be in the
form of healthy natural fats for optimal health and immune support.
Natural cheese is a simple fermented dairy product, made with nothing more
than a few basic ingredients - milk, starter culture, salt and an enzyme called
rennet. It contains a wealth of nutrition including:
High-quality saturated fats and omega-3 fats
Vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamins A, D, B2 (riboflavin) and
B12
Vitamin K2
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a powerful cancer-fighter and metabolism booster
In your search for raw milk cheese verify the label. A label which includes the words “pasteurized
process, is your first clue to walk away. Be aware of coloring agents too.
Ideally, the cheese you consume should be made from the milk of grass-fed animals raised on pasture,
rather than grain-fed or soy-fed animals confined to feedlot stalls. The biologically appropriate diet for
cows is grass, but 90 percent of standard grocery store cheeses are made from the milk of CAFO
(concentrated animal feeding operations) cows. Even cheese makers will tell you that raw cheese has a
richer and deeper flavor than cheese made from pasteurized milk because heat destroys the enzymes
and good bacteria that add flavor to the cheese. They explain that raw milk cheese has flavors derived
from the pastureland that nourished the animals producing the milk, much like wine is said to draw its
unique flavors from individual vineyards.
Cheese made from the milk of grass-fed cows has the ideal omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio of 2:1. This
simply means, inflammation producing omega-6 to anti-inflammation producing omega-3. By contrast, the
omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of grain-fed milk is heavily weighted on the side of omega-6 fats (25:1), which
means way more inflammation and which are already excessive in the standard diets of most people
today. Grass-fed dairy combats inflammation in your body, whereas grain-fed dairy contributes to it.
Grass-fed cheese contains about five times the CLA (a cancer fighting substance) of grain-fed
cheese. Because raw cheese is not pasteurized, natural enzymes in the milk are preserved, increasing its
nutritional punch. Grass-fed cheese is considerably higher in calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and
vitamins A, C, D and E. Organic grass-fed cheese is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.
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Safety risks
Since the year 2000, illnesses have appeared from raw and pasteurized cheese alike. Most outbreaks
have been found to result from post-production contamination and laxity in quality control, not lack of
pasteurization. The truth is that raw cheese is NOT dangerous, provided high standards are followed in
the cheese making process. The FDA’s attack on raw cheese is not based on facts.
Salt
Ever wonder how much is cheese responsible for the excess sodium in the American diet? About 90
percent of the salt in the standard American diet comes from packaged foods and restaurant foods. Only
about 11 percent is attributable to the salt you add during cooking and at the dinner table. Your sodium
intake is even lower if you salt your food with natural sea salt instead of processed salt.
Vitamins and minerals
When consumed together, vitamins K2 and D3 and calcium are especially
powerful for protecting your bones, brain and heart and cheese contains all three!
Not only does K2 help channel calcium into the proper areas of your body (bones
and teeth), it also prevents it from being deposited in areas where it shouldn’t,
such as your arteries and soft tissues. We need to eat animal fats (egg yolks,
butter and cheese) and some fermented foods to attain our levels of this
important vitamin for guiding calcium to where it needs to be and from where it
shouldn't be.
Cheeses highest in K2 are Gouda and Brie, which contain about 75 mcg per
ounce. Hard cheeses are about 30 percent higher in vitamin K2 than soft
cheeses. The cheeses highest in vitamin K2 also tend to be the highest in protein
and calcium.
Summary
If you’re going to select cheese with your primary goal being a good source of vitamin K2, the best ones
are: Gouda, Brie, and Edam. Other cheeses with lesser, but significant, levels of K2: Cheddar, Colby,
Hard goat cheese, Swiss, and Gruyere.
Cheese offers a synergistic blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, including
the magic trio of vitamin D3, vitamin K2 and calcium. This nutrient triad is vitally important for reducing
your risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Your best option is non-pasteurized cheese made from the milk of pasture-raised cows, sheep and goats,
as opposed to feedlot livestock fed grain and soy.
Although some cheeses are fairly high in salt, their sodium levels pale in comparison to those in common
fast foods, processed foods and popular restaurant entrees that make up a large part of the standard
American diet.
Review questions
1. If you are lactose intolerant can you enjoy the benefits of cheese? If so what makes it ok?
2. What it is the most valuable nutrient found in cheese? What are some of its benefits?
3. What percentage of our diet should be in the form of healthy natural fats for optimal health and
immune support?
4. Cheese made from the milk of grass-fed cows has the ideal omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio of 2:1.
What is the significance in this?
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5. What types of cheeses are highest in vitamin K?
6. What forms the triad of vitamins and minerals found in cheese which is vitally important for
reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis?
Sleep
On average, we need about 7.5 hours of quality sleep per night. If you are getting this already, another
half hour will not help you lose 10 pounds. However, if you are a five-hour sleeper and start to sleep for
seven hours a night, you will start dropping weight.
Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a
lot to do with our nightly hormones. The two hormones that are
key in the process of sleep deprivation are ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat. When you
are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone
that tells when to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived,
you have less leptin. More ghrelin plus less leptin equals eating
more (almost always in the form of carbs) and then the result, in
most cases is weight gain.
Review questions
1. What is the average number of hours of sleep required per night?
2. Does increasing my amount of sleep have an impact on weight loss?
3. What are the two hormones associated with sleep deprivation?
4. Which is the hormone known to tell you when to eat and which hormone tells you to stop eating?
Sleep Problems and What You Can Do!
Before the invention of the light bulb, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. Nowadays, a National
Sleep Foundation (NSF) poll found that most people sleep just under 7 hours per night, on average,
during the week and about 7.5 hours on the weekends.
While I don’t believe there is a hard-and-fast rule as to how long you must sleep, it is crucial that you do
get enough, and this means listening to your body.
Unfortunately, sleep problems -- such as waking up too early, not being
able to fall asleep or not being able to stay asleep -- are at near
epidemic levels.
Why is Sleep so Important?
Of course, you know instinctively that sleep is essential just by the way you feel when you don’t get
enough of it. But sleep is very complex, and sleep deprivation can impact your body in a number of ways:
It can make you fat: People who sleep less than seven hours a night tend to have a higher body mass
index (BMI) than people who sleep more. This could be because sleep deprivation alters metabolism.
Leptin, the hormone that signals satiety (fullness) falls while ghrelin, which signals hunger, rises -- and
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this boosts your appetite.
It harms your brain: Lack of sleep may cause your brain to stop producing new
cells.
It may increase your risk of cancer: How well you sleep can seriously alter the
balance of hormones in your body. This can then disrupt your sleep/wake cycle,
also called your circadian rhythm. A disrupted circadian rhythm may influence
cancer progression through shifts in hormones like melatonin, which your brain
makes at night during darkness and peaks between 9pm-12pm.
It may increase your risk of diabetes: Too little sleep may reduce levels of leptin, possibly causing you
to gain weight and then develop diabetes.
What Makes Sleeping so Difficult?
There is no one answer to this question, but there are some common factors that can
easily disturb your night’s rest:
Racing thoughts: Your worries can easily keep you awake if you don’t know how to
overcome them.
TV, computers and video games: Not only do these electronic items make it more difficult to fall asleep,
but they also keep you from getting high-quality sleep if you fall asleep with them on.
Shift work: going against the body's natural biological circadian rhythms is a huge culprit of sleeping
problems and bad health. The problem is that hormones become completely out of whack and disturb
sleep patterns, including our natural patterns on our days off.
Alcohol: can initially help get you a few hours of sleep, only to be woken to a huge hangover and or
fluctuations in hormones from blood sugar levels dropping during the night. Insulin, as you now know, is
responsible for clearing blood sugar. But with too much insulin being secreted during the night in order to
lower blood sugar, high insulin levels can lower it too far, waking you when your stress hormones try to
get the blood sugar back up to an acceptable level.
Stress: chronic stress levels and the accompanying stress hormones will tear your body down and many
people just get more tired as time goes on. Hormones are out of whack and our body never seems to
bounce back or at least not until the stress has been resolved.
How to Get a Sound Night’s Sleep?
Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room
can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland's production of
melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio
could be interfering with your sleep. Close your bedroom door, and
get rid of night-lights. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the
night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your
clock radio. Cover your windowsI recommend using blackout
shades or drape
All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms.
Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your
natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus,
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which controls your biological clock. Light signals your brain that it's time to wake up and starts
preparing your body for ACTION.
Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their
homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm.
Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is
quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees. Keeping your room
cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep. When you sleep,
your body's internal temperature drops to its lowest level,
generally about four hours after you fall asleep. Scientists
believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive
to sleep, since it mimics your body's natural temperature
drop.
Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed. If these devices must be
used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 5 feet. Remove the
clock from view. It will only add to your worry when you stare at it all night... 2 a.m. ...3 a.m. ...
4:30 a.m.
Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you
are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary.
Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find
it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.
Consider separate bedrooms. Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a
partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or
snores.
Preparing for Bed
Get to bed as early as possible. Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does the majority of
its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins
during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver, which can further
disrupt your health. Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after
sundown, as most animals do.
Don't change your bedtime. You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even
on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall
asleep and get up in the morning.
Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy
or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that
makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.
Don't drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to
get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.
Go to the bathroom right before bed. This will reduce the chances that you'll wake up to go in the
middle of the night.
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Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for
your melatonin and serotonin production.
Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. These will raise your blood sugar and
delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be
unable to fall back asleep.
Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When your body
temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime,
facilitating slumber. The temperature drop from getting out of the
bath signals your body it's time for bed.
Wear socks to bed. Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body
because they have the poorest circulation. A study has shown that wearing socks to bed reduces
night waking. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.
Wear an eye mask to block out light. As discussed earlier, it is very important to sleep in as close
to complete darkness as possible. That said, it's not always easy to block out every stream of
light using curtains, blinds or drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse
has a different schedule than you do). In these cases, an eye mask can be helpful.
Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more). This will give
your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about
tomorrow's deadlines.
No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even
completely out of the house. It's too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from
falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function (secretion of
melatonin and prolactin).
Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as
the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to
before bed is the Insight audio CD. Another favorite is the Sleep Harmony CD, which uses a
combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall
into deep delta sleep within minutes. The CD works on the principle of "sleep wave entrainment"
to assist your brain in gearing down for sleep.
Journaling. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful
to keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed or type it into
your LLN online journal.
Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter,
may adversely affect sleep.
Avoid caffeine. At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized
efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or
tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain
caffeine.
Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short
lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back
asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of
sleep, where your body does most of its healing.
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Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve
your sleep. However, don't exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake? Studies
show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.
Lose excess weight. Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can seriously
impair your sleep.
Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurized
dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas,
and other problems.
Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician. Scientists have found that
insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.
If you are menopausal or premenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician.
The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed.
Increase your melatonin. Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright
sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute
complete darkness at night. If that isn't possible, you may want to consider a melatonin
supplement. In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall
asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue.
Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in
addition to sleep.
Review questions
1. What is the average number of hours people get and how does that compare to history?
2. What are some of the impacts of sleep deprivation?
3. What are some common factors that can easily disturb your night’s rest?
4. What are a few tips to get a good night’s sleep?
5. What are a few tips for preparing for bed?
Detriments of sugar
Our bodies have 2 types of fuel it can use to get us moving and functioning. They are glucose (blood sugar)
and ketones (by-products of fatty acid breakdown). Ketones are the preferred fuel for every organ and
tissue in the body and a far less damaging source of energy than glucose.
Dietitians will tell you that glucose is our "primary" fuel and that we need glucose to survive. We do need
glucose to survive, but it's certainly not our primary fuel.
Higher than normal blood sugar is toxic to the body. We store sugar in the form of glycogen in our liver and
trace amounts in our muscle cells and any excess sugar will then be stored as fat in the fat cells. These
stored sugars in the form of glycogen, get released into the blood stream during emergency situations when
we need immediate energy to power our muscle cells into "fight or flight" mode.
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Our bodies were never set up to consistently have high blood sugar. Otherwise
why would nature give us so many hormones to increase blood sugar levels,
but only 1 hormone to clear it? Insulin clears the sugar from the blood when
levels are too high. 60% carbs according to the Canada Food Guide on a 2000
calorie a day diet, is equal to 2 cups of glucose in a 16 hour period. This
represents 300,000 mg which is way more than the recommended level of blood
sugar level set by the top scientists over 80 years ago.
Diabetes is the deregulation of blood sugar, meaning, that insulin is no longer
able to clear the blood of high blood sugar. This is because of insulin resistance
on the muscle cells or our pancreas is slowing down on the production of insulin
due to the many years of making so much of it that it's burning out. We need to stop pounding the carbs to
us and forcing our insulin producing pancreas to churn out so much insulin and instead, reduce our sugar
consumption. Nature intended for us to have low blood sugar and to store just enough blood sugar to allow
us immediate emergency fuel to fight off predators or pounce on our prey ("fight or flight").
So yes our primary fuel is glucose, but ONLY when it’s available because the body has to clear it from the
blood so it doesn't damage our cardiovascular system, tissues and organs and most importantly, our brains.
We have a very small need for glucose. That's why there's no such thing as "essential" carbohydrates like
we do essential amino acids (protein) and essential fatty acids (fats). When it's nonessential, this means
that the body can make it. Our bodies will make the small amounts of glucose we need for our brains and
to power our red blood cells to carry oxygen and other important nutrients to all cells of the body.
Anything more than 1 tsp (70-85mg/dl) of sugar in our blood at any given
time, results in metabolic chaos and this is when things can get crazy.
Two slices of bread or 1 bagel is equal to 6 tsp of sugar. Just 1 can of pop
has 10-12 tsp of sugar!
High sugar levels increases both hormones, insulin and leptin. As you
know, raising insulin levels increases fat storage and eventually leads to
insulin resistance and even more insulin is pumped out (or injected) and
more fat is accumulated.
Leptin is responsible for signaling our brain that we are full and had enough to eat.
High sugar levels bind to our LDL particles making these particles unrecognizable to our cells and
impedes their ability to receive the nutrients contained within these particles such as: fat soluble vitamins
A, D, E and K, minerals, phospholipids and other fats as well as cholesterol. When these particles are
not received by the cells of the body, their cargo is not unloaded and therefore these LDL particles
increase in numbers making our LDL levels higher in the blood with nowhere to go. High sugar levels also
interfere with our HDL particles, which are carrying excess cholesterol away from dead cells and in
between cells to be unloaded into LDL to be brought back to the liver for resorting and recycling. This
interference results in the ripping apart of these HDL particles and freeing up the excess cholesterol in the
blood stream which become oxidized and imbedded in the arterial walls. When these transport
mechanisms are interfered with due to consistently high sugar levels, cardiovascular disease is inevitable.
High sugar levels in the blood stream react with protein and fat causing them to deteriorate. This process
is known as glycation. Fructose is also damaging. In fact, scientists suggest that it is 20-30 times more
glycating than glucose.
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High sugar levels auto-oxidize and produce a free radical cascade that damages arterial walls and forms
cross links with proteins called Advanced Glycation End-products
(AGE'S). This accelerates aging in the cells, tissues and organs,
and even the brain and causes mutations in our DNA. This
mutation can lead to cancer. High sugar levels can also result in
yeast overgrowth which eventually leads to intestinal problems.
High sugar levels over an extended period of time will make us
dependent, craving sugar and starchy carbs. When you become
sugar dependent, your body breaks down protein to amino acids
which will get converted to glucose by the liver through a process
called gyconeogenesis. Therefore if you don't keep your sugar
levels high enough by eating sugar every 90 mins or so, you will
sacrifice muscle tissue (catabolism) and bone density
(osteoporosis) to use as glucose to fuel the body.
High sugar levels can affect our sleep patterns as well. When you're a "carbivore" (sugar burner) you
must maintain above normal levels of glucose in the body or you experience hypoglycemic (low blood
sugar) symptoms. At this point, if you haven't eaten or gone too long between meals, your body will go
into panic mode and will do whatever it takes to get those blood sugar levels back up out of the red zone.
Your body will send signals your brain to eat ASAP via your hormone ghrelin. When food isn't available,
your body will release its stress hormones into circulation. These hormones are adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline releases stored glycogen (glucose sugar) out of the liver cells and small amounts out of the
muscle cells. Cortisol breaks down muscle, bone and even organ tissues to get the protein for its
conversion to glucose by the liver. This is our panic mode. It's almost impossible to sleep when all of this
is going on. So basically, your body is breaking down its own muscle tissue, bone and even organs to get
the amino acids from the breakdown of protein to fuel the body because it's adapted to burning glucose
as fuel and there's no glucose available. Unless you are eating every 90-120 minutes to make sure this
doesn't happen then you will crave and develop an addiction to sugar.
Similarly this can happen to children in school when their blood sugar drops too low from their previous
high sugar intake. Their adrenaline and cortisol hormones kick in to bring their blood sugar levels up out
of the red zone and during this time, the child is unable to
think clearly, focus or even sit still to pay attention to the
teacher. Biologically speaking, the child cannot possibly
be alert and focused until their blood sugar is out of the
red zone. When this emergency situation subsides, the
child will feel exhausted and sleepy. This is simply a
biological emergency process to keep the child from
passing out or going into convulsions. Please think twice
before flooding your child's blood with sugar folks!
High sugar levels promote unhealthy hormone and brain
chemical patterns. We see the world through the lens of
our hormones and brain chemicals. Neurotransmitters
(serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and GABA) are distorted and depleted resulting in
highs and lows in mood, never balancing.
High sugar levels deplete vitamin B which is needed to build neurotransmitters and other hormones. If B1,
B6 and folic acid are depleted, then homocysteine (by-products of cellular metabolism which is carried out
every day by normal body functions) levels in the blood become too elevated. This elevation is linked to
Heart disease, Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and have also been shown to rapidly age us.
High sugar levels and its glycation process is the primary cause of brain degeneration in aging and also in
Alzheimer disease. Have you ever noticed that most elders have a sweet tooth? They are feeding their
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degeneration through addiction. Brain cells are much more vulnerable to sugar because they never
become resistant to insulin which opens the cells for sugar to get in.
High sugar levels interfere with Omega-3 production. It interferes with the enzymes that metabolize and
convert the Omega-3 to a nutrient we can use. If you’re taking fish oil and have a high sugar diet, the
sugar will not allow the conversion to take place and will do more harm than good.
High sugar levels deplete magnesium levels which are responsible for calmness and a relaxed nervous
system (parasympathetic). Without magnesium, our blood vessels constrict and even spasm causing a
state of anxiety, fatigue and high blood pressure.
High sugar levels can lead to migraine headaches and learning disabilities because the small blood
vessels become clogged with red blood cells. These blood cells become swollen with sugar and can't
pass through the many blood vessels of the brain. This results in lower oxygen and lower nutrient levels
being delivered to the brain. With high sugar levels, memory loss is also a reality because of the elevated
insulin and cortisol levels. Cortisol breaks down the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, the
hippocampus.
High sugar levels promote high insulin levels. This in turn triggers the growth of the interior smooth
muscle cells that line the arteries, resulting in their narrowing and reduced elasticity. This also leads to
high blood pressure. Arteries which lose elasticity are more prone to plaguing, arterial spasms, and heart
disease.
The following are three quick facts with regards to fructose:
Interferes with the signaling our leptin hormone which tells our brain we are full, and it enhances
the signaling of our ghrelin hormone which tells our brain we are hungry.
Doesn’t raise insulin levels, however, it forces the liver to convert it to triglycerides and which are
stored as fat in the fat cell.
Is considered by many scientists to be the most lipogenic (fat producing) carbohydrate in the world.
Review questions
1. What are the two types of fuel our bodies can use to get us moving and functioning? Which is the
preferred source by the body?
2. How is sugar store and used in the body?
3. What Role does insulin play? What is Diabetes and what does it do to insulin levels?
4. High sugar levels in the blood increase what two hormones? And what do each do?
5. High sugar levels bind to our LDL particles making these particles unrecognizable to our cells and
impedes their ability to receive the nutrients contained within these particles such as: fat soluble
vitamins A, D, E and K, minerals, phospholipids and other fats as well as cholesterol. When these
particles are not received by the cells of the body what happens?
6. What is referred to as the glycation process? What does AGE stand for? And what are the risks
associated with it?
7. High sugar levels over an extended period of time will make us dependent, craving sugar and
starchy carbs. When you become sugar dependent, your body breaks down protein to amino acids
which will get converted to glucose by the liver. What is this process called?
8. How do sugar levels affect sleep patterns?
9. When food isn't available, your body will release its stress hormones into circulation. What are
these hormones? What do each do?
10. How do sugar levels affect our brain chemicals? Omega 3 production?
11. High sugar levels deplete magnesium levels which are responsible for calmness and a relaxed
nervous system (parasympathetic). What is the impact of this on our bodies?
12. How can sugar levels can lead to migraine headaches and learning disabilities?
13. What is the impact of high sugar levels on our arteries?
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14. What is referred to as the most lipogenic carbohydrate in the world?
Synthetic Wheat of Today
For most people, every single meal and snack contains foods made with wheat flour. The sad truth is
that the proliferation of wheat products in our diet parallels
the expansion of our waists. Advice to cut fat and
cholesterol intake and replace the calories with whole
grains that was issued by the National Heart, Lung, and
Blood Institute through its National Cholesterol Education
Program in 1985 coincides precisely with the start of a
sharp upward climb in body weight for men and women.
Ironically, 1985 also marks the year when the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking
body weight statistics, documenting the explosion in
obesity and diabetes that began that very same year.
First of all, we have to realize that the wheat of even 50 years ago, is not the same wheat we find on the
shelves and in our packaged and processed foods of today. In fact, it's quite different.
Wheat naturally evolved to only a modest degree over the centuries, but it has changed dramatically in
the past fifty years under the influence of agricultural scientists. Wheat strains have been hybridized,
crossbred, and introgressed to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as
drought, or pathogens such as fungi. But most of all, genetic changes have been induced to increase
yield per acre. The average yield on a modern North American farm is far greater than farms of a century
ago. Such enormous strides in yield have required drastic changes in genetic code, including reducing
the proud “amber waves of grain” of yesteryear to the rigid, eighteen-inch-tall high-production “dwarf
wheat of today. Such fundamental genetic changes have come at a price.
Even in the few decades since your grandmother, wheat has undergone countless transformations.
Modern commercial wheat production has been intent on delivering features such as increased volume,
decreased production costs, and large-scale production of a consistent commodity. All the while, virtually
no questions have been asked about whether these features are compatible with human health.
Somewhere along the way during wheat’s history, likely fifty years ago, wheat changed.
The result: A loaf of bread, biscuit, or pancake of today is different from what our grandmothers made.
They might look the same, even taste much the same, but there are biochemical differences. Small
changes in wheat protein structure can spell the difference between a devastating immune response to
wheat protein versus no immune response at all.
The manipulation of the domesticated wild wheat (the wheat of old) of Neolithic times into the modern
wheat versions of Cinnabun, French crullers, or Dunkin’ Donuts requires some serious sleight of hand.
These modern configurations were not possible with the dough of ancient wheat. An attempt to make a
modern jelly donut with einkorn wheat, for example, would yield a crumbly mess that would not hold its
filling, and it would taste, feel, and look like a crumbly mess.
Modern Triticum aestivum wheat flour is, on average, 70 percent carbohydrate by weight, with protein and
indigestible fiber each comprising 10 to 15 percent. The small remaining weight of Triticum wheat flour is
fat, mostly phospholipids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Interestingly, ancient wheat has a higher
protein content containing 28 percent or more protein than our new high-tech synthetic wheat.
Wheat starches are the complex carbohydrates that are the darlings of dietitians. “Complex” means that
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the carbohydrates in wheat are composed of polymers (repeating chains) of the simple sugar glucose,
unlike simple carbohydrates such as sucrose, which are one or two-unit sugar structures. (Sucrose is a
two-sugar molecule, glucose + fructose.) Conventional wisdom, such as that from your dietitian or the
USDA, says we should all reduce our consumption of simple carbohydrates in the form of candy and soft
drinks, and increase our consumption of complex carbohydrates, such as the almighty synthetic wheat of
today and other problematic grains.
Of the complex carbohydrate in wheat, 75 percent is the chains of sugar we call glucose (the form of
sugar your body burns as fuel) in a form we call Amylopectin. The remaining 25 percent is in a chain of
glucose units, we call Amylose. In the human gastrointestinal tract, both Amylopectin and Amylose are
digested by the salivary and stomach enzyme amylase. Amylopectin is efficiently digested by amylase to
glucose for our fuel and or storage of fat, while Amylose is much less efficiently digested, some of it
making its way to the colon undigested. Thus, the complex carbohydrate Amylopectin is rapidly converted
to glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream and, because it is most efficiently digested, is mainly
responsible for wheat’s blood-sugar-increasing effect. The Amylose doesn't have this effect on blood
sugar.
Other carbohydrate foods also contain Amylopectin, but not the same kind of Amylopectin as wheat,
which is called Amylopectin A. Amylopectin varies depending on its source. Amylopectin from legumes,
so-called amylopectin C, is the least digestible. Undigested Amylopectin makes its way to the colon,
whereupon the symbiotic bacteria happily dwelling there feast on the undigested starches and generate
gases such as nitrogen and hydrogen, making the sugars unavailable for you to digest.
Amylopectin B is the form found in bananas and potatoes and, while more digestible than bean
Amylopectin C, still resists digestion to some degree. The most digestible form of Amylopectin,
Amylopectin A, is the form found in wheat. Because it is the most digestible, it is the form that most
enthusiastically increases blood sugar. This explains why, gram for gram, wheat increases blood sugar to
a greater degree than, say, kidney beans or potato chips. The Amylopectin A of wheat products, complex
or not, might be regarded as a Super-carbohydrate, a form of highly digestible carbohydrate that is more
efficiently converted to blood sugar than nearly all other carbohydrate foods, simple or complex. This
means, insulin levels rise and pack our cells with sugar, yes even
the fat cells.
This means that not all complex carbohydrates are created
equal, with Amylopectin A-containing wheat increasing blood
sugar more than other complex carbohydrates. But the uniquely
digestible Amylopectin A of wheat also means that the complex
carbohydrate of wheat products, on a gram-for-gram basis, are
no better, and are often far worse, than even simple
carbohydrates such as sucrose.
Consider this; whole wheat bread increases blood sugar to a higher level than sucrose (table sugar).
Aside from some extra fiber, eating two slices of whole wheat bread is really little different, and often
worse, than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened coca cola or eating a sugary candy bar.
This information is not new. A 1981 University of Toronto study launched the concept of the glycemic
index, i.e., the comparative blood sugar effects of carbohydrates: the higher the blood sugar after
consuming a specific food compared to glucose, the higher the glycemic index (GI).
The original study showed that the GI of white bread was 69, while the GI of
whole grain bread was 72 and Shredded Wheat cereal was 67, while that of
sucrose (table sugar) was 59.5. Yes, the GI of whole grain bread is higher
than that of sucrose. Incidentally, the GI of a Mars bar is 68. That’s better
than whole grain bread. The GI of a Snickers bar is 41far better than whole
grain bread as well.
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In fact, the degree of processing, from a blood sugar standpoint, makes little difference: Wheat is wheat,
with various forms of processing or lack of processing, simple or complex, high-fiber or low-fiber, all
generating similarly high blood sugars. Just as “boys will be boys,” Amylopectin A will be Amylopectin A.
In healthy, slender volunteers, two medium-sized slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar by 30
mg/dl (from 93 to 123 mg/dl), no different from white bread. In people with diabetes, both white and whole
grain bread increase blood sugar 70 to 120 mg/dl over starting levels. Wow!
Therefore, wheat products elevate blood sugar levels more than virtually any other carbohydrate, from
beans to candy bars. This has important implications for body weight, since glucose is unavoidably
accompanied by insulin, the hormone that allows entry of glucose into the cells of the body, converting
the glucose to fat. The higher the blood glucose after consumption of food, the greater the insulin level,
the more fat is deposited. This is why, say, eating a six-egg omelet that triggers no increase in glucose
does not add to body fat, while two slices of whole wheat bread increases blood glucose to high levels,
triggering insulin and growth of fat, particularly abdominal or deep visceral fat, unhealthy inflammatory fat.
There’s even more to wheat’s curious glucose behavior. The Amylopectin A-induced surge in glucose and
insulin following wheat consumption is a 120-minute-long phenomenon that produces the “high” at the
glucose peak, followed by the “low” of the inevitable glucose drop. The surge and drop creates a two-hour
roller coaster ride of satiety and hunger that repeats itself throughout the day. The glucose “low” is
responsible for stomach growling at 9 a.m., just two hours after a bowl of wheat cereal or an English
muffin breakfast, followed by 11 a.m. pre-lunch cravings, as well as the mental fog, fatigue, and
shakiness of the hypoglycemic glucose ride.
If you trigger high blood sugars repeatedly and/or over sustained periods, more fat accumulation results.
The consequences of glucose-insulin-fat deposition are especially visible in the abdomen. The bigger
your abdomen, the poorer your response to insulin, since the deep visceral fat of the abdomen is
associated with poor responsiveness, or “resistance,” to insulin, demanding higher and higher insulin
levels, a situation that cultivates diabetes. Moreover, the bigger the stomach in males, the more estrogen
is produced by fat tissue, and the larger the breasts (gynecomastia).
The bigger your stomach, the more inflammatory responses that are
triggered: heart disease and cancer.
Synthetic wheat of today gives rise to blood sugar levels more than any
other food or drink. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the
consequences of eating wheat products. This is not to mention the
psychological and addictive consequences of wheat and why it's so hard
to break this roller coaster ride phenomenon. But trust me, it can easily
done!
Review questions
1. What advice was given in 1985 which co-insides with the documented increase in body weight
for both men and women?
2. Why have we seen a major genetic mutation in wheat in the past few decades? and what was
the intent of this?
3. Would some of the foods we enjoy today even exist with the ancient version of wheat?
4. How does the modern version of wheat compare to the ancient version with regards to
carbohydrate and protein content?
5. What is the protein content of the synthetic wheat of today compared to the ancient version?
6. What does the term complex carbohydrates mean? What is the 75% carb content in wheat
comprised of?
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7. The most digestible form of Amylopectin, Amylopectin A, is the form found in wheat. What impact
does this have on blood sugar levels?
8. The glycemic index is a measure of what? How do foods such as whole grain bread and simple
sugar foods compare?
9. What is the hormone that allows entry of glucose into the cells of the body, converting the
glucose to fat?
10. What is the result of the 120-minute-long phenomenon that produces the “high” at the glucose
peak, followed by the “low” of the inevitable glucose drop?
START HERE
The Scoop on the Milk Controversy!
As many of you know, I do not recommend drinking pasteurized milk of any kind because the
pasteurization process, which entails heating the milk to a temperature of 145 degrees to 150 degrees
Fahrenheit and keeping it there for at least half an hour, completely changes the structure of the milk
proteins into something far less than healthy.
Pasteurized cow’s milk is the number one allergic food in the United States and Canada. It has been
associated with a number of symptoms and illnesses including:
Diarrhea, cramps, bloating and gas
Osteoporosis
Arthritis
Heart disease
Cancer
Recurrent ear infections and colic in infants and children
Type 1 diabetes
Rheumatoid arthritis
Infertility
Leukemia
Autism
The healthy alternative to pasteurized milk is
raw milk, which is an outstanding source of
nutrients including beneficial bacteria such as
lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamins and
enzymes. In my thousands of hours of
research, in my opinion, it is one of the finest
sources of calcium available.
Raw milk is generally not associated with any of the above health problems, and even people who have
been allergic to pasteurized milk for many years can typically tolerate and even thrive on raw milk. Yet,
there are those people who still have trouble drinking raw milk and I have wondered if there could be a
missing piece to the puzzle. That piece, it turns out, may very well be related to the type of cow your milk
comes from.
A1 Vs. A2 Cows: What’s the Difference?
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The type of proteins in milk, and the proportion of various proteins, varies depending on the breed of cow
and the type of animal (sheep, goat, cow, etc.).
One of the major proteins in cow’s milk (80% of its milk protein) is called casein, the predominant variety
of which is called beta-casein. In older breeds of cows, such as Jersey, Asian and African cows (called
A2 cows), the beta-casein contains an amino acid called proline.
In newer breeds of cows like Holstein (A1 cows), however, the proline has mutated into an amino acid
called histidine.
This is important because beta-casein also contains an amino acid called BCM-7, which is a powerful
opiate linked to negative health effects. Well, the proline that exists in A2 cows has a strong bond to
BCM-7, which helps keep it out of the cows’ milk. The histidine in the newer A1 cows, however, has a
weak hold on BCM-7, which allows it to get into the milk, and also into the people who drink the milk.
So the theory goes that by drinking milk from A1 cows like Holstein, which are the predominant cows
used for dairy products in the United States and Canada, you’re exposed to the amino acid BCM-7, which
has been linked to:
Neurological impairment, including autistic and schizophrenic changes
Type 1 diabetes
An impaired immune response
Autoimmune disease
Heart disease
How to Find Healthy Milk?
Depending on where you live, A2 milk may not be hard to find at all. In fact, herds in much of Asia, Africa,
and parts of Southern Europe still produce primarily A2 milk. If you live in the United States, Canada, New
Zealand, Australia or other areas of Europe, however, you’ll need to look a bit harder.
To find A2 milk, the type that has not been associated with illness and instead appears to have numerous
health benefits, look for milk that comes from Jerseys, Asian and
African cows. The best way to do this may be to get to know a farmer
directly and find out what type of cow is used. And as always, stick to
milk that is raw, NOT pasteurized.
Raw goat and sheep’s milk is another option, as these types of milk do
not contain BCM-7.
One other point is that people with healthy digestive tracts do not absorb as much BCM-7. So this is yet
another incentive to keep your gut in tip-top condition by eating healthy and getting plenty of good
bacteria, either by eating naturally fermented foods or taking a high-quality probiotic
supplement....although I highly recommend the fermented foods like Bubbies Dill Pickles and any organic
fermented sauerkraut.
For those I recommended raw milk to, my farmer, and now maybe even your farmer, uses healthy Jersey
cows for your A2 raw milk and butter.
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How It All Works! Part 1
We humans are genetically designed to function our best if we respect our natural diet, exercise, stress
management and proper sleep patterns. Many of you have already heard me speak of this by saying that
nutrition is 70%, exercise is 10%, stress management is 10% and proper sleep patterns is 10%. If any
one of these principal factors are not followed 100% of the percentage they represent, then all other
factors will be affected.
The human genome (our genetics) hasn't changed more than 0.02% in the last 40,000 years. Our genes
and biochemistry are designed to function just as they did more than 100,000 years ago and longer.
Geneticists speculate that it would take more than 200,000 years to change our genetic makeup as a
human race. Scientific proof has shown that our ancestors of way back didn't suffer from any diseases as
we do today. They were strong, healthy, fit and filled with energy. In other words, health-wise they were
more superior than we are today. They even had much better bone structure even only as far back as the
early 1900's as Weston Price had observed through the physical structural faces of these healthy and fit
people: http://www.westonaprice.org
In today's world, we are so out of touch with our genetic needs, that the supplement business is making
billions from our ignorance. Ignorance that is based on the lack of common sense we as a society has
succumbed to because of the amount of overwhelming and confusing information about how, what and
when we should eat. The control has been placed in everyone else's hands but our own. We completely
ignore our senses that drive by our very own highly complex intelligent system with its highly sofisticated
innate built-in logic centers that always sends us the signals of what we need to do to enjoy LifeLong
health. We think with our brains which have been brainwashed into abiding by what we are told to eat,
drink, think and feel. Isn't it time we get back to the basics and start listening to our bodies?
Having consulted with me, you know how I feel about what will work for you and what will not work for
you. The most important part of this whole web of confusion, I feel, is to listen to your body and how it
responds to different foods, the timing of your foods, the signals your body gives you telling you when you
are hungry, full, thirsty, tired, stressed etc.....The body constantly sends us signals 24/7 (yes even during
our sleep) and it's important to pay attention to these signals and to take action immediately in carrying
out these signals/messages. Once you adopt the ability to listen to your body and taking action, life gets
so much easier and the effort becomes almost automatic. This is when you will find out how amazing the
human body really is and you will even experience a sense of liberation, feeling like you finally have
control of your body, and more importantly, your health.
I read about 15 years ago that we see the world through the lenses of our hormones and
neurotransmitters (brain chemicals). I wasn't sure what that meant, but by studying and researching
everything I could get my hands on, including endocrinology (the study of hormones), I most certainly do
now. Even more importantly, I have a good understanding of how it all works and it's much simpler than I
had ever imagined.
So I would like to take this opportunity to talk about several hormones and a few neurotransmitters that
many of you may be familiar with. However, I am going to make this as easy as I can for you to read and
understand. Trust me when I say that I have read hundreds of articles, studies, scientific research
journals, information data bases, many books and websites about this subject. I am no expert on this
18
subject, but I do want to share with you some of the information of what I do know and understand. If you
open up your mind to the fact that what we eat, drink, breathe, think and feel has a significant impact on
our own hormones and brain chemicals and that we can control the positive and negative expressions of
these molecules through simple daily choices, you will understand what it truly means to be healthy and
happy. (As a side note, stress is a huge factor in the way we express our hormones and brain
chemicals.The higher and more chronic the stress, the more our hormones and brain chemicals get out of
whack, resulting in health problems and emotional instabilities).
The nitty gritty! Nuts and bolts!
Insulin: The Carbohydrate-Control Hormone/ The fat Storage
Hormone/ The Dominating Hormone/ The Inflammatory Hormone/ The
Vicious Cycle Hormone/
If you want to store fat for the winter like many animals do such as
bears, then just stimulate the pancreas to release this hormone in more
than optimal amounts, and you are on your way to accumulating fat for the long cold winter months.
Although this isn't the case with everybody, it is the majority of people!
Insulin is the most important and influential hormone for storing fat as well as directly inhibiting fat
burning. Insulin is released from the pancreas in response to elevated blood sugar levels, most often
after a meal or a snack consisting of carbohydrates. Insulin is super sensitive to carbohydrates and the
faster the sugar hits the blood stream, the higher the spikes in insulin to get this sugar out of the blood
stream, resulting in too high a level of insulin. Too much insulin will bring down blood sugar too low,
resulting in hypoglycemic symptoms such as fatique, irritability, sweating, shaking, headaches and
confusion.This condition is dangerous to the body. So what happens? The hormone Ghrelin will then
signal your brain that you need to eat when blood sugar drops too low, resulting in hunger and then we
eat again. And guess what we eat? Whatever is fastest in getting our blood sugar levels back up so we
feel better. And so the vicious cycle repeats itself again and again and again. If the body is not burning
this sugar for fuel by the muscle cells, or being stored as glycogen in the liver cells, then it gets shipped
off to the fat cells for storage. If you keep doing this cycle day after day, you will sure enough in no time
have that winter duvet you had been seeking for those long cold winter months. Simple right?
The truth is, the body can't use more than 1 teaspoon of glucose (blood sugar) at any given time or
metabolic chaos will result. We are eating way more than this maximum requirement several times a day,
if not, all day long! Our society is filled with carb addicts whom are on this roller coaster ride and are
having a hell of a time trying to get off. Carb addictions are very strong and will lead you down a path of
unhealthiness. In most people, 3/4rths of carbs taken in are going straight to the fat cells, 2/3rds of the
remaining 1/4 is being used by the brain and the very small amount left is used to fuel our hemoglobin in
our red blood cells to carry oxygen to our cells. A very minimum amount of glucose (sugar) is needed by
our bodies and can even be made by our bodies. That's why we never hear of "essential carbohydrates"
because the truth is, anything that the body can make isn't essential. We have essential amino acids and
essential fatty acids. But have you ever heard of an essential carbohydrate? Nope...I haven't either!
Ok, so I would like to add that under optimal conditions (a healthy balanced body) our bodies burn more
than 3/4rths of it's energy from fat stores and very little sugar. This is why we can sleep for several hours
without having to get up to eat carbs for the sugar to fuel the body. So the reality is, our primary source of
fuel of the body is stored fat, NOT glucose (sugar) as these dietitians and nutritionists are trained to
believe. The body will burn glucose FIRST, but only because it has to bring down the blood sugar
because too much sugar in the blood for too long is toxic.
Sorry for going off on a tangent. Getting back to a few more words about insulin. The most important
19
influence on whether or not our fat stores get burned for fuel or stored and accumulate more fat, all
comes down to insulin. How does this work? Well very quickly, this is how it goes:
We have approximately 25-30 billion fat cells. These fat cells, unlike what was thought just 30 years ago,
have very important roles in our physiologies. We won't get into this right now because this would be an
article in of itself. However, fat cells are intelligent cells that consist of 2 very important major enzymes
(enzymes are like little workers doing all the work). One enzyme is called LPL (Lipoprotein Lipase) which
resides on the outside membrane of the fat cell and is responsible for bringing in fatty acids and access
sugar into the fat cell. This enzyme will perform this task when it's actively stimulated by insulin. You now
know that insulin gets secreted when blood sugar levels rise from eating carbs right? Ok you also now
know that the LPL enzyme gets activated by insulin right? CARBS-INSULIN-LPL are the real players in
direct depositing of fatty acids and access sugar into the fat cell! Simple enough right? Well it's just a tad
more complex than this, however this is an easy simplified version that gets straight to the point.
Now lets look at the second enzyme. This enzyme is called HSL (Hormone Sensitive Lipase) which
resides inside of the fat cell. This HSL enzyme is responsible for allowing the fat cells to release the
stored fat back into the blood stream to be burned as fuel by other cells that need energy. This enzyme is
ONLY activated when the LPL is inactivated by having very low insulin levels. So when LPL is activated
by insulin, which is secreted when blood sugars are high by eating carbs, the HSL enzyme is deactivated.
However, when the LPL enzyme is inactivated by the low levels of insulin by controlling the carbs we eat,
then the HSL enzyme becomes activated and fat is released from the fat cell to fuel the body, resulting in
lower fat stores. Did I drive this home yet??? lol But isn't it easy? This is the science of fat accumulation
and fat mobilization folks! How can we possibly lose fat if we do not understand this simple concept? I
urge you to ask anybody who has ever assisted you in weight loss, including dietitians and nutritionists to
see if they even understand this simple concept. How can they help you lose weight if they don't know
how fat is actually lost? Maybe by following the Canada Food Guide? Weight Watchers changed their
program a couple of years ago to help people to lose weight "once and for all!" Does this mean that their
first program when they first started didn't help people lose weight "once and for all?" DON'T GET ME
GOING ON THAT!! Excuse me while I go count my points and see if I have enough for a piece of
cheesecake! haha Ok........sorry bout that!
Bottom line: control your insulin levels and you control the accumulation and mobilization of fat into and
out of the fat cells.
Glucagon: A Fat Releasing Hormone
Glucagon is the hormone that counter balances insulin. What I mean by this is that insulin is stimulated by
carbohydrates while glucagon is stimulated by proteins. Insulin works to make sure that blood sugar
levels don't get too high and glucagon works to make sure that blood sugar doesn't get too low. Insulin
sets the stage for weight gain while glucagon stimulates the release of fat from the fat cells. Glucagon is
released from the pancreas (like insulin) in response to the presence of protein which creates
thermogenesis (increased burning of energy). As long as insulin stays controlled, fat stores will be
released to fuel the body between meals, during sleep and when protein is consumed without the
presence of high insulin stimulating carbs. Some researchers suggest that the lowering of insulin is
responsible for activating the HSL enzyme which releases the fat from the fat cells. However, some other
researches suggest that it isn't the lowering of insulin that activates the HSL enzyme, that it's the protein
that activates it. And other researches say it's both, but that insulin is dominant when secreted in the
same amount as glucagon. This tells me that insulin has an edge over glucagon and it's insulin that
determines the activation or deactivation of the HSL enzyme. When both hormones are secreted in the
same amounts together, we will accumulate more fat into the fat cell rather than mobilize this fat. Bottom
line, insulin wins!
20
T3: Our Thermostat Regulator
Triiodothyronine (T3) is the most active hormone of the thyroid gland. Although only about 20% of the
hormones produced by the thyroid gland is T3, it is the active form that makes it matter most. T4
represents about 80% of the hormones produced by the thyroid. T4 is converted to T3 (the active form)
by an enzyme (our little work horse) called iodothyronine deiodinase. This process requires the mineral
selenium which we get from eggs, nuts (particularly Brazil nuts), shellfish and other fish, liver, sunflower
seeds, meat and even bacon. The synthesis of T3 also needs the chemical element called iodine which
we get from many different seafoods. We also need the amino acid tyrosine for the synthesis of T3 which
can be found in fish, eggs, turkey and some other meats.
T3 increases the basal metabolic rate and, thus, increases the body's oxygen and energy consumption.
The basal metabolic rate is the minimal caloric requirement needed to sustain life in a resting individual.
The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive
the body is to other hormones. The thyroid also produces calcitonin, which plays a role in calcium
regulation.
Ok so what does this mean you ask? Basically what this means is that an efficient functioning thyroid
gland that releases it's hormone T3 in a timely and quantitative manner due to the signals it receives from
other glands (mainly the hypothalamus) via hormones, it's own hormone T3 which represents the
thermostat, will be turned up or down depending on the signals it receives. The "turning up" of this
thermostat represents more energy (calories) being burned. The "turning down" of this thermostat
represents less energy (calories) being burned. If the thyroid gland does not receive these signals, due to
inference from accumulated toxins from foreign chemicals such as food additives, preservatives, sugars,
hydrogenated vegetable oils and damage from free radicals or from too high or too low of secretions of
hormones from other glands, this sets up the thyroid for an overproduction or an underproduction of it's
own hormone T3. This results in too much T3 output (hyperthyroidism) or too little T3 output
(hypothyroidism).
Bottom line is that clear and informative signals (messages) must be able to get through to our thyroid
gland for it to carry out this very important body function of controlling and adjusting our thermostat.
Interference will most definitely cause a metabolic imbalance in our bodies resulting in too much weight
loss (and its associated side effects) or too little weight loss due to a low metabolic rate. This will
eventually lead to ill health, emotionally and physically.
Too high of insulin levels caused by too many carbohydrates in the diet, not only drives access body fat to
accumulate in the fat cells, but also interferes with hormonal signals in the body enabling the body to
carry out very important metabolic functions, such as the burning of access energy, calories! Too much
energy in the body being stored as fat as opposed to being burned by the muscle cells via exercise and
metabolic balance, will lead to a significant amount of fat gain and will lower your thermostat making you
lethargic because there are no signals telling your body to burn this access calories as fuel.
This all goes back to the storing of fat due to the activation of that LPL enzyme by our hormone insulin
which in turn is activated by too many carbohydrates. CARBS=INSULIN=LPL ACTIVATION=FAT
STORING is a malfunctioning of our metabolic process. Because of the fat storing process, generated
over 150,000 generations ago and still in effect today (as we can see all around us....obesity) we must
respect the body's innate complex intelligent system of this fat accumulation as a survival mechanism in
cases of famine. However, although most of us won't ever experience famine in our life time, robbing the
body of vital nutrients such as protein and fat and bombarding it with simple and even complex
carbohydrates, signals the body that there is actually a famine and "we have to drop muscle and start
21
storing fat immediately" signals are driven into overdrive, hence the body's desire of storing fat. This is
what the body has been programmed to do pretty much since the beginning of our existance as a
species.
How It All Works! Part 2
Ok....so moving along!
Cortisol and Epinephrine: Stress Hormones/Fight or Flight Hormone
One of the greatest influences we have in our lives is not how much stress we have (because we all have
stress) it's how we handle our daily stresses. If you manage to handle stress well, your metabolism can
stay efficient and balanced. In other words, your thermostat will stay balanced and set to a comfortable
level. Not too high and not too low and fat burning will stay in tact. However, if you're unable to handle the
stresses and let it eat away at you, your thermostat will be turned way down and your fat burning
mechanisms will be pretty much halted. Here's why:
Our bodies respond to stress by releasing our stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) from
our adrenal glands. These 2 important hormones have been designed to give us a quick burst of energy
to fight or flee. Epinephrine (adrenaline) puts the body on very high alert while cortisol breaks down
proteins and carbs into glucose (gluconeogenesis) for immediate energy to the brain and muscles for
drastic decisions and the jet like fuel for fighting or escaping. If you don't have enough protein in the blood
stream from your previous meals to be broken down, cortisol will break down healthy muscle tissue to
fulfill the body's needs for quick energy for this fight or flight situation. During this time of stress, fat gets
locked into the fat cells and are not released until the stress subsides and the hormones cortisol and
adrenaline have subsided as well, which can take hours. Also, during this time of stress, our digestion is
shut down. Now you can understand that when you're body is on high alert from a stressful situation, you
lose your appetite. Rightfully so because you wouldn't have the metabolic processes needed to digest at
that time of stress. These are pretty much the major events that take place when you have an acute
stress situation.
When you constantly feel stressed out, your chronic secretions of cortisol not only breaks down your
muscle tissue, it also breaks down your immune system. I'm sure you can relate to what I'm writing
here? Have you noticed that when you are stressed out, you often get sick? Well blame that on
chronically elevated cortisol levels. Also, chronically elevated cortisol levels will increase the number of
LPL enzymes on the fat cells, increasing the fat in theses fat cells. Research has shown that this is more
of a problem in women than in men.
Cortisol has many more effects on the body of which I will cover in another article in the near future. It's
very important to work on keeping the hormone cortisol down to a safe level by managing your stress
much more effectively on a daily basis. I will suggest stress management techniques in a follow up article
on cortisol in the near future. Now lets move along.....
Dopamine and Norepinephrine: Our Alert Neurotransmitters
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry messages from cell to cell in the brain, nervous system and
even the heart. There have been over 100 neurotransmitters identified, however there have been many
not yet discovered. I'm just going to mention a few here and there importance in our health. Dopamine
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and norepinephrine are our 2 key
alertness chemicals. They increase your
level of attentiveness and rev up our fat
burning metabolic processes and give us
more energy and motivation. They help
you manage stress, allowing our big
problems to feel more manageable as
opposed to stress hormones like cortisol
that make little problems seem
insurmountable.
Having a healthy diet with plenty of
protein from shellfish, fish, eggs, chicken
and turkey will provide the body with the
major building blocks to make these
neurotransmitters. The most important
building block (precursor) needed to
make these 2 particular
neurotransmitters is the amino acid
tyrosine. Pill sources of this valuable
amino acid has not been proven
scientifically to have a positive effect on
the building of these
neurotransmitters. However, high quality
protein sources in food has shown very
positive results in studies.
Serotonin: Feel Good Chemical
Serotonin is one of the brains primary mood chemicals. It influences your sleep patterns, hunger, anxiety
levels, and temperature regulation. When your serotonin levels are low to nonexistent, you're likely to get
more anxious and may not be able to fall into a deep sleep. Your appetite levels increase as well, along
with your sugar cravings. Unfortunately, one of the easiest ways to keep serotonin levels high is to eat
high sugar carbs, which of course are tiring and fattening. Your sugar drops too low because of insulin
and the cravings for carbs start again...your roller coaster ride is set in motion and incredibly hard to get
off these ups and downs.
There's a better and healthier way to manage and keep serotonin levels high. The amino acid tryptophan,
which comes from our high quality proteins like fish, chicken, turkey and eggs is the major precursor for
building serotonin. Even more importantly, when you eat carbs such as veggies and salads with your
proteins, a greater supply of tryptophan is available to make serotonin. So by eliminating high sugar
carbs, we have the opportunity to bring our serotonin levels up to a healthy level while reducing the
amount of fat stored in our fat cells. So you're killing 2 birds with one stone. This is the way we were
programmed. High quality protein, with all it's amino acids acting as precursors for very important mood
chemicals and hormones, is a must for good health, alertness, mood and energy.
Galanin: Feel Down Chemical
Galanin is the antagonist to serotonin. Basically what this means is that galanin will bind to the same
receptors on our cells as serotonin does and basically compete for activity which determines our mood. If
the body is healthy and balanced, serotonin will win over galanin. However, if the body is not healthy and
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unbalanced, galanin wins. Galanin levels are stimulated by high sugar carbohydrates. Galanin is very
sensitive in the evening time. Galanin creates feelings of fatique, confusion, vulnerability and high
cravings for highly sweetened and or highly processed salted foods such as potato chips, ice cream,
cake, pie, doughnuts, cookies etc....
Galanin also triggers the storing of fat by the fat cells by effecting other hormones, throwing off hormonal
balance. Allot of peole have intense cravings for carb snacks in the evening. This craving is due to the
presence of galanin. How do we control this hormone? By eating plenty of high quality protein and fat
during the day from the time you wake up to your last meal or snack of the day, ensuring that the body
has all the materials it needs to build hormones and neurotransmitters (ie: tryptophan to build serotonin)
to stay healthy and balanced. When the body is healthy and balanced, galanin is held at bay and
cravings will be a thing of the past. However, it does take some effort throughout the day to make this
process happen. Feed your body what it needs and it will take care of the rest. We have the easy part
when you think about. Everything else, which is very complex, is automatically controlled and performed
by the body, even while we sleep!
CCK: Our Anti-hunger Hormone
Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a very powerful anti-hunger hormone that resides in our intestinal tract (90% of
serotonin resides here as well). One of its primary roles is to signal the pancreas to release important
enzymes to be secreted to breakdown incoming food and preparing the absorption of its nutrients from
the small intestine into the blood stream. CCK also signals the brain that you are full (satiety). CCK
levels are stimulated by specialized small proteins called glycomacropeptides (GMPs). As the CCK levels
rise from these proteins, we get the signal that we are full, hence the need to eat more food. High quality
protein is responsible for this process to occur. When we eat protein, it has to take more time to be
chewed well and this allows more time for the CCK signal to reach the brain, hence we actually eat
less. However, when we eat carbs, it doesn't take long to eat (ever eat a piece of cheesecake faster than
a steak?) so we take in allot more food before or even if the CCK signal reaches the brain. Eat protein
slow, eat less....eat carbs fast, eat more!!!!
Melatonin and Prolactin: Our Sleep Hormones
Sleep is such an important factor in our ability to burn fat. Good quality sleep taps into our fat stores
during the night and burns it as fuel. We are actually leaner in the mornings due to the releasing of fat
from the fat stores and some water from over night fasting. Melatonin starts getting secreted when the
sun goes down and on average peaks between the hours of 9pm-12am. About 3 hours of steady
secretion of melatonin, another neurochemical called prolactin is secreted and enhances sleep as well as
strengthens the immune system. To get the most out of these 2 hormones, it is essential to have total
darkness in the environment where you're sleeping as well as keeping this area somewhat cool. Having
just a small crack of light shining into the area you're sleeping in, can have an inhibitory effect on these 2
neurochemicals and sleep can be interrupted, setting you up for a night of poor quality sleep. Having an
area too warm or even too cold where you're sleeping can have an negative effect on your sleep quality
as well because your body has a set for body temperature of which it is comfortable with during the night
(average is 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit). If your set point is thrown off kilter because it's too warm or cold,
your hypothalamus alerts the body too cool off or warm up, stress hormones are signaled to rise because
of this emergency and our sleep chemicals melatonin and prolactin are inhibited.
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Leptin, Agouti and Ghrelin: Competing Hormones
in Fat Loss
Leptin (Greek for thin) regulates the intensity of our
appetite and influences the speed at which our body
burns energy (calories). Leptin is produced and
secreted by our fat cells whenever our metabolism
is naturally efficient and balanced and fat loss is
necessary. Leptin levels will fall if the body's
metabolism is unbalanced and too low and when
the body thinks it needs to conserve energy and to
accumulate more fat. A healthy diet with high
quality protein, moderate amounts of healthy fats
and low in high sugary carbs will keep leptin levels
high and encourage fat loss. An unhealthy diet will
keep leptin levels low which will encourage fat
stores to stay locked in and even accumulate more
fat.
High intense low duration cardiovascular training and weight training have been scientifically shown to
increase Leptin levels dramatically. Just 15-20 mins can have a significant effect on raising leptin levels.
It has been discovered that leptin works on certain areas in the brain to stimulate the production of
antioxidants known as melanocortins. These melanocortins, which are the same chemicals produced by
the skin in response to sun exposure, suppresses the appetite centers in the brain, aiding in lowering
appetite and the loss of excess body fat.
Agouti is a hormone which is present in the same area of the brain as melanocortin and competes with
it. Agouti is the antagonist to melanocortin and will keep the appetite high when fat levels drop or when
the body needs to conserve energy and build fat. With too much agouti and not enough melanocortin, the
body becomes hungry and burns less fat.
Ghrelin is a hormone secreted by the stomach which tells the brain you are hungry. This hormone gets
secreted when you skip meals or a much needed snack. At the same time, leptin levels drop to low
levels, slowing down your metabolism, locking in the fat in the fat cells and converting extra calories to
fat. This is a built in ancient survival mechanism that has saved our species from extinction during
hundreds of thousands of years of famine. Bottom line is the falling or lowering of leptin levels due to
skipping or missing meals, signals the body via the hormone ghrelin, to signal the brain to make and store
new body fat even though you are starving. You stop burning fat for fuel because the fat cell doors lock in
the fat from inside the cells so they cannot get out, while bringing in new loads of fat and you are
constantly hungry because leptin levels are low and ghrelin levels are high. This is why portion control
diets rarely work and cutting back on calories rarely work. These diets are totally oblivious to the science
of how leptin and ghrelin works to stimulate fat loss and fat gain. If you're not getting this, read this last
paragraph again and again and again and you will!
How It All Works! Part 3
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Adiponectin: Accelerating Fat-Burning Hormone
Adiponectin is a newly discovered hormone that strongly effects the liver and muscle cells. It blocks the
production of sugar in the liver and increases muscles ability to burn more energy by the same way
exercise does. Adiponectin levels in obese people are shown to be low, whereas in lean people, they are
shown to be high. Protein has been shown to keep adiponectin levels high and high sugar carbs has
been shown to lower these levels.
HGH: Human Growth Hormone
HGH is the body's most powerful natural healing hormone. This hormone is released during deep high
quality sleep when enough melatonin is present in the bloodstream. An important role of HGH is to trigger
the release of fats from the fat cell by attaching to the receptors on the fat cells, signaling the cell to
release the fat so the body can burn it as energy. HGH also stimulates muscle growth. The 3 major
factors that stimulate the secretion of HGH from the pituitary gland is very deep sleep between the hours
of 12am-3am, weight training and keeping insulin levels low. High stress levels resulting in the release of
cortisol, will inhibit the secretion of HGH. Remember, HGH is our healing hormone and so it's a must to
see to it that it gets into the body to do it's work. High sugary carbs will greatly effect HGH secretions by
inhibiting it.
Testosterone and Estrogen: Our Sex Hormones
Women have a tendency to gain excess body fat faster than men. This is where evolution has led us as
the female body was designed to ensure the optimal birth and well-being of human infants. So men and
women differ in how they produce energy and burn excess fat, driven in part by sex hormones.
Testosterone is a fat burning hormone, whereas estrogen is generally a fat building hormone. Scientific
evidence has shown that there are good estrogens and bad estrogens. The bad estrogens such as
estradiol and 16-hydroxyl estrone, encourage fat loss, whereas the good estrogens called 2-hydroxyl
estrogens, encourage the release of fat for fat burning during exercise. Testosterone is crucila for building
muscle. We cannot build or tone muscle without this hormone. Men produce testosterone in the testicles
and women produce small amounts of testosterone in the ovaries and both men and women produce
small amounts in the adrenal glands. Men produce about 20 times more testosterone as women, hence
the greater ability to build more muscle tissue and burn more fat. Testosterone is also responsible for
building greater bone density. So you can see how important this hormone is to men, and even small
amounts in women.
Women tend to lose muscle and bone density faster than men due to a biological signal that developed
through evolution. This process is not fully understood, so I won't elaborate any further. However, this is a
good reason why women need to become very focused on building and sustaining muscle tone, which
also protects the body against calcium loss and osteoporosis.
Men have a slight advantage over women because of the much higher amounts of testosterone. The
main advantages shown have been an increase of uptake of oxygen which is vital for thermogenisis (heat
generated in the body) resulting in burning more fat, helps balance blood sugar keeping insulin in check,
and testosterone makes it harder for the body to produce and store body fat. But testosterone levels
decline rapidly after the age of 30 and along with that decrease comes loss of muscle tissue and an
increase in body fat and fatigue.
Stressed out people resulting in high cortisol levels, guarantees the loss testosterone and may even
inhibit from being released. It has been shown that a single bout of stress, a man's testosterone levels
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can decrease more than 50%. Chronic stress levels can reduce it even more, resulting in many different
physiological and biochemical processes, breaking down!
For both men and women, producing these sex hormones start changing between the ages of 25 and
30. This means that the body slowly starts making changes metabolically, which can result in
deterioration of muscle tissue and bone density as well as an increase in fat deposits. Stress (cortisol) is
definitely a culprit, but so is the ongoing secretion of high amounts of insulin. Insulin stores fat and will
block the signals from many hormones to the fat cells to release fat from the fat tissue to be burned as
fuel. Once these signals are distorted and unable to get through, then we run into many problems and
health ailments which contribute to fat gain, muscle loss and the loss of bone density. Oh....and even
your sanity!
No matter what your age and gender, you can change your metabolic process to a certain degree and
halt or even reverse these processes. The result will be losing excess fat, creating more energy, stimulate
some muscle growth and toning and controlling blood sugar much more effectively. The first thing we
need to do is eat plenty of high quality protein in your meals and snacks to increase fat burning
hormones. Secondly, we need to do moderate amounts of strength training exercises to help generate
the production of
testosterone at any age.
And thirdly, take action
in managing your stress
and getting plenty of
high quality sleep by
providing your body with
high quality foods and
relaxation techniques for
LifeLong hormonal
balance!!!