Tag Archives: paleo diet

New study shows that 1 out of every 3 hospitalized patients are diabetic.

 

Diabetes finger stick

A new study found that 1 out of every 3 people over the age of 34 who are hospitalized in California have diabetes (and only a small percentage were hospitalized due to their diabetes…it was largely for other health issues).  Let that statistic sink in for a moment.

The study cites not only that diabetes is a growing health epidemic, but it also cites how our healthcare system is being completely overwhelmed by the costs associated with treating patients with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a “disease” that is completely preventable via lifestyle changes.  Yet 1/3 of Californians (and I suspect 1/3 of the rest of America is similar) have this debilitating illness that drastically shortens life span and is heavily correlated with heart disease and cancer.

People are dieting and exercising now more than they ever have been.  How many people do you know that are either on a diet or have and use gym memberships?

So, what gives?   Why then, is everyone getting fatter and sicker?

Well, it could be that American yearly sugar consumption has skyrocketed from 2 lbs. per year to over 160 lbs. per year per person over the last 100 years.   Think about that the health impact of that.

This study analyzed the incidence of type II diabetes and rates of sugar consumption in 165 countries and found “A strong positive correlation coefficient (0.599; p < 0.001) was observed between prevalence of diabetes mellitus and per capita sugar consumption using data from all 165 countries.”

So, in summary:  a completely preventable lifestyle-based condition has become an epidemic that is making our country sicker than ever and is single-handedly going to take down our healthcare system over the next 20-30 years.

It’s funny, I see so much panic and concern from people (mostly parents of young children) about the 130-200 yearly cases of the measles we see in this country.  They are concerned because “measles is a preventable disease”.  Yet, those same parents allow their children to gorge on sugar and set the stage for adolescent obesity and type 2 diabetes…a disease that is TRULY an epidemic, with 1/3 of our country affected by it, and which is a much more serious illness than the measles.

What we need to do in order to beat diabetes is to make a collective paradigm shift in the way that we view food.  That sounds daunting, but here are a few tips that we can all start implementing TODAY that will go a long way in preventing and reversing diabetes for us and for our children:

  • If you already have diabetes, you should seriously consider going on a strict ketogenic diet.  There are many studies such as this one or this one that show great promise in reversing diabetes by eating this way.

 

  • Go through your refrigerator and your pantry.  Identify all foods & beverages that are processed or that have added sugar in them.   This stuff has absolutely no place in a healthy diet that prevents diabetes!  Throw them in the garbage.

Junk Food

 

 

 

 

 

  • When food shopping buy only perishable food items that have very few ingredients and no preservatives, no chemicals, and NO ADDED SUGAR.  Basically that means buy fresh, organic meats, fish, poultry, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds.  When buying meat, opt for grass fed.  When buying seafood opt for wild caught.  The paleo diet is a great place to start:

Paleo explained in a graphic

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Call a family meeting and implement a new rule: your house will now be known as a JUNK-FOOD-FREE ZONE.  No exceptions.   Junk food does not enter through your front door.

No Junk Food alllowed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Send your children to school with homemade and packed lunches.  Don’t let them eat the crap that is given to them in school lunches.   It is deplorable!  Does the picture below look like anything that would prevent diabetes?

School lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Learn about and limit consumption of the immense hidden sources of sugar in our diets.  A food does not have to be sweet to cause diabetes.  Bread, pasta, pizza, rice, cereals, croissants, bagels, muffins are all loaded with carbs and, when eaten, they enter the bloodstream as pure sugar…no different than a snickers bar!  A pretty good resource that helps you understand how much sugar is hiding in every food you eat: SugarStacks.  Does your kid have a favorite yummy breakfast cereal that he or she eats on a daily basis?  Read this article from the EWG (Environmental Working Group) blog.  The amount of sugar in these cereals will BLOW YOUR MIND!  These are the same cereals that slap American Heart Association “heart healthy” labels on their boxes!

 

  • When throwing birthday parties for your children, be a leader.  Be a beacon for other parents and children to take example from:  don’t serve candy and cake to the children.  Get creative and serve a healthier all fruit cake like like in the picture below, or serve stevia or erythritol-sweetened, grain-free candy and cakes.  At least those won’t wildly spike blood sugar.  And they can be just as tasty!  My wife actually makes delicious grain-free no sugar added muffins.

healthy birthday cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Talk to your kids.  Educate them about food and our relationship to food.  I always teach my son about what foods are good for his health or bad for his health.  That doesn’t mean he always listens and only eats good foods.  He is 5 years old.  He eats plenty of crap.  But he eats that outside of the house.  In the house he knows it’s healthy eating only.   My son knows the difference between organic and conventional foods, why that’s important, and that sugar is very bad for his health.  I work hard every day to pound this knowledge into his head.  Hopefully, it’s a lesson that will stay with him as he enters his teenage years and adulthood.  Because, at the end of the day, I recognize that it’s my job to give him the necessary tools to not only get a good education and a career, but also to live a long, happy and healthy life.  And the habits that he is going to have at 30 years old are influenced by what he learns now at this tender, mold-able age.   It’s my job as his parent to give him the tools and the knowledge to grow up healthy and disease free.

talking to kid

Thus far in this article we have discussed type 2 diabetes, but there is also  evidence that type 1 diabetes is highly correlated to gut dysfunction (specifically leaky gut, imbalance in gut bacteria, and altered intestinal immune function).  Logically speaking, if someone with type 1 diabetes were to do some functional testing to uncover any of these malfunctions in their gut, and subsequently find them and fix them, there is a strong possibility that they can positively affect their type 1 diabetes condition.   At the very least, if they work to heal their gut and their type 1 diabetes remains unchanged, they will have vastly improved their overall health which is a win.  Click here to read an in-depth review on that.

Please share this article with your friends and family.  Spread knowledge!

Do you have any experience with diabetes?  Perhaps you have it or someone you love?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Thanks!

Rick

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

Email: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

 

What’s missing from the Paleo diet? (and EVERY popular diet, for that matter!)

Paleo explained in a graphic

Why do so many people, including ‘experts’ hate on the Paleo diet?  From people like Christina Warinner in her viral TedX speech (excellent rebuttal here from Robb Wolf to the chop-shop speech given by Warriner at TedX) to poorly researched books like “Paleo fantasy” by Marlene Zuk (Incredible rebuttal to Zuk’s idiotic book here by Mark Sisson).  Heck, even major news outlets like US News run an absolutely abhorrent yearly piece ranking the best and worst diets for our health each year.  The paleo diet comes in DEAD LAST every year, ranked way lower than SLIM FAST (click here to read a fantastic rebuttal to the drivel that US News puts out about diets every year)!  That’s just laughable.  And even more laughable is that the ‘experts’ who rank these diets are the very nutritionists and dietitians who are supposedly advising America to better health through diet.  Yikes…

Look at the graphic above.  The paleo diet is all about eating REAL, FRESH, UNPROCESSED, PERISHABLE, NUTRIENT-DENSE foods.  How this diet is ranked behind some of the other diets like Slimfast on that US News list is absolutely beyond me!

The Paleo diet has its short-comings, which I’ll get to shortly, but I want to be clear about my stance on it:  I have eaten paleo/primal on and off (mostly on) for about 4 years now.  I have intimate experience with this diet, and have helped many of my friends and family adopt some version of the paleo diet into their lives with incredible results.

What led me to the paleo diet?  

 

I was in my mid-thirties and suffering from what many other people my age suffer from: slowing metabolism, weight gain, constant exhaustion (which fueled a hefty caffeine addiction), frequent sinus infections, joint pains, allergies galore (which led to a dependency on Afrin, breathe right strips, nasonex, and insert 50 other commonly used nasal allergy sprays), mood swings, food cravings (read SUGAR), and a nasty case of GERD (Gastro-Esophegeal Reflux “Disease” – think heartburn on steroids…like you feel as if you’re having a heart attack).

I had been to a nutritionist.  She joked that my cholesterol was so low that I was either dead or in the best shape on earth.  Well, I was neither.  In fact, I would argue that I was closer to death and, had I continued taking her advice and my gastroenterologist’s advice, I would have had a very bad health outcome by now.  They told me that I should eat lots of heart healthy grains, avoid all acidic foods like coffee, tea, tomatoes, alcohol, and citrus fruits, and to take acid blockers like Prevacid and Prilosec.  Following their advice gave me temporary respite from the GERD, but the minute I stopped taking the Prevacid, it came back with a vengeance even though I continued to eat the diet they recommended for me.  So, what gives??  Was I supposed to just take these pills for the rest of my life to feel like I’m not being stabbed in the chest after every meal?  Big Pharma sure wants me to think so…

My health issues not only remained, but significantly worsened until 2009 when I had heard of the Paleo diet.  At first I brushed it off as idiocy just based on its name (which doesn’t do it any justice, imo).  But after hearing a few of my crossfit brethren rave about it I decided to do some research.  I ended up buying Robb Wolf’s “The Paleo Solution” and I read it cover to cover within 4 days (I’m a slow reader).  It’s a really easy read, very entertaining and very informative.  I highly recommend this book as a starting point to learn about the paleo diet and how it can help you reverse chronic illness, lose weight, and regain energy.  Based on this book, I gave paleo a try.  I then discovered other amazing paleo resources like Mark’s Daily Apple and Everyday Paleo.

The results:

  • Weight: I lost 27 pounds of excess fat within about 4-6 months.  Without counting calories.  I ate to my heart’s content in each meal.
  • GERD: Completely eliminated, and did so without the use of antacids, and I ate citrus, cooked tomatoes, and drank tea to my heart’s content (all supposed “no-no’s” when you have GERD)
  • Allergies: Almost completely eliminated.  And by implementing the diet, I figured out that Dairy was one of the main culprits of allergies and inflammation for me.  GOT MILK?  NOT.
  • Chronic Fatigue: The diet didn’t fully end the fatigue but helped it enough that I no longer needed coffee and caffeine (which led me to the discovery that I had sensitivities to coffee and caffeine).
  • Frequent sinus infections: Frequency was greatly reduced, and my immune function improved.  Apparently grains and dairy were 2 major culprits of low immunity and inflammation for me (as well as millions of people who don’t realize it).
  • Blood lipid profile: Unfortunately, I didn’t have a blood test done before I started eating paleo, so I have nothing to compare my results to, but a recent blood lipid profile showed absolutely no issues with my cholesterol, and showed excellent ratios b/w HDL:TC, HDL:TRIG, and low triglycerides.  This is despite me regularly eating organic uncured nitrate free bacon, and pastured organic eggs constantly (no, not egg whites…FULL eggs with the yellow, which is the most nutritious part of the egg!  It drives me crazy to see people ordering egg-white omelets at a restaurant thinking they are doing something good for their health!).
  • Joint Pain: Reduced…although not fully (I have a major sports injury in my left knee that involved a permanent metal plate and screws). 
  • Fitness: My endurance improved, my strength improved, and I was easily able to do rigorous crossfit or muay thai workouts.  The low carb diet worked just fine for me.
  • Food cravings: This was the one area that I was not able to conquer with paleo alone.

Now, how can a diet that is capable of results like mine be so adamantly panned by the talking heads out there?  You see, I am a walking, living, breathing testimonial for the paleo diet.  And I am not the only one.  Click here to see just ONE resource for thousands of testimonials like mine.  To my readers that have experience with the paleo diet (good or bad) I would love to read about your story in the comments section below!

Aside from the thousands of testimonials and case studies, and despite what its detractors say, The Paleo diet does have sound science behind it as well (just scroll to the bottom of the page I just linked to and see the 8 randomized control studies on the paleo diet).

But the title of this article is “What’s missing from the paleo diet?”…so I’m sure you weren’t expecting to read a love-fest about it!  Despite it’s proven superiority to the standard American debacle…err…diet, the paleo diet does fall short in one area.  But, in fairness, so does just about EVERY single diet out there including vegetarianism, veganism, Ornish and Essylstyn’s plant-based diets, etc:

 

The concept of bio-chemical individuality

 

Have you ever noticed that one person will thrive on a specific diet, while another person will see no change and yet another person’s health will worsen with the same diet?  Why is that?  I have met people who have tried the paleo diet and gained weight!  I have personally met vegans who have eaten that way for 20 years and they look and feel amazing.  Then I’ve spoken to other vegans who report terrible, life-threatening experiences with veganism (from malnutrition).  How can that be?

The answer is this: There is no one-size-fits-all-cookie-cutter diet out there.  Every single one of us is, metabolically speaking,  as individual on the inside as we are in our outward appearance.  Every single one of us has unique genetic nutrient needs, deficiencies, abundances, metabolic rates, stress levels, and genetic ability to cope with internal and external stressors.  So, a diet that makes one person feel incredible because it happens to offer the perfect nutrition for his or her situation might be exactly the opposite of what another person needs to thrive.  

 

Truly, one man’s food is another man’s poison.

 

This is not a new concept.  It’s just a vastly under-reported and under-appreciated one.  The understanding of bio-chemical individuality started with the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who set out to travel the world and to study native cultures that remained untouched by western nutritional concepts or industrialization.  What he found was astounding.  In these cultures, he observed that:

  1.  They had almost NO incidence of the diseases that plague westerners today such as cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, etc.
  2. They had very little obesity.
  3. Their bodies were lean and strong, like Olympic athletes, despite the fact that they didn’t train like them.
  4. Most importantly, they all consumed vastly different diets based on the geographically available foods in their area.

 The last point, #4, is extremely important.  Eskimos evolved over thousands of years in Alaska eating whale and seal blubber, caribou, and kelp.  They ate lots of animal flesh and saturated fat and very little in the way of vegetation simply because that was what was available to them.  Evolution (natural selection) allowed for the Eskimos who adapted well to a diet such as this to thrive and procreate, whilst Eskimos who failed to adapt and thrive on this diet simply died out.  Click here to read a fascinating piece in discovery magazine about the paradox of the Eskimo diet.

By contrast, Aboriginal cultures that lived in a vastly different geography and climate thrived on insects, beetles, grubs, berries, kangaroo, and wallaby.  They also ate much more vegetation and fruits than the Eskimos, yet they also thrived until western civilization introduced them to McDonald’s 😉 .

mcdonaldsThe Swiss people thrived for many years on whole rye bread, large quantities of high fat cream cheese, cream, and raw goat’s milk, some wine, and small amounts of meat.  They enjoyed robust health even in glacial winters on a diet that is vastly different from the other cultures.

The African Masai thrived for thousands of years on a diet that consisted of wild meat, milk, and blood extracted from cattle!  They exhibited extraordinary physical and mental development.

Now, ask yourself this question: After adapting over thousands of years to these geographically and climate-dictated diets, what would the health outcomes be if we were to switch diets among them?  For instance, what if we had the Aboriginals eat the Eskimo diet and the Eskimos eat the Aboriginal diet?  Again, these are people who have evolved and adapted to a specific way of eating over thousands of years.  This is one of those times in your life were you just need to apply some logic and the correct conclusion will come to you.  We can see what the switch over to a western diet is doing to them: making them very sick!

Other pioneers in the concept of biochemical individuality and eating according to your genetic predispositions are Dr. George Watson who wrote “Nutrition and your mind”, Dr. William Kelly, Rudolf Wiley, PhD and author of “Biobalance”, and of course, the man who put these ideas together and created what is now called “Metabolic Typing, William Wolcott (author of “The Metabolic Typing Diet”, a must-read for anyone interested in this stuff).  MT book

Metabolic Typing

 

OK.  So now we understand that adaptation and natural selection over thousands of years has made us all genetically predisposed to thrive via eating a certain way.  So, all we have to do to eat right for ourselves is trace back our lineage as far back as we can go…maybe back to our great grandparents and mimic what they ate, right?  Not so fast!  I wish it were that easy, but our ability to transport ourselves from one geography and climate to many other vastly different geographies and climates started back way further than you or I can possibly trace our lineage.  And once humans were able to travel by horse, boat, car, and plane, things got a little wacky.  People from different cultures and background started mixing with other very different cultures and backgrounds.  For me personally, I know that my mother had ties in Egypt, Morocco, and Israel, while my father had ties in France and Poland…and who knows where their lineage traces back to?  So, how should I eat?  Should I try to mimic an ancient middle eastern diet, or a traditional old school east European diet?  Or neither?  Or a little of both?  We have become such mutts at this point, that it’s really a pointless exercise that will leave you more frustrated than satisfied.  

Enter Metabolic Typing,  an assessment developed and refined over the last 30+ years by William Wolcott and which answers these questions.  It may sound unbelievable, but with a relatively short online assessment of your physical traits, metabolic traits, and psychological/neurotransmitter traits, Wolcott found a way to accurately uncover your individual metabolic type.  Wolcott’s work was based on the following principle: 

When you eat the wrong foods, the wrong macro-nutrient ratios (protein:carbs:fat), and the wrong micro-nutrient ratios (think nutrients, supplements) for your specific metabolism, that leads to imbalances in the body, and metabolic dysfunction.  You become less efficient at metabolizing protein, fat, and carbs.  This leads to all sorts of sub-clinical health problems, like the chronic symptoms I described myself as having above (fatigue, headaches, indigestion, hypoglycemia, constipation, rashes/hives, and pain/inflammation, and malnutrition).  If intervention by eating for your individual metabolism is not achieved, these conditions eventually manifest as chronic degenerative conditions such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, colitis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, asthma, or auto-immune conditions.  

 

Or to put it in plain English, eating the wrong way for your metabolic type will make you sick, and eating correctly for your metabolic type brings balance and optimal function back to your body!  Think of metabolic typing as a highly individualized paleo diet based on your specific physical, metabolic, and psychological needs.  Why do I say that?  Because metabolic typing has many similarities to paleo eating.  Regardless of what the assessment tells you that your metabolic type is, Metabolic Typing diets: 

  • Shun processed foods and promote eating only fresh, organic, grass-fed, wild-caught, pasture raised, nutrient-dense, perishable foods.  
  • Shun all added sugars and artificial sweeteners. 
  • Advise to consume only raw, organic, grass-fed dairy products (similar to primal)
  • Advise you to eat only sprouted nuts, seeds, and legumes when possible (similar to primal)

There is one major difference in metabolic typing diets and paleo, and that is that it allows for some organic sprouted ancient grain consumption IF your body does well while eating them, although it warns not to overdo it. After all, if you are someone who can eat clean, sprouted grains without incidence (no weight gain, no negative changes in blood lipids or levels of inflammatory markers, and no digestive or inflammatory symptoms), then why shouldn’t you eat grains in a limited fashion?  Simply because humans didn’t consume grains prior to 10,000 years ago?  Again that is a very cookie cutter approach to an individualized diet plan.  And, as someone who wants to help make the world a healthier place, I am personally more concerned with doing what is right for my clients and not trying to stuff them into a specific diet plan that works for me but may not be ideal for them.

Always think: what is the goal, here?  The paleo diet is a wonderful, fantastic diet that has helped me and many people I know tremendously.  But to follow it so rigidly without acknowledging that everyone is different is a mistake.  Some people might do very well on more carbs than others.  Some people might do well with much less meat than others.  Some people, like myself, have a metabolic type that thrives when we eat 70% fat and protein in each meal, with only 30% of our meal consisting of carbs derived from non-starchy vegetables.  Others might get deathly ill following my metabolic type diet.  Do you see where I am going here?  This is the reason you see one person thrive on a diet, another person feel no change, and a third person actually get sicker on that same diet.

But don’t let this change your opinion on the paleo diet being a terrific diet!  Again, in fairness to paleo, every other diet out there misses the mark on this as well! 

By the way, back to my food cravings:  once I tweaked the macro and micro-nutrient ratios of my paleo diet to my metabolic type, I was finally able to rid myself of the intense sugar cravings that plagued me for years!  This is because once I tweaked my diet to reflect the correct macro and micro-nutrient ratios that are best suited to my body, my body started getting the exact nutrition that it needs for energy.  So, I feel less sugar cravings, and I only get them when I eat a meal that had out of balance macro-nutrients (i.e. too many carbs and not enough fat/protein).  

Metabolic typing has been an amazing journey of self-discovery for me.  It taught me how listen to my body after my meals and how to adjust my macro-nutrient ratios accordingly.  It taught me how to become an expert at ME!

Watch this short, 8-minute video that does a great job of explaining the concept of Metabolic Typing: 

 

In my practice, I approach diet in 2 ways: 

 

  1. Find out how to eat right for your Metabolic Type: I recommend that every client do the metabolic typing assessment to find their individual metabolic type.  The assessment is the most complete dietary program I have ever seen.  It includes a wealth of reading material and a very educational and entertaining video series that teaches them exactly how to eat, shop, and cook for their specific metabolic type.  It also teaches you very easy ways to break down your ideal macro-nutrient intake (protein:fat:carbs) for each meal without needing to use food scales or portion control.  
  2. Find out what foods cause inflammation in your body: I also recommend that every client has a food sensitivity panel done to assess what foods and food additives are problematic for them and cause inflammation in their bodies.  They then remove the reactive foods from the metabolic typing diet to decrease the stress on their bodies.  

 

The Metabolic typing assessment is done online by following this link.  The test costs $189 and, in my opinion, is worth EVERY penny.  Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with the Metabolic Typing test and I have no financial connection to them.  I make nothing from your $189.  

Of course, dietary changes are just one part of getting healthy.  Aside from Metabolic Typing, I use functional lab testing to help clients uncover as many hidden internal stressors on their body as possible.  A diet that is not right for your metabolic type is only one of them.   I teach them how to assess and optimize adrenal function, hormonal balance, digestion, immune function, neurotransmitter balance, and how to reduce or eliminate emotional and environmental exposure to stress.  It is this holistic approach that has healed me more than any diet alone can do and it has improved the health of thousands of people as well.  

I hope that you found this article informative, and I hope that you take the first step of your journey and do a metabolic typing assessment online.  Please let me know if you do in the comments section below!  Thanks for reading!

Rick 

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

Email: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

 

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.