It is so difficult to know who to believe today in regards to healthy living and nutrition. One doctor says something is good for you one day, and another doctor says it’s harmful the next. In this article, I will discuss a few very important concepts on the three macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats) and then apply in combination with the metabolic typing concepts covered in Part 1.
This county’s PR firms, government, and traditional medical system have done a good job of making us believe that nutrition is simple - and yet somehow separate from optimal health. This however, could not be further from the truth. The truth is that optimal nutrition is paralleled with optimal health. Optimal nutrition is disease prevention. The pharmaceutical companies would often have you believe otherwise. They would have you believe that their drugs and allopathic symptom-based methods are the future. Once again, this could not be further from the truth, as treating a symptom in most cases will NOT cure a disease.
The body was meant to be disease free, energetic, long living and happy. For most people, there is no bigger stress on the body every single day than the foreign substances and chemicals (we call “food”) we eat – food that must be detoxified before it can be utilized. Likewise then, it makes sense that years of poor nutritional habits are the root of many chronic diseases, and are indeed preventable and in many cases reversible.
Remeber: Nothing in the body occurs in isolation. Becoming lean is simply a by-product of achieving optimal health. The two should not be viewed as separate goals. They are one-in-the-same and need to be approached as such.
DEMYSTIFYING: CARBS, PROTEINS & FATS
What needs to be understood initially here is that we need to stop thinking of carbs as “energy.” Rather, energy is optimal when the correct macronutrients are consumed in the correct proportions (i.e., eating for your metabolic type). So, concerning carbohydrate consumption, it must be according to your metabolic typing requirements. For example, according to Wolcott, a fast oxidizer would ideally be selecting non-starchy vegetables as carb sources such as asparagus, celery and spinach). Conversely, a slow oxidizer may add in some high starches such as properly prepared grains and potatoes.
It is recommended that organically grown food products are selected as often as one can afford. Perhaps choose one or two organic foods which fit the budget, and try to purchase them as often as possible, as research has show a direct correlation between the ratio of organic food eaten and benefits achieved. Organic food has been found to be as much as 40 times more nutrient dense as non-organic food! By definition, organic food is herbicide and pesticide free, meaning you're not consuming these poisons when you go organic. Research has shown today’s herbicides and pesticides to be no better than low levels of chemical warfare to their consumers.
Sugar, especially refined sugar, must be limited/avoided. Sugar creates drastic spikes in insulin. Chronic high levels of insulin promotes INSULIN RESISTANCE (IR), because the body is trying to protect itself from the toxic effects of high insulin. Now, what’s the problem with IR? The problem is that insulin’s primary function was never to simply control blood sugar. Controlling blood sugar is simply a side effect of insulin, due to our society’s obsession with carbohydrates. More importantly, insulin is in charge of the storage of nutrients such as protein, magnesium, vitamins, etc.; as well as functioning as an anabolic hormone - a muscle builder! (This is key, as muscle is the key to an increased metabolism, as well as fat burning). The point is, when one develops IR, that individual is ultimately becoming resistant to the life sustaining functions of insulin (just a few of which were listed above), and therefore more susceptible to chronic diseases of aging (i.e. cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, cancer). It is also important to note that a pregnant woman who has eaten herself into IR will pass it onto her child. High levels of insulin also promotes fat storage and prevents fat from being burned as fuel.
Sugar has many other damaging effects ultimately stemming from IR. Sugar suppresses the immune system, and research has shown that just one teaspoon of sugar can suppress the immune system for up to 4 hours! Imagine the devastating effects on the health and development of children when taking into consideration that the average 12-20 ounce can/bottle of soda has 10-17 teaspoons of sugar! Coke itself has 41 grams of sugar per can.
Some other ways sugar can ruin your health are:
- SUGAR can upset the body’s mineral balance.
- SUGAR can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, concentration difficulties, and crankiness, (ADD).
- SUGAR can cause drowsiness, and decreased activity.
- SUGAR can adversely affect children’s school grades.
- SUGAR can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
Recent studies on “Centenarians” (those who live past 100), found that with a wide variance of lifestyles, they all had three things in common:
- Low blood sugar
- Low insulin levels
- Low triglycerides
Grain consumption must be monitored as well. Research is consistently showing that we as a society are generally over grained. Whether simple OR complex, if a carbohydrate is consumed that is not fiber… it is going to be turned into sugar. As mentioned prior, this provokes an insulin release, encouraging progressive insulin resistance.
The “Paleolithic Concept” is an item to consider concerning grain consumption. According to Crayhon, because the human genome has changed relatively little in the past 40,000 years since the appearance of behaviorally modern humans, our nutritional requirements remain almost IDENTICAL to those requirements which were originally selected for stone age humans living BEFORE the advent of agriculture. In terms of evolution, this means that grains are so new to our physiology, that our bodies haven’t had time to evolve to be able to process them safely or efficiently.
Intolerance of wheat, and an allergic reaction to the protein called Gluten (Gluten Sensitivity [GS]), is called CELIAC DISEASE (CD). GS and CD have been found to be at the root of a proportion of cases of cancer, auto-immune disorders, neurological and psychiatric conditions, and liver disease; as well as being associated with back pain and chronic fatigue. The implication is that the heavily wheat-based western diet (i.e. bread, cereals, pastries, pastas, etc.), is actually making millions of people ill! It is estimated that in the American public, 1.8 million adults and some 300,000 children have undiagnosed CD. (NOTE: These are considered to be LOW estimates.) The immune reaction to Gluten that damages the gut in CD, can also cause problems almost anywhere else in the body.
Signs of GS and CD are:
- Upper respiratory tract problems: allergies, etc.
- Symptoms of nutrient malabsorbtion: anemia, fatigue, osteoporosis, etc.
- Bowel complaints: diarrhea, constipation, bloating, etc.
- Autoimmune problems: rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, etc.
- Behavior problems: depression, ADD, etc.
This is not suggesting that we need to stop consuming all carbohydrates. Ultimately, it will depend on your metabolic type. It does however suggest that we really need to pay attention to how our bodies are reacting to these foods, as the body will let us know exactly what it needs and likewise what is harmful to it.
The generic function of protein is the promotion of muscle tissue repair and growth. These are obviously important functions, however, there are many more. Among them, protein also stimulates the release of Glucagon, a hormone that mobilizes fat from storage and converts it to energy. When one eats carbs alone, without protein, insulin release is stimulated, and along with that goes, of course, fat storage.
It is recommended, once again, that proteins are consumed with regard to one’s metabolic type. For example, according to Wolcott, a fast oxidizer ideally would need to chose high fat sources of protein such as organ meats and beef or chicken liver. Conversely, a slow oxidizer would chose from low fat sources of protein such as chicken breast, turkey breast, and ham.
Research highly recommends eating an appropriate source of protein at every meal, especially at breakfast and the “post-workout” meal(s). This is especially true for females who are frequently concerned with becoming too “bulky.” The fact here is that the female hormone structure more often than not will allow muscle “bulk,” in fact, this in some ways puts females at a genetic disadvantage of sorts. Concern for building and maintaining muscle mass is especially important for females, and therefore should be a priority. Remember, muscle mass is what drives the metabolism to burn fat - eat your protein!
Once again, it is recommended that whenever possible, consume organic free-range, grass-fed sources of protein. Free range meats will not contribute to antibiotic resistance and help to avoid over-consumption of low quality saturated fats. Saturated fats are new to mankind. We’ve created our own saturated fat diet in our society by feeding our animals grains. Eating grain fed animals will have the same effect of eating the grains themselves. Grain fed cow meat can have over 50% saturated fats, compared to a grass fed free range cow which can have as little as 10% or less and is a much cleaner healthier fat source.
Supplementation of protein has also become an issue and a huge market. What needs to be understood here, is that powdered proteins are nutritionally void, highly processed and enriched, and can severely dehydrate its users. Moral of the story: use them sparingly, and consume whole food protein as often as possible.
Fats have gotten an undeserved bad rep. Yet again, it is recommended that fats are consumed in line with an individual’s metabolic type. Wolcott explains that in order to maximize health, energy, and vitality, fast oxidizers would function optimally with foods that naturally contain more fats, and slow oxidizers with lower fat foods.
A frequently misunderstood phenomenon is that fats (unsaturated and saturated) consumed with regard to one’s metabolic type are vital to our health and vitality! Evolution has determined this. We only have one hormone that lowers blood sugar: insulin. Its primary function, as has been previously discussed, was never to simply lower blood sugar. We’ve got a bunch of hormones that raise blood sugar: cortisol, growth hormone, epinephrine and glucagon. Which means our primary evolutionary problem was to raise blood sugar in times of need (i.e., running from a saber-toothed tiger)! So, the fact that we only have one hormone that lowers blood sugar tells us that it was never something important in the past! Hence, we must encourage the body to learn/relearn how to burn fats as fuel, not sugar. This is done by getting control over and becoming more “sensitive” to insulin. Sugar should be a “turbo-charger” only used during extremes. (NOTE: Saturated fats from non-organic sources as well as hydrogenated and other "man-made" fats and oils are an exception and should be avoided.)
An important item to consider here is the Omega 3 fatty acid to Omega 6 fatty acid ratio in the body, particularly in the colon. This ratio should be maintained at 1:4-to-1 (3-to-6). Research has shown the current average 3-to-6 ratio in our society to be 1:16-30! This is typical of many of the boxed, processed, wheat floured products being gobbled up with chronic regularity today. This imbalance is a pro-inflammatory trigger in the gut. (NOTE: Research has shown, many symptoms of metabolic imbalances, allopathically labeled "diseases" such as high cholesterol, can stem from this chronic inflammation.) Please remember, 90% of chronic disease begins in the colon.
MAINTENANCE OF A HEALTHY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
There are obviously many, many components to optimal health. Yet, research has shown that maintaining proper function of the digestive system is one of the most vital. Why? Ultimately, all of the food intolerances, allergies, and nutritional deficiencies previously discussed cause irritation and inflammation in the gut. In simple terms, these inflammatory responses cause the release of small food antigens (undigested particles), through the gut wall (remember the omega 3-to-6 imbalance). This in turn triggers an immunal antibody response. The immune system struggles as long as it can, and considering that this process can take place over the course of a “lifetime,” it is not hard to conceive the implications… weakening and eventual shut-down. This in turn leads to the chronic diseases of aging (cancer, arthritis, heart disease, etc.).
In regards to training the abdominals, it is also interesting to note that research has found that the internal organs that make up your gut and your abdominal muscles ultimately meet and follow the same neural pathways. What this means is that a dysfunction in the gut (such as those mentioned here), can and will cause a reflexive inhibition in the abdominal musculature. Specifically, a dysfunction in the small intestines can shut down the abdominal muscles above the umbilicus, and a dysfunction in the colon can shut down every abdominal muscle below the umbilicus. This truly brings a new and deeper meaning to the word “kinetic chain.”
The following is a small self-quiz offered by Paul Chek, to determine the level of risk one might be at, in terms of digestive disorder:
- Do you experience lower abdominal bloating?
- Frequently have loose stools or diarrhea?
- Constipation (less than 12” total daily), or stools that are hard to pass?
- Belch, burp, have gas frequently?
- Headache after eating?
- Crave certain foods (bread, chocolate, fruit, red meat...)?
- Poor appetite and/or feel worse after eating?
- Excessive appetite or crave sweets?
- Experience abdominal pain, cramps or discomfort?
It has been recommended that if 2 of the above are experienced frequently, the individual should look into their digestive health. If 4, digestive health may be seriously waning. If 6 or more, seek appropriate medical attention ASAP.
“If it was as simple as exercise, all women would have flat tummies, and all men would have 6-packs!”
Optimal health means more than exercise! Obviously, behavior modification, a change in lifestyle and further education, ultimately is required to achieve optimal health. Ultimately, there must be proper nutritional intake as well as a lack of improper nutritional intake.
It is safe to suggest that regardless of your metabolic type, the following tips will help one on the journey to the “6-pack,” and more importantly, optimal health and vitality!
- Can manifest serious catabolic responses in the autonomic nervous system - learn to say “no” to work!
- The "4 White Devils"
- Refined Sugar
- Processed Table Salt
- Refined White Flour
- Processed Milk
- Manifest “Catabolic” or muscle wasting effects.
- Aspartame converts to a neural toxin (wood alcohol/EMBALMING FLUID) at 102 degrees in the body
- Average American consumes several pounds of these highly allergic additives annually! (Start reading labels!)
- Hydrogenated fats/oils and non-organic saturated fats
- Anabolic Hormone Supplements
- The hormonal system is vastly complex and should not be tampered with!
- Physical and neurogenic repair occurs between 10pm-6am - be asleep!
- Pure Water
- 1/2 body weight in ounces daily!
- Preferably fluoride and chlorine free
- Promotes gut health
- Promotes anabolism or muscle tissue building
- Organic Foods
- 40% more nutrient dense
- Herbicide & pesticide free
- Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise
- Aerobic= stress relief, cardiovascular health
- Anaerobic= promotes muscle tissue growth & increased metabolic rate
- Eat for your Metabolic Type
References & Recommended Reading:
- Chek, P. (2001). Flatten Your Abs Forever. C.H.E.K Institute, CA. Video-Lecture, (book forth-coming).
- Colgan, Dr. M. (1993). Optimum Sports Nutrition.
- Netzer, C. T. (2000). The Complete Guide of Food Counts.
- Dufty, William F. (2002). The Sugar Blues.
- Rampton, S., & Stauber, J. (2002). Trust Us, We’re Experts!
- Kaplan, P. (2001). Sifting Through the Fitness Fads. (www.PTontheNET.com).
- Mercola, Dr. J. (www.mercola.com).
- Brasco, J. Md. (2002). Low Grain and Carbohydrate Diets Treat Hypoglycemia, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, and Nearly ALL Chronic Illness.
- Crayhon, R. MS. (2002). The Paleolithic Diet and Its Modern Implications.
- The Gaurdian. (2002). Dangerous Grains.
- Mercola, Dr. J. (2002). Lower Your Grains & Lower your Insulin Levels! A Novel Way To Treat Hypoglycemia.
- O’Shea, Dr. T. (2002). The Doors Of Perception: Why Americans Will Believe Almost Anything.
- Rosedale, R. MD. (2002). Insulin and Its Metabolic Effects.
- Thiessen, Dr. D. (2002). The Awful Truth About Eating Grains.
- Appleton, N. PhD. (2002). 78 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health.
- Wolcott, W. (2002). To Succeed at Any Diet, You Must Know Your Metabolic Type (parts 1 &2).
- Wolcott, W. L; Fahey, T. (2000). The Metabolic Typing Diet.
- Appleton, N. PhD. (2002). The Curse of Louis Pasteur. (www.nancyappleton.com).
- Cohen, (1998). Milk, The Deadly Poison.
- Cordain, L. (2001). The Paleo Diet.
- Price, W.A. (1997). Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. 6th Ed.
- Rivera, R. & Deutche, RD (1998). Your Hidden Food Allergies are Making You Fat.
- Ross, J. (2000). The Diet Cure.
- Simopoulos, A.P. (1999). The Omega Diet.
- Waterhouse, D. (1999). Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell.
- Waterhouse, D. (2001). Outsmarting Female Fatigue.
- Williams, R. J. (1998). Biochemical Individuality. 2nd Ed.
- Mercola, Dr. J. (2003). The No Grains Diet.