Super Bowl “Healthy Desserts”  KUSI

Super Bowl “Healthy Desserts” KUSI

At every Super Bowl party the chances that you will over indulge are fairly HIGH.  Chances are you are going to overeat and over indulge, which will end up with an unhappy gut the next day.  These 3 simple recipes will help keep your gut happy, will help balance your blood sugar so you will not over eat, they all taste great and are very easy to make.

Enjoy!

Click on above picture for KUSI interview.

Baked Apples/peaches/pears  

C= 22 P= 8 F= 8

200 calories per serving

Serves 10

Ingredients:

4 medium apples

4 medium pears

4 medium peaches (if these are not in season add 4 different types of apples or pears)

2 Tbsp. of organic butter

1 Tbsp. of cinnamon

10 oz. shaved Parmesan reggiano cheese (no additives) OR 2.5 cups of 2% Greek Yogurt

 Instructions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut apples, peaches and pears into bite size pieces.
  3. Place all fruit along with butter and cinnamon into a Pyrex glass-cooking dish
  4. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until soft.
  5. Stir fruit every 10-15 minutes
  6. Allow fruit to cool or you may eat it warm
  7. *Add 1 oz. (about 3 level T.) of graded Parmesan Reggiano cheese to each 1 cup serving.OR 1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt
  8. Place rest of fruit in glass containers. Only add cheese once you are ready to serve.

 

Home made Metabolic Chocolate:

C=8 P=3 F=5

One chocolate = 80 to 90 Calories

Serves 25-30 chocolates

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of Organic Raw cacao powder

1/3 cup of refined organic coconut oil

1/3 cup of raw organic honey

1/3 cup of gelatin powder (Greatlakesgelatin.com)

1 & 1/3 cup of coconut flakes

1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

1/2 tsp. of White Sea salt

Instructions:

In a Medium saucepan melt coconut oil, honey and cacao powder.  Turn burner to low and add vanilla or almond extracts, salt and gelatin.  Mix well.  Finally add in coconut flakes.

In large Pyrex glass pan, line with parchment paper.   Scoop Tablespoon size chocolate and place on paper.  Place in freezer for about 1 hour.  Enjoy.  Keep rest of chocolates in refrigerator for storage.

 

Kate’s Orange Juice Mix

Great for drinking in between meals, pre-workout, during workout and post workout

Ingredients:

6 oz. Pulp free Organic Orange Juice

2 oz. Organic pulp free Coconut water (optional)

1-2 tbsp. Hydrolyzed gelatin protein

*Start with 1 tbsp. and work yourself up to two.

A pinch of White Sea salt (you can add more if needed)

Ice

6-10 oz. carbonated (C02) or filtered water (whatever fills up bottle)

Instructions:

Add OJ, coconut water, salt, and gelatin to a 20 oz. bottle. Shake or blend together well.

Add ice, shake. DO NOT blend.

Add C02 water or filtered water last. Shake bottle lightly or the C02 water will make the drink fizz over.

Enjoy.  Sip through out day to keep blood sugar balanced and to keep the sugar cravings away.

How to Successfully Shift to a Metabolically Supportive Diet.

How to Successfully Shift to a Metabolically Supportive Diet.

How to successfully shift to a metabolically supportive diet.

Five years ago I went from a diet most would consider to be very “clean” and healthy, to a diet most would consider delicious, satisfying and very “non-diet” like.  Yet, when I switched from the old diet to my current diet, I made many, many mistakes.

Before this transition five years ago, my diet consisted primarily of lean chicken and turkey, egg whites, raw leafy veggies, protein powders, almond milk, olive oil, nuts, berries, seeds and tons of water with very little salt.  Believe it or not, this past diet proved to be a metabolic disaster, for so many reasons, as to why I began searching for a new approach to health.  Once I learned about metabolically stimulating foods like coconut oil, fruits, dairy and root vegetables, I switched my diet literally over night.

My diet over the past five years consists of milk, cheese, fruit, orange juice, fish, root vegetables, whole eggs, coconut oil, chocolate, salt and ice cream.  This diet, believe it or not, is very supportive to metabolic health, a lean body and good energy.  Yet, when I made the extreme shift from the first diet to my current diet, my body shifted in ways that would make most health minded people think the diet change was far from healthy.

Within days of shifting my diet five years ago, I experienced severe hormonal shifts that led to bi-weekly menstrual periods, skin breakouts, weight gain, an increase in cholesterol, constipation and diarrhea.  At the time, I thought my new way of eating was a HUGE mistake.  Why was I experiencing so many negative symptoms from a diet that was supposed to be more metabolically stimulating to me?  Was my new diet truly bad for me, or was something else going on?

After years of research and self-experimentation this is what I learned…

When you go from one diet to another, especially if the eating protocol is very different, you have to make changes slowly—NOT quickly, like most diets tell you to do. You have to consider your food changes, macronutrient ratios, calories, meal frequency and your body’s energy needs.

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Here are 5 things to consider when changing your current diet to a more metabolically supporting diet.

1. Consider the types of foods.   My previous diet was high in muscle meats (chicken, beef, and turkey), low in fat (mostly unsaturated from nuts and seeds), and low in carbohydrates (mostly vegetables and some fruit).  My current diet is moderate in protein (whole eggs, fish, some meat, dairy), moderate in fat (primarily saturated from coconut oil, butter, dairy and chocolate) and moderately high in carbohydrates (primarily fruits, orange juice and milk).   These food changes were significant.  And any time you make a significant food change, even for the better, it can be stressful for the body. I literally stopped eating one diet one day, and started an entirely new diet the next.  This extreme and quick diet shift proved to play havoc on my body.  Luckily, I am a patient woman and I was willing to self-experiment on myself.   I knew I was on the right track with the diet shifts, I just wasn’t sure when I my body was going to self-regulate, so I waited out all of my body’s physical reactions to the shifts and in a few months all my negative symptoms went away.  However, what I learned was had I made the dietary changes slower, my body would have responded with less negative reactions and I would have saved myself months of weight gain, hormonal shifts, acne and digestive issues.

Therefore, when you start changing your diet, change the foods slowly.

*For More information on what foods support a HIGH metabolism—click here.

Example: If you are eating 5 servings of meat every day, and no dairy:  Shift to 4 servings of meat/day and one serving of dairy.  Each week add in more dairy and decrease muscle meat.

2. Consider your macronutrient ratios.  One of the biggest mistakes I made and many other people make when starting to eat a more metabolically supportive diet, is altering their macronutrient (fat, carbohydrates, proteins) ratios too quickly.

Example:  If you are eating a diet low in carbohydrates (20%), high in protein (40%) and high in fat (40%) and immediately start eating a diet high in carbohydrates (50%), moderate in protein (25%) and moderate in fat (25%) you are going to produce an undesirable result, which usually results in weight gain.  This is what I did when I shifted my diet.  I went from a low carb to high carb diet in a matter of days.  My body didn’t know how to handle the additional carbohydrate load, and in response I gained weight and experienced hormonal issues.

Like the type of food you are eating, slowly shifting your macronutrient ratios is very important.  If you are consuming only 20% carbohydrates, try adding in 5% more each week and see how you feel.  As long as you are getting a positive response (increased body temperature, better energy, sleep improvements, etc.) your body should be able to handle your new macronutrient ratio without weight gain or hormonal shifts.

3. Consider the calories.  Now, I am not a huge advocate on calorie counting.  I believe in eating until you are full and then stopping.  However, when shifting diets, it’s important to eat about the same amount of calories you did on your previous food plan.   Dropping your calories too much can result in a lower metabolic rate.  Increasing your calories too quickly can result in fat gain.   Whether you are eating too little or too much, you want to shift your foods first before you shift your calories.

Example:  If you are eating only 1200 kcal of low calorie processed foods:  Start your diet shift by adding in more metabolically supportive foods that will total 1200 kcal.  Once you make the food shift, then you can work on adding in more calories.

4.  Consider meal frequency. Meal frequency is how often you are eating on any given day.  Most people are told to eat three square meals consisting of breakfast, lunch and dinner. For some people, three meals per day works quite well. These people are able to utilize the meal for energy, repair, brain function, movement, etc. and the rest of he food that is not used, is stored as muscle and liver glycogen.  Yet, for others, who may not be able to store glycogen very well, more meals may be necessary.  If you have blood sugar issues, low thyroid, fatigue, constipation, sleep issues, etc. you may do better on 6-10 small meals/day.

Example:  If you are currently eating three large meals/day and find you have blood sugar issues, weight issues and energy issues try eating three smaller meals along with 2-3 snacks.  You may find that consuming the same amount of calories but eating smaller meals helps with your energy level, blood sugar control and weight issues.  Sometimes just adjusting your meal frequency can be the trick to helping you feel better.

5. Consider your energy needs.  When you are busier, thinking more, moving more and doing more your energy (food) needs increase.  Thus, to keep your metabolism high, you need to eat according to the demands you place on your body.  More energy out put (thinking, moving, exercise, etc.) needs to be followed by increased energy input (food).  What this means is that on a day-to-day basis you need to adjust your energy (calories) based on your activity.  If you are exercising or are extremely busy one day, you need to eat more than on a day you are lying around the house watching movies.  To eat the same amount of food every day despite how much energy you are expending makes no sense.  Eating too little on a day when your energy needs are high, over time will slow down your metabolism.

For most people their energy increases as they wake up, peaks around mid-day (when they are working, exercising, thinking, etc.), and then starts to decline as they get closer to bedtime.  Therefore, lunch and breakfast should be your biggest meals because you place more energy demands on your body early to mid-day.  Dinner should be your smallest meal, because your energy demands are lower at night.  Many people do this in reverse and eat a small breakfast and lunch and then eat a very large dinner.  If you don’t eat enough during the day, you will always be starving at night.  This way of eating will lead to weight gain, low energy and sleep issues.

Example:  If you are eating 300 calories for breakfast, 300 calories for lunch, three 100 calories snacks in between, and then a 600 calorie dinner, you are setting yourself up for weight gain, even on this very low calorie diet (total calories =1500 kcal).  Adjusting your meal size to a 400 calorie breakfast, 500 calorie lunch, three 100 calorie snacks and a 400 calorie dinner would help you lose weight—even while eating more food (total calories=1600 kcal.).  This works because you are keeping your metabolic rate higher all day by eating more food when your energy demands are high.  Thus, once you eat dinner, your metabolism is still high and now you will be eating less food, so less is stored at night and more is burned while you are sleeping.

Does it make sense now why changing your current diet too quickly may cause some adverse reactions? Any massive change to your body, good or bad, can be stressful.  And when you are trying to heal the body the goal should be to create less stress not more.  The types of food, macronutrient ratios, calories, meal frequency, and your energy needs are all important in helping you understand how you should eat for metabolic health.  The more you understand how your body works and responds to how you eat the quicker you will heal and the healthier you will become.

Never stop learning your life depends on it!

Your optimal health coach,

Kate

If you want more information on “How to Heal Your Metabolism”—CLICK HERE.

A Raw Carrot a Day Keeps the Toxins Away

A Raw Carrot a Day Keeps the Toxins Away…

We have all heard the saying,  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”…right?  Well, today I want you to create a new mantra, a new saying that you will include in your daily eating plan.  Are you ready? “A raw CARROT a day will keep the toxins away.”  Yes…a raw carrot, one medium-size-full-length carrot (not those weird, baby carrots) a day can help decrease endotoxins*, serotonin and estrogen levels, and increase gut health.  I bet you never knew eating this amazing root vegetable could help you in so many ways.

Why is the raw carrot so special?

A lot of people ask, “What qualities does the carrot have that other fruits and vegetables do not?” I always answer with, “The carrot has super powers…” Funny, huh?  Okay, the truth is that the carrot, a below ground and root vegetable, contains many powerful fungicides and bacteriostats.  For the carrot to protect itself from bacteria in the soil it produces its own fungicides and bacteriostats.  These fungicides and bacteriostats act as a natural antiseptic and antibiotic in the bowel.  The long carrot fibers attach themselves to *endotoxins, bacteria and estrogens (that have been detoxed by the liver) and remove them through the colon in your stool.

According to Dr. Ray Peat:

Endotoxin formed in the bowel can block respiration and cause hormone imbalances contributing to instability of the nerves, so it is helpful to optimize bowel flora, for example with a carrot salad; a dressing of vinegar, coconut oil and olive oil, carried into the intestine by the carrot fiber, suppresses bacterial growth while stimulating healing of the wall of the intestine. The carrot salad improves the ratio of progesterone to estrogen and cortisol, and so is as appropriate for epilepsy as for premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, or arthritis.

In addition, harmful estrogens, even after the liver has detoxed them, can be re-absorbed through the intestinal walls and cause more hormonal havoc to the body if they are not properly excreted.  The raw carrot is a key player in lowering estrogen levels and bringing back proper hormonal balance.

* Endotoxins are defined as a toxin kept “within” the bacterial cell and to be released only after destruction of the bacterial cell wall.

Does the carrot need to be raw? 

Yes, for the carrot to work as an antibacterial food it needs to be raw.  Cooking the carrot will break down the fibers and increase the levels of beta-carotene your body will absorb.

What about juicing?

Juicing is not an acceptable way to consume the raw carrot, as this will remove all the protective fibers.  Juicing will also cause an increase in beta-carotene absorption.

Isn’t beta-carotene good for me?

If your body is healthy and has optimal thyroid function you should have no issues converting beta-carotene to Vitamin A.  In a hypo-metabolic state, too much beta-carotene absorption can be toxic to the thyroid and can interfere with progesterone synthesis.  When your body is not converting beta-carotene it will store it in its tissue, leading to carotenemia (orange skin).  This stored beta-carotene can actually interfere with Vitamin A conversion.  Decreased levels of Vitamin A can lead to increased cholesterol, decreased bone formation, decreased immunity, and vision and skin issues.

How should I eat my carrot?

Many say, including Dr. Ray Peat, that the raw carrot is best-graded length wise and eaten with vinegar, salt and coconut or olive oil to increase its antiseptic qualities.   Others, like me who are on a time schedule, say, “just eat the freaking carrot!”

For the salad enthusiast, here is my raw carrot salad recipe:

1 Medium, organic, graded, raw carrot

1 tsp. of melted coconut oil and/or 1 tsp. of olive oil

1 tsp. of white vinegar

¼ tsp. of salt

When should I eat the raw carrot salad?

This is, once again, dependent on the person.  For optimal mineral absorbency of your meals, you should eat the raw carrot by itself, 30 or 60 minutes prior to your mid-day meal.  There is some evidence showing that the raw carrot can inhibit vitamin and mineral absorption of other foods. However, for those looking to lose weight. I suggest eating the raw carrot with your mid-day meal.  According to a 1979 Study in the ASCN, fibers of a raw carrot can bind themselves to fat and help carry the fat out of the body without being absorbed.  The raw carrot works best when eaten before mid-day to encourage proper bowel function.

What if I don’t like carrots?

Then you are doomed! Hah! Bamboo shoots, canned or fresh, will work just as well as the raw carrot to improve bowel health.  Bamboo shoots can be lightly cooked or steamed and eaten along with other foods.

The raw carrot or the raw carrot salad is an easy, yet effective way to help heal your gut and help with hormonal balance.  The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal fibers help detox the colon and rid your body of harmful endotoxins and estrogens.   Given the anti-biotic effects of the raw carrot, unlike other anti-biotic drugs, the carrot can be consumed daily for years without any harmful effects.   Eating the raw carrot is not the end all to healing your gut, but it is a good start.  Along with a diet of easy to digest proteins, carbs and fats and a lifestyle that encourages low stress, moderate exercise, deep sleep and being happy you are well on your way to increasing your metabolism, decreasing your toxic load and living a long healthy life!

I guess Bugs Bunny had it right all along…

Your Optimal Health Coach,

Kate Deering

 

“Disclaimer:  I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor.  I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.  I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them.  I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body.  If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”

References:

1. J Robertson, W G Brydon, K Tadesse, P Wenham, A Walls, and M A Eastwood “The effect of raw carrot on serum lipids and colon function.” 1979 by The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc.

2. Aktuna D, Buchinger W, Langsteger W, Meister E, Sternad H, Lorenz O, Eber O. Internen Abteilung, Krankenhauses der Barmherzigen Brüder Graz-Eggenberg. “Beta-carotene, vitamin A and carrier proteins in thyroid diseases.”Acta Med Austriaca. 1993;20(1-2):17-20.

3. Dr. Ray Peat, Natural Estrogen www.raypeat.com

4. Dr. Ray Peat, Epilepsy and Progesterone www.raypeat.com

5. Birt DF, Markin RS, Blackwood D, Harvell DM, Shull JD, Pennington, “Dietary lignin, and insoluble fiber, enhance uterine cancer but did not influence mammary cancer induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea in rats.” Nutr Cancer 1998;31(1):24-30 KL

6. McPherson-Kay R, “Fiber, stool bulk, and bile acid output: implications for colon cancer risk.” Prev Med 1987 Jul;16(4):540-544.

7. The Truth about RawCarrots   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7998801.stm

8. Beta-Carotene https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-Carotene

9. Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, ND, “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox,” 2012, Wiley and Sons.

10.  M.D. Hugh W. Josephs,  “The carotenemia of hypothyroidism” The Journal of Pediatrics Volume 41, Issue 6 , Pages 784-791, December 1952.

11.  Park EJ, Jhon DY.  “Effects of bamboo shoot consumption on lipid profiles and bowel function in healthy young women.”  Nutrition. 2009 Jul-Aug;25(7-8):723-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.01.007. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

12.  Nirmala Chongtham, Madho Singh Bisht, Sheena Haorongbam.  “Nutritional Properties of Bamboo Shoots: Potential and Prospects for Utilization as a Health Food  Article first published online: 6 APR 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-4337.2011.00147.x

 

 

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K?  “I didn’t even know there was a Vitamin K?” This is usually the answer I get when I start talking about this amazing Vitamin.  Who knew there was a Vitamin K?  Well, to be honest…you should know.   Vitamin K, although discovered back in 1929, has gained new press these days because of its association with increased bone density and decreased artery calcification.  In fact, Vitamin K could be the missing link scientists have been looking for, in solving the Calcium Paradox.  (The Calcium Paradox is the simultaneous excess of calcium in one part of the body, arteries, and lack in another, bones, which may occur regardless of calcium supplementation.)  So are you eating enough foods with Vitamin K?  Do you even know what foods contain Vitamin K?  No?  Well, good thing you are reading this blog…

First:  what is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble Vitamins needed for blood coagulation (blood clotting) increasing metabolic pathways of bone generation and decreasing arterial calcification.  There are two main natural forms of Vitamin K; K1 and K2.

We will discuss both since they have significantly different functions.

Vitamin K1.

Vitamin K1 (also known as Phylloquinone or phytomenadione) was discovered in 1929 by Danish scientist Henrick Dam, and was referred to as Koagulationsvitamin.  As its name implies, Vitamin K1 is involved in blood coagulation.  Without K1 we could bleed to death from a simple paper cut.  Unlike your other fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, and E) your body does not store high levels of Vitamin K1 in your tissue.  Luckily your body has a special mechanism that recycles the vitamin, so dietary requirements of Vitamin K1 are minimal.

The best sources of Vitamin K1 are green leafy plants like kale, spinach, collards, chard and broccoli.  There are also smaller amounts of K1 in roots vegetables and fruits.  My personal recommendation for someone in need of more Vitamin K1, is to drink a mineral broth.  Essentially you cook kale spinach, lettuce, chard and any other leafy greens in a pot of filtered water.  After the water turns a pretty green, you remove the vegetables and drink the broth (about a1-3 once a day).  As some of you know I am not a big fan of eating lots of above ground vegetables, especially leafy greens.  Drinking only the mineral broth and not eating the vegetable fibers will protect you from the polyunsaturated fats, vegetable toxins and cellulose found in the vegetables.  For more on this topic refer to my blog Leafy Greens- Essential or toxic?

 Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2, the main storage form in animals, is primarily used to move Calcium around the body.  To be more specific, Vitamin K2 helps Calcium move into the bones and out of the arteries—which is pretty important, right?  Vitamin K2 is sometimes referred to as the “grass-fed” Vitamin.  Westin A. Price, the dentist who discovered Vitamin K2 back in the 1940’s (Yet, he didn’t realize this and termed the Vitamin, “activator x”), noticed a huge correlation between Vitamin K2 levels and the amount of grass an animal ate.  What he realized was the more green leafy plants (grass) these animals ate the higher the Vitamin K2 content was in their milk, egg yolks, organs, and butter.  You see, K2 can be created from K1 in the testes, pancreas and arterial walls of certain animals.   And since we know there are high levels of K1 in leafy green plants (refer back to reading about K1 if I lost you here), it would make sense that this would produce more K2 levels.

Now, I know my vegetarian friends are already thinking, “If animals can produce K2 from K1, can humans do this as well?  Can humans produce our own K2, thus making eating animal foods unnecessary?”  Well, kind of…Humans can produce very small amounts of K2 by the bacteria in our intestinal tract from K1.  However, these very small amounts are not nearly enough to prevent a Vitamin K2 deficiency.  In fact, Vitamin K2 is now being looked at as an essential nutrient; since we now know we cannot produce adequate amounts by our intestinal flora.  In addition, unlike Vitamin K1, K2 is not recycled in the body, creating a daily need for this nutrient.   This means we have to get Vitamin K2 directly from our foods.

What foods contain Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is primarily located in the milk fat of animals and in their organs and fatty tissue.  Good sources are foie gras (goose liver), butter, ghee, egg yolks, and grass-fed meats and organs.  Vitamin K2 can also be synthesized via fermentation in certain foods.  Dutch Gouda cheese, French brie and other cheeses are good sources of fermented foods with high Vitamin K2 levels.  Natto, or fermented soy, is also a great source of Vitamin K2.  As long as you understand the negative effects of soy, this may be the way to go if you are a vegetarian and need more K2.  The only BIG problem with natto is it taste like an old shoe and has the texture of stringy, gooey, slimy cheese…yum.

It wasn’t until 2006 that the US Department of Agriculture along with Tufts University determined the K2 content in most foods.  It has taken years of current research for scientist to realize how different K1 and K2 actually are, and that K2 needs its own daily requirements outside of K1.

The Science behind Vitamin K2.

Bone Health

Current research is linking Vitamin K2 to increased bone calcification and decrease arterial calcification.  In 2000, the team of M. Shiraki studied 241 osteoporotic patients for 2 years.   After 2 years the treated group that ingested 45mg of oral K2 had far lower incidents of repeat fractures. In 2004 another group of Japanese researchers found that vitamin K2 sustains the lumbar bone mineral density (BMD), prevented osteoporotic fractures in patients with age-related osteoporosis, and vertebral fractures in patients with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.  They concluded that K2 not only increases bone formation but also suppresses bone re-absorption.  Based on these and many others studies Vitamin K2 is already used in Japan as a way to treat osteoporosis.

As I stated in my Calcium blog, there is much more to increasing bone density than just Calcium.  No nutrient works without its “team”.  Just like you cannot play football with only a quarterback, you cannot build healthy bone with only Calcium.  Your team–Magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, fats, proteins, sugars and the newest member to this bone building team, Vitamin K2 –are all essential.

Cardiovascular Health

In 2004 the Rotterdam study reported that after following 4,800 individual for 10 years, those who ingested higher levels of Vitamin K2 had lower levels of cardiovascular disease and mortality.  In 2009, a team of researchers from the Netherlands analyzed research from the Prospect-EPIC cohort of over 16,000 women.  They concluded that those who ingested higher levels of K2 had far lower chances of cardiovascular heart disease (CVD).

For years people have tried to understand how the French can eat a diet rich in saturated fats and cholesterol and maintain lower levels of heart disease.  Well, the fact that the French love foie gras, butter and cheese may actually prove to their favor.  These foods are high in saturated fats, proteins, Vitamin A, D, E and Vitamin K2.  Since we now know saturated fat and cholesterol are not the bad guys we were all lead to believe – these foods may be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to the health of your heart and bones.

In addition to helping with osteoporosis and CVD, Vitamin K2 has also been linked to:

Treating Alzheimers patients;

Protecting against certain types of cancers including liver, lung, prostate and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma;

Improving insulin sensitivity in diabetics;

Preventing joint damage; and

Increasing elasticity in skin improving wrinkles and varicose veins.

How much Vitamin K2? 

Most scientific research says we should be consuming around 45mcg of K2/day.  This is equal to about 2 ounces of raw Gouda cheese. In supplement form, 15 mg- 45 mg. of liquid K2 is recommended.  Personally, I use a combination of both: the days I eat more cheese and liver, I use less liquid K2.  The days I eat less Vitamin K2 enriched foods the more I supplement with liquid Vitamin K2.  Every person will be different, but for most people adding in a Vitamin K2 supplement should prove to be beneficial.  I prefer liquid K2 by Thorn research.

There are no known toxicity levels with Vitamin K2.  However, Vitamin K2 foods and supplements can interfere with the activity of oral anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin  (Coumadin). Patients who are using warfarin should only use vitamin K2 supplements with the knowledge of the prescribing physician.  In addition, if you are pregnant or nursing please consult your physician before adding in a Vitamin K2 supplement.

Although, Vitamin K2 research is still in its infancy, it has already proven to be a big player in your bone and cardiovascular health.  As always the best source of all vitamins and minerals is a real food diet.   However, proper supplementation of Vitamin K2 can prove to be beneficial.  If you are concerned about your bone or heart health please consult your physician.

Your Optimal Health Coach,

Kate

Disclaimer:

“I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor.  I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.  I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them.  I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body.  If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”

References:

1.  Pearson DA.  “Bone health and osteoporosis: the role of vitamin K and potential antagonism by anticoagulants”. Nutr Clin Pract. 2007 Oct; 22(5):517-44.

2.  Vermeer C.  “Vitamin K: the effect on health beyond coagulation – an overview”.
Food Nutr Res. 2012 Apr 2.

3.  Vermeer C, Theuwissen E.
Vitamin K, osteoporosis and degenerative diseases of aging”.
Menopause Int. 2011 Mar; 17(1):19-23.

4.  Jie KS, Bots ML, Vermeer C, Witteman JC, Grobbee DE.
Vitamin K intake and osteocalcin levels in women with and without aortic atherosclerosis: a population-based study”.
Atherosclerosis. 1995 Jul; 116(1):117-23.

5.  Yoshida T, Miyazawa K, Kasuga I, Yokoyama T, Minemura K, Ustumi K, Aoshima M, Ohyashiki K. “Apoptosis induction of vitamin K2 in lung carcinoma cell lines: the possibility of vitamin K2 therapy for lung cancer”. Int J Oncol. 2003 Sep;23(3):627-32.

6.  Iwamoto J, Takeda T, Sato Y. “Role of vitamin K2 in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis”. Curr Drug Saf. 2006 Jan;1(1):87-97.

7.  Wallin R, Schurgers L, Wajih N.  “Effects of the blood coagulation vitamin K as an inhibitor of arterial calcification”.
Thromb Res. 2008;122(3):411-7.

8.  Iwamoto J, Takeda T, Sato Y. “Effects of vitamin K2 on osteoporosis”. Curr Pharm Des. 2004;10(21):2557-76.

9.  Gast GC, de Roos NM, Sluijs I, Bots ML, Beulens JW, Geleijnse JM, Witteman JC, Grobbee DE, Peeters PH, van der Schouw YT. “A high menaquinone intake reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease”. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Sep;19(7):504-10.

10.  Weijs B, Blaauw Y, Rennenberg RJ, Schurgers LJ, Timmermans CC, Pison L, Nieuwlaat R, Hofstra L, Kroon AA, Wildberger J, Crijns HJ.  “Patients using vitamin K antagonists show increased levels of coronary calcification: an observational study in low-risk atrial fibrillation patients”.
Eur Heart J. 2011 Oct;32(20):2555-62.

11.  Schurgers LJ, Vermeer C. “Determination of Phylloquinone and Menaquinones in Food. Haemostasis”. 2000; 30: 298-307

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13.  Couvreur S, Hurtaud C, Lopez C, Delaby L, Peyraud JL.  “The linear relationship between the proportion of fresh grass in the cow diet, milk fatty acid composition, and butter properties”.  J Dairy Sci. 2006 Jun; 89(6):1956-69.

14. Chris Masterson, On the Trail of the Exclusive X factor: A 60 year old mystery finally solved. Thurs, 14, 2008

15. Orimo H, Shiraki M, Tomita A, Morii H, Fujita T, Ohata M (1998) “Effects of menatetrenone on the bone and calcium metabolism in osteoporosis: a double-blind placebo-controlled study”. J Bone Miner Metab 16:106–112

16. Shiraki M, Shiraki Y, Aoki C, Miura M (2000) “Vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) effectively prevents fractures and sustains lumbar bone mineral density in osteoporosis”. J Bone Miner Res 15: 515–521

17.  “Vitamin K found to protect against liver cancer”

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Vitamin-K-found-to-protect-against-liver-cancer

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The Great Egg Debate

Much like the milk and meat controversy, the egg debate has been going on for years. One day, eggs are a major power protein. The next day, they are as bad for you as cigarette smoking. Just last month, national headlines reported, “Egg yolks almost as bad as smoking”, “Eggs Are Nearly as Bad for Your Arteries as Cigarettes”, and finally, “What do egg yolks and cigarettes have in common?” We are once again left confused, and wondering if that three-egg omelet is really a good idea after all?

Recently, a research study by Dr. David Spence, a professor at Western University of Ontario Canada, proclaimed that eating egg yolks regularly (at least 4.5/week) was 2/3 as bad as smoking. Yes, you heard it: eating eggs could kill you almost as fast as puffing away on a pack of Marlboros.

Dr. Spence questioned 1,231 elderly men and women from the London Health Science Center, who were recovering stroke patients, on their egg consumption, smoking habits, medications and other lifestyle habits. Ultrasound was then used to measure the amount of plaque build-up in each of the patients.

The study found that those who ate more egg yolks per week had almost 2/3 the plague build-up of heavy smokers. The study showed that those who smoked the most and ate the most egg yolks had the most plaque build-up. In comparison, those who smoked the least and ate the least amount of yolks had far less plaque build up. The study also concluded that those who smoked the most also ate the most egg yolks. Apparently, in this study, it seems that egg yolk eaters had a few other bad habits other than just eating eggs. Which, in my opinion, should have made Dr. Spence look deeper into other causation factors as to why egg-yolk eaters had increased plaque build-up.

To really judge if eggs are the death trap Dr. Spence makes them out to be, we need to look at a few possible problems with his study…

1. The questionnaire

Dr. Spence used a questionnaire asking, based on the average per week, throughout your entire life, how many eggs have you consumed each year (“egg-yolk-years”)? Now, I don’t know about you, but I can barely remember what I ate last week. So I am not too sure these elderly stroke patients have a clear memory of their dietary habits for the last 50-70 years. Studies that actually follow patients through out their growing years, and survey them yearly or a few times a year, will show far more accurate results. Asking elderly recovering stroke patients to recall 50 years of eating habits seems a little absurd. Although I am sure these patients did the best they could, I’ll bet there were a few inaccuracy in their answers.

2. Selection bias

All of the people questioned were patients of a vascular clinic and were in recovery for a stroke or mini-stroke. These patients had already demonstrated a tendency toward artery blockage. According to Dr. Joseph Raffaele, “Even if it is true that egg yolks cause an increase in plaque area in people who are proven to be plaque formers, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will cause it in the general population. What they should have done was compare the egg consumption and carotid plaque of the clinic subjects to that of a group that hadn’t had any clinical evidence of atherosclerosis. Indeed, this study suffers from the classic research flaw known as selection bias.”

3. Correlation is not causation

Let’s say all 1,231 patients have memories like an elephant and can remember exactly their egg-yolk-years. How do we really know it’s the eggs that caused the plaque? All we really know is those that had more plaque ate more eggs. We also know that those who ate more eggs, smoked more too. Maybe those who ate more eggs just had more bad habits. Maybe those who ate more eggs also ate more bacon, more white bread, more pancakes, more vegetable oil, or maybe they just ate more food. None of these questions were asked in the study. Since Dr. Spence was looking for an egg-correlation, why would he care about all this other non-important information? We must remember, just because there is a correlation between two things does not mean one causes the other. It just means there is a correlation and maybe we should ask more questions.

4. Like…What kind of eggs were they eating?

In my eyes, the quality of the egg is very important when it comes to health. Pastured-organic eggs from chickens fed worms and grass are going to produce a far different egg than a conventionally-farmed chicken living in a battery cage (small chicken cages) being fed soy and grains. In fact, in a 2008 study, Dr. Niva Shapira demonstrated how the diet of egg-laying hens could change the nutritional quality of the eggs. Dr. Shapira fed one group of hens a diet high in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (corn and soy), while the other group of hens received a diet low in Omega-6 fats and additional anti-oxidants. Dr. Shapira showed how eating two high corn-soy eggs a day elevated oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol by 40% in normal, healthy individuals. The individuals who ate two low Omega-6 eggs a day had normal levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol. The Spence study did not clarify what kind of eggs any of these individuals were eating. So is it really the eggs that had a negative effect on the body or is it the crap the hens were eating that had the negative effect? Hmmmm?

5. How did they cook their eggs?

Three eggs cooked in vegetable oil (which is high in polyunsaturated fats/PUFA) vs. three eggs cooked in coconut oil are going to produce an entirely different effect on your body. As I have expressed time and time again, PUFA’s oxidize easily under high temperatures and within the presence of oxygen. Coconut oil, which is a protective saturated fat, is much more stable. According to Dr. Ray Peat:

“When oxidized polyunsaturated oils, such as corn oil or linoleic acid, are added to food, they appear in the blood lipids, where they accelerate the formation of cholesterol deposits in arteries (Staprans, et al., 1994, 1996).

Stress accelerates the oxidation of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the body, so people who consume unsaturated vegetable oils will have some oxidized cholesterol in their tissues.”

In addition, overcooking the yolks can oxidize the cholesterol in the egg. Runny yolks are usually considered the best alternative when preparing your eggs. So if you are not into eating raw eggs in the morning, soft boiling, sunny side up, or poached eggs are best.

Essentially, what all this means is it may not be the eggs themselves causing the plaque build-up but the addition of certain cooking oils, or the overcooked yolk, that could be contributing to increased oxidized cholesterol in the arteries.

6. Did the patients exercise?

This is a very important question Dr. Spence left out of his study. Why is it important? Because we now know that exercise decreases the chances of artery blockage and other heart issues. Maybe the people who ate fewer eggs also exercised more. So maybe it was not the eggs at all, but maybe the lack of exercise that led to the increased arterial blockage. Of course, I am making some guesses here. But we have to consider everything when making such a strong claim.

7. Thyroid and liver health.

The health of your thyroid and liver plays an important role in cholesterol plaque build-up in your arteries. Your thyroid is responsible for producing thyroxine (T4) and a small amount of Triiodothyronine or T3(the active form of thyroid) in the body. Most of T4 is converted into T3 in your liver. T3 is responsible for converting cholesterol to all your steroidal hormones. Without T3, cholesterol cannot be converted, which can lead to a cholesterol back up and increased cholesterol levels. Increased cholesterol is a major marker for hypothyroidism. This back-up could lead to higher levels of oxidized cholesterol if healthy levels of the thyroid hormone are not met.

“Although cholesterol is protective against oxidative and cytolytic damage, the chronic free radical exposure will oxidize it. During the low cholesterol turnover of hypothyroidism, the oxidized variants of cholesterol will accumulate, so cholesterol loses its protective functions.”

–Dr. Ray Peat.

Let us remember cholesterol is protective, is part of our immune system, and is essential for our bodies to live. The liver produces 80% of our serum cholesterol, the other 20% comes from our diet. A recent study from Harvard Medical School showed that dietary cholesterol has little effect on serum cholesterol. Our body self-regulates: if we do not consume cholesterol, our bodies will make it. Therefore, whether the cholesterol comes from our diet or from our own liver, it will rise when we are in a hypothyroid state. Thus, the great egg is getting all the blame when, in all reality, it may be the health of the patient’s thyroid and liver that is more of a contributing factor.

Who knew we had to look at so many factors?

To be honest, there was so much wrong with this study that I am surprised it actually got published. Yet, studies and claims like this are published every day. Trust me, I read a lot of research articles. And for every article I read supporting a claim, I’ll read another one saying the exact opposite. The truth is most studies testing foods have problems, whether it’s the population’s health, the use of animals, a questionnaire, a meta-analysis, the quality of the food being tested, other foods being eaten at the same time, the length of the study, who is paying for the study, research bias, patients’ memory and honesty, or the overall interpretation of the results. Ugh. It can definitely get a little frustrating when trying to decide what to put in your mouth. Knowing all this, I am sure you are still wondering… “Should I be eating eggs?”

Well, here is my take…

Egg Nutrition

Eggs contain carotenoids, vitamins A, E, D and K, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, B12, pantothenic acid, choline, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, selenium, and are a complete protein. Most of the nutrients, all of the fat and cholesterol and about 50% of the protein is found in the yolk of the egg. In fact, every part of the egg, including the egg-shell can be eaten for its nutritional content. The egg-shell is an amazing source of Calcium. For such a little amount of food, the egg is a powerhouse full of nutrition.

Egg Research

There, of course, have been plenty of studies demonstrating that eating 1-2 eggs/day does not affect plaque build-up in healthy adults. The fourteen-year Nurses study and the eight-year Health Professional Follow study documented the eating habits of over 120,000 men and women collectively. Both studies concluded that eating one egg/day was very unlikely to have a substantial impact on cardiovascular disease or stroke in healthy individuals.

When the body is working optimally and you are taking care of yourself by eating the right foods and exercising, I think consuming eggs regularly is far more healthful to your diet than harmful. Therefore, when deciding to make eggs a part of our daily diet, I would take into consideration the following things:

1. Hens Diet

Be aware of the health and diet of the chickens/hens producing the eggs. Eggs can add value to your diet if they come from a healthy source. Be aware of tricky words food manufacturers use on their egg cartons–words like, “vegetarian diet”, “natural”, and “free-roaming”. Each of these means very little. If possible, buy your eggs from a local retailer at a farmers’ market or direct from the farm. Eggs should be organic, pastured- raised, corn- and soy-free.

2. Cooking style

When preparing your eggs, leave the yolk runny and cook them in the right oils (coconut, butter or ghee). These oils are all saturated fats. They do not oxidize under high heats like PUFA’s and MUFA’s (monounsaturated).

3. Restaurant eating

When eating out at restaurants, limit your egg consumption. Almost all eggs prepared in a restaurant are NOT pastured-organic raised. Almost all eggs cooked in a restaurant will be cooked in some sort of vegetable oil. If you decide to eat eggs at your favorite restaurant, ask for poached eggs or hard-boiled eggs. These will be the safest.

4. Side dishes

Take into consideration the other things you are eating with the eggs. A cup of fruit or pulp-free OJ is a nice complement. A few pieces of bread, bacon and pancakes are not the best of side dishes. Eggs are not a miracle food. They can add to your health or take from your health, depending on what you eat with them.

5. YOUR health

Look at your overall health. If you are hypothyroid, diabetic, prone to heart disease or arteriosclerosis, I would limit the amount of eggs in your diet until you have worked on healing your body and metabolism. If you are a healthy individual, who exercises and eats healthfully, then I say don’t be afraid to eat an egg or two on a daily basis.

Eggs are an important food and should not be avoided. However, you have to be conscious of your egg selection, how you are preparing them, how many you are eating, and the state of your health. Also, we must remember you cannot believe everything you read and everything you hear in the news or on the internet. Question everything (including me), do your own research, and find out what resonates with you. Health and healing are so individualized, what is working for your neighbor may have the opposite effect on you–another great reason to be taking full responsibility of taking care of yourself!

Happy Learning!

Your Optimal Health Coach,

Kate

“Disclaimer:  I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor.  I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.  I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them.  I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body.  If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”

References:

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FREE

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October/November 2007 http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2007-10-01/Tests-Reveal-Healthier-Eggs.aspx#ixzz27yFbfsJn

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