Metabolically Stimulating Fat?

Metabolically stimulating fat?

Once upon a time, in a world far, far away — well… Atlanta, Georgia (far enough), I used to be a no-fat freak. Yes, you heard me. I wouldn’t go near the stuff. I, like many of you, was under the impression that dietary fat makes your body fatter. So, if fat makes you fat, eating no fat must help keep you thin and healthy. Right? Wrong! The problem was that most of our “trusted advisors” were on board with this theory — the USDA, our doctors, and every health-related book and magazine preached this message. Many still do.

You see, fat does not make us fat. Wait, let me specify — certain fats, especially saturated medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), like coconut oil, do not make us fat. In fact, these MCFA can do quite the opposite. Back in the 1990s our trusted researchers failed to realize that not all fats are created equal. Bad fats, like hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, and PUFAs, will make you fat — not only by their high caloric values but by their metabolically lowering effect. Remember, there is more to gaining body fat than just calories. The actual response of your metabolism (revving it up or slowing it down) is far more important.

Back in 1990s, I could have been the poster child for how to slow down your metabolism. I ate tons of low fat, low calorie processed foods filled with vegetable oils, fillers, additives, hormones, and other (pardon my language) crap. I performed hours of steady cardio every day. I got very little sleep and I drank alcohol like a fish. No wonder, even though I was in my 20’s, I could never get lean. I was killing my metabolism! Damn, if I had only known then what I know now, I could have saved myself from eating tons of unhealthy, nasty tasting crap — all of which I am sure was doing me far more harm than good.

Anyway, things have changed. I have changed. And now we know that fat does not make you fat. In fact, some fat can help you lose fat… which brings me to the topic of conversation today — metabolism-stimulating coconut oil!

First, what is coconut oil?

Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of matured coconuts and is used for food, medicine, and even hair and skin care. Coconut oil is one of the few saturated fats that come from a plant source. It is unusually rich in short and medium chain fatty acids, and it’s especially high in the medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), Lauric Acid. Since coconut oil is saturated, it is very stable at high temperatures. This makes it ideal for cooking and baking. More importantly, because of its strong bonds it will NOT oxidize inside your body. Fats that oxidize in the body lead to easy attacks by free radicals, which can cause a lower metabolic rate, disease, faster aging, and cancers. Sounds like a winning combo for me!

What are the benefits of taking coconut oil?

There are many, many benefits. However, for the sake of not going overboard, I’ll give you what I believe to be the most important reasons to incorporate it into your diet.

  1. Increases the metabolism.

Coconut oil helps stimulate thyroid function. Your thyroid gland controls your metabolism by producing T3 and T4 in your body. These hormones are released into your system where they control the conversion of oxygen and calories into energy (metabolism). In addition, the medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil inhibit the liver’s formation of fat, allowing the MCFA energy to be used, rather than stored as fat like the longer chain fatty acids that are in most vegetable oils (PUFAs). We must understand the physiology of our fats. The actual length of a fatty acid will determine how your body metabolizes it. To be broken down, MCFAs do not require bile, and they do not require the carnitine transport system to enter into the cells’ mitochondria. Huh? Basically, these fats can go from your gut to the liver to be metabolized as quick energy, which increases heat production and metabolism.

*Remember the farmers of 1940? They fed their livestock coconut oil to try and fatten them up, but they found that it only made the animals lean, active, and hungry. For famers who want to fatten animals quickly, coconut oil was producing the opposite effect. So this was a bad thing to incorporate into livestock feed. But for you and I who want to stay lean and healthy, coconut oil is a home run!

  1. Anti-aging.

Once again, since coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is far more stable in the body. Stable fats do not get oxidized or damaged easily. The more oxidation you have in your body, the more aging will occur.  In the 1960’s Hartroff and Porta showed that “age pigment” is produced in proportion to the amount of oxidants to antioxidants in the diet. They demonstrated that the more PUFAs that are in the diet, the more general aging, more age spots, and more wrinkling. Less PUFAs and more saturated fat had an anti-aging effect. Personally, I have experienced very similar results. I have been using coconut oil daily for over a year and have been told by many friends and clients how my skin and hair look and feel, smoother, softer, and more youthful. Looking younger from a year ago? I’ll take it!

  1. Decreases cholesterol.

For over 80 years it has been known that with a suppressed thyroid, serum cholesterol levels will rise.   This happens because without production of the T3 and T4 hormones, cholesterol cannot convert into steroid hormones (including progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, pregnenalone, and cortisol). Remember cholesterol is a major building block for most of your hormones. Without your active form of thyroid (T3), cholesterol cannot convert, and so it remains in your system, elevating your serum cholesterol. This is one reason that as we get older our cholesterol naturally rises — slowing of the metabolism. Since coconut oil supports the function of the thyroid, this will help convert cholesterol to the proper hormones — thus decreasing serum cholesterol levels.

  1. Anti-bacterial.

Coconut oil is composed of almost 40% Lauric Acid (a medium chain fatty acid). The body converts Lauric Acid into monolaurin, which is the substance that protects infants from viral, bacterial, or protozoal infections. In 1978, Jon Kabara reported that certain MCFAs, such as Lauric Acid have adverse effects on pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast, and fungi. These fatty acids and their derivatives actually disrupt the lipid membranes of the organisms, and thus inactivate them — and this produces an antiseptic-like response. Hence, coconut oil kills undesirable microbes.

  1. Helps with digestion.

Like I stated above, coconut oil helps decrease bad bacteria in the body. Most of your bacteria are found in the intestines and colon, which is where most of our food is broken down and absorbed. Once you have a healthier digestive tract, digestion and absorption of nutrients becomes more effective. Personally, I believe one of the biggest problems in people’s health in today’s world is their lack of intestinal health. If your gut and intestinal area are filled with unhealthy bacteria and inflammation, even the best of diets and supplements will not suffice for optimal health — a good diet is half the battle, the other half is actually absorbing it.

  1. Medicinal.

Because of its high level of Lauric Acid and a smaller amount of Caprylic Acid, coconut oil has been used to kill athlete’s foot fungus, yeast infections, and intestinal parasites. In addition, coconut oil has been shown helpful in the diet for treating people with heart disease, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis, gallbladder disease, diabetes, liver disease, and cancer.

  1. Increases energy and overall well being.

If there is one thing that all my clients report within a week of adding coconut oil, it is this — increased energy and feeling better. Coconut oil’s MCFAs are burned as fuel more efficiently, increasing the health of your liver and thyroid, increasing the metabolic rate, increasing energy production, and increasing your energy all day long.

Who knew? All this from just one fat! It would seem that coconut oil is like the baking soda of fat — majorly multi-purpose.

Well, now you know why I love coconut oil so much and recommend it to my clients. I suppose the next question would be…

What kind of coconut oil should you get?

Refined, unrefined, cold pressed, organic, virgin, extra virgin, raw, expeller pressed?

Without going into too much detail, here are some basic things you should know about choosing your coconut oil.

  • Unrefined or raw coconut oil has a strong coconut taste and will still contain the fibers of the coconut. This coconut oil has had the least amount of processing done to it.
  • Organic means the coconuts are from areas that do not use chemicals.
  • Virgin or extra virgin oil has to do with how many times the coconut meal was pressed OR the amount of pressure (heat) that was used to the get oil out. Less pressure and heat is less damaging.
  • Expeller or cold pressed means no chemicals were used to remove the oil, but it was done physically with a machine. Once again, less heat was applied to remove the oils.
  • Refined coconut oil will be tasteless and fiber-free. This oil may work better for some, especially if the person already has digestive issues and has a hard time breaking down the insoluble coconut fibers.
  • Some people find that they may get nausea or diarrhea with extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, but they have no such symptoms with the refined coconut oil.
  • Personally, I use both. Whether it is refined or unrefined I always purchase organic and cold or expeller pressed.

Finally, how much should you consume?

If you are a coconut oil beginner, start with 1 to 2 teaspoons a day. As you know, with anything, too much too soon can cause digestive disturbance and body dysfunction. Anytime you make changes to your diet, start slow. This gives your body time to acclimate to the new dietary adjustments. As you feel the beneficial effects of coconut oil, add a little more on a weekly basis until you are consuming anywhere from 1 to 3 tablespoons a day.

You can use coconut oil to sauté, bake, and fry foods. You can make salad dressings and dips or you can just take a spoonful here and there for its beneficial effects. There is no right or wrong way.

As you can see, there are many beneficial effects of using coconut oil. Is it right for you? Well, that is up to you to decide. As I have said repetitively each week, the recommendations I give in these blogs are not person-specific. We are all different, while some things work great for some, the same thing may not work for someone else. Your health is your own personal journey. As a constant reminder, my only mission in these blogs is to educate you on a different level and present information that allows you to think so that you can decide what is right for you.

If you are not left pondering, then you are not 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:

Coconut Oil Research Center www.coconutresearchcenter.org

Coconut oil Wikipedia

Dr Lita Lee, a chemist and nutritionalist of almost 40 years www.drlitalee.com

“Coconut oil –Why is it good for you”

Dr Ray Peat, a biologist, physiologist and nutritional wizard www.raypeat.com

“Coconut Oil”, “Unsaturated vegetable Oils –Toxic”

Why I love saturated fat…

My saturated fat story…

If there is one thing you should know about me it is this — I have always been a health freak and a workout queen — and I have loved every minute of it. I knew from the moment I started walking that a sitting job was never going to work for me. Thus, I think I was born to be the athlete-personal trainer-fitness-nutrition freak that I am today.   You know, your basic super hero..

Fast forward a few decades to about a year ago, I was training for 3 or 4 half-marathons, a possible half Iron Man triathlon, and a few 10-hour hikes — crazy, yet normal for me at that time of my life. I thought my body was healthy, so I could do anything…right?

Nope. Unfortunately, at the end of 2010, I incurred a nasty groin strain. This was not my first injury, but this was the first injury that was absolutely relentless — and alarmingly, it was not healing. About the same time, my body started to feel chronically tired, I gained a few pounds, and I was feeling “blah” — not a good state for a fitness professional.

I went to every doctor, massage therapist, chiropractor, orthopedic professional, physical therapist, acupuncturist, voodoo-ist I could find (ok, I didn’t do voodoo, but I considered it). Each appointment would help for a bit, yet nothing seemed to completely heal me. I felt “off”, and I started to become totally frustrated. I am a nutritionist, so I knew I was eating right. I was trying to stay less active (Ok, I did the best I could — I am a trainer for God’s sake). I slept, I drank tons of water, took tons of supplements — tried everything. Yet the damn groin still hurt and I was still feeling “blah”.

This is when I stopped looking for doctors to give me answers and I started my own self-directed research. I found physiologist Dr. Ray Peat, renowned chemist and nutrition expert Dr. Lita Lee, Dr. Broda Barnes, Dr. John Lee, and Josh Rubin (a highly respected colleague of mine and holistic health practitioner). This is when I allowed my current set of beliefs on nutrition and what I believed to be “healthful” to be completely turned upside down. It’s not to say that what I was doing was “wrong” per say, it just what I was doing wasn’t working for me anymore. Sound familiar to anyone? By all health standards, I was eating the perfect diet — lean meats, tons of vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, fruits, organic protein powders, and whole food organic bars. I was eating no butter, no cheese, no milk, no sugar, no saturated fat — no fun. Yet, my current diet and lifestyle, although very healthy by most peoples’ standards, was just not working for me anymore.

For the next 8 months, I was 10 feet deep in research, human physiology, endocrinology, nutrition science — learning about thyroid issues, hormones, inflammation… science, science, science. I think I read more articles and books in the last year than I did in 4 years of college. What I realized was my body was in a chronic inflammatory state — not just from my recent injury, but from years and years of over exercising and “healthy” dieting. I say “healthy” because for years I followed the trends of dieting and thought I was eating healthfully, when in all reality, I was not.

It has only been within the last 9 years of my life that I have really understood what a healthy diet should be. And now, with all my current knowledge, it will evolve again. Yes, things change, we learn more, we get better, we apply what we learn, and we grow. The nutrition and medical industries are constantly changing. As we all know, we are learning more everyday…as to why things that were bad for us are now considered good, and things that were good for us are now considered bad. Just another reason for you to be constantly invested in your own health and well being.

I have been a fitness professional for almost 20 years now, a clinical nutritionist for 9 years, and a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach for the last 4 years. There is never a year that goes by that my practice doesn’t improve and grow. Yet this year, with all that I learned, the knowledge really changed me — it changed how I run my practice, how I live my life, how I view health, and how I eat.

I started including moderate levels of saturated fats, and then gradually increased them more. I started using healthy sugars (including cane sugar and fruit juice), and healthy proteins like grass-fed dairy (milk, cheese, cream), shell fish, gelatin, white fish, and a small amount of grass fed beef. I also began removing many other foods that are currently considered “healthy” by many, including ALL polyunsaturated fats, beans, and grains. I also cut out most nuts and some vegetables (this will be a blog for another day).

This is what happened:

Initially, I saw my weight and my cholesterol rise. Weight gain and increased cholesterol levels — that can’t be good, right? Well, let’s remember, I was in an inflamed state (from chronic overtraining), and the cholesterol was being released to allow me to heal. The additional weight was also in response to trying to heal my metabolism — a metabolism that was damaged from years of overtraining and under-nourishing (omitting saturated fat and the right sugars, and eating far less than my body really needed). In a matter of 3 months, while I allowed my body to heal, my cholesterol dropped over 40 points, my body weight dropped back to normal, and I started to feel that everything was right in the world again (no more “blah” feeling) — all while eating over 2000 to 2200 calories and 50-100g of fat a day (most of that being saturated fat). Interesting, huh?

Yes, I lost body fat while eating anywhere from 50-100g. grams of fat a day, while exercising less than I had in the last 10 years of my life. I never made all the planned runs or the half Iron Man. Yet, I’m sure it was for the best, as my body has almost fully healed. In all honesty, it may take years for my body to fully recover from my HIGH activity level and damaged metabolism.

Believe it or not, most highly active individuals have a damaged metabolism, yet most don’t understand this. They believe it is age that is affecting their metabolism. The truth is, all things that are stressful to your body, including exercise, can affect your metabolism negatively.  Once again, this does not mean you should not exercise. It just means do the right type of exercise, for the right amount of time, and at the right intensity for YOUR needs so that you can get better, rather than worse.

Ok, where was I? Right — saturated fat…

Now, I am not telling you to go out and eat tons of butter, cream, and cheese to try and lose weight and get healthy.  You need to have an understanding as to how, when, and what types of saturated fats you should be eating.  Plus, there is a lot more to healing your metabolism that just eating saturated fats. Is it ok to eat all these things? Absolutely! Should you start eating 100 grams of saturated fat like I do without understanding what you are doing? Probably not.  Saturated fat is a very powerful nutrient. If the proper types are used, in the right amounts, with the right combination of protein and carbs, you can have not only a healing nutrient, but a nutrient that will actually allow you to enjoy rich, great tasting food again.

For those of you who have asked, here is a typical day of eating for me:

Breakfast: 

Two whole eggs cooked in 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup of OJ and 1/2 cup of well cooked russet potatoes (with butter)

Coffee with 1/4 cup whole milk, 1 tsp cane sugar, and 1 tbsp gelatin

Snack: 

6 oz.Orange juice, 1 tbsp gelatin protein, and 3 pieces of 85% organic dark chocolate

1 medium carrot with 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

Lunch: 

3 oz grass-fed beef, 1 cup of bone broth, 2 cups of squash cooked in 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

Salad: Tomato, cucumber, onion with parmesan cheese, sea salt, and balsamic vinegar

Snack: 

Shake: 1 cup of raw whole milk, ½ cup of fruit, 2 tbsp of gelatin, 1 tbsp Greek yogurt

Dinner: 

4 oz wild cod cooked in 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

2 cups of cooked fruit (cooked in butter and cinnamon), 1/4 cup ricotta cheese,

1 cup of cooked peppers and onions with 1 tsp butter

Snack: 

1 glass of 2% milk, ½ cup of OJ, dash of salt

Now, this is a typical day. The calories may increase or decrease due to stress, workout load, and work load. Or I may just want some ice cream (yes, I eat that too…Hagan Daz only…no additives). Personally, I monitor my diet weekly to make sure I am constantly running at an optimal level (I do this by measuring my pulse, body temperature, and get frequent blood/lab work*).

*No need for you to do as much lab work as me, I do it for research purposes only.

The end result is my body feels better. I used to be in a constant state of achiness. I honestly thought it was normal because of all the activity in my life. I lived with aches and pains every day. I never complained. I never really felt “bad” — I guess I just got used to the achy feeling. Do you do that? Would you like to feel better?

At the end of the day, I consider myself a trainer, a nutritionist, and a constant researcher. I read at least 1 to 2 hours every night, more on the weekends, and even more on vacation. I love to learn and I love to share with all of you what I am doing, what I am learning, and how it can help you. My goal is to always get better, to help all of you get better, and to live a long, healthy life of prosperity, happiness, and joy.

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.”

 

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:

1. Niva Shapira, Joseph Pinchasov. Modified Egg Composition To Reduce Low-Density Lipoprotein Oxidizability: High Monounsaturated Fatty Acids and Antioxidants versus Regular Highn−6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2008; 56 (10): 3688 DOI: 10.1021/jf073549r

2. J. David Spence, David J.A. Jenkins, Jean Davignon. Egg yolk consumption and carotid plaque. Atherosclerosis Volume 224, Issue 2 , Pages 469-473, October 2012

3. Staprans I, Rapp JH, Pan XM, Hardman DA, Feingold KR. Oxidized lipids in the diet accelerate the development of fatty streaks in cholesterol-fed rabbits. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1996 Apr;16(4):533-8.

4. Staprans I, Rapp JH, Pan XM, Kim KY, Feingold KR. Oxidized lipids in the diet are a source of oxidized lipid in chylomicrons of human serum. Arterioscler Thromb. 1994 Dec;14(12):1900-5

5. Kummerow FA, Kim Y, Hull J, Pollard J, Ilinov P, Drossiev DL, Valek J. The influence of egg consumption on the serum cholesterol level in human subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1977; 30:664-73.

6. Dawber TR, Nickerson RJ, Brand FN, Pool J. Eggs, serum cholesterol, and coronary heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 1982; 36:617-25

7. Qureshi AI, Suri FK, Ahmed S, Nasar A, Divani AA, Kirmani JF. Regular egg consumption does not increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Med Sci Monit 2007; 13:CR1-8.

8. Jones PJ, Pappu AS, Hatcher L, Li ZC, Illingworth DR, Connor WE. Dietary cholesterol feeding suppresses human cholesterol synthesis measured by deuterium incorporation and urinary mevalonic acid levels. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 1996; 16:1222-8.

9. Dr. Joseph Raffaele. THE CANADIAN YOLK STUDY’S SCRAMBLED SCIENCE

Raffaele Reports. 25 August 2012

10. Frank B. Hu, MD; Meir J. Stampfer, MD; Eric B. Rimm, ScD; JoAnn E. Manson, MD; Alberto Ascherio, MD; Graham A. Colditz, MD; Bernard A. Rosner, PhD; Donna Spiegelman, ScD; Frank E. Speizer, MD; Frank M. Sacks, MD; Charles H. Hennekens, MD; Walter C. Willett, MD. A Prospective Study of Egg Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Men and Women . Jama April 21, 1999, Vol 281, No. 15 >

FREE

11. McNamara DJ. The impact of egg limitations on coronary heart disease risk: do the numbers add up? J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Oct;19(5 Suppl):540S-548S.

12. Harvard School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source: Eggs and Heart Diseasehttp://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/eggs/#1

13. Cheryl Long and Tabitha Alterman, “Meet Real Free Range Eggs”

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

14. Zazpe I, Beunza JJ, Bes-Rastrollo M, Warnberg J, de la Fuente-Arrillaga C, Benito S, Vázquez Z, Martínez-González MA; SUN Project Investigators. Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in the SUN Project. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jun;65(6):676-82. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

15. Eguchi E, Iso H, Tanabe N, Wada Y, Yatsuya H, Kikuchi S, Inaba Y, Tamakoshi A; Japan Collaborative Cohort Study Group. Healthy lifestyle behaviours and cardiovascular mortality among Japanese men and women: the Japan collaborative cohort study. Eur Heart J. 2012 Feb;33(4):467-77.

16. Ho SS, Dhaliwal SS, Hills AP, Pal S. The effect of 12 weeks of aerobic, resistance or combination exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors in the overweight and obese in a randomized trial. BMC Public Health. 2012 Aug 28;12(1):704. [Epub ahead of print]

17. Saremi A, Asghari M, Ghorbani A. Effects of aerobic training on serum omentin-1 and cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese men. . J Sports Sci. 2010 Jul;28(9):993-8

18. Dr. Ray Peat. www.RayPeat.com. Cholesterol, longevity, intelligence, and health.

Where is the Grass Fed Beef?

As we all know I am a big proponent of the quality of food. Quality is king in my book. It trumps fat content, sugar content, and calorie content. Unfortunately, food quality, especially in the United States, seems to be making a steady decline. People are spending more money on cell phones, TV’s, and the latest tech gadgets, thus leaving less money for the things that are really important — like the quality of their food. Forty years ago, before the industrialization of food, the average household used to spend 17% of their income on food. Now, we spend less than 6% of our income on food. Yes, the government has made food more affordable by introducing conventionally farmed food, concentrated animal feeding operations (cafos), more herbicides, pesticides, chemicals, more processing, and introduced genetically modified foods. But at what cost?

Well, how about a staggering healthcare bill at 2.7 trillion dollars a year!

Yes, these food cost savings have not come without major health concern with increases in obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a slew of other diseases.

The truth is, the U.S. spends more money on healthcare than any other industrialized nation. At a steady increase of over 2% every year, the U.S. now spends an average $8,000 a year on every American. Yikes! So we are saving money on food, yet throwing it away on healthcare costs. Is there a correlation? I think so…

I want to discuss the quality of our food — more specifically, the quality of our beef. Is grass-fed, pastured beef really that much better than today’s norm for “conventionally farmed” beef? The government and conventional beef ranchers might tell you it is just as good. But you know me…I like to dig deeper into the story. And I believe there’s a big difference.

Well, I’ll let you decide…

Here are the main differences between grass-fed beef and conventional grain-fed beef that has become the norm.

1. Diet.

Almost all conventionally farmed cattle are fed GMO (genetically modified) grains (primarily corn and soy). Not only are corn and soy cheap, but also they are great for fattening the animals faster. 75 years ago, cows were 4 or 5 years old at slaughter. Today, cows are 14 to 16 months. You can’t take a beef calf from a birth weight of 80 pounds to 1,200 pounds in a little more than a year on grass alone. This fast-fattening venture takes enormous quantities of corn, soy, protein supplements, antibiotics, and other drugs, including growth hormones.

Even worse yet, some large dairy and cattle farmers, in addition to feeding their animals corn and soy, are feeding them a certain amount of “ byproduct feed-stuff”— and it’s totally legal. In general, this means waste products from the manufacturing of human and animal food. This can include same species animals, diseased animals, hooves, skin, hair, manure, other wastes, plastic, bubble gum, candy, and garbage. Yum!

On the other hand pastured, grass-fed cattle are fed — are you ready? — grass.  Well, to be honest they are fed grass, weeds, shrubs, clovers, and anything that is green and is within reach. More importantly, cows can digest and absorb these plant foods and nutrients they contain. Which brings us to the next topic…

2. Health of the animal.

Cows are meant to eat grass. Unlike humans, all ruminant animals including cows, bison, and sheep can digest grass and cellulose (grass fiber) due to a four-compartment stomach. This unique stomach allows for a re-chewing process (referred to as ruminating) that allows these animals to fully digest highly fibrous foods like grass. This is why grass is an ideal energy source for them.

During the normal digestive process, bacteria in the rumen of cattle produce a variety of acids. When animals are kept on grass pastures, they produce copious amounts of saliva that neutralize the acidity. This salvia allows the rumen to remain at a neutral ph, which is ideal for cows. A feedlot diet of corn, soy, and byproducts is low in roughage, so the animals do not ruminate as long, nor do they produce as much saliva. The net result is an increase in acid or acidosis. Over time, acidosis can lead to a condition called “rumenitis,” which is an inflammation of the wall of the rumen. Eventually, the wall of the rumen becomes ulcerated and no longer absorbs nutrients as efficiently. This can lead to ulcers, liver abscesses, asphyxiation due to bloating, feedlot polio due to a vitamin B deficiencies, and finally death.

The end result is very sick cattle. Typically, these feedlot cattle farmers try to manage the grain-caused ailments with a medicine chest of drugs, including ionophores (to buffer acidity) and antibiotics (to reduce liver abscesses). An estimated 70% of the nation’s antibiotics are fed to cattle and poultry to prevent illness and increase growth. (Just another sign that the drug industry has an unhealthy relationship with the food industry.) This means a meat product that is far less superior not only in quality but in nutritional value.

3. Nutrition.

At the end of the day, a grass-fed cow produces a better product. In a 2009 study in the Journal of Animal Science, the USDA and researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina showed that grass-fed beef is better for human health in a number of ways.

Grass-fed beef has:

1. Less overall fat content*

2. More beta-carotene

3. More vitamin E

4. More B vitamins: Thiamin and Riboflavin

5. More minerals: Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium

6. A more even ratio between Omega-3 and 6 (less Omega-6 is found in grass-fed beef)

7. More CLA, a potential cancer fighter

8. More Selenium and Iron

*While total fat content decreased. The percentage of saturated fat is higher or the same, while the percentages of Omega-6 and monounsaturated is lower.

4. Animal care.

All cows for the first 4 to 6 months of their lives are pasture-fed. The difference comes in the latter part of their lives when conventionally farmed cattle are sent to feedlots, which is a factory feeding system for livestock. Large feedlots are called concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and can house up to a whopping 150,000 or more steer at one time. Most pastured grass-fed cattle are on a ranch of about 150. Cattle are delivered to feedlots to be fattened up on a very calorie-dense diet consisting of about 95% grains. Remember, corn and soy are fattening agents. This government feeding system allows for very little roaming, an unnatural diet, and in many inhumane living conditions, like standing in their own manure for weeks or even months.

Once the cattle are fattened up and reach their finishing weight, they are sent to slaughterhouses. Sounds like an amazing life, huh? Both feedlots and slaughterhouses are under constant scrutiny for affecting the stress level of livestock. You can only imagine the level a stress an animal must have after being confined for months, force-fed an unnatural diet, and then led down a ramp to its death. High stress leads to chronic levels of cortisol running through the animal’s blood and muscles — muscle that will be soon delivered to you and me in the form of a steak or burger.

All grass-fed pastured animals live on the pasture their entire lives. They are allowed to graze freely until they reach full growth, which is usually 1-3 years after a grain-fed cow. This is one reason why grass-fed meat is far more expensive than grain-fed.

In addition, grass-fed farmers try and take extreme care in the slaughtering of their animals. Most ranchers either slaughter the animals on the farm or take them to small independent slaughterhouses. The ranchers go to great lengths to try and keep their cattle calm. Some will even stay with their animals through the entire slaughtering process to ensure they are being treated with the upmost care.

Personally, I try to only eat grass-fed meats. To me, conventionally farmed beef and grass-fed beef are two completely different products. It is like the difference between a Ford Fiesta and a Ferrari — no comparison. I believe one reason beef has received such a bad name in the past, is not because of the actual beef, but from how the beef was “brought to table”. To be honest, most studies on the dangers of eating red meat come from people eating conventionally farmed beef — not grass-fed beef. The current studies on grass-fed beef prove it is a far superior product — and far healthier.

Now, I am not saying to go out and eat tons of grass-fed beef every day. I only eat red meat 1-2 times a week. Grass-fed meat can be very healthy for you, but like anything, it should be eaten in moderation. All meat (including grass-fed beef, chicken, pork, and lamb), because of their high levels of tryptophan and cysteine, can be somewhat inflammatory, and harder to digest than other proteins like eggs, dairy, broth, fish, and gelatin. Like I have always said, there are good things and bad things in all foods. So listen to your body and do not over do it. Basically, don’t be afraid to enjoy a grass-fed burger or steak once or twice a week. Know it is good for you, and know you do need it!

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.”Reference:

Eziekel J Emanuel. Spending more money doesn’t make us healthier., New York Times, Oct 27, 2011

Household Expenditure on Food, 2010, USDA: http://www.bls.gov/cex/

Cynthia A Daley, Amber Abbott1, Patrick S Doyle, Glenn A Nader and Stephanie Larson:  A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:10 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-10

H. K. Biesalski: Meat as a Component of a healthy diet – are their any risks or benefits if meat is avoided in the diet? Meat Science Volume 7, Issue 3 July 2005, pages 509-524.

P.T. Garcia, N. A. Pensel, A. M. Sancho, N.J. Latimori, A.M. Kloster, M.A. Amigone, J.J. Castol: Beef lipids in relation to animal breed and nutrition in Argentina. Meat Science, Volume 79, Issue 3, Pages 500-508

Leheska JM, Thompson LD, Howe JC, Hentges E, Boyce J, Brooks JC, Shriver B, Hoover L, Miller MF: Effects of conventional and grass-feeding systems on the nutrient composition of beef.

Journal Animal Science 2008, 86:3575-85

www.eatwild.com

 

Is Your Metabolism Broken?

Is Your Metabolism Broken?

Is your metabolism working at an optimal level? Do you know?

Lately, It has come to my attention that most people’s metabolisms are operating at a below optimal level of function. They’re trying to lose weight and get healthy, while their body’s internal system for weight loss is… well… broken.

Trying to lose weight with a low metabolism or broken system is like trying to run a race with a broken leg. You could do — but it will be much harder, and in the end you will most likely do more harm than good. Therefore, wouldn’t it make more sense to heal the leg first, and THEN run the race? I think so. The problem is most people don’t go through this healing process when trying to lose weight. They try running the race (try losing weight) with the broken leg (low functioning metabolism). And yes, with a lot of persistence, willpower, and food deprivation, some end up losing a little weight — only to find in time that they cannot live with this deprived lifestyle for long. So they put all the original weight back on — and then some.

I think Diane Schwarzbein, MD (author of The Schwarzbein Principle) said it best:

“You have to get healthy to lose weight — not lose weight to get healthy.”

Health is not defined by weight loss, how lean you are, or how fast you can run. True heath is defined as being free of illness, injury, pain, a warm body, good sleep, happiness, good digestion, and an ability to stay lean without countless hours of exercise.

If you have a damaged metabolism, then you are not healthy. If your metabolism is damaged, you need to focus on healing if first — then try to lose weight.

So, how do you know if your metabolism is running at a sub-optimal level?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Here is the abbreviated list:

  1. Weight. You have a hard time losing weight, and/or you gain weight easily. If you’re eating a low-calorie diet (1200- 1500 calories), you should lose weight easily if your metabolism is running at a high, optimal level. Unfortunately, most people who have been on a low-calorie diet are already metabolically damaged. So when they continue to diet further, they only lower the metabolic rate more. As to why highly calorie-restrictive diets never work long-term.
  2. Body temp. You have a chronically low body temperature. In the book, Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness, the author (Broda Barnes, MD) explains how measuring body temperature is a fairly accurate way to judge optimal metabolic function.

Try this simple test:

Get a body thermometer. Digital is best — mercury is fine. First thing in the morning before you get out of bed, check your body temperature. Your morning body temperature should be between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees. Then check it again about 20 minutes after lunch — at this time your temperature should be around 98.6 degrees or higher. I will bet most of you will be below these temperatures. Before I started to heal my body, I was 96.5 to 97.0 in the morning and never above 97.5 mid day. It took me months and months of decreased activity and the proper diet to heal my metabolism. Honestly, healing and staying health are a  never-ending process.  In time, my body temperatures rose to a healthy 98.6 degrees…I still have my ups and downs…but Im far more UP, then years ago.

  1. Pulse. You have a low pulse. Broda Barnes, MD and Dr. Ray Peat both state that an optimal pulse is between 75 to 85 beats per minute (BPM). “Huh? I thought a low pulse was better? Don’t most athletes have a pulse rate below 60 BPM? I think super-fit Lance Armstrong has a pulse of like 45 BPM.” Yes, Lance is “super fit”, and yes he had a very low pulse rate. Yet, let’s remember, he had testicular cancer at the ripe age of 25. We must remember — “fit” does not equal “healthy”. A healthy metabolism induces a higher pulse rate and body temperature — two things you will frequently NOT see in endurance athletes.

Other symptoms that may occur with a sub-optimal metabolism are:

  1. Cold hands and feet
  2.  Anemia
  3.  Depression
  4.  Arthritis
  5.  Skin issues (eczema, psoriasis, and acne)
  6.  PMS
  7.  High cholesterol
  8.  High blood pressure
  9.  Low sex drive
  10.  Low energy
  11.  Edema (swelling/water weight)
  12.  Constipation or diarrhea
  13.  Diabetes
  14.  Muscle pain
  15.  Joint pain
  16.  Pale skin
  17. Brittle nails
  18.  Poor liver function
  19.  Digestive issues
  20.  Allergies
  21.  Food intolerances or sensitivities
  22.  Heart disease
  23.  Cancer
  24. …the list goes on and on

Whew! As you see, a lot can happen when you are running at a subpar metabolic level. I am sure many of you would admit that you have many of the above issues — right? I did. In fact, before my healing process, I had the following: Low body temperature, low pulse, cold hands and feet, anemia, high cholesterol, low energy, digestive issues, muscle pain, joint pain, allergies, and the “blahs” — good times. And yes, at the time, I considered myself VERY healthy. I had no idea the damage I had done (overtraining and under-nourishing), until all the things I was doing just were not working anymore.

I know many of you are identifying with what I’m saying. I know so many of you are depressed, getting sick, feeling like crap, and can’t seem to lose weight. And, I know how you feel when everything you are trying so hard to do (all the “right” things) and nothing seems to be working — right?

The good news is you can heal your broken metabolism. There are many things you can do now for healing your metabolism and getting back on track. And as always — don’t expect it to be instant. It’s a process and it takes some time.

Here is a basic list of how you can heal your metabolism:

  1.  Saturated fat. Eat more saturated fat (organic butter, coconut oil, ghee, cream).
  2.  The right proteins. Eat the right amount and right kind of protein for you. At least 80 grams, but could be upwards of 200 grams depending on your lifestyle, exercise, size, stress, and goals. This includes shellfish, white fish, eggs, dairy, grass-fed meats, gelatin, and broth.
  3.  Avoid PUFA. Remove polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) from your diet. This includes (but is not limited to) soybean oil, sesame oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, nut oils, and margarine. All PUFAs are anti-thyroid.
  4.  Root veggies. Eat more vegetables that are grown below the ground. Mainly root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets, etc).
  5.  Avoid additives, processed foods, and grains. Remove all toxic food additives, hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, food chemicals, processed foods, fast foods, alcohol, soy, and grains and grain-based foods.
  6.  Organic Dairy. Drink organic whole milk or lower fat diary. Raw if it is available
  7.  Sugar-fat-protein balance. Consume the right sugars with the right combination of fat and protein to help heal the pancreas and liver. This includes ripe and in-season, non-starch fruits, honey, organic dairy products, and orange juice.
  8.  Eat organic often. Eat quality organic food in small frequent meals.
  9.  You-tailored exercise. Do the right kind of exercise that’s tailored to your body to help it heal. For some, this may mean weight training, short intense interval training, yoga, or walking. For others this may mean doing nothing at all. Since exercise is stress, if your system is overburdened, then even the smallest amount of exercise can be too much. Remember, exercise is a prescription.
  10.  Smart supplementation. Take the right supplements, if any. Food is always best, but in some cases supplementation can be beneficial until your body can heal.

Now, I understand I am going to get some flak for some of my suggestions for healing the metabolism. Eat sugar? Drink juice? Consume whole-fat dairy? Don’t avoid saturated fat? Eat potatoes? What?! I can hear what you’re thinking, “This is the opposite of everything I have been told!”

Yes, I am very aware that many of these recommendations go against what is being taught today in terms of weight loss and health advice.  However, when you really start to understand the physiology of how the body works, my recommendations make perfect sense.  (I will fully explain this in each of my programs).  In addition, let’s remember — in today’s world we have the highest rate of obesity, metabolic issues, depression, pain, inflammatory disorders, and so on. Thus, is what we are doing really working?

I am certainly not here to convince you to go against what you believe in — especially if it is working for you. I am only here to share with you what I have been learning, what I have found that is working for me, and what I am using to help many of my clients. Only you can decide if you are ready for change and ready to try a new approach.

Sometimes to get better, we must unlearn so much of what has been hammered into our minds and become part of our belief systems. We must actually take a few steps back before we can move forward. Remember, obtaining optimal health is a journey — there is no clear path and it’s not instant. Yet it can be obtained if you are open to learning, growing, and being patient. A little confused? Good — this means your thoughts and beliefs are being challenged. And only then can you actually be open to learning something new.

Please understand the recommendations I have given here are VERY general. Every plan I develop is far more comprehensive, educational, and person-specific (customized to you and your body and lifestyle). If you are interested in learning more on how to heal your metabolism and get on the right track to optimal health, order my book, “How to Heal Your Metabolism”.

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:

Hypo-thyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness. Broda Barnes, MD

Hypothyroidism Type 2. Mark Starr, MD

www.Raypeat.com Dr Ray Peat

Eat Move and Be Healthy. Paul Chek

www.eastwesthealing.com Josh Rubin

The Schwarzbein Principle. Diane Schwarzbein, MD