Nutrition

Can Paleo Diet Cure Overweight and Obesity?

“The great accomplishments of modern humans -our ability to create an abundant food supply and our increasing release from manual labor- is, to a great degree, working against our genetic design. Although we cannot go back in time, we must, in a certain sense, re-create the eating patterns of our ancestors if we are to restore our health and survive as a species. That means eating far more whole, unprocessed plant foods and limiting the quantities of animal foods, especially those rich in saturated fat. At the same time, we must increase our physical activity. To our ancestors, daily life was an enormous physical struggle simply to stay alive. For us, physical activity must be conscious forms of exercise.” (p. 69)

Kash, P., Lombard, J. and Monte, T. (2008). Freedom from Disease. New York, N.Y.: St. Martin’s Press.

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What is the Paleo Diet? —Paleo Diet Explained

What is the Paleo diet and why should you care? Here the world’s #1 expert, professor Loren Cordain, explains what you need to know and answers common questions.

Professor Cordain’s website: http://thepaleodiet.com

Diet Doctor: http://www.dietdoctor.com

 

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Fiber keeps you healthy and your belly full

Fiber is the part of plants we do not digest or absorb. Fiber is broadly classified into two categories: water-soluble and insoluble. Many foods, like fruits and vegetables, are good sources of both types.

Water-soluble fiber in particular has been shown in several studies to have a cholesterol-lowering effect. One theory proposes that the fiber binds with bile acids in the intestinal tract, and from there they are excreted. To produce more bile acids, the liver pulls cholesterol from the bloodstream, thereby lowering the blood-cholesterol level. It has also been suggested that eating foods high in water-soluble fiber does not in itself lower the cholesterol level, but prevents one from filling up instead on cholesterol-raising options. In other words, if you are having oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, you are not having bacon, eggs, and butter! Regularly including good sources in your diet is clearly beneficial. Foods high in water-soluble fiber include oatmeal and oat bran, barley, legumes (dried beans, peas, and lentils), and fruits and vegetables (especially apples, figs, and carrots). Note that these foods are also highly nutritious.

Increasing water-soluble fiber in your diet—

  • Eat hot oatmeal or oat bran (or a mixture) for breakfast. Add raisins, apples, and cinnamon if you like.
  • Choose a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal that contains oat bran. Look in the ingredient list for oat bran, rolled oats, or whole oat flour.
  • Sprinkle a teaspoonful of oat bran on your favorite ready-to-eat cereal, on yogurt, and on top of casseroles.
  • Choose bread made with oats or oat bran.
  • Eat fruit –in cereal, with yogurt, or for dessert and snacks.

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A Handful of Food Gives You Energy

“A little food gives you a lot of energy; too much food and your energy crashes. When you fill your stomach without overfilling it, you’ll stop gaining weight and start gaining energy. Both undereating and overeating will prevent you from experiencing the energizing effects of food. But how much is too little and how much is too much?…a handful. Less than a handful and you’re not filling your food tank enough; more than a handful and you’re filling it too much. A good-size handful is all you need to fill your stomach without overfilling it, to fuel your energy without fueling your fat cells, and to lift your energy without making you lethargic.” (p. 55)

Waterhouse, D. 2001. Outsmarting Female Fatigue: The 8 Energizing Strategies for Lifelong Vitality. New York, N.Y.: Hyperion.

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Benefits of Eating Unsaturated Fats

Eating unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats or carbohydrates:

  • lowers levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, without also lowering levels of HDL (good) cholesterol
  • prevents the increase in triglycerides that occurs with high-carbohydrate diets
  • reduces the development of erratic heartbeats, a main cause of sudden cardiac death
  • reduces the tendency for blood-flow-blocking clots to form in arteries.

Source: Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy by Walter C. Willet, MD (2001), p.60

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A Clear Perspective

“Natural, unprocessed grains such as brown rice, millet, barley, quinoa, and whole wheat berries are rich in complex carbohydrates, which are slowly absorbed and do not create spikes in insulin levels. The same is true for other plant sources of carbohydrates, such as squash, turnips, broccoli, and other pulpy vegetables. Not only are the carbs in these foods slowly absorbed, but these foods are essentially low in calories. A pound of brown rice –far more than you could eat in a single meal, or even in a single day– has less than 500 calories. A pound of broccoli, again more than you could eat at a single setting, has about 85 calories.” (p. 38)

Kash, P., Lombard, J. and Monte, T. (2008). Freedom from Disease. New York, N.Y.: St. Martin’s Press.

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High levels of homocysteine?

“A high level of homocysteine in the blood is an independent risk factor for arterial disease and heart attack and may also elevate the risk of cancer and a number of chronic degenerative diseases. The body can easily clear homocysteine from the blood if it has adequate amounts of vitamins B6, B12, and especially folic acid. You should be taking in about 800 micrograms of folic acid a day; if you get 400 micrograms from a B-complex supplement, the rest will come from a normal diet.” (p.127)

Source: Eating Well For Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil.

WalkInLab.com

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Sub In Seeds

“These oft-forgotten all-stars come packed with key nutrients we all need: protein, healthy fats, and essential fatty acids. Toss a handful of hempseeds into the blender when making a smoothie, sprinkle chia seeds or flaxseeds on top of oatmeal, or swap sunflower or pumpkin seeds wherever you usually use nuts.” (p. 121)

Funston, L. and Haak, E. (2014). Get Real! Oprah Magazine, 15(1), 118-123.

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