Take the Gluten Challenge

Bread  

This could literally change your life forever

 

I will be the first to say that these diet topics get so confusing and contradicting, that it’s understandable why most people just ignore them and eat what they want. One expert says that gluten is a poison, and the next one says it’s a safe staple of our diet. Just this morning, an article hit the Wall Street Journal that was titled “This Story Is Gluten-Free” which went on to say that organic food is probably not any better than conventionally grown and GMO foods are completely safe.  His closing line was “Perhaps on July 4th we should all resolve to enjoy factory-raised grilled meats and be grateful for what's left of the freedom to make our own decisions.” This article was written by a well educated guy who has been involved with business and finance his whole career, and published by a highly respected paper.

 

I’m not here to tell you that gluten is a poison or to tell you that you should never eat bread again,...

Don’t fear carbs… get to know them (glycemic load)

potato  

If you’ve never heard of the glycemic index and glycemic load, then this article is going to forever change your relationship with the carbohydrate containing foods you eat… in a good way!

 

This impacts general health, weight management, and type 2 diabetes.

 

Before I get into it, I want you to understand that you don’t have to know the exact values to benefit from this. Just a basic understanding will most likely shift many of your daily food choices, and that can make all the difference.

 

I don’t know about you, but I need at least a little “why” before I’m willing to put any effort in.

 

Insulin is a master metabolic hormone whose main job is to keep our blood sugar levels in a safe range, but it does so much more. It also has a lot of say in whether we are burning fat or making fat... and whether we are breaking down cholesterol or producing it.

 

When we eat carbs, our blood sugar levels increase. An appropriate amount of insulin is released...

Your great great great great great grandmother would like you to eat…

Sauerkraut
This topic itself seems sort of boring on the surface… like mildly interesting, with a “so what” aftertaste. Talking about water feels that way, but there’s nothing “so what” about water,  just go a day or 2 without it. What I’m saying is; please stick around a bit and see if we can’t turn this seemly “so what” into a “holy crap”.  

Whether it’s vitamin D, multi-vitamins, probiotics, you name it, I’m always asked “Why is this  so important NOW? People have been living without supplements and other newage treehugger garbage for thousands of years. So why should we care now?”. Creationists and evolutionists can both agree that we haven’t changed much over the last couple thousand years. What has changed drastically is what we eat.

 

To really drive this point home, let’s imagine one of our ancestors living 300 years ago. If you’re familiar with your heritage, then you can imagine what foods they might have had available, how they were stored, and how they were prepared. Now that you’re...

A Simple Guide To Understanding Your Fiber Needs

Bran Muffin

Fiber is a very mysterious component of our diet.  Generally, people seem to know that it’s good for them, good for their heart, will help keep them regular, and they should eat “more” of it.  Maybe the delicate nature of the topics relating to fiber have caused advertisers to confuse the public even more than usual.  Do you remember the SNL skit with Phil Hartman about Colon Blow cereal?

Rather than a wordy article reviewing the studies behind fiber, I decided to write this in a way that I hope you can actually use.

 

How much fiber: 25-40 grams per day

 

Types of fiber:  Soluble and Insoluble (we need both)

 

Soluble fiber:  Dissolves in water and forms a gel.

  • Binds to cholesterol - Bile acids are used in digestion and also as a way to remove cholesterol from our bodies.  Soluble fiber binds to the cholesterol and carries it out of the body.  In absence of soluble fiber, much of...

Coconut Oil is a Must Have: 6 Possible Benefits

 Coconut OilJoe Shlabotnik

Coconut oil was given a bad rap for years because 90% of its oil is saturated. Most of the saturated fats in our diets are long chain triglycerides (LCT) and have 14 to 18 carbon atoms. Coconut oil is a Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) containing just 5 to 12 carbon atoms.  While LCTs are hard for the body to metabolize, MCTs are easily converted to ketone bodies by the liver, and used as alternative energy source to glucose.  Here is just a handful of the possible benefits of consuming coconut oil:

 

1. Brain Health - A famous 2004 study looked at the effects of coconut oil on a small group of people with either Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment.  They found a measurable difference using cognitive tests with just ONE dose.

 

Our brain cells use glucose as their primary fuel, but as we age it seems that our brain’s ability to use glucose is reduced, especially for those with insulin resistance.  Ketone bodies...

Deficiency in This May Make You 70% More Likely to Die of Heart Disease

Kalephotofarmer

Can you name the nutrient that 80% of Americans are deficient in, that is found on an ER crash cart, and used in hospitals for pre-eclampsia and seizures?

 

This nutrient is found in over 300 enzymes, including the ones that synthesize ATP... the battery power we live on. While most drugs have 1 function, a recent study showed that 3,751 binding sites on proteins have been found for this. This nutrient isn’t sexy, but it’s vital... it’s magnesium.

 

The study I referenced in the title looked at the magnesium levels of 7,664 “healthy” people and tracked them for 10.5 years. With all other risk factors figured in, the people with lower levels of urinary magnesium were 70% more likely to die from heart disease.

 

Cholesterol seems to get all the attention, but a study that looked at 136,000 heart attack victims found that about 75% had normal LDL levels, and about 50% had optimal levels. Cholesterol is a factor, but clearly not the only factor.

 

There’s a mountain...

What the Heck is the ALCAT Food Sensitivity Test and Why Should I Care?

VeggiesMasahiro Ihara

This is a universal issue that we all need to be aware of.  Sensitivities to foods and other substances cause a reaction by our immune system and over time, this can result in a host of problems.  

Even though we sell the Alcat test, please don’t dismiss this as a sales letter... you never have to take the test to benefit from this article!  Below, I will cover:

  1. What is a food sensitivity and how can it affect me?

  2. How does the Alcat test work?

  3. What can I do today, even if I don’t take the test?

 

What is a food sensitivity and how can it affect me?

If you learn just one thing from this article, then let it be this... you can be sensitive to anything you put in or on your body.  The results of that sensitivity can be subtle and delayed, making it very tricky to figure out.  However, just being aware to the fact that you could be sensitive...

2 Minute Look at the Mediterranean Diet – Can it Lower Cardiovascular Risk?

Mediterranean dietnitdoggx

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the results of a clinical trial that asked the question; Does eating a Mediterranean diet reduce the likelihood of having a cardiovascular event in people with high risk factor?

 

The trial included 7447 people age 55 to 80 (57% women) and spanned 4.8 years. None of the participants had known heart problems before the trial began, but all of them were at risk. This meant that everyone in the study had either Type II Diabetes or at least 3 cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, high LDL, low HDL, overweight, family history, or smoking).

 

Everyone was split into one of three groups: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a control diet (just advised to reduce dietary fat).

 

When the dust settled and they excluded the ones that didn’t stick to the diet, they found that the folks eating a Mediterranean diet had a 29% lower risk...

5 Ways To Eat Locally Grown Food Without Even Getting Your Hands Dirty

Farmers Market photo by USDAgov

This article also includes the best resources for finding each of these great food sources!

 

If you don’t have the time, space, interest, or desire to grow all of your own food, then you’re in luck! There are several options that will help you, your family, and your community.  Now, I’m not going to go into a long diatribe about mass produced, long haul food.  Just for arguments sake, I’m going to assume we all agree that buying food locally from farmers we know, and farms we could actually visit, is a pretty good thing.

 

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

CSA farms have been around for over 25 years, but most people I talk to have never heard of them.  It’s like the garden stock market;  you buy shares with a local farmer and those shares stake your claim to a portion of the bounty.  Each week of the season you will receive a box of farm fresh goodness.  Some CSAs will...

Fatty Foods Make You Hungry

We've always thought that our feelings of hunger stem from an empty stomach but, recent research shows that it is in fact the presence of fatty foods in our stomach that results in the hunger sensation. Ghrelin is the so-called "hunger hormone" that is involved in this process. It also stimulates the uptake of nutrients and facilitates the storage of fat in the body. However, ghrelin does not function by itself; it needs to be activated. For this to happen, it must be combined with a fatty acid. There is a specific enzyme called ghrelin O-acyl transferase, or GOAT, which enables the fatty acid to be added to the hormone in a process called acylation. High concentrations of ghrelin are found in the body prior to meals and after eating the levels decline. For over a decade the thinking has been that ghrelin accumulates during the periods when we are not eating and that the fatty acids which are required for the activation of the hormone were produced by the body during this time as well. Now, according to research published in the June 5, 2009 edition...