The Wellness Blog

...brought to you by the farm families at U.S. Wellness Meats.

US Wellness Cattle

Sign Up For Our Blog!

RSS Feed   RSS by Email

Follow & Share

Sign Up For the Weekly US Wellness E-Newsletter

Tour Our Farms!

The Wellness Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

The Superfood Drink That Will Keep You Young

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetBroth

Creaky knees… aching joints… fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin…

Are these the inevitable effects of aging? Or could they be the result of decades of poor nutrition?

The truth is that many of the common signs of aging can be attributed to our population’s dependence on highly-processed, carbohydrate-rich foods and unhealthy fats. However, there is also a key ingredient missing in our modern diet – one that was ever-present in the diets of our ancestors.

And as you are about to see, the research shows that the absence of this food could be another major contributor to disease and degeneration as we age. The good news is that it is easy and delicious to get more of it in your diet. So, what is this ancient anti-aging superfood?

Gelatin.

If you grew up in the last hundred years, the word “gelatin” may conjure images of big bowls of brightly-colored dessert at potluck dinners… the Jello molds of the 1950’s… or the giggly squares of brightly colored Jello in the 1980’s.

Of course, these forms of gelatin are anything but healthy. But when you strip away the chemical food coloring, sugar, artificial sweeteners and additives, what is left can truly be called a superfood. Unfortunately, however, it is one that has all but disappeared from the plates and bowls of our modern society.

In traditional cultures, gelatin was a ubiquitous part of the culinary tradition. Our ancestors could not afford to let any part of the animal go to waste. From slow-simmered soups, roasted meats, pickled feet and other “nasty bits” – the meat, bones, skin and connective tissues were all consumed in some way or another.

Not only does this provide a unique and vital set of nutrients, it also provides critical amino acids in the proper balance. You see, most of us get an abundance of tryptophan and cysteine in our diets. These two amino acids are abundant in muscle meats (the modern-day protein source of choice). However, most of us don’t get enough glycine and proline. These two amino acids are responsible for the unique fibrous structure of collagen (the native form of gelatin).  

Without sufficient glycine and proline in your diet, your cellular “scaffolding” will begin to break down, leading to many of the physical signs of aging. But the benefits of nose-to-tail eating go much farther than “skin deep”. In fact, the benefits of glycine-rich gelatin have also been found to:

•    Promote wound healing
•    Inhibit tumor formation
•    Prevention of angiogenesis (a key factor in the proliferation of cancer)
•    Reduce levels of cortisol (the stress hormone)
•    Act as an anti-estrogenic agent
•    Reduces systemic inflammation
•    Facilitates healing of the digestive tract (from micro-tears in leaky gut to ulcers, Celiac disease and colitis)
•    Promote healthy blood sugar levels
•    Prevent liver damage
•    Boost glutathione levels (the body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier)
•    Promote deep sleep

Getting More Gelatin in Your Diet

In addition to eating a wide variety of meats on the bone (with all of their bits), drinking bone broth is a powerful way to add more age-defying gelatin to your diet.

If you haven’t ever made bone broth, you’ll find it is very simple to do… and one of the most nourishing things you can consume.  

Unfortunately, many people think they don’t have the time to make bone broth at home. While the traditional stovetop method is quite time-consuming, there is a better and faster way to make gelatin-rich bone broth: the pressure cooker.

You will need two or three pounds of grass-fed/pastured marrow bones and soup bones (any combination of beef, pork or chicken backs will do). Then add about eight cups of water (filling the cooker to a maximum of two-thirds capacity). Add to this a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar and a couple roughly-chopped carrots and onions.

Pressure cook on high heat for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally and then strain the broth into a glass container and refrigerate. Once cooled, you’ll find that the broth has gelled – this is the telltale sign of the presence of gelatin.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, I would encourage you to consider buying one. I have found it to be an indispensible and time-saving kitchen tool. If you’d like to learn more, click here to read my previous article on the US Wellness Meats blog.

For the most gelatin-rich broth, add some free-range chicken feet. A recent study published in the Journal of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering found that gelatin from chicken feet was nutritionally superior and yielded more collagen than other bones tested. (NOTE: If you haven’t ever cooked chicken feet, be sure to do a quick search online to learn how to prepare properly before cooking).

Adding more gelatin to your diet can help reduce stress levels, enhance sleep, balance blood sugar, boost detoxification, promote cellular health and reduce inflammation – not to mention keep your skin and joints looking and feeling youthful.

If you haven’t started making gelatin-rich bone broth a daily staple, now is the time. Aging is just a developmental process, and the corrective steps you take today can shape the health you experience tomorrow.
 

______________________________________________________________________________

ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
______________________________________________________________________________

Resources:

1.    Wheeler MD, Ikejema K, Mol Life Sci. Enomoto N, et al. Glycine: a new anti-inflammatory immunonutrient. Cell Mol Life Sci.1999; 56:843-856.
2.    Iverson JF, Gannon MC, Nuttall FQ. Interaction of ingested leucine with glycine on insulin and glucose concentrations. J Amino Acids. 2014;2014:521941. doi: 10.1155/2014/521941. Epub 2014 Jul 10.
3.    Amin K, Li J, Chao WR, Dewhirst MW, Haroon ZA. Dietary glycine inhibits angiogenesis during wound healing and tumor growth. Cancer Biol Ther. 2003 Mar-Apr;2(2):173-8.
4.    Vieira CP, Guerra FR, de Oliveira LP, Almeida MS, Marcondes MC, Pimentell ER. Green tea and glycine aid in the recovery of tendinitis of the Achilles tendon of rats. Connect Tissue Res. 2015 Feb;56(1):50-8.
5.    Sekhar RV, Patel SG, Guthikonda AP, Reid M, Balasubramanyam A, Taffet GE, Jahoor F. Deficient synthesis of glutathione underlies oxidative stress in aging and can be corrected by dietary cysteine and glycine supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):847-53.
6.    Baines AD, Shaikh N, Ho P.Mechanisms of perfused kidney cytoprotection by alanine and glycine. Am J Physiol. 1990 Jul;259(1 Pt 2):F80-7
7.    Mauriz JL, Matilla B, Culebras JM, Gonzalez P, Gonzalez-Gallego J. Dietary glycine inhibits activation of nuclear factor kappa B and prevents liver injury in hemorrhagic shock in the rat. Free Radic Biol Med. 2001 Nov 15;31(10):1236-44.
8.    Rose ML, Cattley RC, Dunn C, et al. Dietary glycine prevents the development of liver tumors caused by the peroxisome proliferator WY-14, 643. Carcinogenesis. 1999; 20:2075-2081.
9.    Rose M.L.,Madren J, Bunzendahl H, Thurman R.G. Dietary glycine inhibits the growth of B16 melanoma tumors in mice. Carcinogenesis, Vol. 20, No. 5, 793-798, May 1999.
10.    Wheeler M, Stachlewitz RT, Yamashina S, et al. Glycine-gated channels in neutrophils attenuate calcium influx and superoxide production. FASEB J. 2000; 14:476-484.
11.    Yamashina S, Konno A, Wheeler MD, Rusyn I, Rusyn EV, Cox AD, Thurman RG. Endothelial cells contain a glycine-gated chloride channel. Nutr Cancer. 2001;40(2):197-204.
12.    Zhong Z, Wheeler MD, Li X, Froh M, Schemmer P, Yin M, Bunzendaul H, Bradford B, Lemasters JJ., "L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent." Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2003 Mar;6(2):229-40.  
13.    Kawai N1, Sakai N2, Okuro M3, Karakawa S1, Tsuneyoshi Y1, Kawasaki N1, Takeda T1, Bannai M1, Nishino S2.The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus.Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Dec 23.
14.    de Almeida P, da Silva Lannes S, Calarge F, et al. FTIR Characterization of Gelatin from Chicken Feet. J Chem Chem Eng. 6 (2012) 1029-103

“Sleep” Hormone Reawakens Your Youth Gene

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDsleep resized 600

You could be 80 years old and feel like a teenager.

Or you could be in your 30's and feel like you have one foot in the grave.

The secret to feeling young is how well your body “talks” to your telomeres.

In doing research for my upcoming book on how to benefit from telomere biology, I’ve discovered an interesting fact. Telomeres have receptors that communicate with your hormones. They talk to each other.

That’s important because your hormones and your telomeres affect aging more than anything else. If they have “good” conversations you feel (and stay) young. If they have “bad” conversations you can age more quickly than your chronological age.

Youthful hormone levels tell telomeres, “We’re still young and strong! Continue to rebuild and revitalize these cells.”

The opposite happens when you have too little of a specific hormone. That signals the telomere that you’re “old.” Repair and maintenance work slows down. The cell takes on older, slower and less active behavior.

One of the most remarkable examples of this is the way the “sleep” hormone melatonin affects aging and telomeres.

Many studies show that melatonin’s antioxidant power prevents telomeres from shortening.(1)

But one group of researchers was looking into using melatonin for eye health. They found that melatonin protected the eyes by increasing telomerase, the enzyme that rebuilds telomeres.(2)

Another study also looked at melatonin’s role in activating telomerase. They divided 37 rats (both young and old) into two groups. For 21 days, one group received melatonin and the control group got nothing.

They tested each group for telomerase activity. In both young and old rats, the ones given melatonin had significant increases in telomerase.(3)

It’s very simple: increasing melatonin helps signal telomeres, through their hormone receptors, to increase telomerase. This helps you build a younger body at any age.

1. To safely get more melatonin, the first thing you want to do is normalize your own melatonin production.

This has a lot to do with getting rid of artificial electromagnetic around you. It can stop your brain from producing enough melatonin. [Note: I’ll be talking to you more about this kind of radiation, how it can affect your body, and how to protect yourself from it in an upcoming issue of my Confidential Cures newsletter. Please click here and subscribe now so you can be the FIRST to get this vital information.]

You should try to make yourself aware of electronic signals in your bedroom.

    - Do you listen to the radio while you’re trying to sleep by sending music from your smartphone to a Bluetooth speaker?

    - Do you have your phone next to your bed at night?

    - Do you have your DVR, laptop, iPad, and phone all in your room at night?

Get rid of them. And unplug your TV at night. These disrupt nighttime melatonin production.

2. Once you’ve stabilized and enhanced your natural melatonin function, then you can look for ways to get more of it for the anti-aging effect.

I’ve called melatonin a “hormone,” and it is. And I know that for some people, that can seem frightening. People have experienced side effects from artificial hormones.

But natural hormones at proper levels are completely safe. Melatonin is amongst the safest. There is no evidence to date to tarnish its perfect safety record.(4)

Even though foods like pineapples, bananas, oranges, oats, sweet corn, rice, tomatoes and barley contain melatonin, getting enough from your diet is very difficult.

Instead, it’s best to find a completely natural and high-quality melatonin supplement.

Many doctors and health experts recommend about 3mg a day for treatment. Around 500 mcg is for prevention. That’s fine for eye health and as a sleep aid. But to increase telomerase expression and help lengthen your telomeres, you need a much larger dose.

At my Center for Health and Wellness, we now recommend patients take 10mg of melatonin daily to kick-start telomerase expression. It’s a much larger dosage than you’ll hear most doctors recommend. But that’s because they haven’t heard of its effect on your telomeres.

One tricky thing about melatonin is the form it comes in. It’s not as effective in a pill because it’ll take longer to enter your bloodstream. And pills that are not well made get destroyed in your gut, and you never get the full effect. Look for melatonin liquids, sprays or anti-aging creams. They’re fast-acting and affordable.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

______________________________________________________________________________

Resources:
1. Rastmanesh R. “Potential of melatonin to treat or prevent age-related macular degeneration through stimulation of telomerase activity.” Med Hypotheses. 2011;76(1):79-85.
2. Rastmanesh R. “Potential of melatonin to treat or prevent age-related macular degeneration through stimulation of telomerase activity.” Med Hypotheses. 2011;76(1):79-85.
3. Akbulut K, et. al. “The role of melatonin on gastric mucosal cell proliferation and telomerase activity in ageing.” J Pineal Res. 2009; 308-12.
4. Dean, Ward M.D. “Melatonin: Unique, Potent Life-Extending Nutrient.” Vitamin Research News: Anti-Aging Supplement Review and Update Part 3, August 2004, p 14.

Tags: ,

The Healthiest, Fastest (& Most Delicious!) Way to Cook Your Food

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetPressureCooker

What if I told you that there was a way to cook your food with the following results:

•    Up to 90 percent less cooking time
•    90 percent nutrient retention
•    Greater digestibility
•    Fewer harmful cooking byproducts

And what if I told you that this method will also produce some of the most succulent, flavorful and easy-to-make meals that you have ever set on the table?

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not! In fact, this unique way of cooking has been around for more than 300 years, since its invention by a French physician in 1679.

What is this cooking method? Pressure cooking!

You’ve probably tasted foods prepared in a pressure cooker before, perhaps from your mother or grandmother. But you may have shied away from using one due to their “dangerous” reputation. The truth is that while there are some stories about “exploding” pressure cookers, these stories almost invariably relate to the early-generation models used in the 1940s and 50s. Today’s pressure cookers are virtually foolproof and are no less safe than any other kitchen tool when used properly.

So, let’s take a look at the many benefits of using a pressure cooker:

#1 – SUPERIOR NUTRIENT RETENTION AND BIOAVAILIBILITY
Researchers estimate the nutrients in our foods have declined dramatically (up to 50 percent in some foods) due to the depletion of nutrients in the soil. When you combine that with many cooking methods, which destroy or drain nutrients away from your food, the result is meals that just don’t provide the nutritional value your body needs.

A pressure cooker can greatly reduce the time it takes to cook your food. This directly correlates with the loss of fewer heat-sensitive nutrients. Let’s take a look at the research:

•    In Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, researchers found that pressure cooking was the best method for retaining both vitamin C and beta-carotene in spinach and amaranth.

•    A study published in The Journal of Food Science found that pressure cooked broccoli retained 90 percent of its vitamin C content. Compare this to boiling (66 percent retention) or steaming (78 percent).

•    A study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology found that pressure cooking increased the amount of beneficial phenolics in bananas. Researchers believe that the high pressure broke the banana’s cell walls, making the nutrients more bioavailable.
But using a pressure cooker won’t just help boost the levels of nutrients you get from your food… it can also help reduce health harming compounds, as well.

#2 – REDUCTION OF HEALTH-HARMING COMPOUNDS (INCLUDING ACRYLAMIDE, HCA’S, LECTINS AND PHYTIC ACID)

Because a pressure cooker basically uses “steam under pressure”, foods stay moist. They are literally bathed in steam as they cook. This translates to juicier, better tasting food. It also helps eliminate two cancer-causing compounds (acrylamide and heterocyclic amines) which are often produced by other high-heat cooking methods.

And if you’re concerned about lectins and phytic acid – two anti-nutrients which can bind to minerals and make them indigestible – the pressure cooker can help there too.

In fact, another study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition showed that when peas were soaked overnight and then boiled, their phytic acid content was reduced by 29 percent. On the other hand, when they were soaked overnight and then pressure cooked, the reduction in this unhealthy anti-nutrient was almost double (54 percent).

Similar results were found with lectins in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

#3 – INCREASED DIGESTIBILITY

As you may have heard before, you’re not what you eat… but rather, what you absorb.
Boosting the digestibility of your food is a key to maximizing the potential nutritional value of every bite.

And the pressure cooker can help you accomplish this too.

The combination of steam and pressure can make even the toughest meats succulent and tender. And tenderness is a key sign that a food is easy for your body to digest.

In the case of the hard-to-break-down protein in legumes, the pressure cooker has been found to increase the digestibility by as much as 84 percent.

#4 – SAVE TIME AND MONEY

If all of these benefits aren’t enough to get you pressure cooking, consider this: You’ll also save time and money.

You can cook a whole chicken to fall-off-the-bone in less than an hour… make butter-knife tender shredded pork or beef in less than 2 hours… make gelatin-rich bone broth in 30 minutes… cook a large winter squash in 10 minutes… as well as Brussels sprouts and most other veggies in less than five!

And by saving cooking time, you’ll also save money on your electric bill.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker yet, there are many high-quality, inexpensive options available. The third-generation Instant Pot is the one I use. The vessel is made of stainless steel, which is another benefit if you are concerned about the leaching that can occur in ceramic slow-cookers or the chemicals in non-stick coatings. The cost is about $140 and it comes with a variety of safety features and ease-of-use benefits.

Once you start cooking these fast, nutrient-rich, fork-tender meals with your pressure cooker, you’ll never want to use anything else!

______________________________________________________________________________

ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
______________________________________________________________________________

REFERENCES
1.    Yadav SK, Sehgal S. Effect of home processing on ascorbic acid and beta-carotene content of spinach (Spinacia oleracia) and amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor) leaves. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1995 Feb;47(2):125-31.
2.    Sasipriya G, Maria CL, Siddhuraju P. Influence of pressure cooking on antioxidant activity of wild (Ensete superbum) and commercial banana (Musa paradisiaca var. Monthan) unripe fruit and flower. J Food Sci Technol. 2014 Oct;51(10):2517-25. doi: 10.1007/s13197-012-0791-z. Epub 2012 Aug 12.
3.    F. Galgano, F. Favati, M. Caruso, A. Pietrafesa and S. Natella. The Influence of Processing and Preservation on the Retention of Health-Promoting Compounds in Broccoli. Journal of Food Science Volume 72, Issue 2,  pages S130–S135, March 2007
4.    Bains K, Uppal V, Kaur H. Optimization of germination time and heat treatments for enhanced availability of minerals from leguminous sprouts. J Food Sci Technol. 2014 May;51(5):1016-20. doi: 10.1007/s13197-011-0582-y. Epub 2011 Nov 12.
5.    Isleroglu H, Kemerli T, Özdestan Ö, Uren A, Kaymak-Ertekin F. Effect of oven cooking method on formation of heterocyclic amines and quality characteristics of chicken patties: steam-assisted hybrid oven versus convection ovens. Poult Sci. 2014 Sep;93(9):2296-303. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03552. Epub 2014 Jun 28.
6.    S. Bishnoi, N. Khetarpaul, R. K. Yadav Effect of domestic processing and cooking methods on phytic acid and polyphenol contents of pea cultivars (Pisum sativum) Plant Foods for Human Nutrition June 1994, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 381-388
7.    Shiwani Srivastava and Santosh Khokhar. Effects of Processing on the Reduction of β-ODAP (β-N-Oxalyl-L-2,3-diaminopropionic acid) and Anti-Nutrients of Khesari Dhal, Lathyrus sativus. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Volume 71, Issue 1,  pages 50–58, May 1996
8.    K. Syed Ziauddin, N.S. Mahendrakar, D.N. Rao, B.S. Ramesh, B.L. Amla. Observations on some chemical and physical characteristics of buffalo meat. Meat Science, Volume 37, Issue 1, p 103-113
9.    Anita Kataria, B.M. Chauhan, Darshan Punia. Antinutrients and protein digestibility (in vitro) of mungbean as affected by domestic processing and cooking. Food Chemistry, April 1988, Vol 32, Issue 1, p 9-17
10.    Bishnoi S, Khetarpaul N. Protein digestability of vegetables and field peas (Pisum sativum). Varietal differences and effect of domestic processing and cooking methods. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1994 Jul;46(1):71-6.

Concerned About Blood Sugar? Eat More of THIS!

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetOlive Oil

If your goal is to enjoy strength, health and clarity of mind well into your later years, one of your main objectives should be to maintain healthy blood sugar balance.

Of course, consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes. But it can also dramatically increase your risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and accelerate the aging process (including adding wrinkles to your skin).

You probably already know that a low-carbohydrate diet is the key to keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. But you might not know just how important it is to also consume adequate amounts of healthy fats.

Time and time again, diets that are rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates have been proven to produce healthier outcomes for diabetics.

But before we look deeper into the benefits of healthy fats, let’s take a look at…

How a Low Fat Diet Actually Promotes Diabetes

By eating a low-fat diet, calories that would normally come from fat and protein are displaced by carbohydrates.

A diet rich in carbs causes blood sugar levels to rise. This causes the pancreas to release insulin to escort the sugar from the blood into muscle cells to be used as fuel. But it doesn’t take long before your muscle cells have stored all the sugar they can hold. Then sugar gets shuttled to another place: your fat cells!

Not only does this promote an increase in body fat, it also promotes insulin resistance and diabetes.

Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels with Fat

Unlike carbohydrates, however, healthy fats have no appreciable effect on blood sugar levels. They are also vitally important for the absorption of important fat-soluble nutrients (including vitamins A, E, D & K) and for helping to reduce inflammation in the body.

But the type of fat is key.

Let’s take a look at the three healthy fats you should be eating to optimize blood sugar levels, achieve a healthy weight and ward off degenerative disease:

Omega-3 Fats: “Essential” for Blood Sugar Balance

In the United States, 80 percent of the fats we consume are omega-6, like those found primarily in vegetable and seed oils like corn, soybean and cottonseed oil. Omega-6-rich fats like these have been found to increase inflammation and other key markers of disease.

Omega-3 fats, on the other hand, provide potent anti-inflammatory action. They also improve blood sugar control, reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death among individuals with diabetes.

One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those with the highest blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – the two omega 3 fats found in fatty fish – were roughly 33% less likely to develop diabetes over the next decade than their counterparts with the lowest levels.

Another recent study published in the journal Lipids found that DHA and EPA omega-3 fats may help to lower body fat by encouraging fat-burning and reducing the number of fat cells. Even more impressive, the researchers found that omega-3 fats act at the genetic level – genetically programming the body to shed fat!

And the benefits of omega-3 fats don’t end there. Multiple studies have shown that these healthy fats dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke – the leading causes of death among diabetics. Take a look:

•    A study in China that followed more than 18,000 men for 10 years found that those who consumed more than 7 ounces of fish or shellfish weekly reduced their risk of fatal heart attack by almost 60% compared to those who consumed less than two ounces weekly.

•    In the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 84,000 women for 16 years, death from heart disease was up to 34% lower in women who ate fish at least once a week compared to those who ate it less than once a month.

•    In a study that followed more than 79,000 women for 14 years, the women who ate fish at least twice weekly had a 52% lower stroke risk than those who ate fish less than once monthly. In a similar study of 43,000 men, those who ate fish at least once a month reduced their risk of stroke by 43% over those who did not.

To get the diabetes-fighting, heart-healthy benefits of this fat, eat wild seafood – including wild salmon, wild halibut and wild shrimp and scallops – several times each week and consider taking a high quality fish oil supplement.

But omega 3 fats aren’t the only fats that benefit blood sugar and diabetes…

Monounsaturated Fats: Reduce Belly Fat and Blood Sugar

Monounsaturated fats (the best-known sources include avocados, olive oil and nuts) can also help balance blood sugar, banish belly fat and protect against heart disease.

A study published in Diabetes Care found that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats helped to reduce abdominal fat better than a carbohydrate-rich diet. When study subjects ate a carbohydrate enriched diet, belly fat increased. But when they ate a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, belly fat decreased (even without exercise!).

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found MUFAs have a profound effect on blood sugar. After eating a monounsaturated-fat rich diet for six months, study participants saw fasting glucose drop by 3 percent, insulin fall by 9.4 percent and the insulin resistance score drop by 12 percent. All of these are key factors for warding off diabetes and other chronic disease.

While the traditionally recognized sources of monounsaturated fats should be enjoyed liberally (including macadamia nuts, olive oil, and avocados), there are other excellent sources of this healing fat that might surprise you, including duck fat and lard.

In fact, duck fat is 45% monounsaturated (with 34% saturated and 21% polyunsaturated). Lard is 41% monounsaturated (with 32% saturated and 27% polyunsaturated), making these rich and delicious culinary staples a must-have in your blood sugar-balancing culinary repertoire.

And last, but not least is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

CLA: The “Grass-Fed” Fat for Leanness

CLA is a powerful compound that has been found to benefit blood sugar levels and reduce leptin – a hormone that regulates body fat levels.

CLA is found exclusively in the meat and milk of grass-fed animals, including grass-fed beef, grass-fed cheese, butter and milk. It’s also found in high concentrations in grazing game animals such as elk and deer.

In recent years, CLA has been promoted for a wide range of benefits – from melting belly fat and lowering hunger hormones to balancing blood sugar and even reducing the risk of cancer.

•    After an eight-week study, diabetics who added CLA to their diets not only had lower body mass and reduced blood sugar measurements, but also lower levels of leptin – a hormone that regulates fat levels.

•    A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that CLA inhibits the body’s formation of fat while preserving muscle tissue. In the study, the group that supplemented with CLA lost an average of six pounds of fat, compared to the placebo group.

•    A study published this month in Lipids in Health and Disease found that CLA-rich butter (from grass-fed cows) prevents high insulin levels and increased beneficial HDL cholesterol levels in animals.

CLA also has powerful antioxidant properties and is known to help reduce inflammation – two key factors for a healthy heart.

When it comes to balancing your blood sugar and achieving optimal health, focus on a low glycemic, low carbohydrate, whole foods diet that’s rich in the healthy fats noted above.  You’ll get more culinary satisfaction from every bite…. while improving your health at the same time!

______________________________________________________________________________

ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

______________________________________________________________________________

REFERENCES
1.    Luc Djoussé, Mary L Biggs, Rozenn N Lemaitre, et al. Plasma omega-3 fatty acids and incident diabetes in older adults. Am J Clin Nutr July 2011
2.    Diana P Brostow, Andrew O Odegaard, Woon-Puay Koh,. Omega-3 fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr July 2011
3.    Lesley V Campbell,Priscilla E Marmot, Jenny A Dyer, et al. The High—Monounsaturated Fat Diet as a Practical Alternative for NIPPM. Diabetes Care March 1994   vol. 17  no. 3  177-182
4.    Rallidis LS1, Lekakis J, Kolomvotsou A, Zampelas A, Vamvakou G, Efstathiou S, Dimitriadis G, Raptis SA, Kremastinos DT. Close adherence to a Mediterranean diet improves endothelial function in subjects with abdominal obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Aug;90(2):263-8.
5.    Hodson L1, Karpe F. Is there something special about palmitoleate? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Mar;16(2):225-31.
6.    Walker KZ, O'Dea K. Monounsaturated fat rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects: response to Paniagua et al. Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):e122; author reply e123.
7.    Martínez-Augustin O1, Aguilera CM, Gil-Campos M, Sánchez de Medina F, Gil A. Bioactive anti-obesity food components. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2012 Jun;82(3):148-56.
8.    Saha SS1, Ghosh M. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of conjugated linolenic acid isomers against streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Br J Nutr. 2012 Sep 28;108(6):974-83.
9.    Dhar P1, Chattopadhyay K, Bhattacharyya D, Roychoudhury A, Biswas A, Ghosh S Antioxidative effect of conjugated linolenic acid in diabetic and non-diabetic blood: an in vitro study. J Oleo Sci. 2006;56(1):19-24.
10.    Hontecillas R1, Diguardo M, Duran E, Orpi M, Bassaganya-Riera J. Catalpic acid decreases abdominal fat deposition, improves glucose homeostasis and upregulates PPAR alpha expression in adipose tissue. Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):764-72.
11.    Close RN1, Schoeller DA, Watras AC, Nora EH. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation alters the 6-mo change in fat oxidation during sleep. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Sep;86(3):797-804.
12.    de Almeida MM, Luquetti SC, Sabarense CM, Corrêa JO, Dos Reis LG, da Conceição EP, Lisboa PC, de Moura EG, Gameiro J, da Gama MA, Lopes FC, Garcia RM. Butter naturally enriched in cis-9, trans-11 CLA prevents hyperinsulinemia and increases both serum HDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels in rats. Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Dec 22;13(1):200. [Epub ahead of print]

A Nutrition Pioneer

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDTime

I got a great magazine in the mail last week. It’s a TIME special edition about all my heroes in science. Sir Isaac Newton, Einstein, Pasteur…

I read a little further and I was happy to see Linus Pauling. I thought, “Great! They recognized what a pioneer he was…”

I was excited because Pauling is someone who’s close to home for me. He was a scientist who then became a nutritionist, and he was a contrarian. Someone who said to mainstream doctors, “You guys have missed the boat.”

But TIME didn’t say that about him. Instead, they chose to portray him as someone who went off the deep end. They wrote, “To many people, alas, the towering scientist who transformed chemistry is simply the guy who oversold vitamin C.”

And they say his claims for vitamin C never proved out.

I can’t just let this pass, because they’re dead wrong. And Pauling was right on.

Let’s look at the facts:

1) People try to discredit Pauling’s claims that vitamin C is anti-aging because he died. But Pauling never claimed that vitamin C could keep you alive forever. And he lived to the age of 93. That’s a pretty good accomplishment.

2)Almost everything he claimed about vitamin C was right. Vitamin C does help to protect against viral infection. It does protect against heart disease. And it does prevent cancer.

In 1976, Pauling did a study where he took 100 people with cancer whom mainstream medicine had given up on as terminal and “untreatable.”  He gave them 10 grams of vitamin C each day, and they lived on for nearly a year with no other treatment. Some were still alive almost four years after being diagnosed as terminal.(1)

Pauling compared his 100 with 1,000 other terminally ill patients. Those people who got no vitamin C averaged living for only 38 days.

3)Vitamin C does more than Linus Pauling knew. Vitamin C works by disarming molecules called free radicals, which attack healthy cells. But what we now know is that the protective caps on the ends of your DNA, called telomeres, are very sensitive to these attacks.

The shorter your telomeres, the older your cells act and the more susceptible they are to becoming cancerous. Vitamin C is very effective at stopping the shortening of your telomeres, which protects you from heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, too.

A Japanese study tested vitamin C’s effect on telomeres. Raising the level of vitamin C in the cells could slow down the shortening of telomeres up to 62%.

Another study found that skin cells treated with vitamin C kept their young firm shape because it slowed shortening of the cell DNA’s telomeres. The telomeres also suffered less damage in the presence of vitamin C.(2)

This is one of the reasons why I have been talking to you so much about nutrients lately, and why I felt the need to introduce my nutrition pyramid.

We need a lot of the nutrients that make up the base of the pyramid, Primal Nutrition, to avoid modern diseases like cancer.

Recently I told you about oranges and their primal nutritional value, including vitamin C. Today I want to tell you about some other ways to boost your vitamin C to a healthy, primal level. Here are three ways to get all the vitamin C you need to restore your primal nutrition:

1. The primal king of vitamin C: Dark, leafy vegetables, bell peppers, black currants, papaya , red and green chili peppers and guava all have a good amount of vitamin C. Strawberries and oranges have a it, too, and these are all good for primal nutrition in general.

But if you need extra vitamin C, the king of all fruits is the acerola cherry. Every 100 grams has 1,678 mg– over 20 times the vitamin C of strawberries!

2. Tea to the rescue: A little-known source of vitamin C is peppermint leaves. You can make peppermint tea – just make sure to cover the mug while brewing to keep in the oils.

3. A good supplement: Dr. Pauling himself took between 12,000 and 18,000 mg a day, and lived to the ripe old age of 93. But you should get 1,500 mg, twice a day, to bring yourself up to your basic primal requirements.

4. A bigger boost: If you’ve been lacking vitamin C, or in times of stress or sickness, you might want to consider IV vitamin C therapy.

You can safely get much more vitamin C through an IV than you can taking supplements. You can infuse vitamin C at 100 times the concentration of oral supplements completely safely. Remember, no matter how high the dose, vitamin C does not harm healthy cells.

If you’d like to visit my Center for Health and Wellness for IV vitamin C therapy, please call us at 561.784.7852 and any member of my staff will be happy to give you a phone consultation.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

______________________________________________________________________________
References:
1. Cameron E, Pauling L. “Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1976. 73:3685-3689.
2. Yokoo S, Furumoto K, Hiyama E, Miwa N. “Slow-down of age-dependent telomere shortening is executed … by anti-oxidative effects of pro-vitamin C.” J Cell Biochem. 2004;93(3):588-97.

Tags: 

The Classic Fat that Will Elevate All Your Favorite Recipes

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetDuck Fat

When you hear the term “duck fat”, you might think of gourmet French cuisine or the duck fat fries that are now common in high-end restaurants and bistros.

But duck fat doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions or fancy food with elaborate preparations.

Not only does duck fat provide unparalleled flavor to just about any dish – from the original “French fry” to green vegetables and grass-fed steaks – it also provides a variety of health benefits.

Duck Fat: A Traditional Culinary Fat with Health Benefits

Duck fat is nearly 51% monounsaturated fat, with 36% saturated fat and 14% polyunsaturated fat.

Because of its high proportion of monounsaturated and saturated fats, duck fat remains stable during cooking. Not only does this preserve the delicious flavor of the fat, it also reduces the risk of creating lipid oxidation products (LOPs). These harmful compounds can form when certain fats are exposed to high heat. They have been associated with cellular damage and heart disease.

Perhaps equally important to your health is the lack of processing that duck fat undergoes. While most cooking fats and oils are treated with chemicals, as well as bleached, deodorized and refined, duck fat is simply rendered, or gently “melted” away from the flesh. This creates a healthy cooking fat in its purest form.

Whether it is the healthy balance of fats, its stability under heat or the lack of chemical processing, researchers have found that populations which traditionally rely on duck fat enjoy better heart health.

In the United States, 315 of every 100,000 middle-aged men die of heart attacks each year. In France the rate is less than half that (145 per 100,000). But in the Gascony region, where goose and duck fat, organs and meats are a staple of the diet, the rate is only 80 per 100,000. That is a mere 25% of the heart attack deaths seen in the U.S. where vegetable oil is the predominant cooking fat!

Using Duck Fat to Elevate Everyday Cooking

Duck confit – where duck legs are slow-cooked in duck fat – is the most popular dish using this rich and complex ingredient. But there are many, many ways it can be used and enjoyed. Here are a few of my favorites:

Make “Golden Brown Delicious” Duck Fat Potatoes: Duck fat was used to make the original French fry, and many popular chefs (including Jamie Oliver) argue that if you’ve never tried potatoes cooked in duck fat, then you’ve never really eaten a great potato. While delicious with organic Russets or Yukon Gold potatoes, you can also go the more Paleo route and choose cooked and cooled sweet potatoes, yams, or taro and gently pan fry in duck fat until golden brown.

Whip Up a Batch of Gascony Butter: Gascony butter is named for the region of France that enjoys exceptionally rich cuisine and low rates of heart disease. You can easily make this delectable spread by mixing rendered duck fat with quickly blanched, finely chopped or minced garlic cloves. Add a scoop to soups, melt over grass-fed steak or lamb chops or spread onto your favorite grain-free toast points for a satisfying dish.

Make Rich, Meaty Roasted Mushrooms: Choose your favorite mushroom, or opt for a medley including chanterelles, oysters,  and sliced baby bellas. Toss with melted duck fat and organic Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos and roast at 375 F for 20 minutes. Toss occasionally to ensure that they cook evenly. You can also sauté in a ceramic or enameled cast-iron pan on the stove for better control.

Enhance Your Favorite Veggies: Whether roasting Brussels sprouts in a cast-iron pan… browning cubed winter squash in a casserole… or simply sautéing onions, shallots and garlic, duck fat will bring out the richest flavors of each food. British food critic, Nigel Slater, says that duck fat has the ability to, “enrich whatever is cooking in it… it gets to the soul of the food it is browning.”  

Sear Meats & Seafood: For rich flavor and a delectable golden brown color, sear all of your favorite meats – from rich grass-fed filet mignon and hanger steaks… to pork chops and shrimp – in a dollop of duck fat. It is also the perfect fat for searing duck liver to gently brown and infuse it with more wonderful flavor.

Selecting & Rendering Duck Fat

When looking for duck fat, make sure to choose the highest quality from animals raised right. Remember – this doesn’t just make for a more flavorful ingredient. It also helps to ensure the healthiest fatty acid profile.

Want to render duck fat yourself (while also enjoying delicious meals of meaty duck)?

Start with lightly salted duck breasts placed skin-side-down in a cold enameled cast iron pan. Bring the heat up very slowly. You will see the duck fat begin to render and fill the bottom of the pan. Continue raising the heat gently to begin cooking the meat. Pour off and strain the fat into a glass container. With two duck breasts you can get as much as a cup of rendered duck fat. You can also use duck skin from a whole duck. Simply dice the skin and add it to a shallow pan with ½ cup of water. Simmer over medium heat for roughly one hour. The water should evaporate during this time, leaving just the fat. Strain through a sieve.

Whichever method you choose for obtaining this highly prized fat, you’ll find that this classic ingredient will elevate even your simplest everyday recipes to extraordinary!

______________________________________________________________________________

ED NOTE – Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

______________________________________________________________________________

REFERENCES
1.    Can Fois Gras Aid The heart? A French Scientist Says Yes. NY Times. November 17, 1991
2.    L S Piers, K Z Walker, R M Stoney, M J Soares4 and K O'Dea. The influence of the type of dietary fat on postprandial fat oxidation rates: monounsaturated (olive oil) vs saturated fat (cream). International Journal of Obesity. June 2002, Volue 26, Number 6, p 814-821
3.    Richard JL. Coronary risk factors. The French paradox. Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss. 1987 Apr;80 Spec No:17-21.
4.    Kresser, Chris. 5 Fats You Should Be Cooking With But May Not Be. Chriskresser.com

Are Your Telomeres In Trouble?

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDGreens

Living in the 21st century affords you many luxuries. High-speed computers… cell phones… air conditioning and LCD TVs. But the chemicals and industrial solvents that make them possible are poisonous. We’re now floating in a sea of space-age, lab-created, synthetic molecules. And they’re flowing through your blood as you read this letter.

They’re a part of life today, and we now have a new way of measuring their effect.

One of the things that happened is the environment is causing your telomeres to shorten.

Let me give you the example of the number-one risk factor for heart disease – high homocysteine levels.(1)

High homocysteine is a way to measure the inflammation that’s going on inside your body that’s being caused by all these foreign substances. High homocysteine then does more damage by blocking blood flow across your body and damaging the lining of your arteries.

And most doctors know nothing about another damaging effect of high homocysteine. It shortens your telomeres.

High homocysteine in your blood can triple the speed at which your telomeres shorten.(2)

One of the reasons homocysteine has such a damaging effect on these tiny tips to your DNA is that homocysteine cuts off telomerase.

Telomerase is the enzyme your body uses to rebuild the telomere. So the environment is giving you a double whammy. First homocysteine shortens telomeres, then it cuts off the enzyme your body uses to repair the damage.

Short telomeres are so prevalent in people with heart disease that having critically short telomeres is now an independent risk factor for heart disease.(3)

In a study published in the prestigious journal The Lancet, researchers found an association between short telomeres and atherosclerosis.(4) The people with short telomeres had accelerated aging of their blood vessels and had a buildup of plaque that correlated to arteries that acted 8.6 years older.

This increased risk extends into the very fiber of your heart muscle. In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers discovered that people with heart failure had telomeres that were 40% shorter than normal.(5)

High homocysteine can cause strokes and heart attacks as well.(6)

One way to know if you’re at risk is by getting your homocysteine checked with a simple blood test from your doctor. I personally like to keep my patients’ levels at 7 or below.

The natural way to help keep your homocysteine in check and protect yourself from heart disease is to ramp up your levels of vitamin B.

Vitamins B6, B9 (also known as folic acid or folate) and B12 all help to convert homocysteine into methionine, the good guy. B9 also restores the action of telomerase, counteracting the worst effect of homocysteine.(7)

Methionine is one of the building blocks of protein. And without enough levels of B vitamins in your system, your body can’t convert homocysteine to methionine efficiently. This can lead to an overload of homocysteine racing through your blood.

To boost your B vitamins, here’s what I recommend:

Vitamin Food Source Supplement
B6 Chicken, fish, kidney, liver, eggs, bananas, lima beans, walnuts 25 mg
B9 (folic acid) Beef, lamb, pork, chicken liver, eggs, green leafy vegetables, salmon 800 mcg
B12 Lamb, beef, herring, mackerel, liver, oysters, poultry, clams, eggs 500 mcg
B2 (riboflavin) Liver, nuts, dairy, eggs, seafood, dark leafy greens 25 mg


Another way to turn homocysteine into methionine is with choline.

You may remember I’ve written to you about choline as a brain booster. But choline is also essential in the process that breaks down homocysteine into helpful amino acids like methionine.

Studies show that the more choline you have, the lower your homocysteine will be.(8) In one study, people who took in the most choline had almost 10% lower homocysteine.(9)

The best way to get more choline is to eat one of the “taboo” foods modern nutritionists tell you to stay away from – animal meat and eggs. You can also find smaller amounts of choline in cod, cauliflower, avocados, and bananas.

To supplement, look for choline citrate. In my view, it’s the best way to get high levels of choline, and there are no side effects. You need at least 425 mg of choline a day as a woman; 550 mg if you’re a man.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

______________________________________________________________________________
Resources:
1. Levy D, Hwang S, et. al. “Associations of plasma natriuretic peptide, adrenomedullin, and homocysteine levels with alterations in arterial stiffness: the Framingham Heart Study,” Circulation 2007; 115(24):3079-85
2. Richards J, et. al. “Homocysteine levels and leukocyte telomere length.” Atherosclerosis. 2008;200(2):271-7.
3. Zhang W, Hui R, Yang S. “Telomeres, cardiovascular aging, and potential intervention for cellular senescence.” Sci China Life Sci. 2014;57(8):858-62.
4. Samani NJ, et al. “Telomere shortening in atherosclerosis.” Lancet. 2001;358(9280):472-3.
5. van der Harst P, et al. “Telomere length of circulating leukocytes is decreased in patients with chronic heart failure.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007; 49(13):1459-64.
6. McCarty M, Thomas C. “The Vascular Toxicity of Homocysteine and How to Control It.” Linus Pauling Inst. lpi.oregonstate.edu. Retrieved Nov 6, 2014.
7. Zhang D, Wen X, Wu W, Xu E, Zhang Y, Cui W. “Homocysteine-related hTERT DNA demethylation contributes to shortened leukocyte telomere length in atherosclerosis.” Atherosclerosis. 2013;231(1):1739.
8. Imbard A, et. al. “Plasma choline and betaine correlate with serum folate, plasma S-adenosyl-methionine and S-adenosyl-homocysteine in healthy volunteers.” Clin Chem Lab Med. 2013;51(3):683-92.
9.Lee J, Jacques P, Dougherty L, Selhub J, Giovannucci E, Zeisel S, Cho E. “Are dietary choline and betaine intakes determinants of total homocysteine concentration?” Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(5):1303-10.

Quick & Easy Beef Loin Roast

If you think that making a beef roast is a long, difficult undertaking, think again. And if you think that a beef roast has to be large, think again.

U.S .Wellness Meats has introduced a wonderful new cut, the boneless loin roast. This roast, cut from the tender strip loin, is not only delicious, but very quick and easy to prepare. Its two-pound size is ideal for smaller families, or a couple. This version is inspired by traditional Northern European ways of flavoring roast meat, and the marinade is very simple.

But the results of this quick, easy recipe are utterly tender and delicious. Using mustard in a marinade may seem unusual, but it is common in Germany, Austria, France, and other European nations, and it really brings out the flavor of superior grassfed meat. The combination of mustard with U.S. Wellness Meats All Purpose Seasoning, which is a blend of traditional herbs and spices, makes for a very special roast. And it takes about 30 minutes in the oven.

1  Boneless Loin Roast

INGREDIENTS

1 U.S. Wellness Meats Boneless Loin Roast - 2 lb.

1 medium organic onion, peeled and cut into three roughly equal circles

For the Marinade

3 tablespoons unfiltered organic extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon U.S. Wellness Meats All Purpose Seasoning

1 tablespoon natural coarse-grained (with the brown seeds) mustard, preferably Dijon or German

DIRECTIONS

  1. At least 1 hour before you plan to cook the roast, make the marinade. Combine the oil, seasoning, and mustard, and mix well. Place the roast in a glass bowl, and cover all surfaces with the marinade. Cover the bowl and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. (Alternatively, you can marinate the roast in the refrigerator overnight, taking the bowl out of the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to cook it, so the meat can reach a cool room temperature.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place the onion slices in a row on a small roasting pan. Place the marinated roast on the onion slices, fat side up.
  4. Place the roast in the oven and cook for 30 minutes for a medium rare roast. Remove the roast from the oven, and let rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.
  5. Slice thinly, and enjoy the wonderful flavors of this easy delicious roast.
describe the imageStanley Fishman is a cookbook author and blogger who is an expert on cooking grassfed meat. Stanley uses traditional flavor combinations and cooking methods to make the cooking of grassfed meat easy, delicious, and tender. Stanley has written two cookbooks that make it easy to cook grassfed meat —Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo. Stanley blogs about real food and the cooking of grassfed meat at his blog Tendergrassfedmeat.com.

The 4 Food Keys To Ultimate Health

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetBroth

In our modern world, prescriptions, procedures and doctor visits are the norm. In fact, according to the CDC:

•    1.2 billion annual visits to physician’s offices, outpatient and hospitals are made each year
•    Almost 49% of Americans are using at least one prescription drug
•    75% of doctor visits involve drug therapy

But it wasn’t always this way.

Looking back less than 100 years ago chronic disease and prescription drug use were rare.

And while our society has advanced in many ways, some “advancements” have come at a high cost – namely, our collective health.

Ancestral Genetics Versus Modern Food  

Ask many people the reason for an increase in chronic disease and they will tell you it’s our genes. They’re partly right. Our genes have changed. But most of the negative consequences we face are the repercussions of a modern diet on ancestral genes.

And while we may be genetically predisposed to chronic diseases – like diabetes, heart disease and cancer – it’s our environment and our dietary choices that turn latent risk into reality.

In her book, Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, Dr. Catherine Shanahan, MD states that two modern ingredients are wreaking the most havoc on our genes – vegetable oil and sugar.

In looking at traditional cultures versus modern ones, Deep Nutrition makes the connection between the common consumption of these foods - coupled with an absence of traditional foods in the diet - and a wide number of disorders including:

•    Birth Defects
•    Heart Disease
•    Cancer
•    Infertility and Sexual Dysfunction
•    Hormone Imbalance
•    Joint Problems
•    Cellulite and many more.

While avoiding sugar and vegetable oil are imperative for optimal health, it is equally important that we return to the ancestral foods that promote optimal genetic expression.

Reprogram Your Health With These 4 Pillars

This begins with consuming the native fats our ancestors enjoyed.

Tallow, lard, duck fat, grass-fed cheese and butter, and of course, naturally-raised meats are all excellent sources of saturated fats and cholesterol that provide a variety of health benefits including: increasing the absorption of lipid-soluble vitamins, reducing inflammation and free radicals, promoting healthy blood sugar balance and keeping the brain nourished and growing – from conception to old age.

In addition to returning to these health-giving fats, Deep Nutrition points to the “Four Pillars of World Cuisine.” These are the foods that promote bulletproof health in traditional and primitive cultures like the Hunzas and the Maasai.  Despite the culinary and geographical differences in the various cultures studied, these groups of people shared superior health and a pattern of dietary consumption that included the following four foods:

#1 - Meat on the Bone

Not only does cooking meat on the bone make for a deliciously-flavored meal, it also provides more nutrients, thanks to the inclusion of fat, bone, marrow, skin and other connective tissue.
As meat on the bone cooks, it releases a special family of nutrients called glycosaminoglycans which promote joint and cellular health and restoration.

When choosing meat on the bone – from bone-in chicken breasts and drumsticks, to French ribeye, T-bone and bone-in roasts of all varieties - be sure to keep it moist and do not overcook or char your meats. This can creates harmful heat by-products and reduces the nutrient value too.  

And don’t forget the fat! That means enjoying all of the marrow, making bone broth and letting your meat bathe in the nutrient-rich fat that accompanies it.

#2 - Organ Meats

The “off fall” – or all of the pieces of the animal excluding muscle meats – was highly prized in traditional cultures. But unfortunately in today’s fare, these bits are typically discarded.
By avoiding these parts of the animal, we not only miss out on their rich flavors, but also some of the most nutrient dense superfoods on the planet!

For optimal health, be sure to include organ meats – including liver, heart, kidney, tripe, tongue, thymus and others - in your diet.

#3 – Fermented & Sprouted Foods

Fermenting and sprouting liberates nutrients and neutralizes compounds that can be harmful or problematic. It also increases the bioavailability of vitamins and provides important probiotics that are needed for digestive and immune health and which are sorely lacking in our diets.
Include a serving of fermented or sprouted foods in your diet daily. Try lacto-fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and raw cultured dairy.

#4 – Fresh & Raw Foods

Eating greens, herbs and spices, picked at the peak of freshness, as well as raw milk made from grass-fed cows, is the final pillar of health. These foods provide a wealth of antioxidant nutrients that work in synergy with each other to produce a wide range of health benefits.
No matter where you are today with your health, no matter what genetic predispositions or “risk factors” you may have, following these four pillars of nutrition will help to imbue your body with the “genetic wealth” that confers powerful protection from chronic illness and age-related decline.

If you haven’t already started following the principles of ancestral health – now is the time. In addition to regular exercise and restorative sleep, these four pillars won’t just make you feel better, but they’ll keep you looking young to boot!

______________________________________________________________________________

ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

______________________________________________________________________________

REFERENCES
1.    Shanahan, Catherine MD., Shanahan, Luke.  Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food. Big Box Books. 2009
2.    CDC, Ambulatory Care Use and Physician office visits
3.    CDC, Therapeutic Drug Use   

Soda’s Secret Cell Sabotage

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDLemons

Drink just 12 ounces of soda a day and it will shorten your telomeres.

20 ounces a day is even worse…it shortens your telomeres as fast as smoking.

Those who drink 20 ounces a day – the “normal” size bottle you can get at any convenience store – have cells that aged 4.6 years faster.(1)

I discovered these incredible facts researching telomeres and nutrition for my upcoming presentations at two American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) conferences. It comes from a new study done by Elizabeth Blackburn, who won the Nobel Prize for her work on telomeres in 2009.

Blackburn and her colleagues looked at 5309 Americans, ages 20 to 65, to see how drinking soda would affect their telomere length.

Soda is just one example of how eating, or in this case drinking, can affect your genetic control mechanism. The good news is, now that we’re finding out that we can change our DNA and our epigenome (the chemicals and compounds that change our DNA) through the telomere, we can help you choose how your DNA programming plays out.

We can now use the shortening of the telomere – our aging control mechanism – to affect the physiology in the cell with nutrition. This gives us a more sophisticated and progressive way of advising you on foods and nutritional supplementation.

I call this telo-nutritioneering. It’s bio-engineering for telomeres, and we’re doing it right here at my wellness center.

It’s an entirely new level – and new concept – of how to use nutrients, and how to think about what we put in our bodies.

You get to choose how your genetic program plays out, and you can choose not to drink soda.

Soda is bad for your body in another important way. It’s highly acidic, so it leaches nutrients from your body. When you drink soda it makes your body use its alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium to neutralize the acid and return your pH to normal. Then you don’t have them to maintain and repair your cells and run your body.

There’s so much soda everywhere, and it’s so readily available, that it can be hard to come up with an alternative.

One alternative is to drink tea. Green tea does the opposite of soda. It helps you maintain telomere length through its main component, EGCG. Use lime for flavoring, and if you want a bit of sweetness, use honey.

Plain water is another way to go, and you could flavor your water with some cucumber.

My favorite flavored water is lemon water.  I like lemons best because they help me stay hydrated in the hot Florida sun. Lemons also balance other foods and help your body extract energy from them. Lemons can replace the alkalizing minerals like potassium that processed foods such as sodas leech out of you.

Here are four ways to “lemonize” your drinks:

1. The first thing to do is strain out the lemon juice. I use any old strainer lined with a cheesecloth to keep out the seeds, but you can use a fine strainer, too.

Just let the juice drip out into a container and stick it in the fridge. The next day, mix the juice you get with a pitcher of ice water. The thing I like about this method is you can decide how much lemon juice to add, depending on how strong a flavor you want.

2. You could also cut some lemons in half, cover them in the amount of water you want to drink and let it soak in the fridge overnight. In the morning, strain it into a glass or pitcher and throw away the lemons.

3. Lemons are one of the only fruits I’ll use my juicer for. I like to take about six lemons, juice them, and drink the straight juice without water.

4. The fourth way is to add a bunch of slices of lemon to some ice water, let it sit for a couple of hours, and you’ll have a tasty drink in no time…and one that won’t shorten your telomeres.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
______________________________________________________________________________

Resources:

1. Leung C, Laraia B, Needham B, Rehkopf D, Adler N, Lin J, Blackburn E, Epel E. “Soda and Cell Aging: Associations Between Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption and Leukocyte Telomere Length in Healthy Adults From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.” Am J Public Health. 2014;e1-e7.

Tags: 
All Posts