By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
If you’ve recently transitioned to a Paleo diet, you may feel that finding suitable snack foods is one of the biggest challenges about this way of eating.
And while conventional snack like chips, crackers and trail mix are certainly “off the menu,” it would seem that many widely-available foods (like nut mixes or dried fruit) would fit the Paleo template. Unfortunately, many of these contain unwanted ingredients like added sugars, vegetable oil and soy.
But today I’m going to share with you a dozen healthy Paleo snacks that you can make ahead and take along. Not only will these great snacks satisfy cravings between meals – they’ll also provide your body with a powerful source of age-defying, muscle-building nutrients, and are kid-friendly to boot.
Power Up Your Nutrition with Superfood Paleo Snacks
1. Meatballs & Sliders: Packed with protein and freezer-friendly, meatballs and sliders made with ground grass-fed beef, bison or turkey are a great way to satisfy a craving fast and keep you full until meal time. You can make them plain, add your toppings of choice later, or even include some ethnic seasonings for more interest. For Thai-style, add coconut aminos, lemongrass and ginger. For Mediterranean, try thyme, oregano and basil.
2. Paleo Muffins: Great for breakfast, after a workout or as an afternoon snack with a smear of Kerrygold butter, paleo muffins made with coconut flour and almond flour are a great way to scratch the itch for bread… without derailing your diet on grains. Add organic pumpkin, chia and blueberries for more nutrients and great flavor.
3. Rumaki: Looking for a great way to sneak more superfood liver in your diet? The mock-Polynesian recipe of rumaki - chicken livers and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon is a great way. Opt for coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce.
4. Boiled or Deviled Eggs: Keeping your fridge stocked with soft or hard boiled eggs is a great way to have quick nutrient-rich Paleo snacks on hand. For a more culinary-inspired treat, mix the yolks with mashed avocado or Paleo mayo for tasty and satiating Paleo Deviled Eggs.
5. Wild Shrimp Cocktail: Three ounces of shrimp provides 18 grams of thermogenic protein plus 48% of the daily value for the antioxidant micronutrient selenium. Dip in homemade cocktail sauce spiked with cayenne or smoked paprika for a light snack that will fill you up.
6. Baked Egg Cups: Not just for breakfast, muffin-tin egg cups make a great protein-packed snack any time of day. Simply add 8 organic pastured eggs to a large bowl and whisk in your cooked meat and toppings of choice. Pour the mixture into a well-greased muffin tin (liners may work even better) and bake about 20 minutes at 350 F. Some of my favorite mix-ins include: spicy bison chorizo or pork sausage, salsa, grilled veggies and raw cheddar cheese.
7. Pastured Chicken Drumsticks: Filling, portable and protein rich, marinate drumsticks in your favorite seasonings and grill or bake for a delicious between-meal snack.
8. Multi-Mineral Snack Mix: Make your own shelf-stable Paleo trail mix in batches and keep on hand for quick grab and go snacks. Add selenium-rich Brazil nuts, zinc-rich pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, cashews (all soaked and dehydrated, preferably), and some organic mulberries, goji berries or raisins.
9. Jerky & Pemmican: Loved by athletes for a power-packed source of fuel, grass-fed beef and bison jerky and pemmican make great Paleo snacks that are mess-free and easy to take along.
10. Pork Rinds: Pastured pork rinds are a great way to get a carb-free crunch fix while providing your body with zero glycemic impact cell-building protein. In fact, a 1-ounce serving of pork rinds contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams of protein and 9 grams fat. That's nine times the protein and less fat than you'll find in a serving of carb-rich potato chips.
11. Canned Sardines, Mackerel & Salmon: Power-packed sources of essential omaga-3 fatty acids, enjoying a serving of canned wild fish as a snack is a great way to optimize your intake of these vital fats. Enjoy them straight out of the can or mix with Paleo mayo and spread on grain-free crackers for a tasty, healthy treat.
12. Superfood Smoothies: Made with organic, non-denatured whey protein, organic berries and greens (try kale, spinach and parsley), a protein-packed smoothie is a great way to get more nutrition into your day and can be especially helpful for picky eaters.
Sticking With It: How Paleo Snacks Keep You on Track
Having plenty of healthy snacks on hand doesn’t just make for more convenience. It can also help you stay on track and avoid temptations that can derail your healthy progress while ensuring that you get the most nutrient bang per bite.
What are some of your favorite Paleo snacks? We want to hear from you!
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…Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
1. USDA Nutrient Data Lab, National Nutrient Database
2. EatWild: The Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Products
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
It has people lining up in New York City’s Brodo to buy a steamy $9 cup… it is being called “the natural alternative to Botox”… and it is allegedly Gwyneth Paltrow’s “new obsession.”
You might assume that this wrinkle-fighting, age-defying food is a new discovery from the Amazon rainforest or a remote peak high in the Himalayas. Not true. In fact, there is a good chance that your great grandmother made this timeless superfood in a stockpot with little more than what most people consider “scraps.”
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about bone broth…
What Is Gelatin – And How Does It Fight Wrinkles?
In my last article on the US Wellness Meats blog, I shared the many ways that consuming gelatin-rich bone broth can defy aging and promote healing. It can stimulate a variety of biochemical activities that can reduce inflammation, boost detoxification and keep us feeling young.
And while we all want to feel young, there’s no doubt we want to look young too.
It’s not breaking news that the beauty industry is big business. In fact, Botox alone – the muscle-paralyzing injection made from botulism toxin – grosses nearly $2 billion a year. The industry as whole – including creams, potions, serums and other forms of cosmetic surgery – is estimated at nearly $60 billion annually.
But the beauty and youthfulness of your skin is much less dependent on what you put on the outside. Far more important is what you’re doing to nourish the inside.
Of course, proper hydration is vital. It is also important to get sufficient high-quality protein and healthy fats. But when it comes to wrinkles, the story goes a bit deeper...
Your skin has a unique matrix structure that gives it elasticity and tone in our youth. In this network are numerous players, including three which play starring roles:
1. Collagen: Known as the “beauty protein”, collagen is the main structural protein of connective tissue. The amino acids glycine and proline are its principal components.
2. Elastin: As the name suggests, it provides skin with its elasticity, allowing it to snap back when pinched or pulled. Elastin has the ability to sustain "mechanical resilience" - meaning that it can extend and recoil billions of times. Researchers believe that it is the unique cross-linking of glycine, proline, leucine and valine, that give elastin this property.
3. Proteoglycans: These compounds are made of proteins and sugars. They are designed to attract and retain water. Proteoglycans weave around the collagen network, giving it tensile structure.
A strong network that’s well-hydrated and elastic results in a “plump” fresh-looking complexion.
And here’s where gelatin comes in…
Glycine & Proline – The Common Dominators For a Beautiful Complexion
As you just read, producing and preserving our collagen and elastin are essential for a strongmatrix that gives skin a smooth and youthful appearance. And the two key amino acids for building and maintaining collagen and elastin are: glycine and proline.
And can you guess the food richest in glycine and proline? That’s right. Gelatin.
It’s no wonder that anti-aging specialists are recommending gelatin to their patients and clients. It works.
Julia March, a bone broth advocate and well-known therapist to Hollywood celebrities says:
"My clients see less inflammation, more glow and more toned skin when they drink it. It repairs, strengthens, rejuvenates and heals.”
Making Wrinkle-Fighting Gelatan Recipes
Drinking bone broth daily – made from grass-fed, pastured soup bones, feet and backs – is the best way to get more healing gelatin in your diet. Slow-cooking or pressure cooking meat on the bone and enjoying the broth that accompanies the dish is another great way to sneak more of those wrinkle-fighting amino acids into your diet.
A great way to have this healing tonic on hand is to make a big batch and freeze it individual portions. The pressure cooker will help extract more gelatin from bones and connective tissues, making your money go a bit farther.
Even when you buy the highest quality ingredients to make bone broth, you’re still looking at cents per serving for Mother Nature’s original youth serum.
Are you drinking bone broth? We want to hear the many creative ways you’re incorporating this ancestral food into your modern healing diet.
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…
1. Danile, Kaayla. Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin. Weston A. Price Foundation.
2. François-Xavier Maquart, Stéphane Brézillon, Yanusz Wegrowski. Proteoglycans in Skin Aging. Textbook of Aging Skin 2010, pp 109-120
3. Fred W Keeley, Catherine M Bellingham, and Kimberley A Woodhouse Elastin as a self-organizing biomaterial: use of recombinantly expressed human elastin polypeptides as a model for investigations of structure and self-assembly of elastin. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2002 Feb 28; 357(1418): 185–189.
4. Kielty CM, Sherratt MJ, Shuttleworth CA (July 2002). "Elastic fibres". J. Cell. Sci. 115 (Pt 14): 2817–28. PMID 12082143.
5. Carrino DA1, Onnerfjord P, Sandy JD, Cs-Szabo G, Scott PG, Sorrell JM, Heinegård D, Caplan AI. Age-related changes in the proteoglycans of human skin. Specific cleavage of decorin to yield a major catabolic fragment in adult skin. J Biol Chem. 2003 May 9;278(19):17566-72. Epub 2003 Mar 5.
6. Tzaphlidou M1. The role of collagen and elastin in aged skin: an image processing approach. Micron. 2004;35(3):173-7.
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
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…
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]
By: Dr. Al Sears, MD
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:
||Chicken, fish, kidney, liver, eggs, bananas, lima beans, walnuts
|B9 (folic acid)
||Beef, lamb, pork, chicken liver, eggs, green leafy vegetables, salmon
||Lamb, beef, herring, mackerel, liver, oysters, poultry, clams, eggs
||Liver, nuts, dairy, eggs, seafood, dark leafy greens
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
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.
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 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
- 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.)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the onion slices in a row on a small roasting pan. Place the marinated roast on the onion slices, fat side up.
- 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.
- Slice thinly, and enjoy the wonderful flavors of this easy delicious roast.
By: Dr. Al Sears, MD
Sometimes patients come to me with what they call “symptoms of old age.” But often they’re not symptoms at all. They’re side effects.
Here’s what I mean: Prescription drugs cause side effects that look a lot like “aging.”
Research shows some drugs cause major cellular damage. They attack the mitochondria, the tiny energy generators in each cell of your body.
Why is that important?
Damage to the mitochondria is related to many diseases we think of as occurring in the elderly. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, coronary artery disease … even strokes and diabetes.
One of the reasons these synthetic, man-made molecules cause aging is that mitochondrial damage shortens telomeres.
Telomere shortening causes cells to go into repair mode to fix the shortened DNA. All that repair activity going on while your body tries to fix your DNA and damaged mitochondria generates a lot of free radicals. They cause oxidation, which can shorten telomeres more. And the cycle continues.
You can trace mitochondrial damage back to statins, pain medications like acetaminophen, and a long list of psychoactive drugs. These cross the blood–brain barrier and can age brain cells.(1)
Other drugs directly shorten telomeres. Especially chemotherapy drugs. They also slow down the activity of telomerase, the enzyme that repairs telomeres.(2)
Most doctors wouldn’t think to blame premature as a side effect of medical drugs. They are taught that becoming older and more feeble is normal. They might even prescribe another drug to treat your new “symptoms.”
How can you protect yourself?
Here are a few of the drugs that age your body the most, and what you can do as an alternative:
1) Corticosteroids: Worse than arthritis pain. Some of my least favorite drugs are corticosteroids, like the hydrocortisone cream your doctor might prescribe. This is a family of anti-inflammatory medicines many doctors use to treat arthritis, asthma or a skin rash.
These drugs turn off your body’s natural repair and rejuvenation mechanisms, causing you to age more quickly. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
For Asthma: Try daily breathing exercises, massage therapy, and omega-3 fatty acids.
For Arthritis: Guggul and meadowsweet relieve osteoarthritis. Guggul is a Southeast Asian remedy which studies showed to be highly effective in reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis.(3) Meadowsweet is a great example of why no matter how many times we think we’re smarter than nature, nature is better. Meadowsweet stores its active anti-inflammatories as inactive compounds. So when you ingest them, they go past your stomach intact. Then your liver safely converts them into the healing inflammation-dousing compounds that really work.
For Eczema or Skin Rash: My patients report great results with vitamin D oil while others prefer chamomile oil. Both are very effective.
2) Beta blockers: Shortcut to old age. Lopressor, Tenormin, Inderal, Corgard, or Normodyne and other beta-blockers age your heart more than almost any other drug. And in a recent study people who received beta blockers after having surgery that wasn’t even heart-related were at higher risk of dying or having a stroke.(4)
Here’s what you need instead:
CoQ10: This is my go-to supplement for my heart patients. It is the most important heart nutrient. Half of my patients have their blood pressure return to normal with CoQ10 alone. And it cures congestive heart failure.(5)
Garlic: This herb not only reduces triglycerides, which protects your heart, but it can also significantly reduce diastolic blood pressure.(6)
Hawthorn: This is the heart tonic of the ancients and it really works to relax the blood vessels.
3) Bisphosphonates: Perfect way to create old brittle bones. The bone drugs like Fosamax, Actonel and Reclast work by poisoning the cells that remove old bone. This disrupts natural bone remodeling so you get bones that are denser, but have weaker cells. If you take these drugs, your bones get more brittle and more prone to fracture, not stronger.
Before you take a bone drug, consider these natural alternatives that will harden your bones:
Natural D: The D3 form of vitamin D is the hormone that directs bone building in your body. Vitamin D also increases telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres.(7) Get 5,000 IU a day, preferably from direct sunlight.
Vitamin K2: This forgotten vitamin aids with your bones’ absorption of calcium to help make them stronger. The other benefit of vitamin K2 is that it rescues damaged mitochondria and cures mitochondrial dysfunction.(8) This helps prevent telomere shortening. You can find K2 in a variety of different foods including egg yolks, organ meat, and organic milk. I recommend 90 mcg a day if you supplement.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1. Neustadt J, Pieczenik SR. “Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease.” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Jul;52(7):780-8.
2. Li P, Hou M, Lou F, Björkholm M, Xu D, “Telomere dysfunction induced by chemotherapeutic agents and radiation in normal human cells.” Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2012;44(9):1531-40.
3. Singh B. et al., The effectiveness of Commiphora mukul for the osteoarthritis of the knee: an outcomes study. Alternative Therapies 2003 May/Jun; 9(3): 74-79.
4. Devereaux PJ, Yusuf S, Yang H, Choi PT-L, Guyatt GH. “Are the recommendations to use perioperative b-blocker therapy in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery based on reliable evidence?” Canadian Medical Association Journal 2004; 171: 245–7
5. Langsjoen H., et al. Usefulness of Coenzyme Q10 in clinical cardiology: a long-term study. Mol Aspect Med 1004; 15 Suppl: s165-75
6. Andrianova I., et al. Hypotensive effect of long-acting garlic tablets allicor (a double-blind placebo-controlled trial).Ter Arkh 2002; 74(3): 76-78.
7. Zhu H, Guo D, Li K, Pedersen-White J, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Huang Y, Parikh S, Liu K, Dong Y. “Increased telomerase activity and vitamin D supplementation …” Int J Obes. 2012;36(6):805-9.
8. Vos M, et. al. “Vitamin K2 is a mitochondrial electron carrier that rescues pink1 deficiency.” Science. 2012;336(6086):1306-10.
By: Eileen Laird
When we follow the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, food is foremost in our mind. We avoid the foods that exacerbate autoimmune disease. We look forward to the day when we can eat them again. And we go out of our way to eat healing foods, like bone broth and organ meats. The right food is essential, but healing is about more than just food. Lifestyle affects autoimmunity just as strongly. Healthy choices turn off inflammatory genes, while a stressed-out lifestyle turns them on. Here are five things you can do to help your body heal:
1. Sleep: If you’re like most of us in the United States, you prioritize everything above sleep. You stay up late to “get important stuff done.” You rise early to squeeze more time into your day. Some people even pull all-nighters to meet a deadline. Here’s the thing: there is nothing more important than your sleep. That is when your body heals itself. The less you sleep, the less you will heal; this is a biological fact you cannot override. You also can’t “catch up” on sleep. Although you may feel less tired after 1 or 2 good night’s sleep, the inflammation you have ramped up in your body takes much longer to tone down. You need a minimum of 8 hours every night, and 10 is even better.
2. Get Outside: In modern life, it’s easy to forget that human beings evolved to live outdoors. We are designed to make vitamin D from sunlight, and its deficiency is associated with many diseases, including autoimmunity. Our circadian rhythms are set by the natural cycle of day and night and affect our body on a genetic and cellular level. We are meant to move our bodies outside during the day, and sleep deeply in the dark of night. Modern life often has us doing the opposite, sitting inside all day and then finding it impossible to sleep at night. Our health suffers as a result. Do your best to get outside every day, even if just for a short while. Take a walk, lie in the sun, read in the shade, breathe in the fresh air, you can even work outside by answering phone calls and encouraging “walking meetings”. Remember there’s a world outside these walls.
3. Learn to Say No: Let’s face it: healing takes time. Not just in terms of patience and reversing our symptoms over the long-term. It also takes an incredible amount of time every day: cooking our food, prioritizing sleep, and making time for other healthy activities like relaxation, exercise, detox baths, etc. It requires putting yourself first, which can feel very unnatural, especially if you have a family and you’re used to putting yourself last. It’s necessary, though. When you’re sick, your whole family suffers alongside you. Prioritizing your health helps everyone. So, where are you going to find the time? Answer: you need to say no to something else – several somethings, actually. Take a good look at your life and see what responsibilities you can let go and transfer to someone else. If you don’t think you can let anything go, consult an objective friend to help you prioritize.
4. Learn to Love Your Body: With autoimmune disease, we’ve been told our bodies have betrayed us, are attacking us, and have become our enemies rather than friends. This simply isn’t true. The body’s whole purpose is to keep us healthy and alive, and they’ve done everything in their power to do so, until they could do no more. Symptoms are their way of telling us something is wrong, and autoimmunity is a miscommunication within the body, not an intentional war within. If we want to heal, it’s much more effective to realize that we are one with our bodies. We can’t live without them. When we get angry, blame and hate our bodies, we’re actually hating ourselves. That’s not a healing stance and often leads to bad choices. Practice loving your body (and yourself) instead. If your child is sick, do you get mad at them, or do you nurture them, and do everything in your power to help them be well? Don’t our bodies deserve that same unconditional love? Don’t we?
5. Take a Computer-Free Day: I saved this one for last, because it gives you the chance to turn off your computer as soon as you finish this article. Have you noticed that your attention span is really short lately? That you can’t sit still, you lack focus, you bore easily, you feel anxious all the time, and are easily irritated? These are all direct effects of constant intermittent use of the computer throughout the day and night. This includes smartphones, tablets and desktops. Partly it’s how we use them – in small time fragments every few minutes throughout the day. Partly it’s the blue light they emit at night that’s over-stimulating to our brains and bodies. See if you can go 24 hours with no computer use whatsoever. It that feels overwhelming, start with 8. Here’s a tip: keep a notebook nearby and when you feel a compulsion to send an email, post to social media, or research something on the internet, write it down. You can do it tomorrow. As the hours pass, those compulsions pass too, and a deep relaxation sets in that you likely haven’t felt in a very long time. That deep sense of peace is incredibly healing, and it’s amazing to realize that just a few decades ago in our computer-free past, we felt that way most of the time.
Eileen Laird is reversing rheumatoid arthritis with the paleo lifestyle and can be found on her blog Phoenix Helix: www.phoenixhelix.com.
Michelle Fitzpatrick, author of the blog Happy Paleo Kids, has worked with special needs children and their families for over 13 years to promote development and mental health. She adopted a “Paleo Diet” to lose weight after baby number 3, and quickly saw that the benefits of eating nutrient-rich, plant-and-animal-based foods would benefit her entire family. After applying the Paleo Philosophy to her family, she felt compelled to find a way to bring the science behind the impact of food on child development to the masses. Follow her blog, Happy Paleo Kids, or keep up to date on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About 95% of the times I mention “offal” (aka organ meat) I get the “wrinkled nose” response. Liver, kidney, heart and other organ meats aren’t my favorite foods, but I make a point of serving them at least once a week. Organ meats are nutritional powerhouses with numerous benefits for kids’ growing brains and bodies. They tend to be less expensive than other cuts, which means you can increase your weekly nutrient profile and decrease your budget at the same time. Bonus!
Here are just a few reasons your child should eat organ meat 1-2 times per week:
1. B vitamins. Organ meat contains an abundance of B vitamins, a family of nutrients that have been shown to play an important role in child behavior and development. A recent Australian study found that adolescents with lower intakes of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate were more likely to demonstrate aggressive and antisocial behaviors, and those with low B6 and folate intake were more likely to demonstrate symptoms of depression. Deficiencies in B vitamins have been found to contribute to impulsivity, irritability, aggression, hyperactivity, anxiety, fatigue, depression, temper tantrums, and poor concentration.
2. Protein. Protein is an important macronutrient that most kids’ diets are seriously lacking. It is a building block for the entire body and the amino acids that comprise protein play roles in hormone regulation, enzyme reactions, and nutrient transportation. Research has found that children with diets low in protein are more likely to have aggression, hyperactivity, and conduct problems. Chronic protein deficiency also contributes to poor academic performance, poor memory, and cognitive deficiencies in children.  Organ meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein to meet your growing child’s needs.
3. Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that plays an important role in the body. It regulates calcium in the blood, promotes bone health, assists in the production of serotonin (an important neurotransmitter), protects against depression, improves muscle tone, contributes to insulin regulation, and more. Children with ADHD, autism, and depression have been found to have lower blood levels of vitamin D than their typically developing peers. Studies on rats have found that developmental deprivation of vitamin D leads to impaired attention and impulsivity.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Organ meat is the best source of DHA and EPA (the types of omega-3 fatty acids from animals) aside from seafood. DHA is one of the primary cells found in the human brain, so consuming it (obviously) has beneficial impacts on brain function and development. One study demonstrated that children who take a DHA supplement have increased brain activity in areas of the brain necessary to attend to tasks. Children who consume higher levels of DHA demonstrate better short-term memory, increased ability to attend to tasks, better academic skills, and fewer problem behaviors. They have fewer respiratory illnesses (who doesn’t want that), decreased risk for type 1 diabetes, and fewer incidents of eczema and asthma.
5. Vitamin A. Organ meat is the best source retinol (vitamin A derived from animal), without a doubt. (Liver holds the title for the organ meat with the most vitamin A). Vitamin A contributes to hormone production, thyroid function, digestion, vision, bone development, and healthy blood. Carrots and other orange veggies are a great source of carotene (pre-form vitamin A), which has great antioxidant properties. However, the body does not efficiently convert carotene in to retinol, meaning that eating meat is necessary in order to provide the body with sufficient vitamin A.
Other nutrients found in organ meat include: minerals (such as iron, zinc, selenium), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), vitamin E, purines, vitamin C (and I used to think that only came from plants!), vitamin K, and amino acids. Check out some good organ meat recipes to start with here and make a commitment to serve it one time per week!
… What’s your favorite offal recipe?
 Herbison, C.E., Hickling, S., et al. (2012). Low intake of B-vitamins is associated with poor adolescent mental health and behavior. Preventive Medicine. 55(6).
 Lui, J. & Raine, A. (2006). The effect of childhood malnutrition on externalizing behavior. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 18(5).
 Kar, B.R.., Rao, S.L., & Chandramouli, B.A. (2008). Cognitive development in children with chronic protein energy malnourishment. Behavioral Brain Function: 4(31).
 Kamal, M. , Bener, A. & Ehlayel, M.L. (2014) Is high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency a correlate of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: 6(2)
 Turner, et al. (2013). Cognitive performance and response inhibition in developmentally vitamin D deficient rats. Behavioral Brain Research. 242
By: Dr. Al Sears, MD
It’s hard to believe in 2014. But it’s still going on.
Every so often I’ll read or hear a doctor or professional organization say there’s no evidence that a vitamin supplement does anything for anybody.
Eliseo Guallar and his colleagues at The American College of Physicians wrote an entire paper entitled, “Enough is enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements.”(1)
And this kind of thing keeps getting repeated.
Just listen to Dr. Benjamin Caballero, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: “The evidence for supplementing with any vitamin … is just not there.”(2)
Or Jaakko Mursu, Ph.D. and colleagues on the Iowa Women’s Health Study: “Based on existing evidence, we see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements.”(3)
And Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic: “The concept of multivitamins was sold to Americans by an eager nutraceutical industry to generate profits. There was never any scientific data supporting their usage.”(4)
But the evidence that we do need to supplement our nutrient-poor diet continues to mount, until we could fill entire libraries with the evidence. So people see and hear this stuff and they become confused.
They come to me from all over the world as if there’s this great controversy about whether they should take a supplement or not.
I want to tell you what I always tell them. In my mind, there is no controversy. It is virtually impossible to get optimal nutrients for optimum health and aging from our diet.
And you’ll really be chronically deficient if you follow the RDI guidelines. Those were only designed to prevent illness, not to get you to your best health. If you follow them, you’ll be deprived.
What’s more, as the chart shows, most people don’t even get the RDI for nutrients… So people are not even meeting what would keep them nutritionally deprived even if they met the guidelines!
Even young people, who have a higher metabolism and can eat more food than the average 50 or 70-year-old, with all the extra food they eat, only 1% of them are getting the nutrients they need.(5)
Part of the reason is that our produce doesn’t have enough minerals. They’re grown on mineral and nutrient-depleted soils. Many of them have been genetically altered to grow faster which lessens their nutrients…
For every generation for the past century the nutrient content has gone down. And it’s going down faster in this century with the speed at which crops are being modified.
Did you know you would have to eat 26 of today’s apples to equal just one apple from 1914?(6)
Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture admits that vitamin and mineral levels have fallen by as much as 81 percent over the last 30 years.(7)
So it’s a brave new world. I’m not saying I have every solution to every nutritional problem, but I can tell you there is a problem there. And you need to be informed by someone so you can do something about it. Doctors burying their heads in the sand and saying there is no evidence of a problem is ignorance.
So what to do? It’s simple: Give your body back what you’ve been deprived of so you can get your nutrients, minerals and antioxidants for healthy aging and optimal health. Here’s how:
1) Increase your mineral intake. Magnesium, selenium, and the other essential minerals are mostly missing from the Western diet. Take chromium for example. Our food animals don’t eat their native diet of chromium-rich grass anymore, and there’s less chromium in produce.
It’s a crisis because chromium is a co-factor for insulin. Insulin uses chromium to transport sugar out of your blood and into your cells where it’s burned as energy. Without chromium, it leads to weight gain and diabetes. Even mild insulin dysfunction will make you have low energy levels, produce more fat, make you crave sweet foods, and gain pounds.(8)
But chromium can reverse this. One study took commercial pigs and fed them chromium and measured significant fat reduction. They changed nothing else about the pigs … all they did was give them chromium and they got lean.(9) They had an increase in muscle, as well.
An Austrian study gave one group of people a calorie-restricted diet and another group chromium for 26 weeks. The people in the chromium group lost just as much weight as the people eating almost nothing. The people taking chromium had increased lean muscle mass.(10)
You can get lots of chromium from grass-fed beef, ripe organic tomatoes and a source that may surprise you: red wine. Grilled steak, tomatoes and a glass of wine sounds like a tasty summer meal to me.
But you’ll still have to supplement. Because you need 400 mcg a day for optimal health, and even that delicious meal will only give you around 50 mcg.
2) Power and protect with CoQ10. Another supplement I recommend is one that I don’t know how you could get enough of without going through a lot of trouble, unless you take a supplement.
You’d have to hunt wild animals and eat their internal organs fresh … but I wouldn’t even recommend that today. Yet that’s where CoQ10 concentrates. You need it because it powers every single cell in your body. It’s so important that revealing how CoQ10 works won Peter Mitchell the Nobel Prize in 1978.
The best source of CoQ10 is the closest thing you’re going to get to a wild animal – grass-fed meat. I was lucky to grow up eating grass-fed beef, and I still do today. Grass-fed beef contains more CoQ10 than any other meat on the planet.
You can take a CoQ10 supplement, but many of the powder and tablet forms are worthless. They won’t get absorbed into your cells.
That’s why I recommend the ubiquinol form of CoQ10. It’s already in the form your body uses. Take 50 mg of ubiquinol each day (to increase its effectiveness, combine CoQ10 with PQQ).
What I do is take a good multivitamin, multi-mineral, and a multi-antioxidant. I figure I’m getting a lot of the bases covered to get me back to optimal nutrient status. In fact we’ve gone to great length to formulate our own supplements according to what I believe is deficient in our environment.
To Your Health,
Al Sears, MD
1. Guallar E, Stranges S, Mulrow C, Appel L, Miller E. “Enough is enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements.” Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(12):850-1.
2. Caballero B. “Should healthy people take a multivitamin?’ Clev Clin J Med. 2010;77(10):656-7.
3. Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack L, Park K, Jacobs D, “Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women.” Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(18):1625-1633.
4. Klein E, et. al. “Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT).” JAMA. 2011;306(14):1549-56.
5. Shay C, et. al. “Status of Cardiovascular Health in US Adolescents: Prevalence Estimates From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2005–2010.” Circulation. 2013; 127: 1369-1376.
6. Lindlahr, 1914: USDA 1963 and 1997
7. “Vegetables without Vitamins,” Life Extension Magazine March 2001
8. Tsai, Chung-Jyi, Leitzmann, Michael F., Willett, Walter C., et al, “Macronutrients and Insulin Resistance in Cholesterol Gallstone Disease,” Am. J. of Gastroenterology, 2008;103:2932-2939
9. Lindemann, M. D., Wood, C. M., Harper, A. F., et al, “Dietary chromium picolinate additions improve gain: feed and carcass characteristics in growing-finishing pigs,” J. Anim. Sci. 1995; 73:457-465
10. Bahadori, B., Wallner, S., Schneider, H., et al, “Effect of chromium yeast and chromium picolinate…” Acta. Med. Austriaca 1997; 24(5):185-7
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
On June 23rd, the cover of Time Magazine prominently featured two words: “Eat Butter.”
In an article titled, “Ending the War on Fat,” the venerable mainstream publication finally put to rest one of the most detrimental myths about health and nutrition – the myth that saturated fat is to blame for heart disease.
But what the magazine didn’t mention in this otherwise excellent article, was that Time played a big role in popularizing this deadly misconception in the first place!
The Seven Countries Study… or the 22 Country Study?
In 1961, Time featured physiologist Ancel Keys on the cover, with an article about his Seven Countries Study, which compared heart disease mortality rates and fat consumption across seven countries. His comparison showed a “remarkable relationship.”
The countries with the highest fat intake had the highest levels of heart disease. The countries with the lowest fat intake had the lowest levels of heart disease.
At the time, Jacob Yerushalmy, a PhD statistician at the University of California at Berkeley, pointed out that we had fat consumption data in 22 countries. So why wasn’t it called “The 22-Country Study?”
It wasn’t called that, because Ancel Keys started with the conclusion. He cherry-picked the countries that matched his pre-conceived notion and threw out the ones that contradicted it. And most of them did! When all 22 countries were analyzed, the “remarkable relationship” remarkably disappeared.
In fact, the complete set of data actually suggested that those eating the MOST saturated animal fat had LOWER rates of heart disease!
Yet, despite the obvious flaws in his research, Ancel Keys’ study formed the basis of the “lipid hypothesis.” Unfortunately, the butter bashing and anti-saturated fat campaigns were not the only harmful dietary dictates perpetuated during this period.
The Rise of Sugars, Grains & Seed Oils (and the Decline of Public Health)
From the 1960s onward, the medical establishment, government health organizations and the processed food industry simultaneously urged the public to replace these wholesome, natural foods with high-carbohydrate, grain-based processed foods and industrially-produced seed and vegetable oils. They even began vigorous campaigns to steer people away from real butter and to replace it with deadly trans-fats – in the form of so-called “better-than-butter” spreads.
It wasn’t long before grocery store shelves were filled with low-fat and fat-free fake foods.
It also wasn’t long before the public health began to take a dramatic turn for the worse. Excess dietary sugar and carbohydrates along with omega-6 rich industrial seed oils are clearly implicated in insulin resistance, obesity and chronic inflammation – all of which increase your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. It’s no wonder that the rates of obesity and disease began to skyrocket.
Forward thinking doctors, scientists and nutritionists have been warning against this unsound (and unproven) dietary dogma for decades. But it wasn’t until recently that mainstream medicine has finally begun to set politics aside and consider the science.
Saturated Fats Vindicated (Finally!)
The latest study to confirm the lack of evidence that saturated fat cause heart disease – and the basis for last month’s article in Time – was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. This study reviewed more than 76 trials covering more than 650,000 participants. The authors concluded that,
“Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.”
In one fell swoop these respected researchers called into question nearly every standard nutritional guideline related to heart health. But this was certainly not the first major study to find no link between saturated fat and heart disease.
A previous analysis of 21 studies covering almost 350,000 people and spanning more than two decades was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010. According to the authors of this study, “Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD.”
Or consider The Women's Health Initiative. This huge government study cost nearly $750 million. Among 20,000 women in the study who adhered to an extremely low saturated fat diet for eight years, the researchers found that there was no impact on obesity, nor any measurable risk reduction (incidence or mortality) for heart disease, stroke, colorectal cancer, or breast cancer.
The authors finally had to acknowledge that their results “…do not justify recommending low-fat diets to the public to reduce their heart disease and cancer risk.”
Thankfully, it seems that this madness is coming to an end. “It’s not saturated fat we should worry about," says cardiologist Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, author of the study featured in the Time Magazine article. "It’s the high-carb or sugary diet that should be the focus of dietary guidelines.”
Question Conventional Advice, Follow Ancestral Wisdom
Hopefully, the message is clear: Conventional “low-fat diet” advice is counterproductive to your weight-loss efforts and your health. If you want to reduce your risk of disease and reach your ideal weight, pay attention to the TYPE of fats you eat, rather than the amount.
Here’s what you need to remember to choose healthy fats and avoid unhealthy ones…
• AVOID OMEGA-6 FATS. These fats come primarily from vegetable and seed oils (such as corn, soybean, sunflower, safflower, canola, cottonseed, peanut, etc). To avoid these ingredients, eliminate commercially fried foods and most processed foods from your diet (including chips, baked goods, sauces and dressings, etc.). You should also avoid conventionally-raised meats. For example, the meat from grain-fed cows can have up to 50 times more omega-6 than omega-3s.
• ELIMINATE TRANS FATS. Read the nutrition labels in your home and DISCARD anything with the word “hydrogenated.” You’ll be surprised at where these artery bombs are hiding. These industrial fake fats are positively deadly. In fact, the Institute of Medicine issued a claim that, “there is no safe level to consume.”
• CONSUME OMEGA-3 FATS. The best dietary sources of these healthy fats are wild salmon, sardines and mackerel, pastured eggs, wild game and grass-fed beef and bison. Walnuts, flax seeds and hemp seeds are good sources, but do not have the same benefits as the animal sources above. You should also consider a fish oil supplement.
• CONSUME SATURATED FAT. Saturated fat should come primarily from the meat and other products (butter, lard, tallow, dairy) from animals raised on their natural diet (ie. grass-fed cows, pastured pork, free-range chickens and wild game). Coconut oil is also a very healthy source of saturated fat.
• CONSUME MONOUNSATURATED FAT. This is the heart-healthy fat best known for its association with the “Mediterranean Diet.” Good sources of these fats include nuts, avocados and olives as well as the oils produced from these foods (olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, etc.) Naturally-raised meats and lard are also a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat.
Hopefully these recent studies – and the gradual awakening of the medical community – will mean that this dangerous dietary myth has seen its better days.
ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product - Better Bread - a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.
1. Walsh, Brian. Ending the War on Fat. Time Magazine. June 12th, 2014
2. Norton, Amy. Study Fails to link saturated fat, heart disease. Reuters Health. Feb. 4, 2010
3. Berkey CS, Rockett HR, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Milk, dairy fat, dietary calcium, and weight gain: a longitudinal study of adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Jun;159(6):543-50.
4. Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;91(3):535-46. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725. Epub 2010 Jan 13.
5. Kuipers RS, de Graaf DJ, Luxwolda MF, Muskiet MH, Dijck-Brouwer DA, Muskiet FA. Saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease. Neth J Med. 2011 Sep;69(9):372-8.