The Wellness Blog

Turmeric Does Your Body Good

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:59 PM

Did you know that there are 53 different names and meanings for turmeric in the Sanskrit language?

Some of these meanings include, “a killer of fat”... “giving delight to heart”... and “one that wins over disease.”

The ancients also believed that if you use turmeric, you could experience prosperity and luck. It may even guarantee that you won’t be offered as a sacrifice!

Now, we have no evidence as to the latter… but when it comes to your health, the proof is abundant that turmeric does your body good. In fact, modern science has shown that turmeric can affect more than 150 biochemical pathways and provide benefits to almost every part of the human body.

A recent review of studies related to turmeric was published in the journal, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects.1 The authors pored over 3,000 publications, representing 25 years of turmeric research.

They summarized the major activities of turmeric to include: “antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, antiseptic, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, radioprotective and digestive activities.”

Now, if that is not a powerful healing food, I don’t know what is…

And who knows, it just might bring you luck and prosperity! But even if it doesn't, let’s take a look at how it can help your body and why you should be using it daily.

The use of turmeric dates back almost 4000 years. It has been used as a food, a spice, medicine and a religious sacrament. It's from the ginger family of plants. It even looks identical on the outside!

When you cut it open, you reveal its beautiful golden color, brimming with potent polyphenols. It is the polyphenol known as curcumin that gives turmeric this color. And it is also what drives those mighty health benefits.

For example, turmeric scores an impressive 127,068 on the ORAC scale.2  The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) measures the strength of a food to neutralize free radicals. Turmeric is the 6th highest.

But could turmeric really ‘kill fat’ as the ancients proclaimed?

 

Turmeric Benefits: ‘Killer of Fat’

It might seem strange, but the King of Spices has shown great promise in the fight against obesity…

A recent review in Current Pharmacology Reports explains that the role of epigenetics may have something to do with how turmeric can regulate human pathologies, including obesity. Turmeric seems to exert an influence not just on the health of cell – but also on the DNA messages from within that cell.3

Another study conducted at the State University of New York suggests that it is the interaction of the strong anti-inflammatory nature of turmeric on white adipose tissue that may explain how it could not just reduce obesity, but also the health effects of it.4

Now, I don’t know about you, but adding turmeric to your diet sure seems like a tasty way to fight obesity.

And if you’re concerned with heart health, you’d also do well to include a daily dose of turmeric.

 

Curcumin: ‘Gives Delight to Heart’

In 2014, a study by The Center for Cancer Prevention Research found a strong influence by turmeric on cardiovascular complications in the diabetic population.

“A 6-month curcumin intervention in type-2 diabetic population lowered the atherogenic risks. In addition, the extract helped to improve relevant metabolic profiles in this high-risk population.” 5

During their study, the researchers measured the effectiveness of curcumin on six heart-disease parameters:

•    Arterial stiffness
•    Markers of inflammation
•    Insulin resistance
•    Triglyceride levels
•    Uric acid levels
•    Abdominal obesity

The researchers discovered that turmeric improved all six of these healthy heart markers!

 

Indian Saffron: ‘Wins Over Disease’

A nine-month study conducted by the American Diabetes Association tested turmeric on subjects with pre-diabetes. What they found was that turmeric had a 100% success rate in preventing type-2 diabetes.6

A large review of turmeric studies showed that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of turmeric, which cover the entire human body, including:
 

Antimutagenic Kidney Skin tumors
Digestive stimulant Cardiac Anti-cancer
Wound healing Neuronal disease Anti-fungal
Anti-arthritic Hepatoprotective Anti-microbial
Depression Anti-oxidant Anti-inflammatory


Do Your Body a Favor… Bathe In This Golden Spice

Some people do bathe in it - but that may get a bit messy for you. Yet, daily turmeric consumption does mean you are bathing your cells in it all the time, getting those amazing health benefits.

There are two rules to follow when using turmeric.

  • Add black pepper. Research shows that turmeric is more bioavailable combined with pepper. This shouldn’t be too hard – just add pepper to a curry or any savory dish that contains turmeric!
  • Eat it with a healthy fat. Science also shows that turmeric is more available when combined with fat. Spices are best when gently heated in a little oil, so they release their aromas and medicinal properties.

 

Adding Turmeric to Everyday Meals

Here are some other simple and delicious ways to get turmeric health benefits in your everyday meals:

1. Add a teaspoon to scrambled eggs and frittatas

2. Mix into free-range chicken or egg salad with some Paleo Mayo for creamy flavor and a boost in bioavailability

3. Make an Indian-spiced dressing (try avocado oil, turmeric, fresh ginger, garlic and black pepper) to drizzle over steamed veggies or use with stir-fries

4. Make a healing marinade using turmeric, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and fresh herbs (like cilantro or rosemary) and avocado oil. Marinate your favorite cuts of meat and fish like pastured pork tenderloin, wild salmon or grass-fed beef steaks and roasts.  (Be sure to save some for drizzling!)

5. Make a Golden Chimichurri. Use a bunch of fresh parsley and cilantro, lemon or lime juice, avocado oil, turmeric, sea salt, black pepper and other spices of your choosing. Blend in a food processor or Magic Bullet and spoon over roast lamb, grass-fed flank steak, grilled pastured chicken legs and much more.

Or try this ancient health elixir - Golden Milk:

Combine the following ingredients.

  • ½ tsp organic turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp organic ginger powder
  • a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom
  • one cup of hot almond milk or coconut milk. (If you’re using “light” milk that’s lower in fat, be sure to add a little coconut oil to enhance the absorption of turmeric in your body.)

Turmeric is one of the most healthful and bioactive foods known to man. Not only will it add flavor to your cooking, but, quite possibly, years to your life!

We at US Wellness have known about the benefits of turmeric for some time.  Here are some of our delicious products that already contain turmeric:

Pre-Cooked Beef Pot Roast & Gravy

BBQ Fully Cooked Beef Short Ribs

BBQ Slow Roasted Shredded Beef

BBQ Spice Pork Rinds

All Natural BBQ Sauce

 

ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

 

REFERENCES

  1. Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. Chapter 13. Turmeric, the Golden Spice, From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine (review). Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd Edition. 2011.
  2. USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010
  3. Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Phonrat B, Tungtrongchitr R, Jirawatnotai S. Reduction of atherogenic risk in patients with type 2 diabetes by curcuminoid extract: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2014 Feb;25(2):144-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.09.013. Epub 2013 Nov 6.
  4. Bradford PG. Curcumin and obesity. Biofactors. 2013;39(1):78-87
  5. Boyanapalli SS, Tony Kong AN. "Curcumin, the King of Spices": Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms in the Prevention of Cancer, Neurological, and Inflammatory Diseases. Current Pharmacology Reports. 2015 Apr;1(2):129-139. Epub 2015 Jan 30.
  6. Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Luechapudiporn R, Phisalaphong C, Jirawatnotai S. Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012 Nov ;35(11):2121-7. Epub 2012 Jul 6. PMID: 22773702
  7. Tilak J. C, Banerjee M, Mohan H, Devasagayam T. P. Antioxidant availability of turmeric in relation to its medicinal and culinary uses. Phytother Res. 2004;18:798–804

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

Dark Chocolate: The Happiest Food on Earth?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @ 10:32 AM

Does eating chocolate make you happy?

It should.

If chocolate is one of those foods that gives you the “warm fuzzies” and makes you feel happy – you’re not alone.

Chocolate has been promoting health and happiness for thousands of years. Ancient cultures used it as currency and an aphrodisiac. It was even used in sacred ceremonies and thought to be a mind-enhancing substance.

And science has some very good reasons why the feel-good factors in chocolate are more than just mind over matter…

Raw cacao (from which chocolate is made) contains more than 300 different naturally-occurring chemical compounds. And while we still have a long way to unravel the full mystery of this superfood – there is already a plethora of research about how dark chocolate benefits a healthy body and can even promote happiness.

 

Let’s Start With A Happy Gut

It might seem strange, but the latest nutritional science tells us that a healthy microbiome in your gut is critical to maintaining a healthy brain. A happy “inner ecosystem” in your belly can even help to improve the happiness in your brain.

Happy gut, happy mind…

And dark chocolate provides benefits to gut health as a probiotic and prebiotic food.1 That means that it not only helps to introduce healthy bacteria to your gut, it also provides the specific foods that beneficial gut bacteria need in order to thrive.

Inside every cacao pod are approximately 20-50 beans. These beans are harvested and left in containers to ‘sweat’ in the heat. During this process the pulp ferments, covering the cacao beans in healthy probiotic bacteria. If you consume raw cacao (or chocolate made with raw cacao) you will enjoy the benefits of these friendly bacteria.

Chocolate is also rich in prebiotic fiber – the favorite “food” for many of the beneficial strains of bacteria in your gut. In a study published in 2011, the consumption of cocoa was shown to increase the growth of beneficial bifidobacteria and lactobacillus in subjects.2

And the he happiness you feel from dark chocolate isn’t just a “gut feeling”...

 

How Dark Chocolate Benefits Your Brain

Amongst the 300 naturally-occurring chemicals in dark chocolate, here are five powerful mood-boosting nutrients:

Anandamide: This works on the cannabinoid receptors in our body. The name comes from the Sanskrit word ‘ananda’ which means extreme delight or bliss. Many scientists still refer to anandamide as the bliss chemical. As you’ve probably experienced, chocolate won’t make you “high”, but it does provide a mild sense of peace and joy.

Phenylethlamine (PEA): This is also known as the ‘love’ chemical. It’s not exactly the PEA in chocolate that makes us feel good, but we make things like serotonin and dopamine from it and these are the chemicals that make us feel good.

Tryptophan: Along with PEA, Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which is our ‘calm’ chemical.

Magnesium: As you know, this is the ‘relax’ nutrient. Magnesium performs over 300 different chemical roles in our body, some of which include reducing irritability, anxiety and insomnia. Cacao contains 500mg of magnesium per 100g.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI): This is a chemical that helps to retain more available serotonin and dopamine for the brain to use. And chocolate can act like a mild MAOI. In fact, some people taking MAOI medication for depression may experience side effects by also consuming large amounts of chocolate.3

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology tested the mood effects of a cacao-based drink on participants over a 30-day period. The researchers found increased rates of calmness and contentment among those who had the highest dose treatment containing 500mg of flavanols.4

So, it’s not all mind over matter – dark chocolate really can make us feel good!

 

Deep Cell Happiness

But there’s also a type of happiness that dark chocolate provides, deep in our cells. It has long been known that high-antioxidant, flavonoid-rich foods such as tea and red wine have heart protective effects. And cocoa does too? In fact, cocoa is among the top-10 high-antioxidant foods, alongside heavy hitters like turmeric and acai berries. It’s higher than red wine, goji berries and blueberries.

A recent meta-analysis of 24 studies conducted at Harvard showed that the plant-based compounds in chocolate can:

  • Stop the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Boost HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Help thin the blood (reducing the potential for dangerous blood clots)
  • Enhance the function of red blood cells
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce insulin resistance
These dark chocolate health benefits are largely because of the theobromine and flavanols. The European Food Safety Authority even has an approved health claim that states:

Cocoa flavanols help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow.” 5  According to the EFSA, just a small one-gram serving of cocoa daily provides the 200mg of flavanols to support that claim.

So, what are we waiting for! Let’s go and get some of this rich elixir of happiness.

 

How To Get Your Daily Health Boosting Chocolate Fix

To get the entire happy mind and body experience, you need to be consuming the right chocolate. Milk chocolate just won’t do.

The stronger and darker the cocoa, the more flavonoids it contains and the more protection it offers. So choose dark chocolate products that are naturally or organically produced. Good quality raw cacao bean has a faint wine-like aroma.

  • Dark chocolate blocks – look for at least 70% cocoa solids, such as the 72% Tanzania Dark Chocolate Bar.
  • Use raw cacao or cocoa powder. Make a daily hot drink with cacao along with vanilla and even a little chili like the ancients taught us. You can also add two tablespoons to any smoothie. Use in paleo baking.
  • Cacao nibs are crushed, raw cacao bean. You can use these in place of chocolate chips in things like chia seed puddings, trail mix, paleo cookies, or smoothies. Many people prefer to eat them straight from the bag!

 And just to be clear on what to avoid:

  • Trans fats/ hydrogenated oils: Many commercial chocolate products – even those that seem healthy or are made with dark chocolate – can contain hydrogenated oils. Always read labels.
  • Preservatives, artificial colors or flavors: Manufacturers use a number of chemical preservatives and flavorings in chocolates. The most common ones (like vanillin, BHA and BHT) act as hormone mimics or carcinogens. The fewer ingredients, the better.
  • High sugar content: If you’re eating sugar-laden chocolate, you’re negating most of the health benefits of cocoa. Opt for chocolates with fewer than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Dutch process: Dutching, or alkalizing, uses chemicals to mellow the flavor of cocoa. Not only does this taint the finished product with a caustic chemical, but according to the USDA, it reduces the antioxidant capacity by half.
Keep enjoying dark chocolate and be proud to call yourself a chocoholic – It really is a super food that lives up to its hype of health and happiness.

ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

 

REFERENCES

  1. Hayek, N. Chocolate, gut microbiota and human health. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2013;4:11
  2. Tzounis X, Rodriguez-Mateos A, Vulevic J, Gibson GR, Kwik-Uribe C, Spencer JP. Prebiotic evaluation of cocoa-derived flavanols in healthy humans by using a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011;93 (1):62-72
  3. Mood And Chocolate. Dr Van Rhijn. September, 2000. http://www.nutrition-matters.co.uk/html_docs/the_mind/MoodandChocolate.htm?
  4. Pase MP, Scholey AB, Pipingas A, et al. Cocoa polyphenols enhance positive mood states but not cognitive performance: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2013;24(5):451-458.
  5. Scientific Opinion on the modification of the authorisation of a health claim related to cocoa flavanols and maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 following a request in accordance with Article 19 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal. 2014;12(5):3654.  809-818.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

Maureen Quinn: What Does Superwoman Eat?!

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Wed, Apr 06, 2016 @ 03:20 PM

If you saw her feats of strength, you might confuse her with Superwoman!  Featherweight Strongwoman Maureen Quinn weighs in at just 119 pounds, but can lift more than most of us can even imagine.  Below she shares her insights into the eating plan that fuels these superhuman feats. This is valuable nutritional information whether your workouts are with 10 pounds or hundreds of pounds!

"Each night I adorn my fork with selections from a feast of flavors fit for Kings and Queens. My plate may be full of slow cooked beef cheeks dressed in bone marrow, oily sablefish wrapped in bacon, or liverwurst and plantains fried in lamb tallow. Always the most flavorful, fattiest, nutrient dense animal foods to fuel my ever thriving mind and body.

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As a featherweight strongwoman competitor I am required to be on opposite ends of the athletic spectrum at the same time. I must lift monstrously heavy weights all while maintaining a petite body mass of under 120 lbs. To achieve this feat I implement a nutrition regimen which eliminates all excess body fat and develops strong compact muscles.

There are two absolute necessities for eliminating excess body fat in a safe and healthy manner. The first is to consume the majority of calories from grass fed animal fat. Equal parts saturated and monounsaturated fatty acid, animal fat is the most congruent macronutrient for efficient energy processes. It sends a trigger through your metabolic system indicating that sufficient sources of external fats are available. This allows internal fat cells to open up and burn stored triglycerides for energy.

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The second necessity is to eat one meal a day. When the body is not absorbing food, insulin levels are low and energy must be derived from internal stores. Only after 12 hours of fasting will your body enter a state where previously inaccessible fat is burned. This is not to say that the meal must be small. I truly do feast by filling up with the most delicious foods imaginable.

This form of eating which has kept me perfectly lean and allowed me to compete at such a high level would not be possible without the help of US Wellness Meats. Nowhere else am I able to find high quality grass fed tallow and organ sausages to satisfy all my nutritional needs. I am proud to wear the emblem of an organization that carries as much passion and integrity into their meats as I do in my training."

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To learn more about Maureen Quinn and her fascinating Strongwoman journey, click here to read her story from the beginning, and click here to read her last competition update.

 

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

The Native Nutrient That Could Deactivate Disease

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 @ 09:58 PM

If you’re looking for the best-kept secret to disease prevention, look no further than our Paleolithic ancestors.

Of course, they didn’t realize this at the time – but they held the secret to a particular nutrient that can prevent major diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease and alzheimers.

Our ancestors may have perished alongside this secret, but lucky for us, the mystery has since been unearthed along with research explaining why this nutrient is so effective.

Our story begins almost 100 years ago with an American dentist – Dr. Weston A. Price.

In 1930, Dr Price headed off an expedition to uncover the factors that created strong, healthy, straight teeth. His travels took him to cultures that were completely untouched by modern civilization; sailing to villages across the entire globe.

What he discovered among the native cultures were, of course, beautiful straight teeth with no tooth decay. He also found the people to be strong, full of energy and most importantly - free from chronic disease.

Dr. Price closely examined the diets eaten by these cultures. The common theme was that they all consumed high fat diets of organ meats, animal fats, butter, eggs and marine oils. These diets were also generally higher in minerals, and at least 10 times higher in fat-soluble vitamins than our American diet.

However, there was something even more interesting …

One particular vitamin seemed to be very important and performed a crucial role in health. He called it the ‘x-factor’. This vitamin seemed to be a master activator and without it, other nutrients weren’t able to do their job properly.

This critical vitamin is vitamin K2.

Once these cultures transitioned to modern westernized diets, low in vitamin K2, children developed crooked teeth and, over time, the cultures began experiencing our modern day diseases.

Which brings us to modern day science.

Research has finally caught up to our ancestral wisdom and we now have proof that many of our modern chronic diseases can be linked to low levels of vitamin K2.

One of the most well known pieces of science is The Rotterdam Heart Study. This research followed 4,807 subjects over a period of seven years. These individuals had no prior history of heart attack. In the final results of the study it showed that those with higher levels of vitamin K2 had a reduced incidence of death from heart disease by 57%.1 

But it’s not just heart disease that science tells us is vitamin K2 dependent, the evidence encompasses a large range of health issues including osteoporosis, cancer and even Alzheimer’s.

So, let’s take a look at how vitamin K benefits us against these diseases.

Vitamin K Benefits: K1 and K2

In the family of K vitamins, the most commonly known is vitamin K1. It assists in blood clotting, and without it – we would bleed to death. But this is not the vitamin K that interested Dr. Price so much.

Vitamin K2 is more of an ‘activator’. It has an important role in activating other nutrients. And that’s what makes it so powerful in protecting against chronic disease.

Now, our body can convert small amounts of K1 into K2. But Dr. Price’s research and the Rotterdam study both demonstrate that vitamin K is of most benefit when provided directly through the diet or with proper supplementation.

Vitamin K2: An Important ‘Bone Glue’

Back in 1978 a bone building protein was discovered called osteocalcin. This protein is an important part of our bone density. Our body uses nutrients like vitamin D to make osteocalcin. And vitamin K2 activates the osteocalcin so that it actually ‘sticks’ to your bone.

Without vitamin K2, osteocalcin can float around and cause a myriad of problems.

The first of these problems is poor bone density. This, as you may know, leads to an increased risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.

An important landmark study published in the Journal of Bone Mineral Research found that subjects with higher levels of inactive osteocalcin also had a higher rate of fractures.2 

Another study from 2010, conducted by researchers from Japan found that vitamin K2 treatment maintained lumbar bone mineral density in those with osteoporosis. And it prevented the occurance of new bone fractures.3

So, that’s the first problem that can be caused with inadequate vitamin K2 in the diet.

The second major problem brings us to our next topic – cardiovascular disease.

Is Cardiovascular Disease Actually A Vitamin K2 Deficiency?

We all know that hardening of the arteries is a high risk factor for cardiovascular disease – but are you aware of what hardens those arteries?

It’s that free-floating osteocalcin and other bone building proteins! You know, the stuff that’s supposed to be bound to your bone with vitamin K2.

And in case you think that sounds a bit strange …

Scientists from the Los Angeles School of Medicine confirm this fact in research published in 1993 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The researchers stated:

“Artery wall calcification associated with atherosclerosis frequently contains fully formed bone tissue including marrow.” 4

So it comes as little surprise that vitamin K2 shows up in heart disease research.

And it isn’t just the Rotterdam study that demonstrates this. In 2007 a study appeared in the journal Blood. The research conducted on rat subjects showed a 50% decrease in artery calcium and restored arterial movement through increased vitamin K2. What’s more, the researchers found a local vitamin K deficiency specifically at the calcified areas.5 

Cardiovascular disease (along with osteoporosis) is fast being considered a vitamin K2 deficiency. And Alzheimer’s may very well be too!

Activate Your Brain Insulation with Vitamin K2

A layer of ‘insulation’ covers our brain cells. This insulation is called the myelin sheath. In Alzheimer’s, a breakdown of this sheath allows plaques to build up in the brain – affecting signaling.

The myelin sheath is made from special cells in the nervous system, and vitamin K2 is responsible for protecting these cells against oxidative stress – otherwise known as free radical damage.

As well as its cell protecting effects, vitamin K2 also helps our brain make special ‘brain fats’ called sulfatides. Research shows that these fats decline with age and contribute to age related degeneration.

In fact, a 2002 paper published in the The Journal of Neurochemistry revealed that those with Alzheimers had sulfatide levels as much as 93% lower than those who did not.6

Bone health, heart disease and Alzheimer’s are certainly three major concerns that plague our modern society today. But the benefits of this “activator” nutrient don’t end there…

Vitamin K2: A Magic Bullet

In fact, vitamin K2 benefits reach deep into the body, with studies finding vitamin K2 receptors in many regions. That’s why this important vitamin shows great promise in:

  • Diabetes
  • Energy and fatigue
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Testosterone issues
  • Cancer
  • Kidney health

And speaking of kidneys, it’s time we had a look at the top vitamin K2 foods you should be eating to obtain adequate levels of this unsung ancestral hero.

The Top Vitamin K2 Foods

Organ meats, like kidneys, liver, pancreas, reproductive organs (“oysters”), brains, marrow and cartilage (and foods made from these like head cheese, liverwurst and braunschweiger) are likely a very rich source of in K2. Unfortunately, we don’t have exact values for the amounts of vitamin K2 in these superfoods at this time.

The highest known sources of vitamin K2 come from goose liver and chicken livers. You’ll also find plenty of vitamin K2 in foods like grass-fed butter and cheese, pasture-raised egg yolks, salami and other sausages from pastured animals, as well as wild fish roe. The only good vegetarian source of vitamin K2 known is natto.

Protect your bones, brain, heart (and much, much more!) by enjoying a diet rich in the “native nutrient” our ancestors prized. Accompany these power foods with organic leafy green veggies (an excellent source of vitamin K1), winter squash, yams and sweet potatoes, plus healing herbs and spices for delicious ancestral protection in our modern world.  

 

ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

 

REFERENCES

  1. Geleijnse J, Vermeer C, Grobbee D.E, et al. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. Journal of Nutrition. 2004;134(11):3100-3105.
  2. Luukinen H, Kakonen SM, Pettersson K, et al. Strong prediction of fractures among older adults by the ratio of carboxylated to total serum osteocalcin, Journal of Bone Mineral Research. 2000;15(12):2473-2478.
  3. Shiraki M, Shiraki Y, Aoki C, Miura M. Vitamin K2 (Menatetrenone) Effectively Prevents Fractures and Sustains Lumbar Bone Mineral Density in Osteoporosis. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2010;15(3):515-521.
  4. Bostrom K, Watson KE, Horn S, Wortham C, Herman IM, Demer LL. Bone morphogenetic protein expression in human atherosclerotic lesions. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 1993;91(4):1800-1809.
  5. Schurgers LJ, Spronk HM, Soute BA, Schiffers PM, DeMey JG, Vermeer C. Regression of warfarin-induced medial elastocalcinosis by high intake of vitamin K in rats. Blood. 2007;109(7):2823-2831.
  6. Han X, M Holtzman D, McKeel DW Jr, Kelley J, Morris JC. Substantial sulfatide deficiency and ceremide elevation in very early Alzheimers disease: potential role in disease pathogenesis. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2002;82(4):809-818.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

Could These Fat-Laden French Foods Boost Your Health?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 @ 11:31 PM

When it comes to health, it seems the French hold a secret that Americans don’t know.

While we have the highest rates of heart disease in the world, the French have one of the lowest. And it’s not just heart disease. Our European friends also weigh in with lower rates of obesity and diabetes.

And to add insult to injury…

The French are heavy consumers of all those calorie-laden things that are supposed to bad for us – red wine, butter, cream, meat and cheese. In fact, they’re the largest consumers of cheese in the world, at an impressive annual average of 58 pounds per person.1

So impressive are the health outcomes of the French, with high levels of fat and alcohol in their diet, that it has become known as the ‘French Paradox.’

It just doesn’t seem fair!

And while this may be a common feeling, we can learn a lot from the French diet. Until recently, the benefits were attributed to red wine. But research suggests that their staple of fatty foods may be even more important to their healthy longevity.

An interesting new study from researchers at the American Chemical Society examined the effects of three different fat-based diets on 15 healthy men. The diets were similar in fat content with one high in milk, one high in cheese and the other a control. When the researchers examined the urine and fecal matter from the subjects, they found that the diet high in cheese produced higher levels of a substance called butyrate.2

Butyrate has been getting a lot of attention over the past few years with regard to its positive effects on cholesterol, heart disease, insulin resistance, cancer and obesity.

So let’s take a closer look and answer the question…

Can We Really Go Crazy on Butter and Cheese and be as Healthy as the French?

Inside your gut are trillions of microbes. These microbes actually outnumber your human cells by 10 to one. There are many different species and strains. And they all live together as one ecosystem, called the microbiome.

And just as your human cells need food, so too do your microbial ones.

When they don’t get the right nourishment, they also perform poorly and contribute to health issues. Many scientists believe that our health issues are in fact, mostly driven by the gut. This was a view shared by Hippocrates, when he stated, “All disease begins in the gut.”

These bugs also have their own ‘waste’ that they excrete inside us. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the waste from certain types of bacteria may help to explain the French paradox and why butter and cheese play an important role in the health benefits conferred by this diet.

Anti-Inflammatory ‘Bug Waste’

The waste product we’re talking about is butyrate. It is a short chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced by the bacteria in our gut.

Butyrate is known as ‘colon food’.

In fact, research shows that butyrate could be a major player in colorectal cancer. In vivo studies show that it reduces the multiplication of cancerous cells, encourages cell death and changes the nature of these cells.3

Butyrate is an anti-inflammatory fat. And in our modern processed diets, we are simply not producing enough.

Chronic Disease is Chronic Inflammation

A recent review published in the British Journal of Nutrition explains how chronic inflammation is a major contributor to chronic disease. The review states:

“The importance of chronic low-grade inflammation in the pathology of numerous age-related chronic conditions is now clear. An unresolved inflammatory response is likely to be involved from the early stages of disease development.”4

To reduce the risk of chronic disease, researchers and health professionals look to the management of inflammation as an important tool. Supplements can certainly be useful to lower inflammation. But if you look at the research on butyrate and the high butter and cheese French diet, it seems more beneficial to consider our microbial food instead.

A study conducted by researchers from Utah and Louisiana State Universities found that treating diet-obese mice with sodium butyrate, prevented the development of inflammatory conditions and insulin resistance and reduced levels of obesity.5

So How Do We Make Butyrate (and Where’s the Cheese)?

Butyrate is the by-product generated from our microbes digesting the fiber found in plant-based foods. If we consider the French diet again, you find that they frequently consume local, farm fresh produce.

And if you’re a lover of cheese and butter, you’ll also be glad to know that butyrate is also found in healthy, pastured dairy products in the form of butyric acid. You’ll recognize it by its distinct buttery/cheesy aroma.

To stimulate butyrate production, enjoy healthy, grass fed meats and poultry and load your plate with fibrous organic vegetables. And be sure to include good anti-inflammatory fats like avocado, coconut oil and olive oil. Include naturally fermented products like kefir and kimchi to keep the gut populated with good bugs.

And by all means … eat grass-fed butter and cheese! You’ll please your taste buds, while helping to reduce inflammation and improve your health, to boot.  

ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

 

REFERENCES

1. Canadian Dairy Information Centre. Dairy Facts and Figures: Global cheese consumption (kg per capita). 2014. Accessed February 22, 2016.

2. Zheng H, Yde CC, Clausen MR, et al. Metabolomics Investigation To Shed Light on Cheese as a Possible Piece in the French Paradox Puzzle. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2015;63(10):2830-2839.

3. Canani RB, Costanzo MD, Leone L, Pedata M, Meli R, Calignano A. Potential beneficial effects of butyrate in intestinal and extraintestinal diseases. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;17(12):1519-1528.

4. Minihane AM, Vinoy S, Russell WR, et al. Low-grade inflammation, diet composition and health: current research evidence and its translation. British Journal of Nutrition. 2015;114 (7):999-1012

5. Gao Z, Yin J, Zhang J, et al. Butyrate Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Increases Energy Expenditure in Mice. Diabetes. 2009;58(7):1509-1517.


Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, US Wellness Meats

The Surprising Anti-Aging Nutrient in Red Meat

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 @ 02:10 PM

We all age - it’s a part of life.

But one of the greatest pains we can endure is to watch someone we love experience the debilitating and often rapid effects of aging.

And of all the age-related conditions, the one that seems to cut the greatest wound is dementia. A disease like Alzheimer’s can steal treasured memories from the sufferer, not to mention their feelings of safety, security and joy for family and loved ones.

The good news is that scientific research has revealed numerous dietary and lifestyle factors that can prevent (and sometimes reverse) the effects of this illness. Researchers have also identified specific nutrients that can slow the effects of dementia and other age-related chronic conditions.

And one of these nutrients – found primarily in red meat – shows exceptional promise in the field of anti-aging. That nutrient is L-carnitine.

Researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine in Italy conducted a controlled double-blind study on a group of patients over 65 years old who had been diagnosed with dementia.

The results of the three-month study were published in the International Journal of Pharmacology Research. They found that the patients treated with acetyl-l-carnitine showed statistically significant improvements in behavior, memory, attention and verbal fluency (the ability to quickly choose the right words).1

The researchers theorize the positive results may be related to the fact that acetyl-l-carnitine is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Studies show that acetylcholine dysfunction can contribute to the effects of Alzheimer’s.2,3 

But that’s only one way that L-carnitine can benefit the aging process.

Let’s now take a closer look at some other anti-aging L-carnitine benefits and how to get this age-defying nutrient through nature’s richest source.

Aging: How Our Cells Eventually ‘Power Down’

The powerhouse of most cells within your body is called the mitochondria.  The “mitochondrial theory of aging” asserts that free radicals damage the cell’s energy source and that over time the cell simply ‘powers down’.

A review published in Clinical Science explains this process:

“The ensuing state of oxidative stress results in damage to ETC [electron transport chain] components and mtDNA [mitochondrial DNA]. This further increases the production of reactive oxygen species. Ultimately, this 'vicious cycle' leads to a physiological decline in function, or aging.” 4

So at a fundamental level, aging is the result of mitochondrial damage.

But L-carnitine levels have been also shown to decline as we age.

Research published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications confirms that:

“Analysis of muscle samples of healthy humans of different ages showed a drastic reduction of carnitine and acetyl carnitine in the older subjects with a strong reverse correlation between age and carnitine levels.” 5

L-Carnitine Benefits Battered Cells

L-carnitine is commonly used as a sports supplement. But it is, in fact, a necessary nutrient in day-to-day energy production. Its primary role is as a nutrient ‘shuttle’ – helping to transport essential fats from cell membranes into the mitochondria of the cell to be used as energy.

These tiny factories accept fuel (in the form of carbohydrates and fats) and turn these into the energy molecule ATP. This is done via the electron transport chain (ETC).

Without L-carnitine, we have impaired energy production. Fats have no other way to enter the mitochondria.

During this process, however, a large number of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced. These are commonly known as ‘free radicals.’ Over time, they promote inflammation and can damage cells.

Fortunately, L-carnitine also performs an antioxidant role. It helps to mop up the damage from these free radicals as well as help prevent the damage they can do to cells.

A 2014 review published in the journal Gene alerts us to L-carnitine’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and provide antioxidant protection for the brain.6  This is another way by which L-carnitine can benefit those with Alzheimer’s.

And it is not just dementia that has scientists looking closely at this anti-aging nutrient…

Protection at the Heart of this Number One Killer

Carnitine is concentrated in tissues that utilize fatty acids as their primary dietary fuel, including skeletal and cardiac (heart) muscles.7  Therefore it is no surprise that it also reaches to the heart of the number one cause of death: cardiovascular disease.

A 2015 study conducted in Taiwan found that treatment with L-carnitine significantly lowered markers of inflammation among subjects with coronary artery disease due to its antioxidant benefits.8

This study joins more than 20 placebo-controlled studies that also support the heart protective benefits of L-carnitine.

Another Piece of the Bone Density Matrix

Researchers from Florida State University and the University of Connecticut found that L-carnitine decreased bone turnover and slowed the rate of bone loss in rats, which holds promise for helping post-menopausal women to maintain bone density.9 

And it is not just women that can benefit. Other research, published in the International Journal of Pharmacology stated that men can expect the same bone-protecting attributes:

“Treatment with L-carnitine in this population was associated with significant increases in BMD [Bone Mineral Density] at the lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip and ASM throughout the study compared with placebo. BMD can predict osteoporotic fracture in men, independent of age, body weight, or prevalent fracture.”10

So let’s look at…

The Most Absorbable Sources of L-Carnitine for Healthy Aging

You can certainly take L-carnitine as a supplement. Many people do. But there’s a chance you’ll only absorb around 14-18% of its goodness.

But according to a summary published by the National Institutes of Health, food-based sources can increase your absorption of L-carnitine by up to 87%.11

And the very name of this nutrient gives us a clue as to its richest sources…

Carnus is Latin for flesh, which is where this nutrient was first isolated. And of course, the highest food source just happens to be pasture-raised meats, including beef, bison, lamb and pork.

In order of abundance, per 100g (3.5oz), the foods richest in carnitine include:

Following an ancestral diet that includes the food sources above will provide the highest levels - and the best absorption - of L-carnitine. Eating these alongside organic vegetables will ensure you’re getting plenty of antioxidants and not taking in pesticides, antibiotics or hormones that compromise cellular health.

Consume plenty of gut-loving fermented foods like sauerkraut or kefir from pastured dairy along with good fats that also assist in keeping inflammation down in the body.

And don’t forget to add vigorous exercise, restorative sleep, sunshine, love and laughter to these nutrition staples for a long and healthy life!

 

ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

 

REFERENCES

1  Passeri, M. Cucinotta, D. Bonati, PA. Iannuccelli, M. Parnetti, L. Senin, U. Acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of mildly demented elderly patients. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research. 1990;10(1-2):75-79.
http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/2201659

2  Francis, PT. Palmer, AM. Snape, M. Wilcock, GK. The cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimers disease: a review of progress. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. 1999;66:137-147. http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/66/2/137.full

3  Alzheimer’s, Memory And Acetylcholine. 2015. http://www.psyweb.com/Documents/00000003.jsp

4  Alexeyev, MF. Ledoux, SP. Wilson, GL. Mitochondrial DNA and aging. Clinical Science. 2004;107(4):355-364. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15279618

5  Costell, M. O’Connor, JE. Grisolia, S. Age-dependent decrease of carnitine content in muscle of mice and humans. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 1989;161 (3):1135-1143. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2742580

6  Ribas, GS. Vargas, CR. Wajner, M. L-carnitine supplementation as a potential antioxidant therapy for inherited neurometabolic disorders. Gene. 2014;533(2):469-476.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24148561

7  National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Carnitine, The science behind a conditionally essential nutrient. 2004.
https://ods.od.nih.gov/News/Carnitine_Conference_Summary.aspx

8  Lee, BJ. Lin, JS. Lin, YC. Lin, PT. Antiinflammatory effects of L-carnitine supplementation (1000mg/d) in coronary artery disease patients. Nutrition. 2015;31(3):475-479. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25701337

9  Hooshmand, S. Balakrishnana, A. Clark, RM. Owen, KQ. Koo, SI. Arjmandi, BH. Dietary L-carnitine supplementation improves bone mineral density by suppressing bone turnover in aged ovariectomized rats. Phytomedicine. 2008;15(8):595-601.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711308000779

10  Wang, L. Wang,C. Efficacy of L-Carnitine in the Treatment of Osteoporosis in Men. International Journal of Pharmacology. 2015;11:148-151. http://www.scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ijp.2015.148.151&org=11
http://www.scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ijp.2015.148.151&org=11

11  National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Carnitine, The science behind a conditionally essential nutrient. 2004. https://ods.od.nih.gov/News/Carnitine_Conference_Summary.aspx

12  Carnitine, Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnitine

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, Grass-fed Lamb, US Wellness Meats

Does Red Meat Cause Cancer ?

Posted by Brian Schoemehl on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 @ 04:24 PM

If you read the papers or watch the news, there is a good chance that you’ve seen tdescribe the imagehe latest nutrition report from the World Health Organization. The story has been reported worldwide by virtually every major news organization.

In case you’re not aware, the report, produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, implicates processed meat and red meat in colon cancer.

Here’s the gist of the press release from the IARC:

“Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans … The consumption of red meat [is] probably carcinogenic to humans …”  

But don’t banish your juicy Filet Mignon just yet! The real truth of the matter is actually contained within the full report, published in The Lancet.

“Chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out with the same degree of confidence for the data on red meat consumption, since no clear association was seen in several of the high quality studies and residual confounding from other diet and lifestyle risk is difficult to exclude. The Working Group concluded that there is limited evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat”.  

In case you missed that …

There was no clear association regarding red meat consumption and cancer risk.

So, what are the real facts? Can you still enjoy your favorite Paleo meals without increasing your risk of cancer?

The Link between Eating Ice Cream… and Drowning

Did you know that decades of statistics prove that as ice cream consumption increases, so do deaths from drowning?

It’s true. There is a very clear correlation between these two statistics… but it goes without saying that ice cream does not cause people to drown.

The numbers of people eating ice cream go up sharply during the summer. As you can imagine, so too do the number of swimmers. It’s clear that correlation does not equal causation. Always keep this in mind when it comes to “scientific” reports.

In this case, the IARC considered data from over 800 different studies on cancer in humans as it relates to red and/or processed meat. Sadly, however, all of these studies were epidemiological.

These are not controlled clinical studies designed to prove causation. They are population studies, often based on questionnaires. While some population studies can provide useful information, most are unreliable.

Did You Have Fries With That?

Can you remember what you ate last Saturday? How about last year?

One reason why food questionnaires are unreliable is because they ask for historical food recall. This paves the way for poor memory and a misrepresentation of facts. There is a large difference between someone recalling that they ate a steak, when the truth was that it was a steak and fries…

… Washed down with a beer or soft drink
… Followed by a cigarette.

Another reason why these studies are unreliable is that they don’t distinguish between variables such as the source of the red meat or the preparation method. They also don't consider general diet, level of fitness (or fatness) or other carcinogens to which the subjects may be exposed.

The IARC does acknowledge this in their full report. It would be nice if the world’s media had done the same.

So now, let’s take a look at what you really need to know about red meat and cancer risk.

The 5 Unhealthy Ways to Consume Red Meat

Chargrilled Toxins
Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs) are formed when muscle meats; beef, pork, poultry and fish, are exposed to high temperatures such as grilling. Acrylamide is formed when plant foods rich in carbohydrates (like sugary marinades or the French fries that commonly accompany beef) are cooked at high temperatures. Research demonstrates that both of these compounds are known carcinogens. 

What Goes Into the Animal, Goes Into You
Epidemiological studies make no distinction between pasture-raised and conventionally-raised meats; main factors being their feed and the administration of hormones and antibiotics. The beef from corn-fed cows can have as much 50 times more omega-6 fatty acids than that from grass-fed cows. Too much omega-6 has been conclusively proven to promote inflammation and oxidation – two key factors that can promote cancer. What’s more, antibiotic residues from conventional meats wreak havoc on the microbiome – altering the delicate balance of microbes, including those that produce butyrate – a powerful cancer-fighting agent.

Pan-Fried Chemicals
Pots, pans, storage containers and wraps can leach harmful substances into our foods.  Non-stick pans are just one of these offenders which leach toxic substances like trifluoroacetate (TFA) and perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) into the food you eat, as well as into the air around you. These chemicals, collectively called perflourinated compounds, are xenoestrogens (estrogen mimics) and have been linked with cancer, endocrine issues, “polymer fume fever” and other health problems in humans.

Chewing the Wrong Fats

Lipid oxidation products (LOPs) are created by the degradation of oils. This happens through heat, aging and chemicals (like hydrogenation). As these oils break down, they generate free radicals that damage DNA and have been found to increase the risk of cancer. When we heat unstable oils (like the polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-6 oils) we produce these dangerous LOP's. This could make the fat you are using to cook with carcinogenic, without regard to the meat itself.

Dietary & Lifestyle Factors

We all know that smoking is a Category 1A Carcinogen. But do you know that some contraceptives are too? Acetaldehyde, (the by-product of alcohol metabolism) and inactivity are two more key factors that increase cancer risk. And how about being overweight or obese?  According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity is overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer.  It goes without saying that these kind of variables cannot be ruled out as potential causes of cancer in “population” studies.

Cancer Prevention through Ancestral Wisdom

  1. Choose Healthy Sources: When choosing meats, choose grass-fed and pasture-raised to achieve a healthy fat balance and avoid exposure to antibiotic residues, pesticides and hormones that can encourage cancer.
  2. Nourishing Preparation: If you're going to cook at higher temperatures, be sure to choose stable fats like tallow, lard, coconut oil or grass fed butter. Better still, focus your cooking around stewing, boiling, poaching and slow cooking when it comes to meats. Cook with non-toxic cookware like ceramic, enamel or cast iron to reduce toxic chemicals leaching into your food. And use natural herbs and spices to bring out the flavor and nutritional value of the meal.
  3. Don’t Forget Your Veggies: Enjoy a colorful, varied diet with lots of fresh organic produce (free from hormone-mimicking pesticides). Also be sure to include microbe-loving lacto-fermented vegetables such as like sauerkraut or kimchi.
  4. Live a Balanced Lifestyle: Maintain a smoke free, active lifestyle and a healthy weight. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and opt for organic red wine which is high in antioxidants, including the powerful cancer-fighter resveratrol.
  5. Reduce Toxins: Take into consideration all of the “inputs” that make their way into your body via your stomach, lungs and skin. Breathe fresh air, consider an indoor HEPA filter to reduce your exposure to indoor pollution, and choose household and personal care products made without harmful ingredients.
  6. Get Sunshine: Vitamin D is one of the most powerful cancer-fighting nutrients known. In fact, a study presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) found that 75% of cancer patients had low vitamin D levels , and those with the lowest vitamin D levels were associated with more advanced cancers.  

Prevent (and fight) cancer with a healthy, active lifestyle and the diet that models our ancestors including an abundance of organic veggies and low-glycemic fruits, lacto-fermented foods, stable, traditional fats and meats from animals raised on pasture that are prepared safely. In addition, don’t smoke, achieve (or maintain) a healthy weight, optimize your vitamin D levels and avoid chemicals in household and personal care products to reduce your risk of cancer.

ED NOTE

Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

REFERENCES
(1)  International Agency for Research on Cancer. Media Press Release #240.

(2)  Bouvard, V. Loomis, D. Guyton, K. et al. Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat. The Lancet Oncology. Published online Oct 26, 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00444-1

(3)  Muscat JE, Wynder EL. The consumption of well-done meat and the risk of colorectal cancer. American Journal of Public Health 1994; 84(5):856-858.

(4)  Friedman M, Levin CE.Review of methods for the reduction of dietary content and toxicity of acrylamide.J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 13;56(15):6113-40. Epub 2008 Jul 
15.

(5)  Wikipedia. List of IARC Group 1 carcinogens

(6)  Cancer Research UK. Physical Activity Facts And Evidence.

(7)  National Cancer Institute. Obesity and Cancer Risk.

(8)  Vitamin D deficiency common in cancer patients. American Society for Radiation Oncology. Oct. 3 2011

Bonefeld-Jorgensen, Manhai Long, E. Bossi, R. et al. Perfluorinated compounds are related to breast cancer risk in greenlandic inuit: A case control study. Environmental Health 2011, 10:88. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-88.

Zoe Harcombe. Diet, obesity, nutrition and big business: So much, so wrong. World Health Organisation, meat & cancer. 

Blouin JM1, Penot G, Collinet M, Nacfer M, Forest C, Laurent-Puig P, Coumoul X, Barouki R, Benelli C, Bortoli S.Butyrate elicits a metabolic switch in human colon cancer cells by targeting the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex.Int J Cancer. 2011 Jun 1;128(11):2591-601. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25599. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Gonçalves P1, Araújo JR, Pinho MJ, Martel F.In vitro studies on the inhibition of colon cancer by butyrate and polyphenolic compounds. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(2):282-94. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2011.523166.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health, Good Fats, Weight Loss, US Wellness Meats

5 Sources of these "SuperFats" Might Surprise You

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 11:33 PM

describe the imageAuthored by: Kelley Herring

Many factors contribute to the twin epidemics of obesity and chronic disease in America (and, increasingly, throughout the world). But two dietary factors play the greatest roles, by far. These are the over consumption of:

1.    Sugar (and other simple carbohydrates) and
2.    Unhealthy fats

In previous articles, I’ve discussed the negative effects of a high-carbohydrate diet and chronically-high insulin levels. Today, let’s focus on fats… in particular, one of the healthiest fats you can consume and the positive effects it can have on your body. I will also share with you the most potent (and surprising) sources of this healthy superfat.

Healthy Fats: You Are What You Eat

You’ve certainly heard the adage, “You are what you eat.” This is especially true when it comes to fats. The type of fat in your diet dictates the type of fat in your cells. In other words, you literally become what you eat.

The make-up of fat in a healthy human body is normally about 97 percent monounsaturated and saturated. The other 3 percent should be polyunsaturated (half of which should be omega-3 and the other half omega-6). That means that omega-6 fats should make up only about 1.5 percent of your total calories.

But here’s the problem…

It has been shown that approximately 80% of the fats consumed in the United States are omega-6 fats. Today, the average American eats more than 75 pounds of these industrial fats each year!

These are primarily found in vegetable, corn and seed oils, which are the primary ingredients in most commercial sauces, dressings, chips, snacks and all manner of processed foods. Conventionally-raised meats are also very rich in these unhealthy fats due to the corn- and soy-rich diet on which these animals subsist.

When you consume these extracted and concentrated oils, your cell membranes incorporate their molecules. The problem is that they are highly unstable, vulnerable to oxidative stress and prone to causing inflammation.

These fats (along with the dreaded “trans fats”) also inhibit the natural permeability of the cellular wall. It becomes more difficult for nutrients to enter the cell… while waste products and cellular debris are unable to exit.

As you can imagine, this is a virtual prescription for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cataracts and macular degeneration, auto-immune disease, wrinkled and cancer-prone skin… and the list goes on.

Healthy fats, on the other hand, are essential for cellular health. They improve your ability to absorb nutrients from your food, they reduce inflammation, and they can even help to balance blood sugar and foster weight loss.

And one of the most important of these is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

The Healthy Benefits of Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature. They are commonly associated with the health benefits of the “Mediterranean Diet.” But before we explore their benefits, consider what makes these fats unique:
•    MUFAs Don’t Readily Oxidize: Chemically speaking, monounsaturated fats contain a double bond. This makes them very stable (even in the presence of heat) and much less prone to oxidation than omega-6 fats.
•    Antioxidant Benefits: The foods rich in MUFAS are generally rich in antioxidants, minerals and phytonutrients, including magnesium, selenium, vitamin E and phenolic compounds, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin (two potent antioxidant carotenoids).
•    MUFAs Reduce Inflammation: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined data from 690 women in the Nurses’ Health Study. Researchers found that higher “diet quality” scores – particularly on the Mediterranean Diet Index – were associated with much lower markers for inflammation and endothelial dysfunction (endothelial cells are those that line inside of blood vessels).

Now, let’s look at some of the specific health benefits researchers have attributed to these superfats:
•    In 2005, Greek scientists studying more than 3,000 men and women found those eating a diet closest to the traditional Mediterranean diet had 19% lower oxidized LDL levels than those with the lowest adherence to the diet. This diet also showed the greatest positive effect on the dilation of blood vessels.
•    A study published in Public Health Nutrition found that women getting the most monounsaturated fat had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer than those getting the least. Another study, published in Cancer Causes and Control, found that men who consumed the most MUFAs experienced the greatest reduction in prostate cancer risk.
•    According to a study in Diabetes Care, when test subjects ate a carbohydrate-enriched diet, they accumulated fat in the abdomen. When they ate a diet that had more MUFA, abdominal fat decreased (even without exercise!).
•    A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: After six months on a MUFA-rich diet, the insulin levels of test subjects were reduced by 9.4% and the insulin resistance score was reduced by an average of 12.1%.  Another study showed similar reductions in fasting insulin levels in subjects diagnosed as insulin resistant.

So, what are the best sources of these healthy fats?

Beyond Olive Oil: Superior Sources of Monounsaturated Fats

You’ve probably heard that olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats. This is true in some cases. But what you might not know is that independent researchers recently tested numerous olive oils for their potency and purity. As reported in the New York Times, they found that nearly 70% did not match the nutritional content reported on the label.

In fact, some of these “olive oils” were found to contain other refined oils… and even green food coloring!

Macadamia nuts and macadamia nut oil are also excellent sources of MUFAs, as are avocados and avocado oil.

But here’s something that may surprise you: Some of the best sources of monounsaturated fats don’t come from plant sources at all… but rather from animal origin.

Take a look at the amount and ratios of fats per 100 grams in these foods:

FOOD                                     SAT    MUFA    PUFA
Olive Oil                                  14       73          11
Avocado Oil                             12       71          13
Macadamia Nuts                      12       59            1.5
Duck Fat                                33       49          13
Pork Lard                              39       45           11
Beef Tallow                           49       42           4
Lamb Tallow                         47        41          8
Avocados                                 2        10           2
Grass-Fed Beef Ribeye          3.6       3.5         0.3
Bison (Ground)                      3.5       3.3         0.4
Grass-Fed Beef Strip Steak    1          1           0.1

What’s more, sources of monounsaturated fats from animal origin (including duck fat, lard and tallow) are also more stable under heat, thanks to higher levels of beneficial saturated fats. This should make them your ideal choice for cooking.

Choosing an ancestral diet rich in healthy fats (in the right ratios) is one of the best things you can do for your health. Here are a more than a few delicious ideas for adding more of these health-boosting fats, plus a full spectrum of other beneficial nutrients to your diet… sear grass-fed steaks and sauté veggies in beef tallow… enjoy a fresh arugula salad with avocados and olive, avocado, or macadamia nut oil… enjoy a breakfast of farm fresh eggs and grass-fed beef sliders… and keep some delicious macadamia nuts around for snacking. Bon Appetit!

ED NOTE –  Love bread, but not the grain and carbs? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free and Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

REFERENCES
1.    "Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil" by Tom Mueller (Atlantic Books in the U.K.)
2.    Fallon, Sally, and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Tripping Lightly Down the Prostaglandin Pathways," Price- Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal, 1996, 20:3:5-8
3.    Fallon, Sally, and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Diet and Heart Disease—Not What You Think," Consumers' Research, July 1996, 15-19
4.    Simopoulos AP, Leaf A, Salem N, Jr. Workshop statement on the essentiality of and recommended dietary intakes for Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000;63(3):119-121
5.    Kris-Etherton PM, Hecker KD, Binkoski AE. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular health. Nutr Rev. 2004;62(11):414-426.
6.    Mozaffarian D, Ascherio A, Hu FB, et al. Interplay between different polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease in men. Circulation. 2005;111(2):157-164.
7.    Cortés B et al. “Acute effects of high-fat meals enriched with walnuts or olive oil on postprandial endothelial function.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71. Epub 2006 Sep 26.
8.    Perona JS et al. "Virgin olive oil reduces blood pressure in hypertensive elderly subjects." ClinNutr. 23, 5:1113-21, 2004.
9.    Assies J, Lok A, Bockting CL, Weverling GJ, Lieverse R, Visser I, Abeling NG, Duran M, Schene AH. Fatty acids and homocysteine levels in patients with recurrent depression: an explorative pilot study. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2004 Apr;70(4):349-56
10.    Baer DJ, Judd JT, Clevidence BA, Tracy RP. Dietary fatty acids affect plasma markers of inflammation in healthy men fed controlled diets: a randomized crossover study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;79(6):969-73.
11.    Raymond R. Tjandrawinata, PhD, of UCSF, Chai-Fei Li, BA, of SFVAMC, and Sina Sayyah, BA, of SFVAMC and UCSF   Omega-6 Fatty Acids Cause  Prostate Tumor Cell Growth In Culture. Science- Daily.
12.    Soriguer F, Rojo-Martinez G, Dobarganes MC, Garcia Almeida JM, Esteva I, Beltran M, Ruiz De Adana MS, Tinahones F, Gomez-Zumaquero  JM, Garcia-Fuentes E, Gonzalez-Romero S. Hypertension is related to the degradation of dietary frying oils. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;78(6):1092-7.
13.    Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, Faulkner DA, Josse AR, et al. Direct comparison of dietary portfolio vs. statin on C-reactive protein. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 May 18; [Epub ahead of print]2005. PMID:15900306.
14.    Jerling JC et al. “A systematic review of the effects of nuts on blood lipid  profiles in humans.” J Nutr. 135, 9:2082-9, 2005.
15.    Staprans I, Pan XM, Rapp JH, Feingold KR.The role of dietary oxidized cholesterol and oxidized fatty acids in the development of atherosclerosis.Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005 Nov;49(11):1075-82.
16.    Pitsavos C, Panagiotakos DB, Tzima N, Chrysohoou C, Economou M, Zampelas A, Stefanadis C.Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with total antioxidant capacity in healthy adults: the ATTICA study.Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;82(3):694-9.
17.    Paniagua JA, Gallego de la Sacristana A, Romero I, Vidal-Puig A, Latre JM, Sanchez E, Perez-Martinez P, Lopez-Miranda J, Perez-Jimenez F. Monounsaturated fat-rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects. Diabetes Care. 2007 Jul;30(7):1717-23. Epub 2007 Mar 23.
18.    Babio N, Bullo M, Salas-Salvado J: Mediterranean diet and metabolic syndrome: the evidence. Public Health Nutr 2009; 12(9A): 1607-17.
19.    Giugliano D, Esposito K: Mediterranean diet and metabolic diseases. Curr Opin Lipidol 2008; 19(1): 63-8.
20.    Giugliano D, Ceriello A, Esposito K: The effects of diet on inflammation: emphasis on the metabolic syndrome. J Am Coll Cardiol 2006; 48(4): 677-85.
21.    Seth Rakoff-Nahoum. Why Cancer and Inflammation?Yale J Biol Med. 2006 December; 79(3-4): 123–130.
22.    Hussain SP, Harris CC. Inflammation and cancer: an ancient link with novel potentials.Int J Cancer. 2007 Dec 1;121(11):2373-80.




Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats

Starve Cancer with This Controversial “Old” Diet

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 @ 12:32 AM
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
                                                                                                 
A recent report from the World Health Organization states that the number of cancer cases worldwide is expected to surge by 57 percent over the next twenty years.

For many, this will mean painful, expensive (and potentially deadly) treatments with chemotherapy and radiation. On the other hand, many others will choose a more natural approach to treat and prevent cancer… one that is meant to boost the immune system, curtail the proliferation of cancerous cells, and starve those cells of the very fuel they need to grow.

And one of the most effective natural approaches for doing this is the ketogenic diet. It is certainly not the only thing that should be included in a cancer-fighting protocol, but science has proven that it can be a very important part of one.

The Ketogenic Diet: Natural, Effective “Metabolic Therapy” for Cancer

The ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet that is moderate in protein and high in fat. It is well known that the cells in your body are normally fueled by glucose (the form of sugar present in the blood). But when glucose is not available, cells derive their energy from ketones – a byproduct of fat breakdown.

And if you are concerned about cancer this is a very good thing…

You see, cancer cells work differently than normal cells. And while they thrive on glucose, they are unable to make the switch to ketones. Without glucose as a source of fuel, cancer cells begin to die off. Over time, tumors shrink and the diagnosis of “cancer” can disappear.

Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, metabolic therapy researcher at the University of South Florida says:

"Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility. So we can exploit that."

In fact, preliminary studies have shown the ketogenic diet to be so effective at resolving a number of different types of cancers (including some in the advanced stages) that it is being called “metabolic therapy.”

Researchers at the University of South Florida found that removing carbohydrates from lab mice with aggressive cancer increased their recovery. The ketogenic diet was also shown to work better than traditional chemotherapy (and, of course, without the horrible side effects).

Another study at Johns Hopkins found that people with brain tumors have a significantly lower survival rate when they have higher blood sugar levels. This provides additional support for the role of a ketogenic diet in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Tips for Following a Ketogenic Diet
 
With cancer on the rise, the ketogenic diet is providing a safe, natural means of prevention and recovery for many people. And while each one of us is unique, with regards to the macronutrient ratios required to reach ketosis, a general guideline is to keep your carbohydrate consumption limited to 50 grams per day. The majority of calories should come from healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein.

Here are some quick meal ideas for a ketogenic diet:

•    Breakfast: Pastured eggs cooked in grass-fed butter, pastured pork sausage and avocado. You could also supplement with a tablespoon of coconut oil, avocado oil, fish oil or MCT oil for an added boost of healthy fats.

•    Lunch: Wild salmon over a large organic green salad with Kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette. Pastured lamb burgers with mint gremolata, olives and greens (with oil or duck fat) might be another option.
 
•    Snack: Grass-fed pemmican, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts or canned mackerel… plus another tablespoon of your favorite healthy fat.

•    Dinner: Free-range roasted duck legs over mashed cauliflower with grass fed butter and a green salad with olive or avocado oil. Another option: grass-fed ribeye steak with a generous helping of basil pesto and steamed broccoli. Another tablespoon of your favorite healthy fat before bed.
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As research continues to mount that cancer is largely a disease of the metabolism, we have more opportunities to treat it with the safe, natural diet enjoyed by our ancestors.

ED NOTE: Do you want to follow a ketogenic diet? But are you worried that won’t be able to completely cut out those tasty treats that you enjoy? Over on the Healing Gourmet website, Kelley has a recipe for Keto Paleo Dinner Rolls that are grain free, low in carbohydrates, and just perfect for sopping up the last few bites of your evening meal.

References
1.    WHO: Imminent global cancer 'disaster' reflects aging, lifestyle factors. Tim Hume and Jen Christensen, CNN. February 4, 2014
2.    A.M. Poff, C. Ari, T.N. Seyfried and D.P. D'Agostino The Ketogenic Diet and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Act Synergistically to Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer. PLOS ONE, June 5, 2013
3.    McGirt MJ, Chaichana KL, Gathinji M, Attenello F, Than K, Ruiz AJ, Olivi A, Quiñones-Hinojosa A. Persistent outpatient hyperglycemia is independently associated with decreased survival after primary resection of malignant brain astrocytomas. Neurosurgery. 2008 Aug;63(2):286-91; discussion 291.
4.    Thomas N. Seyfried, Michael A. Kiebish, Jeremy Marsh, et al. Metabolic management of brain cancer. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Bioenergetics. Volume 1807, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 577–594
5.    Thomas N Seyfried Laura M Shelton. Cancer as a metabolic disease.  Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010; 7: 7.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Good Fats, Grass-fed Lamb

The Five Cent Wrinkle Fix In Your Stock Pot

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:37 AM

By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmetbroth

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.

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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…

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REFERENCES
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.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Good Fats, Free-Range Poultry