The Wellness Blog

The “Sports Supplement” that Can Make You Smarter

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 @ 10:26 PM

Bodybuilders move over… neuroscience is taking a hit of your creatine!

If you’ve heard of creatine, you probably know it as a sports supplement. Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid. It helps the body produce energy. And it’s used to promote muscle growth, increase strength, and boost athletic performance.

More than 500 studies show that creatine can help maintain muscular fitness. It is especially useful in times where you need explosive power. That’s why it is one of the most popular nutritional supplements used by professional athletes and those who just like pumping iron.

But this safe and effective nutrient is not just for athletes…

Creatine also benefits aging men and women by helping to prevent the age-related loss of muscle and strength. This condition is known as sarcopenia. It affects our balance, gait and ability to perform routine daily tasks. Sarcopenia is one of the primary factors leading to the institutionalization of the elderly.

If you want to preserve your independence as you grow older, maintaining muscle mass is critical. And one of the best ways is to consume enough creatine.

But it is not just physical brawn that creatine benefits…

It also supports that heavyweight thinker – your brain.

So let’s take a look at how creatine works in the body and how it is flexing some major muscle in the world of neuroscience…

Your Brain (and Body) on Creatine

The source of energy inside each cell is a molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP. Every second your body produces millions of units of this “energy molecule” from three different fuel stores in the body:

  • Aerobic (from oxygen/fats)
  • Anaerobic glycolytic (from glucose)
  • ATP-PC (from creatine phosphate)

If one of these sources is absent, the others fill the gaps. The intensity of your activity is how your body works out which source to use.

And this brings us to how the brain uses energy…

Your brain makes up only two percent of your body weight. Yet, it consumes a whopping 20 percent of your daily energy expenditure. Your brain is constantly using energy to think, solve problems, retain information and send electrical impulses to your muscles and organs.

In terms of energy consumption, it is not much different from lifting weights in short bursts all day long. Your brain derives energy from all three fuel stores in the body. And just like your muscles, it is especially sensitive to the instant spurts of energy you get from the ATP-CP pathway.

When creatine levels are high, there is more phosphate in the cell to produce ATP. This directly translates to greater muscular energy… and more energy for memory and thinking.1

In other words…

When Creatine Levels are Optimized, So is Your Brain

One double-blind and placebo-controlled study, published in Neuroscience Research, examined the use of creatine in two dozen men and women. The subjects who took eight grams of creatine daily for five days showed significantly less mental fatigue while performing mathematical calculations.

Another study, using magnetic resonance technology, showed that children with the highest brain levels of creatine also had the most acute working memory. It’s even been shown that creatine supplementation is capable of increasing IQ, attention span and other measures of mental performance. 2,3

Considering these brain-boosting benefits, it’s no surprise that this essential nutrient also shows promise in the prevention and treatment of degenerative brain diseases.

Bringing Energy Back to a Damaged Brain

Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s are very different neurological conditions. But these illnesses do have two things in common:

  • Impairment of ATP energy metabolism
  • Oxidative damage to neurons

We have already discussed how creatine directly enhances the production of ATP, thus boosting your brain’s ability to produce energy for thought, memory and problem solving.

But creatine also acts as a potent antioxidant in the brain.4

In other words, this beneficial amino acid has a direct positive impact on two of the primary factors contributing to degenerative brain disease. So, it comes as no surprise that both animal and human studies demonstrate that creatine can improve the symptoms of neurological illness.

A 2003 study examined the effects of 10 grams a day of creatine on patients with Huntington’s disease. After one year, the patients who took creatine daily showed no changes in their mental performance.5  This indicates that creatine was able to stop the neurological degeneration.

Doing the Heavy Lifting for Mental Health

These impressive creatine benefits also expand into the area of mental health and may offer relief to those with depression, schizophrenia and PTSD.

In 2012 a review of studies spanning 30 years was published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews. The authors addressed the role of creatine in mood disorders and neurotransmitter function, stating:

“These data hint at the fact that functional neurotransmission depends on intracellular energy metabolism, supported by the creatine-phosphocreatine system.” 6

In other words, the proper functions of the chemical pathways in your brain depend largely on creatine.

And while more trials are needed, there are already promising results, demonstrated by an animal study which found that creatine supplementation improved depression-like behavior.7

Do Creatine Benefits Also Make Us Brainy?

On average, creatine levels are lower in vegetarians because it is a nutrient found primarily in meat. In fact, vegans and vegetarians are highly likely to be deficient in this critical brain-boosting compound.

Research clearly shows that supplementation significantly boosts brain performance in these people, especially in tasks that require processing speed and memory.8  Measures of intelligence also improved in vegetarian subjects who supplemented with creatine, compared to those who consumed a placebo. 9,10

It’s interesting that healthy meat eaters did not experience the same cognitive enhancements as the vegetarians. However, this does not indicate that creatine did not benefit meat eaters. Instead, it suggests that these people already had sufficient levels… and that creatine supplementation is especially important under compromised
conditions, such as deficiency or stress.

The latter was demonstrated in a study regarding sleep stress, published in the journal Psychopharmacology. The researchers concluded:

“Following 24-h sleep deprivation, creatine supplementation had a positive effect on mood state and tasks that place a heavy stress on the prefrontal cortex.”

How to Power Up Your Brain with Creatine

Creatine is provided by the diet in its natural state, but it is also produced in the body from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine. An ancestral diet high in animal protein is the best source of these amino acids along with other essential nutrients the body uses to make this ‘brain food.’

Hands down, the richest dietary sources of creatine are wild game and grass-fed meats. In fact, just two 3.5oz servings of grass-fed beef or bison will give you 1g of creatine, which is plenty to keep your daily supply topped off. Pastured poultry, pork, lamb and wild caught fish (particularly herring, salmon and tuna) are also great daily sources.

To boost creatine levels for performance or therapeutic clinical treatment, supplementation is often recommended. But for most of us, the benefits of this powerful brain-and-muscle boosting nutrient can be obtained simply by enjoying a delicious ancestral diet!

 

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. Watanabe A, Kato N, Kato T. Effects of creatine on mental fatigue and cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation. Neuroscience Research. 2002 Apr;42(4):279-85.

2. Ling J, Kritikos M, Tiplady B. Cognitive effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation. Behavioral Pharmacology. 2009 Dec;20(8):673-9.

3. Dechent, P., Pouwels, P. J., Wilken, B., Hanefeld, F., & Frahm, J. Increase of total creatine in human brain after oral supplementation of creatine-monohydrate. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 277(3), R698-R704

4. Lawler JM, Barnes WS, Wu G, Song W, Demaree S. Direct antioxidant properties of creatine. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Jan;290(1):47-52.

5. Tabrizi SJ, Blamire AM, Manners DN, et al. Creatine therapy for Huntington’s disease: Clinical and MRS findings in a 1-year pilot study. Neurology. 2003 Jul 8;61(1):141-2.

6.  Allen, P.J. Creatine Metabolism and psychiatric disorders: Does creatine supplementation have therapeutic value. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2012; 36(5):1442-1462.

7.  Allen, P.J, D’Anci, K.E, Kanarek, R.B, Renshaw, P.F. Chronic creatine supplementation alters depression-like behavior in rodents in a sex-dependent manner. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2010;35(2):534-546

8. Benton D, Donohoe R., The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores. British Journal of Nutrition, 2011 Apr;105(7):1100-5.

9. Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14561278

10.  Rae C, Digney AL, McEwan SR, Bates TC. Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Proceedings, Biological Sciences. 2003 Oct 22;270(1529):2147-50

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, US Wellness Meats

Is This Deficiency Giving You The Blues?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 @ 07:09 AM

Why can’t you just be happy?

Stop dwelling on things and get on with life. Be grateful for what you have. Exercise more. Watch some comedy.

All of these might be great ideas for beating the blues. But for some of us, it’s not that simple.

Imagine for a moment that your body wasn’t making enough red blood cells. Would you try to meditate those cells into existence? Probably not. It would be more practical (and effective) to include more iron in your diet to make those cells.

And the same is true for the neurochemicals in your brain that help lift your mood.

Research shows that up to a third of patients do not respond to antidepressants.1  Studies also prove that in most cases, these drugs work only as effectively as a placebo. And this says nothing of the horrendous side effects and withdrawal symptoms that many patients experience.

But there is good news for those who suffer serious depression. Researchers have demonstrated that many patients improve just by adding certain brain-boosting nutrients through diet and supplementation.

It is quite possible that for some people, depression is caused by critical nutrient deficiencies. We don’t often think of the chemicals and neurotransmitters in our brain in terms of nutrient deficiencies. But the truth is that these critical messenger molecules are  just like everything else in our body – they’re made from the building blocks in your food.

And to make the ‘happy chemicals’ in your brain, you need a “building block” that many people are deficient in…

Vitamin B12 Benefits Your Brain

Low mood and lingering depression are well-documented clinical signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency. This is also a nutrient that shows up frequently in mental health research.

A 2005 review of studies, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, states:

“Both low folate [B9] and low vitamin B12 status have been found in studies of depressive patients. An association between depression and low levels of these two vitamins is also found in studies of the general population.” 3

Mental health studies of subjects who follow a vegetarian diet also show a correlation for depression. These diets are typically low in vitamin B12.

In 2012 a group of researchers in Germany looked at the association between vegetarian diets and mental health issues. The research, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Activity, found those on vegetarian diets had a higher prevalence of mental health issues, including depressive disorders.4

Another study conducted in Austria and published 2014 by the Public Library of Science found a similar correlation between low-meat diets and depression.5

But vegetarians are certainly not the only group at risk. Today we’re going to talk about how vitamin B12 benefits mental health and how to ensure you’re getting enough.

The Anti-Depressant Myth

Many people believe that anti-depressant medications help to increase (or make) serotonin. This is not true.

The class of medications known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) take the serotonin you already have and ‘hold it’ in the space between neurons. But we still need to produce serotonin so the SSRI has something to ‘hold.’

Like all neurotransmitters, serotonin is a type of protein molecule made from the protein that you eat. These proteins go through a critical process called methylation.

Life (And Happy Chemicals) Can’t Exist Without Methylation

Methylation is a biochemical process that happens inside every cell in your body. It occurs billions of times per second, and contributes to a wide range of functions including:

  • Mood
  • Detoxification
  • Energy production
  • Maintaining DNA
  • Immunity
  • Inflammation

For methylation to occur efficiently and successfully, we need enough vitamin B12 and B9. The absence of these vitamins can become the rate-limiting factor in producing neurotransmitters.

A 2008 review published in Alternative Medical Review explains:

“Without the participation of 5-MTHF [from methylation pathway] in this process, SAMe and neurotransmitter levels decrease in the cerebrospinal fluid, contributing to the disease process of depression.” 2

Homocysteine is also part of the methylation cycle and high levels are associated with suppressive effects on “happy” neurotransmitters. Therefore it is hypothesized that high homocysteine levels cause a depression in mood. Folate (B9) and vitamin B12 benefit patients by lowering these homocysteine levels.6

While this hypothesis still requires clinical trials, it does support what we already know: vitamins B12 and B9 are critically important to mental health.

Do You Have A Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

As we’ve discussed, one of the symptoms of a B12 deficiency is low mood or depression. Other symptoms include:

  • Constant tiredness or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Poor memory
  • Constipation, diarrhea or loss of appetite
  • Nerve problems such as numbness or tingling

There is a simple blood test which can diagnose a deficiency. Surprisingly, however, 50 percent of symptomatic patients show normal B12 levels.7  For this reason, elevated homocysteine levels are a more accurate measuring stick. If homocysteine is elevated, it’s likely that you are deficient in folate (B9) and vitamin B12.

Deficiency can occur simply by not including enough vitamin B12 in the diet, as in the case of vegetarians. But we can also become deficient due to poor digestive health and a limited ability to absorb nutrients. In these cases, healing the gut, adding enzymes and betaine HCL can help.

Some rare cases of B12 deficiency require medical supplementation. But it is within our diets that we find nature’s best source of vitamin B12.

Eat Yourself Happy!

Vitamin B12 is primarily found in pastured red meat such as beef, bison, lamb and wild game. The best sources of vitamin B9 (folate) are found in above ground vegetables, such as spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli and avocado (technically a fruit).

If this sounds a lot like the “Paleo” or ancestral diet, you are correct.

Instead of trying to force happiness into existence, we should begin with the healthy diet and nutritional starting materials your brain needs to make those “happy chemicals” on a daily basis.

By providing your body with the vital starting materials it needs to make your own “happy chemicals”, you can set yourself up for a sunny disposition that truly comes from within.

 

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. Webmd. Depression Health Center. Treatment resistant depression.http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/treatment-resistant-depression-what-is-treatment-resistant-depression  

2. Miller, AL. The methylation, neurotransmitter, and antioxidant connections between folate and depression. Alternative medicine review. 2008;13(3):216-226.

3. Coppen, A. Bolander-Gouaille C. Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2005;19(1):59-65.

4. Michalak, J. Zhang, X.C. Jacobi, F. Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2012;9:67

5. Burkert, N.T. Muckenhuber, J. Großschädl, F. Rásky, E. Freidl, W. Nutrition and Health – The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study. PLoS One. 2014;9(2)

6. Folstein, M. Liu, T. Peter, I. et al. The homocysteine hypothesis of depression. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 2007;164(6):861-867.

7. R, Oh. Brown, D.L. Vitamin B12 deficiency. American Family Physician. 2003;67(5):979-986.

 

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, 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

Diabetes Super Treatment Hiding in Plain Sight

Posted by Brian Schoemehl on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 @ 05:09 PM
The Natural Diabetes Treatment Masquerading as a Common Everyday Spice

Within your kitchen you have access to a common spice powerful enough to prevent diabetes. In fact, a recent study showed this same spice can be up to 100,000 times  more potent than metformin, the leading treatment.  

If you don’t happen to have this common spice in your house, it's easy to find. And if you don’t know how to use it, you’ll want to keep reading for some tasty, yet simple ideas…

This super-spice has been called the “King of Spices.” It has appeared in over 5,600 peer-reviewed studies. A quick public search on the National Library of Medicine database shows it has over 600 health benefits.

It may sound unbelievable that one spice has such medicinal power, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’m talking about that golden beauty – turmeric!

Also known as Indian saffron due to its vibrant color, turmeric is quickly becoming known as a natural way to prevent and treat diabetes.

A 2014 study conducted at The Center for Cancer Prevention Research at Rutgers confirms the strong influence of 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.”

But it’s not just those who already have diabetes who benefit from using turmeric. It’s for anyone concerned about blood sugar - including the 40 percent of Americans with pre-diabetes. In fact, early research is showing that turmeric can help prevent the disease… with an astounding 100% success rate.

This is tasty news for those searching for a natural diabetes treatment.

Turmeric: The Golden Healer

It is the polyphenol compound known as curcumin that gives turmeric its mighty power, not to mention its exquisite color. Within the rhizomes of the turmeric (Curcuma longa) plant is where we find the magic.

It’s well known that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. But the benefits go much deeper than that. Curcumin influences more than 150 biological pathways within the body, and it does this in many different ways.

A recent review in Current Pharmacology Reports highlights its power:

“[Curcumin] is a well-known anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-lipidemic agent and has recently been shown to modulate several diseases via epigenetic regulation. Many recent studies have demonstrated the role of epigenetic inactivation of pivotal genes that regulate human pathologies, such as neurocognitive disorders, inflammation, obesity, and cancers.”

Turmeric: Natural Diabetes Prevention… and Treatment

If you have Type-2 diabetes then you are likely aware that it is the health complications that kill. These include heart and liver disease. The latest curcumin research offers exciting hope for these complications.

Cutting-edge research performed at the Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok found that curcumin has the capacity to repair and regenerate damaged liver tissue in diabetic rats.  The liver tissues appeared to display both normal and healthy characteristics.

Numerous studies have been done on curcumin’s efficacy in liver function and this groundbreaking research promises great hope for those with diabetes-related liver disease.

There’s also great news for diabetics with heart disease.

The authors of a study published in a leading pharmacology journal, measured the effectiveness of curcumin on six heart-disease parameters:

•    Arterial stiffness
•    Markers of inflammation (increased adiponectin or decreased leptin)
•    Insulin resistance
•    Triglyceride levels
•    Uric acid levels
•    Abdominal obesity

Curcumin improved every single one of these measures.

Turmeric really does deserve the title, “The King of Spices.”

Pre-diabetic? The Answer is in Your Spice Rack!

Pre-diabetes often comes with no warning signs.

But the daily addition of turmeric may go a long way to preventing Type-2 Diabetes, regardless if you are pre-diabetic or not.

A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association tested turmeric on subjects with pre-diabetes. What they found during the nine-month research was remarkable. Turmeric had a 100% success rate in preventing type-2 diabetes, compared to a control group who received a placebo.

That’s just one more compelling reason to include turmeric as part of your daily diet.

Turmeric: Fighting Hundreds of Diseases in Hundreds of Culinary Ways!

Most of us love a good curry, but you don’t need to be a master chef to use turmeric. It is incredibly versatile and you can simply add it to most foods, just as you would salt and pepper!

Many people also enjoy raw turmeric root daily, juiced or blended. Start slowly with a one-inch piece and adjust to suit your taste.

Five Delicious Ways to Include Turmeric in Your Diet

1.    Enjoy a pastured organic chicken curry with fresh organic vegetables. Better still, if you have a mortar and pestle, you can make your own signature curry paste with a liberal helping of fresh or dried turmeric.
2.    Try a twist on a Turkish classic by creating a turmeric Tahini to serve with Grass-Fed Lamb Shish Kebabs.
3.    For a beautiful golden centerpiece to meals have a go at dressing a whole cauliflower with coconut oil, turmeric, salt and pepper and then roasting slowly in the oven.
4.    Add a teaspoon of turmeric to your morning scramble of farm-fresh eggs.
5.    Make a simple and delicious turmeric-infused sauce using Paleo mayonnaise, turmeric, fresh pressed garlic, sea salt, and smoked paprika. Serve alongside your favorite grass-fed beef dishes– from a rare teres major… to a slow cooked chuck roast.

Combine your daily dose of turmeric with a healthy balanced ancestral diet and regular exercise for an easy and tasty way to prevent and treat diabetes… naturally.


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
  Kim T, Davis J, Zhang AJ, He X, Mathews ST. Curcumin activates AMPK and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression in hepatoma cells. Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community. 2009 Oct 16;388(2):377-82. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.08.018. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

  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.

  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.

  Khimmaktong W, Petpiboolthai H, Panyarachun B, Anupunpisit V. Study of curcumin on microvasculature characteristic in diabetic rat's liver as revealed by vascular corrosion cast/scanning electron microscope (SEM) technique. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 2012 May ;95 Suppl 5:S133-41. PMID: 22934459

  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

Cruickshank K, Riste L, Anderson SG, Wright JS, Dunn G, Gosling RG. Aortic pulse-wave velocity and its relationship to mortality in diabetes and glucose intolerance: an integrated index of vascular function? Circulation 106 (16): 2085–90. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000033824.02722.F7. PMID 12379578.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Product Information, Heart Health, Grass-fed Lamb, Free-Range Poultry

Four Everyday Foods Stimey "Silent Killer"

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sat, Oct 24, 2015 @ 08:13 PM

 

There is a deadly disease that affects 70 million Americans today – or one out of every three adults. That means there is a good chance that you, your spouse, and your loved ones could have this disease – and you might not even know it.

It’s called the “silent killer” because often there are no symptoms or warning signs, but the effects are deadly.

In fact, this disease is a pre-cursor to the top five causes of death in America. Eighty percent of first-time stroke patients have it, as do 70 percent of those who experience their first heart attack.

Most who are diagnosed with this disease take medication. In fact, the drugs for this condition are among the most popular in America (alongside sleeping pills and painkillers). But the side effects can be debilitating. And of course, like all drugs, they do not treat the underlying condition.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about hypertension or high blood pressure.

But there is good news…

Did you know there are many foods that have been proven to lower your blood pressure? These foods can work just as effectively as drugs – in some cases, even better. And they come with zero side effects.

Let’s take a look at four everyday foods that help to lower your blood pressure… plus some delicious ways to include them in your diet.

 

Eat "Alligator Pears" To Boost Potassium

The mineral, potassium, is essential for healthy blood pressure. Potassium works side-by-side with sodium to maintain an electrical gradient. The correct ratio of these nutrients exerts a strong influence on healthy blood pressure. Unfortunately, our modern processed diets have reversed this healthy ratio.

According to the authors of a 2005 paper, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

“The addition of manufactured salt to the food supply and the displacement of traditional potassium-rich foods by foods introduced during the Neolithic and Industrial periods caused a 400% decline in the potassium intake while simultaneously initiating a 400% increase in sodium ingestion”

Unfortunately, most of us simply don’t get enough potassium.  At the same time, we consume way too much sodium.

We tend to think of bananas when it comes to potassium, but did you know that avocados actually contain more of this critical mineral?

One cup of avocado provides over 700 mg of potassium, compared to just over 450 mg in the same amount of banana. And of course, there is almost no sugar in an avocado, making this a much wiser choice.


Here are three simple ways to enjoy your hypertension-lowering avocado:

  1. Try a simple guacamole served with grass-fed ground beef and organic salsa for a tasty Mexican meal
  2. Blend half an avocado into a whey-protein smoothie for a creamy texture
  3. Use as a spread on your favorite grain-free Paleo bread

Balance Blood Pressure… with Beets!

It has long been known that foods rich in nitrates have a blood-pressure-lowering effect. This is due to the ability of these foods to improve vasodilation in the blood vessels.

And research tells us that beets are one of the most preferred sources!

Researchers at Newcastle University in the UK conducted a systematic review of 16 clinical trials between 2006 and 2012. What they found were significant reductions in systolic blood pressure from inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation.

Have you tried fresh-juiced beets?

If you have a juicer, have a go at juicing beets to drink regularly. If you're a regular juicer, try adding beets to your existing blend. And if you want to go ‘next level’, try Beet Kvass, which provides probiotics as well as hypertension-fighting nitrates.

 

Halt Hypertension with the “Stinking Rose”

Garlic, known as the “stinking rose”, has been used in culinary and medicinal applications for thousands of years. It contains numerous health-promoting compounds. One of the most active is a phytochemical called allicin.

Not only does it add a punch of flavor to meals, studies also show that it has a positive effect on your blood pressure.

Researchers from King Khalid University found significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure when using garlic supplementation compared to placebo.

A 2015 meta-analysis, published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension also suggests that garlic outperforms placebos, after examining randomized controlled trials over a 67-year period.

Because allicin is destroyed by heat, the greatest health and blood pressure benefits of garlic come from eating it fresh and uncooked. It is best to crush or press the cloves, then allow the garlic to stand for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the bioactive compounds form. Then stir into homemade salad dressings or herb-based sauces like chermoula, pesto and chimichurri and serve with your favorite roasted chicken, beef and fish dishes.

 

Black Tea: Sip Your Way to Better Cardiovascular Health

The next time you put your feet up, you may want to consider doing it with a cup of blood-pressure lowering black tea.

Black tea is high in flavonoids, which are well documented as one of the greatest health-giving phytonutrient groups on the planet.

Researchers from Australia and The Netherlands looked at the effects of black tea on blood pressure. During the six month study participants followed a low flavonoid diet, while consuming three cups per day of black tea. They found that “black tea consumption resulted in significantly lower systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP).”

For the best effects on your health, make sure you have your black tea “au natural”, or with a few drops of stevia.

 

It’s All About Lifestyle … And Saving Your Life.

I’m sure you realize that you can’t just add these foods to an unhealthy lifestyle and expect incredible results. To get the most out of these four blood pressure lowering foods, ensure you’re also doing the following:

Maintain a good ancestral diet full of fresh vegetables, grass-fed meats and lacto-fermented foods. 

Include 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity three to four times a week. 

Cut down on high risk behaviors such as smoking, processed foods and heavy alcohol consumption. 

Choose mineral-rich sea salt instead of “table salt” which has had the valuable minerals removed.


Ed Note:
Love bread, but not the health-harming 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.    Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP. Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. British Medical Journal. 2013 Apr 3;346:f1378. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1378.
2.    Cordain L, et al. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005 Feb;81(2):341-54.
3.    Hord N, Tang Y, Bryan N. Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits. American Society for Nutrition. July 2009 vol. 90 no. 1 1-10
4.    Siervo M, Lara J, Ogbonmwan I, Mathers JC. Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.The Journal of Nutrition. 2013 Jun;143(6):818-26. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.170233. Epub 2013 Apr 17.
5.    Coles L, Clifton P. Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition Journal. 2012 Dec 11;11:106. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-106.
6.    Ashraf R, Khan RA, Ashraf I, Qureshi AA. Effects of Allium sativum (garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension.Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2013 Sep;26(5):859-63.
7.    Hodgson JM, et al. Black tea lowers the rate of blood pressure variation: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013 May;97(5):943-50. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.051375. Epub 2013 Apr 3.
8.    Hodgson JM, Puddey IB, Woodman RJ, et al. Effects of black tea on blood pressure: A randomized controlled trial.
9.    Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. High Blood Pressure Facts (last reviewed 2015). http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm Accessed October 21, 2015.
10.    Hai-Peng W, Jing Y, Li-Qiang Q, Xiang-Jun Y. Effect of Garlic on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension. 2015 March; 17(3): 223-231.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health

How An Unhealthy Microbiome (Gut) Promotes Diabetes

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 @ 01:39 PM
microbiome

The World Health Organization predicts that diabetes will be among the top 10 causes of death globally by 2030. What’s more, according to the CDC, if this trend continues, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050.

And while blood sugar imbalances due to a high-sugar diet are certainly to blame, research now shows a deeper cause in this epidemic – one that goes far beyond blood sugar…

Our microbiome.

The Delicate Balance of Our Inner Ecosystem

It was Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, who told us over 2000 years ago that “All disease begins in the gut”.

Today it has been proven that the health of our gut has a big impact on our overall health – from immunity to brain function. And the health of our gut largely depends on the balance of the trillions of microbes within us (and on our bodies).

“For a long time, scientists assumed that these bacteria, despite their numbers, neither did us much harm nor much good. But in the past decade or so, researchers have changed their tune.” – Scientific American

Your gut alone contains three pounds of bacteria that carry out a number of vital processes. They produce nutrients like vitamin B12 and vitamin K. They assist in the digestion of food and elimination of waste. And they help to regulate hormones and aid in detoxification – to name just a few.

But not all gut bugs are good bugs.

As we shift the pH inside our digestive system with processed foods, chemicals, drugs and alcohol (to name a few), we can tip the balance in favor of the “bad guys.  This imbalance is called dysbiosis and it is a key factor in promoting chronic inflammation, autoimmune disorders, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, mood disorders, certain forms of cancer… and even diabetes.

The Bacterial Link to Diabetes

In fact, a recent study published in the journal Nature, discovered that those with Type 2 diabetes had high levels of hostile bacteria.

Similarly, children with Type 1 diabetes were found to have noticeable differences in bacterial levels compared with healthy children.

Specifically, the researchers found imbalances in optimal levels of butyrate-producing bacteria - the same bacteria connected with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

Dr. Jun Wang, PhD, a biology professor at the University of Copenhagen says:

“Butyrate-producing bacteria seem to have a protective role against several types of diseases, including diabetes.”

Butyrates are short-chain fatty acids. They are produced by gut microbes when we consume fiber-rich foods. These compounds can exert a powerful anti-inflammatory effect both inside and outside of the intestine and are well documented for their beneficial effects on insulin resistance.

Creating Optimal Balance in Our Microbiome

Unfortunately, modern diets high in sugar, refined grains, additives and preservatives, along with chlorinated water, pesticides and antibiotics support the growth of hostile bacteria… while decreasing the numbers of our healthy butyrate-producing flora.

Along with consuming the foods that promote an overgrowth of unhealthy strains, we also don’t consume enough of the right foods to populate the gut with beneficial bacterial strains.

When it comes to the microbes in your gut, balance is the key. So how can we optimally balance our microbiome to lower our risk of diabetes and other preventable disease?

The same way our ancestors did…

Bringing Back the Balance with Ancestral Diets

Here are six simple steps to a health gut and balanced microbiome:

1.    Be a Dirt Lover: Our ancestors obtained a lot of their probiotic bacteria from the soil. These bacteria, called soil based organisms (SBOs), have a profound beneficial effect on digestive balance. Consume fresh, organic veggies raised in healthy soil and don’t make them “squeaky clean” before consuming. You can also purchase supplements containing soil based organisms.

2.    Get Your Prebiotics: Many vegetables – especially onions, jicama, garlic and leeks - contain powerful prebiotic fiber that provides important nourishment for those butyrate-producing gut bacteria.

3.    Pass on the Pesticides and Antibiotics: Choose organic, pesticide-free foods to prevent wiping out the good bacteria you are working so hard to nourish. Similarly, grass-fed meats, organic pastured poultry, organ meats and wild caught fish are free of antibiotics, which allow good bacteria to remain intact.  Avoid antibiotic, unless absolutely necessary.

4.    Focus on “Reflorestation”:  Feed your healthy gut bacteria with good probiotic food sources including lacto-fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut and kimchi), kefir, kombucha and other foods preserved using traditional methods.

5.    Beware of Modern Products: To maintain the integrity of the gut, minimize or eliminate the use of antibacterial products. Consume only filtered or spring water which doesn’t contain chlorine, perchlorate and fluoride. And remove gut-damaging processed foods such as those containing aspartame, sucralose and preservatives, which have been shown to destroy gut bacteria.

6.    Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates: Reduce and eliminate sugar along with processed grains. These foods and ingredients can actually feed the growth of hostile microorganisms.

By choosing to eat the way our ancestors did, we can improve the balance of our microbiome, improve our health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes.

ED NOTE:
Love bread, but not the gut-harming 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.    Junjie Qin,Yingrui Li,    Zhiming Cai. A metagenome-wide association study of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes. Nature  490, 55–60 (04 October 2012) doi:10.1038/nature11450
2.    Gut bacteria could cause diabetes. University of Copenhagen. September 26 2012.
3.    Roberto Berni Canani, Margherita Di Costanzo, Ludovica Leone, et al.Potential beneficial effects of butyrate in intestinal and extraintestinal diseases. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Mar 28; 17(12): 1519–1528.
4.    Rob Knight. How our microbes make us who we are . Posted  Feb 2015. TED Talks.
5.    Number of Americans with Diabetes Projected to Double or Triple by 2050. Centers for Disease Control. October 22, 2010




Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health, Free-Range Poultry

TREAT CONTROLS BLOOD SUGAR BETTER THAN DIABETES DRUGS

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 @ 12:21 PM

More than 29 million Americans are currently diagnosed with Diabetes Definitiondiabetes, with an additional eight million un-diagnosed. To make matters worse, it’s estimated that 86 million Americans have the symptoms of “pre-diabetes” and that close to half (40%) of the American population will develop diabetes during their lifetime!

But it’s not just people with diabetes or pre-diabetes who should be concerned about blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar within a healthy range is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, weight gain, hormonal issues, certain cancers and more.

As you can imagine, the diabetes industry is a big business. It is estimated that over $176 billion is spent each year on diabetes medications and care alone. Billions more are spent on medical devices and so-called “diabetic-safe” industrial foods, many of which actually promote or worsen blood sugar control due to their high levels of sugar, artificial sweeteners (like sucralose and aspartame) and harmful fats (including trans fats and processed seed oils).
With all of these harmful drugs, fake pharma-foods, expensive gadgets (and the mass media and marketing surrounding them), many people with blood sugar issues feel pressure from their physicians, family and friends to “get with the program”. Unfortunately, this typically means taking a prescription medication (or three).

But recent research shows that a simple, healthy, drinkable addition to your meals may not only stabilize blood sugar enough to prevent post-meal blood sugar surges… this tasty treat may even be powerful enough to reduce the need for diabetes medications altogether.

So, what is this tasty treat?

The Blood-Sugar Balancing Shake

Well, not just any shake – a shake made with whey protein.

Researchers at Wolfson Medical Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem evaluated 15 diabetic patients with type 2 diabetes. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group received 50 grams of whey protein in 250 ml of water and a high-glycemic breakfast (three slices of white bread with sugar jelly). The second only ate the blood-sugar spiking white bread stack with jelly.

Blood samples were taken before the meal, when the whey protein was taken, and at specific intervals after the meal. The researchers found that blood sugar levels were reduced after the meal by an impressive 28 percent in the participants who consumed the whey shake. What’s more, the whey shake group also enjoyed a 105 percent increase in insulin release and 141 percent higher levels of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) – a gut hormone that stimulates insulin secretion. All in all, the whey shake group enjoyed a 96 percent improvement in early insulin response compared to the control group.

The lead researcher on the study, Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz, said:

“What’s remarkable is that consuming whey protein before meals reduces the blood sugar spikes seen after meals. It also improves the body’s insulin response, putting it in the same range or even higher than that produced by novel anti-diabetic drugs.

Eat Wisely, Move Often, Add Whey Protein

When it comes to controlling your blood sugar - or even reversing diabetes - focus on lifestyle and diet first.

Move your body. Get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. And base your meals around the low-carb, grain-free, healthy-fat foods that are known to naturally regulate blood sugar and metabolism, including grass-fed beef, bison and lamb, pastured poultry and wild fish, with as many of the above-ground veggies you can eat.

And for even more blood-sugar balancing power and nutrition, add a delicious shake made with non-denatured, grass-fed whey protein before a meal.

We would like to hear from you.  Have you overcome a blood sugar challenge or a diagnosis of diabetes? If so, how did you do it?

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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 and Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

_______________________________________________________________________________

REFERENCES
1.    American Diabetes Association. Statistics About Diabetes. Taken from National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014  http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/
2.    Gregg, E., Zhuo, X., Cheng, Y. Trends in lifetime risk and years of life lost due to diabetes in the USA, 1985–2011: a modelling study. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2014
3.    Wild, S. Roglic, G., Green, A, et al. Global Prevalence of Diabetes. Estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Diabetes Care, Volume 7, No. 5, May 2004.
4.    USA Today. Diabetes care costs nation $245 billion annually. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/06/diabetes-care-cost/1965185/
5.    Daniela Jakubowicz, Oren Froy, Bo Ahrén, Mona Boaz, Zohar Landau, Yosefa Bar-Dayan, Tali Ganz, Maayan Barnea, Julio Wainstein. Incretin, insulinotropic and glucose-lowering effects of whey protein pre-load in type 2 diabetes: a randomised clinical trial. Diabetologia, 2014; 57 (9)
6.    Pepino MY, Tiemann CD, Patterson BW, Wice BM, Klein S. Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load. Diabetes Care. 2013 Sep;36(9):2530-5.
7.    Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, Zilberman-Schapira, G. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514(7521):181-6.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Product Information, Grass-fed Lamb, Seafood, Free-Range Poultry

SAVE TIME & EAT HEALTHY TOO

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 @ 07:41 AM

describe the imageThree Meal Planning Tips for the Busy Family

As an aware and health-conscious person, you’re already doing a lot to protect your health by enjoying more nutrient-dense foods and avoiding the added sugar, fake fats and harmful chemicals found in most processed foods. You and your family might even follow specific dietary regimen that works best for you.

Unfortunately, despite our best intentions, it can still be a big challenge to consistently follow a weekly meal plan – and that goes for even the most organized home cook. With jobs, kids, travel and life’s other demands, it is all too easy to deviate from a weekly meal plan, or fail to make one in the first place.

The result?  We succumb to the temptation of unhealthy convenience foods. Or we rely on the same boring go-to meals, week after week. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

With a little forethought, you can prevent dietary pitfalls, while cooking exciting new recipes and getting more diversity in your diet.

Here are three easy-to-follow tips to help you create a flexible, healthy meal plan – without adding a lot of time to your already busy schedule.

Meal Plan Tip #1: Cook Once, Eat Three Unique Meals

We often we think of leftovers as a carbon copy of the meal we ate the day before. But it doesn’t have to be. You can completely transform your previous meal into something entirely new. The key is to choose large cuts of meat and use simple spices that will lend themselves to a variety of cuisines.

Here are a few quick ideas:

•    Pork Sirloin/Shoulder Roast: Roast pork sirloin or shoulder with a simple marinade of salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and avocado oil. The first meal can be traditional Pork Roast, served with a side of sweet potatoes and greens. The next several nights can include Pork Carnitas (break cooked pork into chunks and sauté in duck fat)… a Green Coconut Curry with Pork… or a Southern-Style Pork Barbecue with fresh cabbage slaw and Paleo “Cornbread”.

•    Whole Chicken: Using the same simple marinade from above, cook a whole chicken in a pressure cooker or slow cooker. From there, the possibilities are endless. Cobb Salad with pulled or chopped Chicken, Quick Chicken Soup with Zucchini Noodles, Chicken and Mushroom Sauté, Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Asian Dipping Sauce.  

•    Grass-Fed Beef Roast: Choose your favorite grass-fed roast – Eye of Round, Chuck Roast or Bottom Round – and prepare simply. Transform your leftovers into Thai Beef Salad, Chinese Beef & Broccoli or Paleo Tacos.

Meal Plan Tip #2: Have Go-To Meals at the Ready

Life can be unpredictable. Some days you arrive home later than usual, with hungry mouths to feed and nothing at the ready. Worse yet, the family chef may come down with the flu leaving the non-cooking parent at a loss for what to make.

In these cases, having meals fully prepared for your family in advance can save time and stress.

Make some of your favorite freezer-friendly meals in larger quantities for cases like these. And to prevent “freezer forgetfulness” (what IS in there anyway?), keep a running tally of your pre-prepared meals with their dates posted on the fridge or in a kitchen drawer.
Soups, stews and slow-cooked or pressure-cooked meats with their broths make great ready-meals. Also be sure to try US Wellness Meats pre-prepared foods like BBQ Shortribs, Shredded Beef, Pot Roast and Gravy, Sugar-Free Beef Franks and Italian Beef Sausage.

Having these healthy and delicious quick fixes on hand will help the cook in the family rest easy – no matter what life throws in the way!

Meal Plan Tip #3: Prep Ahead and Cook in Bulk

Enjoying a hot Paleo breakfast doesn’t have to mean pulling out the cast-iron skillet every morning. Prepare your staples in advance for the week ahead for a fuss-free pre-work (or school) breakfast.

Cook a batch of Sugar-Free Pork Bacon and Sausage and boil eggs to your desired temperature.   Then simply warm the meat in the toaster oven and serve with pre-cooked eggs for a hot meal in minutes.

When it comes to meal plans, there are many benefits. Not only will you save money and time, but you’ll enjoy more variety in your meals and a greater diversity of nutrients to boot.

I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Have you found a meal planning strategy that works for you? Or do you prefer to “wing” it? If the perfect “done-for-you” meal planning program existed, what features would you most like to see? What benefits would be the most helpful?

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EDITOR'S 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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Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Pork, US Wellness Meats

5 Delicious Probiotic Foods You Can Make at Home (in 20 Minutes!)

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 @ 05:45 PM

In our bacteria-averse culture of hand sanitizers, chlorinated water,describe the image irradiated and pasteurized foods, research continues to prove that bacteria play an important role in improving our health, our mood… and even our risk of disease.

In fact, studies show that many seemingly unrelated conditions – including Alzheimer’s, autism, migraines, food allergies, depression, insomnia and autoimmune illnesses – can all be improved by supporting the health of the bacterial colonies that reside in your gut (called gut flora or the microbiome).

Microbial Diversity: A Balanced Microbiome for Lifelong Health

You may have heard that the best way to improve your gut flora is to boost the “good” bacteria, like the well-known Lactobacillus and Bifidus.  

This is certainly important. But what may be even more important is to foster the diversity and balance of the specific strains of bacteria within your digestive system.

In his new book, Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life, Dr. David Perlmutter, MD says:

“It is now firmly established that the gut community of lean people resembles a rainforest filled with many species and that of obese people is much less diverse.”

And while probiotic pills can be beneficial, probiotic foods are much more effective at cultivating a diverse and well balanced internal ecosystem, thanks to a broader range and higher concentrations of bacteria.

So, let’s delve into a few of the delicious probiotic foods you should be consuming to support diversity and balance in your microbiome. The great news is that you can enjoy these health-promoting foods for mere pennies per serving.

5 Do-it-Yourself Probiotic Foods

Sauerkraut: Made with nothing more than cabbage, salt, water and time, sauerkraut is a great place for the first-time home fermenter to begin. The website, Mark’s Daily Apple, has a great step-by-step overview here. The preparation takes just about five minutes. And within a week, you’ll have a delicious, probiotic-rich German condiment to enjoy with all of your favorite Paleo foods (including grass-fed beef franks, of course).
 
Kombucha: If you love the fizzy goodness of kombucha, but not the hefty price at the store, you will be pleased to know just how easy it is to make at home. You’ll need a large glass vessel, some organic tea (I like oolong), organic sugar, organic white vinegar or pre-made kombucha and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). You can buy a live SCOBY or dehydrated SCOBY at various online purveyors. Here is a simple method for making great kombucha. Like all fermented foods, the longer the ferment, the higher levels of beneficial bacteria. Also, in the case of kombucha, a longer fermentation process produces a finished product that is lower in sugar, as the sugar will be consumed by the bacteria over time.

One note of caution: Do not use a glass container with a metal spigot. The acidity of the brew can react with the metal and taint the kombucha with a metallic taste. Metal is also generally detrimental to the SCOBY. Stainless steel may be an exception, and some brewers have success using stainless steel vessels, but it is not recommended.

Ginger Beer: This fermented beverage hails from Ireland. Making this effervescent probiotic drink requires a Ginger Beer Plant (GBT) and about two weeks of fermenting. Here is a guide to making probiotic ginger beer.

Yogurt: Using just two ingredients – organic milk and starter culture – you can make fresh, additive-free yogurt in about 10 minutes active time and 10 hours culture time in a slow cooker or a yogurt machine. Cultures for Health is a great resource for making yogurt (and more!).

Corned Beef: Surprise, meats can be probiotics too! Large cuts of meat (like a grass-fed beef roast) will take about two weeks to ferment. Brisket will be “corned” in just under a week. Check out Alton Brown’s Corned Beef recipe, or save yourself the time and buy a delicious grass-fed corned beef from US Wellness Meats.

Supporting Your Flora

Along with consuming a diverse array of delicious, healthy probiotic foods, there are several other simple things you can do to cultivate the diverse, disease-preventive microbiome of our ancestors:

Avoid chlorinated water, antibiotics, hand sanitizers and other common disinfectants (ie- bleach)

Don’t be a “clean freak” – excessive washing, especially with anti-bacterial soap is unnecessary and can deplete your microbiome

Feed your flora – eat prebiotic foods such as garlic, onions and jicama. These foods contain inulin – a prebiotic fiber that acts as food for your flora.

Exercise – along with the array of established benefits, studies show that exercise also improves microbial diversity

Avoid sugar and high-carbohydrate foods. These promote a higher ratio of bacteria, called Firmicutes, which are associated with obesity. It can also encourage gut-harming Candida and increase the risk of a leaky gut

Indulge wisely. Coffee, red wine and dark chocolate have been shown to have beneficial effects on gut bacteria

Do you make your own cultured foods? If so, what are your favorite fermented foods and methods? We would love to hear from you below.

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EDITOR'S 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.    Perlmutter, David. Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life. Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (April 28, 2015)

2.    Clarke SF, Murphy EF, O'Sullivan O, et al. Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity.Gut. 2014 Dec;63(12):1913-20.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, US Wellness Meats

The Health-Harming Trifecta in “Paleo-Friendly” Foods

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Jul 03, 2015 @ 06:13 PM

If you follow an ancestral diet, you’ve probably given up the consumption of grains. And that’s a good thing. Not only are grain-based foods unnecessary from a nutritional perspective, they also promote inflammation, contain anti-nutrients and contribute to a leaky gut.

pseudograins
But what about the pseudograins, including quinoa buckwheat and amaranth? While these foods bear a resemblance to grains in their taste and texture, they are actually the seeds of broadleaf plants and are biologically unrelated to grains. They are often touted as a safe alternative.

Unfortunately, however, despite their despite their genetic differences and “healthy” reputation, pseudograins can have many of the same health-harming effects as their grain-based counterparts.

In fact, three of the compounds known to cause digestive and immune problems found in grains are also found in pseudograins.

The Health-Harming Trifecta in “Paleo-Friendly” Pseudograins

These compounds, including lectins, saponins, and protease inhibitors are designed to protect the plant from being consumed. They do this by causing digestive irritation to the animal (or person) eating them. But the damage these little compounds can create does not end with a benign “belly ache”.


Take a look at the research on how these compounds – just like true grains – can also damage the gut, promote inflammation and contribute to immune dysfunction:

Lectins are a type of protein that acts as a component of the plant’s natural defense mechanism. Lectins can strongly interact with the proteins in gut cell membranes, increasing intestinal permeability. Once this occurs, lectins are able to pass through the “leaky gut” into the bloodstream. This contributes to systemic inflammation and increases the risk of autoimmune illness. While many foods contain lectins, those that are heat-stable (like the ones found in grains, pseudograins and legumes) appear to have the most harmful effects.

Saponins have a molecular structure similar to detergents. These compounds can interact and combine with cholesterol molecules in the cell membranes. This process also creates micro-tears in the gut, allowing a variety of harmful substances to leak into the bloodstream. Saponins can also damage the membrane of red blood cells, causing these cells to break down. What’s more, they act as adjuvants – triggers that can cause a cascading inflammatory and immune response. Small doses of saponins are found in fruits and vegetables and may actually be beneficial, helping to enhance nutrient absorption. However, the large doses found in pseudograins have been shown to compromise the integrity of the human gut.
 
Protease inhibitors are compounds found in pseudograins (as well as grains and legumes) which inhibit the digestion of proteins. But the protease inhibitors don’t just prevent proteins in the seed from being degraded – they also prevent your body from breaking down other proteins consumed at that time. In response, the pancreas secretes more digestive enzymes to facilitate protein digestion. However, because the protein-dissolving enzyme, protease, is being inhibited, the result is an excess of trypsin. While trypsin is essential, an excess in the small intestine can weaken the connections between gut cells. This too can create a leaky gut and set the stage for inflammation and autoimmune illness.

Protect Your Gut, Protect Your Health

Maintaining – or regaining – a healthy gut is essential to prevent a multitude of chronic illnesses, including autoimmune diseases, food allergies, cognitive decline, mood disorders and more.

Eliminating grains, pseudograins and legumes, while enjoying a diet rich in organic vegetables, healthy fats, grass-fed meats, and nutrient-dense bone broth provides a template for the healthy gut diet on which our ancestors thrived.

Have you eliminated pseudograins from your diet? What was your experience? Share your comments below.

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EDITOR'S 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.    Tommy Jönsson,Stefan Olsson, Bo Ahrén, Thorkild C Bøg-Hansen, Anita Dole, and Staffan Lindeberg. Agrarian diet and diseases of affluence – Do evolutionary novel dietary lectins cause leptin resistance?BMC Endocr Disord. 2005; 5:10.
2.    Gee JM, et al. Effects of saponins and glycoalkaloids on the permeability and viability of mammalian intestinal cells and on the integrity of tissue preparations in vitro. Toxicol In Vitro. 1996 Apr;10(2):117-28.
3.    The Paleo Mom. How Do Grains, Legumes and Dairy Cause a Leaky Gut? Part 2: Saponins and Protease Inhibitors
4.    Van Damme JME. Handbook of plant lectins : properties and biomedical applications. Chichester, John Wiley; 1998. p. xiv, 452p : ill ; 26cm. [Ref list]
5.    Freed DLJ. Lectins in food: Their importance in health and disease. Journal of Nutritional Medicine. 1991;2:45–65. [Ref list]
6.    Freed DL. Do dietary lectins cause disease? Bmj. 1999;318:1023–1024.
7.    Johnson IT, Gee JM, Price K, Curl C, Fenwick GR. Influence of saponins on gut permeability and active nutrient transport in vitro. J Nutr. 1986 Nov;116(11):2270-7.

Topics: Paleo