Those of you that have been reading my blogs recently know that I have been preaching the dangers of elevated blood sugars and the increase in insulin this triggers. Over the past year I have been experimenting with an eating plan focused on reducing blood sugar and controlling insulin. We have had some amazing results from the diet that has emerged. The results are even greater when coupled with strength training.
Here are some of the success stories:
1) Client 1: 34 year old male
He started low carb and a basic strength training program on Christmas Eve 2010. As of March 23rd he was down 53 pounds! He is also bench pressing more now than he did in college.
2) Client 2: 38 year old female
She lost a 0.5 inch off each thigh, 0.75 of an inch off her hips, and 2.25 inches off her waist in just four weeks!
3) Client 3: 35 year old male
Started January 3rd and has lost 4.5 inches off his waist while gaining a half inch in his chest.
And the results are not just for weight loss. The health benefits are amazing also:
4) Client 4: 40 year old type 2 diabetic
In January his fasting blood sugar was between 420 and 450. He switched to a reduced carbohydrate diet (averages about 150 grams of carbs per day) and started strength training. Now his fasting blood sugar is down 300. In addition he's lost 8 pounds and is down a pants size.
5) Client 5: 36 year old male
His triglycerides went down 6, HDL (good cholesterol) went up 10, and his LDL (bad cholesterol) went down slightly in less than six weeks. Although he's never had a weight problem, he has dropped almost 20 pounds, three inches off his waist, and two pants sizes. And he didn't even exercise.
The diet consists of the following six steps:
1) Reduce or eliminate all grain consumption (wheat, corn, oats, rice, barley, etc.)
2) Supplement with high dose omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil to reduce triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and improved mood
3) Eliminate high fructose corn syrup
4) Reduce consumption of all other sugars
5) Start each day with a high fat, zero carbohydrate breakfast to stabilize blood sugar
6) Never eat anything labelled "low fat"
If you have a lot of weight to lose, I suggest the following "tweaks" to the nutrition plan:
1) Supplement with medium chain triglycerides (found naturally in coconut oil) to increase metabolism and energy levels
2) Practice intermittent fasting two to four days per week
Next time you reach for a whole grain bagel, fat free wheat thins, or a glass of fruit juice, consider the effects of the massive insulin dump foods like this can cause. High insulin levels have been associated with ALL of the following:
10) Prostate cancer
9) Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
8) Metabolic Syndrome
7) Weight gain
5) Type 2 diabetes
4) High triglycerides
2) Damage to the endothelium cells lining your blood vessels
Compared to 1970, the people of our country exercise more. We eat less fat in general and less saturated fat in particular. We even eat more fruits and vegetables. So why are we getting fatter? Why is the number of people suffering from diabetes and metabolic syndrome increasing by the day?
We are following, at least in part, the dietary advice set out by the American Heart Association. We eat more whole grains than ever. While we eat slightly more meat by weight, the calories we get from that meat has actually decreased! Farmers in this country have responded to the low fat diet craze by raising leaner farm animals, lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. But still the Center for Disease Control estimates that one out of every two Americans will be diabetic or pre-diabetic by 2020!
The answer, at least in part, is due to an over consumption of the following three foods:
Industrial Seed Oils
Industrial seed oils, such as soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil (as well as any oil generically labelled "vegetable oil") contain unnaturally high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids. Offsetting the omega 6: omega 3 ration in ours can have some pretty deleterious effects.
Diets with high omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio have been shown to cause obesity in mice thats worsens with each passing generation. (1, 2)
In one study lab rats consuming 20% of their calories from corn oil developed obesity, bone loss, generalized inflammation, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver. (11)
In humans, a omega 6: omega 3 ratio of 4:1 or better has been shown to reduce mortality in people who have already suffered a heart attack. A low ratio has also been shown to reduce symptoms in people with inflammatory diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. (3)
It is important to note that in many of these studies the ratio between these two essential fats, and not the total amount of omega 3's, that resulted in health benefits. (3) Therefore reducing omega 6 consumption can have as much of an impact as adding omega 3's (i.e. fish oil) to your diet.
Industrial seed oils are relatively new to the human diet. It takes some pretty harsh chemicals and intensive processing to turn corn, soybeans, or sunflowers into oil. Put simply, these oils are not real food. Eliminating them from your diet will greatly improve your overall health and wellness.
Soy is perhaps the world's most unhealthy "health" food. Soy consumption decreases sperm count (4), and increases the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease (5), asthma (6), and bladder cancer (7).
Many will argue that soy products must be good for you because they have been consumed for generations in healthy Asian populations. But this logic is faulty for many reasons. First, traditional Asian cultures consumed naturally fermented soy products such as tamari and miso. In addition, these naturally fermented foods are used as a side dish or sauce, not as a main course. It is estimated that soy consumption in traditional Chinese diets amounted to about a teaspoon of soy per day. (9) One soy latte from Starbucks has over 14 times this amount!
If you'd like to eat a few edamame as an appetizer or have some soy sauce with your sashimi, by all means go ahead. But soy nuggets, soy burgers, soy milk, soy bacon, and any other imitation animal product should be avoided.
Fructose is often considered a healthy alternative to other sweeteners because it typically does not spike blood sugar. For this reason diabetics are often advised to use fructose instead of sucrose. But in reality fructose is a toxin that should be avoided.
The negative effects of fructose are staggering. Replacing glucose calories with and equal amount of fructose decreased insulin sensitivity, increased plasma lipids, increased abdominal fat, and decreased blood glucose control. (8)
Lab rats given HFCS gained more weight then rats given sucrose, or table sugar, even when calories are kept constant. They also developed metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms know to increase risk of diabetes, heart disease, and dementia in humans. (10)
Sugar in general is bad, but fructose is even worse. It causes a major metabolic shift that contributes to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and other diseases of civilization.
The scary truth is that at least one of these three is found in almost every food on supermarket shelves. If it has a nutrition label it almost assuredly has at least one of these toxins.
You think your All-Bran breakfast is healthy? The second ingredient is sugar and the third is high fructose corn syrup.
Wheat thins? Sure they have only one gram of saturated fat but they have all three of these ingredients in multiple forms.
OK, what about fat free yogurt? That must be OK!
Guess again. Dannon's Light and Fit varieties included modified food starch derived from soy as well as added fructose. Interestingly enough, fructose is listed twice, both as a constituent of yogurt and as an added ingredient.
The only way to limit consumption of these foods (or should I say poisons!) is to avoid all processed foods. Stick with fresh vegetables, poultry, seafood, pork, and meat to quickly and easily improve your health and wellness. In addition, you will effortlessly loss weight, feel great, and be full of energy.
2)J. Lipid Res. jlr.M006866. First Published on April 20, 2010, doi:10.1194/jlr.M006866. “A Western-like fat diet is sufficient to induce a gradual enhancement in fat mass over generations.” Florence Massiera, Pascal Barbry, Philippe Guesnet, Aurelie Joly, Serge Luquet, Chimene Moreilhon Brest, Tala Mohsen-Kanson, Ez-Zoubir Amri, and Gerard P. Ailhaud.
3)Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79. “The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids.” Simopoulos AP.
4)Hum. Reprod. (2008) 23(11): 2584-2590. “Soy food and isoflavone intake in relation to semen quality parameters among men from an infertility clinic.” Jorge E. Chavarro, Thomas L. Toth, Sonita M. Sadio, and Russ Hauser.
5)White L.”Association of High Midlife Tofu Consumption with Accelerated Brain Aging.” Plenary Session #8: Cognitive Function, The Third International Soy Symposium, Program, November 1999, 26.
6)Strom BL and others. "Exposure to soy-based formula in infancy and endocrinological and reproductive outcomes in young adulthood." JAMA 2001 Nov 21;286(19):2402-3.
7)Sun CL and others." Dietary soy and increased risk of bladder cancer:." The Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Dec;11(12):1674-7.
8)Kimber L. Stanhope et al.”Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans.” Clin Invest. 2009 May 1; 119(5): 1322–1334.
9)Chen J, Campbell TC, Li J, Peto R. “Diet, Lifestyle and Mortality in China. A study of the characteristics of 65 counties.” Monograph, joint publication of Oxford University Press, Cornell University Press, China People's Medical Publishing House, 1990.
10)Miriam E. Bocarsly, Elyse S. Powell, Nicole M. Avena, Bartley G. Hoebel. “High-fructose corn syrup causes characteristics of obesity in rats: Increased body weight, body fat and triglyceride levels.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Volume 97, Issue 1, November 2010, Pages 101-106.
11)Halade GV, Rahman MM, Williams PJ, Fernandes G. “High fat diet-induced animal model of age-associated obesity and osteoporosis.” J Nutr Biochem. 2010 Dec;21(12):1162-9. Epub 2010 Feb 10.