This is an excerpt directly from my E-Book, Boosting Metabolism with Food and Habits. It is the nutrition part of the main Top 10 influences on metabolism, which means that balancing nutrition is at best 10% of the metabolism battle, so make sure you check out the book to balance the rest of your factors.
Ok, get ready for a lot of important information organized into a small amount of space. This nutrition section has everything you need to understand how to create your own diet or nutrition plan, especially if you piece it together with the meal planning section of this book.
What if I was to tell you that the very foods “they” told you would give you heart disease, make you fat and die younger, are the very foods that actually boost your metabolism, fight inflammation, help you lose weight and promote longevity? Huh?!
It shouldn’t be too hard to believe when you look at the statistics of heart disease, obesity and cancer increasing everywhere around the globe. Something is obviously not working.
Of course, all of these claims can each be argued with scientific data that “proves” them right and other studies that “prove” them wrong. So what follows is simply a top 10 list of what I believe to be the most efficient ways to improve your metabolic team through nutrition and real food.
It’s time to get back to all the foods that the media has scared us away from, which have thus far created health epidemics. Not to mention, none of their recommendations have ever withstood all the tests of science, including cultures who eat these foods regularly and have no signs of disease or obesity.
Top 10 Metabolic Nutrition Factors
1. Enzymes, Nutrients & Real Food
8. The No-No List
9. Caffeine, Alcohol & Drugs
1. Enzymes, Nutrients & Real Food
Nutrient deficiency, especially magnesium, zinc, iodine, iron and vitamins A, B-12, C and D are rampant these days, mostly because people eat more processed foods than real foods. A major problem with our modern, obesity-causing and processed diet, is that the natural, anti-inflammatory components of food have been removed, while isolated, synthetic and semi-useless vitamins and minerals were added . Not to mention all of the additives and calorie-rich “ingredients” injected in the process.
So why are enzymes essential to your health? Simply put – because they are the catalyst for virtually every cellular reaction in the body, including digestion – and if you don’t get them from your food, then your body must use its own enzymes to help break down the food you eat. This is not good, in fact it drains the body of its vital essence, leaving it vulnerable to disease, lethargy and foreign invaders.
Enzymes are very sensitive to heat, and therefore raw, fermented or barely cooked foods provide the greatest amount of enzymes to the body. Fermented foods are great for enzymes because the healthy bacteria produced from fermentation secrete their own enzymes to pre-digest the food for your body, thereby creating less work for your body to assimilate and actually gain enzymes, as opposed to using its own for digestion.
The pasteurization of milk and dairy has been a big cause of dairy intolerance and allergy symptoms in the modern world. It wasn’t long ago that we all drank raw milk and ate raw cheese, and were very healthy – now raw milk is illegal in some states and very hard to find most other areas. You can read all about raw milk, it’s benefits and where to find it near you here.
The good news is that the solution to getting enough enzymes, vitamins and minerals is simple: JUST EAT NATURAL FOODS consisting of a variety of colors, cooked and raw foods, most of which should be organic, hormone-free and raised naturally. If you want enzymes and inflammation fighting properties to come from your food, then eat them as nature intended you to eat them, not as some company intended you to eat them. Find a farmer and buy directly from them whenever possible.
So that covers the enzymes you take in, but what about the enzymes already in your body? What if you have damaged stomach lining from certain drugs and habits? Or what if you have digestive issues that cause your body to lack certain enzymes and therefore lack the ability to breakdown certain foods?
If this is you, then healing is going to need to take place in the gut before you can boost your metabolism and handle food like a normal stomach does. This is where proper food combing and layering come in very handy. Both of these tools allow you to maximize the digestive enzymes in the stomach by only allowing certain foods in it at one time, thereby not diluting digestive juices, which are completely different for proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Please read more details about proper food combining and layering in the appendix here.
For those who need healing in the gut, a digestive aid (pill with enzymes) taken with meals is also very helpful until the gut can produce enough on its own.
I am going to keep this as simple as possible, because this subject has so much conflicting and misrepresented “evidence” over the last 100 years that the poor consumer these days is totally confused, and rightfully so. Research and the government cannot reach a common ground on which fats are best, in fact they are usually polar opposites, therefore, we must look at history and human civilizations to see what has been working, and why heart disease is still the number one killer, despite our low-fat diets and attempts to improve the situation.
One important note: I am not here to convince you which fats are best or what foods you should eat, that is not my duty. What I can do for you is present a holistic and up to date, research-based perspective of how fats affect the body and your metabolism – then you can decide which side of the fat-fence you want to live on. If you are interested in where I get my information from on this topic, you can learn all about it here, here, here, here, here, here, here & here.
What are fats, and what do they do?
Natural sources (animal and plant) of fat are, besides very tasty, the most concentrated source of energy you can eat, which explains why it keeps you feeling full for longer and sustains energy without crashing, like sugar and caffeine do. Fat provides the primary building blocks necessary for cell membranes and many hormones, as well as being a carrier for the crucial fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Fat does so many other things, including keeping you warm and storing energy for later use, but for the sake of sticking to a metabolic theme, let’s focus on the above mentioned.
What types of fats are there?
This is where most people get lost, so I promise to be quick and to the point. Below are the main types of fats.
1. Saturated fats
2. Unsaturated fats
b) Trans (can be mono or polyunsaturated)
b) Polyunsaturated (PUFA)
- Omega 6 (Polyunsaturated)
- Omega 3 (Polyunsaturated)
- And even more types
Most foods contain a mixture of a few different fat types, but are predominantly one type more than the other, although some animal products are close to 50% saturated and 50% monounsaturated.
Below is a brief description of each and what foods contain the most in each category.
- Coconut oil
- Palm oil
- Dried coconut
- Rendered animal fats (tallow, lard, shortening, also vegetable shortening)
- Dark chocolate
- Whole fat dairy and cheeses
- Fatty meats
- Egg yolks
- Vegetable oils and shortening
- Fish oil
- Animal fats
- Chicken fat and skin
- Vegetable oils (soy, sunflower, safflower, etc.)
- Flax seed oil
- Fatty fishes
- Fish oil
- Fish oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Fatty fishes
- Spreads, i.e. margarine
- Packaged foods, especially baked goods, frostings,
- Many soups and ramen noodles
- Many fried and fast foods
||Very stable, even when heated.
||Relatively stable, although not ideal for cooking at high temps.
||Very unstable and go rancid easily, especially when heated.Promotes inflammation
||Very unstable and go rancid easily, especially when heated.Reduces inflammation
||Raises bad and lowers good cholesterolPromotes inflammation
List of foods with the most fat in each category – note that most fats have a combination of many different fats.
*% of total calories, according to Weston A. Price Foundation and Lasserre, M, et al, Lipids, 1985, 20:4:227 This means that a person consuming 2000 calories per day should only be eating a total of 9 grams per day of PUFA’s.
**This is not the current recommendation by governments and other agencies, who are now responsible for the current health problems. This is a collection of recommendations from holistic professionals.
***Many people are eating as much as 30-40% of their total calories in polyunsaturated fats.
****This is the only recommendation that everyone agrees on.
Fats and Diseases Gone Wild
Ok get ready, I’m about to spew so many factoids in this section you may get dizzy and light-headed. Take some time to digest all this, without getting caught up in the fact that many things here are probably the opposite of what you believe to be true – just soak it up for a sec, no rejecting, no judging, just looking at a different perspective based on history, the latest research and observation.
You can find these dated facts below (1910-2013) and many more here, thanks to Alan Watson and his Illustrated History Of Heart Disease 1825-2015 – these are directly quoted, with his permission.
1910 Lifetime risk of type II diabetes: 1 in 30. The lifetime risk today is 1 in 3 according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.
1910 Butter consumption = 18 pounds per capita. In the year 2000 butter consumption went below 4 pounds. When we were using high quality butter lavishly, mortality from heart disease was below 10 percent. (Infections killed a majority of people; a high percentage of infants and women of child-bearing age died during the birthing process.) Today as we consume our “Country Croak,” the mortality from heart disease is 40 to 45 percent.
1910 Lard, the rendered fat from pigs raised outdoors, was the #1 cooking fat – enjoying 70 percent of the market. Lard was the best source of Vitamin D and a good source of palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated anti-microbial fatty acid that kills bacteria and viruses. Today highly processed soybean oil has 70 percent of the market; zero vitamin D. Now the same experts who told us not to eat lard are telling us we are deficient in Vitamin D!
1930 Margarine consumption reaches 2.6 pounds per capita. By 1957, margarine consumption increased to about 9 pounds – surpassing butter for the first time.
1948 Vegetable fat consumption: 28 pounds per capita. By 1976: 55 pounds. As obesity and diabetes became public health problems, our consumption of highly processed vegetable fat, including tran fatty acids, climbed steadily and our consumption of fat from animals declined.
1957 Margarine outsold butter for the first time. Per capita consumption of margarine had grown to 9 pounds. For decades, margarine has been a significant source of trans fats in our diets. While butter is a good source of infection-fighting Vitamin A, margarine has none. Margarine, vegetable shortening, and vegetable cooking oils contain excess omega 6 linoleic acid. If there’s a fat of mass destruction – unsafe at any meal – this is it. Excess omega 6 causes injury and inflammation in the tissues of the body.
1961 American Heart Association raised $35 million dollars and officially adopts AHA board member Ancel Keys’ low fat diet. In January 1961, the same month Eisenhower leaves office, Keys made the cover of Time Magazine. From now on, the media amplifies the low fat = good health mantra – exciting stuff!
***Ancel Keys, professor, University of Minnesota, had erroneously based his theory on a conference in Rome on nutrition and disease, where he learned that heart disease was rare in some Mediterranean populations who consumed a lower fat diet. He noted, too, that the Japanese had low fat diets and low rates of heart disease. He hypothesized from these observations that fat was the cause of heart disease.
Convinced that dietary fat is the cause of heart disease, he published his Six Country Analysis, suggesting an association between dietary fat and mortality from heart disease. Critics pointed out that Keys had data for 22 countries, but selected data from just 6. (As an example, Keys excluded France, a country with a high fat diet and low rates of heart disease.) Keys cheated!
1970 American Heart Association’s anti-fat guidelines now extend to children and pregnant women. As a direct consequence, the federal government’s WIC program – food assistance to women with infant children – only allows skim or low fat milk to children over age 2. Yes, that’s right, a pregnant woman receives a voucher for non-fat or skim milk!
1974 Framingham Heart Study (24 years). Men with cholesterol levels below 190 mg/dl were three times more likely to get colon cancer as men with cholesterol over 220 mg/dl. In Framingham, there was a strong association between low cholesterol and premature death. Also, there was no relationship between elevated cholesterol and sudden death.
1976 FDA gives GRAS status (generally regarded as safe) to hydrogenated soybean oil – even though lipid biochemist Mary Enig, PhD, warned the government that – among their many dangers – trans fats interfere with insulin receptors on cell membranes and thereby increase the risk of diabetes. It wasn’t until 2005 that the Dietary Guidelines finally and weakly cautioned Americans to “limit trans fatty acids” by lumping them together with saturated fat into a dumb new meaningless category called “Bad Fat.”
1980 Obesity levels in the US had remained between 12 to 14 percent from 1960 to 1980. After 1980 – and especially after 1990 – obesity grew dramatically. Today 49 states have obesity rates over 20 percent. (Colorado is under 20 percent.)
1980 U.S. Department of Agriculture releases the official first ever low fat Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In bold face on the cover: “EAT LESS FAT, SATURATED FAT, AND CHOLESTEROL.” Finally, Key’s still unproven hypothesis that dietary fat was the cause of heart disease became the cornerstone of U.S. nutrition policies and education.
1982 Disappointing results in the National Institutes of Health MRFIT study. Participants eating the low fat, high carbohydrate vegetable fat diet had more deaths than the “usual care” group left to their own devices. Two years after the passage of low fat Dietary Guidelines, a major study fails to prove that low fat diets were safe or effective.
1986 The same year the U.S. declared “War on Cholesterol,” Japanese physicians warn that low blood cholesterol levels are strongly associated with strokes, the number one cause of death in Japan. As the percentage of fat in the Japanese diet increased, the incidence of deadly strokes declined.
1999 At the 14 year point in the Harvard Nurses Study, 3,000 nurses had developed cancer. According to study leader Walter Willett, the less fat the nurses ate the greater their risk of cancer. Willet said, “Saturated fat seems to be protective…” Even though dietary fat was exonerated, the American Cancer Society continues to blame red meat and fat on cancer – not sugar or excess carbohydrates.
2000 Soybean oil has 70 percent of the edible fat market in the U.S. Nutritious lard consumption: Less than 1 pound per capita.
2000 Sugar consumption in the U.S.: 150 pounds per capita.
2000 Butter consumption in the U.S.: less than 4 pounds per capita.
2000 Well over $1 billion had been spent on trials focusing on lowering LDL cholesterol. Little or no money, in comparison, has been spent researching the potential widespread dangers of added sugars, omega-6 industrial seed oils, or the official low fat diet.
2005 More than 30 percent of all Americans are clinically obese and revenue from the health club industry reaches $16 billion. Nearly 40 million Americans belong to health clubs. The exercise boom is failing to curb obesity, diabetes, or the incidence of heart disease. Science writer Gary Taubes is making a compelling argument that exercise helps you “work up an appetite.”
2005 Butter is making a comeback! For the first time since 1957, butter outsells margarine.
2013 In 2013 in Dallas, the American Heart Association is inviting 33,000 cardiac experts – professionals who continue to follow the low fat Gospel according to Keys – to their grand annual conference. The city of Dallas has agreed to build a lavish new 1,100 bed “Four Star” hotel. A rightfully proud Mr. Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the event will generate an estimated $86 million for the city of Dallas. No surprise here. The AHA is a fundraising superstar with assets over $1 billion. The CEO earns over $500,000 annually – a tidy sum for the head cop of the low fat Dietary Guidelines.
The above trends coincide with an increase in sugar from 15 pounds per capita to 150 pounds per year, much of it now from high fructose corn syrup, so changes in both fat and sugar consumption, along with an increase in sedentary lifestyle, can be the prime suspects for our current epidemics.
Here are some other interesting points to ponder.
– In the 1960’s, Americans got about 45% of their calories from fat, while only 13% of them were obese, and under 1% had type II diabetes. Today, Americans get about 33% of their calories from fat, yet 34% of them are obese and 11% have diabetes, mostly type II
– Consumption of polyunsaturated fat in the U.S. has gone from about 13 grams per day to nearly 40 grams per day over the past century.
– In Okinawa, a woman’s lifespan is 84 years – they eat pork, seafood and do all their cooking in lard.10
– Before 1920, coronary heart disease was rare, but by the mid-1950’s it was the leading cause of death among Americans
– Between 1910-1970, Americans drastically reduced their intake of animal fats and butter. During the last 80 years the percentage of dietary vegetable oils (margarine, shortening and refined oils) has increased about 400%, while sugar and processed foods increased about 60%.
– In three different Pacific Island populations, all of which were free of heart disease, the ratio of saturated fat to polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) was 25:1, 15:1 and 8.5:1, while the U.S. had a ratio of 1.5:1. In other words, the U.S., where the #1 killer is heart disease, takes in an almost equal amount of saturated and unsaturated fats, while populations free of heart disease take in up to 25x more saturated fat than PUFA – all from natural sources of course.
– These three populations mentioned above, averaged their PUFA’s at 2% of total caloric intake, while the U.S. was at 7% (many people much higher than that). Main factors affecting heart and inflammatory disease here seem to be 1) total intake of PUFA’s, 2) the U.S. consumes most of their PUFA’s in the form of vegetable oils, which are highly unstable and oxidize easily and 3) the ratio of omega 6 to 3 is too high in the U.S, up to 25:1 in some people.
– The director of the Framingham Heart Study, of about 6,000 people, concluded that after 40yrs, “we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”9
– It is agreed now that our ancestors ate a ratio of about 1:1 for omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. Nowadays that ratio is as far off as 25:1, which is thought by many holistic practitioners to be a main cause of inflammation and disease in the body. Balancing these two fats is essential to your health, so check out the list of foods in the previous chart and do your best to reduce vegetable oils and increase omega 3 foods, keeping the total of these two to about 4% total calories. You can read here by Chris Kresser for more on how to balance these ratios.
Note: grass fed meat and dairy have more omega 3’s than their regular counterparts, and butter is naturally a 1:1 ratio – read here for that information.
– Ray Peat Ph.D. says this about coconut oil, which is mostly saturated fat, “When added to a balanced diet, coconut oil slightly lowers the cholesterol level, which is exactly what is expected when a dietary change raises thyroid function. This same increase in thyroid function and metabolic rate explains why people and animals that regularly eat coconut oil are lean, and remarkably free of heart disease and cancer.”
PUFA’s are highly unstable, tend to oxidize, form free radicals, and despite the governments touting, have no real-life correlation to health or longevity – in fact the opposite seems to be true. Saturated fats have gotten, and still get, unjust criticism, due to monetary influences and poor theories over 50 years ago.
Civilizations and even animals who consume saturated fat, are usually lean and free from obesity, which is exactly the opposite of what society has been lead to believe. Not to mention these human populations are free from heart disease and many other diseases that plague countries which follow the PUFA fad – no doubt the addition of refined foods and sugars have added to these issues.
Since the U.S. has epidemics of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, the list goes on, and consumes only about 30% of their total calories from fat, two-thirds of which is unsaturated, I am keen on the recommendations from many well-respected holistic professionals to consume higher amounts of total fat (up to 55%) and saturated fat (up to 40% total calories, while PUFA’s only 3-4% and monounsaturated 5-15%), all of which should come from natural sources.
In other words, flip the current ratios of saturated fat to unsaturated, and increase the total amount of fat eaten per day. This makes absolutely no sense to you and sounds scary, I am sure….but just look around and see how well the current ratios are working – they aren’t.
If you want to change metabolism, then you need to optimize your greatest source of energy, FAT.
Check out the Meals and Ratios section to plan out your fat intake.
Here’s something you don’t hear often, “both salt and sugar lower the adrenalin level, and both tend to raise the body temperature”. Those are both good things. Of course we are talking about natural, sea salts and sugars in the right amounts.
Ray Peat, who said the above, takes it a step further and says “…a lack of sodium slows metabolism, lowers carbon dioxide production, and creates inflammation, stress and degeneration. Rephrasing it, sodium stimulates energy metabolism, increases carbon dioxide production, and protects against inflammation and other maladaptive stress reactions.”
Simply put, salt your foods and enjoy them. This does not include anyone who eats mostly processed foods, because those are already loaded with salt, albeit crappy salt. So go find some healthy sea salt and start shakin’!
As you read above, both salt and sugar lower adrenalin levels, and they tend to raise the body temperature. I am not talking about candy bars and cake here; I am talking about real foods, starches, honey, fruits and the like.
Everyone seems to be afraid of sugar these days, and they should be if they eat packaged food, because it ain’t what it used to be and it is hidden everywhere. In 1822, the average American consumed about 6.3 pounds of added sugar per year, much of it molasses. In 2004, it had increased to 101 pounds per year, a 16-fold increase, much of it high fructose corn syrup. In 1930 the lifetime risk of developing diabetes was 1 in 30, today it is 1 in 3!
I want you to think of sugar as another word for carbohydrates (carbs), because that’s what nature intended it to be, although nature packs most of its sugar with some fiber, minerals and vitamins, unlike manufactured sugar.
There have been cultures who ate 70% carbs and were lean and healthy, so carbs per se, are not the cause of obesity and disease – manmade sugar on the other hand, well, that, along with our refined vegetable oils, seem to be the start of our demise.
Once you get the taste for palatable, sweet stuff, the brain uses its reward center to make you want and eat more, and anything less won’t compare. There are plenty of studies showing that people and mice gravitate towards tastier foods, which are usually salty, fatty or sweet and resemble junk food. These reward-driven foods also make the brain eat more than it normally would, and the body gets fatter than it normally would with the same amount of less palatable foods. Read more here for that story and research.
Manufacturers know this, and so they pack their foods with these tasty morsels to keep you coming back for more – meanwhile you get fatter, unhealthier and more addicted to these foods in a way that trains your taste buds to dislike normal, or “plain” foods.
Here are some take-home points from Stephan Guyenet’s “Is Sugar Fattening?” article. Stephan is a well respected researcher in metabolism, body fat regulation, food palatability and brain reward influences on obesity and disease – these are directly quoted, with his permission.
- Sugar, including fructose, is not inherently fattening relative to other calorie sources, and unrefined sugar is compatible with fat loss in the context of simple whole food diets.
- Sugar can be fattening in certain contexts, specifically if it is added to foods and beverages to increase their palatability, reward value and energy density.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages are probably one of the most fattening elements of the modern diet.
- Fruit is not fattening, and it may actually be slimming.
- In excess, refined sugar can cause body fat to redistribute from the subcutaneous depot (under the skin, where you want it) to the visceral depots and the liver (where you don’t want it). It can also cause insulin resistance in the liver and increase blood pressure, all components of the ‘metabolic syndrome’. This is caused specifically by the fructose portion of the sugar.
So now that we understand natural sugar is good for us and necessary, how do we get it into our daily routine? Well, if you are a soda or liquid sugar drinker, then you have some serious thinking to do, because those are anti-metabolic foods if there ever was one.
Even if you are a relatively healthy and active person, you may go through a few times in a day when your blood sugar is low, especially if you go long periods without eating. This often leads to headaches, cold hands and feet, lack of concentration, and an overall feeling of “I wanna kill the next person who talks to me!”
This is obviously not good, short or long term, and is easily fixed by eating or drinking enough sugar throughout the day. Yeah, I said it, eat sugar!! Just make sure its natural and you are doing enough movement in your daily routine to utilize it, and not have it accumulate as fat. It doesn’t need to be high intensity movement or the Cross Fit WOD, just movement, i.e. walking.
My favorite way to keep sugar in my blood is to make a big batch of tea at home, mix some honey in it while it’s hot, then cool it down in a glass container in the fridge. Once it cools I put it in a bottle and take with me to work or wherever I’m going; bear in mind I have an active job so I need the sugar. As an added bonus, these carbs (sugars) will often decrease the number of times you need to go pee as well – read the water section below for more on that WIZardry.
Bottom line: get enough sugar to keep up with your activity level, and make sure you are eating the same type of sugar your ancestors were.
Check out the Meals and Ratios section to plan out your carbohydrate intake.
Another huge error of the 20th century, and still to this day is the cholesterol myth. I will sum it all up by saying that we need cholesterol and it’s good for you, if you get it from natural sources like eggs, meat, cheese, butter and the like.
An interesting fact about cholesterol is that whether it is produced internally by the cell or taken in from the blood stream, it is the precursor for all steroids in the body, several of which are anti-inflammatory, including cholesterol (Mikko, et al., 2002; Kreines, et al., 1990). And finally, there are plenty of studies now indicating low cholesterol levels increase mortality rates.
To avoid making this into a HUGE cholesterol section, you can learn more details about the benefits and actions of cholesterol here, here and here.
In summary, don’t be afraid of cholesterol, you need it, so eat it. Also, unless you’re cholesterol numbers are astronomically high (some holistic experts say anything below 250 is fixable without meds), you don’t need medication to lower it. High cholesterol is often due to low thyroid function or inflammation that can be improved by following the Top 10 list here.
Are you getting enough protein? The latest news recommends for active people to range from eating 0.5 – 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight for the best performance and health.
Protein contains the building blocks for our muscles and the key to recovery for active people. It is also thermogenic, which means it raises and helps to stabilize body temperature. Proteins are full of the enzymes we need to catalyze countless reactions in the body that keep us going strong.
When eating meat for protein, think about this…there is no natural tribe or culture that just eats the meat/flesh, i.e. they make stews, cook the bones for broth, eat the liver, skin etc. They did it out of instinct, but we have shown that all the components of an animal will feed all the components in the human body, i.e. animal liver helps our liver, their skin and bones helps our skin and bones, etc. If all you eat is muscle flesh, then you will have too much acid and inflammation in the body – bone broths are known to be anti-inflammatory.
If you don’t eat meat, then make sure you are getting enough protein from natural sources to keep up with your activities – just know this; never throughout history have we ever found a 100% vegetarian culture. This is a new fad based on bad research and conclusions.
Check out the Meals and Ratios section to plan out your protein intake.
Yes, water is what we are mostly made of, and yes, we should drink it and keep hydrated. Howeverrrr, there are some instances when an average amount of plain water is not good for someone. How is this possible? Well, imagine you’ve got a person who is undernourished and lacks certain vitamins, sugar or salt.
Then you have them drink half their body weight in ounces because that’s what everyone says, even I have said that. All that water now dilutes the blood and cellular levels and makes that vitamin or whatever deficiency even more pronounced.
This leads to a lot of peeing and “water in and water out” cycles to protect the balance of the cells. Now if you take that same person and improve their deficiency, water is again awesome for them.
If you drink a lot of water or liquids, pee a lot and have cold hands and feet, you may be low on sugar or salt. You can experiment by adding honey to your liquids and seeing if that helps your symptoms. If so, you’re welcome. If not, try adding them into your overall diet, including the salt and see if that helps. If none of that helps, then get crackin’ on the other Top 10 items!
Bottom line: make sure you’re not diluting yourself by drinking too much plain water. A sign of that is frequent peeing and cold hands and feet.
8. The No-No List
It is time to cut the nonsense and own up to the fact that most of us already know we should not be ingesting what is on this list, and yet we do. Why? Probably because of this excuse and that excuse….trust me, I’ve heard them all, or at least enough to encourage me to write something a little more abrupt than the average saying “these are bad for you so don’t eat them.”
I hope you don’t mistake my passion for this topic with ranting and raving, but since I am losing friends, family and clients every year at an alarming rate to cancer and disease for “unknown” reasons, every little bit counts. I know it may seem difficult and maybe even extreme, so if you need to take baby steps, great, do that. Just do whatever it takes to get this list out of your system before it is too late to rid your body of them. This is a great start to helping your body cleanse itself.
My job is to put a mirror in front of you and ask you why you haven’t accomplished the things you want to do, and challenge your views on health and make sure that YOU are the one making the decisions when it comes to your health, and not the government, popular magazines, famous people or anyone else.
No matter what the reason, if you are eating any of the following ingredients/additives and you would like to be healthy, please stop consuming them right now. It’s that simple. You cannot be healthy if you routinely consume any of the following 14 items.
I am not going to list the details of why these additives and other toxic ingredients are terrible for you, because if you need to know WHY you shouldn’t have artificial coloring in your blood stream, then you’re just not ready yet. Maybe you need to do some research on your own first (all of these can be Googled); I know I had to before I believed any of this stuff! Otherwise, just put your faith into my 17 plus years of research and reputation and simply eliminate this list NOW.
Ok then, that was a little on the serious side, but hopefully now you understand my passion for your health and how important this knowledge is for you to thrive in life, not just survive and get by. Before we get to the list, check out a few of the problems that the things on The No No List can cause, i.e. reasons for you and your family to stay away from them!
- Food allergies
- Increased waistlines, obesity and weight gain
- Decreased absorption of minerals and vitamins
- Toxic reactions
- Nervous disorders
- Lowered immune function
- Cardiovascular disease
- Exaggerated PMS symptoms
- Itchy skin
- Respiratory issues
- Digestive disorders
- Circulatory dysfunctions
- Coronary problems
- Hyperactivity and ADD in children
- Visual and learning disorders
- Nerve damage
- Liver and kidney damage
- Hair loss
- Behavioral problems
- Fetal abnormalities
- Growth retardation
- Diarrhea and anal leakage
- Heart disease
- Elevated cholesterol
- Impairs fertility
- Miscarriages and birth defects
Here is The NO-NO LIST…in no particular order. It is up to you to read labels and find out where you are getting them in your diet. The goal is not to be uptight about this list or feel guilty every time you ingest something on it. The goal is to slowly train your habits so that this list is naturally avoided.
If you eat fresh, whole, organic foods, you won’t have to worry about any of this.
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Refined Sugar
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- BHA and BHT
- Sodium Nitrate and Nitrite
- Artificial Colors
- Olestra (Olean)
- Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
- Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Trans Fat)
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
- Growth hormones in animals
9. Caffeine, Alcohol & Drugs
This is an obvious one: don’t abuse them. Alcohol leads to overeating and poor fat metabolism to name a few problems, while drugs like sleeping aids and other “innocent” aids throw off the body’s own ability to regulate its own hormones and regulating systems, leaving the body to rely on drugs and eventually unable to regulate itself; not good.
Caffeine is a drug, a good one, but still a drug that too many people abuse. Coffee for example is a very healthy drink that is full of antioxidants. However, it is only beneficial if taken in the right doses, which is usually WAY smaller than most people realize. Jumbo, grande mocha is not a health drink and is killing you faster than the normal aging process.
If coffee or caffeine makes you jittery, pee a lot, have soft bowel movements or any other abnormalities, then it is either not for you, at least not yet, or you are drinking too much of it. Abuse of coffee is one of the most common ways people treat their adrenal fatigue and also contribute to their adrenal fatigue.
Other common drugs like corticosteroids and antibiotics can also ruin metabolism via the stomach, weight gain and hormonal systems. If you have taken these types of drugs in the past many times, no matter how long ago, then you can expect a longer healing process to get your metabolism thriving the way you want it.
If you have to use drugs or caffeine right now, fine. Just use this Top 10 list to help get you get off of them, slowly and safely, or at least neutralize your need for them. Once you are more balanced, all your cravings and needs for stimulants or depressants will go away, for good.
What are probiotics?
In short, according to the Clinical Infectious Diseases section of the Oxford Journals1, “The internationally endorsed definition of probiotics is live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”
This can include bacteria, yeast, algae and the substances that they grow on or in, i.e. fermented foods (see list below), and typically involve helping to balance the digestive tract flora of the host.
Normally, there are around 400 types of probiotic (good) bacteria in the human digestive tract. This probiotic army helps to maintain a healthy balance between the harmful bacteria (E. Coli, etc.), which, due to antibiotics, poor diet, stress, etc. can often take over an area and wreak havoc on digestion, nutrient absorption and immune function
The most common group of probiotic bacteria found in the intestine is lactid acid bacteria, namely Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in live-culture yogurt.
One thing to remember, is that there is no legal definition for probiotics in the U.S. or anywhere else right now. This allows the marketing of them to be in a gray area when it comes to the science aspect of their ability, i.e. fraudulent claims – so be leery of “magical” probiotic products.
What are the health benefits?
Here is where it gets interesting, and I should tell you that it is up to you to decide on whether or not probiotics are a good idea – because science and research cannot concretely agree on the benefits of these little suckers, yet.
Due to the variety of strains for each probiotic bacteria and their different effects on health, they have been very difficult to study thus far, especially in a live person’s gut! For me, this means that intuition rules, and that if you try probiotics for a short while and notice your digestion and energy improving, they are good for you. If you feel worse, or nothing, then maybe you used the wrong type, strain or dosage, or maybe you don’t need them because you eat well, never used antibiotics (doubtful) and were breastfed for the proper amount of time.
That is just my philosophy, which seems to work very well for most people, while some will need more evidence to feel comfortable taking new products.
With that science caveat, here are some of the most common benefits of probiotics, which the latest research is starting to show and agree upon.
- Helps balance gut bacteria, which enhances the breakdown of dietary toxins and carcinogens.
- Helps with synthesizing micronutrients.
- Ferments indigestible food substances.
- Assists in absorbing certain electrolytes and trace minerals.
- Helps prevent spreading of pathogenic bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, Clostridia, Salmonella, and Shigella species.
- Aide in nutrient absorption and energy regulation.
- Indirectly enhances the immune system and its response to foreign invaders, based on the fact that over 80% of our immune system lives in the gut.
How do they affect weight and metabolism?
Again, take this latest evidence, which you can find online, along with the aforementioned caveat regarding the limited research on probiotics, and make your own conclusions. My personal assessment is that probiotics are extremely helpful for weight loss and boosting metabolism in people with imbalanced gut flora.
Below are some of the recent findings on how probiotics influence weight loss and metabolism.
- Gut flora affects nutrient absorption and energy regulation.
- Obese and lean people have different gut microbial environments.
- There is a possibility that gut bacteria and environment have a role in the development and treatment of obesity, and as a bonus have few adverse effects.
- Manipulation of the gut microbiome using prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics may reduce insulin resistance and fat accumulation.
- Changes in gut flora can increase the rate a person absorbs fatty acids and carbohydrates, while increasing the storage of calories as fat.
- Healthy gut bacteria seems crucial for maintaining a healthy body weight and metabolism.
Where do you get probiotics from?
The following list of foods are the most common ways to get probiotics into your diet.
- Fermented vegetables (pickles, olives, capers, cabbage, beets, etc.)
- Fermented cod liver oil
- Fermented dairy products
- Sprouted foods (beans, seeds, nuts, grains etc.)
- Green Vibrance and other similar probiotic products
- Kombucha tea
- Candida suffers may want to use caution. Fermented foods usually contain yeasts and molds that candida suffers may be sensitive to.
- Some fermented foods can be very high in salt, so take with caution and know your sources of these foods and the quality of salt they use.
- Cheese and wine are high in histamines, so take caution if you are intolerant.
How do I keep my gut flora balanced?
- Eat more fermented foods, including live yogurt.
- Take a probiotic supplement like Green VIbrance.
- Avoid excessive sugar, work, stress, drugs, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods.
- Stay away from hormone and antibiotic-fed food products.
- Keep your immune system strong with a balanced diet, stress management, regular exercise, fun, love, sun and everything else mentioned in this book to boost your metabolism.
- Avoid excessive intake of foods containing yeast, i.e. beer, wine, cider, yeast containing breads (most of them are) and more.
Other factors negatively affecting gut bacteria balance:
- Steroid drugs and hormones
- Hormone replacement drugs/therapy and contraceptive pill
- Immune suppressant drugs/habits
- Low levels of stomach acid
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Poor immune response
- Leaky gut syndrome or any other disease affecting the gut
This process of balancing the Top 10 List is not easy and you are likely to fail numerous times for many reasons. That is okay and TOTALLY normal. Just keep on headed in the right direction and remember why you are doing all of this. If you don’t know, then I recommend some soul searching.
I am doing all of this because I lost my mom to cancer when I was 27, my grandpa and Grandma when I was way too young, and I lose friends, family and clients every year to preventable diseases and cancer. I do this because I care about myself and everyone else around me, and I don’t like to see that kind of needless suffering.
So when you are down in the dumps, feeling bloated, fatigued, drowsy and whatever feelings you may feel from trying all of this new stuff, just remember why you are doing it and have faith that I am writing to you at this moment for a reason.
Also note, this Top 10 list describes ideal ways the body works, but many times chronic diseases and other “metabolic obstacles” complicate matters and require different types of interventions to balance the body before “boosting” the metabolism.
Good luck and enjoy the ride, and remember to check out the whole story in my E-Book, Boosting Metabolism with Food and Habits.