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5 Ways That Sugar Is Destroying You (And What You Can Do About It)

Hey everyone and welcome. Its been a while since we have published a blog post with all the work bringing you some awesome Paleo Indian Recipes.  Our friends, Sam and Gray from the Caveman Diet Blog  wanted to share this interesting piece on the 5 ways that sugar is destroying you.

Sam Milner & Gray Hayes are passionate paleo practitioners, bloggers & busy parents. Initially, they started the Caveman Diet Blog to share their weight loss journey. Now they focus on the tips, recipes and topics that arise while living Paleo in the modern world. You can visit Sam & Gray at Cavemandietblog.com and check out their new cookbook, Paleo Breakfast Cookbook on Amazon.

So without further ado, please enjoy 5 Ways That Sugar Is Destroying You (And What You Can Do About It)

When people think about sugar addiction, they erroneously equate the term “sugar” with candy, or other treats.

Sugar is, however, much more pervasive than that. It is hidden in most food preservatives and even in artificial sweeteners. It is the base ingredient in a lot of sauces, drinks, and seasonings that we use everyday. It is also often found, in high amounts, in foods that may be considered “healthy.” All this being said, is how likely is it for any of us to become dependent on sugar, whether we actively want to, or not?

Issues with sugar addiction

Now, let’s not get into whether you are addicted to sugar or not. The answer to that is easily found the day you decide to “go without.”  Gradually remove sugar and preservatives from your diet. Notice your body’s reaction.  Are the withdrawals too strong? Do you feel as if “something” is missing? Can you live without it? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider yourself partially dependent on sugar.  If this is the case, you may want to read about some of the issues related to excess sugar consumption.

  1. Hypertension– Salt is not the only ally of high blood pressure. Sugar has the same potential ability to damage your health as salt does. The actual increase in blood pressure comes from the highs in insulin caused by excess sugar. Remember that sugar has a tendency to “please” our brains, so our taste buds want more of it each time we consume a small amount. These highs in insulin, particularly in individuals with high sensitivity to them, can be extremely dangerous.
  1. Allergies– As with every food, allergies occur when some nutritional component does not agree either with our body and, hence, is not processed properly. When we feed our bodies too much of anything, the body no longer recognizes what to do with the nutrient. Rather than break the nutrient down into essential components, the excess stuff basically “floats” around until it is finally metabolized. Bloating, water retention, and excess body weight may be classified as types of allergic reactions.
  1. Obesity– Piggy-backing (no pun intended) on the previous item, obesity is one of the leading problems affecting our younger generations, precisely due to the high amount of preservatives, sugar, and excess starches that they eat every day.
  1. Dehydration– This is a tricky thing most people do not think about. When our bodies are dehydrated, the cramps and pains that are sent to our brain are often confused with hunger pangs. So, we eat. If we normally eat badly, that will be the food of choice: junk. If we are sugar addicts, that is what we will eat too. Hence, we would be feeding our bodies sugar (or anything else) when, what it really needs, is just water to replenish itself. Dehydration leads to water retention, which leads to excess weight and constipation.
  1. Headaches and lack of energy– The famous “crashes” that people experience in the mid afternoon are caused by those shifts in insulin that come as a result of excessive consumption of sugar. Between the dehydration caused by favoring treats over water, and the insulin spikes, we are more prone to develop headaches, energy slumps, stress, depression, and even mood swings. The value of good eating is immeasurable.

What is one to do?  Even if you find yourself to be dependent on sugar, there is hope. Find out how you can kick the addiction and get that sugar monkey off your back.

  1. For every 5 sugar cravings you get, eat protein– Notice that we are not suggesting that you leave sugar altogether. Just control it.  Say, you tend to eat up to 5 sugary treats a day. Eat a protein product or make a sweet drink made with natural ingredients.  Always keep around:  uncured beef jerky, almonds, bacon bits, pork rinds, boiled eggs, and fizzy water with natural flavoring.
  1. Play dance floor music and dance the craving away– This is a way to get your brain off the sugar funk and into funky music instead. Notice that, when we dance, our bodies enter a natural state of mild euphoria. This feeling is what most people wish to get from foods, alcohol, or drugs, depending on the individual. Dancing leaves us with no other choice but to dance. Even if you are at work, crank up your smartphone, plug your earpieces, and jam away.
  1. Take a brisk walk– Just like dancing releases feel-good hormones, so does any type of sudden, brisk, physical activity.  When the craving hits, take a hike. It does not have to be a mile long. Just walk the craving off: around the office, in place, or go outside and enjoy the sunshine….or rain?
  1. Drink a water cocktail– These are super important. Hydrate as much as you can! A good drink of ice-cold fizzy water with lemon will do the trick. Remember that 80% of our bodies are made of water. Remember also that our body’s reaction to thirst is similar to that of hunger. Do not get confused and drink water as much as you can.
  1. GO SUGAR-FREE!  The best part about the sugar-free lifestyle is that it is not a diet. It is basically a system of eating natural, preservative-free foods that teaches your body to eat the way we are genetically meant to eat. Take this chance to go sugar-free and indulge in thousands of delicious food choices that will NOT go to your belly or thighs.

 

Conclusion:

Our crazy-busy schedules, our tendency to stay in our comfort zones, or an overall fear of trying new things lead us to become stuck in unhealthy lifestyles.  These unhealthy lifestyles involve eating or drinking mindlessly and not exercising. Out of all the bad habits, however, the excess consumption of sugar can be blamed for a myriad of negative health issues that could be easily avoided.  Creative eating, active participation in your food choices, and more body activity are the key elements to get where you want your body to be. There are so many things to do that do not involve eating mindlessly.  Re-train your brain to think, and eat, the way that we are naturally meant to do it.

References:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-sugar-addiction
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/health/ending-sugar-addiction/
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/definition/con-20030056
  4. http://www.medicinenet.com/dehydration/article.htm
  5. http://www.webmd.com/diet/6-reasons-to-drink-water

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Is The Paleo Diet Good For Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the many “diseases of affluence” so I wanted to dig deeper and find out if we went back to our roots and answer the question “Is the paleo diet good for type 2 diabetes?”

Is The Paleo Diet Good For Type 2 Diabetes?

 

Did you know that the rate of prevalence of type 2 diabetes has more than doubled since records were started in 1980? The disease officially affects over 400 million adults in the world.

 

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the biggest causes of death, disability and has a huge economic cost either directly or indirectly. Just to give you an idea, in 2016 alone, over half a million people died due to type 2 diabetes. In Europe, over 40 million euros were spent due to type 2 diabetes.

 

This has been a challenge for many governments to tackle. A huge amount of research and money has gone into finding out more about type 2 diabetes and how this can be prevented.

 

A substantial amount of the results point towards regulation of macronutrient consumption by dietary intervention. The diets that have higher protein intake and lower carbohydrates have proved to be better at managing type 2 diabetes.

Using this paper by Jonsson et al as an example…

In this study, Jonsson et al enrolled 15 participants with type 2 diabetes, all over 18 years old. They also ensured to recruit participants that had a waist circumference of over 80 cm for women and 94 cm for men.

 

The procedure adopted was to teach the chosen participants on how to fill in the sheet below link fig 1. Participants were asked to consume two diets, healthy diet A which contained cereals and grains and healthy diet B containing no cereals and grains (Paleo diet).

 

Why did the researchers choose these two diets?

To ensure all bases are covered and effectively single out whether adopting a Paleo or Paleo type diet would be beneficial for those as a sustainable diet to manage type 2 diabetes.

 

The participants were given detailed meal plans and asked not to deviate from this. In addition to this, they were also asked to send photographs of meals to the investigators. They were asked not to change those physical habits for the duration do this study to get the most accurate results.

 

The researchers wanted to avoid weight loss as this is expected on a Paleo diet. So they arranged a weekly weigh in of all participants. If a subject had lost over 1 kg, their meal plan was modified to increase calorie intake to make up for this deficit. This was done to ensure that weight loss had no part to play in managing type 2 diabetes.

 

Now on to the diet

Healthy diet A contained fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts, eggs, olive oil, whole grains, low fat dairy products and legumes.

 

Healthy diet B was a Paleo type diet that was pretty much like the above but with no grains, dairy or legumes.

 

The aim of this study was to investigate which diet led to better glucose control and management regardless of glycemic index, fibre content and macronutrients composition. This was the guidelines the researchers used to design two 7 day meal plans for healthy diets A and B

 

Evaluation process.

The starting point was to do a simple glucose tolerance test. This was done by getting the participants to ingest 75 grams of glucose and blood samples drawn and tested for glucose and glucagon levels immediately, after 15 mins, 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes. The levels will be a measure of how well the participant can tolerate glucose.
The results of the test concluded that the healthy diet B or Paleo diet was a better way for patients to manage type 2 diabetes.

Ever heard of the term “Insulin Resistance”?

Insulin Resistance is best described as a lack of responsiveness to blood sugar in the face of apparently adequate supply of insulin.

 

This term was coined by Root in 1929 after studying a lot of cases where certain individuals often with disease such as arthritis who had an inadequately high need for insulin.

 

The past century has seen the prevalence of insulin resistance in diabetes, infections, obesity, sepsis, arthritis, lupus. Insulin resistance also presents itself in mental states such as schizophrenia.

 

When looking at several instances of insulin resistance occurring across all the states described above, a pattern emerges.
You can identify insulin resistance as two clinical entities. One that is inflammation with an active immune response and the other that presents itself with increased mental activation.

 

The History Of Insulin Resistance From Different Perspectives

Table 1 – The History Of Insulin Resistance From Different Perspectives

On the topic of cereals, the next paper I want to highlight investigates…

 

The Effects Of A Paleo Diet On Pigs Compared With The Effects Of A Standard Cereal Based Diet

Since the incidence of western disease (such as type 2 diabetes, obesity etc) was less prevalent in hunter gatherers on a Paleo diet, Jonsson et al studied the long term effects of the Paleo diet on pigs.

 

How they did this was to separate 24 piglets straight as they are ready to be weaned into two groups. The cereal group (fed with standard swine feed containing cereals) and the Paleo group (fed a Paleo diet). 17 months down the line, they performed a glucose to tolerance test similar to the one described earlier and specimens of each pig’s pancreas was taken to run an immunochemical test.

 

The results were interesting…

After the 17 month period, the group of pigs on the Paleo diet weighed 22% less than the group consuming cereals and they also had 43% less subcutaneous fat!

 

The Paleo group demonstrated a significantly higher insulin sensitivity and lower insulin response than the group consuming cereals. Blood pressure was significantly lower in the pigs on the Paleo diet as well.
This study proves that the Paleo diet confers higher insulin sensitivity, lower insulin response and lower blood pressure when compared to being on a cereal based diet.

In my search to uncover studies that prove diet can be a great way to minimise or be able to manage diseases of affluence such as type 2 diabetes, I came across this great paper by Melnik et al and they have a unique approach and that is use the lessons learned from people who suffer from Laron syndrome.

 

What is Laron syndrome?

Larons syndrome is a form of dwarfism that is characterised by an insensitivity to human growth hormone. Recently, Aguirre et al did a study on 99 Ecuadorians who had Larons syndrome. These subjects did not developed type 2 diabetes and no cancer when compared with others who had normal insulin and growth factor signalling.

 

To further prove this theory, a worldwide survey by Steurman et al reported that of the 230 participants with Larons syndrome, none of them developed cancer. This and other related studies and experiments have given us a substantial link between insulin / IGF signalling and how the reduction of this pathway as in the case of people with Larons syndrome is a way to slow down or prevent the prevalence of western diseases which cause exaggerated insulin / IGF signalling.

 

The following are the studies that support the findings that increased insulin / IGF signalling causes cancer, type 2 diabetes, acne and other western diseases.

 

Insulin/IGF-1/FoxO signaling and type 2 diabetes – This paper

FoxO1 inhibits b-cell proliferation. Nutritional alterations of b-cell FoxO1 transcriptional activity are predominantly mediated through glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and insulin receptor signaling. Recently, the concept of a “metabolic diapause” has been proposed for the changes induced by FoxO1 to protect b-cells against oxidative stress underpinning the concept of b-cell rest as a treatment goal in T2D. Thus, FoxO1, the convergence point of IIS, orchestrates b-cell proliferation and apoptosis which both are increased in T2D.

Insulin/IGF-1/FoxO signaling and cancer – This paper

GH, IGF-1 and insulin have cancer-promoting actions and raised serum IGF-1 levels have been associated with increased risk of prostate, breast and colorectal cancers. IIS regulates the nuclear distribution of FoxO proteins which are increasingly considered to represent unique cellular targets directed against human cancer in light of their pro-apoptotic effects and their ability to lead to cell cycle arrest. FoxOs are involved in the control of angiogenesis, stem cell proliferation, cel

Paleo Diet for beginners, carbs and why I have no energy?

Hey everyone and welcome to Paleo diet for beginners. In todays article, I would like to talk about and highlight why you may experience sudden drops in energy levels and the role that your relationship with carbs play in this. This is especially true when first embarking on your paleo diet for beginners journey.

 

 

The inspiration for this article comes from a very good friend of mine who I recommended get on the Paleo diet and to be honest, she absolutely smashed it.

 

She lost over a 100 pounds in a few months. She followed a strict Paleo diet (but shunned all carbs and fats) and ran about 20 miles a week!

 

The problems she complained about were that she felt like she had no energy and she didn’t have any muscle definition.

Paleo Diet for beginners, carbs and why I have no energy?

The media these days have labelled carbs as evil and bad for weight loss but this is a great example why you should be incorporating some carbs in your diet to keep up your energy levels and also prevent you from losing muscle mass that your body worked so hard to build.

 

Don’t get me wrong, carbs in excess will definitely lead to weight gain. If your aim was just weight loss without exercise, I wouldn’t bother too much about carbs, you could do without but if you are looking to incorporate a training programme (like my friend) here’s why you should incorporate some carbs in your diet.

 

I am going to highlight some studies conducted in this respect (references below) that all prove that consistent exercise which is at least 30 minutes long, 3 times a week at a Vo2 max level above 65% increases GLUT 4 expression in muscles.

Untitled design (2)

So what does this GLUT 4 transporter do? It transports the required glucose from your body’s glycogen reserves (energy stores) to your muscles to fuel your exercise.

 

Scientists have concluded that the body stores about 2000 calories of glucose as glycogen. If you don’t move much, you will burn about 600 calories. Imagine, you exercised and then also cut out carbs from your diet? You will run out of energy in about a week max (like my friend)

 

Then what happens is that your workouts get less high intensity as you will start to burn fat for energy (ketogenic). This is a slower process and is not good for high intensity training.

 

After reading this, you are probably thinking, that’s great news. Burn fat. But the problem here is that our body goes into starvation mode (which is a survival mechanism) that down regulates metabolic processes which is not good especially if you want to build muscle.

 

Another effect of going into starvation mode is the reduction of levels of Leptin in your system.

paleo diet for beginners and low energy

What is Leptin?

 

This is the hormone that is down regulated when you are hungry. This when problems happen, this is when you start craving things. I was fine for the first week or so but then you cave and binge eat.

 

Cravings are kind of a double edged sword, eat too much and you get cravings. Eat too little and you still get cravings.

 

So what works?

 

Well what worked for me was by limiting my carbohydrate intake to 150 – 200 g a day. I stuck to my best friend the sweet potato.

 

Research recommends consuming this after training as the increased GLUT 4 receptors will ensure that the glucose derived will go straight to the muscles.

 

To conclude, your body transformation is an ever changing process. What worked for me 2 months ago won’t work today. I absolutely swear by the Paleo diet (as you can probably tell) and using this lifestyle, I constantly tweak my macronutrients based on what goals I want to achieve.

 

I hope this article will help you like it helped my friend. Remember, this problem is a good problem to have because it means that you have actually taken the first steps and some of you may have even attained ketosis. Now it’s time to address some of the after effects.

 

Thank you for reading, in next weeks article, I am excited to talk to you about the Paleo diet and superfoods. This is quiet a controversial topic in the Paleo circles so I think its going to be a good one.

 

Next steps

What are your thoughts on this? Would love to hear from you in the comments below?

This is a great reason why Paleo diet for beginners are proud to promote the benefits of leading a Paleo lifestyle

PS – Before you start on the Paleo Diet, take moment to check out my free eBook. It will save you a ton of time as I share the mistakes I made first time round and how to fix them.

Alfie Mueeth

References

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14747278

Are high protein diets like the Paleo or Atkins Healthy?

High protein diets have been the most popular way to lose weight since the Atkins in the 90’s but is too much protein bad for you? In this article we take a closer look at –

  1. What the recent WHO report means to high protein diets
  2. How much protein you should be consuming safely
  3. Best way to prepare protein to minimise carcinogens

High protein diets and paleo diets are safe

Are High Protein Diets still safe after findings on red meat?

Ok so why am I (a devoted follower of the Paleo diet) writing this article? Well, it’s in response to the release by the world health organisation that there could be a possible link between bowel cancer and the overconsumption of processed meats and red meat. The problem with this report is that is does not state any amounts or thresholds that they recommend and simply just dates that too much of these proteins may cause bowel cancer. Seems like the people at the United Nations are just releasing this to stem the popularity of the Paleo diet and other high protein diets that are re emerging such as the Mediterranean diet.

Would love to hear what you think of these reports.

 

Anyway, back to the article, does anyone remember the Atkins diet?

This became a phenomenon back in the 90’s and started the trend of low carb diets. This became a massive hit back then and did so well that Dr. Atkins made well over 600 million dollars with his all you can eat meat diet which saw his followers start the day with a massive plate of bacon, eggs and sausages.

 

Problem with the Atkins diet was that it was so heavy on proteins, it lacked any carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fibre which is essential for maintaining a healthy body and systems. This eventually caused the diet to fizzle out and paved the way for the newcomer on the scene.

High protein diets and paleo diets are safe

The Paleo diet.

Now this diet has held its own for a while now and for good reason. It is not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle. It’s high protein and low carb like the Atkins but also plays a very special role in consumption of vegetables for vitamins, minerals and fibre. Unlike the Atkins, the Paleo diet also contains complex carbohydrates from sources such as sweet potato which gives followers of this lifestyle all the nutrients they need to lead a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable and enjoyable.

 

So is a lot of meat actually bad for you in high protein diets?

The answer to this is yes! A lot of protein is bad for you BUT all protein is not created equal. For example, the world health organisation states that your recommended allowance of cooked red meat should be 500g a week. This is for medium cooked meat. Now following you consume your red meat rare, this allowance can be increased to 650g a week. To further add to this, if you source your red meat from organic grass fed sources AND consume it rare, you can up your allowance to 800g per week.

 

Did that make sense? So if you focus on quality organic sources that are grass fed and cook for a lesser amount of time (retains more moisture) you should be able to consume a lot more meat without increasing your risk of developing bowel cancer.

 

Now processed meat on the other hand is bad for you and contains nitrates and other chemicals that increase your risk of cancer. Studies have shown that consuming 50g of processed meats such as ham, bacon slices, salami etc a day can increase your risk of bowel cancer by 18%!

 

So if you are a good Paleo, you will be avoiding processed meats (shame on you if you haven’t already) so I don’t see the problem here. If you are on the Atkins or Dukan, you have a problem because processed turkey slices seem to be a popular theme in these.

Next Steps

What are your thoughts on this? Would love to hear from you in the comments below and maybe some recipe ideas?

PS – Before you start on the Paleo Diet, take moment to check out my free eBook. It will save you a ton of time as I share the mistakes I made first time round and how to fix them.

Alfie Mueeth

References and Inspirations

News.com Australia