Article by Emily White
If you go to the gym, I have no doubt you will have heard about nutrient timing. Rushing for that scoop of protein as soon as you have finished your workout? Then you are practicing nutrient timing.
To put it simply, nutrient timing is eating certain macronutrients at certain times in specific amounts in order to achieve specific goals. Protein and carbohydrates immediately post workout is a popular one, as is the belief that you shouldn’t eat carbohydrates after dark.
But is there actually any science behind this?
A friend has suggested you try a low carb diet as they have seen amazing results- she has dropped weight, her skin is clearer and she feels great! However you give it a go and you don’t appear to have anywhere near as much luck. If you are having trouble shifting the weight on a low carb diet here are a few reasons as to why that could be the case:
By Cliff Harvey
Low-carb diets have received criticism due to their perceived effects on thyroid function, and the belief that this will have a negative effect on general health, along with performance and fat-loss. But the real picture may be less than clear-cut.
Post by Emily White
So you have probably been told by somewhere along the grapevine that fat is actually your friend (if you haven’t then you should look into doing the HPN course!!).
Shameless plug aside, many people despite the knowledge tend to reach out for the low fat foods when in the supermarket. Why? Because no one denies it sometimes does tend to have fewer calories than the full fat counterparts, and if you can save a few calories here and there it’s not going to hurt right?
By Cliff Harvey
Dietary medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a class of triglycerides in which two-to-three of the fatty acid chains attached to a glycerol backbone are medium in length. Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are fatty acids comprised of 6–12 carbons in chain. The MCTs are: caproic (C:6), caprylic (C:8), capric (C:10) and lauric acid (C:12) (1). So how do these particular fatty acids aid ketogenic and low carb high fat diets?
Post by Cliff Harvey
Due to the high-fat nature of a ketogenic or LCHF diet they have been considered to be potentially hazardous for those with cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Publicly available information (i.e. position statements and general patient information) from public health groups often include cautions against the use of VLCDs due to these perceived risks. Diabetes New Zealand states in their article on Low Carbohydrate Diets that “Eating more protein and fat may increase your risk of heart disease in the long term.” (1).
So are ketogenic diets dangerous for heart health?
By Cliff Harvey
Dietary guidelines for health are still heavily weighted (excuse the pun!) in favour of high-carbohydrate diets.
Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) for New Zealand and Australia for example state that the diet should contain a minimum of 45% of its calories from carbohydrate (1) and New Zealand Heart Foundation position statements on carbohydrate (currently being updated) suggest a range of 55%-65% caloric intake should be obtained from carbohydrate along with reducing intake of total and saturated fat (2).
Why is this the case?
Post by Cliff Harvey
There has been a lot in the media recently slamming the high fat, low carb diet suggesting that it is not safe and could put you at increased risk of disease.
Individual results to different diets will vary and a ketogenic diet may not be applicable to everyone, but nutritional ketosis is generally considered to be safe by most researchers in the field.
By Cliff Harvey
There is no universally accepted definition of a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) and so it can be very confusing for the public (and researchers) to know exactly what is being spoken about when people use terms like ‘LCHF’ and low-carb.
Another recipe created by our very own Kerry Locatelli it is easy an delicious. It joins the series of recipes categorised as '10 under 10' (10g or less of carbohydrates and made in under 10 minutes). Enjoy!
By Cliff Harvey
There is a lot of confusion about the term nutritional ketosis amongst people. It is important to understand when and why nutritional ketosis occurs, and the basis of a ketogenic diet.
Post by Simone Johnson
‘Gluten free’ used to be a guidance phrase for those diagnosed with coeliac disease. Nowadays, it is becoming an increasingly popular term adopted by food companies, cafes and restaurants alike, and you may have already been tempted into buying these products yourself because they appear to be the ‘healthier’ option. But aside from people that have coeliac or allergies, is the gluten free option actually a healthy choice for everyone?
Post by Emily White
Full fat or low fat? In regards to dairy products it appears to be the question on everyone's mind. Stumble across any health blog and you will no doubt be bombarded with many contrasting opinions.
Until recently, low fat dairy was all the rage. We were told that consuming glass after glass of low fat milk would make us big and strong without the calories. Cheese, Greek yoghurt and butter were the devil and the ‘experts’ said they should be replaced with their lower fat counterparts, such as margarine.
By Cliff Harvey
At a Glance:
The Bottom Line: Coconut oil is a healthy addition to a balanced diet.
Is Coconut Oil used traditionally?
The contention has been made in popular media (example: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11347584b) that Coconut Oil (CO) has limited traditional use.
This is characterised by attention on Pacific populations using expressed coconut fluid (cream) from coconut flesh, and coconut flesh itself. Not withstanding that these traditional foods contain high amounts of coconut oils (14% and 33% by weight respectively) (USDA SR-27, 2014) thereby justifying their inclusion as a traditional food by proxy, there is also ample evidence for consistent, long term use of coconut oil as a traditional food.
Tribal authorities in outlying islands in Fiji (working with the New Zealand based company Pure Coco) have this to say: “Fijians like most other pacific islanders (and inhabitants of South east Asia) have used coconut for centuries. We use coconuts in all forms, both raw and cooked, as coconut flesh, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut water, we even make sugar and alcohol from the coconut sap.”
They go on to elucidate the traditional extraction methods: “Traditionally, coconut oil was made from fresh coconut cream (i.e the fatty liquid squeezed from grated coconut flesh) in two different ways. You can heat the coconut cream until the milk solids and fats separate out (similar to making clarified butter or ghee from butter), you strain off the milk solids and what you are left with is coconut oil. Alternately you can leave the coconut cream in a cool dark place for about 48 hours, until it naturally ferments, and the coconut oil separates out.”
Coconut oil has also been used extensively in the Indian sub-continent. The traditional use of coconut and all it’s related products stretches back over 4000 years in Indian tradition and the coconut palm is often referred to in Sanskrit texts as the ‘Tree of Life’ due to the abundance of manufacturing, medicinal and culinary and edible uses for the plant. In traditional Indian medicine coconut oil is commonly used as a topical medicinal compound and base (Muthu, Ayyanar, Raja & Ignacimuthu, 2006; Jeeva, Jeeva & Kingston, 2007; Kumar, Ayyanar, Ignacimuthu, 2007; Gupta, Vairale, Deshmukh, Chaudhary & Wate, 2010; Rajakumar & Shivanna, 2010) and as an oral medicine (Revathi & Parimelazhagan, 2010) (Note: these are only a small selection of myriad relevant studies and texts showing the extensive use of coconut oil in traditional medicines in India).
Many other areas in South East Asia have a tradition and high use of Coconut Oil and Coconut food products.
Is Traditionally Used Coconut Oil Detrimental to Health?
In a comparison of Pacific peoples using differing amounts of CO, Prior and colleagues (1981) evaluated diets of atoll dwellers in Pukapuka and Tokelau in which coconut is the chief source of energy for both groups. Tokelauans exhibited higher saturated fat intake (63% of energy derived from coconut) than Pukapukans (34% energy derived from coconut) and had higher cholesterol levels. But in spite of this, cardiovascular diseases were uncommon in both groups, with no evidence that higher saturated fat intake, and higher coconut intake provide a harmful effect (Prior, Davidson, Salmond, & Czochanska, 1981).
According to Dr Sridhar Maddela, head of medical sciences at Auckland’s Wellpark College of Natural Therapies, Coconut Oil has been used extensively and traditionally as a cooking oil in the Southern Indian province of Kerala. In this province in particular the traditional and common use of CO has been implicated as a reason for high Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) rates. However a study comparing 16 age and sex matched controls performed in Kerala (Kumar, 1997) to explore this presumed link between coconut oil and heart disease risk found that CO consumption was similar in both groups (with and without CHD). The groups did not differ in fat, saturated fat nor cholesterol consumption, implying no specific role for coconut oil or coconut consumption in this population for CHD risk. It has been further noted (in this population) that the lipid composition of arterial plaques is not altered by either coconut oil or sunflower oil (which is often suggested as a replacement cooking medium) (Palazhy et al., 2012).
Indeed there has been an alarming rise in the prevalence of CHD and Type-2 Diabetes in India attributed in part to the replacement of traditional cooking fats condemned to be atherogenic, with refined vegetable oils—resulting in calls to switch ‘back’ to a combination of different types of fats including the traditional cooking fats like ghee, coconut oil and mustard oil to reduce the risk of CHD and diabetes (Sircar & Kansra, 1998).
A community based longitudinal study in Cebu, Phillipines found a positive, albeit small correlation between CO and HDL cholesterol, with no worseing of HDL-Total Cholesterol ratio or triglycerides (Feranil, Duazo, Kuzawa, & Adair, 2011).
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has stated: “All available population studies show that dietary coconut oil does not lead to high serum cholesterol nor to high coronary heart disease mortality or morbidity rate.”(Kaunitz, N.D)
Do the Fats in Coconut Oil Increase Risk of Heart Disease?
A meta-analysis of 60 selected trials calculated the effects of the amount and type of fat on total:HDL cholesterol and on other lipids suggests that lauric acid (the primary fatty acid found in coconut oil) does increase total cholesterol, but much of the effect is on HDL cholesterol, favourably influencing HDL to Total Cholesterol ratios (Mensink, Zock, Kester, & Katan, 2003). The antiartherogenic acitivities of HDL-C are a function not just of quanitity but quality of HDL (Sviridov, Mukhamedova, Remaley, Chin-Dusting, & Nestel, 2008) in which glycation, oxidation and other nutritional factors (influenced for example by excessive sugar and n-6 fatty acid intake) may also play critical roles .
A randomised, double-blind, clinical trial involving 40 women aged 20–40 years, over a 12 week intervention period compared supplementation of 30 mL of either coconut oil or soy bean oil. There were no differences in biochemical or anthropometric markers at the beginning of the study. After 12 weeks the coconut oil treated group exhibited higher levels of HDL (48.7 ± 2.4 vs. 45.00 ± 5.6; P = 0.01) and a lower LDL:HDL ratio (2.41 ± 0.8 vs. 3.1 ± 0.8; P = 0.04). Reductions in BMI were observed in both groups but only the group taking coconut oil reduced waist circumference, The soybean oil treated group demonstrated reduced HDL, increased cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. This suggests coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and may promote reduced abdominal obesity (Assunção, Ferreira, dos Santos, Cabral, & Florêncio, 2009). Further, it has been indicated that that a coconut oil-based, high saturated fatty-acid diet may favourbaly affect post-prandial lipoprotein-a concentration compared with a high polyunsaturated fat diet (Müller, Lindman, Blomfeldt, Seljeflot, & Pedersen, 2003).
A study was performed to investigate effects of coconut milk and soya milk supplementation on the lipid profile of free living healthy subjects. In this trial sixty volunteers aged 18–57 years were given coconut milk porridge (CMP) for 5 days of the week for 8 weeks, followed by a 2-week washout period, subsequent to which they received isoenergetic soya milk porridge (SMP) for 8 weeks. LDL levels decreased with CMP whilst HDL rose. They study authors concluded that “coconut fat in the form of CM does not cause a detrimental effect on the lipid profile in the general population and in fact is beneficial due to the decrease in LDL and rise in HDL” (Ekanayaka, Ekanayaka, Perera, & De Silva, 2013).
In rat studies Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) reduces total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, VLDL and increased HDL. It also appears to reduce or prevent oxidation of LDL and reduce carbonyl formation. These properties are thought to result at least partially from the antioxidant polyphenols present in CO (Nevin & Rajamohan, 2004). Virgin coconut oil appears to be superior in its antioxidant action, including increased antioxidant status of animals treated with VCO, and provides a greater reduction in lipid peroxidation when compared to both Copra oil and groundnut oil treated animals (Nevin & Rajamohan, 2006, 2008). It also exhibits significant antithrombotic effects (Nevin & Rajamohan, 2008).
Arunima, S., & Rajamohan, T. (2014). Influence of virgin coconut oil-enriched diet on the transcriptional regulation of fatty acid synthesis and oxidation in rats – a comparative study. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(10), 1782-1790. doi: doi:10.1017/S000711451400004X
Assunção, M., Ferreira, H., dos Santos, A., Cabral, C., Jr., & Florêncio, T. M. T. (2009). Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on the Biochemical and Anthropometric Profiles of Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity. Lipids, 44(7), 593-601. doi: 10.1007/s11745-009-3306-6
Ekanayaka, R. A. I., Ekanayaka, N. K., Perera, B., & De Silva, P. G. S. M. (2013). Impact of a Traditional Dietary Supplement with Coconut Milk and Soya Milk on the Lipid Profile in Normal Free Living Subjects. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2013, 11. doi: 10.1155/2013/481068
Feranil, A. B., Duazo, P. L., Kuzawa, C. W., & Adair, L. S. (2011). Coconut oil is associated with a beneficial lipid profile in pre-menopausal women in the Philippines. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 20(2), 190-195.
Gupta, R., Vairale, M. G., Deshmukh, R. R., Chaudhary, P. R., & Wate, S. R. (2010). Ethnomedicinal uses of some plants used by Gond tribe of Bhandara district, Maharashtra. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 9(4), 713-717.
Jeeva, G. M., Jeeva, S., & Kingston, C. (2007). Traditional treatment of skin diseases in South Travancore, southern peninsular India. Indian J Traditional Knowledge, 6(3), 498-501.
Kaunitz, H., Dayrit, C.S. . (N.D). Coconut Oil Consumption and Coronary Heart Disease.
Kumar, P. D. (1997). The Role of Coconut and Coconut Oil in Coronary Heart Disease in Kerala, South India. Tropical Doctor, 27(4), 215-217. doi: 10.1177/004947559702700409
Kumar, P. P., Ayyanar, M., & Ignacimuthu, S. (2007). Medicinal plants used by Malasar tribes of Coimbatore district, Tamilnadu. Indian journal of traditional Knowledge, 6(4), 579-582.
Lemieux, H., Bulteau, A. L., Friguet, B., Tardif, J.-C., & Blier, P. U. (2011). Dietary fatty acids and oxidative stress in the heart mitochondria. Mitochondrion, 11(1), 97-103. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2010.07.014
Mensink, R. P., Zock, P. L., Kester, A. D., & Katan, M. B. (2003). Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr, 77(5), 1146-1155.
Müller, H., Lindman, A. S., Blomfeldt, A., Seljeflot, I., & Pedersen, J. I. (2003). A Diet Rich in Coconut Oil Reduces Diurnal Postprandial Variations in Circulating Tissue Plasminogen Activator Antigen and Fasting Lipoprotein (a) Compared with a Diet Rich in Unsaturated Fat in Women. The Journal of Nutrition, 133(11), 3422-3427.
Muthu, C., Ayyanar, M., Raja, N., & Ignacimuthu, S. (2006). Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine,2, 43.
Nevin, K. G., & Rajamohan, T. (2004). Beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation. Clinical Biochemistry, 37(9), 830-835. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2004.04.010
Nevin, K. G., & Rajamohan, T. (2006). Virgin coconut oil supplemented diet increases the antioxidant status in rats. Food Chemistry, 99(2), 260-266. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.06.056
Nevin, K. G., & Rajamohan, T. (2008). Influence of virgin coconut oil on blood coagulation factors, lipid levels and LDL oxidation in cholesterol fed Sprague–Dawley rats. e-SPEN, the European e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, 3(1), e1-e8. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclnm.2007.09.003
Palazhy, S., Kamath, P., Rajesh, P. C., Vaidyanathan, K., Nair, S. K., & Vasudevan, D. M. (2012). Composition of Plasma and Atheromatous Plaque among Coronary Artery Disease Subjects Consuming Coconut Oil or Sunflower Oil as the Cooking Medium. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 31(6), 392-396. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2012.10720464
Prior, I. A., Davidson, F., Salmond, C. E., & Czochanska, Z. (1981). Cholesterol, coconuts, and diet on Polynesian atolls: a natural experiment: the Pukapuka and Tokelau island studies. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 34(8), 1552-1561.
Rajakumar, N., & Shivanna, M. B. (2010). Traditional herbal medicinal knowledge in Sagar taluk of Shimoga district, Karnataka, India. Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, 1(1), 102-108.
Sircar, S., & Kansra, U. (1998). Choice of cooking oils--myths and realities. Journal of the Indian Medical Association, 96(10), 304-307.
Revathi, P., & Parimelazhagan, T. (2010). Traditional knowledge on medicinal plants used by the Irula tribe of Hasanur hills, Erode District, Tamil Nadu, India.Ethnobotanical Leaflets, 2010(2), 4.
Sviridov, D., Mukhamedova, N., Remaley, A. T., Chin-Dusting, J., & Nestel, P. (2008). Antiatherogenic functionality of high density lipoprotein: how much versus how good. J Atheroscler Thromb, 15(2), 52-62.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2014. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl
By Cliff Harvey ND
A recent article in the New Zealand Herald: 'Choice! Food goodness at a glance' tells of the proposed (soon to be implemented) Government initiative to label foods according to a 'star rating', similar to that used to show energy efficiency in appliances. In this system a rating of anywhere between half and five stars will be given according to how (supposedly) 'healthy' a food is.
Apparently this initiative aims to help shoppers identify which foods are healthiest.
Unfortunately the system is fundamentally flawed and many healthy foods will be given terrible ratings, whilst other foods responsible for much of our modern preponderance of metabolic disorders will be given favourable ratings.
While I applaud the efforts to make choosing healthier foods easier for consumers this latest initiative is incomplete at best, and counter-productive at worst.
According to the National Party website the food rating system "takes into account four aspects of a food associated with increasing the risk factors for chronic diseases (energy, saturated fat, sodium and total sugars)"
Challenges arising from this rating system include:
Energy is a poor indicator of food quality
Total calorie intake may not be a reliable indicator of food quality, nor of health outcomes.
According to Feinman and Fine (2004) the idea that a 'calorie is a calorie' defies the second law of thermodynamics and is not congruent with the vast array of metabolic reactions and interactions within the human, or any other organism. Calorie intake may well be self-limited when appropriate food choices are made (those choices that encourage a metabolically 'well-ordered' system.) This has been demonstrated by research showing the superiority of ad-libitum (eat as much as you like) higher-fat, lower-carbohydrate diets over the standard 'best-practice' diet which is high in carbohydrates, low in fat and restricted in calories (Bueno, de Melo, de Oliveira, & da Rocha Ataide, 2013; Sondike, Copperman, & Jacobson, 2003; Volek, Quann, & Forsythe, 2010; Yancy, Olsen, Guyton, Bakst, & Westman, 2004)
This also plays into the flawed ideology that fat is 'bad' because it is more calorie dense than the other macronutrients. By this rationale there would be a more favourable rating applied to foods that are high in refined carbohydrates as compared to healthy fats such as butter, ghee and coconut oil which contain more than twice the calorie quotient per gram.
Saturated fats aren't bad for us!
Saturated fats are a veritable whipping boy in the government associated aspects of the nutrition and dietetic industries. Despite demonstrable proof that saturated fats are not the villains they have been made out to be, there is still a lingering bias against them which can be very counterproductive to effective nutrition labeling and education.
Schofield and colleagues (2014) from AUT's Human Potential Centre, Auckland University and Holistic Performance Nutrition evaluated the evidence for reducing fat and saturated fat intake in respect to public health outcomes and noted: "the paucity of statistical evidence linking either reduced fat or modified fat (including saturated fat) with disease end-points" and that both a 2011 Cochrane review (Hooper et al., 2011) and other meta-analyses find little statistical evidence linking saturated fat intake with cardiovascular mortality.
There is little if any compelling evidence that reducing fat or saturated fat has any appreciable benefit to health, and in fact there may be compelling benefits derived from the consumption of several saturated fat types within a normal, healthy (natural, whole and unprocessed) diet.
For example under these regulations it could be assumed that a high polyunsaturated fat oil (such as sunflower oil) or a monounsaturated fat oil such as olive oil would score more highly than coconut oil (which predominantly consists of saturated fatty acids). Saturated fats include the medium chain triglycerides (capric, caprylic, caproic and lauric acids) which have been demonstrated to increase metabolic rate more than long chain triglycerides (Seaton, Welle, Warenko, & Campbell, 1986), suppress fat deposition through enhanced thermogenesis and fat oxidation, and may help to preserve insulin sensitivity in animal models and patients with type 2 diabetes (Nagao & Yanagita, 2010). When compared to the supposedly 'healthier' fats they may promote greater weight-loss, fat-loss and overall fat oxidation (St-Onge & Bosarge, 2008; St-Onge, 2012). These MCTs (which are saturated fats) "may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss.”(St-Onge, Ross, Parsons, & Jones, 2003).
So tell me why they would have a poor rating?
Sodium content is a poor indicator of food quality
Diets that are extremely high in processed and refined foods may be too high in sodium, however contrary to popular belief the average intake of sodium in New Zealand (which has been estimated at 3900mg per day according to McLean, Williams, Mann, & Parnell (2012)) is well within the range indicated as having no effect on health or mortality. The range within which no discernible health effects are seen lies somewhere between 2,645 and 4,945 mg (Graudal et al., 2014) or as high as 6000mg (Alderman & Cohen, 2012), and so the recommendation to reduce sodium intake is confusing, unnecessary and a poor rating scale for the quality of a food item. How for example would kelp, or a natural rock or celtic salt fare on this new scale?
Total sugars...but what about highly processed and refined carbs?
Highlighting the importance of regulating sugar intake is very important and to be applauded. But there appears to be a gaping hole within this rating system and that is the lack of appreciation for the negative effects of a diet that is too high in highly processed and refined non-sugar carbohydrates. I can only assume that the industry pressure to continue to promote 'whole-grains' and other potential blood glucose bombs has limited the carbohydrate focus to sugar.
Carbs certainly aren't the enemy, but highly processed and refined carbohydrates are certainly not appropriate for most people, most of the time, and so a greater attention should be paid to these within dietary guidelines and any proposed food labeling systems.
Maybe it's a start, but this rating system is incomplete and won't help to better educate consumers, nor encourage the best outcomes. Many healthy foods will be rejected by consumers due to flawed rationale, and many unhealthy foods will be prioritised instead.
Alderman, M. H., & Cohen, H. W. (2012). Dietary Sodium Intake and Cardiovascular Mortality: Controversy Resolved?American Journal of Hypertension, 25(7), 727-734. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ajh.2012.52
Courchesne-Loyer, A., Fortier, M., Tremblay-Mercier, J., Chouinard-Watkins, R., Roy, M., Nugent, S., . . . Cunnane, S. C. (2013). Stimulation of mild, sustained ketonemia by medium-chain triacylglycerols in healthy humans: Estimated potential contribution to brain energy metabolism. Nutrition, 29(4), 635-640. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2012.09.009
Feinman, R. D., & Fine, E. J. (2004). A calorie is a calorie" violates the second law of thermodynamics. Nutr J, 3(9).
Graudal, N., Hubeck-Graudal, T., & Jurgens, G. (2011). Effects of low sodium diet versus high sodium diet on blood pressure, renin, aldosterone, catecholamines, cholesterol, and triglyceride. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 11.
Graudal, N., Jürgens, G., Baslund, B., & Alderman, M. H. (2014). Compared With Usual Sodium Intake, Low- and Excessive-Sodium Diets Are Associated With Increased Mortality: A Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Hypertension. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpu028
Han, J. R., Deng, B., Sun, J., Chen, C. G., Corkey, B. E., Kirkland, J. L., . . . Guo, W. (2007). Effects of dietary medium-chain triglyceride on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in a group of moderately overweight free-living type 2 diabetic Chinese subjects. Metabolism, 56(7), 985-991. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2007.03.005
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2005). Dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride and sulphate. Washington, D.C.
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2013). Sodium intake in populations: Assessment of evidence. Washington, D.C.
McLean, R., Williams, S., Mann, J., & Parnell, W. (2012). 1051 Estimates of New Zealand Population Sodium Intake: Use of Spot Urine in the 2008/09 Adult Nutrition Survey. Journal of Hypertension, 30, e306 310.1097/1001.hjh.0000420510.0000493854.ca.
Nagao, K., & Yanagita, T. (2010). Medium-chain fatty acids: Functional lipids for the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome. Pharmacological Research, 61(3), 208-212. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2009.11.007
Seaton, T. B., Welle, S. L., Warenko, M. K., & Campbell, R. G. (1986). Thermic effect of medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides in man. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 44(5), 630-634.
St-Onge, M.-P., & Bosarge, A. (2008). Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(3), 621-626.
St-Onge, M.-P., Ross, R., Parsons, W. D., & Jones, P. J. H. (2003). Medium-Chain Triglycerides Increase Energy Expenditure and Decrease Adiposity in Overweight Men. Obesity Research, 11(3), 395-402. doi: 10.1038/oby.2003.53
Taylor, R. S., Ashton, K. E., Moxham, T., Hooper, L., & Ebrahim, S. (2011). Reduced Dietary Salt for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (Cochrane Review). American Journal of Hypertension, 24(8), 843-853. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2011.115
Thomson, B. M., Vannoort, R. W., & Haslemore, R. M. (2008). Dietary exposure and trends of exposure to nutrient elements iodine, iron, selenium and sodium from the 2003–4 New Zealand Total Diet Survey. British Journal of Nutrition, 99(03), 614-625.
Thomson, C. D. (2004). Selenium and iodine intakes and status in New Zealand and Australia. British Journal of Nutrition, 91(05), 661-672.
A lot of people have made the switch to eating a high protein diet and cutting down on the carbs. By doing so this helps to cut out the processed, refined foods, which is fab! So make sure you keep that front of mind while you read this post…
As a start point, the ideal eating paradigm is one full of whole, unprocessed foods!
What a lot of people don’t actually realize, and came as a surprise to me as well, is that you can eat too much protein which in turn has the same effect that eating carbs would in your body. This can be slightly counter productive if you are wanting to be on a low carbohydrate eating paradigm or trying to get into ketosis (where your body uses fat as your primary fuel source of glucose). Don’t get me wrong, it is far better to be eating more protein if this is going to inadvertently cut a lot of crap out of your diet but there is a limit to too much protein.
By Cliff Harvey ND
I'm a better person when I drink smoothies...
I admit it, it may sound crazy but that's the way it is.
I was recently re-listening to one of my favourite audiobooks (by one of my favourite spiritual teachers) 'Wild at Heart' by Tessa Bielecki. In it she mentions that she is a better person when she flosses. No, not just a person with better dental health, and no, not just someone whose breath smells slightly better than usual, but a better person [fullstop].
In this audiobook Bieliecki explains how flossing sets in motion a whole cascade of things that are in line with the life that she wants to be living, and the person she most wants to be. When she flosses Bielecki prays more, eats better, exercises more and just generally takes care of herself and the world around her in a better fashion.
I consider these types of actions to be 'lynchpin behaviours'. We all have certain things that become part of the ritual of us living our best life and in our best state of health and performance. For Bielecki it's flossing, for you it may be putting your running shoes by the door and for me...it's making smoothies.
The simple reason that smoothies are a lynchpin behaviour for me is that in just a minute or so I can create a nutrient dense meal for breakfast and additional portions to take with me during the day. Lunches and dinners are never an issue for me (as I prepare too much at night so that I have a lunch ready for the following day) but the meals that can occasionally be less than optimal are breakfast and if needed any between meal snacks later in the day. If I have made a smoothie in the morning, with enough to pack away in a thermos for later these meals become complete no-brainers.
And not only does this mean I have a full set of complete, nutrient dense, balanced meals for the day, but this also flows into more desire to train, to sleep well, to wake up early and meditate and more. It's amazing how simple, tiny changes to routines can have a massive flow-on effect to greater health and performance.
What are your lynchpin behaviours?
Cliff's 'Go-To' Smoothie:
2 tsp. Good Green Stuff
2 scoops Clean Lean Protein
100ml coconut cream
2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 cup kale
1/2 cup blueberries
2 Tbsp. olive or hempseed oil
1 tsp. orange flavoured fish oil
Note: Tessa Bielecki is a discalced Carmelite Abbess who has lived the monastic life as a spiritual teacher in the tradition or St John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila for over 40 years.