How To Improve Your Cholesterol

What You Need To Do To Improve Your Cholesterol

Like hypertension, gout, gerd, cancer, etc. many people are so confused as to how to eat to reverse/improve these health conditions. Cholesterol is another one that we tend to get all wrong…….

We’re told to limit our consumption of butter, lard, red meat and eggs, or worse, to go on statins to reduce our blood cholesterol levels, but yet, our ancestors seem to have thrived on those foods without the predicted heart problems.

Actually the pharmacology industry did a really good job of scaring us to death about high cholesterol and dietary cholesterol intake.

Here’s The Skinny On Cholesterol & What to eat to improve it…….

There’s cholesterol all over your body, it’s an essential constituent of all the cells of your body and also metabolizes all the sex hormones and fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K. Without it, you’d be dead in no time.

Also note that if you consume more cholesterol in your diet, your body will DOWN regulate its own production to match its needs so this way you don’t get too much of it.

The opposite happens when you reduce your consumption or take drugs to reduce it, your body UP-regulates the production and tries to make more for what’s missing.

HDL and LDL cholesterol…

HDL for which everybody recognizes as the “good cholesterol” is in fact a transporter that takes excess cholesterol in the blood and brings it back to the liver. On this point, conventional wisdom and the Paleo principles don’t differ, high HDL is a GOOD thing and the more the better.

LDL is what is known as the “bad cholesterol”. LDL, like HDL, is NOT cholesterol, but a transporter of cholesterol, one that takes cholesterol in your liver and transport it through the bloodstream to where it’s needed.

High cholesterol is a symptom, NOT a cause…..

Elevated serum levels of cholesterol is a symptom of an underlining problem in your body, not the cause of the problem. Cholesterol is NOT the bad guy, but it’s there when bad things are happening.

The actual underlining problem is oftentimes INFLAMMATION at the artery level. Cholesterol is then sent to the artery to help and heal the inflammation. If it is successful at it, everything is going to be fine and return to normal.

Otherwise, when the inflammation doesn’t subsides, more cholesterol is sent and starts to accumulate around the artery as a band aid. Then, plaque starts to form and you’re in for future problems…..

Understand, then, that cholesterol is sent to treat a problem, not to cause it. Again The real cause of the problem is inflammation at the artery level.

This inflammation is caused by chronically high levels of insulin, which is caused by excess carbohydrate (pasta, bread, desserts, chips, etc.) consumption. Trans fats and vegetable oils also cause inflammation.

We only really see LDL’s negative consequences when it becomes oxidized by free radicals. A diet high in antioxidants (vegetables and fruits) and low in carbohydrates will reduce factors of oxidation in the body.

Aim for high HDL and low triglycerides…

Triglycerides are fatty acids that are circulating in the bloodstreams. High levels is a bad thing. Again, high triglycerides are caused mainly by chronically high carbohydrate intake from grains (rice, oats, corn, wheat, barley etc) and legumes (beans, peanuts etc)

To reach a higher level of HDL, be sure to reduce your sources of omega-6 fats, mainly from vegetable oils, but also from an excess of nuts. Taking a good quality OMEGA 3 fish oil DAILY is a good idea.

Saturated fats will also raise the good HDL, so LOTS of it is a good thing. Think coconut oil, lard, butter, beef tallow, …

I hope this helped you reduce your fear about cholesterol intake and why it’s actually a GOOD idea to eat foods high in cholesterol. I also hope that you’re now better informed for preventing strokes and atherosclerosis.

So now go ahead and cut the sugars, cut the grains and eat the fat, the meat and the egg yolks. In fact, egg yolks are a nutrition powerhouse and it’s egg whites that we should worry about because of some anti-nutrients and protein inhibitors. This is the absolute opposite to popular belief, not surprisingly!

Kidney Disease & Paleo

Chronically elevated insulin levels appear to have a number of causes (excess fructose, linoleic acid (n-6), sedentism, inflammation, sleep disturbances…) and a shocking number of consequences.

Most common are Type 2 diabetes and obesity, but linkage to hyperinsulinim includes various types of cancer, mental decline, acne and renal (kidney) problems for a short list.

Today we are going to focus on Kidney Disease. Instead of me really going into a lot of geeky medical terminology talk, I’m going to cut to the chase. I could boil this whole thing down to the following:

1-Dietary protein DOES NOT CAUSE KIDNEY DAMAGE.

2-Chronically elevated BLOOD GLUCOSE levels DO cause kidney damage.

3-Dietary fructose REALLY causes kidney damage.

4-Many kidney issues have either ahyperinsulinemic characteristic, an autoimmune characteristic, and or a combination of autoimmunity orhyperinsulinism. A standard, low-carb paleo diet can fix most of these issues.

5-For SERIOUS kidney damage a low-protein,ketogenic diet (Atkins) can be remarkably therapeutic.

6-If you get kidney stones that are from oxalates, reduce your green veggie intake (spinach for example) and have other types of veggies.

7-If you get kidney stones that are from uratesalts, you are likely NOT following a low-carb paleo diet, you likely have insulin resistance and your liver is not processinguric acid.

Protein and kidneys……

In healthy kidneys protein intake has NO EFFECT on kidney health. In sick kidneys, protein can cause problems. Why? Because when the kidneys are not excreting urea bad things happen. Urea itself is not particularly toxic, but other nitrogenous waste products are neurotoxic and can cause death at high enough levels.

The bottom line is that in healthy individuals, increased protein intake causes an increase in the kidneys ability to deal with creatinine and BUN. In individuals with kidney disease they will likely benefit from a decrease in protein intake…but they need to address one of the aforementioned factors if they want to REGAIN kidney function, which we will talk about soon.

Lets use Jason Couch Potato for an example (name has been changed but scenario is real) to help you see a clear picture of what’s going on…

Jason is a 30yr male, 5′ 7″ tall, 242lbs and pretty much a mess. He is sedentary, stressed, has terrible sleep and primarily snacks on twinkies, eats breakfast & Lunch at McDonalds and drinks a supersize “Coke” and similar drinks during the day and at night after dinner drinks a glass or 2 of vodka & cranberry juice to help him relax.

Recently Jason had to get a physical and he had: high blood pressure, elevated: blood glucose, BUN, creatinine. Given that his condition was obviously not good it was recommended that his renal function get checked out. Tests indicated Jason was operating on approximately 10% of normal kidney function.

Jason was pretty shaken up by his condition…peri-diabetic, facing dialysis ( his doctor wanted to start dialysis IMMEDIATELY) and all at the ripe old age of 30. Fortunately for Jason, he ran into a friend who happened to be a nutritionist that could tell him exactly how to eat to restore his kidney function in very short amount of time.

The course of action involved a low protein (10-15% protein) low carb ( less than 10%) high fat (mainly from coconut products), ketogenic diet. Jason’s doctor was horrified, but they petitioned for one month of “tinkering” to see how things went.

Three weeks later Jason’s GFR was 80% of normal instead of the previous 10% and his BUN was within normal ranges. His doctor was interested…but baffled. And now Jason has subsequently titrated up his protein intake with no ill effects on kidney function.

A ketogenic diet can restore your kidneys back to functioning properly. There are many low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet plans from which to choose. (The Atkins diet is just the most famous). They all involve following a higher fat, moderate protein, low carb food plan.

Excerpt by Robb Wolf
http://robbwolf.com/blog/

Fat Loss Tip #10 – Eat More FAT

Eating Healthy Fats Pushes Out BODY Fat….

I’ve been preaching this since day 1 of the challenge but I realize some people need a reminder. (If you’re not in my weight loss group this info may be new to you)

I’ve also heard so many people say “I don’t like pouring (fat) olive oil on my food right before I eat it so I cook with it instead”. Well cooking with a healthy oil/fat is step 1 BUT you still have to eat one serving of fat per day to really shed some serious weight.

Think about it like this if you like to take a pile of crab legs and dip each one into a bowl of butter or take French bread and soak up ALL the oil out of the bowl before you eat it…...then guess what????? You ate a ton of fat, way more than what was required. So let’s not make excuses for things that we know we can do.

EAT MORE FAT. Did you know that the Institute of Medicine recommends that a diet be made up of 35 percent fat? Turns out, high-fat foods like nuts, avocados and healthy oils can help you lose fat faster than other diet approaches.

Fat from healthy sources such as lean animal fats, Coconut oil and raw coconut (chalk full of MCT’s), nuts, seeds, avocados and healthy oils are EXTREMELY beneficial in improving body composition and stimulating weight loss.

Just remember that peanuts/peanut butter DO NOT count because its a bean and not a nut. Nor does any of those so called healthy spreads and smart butters count because its full of junk.

Keep in mind if you’re REALLY trying to lose a ton of weight that nuts should be limited to no more then 4 ounces a day as they can hinger your progress. However if you’re already lean, you can eat more nuts especially walnuts which have a favorable omega 6 to omega 3 ratio.

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Macadamias, Pecans, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds are great. Olives and avocados are good too. Also look for olive oil, walnut, and flaxseed oil.

Fat Loss Tip #7 – Start IMMEDIATELY


(Typical conversation with SELF) I’m just starting another freakin diet today. So..I’m serious this time.. No…REEEEALLY I AM!

Okay Okay…it’s just another go at the life long battle of misery. I go through stages where I pretty much QUIT and end up GAINING WEIGHT! But I’m SOOO serious this time. I’m starting MONDAY! 🙂

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? Yes we’ve all used the Monday excuse.

We act as if there’s a law that says all diets must start on a Monday?  Well..I’ve started diets on about 731 Mondays already.  So Mondays are out for me.  I kicked the“I’ll start my diet Monday” habit to the curb a longggggg time ago when I realized that CHANGE is based on your maturity level.

Immature eating habits is what got most of us in the state of obesity that we are fighting with right now.  And immaturity….lack of motivation/discipline is what makes you keep putting it off until tomorrow

Even if you’ve spent the day eating junk and fast food, there’s no rule that says you need to wait.  So WHAT you screwed up your diet, we’ve all done that.  Now what? Get back in the race….Stick with the plan….. Switch back into fat burning mode NOW….fight to the very end and DON’T YOU DARE GIVE UP!

Kick the habit…… Newsflash, real change doesn’t start Monday, it starts NOW

Autism & Paleo Testimony

The following testimony will likely shock and amaze you. I know it did and does for me and for a very simple reason: A child’s life was completely changed for the better, in many ways saved…and all from a simple nutritional intervention.

This story relates specifically to Autism and although there is increasing awareness of the role of gut permeability and various food intolerances in the etiology of this condition, there is also a remarkable amount of confusion.

The concept of “gluten free” is making it’s way into the collective consciousness of many people in the autism community, but unfortunately that is only ONE of many steps necessary to really affect change in this condition.

If you know someone with kids who suffer from autism, please pass this along…..

My name is Rachel, and I am a 30 year old mother of 4 children. I have been interested in fitness and nutrition for years, but followed a traditional bodybuilding diet until I began having stomach pain when I became pregnant with my fourth baby in 2008. Suddenly, a protein shake or other foods gave me unbearable stomach pain within 20 minutes of ingestion.

Sometimes this was even accompanied my vomiting, and got bad enough that I landed in the ER a few times. None of the doctors seemed to know what it was. They guessed lactose intolerance or IBS and sent me home.

At 22 weeks pregnant, I awoke in the middle of the night with the worst abdominal pain yet, and a fever. We went to the ER, and they rushed me into emergency surgery to remove what they thought could be an appendix about to rupture.

This was scary and risky at 22 weeks pregnant, but necessary. The surgeon discovered that my appendix was fine, but that I had a cyst in my small intestine which had ruptured causing the infection and fever. I asked tons of questions. What caused this? Could it happen again?

All of the doctors said they didn’t really know. A nurse told me to try cutting out wheat and see if that helped. It did, but I did not yet know why or how it helped. My daughter Scarlet was born full term and healthy, and we breathed a sigh of relief.

We knew early on Scarlet was different than our other 3 children. She seemed less affectionate and inclined to “stay in her own little world.” She was walking at 9 months, but had not even begun to speak after turning a year old.

By the time she was 18 months, she was still not talking at all, and had lots of strange habits such as jumping constantly (I mean ALL THE TIME) and pacing or rocking all the time.

She carried around objects refusing to put them down for any reason at all, and freaked out if people came too close to her. She was notoriously unaffectionate. Hugs and kisses were very rare. We took her to speech therapists, neurologists, and child psychologists.

They diagnosed her with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in September of 2010. Her language skills at 20 months were that of a normal 8 month old. She had no words at all. I started researching everything I could find about diet. I got Robb’s book The Paleo Solution for Christmas and read it all in 2 days. Then I read it again. This all made so much sense to me!

For starters, I tried to get as much gluten out of my family’s diet as I could, but many people around me were skeptical, to say the least. I was met with a lot of resistance. Even though I had been eating this way myself for almost a year and the allergies, asthma, and eczema that had plagued me my whole life DISAPPEARED, and I lost 50 pounds, nobody around me believed my diet could do that.

Scarlet improved a little bit with less wheat in her diet, and had about a five word vocabulary within a few months. She was still eating dairy and other grains at this point, and family was still sneaking her some cookies and such at this point.

I had begun reading for a couple hours a day on nutrition for several months, and I decided to attend a Paleo Solution Seminar in Toronto in March, 2011. Robb explained gut health, auto-immunity, the blood-brain barrier, and “brain inflammation.” This was what really made the “gut-autoimmune” connection click for me.

I came home determined, and tortured my husband with hours of biochemistry (I am a closet science nerd) until he agreed we had to go 100% Paleo and give this thing a shot. I no longer cared if everyone around me thought I was nuts. I knew my daughter had ZERO wiggle room, and I threatened physical harm if anyone tried to “sneak the poor baby a cookie.”

I began feeding her grass-fed meat, wild salmon, yams, carrots, berries, and the like. Instead of milk and juice she has caffeine free herbal tea or coconut milk with water. To my surprise, she LOVES this food and I had no trouble getting her to eat this way. I hoped that over time, this would improve her condition. I WAS WRONG. It was much better than that!

Within ONE WEEK of Scarlet eating 100% grain, legume, and dairy free the difference in this child was nothing short of amazing. Before paleo, Scarlet said about 5 words. One week after paleo, she is using more than 20 words.

It has now been two weeks on paleo and we cannot keep up with the word explosion! She can repeat most things she hears. She is pointing to objects and naming them, something she couldn’t do before. She is calling us “mama” and “dada” and we are getting all the big hugs and kisses we can handle!

She can point out a couple of shapes and colors and name them. She identifies animals and the sounds they make. This FAR exceeds her goals for learning for the whole year set by her therapists.

Her teacher and speech therapist cannot believe it either, but they are totally on board and even asked for info about Robb’s book and website, which I gave them.

We are so thankful for Robb and others like him who are getting this information out to families like ours. This is life-changing information you most likely WON’T hear from doctors, government or media.

Do your own research, and be skeptical. Check the source, follow the money, and do your best to understand the actual science.

If you try going paleo, don’t cave to people who are afraid you (or your kids) will wither away or die of malnutrition without bread, milk and cereal! If you actually DO this stuff, YOU will be the proof

 

Gallbladder Attack & Paleo

Gallbladder surgery seems to be on the rise, would it have anything to do with our love for breads, pasta and other foods that have been dipped (fried chicken/fish) and or made with flour…..

If you suffer from gallbladder problems or you’ve had your gallbladder removed know that WHEAT / Gluten in all of its many forms (bread, pasta, cake, cookies, gravy, cereal, crackers, beer etc) is NOT your friend.

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf mentions that most people who had gallbladder removal were almost assuredly, undiagnosed-celiac. So if you are suffering with gallbladder problems you more than likely have a gluten/wheat intolerance.

STOP EATING WHEAT PERIOD!

Fat Loss Tip #11 – How To Stay Focused / Motivated

How To Stay Focused / Motivated on the Weight Loss Road to Success

Somebody asked me to give them tips on things I do to stay focused & motivated. Read on, this was my biggest tip I gave her that might help you too….

I remember a time in my life where my closet was like a department store. I shopped ALL THE TIME, had a ton of clothes and a wide variety of sizes in my closet. Some to big, some to little but at some point of the year they all fit depending on the season. LOL

Before Paleo my weight fluctuated so much from Summer sizes 16/18 to Winter sizes 20/22 and no that’s not because I would wear layers or sweaters…… 🙂

Funny but it never dawned on me that in order to continue to move forward, I needed to stop expecting to be able to reach back or buy new clothes that where my old familiar winter sizes…….

It never dawned on me that reaching back for my familiar winter clothes and expecting them to fit meant that I would have to GAIN my winter weight back. Talk about being in a comma……..

Once I went Paleo and became committed to it the weight started falling off but I still kept the (fat) clothes in the closet just in case I needed them. (Sometimes its hard to come out of a comma)

I recall one day standing in the closet telling a friend “I have absolutely NOTHING TO WEAR” everything was to big. Even my to little stuff was to big……

I was forced to bag it all up and shop for my current size. (One eye open…. Still not completely out of the comma)

I ended up with 10 bags of clothes in my living room that where too big and a huge EMPTY closet with a couple a pair of leggings and tops to mix/match to hold me over to the next shopping trip.

I decide to challenge myself and be a blessing to someone else. I gave all 10 bags of clothes away (my crutch) and kept an empty bag in my closet for storing potential clothes that would soon be to big.

I turned my expectations from moving/thinking backwards to moving forward. (Finally delivered from the comatose state I was in)

So my point today is you can’t expect to get to the top of the mountain if you keep allowing yourself to have a set back.

Position yourself where you have no choice but to move forward. Right now at this very moment I challenge you to open your closet and take out ALL of your clothes that are too big. Yes ALL of them……yep the cute stuff too and put them in a bag.

Now what you do with that bag is up to you just REMOVE it from your house. If you cleaned out your pantry to eat Paleo then you merely set yourself up for potential weight loss……

Take the next step by setting your expectations on HIGH and clean out your closet and stop shopping for the old familiar or your current sizes. As a matter of fact don’t buy another piece of clothing until you loose 15-20lbs…

When you continue to repeat old patterns you only set yourself up for failure…….

Eating right & exercising to loose weight is just a small piece of the puzzle.
You must realize that this is a BEHAVIORAL challenge and you are trying to correct a lifetime of dysfunctional patterns and bad food choices……….

So Stay Focused, Position Yourself for a Blessing & Believe That You Can Do It. SEE YOU AT THE TOP!